I did the full park loop the morning of the Fourth. I didn't wake up as early as I would have liked, because I had gone out on the lower east side to hang out on my friend's rooftop and drink beer. (Also saw Devil Wears Prada that night--liked it! It was exactly what I wanted/expected.)
I wasn't going to go out that night, because I knew I wanted to run in the morning, but I also don't want to start resenting my running. After talking to some people who have trained and run the marathon, some commented that they never want to run it again because it took over their lives. I don't want this to take over my life. I don't want to regret or resent entering. Then again, I also don't want to die when I actually run it. Everything is about balance.
I left my apartment around 9:30 am. It was 79 degrees out when I woke up half an hour earlier, and 81 degrees and rising when I left. But it didn't feel as hot as Saturday--it was overcast and pretty breezy. But I still felt like I was wading through water, sluggish, slow. But as I ran slowly around the Park, I realized that it's so much more rewarding if it's hard. That's obvious, I guess, but when I'm running after not enough sleep, 60% humidity, rising thermometer, I feel that I'm accomplishing something more. Like acquiring a book when the negotiations were a struggle, finding new love and hope after your heart was broken, writing that editorial letter when you didn't know where to start, having fun at a party you didn't want to go to, making it work in a brand-new city or brand-new job. One of the most beautiful moments of my life is getting on the ferry to Cosa Mui in Thailand about 9 years ago after a grueling 10-hour, crowded, uncomfortable bus ride from Bangkok. After waiting, exhausted, in the ferry station for about an hour, we finally got on the ferry to the island and suddenly everything was transformed. The water was impossibly blue, the sky equally so with perfect white fluffy clouds. We could see schools of glittering silver fish skim the surface of the water, and life was good.
My brother and his wife are celebrating their five-year anniversary this weekend in Las Vegas (101 degrees and counting!). They've had some challenging moments in their marriage, especially in this last year, but they've said that will make this celebration that much sweeter. I'm looking forward to being there to share it with them.