NYC, I’m running to you…

Long ago in a time without children, I used to have goals for myself that only involved me.  I know, a very hard concept for any fellow parent to remember, right?  But at one point, we were all the center of our all own realities no matter how long ago that seems.

For me, one of these bucket list goals was to run the NYC Marathon.  I now chuckle as I realize how much this dream has begun to fade with every passing day. My kids, my work, Joe’s travel, and occasionally sleep has now taken a more dominant seat in the list of my priorities. Getting out for an occasional run by myself has become a luxury that happens after some intense planning and some luck that the stars will align.

In the fall, I was in the midst of getting back into the swing of our normal routine, and during one of those chaotic days I had a passing thought…Maybe I should run the NYC Half Marathon next year?  After first laughing out loud, I slowly entertained the thought, and even went onto the website and did a little research.  I found that there is a lottery to even be eligible to run, and the odds of getting in for a NYC–area local are very slim.

That got me thinking, if the odds are that low, why not throw my hat into the ring?  It also didn’t help my cause that the process of entering was so simple and less time consuming than anything else that I was doing that day.  In just under a minute, I entered my name, contact and payment info, and then after pondering for a couple of seconds on whether to click send or not, I clicked and that was that.  I received an email stating that on the magical date of 12/8/16, I would be notified, and most likely that notification would start with the words, “We are sorry to inform you that you did not receive a spot.”  At the very least, it would make for a good story over coffee one day.  Remember that time when I had no time and two young children and I had the audacity to think that I could devote 3 months to training and running a half marathon?  How crazy was I?

Well, regardless of your assumptions of the future, reality happens.  You could imagine the look on my face when I logged into my NYC Road Runners account on 12/8/16 and saw the word, “CONGRATULATIONS.” I went from disbelief, thinking ‘they must have made a mistake,’ elation, thinking ‘I have the opportunity to do something right off the bat that people spend years waiting for,’ to ‘what was I thinking?  How will I do this when I can barely keep up with what I’ve got right now??’”

So here we are, it’s a new year and a new day and I’m running the NYC Half on March 19, 2017 and I couldn’t be more excited.  And in true Maria-style, I can’t just run and enjoy, I have to make things more complicated so I’ve decided to dedicate my training and this race to the work that we are doing at my home base- the St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation (SPCDC) in Paterson, NJ.  Every year, I have the pleasure of contributing my small piece to help over 6,000 individuals to make their lives a little better and I’m hoping that I will be able to share this joy with you over the next months.  I invite you to join me on this blog following my running adventures and mishaps, and learning of the people and programs that inspire me every day. And if your heart and pocket books allow, you can give a little to help support it.

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