A lot has happened since I last wrote. Here are the things I can remember off the top of my head:
1. I ran 18 miles! I took my friend's (Matt's) spot in the NYRR 18-mile Tune-Up on a lovely Sunday morning. Definitely lowered his NYRR stats, if they do keep track (and they seem like they would). The race consisted of three big loops in Central Park. It was such great prep for the big race - getting a taste of the crowds, even if on a smaller scale, and sharpening my focus on finishing the race. I stopped at mile 15 and took a stretch break. Going into the race, I had decided to see how my body felt around miles 14 and 15 and make a decision then on whether to run the last three. I could have used a stopping point at mile 15, but I couldn't put it away that three miles was all it would take to finish the race. It also helped to remember that I would get a free bagel and banana at the end. So I stretched and then ran the last three at a much slower pace.
2. I got sick! The weekend of the Tune-Up was so packed. Friday had women's group after work. Right after that, I rushed off to welcome my cousin - who flew in from Korea to start her 10-month internship in the city - into my apartment. The following morning, Josie drove into town and the three of us walked around and did morning errands. That was followed by Steph's baby shower which was luckily nearby in the same neighborhood. Later that night (still on Saturday, folks), we went out and celebrated Josie's birthday and passing of Step 3. The next morning was the 18-mile run where I woke up at 6 AM to get the bib and head to the park. You would think my weekend ended after the run, but no - I was on children's ministry duty at church in the afternoon. Luckily, the kids were good that day but even on a normal Sunday, I make sure to chug a cup of coffee before leading a children's session. They really command all of your attention and energy!
Anyway, that week, I began to fall sick with a cough. I'm still recovering from it (slowest recovery EVER) and have had to cut down my number of runs drastically. I get restless but people are advising me not to aggravate my body...
3. ...Which kind of leads to my next thing - running has actually become a thing of comfort for me. I think this is a great sign of progress compared to last year, when a mile was like a death call for me. If you ask Chris about my beginnings, he will tell you that I'd start emitting weird noises around mile 1. I always feel great and a little more energized after a run.
4. Lastly, one of my old college friends, Brian, who is running this year via charity, held a fundraiser for the Children's Museum of the Arts. The event was called "JOYATHON" - a non-stop Art marathon of sorts. You can view photos of the event at this facebook page. I was actually really humbled that he asked me as well as other more legitimate artists to help offer our skills for charity. That night, I offered cartoon portraits and they were really simple in concept and in medium (vellum, sharpie and oil pastel). The past several years, I've strengthened my skills in the digital arts while letting go of my practice in the hand-drawn. I truly did arrive at the museum in a state of meekness and feeling less powerful without the tool of Photoshop. Still, the night was a great night of drawing and checking out the other artists' booths. Thanks to Charlene who came out at last minute notice!
This is a quick list of updates. The marathon is four weeks away. I'll definitely have more to post from now until then!