In less than two weeks, I will run my first New York City Half Marathon. Before October 29th of 2012, this would have been exciting enough alone. However, this race is so much more than just the first time I am running the half in Manhattan.
To me this race is my comeback. It is my comeback from training so hard to run the NYC Marathon. I am not bitter that the 26.2 did not happen. I would have been angry if it was run one week following Superstorm Sandy. The region was hurting so much and there was no way a marathon could be run respectfully through neighborhoods devasted by the winds and water.
I always try and make the run important. I have run for charity and for friends. It takes the run up a notch. It makes you work harder, stick to training and you feel a sense of accomplishment like no other. Seeing a playroom built with funds that you raised is priceless. Having a friend cheer you on while she knows you're running a race for her is something you cannot imagine.
Again, I will run for charity on St. Patrick's Day. Choosing Every Mother Counts has been one of the most rewarding charitites by the sheer fact or appreciation. http://www.crowdrise.com/teamemcnychalf2013/fundraiser/paulacarlson
Many moms have thanked me for bringing awareness to issues and mortality rates of even women in this country. I was able to run with Christy Turlington, founder of the foundation one cold morning along the west side. She has given so much to this charity and was inspired by her own experiences.
While in my peaceful zen of the chlorinated blue this morning, I was inspired. I had never met Dylan Smith that I know of. He and I shared a love of water, lifeguarding, the Rockaways and helping others. Dylan heroically saved several people the night of Sandy in the Rockaways - using his surfboard and lifeguarding skills to do so. Tragically, he died surfing in Puerto Rico in December. A true hero. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Sandy-Surfer-Hero-Dylan-Smith-Drowns-Rincon-Puerto-Rico-Rockaways-Belle-Harbor-184624921.html
So when I run those 13.1 miles in Central Park, through Times Square and down the West Side Highway, I will be running in memory of Dylan Smith. He is an example that there are still selfless people in this world who just want to do the right thing.