Friday, October 31, 2008

Dedications for The 2008 New York City Marathon

It’s been my tradition that each year in preparation for running the New York City Marathon, I try to come up with something to occupy my mind for each mile of the marathon course. Just in case the music and crowds don’t do it for me at that particular moment in the race. For my first one, I thought about 26 places and name that inspire me to run. The following year, I thought about 26 reasons that I was running the marathon, each beginning with that mile’s letter of the alphabet. This year, I think I’ve decided to make “People” the focus of my mental exercise during the marathon.

Although the choice may sound rather arbitrary, there’s actually a perfectly reasonable explanation for this selection. At the beginning of the running year, as I was still euphoric over my recently acquired BQ marathoner status, I was asked by a friend of mine, “Why do you have this almost religious fervor to run long distances at such blazing speeds? Is there something in your past that’s driving you to run so fast? If there’s some traumatizing event or cause that fuels your desire to run away as quick as possible, maybe it’ll be more therapeutic for you to find the root cause and deal with it rather than run miles and miles as a form of denial?”

For a while, I was shocked by his suggestion and was downright angry that he was using my passion for running against me. And for a long time, I really didn’t know how to respond. There was a part, albeit a small part, that wondered if he was right in his assessment. Was I running fast only because there was people and places and bad memories that I’m trying to get away from? It weighed heavily on my mind for a long time this year.

But during my birthday this year, somewhere in the late miles of the San Francisco Marathon at a time when I felt most vulnerable because of the hilly terrain, lack of crowd support and crampy legs, I found my answer. I realized that over the past year, because of running, I made so many friends and became acquainted with so many great people that I would never have known otherwise. Moreover, even among my family and old friends I’d known all my life, I’d grown closer to them because of this newfound passion. In essence, running has made me closer to people, rather than draw me away as my friend had suggested. This new revelation, discovered at the most unlikeliest of places, gave me the impetus to have a tremendously successful summer season of running and racing.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I’m dedicating this race to 26 people and groups of people that have helped make me the runner that I am today, and will think of them especially during this race.

People For Whom I’m Running and Dedicating This Race

  1. For my cousin JK, who thinks it’s pretty cool that I run
  2. For my friend RB, who was crazy enough to follow me on a second five borough tour after I coached him and gave him PFS the first time around
  3. For my cousin JY, who just had a baby boy
  4. For my friend EW, who’ve been head cheerleader since my very first NYCM
  5. For uncle Ben because he had 80% blockage in one of his coronary arteries and went through a double angioplasty in flying colors last week
  6. For my friend KC, who invited me half way around the world to show me the time of my life
  7. For my Flyer friend BS, who I secretly admire for being my real-life example of what a cancer survivor is capable of.
  8. For my mom who loves reading my blog even if she doesn’t understand half of what I’m talking about
  9. For my long distance Hawaiian friend, Frayed Laces, who inspires me everyday with her courage, speed and gutsiness
  10. For grandma who doesn’t understand why I have to run in order to be healthy and sane
  11. For my new friend JS, who admires my speed, even when I don’t think I’m worthy of such high praise
  12. For my diabetic patients, who can be so universally frustrating yet intermittently rewarding to deal with (not so unlike a marathon)
  13. For my brother, who thinks sub 3 hours will be like Kenyan speed
  14. For my Flyer friend BH, who is sitting this one out, but constantly challenges me without saying a word because he has more in common with me than even he knows.
  15. For my friend SS, who’s one of my oldest friends and will be making a kick-ass sign for me at mile 18
  16. For my cousin JS, who showed me great hospitality and even ran with me while I was out in San Fran
  17. For the Flyer bloggers nyflygirl and runner26 who share with me a kindred spirit where running and blogging go hand-in-hand
  18. For my dad who isn’t so supportive of my running…but then again he’s not so unsupportive either
  19. For all the patients to whom I’ve had the privilege of being called their doctor.
  20. For my friend MA, who started me on this journey way back when and is finally running together with me in this marathon
  21. For my blogger friends across the river, across state lines, and across the big pond, who keep me entertained, motivated, and excited to run each and every day
  22. For the rest of the Flyers who celebrate my victories even when I’ve only won against my former self
  23. For friends and family far away who can’t be with me this day but are always in my thoughts.
  24. For my sister with whom I share a special conversation at mile 24 of every single marathon
  25. For race directors, volunteers, and all those who’ll come out to support and cheer like mad for us runners
  26. For myself because once upon a time I was picked last in a relay race and was referred to as a non-athlete
As always, thank you all for your encouragement and well wishes. Look forward to a long and detailed, likely multi-part, race report which will incorporate quotes from the book I'm reading (listed on right sidebar).

For those who'd like to track me during the race, you can do so here. My bib number is #7618. (I only ask that you restrain from flaming me if I happen to fall off my pace!) Thanks again everyone and I'll see you on the opposite side of the finish line.


M*J*C said...

Lam- I will be sending every ounce of positive energy and thoughts your way! I'll be "stalking" you for sure, and I'll be cheering for you as you cross the finish line! All the best for you!!!!

joyRuN said...

Have a great race, Lam. Your inspirations should carry you through beautifully.

As for the friend you mentioned at the beginning of your post - SHEESH!

sRod said...

Wow. You consistently manage to inspire me. Those thoughts (along with pacing, fueling, passing, waving, and trying to forget how much it hurts) should keep you very busy for 26.2 miles.

It's funny that you said "see you on the other side of the finish line" because that's where wifey and I will be volunteering tomorrow! We've been assigned to the family regroup area at the finish line. We'll keep an eye out for you at the finish, but know that we're rooting for you all the way!

J said...

Good luck!!! Wishing you the best run ever!

Xenia said...

I'm totally tracking you tomorrow! Thank you six hour time difference. :)

Good luck, Lam! Have a blast.

Trakmaniak said...

Hey...Thanks for the shout out...
"...constantly challenges me without saying a word because he has more in common with me than even he knows."

are you my long lost brother? hahaa...finally finding me and being on the same god bro, you never told me...all this time I thought you were just picking on me, wearing my bandana's and just wanting to be like me, but I get it're my big brother!

GOOD LUCK TOMORROW...and at Mile 14(right into Queens - twists and turns off the gowanis(sp?) bridge and see the church chaple above... or was it at the Citicorp building - watch the subway carts above the bridge...), I'll be thinking of you and giving you my leg speed (since I am sitting this one out...) Be strong, carry though and I'll see you at the start and at Mile 18 (gel station)...GOOD LUCK & break 3!

M*J*C said...

Just checked the weather and it looks good (on the cold side, but dry)!!! Looks like the sun will be out's all coming together for you! Tomorrow is your day to be the Rock Star!!!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea dedicating each mile. Run your best. I'll be checking in on your progress.

nyflygirl said... flattered to make your list :)

have a GREAT race tomorrow!! i'll be sending you speedy vibes while i'm an hour behind you :-P

DebbieJRT said...

have a great time tomorrow. all the hard work is done and now is the reward.
I'll be sending good vibes from behind a table at the mile 14 water stop.

jovita said...

=D i feel so special! =) i'm so excited for you!

Run For Life said...

What wonderful inspirations, Lam. I'll be rooting for you, ENJOY!!! :)

Julianne said...

That is 26 beautiful dedications!! I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Best of luck!!! Can't wait to read your race report!!!!!!! ;-)

Frayed Laces said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frayed Laces said...

Eh, whatevs. It's just a stupid marathon anyways, right?

Way to go. You're still my hero.

JK said...

Way to go! I'll be rooting for you.

Btw, when you say you'll be dedicating the first mile to your cousin wtih JK intials, there are 2 cousins with those letters. Brother and Sister, One being me. Now which one was it, or was it both of us? Hehe, no big deal, i appreciate you thinking of us though.

Jamie said...

A+!!! Congrats Lam can't wait for the race report!

Laura said...

Lam, I saw on the tracker that you had finished before I even left home to go cheer... WOW you are fast! Congratulations on a fabulous run :)

Betsy said...

A+++ time! You rock, Laminator!

Reluctant Runner said...

Wow ... what a beautiful post. We really do not run alone.

Brooke said...

wow..tears in my eyes, really! I LOVE #26!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Love this idea. Sounds like it was a great race too. Under 7 pace is something to be very proud of.

*aron* said...

LOVED this post!!! i was thinking about you and NYC this morning on my long run... i saw you did AMAZING :) cant wait for the report!!

Alex Gonzalez said...

You did amazing! A+ for sure. Congratulations, and here's to many more in the future!

Meg said...

You are lucky to have so many people that are important to you in your life!

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