I'm singing in the rain - Gene Kelly
Last week, New York suddenly sparked light. Some wise organizers at the NYRR had decided to cancel the Moore Marathon due to the temperature approaching a dangerous 90 plus degree. Too excited for the sun and not as wise, I dash out in haste for the 7-mile stretch along the Hudson River, which very soon resulted in two scorching red shoulders that still ache under my shirt no matter how much aloe vera was applied. Apparently I've taken the majority of advices from the Suncreen song to heart, but ignore the foremost and most famous of them all:
"If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
But trust me on the sunscreen."
As the burnt skin slowly peeled off, spring rain pushed the sun back into the clouds and spent hours drizzling puddles down on the sloppy pavements of Stuy-Town. Waking up on a gloomy Sunday, I was instantly grumpy-fied by the gray and indifferent sky outside of Muggy's blue curtains. I waited, but the rain refused to stop. Quite angrily I put on my sneakers and stormed out, unable to fight the running bug and the rather annoying beeping of MLB the evil video game.
As usual, the first three miles were hard. My fists and face were wet and cold, yet my back and thighs sweaty. Central Park felt like a deserted track, on which each footstep of runners was amplified off the cement and sent echoing along the big loop. The rain eased the heat off my back, and felt surprisingly refreshed on my steaming cheeks. Soon, my toes were soaked and wiggled uncomfortably in the muddy shoes. I ignored them and kept running. Half way down the second round on the big loop, I accidentally engaged in a race with another runner, a big guy in blue t-shirt. He didn't seem to move on very fast, so I thought I should just overtake him. Big mistake! Perhaps his long stride and relaxed shoulders gave off the wrong impression. I felt my legs quicken to fix the distance between us, yet unable to gain ground. It took me almost 2 miles, from 100th Street down to Columbus Circle to pass him. He, too, was indignant and sped up. I could hear his whizzing breathing along my side for at least half a mile before dropping off behind. At Columbus Circle, I gave up the temporary victory, stopped by the sidewalk and stretched out my shaky knees. Blue t-shirt guy happily zoomed by into the distance. Thank you for making the last two miles so fast!
Leaving Central Park, I ran as fast as I could back to the cozy little apartment on 52nd Street, where I knew Mugg was waiting so we could go to dinner together. My heart was literarily flying as I hopped up the stairs, snapped open the door and jumped onto his arms, triggering long howls of protest as my wet and cold face snuggled tightly into his chest. He lifted my messy chin up and smiled down kindly, "You look pretty."
And standing there with my puffing and huffing heart, throbbing calf muscles, growling stomach, I felt all of it at once - love, blessing, magic.
Sunday - 14 miles, 2 hours 20 mins.