“Moderation” has never been a discipline I’ve mastered. When I eat, I tend to overindulge. If I like a certain shirt or brand of underwear, I stock up with some in every color. Hosting a simple dinner party for four usually turns into a gastronomic Bacchanal for ten or more. If I’m not careful with this blog entry, it could easily spiral into a Sidney Sheldon-esque trilogy of novels! You get the idea… I’m not one to know when to stop. Every marathon I’ve trained for has been, I swore at some stage, THE LAST ONE. But after completing #17 in July (San Francisco), I decided not to make excuses for my obsession. Why should I feel guilty about the only completely non-work activity I enjoy? Instead, why not CELEBRATE it while my body still allows me to pound out those miles and collect such lovely race medals!? Sure, it’s a little looney…but it’s MY looney! And the other marathon maniacs out there (you know who you are) understand completely. It was then that I acquiesced to finally getting a “running” tattoo…a big commitment unless I planned to keep on being a Marathon Man!

Interestingly, everyone assumes because I live part-time in NYC that I have or want to have run the famous NYC Marathon: one of the world’s most famous annual sporting events, with 45,000 runners making their way through the city’s 5 boroughs, finishing in bucolic Central Park…a block from my apartment! For years I have enjoyed cheering participants from the sidelines, swept up in the excitement and sense of community this wonderful race inspires. But I have never had ANY interest in doing it myself. As a mid-pack runner, I don’t welcome the thought of schlepping out to Staten Island in the predawn hours and then being crushed between thousands of other people for the many hours before-during-and-after the run. I prefer small events where runners spread out and I can enjoy the solitude of sightseeing. NYC weather is unpredictable at that time of year…it’s often miserably cold and wet. No, thank you. I’ll stay as a cheerleader and save my participation for other Fall races that give me some elbow room and a holiday-like experience.

But the siren call of the NYC Marathon is ever present. Would I go my entire life always answering “No” when the inevitable “Have you ever…Will you ever…?” questions are posed?

My SUNRISE colleague, Mark Beretta, was first to ask this year. He had a friend running and wanted me to be on the lookout for him.

My Aussie mate, Kurt Fearnley, touched base about getting together when he’d be in town to attempt reclaiming his title as Wheelchair Champion.

My best friend, Glenn, spontaneously decided he’d enter for his charity, Sanctuary for Families. He’s accompanied me on many marathon adventures over the years…notably the Hamptons and Bermuda. But I’d run the full marathon (26.2 miles) and he’d run the half distance (13.1). I began to feel like I might be missing out on something. Two of my friends who are legends in the sport of Marathon’ing are Roger Robinson and Kathrine Switzer…who’d be doing broadcast commentary. And another pal, Mike, would be producing the network TV coverage. It was shaping up to be a party I wouldn’t be attending.

Then, my running hero: my coach, Blue, told me during one of our workouts that he’d be jetting into New York to do it, too. Even my (LA) dentist, Kenny, had signed up!

Okay, so maybe my body wasn’t fully recovered from San Francisco yet, but…dagnabit!! I wanted in!!! At this late date, the only way to register for this long sold-out event was by partnering with an affiliated charity…and I chose one that felt instantly “right” for me: City Meals on Wheels, one of the largest meals on wheels programs in the U.S., delivering 2 million meals to over 16,000 seniors each year. Along with delivering nutritionally balanced senior meals, Citymeals coordinates thousands of devoted volunteers to provide human companionship. I love spending time with older folks and can’t stand the thought of anyone being lonely, let alone hungry! And, as a foodie, it was a perfect fit!

So I run on behalf of the wonderful people who benefit from City Meals on Wheels…and the people who make the program possible. And I also run on behalf of the kind hearted donors who are contributing to my marathon efforts. Any contribution, in any dollar amount, not only goes 100% to the charity, but certainly helps inspire and encourage me when I am out there on the road putting in the long miles of training. And all those people will certainly be with me on the big race day, SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6!

Please join me by making a contribution through my Marathon web page and placing your name on my “Honor Roll!” I will carry you in my heart all along the route…and you will have the satisfaction of helping a great cause and, hopefully, a bit of excitement on race day, too, knowing you are a part of my 26.2 mile experience. Ok, now I can admit it: I”M RUNNING THE NYC MARATHON AND I’M SO EXCITED!

Link to the webpage:

My current Honor Roll List (won’t you add your name?!):

Alli & Peter D’Andrea
Brian O’Donnell
El Coyote Cafe
Gena Desclos
Jo Daniel
Joan Louth
Joel & Deven Bryant
Keith Dixon
Lauren Turner
Lee Fryd
Lori Haddad
Marcia McCabe
Mark Winter
Martha Cantarini
Mike Mathis
Monica Rosenthal
Naomi Watson
Nelson & Joyce Ann Aspen
Pamela Hubbard
Pamela Aspen
Sharon Burgess
Rosemary Killeen
Wolfgang Neumann