The world continues to function outside these walls. I have to continue to remind myself of that as birthdays, anniversaries, and daily activities, such as lunchtime and bedtime, slip by unnoticed. When I call my boyfriend, he says it before I do, “I’ll be home late tonight,” in that voice that he thinks sounds like me, but doesn’t.
Inside the office, and a bit frighteningly, inside our heads, the world is the marathon. And although it is fatiguing and tends to make us loopy on select evenings (in group offices filled with frenetic energy, I might add), it’s become a driving force in our lives—shall I dare say it’s in our souls?
Perhaps a bit melodramatic, I’m a sucker for this race—it was my first and so far only marathon—and I can’t get it out of my head. But isn’t that what proves it’s all worth it? When you’ve working so hard for something that it feels like you own it, you appreciate it more fully. I think tens of thousands of runners, who would practically give their first born to get in each year, agree. And who needs Rumpelstiltskin, when you’ve got the fortitude to finish 26.2 miles and the motivation to do it all again?
A cynical New Yorker, or so I like to think, I’m not supposed to get all wrapped up in sentiment—but this race gets me every year. From my first days of training in 2006—when I was just one of 37,000 stories—I knew this was something special. A certain piece of it wouldn’t have existed without me. And now, here I’m orchestrating it from the inside.
I like to think all of this puts me at an advantage; having been part of the massive flow of people that took to the five boroughs, experiencing the Fort Wadsworth start, each distinctive neighborhood, and the awe-inspiring finish area two years ago should make my job easier. On second thought, perhaps it draws just a moment’s focus away from my race-day assignments. Hey, we’re all human, but this year, as I daydream for just a minute about being a finisher myself, I’m admitting it.