realized dreams

A week ago last Sunday I ran the New York City Half Marathon, which starts in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, goes across the Brooklyn Bridge, along the East River, up 42nd Street, through Times Square and finishes in Central Park. It was a challenging course with long hills, and though I missed my goal time by several minutes I was satisfied with the outcome. I placed 18th of 370 in my division (F60-64) with a time of 1:51:43 (8:32 average pace), placed in the top 15% of all women and the top 27% percent of the entire field of American runners. I could not have done it without the love, coaching, advice and support from so many of my athletic and non-athletic friends and loved ones.

More importantly, with the help of scores of generous donors, I raised nearly $15,000 for the American Cancer Society for research, patient support and outreach!

As I raced with 27,000 other runners from all over the world, my mind wandered little as I focused on my stride, breathing, and the scenery and people around me. I didn't think about Calvin except perhaps once as I glided smiling through Times Square thinking I was in ways running for him—something he has never been able to do nor will ever do.

And though Calvin wasn't on my mind during my race—nor is he much if at all when I go on my daily runs—I realized after I crossed the finish line that if it weren't for Calvin, perhaps I'd never have taken up running in the first place. When I was pregnant with him I had swum at least a mile every day until week thirty-two when Michael and I got the harrowing news that our unborn offspring was missing much if not most of the white matter in his brain. I had to give up swimming and walking our dog until after Calvin was born. When I eventually got back into the pool, the heartache, guilt and uncertainty proved to be too much for me. I feared my workouts might have hurt Calvin's brain somehow, and I couldn't help but cry into my goggles and hope no one noticed.

Then in stepped my friend, world-class marathoner and Olympian, Joan Benoit Samuelson. Upon first meeting, she quickly disabused me of any notion that my swimming might have harmed Calvin's brain in utero. Still, I was no longer interested in doing lap after lap indoors. Years later, after prodding me to take up running, Joanie gave me my first pair of running shoes—Day-Glo yellow Nike Zoom Fly 4s. Her gift came on the heels of having spent the first fifteen months of the pandemic watching another elite marathoner run the same back roads on which Calvin and I took daily drives, all the time wishing I could do the same. It was then, just over two years ago, that I began running in earnest and training for my first-ever race—Joanie's Beach to Beacon 10K—after years of mere dreaming of having the time and freedom to run.

And though I am no fan of the saying "everything happens for a reason," I'm a staunch believer that, if we so choose, we can find great purpose and deep meaning from life's challenges, tragedies and accidents. For that knowledge and capacity, I am forever grateful.

Running through Times Square


  1. Beautiful. You. This story. Bravo my friend!

  2. Look at you!! What an amazing human you are! Bravo!