Day 5 began with the greatest run of my life: 13 miles (and 2500’ of climbing) from Eixample up along Carretera de les Aigües, an urban running trail like none other: graded dirt, jasmine spilling over old stone walls, fields of blooming wild fennel, prickly pear in full fruit, views of mountains and the city and the sea, water fountains anywhere you could need them, and actual technical trails off the sides for when you feel like careening around like Killian Jornet. I’ve never felt so lucky. #whyirun #porquecorro #runwithstrava #runforlife (at Carretera de les Aigües)
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The first time I laced up to train for a marathon was 2012, when I joined @wellnessintheschools’s marathon team on a lark. The longest I’d ever run before was 7 miles, and that was only because I’d gotten lost in Golden Gate Park. But I loved WITS’s commitment to public schools, & I thought it would be great to be able to say I’d run the marathon, so when WITS put out a call for teammates, I joined on. Responding to that email changed my life. I didn’t run the marathon for WITS that year after all–hurricane Sandy put an end to that. But I signed up again the next year, and the next, and I’m doing it again this year. I’ve become one of those dreadful people who evangelizes for running, who thinks almost no bad situation can’t be improved by hitting the pavement or chasing up a trail. I’ve learned a lot about myself & what matters to me. And I’ve learned a lot about perseverance in the face of a challenge–not just from running, but also from working year-round with WITS, watching them patiently grind along to change attitudes and improve health and sustainability for all NYC kids. I’ve got 3 great teammates from Egg running with me this year, and together we’re going to try to raise $15,000 in 15 weeks and run the marathon in a cumulative time of under 15 hours. You can find out more about how to support us and WITS at http://ift.tt/1MLObaT. Please join us! #whyirun @nyrr #tcsnycmarathon #runforlife (at Williamsburg Bridge)
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Every single body in the city is out tonight. Afropunk Fest, #E24X, a dozen newlyweds, firefighters icing the knee of a boy who fell off his bike, “so many 1st birthday parties out here, everybody was gettin busy in the winter,” and a hundred selfies I ruined by running through them at shutterclick. #whyirun #iloveny #summersinthecity (at Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 5))
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“That’s how you can tell someone’s poor.” My babysitter pointed slyly at the neck of the boy sitting ahead of us in the bleachers. We were at a basketball game at her high school, a small public school in a small Virginia town where pretty much everyone was just one shade of poor or another.
I don’t know why she’d taken me to the game, but I felt important and nervous, the only kid there who wasn’t with his parents. I was paying careful attention to everything, afraid I’d do something to give away the fact that I was a 5th grader and not a sophomore, young enough to believe that people couldn’t tell the difference. I wasn’t sure where I fit in. I stared at the boy’s neck, unsure what I should be seeing.
“They cut their own hair. They don’t get that peach fuzz on the backs of their necks.“ It was light and soft, like the hair on a never-shaved cheek.
When I cut my hair now, I shave my nape blind. I cut myself about half the time.
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Just inside the gate of a garage in Greenpoint, a wiry man with gray hair and a deep-set scowl sits on an upturned bucket. He spits on the ground as I approach. “I’m not fucking sheep!” he yells, shaking his head and glancing at the man sitting across the door from him. “Do I look like a ewe to me?”
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The ecstasy of shuffle serving up “Moby Dick” live just in time for that last interval…. #mywhitewhale #ledzeppelinforever #speedwork #whyirun #strava #marathontraining @wellnessintheschools
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You may learn to sleep through sirens and the screams of neighbors and the crash of garbage cans being thrown to the curb, but a bird will wake you up even when there is no tree to be seen. #newyorkcity #birdsong #iloveny #wakeup #wildernesswhereyoufindit
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From somewhere up the bike lane I could hear a man bellowing, his voice funneled my way by construction walls and buildings as he came rolling up the street. “Fuck you! I hate it! I hate the fucking motorcycles and the loud fucking cars and the fucking bass amplifiers fuck you you fuck I fucking hate you all!” He was in front of me now, pedaling a commuter bike at a frantic cadence, his face mostly obscured by the shade of his helmet and his sunglasses but still clearly twisted with rage as he yelled at the Honda cruising along next to him, a Civic with tinted windows and a pair of chome exhausts the size of beach pails. The car was purring, windows down, its driver grinning like a toadfish who’s swallowed a hook.
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James Wright, “Breakfast”
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May you all feel the way about the person you love that I feel about this one, a dumb breathless love that smothers cynicism and fills you with wonder, a love that’s undiminished over this first 17ish years of marriage. Happy anniversary, Nif. Thank you for marrying me.
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