But first off,
THE LATEST MEMBERS OF THE FRED'S TEAM HONOR ROLL!
MICHAEL & LISA MOSSBERG
and THE GUY WHO BOUGHT MY EXTRA NIKE+
bringing the total to
I am running this year in honor of Liam Witt, an amazing little boy who has been waging war against cancer for the past year. Thanks to the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research and the money donated on behalf of Fred's Team runners from people like you, MSKCC has developed treatments that is helping Liam win his battle. As recently as twenty years ago, a boy with Liam's cancer, neuroblastoma, had a zero percent chance of survival. MSKCC recently hosted a reunion for childhood neuroblastoma survivors. Three hundred people showed up. So if you think your donation doesn't make a difference, there are 300 families who can tell you otherwise.
Won't you help give MSKCC and Liam the chance every child deserves to live a full life? Simply click here, or on the link to the right and bottom of the page, and make a donation to my marathon effort. It means a lot more to Liam and his family than a dollar sign.
Kicking off the season also means that my blogging will hopefully become a little more regular, and maybe I'll even get to that long-awaited podcast. I gotta say, trying to record a podcast is a lot harder than it sounds. I've been trying, but it just sounds terrible, I "um" and "er" so much, and I blither. I'm too lazy to write a script, not good enough to talk off-the-cuff. Hmm....
First off, Broadway Bares was this past weekend. What a great show. 250 performers, 30 or so stage managers, and a whopping $874,372 raised for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS! A new record. Broadway Bares, for those who don't know, is basically a strip show for charity. There are about a dozen original choreographed numbers all built around a theme (this year's theme was "Wonderland," loosely based on Alice in Wonderland." Very loosely.) It's at Roseland Ballroom for two shows in one day, a 9:30pm and a midnight. The show features Broadway and other professional dancers, loads of celebrity cameos, and ends with everyone go-go dancing for tips along the runways. There's straight strip, gay strip. drag strip -- something for everybody!
Here's a picture from the event, from the Living Art of Armando number. They're a Vegas act that comes in every year. They do crazy aerial stuff that's always gorgeous. This year was no exception. If you click here, you can see pictures from the event. My job was to run one of the four rolling panels that we use as part of the set. Yes, very high-tech. We stand behind them, flip them from black side to white side and roll them around on cue. I love doing this show and I love being up on the stage with the show (as opposed to being a runner or standing in what we call Pervert Alley -- the section on the floor where dancers enter and exit off the right side of the stage. It's curtained off, but some intrepid audience members sneak over there and try to pull up the curtains to sneak peeks, hence the name.) When the set was a wall with three doors in it, I was the "towel girl" where I basically stood backstage and when the newly-stripped dancers came offstage, I'd give them towels to cover up with. Usually. Anyway, it's a really fun show to work on as well as watch.
Two small problems marred the event for me. First off, I ran over my right big toe with my panel during the 9:30 show. It didn't break, but man did it hurt. It bruised really badly; in fact, it's still bruised. Secondly -- and this wasn't a problem until the next day -- we are, how to put this, encouraged to drink. It's a Broadway Bares tradition, stemming from 18 years ago when Jerry Mitchell and six other dancers jumped up on the bar at Splash and raised $3,000. They did one show, and the management brought them tequila shots to encourage them to stay and do another, since the line was around the block.
And no, I will not be dancing on a bar to raise money for Fred's Team. Isn't running a marathon enough for you?
So, liquor. A vodka shot for the SMs before the first show. A bottle of vodka for the SR SMs. I kept a small water bottle full in my pants pocket. A trip to the VIP bar during the brief rest we had between shows for a free drink. The aforementioned tequila before the second show. More vodka during the midnight show. And lastly, at the after-party at Therapy bar, more vodka. Couple this with not really eating that day, and spending the majority of the weekend at Roseland working and not really sleeping. I got home at 4:30 Monday morning, fully intending to go to school that day. I even woke up at 7:00am. And then I made the mistake of standing up. I spent the next four hours becoming very intimate with my toilet. Needless to say, I didn't make it to school.
Between Bares and my post-Bares recovery from injured toe and alcohol poisoning, I didn't get a lot of running in over the past few weeks. Not so great, since this weekend we should be up to 11 miles. Oops. Shoulda read that training chart.
Yesterday was the Fred's Team kick-off party at MSKCC. It was, as usual, great to see everyone, and it's always a treat to see people not in running clothes. Normally the parties at MSKCC just have cookies and whatnot, but this one had sushi and a veggie plate. Hey, if they're catering workouts, I'm there! Hee hee! Sad that Matt F. won't be running with the Team this year, but happy to see so many returnees, and so many more newbies, including my old friend Bill from Gods Love We Deliver! Bill was my driver for one of the weirdest delivery days ever, but that's a story for another day. Dr. O'Reilly, the head of the pediatrics unit, talked to us about the Aubrey Fund and its importance to MSKCC. He told us about some patients who came into MSKCC with cancers that would have normally been death sentences, who are alive today thanks to research and treatment funded by the Aubrey Fund. Brothers Rich and Harrie Bakst, who joined the Team last year, spoke movingly of Harrie's journey through MSKCC last year for treatment of a rare salivary gland cancer. Harrie finished cancer treatment in June and ran the marathon in November. Not only did he train throughout his treatment, he also graduated from NYU. Words aren't adequate. I have to say, one of the amazing things about being on this Team is that you meet people like Rich and Harrie, who have gone through so much, and are willing to share that experience with us. Makes you realize the importance of what you're doing, both for MSKCC and for yourself.
Team runs begin next weekend, but we're all meeting up tomorrow AM for a non-Team Team run, if you know what I mean.
Lastly, two things. First, I volunteered at the NYRR Father's Day races. In order to be eligible for guaranteed admission into the 2009 NYC Marathon, not only do NYRR members have to run 9 qualifying races, they must also volunteer at one. I've volunteered at races before, and I kind of hate being told I have to, but I admit, it's a lot of fun, primarily because you get to say all the things to runners you want to say when you're running the race -- YOU'RE IN THE WRONG CORRAL, MOVE BACK TO YOUR CORRECT CORRAL! -- RUNNERS, STAY IN THE REC LANE! -- WALKERS, MOVE TO YOUR RIGHT! Love it! I worked the corrals at the start of the race, and the finish line at the end. One kid ran the race -- he only had one leg and was using crutches. Since we were about 100 yards from the finish line, we're all there screaming, "Finishing kick!" to the runners. This kid came around the corner, we started yelling, "Finishing kick," and I'll be damned if he didn't have a one-legged finishing kick! Amazing.
My job at the finish line was to cheer the runners on, watch for potential injuries, and finally to help direct traffic, because the race participants and spectators needed to be shepherded out of the rec lane at the finish line to make room for the bicyclists. There's an excellent article in New York Magazine this week about the dog vs. bike vs. runner debate called "Who Owns Central Park?" with lots of great comments. I guess you know what side of the debate I fall on. I remember two years ago a biker had wiped out towards the bottom of the Great Hill. There was an ambulance there, and bikers had spaced themselves out all the way up the hill and were screaming at all oncoming bikes, SLOW DOWN! ACCIDENT AHEAD! None of them did. Not that runners are always blameless, but at worst we're annoying. At worst, a biker can be life-threatening.
The reason I picked this race is because there were kids races, and c'mon, is there anything cuter or funnier than watching a bunch of two-year-olds try to run in a straight line? They look like miniature drunk people. They only go about 50 feet, but that's enough. The age groups for the kids go up to 11, I think. After that, they can run in the real race.
Finally, for you stenography fans, I passed my final 180 literary test on Thursday! Hooray!