I've long held that despite the fact that we're all adults, we all live on an academic calendar, from September through the summer...the calendar hanging on the wall in the kitchen and use to notate various events, is just formatted incorrectly, and Her filofax, which runs on the academic year, is the one we all live by.
I used to live by a slightly more skewed calendar years ago. I used to be a serious runner, a marathon runner, a train 6 days a week runner, someone who ran 12 months of the year, staying indoors only when the temperature dipped to single digits. I had started running while I was studying for the CPA exam, listening to review tapes on my walkman---it was a really long time ago, picking up the idea of mens sana in corpore sana for an ancient episode of the TV show The Paper Chase. I ran every morning in Central Park (lucky that way), awoke every morning at 5:51 AM (don't ask, please), and was able to complete a lap of the park (which teeters on 10K), be home to clean up and breakfast, and still manage to get to work by 9. I wasn't particularly fast, just persistent. I would focus on a fall marathon every year, running NY in the odd numbered years, and travelling to other cities in the even numbered ones---DC, Montreal, Newport among others.
And so this time of the year, the first weekend in November, which is when the marathon settled here after clashes with daylight savings time (don't ask, again) and Jewish holidays is somewhat sad and bittersweet. I miss the excitement of the foreign runners clogging the park during the week before the race, the Italian restaurants being stuffed to the gills the Friday and Saturday nights before the race, the getting up ever so early to take the ferry and catch my reserved cab across Staten Island, the millions of people waiting in the streets to applaud and encourage me, the occaisional stroke of good luck in finding a runner like the blonde haired woman in Montreal, who ran at exactly my pace for 22 miles, and was sad when I faded and we couldn't finish together. This was long before the marathon became an anybody can enter and walk the course event, when the participants were all runners and not tourists just sightseeing the city. I miss what I used to tell the Boy was "the gathering of eagles".
But I'll be out there tomorrow morning, which promises to be a brilliant day, cheering for the elite runners, and then staying to cheer of the citizens of the road, the people just happy to finish and meet or beat their own personal goals. They're all still my heroes.