A Visit from St. Sebastian (TCS New York City Marathon – New York City, NY)

‘Twas the night before race day, this time with my kitties!

For we didn’t need to travel, this one’s in New York City

This marks the end of last year’s trial by fire

Running in nine races and volunteering in one is what they require

I was a different runner then and person as well

And if you spend any time with me, it would be easy to tell

It feels like I’m running someone else’s dream race

They did all the work, and I just swoop in, taking their place

I planned for New York when I was a mere medal compiler

Never did I imagine it would end up being a tune up race for my first fifty miler

But if I’m being honest, this is real fucking cool

It’s the biggest race in the world – do I look like a fool?

I have a good chance to top my best marathon time from 2018

Or at least, hopefully all of the other results that fall in between

I’ve never before hit these kind of total weekly miles

But my legs haven’t been sore, in fact I’ve been all smiles

My success can probably be attributed to my reworked schedule

And listening to Tool’s new album nonstop has been influential

My writing has been on an indefinite hiatus

And I think in spite of that, a brighter future awaits us

I’ve just been focused on running – one thing at a time

My body’s been cooperating, and eventually so has my mind

I guess it’s preparation for my upcoming Buddhist retreat

I need all the help I can get as an amateur athlete

But winning races was never my main goal, if you remember

And things have come more into focus since this past September

It’s been quite enlightening this whole “not working” thing

I PR’ed in Virginia, and also gave Gf some new bling

Yes, this former long term bachelor will finally wed

“Holy shit! Finally!” is what most people said

Other than that, it’s been traveling to a bunch of cool places

And surprisingly enough, other than Virginia, it hasn’t been for races

Our first stop was Maryland, where I did some recon for the JFK 50

Ran the toughest part of the course, good thing that on trails I’m now pretty shifty

A quick detour in West Virginia, and those old country roads

Provided a break to ensure I didn’t implode

On our way to Cleveland, where debauchery awaited

My friend’s bachelor party on that weekend was slated

A baseball game, dodgeball, some beer, and some tits

It’s been awhile since I’ve partied like that, I have since called it quits

It’s a young man’s game, this whole staying out late

Though my good friend and his crew made the weekend pretty great

The wedding was a month later in beautiful San Diego

We took a plane there, opting against a Winnebago

Though our layover in Vegas had me second guessing that choice

It unearthed something inside me, an innermost voice

That seems to appear whenever I head out west

It’s not tourist goggles, or the effects of not being stressed

“This place is for me, it’s what I’ve been yearning

Even though the heat can make it feel like your skin’s burning”

I’ve loved Seattle and Denver and Vegas and Cali

And I’d love to add a few more places to that final tally

In the week we were away, ninety miles I ran

And I took the wedding into account, altering my training plan

Something tells me it won’t be the last time we go there, not by a long shot

For when we were there, we were being circled by a thought

What if after we get married – but before having kids

We move somewhere else, set up some new digs

I’ve thought about eventually going back to school for psychology

But never thought about considering this country’s geography

I’m not just limited to Jersey, it’s a national certification

I can pick from my favorite spots, provided it’s a feasible location

Vegas stood out, it’s affordable and the trail running scene is great

And the Raiders are moving there, so it’s probably fate

When we get back home to our cats that we call Taji and Neko

We’re pumped to tell them, “No more squirrels, you maybe soon hunting geckos”

From our apartment windows, there aren’t many animals they can watch

If we move somewhere else, that selection is kicked up a notch

Setting up strong roots for our family is our number one goal

It’s why I left my job, instead focusing on the whole

But when we got back to Jersey something was missing

And in the days leading up to the race, I’ve been reminiscing

Of the time I’ve spent here, in this home that we’ve built

I’ve been looking towards greener pastures, and it’s filled me with guilt

But what’s missing is a good thing, there’s something not there

When we used to come back from a trip, heaviness would fill the air

We’d hate to be back and couldn’t wait to leave again

It wasn’t a matter of ‘if’, it was more a matter of ‘when’

This entire time this race represented my ongoing battle with this area, the Big Apple

And what it’s come to signify – namely the insecurities with which I grapple

It’s much easier to take the first train out of town

And think that your issues won’t linger around

But we’ve stuck around and we’ve tested our mettle

Even though traffic has us alternating between the brake and gas pedals

This city’s superficial and it’s full of distractions

But finding yourself here can bring you true satisfaction

So this is a celebration of how far we have come

Because to be quite honest, I’m proud of where I’m from

All those years we’ve been searching, it’s been plain to see

Our key to happiness lies within us, both Girlfriend and me

We’ve been to Pittsburgh, D.C. Virginia Beach, and Maine

But to be happy together, we don’t need to get on a plane

For years, this area has been a persistent foe

But sticking through it all has sure helped us grow

Now armed with this confidence, wisdom, and knowledge

Our problems won’t follow us – wherever it is I decide to go to college

Instead, the happiness we’ve built will follow us like a specter

Our life a box office hit, with us as directors

Though we find beauty in every place that we roam

The truth remains: there is no place like home

Someday we may move, because, well, never say never

But what I’ve learned is that home is what we create together

Here’s to not having to drive to this race or having to get on a flight

Happy race day to all, and to all a good night!

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Running

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. GOOD LUCK ARMANDO AND ELENA AND MARY!!!
    WE’LL BE AT THE CORNER OF 1ST AVE AND 64TH ST (IN FRONT OF THE APPLE BANK) LOOKING FOR YOU GUYS AND CHEERING EVERYBODY ON.

    RICHARD
    EVA
    JOAQUIN

    Like

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