Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Front Row in NYC

New York City Marathon, Wednesday, November 3rd-Sunday, November 7th

Running in pearls…I have been literally running non-stop, and now my entire life is all about running like never before. In the year since I have written, I have taken a job with the National Marathon, managing endurance programs, while continuing to develop the run club at lululemon. Sometime between all of that, I am still running on my own. My whole life has become running…living the dream some might say…we will find out.

This week, I was working at the New York City Marathon expo to promote the National Marathon. It was a run-celebrity infested operation…Deena, Shalene, Ritz…everywhere you turned. Everyone from every corner of the sport was there, and it was busy…

I actually had a pretty great number for the race and was very tempted to run, but after only nine weeks back from stress fracture, I decided to hold off and watch instead…besides having commited to Philly in two weeks (which won’t be a race for me, just a run), it would be a mistake to have two 26 mile runs under my belt in just a month.

Somewhere in between all of the business, I had lunch with my mom in the city, who had taken a short train ride over the river from New Jersey to see me. I had seen her the previous week for my grandmother’s funeral. I loved my grandmother so much, and was so happy that my mother had brought a double strand of pearls for me from my grandmother’s jewelry box, that I wore throughout the rest of my New York City Marathon experience.

Saturday night, I went to the pasta dinner. I had never been to an official Marathon pasta dinner before, so I was pleased to attend the New York past dinner. It was huge…large tents were set up in Central Park where the former Tavern on the Green is located. Tons of marathon runners from all over the world were in there, and I sampled the pre-race offerings and chatted with marathon runners until dinner closing, before heading off to my own dinner in SoHo.

Marathon morning!! I hurried down to the finish nice and early with my “race directors” pass. I ended up with a seat right next to the finish in the front. To have a race to be on the sidelines for, this was truly a treat. I saw Shalene Flanagen cruise to a nice second place finish, and was ecstatic to see Mary Wittenberg and Mayor Bloomberg at the finish. I was enthusiastically waiting for Haile Gebreselassie to cross the finish line, but he dropped out mid-race with knee problems, and later that evening, announced his retirement from racing…all after receiving a $400,000 appearance fee for the NYC marathon, and signing onto London in the spring.

After watching the race for a few hours, I ventured over the East Side for brunch, stopped at lululemon of course, and walked around the city, marveling at all of the marathon finishers.

New Yorkers take their marathon seriously…and this runner takes everything running seriously…from working on DC’s marathon, to the run club at lululemon, to planning out my own training…all in pearls of course….

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From D.C. to Hollywood...

I have been meaning to start “Running in Pearls” for quite some time now. I have even had the page for awhile, but just haven’t started writing, or rather, I haven’t written for posting.

Anyone who has met me, knows that the title is more than appropriate. You may be asking, “why start today?” Yesterday, while I was on set filming for a new, but as of yet untitled James L. Brooks movie, starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson, and Paul Rudd. The Production Assistant said that he found “Running in Pearls” but I hadn’t written anything yet. He encouraged me to start. I had mentioned the blog idea to him, and I thought, “if someone actually took the time to try to find it online, I really have no excuse but to start writing.”

I actually also owe, Marcus the production assistant a shout out anyway. Poor Marcus. I was needed on set, but had jogged over to the bathroom right before the call. Someone told Marcus that they saw me running, and that I left to do a workout. One of the many responsibilities of a production assistant is to make sure that the cast is on set when they are called and that they know where the actors are at all times. It isn’t too hard to believe that I would be out on a run, so Marcus went sprinting outside, didn’t see me, and came back all sweaty. He asked me if I went on a run, and I thought he was kidding so I responded “yes.” When I realized he was serious, I told him I was just in the bathroom and was right near the set the whole time!

This may not come as much of a shock, but both running and pearls are associated with this movie for me. In the movie, I don’t play a runner, but rather a softball player, however, it was running that got me the part. My run coach was the one that brought me onto the set for auditions, which consisted of running at different speeds, and then acting out a scenario, which for me was reacting to two teammates getting in a fight. After all, I was the captain of a cross country team at a women’s college. All of this was second nature to me. I ended up getting the part, and found myself filming a scene with Reese Witherspoon that very day on the National Mall.

Fast forward a couple of months later, and I was asked to come back for more filming, but this time in Philadelphia. The great part about the Philadelphia filming was that my personality got to come through a little bit more, as at my wardrobe fitting, it was decided that my character would wear a run skirt and pearls. Sounds like my standard uniform in real life…

The filming of this movie is only one of the many adventures I have had the past 10 months since focusing on everything running full time. Being open to so many new possibilities and experiences, as well as finding so much inspiration among my friends has made for an amazing year so far. From the ivory towers at Smith, to the White House, to Condoleezza Rice’s office, coaching, running, and major motion pictures, my adult life thus far has been anything but lackluster.

Be sure to check back for updates.

I love you guys! I do!