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I'm Leaving Today

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I'm Leaving Today

On Saturday, August 13, I left New York City. Ten weeks ago, I crouched at the starting line, ready to drink in everything the City would offer. And I fell hopelessly, foolishly in love. From brunch lines to High Lines, Broadways to subways, the summer of 2016 gave me everything: new friends; new experiences; a little 10-mile island that might as well be the center of the world. Teen weeks ago, I set out to drink in the City. Every moment since was shameless intoxication. 

Sadly, times goes on. My ten weeks expired. And yesterday, I left Brittany Hall room 708B on a collision course with the world I left behind. Am I excited to go back to school? More than you'd know. Did I lose sleep Friday knowing I couldn't wake up in Manhattan until at least next summer? Go two sentences back - I'll wait.

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 6am to sign a love letter to New York by running the length of Manhattan. Over 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 50 seconds, I ran 16.54 miles from Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx, all the way to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On that "last hurrah", I saw it all: crippling poverty; humbling wealth; weed-cracked pavement; manicured medians miles long. More than anything, I saw a town built by millions moving as one.

When people ask me what I'll miss most about moving out, I spend a second reading their face. If they're expecting small talk, I feed them stories about brunch; about SoHo shopping. But if they genuinely care (and believe me, you can tell who does), I tell them this: I'll miss the heartbeat.

New York City has a pulse. She is an ecosystem - with ebbs, with flows, with a current as natural as the tides but built in concrete. And for a mere ten weeks, I was a part of that greater whole. I rode subway arteries; breathed Central Park air. 

Then, suddenly, I didn't. 

I'll spare you the "boats against the current" talk, but believe me, you don't know helpless until you fail to pack the highs you've rode into a cardboard moving box. I slept most of the car-ride home (I did just run 16 miles), woke up in New Jersey, and just felt amputated. For the first time since May, New York wasn't home. I was the other. The pulse was gone - but it hadn't disappeared. 

On Saturday, August 13, I left New York City. I don't think it'll ever leave me.

 

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International Running Day with Nike+ Run Club, NYC

International Running Day with Nike+ Run Club, NYC

This Wednesday, I celebrated International Running Day in proper fashion with the New York City Nike+ Run Club. Hundreds of New York athletes took part, meeting at the NYC Niketown store on 57th St/5th Ave before heading over to Central Park to group then run.

Seeing so many people so excited for a sport that I love was honestly overwhelming. For my MRun friends, imagine your first day walking to the CCRB steps, feeling slightly out of place but certain that you were meant to be there. Just triple the size, put in an unfamiliar place, and then add in a former Olympian with a megaphone segmenting runs by pace.

I wasn't kidding about the "hundreds of people" - I'm in the far back about one third of the way in from the left side of the group.

I wasn't kidding about the "hundreds of people" - I'm in the far back about one third of the way in from the left side of the group.

Sensory overload? Sure. Intimidating? You bet. But being part of one of the biggest group runs in the country on International Running Day was all worth it.

In an attempt to both rep my school and start conversations with strangers, I wore my MRun gear to the club. Since I was running the 3 mile (old habits die hard), I went out with the fastest pace group and felt oddly proud moving with the Block M on my chest. If I'm going to be "Leaders and Best", a 12:00 pace just wouldn't cut it - even if I was sucking wind with the NYC elite runners who pushed the pace with me. The chorus of "Go Blue's" that followed me down the avenues of Midtown Manhattan made it all worth it.

The only picture of me from the day where my shirt is visible. This pose was appropriately mocked in the Club Track GroupMe.

The only picture of me from the day where my shirt is visible. This pose was appropriately mocked in the Club Track GroupMe.

And of course, the best perk of a running with a club sponsored by one of the biggest companies on Earth: free food and water at the finish line. Thanks to Nike+ Run Club (especially Justin and Felix from Niketown NYC) for hosting this awesome event! I'll be back for more.

 

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