Marathon Training: Not for My Mental Health

Ain’t that a cute video? Romantic shots of NYC during an evening run?

So I’m training for the NYC marathon. I’m not a born long-distance runner, but I’m having fun. And I do enjoy my runs (afterward).

A few weeks ago, I cranked out one of my 4-milers on a gorgeous fall evening along the Hudson River Park. I’ve been running with an action camera clipped to my visor to make silly videos like the one above.

Here was my train of thought during the run:

Nights like these I love New York; the weather, lit buildings, everyone exercising together. Tons of joggers. So. Many. Hotties. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be out in public around kids’ bedtime. There’s life going on while I’m herding cats, brushing teeth, collapsing. But I feel so alive among the nighttime masses.

Nice pace. I could keep this up for awhile. I’m not gonna let anyone pass me, this time. No more slow running.

And the smell of the river. Hmmm. Sewage-y.

Love that Lackawanna ferry terminal over in Jersey City. Do ferries still go there? Looks like a movie set.

Or a mafia dumping-ground.

Funny word. “Lack-a-wanna.” Mouth wide, tongue flips. Would make my kids giggle.

World Trade Center. Boring architecture. Admittedly, it could look even more threatening like “Big Brother” glaring down. A “benevolent” hedge fund monument? Wait. It really isn’t called “Freedom Tower” anymore, right? I say Obama re-named it cuz he was sick of Bush’isms. Did I make that up? It sounds made-up.

Love lit-up downtown. Woolworth Building. Is that considered neo-Gothic? And the soulless, character-less world financial center. Some of these lofts abutting the river are cool. But really, most of these buildings are forgettable. Whatever. They look cool at night. Ah, Statue of Liberty. Artsy-fartsy gift from France.

Tennis courts dotted with dozens who ironically wear their now-vintage sorority/fraternity party shirts from the mid-00’s. Fashion one-upsmanship of alma maters. Rrrrrrr (that angry cat noise that’s not a hiss and I don’t know how to spell.) Who’s judgmental, now? Jealous I don’t have my own? Meh.

I turn down a narrow pier leading to the Holland Tunnel ventilation column.

This is creepy day and night – running toward the world’s largest exhaust pipe. Am I fast enough to outrun someone chasing me? There’s that questionably-homeless dude who does Tai-chi/yoga/something—obviously drug-induced. I love his 1970’s “I-relate-to-the-Cherokee-Nation” hairdo. Tonight, he’s passed out on a bench.

And there’s the Chinese dudes fishing.

In the Hudson River.

Over the world’s largest tailpipe.

Do they serve these fish at restaurants in Chinatown? Is that racist? Merely insensitive? But seriously. Gross.

Touch metal fence, turn around.

Please, no one hear my judgmental thoughts and trip me or chase me. I’m keeping a pace, here.

Across a hilly boardwalk through indigenous plantings.

This looks like weeds. Weeds with killers waiting to pounce.

Now Pier 25.

I love that playground. But so hot in summer without trees.

And the mini-golf course. So many happy couples and cute families laughing and playing in the twilight. Man, I wish I could get my household here to play.

Ugh. Beach volleyball courts. So jealous of these 20-somethings and their “Goldman Sachs volleyball team.” All these hedge funders having such a good time during their pre-children lives. They’re all so fucking happy. And care-free. And rich.

Oh, great. Rounding out the end of the pier, the glamorous sailboat where more rich 20-somethings-without-kids-and-bottomless-expense-accounts sip wine and slurp oysters and laugh about their boarding school days when they did hard drugs and read Kierkegaard and are now in cushy executive jobs and never worry about taking care of kids cuz they’ll all just have nannies and I’m so superior to them cuz I stay home with my kids but it’s not a choice and I’m constantly wanting to gauge my eyes out and oh, here’s the other side of the volleyball people and they’re wearing NYU Intramural t-shirts? Whatever. All the others are young, rich people I’m despising/envying, right now. And back to the golf course. How I’d love to have my partner come to the sailboat for cocktails and then play golf but I’d probably get seasick or he’d be annoyed by the pretentiousness and then we’d sit silent cuz we haven’t had a break together in so long sometimes you lose track of what to discuss and then I’d still try to force a lovely evening and go play golf but he’d by like, “I don’t like golf” and I’d be like “can’t we just have fun and be silly?” and then he would suck at mini-golf and I’d get frustrated cuz he isn’t having fun but I’m trying to force the fun but forcing the fun makes me agitated and then I’d suck at mini-golf too which is embarrassing and what was the goddamn point of going out in the first place we don’t have the money for this I should have just drunk wine and watched tv and sat catatonic on the couch oh look at that I’m almost done with my run I think I’ll walk the rest of the way cuz I’m old and fat and poor and burdened with kids I love New York.

And that was how my mind plummeted down a rabbit hole of absurdity; turning a glorious evening run into a bitter, existential, self-loathing trip. That’s New York.

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