Our annual St. Patrick’s Day snow, which came a few days early this year, has been dealt a mighty blow by our very own St. Patrick’s Day miracle. Yesterday marked the first of what is supposed to be a week (or more?!) of heaven-sent warm temperatures – hovering around 20C (in the mid-high 60s). I raise my glass to the spirit of St. Pat.
I thought about the huge St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC yesterday. During the euphoric time last November when my husband, my brother, and I were in NYC for our first marathon, our hotel was very near St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We went by it more than once in the few days we were there, and I was reminded of the parade each time we passed it. The St. Patrick’s Day parade is a huge event, attracting hundreds of thousands of people who form a sea of green as the grand parade makes its way up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th. It’s a protracted and happy celebration.
The day before the marathon, the three of us took part in the 5K Dash to the Finish Line. The route paralleled the St. Patrick’s Day parade, starting on 42nd St, and going up 6th Avenue to enter Central Park and then run to the finish line of the next day’s marathon. It was a cold, crisp, sunny morning, and the three of us were moved as we ran along those famous, traffic-free streets as part of a large, joyous crowd. It had been an emotionally fraught week for us leading up to our trip to New York. Our cousin had just passed away, an absolutely marvellous, special person. He had been also been the last person in our family older than us, the standard bearer for our family. Now we were the old guard. Then, just 2 days after our cousin died, my brother had become a grandfather for the first time. It was a moment of the passing of the generations, big time. And now, here we were running in one of the grandest cities on earth, the city where our parents had met during WWII, in the company of several thousand similarly excited runners from around the world, each with their own story. It was an amazing feeling. And 5K was eminently doable, unlike what lay ahead the next day.
I had never intended to try running a marathon. In fact, I knew I would never try a full marathon. My left foot always started hurting badly between mile 8 and 10, so getting to the end of a half marathon was enough for me. Besides, why run for that long? My husband thought he’d try, and as far as I was concerned, good for him. Have fun!
That was before, in a poorly-thought-out moment of enthusiasm, I entered us both into the New York City Lottery in early 2010. It was so easy to enter our names! Thus began what became a long journey, one that eventually ended with the experience of a lifetime, one I got to share with two of my favourite men. But that journey will be saved for future posts. Time to go savour some of that St. Pat’s miracle weather.