Runners Log, Saturday December 12, 2015
New York Road Runners 15K in Central Park NYC
Capped at 10,000 runners.

   This is my favorite race of the year.  Went to bed excited, got up super excited.  Left the house (by car, not running) at 6:20.  If all goes perfectly well, will be parked in NYC 45 minutes later.  Alas, it seldom goes perfect.  My plan A parking (free) was jammed, so plan B parking cost $21, which isn't bad, for this place anyway.
    Interested to see already persons in running gear making their way to Central Park.
     About a mile from parking garage to race starting line and was pleased to have a little time to swing by Starbucks for a sports drink.  In this case that was Peppermint Mocha
WITH whipped cream.  I mean, I was about to expend 1000 calories so it was a no-guilt drink.
    Amused as the closer I got to the race start (within a mile now, 8am) the proportion of thin people increased dramatically   Could I think of anywhere beside a race-day venue where this would be the case?  Yes, any city in the Netherlands after one is outside the main tourist zone!  Come to think of it, in Copenhagen and Helsinki people looked a lot like the people filling my view as well.
    I'm in line now "section k"  (turtle speed I suppose) and over the pa system they are welcoming categories of people…countries, running clubs, and age categories.  The vast majority of runners are in their 20's.  Those in my category (60+), not so many…I think they said 110.
   I gratefully note that "checked baggage" must be clear plastic bags only, which they gave each runner when they picked up their race number earlier in the week.
   One of my most favorite things about this race is overhearing  New York Stories.  Today, all from 20 somethigs:
Female to male:  You really are a "check it off the list kind of guy, you know that?"
(He took that as a complement, but I'm not sure it was meant to be.

Male to male:  So praise and worship have become a metaphor for my life. Let me explain what this means…

Male to female:  So my pre-race meal is always a corn-dog, then I'm good to go!
(female facial expression:  skepticism).  

Top two languages heard aside from English:  #1 German, #2 French.

The course gets near the southern part of Central Park twice.  I'm thinking about life on "Billionaire's row" which stretches from 15 Central Park West (called the House of Outrageous Fortune in a book by that name), over to 57th where there a multiple new highrise condos in various stages of completion.  Mr. Ackerman  (not the previously reported Saudi) who scored the purchase of the 93rd floor penthouse of 234 Park Ave, (which I refer to as the Beanstalk)  lives with his young family nearby, but has no intention on living there. He says he just liked the idea of owning it, and expects in a year or two some Russian or Chinese billionaire will offer him double the 88 million he paid.

Mile 4,  the two lead runners blast by me at a full sprint, for them this is mile 8.
Mile 5, a few people are weezing and they look like death-warmed-over. Good thing. there are ambulances around!
Mile 7, a lone bag piper on a huge rock next to the course serenades us.  Thank you!
Mile 8, I'm hot, sweaty, and tired. (its over 60F now!!) This race is so much better (for me) when its cold. A couple years back it was 20F with a stiff wind.  When I got to the water station at mile 5 the cups were icing over, and by the end of the race the water stations had degraded to sites where one can get a nice little block of ice in a paper cup.

Mile 9, hotter still, tireder still, so I'm not going to have any sprint at the end today…thinking about the Gatoraid, bagels, and apples for all at the end.  Finished at 1 hour 42 minutes.  (about 10.5 minutes per mile)

Off and on been thinking during the race about two things:  Jerimiah 29 where the prophet tells the people to pray for the flourishing of Babylon.  I've done a lot of that today (no not praying for Babalon, but NYC).  And I smile at the thought, the Bible begins in a garden and ends in a city.  So grateful to be part of His story here, in my own small. way.


AuthorLeonard Kageler

Sometime in the 1980's I read the book by Robert Ailes, "You Are The Message."   He was President Reagan's speech writer.   In the book he explains how he evaluates and helps people in their public speaking.   #1 shocker for me:

He watches a video of the speech/talk/presentation without the sound.  He says in only a couple of minutes he can tell a host of things about the speaker  (remember, without hearing anything!).  He can easily tell Does this person like me?  Does this person like his/her subject? Is this going to be worth my time to listen to?

As I re-read Ailes' book last month I was reminded again the importance of the visual.  We are a vastly more image-based culture than 30 years ago.   In the minutes before I step up to teach a class or lead a seminar, or address a large audience, I think of, and pray for, the persons who will be sitting in front of me.  May they know that they are liked (by me) and that I like this subject (alot!!).  



AuthorLeonard Kageler

Yes, I know what a virgin is.  And yes, I know that "yon" is short for younder "over there,"  that is, the lyric author is seeing the manger scene from a distance and sees Mary over there.   But what in the world is "round"?   

My college students in class yesterday really had no idea, but they assumed she was indeed round because of being very pregnant.   Not so fast!  The next lines are  "...mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild..."   Ok, so she cannot still be pregnant, since her baby (Jesus) is described as holy, tender, and mild.

So again, one asks, what in the world does "round" mean.  I posit it is an adjective describing Mary.  And behold, in the American College Dictionary there are 20 different adjectival uses of this word, and #15 is "complete" and #18 is "plain."  So thus, non-poetically, the author is saying, in essence,  

"Silent Night, its a holy night, quite calm and surprisingly bright (considering its night time), over there is the plain and now complete Mary, who has given birth to the Son of God, no less."

Now of course I may be wrong on all this, and some you with PhD's in sociomusicology may be aghast at my ignorance, but hey, I'm satisfied that my interpretation is plausible.

All, may you often think of the AWE of what took place that holy night!.

AuthorLeonard Kageler
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