Do you have any happy places? I do and I visited several of them this week. One of my fave places anywhere is my brother and Dan’s farm in New Jersey. I know there are some doubters that think New Jersey and farm is an oxymoron. It is the Garden State, people! I love the wonderful home they have made (check out the two House Beautiful articles and other shots on Dan’s website), my animal nieces and nephews and spending time with Larry and Dan in such beautiful surroundings. I always feel content and loved there. It is Happy Place #1.
Then, I came to NYC and stayed with Kathy and David and their boys. Happy Place #2. I always feel welcome and love to spend time with them and be an honorary aunt! Saturday morning, I met Jen and Grace for a wet lap around Central Park. Happy Place #3 – even in the rain (plus we saw Meb!) And then, Marie, Andrea, Natalie and Anders met us for brunch at Le Pain Quotidien. Happy Place #4. It is the places and the people who make the places special for me. When I am in NYC, it is hard to believe we left almost 9 years ago.
The reason for my visit is to run the NYC 1/2 for the fourth year in a row with Alexandra’s Playground. Learn more and check out my awesome raffle HERE. Our team has raised $67,000!! I love this race because I am supporting a great cause with friends and the course is awesome. It starts in Central Park (a happy place) and runs through Times Square (a place that is only a happy place for me during this race each year). I will try to bottle up my excitement and positive energy from Phoenix and bring it to the run today. My mantra for today: happy race, happy place.
Positive thinking WORKS! I met the Alexandra’s Playground team for pics and headed to the park. We made it through security and the potties just in time to get to the corrals. I started with a few women around my pace. I started a bit fast and then settled in with our friend Jonathan. Andrea yelled out around mile 3 and Jonathan was running next to me and said “is that my Erica?” and it was! We caught up and then just before 10K he ran ahead. I thought of my mantra and enjoyed the park, Times Square (still cool after running the race at least 7 times) and the West Side Highway. I concentrated on keeping an even pace and I did it! (after the first 5K). I was very happy to finish in 1:37.32 (7:27 pace).
Where is your happy place? or happy race? or both?