Halftime IS The Best Part!

Today as we get ready to celebrate America’s most watched sporting event I prefer to focus on the music; aka the halftime show. As a big music fan, it’s amazing to watch a choreographed dance of cameras, fans, stages, and sometimes pyro move into the center of the stadium for just a 12 minute performance.  The anticipation of what songs they’ll perform in that tiny time slot and the visuals to portray the current events are awe inducing.

Thinking back on the best performances I can clearly remember Michael Jackson’s halftime performance in 1993 because he somehow managed to appear in the corners of the stadium.  Of course looking back on it now, it wasn’t magic, it’s just stand ins. Even so, who will ever dance like this again?

There is one performance in particular that wrecked me.  It was 2002, four long sad months after September 11.  Our country was in mourning and at the time it was hard to enjoy American events and feel safe while doing it.  A little Irish band took America’s biggest stage and helped us pay tribute to those lost in the events of September 11.  At the time there was a lot of fear in America especially at large gatherings; fear of another attack but also fear in how our world had changed in one day.  This little Irish band let us mourn but also remember we are a strong America.

I had always been a U2 fan but even more so that day; the day I added U2 to my bucket list of concerts to see.  The years have passed by and I’ve never made it to their show.  This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Joshua Tree album and U2 is embarking on a huge world tour and this Irish girl finally made her wish come true.  I’ve paid a pretty penny for floor seats but I know it’ll be worth it.

I am sure that tonight’s halftime show will not disappoint.  Even if you aren’t a fan of Lady Gaga’s music she is incredibly talented and I have no doubts that tonight will be memorable.

 

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Tunnel To Towers: Post Run

In the last nine months I’ve come so far with changes in my lifestyle.  I’m more active, pay more attention to what I eat and trying to enjoy more of what life has to offer.  Never did I imagine that I would be apart of something so amazing as the Tunnel To Towers 5K.

I was lucky enough to participate in this extraordinary event to honor many firefighters who gave their life on 9/11.  People of all ages and sizes were involved and the kindess of strangers reminded me of the days after 9/11.  Everyone was there for the same purpose, to never forget.

Our Team: Dana, Kevin, Me and Greg

Our Team: Dana, Kevin, Me and Greg

30,000+ people strong we ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and along the waterway behind the World Trade Center. It took approximately 30 minutes to get to the start line from when Mayor Rudy Guiliani started the race – there were that many people!  As you turned the corner to enter the tunnel Chuck Schmumer was there to slap your hand.  As we entered the tunnel the crowd chanted “USA, USA” over and over again.

The tunnel was very hot since there was no fresh air in between the 2 miles of openings but I kept thinking to myself, “if a man ran through here with 75 lbs. of gear I have no excuse”.  We ran by groups of military that kept together behind their flag, a group of NYCD wearing their gas masks and MANY firefighters in full gear.  You couldn’t help but be in awe.

The gas masks

The gas masks

As we emerged from the tunnel over 300 firefighters in their blues lined the street holding banners of those who died.  Runners stopped to shake their hands in gratitude for what they did that day and everyday.  To our left were military holding American flags.  As we ran along the waterfront behind the WTC there were several school bands and cheerleaders pushing us to keep going.  Many people lined the streets just to watch.

Emerging from the tunnel: Firefighters with banners on the right

Emerging from the tunnel: Firefighters with banners on the right

Emerging from the tunnel: Flags lined the street on the left

Emerging from the tunnel: Flags lined the street on the left

I was truly humbled by the amount of runners and walkers that came together to support a great city.

city

Here is a follow up article and video from NYC’s CBS…

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/09/29/stephen-siller-tunnel-to-towers-run-tens-of-thousands-honor-firefighters-in-annual-race/

Tunnel To Towers

tunneltotowers

This Sunday I will be doing my first Tunnel To Towers 5K in NYC.  I am beyond excited and proud to run in honor of the brave who ran into the World Trade Center towers while everyone was trying to get out.

The route traces the run firefighter Stephen Siller took to get to the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Running from Brooklyn, through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Ground Zero in full gear.

I came across this footage from last year and it gave me chills…

I’ve also been told that soldiers in Afghanistan will be running along with us too.

I believe WCBS will be broadcasting live and you may see me!  I’ll be sure to take as many photos and video as I can to share with you.  Wish me luck!

I Am A Runner

runner

We are well into September and the air is cool, the sunrise is later and the sunset is earlier.  The lack of sunlit hours in the day is making it hard to stay motivated.  Part of why I loved running was getting up just before the sunrise so I could see the beauty that many people miss.  Now it’s chilly, dark and the sun doesn’t come up until I would get home from my run.  Womp Womp!

With the changing of the seasons I needed to adjust my strategy.  Running in the middle of the day is ideal but that doesn’t work during the week.  Some days I wouldn’t mind having an unconventional job that allowed me to run during the day but alas my iPhone, nice car and rent doesn’t allow for me to be carefree.

I did discover something interesting this past week while running the 9/11 Memorial Run in Belmar. Since we were to run in silence I left my ear buds at home to pay respect to those who lost their lives.  By doing so, I learned that listening to my own feet pound on the street and the sound of my breath helps me to focus on what I am doing.  I gave it another shot this weekend and boom!  I had a personal record!

I also did not use the C25K app and just ran.  I set visual goals for myself.  For example, I start out on Brown Avenue in Spring Lake and my goal was to run straight through the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club.  Done!  I did a little walk to catch my breath and allowed my body to rest then ran back.  It felt amazing to listen to the sounds around me instead of Pitbull or Pink.

I received a quote today from Dawn that reminds me that even though I’m haven’t run 5 miles, 10 miles, a half marathon or a full that I am a runner:

I often hear someone say I’m not a real running.  We are all runners, some just run faster than others.  I never met a fake runner – Bart Yasso