Run to Recover in Central Park

This morning I woke up bright and early to run around Central Park. I read and heard from other would-be NYCM runners that there would be a HUGE group coming out to ‘run anyway’. Since my hotel is across from CP I knew I wanted to join in.

Yes, as expected thousands of runners were doing laps around Central Park. Some of them were even doing the full 26.2 miles!new york marathon 2012

During my 2 laps I ran next to people from South Africa, Mexico, France, Chile, Holland, UK, Germany and more! I’m sure most of these runners were disappointed that the race was cancelled but everyone was in high spirits. I guess that’s the good thing about runners, we have a lot of endorphins to keep us happy?

It was cold and Central Park is HILLY! I was not about to run the full 26 miles with those hills and my sore knee. I did 12 miles and stopped to take pictures periodically.

It was a bit sad to see the mile marker signs for 25 and 26, but I stopped to take a picture for the memory Sad smile

new york finish line

The Finish Line was all set up too. There were tons of people gathered around taking pictures of themselves in front of it. That area didn’t have as many endorphins in the air, but it was good to york city marathon finish

The grandstands near the “would be” finish line were empty and sad too. There were a lot of people milling around, but I cannot even imagine the roar of the crowds I have been hearing about since I announced I would run the race back in June.20121104_081636 (5) (600x800)

People came out to cheer on their runners…20121104_090616 (800x600)

and others even handed out gels and water! 20121104_092115 (800x600)

I know this was nothing compared to the actual marathon, but it was great to see so many runners still just doing their thing and getting a ton of support.runners in central park

I saw a few people with “Sandy’s Send Off” on their shirts and many people wore their marathon bibs! There was a big feeling of community even beyond the language barriers.

runners in central park

Runners were encouraged to donate $26.20 to the Run to Recover cause.  If you want to contribute click on that link and it gives you options on what charity you want to use for this.

A friend told me about her friend who lost everything in the hurricane. A fundraising page has been set up on YouCaring to donate money directly to them.

I also had heard a local group was accepting donations at Central Park, but didn’t see anything about that? If you have information please pass it on.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me positive emails and comments. I really appreciate it. It’s been a very tough weekend for me, but it is nothing compared to people who lost their homes, so I’ve tried to keep it in perspective.

Again, if you want to say something put your money where your mouth is and donate or help. Your hurtful comments are not helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Do something good.

Crowdwise Sandy Relief

And Ben’s friend just told us about this site –  <- If you are local you can sign up to help there.

If you know someone with a donation page please share it in the comments.

I’m off to see a Broadway show with my mom and husband. It’s been great to spend time with them <3 See ya later!

Updated to add: It is with great reluctance that I am  going to moderate comments on this post since I’ll be indisposed on my way back to CA tomorrow and some of us can’t seem to use our better judgement in how we’re talking to each other.  I can take the ish talking, but when you start attacking each other I must intervene. I have NEVER done this before and appreciate your understanding. 


  1. says

    You’re so strong! I’m glad you were able to experience 12 miles in the park today in all its beauty and energy. I wish we could have seen each other this trip but I am happy to know you, Ben, and your mom were able to have an amazing trip together!

  2. Wendi says

    Monica, I really like you and will continue to read to read your blog. However, you are so quick to judge. You don’t want others to leave you negative feedback, which I understand. No one wants to read negative things about themselves. However, you ran around Central Park and them went to a broadway showing? I can’t even imagine being jn NYC and not helping out. Honestly, it is very selfish of you. You got a free flight out there and most likely a free hotel room (taking away a hotel room from a deserving individual), yet you continue to not donate your time. Extremely disappointed.

    • Amanda says

      You have no idea that she didn’t donate her time. She has told us about two things she did today that are maybe adding up to 5 or 6 hours. Mind your business! And I am a NYer!

      • Cami says

        Ditto to Amanda. Monica tells us a lot about her life, but there are things she doesn’t tell us about. Don’t assume she’s a horrible person. You don’t have the full picture.

        • Blair says

          I hate to white knight about a situation like this, but come on. People are under no obligation to volunteer time or money regardless of where they are. If she did, that’s awesome.

          • says

            Completely agree! I’d like to know how many of the people leaving negative feedback have actually donated their time and/or money.

          • Julia says

            You are right no one is obligated…but she is in New York City on someone else’s dime and it would be the appropriate thing to do. With that said, yes I have volunteered and given money, while also dealing with a tree nearly falling on my house and ripping down our power lines. I normally could care less about how bloggers behave but this whole thing hit close to home.

          • sally stilwell says

            I just had a whole conversation with some friends about the subject of volunteering and donating. I live in Staten Island and although my home came through unscathed i have many friends who weren’t so lucky. And guess what? I have not been able to get myself into the hardest hit areas to do manual labor. It’s just too emotionally hard for me as i carry scars from a major loss from a few years back. It doesn’t make me a bad person. I said this: “some people are so strong they can move mountains, while others might be only able to move small hills”. It’s all about doing what you can. I ran 26.2 miles yesterday with backpack on my back filled with supplies and made multiple trips to the shelter. But that was the best i could do. Monica made a monetary donation. And that is great! Every bit counts. This whole judgemental thing is making me grow weary.

      • Amanda M says

        Um Amanda “mind your business”? She puts her life on the internet. If she wanted people to mind their business, she wouldn’t put her entire LIFE online for people to read. And get money from those page views. As far as her volunteering, didn’t she say “put your money where your mouth is, and donate”?? Why didn’t she, while being in NYC, volunteer an hour of her precious time?? Oh wait…

      • wendi says

        Oh Amanda (not Amanda M.) Thank you so much for WK. I asked Monica, not you. If she didn’t volunteer, fine. No one is forcing her to. I was just hoping she would, being as though thousands of other people who paid for their own ticket and hotel room are volunteering instead of doing the race.

        Like I said before, I read and will continue to read RER, so I doubt Monica truly cares what my opinion is. I just hope that she helps out some people in NY, even though clearly, according to many of you, she is not obligated to.

        • says

          I have made a donation, but did not physically volunteer. I asked a two of the commentors that mentioned it, but unfortunately no one was really sure how to physically help. I think they need supplies more than anything? (I’m only mentioning it because you asked as I was raised in church to give discreetly.)

          • says

            Just adding this in case it’s relevant to anyone reading… There have been many calls for physical help on Twitter, specifically. Check hashtags like #sandyrelief.

          • HannerNanner says

            I have no idea if anyone has said this below, and it’s a TON to read anyway, so I’m not going to look, but.. you were in NYC and you were contributing to the economy, if nothing else. In addition, I think it was right to cancel the race, mostly because the emergency responders are needed to help those devastated by Sandy. However, the runners that DID travel there were still contributing to the economy, and by running in the park, they were making something positive of a crappy situation. One of the things I love dearly about running and races, is the positive vibe I get from it, just being around the other runners and their supporters. The city NEEDS that right now. You were speaking a little cryptically about your trip, Monica, as if you have something to be ashamed of. Are people supposed to just stay the f- out of the city if they aren’t helping clean up? That makes no sense to me. Cities need tourists and foot traffic and for the small businesses to be able to do their things. I know that there are people suffering there, but you know what? There are people suffering all over the world. And expecting everyone to screech to a halt isn’t practical, and it isn’t fair. And no one should be shamed because of what they can or can not give during situations like this.

    • says

      Your sarcasm isn’t necessary, Julia, and your comment isn’t helpful to anyone. This is a running blog, so she’s going to talk about her run in Central Park. How do you know Monica didn’t donate part of the other 12+ hours of her day?

      • Julia says

        Thanks, Aimee! I really appreciate your feedback. Actually, I don’t, please keep it to yourself. It was not directed towards you and I don’t need Monica’s white knights jumping all over my PERSONAL opinion. I am just trying to balance the unacceptable praise that she has already gotten and will undoubtedly continue to get. I am going to guess she didn’t go onto “volunteer” more (this run does not in any way shape or form count), and if she did then color me surprised and I would happily take this comment back. Until then, it stands.

        • Dione says

          You are entitled to you “PERSONAL opinion” but Aimee is also. If you are going to put your opinion out there, be prepared that others may differ from it and be vocal about it.

          • Julia says

            Fair enough and right back at you, Monica, Aimee and the whole HLB blogging community that regularly deletes comments that are not glowing.

  3. Karoline says

    Hey Mon, I just read the comments from
    Past days and wanted to say how sorry I am that you were subject to that kind of nasty, inconstructive criticism. Clearly your heart is to build people up by being positive –you were not being insensitive or rude contrary to what people think. God knows us deeply and deeply loves us and is with people in NYC and with you as well. May you use this time to seek Him and find comfort in Jesus.

  4. marie says

    I have lived in the New Orleans area my whole life. Katrina had me out of my home for a month. Isaac left me without power for 5 days and in need of a new roof. My parents’ home outside of Lafayette, LA, was flooded in Rita, and DH & I helped them clean & repair it. DH & I also evacuated, with our cats, for two other hurricanes that, thankfully, turned at the last minute and spared our area. I am not about to pretend that I know exactly what people in Sandy’s path are going through right now, but, unfortunately, I have some experience with hurricanes.

    Having said that, I have no problem with how you handled this situation. You honored your obligation. Also, by traveling to NYC, you expressed faith in that city’s ability to safely host you. This matters.

    I am guessing you also spent at least a little $ in NYC while there, which helps. Every little bit you spend there is helping someone and matters to that someone.

    You also probably brightened the days of those who came out to cheer you on when you ran in the park. A little bit of normalcy can be very, very welcome in these situations. A couple of days after Isaac hit, I went to a Pilates class at my gym. I had no power, I had just picked up a ginormous pile of my shingles out of my yard, and I still went to Pilates. The other attendees were in situations that were either similar or worse–one woman’s roof had peeled completely off of her house. Another attendee had a tree come through one room of her home. We had one blessed hour in which to forget the d*mn hurricane and pretend that all was well with the world. I am guessing that some of those runners, and some of the spectators, felt the same way. I am certain that your running brightened someone’s day in some way.

    So, that’s my two cents. I think you made the best of a bad situation, and that’s all that anyone can do in times like these.

  5. Emily says

    It would be good if ING could have organized ways for marathoners to volunteer their time (maybe they have??). I bet a lot of out of towners are willing to help, but don’t know where to start.

    We should remember that people live in poor conditions throughout the world. It doesn’t mean those of us who are fortunate should never go for a run or enjoy chocolate chip cookies. If we dwell on the negatives in life, we’ll never be happy. That does NOT mean we should forget about others in need. It means we should help when and how we can. This is different for different people. Some people give back by getting their hands dirty, some people send money, some people volunteer in their own neighborhoods. It’s so important to do these things, but it is also important to enjoy life and savor small moments. One good thing that can come out of disasters is a sense of community and love, and a poignant reminder to appreciate all we have, because people and things can be taken away at any moment.

    Lots of love to the victims of Sandy and others around the world who experience similar struggles daily.

    • Cate says

      A group called New York Runners for Staten Island was formed and hundreds of volunteers have been helping out with aid and recovery. Im sure there ate other runners volunteering as well. It’s a terrible, terrible situation and my heart goes out to the victims of Sandy.

      • says

        I was in that group on Sunday and it was truly amazing to see the running community come together to do good. I flew in for the race (after going back and forth all week on whether I should go or not) and was bummed the race was canceled WHEN IT WAS not THAT it was. I think it should have been canceled early in the week, not once all these runners flew in to the city. I chose to spend my time in Staten Island on Saturday and Sunday helping with relief efforts at New Dorp Beach.

  6. Jennie says

    I think you’re awesome. I’m sure it was hard to go, and I’m glad you made the choice to go against the odds, and when things were pulled out from under you at the last minute. Of course it doesn’t compare with what people are going through, but everyone has their own experience. Imlive in NY, and my dad is a NYC cop and wishes the marathon went on. I love your blog, I love how real and honest you are, I love that you cut runs short when need be, and I don’t give a f@&k about the mean things people say :)

  7. Mason says

    Yes, in the spirit of helping the victims of Sandy and moving on, it would be so very generous of Monica to donate whatever fee she received from ING and the cost of her flight there to the Red Cross.

  8. Ashley says

    Just wanted to say I am sorry that you had to hear such negative comments over the weekend. Yes, of course, what people in New York are going through is just terrible – experiences that I could not even imagine. I have been an avid reader of your blog – enjoy your take on things and will continue to read your blog for a long time. :) :)

  9. Jennifer says

    Kind of bold for you to assume that those who disagreed with how you handled the situation aren’t already helping. I’ve “put my money where my mouth is” as you so nicely put, and will not be reading this blog anymore.

    • says

      I didn’t assume that critics hadn’t helped, but I did think the energy some put towards saying negative things to me could have been better spent spreading a positive message to get others to help.

      • says

        I completely agree.

        It almost feels like the same people that are criticizing you are exploiting this tragedy to be self-righteous themselves. I realize that will be a wildly unpopular opinion among your critics but all the vitriol directed towards you seems pointless and self-serving.

  10. Cat says

    I read a lot of other bloggers accounts about why they were going to run the marathon when it was still on, why they were choosing not to run, and just lots of general opinions on the race. Not one of them had the negative comments your posts have had on this topic.
    It’s pretty easy to disregard the negative comment as “haterz” especially when you feel personally attacked, I get that. And I’ll admit that many of the comments crossed the line, but in general people had really good points and were generally shocked by your apparent lack of empathy. If I were you I’d really take some time to consider why you received such a strong negative reaction to your posts this week and why no other running blog (I read) did. The common denominator here is you. Might be time for you to consider what you could be doing better as blogger. When I receive negative criticism in my work, I certainly don’t write it off as “haterz trying to hate” and I don’t think most professionals do.

    • says

      I don’t disregard the critical comments, but I was personally attacked and a person’s immediate reaction is to get defensive. My blog is intended to be fun and lighthearted so I wasn’t sure how to handle it and I admitted – I did it wrong. I am huge on accepting feedback, I am extremely hard on myself and would never just dismiss a comment but it really did get out of control. Many of those comments said more about the commenter than they do about me.

      • Dom says

        You were personally attacked, it was unfair and overly critical. This is a positive blog, and no one should have been holding you to the standard of being a spokesperson to the Sandy tragedy. I read your blog daily because it inspires me as a runner to keep going. I challenge every negative commenter to dare say that they have ALWAYS said the right thing at the right time. I have a feeling that not a single one of them could say they have. Period.

      • Cat says

        Yeah, I guess my point wasn’t clear. Addressing the negative commenters isn’t really what I meant, I don’t really care if you address each comment directly or not if you leave them up or you delete the negative ones. You see them and really that’s all that matters. What I’m suggesting is that you address why you drummed up the negative reaction in the first place. Why were people upset? Why did people laud bloggers like Skinny Runner for her post and beat you up? There’s a reason and if you don’t want to address that publicly, fine, but I’m suggesting that if you want your blog to get better, if you want to be respected, if you want to feel better about yourself, you might do yourself some good to understand what you could have done differently in these posts. Admitting your wrong is the easy step. Changing is actually the hard part, but usually the most rewarding.

        • says

          Cat, I made a mistake and admitted it. I am very receptive to helpful feedback, but please don’t compare me to SR as you have no idea her circumstance vs mine and she and I have discussed this issue at length both before I went to NY and since. I understand what I should have done differently and will try to do better in the future.

    • Samantha says

      I agree Angela! Don’t read if you don’t agree. I often ignore comments on internet postings because I know some awful things get said there.

  11. Leslie says

    It was good that you were able to see a broadway show. From what I’ve heard many shows are really hurting and in fear of closing due to poor attendance since the storm. Your attendance helped some to possibly keep their job.
    Hope you have a safe trip home. God bless you. I WILL be reading your blog as always.

    • Sara says

      Agree, I was thinking the same thing about Broadway. It seems stupid but Bway is a huge part of the NYC economy and they are not dark right now for a reason-they can’t afford to be!

    • says

      Yeah, when we bought tickets one of the girls handing out flyers said a lot of the seats were open on a lot of shows because there has not been many tourists since the hurricane. It was a good show :)

  12. says

    Congrats on running as far as you could! I love that you got to run next to so many different people…And actually when you think about it, you really did enjoy it the way it should be enjoyed: Taking in the sites, taking pics, seeing the spectators and cheering crowd. Sounds to me like a great time, I’m almost jealous!

  13. says

    I am so thankful that runners were able to come together and turn this into something good for NYC. For a while, the news about the marathon going forward came across as runners vs. the storm victims. I agree with the city not going forward with it. I don’t think they were in a position to move their resources away from what was needed. But I know how disappointing it would be. I ran the Chicago marathon, and I had that planned a year in advance like many others. A cancellation would have been difficult to take, but life happens. I am glad it has all turned out for the best.


  14. says

    I am so thankful that runners were able to come together and turn this into something good for NYC. For a while, the news about the marathon going forward came across as runners vs. the storm victims. I agree with the city not going forward with it. I don’t think they were in a position to move their resources away from what was needed. But I know how disappointing it would be. I ran the Chicago marathon, and I had that planned a year in advance like many others. A cancellation would have been difficult to take, but life happens. I am glad it has all turned out for the best.


  15. says

    All of this lashing out at Monica has made me very sad. To give of one’s time or money is a very personal decision and no one else should make it (or guilt anyone) into doing it. I personally found all of the posts and tweets with the hey-marathoners-we-let-you travel-here-and-then-cancelled-your-race-but-since-you-are-here-spend-some-money-at-the-expo-donate-your-hotel-room-and-volunteer-your-time REALLY obnoxious. Whatever Monica chose to do with her time and her family in NYC is her business. Just because she rights a blog (which takes courage in itself) doesn’t mean we get the right to know everything she does.

    The Kidless Kronicles

      • Mason says

        Yes. In this very public forum, Monica only seemed concerned about fulfilling her contract (read: getting her fee) after the hurricane, so I see absolutely nothing wrong with using this public forum that she has created to question that behavior and attitude. If Monica doesn’t like it, then she doesn’t have to write about her activities for all the world to see.

        • Sara says

          There’s a way to do that respectfully but most people have not taken that route. Let’s not pretend that people are offering respectful constructive criticism here. I’ve seen precious few responses here that fall under that category.

        • says

          Wrong, if Monica doesn’t like it she can delete your comment. But, I chose to give everyone the benefit of the doubt that we would start an adult conversation and unfortunately that did not happen. If you have something constructive to say you are welcome to comment (even if it disagrees with me). If you want to vent your anger phone a friend or go to counseling.

          • Mason says

            Monica, you will still presumably have to see the negative comments before you delete them. You still run the risk that they might hurt your feelings and spoil your notion that the world revolves around you. If you’re not comfortable assuming that risk, then you shouldn’t be doing this.

          • Sara says

            So basically then your position boils down to “I’m gonna be an asshole and if you can’t take it don’t blog.” Duly noted. Nicely done. I’m sure all the folks hurting now because of Sandy take great solace in your taking down a blogger. You are a true pillar of society.

        • says

          Mason – maybe it would be best for you to read a blog of someone you respect? If you don’t think Monica has anything valuable to offer you, go elsewhere. Yes, she shares publicly but she hasn’t asked you to educate her or be her spirit guide. Your opinion is clear. Move on.

  16. says

    The Monica – bashing is seriously getting out of hand. Come on folks…quit hating and go volunteer or do something useful with your time. Monica apparently can’t write anything without getting beaten up on…for God’s sake give it a rest. Go elsewhere – no need for more hatred in this world.

  17. Sara says

    Good lord people, give it a rest already. Quit sniping at each other like bratty children. Taking pot shots on the Internet is kind of lame and ridiculous. There’s no real discourse happening here and this helps no one and you all look like petty assholes. Read her blog or don’t, no one cares and the world is the same tomorrow either way.

  18. Meredith says

    I am a 15 year old girl and high school and I am on the cross country team so I love reading RER’s blog but the comments I have read over the past couple of days have made me realize that some “grown ups” act more childish and bratty than most teenage girls I know. It makes me really sad and worried. I thought “grown ups” were supposed to act grown up? I hope that everyone can just move on and this blog can return to its old happy hilarious self.
    sincerely, Meredith

    • Carrie says

      Excellent points, Meredith! Just remember that most of the people commenting are the minority. There are so many wonderful, positive people in the world. I get what you’re saying though. It is very disheartening to see people being so critical and cruel.

      Monica~ I truly feel you have done absoluely nothing wrong. Your heart is in the right place and people are just awful. I’m glad you area moderating; If those people do not like what they’re reading I don’t understand why they are here. It doesn’t make sense!

  19. says

    Glad you managed to get in the camaderie at Central Park; sometimes, being able to run, meet up with other runners etc can be so uplifting.

  20. Natalie says

    I can’t help wonder if all the hate is coming because you are a runner. The mayor said come so you came. If you were going to Bali or similar and there was a catastrophe and the president said come, then you would still go, and make the most of a bad situation. You wouldn’t be made to feel guilty because you were staying in a hotel or lying on a beach. You would still be bringing revenue to the affected area. There are probably a lot of businesses who rely on events like marathon to boost sales. There may even be people who had damaged homes but still had to go to the city to carry on with their businesses.

    • Krys says

      No, the “hate” is not because she is a runner. The “hate” is because people feel that she had poor taste/lacked compassion in her posts. I am a runner, I live in NYC (born & bred), and I wouldn’t have run the marathon in light of the disaster. I lived on SI and knowing what the war zone it has become would have made me feel awful to go and be all yippie skippie, race, while hundreds of people were suffering, not too far away from me. If there was a catastrophe anywhere, and I had plane tickets, etc. I would not go because hello, there was a disaster. Your comment is very generalizing. Tons of other bloggers who are runners who were supposed to have run came off more compassionate. Yes, many businesses depend on the revenue from the marathon. But at the same time, due to the fact that 90% of the subway line was down (this has improved) at the time, no one would have been able to shop, etc. I was going to volunteer at the expo (I’m a NYRR member) and I had no idea how to get there. It is no one’s fault that a hurricane came. It is the mayor’s and Mary Wittenberg’s fault for continuing on with the race and pulling out at the last minute.

  21. Debbie B. says

    I think the run through cental park woulda be so much fun yet strange with the remnants of the marathon. The support that was out is a true testament of how great people are. I am glad that you went to a broadway show and supported local NYC.businesses. Being from Florida I know tourism always suffers after a hurricane and yet so many people rely on it for their paychecks.

  22. says

    It’s nice that everyone was still supporting each other and you still got an NYC running experience even without the marathon. Big disappointment, but I think it’s all for the best. Hope you had fun!

  23. Sara Kolpek says

    Please let me know if I posted this in the wrong area. Its not clear where we should post our weekly mileage goals.

    November 4-10 — I plan on walking 24 miles! :)

  24. says

    I’m sorry that what was supposed to be an amazing experience has turned into discomfort for you and people attacking you. Donating time and money is a personal thing. While NY needs a lot of help, a sense of community for the runners must have been amazing. As for seeing the Broadway show? Those people are in NY.. and the sooner an influx of cash happens, the better. Thanks for the donation links.

  25. Margaret says

    Monica, I’m sad to read all these negative comments and a little surprised- bummer. You supported NYC the way you wanted to and that’s all that matters- you supported. (And great job on the 12 miler)!

  26. says

    The runners running Central Park anyway is very heartwarming. Runners dealing with things the way runners do. :) I saw this page yesterday :
    It’s a virtual5k, half, full marathon where to sign up you donate money to the relief effort. It is going yesterday through the 11th.

  27. says

    I am glad you got to experience a little of what NYC has to offer. Also the run in the park on Sunday was a great one–despite it not being the marathon. I feel your pain as I was supposed to run Sunday too. I have a donation page set up for relief efforts. if anyone wants to donate I am running the Harrisburg Marathon on Sunday in dedication to Hurricane Sandy Victims. As a NYer I find that everyone has opinions on what others SHOULD or COULD be doing…don’t let it get to you. You made the best of YOUR situation.

  28. Angela L. says

    I’m sorry for the negative comments you have received about your trip to New York. It seems to me that you were just trying to make the best of a very bad situation. I think it is excellent you have made a donation to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy and I hope that it will inspire others to make a donation and/or volunteer their time.

  29. Kelly says

    Monica, I’m blown away by the nasty comments you’re receiving. It’s so easy for these people to sit behind their computers and judge you. And I’m sure they wouldn’t say the same to your face. What I don’t get is why do they keep reading your blog if you’re sooooo awful? Probably because they need to get a life or something? Keep taking the high road girl!

  30. says

    Sorry for the need to moderate the comments….things can get out of control at times, the good news is, it wont last forever, I promise. Glad you were able to catch a show and run with the runners that were there. Im sure it was a great way to enjoy NYC while boosting the economy and bringing that resilient spirit that everyone loves about NYC. Plus the pizza looks fabulous (I know its not until the next post but it looks delish). I remember my first true NYC pizza….nothing like it :)

  31. says

    I was there too and blogged about it tonight:

    I found Central Park on Sunday to be one of the most amazing / healing / emotional experiences of my life. I hope you had a positive NY experience and that you aren’t getting down from the truly ignorant people who are making negative comments directed at you! Absolutely absurd, and please don’t listen to a word of it.

    As I have been telling people all week, those of us training to run the marathon can be devastated about Sandy and devastated for ourselves. Those things aren’t opposed and can co-exist. Most people understand that. I Hope you had a fabulous time in NY overall…

  32. says

    I am literally waiting for the bus to the parking lot at the airport on my way home from NYC and I have to comment.

    I, too, flew to NYC for the marathon. I found out while en route to the expo via tweets and Facebook comments sending me condolences. My friends knew I wouldn’t be running before I did. I stood with thousands and thousands of runners waiting for the final word as to whether it was official. The entire experience was incredibly emotional and honestly, I’m actually thankful that I was at the expo when it happened. If you weren’t there, you can’t possibly know how it felt.

    I am sickened and disheartened at the negative and sometimes hostile attitude towards the runners. We’re human beings. It’s not the fault of the marathoners that a hurricane hit. We were told to come and so we did. Would the world be screaming at me if I were a quiet tourist that simply came to NYC? No.

    I stayed a few blocks from Times Square and trust me, it was packed to the gills with tourists dumping money into the economy. One would never have known there was a natural disaster by how crowded everything was. I didn’t see anyone screaming on the streets that vacationers should give up their hotel rooms or go volunteer.

    That being said, I also ran for a charity. I raised $5000 for a group in need. Our team of 30 each contributed on our own way to hurricane Sandy relief from monetary donations to buying towels for the local shelters to going to Staten Island to help, but we also found time to see NYC while we were there. All of that is personal and private, though. We’re not villains because we came to run. I felt like I needed to wear a sign that I contributed just to justify coming for the marathon.

    I personally spoke with hotel staff that had no power or lost everything and they were happy that we were there. They wanted us there. Not a single person said we shouldn’t be there.

    I don’t know Monica personally, but she seems like a nice person. What she does is not for me or anyone else to pass judgement on. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. For every runner I know that went to NYC to run, we were told to come and so we did. It’s a terrible tragedy that so many people suffered. I’m glad I was able to contribute, but that does not mean I or Monica or any of the other runners can’t also feel disappointment at how things turned out. For many of us, this is a once in a lifetime event.

    Making villains out of the runners is not helpful nor is it warranted. Sorry I high jacked your page with my lengthy rant, Monica, but I support you. :)

  33. brianne says

    Aw I’m actually pretty bummed right now. I have been reading your blog almost every day for YEARS now….and this is the first time I’ve actually felt something bother me while reading it. Usually I am just a spectator watching you live and getting tips on health, life, and random laughs while I’m at it. I am glad you got to visit NY and have a fun time because it is my 2nd home (NJ is my actual “home”) and its an amazing place to visit, but I really thought you would be one of the runners who would actually donate physical help. They really needed (and still need) as much help as possible and I kept expecting to see your face pop up as one of the running helpers that were offering time and help. A donation is very nice, but hands are very needed at this time. Bummed to see that didnt happen on your end, glad you enjoyed the time though.

    • says

      I feel really bad about not being able to help physically too. I just didn’t feel comfortable asking my mom and Ben to join me OR leave them again (I was MIA for a long time on Friday and Sat) after they spent so much on their tickets to come out. It would have been a different story if I traveled solo but it is a really rare occasion that I get to travel with my mom so I had to make that choice.

  34. Brandie says

    I used to check RER daily but stopped for whatever reason, then just checked in in the midst of all this drama. This exact scenario is why I stopped blogging. So much can be misconstrued or misread in print without the addition of gesture, inflection, etc. that comes across in face-to-face conversation. Once you start to generate a following, your chance of offending someone grows exponentially. People feel a lot safer expressing their distaste or ill feelings from the comfort of anonymity behind a computer screen. People also love the chance to tear down the popular folks at the first chance they get. I guess I can understand people being turned off by you not going on and on about how tragic this was for many people, but you’re not anything more than human. If anything, this is a wake up call to you on how far your words and opinions actually reach via the blogosphere. I’m curious, though, all this drama must have shot your page views through the roof! Drama, it ain’t just for TNT….

    Keep your head up, Monica. Everybody loves a good bitch fest, especially when they can just watch from the sidelines.

    • says

      Thanks Brandie :) Yeah, I was wrong in how I originally handled my first NYC post, but it really got out of control. I guess I hadn’t thought about how far my words were reaching. I appreciate your perspective.

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