|Changing socks, shoes and pants at the 8 mile marker|
I run with music. It motivates me. A single song can provide the push I need to finish the last few miles of a marathon. One perfect melody can transform my dead legs from jelly to electrified pistons. I'm dependent, addicted to tunes that provide a lyrical aid to help me finish long distance journeys.
At the runner's holding stall of the New York Marathon this November, I had my earbuds firmly in place, bass driving a beat into my legs, urging me to the slow shuffle that would take us to the start line. I queued up my first song and hit play to urge my bop over the strip that would trigger the tracker on the chip attached to my racing bib. But with my first stride across the start, I felt a tug at my ears and then an alarming quiet. No music. I took a peak behind me and saw my i-pod on the ground, in the process of being pulverized under the feet of a sea of thousands of runners. The soundtrack I'd painstakingly constructed to pull me along the 26.2 miles through New York's boroughs was lost forever.
Let this be a lesson to everyone, if you become dependent on music, you'll be utterly lost when it disappears unexpectedly. Thankfully, when musical disaster struck me, I hit the runner's ultimate musical motherlode: The City of New York. Through each borough, music and cheers envelope you in a live wall of sound. This one day of the year, when miles of the city are shut down to traffic, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and Harlem all become a vibrating street party, a celebration of the glorious city that never sleeps and the outrageously generous inhabitants who spend their morning and afternoon lining the streets, urging thousands and thousands of runners to the finish.
Had I shut myself off, barricaded myself with music, I'd have missed one of the most touching experiences of my life. The beauty of the city and it's people carried me straight through to the end, across the finish line.
So enjoy music on your runs but take time to listen to the reality that sings around you. You'll be a better runner for it.
And now a recipe to help you to the finish...
This is a soup packed with nutrients and energy. It's insanely delicious, which should be a crime for a soup that is so damn healthy. Add a poached egg and you have the perfect meal
(makes 2 servings)
2 large bunches Watercress or any other type of "cress"
1 large potato, very thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups low sodium, organic chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
salt to taste
paprika to taste
1 large egg
-Place watercress, sliced potatoes and garlic sliced in a large stock put. Cover with the chicken stock and milk until just covered.
-Simmer over medium-low heat with the lid on for approximately or until the potatoes are tender.
-Carefully pour the soup into a blender and blend until the soup is smooth and no large chunks of watercress or potato remain.
-Return to stock pot and season with salt to taste. Keep warm
-To poach the egg, bring water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a simmer in a small pot.
-Crack an egg into a teacup, make sure not to break the yolk.
-Using a spoon, stir the water to create a whirlpool. Gently lower egg into the water and poach until the whites become opaque and no longer runny. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to the soup bowl.
-Ladle the soup around the egg into the bowl.
-Sprinkle the top of the soup with a pinch of paprika.