July 2, 2013
Two days later I’d rolled down from West Hartford to New Canaan, Connecticut to stay with my friends Laura and Kevin. I hadn’t seen them in years and showing up at their house that warm day as Laura greeted me with toddler in tow brought me so much joy. Laura showed me around the charming, wealthy town of New Canaan with the understanding of both a resident and a tourist. We poked around the shops selling Lilly Pulitzer dresses and sweaters printed with anchors and whales. We ate lunch in a charming sidewalk café as she greeted her Pilates clients passing by. We finished the day playing with her daughter on the living room floor. We also talked about all the places to visit in New England. I was filled with the exuberance of travel that comes a couple days into a vacation. Laura also helped me plan my first “border crossing” of 5K in 50 states.
Having already run in the state of Connecticut, I’d planned my run while staying in New Canaan to be in New York State since I could cross the border in under 30 minutes. Laura recommended nearby Pound Ridge State Park and in under two hours I had driven to, from, and run in another state. It was a quiet park with lush, green trees, a pond and a bit of construction nearby. Pairing the construction with the continued humidity, the run wasn’t as peaceful as I’d hoped, but it was thoughtful. I reflected on the fact that just by staying in nearby New Canaan I was able to “do New York.” I thought about how different New York would have been if it had been the New York City Marathon I’d planned to run over a year before. I thought about how even though it was hot and sticky this New York run was comparably so much easier than a marathon. I reflected on how lucky I was to run Santa Barbara with friends and to be in the great state of New York today, ending the run at my trusted Chevy Impala rental, and, in a mere 30 minutes, my friends’ home. In a way I’d come so far to run New York. In another it was just across the state line.