2019 TCS New York City Marathon

 

 

 

 

The wife and I flew to New York City Friday for her to run the New York City Marathon 11/3/19.  As some of you may recall, she ran this race four years ago and was highly disappointed in her time because she hurt her hip half way into it.  At mile 16 when I saw her, she was limping and was in pain but she still finished.

This was her revenge race and she did awesome, but was hurt again.  Here is a video and pic of her at mile 16.2 this year,  smiling and waving. Much different than four years ago. This is called Thunder Alley because the runners come off Queensborough Bridge where it is frighteningly quiet and then hit the crowd of noise. 

 

Her goal was to be under 3 hours and 30 minutes.  She just set a personal record at Boston earlier this year at 3:32:28.  She was on pace to be under 3:30 until mile 21 when her upper thigh/groin started to hurt.

She had to stop and walk/run the last four and a half miles but still finished at 3:34:31.  She did a great job and was not disappointed even though she wishes her leg would not have started hurting so she could have pr’d.  Look at her finish results, she was 3329 place out of 28465 USA runners and 7173 out of 53508 overall runners.  Top 14% of all runners. Can you believe there were 25043 runners from other countries?  That is crazy.

We had a great time being alone together for more than a dinner date for the first time in forever.  It was nice to have some one on one time.  Very proud of her.

Saturday she did not want to site see so I took the subway to see Yankee Stadium and do a little site seeing on my own. I wanted to see places we did not see four years ago.

Here are the pics of the leading  push rim and women and men runners.

Here are some more pics.  Enjoy.

Hiding In The Dark

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I don’t mean to give you a fright

But did you hear that  tonight

The moon will be hidden from view

And you will feel them coming for you

You may think it is no big deal

In fact you might even say they are not real

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But they are and deep inside

You know there is no place to hide

Right there hidden in the dark

You will find your true heart

You will walk by that computer aglow

Temptation to look at porn will be your foe

But you will find the strength to walk on by

Knowing there is no pleasure, it’s all a lie

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Then on your phone you click on Facebook

Find an old friend, just for one look

After all, what could it hurt

But then you start to flirt

But you say you can’t do this

Your marriage is at risk

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So you take a drive right by that old bar

You slow down and park your car

What could it hurt, just one beer

But you’ve been sober two years

And you know alcohol is just a thief

You know you have to get in your car and leave

But then from the alley some people catch your eye

You see the homeless and decide to change a life

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You talk to them like the people they are

Listen to their stories, for we all have scars

Buy them something to eat and go back home tonight

Yes, the demons are close, they might even be in sight

You might say they aren’t real but we both know

That’s not the truth because I’ve been to that bottom so low

I’ve got those demons and they can be hidden from view

You see, I am really no different than you

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But like the moon when the clouds part

There’s a light that shines in the dark

That’s where I go when the demons come

I don’t believe the lies that I’m worthless, scum

I’ve made mistakes but I know I’m forgiven

My sins paid for by the one who has risen

The liar has been defeated, victory won

The blood shed for me by God’s begotten son

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Truth Be Told by Matthew West –

Keep Me In The Moment by Jeremy Camp –

The Hope Song by Citizen Way –

Nobody by Casting Crowns –

Hope In Front Of Me by Danny Gokey –

Maybe It’s Ok by We Are Messengers –

Love Not Hate- Trick or Treat, Halloween Night

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History of the birds:

Love, Not Hate: Part 1

Love, Not Hate: Part Two

Love, Not Hate: Christmas Eve

Love, Not Hate: A New Chapter

Love, Not Hate: A New World

Love, Not Hate: The Division

Love, Not Hate: The Reconciliation

Love, Not Hate: Tragedy At Mandalay Bay

Love, Not Hate: Continue To Love

Love Not Hate: Love On Trial

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All the little birds wanted to trick or treat

But tonight, their nests they would not leave

It was Halloween night all through the land

But you see, trick or treating had been banned

The parents said the world had grown too dark

And they placed walls around their cold hearts

The land had been taken over by evil and hate

The parents told the little ones they would have to wait

You never know if that bird behind that hockey mask

Is looking for candy or up to some sinister act

Or that bird dressed in that scary disguise

Is carrying a gun or even a knife

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The little ones had tears in their eyes

Please let us trick or treat tonight

The little ones begged and said you can protect us

And talk to the neighbors you haven’t spoken to since Christmas

You stay inside and don’t do what the Eagle has said

It was out of love his blood was shed

The eagle said do not live in fear

But it’s what you do keeping us locked in here

How can we spread love and dispel hate

If you keep us locked here in this cage

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Then the parents were quite surprised

Those words hit home they realized

And they soon came to understand

They have let fear and hate rule their land

In fear they had locked themselves in their nests

Letting hate take over while love took a rest

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They didn’t even talk to their neighbors or their friends

They didn’t spread love to strangers and love they did not defend

The light they carry they had let grow dark

But their children’s words had ignited a spark

They realized they had made their homes a coffin

Because of their children, the parents’ hearts softened

Then they said we will go out on this Halloween night

Instead of letting hate rule we will let our love be the light

Tonight we must start to let love grow and hate decline

Yes, tonight in the darkness our light will shine

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Hey Papa by Natasha Bedingfield-

Fire Away by Disciple-

Dreaming by P.O.D. –

In Our Blood by Tyrone Wells-

Community by Kira Willey –

 

 

Shadows In The Dark

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I have a story to tell you

It is hard to believe, but I swear it’s true

I hardly believe it myself

But it is a story I must tell

You see just last night I saw shadows in the dark

I swear it’s true, cross my heart

I know you are thinking, “How can there be shadows with no light?”

I say you are correct, but this world isn’t always black and white

So sit down and listen, let me tell you my story

It won’t take long, in case you are in a hurry

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You see I was walking home, it was the darkest of nights

No where could be found a single light

(Except of course from the windows of a few brave souls up that late)

But their light didn’t cast a shadow for this was my fate

The wind ripped through the trees

I was scared, (but keep that between you and me)

I knew deep down in my bones

I just knew I wasn’t alone

I could feel the enemy all around

They made such a terrible sound

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The gnashing and gnawing gave me a fright

I could hear them, but they were out of sight

I had chills up and down my spine

I felt as if I was running out of time

It was right then and there I said a little prayer

God, if you have just a little time to spare 

Even though a lot of bad I have done

Do you think you could help me out some?

It was then I saw the first shadow

He took the lead so I decided to follow

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Soon I saw ten or fifteen more

I felt a peace that wasn’t there before

They told me their names

No two were the same

There was Integrity,  Honesty, Compassion and Loyalty

There was Kindness, Forgiveness, Responsibility and Humility

There was Hope, Love, Faith, Joy,  Courage and Trust

They told me each one of them also lives in us

They told me we are so distracted by the darkness of this place

That we often do not see them, even when we are face to face

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They walked me to where I needed to go

They left before I could thank them though

I am thanking them now by writing this to you

My friend when you are lost and don’t know what to do

When you are in despair

And think there’s no one who cares

Think of something good, something you can not see

No matter the darkness, there is a light in you and me

There is a light that can penetrate the darkest of dark

You just have to believe with all your heart

That in  your darkest of  darkest nights

There are shadows that can only be caused by the light

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Save My Life by Sidewalk Prophets –  

I Wanna Go Back by David Dunn – 

No One Can Steal Our Joy by Tenth Avenue North – 

Rise by Danny Gokey – 

The Cure by Unspoken  – 

The Fun House Of Mirrors

sites at the local fair ground - I never liked to funhouse.  But if I was with friends I went in them and rode rides anyway.  Nana

“Step right up, come on in, only a dollar” shouted the carny. He looked right at me and my friends. “Come on in boys, this will change your life” and he winked at me. I don’t know why but my gut was telling me something was wrong. My friends wanted to go in and since I didn’t want to be left out, I went in with them.

It wasn’t much at first. A conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Oooh scary right? We made a tight turn to the right and the floor started shaking. Everyone started to laugh but the feeling inside me was getting worse. It was then the lights went out. We started reaching out, touching each other to make sure we were all still there. We slowly inched forward and hit a wall, promptly piling into each other.  Then the lights came on and that was when the fun began.

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We were looking at ourselves, all four versions of each of us. We looked at each other like what the crap, a couple of my friends used some other choice words. In one mirror there was me, looking as normal as I am now, if you can call that normal. In the second mirror I was a hideous monster. What the heck? The third mirror I was a baseball player, uniform, glove and all. How could this be? I only was wearing the clothes I came in with. The fourth mirror showed me as an old, decrepit old man, all by myself. It was then we realized there was no exit. We did the only thing we could and started to push on the mirrors. The only one that moved was the second one. We all looked at each other and kind of shrugged and took a step through. But we weren’t all together on the other side.

There I was, the hideous monster. I pulled on my skin and clothes to get them to come off but they were me and I was them. It was then I noticed a small light in the distance. I walked toward it and saw it was a cell phone. It had a note on it. PRESS PLAY. What I saw disgusted me and I wish I didn’t have to tell you about it, but I do. It was 15 second clips of my life. There was me eight years old pushing the other kids down on the playground. There was me twelve years old stealing a cassette from the local music store. There was me sixteen years old with my girlfriend. We were in the backseat and she said she wasn’t ready but I said we had already gone too far so let’s keep going. There was me at nineteen at a college party when a bunch of guys took a passed out girl upstairs and I didn’t stop them. There was me at twenty two when I didn’t take the keys from my friend and he drove home drunk, but he didn’t make it. There was me at home instead of visiting my dad before he passed away. There was me watching a movie instead of calling a friend who was home alone, waiting for me to call. There was me ignoring my wife because of past mistakes. Was I really this monster? Is this how others see me?

Then we were all back in the same room of mirrors. We all looked at each other like what was that? No one was laughing now. We pushed on the mirrors again but only the third one opened this time.

There I was, at Wrigley Field, pitching for the Cubs. The crowd was chanting my name. Oh yeah, this is what I was made for. They all love me. I was on the mound, World Series, game seven, bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on, two strikes. One more strike and I bring a championship to Chicago. The wind up, the pitch…and I heard it. My shoulder popped. Then I heard the crack of the bat as it connected to the ball. Then I heard the silence. Just like that it was all over. The game, my career, my life. I was so angry. I was mad at God. How could He bring me to this moment and then let it all go? One pitch. It was all over. What kind of God would do that to me? I shut everyone out. I drank myself to sleep every night. I didn’t know the women’s names I would wake up to. I didn’t care. I went from 60,000 people screaming my name to the deafening silence of my own thoughts.

There we were again. All six of us in the same room of mirrors. Mark said that wasn’t so bad. “Let’s get this over with,” said Scott. We looked at each other and hesitantly stepped into the fourth mirror.

There I was. A decrepit old man. No one there but me. A lifetime of choices led me to here. A lifetime of bad choices. How did I get here? I was a good guy once. I believed in God, once upon a time. I looked in the mirror and the mirror looked back. Was this really me? Then I was gone. There in my casket, all by myself. Honestly, all by myself. No one came to say goodbye. Not one single person! Was I that unloveable and selfish? Was I really that bad of a person? I guess the truth hurts because I must’ve been for not one single person to show up.

We were all back in the room of mirrors. A couple of my friends said how cool their mirrors were. They hope their lives turn out like that. I didn’t have anything to say. This time the first mirror, the normal mirror, opened and we walked through. A couple turns and a few distorted mirrors later we were at the exit.

“Hey boys, how’d you like it? Did you like what you saw?” said the carny. “The mirrors don’t lie boys. If you didn’t like what you saw, you still have time to do something about it.” That was when he looked at me again and winked and gave me something. I was too terrified to look at it so I stuck it in my pocket and left. He turned around and started shouting , “step right up boys and girls, come on in, only a dollar and it will change your life.”

I forgot about what he gave me until I got home and undressed. It fell out of my pocket. A small bible with a note inside. Read this if you want to change your life. Read this if you didn’t like what you saw in the mirrors. It is your choice.

Monster by Skillet – 

All Of Me by Meatloaf – 

Ain’t Much Left Of Me by Blackberry Smoke – 

These Things I Hate (Revolves Around Me) by Bullet For My Valentine –

Hate Me by Blue October – 

Faces by One Less Reason – 

Objects In The Rearview Mirror by Meatloaf –

I’ll Find Me by Steve Azar – 

Sing by Waiting Hill – 

I Remember Me by Jennifer Hudson –  

I Hope They Get To Me In Time by Darius Rucker – 

Mirrors by Justin Timberlake – 

Funhouse Mirror by Jill K – 

I Choose You by Point of Grace – 

The Mask

Even though I am no Edgar Allan Poe this is the scariest yet ( but don’t worry, it has a happy ending.)  We all wear masks! This mask story is just one of many I could tell. It is a true story and it could happen to you. Not that the other stories weren’t true- that’s up for you to decide. Reader beware!

You wake up each morning

Ignore all the warnings

With a smile on your face

Our love was being replaced

Breakfast made and the kids are dressed

Don’t even know their lives are about to be a mess

Out the door they go to school

You let the devil make you a fool

I come home from work

But you’ve been digging in dirt

You show me that beautiful smile

Right now, you are just in denial

You wear a mask of past shames

Yet, you continue to play games

You say you aren’t the one to blame

The mask of your past caused this pain

You where the mask of lies and deceive

Your family is the one you leave

You’re wearing a mask

Did you think this would last?

But you can’t hide it well

Did you think I couldn’t tell?

Oh love, what have you done?

Was it all just for fun?

You’re tearing our world apart

You’re breaking our kids hearts

Fast forward through the hurt and lies

Fast forward through the tears we cried

Fast forward through the pain

What did you think you had to gain?

I gave up and God stepped in

“Now let me take all this sin, ”

He whispered to me “it’s not about you,

I want you to  stay until I am through”

He walked us through the dirt and mud

Our love went from ashes to a bud

You removed the mask you wore so long

Now you are back with God where you belong

Through all His redeeming grace

Our marriage found a new starting place

So my friends what can I say?

You have to pray to God each day

What can get you through the worst?

In your marriage, God must come first

Don’t fall for the tricks of the evil one

Don’t let your marriage come undone

His words are smooth but they are not true                                                                           Don’t let the devil come between God and you

Be careful of the seeds you sow

Guard your heart with the truth you know

Be careful of the mask you wear

Let Jesus carry the cross you bear

Remember when you first fell in love                                                                                       Love each other, look to God above

Don’t let the devil come and destroy

Don’t fall for his games, his ploys

Even though you once believed he who lied

Because of God, our marriage survived

The devil tried but he isn’t winning                                                                                          With God our end became a new beginning

This story is scary because it is true

I will pray it doesn’t happen to you

But if it does, it doesn’t have to be the end of your story

Let God use your struggles and pain for His glory

If I Told You by Jason Walker – The perfect song for this post. Please listen.

Masqerade by Jonathan Thulin – 

Change This Heart by Sidewalk Prophets – 

You Are Loved by Stars Go Dim – 

Behind The Mask by Eric Clapton – 

Something More by Secondhand Serenade – 

You Don’t Know How Beautiful You Are by Jon Foreman – 

Sick Charade by Letter Black – 

The Real Me by Natalie Grant – 

In A Hole Again by Tesla – 

Giving It Up by Kristian Bush – 

Love Heals Your Heart by Third Day – 

First Song I Sing by Sara Groves – 

Give Me Jesus by Jeremy Camp – 

You Loved Me First by MikesChair – 

At The Corner Of Unicorn Lane

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At the corner of Unicorn Lane

Right before you get to Leprechaun Street

There lives a…. I don’t want to tell you it’s name

It’s not something most would want to meet

Some say it’s small, like an elf, fairy or pixie

Some say it’s big, like a Sasquatch, an ogre, or a Nephilim

I have seen it and to talk about it is quite risky

What I will say  is that it doesn’t look like any of them

 

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Some say it’s a hybrid, like a griffin, a Minotaur or a mermaid

Others say it’s a shapeshifter, a werewolf, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I have seen it and trust me, don’t get in its way

The last person that did has disappeared, perhaps has died

I’ve heard some says it’s a Kirin or a dragon

I’ve heard some say it’s a Chupacabra or a vampire

I have seen it and it’s worse than you can imagine

I can understand that  you might think I’m a liar

Let me continue please

I’m not an expert but it’s important what I have to say

Trust me, it’s for your safety

For it doesn’t matter if it’s night or day

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Some say it is a hideous creature

Others say it looks just like you and me

Some say it has the scariest features

It’s always different for those  unfortunate enough to see

So when you go down Leprechaun Street

And you get to the corner of Unicorn Lane

Please keep walking, I beg you to move your feet

Especially on a cold dark night when it starts to rain

Enough already! You exclaim. Just tell me does it really exist?

I hesitate, not sure if you can handle the truth

Please stop asking ! I can’t say! Oh, why do you insist?

Are you ready? Are you sure? It… it’s…. aahhhh it’s YOU!

 

 

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Monster by Skillet – 

The Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace – 

Dark Side Of Me by Coheed and Cambria – 

Darker Side Of Me by Veer Union – 

Jekyll and Hyde by Jonathan Thulin – 

Monster by Stitched Up Heart – 

The Monster Is Loose by Meat Loaf – 

Monster You Made by Pop Evil –