From: Patricia Lenny
Date: Tue Nov 8, 2005  7:19 am
Subject: Last Marathon




 MY Merms,

 I want to let everyone know

 that my last marathon, for me,

 was absolutely perfect!


 It took some time to make that

decision, and there are many reasons that I did so. Since that time

I have had a lot of time to think about what it would mean

and how I would feel.

I told Lew that I was going to run 13 minute miles. My official
pace was 13:05. I said I wanted to savor every minute of it, that I
had two million people to say goodbye to. I usually run along the
left side of the street and I always wear my name on the front of my
shirt, just one of the many tricks I learned from the Merms for my
first marathon, and people call out your name when you run by them.
This year I ran mostly in the middle of the street because I wanted
to be the spectator. I wanted to watch the crowd. I wanted to see
the people who stand there for hours and strain their voices yelling
support for strangers. I wanted to know what streets I was running
on. I'm sure you will not be surprised to know that in the six
previous times I have run this race I had no clue where the hell I
was. I looked at all the street signs. Who knew I ran on Lafayette
the same name of the street I lived on for the first 13 years of

me life. I actually figured out when you leave Brooklyn and enter
Queens. I actively looked at the faces in the crowds and searched
for people that I knew. It was my hair colorist (ok, so now you know,
I am not a natural blond!)who was thrilled that I spotted her. I was
so busy watching the action on the side that the miles just melted
by. I also was amazed when I was on the 59th street bridge thinking how did
I get
here already. That is when I started to mentally preparing

myself for the "final run ". I knew I would see my family and
friends at mile 16 on First Ave. but I also knew it was going to be
my last time running up 1st Ave. And there is nothing better!

The crowds on 1st Ave. are always truly amazing, but this year
they were better than ever. I ran on the left and thanked strangers.
I ran on the right and shook hands with the police officers. I talked
to people in front of the hospital. And I loved the wild ones in
front of the bars. New York, don't ever close the bars on Marathon
day!! I loved hearing the guy with the bullhorn yelling, "Welcome
to the Bronx". They were yelling their hearts out for everyone.

I was feeling incredibly excited, peaceful, and totally enjoying
every moment. But, when I reached 5th Ave. in Harlem it all started
to hit me. This is it. You are on your way home to Central Park for
the last time. This was reflection time. I thought about all the
wonderful years Lew & I had in NY. The incredible friends we made,
hopefully for life, and the Saturday morning runs that I will miss
more than anything else. And I thought about the only regret that I
had. That my Father did not live to see this. He would have loved
it. So I talked to him. I don't know what the communication system
is wherever he is, but if he heard me he now knows all about the
NYCM. That's when I realized I had to have a plan to get thru to the
end. I had to keep it together if I was going to make it to the
finish line one last time.

I can honestly say that I never felt as good at mile 24 as I did
this year. Once I was in the Park it was like I owed it. I was
home, this in my park. The crowds on CPS were there only for me to
see me run my final mile. The big test was seeing Lew waiting for me
at mile 26 for the 7th and last time. I was doing pretty well and
then he pointed out my friend Gary standing there with a purple &
white sign that said "Pat & Lew Thanks for the Memories, Love, The
Merms and Wannabes". You people were so determined to make me cry for
those last .2! Fortunately for me I could only read the big print
since I had no glasses on. I kissed Lew, swore to him it was my last
marathon, said goodbye to my friends who were there with him and took
off up the hill. I took great care to get a good finish line photo,
hands in the air, head up, big smile,

and just as you have it down right somebody runs right in front of you!

It doesn't matter, because I have the greatest memories in the
world. Thank you.