2021 NYC Marathon Training: Week 6

No running took place in week 6.

While I did make an attempt on Sunday after I took the below photo (in light rain, which I genuinely love to run in), I didn’t get more than a few seconds in before calling it off. My right heel still hurt too much, for reasons I still don’t understand.

I’m now fully convinced that something is very off with me, biomechanically. I’ve suspected this for a while, especially since getting a gait analysis at Finish Line PT two years ago, but I don’t think I’ve worked hard enough to make the necessary corrections. I take full responsibility for this. I’m trying to stop “blaming” my body and have started looking for actual solutions.

Two weeks ago, as I moped about not being able to race the Harlem 5K, I stumbled upon a comment in a Facebook group that led me to a NYC-based biomechanics expert named Jessica and her website runpainfreenow.com. After watching and reading countless positive reviews and testimonials about how she has helped injured runners, I decided to take a leap of faith and send her a message.

A few days later, we had an hour-long conversation on FaceTime that made me feel so much better, mentally. Jessica is fun and friendly, and she seems to have a deep understanding of the human body, how it’s all connected, and ways to correct (not just mask) dysfunction.

Here are some things I did this week instead of running:

  • Daily full-body foam rolling (not just my quads!) for 25-30 minutes at a time
  • Golf ball rolling my feet at least 5 minutes a day
  • Hip mobility exercises (my left is worse than my right but both are bad)
  • Pelvic tilt corrective exercises (mine points too far forward)
  • Zero lower body strength training

Finally, I’ve started standing at my desk all day, or at least until dinner. A lot of my issues stem from my hips and pelvis, which I suspect comes from years of sitting too much. I don’t know if standing more will fix anything, but sitting more certainly won’t.

I hope to have more biomechanics-related updates, and more running, in the weeks to come.

Thinking about running this week, my mind kept going to the phrase “back to the basics.” Wondering how to link this to stories about my dad, I thought I would write about my dad’s family origins.

This could easily be a multi-parter, as I have a boatload of information about my dad’s family. After he died in 2020, I delved super hard into family tree research. There were days I’d spend hours adding information to family tree software; combing through old census reports, death notices, marriage certificates; lining up names and dates and addresses. I don’t even know how many hundreds of hours went into this. (Remember, there was a stay-at-home order, and I wasn’t exactly working. I had nothing but time on my hands.)

The maternal side of my father’s family was 100% Italian, his mother’s parents immigrating from Cosenza, Italy (in the “foot” part of the country) as children in the first decade of the 1900s. They married as teens and raised their family in Brooklyn, where my dad was born and spent the first 15 years of his life.

My dad loved talking about and writing about family history. About a decade ago, my sister was doing some kind of school report on the topic, so my dad wrote up several pages of stories about his childhood for her.

I thought it would be fun (and perhaps interesting for his family members) to post some of what my dad wrote over the next few weeks. I’ll include photos. I have a ton of photos. If there is one thing my family has always done well, it’s take photos.

The rest of this post will be my dad’s writing, links and photos added by me.

My mother was always testing her father. Once, when he gave her money to purchase a proper dress for the funeral of a family friend, she returned with a splendid red one. He was furious but gave her more money to buy another.

When my mother was in her twenties, she worked with her mother in the Cascade Linen Services Company, still located at 835 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn [note: it is no longer there]. In those days there was a high demand for white hotel and restaurant table cloths and cloth diapers. My mother would return home, the smell of bleach lingering in her nostrils.

Later, my mother and grandmother also did “piecemeal” work at home. This consisted of collecting pockets, sleeves, and an assortment of clothing to piece together at home. They would take the finished garment back to the factory the next day to collect the next pieces. My mother made her own clothing, drapes for her living room, and even her own wedding dress.

My mother was the first child in the DeLuca family to graduate from high school: Girls Industrial, Dean Street and 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, now called Boerum Hill. She instilled in me and in my sister the need to attend college.

Christmas was celebrated at each individual’s home. At 1297 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn, I recall our living room: the live tree with its trimmings, but, especially, the doorway “fire place.” It had red bricks and white mortar, which I later understood was really paper mache.

Astonishingly, one Christmas Santa crawled through the hearth to deliver presents. His icy cold hands touched my face. But when he re-entered the hearth, I saw Santa’s argyle socks. I became suspicious: they matched perfectly the ones worn by my Uncle John. Years later, he told me that he had held ice cubes in his bare hands to simulate the North Pole. It was a wonderful Christmas, except for the demise of Santa.

I reminisce about my family joining Aunt Carol and Uncle John’s at Casino Beach in Oceanside, Long Island. The cousins swam and played until we dropped. One of my cousins wrote: “The kids [at night] watched horror movies on the handball court on the sand while the adults ‘partied.’ The one movie most vivid in our minds was Creature from the Black Lagoon. During the scariest part of the movie Dad and Uncle Tony went into the water and covered themselves with mud and seaweed and dragged themselves out of the water and in front of the screen and scared us silly!”

My mother and Aunt Blondie drank beer at the bar while eating clams on the half shell. I wouldn’t eat them because they wiggled when Aunt Blondie squeezed lemon juice onto the opened clam shells.

As with the Scotts, the family was the center of everything for the DeLucas. As each grandparent died, and their children began their own constellation of families, each subsequent generation hopefully has learned from the previous one. Perhaps we can reminisce about the past while still learning from that history. We are the living history.

One thought on “2021 NYC Marathon Training: Week 6

  1. I have been neglecting foam rolling. I keep saying that I’m going to try to do it every day/night, but it never seems to happen. Or, if it happens, I’ll do it for about 10 minutes. Hopefully, this week’s break will make you stronger going forward in your marathon training plan.


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