Sunday I ran my first race of 2018 – and a Half at that.
I love training (mostly). I mean, sometimes it’s nice to not think about getting up early, or when I will get out running, a little vacay from it all feels good, but it’s important to not settle in to that. And well, I sort of did. Trying to figure out my teaching schedule and training, the cold, icy weather,, etc. etc. [insert more excuses here] I was not getting out running regularly. A short break is OK, but then as I started looking at my calendar I realized I had signed up for a Half Marathon on Sunday, January 21. Wait, what – a Half?! And no 12-week training program, no real running at all. And wait, I teach a class at 11:30am on Sundays. Could it be done?
Spoiler Alert …. it was done, and done with a sub-2 hour finish (only the 2nd time ever I have in a Half), and after eating half a donut, rushing to the start (thanks Sunday subway issues) and needing to pee the whole race. So yay – why worry about training anymore, right?!
I am grateful that it worked out for me. I’m really proud of my finish time (1:59:56 thank you very much). But that doesn’t mean I don’t need the process anymore. It’s because of that process for all my other races that I was able to get through Sunday. And it’s not like I’ve been a slug, there has been lots of yoga, pilates and spinning, just not a put it in the calendar, a specific mileage a week plan. I tapped into my stored bank account of training and fitness and reached a goal.
How was the race itself (which BTW was the NYRR Fred Lebow Manhattan Half)? So fun. It was a beautiful day. I recently purchased some new cold weather legging from Athleta and I was wearing those – it might have been overkill on Sunday since it was unseasonably warm, but it wasn’t when I tested them out the Sunday before in 17-degree weather. So some shedding took place.
The course route takes the Harlem Hills twice. Was it my favorite – no, but I’m not hating the hills like I used to. I see them as a bit of penance for not militantly training. What I wasn’t super excited about was that the only table with the Gatorade was at the base of the Hills, so if you slowed down to get it, for me it’s a mental game to gear back up to run up a hill. I would have appreciated a second station somewhere else on the course. My only other gripe was with the MTA to get up to the race, better planning on my part would have reduced some of my stress – and better time management (like pulling the trigger and saying yes to the donut as soon as I got to Penn Station, and not hemming and hawing, leaving Krispy Kreme, going downstairs, seeing the Starbucks donut was 460 calories and deciding that the idea of a donut was in my head so back upstairs to the 190 calorie Krispy Kreme) would have gotten me up in probably more time to do pre-race rituals, like a visit to the porta-potty.
So it was a learning experience, no I will not add pre-race donut to my rituals, and yes I will get back to regular race training. But it’s so empowering to know I have this in me – and I can’t wait to see what more I can accomplish this year.
What’s your weirdiest, or craziest race story?