Geez, I’ve been so bad about posting my running progress lately. Seems that by the time all the work, chores, and running is done, I just done have any motivation to do anything, let alone try to put words together. That being said, I’ve have still been pretty motivated to run. At work, the lunch time run is always a welcome distraction to the daily grind. Outside of work, the weather has been pretty decent for a Central New York spring. Guess anything less than 100% rain, is a good start.
I’m proud to say that my first half marathon, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame Half Marathon (in Utica, NY) is now in the books. Last Sunday, the weather was a little more like the average spring day in CNY: overcast, off and on sprinkles, 49 degrees and kinda windy. Sounds kinda yucky, but it wasn’t too bad; my only problem was figuring out whether to weather short or long sleeves. I guessed short sleeves and it worked out pretty well. During the run I was only a little chilly for the first mile or two, then things felt just right. But, after a pretty good sprint (for me anyway) to the finish line, I made quick run back to the car to grab my long sleeve jersey, as the wind was whipping pretty good at that point.
The course was great. Being a Utica native, I was pretty familiar with the general area of the course from my biking days (I was never really a runner when I lived in Utica.) I really like races where you don’t need to share the road with cars, especially when the roads or lanes aren’t closed off specifically for the run. In this
race, only 2 miles of the course (1 mile out and 1 mile back) shared the road (via a closed lane). The rest of the race is on the Erie Canal multipurpose trail. Its pretty close the water so the ups and downs are pretty limited. I was little worried at first, as the last time I was on the trail, it wasn’t paved for most of the running course. The last thing I was interested in was a 7 or 8 miles of running very slippery mud. But, I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the course paved and the bit that wasn’t paved was stone dust. Surprisingly, even though the trail was only about 6 or 8 feet wide in most places, traffic was never a problem for me. But, then again, it wasn’t like I was in the top ten or anything like that.
Around mile 5 for me and my running pal Larry, the leaders were already on there way back. I was pleasantly surprised to see Jim Fiore as one of the front runners. He was one of my professors at MVCC. I run in to him from time at running events in Utica. I caught with him again at the finish (after the race, duh) and found out that he won it. Way to go.
Through most of the race, I felt pretty quick and was a little distressed about shooting my proverbial wad too soon and not being able to finish. Its kinda strange, but your legs seem to have a mind of their own on race day. My brain was saying, “yo, you better slow down.” while my legs were saying, “let’s do this
thang…” I took my last water break around mile 11 or so and told myself, good, bad or other, it’ll be done soon. 2 more hills to and I’m feeling good. The ladies at the last water stop said I was looking good, anyway.
In the final stretch, some flat, a quick up, then a quick down to the finish line. I remember thinking, whoa, this is pretty cool. You just ran about 13 miles, and you’ve still got something left for the finish. A couple of more “you’re almost there’s” from some cops blocking the road and I decided it was time to shift
into high. It was great to clear the top of that final hill at full stride and ride it on out to the finish. Even better was seeing the clock; it said 1:59:45 when it first came into focus. There was a guy at the finish line with a megaphone calling out the finishers as they tromped in. I gave him a high five. I think I finished somewhere around 2:00:10; the official results still haven’t made it to the site yet.
Man, what a wild ride. If you told me 5 years ago, that’d I be running 40 miles a week and doing 10 mike and half marathong races, I’d have surely laughed solidly in your face. But, now I have to face it, I’m addicted. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t hate starting to run, but hate stopping. I’m also to the point, that somedays, I have to force myself to stop, knowing that few extra miles might not be the best idea, and that I’ll regret it later. I run to get extra energy, not to burn it off. I’m pretty worthless after 7pm on the days I don’t run. Hmm, I’m kinda feeling like a run right now.
So, what’s next? The Boilermaker is coming up in about 6 weeks. Its always a hoot. I’m looking foward to bettering my time significantly, since I’ve actually been running with some consistancy this year and not trying to pull it off as a one off like I did last year. Probably do some random 10K’s, another half marathon or two, and there’s always the Corporate Challange. I’m probably gonna try to do a bunch more miles on my own; hope the summer isn’t too hot.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and watch the miles pile up!