Half-marathons are my shit.
Ever since I ran my first half 3 years ago, I’ve been addicted.
Not just to the challenge of race day, but the training, the pride, the dedication, the discipline, the mothafuckin’ free food post-race, the unparalleled sense of accomplishment and disbelief when the legs I berate for not being good enough carry me swiftly across the finish line.
My deep devotion for the half-marathon game is shared with my number one running bud: my dad. But, since he injured his achilles and hasn’t been able to train, I ran my first solo half this past weekend…ironically, it was on Father’s Day!
The three best things about this half?
- It’s a true blue trail run on my home turf in New Paltz, NY on my absolute favorite woodland trail
- It’s small and the course is flat
- It’s incredibly beautiful
For this year’s New Paltz challenge, mother nature played a nasty trick on me. From the moment I went to sleep on Saturday night to the moment the gun went off at start time, it was pouring. Truly, pouring.
Now, since the race is entirely on a rail trail, rain basically demolishes the gravel and dirt, turning the whole length of the race into a virtual muddy swamp.
I went into this race absolutely PUMPED and 100 percent confident that I would smash my current half PR of 1 hour, 56 seconds.
The minute I got on that trail, I threw the possibility of a new PR out the rain soaked window.
Most of the race, I was ankle deep in mud, or calf deep in puddles. From my heavy, drenched sneakers to the mud particles in my eyes and under my fingernails, and not to mention the neverending stream of water flowing down my face, every minute of this race was a challenge.
But ya know what? It was fucking fun.
Screw PR’s, screw finding my stride, and screw passing every lagging person I can. I ran my ass off while being tested by the elements and still managed to finish in under 2 hours.
By the time I crossed the finish line, I was about to puke from the enormous effort of simply picking my abnormally heavy feet up and putting them down but I smiled through it cause I was, and still am, proud of myself. Not for still managing to get a pretty decent time, but for not giving a fuck about it when I was chasing the rain.
Running the most challenging race on my home town course reminded me why I love to run…it makes me remember how incredible I am, what my body and mind are capable of when they work together, and above all, it always get me where I want to go in every way.