I’m really embarrased at how behind and out of habit I’ve become on updating my race reports. No really good excuse other than life and all that goes with it. But even though months have passed, it was at this event that I ran my longest distance – my first half marathon on August 19th, 2011. I was especially fortunate to run the majority of this race along side one of my very good friends.
The weather report had been warning of possible lightning storms, so we were wondering if the race might not wind up being cancelled. Fortunately, the worst of the storms were well away from Verona. The day was not too warm, a bit humid and overcast. Not too bad, as far as race conditions go. K and I arrived at the event and found several of our friends – we checked our race belts, made last-minute trips to the port-o-potties Wouldn’t you know it, I was on day two of a very unwelcome visit from a “friend” – that added to my race day nerves, I can tell you!
We queued up, stretching as we waited to begin. Once we got going , it was a short run out of Turning Stone and almost immediately we were in the country. If you have never been to New York State and your only images of it are of New York City – you are missing most of what makes NYS a great state. We were fortunate to run this inaugural half marathon, through some simply beautiful country side and farm lands. Even on a misty, overcast day – it was lovely to look at.
We spent a good portion of the beginning of the race laughing and talking. K and I found at Boilermaker, that we really enjoyed running together. It was so nice to do so again. We encouraged each other when tiredness hit, laughed and cracked jokes to pass the time and noted on how well the course was manned by volunteers – they were fantastic, many thanks to them! Perhaps the best, were the two little kids out by the road with their Mom and Dad – cups of ice cold water ready and waiting – we made sure to hit that water spot. Hope to see them again this year! Adorable!
Mile 10 arrives and K feels really good about finishing in under 3 hours, so I encourage her to go on ahead and go for it. I spent the last three miles doggedly working my way toward the finish line. I pass the state trooper we joked with at the beginning of the race, he recognized me and shouted words of encouragement. It was just the boost I needed at that point. I felt good, but my knee was feeling the effect. As I turned into the Turning Stone grounds, there was still a lot of people to cheer me in. Most important were my friends, K and Betsy. I admit, I didn’t sprint this one – but I had on a huge smile. I had actually completed my first half marathon!
Later that night, I rewarded myself my lumping on the couch ice pack on my knee, my iPad on my lap along with my medal and a small glass of wine. Next running challenge? The Empire State Marathon – yes, a FULL marathon this October 2012. Wish me luck!