It’s been a week since my second half marathon, The Lake Effect, in Syracuse, NY. The last time I wrote I was wondering about the lack of excitement I felt building up to race day. Let’s just say I wrote too soon. I woke up the morning after that post with a knot of anxiety in my stomach that stuck around all day. By race morning I was swearing to my partners that I was done with running events. The anxiety and misery of the day before just weren’t worth it.
And then the gun went off and we were running with 500 other crazies on a cold February morning. Like magic, the anxiety disappeared and the joy returned. The race was a double out and back loop on a closed trail. Unlike my partners, I sort of like this kind of route. It’s predictable and safe. I can let my mind wander without concern for getting lost or watching for vehicles. My partners say it’s boring. I say it’s zen-like. The flat trail runs along Onondaga Lake and I imagine it’s very pretty in the summer months. I might have to make the 45 minute drive for an occasional change of pace (haha!).
As expected, there wasn’t a lot of crowd support. Would you want to stand out in the 20 degree cold to watch a bunch of people running? There was a nice little crowd cheering near the finish which was much appreciated. The runners were a friendly group and some of them provided entertainment for the rest of us. My favorite was “Hawaiian Shirt Guy” who wore a tropical print shirt and lei for the entire race. I also enjoyed the woman who kept stopping to greet and take pictures of runners she knew.
The shirt, personalized bib, and finisher medal were fantastic, but the best part of all was the 8 minutes I shaved or my first half marathon time! I went in just hoping to match my previous time, given the conditions of this race.
All in all, I give this race a thumb’s up. Will I do it again? I’m not sure. I know it kept me from slacking off during the winter months. I ran several times in terrible conditions when a saner person would have stayed home. But running started to feel like a job, which kind of defeated the purpose.
Next up, the Nike Women’s Half in Washington on April 28!