The Syracuse Half was the only race I had signed up for the duration of marathon training. Last year it was really well organized–but cold–and I enjoyed it. This year it was moved two weeks later to April, in hopes of having better weather! But, the joke was on us.
Saturday afternoon I picked up Jona and her friend Phil and we headed to Syracuse. The first stop was Fleet Feet to get our race shirts and bibs.
It’s not an April Fool’s joke, it’s spring in Upstate, NY. I have to say this was the first time I ever seriously considered DNS at a race. I did not want to run in the snow and 40 mph winds. Nope. But we sucked it up and got ready and started to head to the start line, which was a half a mile away from the hotel.
My feet were wet before the race even began.
Around miles 4-5 things got interesting. It started hailing! I was sopping wet and the front of my clothes got crusted with ice. My eyelashes froze and I had to keep wiping snow out of my eyes. In all the years I have been running, this was a first. These were the worst conditions I had ever run in, hands down.
Halfway through the race, I lost Jona. Then my iPhone froze and shut itself off. I had no music for the last half of the race–and I wanted to die! I overheard a woman say at the 15K point that if this were the Boilermaker, we’d be done. I laughed out loud and said, “I’d rather be running this–I hate the Boilermaker!” Still true.
I shuffled along for the rest of the race. I was running so slow; my legs wouldn’t move. My feet were hurting from trying to constantly get traction in the snow and slush. It was painful. I crossed the finish line at 2:22. And I had never felt so hardcore and so proud of finishing a half marathon. It may have been my 25th half, but it was definitely one of the hardest.
I am so glad I stuck it out and finished that race. I earned that medal! I also earned the post-race beverages we had at Empire Brewing. 😀