Where I bought this Huge ball of yarn
(stay tuned, the resulting project will be fabulous, I promise)
and ran the Half marathon!
I approached this race ambivalently. After the awfulness of Jersey City and the resulting appearance of some pes anserine bursitis (ick), I wasn’t sure if I was even going to run up until Friday night. The weather report was dreary (chilly rain all morning), but I dutifully picked up my bib, bought myself a cheap jacket and brimmed hat for the rain, and spent the rest of the afternoon at my trade show booth weighing the pros and cons of running the race. Pro: just a fun run, no pressure. Con: knee still twingy, don’t want to injure it further, bad weather. Pro: the excitement! hotel right outside of the finish line! Con: the weather. I decided to run, despite the weather, and to switch to a walk/run if the knee didn’t hold up.
That morning the rain was more drizzle-ish than downpour, and given the convenience of my hotel, I stayed inside until 7:45 for the 8am gun. And we were off! The knee warmed up about mile 2 and while it ached a bit, it wasn’t painful, so I kept going. I was determined not to look at my watch, and just enjoy the run. At the half-way point I was at 1:03 (9:39 pace). So far, so good.
I slowed a bit in the 2nd half, taking a bathroom break, and then a photo-op at mile 9 in Elizabeth Park, and then tackling some long, but not particularly steep, hills. The rain grew steadier at this point, and my arms and hands were cold, but nothing too major.
Around mile 11, the rain really started falling more strongly. It was hard to see (I was wearing my prescription sunglasses as I forgot my contact lenses. Yes, I came prepared.), and I was completely soaked through and ready for a warm shower. Finally, the last downhill to the finish line appeared (mile 12-ish). Everyone was picking up steam (it’s so great to finish on a downhill!).
And then at mile 12.5, the young woman running next to me collapsed! I only saw this in my peripheral vision, and at first thought she had gotten sucked into one of the many potholes, so I stopped to make sure she was ok. But clearly it hadn’t been a pothole. She was scarily pale, muttering jibberish, her eyes were all rolly and she couldn’t hold up her head. Another runner stopped as well. We created a barrier around her (so she wouldn’t get trampled) and that runner went off to find an EMT or police officer. There weren’t many spectators on our side of the road, but one made his way across the street and held up his umbrella over us (it was really raining hard at this point), and we waited. The young woman kept trying to get up and finish. She was determined to get her medal. While the spectator held the umbrella, I worked on keeping the young woman seated. Another spectator went off to find a cop. Finally, a cop and EMT got there, and I went to finish the race, after about an 18 minute delay.
Wow. It’s extremely tough to get your mind back on the .6 miles left in the race after an unplanned cool down and sorta scary event. But I finished–2:27.
With the weather and unplanned delay, though, I didn’t linger going through the chute–I collected my medal (and one for the young woman which I left with the medical tent for when she arrived), my water bottle, and looked around for some food, but couldn’t find any, so I shivered my way across the park and back to my hotel and within an hour was at my booth in the convention center.
I might do this race again; the course was pretty great. We ran through some awesome neighborhoods and Elizabeth Park was amazing. The city did a fantastic job of finding a route that really showed off the city well.
Funny how each race has a take-away, isn’t it? Overall, this wasn’t the greatest run (cold rain tends to put a damper on things), and it wasn’t the “fun run” I had really wanted. But I’m glad the weather and my gimpy knee made me re-think my strategy, because I would have hated to have actually debated stopping for the young woman who fell (because, let’s be honest, if I were going for time and close to my goal, this would have been a conundrum).
Onwards and upwards!