The Disaster Half Marathon I’d Like to Pretend Never Happened (September 2017)
This was by far the worst race I’ve completed (with the exception being the first CUCB 10 Miler). This was only my second half marathon and kicked off my launch into marathon training. However, I had taken the summer off training, so this was a very rude race awakening.
The course sounded so delightful: “Run the boardwalk of Coney Island.” It sounded iconic. It sounded amazing. The whole course was on the boardwalk – about 3.5 loops. First, the idea of running the boardwalk is totally different than actually running it. I found that the wood creaked a lot, was uneven, and that I was constantly watching my footing for boards that were slightly elevated so not to trip. Further, some areas had puddles which created a slippery surface. Being newer to running, these things were not ideal and created a harder challenge for me.
I’m not a huge fan of the running organization that hosted this event. They are a newer running organization so maybe that’s why, but there were a lot of small mishaps. They did not have the boardwalk blocked off for the race, so as the morning progressed, more and more tourists would walk into the race path as it wasn’t blocked off. We were constantly dodging people and strollers. No fault of the tourists as there was no way of them knowing a race was going on.
I don’t bring up these challenges to provide excuses for my poor performance. I’m simply sharing a transparent, realistic playback of my day and the challenges that I faced. I’m sure there were others who were in shape that had a completely different experience. For me, these things contributed to a challenging half marathon.
However, I truly was not in shape or prepared. I walked a TON of this course. I was gassed. If you don’t train, you can’t expect to perform at a high level. After completing the race, I left frustrated at myself. It took 2:19:49 to finish this one – way worse than my first half. I was stiff immediately, sore and dragged myself to Totonno’s Pizza to forget about the whole race experience.
This was definitely a learning experience and needed to happen in order for me to take things more seriously – from both a mental and physical perspective. Especially since I’m running a full marathon in January. This was a wake up call for me.