It's been a bit since I've had time to fully recap and gather my thoughts from the Staten Island Half Marathon. The race was full of unexpected happenings, including me being very sick the day before, winds that could have reminded you of hurricane season, rain that never ceased, and chilly weather that made the wind and rain combo even more difficult to withstand.
However, we showed up.
A lot was on the line when it came to this race... And the weather had me questioning many of my decisions. I realized once I arrived to the island, the weather was not changing. It was going to be pouring rain the entire time, and I was wearing only a tank and shorts. My fear getting ready that morning was wearing a long sleeved shirt and pants and having to drag myself 13 miles in soaked clothing. Did I mention I am now on the hunt for an amazing lightweight, waterproof running jacket? So if you know of any, holla at cha girl! Ok?!
I woke up so early that morning, careful to catch the Ferry as it only came on the half hour. I was so scared of being late and having to wait in bag check that I caught the early one! Arriving there, I headed to bag check right away to assure my belongings would be taken care of in plenty of time. However, the standing around was getting to me! It was freezing. To be honest, I debated to warm up in the rain and get my clothes wet now, or wait and use the first few miles as a warm up while I stayed dry in the stadium. Not that I'm offering advice here, but I chose the latter.
I met a NY firefighter while waiting in line as he laughed and said, "You are brave.." while looking over my lack of warm clothing. Layered in shirts and a poncho, I told him he'd be sweating before the gun fired. Before long we were talking about family and careers and he shared stories about what being a firefighter in this city was like. Thank goodness this man found a trash bag for me that he untied off of a gate so that I would have something to wear during the race. Although I was still soaked, I do believe it kept me a bit warmer and drier for as long as possible. I'll probably never see Kevin, the firefighter again, but I'm so glad he encouraged me that morning and helped me find a garbage bag that gave me some peace of mind. I was reminded once again of the amazing people I've met while running and racing.
Overall, the course was mostly flat, with a couple surprising hills toward the end of the course. There was no way to avoid the gigantic puddles that had formed, so we kept on, wet shoes, wet socks and all. Although I will admit, I ran this race at a fairly easy pace, the last mile, I showed out, sprinting until I crossed the line and passing many of the other runners. The race finished back at the Stadium and boy was it muddy! I was frozen and as soon as I got my bag I was changing into dry clothes. I watched a guy next to me pull a towel out of his bag and I thought, "Wow, how didn't I think of that!" Lesson learned and noted for next time..
The race was a very important race to me. I signed up this year to do NYRR's 9+1 program. This program means that if you run 9 races and volunteer at one then you gain automatic entry into next year's TCS NYC Marathon. Staten Island was my 9th race in the series! Y'all I'm coming back for 2017! This race was was also part of the Five-Borough Series in which if you complete 4/6 races then you gain automatic entry into the United Airlines Half Marathon. Super stoked that I'm in for this one as well! I am planning on fundraising for another great race next year... Many of my running buddies are looking into Berlin next year. I will say, I've never been out of the country and what better way than to run 26.2 miles across Germany. I'll keep you posted! :)
I have one more race, then it will be time for the TCS NYC Marathon. I'm not sure how it all happened so fast or how I've completed all of these races, but I'm so very thankful and excited for this journey and for all those who have been along for the ride.
This race was one for the books.. and I know that no matter what comes on the day of the marathon, I AM READY!