In the “It’s almost the weekend” spirit, I decided to share a little story about my REAL first half marathon. I may have been lying when I previously said that I had never run a half marathon. However, the REAL first half marathon that I ran was very much unintentional. No, this isn’t one of those, “Oh, I just felt like going and going and WHOOPS! There’s 13 miles.”
This was about 4 years ago when I was still in college. I had stayed at school over the summer for a biology internship. It was a really great opportunity in a nerd kind of way, and it also allowed me to train for the upcoming season with the univeristy coaches. Who wouldn’t want free personal training?!
Colgate is a beautiful campus. It is located in Hamilton, NY which is in upstate NY close to Syracuse. It was actually voted the most beautiful campus in New England. Nice.
Pretty Right? Well, if you know anything about upstate NY, you know that you are literaly in the middle of no-where.
Well, one morning, I woke up at 630 to go for a morning run. I was only planning on running a mile just to kick the day off. The real workout with the trainers was going to be that afternoon. I set out on my run, with an idea of where I wanted to head out to. I was going to run out to the softball fields, take a right and head back on the main road to my apartment.
This was one of those times that I should have planned things out a little better. The right turn that I was planning on taking, was about a block before the softball fields, NOT AFTER. So off to the middle of no-where I went. After about a mile of running, I started to think that there must be another turn to get back onto the main road because I clearly missed it. So I kept running straight.
To give you an idea of what I was actually running through:
It’s absolutely beautiful, but not somewhere you want to get lost.
I came across a dairy farm that really just made it hard to breath, due to the lovely aroma of the cows. Shortly after that, I came to a T. Colgate was south of me and my intuations said to take a right, considering that’s what I was planning on doing all along. BUT, the signs said NORTH was a right turn and SOUTH was a left.
I stood there for a while before I decided to take a left and go south. WRONG. I ended up in a town called Eaton. I stumbled into the post office and asked my way back to Hamilton, NY. Go back the way you came, and take a right on 12B. Lovely.
Physically at this point, I was drained. I was running for 5 minutes then walking for 5 minutes. On the way back, I was praying that someone would stop and ask me if I needed a ride. Because I really would have jumped into anyones care at this point. When I finally hit 12B, the sign read: Hamilton 4 Miles.
OH YEAAAAA! I have never been so excited to see those words in my life. I wasn’t even thinking about the distance at this point, I was merely happy that I had a direction to go. BUT, let me tell you…those 4 miles were the most brutal 4 miles of my life. I was now down to jogging for 30 seconds and walking 5 minutes. My legs, my knees, my back, my everything was throbbing.
I was beyond hoping that someone would pick me up. I was now cursing every single person that drove past me for not picking me up. HoW DARE THEY DRIVE PAST ME WHEN I”M STRUGGLING!
I was in a lot of pain. It was also getting extremely warm out. The mornings in NY have a bit of a chill in the air, so I had left with a long sleeve shirt on. Now crumpled in a ball in my hands. I even thought of leaving it on the road because my air was tired of carrying it.
When I finally got back to town, stumbled into the coffee shop where my friend was working and asked what time it was. Ten. I ran, jogged and crawled for three hours. WOOF. I ended up getting to work a little late, and when I told the story to my friends they DIED laughing. One even told me I should run it again tomorrow because it’ll be easier. YEAH RIGHT. We clocked the run that afternoon at just under 13 miles.
The next day at work, the janitor bought me a map of Madison County, just in case I decided to go for another 1 mile jog.
Now, I am training for my first REAL half marathon that I plan on finishing with ten minute miles. This one will be different!