Yeah, that’s right! Like Thanos conquering worlds, and crushing Avengers, this kid crushed his second half marathon in two weeks.
In fact, this was only my second half marathon, and after the first I thought I was going to take a longer break before I attempted another. Running the Frozen Penguin Half Marathon, on my birthday, was an exercise in lunacy and a bit of masochism. It was extremely cold and windy that whole 13 miles along the water near the Verrazano Bridge. I completed the course, mercifully, and was a bit sore and tender for a few days afterwards.
You know what it’s like to be so sore it’s painful to get off the bowl after a hearty dump?
Yet, it felt good to me. A good soreness, as if I had awoken my body from a long Winter’s slumber. Even though I swore I would not attempt another half for a while, I found myself Googling upcoming races and reading up on where they were being held, distances, details, etc. I started to feel like an addict searching for his next hookup.
The feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT when I crossed that finish line was like a drug, and I now crave it again and again and again! Plus, the BLING! The shiny finisher medal you receive as a reward is an ADDICTION! It’s my FIX!
I WANT MORE! MORE! MORE!
There is always a race going on somewhere. I found myself up in Sleepy Hollow, NY. A quick train ride north of Manhattan in Tarrytown. It’s a nice spot for a weekend getaway that also happened to be hosting the SLEEPY HOLLOW HALF MARATHON. Perfect! We have been up there before and enjoy the area. Affordable quality hotels, great places to eat, along with shopping and historic spots to explore. Plus, we found out that the Captain Lawrence Brewery was also close by – WINNER!
Run a half marathon then do a brewery tour? Heck yeah!
Turned out to be a really nice Saturday morning. Sunny, dry, and about 50 degrees outside. The course offered some cool views from rolling hills, to horses, to babbling streams, some highway mileage, and along the water with the Tappan Zee Bridge in the distance. Yet, there was one thing I certainly was not ready for – ALL THE BRUTAL HILLS AND INCLINES! I had read on various websites and runners blogs that this half marathon is noted to be one of the toughest. Even the most seasoned runners are challenged with this one, and I could see why. Some of the hills are one after the other, and at varying inclines. In fact, right off the bat, the first hill smacked us in the face right at the start. So not cool! No bueno!
Most of the race itself I actually felt pretty good, and my legs felt fresh. Until mile 11.5. That is when I felt my calf strain a bit. I was chugging along at a fairly decent pace of which I plotted for myself, then “pop, cramp, wobble wobble”. Let’s be real here – I’m a slow runner. I’m a dude who weighs around 220 and lifts weights. For me, I do this for fun and fitness, and to burn calories because I love to eat and drink! I’m more of a “clodder”than a “runner”, and I own it. Not trying to set any speed records for sure.
The last few miles were tough, and I jogged it gingerly trying not to aggravate the calf too much. Oh, it let me know it when I tried to speed up. Those “love pings” us runners get when favoring a sore muscle. When I saw the Mile 13 sign I breathed a sigh of relief. That is until the deputy sheriff on site monitoring the intersection told us “You’re almost there! The finish line is just up the hill.” Really? Like – WTF??? ANOTHER HILL? That was a cruel joke for sure. This last hill taunted us, and it was basically a cruel joke. I hop, skipped, and dragged my ass that last tenth of a mile, and as I crossed the finish line after another 13.1 mile run, I felt that feeling of jubilation and accomplishment once again. I got my FIX! I got my BLING! I also got a hug and kiss from my gal who met me there – that was the sweetest reward. Goal achieved!
Afterwards, the weekend turned into a lot of fun bar hopping, eating well, meeting up with a friend who lives up there for dinner, and doing the brewery thing to celebrate another half marathon completed. Great way to spend some time. The Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon was a well-organized race, while the running association and volunteers did a terrific job. Plenty of course markings, water stations, bands, food, and friendly runners to participate with. Having a free massage offered to us after the race helped a lot! I wasn’t the only one with cramps and strains to work out.
On to my next fix. Feed me, Seymour!
( In fact, I will be running in the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 19th for charity! I have decided to run for a terrific youth cause as I am running for Team For Kids. If anyone wants to learn more about this, and perhaps donate, here is the link to my donation page. – https://runwithtfk.org/Profile/PublicPage/61829 )