Saturday I ran my 5th(?) half-marathon located about 50 minutes from me along the shores of Lake Ontario. Despite being called “The Shoreline Half Marathon” you never actually run along the shoreline. I mean, you see it from a distance, but if you go into this race thinking that you’re going to have be swept up in lakefront breezes and cheered on by drifting boats then you are WRONG.
What you will see are several ranch-style homes with pick-up truck occupied driveways and “TRUMP” lawn signs. Oh. And corn. Lots of corn.
This race is commonly referred to as the “half that you love to hate” which is very true. It’s usually hot, sticky, lacks shade throughout and is very little crowd support, but we still run it anyway because what else is there to do on a Saturday in mid-July? (The answer is anything else. Literally, anything.)
Like most things in my life, I committed to this race under the influence of alcohol. It took two beers on a Sunday afternoon for me to hit “register” and once the beer exited my toxicology report, I immediately regretted it.
I brushed it off that it would at least be a good way to get my miles in and I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself to race it. Just run through the beautiful “scenery.”
I woke up on race morning and was immediately hit with the frigid temps of a Rochester “summer.” It was barely 60 degrees and drizzling. I was dressed in a tank top and shorts and arrived to a parking lot full of people who actually read the weather report and had dressed appropriately. It was like I had shown up for a Christmas party in a bikini. You is so stupid, Allee!
However, once the gun went off, I warmed up rather quickly. My expectation was to run a 10:30/mile since that is my long run pace, but I looked at my watch and it was 9:30. Instead of slowing down, I just tried to maintain it. Every time a new, completed mile showed on my watch, I figured the next mile would be the one where I would crash and burn.
And bitches, I NEVER DID.
13.2 miles at a pace usually reserved for 5ks for me. I ended with an 11 minute PR! It was one of those rare “runner’s highs” where I got quantitative proof that I’m stronger and faster than I give myself credit for.
Also, I’m going to the Olympics now. It’s inevitable at this point. My inbox is flooded with sponsor requests. Nike is saying that I’m the “next big thing” which is both humbling and accurate.