Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013 Running Festival of Lights

The Frozen Tundra.
Oy Vey.

Words to describe this race and this day. Also included are cold, colder than cold, coldest cold I've ever had the displeasure of experiencing. 

Back in September, right after the Yonkers Half Marathon and Marathon, Kristen decided she wanted to do one more race before Disney. I'm always down to run. She asked me to look and the only half marathon distance race near us in Novemeber was NYCRuns first running of the Running Festival of Lights; a Hanukkah themed race in Brooklyn. It took some convincing to get Craig to join, but eventually the 3 of us signed up and were ready to go and looking forward to it.

That was until race week. When we checked the weather we saw things like 25 degree temperatures and 28 mile per hour winds. Factor into this that the course ran along the Hudson River. Oy vey quickly became the phrase of the day.

Ready to go...

We got a little lost on the way. When we stopped to ask for diractions and use the bathroom, Craig and Kristen got back in the car and said "Oh my God, it is so cold. It is SO. COLD"

After we got our baring, we made a decision to tell the moms and AJ not to come. They were originally hanging back for a while and were going to come and see us cross the finish line closer to our anticipated finish times. But the weather was so crazy we decided to tell them not to come. It was not worth it to travel that far, probably get lost and then be miserable in the cold.

We got to the start line at around 10:10. The race started at 10:30. I am so grateful we arrived when we did because even those 15/20 minutes standing around waiting for the start of the race was enough to even have me considering bailing on this thing. But then I saw a lot of runners from the 10K with medals (which we originally were not suppose to be getting) so that was enough to make me stay. 

We huddled for a little while and I gave a nice little pep talked:

"Today is not about time, it's about finishing. And if you finish you become a stronger runner and a better person. Shalom!"

Evenutally they called us over to the start and were trying to pump us up or something....
There was a warning about watching out for ice on the course because there was some water on the path. And at that moment we looked down at the course and see water from the waves hitting the wall go across the path. Kristen and I looked at each other and yelled "UN-F*CKING-BELIEVABLE"

The race started, and immediately I felt better. Once I got moving my body temperature was perfect.

The course looped a few times. It was down half way, and back, then down all the way and back. There were no mile markers...............

Going down was fine. The wind would help push you along for a little bit, which was nice. But once you hit that turn around...oy vey. That was the toughest wind I've ever ran in. There would be times when I was running, but was going probably 1 mile per hour.

I managed to get a few pictures with my point and shoot while running.

With all those weather factors against me, I managed to finish just under 2 hours. 1:59:50 to be exact.

They handed you a medal and wrapped a space blanket around you once you finished. The space blanket few up and over my head. I went over to the food table, shoved a bagel in my mouth, got some water, grabbed some Hanukkah gelt, dropped 2 of them, ate 1 and apparently dropped another one that I thought made it into my pocket. I got a little hot chocolate which was really good.

I was going to wait for my cousins to finish but it was too cold. Craig said our rendezvous spot would be the car since I had the key and they knew I would finish first. I got to the car, got in and cried for a good 5 minutes because my hands were so cold that they hurt THAT much.

At least I have a medal to show for it. And a really adorable shirt.

All in all...Craig cut our racing off in the month of October. We will most likely never sign up for a race in the city again (except if we are lucky enough to get into the NYC Marathon). Oy.

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