Last Saturday was a big day for me. It was my first half-marathon of 2016 and the longest run I’ve endured since my hip injury last year. Simply put, I dominated.
I experienced redemption in my home state of New Jersey. The course was flat, fast, and hugged the coast. It felt good running through all the shore towns I spent so much of my childhood in, and it brought back a lot of memories.
How did I feel during the race? Well, quite frankly, excellent. Strength training and hill running are definitely helping me conquer distance again. Miles 11 through 13 gave me some trouble though. When I turned into mile 11, I turned right into a steady headwind. It was then that I started digging deep despite the onset of self-doubt. My two mantras for the race were “Dominate” and “Don’t think of how many miles you have left. Think of how many you’ve ran.” Both were excellent motivators. I thought about David, too, and my friend Derik Dupont, and my friend Sarah’s dad, Bob Evans. I thought about running for those who can’t, and reminded myself that I was allowed to have fun. “Running does not need to carry the weight of the world,” I kept telling myself.
I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:53:23, one of my fastest half-marathons in the past five years. I’m proud, of course, but also see room for improvement. My goal is to achieve 1:47:00, my fastest time, which I earned several years ago. It’ll take more training and dedication. My next opportunity to compete for that goal is May 21 in St. Michael’s, Maryland. I’m running a half-marathon there with my friend and Team in Training teammate Aaron. Looking forward to crushing it with him!
Below are a few additional photos from race day. I included an ugly one, so readers beware. Running isn’t pretty and neither are runner’s feet!
One final update before I go: I’m already 73% toward my $5,000 fundraising goal! Help me reach 100% and donate any amount at any time, and please share my mission with others. You don’t know how many people have been touched by blood cancer until you actually talk about it.