Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pt 1 DIVAS Half Marathon Long Island Race Recap

This weekend was my first half marathon since the plantar fasciitis diagnosis last spring and subsequent therapy on my foot. I'd had to skip the San Francisco Half in July and didn't know when I might be ready to start entering races again. Taking a trip to NYC to run this women-only event, besides being an expensive leap of faith, was a stellar first step back into the racing scene.

While races of any distance (5K, 10K or half) give me butterflies, this one was particularly nerve wracking with the change in time zones, climate and surroundings. New York is SO not Southern California. Add to that that even though I’ve had twice a week therapy for a few months now, I am still running with some degree of pain from the PF. Some days the pain is minimal, other days it’s debilitating. I had no idea how my foot would fare for this race but regardless of the pain, I knew it was long past time to get myself back in the racing mode again. I’ve really missed it.

I took a crowded redeye out of LAX Friday night and arrived Saturday morning at JFK where I met up with my good friend Des. She had recently moved to upstate New York from Long Beach and was the impetus for my choosing this particular destination race.
Des and Me

Des drove us from JFK to check into our hotel then on to the race expo. We got lost a few times on our way to the expo but once we arrived we took our time going through all the booths before picking up my bib, race shirt and awesome goodie bag.

After retrieving the race stuff, we parked back at the hotel and took the subway into the city. We spent the day in the city doing just the bare minimum of touristy things. Lunched at Colicchio & Sons (Tom Colicchio's restaurant from Top Chef),

browsed through Chelsea Market, walked through Greenwich Village, got caught in the rain and then took the E train back to our hotel on Long Island for dinner and to prepare for Sunday’s race. There was so much more I wanted to see and do but I was paranoid about being on my feet all day and having my PF flare up right before tomorrow's race.

I have something in common with Jesus!

Sunday morning, race day, the alarm went off and all those familiar doubts sprang into my head: why do I sign up for these races? Do I really want to do this? Will my foot go the distance? Did I train properly? To add to my stress, Des woke up with a migraine that wouldn’t let her get out of bed. She handed me her car keys and Garmin Nuvi and wished me luck.

Oh no. I didn’t want to drive alone to the race. I had no idea where the race was located and didn’t welcome the thought of sharing the road with NY drivers. Plus I was counting on Des’s moral support to get me through to the end of the race especially if my foot was going to make me miserable. More importantly, I was counting on Des to console me in case I had to pull a DNF because of my foot. I almost, almost, got back into the bed and went back to sleep. I envisioned us sleeping in til 10am (which, since having a child, I hardly get to do anymore), driving to Harlem for a breakfast of chicken and waffles, strolling through the Met or the MOMA in the afternoon and calling it a great weekend.

But then I remembered I traveled these 3000 miles to run 13.1. I couldn’t not do it, I had to go. So I did. And it was awesome.


  1. Irene,

    I glad that the PF didn't hold you back! That is a nasty injury to deal with. Looking forward to reading part 2.

  2. oh how tempting that must have been indeed! I'm proud of you for not doing just that, though! on my way to read part 2 - right now!!!