I don't have any races on my calendar right now, which is bugging me a bit. Just because my fall is going to be busy, and I'm just getting back into the swing of things running wise. I've been thinking back on my past races, about each one, and how I felt about them, to get an idea of which I would do again....or run away screaming from. I'm happy that I've run all of them, but these two stick out:
Favorite: NYRR Mini 10k
I ran this in 2001, right after we moved to Queens. It was only my second race ever, but it was so much fun. The race is All Women, and takes place every spring in Central Park. It was a gorgeous morning, and Mike came with me as my wing man. I don't remember being nervous, I was excited to see what I could do. It was fun to be running in the park, there were a couple of hills on the course, nothing too bad, and I actually passed some people! I finished it with a smile in 1:03:13, so it shows I haven't gotten any faster with age....but I haven't gotten slower either. Mike gave me a flower at the end, and after I got cleaned up, we met a bunch of friends at a beer garden in our neighborhood. Although I can't remember if I wore my medal or not that day, but I remember feeling very happy.
Least Favorite: The Mountain Goat 10 miler
This race takes place in Syracuse, and I ran it for the first time this year. This was my worst race ever. I wasn't happy with my performance, and got into a funk about it for a few days after it was over. I'd been scared of this race for a long time, not because of the distance, but for it's extremely hilly course, hence the name. I felt confident going in, mainly because I had done the work and ran the official training runs leading up to the race. Race day it was unseasonably hot, and they ran out of water on the course. This ended up being a test of my mental toughness. After one particularly hard hill, I hit a wall at mile 6, and ended up walking most of that mile. I struggled the rest of the way, and was not a happy camper when I finished. Classic case of beating yourself up instead of pushing through, and I definitely learned some lessons after that one.
Honorable Mention, The Rochester Half Marathon
I have to include this one for two reasons. Reason One, this race was back when I ran with just water, or maybe Powerade if the mood struck me. No fuel belt, no GU or Nuun, I just ran it and relied on the water stations for fuel. Which cracks me up.
Reason Number Two, I never thought I would run more than a 10k. Then, never more than a 15k. This was a logical progression in race distance, and after I ran it, I couldn't believe I did it. And that's how my marathon came about. You never know what you can do, until you do it.