For some people, you get to a point where you’ve run a race more than once and it becomes lodged in your brain. You know you could do better on it, you know you have a faster time, or better weather, or something. There’s just something about it that you keep coming back even though it treats you like total shit every. single. time.
The races are the Brooklyn Half Marathon and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.
In theory, I love the Wine & Dine. No early wake up calls, an after party in the best park ever EPCOT, the best half marathon course in Disney World. And yet, now that I’ve run it twice, both times I’ve hobbled away hating that race with every fiber of my being. I hobble away from that course injured and in terrible, terrible pain. I never enjoy Saturday because I spend the whole day freaking out over the race that doesn’t start until 10pm, and who can enjoy an after party when you smell and are covered in sweat? Exactly.
So why am I signed up to do it for what will be the third year in a row? A couple days after I do the NYC marathon? Honestly, I was out for a run and I smelled something that smelled like Rome burning on Spaceship Earth and I thought, “it’ll be a lot of fun to do Wine & Dine again!” Basically, I wasn’t thinking like a rational person. In theory, it’s so great and I want to love it but in actuality I much prefer the early morning where I get my run in and then go eat pancakes at the Kona Cafe all before 10am. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m a morning person and I’m okay with that.
Mostly, though, the repeated injuries have made it really hard to like Wine & Dine. When I ran it in 2012 for the first time, I was in such agonizing pain afterward and on so little sleep that I was no fun to be around. The pain lasted almost two weeks, too, and the current IT band pain I’ve been having? That dates back to Wine & Dine 2013.
After this past weekend, Brooklyn’s become one of those races. For some reason, I don’t really like it but I always sign up for it. Unlike Wine & Dine this past year (and next year) where I got my coast to coast medal in 2012, at least I come out of it with a credit towards guaranteed marathon entry. Aside from that, it has yet to be a race that I feel any kind of real attachment to and yet I keep showing up and I keep thinking in theory it’s great. I’ll hang out on the beach afterward, I’ll get delicious fries at Nathan’s, it’s a great course and I’ll totally PR on it.
And yet none of these aspirations have actually proven to be an accurate representation of what happens in reality. Specifically, it’s too early in the morning to do anything and I don’t feel like hanging out at the boardwalk and honestly the beach is not particularly nice.
I guess looking at it, the disconnect between expectation/aspiration and reality is what makes these races so disappointing in the end. If anyone wants to volunteer to slowly walk/jog Wine & Dine in November with me, let me know. I am vowing here and now that I will not RUN Wine & Dine. And someone, please, I’m begging you, remind me of this when we get to the start line.
Does anyone else have a race that you in theory love, in reality kind of hate, and you just keep coming back for?