As we all know, it’s been a cold, dark, long winter. And as a finally kiss off, it snowed on the first official day of spring. The morning after the spring storm the roads were slick with ice as I headed out to Queens to run the Michelob ULTRA Queens half marathon.

This year I’ll do my first half ironman, so my training has doubled compared to what I’ve been doing the passed 4 years. I never usually would be ready for 13.1 in March, but with all my stellar training I was feeling totally fine. The only part that had me apprehensive was that my coach asked me to try and run as many miles as possible at around a 7:35 pace. Even my half marathon PR didn’t clock in that fast, but I was interested to see how I would do.

I ate some toast at home, then sipped UCAN all the way to Queens. I got there with some time to spare so I wouldn’t feel rushed and made my way to my corral. Hopping around in the cold with all the other runners I was feeling excited. Then the race announcer came on the mic to say that due to weather conditions the start would be 15 minutes later. Blarge. Ok, no biggie. I rather they sort the course out than send us off into the elements.

9:15 comes and we’re off! I do my best Pose running possible and hit a 7:30 first mile. I feel happy, and hopeful. I hit mile 2 and this is at a 7:45 pace, which I figure, great, that averages out between the first and second mile to my target. Then I’m heading for the 3rd mile and I get to a bridge in Corona park and it is covered in a sheet of ice. I slow down, of course, because it’s not worth falling, and I check my watch and I see that my heart rate is super high. I make it to the third mile but now I’ve lost any sort of pace that is less than 8:00 minutes. I could feel myself getting into a hole after starting out too fast.

As I ran through the park snow fell in big chunks from the trees. It felt like I was running through a snow ball fight. The course was a bunch of loops around the park, which that morning felt like an artic waste land of nothing. Mentally, it was taxing to feel like I was just going around and around in circles. Each small bridge I came to (were there only two that I had to go back over a bunch of times?) was covered in a sheet of ice. As the day heated up the path was slush and mud. There was even one point where there was so much mud and water that runners were jumping up on a small ledge to avoid getting stuck. And we were doing loops we had to this twice!

So, not ideal conditions, and mentally I was feeling negative. A great race this does not make. Each mile felt slower, even though looking back I did see that I was more or less consistent from miles 3-9. By mile 10 I told myself to just finish the stupid race. Pose was out the window by now too, I’m sure.

Coming to the end I turned a corner and my fiancé was there cheering and all he said was “now sprint it out, Baby!” That really helped. I took all my frustration with the weather, my performance, and Michelob Ultra and pumped my crazy legs.

I crossed the finish line in a rotten mood, clocking in one of my slowest half marathons. My fiancé did his best to cheer me up, and once I was back in Brooklyn I was able to let the whole thing go. Looking back at my actual numbers I do feel fine about the race (now.) It’s a good place to be so early in the year. I have lots of room for great potential, because the training is still stellar and I’m going to continue to hold myself up to a high standard. The weather is only going to get better too. Come July I’ll be dreaming of running through a snow ball fight!