I took this picture after a grueling half-marathon in Central Park in January of 2012. It was snowing, and also sleeting, and I had worn the wrong kind of gloves, which were soaked through but also caked with ice. My feet? Sleet drenched to the raw bone, which actually seemed to be getting cold-cocked by the iced-up road with every stride, as opposed to running shoes hitting pavement. The weather was so bad that the race was officially cancelled, but they still let us run it. The half-marathon is two loops of the park, and you had the option to call it quits after one loop. I almost did. I should have. And at the same time, fuck that. Dare I say that at some point, like mile 10, which I swore was mile 11, but no, it was only mile 10, so 3.1 miles left to go, I wanted to cry? I probably was crying. Whatever, it’s just a race. It’s just cold. Your feet, your hands, they’ll warm up after it’s over. You always remember the races that sucked, the ones where you are nothing but a whiny little bitch. They haunt you. They keep you running. You want to put some distance between the let-downs and those times when you hit a runner’s high.
Thankfully, on my way out of the park, I witnessed the serenity of Central Park under snow. The emptiness, the whirl of the wind, the silent fall of the snowflakes on that endless expanse of pillowy white. And that’s what I remember most vividly about that grueling half-marathon in January of 2012.