Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brooklyn Half Marathon

Why is wake-up so early on race days? Well, I don't think it really matters, because it isn't like you can sleep anyway. Friday, I made myself go to sleep at 10. Saturday I was up at 4am! Holy cannoli! 
(Old photo, same outfit, with the exception that I wore a different white skirt)

"Run your meatballs off" tattoo. I thought it was fun, and my friend Melissa ended up putting one on too!
I ate my usual Udi's bagel with peanut butter, and drank some Orange gatorade. I usually eat a banana with my bagel, but since I had 2.5 hours before I had to run, I wanted to wait on the banana.

We got a cab a little before 5 to meet up with her running club because they had rented a bus for transportation to the start line. At 515 sharp, we left the Bronx to head to Brooklyn for the start of the race. 
We got to the start area and headed to baggage check. Just like NW 20 days prior, they wanted you to use only the bag provided by NYRR. I had no problem with that. As I was walking to baggage check, the sheer number of runners that was running this race was starting to overwhelm me. Oh, and the fact that baggage check was not clearly defined. We had to walk behind a museum and into it's parking lot then all the way to the opposite end to check our bags. Since I was in wave 2 and almost if not all of my friend's running club was in wave 1, I was there an hour before my corral was supposed to start. I knew I didn't have to rush to get through baggage check, and so I just took my time to enjoy the sites and sounds. My corral was almost at the end of the race, 35000-35999. I used the port-a-potties because I was so early, and since no one was there.  

 Here is my corral before race time...
At 7:50 almost an hour after the race started, I crossed the start line. I knew that my friend would be almost finished running, and here I was just starting.
The only thing I knew about this race, was that it started in Prospect Park and ended at Coney Island. Here is the course map. My friend also warned me about the hills inside Prospect park, but since I didn't really know anything about the area, I said ok thanks. At mile 1, I noticed my pace was a little faster than where I wanted, so I did try to slow down a little. I also remembered that my friends reminded me that the second half was downhill to flat so I would be able to get some negative splits. I just wanted to stay under 12 min miles and still feel good. When we entered the Park, I kept telling myself that there will be a hill. At this point, we were already 4 miles into the race, and I had only been walking through the water stops. I felt good. I couldn't say great yet, it was too early, but I felt good. I just kept chugging along, noticing the surroundings, the Zoo, the open field with all the unleashed dogs playing, the lake, that I guess I missed the hill. Or maybe I didn't think it was a hill because of our hills. I don't know. We left the park and headed onto Ocean Parkway South, so I stopped (the only time non-waterstop based) and took this photo.
They closed an entire highway for this race! I knew that this was the longest section and the least scenic. I also knew that this was the flat to downhill part everyone was talking about. There were a lot of spectators at all of the intersections on this road, and we even began to see some of the runners who had already finished running towards us (I guess as a warm down). There was this sweet lady who I kept meeting up at water stops and then lose on the road to meet up again with at water stops who we actually ran some of the race with. She told me how she loved this race and was telling me where we were in relation to everything.  As the miles kept chugging along, we were getting closer.
As we were closing in on Coney Island, there were medical personnel outside of the hospital cheering us on. It was cool to have their support too! I knew that we would be coming up on the boardwalk and I was a little nervous. My friends had mentioned how it shakes when everyone is running on it and how my one friend even fell on it. But I couldn't wait. I also knew that my friend Angela, would be there cheering us on. I didn't get to see her :( Maybe it's just me, but I am not good at looking for people when I am running.
When we got onto the boardwalk, I somehow had managed to turn my jets on and pass a few people. I really wish we ran more of the race on the boardwalk, my feet loved the springiness of it! As I crossed the finish line, I was so relieved. I had made up for what I thought was a terrible run in DC, and to finish this one with speed, really felt great. I had some foot pain, so I went into the medical tent to get some Tylenol because I had no idea how much more walking was coming up. The doctor that took care of me was awesome and even opened my gatorade for me. Thanks doc!
We had to walk for what seems forever to the baggage claim area, but even worse than that was that they made us walk DOWN stairs to get them. I did know that I was going to be on a bus for 2 hours later, so all of this walking would be appreciated eventually. I made it to baggage claim and was able to find someone to take this picture...

I finished 1/2 marathon number 4, 20 days after half number 3!

I was disappointed that I didn't get to see my friend Angela, but later, I was even more disappointed that I missed her awesome sign...
 Later, on the subway back to Port authority, I wanted to check my finish time. That is when I saw this...

 And realized it was an 11 minute PR! 11 minutes faster than the half less than a month before. 5 minutes slower than my Best time ever, but I set my PRs yearly. All the stars were definitely aligned this day, and I was able to run my best.

Now, what I didn't like about the race...
1- Running out of poured water. Really? Again. I was hoping that DC was a fluke. This is now twice in less than a month
2- Not running long enough on the Boardwalk. But then making us walk down steps
3- That my race didn't start until almost an hour after the first wave.
What I like about the race,
1- Everything else not mentioned above. Would I do this one again, absolutely, but probably not until I run another NYRR half marathon!

I would love to here what you thought of it if you ran it. Have you ever run on a boardwalk before? Did you love it or hate it? Have you ever needed to visit the medical tent? What has been your favorite half marathon?

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you ran a great race! I'm hoping to run the Brooklyn Half next year.