Monday, November 21, 2011

The Inaugural Brooklyn Marathon

This has ben such an emotional weekend for me. I had friends PR and run their first 60k, friends PR both the half and the full at Philly, and one amazing friend that completed Ironman Arizona in under 12 hours.

And then I had an amazing group of friends that were running the Brooklyn Marathon. Before the race started I knew my legs felt fresh, but I had no idea how they would hold up under another 26.2 miles two weeks after NYC. I knew the fatigue would set in early, but wasn't sure how early (my guess was around the halfway point)

I really had a lot of fun this race. I was supported by an amazing group of friends, and I ran into people I hadn't seen in some time. Joe and I had at least 5 friends come out to run with us, and their motivation helped me out so much, words can't even describe.

Maura--The best cheerleader ever!

I have very little to complain about the race (I know, I know) The porta-potty situation seemed to be pretty bleak (aka there really weren't any close to the start) It seemed like there was a delay in their delivery, and the start was pushed back 15 minutes to accommodate it. 

The course was no where near as boring as I thought it might be. Again, that might have to do with the fact that I knew at least a dozen people either running it, or volunteering. I ran into a friend I hadn't see in over a year, and we ended up running the first 6 miles or so together. Then we ran into two brothers (one was doing his first marathon) and we ran with them for a while. Then I saw my bad ass ultramarathoner friend Claire cheering. Then I saw Majo at the water station. My friend wanted to pick up the pace a bit on the west side, and I decided to stay with the two brothers. They were running a 4:15 marathon pace and it felt a little fast, but I felt good. Around mile 8 I realized, crap! I hadn't taken a gel!! I walked through the water station, the brothers ran, and I told them to keep going. I was a little bummed about losing them, but I knew there was no way I could eat a gel, drink some water, and keep running.

Shortly later I saw Alex, who was there cheering. It was probably around mile 10, and my legs were already getting fatigued. Shit. I started walking and he walked next to me and reminded me he just had knee surgery, so get moving. Yessir! A few minutes later I saw Robin! I was so happy to see her and have her help me up that hill (time x2 by now, I think)  Was starting to struggle mentally a lot but the company really helped keep me moving. About halfway through the loop I think we picked up Scott, who was running his own 20 miler that day. Back up Zoo Hill....3x not so nice. I think about halfway I started to walk, and I felt a gentle tap on my left elbow. An older man in a red singlet told me to get moving! And then he started a little chant "It's not your's just your can do it...juts swing your arms...You are a beautiful woman, make running as beautiful as you! Not ugly!" And before I knew it, I was up the hill again. Robin, Scott and I all looked at each other in amazement. Who was this guy?? Can we hire him to race with us all the time??? 

Rounding the corner we caught up with Maura and tried to explain the wonders of the mystery runner to her. Running running running...hill x4 and the halfway mark...running running running...Scott turned around at some point to go find Joe....running running running hill 5x...6x....wait, that's it?? Thank God!! Was definitely so relieved. I think this was the point where Robin left, and I was so appreciative of her running almost HALF the race with me. I promised her I was okay, and I'd finish. 

Maura was amazing at keeping me motivated. I'm pretty sure around mile 20 I told her I just wanted to be done. Her and Robin reminded me how amazing I was doing, and how I was so close to a PR at mile 23 that I shouldn't just throw it away. Less than 5k left!!

Coming up to mile 24 we saw Joe walking...realizing he was not having a good race I thought teasing him about not letting me beat him was a good incentive. Maura quickly took over and got Joe up and moving at a good pace, while she strictly told Scott and David "Do NOT let her run anything slower than a 10:00! She has a good chance to PR and she needs to stay around there to do it." 

Passed mile 25 and god, that seemed like the longest 1.2 miles of my life. We caught up to Maura/Joe again around there. I think at that point Scott walked with Joe and Maura told me not slow down. I remember feeling exhausted, and on the verge of nauseousness myself if we went any faster. I think I yelled at her "I CAN'T GO ANY FASTER" Ooops. She told me she would run me into the transverse. I told her I wanted to cross the finish line on my own.

So up into the transverse it's myself, Maura, David, and Joe and Scott just a few steps ahead of me. Unfortunately, David tripped on some of the construction that was going on and did a total face plant. Joe and I were immediately ready to stop but the others urged us to go on. Joe had pulled ahead of me and all I thought of was my kick. I closed the gap, but couldn't quite catch him. I ran the last .4 at a 9:07 pace.

I crossed the finish line with about a minute PR, and Joe gave me a giant hug. 

This race was really an amazing experience for me. I really enjoyed the intimate feel of the race. I'm sure next year the race will be even bigger, and even better, but I am so proud to be a Brooklynite, and to have run the very first Brooklyn Marathon.

So I guess this makes me a Marathon Maniac and a Half Fanatic, huh?


  1. Awesome job out there. I can't believe that you put in such a great showing two weeks after your goal race. So glad that you guys were there to pick me up at the end...definitely gave me the boost that I needed. We'll have to do this again some time (although not for a while) :)

  2. You ran such a fabulous race yesterday - so proud of you!!! I had so much fun running with you and Maura! Congrats, Maniac!!! <3

  3. 1. You are a hero. So glad I could come out and cheer for you and be part of your PR!! And 2. That medal is AWESOME! So, so happy for you. You've had an incredible year and worked so hard - you deserve to reap all the benefits!

  4. Great job yesterday! It was good to meet you & run with you. I can't even imagine doing two marathons in two weeks. Enjoy your PR & take some well-deserved time off!

    That faceplant...yeah, it was not my finest moment in running! I'm just glad that it didn't trip you up. Hmm, I hope no one captured my fall on a cell phone camera...

    Congrats! --Dave (@BuckyKatt)

  5. Looks like you need to update those PR's.

  6. Go Sammy!! I'm so proud of you, and miss you tons too!! You're awe-sum ~!!!!

  7. Congrats Sam! Awesome race! Kinda jealous I missed the inaugural BK Marathon. (sweet medal too)