Monday, May 21, 2012

NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon (AKA Brooklyn Or Bust)

The Brooklyn Half Marathon will always have a special place in my heart, it was the first half I ran in 2009. I was thrilled that I was able to get in and run my 3rd one this past Saturday. I was even more thrilled to hear that Sharon wanted to run it with me, and wanted to pace me to my sub-2 glory.

Surprisingly, I really liked the new course, for the most part. My biggest issue was that mile 1-2 were SO crowded. It sucks to know within the first mile you're already behind your goal time. The second complaint was the lack of running on the boardwalk. NYRR shortened the amount we run up on the boardwalk from about half a mile, to maybe 200 meters. Also, did anyone else notice the medals they gave out were WAY nicer than the marathon medals in 2011? Umm...yeah. 

I feel like the race was fairly uneventful. Sharon kept me company, and I tried to not look at my watch too much, knowing I just needed to follow her. She helped me crush the hill in Prospect Park. She got me water when I needed it. She was pretty much my hero for the day.  Every time I looked down at the average on my watch I saw 9:05/9:06. I knew I was in a groove. I looked at my watch at 6.5 miles and said to Sharon, "This is where I was during the AC Half...I'm right on the line. It can go either way" 

Once we got to Ocean Parkway my quads were starting to feel fatigued, but I said "Just running home. That's all it is, I'm just running home." By this point I was barely looking at my watch. I kind of wish I would have. I think if I saw I had run two sub-9 minute miles, and mile 9 was a 9:02, I wouldn't have taken those breaks to walk through the water station. Sharon yelled at me to keep running, she'd get my water, but by mile 10/11, I was exhausted. If you told me I was running a 10 minute mile I would have believed you. My legs were struggling, and mentally I was struggling. Sharon was always a few feet in front of me and I kept wondering why she was running so damn fast. 

We got to the mile 12 marker and Sharon asked me if I wanted to walk to get water. I said no, not really. And I ran the last mile sub 9.

We hit mile 13, and the clock said 2:12. We both knew we had started 12 minutes after the race (yes, it really took us 12 minutes to cross the starting line) and we both knew that I wasn't going to run sub-2. I know let out a curse, which lit a fire under my ass. I tore through the last quarter mile of the race, and finished feeling defeated, yet so happy to have a friend like Sharon by my side.

I got a little teary eyed as we walked by the finish after meeting up with some other friends. The clock said 2:26, and in 2009 I would have just been crossing the finish line.

The rest of Saturday was beautiful. I spent some time on the beach with friends, ate hot dogs, drank beer, and enjoyed how wonderful the day was. 

Splits. I has them.
It's been a few days since the race, and any time I think about it, I am so, so mad. I am so mad I lost 30-40 seconds in the first mile because it was so crowded. I am so mad that I lost 15-30 seconds during those damn water walks. I am so mad when MY Garmin said 13.1 miles my time was 1:59:18. But at the same time I am really proud. If I compare these splits with the ones from April 1st, this blows those away. I mean, mile 13 at a sub 9 pace? That is beyond fantastic, and I'm really proud for not throwing the towel in earlier in the race when I thought I felt kinda of bad. But I wavered just enough in those last miles to lose it. And it sucks. 

I am certainly glad I won't be racing another half marathon till the fall. And by then, I'll have an even bigger goal in mind. 
I heart sweat. And beer. And sitting on the floor.


  1. That first mile was a total fluke because you were so far back, your effort and fitness level were both dead on looking at those splits. Your last mile split is amazing because that was by far the toughest if you ask me! All you need now is to find a flat less crowded half and you've got sub-2 In the bag!

  2. Solid, solid splits. You should be proud of your race. 2:00:00 is just a number, and you will knock that one down when the time is right...

  3. your blog is amazing. new follower!