Good Morning! I’ve been a little absent this week, I guess you can say that life got in the way of my blogging, it happens. Anyways I figured I’d kick it off with my “official” Brooklyn Half Marathon Recap this week.
Let me start by saying that I am pretty sure I sounded like a broken record last week, the number of times I said how “I didn’t want to run in this race.” In all honesty, if it wasn’t for my 9+1 program, I would have definitely withdrew from it. Between all the injuries and lack of training I did, I wasn’t into this race at all.
But, like always I surprised myself and ended up having a good run….
I’ll start with the course since I didn’t actually attend the expo. For those of you unfamiliar with the Brooklyn Half Marathon course, let me explain how it goes. You run once around Prospect park, then run down The. Longest. Most. Boring. Road. Ever. and finally end up on the Coney Island Boardwalk for a short run to the finish (In a nutshell). Other than a few small his in Prospect Park, the course is very flat.
Due to heightened security, they were extra strict on corrals and since Jill was in a different corral than me, we weren’t able to start the race together. Another change that was made, was they had porto potties all lined up right in the corrals. I actually really liked this, since usually after I use the bathroom I always somehow have to go again once I get to my corral. This made things easy.
Okay, on to the race…
I mentioned that I complained all week on how I did not want to run this race. I hadn’t really run since my Nashville half marathon due to injuries, so I wasn’t really sure if I’d be up to this challenge with such little training. I started out slow and steady at a pace I felt comfortable running. Now, always before any big race I’m like a ball of anxiety. I get super nervous and super worked up, this race was no exception.
When I started running though, something happened. I had my headphones on and a sudden calm came over me. It was extremely peaceful running with everyone. So, I was running at a pace that felt comfortable and estimated to myself that I was probably somewhere around 10 min/mile or up. I was surprised when I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was in the 9 min/mile range.
Running through Prospect Park felt good. I felt good, my legs felt good, the hills felt good. I started picking up my pace. Right after the 6 mile mark I felt the first rain drop and though, oh shit, here we go again. Don’t worry, that didn’t happen It sprinkled very lightly for a bit and stopped, I was happy.
So, I was running at a pace I was comfortable at and very happy with. I started to get into a PR mindset, thinking I’ve totally got this! Then however, we get to Ocean Ave. Ocean Ave is the worst road on earth. I’m not exaggerating here. It is by far the longest, most boring road filled with nothing that could ever exist. Once we hit that road, I was no longer feeling good. I felt myself slow down as we passed Avenue A, then B…
Around mile 9 is where my knee pretty much gave out. I started feeling excruciating pain and seriously thought about stopping, but then remembered that if I didn’t finish the race wouldn’t count towards my 9+1, so I figured if it got too bad I could at least walk the rest, I was only 4 miles away.
Mile 10 is where Jimmy was standing to cheer me on and I felt better after I saw him.
Now, one thing that I hate about Ocean Ave. is that they trick you. They count down the alphabet and you’re slowly watching the letters go by, then you get to Avenue Z and you’re like OMG! I made it!! I’m here! It’s over! Coney Island here I come!
But no. That is not what happens, because after Ave Z there is still another 10 miles left to run (Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but I swear that’s what it felt like). I now remember this same thing happening to me last year, I should have learned…
At this point, my knee hurts so bad I’m almost in tears, I stop at every single water/Gatorade stop, I seriously contemplate quitting, but don’t. We finally get to the underpass that leads you to Coney Island and I get tears of joy in my eyes. We run through some awesome crowds cheering us on, we turn the corner and pass the Cyclone, run up the ramp to the boardwalk, I can see the finish so I forget about the pain in my knee and sprint as fast as I can and I’m done.
I get my medal, limp down the boardwalk wondering where my bagel is, realize there are no bagels and only bags of pretzels so I take what I can get. I then notice my arm hurts a lot and I have some serious chafing going on, so I stop at the medical tent for Vaseline. I head to the family reunion area and wait for Jimmy. We then go back to Long Island and get a “Coney Island Hot Dog” from the Nathans on Long island.
My official time: 2:07:28
Not a PR, but in case you forgot, my Nashville half time that was 3 weeks prior was 2:21:00. So, yes I was very happy with this time. Here are my splits.
This was my second time doing this race. I really wanted to run it this year since it was my one year run-aversary. But, in all honesty, I probably won’t run this race again. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a good race as NYRR usually puts on a good race and one that I would recommend at least trying ONCE. But Ocean Ave is the worst place on Earth and I never want to see it again, ever.
What is your least favorite race course you’ve run?