I wanted to run this race for two reasons:
- I’m sick of NYRR rejecting me in the NYC Half lottery. I am going to do the qualifying races this year.
- I signed up to run the Philly Marathon with Melissa on November 18, which is exactly 2 weeks after the NYC Marathon. Brooklyn was 2 weeks after the NJ Marathon, so it was a good test to see how my legs would react to running a long distance in a short time frame.
Unfortunately, the week leading up to the race was rough for my body. Last Saturday, I re-injured my neck just walking into my house and spent the entire night crying on the couch and having to lift my head with my hands. On Tuesday, when I felt better, I thought it was a BRILLIANT idea to do the Insanity Fit Test (the first of the series). I realized how out of shape I was when I woke up the next morning and couldn’t walk. Unfortunately, for the last few (or 5 or 6) months, I have been severely slacking on strength workouts. I would say during marathon training all I did was running/other cardio and chair sits in my elevator at work. This soreness (which usually lasts 2 days max) lasted up until the race on Saturday. I panicked, obviously, and thought to myself, “What the hell are you doing, you only ran 5 miles in the past 2 weeks, what makes you think you can just go run a half marathon? Damn fool.”
I had to wake up very early in order to get to the 7 AM start on time from good ol’ NJ (SPOILER: I was late). I drank a butt ton of water, put on my running outfit (compression socks and all) and forced myself to go to sleep.
A very less than glorious 4 hours later:
After traveling all over in order to get there the best/fastest/least traffic way, my friend Sky and I arrived at Coney Island (finish area) with about 20 minutes until the start. Because MTA doesn’t ever let anyone down, the Q train traveled about .000001 MPH. After we arrived at Prospect Park, we took a quick potty break and jogged from the subway station to the start line (it wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I didn’t run at least 1 mile to the start line of every single race I run in). Then the volunteers let us know the corrals were closed and to go to end of the line. We were literally the last people to cross the start line of about 17,000 runners I think. Definitely a first!
It was a bit hard to navigate the first miles due to the back up and the walkers (or because I already felt like shit, but am blaming it on the walkers). I also saw a girl dribbling a basketball while running (I assume it was for a charity, I haven’t googled it yet).
Mile 1-4: 10:08, 9:46, 9:02, 9:24
Sky and I run the same pace and before we knew it, we settled into this natural pace (which was quicker than I wanted to run). The next few miles were in Prospect Park, which I love! The hills are inviting to me (I also think I’m weird for saying that so you aren’t alone). The crowds were pretty great in the park as well.
Miles 5-7: 8:50, 8:52, 8:35
After we left the park it was time to run back to our car, or down Ocean Parkway to Coney Island. I don’t think I really liked this part of the race. I am happy half of the road was in the shade, and was confused to see a significant amount of people running in the sun, but I did feel a like I was running a long stretch of pavement to nowhere. Basically, the miles were boring, except for this:
Miles 8-10: 8:48, 9:04, 8:38
CRAP. I looked at my watch and said to Sky if we maintain this pace we can finish under 2 hours. It was either the race atmosphere made me want to do that or I wanted to get the hell off of that road and onto the Cyclone ASAP. I guess I was being punished for calling the miles boring because during mile 12, I got a side stitch that felt like some ran at me and stabbed me with a machete (although I’ve never been stabbed with a machete, I truly believe that is what it would feel like). I had to do breathing exercises to get through it, but I didn’t pull over because I HADDD to run a sub-2? Weird. While I was performing lamaze exercises, this one ran by me (fast). Ego blow for sure. I wish I looked up her bib number to see how she did.
Miles 11-12: 8:35, 9:04
I saw the ocean and I went for it. And by went for it, I mean I tried to stop limping and breathing like Darth Vader.
Mile 13: 8:44 (.1 – 8:16 pace) I REALLY picked up the pace for that last .1!
Overall, a good race. I’m happy I didn’t have to use the restroom during the race, because each potty had at least 20 people waiting at it (including non-runners, which I thought was weird). My legs still felt good afterwards (good sign for the NYC/Philly marathons in November). I have not seriously trained for and raced a half marathon in over a year (PR was 13.1 NY in March 2011 – 1:50:10). I now know I want to train for and race the crap out of a half marathon and finally get under 1:50.
I wanted to meet up with Kara, Lora and Katherine but my phone died (I used it as a boom box during the race, I’m sure everyone around me was thrilled). I did get to have a giant beer and party rock to LMFAO with the unicyclist while staring longingly at the Cyclone. Great place to end a race, Kudos NYRR.
Did anyone else run the BK Half this weekend? Or any other races? How did it go?
Does anyone know the charity where you bounce a basketball all over the world?
Does anyone know how fast the girl in the sandals finished? She smoked me.
Who wants to help me run a half marathon under 1:50?