So the Brooklyn Half was far from perfect for me but I learned many lessons during my second ever half marathon.
So let’s start from the day before…
I woke up hungover from a little bit too rowdy of a Thursday happy hour & laid around the house all day drinking water.
I made potato gnocchi with nutritional yeast cheese sauce, baked potato & a Guiness. Very similar to my day before meal for the NYC Half. Next time I think I will stick to the marinara sauce instead of the creamy cheese sauce…
I got all my stuff laid out & ready. I set my alarm for 4:15a (!!!) & was in bed around 10p. I slept okay until about 1a when I started tossing & turning & frantically checking my phone to make sure my alarm hadn’t decided to not go off.
When my alarm did finally go off, I jumped out of bed. I didn’t feel too tired – more anxious/excited. I made myself coffee & a large glass of water with a nuun tablet. I got dressed, double checked I wasn’t forgetting anything, grabbed a banana & headed to the subway around 5ish. I wore an old long sleeved t-shirt over my running tank because it was a little chilly at the crack of dawn.
When I got to the subway platform I ate my banana & listened to my awesome playlist, trying to get pumped up. I saw another girl at the other end of the platform so I decided to get rid of some nervous energy by chatting with her. We ended up talking till mile 4. Run love. More on that later.
So when we got to Prospect Park, my new buddy needed to go to bag check so I went with her (she was also in the same color corral as me so it made it easy to stay together). Then we waited in line for the porta potties before heading to our corral.
The time flew because we just chatted & talked about all of the other runner’s outfits. Good times. We were in one of the further back corrals but we still managed to start around 7:10a (start time was 7a). Needless to say, the start was very well organized!
My run bud & I decided to run together for as long as we could because we both did not have too many crazy expectations about this race. This may not have been the best idea I’ve ever had. My run bud had recently run a 1:55:xx (& I had just come off of a 2:09:19 that was paced by my brother, my first half ever and the weather of running perfection). Clearly, I committed the cardinal sin of running. I started way too fast.
My run bud & I started out at a fast 9 minute mile (fast for me!) & the Prospect Park course was a tad bit hillier than they had made it out to be. By mile 4, I started getting a little uncomfortable and all I could think about was how I had to pee. Honestly, I could not stop thinking about it…& I still had 9 ish miles to go. I saw 2 Porta Potties with only 3 people in line so I pulled away from my run bud and got in line. I was pretty defeated at that time because I was already tired out and I didn’t have to stop at all during my first half. & it took me THREE WHOLE MINUTES to use the bathroom. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time but it was mainly because the person in Porta Potty #1 was in there for the entire time I was standing there. Clearly someone was having some issues.
Any way, at that point I was totally defeated, mentally. It was 50 minutes in according to my Garmin and I was only at mile 4. I would have to make up serious ground to get my sub 2:30 which was my Goal C. I really felt like turning off my Garmin and just stopping. I knew I would be super pissed at myself for doing that so I kept going but every step was a battle. Running long distances is definitely half mental & I lost that game last Saturday.
I would push and push until each water station which I used as an excuse to walk for a minute, drink a Gatorade & pour water down my back. (it was very hot & mile 6-12 was on the highway with very little shade). Also, I walked at mile 7 to eat my sports beans (watermelon, yum!).
The only way I would keep running was by making little promises to myself like run to the mile 8 sign and then you can walk for .1 mile or get to that water station and you can walk for a minute afterward. I was pretty disappointed with my self but at that point I just wanted to finish.
At about mile 8 or so, I was taking one of my many walk breaks and an older man ran up beside me and said, “Come on! Just a little while longer!” So I started running with him and we chatted for about a mile. He was truly my pick me up. I don’t know that I would have finished as strong as I did if it hadn’t been for him. Now don’t get me wrong, I still had a few walk breaks but I kept him in my view and kept up with him. ( He was pretty tall so it wasn’t too hard.) Then at the last water station (mile 12) I told myself I would not walk anymore. I passed my savior man and never looked back.
At about mile 13, we were funneled onto the Coney Island boardwalk which was pretty cool. There were spectators on either side cheering so I sprinted with everything I had left. I passed everyone I could mainly because I just wanted to be DONE! Either way, I felt pretty amazing when I finished.
(all photos courtesy of brightroom)
I totally photo bombed those guys lol.
I saw my savior man & and he made some comment about how he saw me pass him at the end and he was trying to keep up but he couldn’t. I told him that I really appreciated him chatting with me and that he really gave me that extra push that I needed to finish hard at the end.
Finishing on the boardwalk was really an experience so I stretched while looking out on the ocean. My feet and legs were killing me but I had to walk to the Family Meeting Area to find my dad and BLC. It was a little bit of a walk but it was okay. I found my dad and BLC quickly & they got some big sweaty hugs!
We ended up taking the train back home before we got some brunch because I wanted to change (although my amazing husband brought a change of clothes and flip flops – that I put on IMMEDIATELY!)
Freck congratulating me!
We had an amazing brunch at Lodge…
& I had a Bloody Mary and a Mimosa. Pretty sure I finished the race with those alcoholic beverages in mind!
After that I went home and laid around the rest of the night…
till about 9 when we decided to go out with some girlfriends. I guess I still had some of that runner’s high left in my system
Overall, the Brooklyn Half Marathon was a serious learning experience. But I finished under 2:30 & never gave up. My next Half is in Philly in September. You can bet that I am going to run a much smarter race & follow my training schedule much more closely. I see a sub-2 in my future! (maybe distant future – but I see it!!)