Tag Archive | nyrr brooklyn half marathon

2015 Brooklyn Half Race Report. Where do I even start?

Well, at the start line of course! The expo was fantastic, as usual, the race was great (minus baggage!) and my performance… well, I had so much fun trying not to melt… the weather was the big question mark leading up to the race… Is it going to rain?  I prefer rain to that stooopid humidity that doesn’t let you breathe… so, yeah, rain please! And then maybe sunny and hot after so we could enjoy the beach with the team? That’d be the perfect scenario really!!

coney island beach picnic dashing whippets

2014, sunny post beach picnic!

I had done this race a few times, had to go back and check, 5 times!

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SIX Brooklyn Half Marathon in the bag!

This was my 6th… so I feel like I have the course down, plus, you know I do all the crazy drawings and pace bracelet, and math… hey, planning is the FUN part!

Juan and I woke up at 3:50, left our apartment in the Upper East Side by 4:30 am to get on the 4:46 4 train to the start. There was another train 20 minutes later but it’d be too close to baggage closing and we don’t like to stress so we got very little sleep in exchange for the “no rushing” deal. The 4 train left us like a block from baggage at about 5:30… and then we had an hour and a half to kill where we caught up with pretty much all 26K runners and everyone who was working and volunteering.

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Anthony loooooooves pacing!

The biggest advantage of showing up so early?? Brand new portapotties!!!! I got in there twice, all smelled nice and was clean… so wonderful. The stuff dreams are made of. I prefer all of this luxury to an extra hour of sleep. And if you know me, there’s nothing NOT MUCH better than sleeping to me.

Anyway, Juan and I got into the 3rd corral LONG before there were lines in the porta-potties and saw a lot of friends and team-mates. Blaise and Patricia were meeting us there and Juan was going to run with them for a bit. We had a lot of time to discuss pleasantries like the course and mile splits. I was going for 1:39, or 1:40 but with the 100000% humidity I started to doubt I’d get under 1:40. I do ok in the heat, but I suck in the humidity, it just zaps me out for some reason. Anyone knows why? It must be a low-blood pressure thing. I was doubting myself, thinking about starting slow and just coasting. We’ll see, I thought.

We hear the national anthem, then Mary speaks: her last race!! UGH, I am beyond upset that she’s leaving, but I am sure things will be ok. I just hate change ūüėČ and I really like her. Peter and Mary blow the horn and I see the all my team mates and Juan go off. Bye bye. I hold back a bit. This was my plan if the weather let me know ma thing:

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I didn’t know if I could bit my NYC Half time (1:39 something) but why not try? Then, the humidity attacked. I felt it early on, half a mile in and I was DYING. MELTING. I just was burning up, same thing that happened last year, also half a mile in, at the Boston Marathon. I was roasting inside and wanted to take all my clothes off and jump into the ocean (but we gotta get there first?!?). I actually thought about taking the singlet off but it’s a mess with the bib there… so I gave up and as soon as I saw the first water stop I started the dives. I was throwing 3 cups of water on me (or as many as I could gracefully grab) per table. I really felt like giving up and slowing down. I didn’t think I could even go sub 1:40 so why bother?

Mile 1: 7:39

Mile 2: 7:50 So far so good.

I told myself to keep trying, maybe it’d start raining and things would get better. They didn’t get better, but you know, we all play those tricks on ourselves… What kept me busy: it was waaay too tight in the first two miles, and quite busy and messy until about mile 5 when things started to open up a bit, but definitely crowded. I almost got tripped a few times. UGH. Almost like the NYC Half. Also, I saw a lot of Whippets pass me on those first 3-4 miles, and a lot of people in general.But I already know how that works, so I don’t stress: 90% of them come back later.

Mile 3: 7:21

By Mile 4, I run into Marie Whickam, I love seeing her, we run a bit together until I saw a water table and I had to take another shower, which was adding many many seconds (at least 10) per mile. After a quarter mile, I caught up back to her again. I kept seeing this team mate, Adam, who was running quite even pace, so I tried to follow him too.

Mile 4: 7:44 not enough water!

I was having 1 cup of Gatorade per mile (which is INSANE!!!!! I know!!!) and all the water I could throw on me. Then, at the next water stop I decided I couldn’t wait anymore. I decided I would have my gel right there. I only had one but if the Gatorade was helping so much, maybe I needed the gel asap.

Mile 5: 8:12 where I had brunch

As you can see, per the pace, I had to stop to eat and drink…  Wow, the gel worked like a charm… I caught up to Marie in a second, and then Adam too. I was ON FIRE. It made me feel SO much better. I don’t tend to have gels or that many Gatorade in a half but apparently I really needed it. I felt like I was speeding up a lot as I left the park.

Mile 6: 7:56 still digesting

Soon I left Adam and I started picking up a LOT of people. There wasn’t anyone passing me anymore and I made a point, at mile, 8 to grab another gel at the gel stop and eat it. I just didn’t want to feel like I was dying again… I kept picking people up. SO MANY. I love this long stretch of the race…

Mile 7:21 let’s do this!

Mile 8: 7:26

Mile 9: 7:20

I saw a few team-mates on my way and chatted them up a bit. We were all feeling it a bit and I just felt like I had to keep pushing. Around here I saw Blaise going about 8 pace and I asked WTF and told him to come with me. He was shooting for 1:33, so it was shock to see him there. I am not sure if he tried to follow, but he didn’t, he didn’t have a good race.

Mile 10: 7:14

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Shot from last year… when I run it a bit less worried with time!!!!

Mile 11: 7:14

AH, a tiny little mist. Not quite rain but something!!! I felt so grateful!!! I knew I was close and I just had to close it in. But I wasn’t sure if I had enough for a really fast last mile. I started looking at the pace bracelet and I saw I as a few seconds behind. Nothing a 6:30 mile can’t fix… but I doubted I had that me.

Mile 12: 7:04 is that a mini rain I am feeling???

My team was there! Scott shouted “Pick it up Elizabeth” I smiled and pretended to go faster but… I probably I did a fast 400 there and that was it. Michelle gave me high five, thank you guys!

Mile 13: 7:02 slippery boardwalk, let’s do this!

Finish: 1:39:10

Well, there you have it. I tried my best (in the last 100 meters!) to go sub 1:39 just because, but didn’t happen. Whatever! 16 seconds faster than the NYC Half earlier this year, but given the weather (and how I felt), I’ll TAKE it. Also, I was a bit overweight. I know you can’t tell and I look amazing and all that, but my scale doesn’t lie, and the chafing in between my tights is REAL too. OUCH. Actually, that’s how I usually know I put on some weight; it hurts there. I blame the little Miami vacation the week before (mental note, vacations are AFTER the race, not before!!!!). So, these are not excuses, just a way to measure how happy I am with my time (maybe 30 seconds extra for the weather, and 5 seconds per each extra pound… it’s a flat 1:38 in my head!!!). I am still FAR FAR FAR from my 1:37 PR but if I can bang out a 1:39 consistently, how can I really complain??? I am not far.

Stats Time:

Finish time: 1:39:10 Average Pace: 7:34

Previous PR: 1:37:35 From: March, 2013

Age Grading: 68.60% 

Overall Place: 2511 of 26,482

Gender Place: 443 of  14,216

Age Place: 35 of 1,403

Wait a second… 35th in my AG out of 1403??? What? that’s insane.

Another way to look at my splits:

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Seems about right, I would have loved for the last 5K to be a bit faster but the rest seems ok. Now,  I’ll say this to ALL OF YOU who run: 90% of you are starting WAY too FAST. You know what I mean. Look at your splits. I know it’s hard to hold it in, but it pays, I promise you!!! You want proof?? proof you say? There’s so much!!! (I like to do this exercise once in a while to remind myself during races why I need to let people go in the early miles). These are the 12 people who finished with me, in 1:39:10 exactly, 6 before, 6 after.

nyrr3

I am the orange, so you don’t get lost. We all finished at the same time, right? the fun part is WHERE they all were at the 10K mark. If you think about it, that’s the slowest point of the race, the 2nd 5k is the hardest, you just climbed all the hills this race has, so, if you’re going to slow down, that’s when you’d be at your slowest point, and save your speed for the last 5 flat and fast miles right? Ok, look, I was at 48:39 by 10K, ten out of those twelve were one or two full minutes ahead of me. That is a lot in a 10k, and a lot more in this type of course (where that 2nd 5k, the 10K point should be your slowest). Seven of those twelve where still one or two minutes ahead at the 15K mark, the rest started to drop back. By the finish, I had closed on all of them. I know this because I saw a lot of people passing me earlier on than I caught later, but this shows a LOT. Only two out of those 12 were able to hold it past the 10K mark. Don’t ever forget this, you now have proof that people that go out too fast will come back to you. Even if you don’t believe negative splits is the way to go, at least even effort should do it, and in this course, your first 10K is the slowest of the two… any questions!??!?!?

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As soon as I crossed the finish line, I got my third hug from MaryW of the week, saw Richie, then Patricia, then Keith… and soon Juan. And it started POURING. Now??? now you’re going to pour on me!!??!?! WTF!!!!!! whatever….

We got some mylar blankets, pretzels, apple, and kept going towards baggage… and then… a scene worse than the humidity: major chaos at baggage. Actually, it needs caps: MAJOR CHAOS AT BAGGAGE. If this was Fox news, it’d be a: THE BAGGAGE SH!TSHOW type of headline. I seriously considered going home wet and cold but I really needed my phone and keys… It was such a clusterf*ck, I’d consider not bringing a bag if the weather was better next time. A MESS. There was just one truck for 2 thousand people, corral 2 and 3. The first UPS truck (0 and 1) was fine, the 4-5 was fine… OURS was A MESS. There was a mob of about 300 (500??) people shouting and putting their bibs up in the air. Shameful. Truly awful. And stinky, of course.

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From left: My apple and I, Juan, Patricia, Blaise

Juan and Blaise didn’t have a great race but Patricia KILLED it. She had been doing 1:36 since September in about 5 halves, so frustrating! She did 1:33!!! As we train together, that means, I can now start shooting for 1:36!!! haha, thanks Patricia, her PR is my incentive!

Eventually we grabbed our bags, warmed up, and walked to the train. I wanted a Boston creme from DD but it was too crowded. Rain = No beach post race picnic. We just hobbled home, showered and skipped to Bareburger, as usual after a race.

Oh well. If you run Saturday, I don’t know if you saw, there were MANY runners down. Passed out, getting CPR, a friend told me there were 6 runners in the Coney Island ER alone, so I can imagine it was quite bad. I can’t be the only one affected by that humidity. A really good friend of mine hobbled the last mile and a half just trying not to pass out. So scary. Just promise me you’ll always keep an eye on your health instead of your speed first, ok? So many people fainted, that could have been any of us. Also remember to update your emergency info and buy a road id!!!

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And now… I wasn’t really expecting much from this race. But I will, come Fall go for IT. I really want to PR. well, I would like to. That means, sub 1:37. I will shoot for 1:36. And do whatever it takes to get there by September.

Before I close the door though, three weird things: this was probably the first race in years that I don’t have one picture on the course!!! I got a tan on my legs, you can clearly see the short’s line. I had my headset on the whole time but I didn’t feel like listening to music. I tried twice but it was throwing me off so I must’ve listened to music for about 20, SO WEIRD.

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Race Report: 2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

As I had declared last week, I am done with running for now, I needed a mental break after 10 years and I wasn’t going to run anymore. But… I was signed up for the Brooklyn Half and the Mini 10K (in 3 weeks)… what to do? Well, I’m gonna pick the bib and tshirt and decide later. Maybe I would feel like running by Saturday…?

Pre-Race Party/ Bib Pick Up¬† Bib Pick Up¬†is more like a party, hence the renaming… It’s a nice place, by the water, with a GREAT view of the city, many food and drink options, a lot of space to hang out and see your friends, and the truth is we were running into people we knew every inch we walked. It was bit crowded, there was music, things to shop for, fun atmosphere. Too bad the weather didn’t help much but we got there, got our bibs, took some pictures, looked at the new balance stuff (nice!), went outside, got some food (there was a truck with melted cheese¬†deliciousnesses) and stayed on the “lawn” to hear the band, then it started raining so we¬†left soon. The trek from the Upper East Side where we live took about 1 hour each way, mostly because the 4/5 leaves you like almost a mile away. It’s a super nice walk though, and that street Lululemon or something off the Borough Hall stop is so super super nice!! I am planning to go¬†back to the area.. on a nicer day. It’s a really nice park and you can’t top the views (says the¬†Manhattan¬†girl: if there is no view of the city, there’s no reason to leave the city!!!). ¬†Now, if you want to get in and out fast like this was midtown, won’t happen! I liked this place, though I liked the place they had last year too

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that's called

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that’s called

We have been bibbed!

We have been bibbed!

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city...

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city…

Friday: D (decision)¬†day¬†¬†So, come Friday I hadn’t made a¬†decision¬†yet (Title should be more like INdecision day). Should I eat some carbs? Should I prep running clothes or should I just find something to do?¬†If this was just a race in Central Park, it’d be easy to decide to skip it. But… the Brooklyn Half is more like an event… or a trip out of town with hot dogs and beach… AY, I couldn’t make up my mind, and by 4 pm I was stressing a bit. Juan was going to race it, so I’d be up at 3:30 am no matter what. If I could stay and sleep it’d be a different thing. BUT, if I had to get up and get out anyway (I am not just not going to not go cheer or meet him at the finish, can’t just stay home, what type of wife would Ii be??) then I might as well put some running clothes on…? So, staying in bed and sleep through it was not an option. I determined I’d go, try to run and enjoy it and if I didn’t, I’d just take the train… I had two exit strategies, my friend Tessa at mile 1.5 and my friend Flor at the 5 mile water stop. I’d just go with them to the finish and whatever! Flor even had a shirt for me. Then… I had the idea to wear the tutu to amuse myself: tutu power ON! You know my tutu, right? The BIG ONE!!!!

tutu

Then… I had the idea to ask on Facebook… because it seemed everyone I knew would be running Brooklyn to see if anyone would want company at my slow chatty pace! I wanted to make sure I had fun, and I was not going to do it alone for sure! I was looking for someone to chat through 13.1 in around 1:50 to 2 hours… I got offers to pace people but, pacing wouldn’t work, the other person would be working hard and who was I was going to have fun with?? Still a few people offered and we planned to meet in the corral! If all else failed and I got bored, I had my metrocard with me and would hop on the train to the finish! I had no issues giving up fast if I am not having fun. No guilt!

RACE MORNING!!!¬†It was cruel how early we got up, and we went¬†to sleep late because we got sucked into watching the Barbara Walters special…beeeeep beeeeep beeeeep 3:40 am alarm!!!! We figured we’d leave by 4:20 to get to the start by 5:40. It’s a long way from the Upper East side and I didn’t want to stress being late. I was going to be miserably sleepy and tired anyway! Luckily, it had just stopped raining, wohooo. We got ready, bundled up and got on the 4 to switch to the 2 in Fulton with another 10 thousand other runners. It was quite simple but I am always scared some train might not be running, we got there quite early. And sleepy. As it would turn out, we were quite right to get there early…

Look AWAKE!!

Look AWAKE!!

Bagagge and Start As soon as we got out of the 2 in Franklin Avenue, wow,  there were high fences all over the place and only one way to go. Note: always check the NYRR website and use the train exit they tell you to use (if you go with the one you think is closest you might end up walking miles because of the fences!). That way then security and metal detectors then security again and IN! We then walked towards the corrals (starting from the back), where we saw the portapotties inside!! Wohooo, we rushed into those, as they were all empty, took care of business, then kept walking to drop our bags and back to the corrals. It must have been like a half mile walk, we got to the trucks and deadline was 6:20 am, we had 10 minutes! We had to rush and change as they were NOT waiting one second!!!! We dropped our stuff quickly (it seemed like a liiiitle bit chaotic) and headed back to the corral. Yey, portapotties in the corral again!! For a change, the first wave started late, this is never the case in NYRR races. I was a 4 corrals back so I am not sure what was going on in the front, but the first runners were 7 or 8 minutes late to start. Wave 2 seems to have started on time.

Race Atmosphere¬†This race was huge, you could tell right away. I wasn’t sure how many people would be there… 20,000? 30,000? It seemed super ultra mega organized: like they were expecting Obama… there was a LOT of people, but still I never felt more crowded than usual. I saw so many people… many from out of town (sometimes you can tell by their t-shirts!). It really felt like something big was about to happen. By the afternoon, it’d be confirmed that this was to be the biggest half marathon in the US with over 25K finishers… craziness.

Weather. It was coldish waiting at the start, glad I had brought an old turtleneck I wanted to get rid of. It was 58 at the start, but with the little clothes and wind, we were freezing! Of course as soon as it started, it was perfect (and I was wearing as little as I could!) but then the sun hits you on Ocean Parkway, and oh uh, hottish! It was totally fine though.

The Corrals¬†I was corral 3, Juan was 4, so we had told everyone to meet us at 4. We got there early and met up with Patricia, a lot of my team mates, Elyssa, Lara, and so many more people. Apparently Blaise was right there too and I missed him. It gets crowded quickly so if you’re going to meet someone in the corral, always pick a corner!

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half PreRace (1) Elyssa, from this Bridges Runner blog, orange shirt, had volunteered the day before to run with me. I shyly asked “I like to talk when I run, is that ok? do you like to chat when you run?” I know some people hate it but as I said, I needed to have fun, and I needed help! But also, I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day! She said YES. I was so happy. Now let’s see if we’re both comfortable and happy at the same speed…! The Course¬†is…GREAT!¬†There are a couple of little hills in the first 10K, and then flat or downhill past mile 6. You REALLY have to negative split here or you did something wrong. Good course to PR in, though for some reason, I never seemed to PR here… There is the one hill in prospect park, which is not that steep but seems to last foreeeever (elevation profile is here) because it bends so much you have no idea where it ends. There can be way too much sun after you leave the park, but luckily there’s a few trees. MY RACE¬†Well, I really I had no idea what to expect. Having felt¬†so slow and tired lately and with my crappy attitude… we started slow, we chatted… we cheered, we screamed, we talked about how we both didn’t feel like running but we were still running because, by talking, it didn’t feel like running. We stayed on the side and made sure we didn’t bother anyone, mostly in the first couple of minutes when it seemed like all 20 corrals were passing us. Soon, everybody’s speed matched our non-speed and we were seriously cheering people around us. I am sure we bothered some people, as the people who talk sometimes bother ME when I am racing hard and unable to focus, sorry. We tried to not be obnoxious but most people were happy to have us cheer for them. We checked on each other and made sure we were going slow enough to not push ourselves, to make sure we were relaxed and having fun. We somehow managed to have a lot of fun the whole way!

Picture by Ben Ko- thanks BEN!! Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn't match, i need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

Picture by Ben Ko – thanks BEN!!
Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn’t match, I need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

I got hot soon, even though I wasn’t racing and I was wearing less clothes than EVERYONE around me. The tutu was great though… it got SO many cheers and shoutouts that all I was doing sometimes was say thank-yous nonstop!! I love my tutu! The park was bit more crowded than the rest of the race but it really wasn’t so bad. We were having fluids every 2 miles, and one gel as we left the park. I saw so many people cheering, at the water stations, passing me in the race, really you felt like everyone was there! Pace-wise, I have to admit, I barely looked at my watch once or twice… I had no idea. Elyssa shouted mile splits sometimes, just because our only thing was to check not to go over 2 hours, but as I can’t do any math, I figured I’d look at mile 10… I like to hit the pedal when I leave the park but Elyssa had an irish soccer game -or something-¬†to play that afternoon and wanted to save some energy, and I was comfortably having a good time that I was not chancing it by taking off! By mile 9 we decided we’d finish together and we did just that! Easy peasy, half done! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (2) We got to Coney Island, we put our hands together and crossed the finish line. 1:57 and something.

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (2)

Done, we had fun, and now we have some more fun. In Coney Island!!!

The Finish Line¬†The best part! You have around 300 meters to run on the boardwalk and it gets loud and crowded, even before 9 am! They had medals, bagels, powerbars (chocolate and mint, yuk!!!)¬†and gatorade+water. It is just such a happy place and by 9 am you are free to just¬†go do whatever you want!!! I had told Juan to wait there for me so I caught him as soon as I got my medal!¬†There were a few blocks walk until we got to¬†baggage¬†but it was super organized and easy. Really nice medal too. And we got more pictures of course! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (4) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (5) The Post Race/Getting my bag back fiasco!¬† Well.. we had to walk a bit to get our bags and holy molly it was a MESS. Seems like just a few bags where there, there was no line, everyone was against the fence holding their number and shouting their number and if the volunteers found it, they’d bring over the bag. My bib was on my skirt and I just didn’t feel like unpinning it so I asked someone (taller!) ahead of me to shout my number and SOMEHOW I got my bag super fast… Everyone else was just standing there… Apparently, I was one of the lucky few people who got to bag check in time! I learned a LOT of people didn’t get to the bag deadline early on, so they dropped their bags in the “late” truck, so those bags where being brought there in bunches… and/or there were not enough volunteers. I offered to jump in to help to organize the bags by numbers but they didn’t let me. It really was a mess all around. nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Post Race (1) Stats time Oy, this might be painful…¬†or whatever! Finish time: 1:57:32. Average Pace: 8:59. 20 minutes off my PR, ha.

Previous PR:¬†1:37:35. From: March, 2013 Age Grading:¬†57.55% Ouch Overall Place: 10,758 of 25,587 Gender Place: 3,831 of 13, 678 Age Place: 523 of 2,105 (still top 25% which is fine… I guess!) To note looking at the stats, not only this is now the biggest half marathon in the US, but also, there were more women finishers (13,678 ) than men (11,909), insane! Total was 25,587 . Also sad, one runner died at the finish. This always makes me so sad.
Splitsville!
splits elevation course nyrr brooklyn half marathon 2014

Seems like I lost satellite in the last mile I think. I kept looking and it said 12.47 for a whiiiile for a long time.

The Result¬†I am VERY HAPPY with the race I run. I was not in shape, I wasn’t into it, actually, I had no interest in even showing up, but I managed my goal, to have fun, to not suffer… This doesn’t mean that I am back. I am not feeling like running still and for what I see, I probably won’t for a while. I am back to not running. But I managed to get to my beach party, the way everyone did: by running 13.1 first.

The Post Race Well, I skipped the MCU park as I had already been there last year for a NYC Runs 5k and my team, the Dashing Whippets, always has a beach party!!!  YEY, beach weather. FINALLY! So we scooted over to the beach after we got our bearings and omg, the FUN

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more than 5!)

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more!)

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cry, not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt's face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that...

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cried,¬†no,¬†not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt’s face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that…

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

Boys will be boys??

Boys will be boys??

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

He's not normal.

He’s not normal. (It was the Gatorade!!!)

Dashing Whippets Brooklyn Half Marathon

So Many Whippets!! (Apparently I am menopausal as I am the only one without a shirt..!?!??!)

It’s done. I am not sure when I’ll post again, if I have ¬†anything else to say… but, my parents are coming to visit (after 5 years!) and they’re ¬†too¬†excited¬†to see me race, and the Mini10k happens, so, we shall see.

Brooklyn Half Marathon, official page, with loads of pictures

–¬†Brooklyn Half Marathon, official race results

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Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Fun Run, by New Balance

Straight from New Balance!

The Brooklyn Half Marathon is already next weekend and I wanted to let you all know about the¬†Brooklyn ¬Ĺ Pre-Party Fun Run, Presented By New Balance¬†taking place on¬†Thursday, May 15th¬†at 10:30am. This free event gives runners an opportunity to get in a fun 4 miles and pick up their race packets before the big day!

Wondering how to get to the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance? Why not run? Join New Balance for a 4 mile fun run and you’ll gain early access to the Pre-Party so you can skip the lines to packet pickup, shirt pickup and the official merchandise. The run will start from the New Balance Experience Store @ 150 5th Avenue at 10:30am.¬† They’ll even take your dry gear over from the store to the party for you and give you a subway card so you can get back home after the party. RSVPs are limited.

Runners can sign up on the NBNY Facebook page –¬†https://www.facebook.com/NBNYC.

More information on Pre-Party, check out this link: Brooklyn 1/2 Pre-Party Presented By New Balance

More on the Pre-Party and the race itself on my post about the 2013 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

the expo last year: FUN STUFF

2013-05-16 18.05.44 2013-05-16 22.30.03  2013-05-16 22.28.58 2013-05-16 18.06.322013-05-16 22.29.24

Race Report: NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

After having PRed like a maniac at the NYC Half two months ago, I set this one as my next goal, but.. I didn’t really train seriously… here’s what happened!

Brooklyn Half Marathon, official page

THE RACE

Bib Pick Up/Registration.¬†It was amazing!!!! Best “expo” EVER, though they weren’t calling it an expo, it was more like a pre-race-party, like a fair, or outdoor sports party.. or something. There was live music, djays, food vendors, a bit ¬†of shopping, and nice views of the city. If I didn’t have scheduled just 2 hours for that, I would have stayed there all night!

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Getting there. Was a pretty easy on the 5:06 am 4 train, but it was running local so it took a bit longer than I planned. Luckily, it wasn’t crowded and we got there wit enough time (which meant we woke up at 4 am!). Then it was just a quick 5 minute walk to bagagge which looked like the airport. Corrals were just two blocks away. It was super clean and easy. Pretty much all runners in the train, minus this guy

IMG_4622  Oy.

Start. Super organized. Lots of security. I love when we have the portapotties IN the corrals. No stress waiting in the lines, perfect.

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Race Atmosphere. The race is huge but still it felt like fun. You had everything, from Kim Smith, to runners on tutus. It was very relaxed and fun at the start. In a way, it felt like a small town race… I know, it makes no sense!

Safety. There was security all over the place. Baggage was inspected at tons of tables before you could drop it (no lines!).

Weather. It was in the 60s and I thought it would be hot… It wasn’t. Actually, it was perfect. It was overcast so without the sun, we did pretty well. ¬†I did throw a bunch of water cups on me, which made me freeze after I finished, but the weather never really bothered me.

The Course. Is… interesting. There are a couple of hills in the first half, and then flat or downhill past mile 6. You REALLY have to negative split here or you did something wrong. Good course to PR in, though for some reason, I never seem PR here… There is the one hill in prospect park, which is not that steep but seems to last foreeeever (elevation profile is here). There can be way too much sun after you leave the park, but luckily it was overcast.

The Finish Line. the best part! You have around 400 meters to run on the boardwalk and it gets loud and crowded, even before 9 am! They had medals, pretzels, apples and gatorade+water. There were a few blocks walk until we got to baggage but it was super organized and easy. Really nice medal, just like last year too!

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The Post Race.¬† Well, this was the first time I didn’t stay for long. I was freezing and Nathan’s was closed (and I really wanted a hot dog, damit!). My team had planned a beach day and I knew I’d froze if I sat in the sand.. so we just left, which is was most people did: trains were packed (and smelly!). PS: I met everyone in the train!

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MY RACE

Well, I really I had no idea what to expect. Having PRed lately I knew I’d do okay but I wasn’t sure I was in the same shape I was in March when I PRed at the NYC Half… ¬†I had been training but, there was a tiny¬†big fat issue… I’ve put on around 10 pounds since March. I have been having fun and eating and lot and enjoying life so I will ¬†not complain a lot, but come race day, you totally feel it! After a few miles, it gets heavy… Yeah, but Oh well. LIFE IS SHORT! (and my shorts were tiiiiight!). On the other hand, I again wore my brand new¬†Mizuno Wave¬†Sayonara, LOVE them.

I did race super smart so I know I couldn’t have done better. I started slow and my last miles were a romp. I actually spotted Julie in my corral and we started together. I wasn’t sure we were the same pace but we run the first three miles together, and then she took off. I’d see her in the uphills or turns, 100 or 50 yards ahead of me, but that gap was way to big for me to even try to get to her. I decided to let her go, and forgot about it. The first two miles we run were quite smart and slow. The third one, a downhill, was deliciously fast, the we got in the park and got back to a regular modest pace. Then the climb, which I took really easy… Once I left the park, I really wanted to hit the gas but I wasn’t sure there was much there, so I kept it conservative for a while. At around mile 9 I spotted Julie ahead again, closer, when I was following a guy I had been chasing for the last mile. I run with her for a few seconds and kept going. I was already pushing and wasn’t sure I’d have enough but I knew I was close to my PR so I got hopeful and really tried!

2013-05-20 12.11.57can I point out my beautiful cadence again?

Stats!

Finish time: 1:38:29. Average Pace: 7:32

Previous PR: 1:37:35. From: March, 2013

Age Grading: 68.32%

Overall Place: 2,384 of 21,378

Gender Place: 356 of 10,563

Age Place: 33 of 1,567

–¬†Brooklyn Half Marathon, official race results

I am VERY HAPPY with the race I run. I was not in shape to PR but I know I used all I had in the most efficient way. It was as close to perfect pacing as I could have done.

How do I know?

Well, I compared it to last year’s race, same course, which I did in 1:43, an avg pace of 7:55, still my first mile then was 7:30! this time, it was a SLOW 7:49 (for a 7:32 avg!). Last year, my last 3 miles were around my average pace. Here, they were 10 to 15 seconds faster than my average. See? A great improvement!!!!

ALSO, I compared it to the pacing of the women who finished around my same time… you should do this sometime!! Check out the difference in pacing (I am the one on top in italics). Check how most of them took a bit longer than me to finish, but crossed the 5K and/or 10K earlier than me (the first aka hardest part of the course). By 15K I was the last one of the five. Quite revealing, isn’t it?

Net Time 5K 10K 15K 20K Pace Per Mile
1:38:29 0:23:31 0:47:45 1:10:57 1:33:34 7:32
1:38:40 0:22:54 0:46:35 1:09:53 1:33:16 7:32
1:38:46 0:23:33 0:47:25 1:10:49 1:33:55 7:33
1:38:59 0:23:06 0:46:47 1:09:54 1:34:09 7:34
1:39:02 0:22:45 0:46:13 1:09:47 1:33:56 7:34

So, eventually, after years and years… you start trusting yourself and you know how to pace efficiently and smart. Not an easy feat, at least for me, but I am feeling good about this one. Now, if I could ever get my need for fun and delicious food under control, I think could do great things and go faster, but.. WHO ARE WE KIDDING?

and here is the link to my 2014 Brooklyn Half Marathon Report and Pictures!

And the winner to my Guess My Finish time contest is Mr. Tim Emmet, just 3 seconds away, who said:¬†1:38:32 because it will be a little warm. Good luck! ¬†—Worth noting also,¬†njpaleo¬†said 1:38:25, FOUR secouds away… CRAZY.

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