Brooklyn Half: IT IS WHAT IT IS (a fun and scary ride?)

Early on, when I decided I was not going to do a Spring marathon, I had set my eyes on PRing at a Half. Naturally, I picked the Brooklyn Half. It’s a great and easy course and the race is super fun as the last stretch is on the boardwalk and then… there is funnel cake right there!

I really wanted to PR. I haven’t PRed since June last year and I was looking at my race log and it was looking too orange (orange is NO PR!). Also, I had told myself early on, that I would NOT go to Berlin if I didn’t sub 1:40 here. This would be like my Berlin trial. What’s the point on going all the way to Germany to run a fast marathon if I am not in “fast” shape when I start the marathon training? I had just done NYC Half in 1:42 something (close to my PR) so a sub 1:40 was a stretch. But I had hope for a miracle…

The race starts in prospect park, laps around the outside, then a lap in the park and then a 5 mile straightaway on Ocean Parkway all the way to the sand. The park loops are fine for me, I like undulating, but the flat stretches bore me out and I know I struggled there last time. It’s a mind game for sure!

But because it is not in  Central Park, I had to get up at 4 am. Okay. By the time we got there, it was great: no-lines portapotties everywhere, nice weather in the 50s and every one seemed happy and excited. I don’t get excited right before the race, I just start dreading the pain really. Met my friends Patricia and Blaise in the corral and we set to go. I started having issues with the Motoactv and I was *this* close to chucking it. The watch has been full of issues for the last month, first it lost the heart rate monitor, then the music stopped working, then… I lost my patience. But the things tracks my cadence, so I decided to keep it. Just for that. Oh well.

There were about 15K people in this race. ENORMOUS. But it never really felt that crowded, as it’s normal in Manhattan. My goal was to keep sub 7:50 pace but I set out easy. I felt tired from the start…

Miles 1 through 5:  7:30, 7:48, 7:21, 7:54, 8:15.
I was all over the place. I’d feel tired, then catch a second wind. Think “what am I doing here?” and then “This is the race I was waiting for”! I couldn’t pace myself as I usually do. The course had been changed this year so I was lost and confused, then bored and out of energy… It was a struggle to keep motivated. I don’t feel like I ever gave up physically or mentally but I had no idea why my legs were not responding. I stopped looking at the watch after mile 2.

Miles 6 through 10: 8:39, 7:38, 7:48, 7:45, 7:43
I had a gel at mile 6 and I felt a sudden high, like I could start pushing. It didn’t last. Mile 7 we left the park into the parkway, I thought I could settle for a pace here and go for it. Never happened. I kept stopping for water (those are the miles over 8 minute miles). I didn’t want to stop, I know it throws me off the pace, but I couldn’t help it.  Decided to race everyone around me, but they all kept slipping away.

Miles 11 through 13.1: 7:51, 8:05, 7:31, 1:25 (7:53 pace).
I am not sure how this happened. If I had been looking down at my pace, I would probably know what was the issue. I wasn’t. I know I tried, but it just wasn’t there.

I looked down at my watch when I crossed the finish line and I saw a 1:43 something. I know it is still a good time and not that far off from my goal and my PR and aaaaaall that, but I was really disappointed. I am not sure (other than sleeping more) what I could have done. I have no excuses. It just wasn’t my day. Hopefully, there’s one around the corner somewhere.

Finish time: 1:43:35. Average Pace: 7:55
Previous PR: 1:42:47. From: September 2010. 
Age Grading: 64.66%
Overall Place: 2793 of 14168
Gender Place: 568 of 7071
Age Place: 67 of 1058

When things go awry, I only like to do one thing, and fast: MOVE ON. Got some food, some pictures, and hurried to the beach. 

Patricia, Emily, me, and Blaise and some osom bling

Elaine, you know her (please bug her to keep posting) who came to cheer!

Cheer AND jump! And I am not doing a good job at anything today!

And then… then it got scary…

This is what “worse than death” feels like to me!!!


Brooklyn Half: IT IS WHAT IT IS (a fun and scary ride?)


2 thoughts on “Brooklyn Half: IT IS WHAT IT IS (a fun and scary ride?)

  1. Pingback: Race Report: NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon | runningandthecity

  2. Pingback: If you need the Brooklyn Half elevation profile, it’s here | runningandthecity

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