Tag Archive | brooklyn running

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!!!!


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.
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 ½ 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


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!

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

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.

2013-05-18 06.00.19


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!

sds2013-05-18 10.28.54

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!



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?


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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It’s finally happened!! 14 months and 11 days in the making: A PR.

The Prospect Park Track Club sets up these 5ks all through the summer, on Wednesday nights. I did one last year and it had since been my 5K PR. I was in good shape then (though it was 97 degrees that day), I had run my fastest marathon in three months before and had been PRing in every race since. I did their 5K last year in June, in 21:51, an average 7:03 pace and then… I got injured. I was out for a while. And haven’t run a PR since. 14 months with no PR. FOURTEEN. 12 races with no happy ending. A drought. I have been working hard but I was kinda sick of it.
And, because weekends I have to dedicate to the long run, it was hardt to find time to do another race. But this week, it was the last 5K of the summer… and I decided to swap it for my speedwork.
I was nervous. I changed at the office, sat there sipping my coffee (which I think really helps me before races!) feet up, looking at the ceiling, and I was super nervous. My office mate didn’t even understand why “it should be fun, right?”. Yes, it should be. But I am SO stuck in this stoopid rut… I need a PR so badly. Once I got to the race start, I spotted a bunch of friends, lots of people I knew, a group of my Ironman team, and my friend Tessa. When Tessa and I walked to the start, she even told me I was making her nervous. And I never get nervous. WTF? I barely ever even care how I do… I think it was the coffee. I really wanted to PR, which would have been an average pace under 7. Hmm, sounds painful
We go. Tessa was with me for a bit and took off, she’s way faster than me. Prospect Park is pretty much 3 miles around, and there is one hill, but I had no clue where the hill was. I could have asked or go back and look at the course from last year, but whatever. It turned out the hill was in the first mile. I was surprised but I guess it was better this way. Mile 1: 7:23. Oh Oh. I am in trouble. And not in PR shape as I had hoped. But my training the last couple of weeks was SO good… I wanted to give up: 5Ks are hard!!! Still, I told myself this was my speedwork for the week, so keep at it. It thinned out a bit, and then I saw the next number. Mile 2: 6:30. Well, maybe not all is lost!! I keep at it, somehow I get on a rhythm, Mile 3: 7:03. Not knowing the course well really did me in. I didn’t get to push in much in the last half mile. Last effort: 6:28 pace.
I doubled over. I saw my time. I cried a bit. I hugged. That’s IT. I am back. The drought It’s over. It took 14 months, but I am back. I wanted to cry but I had no energy.
This is all unofficial, results are not up yet (?!??!). But my watch said 21:05. 6 freaking 48 average pace. Insane. I was happy, and hello Tessa comes and tells me she won the race. Seriously, she won the women’s. Insane!
We all hung out for a bit, had some fun and then it was the awards ceremony. I had won my age group last year but this time there was a lot more people… so who knows! I am never good at knowing who is ahead and who passed me. It turns out, I won my Age Group again!Fabo on top of FABO. Good night indeed. Congrats Tess!!!!

It’s finally happened!! 14 months and 11 days in the making: A PR.