2014 Brooklyn Half Recap

This is my recap of the 34th Annual Brooklyn Half marathon.  It’s when I am supposed to tell you that I broke through my feeling of self-doubt and ran a great sub 2 hour race.  Here’s a spoiler: that didn’t happen.

Friday after work I headed to the Brooklyn Pre-Party to pick up my race bib.  The expo was held on a pier on the edge of Brooklyn near the Manhattan Bridge.  That meant that it was a bit of a walk from the train station… in the rain.  Once I got there, I felt a bit like a wet dog.  Luckily all of the NYRR staff and volunteers were happy and it was contagious.  I quickly ran into a few NYRR staff members that I had met around the marathon story last year.  I was even noticed by someone who had seen me on tv at the marathon.  She was extremely nice and I hope she found her way to my blog.  (If so, HI!)

Showing love where I was raised in Brooklyn :)

Showing love where I was raised in Brooklyn :)

Tara met me at the expo and we took our time snapping pictures, shopping and having a beer.

Tara & I

Tara & I

My first purchase had to be a Sparkly Soul “Run Brooklyn” headband.

Sparkly Soul swag

Sparkly Soul swag

Then I needed a New Balance Brooklyn tshirt.  I loved all the shirts but had to narrow it down to “Brooklyn, the Real New York.”  As a native Brooklyn girl, it was a no brainer.  After an arepa and some Mac and Cheese, we headed back to Staten Island for a good night’s sleep.  After reading over my race plan from Michele, I was in bed early and asleep by 10.

When I woke up around 5:30am, I was tired, but felt good.  Showered and dressed and in a taxi with some friends by 6:10am.  We checked our bags, found our corral and the porta potties.  We were there with just the right amount of time to feel ready but not rushed.  I hate running late to a starting line, but I also cannot stand waiting around forever… especially with 25,000 people running!

Starting line - View from above

Starting line – View from above

Four of us started together and stayed close by for the first 3 miles.

bkrace

Then my two speed demon friends were off and running.  Tara and I got separated shortly after that.  I kept looking at my Garmin as I was trying to stick with my 9:15 pace for the first 5K.  I found myself going too fast (into the high 8s) and then trying to slow down a bit and winding up at a 9:40 pace.  When I got into the park, my pace continued to jump from too slow and to too fast.  I stayed strong on the hills, but I already felt the spent.  It was hot and I wished that I had worn a head to block the sun.  I couldn’t wait to get out of the park’s rolling hills that seem, but when I did I felt exhausted.  I actually walked for 30 seconds when I was first getting onto Ocean Parkway (in the 7th mile).  I should have never done that!

I kept thinking about how I had not run more than 10 miles since the Shamrock Half two months ago.  I was thinking about how I only ran 5 miles the Saturday prior due to a nasty hangover.  I thought about the race two years ago when Ocean Parkway seemed to go on forever.  Then I just wanted to stop and cry.  I know that I was still on point to finish sub 2 if I could just get it together.  I wished that I could find a friend and get some positive energy to pull me through.

After a 5 mile "long run" last weekend with Janet and Danielle

After a 5 mile “long run” last weekend with Janet and Danielle

Instead I stopped and walked through the water stop at mile 9.  I tried some Gatorade thinking maybe it would help me get some energy.  I ran until the water stop at mile 10.  Then I tried having 2 Clif Shots with some water.  I usually do not eat on a 13 mile run, but I thought it might help.  I walked again at mile 11’s water stop.  Nothing helped and I knew at that point, there was no coming back to a sub-2.  I kept running to the finish only because I wanted it to be over.  I saw NYRR president Mary Wittenberg and gave her a hug at the finish.  I was basically thanking her for it being over.

Garmin said my time was 2:05 and I hurried through the photographers with no interest in preserving the moment in history.  This was my Spring goal race and I wanted a sub 2.  Last year I ran the same course in 1:58:53 for my current PR.  I was disappointed.

Then I let it all settle in.  This was the sixth time I have run this race.  I ran it first in 2007 and then every May from 2010 through now.  This year I let my negative thoughts beat me.  I wasn’t in any real pain or dealing with any injury.  I was just tired, lonely and hot and I wanted to quit.  But I finished… 18 minutes faster than the first time I ran this race.

Every finish line is a celebration!

Every finish line is a celebration!

So be it.  You can’t win them all!  That’s what makes a good race so damn good!  And the rest are still an accomplishment!

xox

Jen

Comments

  1. Judy says

    Tks for sharing your story. I had a similar experience my leg of the Cincinnati flying pig at the beginning of this month. Piece of cake I kept telling myself, 6.55 miles do it all the time. Well, had a terrible time, walked and finished no where in the time I wanted too. Nothing hurt, it was all in my head!!!

  2. says

    Every race won’t be a PR or even achieve what we expect but we can learn from every race. It’s a hard thing to stomach but I love the way you thought about the race after it settled in. You’re a rockstar momma – don’t forget that!

  3. Danielle says

    You are a winner. Race after race, you set goals and go out to improve. We are all better runners because of your inspiring ways and words. Thanks for being my BRF! Every moment in life serves a purpose even if we don’t see it in that moment. Xo

  4. says

    Noooo!!! I hate when people don’t want to document the day because you’re frustrated with your time. Every finish line is an accomplishment!!!! Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be proud of every time you run!!! :)

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