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!)
Tara met me at the expo and we took our time snapping pictures, shopping and having a beer.
My first purchase had to be a Sparkly Soul “Run Brooklyn” headband.
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!
Four of us started together and stayed close by for the first 3 miles.
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.
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.
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!