It’s the race that started it all 2 years ago. My first race and it happened to be a half-marathon. I can still recall the first time I crossed that finish line. After 2 hours and 4 minutes, I swore to never run another half marathon again. It was exhausting, painful, and too early in the morning. 2 years later, it turns out I must really like feeling exhausted and pain is my best friend.
Fast forward 2 years… So I was running a half marathon distance every weekend during the winter until my legs broke down last month. The goal of my training was to maintain my fitness throughout the cold season and to shave 5 minutes off of my previous Brooklyn Half time, which was 1:56:41. Being injured during the peak of my training sucked. I concluded that any gain in performance would be great news, even if it was a one second gain. My alarm went off at 4:45am on Saturday for this 7am race. The time has come to put my winter training to the test. And there is an additional constraint this time around. My right calf hasn’t healed 100% and my training suffered for a whole month as a result. Challenge accepted!
OFF TO THE RACES:
NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon @ Brooklyn
May 18th, 2013. 59 degrees
Results: 8:26 pace, 6660 place, 69% percentile, (D+)
Yep, 20,000+ people just like me who woke up early to run around Prospect Park and then straight down Ocean Pkwy to Coney Island.
Although sleep deprived, I was in a good mood and ready for a race. Thanks to Alex for this cheese smile shot.
On your mark… HONK! Miles 1,2,3 were outside Prospect park. My splits were 7:51, 8:06, and 7:38. Yes Jon! Miles 4,5,6,7 consisted of a loop inside Prospect park. My splits were 8:07, 8:17, 8:32, and 8:09. I’m still on target at the halfway point. Can I maintain the pace for another 6 miles? If so, then its a 1:48:00 finish time for me.
I recharge with a GU pack at the halfway point. The race continues as we all exit the park and onto Ocean Pkwy. Unfortunately, every mile after mile 8 would be slower than 8:30; my right leg started up again. Nooooooo! There was a sharp pain with every step. The faster I ran, the more it hurt. So much for a fast finish. And the last 5 miles are all slightly downhill; just my luck.
I became obsessed with the clock and started doing calculations in my head to determine how fast I should continue to run in order to meet my time goal. According to my calculations, I’m running too damn slow! By mile 11, I was stressed out. You know what, forget about time. Coney Island slowly approaches, I’ll just enjoy the rest of the race and “jog” instead of run. So I threw my pace in the garbage and traded it for enjoyment and scenery.
Mile 13… on the boardwalk now. I can see the finish line. And I forgot to include the 7 minute start line delay into my calculations! It’s a P.R.! A 1:50:26 finish! YEAAAA!
I shaved off 6 minutes total and with a bad leg. Everyone was a champion that day.
Who best than to celebrate with the wolf pack? We’ll be running all over NYC in a few weeks for the NYC marathon 2013 training. But until then, we rest, me especially.
I didn’t run all week!
What is the point in advancing to the next level quickly if you aren’t ready for it yet. How do you know that you aren’t ready? Your body will let you know by breaking down. Just when I thought that I was on my way to a flat 7 min/mile pace, my body said “Nice try young grasshopper, but not yet”. Since the NYC marathon is the next big thing on my list, endurance will be the main focus throughout the summer months. Speaking of summer, a good vacation is also on my mind. Happy memorial day weekend everyone.