Brooklyn Half 2013 is here

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!

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OFF TO THE RACES:
NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon @ Brooklyn
May 18th, 2013. 59 degrees
21,378 finishers
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.

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Although sleep deprived, I was in a good mood and ready for a race. Thanks to Alex for this cheese smile shot.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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I shaved off 6 minutes total and with a bad leg. Everyone was a champion that day.

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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.

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Training Report:
I didn’t run all week!

Random Thoughts
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.

11 thoughts on “Brooklyn Half 2013 is here

  1. PDX Running Chick May 21, 2013 / 6:26 pm

    Congratulations on the PR! Even better than you originally were shooting for! I can’t imagine how awesome that must feel — although your finishing pictures tell the story pretty damn well!!! Have a wonderful memorial day weekend! Enjoy the down time you so deserve! Nicely done!

    • sephiroth796 May 22, 2013 / 9:34 am

      Thanks PDX. Maybe I should have a post with pictures only to describe the story, lol. It would sure save me alot of time with the writing. Good luck with your trail marathon. I wait for that post.

  2. Dominick S. May 21, 2013 / 6:44 pm

    You shave 14 minutes off your time in two years, that is frickin awesome! Great job! 20,000 people holy crap, for a half marathon? Does New York do any small races?!?!

    • sephiroth796 May 22, 2013 / 9:52 am

      Thanks man. I shave 14 minutes and I’m still the slowest in my running group, haha. Brooklyn is the biggest Half marathon in NYC. The corrals were actually split in 2 waves for the first time ever. The NYRR races typically have 5000+ runners for each race regardless of the distance. A non-NYRR (like NYCRUNS) race would be considered a small race with a few 1000 or less. NYC is the wrong place for seeking solitude.

      • Dominick S. May 22, 2013 / 12:34 pm

        Don’t feel bad about being the “slowest” in your running group, there will always be someone fast but you have people to help drive you towards progress and hell, you are IN A RUNNING GROUP!

        Yeah, NYRR is insane, I am a member because it cost me like $2 to become a member when I signed up for NYC this year, hoping to take advantage of my membership before or after the marathon, we’ll see.

      • sephiroth796 May 22, 2013 / 1:25 pm

        Actually, being the slowest has become the perfect motivation to get faster; to not get left behind during those group long runs, lol. Indeed, being an NYRR member has its advantages especially if you decide to enter NYRR races every month like me. Only $2? I can recommend some NYRR races if you decide to take advantage of your membership.

      • Dominick S. May 22, 2013 / 2:31 pm

        There was this deal…the race was X amount, but if you paid X amount for the NYRR membership the race dropped down in price and basically covered the cost of membership…so I figured why not.

  3. decidida74 May 22, 2013 / 2:35 pm

    Congrats on the PR. Going to put up my race report/current updates tonight. Funny, our group meeting point was right behind you (F-I) and I see one of the people from my group… I was in wave 2 so I had a slight delay!

    • sephiroth796 May 22, 2013 / 2:45 pm

      Thanks. Wow, its a small world. I was also waiting for another runner in wave 2 (he somehow snuck into wave 1). We were both in that parking lot for 30 minutes and didn’t know it (he had no phone signal). Did you see the massive dance party in the parking lot? If it wasn’t for my leg, I would’ve busted out the breakdance moves. I look forward to your recap. MarathonFoto did a good job with the pics this time.

      • decidida74 May 22, 2013 / 3:28 pm

        Some ppl from my group went over to it… I heard the music, didn’t go over. Def a small world! The field didn’t feel like 21,000+… I was got in extra sleep instead of trying to get a spot in wave 1. =]

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