My favorite Half marathon

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As a young lad (4 years ago), I decided to become a runner. My first race was the Brooklyn Half marathon 2011 in which I struggled to finish in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Non-existent calf muscles, kung-fu pants, and cheap bandana to a race? Yep, I had a lot to learn.

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That was the start of a new lifestyle for me. Although I swore to never run such a distance again, that distance has become the norm every weekend for 2 years now.

In regards to the Brooklyn Half, I’ve never missed an opportunity to revisit my first race course, my favorite race. In the following year, 2012, I finally ran the Brooklyn Half marathon under 2 hours (1:56). Since the end of 2012, I trained hard so that I could run it under 1:50. At the Brooklyn Half 2013, I was a minute too slow (1:51). This 1:50 barrier remained ever since. No matter how hard I pushed on any training run, the total time was always greater than 1:50.

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Throughout 2014, I barely trained to be honest. It was mostly due to a brutal winter and the shift to a different goal (Mt Rainier). At the NYC Half marathon in March 2014, after running 2 full marathons a few months prior (NYC 2013 and Disney 2014), I made another attempt to officially break the barrier. My performance wasn’t any better, but not worse; 1:51 again. Sometimes you have to accept things. Just like there is a terminal velocity for how fast something can fall, I have reached my terminal velocity for a Half marathon. For the past 2 months I’ve been running only twice a week (one 10K and one Half). I’ve been more focused on weight training (upper body), my “Crazy Abs” workouts, and my “Empire State” stairmaster workouts (100 flights with 30-40 lbs). The Brooklyn Half 2014 was right around the corner and I already had my expectations; another 1:50+ race. So I raced the Brooklyn Half like, whatever man. My finish time, 1:45:45. What?!

OFF TO THE RACES:
Brooklyn Half @ Brooklyn, NYC
May 17th, 2014. 7:00AM and 58 degrees. 25,587 finishers.
Results: 8:05 pace, 4924th place, ~81% percentile, (B-)

bkhalf_elevation I don’t recall much from the first 6 miles, but the weather was great. Once you pass the mile 7 marker, you exit Prospect Park and enter Ocean parkway; 6 car lanes wide and no uphill. Its one of my favorite moments.

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The miles just went by. At mile 12, I starting thinking that there was a chance at breaking the barrier this time. With Coney Island in sight, slowing down was out of the question. I thought “perhaps I can beat my time by a whole minute or 2”.

BK2014_SightsofBK11 BK2014_SightsofBK15

Crap, just passed the finish line and my GPS lost its signal. I still don’t know my finish time. How was I to pose in the finish line photos, victorious or failure? Both?

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I later found out that my finish time was 5 minutes faster than ever before for a Half marathon. Victory! Finally, a finish time that I’m proud of. Could I reach 1:40 someday? BK Half 2015? Maybe, but first, a full marathon under 4 hours please! In conclusion, the weight training, Crazy Abs, and Empire State stairmaster made the difference this time. I wonder how much of a difference it can make in a full marathon. At the finish line party, it was good to meet up with several runners who I haven’t seen since 2013. Also, I finally met Dominick; a fellow jogger blogger http://1etc.wordpress.com who killed it with a 1:35. He may have convinced me to try out a west coast race next year.

Random Thoughts

Although I’ve been focused with the Mt. Rainier training lately (2 months left), there is still time for trying new things. The new race last year was the Spartan race, and it was cool, but not for me. This year, it’s the Color Run. I couldn’t turn it down especially since it’s only a 5K away from my building. We’ll see how it turns out this weekend. After watching Godzilla and Neighbors, I would say, watch Neighbors and just Youtube the final Godzilla scene. Also, Bates Motel is a show that entered my list of approved shows worth watching.

 

6 thoughts on “My favorite Half marathon

  1. PDX Running Chick May 29, 2014 / 11:20 am

    Wow! Five minutes is awesome! Congrats!! Have fun at the Color Run. Thanks for the movie advice. I was on the fence about Godzilla anyway 😉

  2. Dominick S. May 29, 2014 / 1:36 pm

    So awesome. Such a killer PR and breakthrough. I would definitely chalk it up to your cross-training efforts, especially the stairs. The more trails I run the fast my road race times get so it has to be training with elevation gain…hills pay the bills. It was awesome to meet up with you and the wolf pack on such a beautiful day, after such a fantastic event. Keep me posted on the West Coast options…San Francisco just announced their dates for 2015 RnR and the early entry is only $65!

    • sephiroth796 May 29, 2014 / 2:48 pm

      Hills pay the bills, nice one. And stairs pay the fares? I never really payed attention to the elevation map of the BK Half until I posted this; there are hardly any uphills. SanFran RnR 2015, I have to look this up.

      I just found out about a “Star Wars” Half marathon in DisneyLand Anaheim this January. You live nearby and can’t turn that down.

      • Dominick S. May 29, 2014 / 2:50 pm

        HOLY! Star Wars themed half at Disneyland? You’re right…on it.

  3. Run To Munch May 29, 2014 / 4:05 pm

    The brooklyn half is definitely on my bucket list, if only it didn’t sell out so fast!!!

    Congrats!

    • sephiroth796 May 29, 2014 / 4:19 pm

      You have to “like” NYRR on FB. They announce the signup day and time around March. With 25,000+ people registering, you have a few days to register before its sold out. BK 2015 is calling you. Its a PR course.

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