Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap

23 May

Ok, I have finally gotten around to writing this recap! Let’s just jump right into it.

So we woke up at 4 am on Saturday morning, which was the earliest I have ever been up for a race. I went to sleep at 9:30 the night before, but was tossing and turning a lot thinking about this race. Do you get actual sleep before race day?

My dad drove us in and we got there around 6:15. Here’s the pretty sunrise we saw on our way in:

We used the restrooms and then basically just hung out in our corral. I really liked that each corral had their own set of bathrooms. It didn’t get too packed or have crazy lines which I was expecting if they just had a long row of them outside of the corrals for everyone.

Our corral was set to start at 7:30 am. As the time got closer, I got more and more nervous. Not necessarily because I wanted to PR (which I did) but because I just wanted to finish and not have to stop because of shin pain.

At 7:30 we were off, and the first 3 miles were great. We felt good. and from what I remember our splits were:

Mile 1: 10:15

Mile 2: 9:18

Mile 3: 9:25

My plan was to do the first 5 in 9:30 pace then pick it up to 9:20 pace. Well, I thought I could do this during the first 4-5 miles. Then Prospect Park happened.

I was expecting hills, and I train on hills but for some reason these hills just really slowed me down. One in particular was super long, like probably half a mile (maybe a little less). Once we got out of Prospect Park we were at Mile 7 and it was pretty much flat but the damage was done. I was beat, it was hot and humid, and I was sweating A LOT aka losing a lot of water and salt.

photo 3

Running in the park

photo 2

Finally leaving the park onto Ocean Parkway

Isn’t my shirt drenched with sweat so attractive? :-p The humidity definitely started slowing me down. I was glad we were on the parkway heading straight to Coney Island, but personally, I thought it was pretty boring. It seemed as if it lasted forever. But, at the same time, the miles did tick by quickly. I don’t know how to explain it haha. I was glad that we were at Mile 7 after the hilly park, because if it was Mile 4 or something I would definitely feel defeated.

Anyway, so yeah the parkway stretch was boring. At mile 9 we had to stop and walk to fuel and just take a break. My mom’s knee was bothering her as well. Once we started running I made a pact with myself that I would run until the next mile, then walk a short break, then run to the next mile again. I kept telling myself it was just a treadmill working. Just hold on for a few more minutes then you get a break.

At mile 11 I knew we had only 2 more miles. I WANTED to run the whole way but I just couldn’t catch my breath with the humidity. What is so frustrating about this race was that my legs and shins felt great. But I just couldn’t get my breathing right. Also, at Mile 8ish we knew we wouldn’t hit our time goal of around 2:05. I would be happy with anything around our original half marathon time. At Mile 11, I really thought we’d finish 2:15.

RANDOM NOTE: There were NYPD officers around Mile 10 who were cheering on runners and yelling out, “DO NOT WALK. YOU WILL GET A SUMMONS.” That gave me a little pick me up. I love spectators.

So then we finally made it to Mile 12. There were a ton of spectators on the road entering Coney Island which really helped me speed up a little bit and not walk at all in the last mile. I saw the sign that said, “800 Meters To Go” and was pumped. I thought, ok just 2 laps on the track. I can do this. I always break things down into laps on a track when my mind needs a little help.

Then, I saw the ramp up to the boardwalk. SO CLOSE! This is another complaint, however. The ramp was not big enough for how many runners there were, so we had to all slow down A LOT. Like, almost walking. I got to the top and my mom and I sprinted as hard as we could to the finish. We also FINALLY remembered to raise our arms up for a posed finish picture. In the 3 halfs and 1 full we have done, we always have forgotten to do this.

Screen shot 2013-05-23 at 10.34.06 AM

And then, we finished! My mom’s stopwatch said 2:11 and I was honestly shocked. I thought we finished around 2:15 because of how our pace slowed. Our official finishing time was 2:10:56 which was basically our 1st half marathon time from 2011, which was also way flatter (2:10:58). I’ll take it!

So happy to be done!

We got our medals then kept walking. My dad and brother were at the finish and took a lot of photo and video of us. I love when our family comes to support us!

photo 1The good thing about the day was that it was cloudy the whole time. The bad thing was the 70% humidity. But what can you do, race day is always a toss up of whether you will get perfect conditions or not.

We had to leave right after the race so we didn’t get to experience any of Coney Island. Sad. I put on my new compression socks by 110% and iced in the car. I will be writing a review on this product very soon!

I had a few stomach cramps for a few hours after the race, but made sure to get in some protein in the car and ate some eggs. Other than that I couldn’t really eat until dinner that night.

But good news, very little shin pain after! In fact, my legs were just stiff and tight. I took a 4 hour nap while having my legs raised that helped too 🙂

The next day, I was a little bit sore but not much, and the third day I was perfectly fine! Best I have felt after a half marathon. So, at least my body has gotten used to the long distances!

So that’s pretty much it! I would rate this race a B. The route wasn’t anything to write home about, but the finish on Coney Island was pretty cool. I was disappointed with my time, but then realized, hey, my body just ran 13.1 miles and feels mostly fine after. I need to give myself credit. Plus, I didn’t even get my worst time ever which was what I was expecting.

Overall, it was a good day, and I’m happy I felt so good afterwards, as opposed to how horrible I felt after NYC Marathon.

Who else ran Brooklyn? What were your thoughts on the course? In general, are you disappointed when you don’t hit a time goal?

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7 Responses to “Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap”

  1. Abby May 23, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Yea, that hill in Prospect Park is KILLER! I’ve run a race where we had to circle it 3 times. No Bueno. Glad your time surprised you! I can’t wait to run this next year, specifically for the after party in Coney Island (which I think is the main appeal of this race).

    Cannot wait to hear your review on those socks. They look amazing!

  2. Eric May 23, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Congrats on your Brooklyn Half! I ran it for the fourth time this year, it’s one of my two favorites races of the year (NYC Half is the other). Check out my blog for my recap, photo essay and a video I made from the run (www.dirtyoldsneakers.com).

  3. BKenn723 May 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    congrats girl! looks like all your hard training paid off!!! and way to go mom..very impressive!

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