I’m a two-time half-marathon finisher! I ran the Brooklyn Half this past Saturday, hooray! I will now tell you all the deets, which you may or may not find incredibly boring.
Let’s start with the Brooklyn Half pre-party at Pier 2 near Brooklyn Bridge Park. I absolutely dreaded going to this ALL DAY Thursday. It was rainy. It wasn’t exactly warm. I knew at some point I still needed to get in 3-4 miles. JackRabbit was running to the packet pick-up at 7, but then what was I going to do after work for 2 hours while I waited? Why did I have to go allllll the way to Brooklyn to pick up my packet, gosh darnit?! I was cranky. Luckily, the pre-party was on their A-game and as soon as I emerged from the subway in the faraway land of Brooklyn, there were people with signs directing me all the way to Pier 2 (and I say all the way because it was a TREK!)
Once I got there, my mood improved because runners! Music! Free samples! I started to get in the spirit. The view was AWESOME! Had it been a nicer night, and had I been there with a group of people, I definitely would have loved to stay, had a drink, eaten some Chickpea and Olive, and enjoyed the music.
Instead, I did a lap by myself, sampled some Nuun (EW, tastes like medicine), got a free ZogSports shirt, picked up my packet, and was on my way back to Manhattan after snapping a few pretty skyline pictures.
Friday night before the race, as I wrote about, I ate atSouen. I picked out my clothes, packed my bag check bag, and was asleep around 10:30. My alarm went off at 5:00 (yes, ew is right), I got dressed, stretched, rolled and was out the door by 5:30 to meet my friends at the subway.
It was SO awesome seeing just how many of us crazy runners were up at 5:30 a.m. making the trek to Brooklyn.
We got off after about a 45 minute subway ride and started to make our way to security and I ate my nanner. Security was annoying, because everyone had to take their phones out, take their watches off, etc. but hey, better safe than sorry! The line moved surprisingly fast. But then it was a HAUL to get to bag check. We just made it before it closed!
Then it was time for the portapotty lines. Worst. The corrals were super cramped, I was freezing since I had had to put my jacket in my bag at the bag check, there was no room to stretch, and we had about a half hour to stand around.
Luckily we were able to sneakily make our way up a bunch of corrals, which definitely helped because we were able to cross the start line around 7:55- if we had stayed in our corral it would have been MUCH later.
The first couple of miles through Prospect Park were stressful because we were trying to keep up a quick pace but at the same time, the path was super crowded. Tiffanie, Rory and I were trying our best to stay together and navigate through the crowds. Eventually, we got into a groove and I tried to look around a little to enjoy the view. I had expected far worse hills during the park portion of the race, but really there was only one around mile 5 that was challenging. It was also around there where the “Uh oh…I’m definitely going to need to stop for the bathroom” thoughts started to creep in.
By mile 6 I was forced to tell Tiffanie and Rory to enjoy the rest of the race, but I was going to need to stop. I had hoped I would eventually catch back up to them, but it never ended up happening. I went to the bathroom, and mentally prepared to run the rest of the race alone (and without Tiffanie’s Garmin!)
Somehow I missed the mile 7 marker, so the jump from 6 to 8 was a HUGE mental help. At mile 8 I had my espresso Gu, NOM. Unfortunately, at mile 9 nature called and I had to stop AGAIN! Both times I got to a portapotty I had to wait for someone ahead of me, too. So frustrating.
Miles 7-13 were flat, wide, straight and pretty boring to be honest. I had used music from 7-10 but decided that for the last 3 miles I would take the headphones off and enjoy the final 5K. I wasn’t really pushing to finish at a certain time, and knew I had to come in somewhere around 1:50:00 for my friend.
Then there was a sign for 800 meters and the street got super filled with people cheering us on so I thought “Oh, this is the final sprint” (Actually, I thought, “What the eff, I don’t know what meters mean!!!”) and started to push it. Well, 800 meters isn’t THAT short of a distance, folk. Then there was a sign for 400 meters and next thing I know, I’m on the Coney Island pier with the ocean next to me and sand under my feet (yeah, the boardwalk was sandy and I was super scared someone was going to wipe out!) I sprinted to the finish and bam, second half marathon complete in 1:46:50. Hoorah! And I got my first race medal!
I got my banana, bagel and powerbar (uhmmm, MINT COOKIE, HECK YES!) and made my way to the baggage pick-up. I found Tiffanie and Rory (they had finished at 1:46:00, awesome job guys!) and then found out that the truck with my bag in it had been in a car accident and no one knew when it would be able to get there- joy! So Tiffanie and I tanned and stretched and eventually, my bag arrived.
Next, we made our way to the subway to get to the JackRabbit after party so graciously hosted by Alex! On the subway, my stomach started feeling like absolute SHIT and I really thought I was going to throw up. We got to Alex’s and I ate some delicious eggs with veggies and sausage on an English muffin :)
Then, Tiffanie started to feel sick! We just couldn’t win! So we decided that since we still had a long journey back to the UES, we should probably leave. So we ate and ran, without even having a beer! Such a shame. But probably for the best considering it took us 2 hours to get home!
I was so happy for a shower, carrots and hummus and a NAP (in my awesome Brooklyn Half technical shirt that I’m in love with!)
That night, it is really disgusting the amount that I ate (and drank, oops). I’m a little embarrassed to show this to the world but uh, yeah, check out this quad of food I decided I was entitled to for running 13.1 miles!
Overall, I had a great time running the Brooklyn Half (although had I not had Tiffanie and Rory with me, I probably would NOT be saying! Thanks guys!) It’s so funny how during races, you’re tired, you hurt, you want to stop sometimes, and then when it’s all over you’re like “THAT WAS AWESOME WHEN DO WE DO IT AGAIN?!” I definitely want to run another half sometime in the near future- with a new goal time of 1:45:00 or faster!