Good morning/afternoon/evening to you all, and I hope that you have had an enjoyable few weeks since my last post. I’ll apologise for the delay, but finding the time to write has been difficult.
So to the Brooklyn half-marathon, and I did manage to finish it. Thanks to a colleague, I was able to stay within walking distance of the starting line, so I didn’t have to get up stupid early. I got up, had coffee and a strawberry and then made my way to the start line. While I was in the 2nd wave, so didn’t actually know anyone around where I was starting, it was a fun and friendly atmosphere. I got there in plenty of time to be relaxed at the start, and get my stretches in (something I never managed to do the last time I had a race in Brooklyn because of delays on the subway).
The race started, and I really enjoyed the first half of the race around Prospect Park. The way the course weaved around the park, you got to see all the runners who were either ahead of you and behind you. When I ran the 4 Mile race at Prospect Park previously, the race went around the park in the opposite direction and I thought it was a difficult race. This time, probably because I was far more prepared, I thought it was much easier. Having much more people cheering you on may have also helped, and you had to love the “You are running better than the government” signs that were everywhere. Next time however, give us a little more credit as that isn’t saying much.
After the park was over, there was the long, seemingly never ending road from the park to Coney Island. This was my first Brooklyn half, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I had been warned that it was a difficult part of the race, but I had hoped you could see further down the road than you could. I really didn’t feel like I was going to get to the end, and you couldn’t even see the mile markers until you were nearly there. There also wasn’t as large a cheering contingent, so if anyone likes that part of the race, I think you are nuts. However, I kept going and even got much further before having to take a little break than I had in my previous half marathon. The other difficult part for me was when you got to a water station, there had been thousands ahead of me and obviously a lot of cups were thrown on the road. I don’t know if it was psychological, but I was almost sticking to the road at those points.
In my last blog entry, I mentioned that going 11 miles was difficult. I really struggled with that run, and by Tuesday I realised that it was because I had caught a stomach bug of some kind. I was able to get over it in time for the race however, but when I got to the 11 mile point of the race, I started to feel tired. Whether that was because of still not being ready to run that far, or not having the experience of pushing through the week before I don’t know. However, I eventually got to the end, and the hard work was worth it going on to the boardwalk, and being cheered on by everyone that was still there despite it starting to rain.
In terms of the race time, I had hoped to be able to beat my time from the last half marathon, which was just under 2 hours 25 minutes. I had stopped drinking for the training period, and felt my training was better than the last race, Greta’s great gallop, which last year was 13.1 miles around Central Park. However, I finished a few seconds slower, basically identical time. This confused me, as I really thought I was going faster this time. However, It may have just been the fact this was the first time I had ran the Brooklyn half, and when I did the gallop I had ran around Central Park so much that I really knew how to run there. I was still happy with the race however, and a few weeks later I am still running much better than I was a year ago.
After the race, I was looking forward to a nice cold beer again. I went where most people were; on the field at the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium. However, by the time I had finished and got there they were just restocking the beer, so I had warm beer. It still tasted pretty good though, and since then I’ve had plenty of nice cold beer.
In terms of races, my next race is the Achilles 4M around Central park at the end of June. Signing up for that race has allowed me to keep going before I start my marathon training in July, and I feel it was the right decision. Hopefully, since it is at Central Park, I’ll be able to go a little faster.
With that likely false hope, I’ll leave you for now. Until next time, I’ll keep on running.