2014 Brooklyn Half
Or, the day I actually enjoyed the race and met my own personal goal and decided I never ever ever want to run another half marathon. Although it's one of those things where you forget the pain a day later and are ready to do it all over again. So I may want to do this one again. Already all I can remember are the fun parts.
There were over 25,000 runners (magic 8 ball says it's the biggest half in the country), and at least 20,000 of them were on my 6:00 a.m. train. The course started at the Brooklyn Museum, went up and down Flatbush Avenue and around Grand Army Plaza, looped through Prospect Park (mile 1–7) and then down down down down down Ocean Parkway (a very long but flat mile 7–13) to end on the boardwalk at Coney Island (the dreaded .1).
I stayed with my training partner Gail until about mile 9, which is where I really started to slow down. Having someone to run with, even when you're too tired to talk, makes all the difference in the world for me. I tend to break down pretty fast when I'm out there by myself: "the mind leads and the body follows" is one of those running precepts that hasn't quite sunk in yet, although I've made huge brain improvements over the last 5 months.
SarahB was there at the end to capture me in motion. I mixed in a lot of walking for the last three miles, but by the time I hit the boardwalk and the finish line was in sight, I was more than ready for it to be over so I kicked it into gear. My high gear is pretty slow, but still. It's a gear, and I cut 90 seconds off my pace from last October, which is not small potatoes. And to end the whole thing at Coney Island with a hot dog and a beer (my running mantra being "Pain now, beer later"*) was kind of a dream come true.
* p.s. Not an alcoholic.