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 1ā€“7) and then down down down down down Ocean Parkway (a very long but flat mile 7ā€“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.