Brooklyn Half-Marathon Race Recap 5/19/12

Roller coasters.

Roller coasters were on my mind this morning. Not because I knew the Brooklyn Half finished on Coney Island, known for their hot dogs and carnival rides, but because of the feeling I get when riding them. To clarify, I hate roller coasters. I hate how they make me feel and the three I’ve ridden were each only because of constant taunting from my friends. They elicit a feeling that bubbles up gradually until I’m locked into the seat as the car starts moving, wondering why the heck I’m there and terrified because I have absolutely no way to get to safety. The only way out? Ride the ride.

That’s how I felt this morning in my corral. My thoughts were along the lines of “OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING HERE I SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS RACE I’M TERRIFIED HOW DO I GET OUT OF THIS.”

Oh. So. Dramatic.

Hello again, Verrazano. You’re a lot less crowded than the last time I visited you.

After hitting traffic (at 5 am, WTF), parking near the finish line, and riding the subway, I jogged from the subway station to the starting area. By that point A) My foot already was tingling and B) I couldn’t find the bathrooms at all. I ran around in circles, wondering how on earth I couldn’t find them. (Um hello, runners at races are perpetually always looking for port-a-potties, shouldn’t there be signage or something?) I finally tracked them down, waited in line while listening to an announcer saying “the corrals are now closing” repeatedly, and did that whole “should I stay in line? I’m leaving! UGH hurry up people” commentary back and forth in my head. (I chose to wait, if you care.) I sprinted to my corral and swooped in just before they started sending people to the back. Phew.

So, back to the roller coaster feeling. There I was, wondering if there was any way to get out this. I decided it would be more effort to do my commuting triathlon again, so I might as well run back to my car (again, conveniently located at the finish line). This is very unlike me…I LOVE racing, but injuries have done me in a little (AKA have made me a scared little girl). But because I started off a little on edge, I knew my mental state needed an upgrade. As “they” say, knowing is 90% of doing, or something like that. (I think I totally made that up. Is that a saying?) I pumped up my music and somehow, throughout the race, I made it happen. SPOILER ALERT; I PRed!

Miles 1-6: Running in Prospect Park = lovely. Lots of people cheering us on. Pace felt easy, but I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to keep it up. Then I asked myself, “WHY NOT?” and kept at it. However, the outside of my foot was hurting. I was freaking out and constantly thinking about it; probably just enough to make me forget I was supposed to be feeling tired. Still not sure I would finish and debated taking that whole “listening to your body” thing to heart and dropping out.

Miles 7-9: My foot either loosened up or went numb as we got to the flatter portion of the course. Feeling good.

Miles 9-12: Started hitting a wall. All of the following thoughts were in my head:





THERE IS AN OCEAN AT THE END OF THIS RACE. (Only slightly off-topic.)

Yes, apparently I scream at myself in my head, as evidenced by the ALL CAPS. Also, is it clear I’m originally from Iowa, a land-locked state? To this day, oceans still excite me more than normal.

Miles 12-13.1: I kept reminding myself that I can run a mile in my sleep and can do anything for 9 minutes; to which I promptly also reminded myself that this is a freakin’ half marathon, not a mile jaunt through the park.

The last 800 meters was the longest 800 meters I’ve ever run in my life.

It seemed really important to document this at the time.

Splits? Not so even, but here you go:

Exactly 13.10. This never happens.

I didn’t reach my sub-2 goal, but wasn’t expecting to today. I’m thrilled with my new PR of 2:03; my previous PR was 2:16, making this race a full 13 minutes faster. Speedwork, people. It works wonders.

One down, four to go.

Sidenote: beachside finish lines are quite possibly the best thing ever. Hot sand and freezing cold ocean water are fairly amazing on tired, sore feet.

Happy runners! Sun! Sand! Water! Perfection.

Does anyone else think of “The Sandlot” when they see a ferris wheel? No? Just me?


Sadly, Brendan couldn’t be at the race today. But look what I came home to! I’m the luckiest girl.

His note reminded me to RICE. What a guy.

Next up?

Working on that 5-Borough Challenge!

Since the race is over, I guess that means I have to start on Lora’s burpee challenge! Happy Saturday, everyone!

Did you run today? Have any good stories about improving a PR? What’s your favorite way to recover from a race? Also, you know what RICE means, right?

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. May 19, 2012 / 7:17 pm

    Yay, congrats! Awesome job getting a new shiny PR! (and I can clearly see a sub-2 in your near future, don’t you?) Oh, and roller-coasters are overrated!

    • May 19, 2012 / 8:09 pm

      Thanks Nina! I sure hope you’re right :)

  2. May 19, 2012 / 9:10 pm

    I ran a 10K today- 52:19 but no PR (wasn’t trying to, wasn’t training to). I’m glad you PRed and really surprised yourself and it looks like you had a lot of fun too! That’s so amazing that the race ended at the beach and you could put your feet in the sand, definitely needed after 13.1 miles!

    • May 20, 2012 / 4:42 pm

      My feet definitely appreciated the cold water :) Thanks and congrats to you on your race as well!

  3. May 19, 2012 / 9:21 pm

    Congrats on the half! That is an awesome PR. I always have those thoughts at the end of the race – I wonder how people run marathons at that pace!

    • May 20, 2012 / 4:43 pm

      Thanks so much! Yes my goal is to be able to keep that pace for a full marathon but right now it seems like such a huge task to undertake!

  4. May 19, 2012 / 9:59 pm

    Congrats on the PR! And I totally agree with B, C and D… for A, I was thinking “why in the world would I ever run a half marathon again?! Marathons are so much better” — hahaha I have issues.

    And YES join the Burpee Challenge!! So fun!! I promise [just don’t read my tweet from earlier… I mean…]

    • May 20, 2012 / 4:45 pm

      HAHA ugh I was so anti-marathon in that moment!

      I totally need a challenge like the burpee challenge. I’m going to start now! I hate them and love them at the same time…

  5. May 19, 2012 / 11:20 pm

    wow congrats! Way to go, see running just makes all those worries melt away!

    • May 20, 2012 / 4:45 pm

      Thanks! Exactly why I love running :)

  6. May 24, 2012 / 11:16 am

    congrats on your PR!! so exciting! I’ve been reading all the Brooklyn half race reports – so fun. I’m from colorado but decided to time my visit with my son (he lives in Brooklyn) so I could run the Brooklyn Half. It was my 2nd half and I PRed too! It was a great course and we totally got lucky with the weather…esp. considering the RAIN on Monday.

    • April 17, 2013 / 4:07 pm

      Congrats on your PR as well! It really was an awesome race. (Sorry this response is sooo late, I guess I missed this!)

  7. April 17, 2013 / 2:38 pm

    Just found your blog by looking up brooklyn half marathon recaps! I will be running it this may and am nervous! was prospect park hilly? congrats on the PR! My current PR is about the same as yours and I’m aiming for sub 2 as well but we’ll see, those hills make me nervous!

    • April 17, 2013 / 4:05 pm

      Welcome! I actually loved this race, I don’t remember the hills too much which makes me think they weren’t horrible. There definitely were some…but you have time, so I would say to just start adding hills into your runs more and more each week. The more you run them, the better you’ll feel :) Best of luck! Let me know how it goes!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *