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.
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:
WHY WOULD I EVER WANT TO RUN A FULL MARATHON?!
WEEE! I’M RUNNING! REMEMBER WHEN I COULDN’T RUN? THIS IS FANTASTIC.
SCREW GETTING A PR. I DO NOT CARE ANYMORE.
OMG I THINK I CAN PR! DO NOT SLOW DOWN. RUN FOR THE PEOPLE WHO CAN’T! AND FOR THE BEER LATER!
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.
Splits? Not so even, but here you go:
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.
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.
Sadly, Brendan couldn’t be at the race today. But look what I came home to! I’m the luckiest girl.
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?