Brooklyn Half weekend was finally here! After 12 weeks of training, it was finally time to celebrate 12 weeks of Justin’s hard work with a 13.1 mile party.
We met up at Carmine’s for a carbloading dinner after work on Friday (it was so hard to not order my favorite frozen cosmo) before heading home to pack all our stuff for the morning and binge watch a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother. #RaceEveWinning
With an alarm that went off before 5am (bleh), Justin and I wearily gathered our things and headed out the door before the sun to grab a cab and pick up Meghan (just like old times!) on our way to Brooklyn.
We got to the start nice and early and were able to relax a bit before handing in our bags and heading through security.
In my bag:
- A bag of Cheerios, banana, and small water for pre-race
- Two packs of Honey Stingers (one caffeinated)
- Change of sports bra, two long sleeves, and Adidas sandals for post-race
- Small bag carrying chapstick, cellphone, money, and ID
A checked bag with post-race comforts is essential for the Brooklyn Half if you want to hang around Coney Island for a bit after the run.
Even with 2 port-a-potty stops before the start, it felt like we stood in the corrals forever. It’s definitely a long morning for Wave 2ers. Oh, and I fangirled quite a bit upon realizing we were standing behind Virgil in the corrals. Gah!
Brooklyn Half – The First 5 Miles
While a few days out it looked like it may rain on our parade, come race morning, the weather was perfect for running – 60s, overcast, and only slightly humid.
After so much waiting in the corrals, it took a while for our legs to warm up once we did start running. We checked in with each other a few times during these miles but for the most part, I yapped away about random things while Justin shlogged alongside of me.
We joked at every Chronotrack point that if we listened hard enough, we could hear mama runnerindenial cheering from afar as she got our running update on her phone (the ‘rents were at a wedding in the Catskills).
The crowds are decent in certain spots along these miles but there are definitely pockets of silence (this seems to be the case throughout the entire race though).
A major highlight of these miles was a gentleman with a giant blow-up Trump doll and a huge sign saying, “Punch Trump.” We meandered over to the right so we both got a chance to punch Trump. Little did we know, we’d get two more punches in before the finish. #thiskidwinsthebkhalf
Brooklyn Half – The Second 5 Miles
We picked up the pace here ever so slightly as our legs loosened up and we started to get into a rhythm.
I had a fueling strategy going into the race and we stuck with it throughout:
- Water at every station until more than halfway where we’d alternate Gatorade and water
- Honey Stingers around miles 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, with caffeinated stingers starting around mile 8
This fueling strategy doubled as a mental strategy because I felt so accomplished once we started integrating Gatorade and the caffeinated chews in. Hey, whatever helps, right?
We were excited to get out of Prospect Park and finally get to the long stretch that is Ocean Parkway. We punched Trump one more time and headed down the ramp to the highway.
Brooklyn Half – The Last 5K
With only about 30 minutes of running left, we picked up the pace a bit more. We hugged the right side of the course on the lookout for friends Jenny and Daniel, who we spotted around mile 10.5.
After some high-fiving, we continued on with renewed energy. Seeing friends along the course is pretty damn great. Thanks, guys!
As we got closer to the end of Ocean Parkway, the crowds really began to thicken. I love this part of the race where you’re running alongside the boardwalk but haven’t gone up the ramp to the finish yet. I imagine most people hate this but whatevs, my being strange would be of no surprise to anyone.
We punched Trump one more time and passed the 800m mark, where I made my usual 800m remark, “you can do anything for 5 more minutes.”
Once we got onto the boardwalk, Justin picked it up and sprinted it to the finish line.
After grabbing our bags and a quick change in the parking lot (#imsoclassy), we sauntered over to MCU Park for a stretch on the field. Jenny and Daniel had made it down to Coney Island so we met up with them at Coney Island Brewery before finding Justin’s parents and driving back to Manhattan.
Coney Island is a mob of runners and spectators after the race and it is all sorts of wonderful. This is probably my favorite part of this race, being able to hang out afterwards just relaxing and celebrating the run with a beer.
Once back on the UWS, we showered and grabbed lunch with Justin’s family and then promptly parked it on the couch for a serious nap – we had a night of beers at the Central Park Zoo ahead of us!
Have I mentioned before that I love this zoo? Because I love this zoo.
It was a great ending to a wonderful (but long, oh my god so long) day with my best friend.
Congrats, Justin, on your first half-marathon 🙂