Tag Archives: brooklyn half

Pacing my other half at the Airbnb BK Half.

Somehow, training (and, like, ALL the months) absolutely FLEW and it was already the week of the Brooklyn Half!

BK Half Pre-Party

Thursday after work, Justin and I met in Brooklyn to walk over to the pre-party to get our bibs for the race. This was the first time we’ve been to this area since this happened:

It was the hottest day of the year so far so our intention was to get in and out of there as quickly as possible, grab some pizza, and head back home to shower off the grossness. Even without the heat, we’d have done our best to get in and out of there quickly – the music was so loud! My 30 years may as well been 80 while we were there because I was so unbelievably agitated by the volume. #turnitdown #youregonnaloseyourhearing #iammygrandpa

Once we booked it out of there, we walked over to Juliana’s to meet up with Jenny and enjoy some pre-race pizza and conversation. Looking back, we ate really well the days prior to the race with Juliana’s on Thursday and Carmine’s on Friday night 🙂 #carbloadingbride

BK Half

Pre-Race

I decided to jump back to Wave 2 so Justin and I could run together (and also sleep in just a little bit longer) on Saturday morning.  We were up by 5am and in a car to the start by 5:45. Before we left, I checked the weather one last time – low 60s, cloudy, 0% chance of rain. About halfway into our drive, guess what started? RAIN. I crossed my fingers that it’d be a passing shower because I didn’t bring a running hat with me and running without a hat in the rain is so, so miserable.

Luckily, the rain stopped by the time we got to the start village and we took our time getting through security and dropping Justin’s bag off at his assigned UPS truck. It was so cold and windy and I instantly regretted not bringing throwaway pants in addition to my long sleeve shirt.

To stay warm, we sat on top of a subway grate until the corrals started collapsing. Once in the corrals, I did my best to huddle in the middle of taller runners to block the wind until we started moving. #shortpeopleperk

By 7:45, we were off and Justin’s second half-marathon was underway!

The Race

The first mile was quite congested and was most definitely our slowest running mile (we made a port-a-potty stop in Prospect Park which was definitely our slowest overall mile). I was super careful not to do any weaving and just let that first mile serve as a solid warm up. After that, things cleared out a bit and I made sure to keep us right around last year’s overall pace (10:07). I told Justin that I would assess pace again once we got to the 10k mark and I checked in with how he was feeling. Satisfied with that, he let me lead.

Maybe it was the fact that I spent the first half of Prospect Park looking for open port-a-potties for me and Justin or that running in a circle isn’t my idea of a good time but OMG Prospect Park seemed to never end. I started to get super whiny about the fact that we were still running through the park and not getting out of the park and onto Ocean Avenue quick enough. As promised, I checked in with Justin at the 10k mark, he still felt good and said he’d be okay picking it up a little, I responded “actually, I’m gonna keep us right here for a little while longer and check in around mile 8” and chose to omit the fact that I had already picked up our pace. #ignoranceisbliss

Once we left the park and meandered on over to Ocean Avenue, my mental state got a million times better. I know some people hate the monotony of Ocean Avenue but it doesn’t really bother me until Mile 12 or so. I like just being able to zone out and keep on keeping on down the road. At mile 8, Justin started running ahead and I had to pull him back a bunch of times. He eventually told me he wanted to beat his time from last year and we needed to pick it up (he didn’t have a watch so LOL what do you know, Justin?!?). Anywho, I told him that I had already adjusted, that we were going to beat his time from last year without issue, and he needed to just trust me.

At mile 11, I had a solid idea of what time we’d cross the finish line (I was exactly correct too – math degree FTW!) and asked Justin if he wanted to know how ahead we were and was met with a very stern “no.”

As I’d been doing all race, I picked it up again for mile 11 and a little bit more with mile 12. That last mile was a bit of a struggle bus for Justin so I knew my pacing was on point and that any faster during the race wouldn’t have been smart.

We finished in 2:05:25 (9:34), a 7 minute PR for Justin!

Post-Race

After we grabbed our bag and changed in the parking lot (#imsofancy), we walked over to Coney Island Brewing Company to meet up with Daniel and wait for Jenny (who had a totally badass run after dealing with injuries for months. She’s back, ladies and ‘gents!). It was pretty packed and the weather wasn’t the greatest so we stayed for a beer or two and then decided to head on back to Manhattan.

Once home, it was time for lunch, a serious nap, lots of tv watching, and eggplant rollatini and baked ziti leftovers for dinner. Perfect ending to a great day 🙂

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Congrats to all BK Half finishers!

With this half behind me, I’ve got a few weeks until NYCM training officially starts and less than 4 months until wedding day! Who has tips on balancing it all? Send ’em my way. 

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Filed under half-marathon, new york city, running

2016 Brooklyn Half-Marathon.

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.

BK Half Pre-Party

Brooklyn Half Pre-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

Race Morning

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.

Brooklyn Half - Start Line

Brooklyn Half – Start Line

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.

bk half 2

Brooklyn Half – Start Line

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.

Brooklyn Half

Brooklyn Half

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.

Our sign! Thanks, Jenny and Daniel!

Our sign! Thanks, Jenny and Daniel!

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.

Brooklyn Half - Finish Line

Brooklyn Half – Finish Line – 2:12:37 (10:07)

Post-Race

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.

Brooklyn Half - After Party

Brooklyn Half – After Party

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!

central park brew at the zoo

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 🙂 

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Update: I’m running the Brooklyn Half (and so is my other half).

Phew, I needed that little blogging break. After Princess Weekend and moving and working and all other life mayhem, my mind just couldn’t produce anything worthwhile and I’m not a fan of posting word vomit. You’re welcome. Or not, if you like word vomit. I’m much more word vomity on Twitter if that’s your thing.

Anywho, lack of posts does not mean lack of running/workouts becauuuuuuse I’m running one of my favorite races next month, the Brooklyn Half! As usual with the BK Half, I’m not running for time and I just want to enjoy the course and my finish line beer.

newsies_brooklyn is here

And this year, I get to enjoy my finish line beer with a first time half-marathoner!

On Brooklyn Half registration day, I set my alarm so I could get in ASAP as it’s a race that typically sells out quickly (I think this year it was about 2 hours). I promptly let Justin know that I was successful and he congratulated me… and that’s it. Nothing else.

MANY DAYS LATER (or was it weeks? I don’t even know) he calmly lets me know that oh yea, he also registered to run the Brooklyn Half. WHAT?!?! WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED OF THIS IMMEDIATELY?!?!

Newsies_grounds

Needless to say, I forgave him for keeping this secret to himself because someone registering for a race is kind of like Christmas morning to me. I quickly jotted down a sketch of a 12 week training plan.

As someone who has never run more than a 5k (he ran with us in Disney!) and is prone to shin splints and ankle issues (he’s been doing ankle strengthening exercises I used back when I had PTT), I wanted to create a conservative training schedule that wouldn’t feel overwhelming and would get him to the finish line healthy.

Each week consists of the following:

  • Two shorter weekday runs
  • One weekend long run (slow increases, two cutback weeks, and a peak of 10 miles)
  • One cross-training day
  • One strength day
  • One stretching day
  • One full rest day

We each do our own thing during the week in terms of training but we’ve been running the Saturday longer runs together. I’ll be sure to post his full training schedule at the end of the cycle.

newsies_spot conlon

With just 6 weeks left until race day and the THOUGHT of spring weather (where are you, spring? come out and play, will ya?), I’m rather excited.

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Is anyone running Brooklyn for the first time?

What are some ridiculous topics I can use to torture entertain Justin during our next long run?

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Filed under half-marathon, new york city, running, schedule

I’ll get you, my pretty: 2015 Brooklyn Half-Marathon.

After sleeping through my shakeout run Friday morning, I figured I’d do some light yoga when I got home after work. Yea, I didn’t do that either. Instead, I sat on my couch and ate more than is required to run 13.1 miles. I’m not even sorry.

so delicately

My alarm went off at 4:51 (have I mentioned that setting an alarm in a time that ends with a 0 or 5 makes me antsy and I won’t do it? #weirdo) and I, very miserably, got myself dressed and ready to head out the door to pick up Jess and Michelle by 5:30am.

I like watching/listening to the news in the morning as I get ready but was super disappointed/annoyed that I was UP TOO EARLY ON A WEEKEND and the news wasn’t on. That’s right, I was up before the news. Did you know that the news comes on at 5:30am on Saturdays? Because it does. So yea, I was stuck watching NY1. Good times.

We chatted in the cab on our way to the start, hoping the rain would hold off but glad we had hats for the run and dry clothes for after just in case it didn’t. As I really had no time goals for this race, I felt super relaxed.

brooklyn half start

Brooklyn Half Breakdown:

Start – Prospect Park

This whole part was just yuck. It was hot and humid and by mile 3 I was actually wishing for a slight drizzle.  As the miles went on, I figured that there was no way I was going to have a good race. My breathing felt labored, the sweat wasn’t evaporating off my skin and was instead itching every part of me, and my legs were all “nope, don’t want to do this today.”

lead (or dead) legs

At the top of the Prospect Park hill of death, I decided I’d just maintain the pace and try to finish happy. I believe my exact words were, “it’s not like I’m winning this thing.”

The remainder of the park is downhill so that definitely helped physically (and cut lots of seconds off the pace) but getting out of the park did tons for my mental well-being. Prospect Park < Central Park.

Ocean Parkway

The slight incline of the ramp getting on to Ocean Parkway felt absolutely insane this year. Has it always been that bad?

Despite feeling awful in those beginning miles and already resolving myself to not having a good race, I really started to settle into my run on Ocean Parkway. The miles seemed to tick by and my legs started to feel really good.

By mile 8 it began to drizzle (which felt really good) and then almost immediately it started pouring (which felt really bad). But whatever, it’s just water, and contrary to what some scorned men of my past may tell you, I don’t melt.

melting

By mile 11, the rain stopped and it was within this mile that I finally looked at my watch and did the math. I leaned over to Jess, “I can PR.”

I haven’t raced a half-marathon since 2012 and I’m definitely a stronger runner now than I was back then so I kinda figured this would happen. But still, I almost didn’t allow myself to think it until we got close enough that I knew it could happen… and easily.

Coney Island 

Now that I knew a PR was going to happen even though I hadn’t even tried, I was all sorts of giddy. As we got closer and closer to the finish line, I couldn’t contain my excitement for the upcoming months. I cannot wait to push myself and really see what I can do with the half-marathon distance come September.

Unfortunately, while I was prancing on air, Jess was rolling her ankle in a water-filled pothole so that kind of dampened her race a little a lot. We held hands to get up the ramp to the boardwalk and continued holding hands to the finish line, finishing Meb-style like the adorable solemates we have become these past few months.

bk half finish line

Post-finish

Upon crossing the finish line, I shook Mary Wittenberg’s hand (one last time!), ran into my hs friend Nico (hey there buddyyy!), refueled quickly with some salty drinks/snacks (I figured this was better than licking the salt off my face #gross), and then we got ourselves to bag check as fast as we could.

The second I got my bag, I began stripping immediately. Parking lot full of strangers? Ain’t no thang. Within seconds, I had on a dry shirt and sports bra and was changing out of my soaked pants with a black garbage bag around my waist. #classy

The rest of the day was perfect. I had a beer with and then lunch (order not recommended after a long distance race – whoops), watched the Rangers game from my couch, and ended the evening with Pitch Perfect 2.

So there ya have it. I PRed without trying (2:03:20) and finished hand-in-hand with a girl who has rocked my socks since the first day we tweeted to each other.

brooklyn half parking lot

Congrats to all Brooklyn Half finishers!

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What should I do in the six weeks before I start Newport training?

How can I convince my Super to install a seat in my shower for when I’m tired post-race?

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Filed under half-marathon, marathon, new york city, PR, running