it never was my borough

today? i took on Brooklyn and Brooklyn won-the ghosts from last year still had not been erased.

little recrap about the ghosts from last year…basically going into last year’s Brooklyn half…i was hoping for a sub-1:45 yet dreaming of a sub-1:43 (PR.) That scenario looked like it would not happen in the early going…the boardwalk felt like it tore up my legs/calves and I was in a lot of pain during the Ocean Parkway part of the race. By Prospect Park, I felt a little better and was able to pick it up a little bit…thinking I could possibly salvage a sub-1:50, but missed that by 8 bloody seconds. so for this year, I didn’t have a time goal in mind at all, but just didn’t want to feel the same pain again.

so my day started pretty early today…had to catch a bus on the Upper West Side by 5:45 am. yep, one of the perks of belonging to a cool club like the Flyers (besides the cool people) are things like…a private bus to Coney Island with plush seats and a bathroom on board (yay no portapotties!) And since i’m just too nice, I volunteered to help check everyone in before we had to go crosstown to get the UES contingent, then off to Brooklyn. That was a little bit of an adventure. First off, the bus driver had no clue where he was going and relied on us to guide him. Which worked fine up til Brooklyn and the exit for the BQE…my teammate mistakenly told the driver to get on the BQE going towards the Triboro Bridge…though I said that was not right. One thing I have to say about myself, is that I have great navigational skills (comes from the years of driving to/from Long Island and coming up with tons of alternate routes to beat the traffic!) so if I say that it’s the wrong way, you listen. And sure enough, I was right :-p

Wasn’t too bad, we still made it Coney Island in plenty of time (about an hour to spare!) So, took the time to stretch, warm up a little, wait as long as possible before shedding my other layers and checking my bag (and yes, I did go with shorts-while it was cold at the beginning, was perfect while running-I knew since it was sunny, it’d warm things up a little.) usual pre-race routine…find teammates and line up (this time between 8 and 9) and chat a little while waiting for the starting horn…and we were off!! I’m sorta dividing this race into 3 parts, and will report on them as so…

Part I-The Coney Island Boardwalk
Mile 1-8:00
Mile 2-8:46
Mile 3-9:43


As usual, lining up “honestly” costs me as I had to dodge so many people in the early going just to sorta get into a relaxed groove. The boards are moving under my feet and I do everything to make sure I don’t wipe out. Mile 1 seemed a little fast, but I remember that mile seemed short last year so I wasn’t worried. The turnaround was in mile 2 and I get to see everyone going back the other way (I think I did see Uptown Girl, but not entirely sure) Mile 2 seemed a little more realistic but what worried me more was that my calves and shins were beginning to really hurt…again. Mile 3 pretty much showcased how much I was hurting (though I think Chelle may have been right about that mile being long too!) I could not wait to get off that boardwalk…

Part II-Ocean Parkway
Mile 4-8:54
Mile 5-8:56
Mile 6-9:10
Mile 7-8:56
Mile 8-8:57
Mile 9-8:47


So, at that point it was pretty much deja vu from last year and I wasn’t looking forward to the 6 miles along Ocean Parkway. At that point, just try and keep it together as much as possible (I slowed in mile 6 for Gatorade and mile 7 for gel.) And the headwind was not exactly helping matters much either. Honestly…a DNF was actually on the mind, was thinking of just calling it quits after 9 or 10 but…got a little too much pride for something like that to happen. So figured, just bide my time til the park, maybe the hills will actually help (as well as the best part of my playlist!)

Part III-Prospect Park
Mile 10-8:57
Mile 11-8:54
Mile 12-8:13
Mile 13-8:19
last .1 mile-:52


We enter the park and not too long after we do, I see Brooklyn cheering for us (thanks!) I hold back a little in mile 10, wanting to save my legs for the climb in mile 11…yeesh, that was a bitch. More so than Harlem Hill…seemed like we just kept climbing and climbing and climbing with not quite enough downhill. Miles 12 and 13, I thought “the faster I run, the faster I finish”…though mile 13 was a tough one. Saw Derek was cheering near the finish line…thanks!! That last .1 mile is evil-along the lines of races that end at Tavern on the Green, but tried the best I could to kick it hard.

Final result-1:55:24, 8:48 pace. Unfortunately a PW by 19 seconds (previous worst in the Bronx last year) but it is what it is (a glorified training run) and I’ll take it.

After the race a big group of Flyers headed to a brunch that a coupla members were hosting-they had just bought a place near Prospect Park and wanted to host something for us. It’s funny, on the way walking over it was so cold, I think all anyone wanted was a spiked hot beverage. We got rum-spiked hot cider…yum. In addition to some other yummy food and a nice warm place to hang out for a coupla hours. But man, everyone looked as beat as i felt.

As for the race:
I’m not as disappointed with my time as I could have been. I mean, this is the first time running 13.1 since the injury and while it’s always nice to hope for miracles, gotta respect the distance, and just be glad that I *can* run 13.1 again. And this one wasn’t even a goal race for me anyway. What I wish had been different however, was the deja vu of the aches and pains from last year. I’m really convinced now that for distance, my legs need a nice rolling course and not so much flatness-and that the boardwalk surface really kills my legs. And that I am not going to run my best times when the mercury dips below 40-50 (will it *ever* be spring?)

So plain and simple-Brooklyn never was, and never will be, my borough.
However…once a Queen, always a Queen.
Yep. The Queens Half at the end of April…that *will* be my race, as it was last year.

And taking a much needed coupla weeks off from the races…c-ya next at the Labrecque 4-miler.

now i desperately need another nap…

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9 thoughts on “it never was my borough

  1. Take it for what it’s worth…13.1 miles. You went into this knowing you weren’t going to race and I know for me when I do that…I never do that great. You’ve got the right attitude though with the race at the end of April…Anyway, you probably did see me but I was in my “zone” today so I didn’t notice much of anything during the race:)

  2. Nice effort, regardless of your time — takes guts to stick it through a tough race. Take care of yourself and you’ll bounce back stronger.Oh and one of your teammates called out “nice race” to me after I was done. Don’t know who he was or if we were near each other during the race, but I thought it was a nice gesture and all in good team spirit.Looking forward to spring…

  3. And that I am not going to run my best times when the mercury dips below 40-50 (will it *ever* be spring?)AMEN to that!It was nice to see you out there; and shorts?…yeah, you’re crazy. I was in pants and two layers up top and was still cold most of my run, even when really working it. Blustery day….I think it was Beast once wrote to me never take a DNF unless there’s danger of injury or death. good advice, always finish.As for a PW…I challenge you to beat mine: 3:05!! 🙂

  4. Don’t line up according to the pace things, that’s just going to cost you. If it’s any consolation, you were still faster than my time in the Manhattan half just two months ago by over a minute. The bus should have started on the east side, then hit the west side, and gone down the west side highway to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. Much quicker than the route you took.

  5. hey everyone, thanks very much for the comments :)I’m actually feeling better about this “race” than I did about, say, the Snowflake 🙂 Not disappointed with the time as I knew going in I wasnt racing it, just disappointed with the experience-it seems like I’m one of the very few that never seems to have an enjoyable Brooklyn half 🙂 But everyone’s different-hell, I know a few who absolutely love the Bronx and say it’s their favorite!! I guess it’s all about what works best for each individual. (I remember Deena Kastor saying something in Runners World about Chicago-about how so much flatness may not be great for distance as you’re just using the same muscle groups over and over again, which is what I’ve been thinking…)But, glad I stuck it out, as getting those 13.1 under my belt will just help towards the real goal-Queens.uptown girl-yeah, you definitely looked like you had your “game on” face there :)sempre libera-not surprised to hear that, about one of our guys giving you props afterwards…they’re good people 🙂 we’re really not as much into the whole “team rivalry” thing…brooklyn-it’s funny, before the race when i was wearing shorts i said “yeah i’m crazy. or hardcore. or both.” it was fine when running though, although if it were cloudy i probably would have worn tights.derek-i’ll be sure to let “the man” know that for next year 🙂 that way would also give the west siders an extra 15 minutes of sleep :-Das for lining up-i used to line up on the aggressive side (like in the 6 minute section) when I knew that I was going for a PR and every second mattered. (or when I used to be able to get team medals in non-points races, as those awards were based on clock time!) i figured for now, to just be fair and line up honestly but now not too sure…i swear, the starts at these races have gotten progressively worse…

  6. Bronx is the best half-marathon. Queens is too twisty, Brooklyn too early in the season and S.I. too late. Bring on that Moshulu Parkway baby!

  7. I hear you on the naps…that one wore me out pretty bad too. It does seem like everyone I’ve talked to ran a sluggish race yesterday, so I think it’s fair to blame at least some of it on the wind. You’re right..it was a great training run and it’s money in the bank for your next effort.

  8. About lining up, I think the problem is actually that they squeeze people in a few minutes before the start. For the December races, I started warming up and lining up earlier. Early on, people actually do line up honestly, but then NYRR starts herding people in. They should probably space the pace markers closer together up front, and farther apart in back to reflect the distribution of expected paces, rather than assuming the same number of people in each pace category.Wow, I am such a geek.

  9. Good luck in Queens!

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