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
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
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
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…