Oh what can I say about this race weekend, other than it was epic. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately and was really looking forward to getting away, even just for a weekend.
Once we drove up to Brooklyn and checked in with our Airbnb Host, we headed to Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon Pre-Race Party. Loved that once we exited the subway, there were signs everywhere pointing to the party.
We had so much fun at the pre-race party! There were people giving away airbnb shoelaces, multiple stations where you could play mini golf, and there was a live band playing. The area was surrounded by food and beer trucks, while security remained high with NYPD (Harbor Unit, I think) looking at the Pier from the boat.
Check in was fast and there were no lines. Loved that you could see the race shirts before picking them up. I had to size up to a medium but I loved the race shirt. Had my race shirt airbrushed at one of the Airbnb stations with the blog’s name.
The only thing I was disappointed with was the lack of vendors, although most of the essentials were available for purchase. Ate some fabulous quinoa arepas from the Palenque food truck at the pre-race party and carb-loaded with tasty brick oven pizza. Ate the best doughnuts in the planet at Dough Brooklyn. I went there every.single.day and don’t regret it one bit. 🙂
Race morning and our wonderful Airbnb Host woke up at 5:30 AM to drive us to the Brooklyn Half start line. Such a wonderful and kind gesture! Getting through security was a mess and took about 45 minutes for me to get security clearance. There were porta potties in the corrals, which was great. Wave 1 departed around 7 AM and I still hadn’t gone through security; Wave 2 took off around 7:45.
The course was very crowded and I found myself weaving in and out. Right before entering Prospect Park, it started to rain heavily, which I didn’t really mind since it was warm. What I did not like was getting water in my shoes. That is the most unpleasant feeling. It rained I think for the first 3 miles.
My running coach Kristy suggested that I run by effort, rather than pace, and I felt that was fine. I ran with my Garmin turned on but with the pace hidden, so all I could see was current time and date. Miles 5-6.5 were hilly and boy was I glad to wave those hills goodbye!
After mile 7, the course is rather flat and almost slightly downhill. I was feeling good but wanted to conserve as much energy as possible, so I changed things a bit. I stopped after mile 8 to stretch and decided to run one minute and walk 30 seconds for as long as I could. I kept this going from miles 8-12.
Once I passed mile 12, I sped up and raced from the 20K point until the finish. I loved that once you entered Coney Island, you couldn’t see the boardwalk until you turned left (I believe it was Surf Ave), where the crowds were alive and cheering for runners approaching the finish line.
I turned the corner and saw the 400 Meters Left sign and the time clock on the finish line and immediately knew it would be a PR for me, and I started to cry. Since I was racing that last mile really hard, I was feeling slightly out of breath and had to hold back from crying further. I checked my finish time and saw that I set a 7-minute PR!!!
I couldn’t have done it without the guidance of my running coach; she was the first person I texted as soon as I crossed the finish line. I was beaming with pride and couldn’t wait to tell her, because we did this together.
After the finish, I felt like I had to walk forever. No water in sight, but grabbed an apple and some pretzels to immediately fuel. There must’ve been what felt like a million stairs to get anywhere, and boy does going down stairs hurt!
My friends were waiting for me in front of MCU Park with signs, then we headed out for food, margaritas and to get some sun on the beach.
Overall, I enjoyed running through the lovely streets of Brooklyn, meeting wonderful people and setting a new personal record. Thank you for being so good to me, Brooklyn!