Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brooklyn Half!!!!

OK, so this race report is much delayed; shame on me.

The day after my previous post- just as I was starting to get excited about the half- I awoke in the morning with a sore throat and one clogged nostril. Oh, yeah. Things went rapidly downhill from there- and I tried everything. Nothing helped.

Mind you – I wasn’t dying; it was really just a sore throat and stuffy sinuses. But with a half marathon approaching it is not a good way to feel.

Add to the mix notice that the next door neighbor would be having a graduation party/barbecue the night before the race- oh oy!

I duly laid out all of my gear the night before; knowing I would have to be up at 4:30 am the latest to get to the race on time. I probably slept for three hours all put together but between the stuffy nose , the sudden heat and the terrible loud DJ and music from next door (really sounded like the party was RIGHT in my bedroom) it was in 15 minute spurts. UUUUUGGGGGHHHHH.

Of course I overslept. Not horribly, but enough to make me hustle. I managed to choke down some sort of food, drink, use the facilities properly and get to the race on time. How beautiful to be in Brooklyn for a change! We found a great parking space and I met up with my running buddies. I really wish I were feeling better- it was a beautiful morning even if it was already warm at 6 am. There were scads of porta potties; I was able to find one that didn’t make me gag without a 15 minute wait!

In the corrals, energy was high. My start was probably 15+ minutes after the horn sounded. I said bye to my running buddy( whose pace per mile is at least 1:30 faster than me- and we started out at the same pace months ago mind you but not going there) and settled in to the first few miles of the race.

I immediately noticed a few things:

I felt FAT

I should have brought more tissues to blow my nose with

Despite previous efforts, I would probably have to use the bathroom. Again.

Damn, it was hot

Ah, well. My foot was also hurting just a bit- not cool; but I figured I would give the Brooks Ghost a chance to prove themselves for this race.

The race went down part of Eastern Parkway, into and around Prospect Park, and out of the park down Ocean Parkway all the way to the Coney Island boardwalk. In Prospect Park I finally stopped to pee- the line was so long it was hilarious; and there were people running off into the bushes to pee. Whatever- I really had to go and am so glad I stopped. I do wish I knew the park better as I passed at least two other porta potties in picnic areas that only had one or two people waiting as opposed to the 10 that were in front of me, but whatever.

For some reason Prospect Park seemed to take forever, and really the full loop is only just over 3 miles. I think I stopped at every water station after mile 5 to drink a little Gatorade(blech) and after mile 9; drink some water. It was HOT and I already sweat like an animal.

Aside from regularly blowing my nose and not feeling 100%; I was ok. My feet held up well-the Brooks have earned their keep, I guess. No back pain or leg pain; just HOT and tired. After mile 9 I started taking walk breaks- I couldn’t help it. My PLAYLIST however was a great help I am so glad I was able to throw on some new tunes to help lift my spirits. I have fallen in love again with the Rolling Stones, Queen and Wu-Tang Clan.

Just before the final 400 meters I spied a member of my running group, and I summoned a smile I didn’t have and said “We are almost there!” She smiled back and we both picked up our pace. I was able to sprint the last 200, and got my medal at the end! It was so nice that the race ended on the Coney Island Boardwalk, even though it was hot as blazes.

I hung around for another hour or so to cheer on other finishers and dance to the Donna Summer/ Beastie Boys mix the DJ was playing (RIP Donna and MCA-another chunk of my wonderful youth gone!) I didn’t put my feet in the water like I wanted to, nor did I get a Nathans Hot Dog. I went back to that diner and had another Turkey Burger and Fries! It was soooo good…almost as good as the shower I finally got to take and the nap that was awaiting me.

Two days later my cold was gone, I just needed to rest. My time was longer than the last race, but had I not stopped to pee I would have been faster so I am satisfied. More importantly, I had NO pain, stiffness, soreness afterwards and I am thankful for that. Pretty freakin amazing.

On the other hand, I don’t like any of my pictures from the race- not only did I feel fat that day I really look fat. Waah!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Another Half Already?!

I haven’t posted in a while as I have been slacking (what else is new) and stressed. Somehow the weeks have flown by , and suddenly it’s time for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Damn.

I really believed that I was doing the MORE half in preparation for Brooklyn- and that I would be better prepared; hitting my runs strength training, better, etc. Well, that has NOT happened and I feel WAY under prepared.

I have been hitting my long runs, and for the most part they were ok. Except for this last one. I barely cranked out 10 miles and the last three were UGLY. It was sooo hot; and I just had no gas left. OK I admit – my nutrition was off, and I was very stressed worrying about something. But it was soooo hard; the last half mile my legs felt like lead pipes and when I got to the public bathroom it wasn’t to pee, it was to sit and gather my wits.

This last stellar long run was on Mother’s Day. I celebrated by actually going to a good solid NYC diner and eating a BURGER- something I haven’t done in years. It was a turkey burger (beef would still be sitting in my stomach today)but wow it was good- just shows how stressed I was, I hardly ever eat like that. It was good!

So back to kvetching about the Half- its going to be really warm Saturday, and the race starts so early I believe I will have to wake up no later than 4:30 which is ridiculous. I will not be able to eat that early- I mean, how does one train to wake up THAT early and race? I just hope I can make the same time I did for the MORE. I haven’t even out together my outfit yet, horrors!

I had the pleasure of putting together a presentation about Triathlons for my running group. I re-discovered my adoration for the sport (in a voyeuristic sense) and surprised myself with how many questions I could actually answer. I guess those years of reading everything I could get my hands on did have some effect, however fleeting! The session was very well received and I felt very comfortable delivering it, it was a lot of fun. I may have a small proclamation along these lines later, stay tuned.

I got my running buddy to pick up my race materials for me- I think I will try to get them tomorrow, I need something to inspire me and get me at least a little more excited about what I am about to do!