I ran the Brooklyn Half and lived.
The race actually went better than that. It wasn’t great, it was 11 minutes off my half marathon PR but it was a course PR and it was the first race since my mom died where I felt like running. Even better, I was glad that I did.
Maybe it was getting out of Central Park where I’ve had such huge struggles lately or maybe it was just because it was beautiful day.
Looking at my splits from the race I can tell exactly what I was feeling on those miles and why I slowed down. There was stop I had to make in order to remove a pebble from my shoe in Prospect Park and then of course there was that hill to climb up. But then my pace improved as we got to go downhill for bit.
My first couple of miles on Ocean Parkway were pretty good but then I slowed down a bit and that was more due to the lack of consistent training. Just doing two long runs can make a half marathon harder than it should be. There was also this weird thing where the course sort of zig-zagged along the parkway. We would be running on the left side, then the course would go to the right for the water station, and then back to the left. I’m not sure why we couldn’t or wouldn’t stay on the right side. There were not any course marshals telling us to do this so my guess is that the lead group started doing that and then everyone just followed. I tried to stay in the middle of the road to prevent as much weaving as possible.
A couple of other issues that came up involved the kidney stone pain for the first seven miles, hopefully, that will be done for good the week after next. Then I had an allergy attack after running through some tree pollen between miles eight and nine.
The boardwalk brought it’s own unique challenge of large amounts of sand covering portions of the course. There times that my feet slipped as I pushed off and that made me a bit tentative in trying to push hard to the finish.
Note to self: Don’t forget the sunblock next time.
But, like I said, I am happy with this race and glad I ran it. It also left me with a good feeling that carried over to today and I wanted to go for a recovery run in my neighborhood. I haven’t been running in my hood since my mom died, I just didn’t want to. But today I did.
It was nothing spectacular, it was just a slow easy recovery run and my pace shows it. It was good to feel the normal-ness of this particular route that I normally run at 5:00 am. My quads were a bit tight from yesterday but overall everything felt pretty good. There were some tears near the end but again, I’m glad I was able to do this.
I hope this is the turning point I have been looking for.