i adore this race.
i’m almost not sure what else to say. for me, running the Brooklyn Half Marathon yesterday morning was an absolutely incredible, near-perfect experience. everything just lined up for me, and i had a carefree, pain-free, absolutely wonderfully enjoyable, easy race, from start to finish.
don’t you just love it when that happens? God knew i needed it, after stressing about my leg hurting for the past couple of weeks (more on this later — i’m thinking i have some psychosomatic issues going on here, as i didn’t have a second’s worth of pain throughout the race). i felt calm and happy and effortless throughout the race and was able to just coast along at what felt like a comfortable, easy pace and take in the whole experience with a happy heart.
i pulled a game-time decision (at 5am) and wore my new Asics, which worked like a dream. it was pretty humid, but i carried a small hand-held water bottle with me and made sure to drink a lot during the race, so i didn’t feel dehydrated at all. around mile 9-10, it started to rain for a bit, which actually felt great.
there were 26,482 finishers. that’s a heckofalotta runners, and you spend a good portion of the course sort of dodging people and trying to find your pace without smashing into anyone. i wouldn’t say it’s the easiest race in which to PR or be a speed demon, but i actually managed to finish with a time that made me happy, despite the masses and the fact that i had zero expectations or any thoughts at all about “racing” this or PRing.
so yep, i’m completely happy with that. i didn’t push myself or feel winded or overexerted or exhausted or even like i ran a half marathon afterwards (my girlfriend who came to cheer was like, “did you really just run a race? because you don’t look like it!”), so i’m thrilled with that time considering i felt amazing and able to enjoy the rest of my day afterwards! it also encourages me that i know i can train harder (hi, been in Vegas and Amelia Island the past two weeks…not exactly pre-race prep!) and push myself more in the future if i do desire to have a faster time. i think my current half PR is around a 1:51 right now…but honestly, i’m not sure.
because for me, races really aren’t about being a speed demon. sure, it’d be cool to set myself a goal one day and train for it, but that hasn’t been my story as of yet, because i run simply for enjoyment. i love this, every crazy second of it, and that’s how i want it to stay. with so many things to be stressed about in life, i never want to make running one of them.
it’s a passion. it’s about loving something so much you can’t imagine yourself without it. it’s about thanking God for being healthy and fit and able to use your body in that way, and to look around you and bask in the glow of knowing you’re a part of a community of people who all “get it” as well. it’s about doing something that reminds you of who you are at your very core, and makes your life that much of a happier place.
all these thoughts went through my head as i was loving life during this race, and i never, ever want to lose that. i’m so thankful this went as well as it did, and it definitely boosted my desire to enter more races and reminded me of how much i love being a runner.
oh, and it brought me together with some friends afterwards, too! i was able to meet another NYC blogger chick, Charissa, which was pretty darn cool.
and my friend Beth from Albany ran it as well. 518 represent in Brooklyn, woot!
so yeah — yesterday was an all-round awesome day for me. Brooklyn definitely knows how to put on a good after party, too, as the stadium at Coney Island was packed with runners & friends/fans all enjoying food, drinks, music and sunshine for hours post race. this was the first year i’ve partook in those festivities, and it was great to see such a vibrant community of runners in NYC.
cheers, Brooklyn — it was a time! looking forward to running you again next year!