Monday, October 19, 2015

Brooklyn Greenway Half Marathon Recap

This morning I decided to travel to Brooklyn yet again for the Brooklyn Greenway Half Marathon. (note this is REALLY long, I don't know why I cannot do short recaps). 

I had originally planned to run the Yonkers Half but between logistical issues and that I have been dealing with some pain in my hamstring/glute since the last half, I decided hills would probably aggravate it and this flat, smaller half was a great option. 

I admit, I awoke this morning to 30 degree temps and was less than thrilled.  I began contemplating blowing $39 dollars on an uber or just not going due to the slight "injury". 

I arrived around 8 (9am start) and was immediately in line for bibs. It was eternal. It took about 30 minutes to get mine and then I immediately went to the eternal bathroom line. (TMI) I was unable to go. Why my body choose today to be difficult I will not know. I was basically fine, not stressed, knowing I would have to make a pit stop at some point most likely. 

Due to how behind they were checking people in, the race was delayed about 15 minutes. 

I knew the high was 50 for the day and I was wearing shorts (Oiselle distance short, I am seriously in love) a t-shirt, arm sleeves and compression socks and if one more person in a sweatshirt told me I was going to freeze I was going to strangle them. Spoiler alert all those people were whipping them off soon enough. I win. Today was running weather perfection! 

Without much fanfare (literally did not hear any start) we were off. My body was slightly numb when we started running but warmed up after a mile or so.  There was no coral system they told us to place ourselves (and you all know how that goes walkers go up front) so it took a while to find a rhythm. 

The first few miles clicked off quickly enough: 9:21, 9:18, 9:13 

This felt like a pretty decent pace. Then my stomach began to ache a little and I knew a bathroom stop was imminent so slowed a little. We finally passed one but there was a line several people deep. I was willing to stop but not wait several minutes. 

I don't know why but any half marathon after a few miles I start to question all my running choices until I hit the half way. These are always my least favorite and I was trying to back off effort wise so my stomach didn't blow up: 9:29, 9:27, 9:43 

Then we came up on a bathroom right around 6.5 - I THOUGHT the turnaround was at 7 so decided to just wait until the way back but unfortunately the turnaround was until almost mile 8. But, once I turned and had an idea of where the bathroom was and decided to pick up the pace which felt REALLY good. I was surprised. My leg/glute was definitely feeling some strain but it wasn't effecting my stride. I was ready to really negative split the run: 9:25, 9:29, 10:19 (picked up but bathroom stop - estimate probably a minute or so in there).

I had been keeping pace with a few pretty similar paced runners from mile 3 on and they had similarly dropped the pace after the turnaround as well so my mission was to catch back up with them after the stop. 

This wound up being really great to focus on for the remainder. I was definitely feeling the effort by the end which was not helped by the logistics of the course or the wind that randomly picked up.

I should note, it was a really nice run BUT not great for a race or if you are gunning for time. A million turns and cobble stone, small paths/side walk running etc. but I did enjoy it. 

Once I hit 11.5 or so I was just focused on being done. I am really proud of my mental game these days. I have 100% improved with being better and not coasting. The out I give myself these days is that I can back off the pace for a little and more or less fartlek if it gets hard but to just keep pushing. 

The last few miles: 8:54, 9:19, 9:09, 9:04, 8:35 (.1)

I also hadn't run more than 8.5 for a long run since the last half due to whatever is going on in my leg so was impressed by being able to drop the last few. 

I finished and honestly was kind of done. I was dehydrated and lightheaded (no fuel/drink at all during the run) and took a moment to gobble a banana, drink some water and coconut water.

Should note this is Garmin time I still cannot find official results. 

Overall, happy with how I raced this and that I shaved 3 minutes off of last months half. I would love to find one in November that I don't have to travel to but can't yet so am contemplating one the first weekend of December. I think I can get closer to 2 hours before the year ends. 

I would be back to run this. The pre race stuff they were not prepared for. Taking 30 or more minutes to get your bib is unacceptable. Also being unprepared bathroom wise. 

But the staff was very friendly, bag drop was easy. I was literally able to keep my pants, long sleeve shirt, sweat shirt and gloves on until about five minutes before race time. I am really loving these smaller races, I have yet to do an NYRR race this year and am happy to branch out. I would recommend it but hope that next year they make it a little bit more seamless. 

It took me some time to warm up but I have happily spent the afternoon sipping wine, and eating my favorite post race food: this massive cobb salad from one of my favorite restaurants near me. After two days of limited greens this is a thing of beauty.

Hope everyone that raced this weekend had a good one! 


  1. I love those medals! I'm not normally big on the bling, but the wood medal is so cool. Glad you had a good race -- I love the local races! It's kind of nice that there isn't one race company that dominates the scene here, but it also means you never know what the logistics will be like.

    1. I am so excited there is a 5K in my town this weekend, I can warm up running the 2 miles there and it shouldn't be too big. But yes logistics can be dicey.
      The medal was really unique, I am with you - not wowed by them but it's a cool one to add to the collection.

  2. Congrats! And what a great medal! I too am starting to enjoy the smaller races!

    1. Thank you! And yes so much more relaxed it's a cool vibe at the small ones.

  3. Great work! Sounds like all is well over there, which you know that I like to hear. I would say take November off to work on speed for two 3 week cycles, then half in December to see if you can really make some improvement.

    1. Thanks hon! And love the recommendation. I think that will be my plan. Running a 5K, 10K and 5 miler over the next few weeks which I might try to use as my lazy girls "speed work". I would love to be able to break 2 again by the end of this year (just the thought of how cold waiting to start that race in December gives me a little apprehension!)

  4. Are you running this race again this year?

    1. I'm contemplating running the Scotia Bank 1/2 in Toronto that weekend, but if I don't I will probably be back to run this. Thinking about it this year?