Race Report: Popular Brooklyn Half '18
A full week passed after I crossed the finish line at the Popular BK Half, and my toes still looked like raisins and less like... well, toes.
The race was a wet n' wild ride and just like the city itself, surprised me at every turn. Here is how it all went down:
What training? Last post, I finally came to terms with my burnout and walked into this race unprepared.
It rained. We froze. The start looked like one giant trash bag as we pressed forward and into each other to block the rain.
You'd think that being cold, wet, and untrained would lead to a miserable race, but you'd be wrong. A race is only as fun as the people you run it with, and I ran it with the best. A good girlfriend can fix just about any situation and I happened to be running with two.
The first few miles were rather unpleasant. We felt tight from standing around, and stopped 3 miles in to use the bathroom and pick up warmer clothing from the throwaway piles. Once dressed in warmer trash jackets (just lovely), we jumped back onto the course and headed towards Coney.
Running is nothing if not mental, so we devised weird ways of counting down the miles. High-fives for mile 10, exaggerated winks at mile 12; every mile got a quirky marker to keep us occupied. In between, we caught up with eachother's lives and shouted thanks to brave friends who came out to cheer.
With a mile to go, I realized I could PR. I hadn't been wearing a watch, and was having too much fun being silly to even think about how I was doing. We rounded a corner to see a sign that read "800 meters". Wait, I do that repeat all the time at track, I thought.
My friends told me to make a move, so I went for it. I pulled up hard and passed everyone on the left. I crossed the finish line having no idea if I had made the cut.
In the end, I finished a minute off of my PR, but 8 seconds faster than last year. Considering our stop at mile 3 and my lack of training, I'm really pleased! Actually I am shocked. How did I do so well with so little? Track practice must be magic.
Most importantly, I had a blast. A great time, with great people. And while my training prior to the half was lacking, I am using this race as a jumping off point for Chicago. Time to slowly build a solid base to start training on. Last year, it was all about making it. This year, it will be about making it better. I'm ready.
Special thank you to everyone who made race day so awesome. For all our friends and coaches who cheered and graciously took gear that I was too frozen to carry. For all the volunteers and friends along the course. And of course, to everyone who reached out to me after my last post about exhaustion. Hang in there, you got this.