Some races, everything just clicks. 6:30am wake up, cup of coffee, hard-boiled egg and out the door. We made it to Brooklyn in 25 minutes and scored the sweetest parking spot on the street super close to the finish line. We stayed in the car until about 8:15 to keep warm, then headed up to the starting line. It was cold, but certainly not any colder than the Ted Corbitt 15K, and it was actually snowing that day. This felt much better than that. Plus, we had hand warmers!
Off we went! The first half-mile was the biggest hill in Prospect Park, but we felt strong. The park is a really nice loop of a little over three miles. Its relatively flat, with nothing steep enough to write home about. The other racers were in good spirits, and everyone was having a good time. How can you NOT have a good time during a half-marathon in 20 degree weather!?
At Mile 3, we ditched our outer layers in a pile right by the finish line (the benefit of running a race with lots of loops = you get to pick up all the stuff you drop off!). Our hands were warm, our toes were warm, and we were cruising along. We were hitting a 9:25 min/mile pace.
By Mile 6, we were reading for some Gu Chomps and a pit stop for ice cold Gatorade. We thought the best way to really represent in Brooklyn was to rock our Bruins gear. It was pretty amazing how many “GO BOSTON!” cheers we got, and at one point, Marissa even got a pat on the back and a little push up the hill by a passerby who said “GO MILAN!”
We were definitely sick of the one big hill by the time we started our fourth and final loop. Crossing the crest, and speeding down the other side was such a high point in the race. We only had 2.5 more miles to go, and we really felt good.
We crossed the finish line at 2:08 and 2:11, a HALF-MARATHON PR for Marissa and one minute over my PR from 2006 (which I am pretty confident I will beat in the warmer weather NYC Half in March). We got our big silver capes, finisher’s medals and one of the best cups of hot chocolate I’ve ever had – really!
Currently we are drinking mimosas out of our BRR-ooklyn Hot Chocolate Half-Marathon mugs and sitting pretty on this chilly January day. We did it! We both needed that confidence boost to bring us into February and March, our longest training months (mileage-wise). Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement, and thanks NYCRuns for putting on an awesome event. I’d do it again in a heartbeat! Just not tomorrow 🙂
* Marissa and I are training for the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass General Hospital Marathon team. We are raising money for the pediatric cancer center. Please consider making a donation to this wonderful cause. THANK YOU! *