Where Brooklyn At!?!?!?!
Or more like where in Brooklyn is the starting line at? So pumped up for the race I didn't even know where the starting line was. Was it Eastern Parkway or Franklin? This was my second half marathon and my second jab at the Brooklyn Half. With no serious training, I finished in one hour and forty six minutes last year, so this year I was ready to bring home the gold.
Who wakes up at three forty five in the morning for coffee, bananas, and oatmeal though? And why can’t we do this later on in the day? But, they do say you should wake up and train at the same time you would get up to run on race day so that your body gets used to it. I guess it’s too late for that.
When I got to the train station in Harlem, I almost couldn't find Larry. He was rocking his camouflage gear being all incognito and stuff. Two years ago, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to recognize him - this man lost 120 pounds! What an amazing story! What an inspiration!
We made it to bag check! I threw my bag inside the UPS truck so I can catch up to my Harlem Run team for a quick selfie or ten before we head to our corrals. The porter potties are always a crowd favorite. I think people just need some time alone, to pray or something.
So I'm way early, I guess I'll do some squats. They cut the lines, the corrals collapse, and now I can count how many Gu gels this guy has in his shorts behind me with the back of my legs. Somehow Alison, Amir, and Joe made it up to where I was. The whole team here! There goes the sound of the horn and we are off! (Workout started)
The energy, the cheering, the signs, the noisemakers, the photographers, I cannot slow down. (Distance, 1 mile) Joe pulls up next to me, “Let's do this Joe!” Prospect Park, Mile 5, Fluid Station 4. I don't usually drink water in a race. But when I do, Raydime pours it for me. “Thanks RayRay!” (Pace, 6:30 mins per mile) No one is allowed to pass me. Just passed the 1:35 pace group, I’m cruising.
Exited the park, where did everyone go? Ocean Parkway, Mile 8:. “Oh, hi Suny! No Suny, runners only on the course, but I'll see you at the finish line. Thanks for coming out!” (Distance, 10 miles) I feel an army approaching behind me. It's the 1:35 pace group! No, I cannot let them get any closer. Okay, I cannot let them pass me. Alright, go ahead guys. “Oh, hey there Amir, you're on the phone? Okay cool, let's catch up later!” What's happening? I was doing so well. Come on legs, three more miles. You can do it! Left, right, left, right...
You, go ahead. You, go ahead. Everyone, go ahead. I'm walking. Why am I even putting myself through this? I can just as easily walk off, catch a cab, or take the train home. You think anyone would notice? Snap out of it! You’re tired and you haven't drank or eaten anything since mile 5. Drink something! Okay, next fluid station is at mile 11.
Gatorade! “Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, I'll take that, thanks, thanks, I'll take that too, thanks.” Ladies and gentlemen, we are back in business! Easy now, you don't want to burn out again. God, this is tough. F@#$, I can't do this. Runners pass telling me, "You can do this." I can't. Another says, "You're almost there!" No, I'm not. Man, stop telling me what to do! "You got this Kai!" I look back and it's jmashia17! You're right Just, I got this. Only 800 meters to go. But, the longest 800 meters ever. Look! There's people, the D train, roller coasters, Nathan's - life!
I'm flying. Well, at least it felt like it - I was jogging 11 minutes per mile at most. I'm crying. No, it's raining. I'm on the board walk! Finish! Stop. (Workout ended. Time, 1:37) Really? Even with all that walking? I must have taken a cab. I’m sure. So glad it's over!
My medal! “Thanks Carolyn!” But, where's my bagel though? Water, Gatorade, pretzel, pretzel, pretzel... No bagels? Really?!
“Good job, Joe! Good job, Justin!” Fist love. “How was it?!” “Good!” “Me? It was awful. Those last three miles man. So, here's what happened. I woke up at three forty five this morning...”
They say you can do anything you put your mind to. I say you can do anything you put your time to. As long as there is time, there will be opportunities. Opportunities to learn, opportunities to improve, and opportunities to go out there and crush it again.
"You don't have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless." - Christopher McDougall, Born to Run
Oh, and get some sleep, pace yourself, and drink Gatorade.