4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Nervous about Brooklyn Half Marathon

with 3 comments

Getting a bit jittery about the Brooklyn Half Marathon coming up next Saturday.  

  1. Since the Austin Marathon in mid-Feb, I’ve only had one run over 7 miles.  I’ve been putting a fair amount of miles in, and was well trained for marathon distance 3 months ago, so will just have to hope that is enough.  My intention is to run 8-10 miles tomorrow, so at least I’ll have another longish run under my belt.
  2. From the beginning, I was not happy about the timing of the race.  I’m not a good hot/humid weather runner, and much prefer the race in the March timeframe, it’s historical spot on the calendar.  I’ve had very strong times in this race, but always as the culmination of my strong winter training.  Simply put, too much time has past since I hit my peak training in Feb/March.
  3. Finally, I think reversing the race course will be a problem for me.  First 7 miles is 2 loops of Prospect Park, and then the final 6 miles is totally flat down Ocean Parkway and on the boardwalk.  Eerily reminds me of the New York City Half Marathon course, where I have not done well both times I’ve run it.  The hills, in the heat and humidity, just wiped me out for the rest of the run.  I will need to be very careful not to go out too fast in the hills, or, hopefully the heat and humidity won’t be a big problem.  I think this is a mental block more than anything else.

This was always my favorite race on the calendar.  March was the perfect time of the year for a half marathon.  The beach and boardwalk, at the race start in Coney Island in the early morning, was always so peaceful.  And the race course was very fair.  Flat for first 9 miles made it easy to get into a groove.  If you managed the pace correctly, and saved just enough in the tank for the last 4 hilly miles in Prospect Park, you could really push the hills and get rewarded with a fast time.  My last 3 Brooklyn Halfs (2005, 2007, 2008) were all PR’s, with the last 2 both under 1:58.  The difference with this course is that I’ll be afraid to push the hills hard, and, if I come out of the park at all on the tired side, it will be a long slog down Ocean Parkway, likely running into the sun…

I understand that all things need to change eventually, and the new date and configuration of the race will create a great day for the borough of Brooklyn.  Upwards of 10,000 runners are expected, and it will certainly be a party atmosphere at the finish in Coney Island.  But, it will create a tougher race for me.  I think under 2 hours will be a stretch, but I hope to be close.  I fully expect to finish under 2:05, which is 9:33 pace per mile.  Wonder how I will respond… 

Today, did a 26 mile bike ride, up to George Washington Bridge.  See the course here.


Written by SCL

May 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Posted in bike, running

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. […] 25, 2009 After yesterday’s freak out about the Brooklyn Half Marathon, I went out tonight for a 10.3 mile run – my 3 bridges 3 […]

  2. […] on to the race proper.  For several reasons, I was really worried about the race.   The key to doing this race well is to sufficiently hold […]

  3. Very well written post however, I would recommend that you turn the No Follow off in your comment section.

    Keep up the good work.

    Marathon Effort

    June 5, 2009 at 1:39 pm

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