Brooklyn Half-Marathon Recap – 2011

Hello blog friends – last time I posted, I was kind of freaking out. I had called in sick to work, spent the day in bed feeling congested, and was worried I wouldn’t even get to the starting line of the Brooklyn Half-Marathon. As usual, I was probably being melodramatic. I’m still have nasty post-nasal drip (yum!), but Afrin and Emergen-C got me feeling a little better by Friday evening.

Since the half-marathon had a 7am start time on Saturday morning, the man-friend generously agreed to host a Megan-ShelbySarah sleepover at his Brooklyn abode the night before. He didn’t complain once throughout our evening of girly gossip, running talk, and a House Hunters International marathon.

Sarah’s facial expression belies how much fun she was actually having. She might also kill me for posting this photo.

I had eaten an early-dinner (sandwich) around 4pm, but we decided to carb-up with a few pies from Elegante Pizzeria. They took awhile to arrive, but they were worth the wait. Very cheesy, good seasonings, classic New York style pizza.

I slept alright considering the 5am wake-up call and immediately got busy eating a pumpernickel bagel and drinking some black coffee. With a 7am start time, I wanted to give myself as much time as possible to digest breakfast and use the bathroom…if you catch my drift.

Now, for the race itself…

Expectations were pretty low – I was feeling under-trained and sick, so I wasn’t shooting for a PR. However, I still wanted to put up a respectable time considering this was a NYRR club points race and I was wearing the CPTC uniform. I finished in 1:35:46 (~7:18 pace) and while this is 3 1/2 minutes slower than my PR, I can’t be too disappointed. The first 10 miles or so were “uncomfortable”, but not “race-painful” if that makes sense. The last few miles, however, hurt a bit. By mile 11, my lack of tempo training was becoming clear. To just finish a half-marathon, I think you can get by with everyday mileage and a few 10 or 11 mile long runs. But to actually race a half-marathon, I believe long tempo runs (6-9 miles at marathon or half marathon race pace) are essential. Unfortunately my Spring didn’t include many tempos – for a lot of reasons, it just didn’t happen. The good news? I know what I need to do to eventually run a PR. I just need the motivation, time, and health to do it!

One thing I did well – I kept a pretty steady pace of 7:10-7:30 throughout the race – a bit slower on the uphills of Prospect Park, a bit faster on the flats and downhills. Holding back a bit in the beginning allowed me to finish those last few miles on pace even if it didn’t feel good.

I jogged around a bit after crossing the finish line, guzzled some Gatorade, and re-united with the manfriend who had biked to meet me. The race finished on the Coney Island boardwalk and the warm (hot!) sun made it finally feel like early summer.

By the time I got my hands on this beauty of a sandwich, I was a very happy lady. 7-grain bread, smoked turkey, swiss cheese, and lots of veggies helped me refuel with a good mix of carbs and protein.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at an out of town wedding in the beautiful village of Sleepy Hollow, New York.

To recover from those 13+ miles, I wore sensible shoes (i.e. 4″ heels) –

Ate plenty of nutritious food –

And re-hydrated responsibly!


Hah, okay, maybe not so much. But I had fun!

What do you think is the most important part of a half-marathon training plan? Still trying to figure out what and when my next race goal should be….

  •  CONGRATS! That is an INCREDIBLE time, especially considering your circumstances! Super pumped for you! I think when you make a training plan, sticking to it is so important. Switching around runs for ‘life events” is totally cool, but I think skipping runs, in general, can really screw you!! 

    Can’t wait to hear about your next race! 🙂

  •  Nice job, friend! I love the pic of you guys pinning your numbers on. And it looks like you had a fabulous weekend 🙂 I definitely agree with you that longer tempo runs are key for a good half marathon training plan. I haven’t actually focused training on a half in a while, but I would make sure to include a bunch of those! 

  • i totally thought your bagel was a frosted chocolate doughnut. i was like…well if it works for her hahahah.

    it hurts me to read that tempos=essential. i mean, i know that but i hate tempos sooooooooooooo much!

  • Anonymous

    haha, oh man i WISH it was a donut. actually, after the race (and before the
    sandwich) i hightailed it to Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee and a
    chocolate donut 🙂

  • I’m trying to figure out when my next 1/2 is going to be…I want to do one more before the Rock n’ Roll 1/2 in Providence. I think the most important part of a 1/2 marathon training plan is variety. I like to do yoga, weight training, and the Stair Master. All have helped with my running. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I went to my first yoga class in MONTHS last week and I forgot how much I
    missed it…I think it needs to become a more regular part of my training

  • Corey @ runners cookie

    So glad you felt better and ran such a great race! So sweet of your boyfriend to let you ladies have a pre-race sleepover at his place. Hope the wedding was fun!!

  •  I’m mad because the pizza wasn’t there yet and then I had to wait for you to take pictures before I could eat. Also, I had been in a car accident. Unfortunately, no one reads the goddamn comments so no one will know. Bah! I’m beautiful!

  • Anonymous

    <3 <3 <3

  •  whoa! despite the setbacks, great race! and i’m glad to see that someone else considers lots of pizza a perfectly acceptable carb load, haha. 

    it was a blah race for me too and im rethinking my next 1/2 plan. i think it’s bronx in august… i think the most important thing, as you said, is longer tempo runs – which i didn’t do at all. will (try) this summer. 

  • man-friend

    people do read the comments. . . 

  • I’m running my first ever half marathon this weekend, and I’m glad to read what you think about just finishing it! Since it is my first, I just want to run and enjoy, and I have had a few long runs, so I hope all goes well…
    PS – cute post-race pic!!

  •  Pretty freaking good considering you weren’t feeling your best! I think a virus took over nyc last week with the weather…

  • Anonymous

    i think first half-marathons (and marathons) should *definitely* be run for
    fun. it’s all about finishing the distance and enjoying yourself enough so
    that you want to do it again 🙂

  • Anonymous

    i know! my roommate is sick now too…

  • Haha I totally thought it was a chocolate covered donut too. Nice race, all things considered! 🙂

  • For me, the most important part of my training plan is the long run.  I think it is more mental thing than anything else.  If I can conquer my long run, I feel like I can conquer anything on race day!  

  • Ada

    Congrats girl!  Adding 3.5 minutes is nothing when you’re feeling so sick! Way to rock it!!! 

  • J (Morning runner)

    First – those heels are so CUTE!! I love them!!  Great job on the half, all things considered.  Racing halfs are tough!

  • Haha, love that the manfriend biked over! (I also love that you also use the term “manfriend.” I always find it more appropriate than “boyfriend” and more fun to say)

  •  uhh, the pictures in this post make me laugh and smile. you rocked the race, all things considered. and i’m impressed with your ability to attend a wedding (in heels, no less) after racing a half. that distance wipes me out enough so that all i can handle is food and lounge time. kudos!

  • Thehealthyapron

    Although I’m NOT a runner, I do think your race pace was awesome! I could never keep that up for a half marathon! Wow! I am impressed!

    ps. that pizza looks wonderful! 

  •  You ran a great race, congrats girl! It looks like you had a fun time afterwards! 🙂

  • My roommate has those heels! They’re adorable both on her and on you.

    I’ve never had pizza as a pre-race night meal, but it looks like a fantastic idea. I’m drooling at my desk at your pictures (a very attractive thing to do at work). Your times are amazing and I’m happy you had a great race.

    I think that cross training is the most important part of a half marathon training plan. Once, I did nothing but cross training (in the form of Crossfit) before a half marathon, and I dropped 8 minutes off of my PR. In retrospect, I probably should have also done my long runs, but I find those the most difficult to complete solo. They’re probably just as important, though.  😉

  • MVrunner

    Congrats! That was an impressive time! I wish I can run the half marathon that fast. Hehe! I guess it’s time to do tempo runs in my training. BTW, I love how insightful this blog is. 🙂

  • Kelly

    I think you ran a great race…especially for being sick! Good job! I love the bagel face picture…you are too cute for words!  

  • People definitely read the comments!  🙂

  • Ali

    You are seriously awesome. Congratulations on an awesome race. Let’s run again soon please so you can teach me how to be speedy like you are!

  • You are too cute! Awesome race and awesome shoes!!!!

  • Katie

    Ahaha I love Sarah’s face!

    Congrats on a great race, despite your apprehensions! (This happens a lot, no? You’re a warrior!) Sounds like you had a really fun runningblogger weekend.

    See you tomorrow!

  • Yay, congrats on an awesome race despite being sick. I believe heels and champagne and cake are the three must-have post-race recovery tools. I think racing some 10Ks might help with half-marathon training to build up that longer speed, and getting in some above distance long-runs (14, 16) are crucial too.

  • Excellent job!! I feel like racing while sick would be the worst – but good for you for keeping it positive and doing so well! Hey, did you race in the NB minimus? How did they work out?
    Ya’ll should come down and run the Philly 1/2 marathon this September, its a great time and a fun course!
    PS – I love how you indulge post-race. I’m the same way – I totally have a “cake + champagne immediately!!!” radar 🙂 Enjoy your recovery week!

  • Anonymous

    Hi! I actually just signed up for the Philadelphia Half on Sept 18th –
    hopefully we can meet in real life 🙂

  • Gemma

    I’m currently training for a sub 1.26 half marathon and I have found the two things that have helped me are my tempo runs and also my rest days! 

  • I’m jealous of the sleepover. LOVE those girls. 

    And I sort of want those shoes. Gorgeous- however I cannot believe you wore them after a race like that! Rock star…

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  • I have those heels!

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