I’ve talked a lot on here how I’ve hit a wall in my career, and am in a bit of a “1/3rd life-crisis” (even though I’m two years past “1/3rd”). I know that life is more than a career, and decided to work towards an accomplishment towards bettering myself, though at the time, didn’t realize that’s what I was doing. Earlier this year I signed up to run my first ever half marathon, on my 32nd birthday, nonetheless!
The Rock-n-Roll Brooklyn was the inaugural run on October 10th, and got wind of it through my husband, who asked if I wanted to do it. I laughed in his face. I’ve run two 10ks, and never thought I could ever work up the stamina to double that. But I sat on it for a few days, and decided to go for it. My husband signed me and best friend up for it as my birthday present, and decided there was no turning back!
I don’t remember the last time I was so committed to something. Either my college thesis or dance competitions in high school. I re-downloaded my Runkeeper app, checked out the training plans, and began pounding the pavement.
The majority of my training happened over the summer, so I had to split my time on the treadmill, or early morning weekends to beat the humidity. Every weekend this past summer, I was up at 6am, which is earlier than I wake up for work during the week, and went for my long runs. Sometimes they were great, other times, I couldn’t finish, which I learned was OK.
As I got further into my training, and my runs got longer, I learned that I had to start testing out gels and figuring out my eating schedule – I also learned about runner’s stomach…Yikes! I’d say I figured it all out about a week or two before my actual race.
Race day was amazing! I set my alarm for 4:45am, but woke up naturally around 4:30. Ate breakfast, packed my gels, and got in an Uber to Brooklyn! When I arrived I couldn’t believe how packed it was. The port-a-potty lines were as long as Disney World lines in the middle of summer. I found my bestie, and we made our way to the corrals.
Everyone there was so nice! There is such a great sense of comrade! My bestie made me a “Birthday Princess” t-shirt, with a mention that it was my first half on my back, and got so many hugs, congrats, and happy birthdays from fellow racers.
As the race began, I was so excited. I just kept thinking that this was something I worked all summer for, and here it was! I’m running my first half marathon on my 32nd birthday with my best friend!
Before I knew it, I was at the 10k mark, and I wasn’t even tired – thanks endorphins! Seriously, those endorphins certainly got me through it, especially when I ate it around mile 8. My ankle rolled, lost my balance, and hit the ground hard. My knee was throbbing, but there was no blood, so I got up, and kept going.
I crossed the finished line at two hours and twenty minutes, and couldn’t believe the race came and went! My husband met us at the finish line, and we hung out a bit at the after party in Prospect Park before we left to meet up with some friends for brunch.
Still, a little more than a month since the run, I can’t believe I actually did it! With the NYC marathon only a few weeks ago, many people have asked me if that’s something I would ever do, and I said it’s not something I would rule out. When I started running a few years ago with 5ks, I said there’s no way I could ever do a 10k, and I did two. Even after completing a 10k, I never thought I’d be running a half marathon. The human body sure is amazing!
Here are some highlights from the day!
Before the race: