Check. This. Out.
"How did she do that!?" you ask yourself? Well, read on and all shall be revealed.
I broke my previous best time by over 4 minutes by doing a few key things:
1) I went to Costa Rica. By going to Costa Rica, I missed several key weeks of training, relaxed, recovered, and was in a really good mental state in the weeks before the race. Honestly, by actually under-training rather than over-training, I may have really helped myself out. The moral I'd like you to take away from this is that laziness always creates success. Always.
2) My first two Half Marathons were in Brooklyn. Yes sir. This was -- believe it or not -- actually my 6th Half Marathon. Each one I have done better than the one before (I may be a wee bit competitive with myself...) But my first two, in 2006 and 2007, were the Brooklyn Half Marathons. I felt like I was returning to my roots. It was when I lived in Brooklyn near Prospect Park that I was inspired to start running, and it was cool to run that park as part of this Half now. So much has happened in my life since I started running in 2006, so it was kind of amazing -- and emotional -- to do it again this year.
3) Brooklyn. Is. Flat. 'Nuff said.
4) The weather was glorious. And so am I.
5) Running buddies can not be underestimated. I traveled to and fro the race with my amazing ex-Roomie Jen who has run two Marathons this year already before running this race. We did not run together as she is ... what's the word... ah, yes. FAST. But it was great experiencing it with her. I did run the entirety of the race, however, with my friend Sam S. (not to be confused with Sam R. who I have also run Brooklyn with back in 2006!) Sam S. was running her 2nd Half ever and she seriously rocked it. She kept me going more than she might know.
Now, I'm not gonna lie to you right now. Running a 9:05 average minute mile was definitely not easy for me. I want to say it was just a nice little jog, good pace, felt great, but then I would be a massive dirty liar. I seriously thought I was going to die for a good 5 of the 13 miles. But at that point I was like "Ugh. Guess I'll like, keep going..." There was a moment when I turned to Sam, I think around Mile 11, and said "Why the f**k are we doing this?!" She did not have a good answer.
You should be. Because although I thought I was quite literally going to expire on Ocean Parkway, it actually made the finishing all the better. Because I didn't die. And with a result like that, it's always a heartwarming tale.
I was going to post a picture of me that was taken on the course, but I really won't do it. I want you to think about my face and think about what I might look like when I'm in massive pain and think I'm dying. Then picture that with my mouth wide open. It's totes sexy. I'll leave it to your imagination and not to the internet, k?
It was also a great day because my sister was in town doing some stuff with a few of her friends, so Allison, her friend Katie and I got to enjoy a nice little brunch after I took the hour+ train back from where the race finished on Coney Island to the Upper East Side. Despite me being initially hangry (hungry + angry), I was reminded that there might be no ailment that copious amounts of eggs, potatos and stolen french toast from another's plate can't solved. And then all was right in the world.
So that's where we are! And now we set our sights on November 4th when I will (WILL) conquer the NYC Marathon. This is happening.
As you might remember, Team for Kids is being amazing and letting me use the money you all so generously donated from last year to run again this year. It's really wonderful of them, and I can't stress enough how much they really didn't have to let me do it. Official practices start a week from Saturday, but I am already at a great "base" thanks to the running I did training for my two Half Marathons I've already run this year.
My approach to hopefully not get injured again this year (PLEASE KNOCK ON WHATEVER WOOD IS NEAR YOU!) is to change a few things up:
1) More Conditioning
2) Adding Yoga to the Routine
3) Less running
Whaaaa? Less running? Weird, but true. Last year I was running 4-5 days a week. This year...no more than 3. Last year I was following a training schedule very strictly. This year...I'm going to do what my body tells me. Which appears as of now to be more eating and less running.
The blogging is also going to be more regular (I think I always say that, but this time it's for the reals). I already have some ideas of future topics. They include: Trials and Tribulations of Treadmill Running, Running In Lieu of Therapy, and Why Luna Bar Should Sponsor Me. Look for those and more over the next few months.
In the meantime, please enjoy your long weekend. Archie and I are straight chillin' tonight like bosses as we both enjoy the resting and eating part of training.
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