I’d love nothing more to be writing a recap of how awesome the Brooklyn Half was, how I got my PR and how I schooled the streets of Brooklyn with my epic running skills. I don’t enjoy writing about bad runs, injuries, sickness and defeat however I only write the truth.
4:10am – buzz, buzz, buzz.
I opened my eyes, snooze! I noticed a horrible sensation in my throat, fantastic. Race day, my 2nd half marathon and my throat is killing me. I got up, started to get ready, tried to eat my pre race bread and peanut butter. We were off, out the door by 5am. I can’t say I enjoy being awake at 5am but I love NYC before the masses wake up and hit the streets, it’s like and entirely different city.
We got to Harlem, parked the car, picked up Alex and headed towards the subway all before 6am; that itself deserves a medal. At every subway station more and more runners appeared and after nearly an hour we exited the subway literally 2 mins before the race was scheduled to start. We walked back, back to the back of the crowd and spotted Sheryl around the 15000 section, by this time the race had started and runners were slowly creeping up to the start we entered and the 4 of us made our way to the start.
Mile 1 and 2 were ok, looking back they where fantastic. I could breathe, I wasn’t coughing or sneezing and my eyes weren’t watering. As I was approaching mile 3 things went down hill, fast. Sneezing, coughing, choking, nausea, and the worst – I couldn’t breathe. Seriously? WHAT? Why can’t I breathe? Asthma, MY asthma is so frustrating. I just wanted to run and not even fast but I couldn’t because I could not breathe.
I think it was around this time that I caught up with Jen and met Tracy. The three of us were struggling, check out Jen’s blog for her recap, but we kept each other going, then Jen took off. I promised Tracy that we both were going to finish, even if we were the last 2 (which we were) we were getting to that finish line and getting our medals. We were not quitters.
By mile 7 I wanted to quit, lay on a bench, in the grass, on the hot cement, anywhere but I had made a promise that I intended to keep, a promise to my self never to quit a race unless I absolutely had to. I wasn’t bleeding, vomiting or injured, I couldn’t justify quitting so I trudged on. Ocean parkway is a blur, a hot, straight, seemingly never-ending blur. 3 or 4 other runners past us along the way, residents asked us what was going on, where we were ‘running’ too and why? The shade came and went, most of the mile markers had been removed and the volunteers where starting to break down the aid stations, thankfully and luckily for us every 1/2 broken down station we encountered had some kind of fluids left. I attempted to drink as much as I could but I knew I was dehydrating,
Dehydrated, sneezing, with an epic sore throat and pounding headache miles 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 seemed like they would never end. Finally we could see Coney Island, see what had to be the finish line, the end of our journey. After asking 2 cops and 4 fellow runners (thanks who ever you were) we found our way around the street and down towards the short ramp that would take us up the boardwalk and to the finish.
As we rounded the corner and hit the short straightway the crowd went wild, they stopped eating their french friends, hot dogs and drinking their beers and cheered. Screaming, clapping, yelling, reaching out for high fives, it was and awesome rock star finish for the back of the pack.
After reading others recaps it seems like of people were dehydrated, had heat stroke or were on the verge of it. At the finish I was glad to be alive, glad to be finished but I felt like I was going to drop, more waves of nausea came over me, must have been the heat.
I planed on hanging around Coney Island for a bit but due to the sick feeling Jen and I were both having we bolted. On the subway ride back to Manhattan I noticed that my feet felt weird, strange, off. I thought maybe I lost a toe nail. I couldn’t take the suspense anymore, on our walk from the subway to a diner I stopped to examine my foot. An epic blister? I don’t get blisters, I’ve never even had one before. I considered posting some photos of my ugly oozing blisters but I’ll spare you the grossness of my unpainted toenails.
Thanks to my ninja stealth running skills I evaded ALL of the brightroom photographers and since I felt awful at the finish I didn’t have anyone snap any photos of me. In case you don’t know me that well I LIVE for taking photos, a camera, more recently a camera phone is attached to my hand at nearly all times, you know I’m not doing well when I don’t snap any pics or demand post race coffee.
* if you see any typos or spelling errors, please correct me – I’m writing this from a sickly stupor*