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Battle of Brooklyn Race Recap: Chanukah In August

I wasn't supposed to be in town this weekend.  I was supposed to be upstate watching my sister, Little Belle, in her second half ironman (more on this later).  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go, so I signed up for the Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler this morning in Prospect Park.

I'm in training now for my fall half marathons, but haven't run more than six or seven miles in a long time, possibly since my last half marathon in March.  Doing 10 today was arguably stupid.  I had my reasons, though. 

For one thing, training just hasn't been going as well as I remember it going in the winter.  Last Sunday, I ran 6.5 miles and struggled.  I know that it's been super hot and humid this summer, and that I'm pushing myself to run faster this time, but it's bothering me.  I figured that if I could do 10 miles today, two months before the Newport half, I'd psych myself up and feel better.

Also, this morning's race was run by JackRabbit Sports, which was new and exciting, and it was in Brooklyn.  Other than my half in Disney, I've only raced in Central Park.  I feel like I'm travelling when the races start on the west side of the park!  I had never run in Prospect Park before, either.

I did my best to prepare.  I didn't quite take it easy yesterday, but I didn't do anything that would make me super sore.  (The CrossFit Metropolis WOD, as I did it, was 2000 lbs of backsquats (57 at 35 lbs), 50 air squats, 25 burpees, 2000 lbs of shoulder to overheads (57 at 35 lbs), 50 wall balls, 25 burpees, 800 meter run - total time 28:07.)  I ate carbs for dinner.  I charged my iPod.  I went to bed early.  I woke up early and ate a good breakfast.

When I got to Prospect Park, I realized that I had neglected to charge my Garmin.  The battery was very low.  It had died on me during the last run, and if I had charged it since, I didn't remember.  I figured that I had enough juice for a mile or so at most.  I told myself that it wasn't the end of the world.  The race was three loops around the park, so I'd know where I was more or less without the GPS.  Still, I was disappointed.  This would've been my first race with my Garmin. 

Besides, I had bigger things to worry about.  It was humid and rainy, and thunderstorms were expected.  I am terrified of bad thunderstorms.  My reasons are threefold.  First, loud noises freak me out, particularly when I can't see where they're coming from.  Second, I once got thrown from a horse during a thunderstorm.  Third, a tree once fell in front of my face during a thunderstorm.  Incidentally, there are lots of trees in Prospect Park.  (Actually, there were horses, too.)  I told myself not to treat this as a race, just as a long run.  Really, though, I just wanted to finish before the thunder.

I decided to use my Garmin for as long as it lasted.  I located my satellites.  (I realize that this is super geeky, but how cool is it that my watch talks to satellites?!)  The race started with cannon fire, and we were off.  The first two miles felt awful.  My right knee hurt.  My left arm where I had gotten a tetanus shot on Monday still ached.  My legs were tight.  All of that went away by mile 3, and shortly thereafter, I was on my second loop.  My Garmin was still going strong! 

Prospect Park has one long hill.  It's not as steep as Harlem Hill, but it goes on forever.  The second time around, my quads hated me, but I still had satellites.  The third loop felt pretty good.  I fell in behind a large group of chatty Team in Training people.  And then we were done. 

Literally two minutes after I crossed the finish line, the skies really opened up and my Garmin died.  No joke.  It was a miracle; just as the oil in the Temple burned for eight days instead of just one, my little Garmin Forerunner held out for me as long as I needed it.*  Hallelujah :o)

-Gym Belle-

 * A refresher on Chanukah can be found here if you're so inclined.




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