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« Brooklyn Half Marathon: The Playlist That Wasn't | Main | #crossfit #gympressions »

Please Don't Stop The Music: Brooklyn Half Marathon Post Mortem

It would still have been entirely too hot.  My running buddy would still have gotten sick.  My toes might still have blistered at mile two and I might still have gotten heartburn at mile nine.  But if my iPod hadn't mysteriously died before the race after a full night of charging, I might have met my 1:55 goal.  I might have had a PR.  And I might not have had the worst race ever.

When I realized my iPod was dead, I was already in my corral.  I considered leaving, unchecking my bag and grabbing my iPhone.  That would've been a good idea.  But I wasn't certain that I'd be able to re-check my bag at that point, so I stayed put and tried to psych myself up for a silent race.  Other people really like running without music, and I once had to do it for a short race and that was ok.  I tried to convince myself that I barely hear the music during most races anyway, that it's just background noise.  But I couldn't fool myself.  The music is always an integral part of my races.

When I'm on pace and feeling great, I suppose I don't listen as carefully.  But when my thoughts betray me and I have to negotiate each additional exertion, when the physical discomfort grows with every step, I need something external to focus on.  I have to get out of my head.  And my music is always there for me.

Truth be told, the first two or three miles were great.  By six, I had started feeling the heat, and my toes, but I felt pretty good about a sub two hour time.  That feeling didn't last.  Pretty soon, my chest hurt, and my back and shoulders kept seizing up.  I felt weak and lame and unathletic.  And if there had been a way to stop at mile 10, I might have called it a day.  I was miserable.  It was ten times worse than the last six miles of the full.

I finished.  And I actually finished with a smile on my face - not because I was particularly proud of finishing, and not because I was relieved to be done,  but because this random guy next to me crossing the finish line was so exuberantly proud of himself, that I couldn't help but smile with him.

Other than that, I was pretty bummed.  My time was my second worst ever, and so far from what I wanted.  The heartburn got worse before it got better and I felt sick for hours afterwards. 

As much as I want another shot right now, I will probably wait until the fall to try another half.  I am not a warm weather runner.  Staten Island, perhaps? 

-Gym Belle-

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