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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Brooklyn Half Marathon Breakdown

***TMI Warming: read at your own risk***

According to my Garmin, I hit 13.16 at 1:57:09.  That would be (at least) a 10 second PR.

Official time: 1:57:44.  Not a PR.

All in all, it was good race and I am happy.  My strategy going in was to maintain a steady 8:46 pace.  8:46 over 13.1 miles would have given me a 1:55 time exactly.  I was pretty confident about hitting the PR, unless I went out too hard at the beginning.  I've done that for my past few races.  It's one thing to do that in a 5K or a 4 miler - it's another thing to go out too hard in a half marathon.

For the most part, I stayed on pace: 

  • Mile 1: 8:51.5
  • Mile 2: 8:39
  • Mile 3: 8:20.1
  • Mile 4: 8:30.7
  • Mile 5: 8:47.9
  • Mile 6: 8:50.5
  • Mile 7: 8:30.8
  • Mile 8: 8:44.4
  • Mile 9: 8:45.2
  • Mile 10: 8:48.9

I wish I could have held back on the faster miles, but I was feeling good.  I was even starting to think that I had sold myself short with my 1:55 goal.

But then something odd happened as I approached the Mile 10 marker.  Very suddenly, I kinda had to pee.  I was annoyed because I still had 3.1 miles to go and stopping just wouldn't have made sense since I was on track to PR.  And then, not even 60 seconds later, it wasn't a problem anymore.  Woah.

I slowed down a bit wondering what to do before I realized that there wasn't much to be done.  Sadly, my mojo was gone after that.  Within a mile, 1:55 had become a lost cause.  At mile 12, I thought I could still eke out a PR, but the course went on for .2 longer than my Garmin said, and that made the difference.

After the race, I didn't say anything about "the incident" to my friends.  (Really, what would I say?)  But, when I got home, I Googled "peeing while running."  Lo and behold, it's a thing.  But, at least according to Internet wisdom, it happens to old, overweight, out of shape women who have given birth.  I'm 34, not overweight, in great shape and I have a dog and a turtle.*  WTF!?  I stopped Googling because it was not making me happy, and decided to ask my sister the Ironman what she thought.  She says it's totally normal.  I do know at lot of women at the gym complain about peeing while doing double-unders.  I guess it's the same kind of thing.

Looking ahead, I'd like to do another half in the fall.  Maybe Newport again.  Or Philly.  Or Staten Island. 

-Gym Belle-

*The turtle technically belongs to my sister, but I have been turtle-sitting for over a year.


Gym Belle's Quick and Dirty Last Minute Half Marathon Tips

So you've decided to run the Brooklyn Half.  Some of you decided this week; others have been training for months.  Either way, it's less than 48 hours away.  Here are my quick and dirty tips for a stress-free race day experience:

  • Hydrate (starting now)
  • Get your race day outfit picked out ahead of time.  You want to wear comfortable running clothes and socks (good socks are key!) that you've worn many times before.  This isn't the time to bust out your cute new Lulu whatever.
  • Check the weather to see if you might want a layer that you check at the start.  Also, consider wearing a layer that you can throw away during the race as you warm up.  Discarded clothes get donated, so it's not totally wasteful.
  • Know that even your lucky bra can chafe on race day.  To prevent that, use Body Glide or some other lube everywhere there's a seam that touches you and anywhere that skin might rub skin.  I also lube my toes to prevent blisters.
  • Run in the shoes you usually run in.  Switching to a new shoe that's not broken in or that you're not used to can hurt.  And if you hurt, you run funny.  And if you run funny, you can hurt yourself.
  • Figure out any race day/getting there logistics.
  • Triple check that any electronic devices you want to use work and are fully charged.
  • Pack your race day bag the night before.  Mine will include:
    • Salt - I take a salt shot usually around the time I check my bag.
    • Breakfast #2 - I eat my first breakfast 2 hours before the start, and my second 1 hour before the start.  They're usually both applesauce and protein powder.  Stick with familiar foods and stay away from fiber!
    • During race snacks: Gu, Jelly Belly's and maybe Gu Chomps
    • Water bottle - I almost always carry a small one that I'm willing to toss if it gets annoying.
    • NuSkin bandaid - just in case.  I've carried the same one for years.
    • Extra packet of Body Glide - also just in case.
    • Gaviscon - I sometimes get heartburn when I run.
    • IcyHot (for after)
    • iPod/headphones
  • Think about the course.  As I see it, Saturday's race will have two distinct parts - the park and the highway. The park is a little hilly, but scenic.  The highway is flat, but monotonous.  If it's a sunny day, you might notice a temperature increase when you leave the shady park.  
  • Think about how fast you want to start and whether you plan on picking up speed over time or staying steady.  Picture yourself crossing the finish line.  
  • Get psyched!
  • Get a good night's sleep!

Happy racing!

-Gym Belle-


It's finally here! #gympressions

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