I lined up for the Brooklyn Half on Saturday with drastically lowered expectations over my original grandiose notion of using it to qualify for the NYC Marathon. That wasn’t happening. I knew it wasn’t happening. I had come to terms with it not happening. I even blogged about the fact it wasn’t going to happen – but I was still going to give myself a shot at doing it, which of course meant going balls to the wall for as long as humanly possible. It turned out to be not very long.
But what the hell right? I had no idea what to expect so I might as see where I’m at. Never mind the fact I logged a total of 10 miles since doing 16 in Boston two weeks earlier, or that I had taken two weeks off about a month ago because of an injury, or the fact that I was still sore from a softball game on Monday. None of those facts came to mind when I decided that I would be able to eat up Brooklyn like I was Kobayashi and the Half was a pile of franks.
I actually felt pretty good at the start but by mile three it was pretty obvious to me I wasn’t going to be breaking 1:23. I was a solid :30 seconds under pace at that point, and was feeling decent, but I just didn’t have it in me to keep it up. I tried to back off but by mile 5 I realized that even slowed down I was in trouble. I was still under pace but I was getting passed like the dude waving the green flag at a NASCAR race.
I passed through mile 7 still under pace, and therein began the fall. The next 6.1 miles were a hell like I’ve never experienced. The only way more people could have passed me is if I was dressed like a salmon and tried to run upstream.
Entering the park some guy actually looked at me, saw the obvious desperation in my eyes, and muttered an unconvincing, “Looking strong.”
But in all actuality I wasn’t in that bad of shape at that point, and when I checked my splits at mile 10 I was actually thought for a second, just for a glimmer of a moment, I can still do this.
And I did – as long as by “it” I meant completely fall apart. I don’t have exact figures but by my best estimates I did 7:30 miles over the last three to finish the race in 1:27:13.
To recap: I’m not really disappointed. Maybe even the opposite. When I pulled up my training over the last month I did less than 50 miles – for the month. And that included a 16 mile run in Boston. To expect to drop a 1:23 out of the box with next to no training was kind of absurd. But more halfs will be run, more training will be had, more absurd statements will be made. So no use saying I’m brining it – It’s been brought.