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She Says: Brooklyn Half Marathon - I Did It!!!

I finished my first half marathon today and I have to say, I am quite proud of myself… and the other 11,000 people who ran as well! Mark had some trouble streaming live, but he took video and we’ll post it soon. My official time was 1:54:55 (8:46 pace). Here are my notes on my first half marathon experience.

Chef Sebastian Cole
Chef Sebastian Cole
Jun 02, 20092.8K Shares40.6K Views
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  1. Pre-Race
  2. Race Gooooooo
  3. Post Race
She Says: Brooklyn Half Marathon - I Did It!!!

I finished my first half marathon today, and I have to say, I am quite proud of myself… and the other 11,000 people who ran as well! Mark had some trouble streaming live, but he took a video, and we’ll post it soon. My official time was 1:54:55 (8:46 pace). Here are my notes on my first half-marathon experience.


  • 5:56 am: I wake up and immediately put on my sneakers and start drinking my coffee.
  • 6:35 am: Leave N.J. and eat my peanut butter and toast.
  • 7:15 am: Arrive at Prospect Park. Mark dropped me off, and I told him to go to Coney Island to finish. I am worried I will lose him!
  • 7:15-7:25 am: Go to McDonald’s to use the bathroom. Wait a very long time for a woman to use the bathroom as a grooming facility. Seriously.
  • 7:25 – 7:38 am: Walk through Prospect Park to get to the starting point. Turns out I got dropped off at the opposite end of the park. I am totally freaked out that I have no idea where I’m going and am going to miss the start of the race.
  • 7:40 am: Figure out the whole corralled system. I get in the corral one degree slower than I am assigned to – so I started with the 8:06 min—-mile group.
  • 7:40 – 8:00 am: Stretch in my place. Check the iPod a million times. Look around. Hear the announcer say over 11,000 people running. I am amazed and start getting really excited.
  • 8:02 am: Spot my mom and dad (who came all the way from Rhode Island last night just to see me run) and aunt. Take some pictures and feel like a goober. Say hi to Melissa!
  • 8:07 am: Race starts. I do not move. It turns out it takes almost 8 minutes to get to the starting line.

Race Gooooooo

  • Miles 1-3: Fun but annoying. There were so many people, and I could hardly move, and it took me almost 10 minutes to do the first mile!!!! It was like 5 pm traffic. I don’t mind if people cut in front of me, but you must run at least as fast as me or it’s like cutting someone off and slamming on your brakes. Not cool. Try to enjoy the sights and the experience. Feel really good!
  • Miles 3 – 4: Traffic starts to thin out. Notice that there is another lane to my right where super robot runners go. Think it’s interesting that they chose to go slow at the beginning of the race and then speed up. Realize they lapped me and completed the two laps around the park when I see them exiting. Feel silly.
  • Miles 5 – 6: Still in the park, but doing the second lap around. I’d heard the route was hilly, but I didn’t think it was that bad at all. Think about how much fun this is and how awesome I am. Almost cry.
  • Miles 6 - 7: Exit the park and start the long straight stretch to Coney Island. See, man, in nothing more than speedo shorts. Can’t stop staring. Wonder if my butt would move uniformly if I wore the same get-up. I realize it would not. At mile 7, my time is 1:01. I had one goal when deciding to run this thing, and that was to finish without walking. A few weeks ago, when I realized I was going to do this I added a second goal – finish in under 2 hours. At this point, I knew I could do it; I just had to dig and push.
  • Miles 7 – 8: Feel a little tired and slow. Take in sights to distract me. Realize Brooklyn is really nice and try to think of ways to convince Mark to move.
  • Mile 8: I have the first of my Sharkies and feel a little better. Please start thinking about Scallion Pancakes and Yam Fries from Veggie Heaven and Ice Cream with peanut butter in it.
  • Mile 9: Physically and mentally fine, but feeling slow. Wonder if I should try to go faster. Look around me and realize the people look like they are going to die. This is not to be rude; I commend anyone who can run any length of time, but it is less than motivating. I want to get with a newer group that is going faster.
  • Mile 10: Pick up a cup of water, have some more Sharkies, and decide to go for it. Woo hoo – here we go!
  • Mile 11: Still feeling awesome. See a man lying in the street with an ambulance. Not so awesome. Yikes!
  • Mile 11.5: I think it’s odd they skipped the 12-mile marker.
  • Mile 12: Oh.
  • Mile 12 - 13.1: We’re approaching Coney Island, and I really feel awesome! I have the last of my shares and make a turn that I remember from the map, which means we’re almost there! I make another turn and run up a ramp. I’m on the boardwalk, and I’m almost there!!!!! Definitely thought I was going to fall into the old wooden beams of the boardwalk, but still went as fast as I could. The breeze from the water feels so great, and the crowd cheering is perfect. Hear Mark call my name. Wave and say hi!!! Sprint to the end. Done!
Women Running In Marathon
Women Running In Marathon

Post Race

Drank 3 large cups of water and searched for my family and Mark. Through good luck, we met fairly quickly and with little confusion. I had a nice juicy apple. Mark saw Deidre and Amelia, and we headed back to New Jersey.

When I got home I stretched a little, and then we went to Veggie Heaven. I got my Scallion Pancakes, Yam Fries, and Garlic “Steak.”

And my ice cream. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup from Applegate Farm. This was a ridiculous amount of ice cream suitable for three people, and I ate every last bit and yelled at Mark when he stole some. Something about it being my day

Sometimes, when I see what people eat after a race I think, “Good God, I would have eaten 10x that amount.” What I learned today was that I couldn’t bear to eat anything big right after the race. The apple was enough. I wanted water. My stomach was feeling a little off.

When we went to Veggie Heaven and ice cream, I was hungry but not famished in any way. I got full very quickly but got hungry sooner than normal. At 7:30 pm, I instantly became hungry. And that is why I ate almost all the Veggie Heaven leftovers – this plus the rest of the fried rice and Dad’s Sweet and sour “Chicken.”

So, it was a very exciting day, and I am really happy that I decided to do this. I can’t wait for my next one. Oh yes, that’s right. This is probably going to become a habit!

And now, on a sappy note, I want to say thanks to all the bloggers who show the fun side of running and exercise in general. I did not have this blog one year ago, and I certainly would not have run a half marathon at that time (I hadn’t even run a 5K a year ago). “Food blogs” get picked on for being weird, but I like to think I am part of special hybrid food/lifestyle genre where we encourage each other (both bloggers and non-bloggers) to be our best selves. I don’t think there is anything weird about that!

And a special thank you to my first-time half marathon helpers - Andrea, Rose, Allison, Andrea (non-first timer) Aimee, and Sarah (who, despite being injured, ran the whole thing today). It was so wonderful to be able to chat with people in the same position as me!

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