Race in Review: Brooklyn Half Marathon 2017

2 years later and I’m BAAAACK!

After taking on Brooklyn back in 2015 with rain and shine and a PR (!) then a 3 hour commute back home to a shower and a nap, I had sort of swore off this race.  I’d run it, I’d had a good time, I’d experienced this iconic event… but I knew there were other races I wanted to tackle and well… Brooklyn is just so faraway from home!

But, when a number is coming your way,  and you have already been in training for 13.1, it’s very hard to say no.  So you say yes and just a week after the Shipyard Maine Coast Half Marathon you are back in the start corrals to conquer the distance again.


What comes before the race?  The pre-race party!  Bib pickup, apparel, music, and fun give aways.  Right on the water on the pier, with a lovely view of the city and Liberty Island- Brooklyn knows how to throw quite a party.  Then it’s all about race day prep!

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The first time I ran the Brooklyn Half, yes I PR-ed and finished in 2:18… but the conditions were rough and I was knocked out the rest of the day.  First it was humid, then it RAINED, then if got real sunny and well… that was a hot race.  The course was new and I got a little turned around… cause I don’t spend that much time in Brooklyn.   So this year, the partly cloudy conditions with a light breeze and my knowledge of the course made things a little easier.

This race is really divided into two sections.  The first 6 miles go from the start line and after a little out n’ back you head into and around Prospect Park.  These miles are hilly and curvy keeping you on your toes as the race kicks off.  The second 6 miles or so are flat flat flat along Ocean Parkway all the way to the boardwalk of Coney Island.  Flat can feel easy and be crazy challenging in it’s own right.  Not only are you starting to get tired, but flat puts a whole different kind of strain on the body.

This year, over half of Ocean Parkway had been re-paved the night before, making this segment of the race literally SO SMOOTH!  After the adrenaline of the first 6 miles and the cheering in the park, I was able to fall into a groove for the second half.  I had already started my run-a-mile/ walk-a-mile routine at mile 5 and was happily plugging along.

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Honestly there was nothing about this race that went wrong for me.  I felt strong and happy the whole course.  No, I didn’t end with a PR but I also didn’t end with an injury or a migraine.  Crossing the finish line as a light drizzle began felt good… until that light drizzle started to turn into a bit more of a steady downpour.  Ok, so maybe that was the worst of it… being sweaty and wet.  But that’s not too bad!  And this year, I was able to carry on with my day after racing.


Did you run the BK Half this year?  In the past?  Maybe you plan to run it next year and have a question?  Sent them my way!

Always,

C

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Tattoo Tales: One & Done

It’s true what they say, tattoos are addicting.

You think “Oh, it’s just one tattoo.  I have no interest in any other design or any other ink.”


Summer about 6 years ago I wrote a bucket list in my head.  A few various interesting things I decided I wanted to do during my life.  Get some time on the gun range, go trail riding, and get a tattoo, were the 3 that made the top of that list.  To this day I can’t tell you why “get a tattoo” came up first on that list, but it did.  Not cause a friend got one or my parents had them, not cause I wanted to be accepted or cool or fit in or join a gang.  I just couldn’t get it out of my head.  I started looking up design ideas and placement and looking into what it would entail to get a tattoo.

(I’ve still never gone trail riding again or shot a gun… although I’ve added run a half marathon in all 50 states to the list!)

After a few months I’d custom designed what I wanted, decided on placement, and scouted parlors.  I put the design on my screen saver so I got used to looking at it every day and ant time I saw something I didn’t like, I’d tweak it,  adjusting it to be just so until it was perfect.

I’d told family and friends that I was planning on “getting tatted” and of course I got mixed responses.  Mother dearest at first thought it was a cool idea, then changed her mind… the boy told me how it would mess up my future or career options… my roommate was totally excited (cause she also wanted one)…  Of course no one could really understand why I would want to do that.  What was I thinking?!

Finally the day came.  I’d made an appointment, finalized the design, and had my best friend there to distract me the whole time and drive home (lol).  I rolled up to Liberty Tattoo on Ponce, filled out my paperwork, only to discover they hadn’t gotten the design I emailed or written down my appointment.  So I waited and waited… of course getting more and more anxious, but I didn’t leave.

Finally I was getting settled on the table, the design was traced and drying on my ankle before my artist started.  Fresh needle, gloves, plastic cover, black ink.  She asked if I was ready and so it began.


270050_10151561083247468_1948931146_nBeing totally honest, I don’t remember much about actually getting that tattoo anymore.  I remember almost breaking Jessica’s hand and nearly changing the design in the middle of the whole thing cause it hurt.  But once it’s started there is really no going back.  All you can really do is keep breathing and remain very still.  How long this took I don’t remember but I was probably done shortly after an hour.  I do remember looking at the fresh tattoo on my ankle in the mirror moments after it was finished and cleaned.  I remember freaking out (in my head of course) just  a little at how much bigger it was then I have visualized and how much lower on my ankle it was then I planned.  But it was done.  There was no going back and I couldn’t look at it long… seconds later it was bandaged up and covered in plastic.

It was done.  I had a tattoo.


149157_10151561083017468_2012135467_nLooking at it a few hours later when I was able to unwrap it and wash it for the first time, that’s when I really fell in love.  It was perfect.  There were things I didn’t know would work- the placement and size especially- but I trusted my artist and my guy.

I heard over and over how after 2 years I would regret getting the tattoo.  After 2 years passed it was, “well after 5 years it will start to fade and you will have grown up and changed and you will regret it”.

Well y’all, it’s been over 6 years and I still love it more and more every time I put my shoes on or paint my nails.   I’ve taken exceptional care or it and there is very little excessive fading.

I couldn’t listen to all the noise.  My body, my design, my choice.  And I’m more myself for it every day.


What have people told you about getting tattooed?  Is it still taboo?

Always,

C