thousands of runners on a rickety old boarwalk. as you might imagine, it's a bit...well bouncy! if you've never been to coney island, it's likely that after this summer it, like much of our once-gritty-city, will begin transforming to a generic-over-developed version of what it once was, so come to the city for a visit!
anyway, the boardwalk is a little run down...there are loose boards and nails and it is a little bit hazzardous when you're running. i was probably also over-sensitive to this because i had to pee already. so the first three miles, which were down and back the boardwalk, were all about trying not to think about that i had to pee, ignoring the shin-splints and not tripping. i even decided not to think about time, because i was having such an inefficient start. aside from these two factors, it was really beautiful. the ocean always makes me calm and happy, and i have a special spot in my heart for coney island so i was happy to be there.
on the way back, the boardwalk bathrooms are open and i almost jumped for joy! no lines too, score. after that i was a new woman. i picked it up a bit, and decided to see how the next few miles were going and then decide if i was going to try for 2:15. i saw the tnt coaches and gave my signature jazz-hand wave, and continued on.
miles 4-8 were relatively easy and i was having fun. we headed up ocean parkway, i had a great mix on and now that i had warmed up, the weather was lovely. i have biked to coney island quite a few times, so i kinda of had a good handle on the distance, and it was confidence-builder to have that grasp. i with each mile marker, i tried to stay consistently "feeling good" but not afraid to be faster than the beginning - the idea was to run miles 1-4.5 at a "conservative" pace, 4.5 - 9 a little faster, and then let all hell break loose for the last 4.
so as i went up ocean parkway, i was very very consistent. i picked it up a little at mile 5 and then stayed at that pace until i got to the park. when i hit the 9 mile marker, it looked like by the clock time, that i needed to pick up another minute over the next four miles. i was feeling really good, but needed to prepare (mentally) for the very big hill we were going to be tackling. the hill is .4 miles long, and i've run it quite a few times at this point, and while it was not easy, i figured, at least we don't have to run it more than once.
i kicked some butt on the hill, and then flew along around the top of the park. on the otherside, there was a sweet downhill around mile 12, and then the course looped towards the center of the park where there was...damn! another hill. grrr. i had told myself after the big hill that it was literally "downhill from there" so i just wasn't ready. that one hill turned into a series of rolling-hills, which, i thought, was just *mean* on the part of the organizers. i was definitely done, done done with the hills, bit my lip and pushed on. i finally could see the finish-line and there was cap on the right cheering me in, and soon after the rest of the tnt crew on the left doing the same. the time on the clock was somewhere just over 2:14, and since i had crossed the start at over three minutes, i knew i had hit it, which put a big smile on my face.
we ran into a bunch of people from last season and then went to union hall for a very deserved post-run brunch. cap, the rookie and i outstayed the rest of our crew, having a beer or two with our egg-sandwiches.
after that, i came home and checked my time before my nap... 2:12:47! a PR (personal record) and more so, i *think* if push came to shove i could work even harder. so i think the formula for figuring out your time 1/2 marathon to marathon is double and add ten minutes...which would put me at 4:35:34. if i had a goal time (if people, i've not committed yet!) it would be 4:30, so this run was really really encouraging in that respect.
can i keep up that pace for double those miles though? that, my friends, is the big question...
race mileage: 13.1
season mileage to date: 117.8