With months of half-marathon training in the books, our running blogger shares why she can't wait for race day
This training cycle really flew by, and we’re just one week out from race day. There are some doubts floating around my head, but it’s easy to dismiss them when I think about how excited I am to toe the line in Brooklyn next Saturday. In the spirit of the half-marathon distance—13.1 miles—here are 13.1 reasons I’m getting so psyched to run this race.
1. It’s the culmination of 10 weeks of hard training. Over the course of 10 weeks, I had some awesome runs and some less-than-stellar ones. Regardless, I put in the work, and this race is a celebration of all that hard-earned sweat.
2. Because I’m most definitely going to buy a sweet new outfit to wear. I know, I know, “nothing new on race day.” But I break that rule for every single race by investing in a new top that makes me happy and excited to run.
3. I’m excited to see what I’m capable of. My goal is to run this race in under 1 hour 50 minutes. I have no idea how I’ll feel on race day—we never really know—but I’m pumped to see what I can make happen. (But Running Goals Shouldn't Just Be About Being Fast.)
4. Because running 13.1 miles at 7:30 AM with 27,500 fellow runners is, actually, my ideal way to party. Forget late nights, high heels, crowded dance floors, and overpriced bottle service. I have the most fun when I’m sweating in sneakers and a sports bra.
5. All my friends will be there. I run with November Project, and we have about 40 team members running the race, plus a group of teammates manning the water station at mile three (say hi—and thank them—as you fly by!). This will be my first time racing with a team, and that gives me a huge added boost. I want to do well not just for myself, but also to make my teammates proud.
6. Two of my greatest friends are running this race as their first half-marathons. I am so deeply proud of them and excited for them. There’s nothing like your first half—the pre-race nerves, the excitement at the start line, and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment once the finish line comes into sight—and I can’t wait for them to experience it all (and then promptly run home to a computer to sign up for half marathon #2). I’m dying to get to see them cross the finish line. I anticipate severe dehydration on account of all the proud tears I will shed. (Find out The Amazing Benefit of Running with a Friend.)
7. Because Brooklyn is awesome. I’ve been a Manhattanite since moving to New York City eight years ago. But I’ll tell ya, there’s something so special about Brooklyn.
8. The course is fun. The race route starts near Prospect Park where there are some rolling but manageable hills, and then it’s a straight shot down Ocean Parkway until you hit the Coney Island boardwalk. So you get a few hills at the start to get your legs warmed up, then you get to cruise.
9. The finish line is a picture-perfect, playful paradise. The finish line is on the boardwalk at Coney Island. So you cross the finish line, you get your medal, and then you can dip your toes in the ocean. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream!
10. The post-run meal. I’m already dreaming of what I want to nosh on after crossing the finish line. I’m thinking a very cold watermelon smoothie and then a pizza. OK, two pizzas.
11. The camaraderie on a race course is top-notch. From the start line to the finish and far beyond, runners share such a special bond. This is especially evident on race day. We’re all out there having woken up at an ungodly hour, spent way too long in the bathroom, applied Body Glide in places people should never have to put anything, and likely sacrificed many late nights or hours of precious sleep in order to make training and race day successful. To quote the phenomenal film High School Musical: “We’re all in this together.”
12. That feeling when you round the corner and the finish line comes into sight, and you know you’ve made it? I just can’t think of anything that beats that feeling. I can’t wait to experience it. (It's one of the 17 Things to Expect When Running Your First Marathon.)
13. Because the last time I raced the Brooklyn Half Marathon, it didn’t go so well. I was experiencing the early symptoms of a Crohn’s disease flare-up and I spent a good portion of the race dashing from one porta-potty to the next. It was horrible. This time around, I want a little redemption.
.1 Racing is something I do for myself. I’ve raced for other people before—for charities and other worthy causes—but this one is just for me. It’s my selfish little indulgence. So I’m going to give it everything I’ve got, I’m going to race smart (start slow, let everyone pass you, then catch them later and sprint to the finish), and I’m going to wear that medal knowing I earned it and gave it everything I have.
If you’re racing the Brooklyn Half, good luck! Remember to start slow, finish strong, and smile as much as you can from the start line to the finish. Have the race of your dreams!
Alison Feller is a writer and editor in New York City. She has completed five marathons, 11 half-marathons, and many shorter distance races. When she’s not writing or on the run, Alison can be found in the yoga studio, on a spin bike, or (on very rare occasions) cycling outdoors with her fiancé. Keep up with Alison on her blog, Ali On The Run, or on Instagram and Twitter @AliOnTheRun1.