Tag Archives: Prospect Park

I wasn’t originally going to write at length about my races here, but I decided to at least post about my first Half Marathon experience. When I first signed up for the Half Marathon, I scheduled a couple of 10k races and one 15k to get me into the groove. However, the series of plagues that I caught in March (immediately following my 10 mile practice run) put a damper on my 15k race. The 10k races went fine, but being half the length of a Half Marathon, by the time this race came up, I barely trained for long distances. Yikes.

I was nervous about traveling there. I was also annoyed and nervous about getting up early enough to travel. The Race was 7am, so I had to be up by 5:30am. I decided to get a car service, since otherwise, I would have to travel to Manhattan to get to that part of Brooklyn. My morning breakfast was a Naked shake (so I didn’t get too full) and I ran with 2 espresso gel packs that I was planning on take after the 6/7 mile marker.

It ended up being a really great race. It wasn’t too hot in Prospect Park and I finished the 2 laps (TRYING TO PACE MYSELF) with relative ease. It was interesting leaving the park and running on Ocean Parkway. I wasn’t baking the way I expected to be and it was mostly flat (maybe a slight incline?). Around the 10 mile marker, I started to fatigue, and I pushed myself to maintain a slow jog. I’m not going to lie. I’ve forgotten my fatigue and the aches that I felt during the race. I can only remember the pride of finishing and the exhilaration afterward. You know, kind of like childbirth, right? I’ve forgotten the visceral feeling, but I remember my legs aching right around 10 miles. On the other hand, psychologically speaking, I was doubtful before the race that I had the psychological endurance of just running for 2-3 hours straight. That proved to not be a problem, going through Ocean Parkway was just such a new experience, that I wasn’t bored at all. And running with anticipation of each mile marker wasn’t excruciating, but rather hypnotic. I was rather surprised at that. The cheering and the water stations were wonderful, offering water and Gatorade at each station… everything was very plentiful.

So what was the challenge? You ask? There were enough bathrooms by the start of the race, and I waited until after running to go to the bathroom… twice… And the second time the bathroom was out of toilet paper… and I waited on line for around 5 minutes. :T That was kind of disgusting. I haven’t really managed the whole planning the bathroom around the race.

It seemed more of trouble for Ryan to get to Coney Island from Prospect Park, as he got there the same time I did (and I was freaking running – Thanks Q Train). He was a trooper and saw me off at the start of the race, waited for me by the 3 mile marker twice (the second loop that was between mile 5 and 6), and then traveled to see me cross the finish line in Coney Island. I was lucky to have him. And this time, since he was coming, I didn’t need to carry my keys, etc… around.

In the end, turning into the boardwalk was super exciting… except the boards were uneven. As we were running down, one man fell. We all stopped for a moment and he got right back up and moving. I think after seeing that I ran with my knees pretty high. Darned if I was going to face plant right there. In the end, my finishing time was what I expected. I was just happy to finish before the 3 hours (I suspected that if something happened and I had to walk the final miles, I could finish in around the 3 hour timing limit) and I ran it.

After a tip from my friend Sam (who’s a freaking triathelete & marathon runner), I made sure to wear bikini bottoms underneath. You can bet that after I finished running I took off my pants and jumped into Coney Island. The WATER WAS ICE COLD, so it was a great way to ice my legs after all that. I stayed in there for around 10 minutes, until I saw Ryan growing a bit restless. I brought a change of underwear, but I decided to just brave it… which needless to say was a STUPID idea. The train ride wasn’t fun with wet pants. With the rest of the runners, the Q train definitely smelled also like a locker room. :P Oh well.

Coney Island food post soon at feeding umi, so watch out for that!

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I have NEVER been on a horse, so when I got up there, I was kinda nervous. I was excited, of course, to see Mr. Cloppity-Clop… very high level scientific terms we’re dealing with here. I should say Ms. Cloppity-Clop. When we started moving, it was startling. I could feel this girl sneeze, whinney, and move. I have to say though, Ms. Genie was the sweetest girl.

Ryan’s horse, on the other hand, was a little impatient and passed mine, eventually. However, Genie was so chill. She tempted to stray a bit and eat some grass at one point, but eventually refrained. Perhaps that was a perfect match.

We went with Ryan’s sister Tracy, who was on a horse since 2 and used to ride competitively.

When we first started trotting, I freaked the fuck out and held onto the reign and pulled it taut. It wasn’t to slow down the horse, as much as to just kind of hold on for dear life. Later, I had fun with it, although I neglected to hold my hips up. My bum hurts.

I don’t know why, but I’m really wondering how emotionally complex horses really are. I sort of doubt that they have the psychological nuance necessary to be “happy.” Like, really, other than being chill and not showing any signs of aggression, the horse is just kind of … a horse? Then again, at the end of the ride, I witnessed Tracy’s horse being all kinds of affectionate with her and head butting her. On the other hand, it might have just had an itch and was using her as the means to its ends. You know, that horse probably never contemplated the Kantian categorical imperative.