By Jon and Caroline
(note: Jon’s recap is bolded; Caroline’s is italicized)
I remember my first Brooklyn Half (God, I’m old.). I was about to graduate from law school, the following day, in fact, and was so incredibly amped up to run my second-ever half marathon in the borough from which much of my family hails. I looked at the race as a metaphor; if I could get through three years of law school, of course I could get through 13.1 miles, as painful and tedious as they could be. I listened to a carefully curated Brooklyn-themed pump up playlist before the race, wore my law school’s name across my chest, and high-fived my entire family as I made the turn at Nathan’s from Surf Avenue towards the Coney Island Boardwalk, grinning from ear to ear the entire time.
That was three years ago. This year, Caroline and I were rudely awoken at 5:00:00 am by what sounded like 10 different alarm clocks, looked at each other with half-open eyes, and groaned “ughhhhh, why????????” Oh, how times change…
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I have recently struggled to maintain my motivation to run, about how feeling the obligation takes the fun out of what used to be such a source of joy. Take that feeling, multiply it by a factor of one-million, and you’ll understand how little we wanted to get out of bed on Sunday morning. “What if we just don’t go?” Caroline asked, though we both knew that staying home wasn’t an option. “Ughhhhhhh, fine,” we both groaned as we scarfed down bagels and coffee, pinned our bibs on, and ran out to head to the outer reaches of civilization (aka Brooklyn).
It’s that moment at 5:00am when the alarm goes off, that you say to yourself, “god, why was I so happy to be in wave 1, wave 2 people get to sleep in SIGNIFICANTLY longer”. At least I went to get Ess-A-Bagels the night before; that was definitely the most motivating part of the early wake up situation. But in general, I was excited–this was going to be my second half-marathon after coming back from an injury last fall (which led me to defer my New York City Marathon entry to this year), I was going to be running with a close friend (both still being a little injured, we run “our pace” aka a nice and easy jog- we also did this for the NYC Half in March), and Jon would be waiting at the end…I just hoped I wouldn’t get injured. Recovering from the injury hasn’t been easy. Every time I go on a long run, I find myself in so much pain with an inflamed lower back, needing constant PT. It been a hard road, full of thoughts including “maybe I shouldn’t run” and “well I’m happy my back didn’t snap in half after this race”. But, the high I get from these races is something that in my mind outweighs the negatives, so I keep ignoring it and pushing on.