The Verrazano Bridge is two miles long. It is an arch bridge, so mile one uphill, mile two downhill. Now envision this, you are coming off a mile long downhill and you start to hear some rumblings (remember the bridge is quiet, no spectators). Your pace is strong and you are starting to loosen up. Every step you take, those rumblings are getting louder. Then finally you realize that those rumblings you are hearing are not rumblings at all….it is massively loud screaming!!!! And, the best part, it is all for you! Well, and the other runners.
Every time I have come off that bridge Brooklyn makes me feel like a rock star. People are yelling “Welcome to Brooklyn” and cheering so loud I can’t help but smile. For me it is the moment when it finally sinks in that NYC is mine for the day. This great city is shutting down bridges, roads and creating chaos in Central Park all for me. Well, and the other runners.
When I hit Brooklyn my adrenaline pumps so hard I have to check my pace. Between the mile dowhill and the screaming crowds of Brooklyn I generally find myself running a bit faster than I should. My advice is to check your pace at the 5k marker and then make the necessary adjustments. You don’t want to go out too fast.
Hands down, Brooklyn is the best borough on Marathon day. As you run down Fourth Avenue you are greeted by crowds a few people deep and music blasting. It is quite an experience. The trick is to get yourself to relax enough that you actually forget you are running. The crowds of Brooklyn can get you to mile ten with the effort of running a 5k. I am serious. Brooklyn will make you feel like the most important person in the world. And, as a bonus, once you hit Brooklyn you get to say goodbye to Staten Island which means one borough down, four to go!
For me Brooklyn has an extra special meaning. It is where my Grandparents met as kids in elementary school. Bay Ridge is where they grew up, got married and started to raise a family. It is an amazing experience for me to get to run through my Grandparents old neighborhood.
This week training had its challenges as I flew back from San Francisco mid-week which threw me off. But I got my miles in and ran 10 for distance. My workouts were not high quality but they were completed. This week my long run will be 14 miles. I feel like I am getting to that point of no return where marathon training becomes very real. It is making me nervous because I have not done a good job maintaining my pace on my long runs. Granted I have been running in some serious heat and humidity so I need to cut myself a little slack. But I do need to buckle down on the mid-week runs.
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