I stumbled upon the inaugural Brooklyn Mile several weeks ago when I was searching for some shorter races to run before fall creeps in and knew that I wanted to run it. It sounded awesome – fairly local (about 45 min away), a good course and the option for my kids to run in a separate heat (if they wanted to).
I brought it up to my husband and boys soon after – and both boys were pumped at the idea of their own special race. Kids are pretty funny – my oldest asked me how long it was. I told them it was a little longer than the race they did in Alaska but much, much shorter than the 5k my oldest and I did together in June. His response – “Oh that’s good. Because that was so hard, Mommy.” #motheroftheyear
I finally got around to registering for the race last week and was stunned and honored when I received the email inviting me to the elite field. Local runners know just how many elite and professional runners are in the area – there are so many big named track clubs in/around NYC and I knew these ladies would be out in force for this race.
Race morning was a breeze – my heat started at 10am; the boys at 10:30 – so we left our house at 8:15 and were parked and walking the 2-3 blocks to the start by 9:10am. We managed to catch the women’s masters race as the gun went off. I hung out with the boys for about 15-20 min and then started my 2-mile warmup.
It was hot. I was dripping with sweat by the end of my short-2 mile warmup. Temps were upper 80s or so – with the humidity, it was over 100. Sweltering.
I knew a PR was not going to happen. Between the weather conditions and the course, it would be really tough (my PR is from a very fast 1-mile course). But I was determined to push hard and see what I could do.
I finished in 5:39. While 11 seconds off my PR, I am really happy with how I ran this race. I hit the 1/4 mile mark in 1:26 (5:44 pace), the 1/2 in 2:47 (5:34 pace), 3/4 in 4:09 (5:32) and finished in 5:39. I started conservative and then picked up the pace for the middle 1/2 of the race.
It’s hard not to run fast when you have good friends screaming their heads off for you. I’m so thankful that they hung around and cheered me on as I ran by! Special shout-out to Ali, Megha, Kelly, Anoush, Jacqueline and Jessica!
Unfortunately, the last 400m was really tough and I slowed down considerably. But it was a mostly steady race – better than my Forest Avenue Mile in the winter!
HUGE congrats to my sweet friend, Ali, on her first mile race – she killed it and demolished her goal time by 37 seconds. #NBD
My family was at the finish – parents, sister, brother-in-law and nephew – cheering so loudly for me! It was amazing! I got some post-race hugs and high fives and then jogged the mile back up to the boys and my husband (they stayed about 200m into the race, in the shade – we wanted to minimize the amount of walking for them).
Both boys had repeatedly told my husband and I that they wanted to do the race alone. While I applaud their independence, we decided it was in their best interest for my husband and I to stay with them. We each had a bottle of water and wanted to ensure that we kept them as cool as possible.
Just after 10:30, the “People’s Mile” wave started and we were off. I truly have no words to describe the next 13+ minutes. I ran with Ryan, my youngest, and my husband ran with AJ. Ryan walked ONCE – one time over the course of that mile and it only lasted for maybe 10 seconds. We stopped ~7-8 times so he could drink water but after each sip, he would immediately take off running again. By about 1/3 mile in, he was red-faced and started to sweat, so I started squirting water on his head when we stopped – he loved it!
Ryan is the comedian of our family – always smiling and laughing and joking – but he was ALL business on Sunday. Focused, determined, serious. At times he even seemed unphased with the cheering, screaming and high-fiving he was receiving from the spectators who lined the course.
For any who are reading here that cheered on Sunday – thank you. Thank you so very much for sticking around and waiting for us to run by, for making my boys feel like superstars and for making me cry to see my son’s chest puff out a bit as we ran by your screaming cheers. I could see the pride in his face when he would get some cheers – an experience neither of us will ever forget.
I knew he was tired – he looked at m e a few times with a “this is hard” kind of look but didn’t complain once, ask to stop, or say anything negative. He just kept his head up with his eyes on the finish.
I could see AJ and my husband in the distance. AJ looked like he was out for a casual Sunday jog – not running hard – but looking around and smiling.
One of the things that makes me most proud is how they both take what I tell them to heart. We’ve spoken a bunch about “starting slow, finishing fast” – they were repeating it back to me at the start line. They already understand and race this way. Neither one went out flying and had to walk by the 1/2 way mark – they ran consistently from start to finish. For two young kids, that amazes me.
My family was at the finish – cheering like crazy – for the boys. It meant the world to me to have them there for them.
After the race, my entire family went out to brunch at a diner on Staten Island – it was the perfect way to rehydrate, refuel and relax after a hot, fun, amazing morning in Brooklyn!