Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Marathon, Breakfast, 1/2 Marathon Home

Galloping in Grete's Gallop Half Marathon before breakfast and the 2nd half marathon home.

Today’s run was like none that I’d ever run before. Finally mostly over the sinus attack, time for a race! My Reach the Beach cohort Mike was running the Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Marathon in Central Park (a common tune-up for marathoners) then running home to Brooklyn. This sounded like a good idea to me.

Having rarely participated in formal races, I need more experience this setting. Running in the big group, using the water stops, finding my own pacing, dealing with traffic jams: all things I’m not used to. We meant to run at a 7:30-8:00 pace but both have a tendency to start off faster than we plan. Today was no different but the weather was so good and I was happy to be healthy, we just went with it.

After a few miles, neither of us paid much attention to our pace and we had nice conversation as we galloped through the park. Towards mile 10 I looked at my watch and said, “Mike, we’re going really fast.” He asked if I wanted to rein it in or just push through. Since we were well on our way, I figured we might as well keep running and finish the race.

We did just that, with the last two miles our fastest in the race. We both finished in 1:35:05. This was a personal best for me, but not so hard to do since I’ve only run the Brooklyn Half Marathon before this (I ran a 1:43:55 back in May).

This is when the run became a little less normal. After the race ended, Mike and I went to the Norwegian Festival that accompanies the race. There we ate waffles with jam and sour cream and bagels with salmon and cream cheese while resting on a sun-dappled bench in autumnal Central Park – so picturesque. And THEN decided we needed to finish our run back home.

I’ve never taken a breakfast break mid-run. Certainly not after a half-marathon with another half-marathon to go. But that’s what we did. Getting started wasn’t so easy. Legs stiff and bellies full, we stuttered our way to the Hudson River. Once there, we tried to get into a groove but there was much stopping for water and bathroom breaks.

We churned through the miles, nearly burning out fighting the crowds (and it was really crowded) on the Brooklyn Bridge, and back through Brooklyn. The last press was slow but deliberate when we finally made our way up the slope in Park Slope.  Once we reached the park, after about 24 miles, Mike and I parted ways. I had 2 more miles to go, back through the park, thankfully downhill, though Ditmas Park to home.

All in all my run was 26.55 miles with 3 hours and 22 minutes of running and about a one hour break in the middle. It was quite an adventure physically and culinarily. Not sure I’d do that breakfast stop again…

For all the numbers, details and race splits see Grete’s Gallop 1/2 Marathon, Breakfast, 1/2 Marathon Home – Details.

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