Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What I Learned About The Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon

If you follow my personal account (theafrikanking) on instagram, you'd see all my early mornings and late evenings runs. My journey routinely began as I want to be a positive role model for my brothers, peers and anyone who looks up to me. Also, as a healthcare provider, it is part of health promotion, therefore, I embraced and embarked on this ordeal since the winter of 2017 to present. I forgot to add that running is also stress relieving personally.

I'd admit that I haven't been consistent as I would like, but this running journey has been filled of great personal lessons of knowing what my body is capable of, and I'm amazed at the power of grit and positive mindset in accomplishing goals.

Each run is challenging in a special way, and every mile I earn teaches me to push harder and solidifies the fact that every purposeful goal comes with hard work and dedication; and that nothing comes easy. Sometimes waking up in the morning for a run after going to bed late takes a lot of give, positive self-talk and discipline. There're times when I lazily turn over and over in bed and do not go for a run, and other times I imagine how cold it could outside. But as time would go on, my level of discipline has positively inclined due to a couple of reasons. Before I get into that, allow me to tell you the most important advise I would give to anyone who plan to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon, as I had the opportunity to run with New York Road Runners (NYRR) Team for Kids.

Preparation is Key
Be prepared mentally and physically.
I prepared mentally and physically, but I must admit, I was more prepared physically upbeat than mentally, let me tell you why. I had run 2 half marathons prior to the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon and I felt pretty good going into this race; I anticipated to run under 2 hours as I familiarized myself with the course map a couple of times, and I remember saying to myself "I got this". I say this with every challenge I go through, I guess to pump me up!

I did underestimated the impact of the the 40 degree rainy and moderately chilly weather. I arrived from New Jersey to Brooklyn, NY onetime to check in before 6am as the race was scheduled for 7am. It was cold and gingerly sprinkling rain with less threatening winds, and I was so underdressed. I didn't even have no poncho like most runners, and I depended on nearby trees to umbrella the rain from me.  What was I thinking? Other runner had garbage bags to cover themselves, and I said "how come I didn't think of that?". To make matters worse, I didn't run in a group and talked to a few people and this made to me to keep looking at my watch as the time gingerly moved.

This part wore me out mentally to the point where I was so eager to start, as I thought that would ease the weather in some miraculous way. Wrong! In spite of all of this, I was so pumped up when the race started, and  I wanted to get my well anticipated highly oxygenated blood flowing. I started well, and enjoyed the cheering of the crowds, and soon the rain became a norm.

At 5 miles, I had to take of my adidas sweater and throw it away. I miss it already. I can't believe I did that. I really liked that sweater, but doing this lightened my load, and I ran more enthusiastically, and a better pace.

As time would go on, I had allowed the surprising weather and the long wait time to get to me, so I didn't enjoy the middle of the race as much. Every now and then, I would have a non-pleasing thought about that, and I fought to stay positive as I ran.

Towards the last 4 miles, my mind was at the right place, each step was more purposeful, more like me, striding along, cheering with the crowd intermittently; but, I began to cramp in my right thigh, and sought to gatorade at each mile, and this was very helpful.

Giving up is not in my vocal, so I was there to meet my goal, I didn't quit or stop to walk. Pushed, and ran with each heartbeat, I inhaled and exhaled, and focused on crossing the finish line. I didn't doubt myself so I finished the race at 2 hours and 6 minutes.

With all this said, be prepared for whatever nature throws at you if you plan to run the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon, and ultimately, enjoy the race. Enjoy your ability to challenge yourself in a race where others have not dared to try, enjoy your strength to meet your goal, and the passion to do something healthy for yourself. And if you run for charity, thats a positive attribute for you enjoy the race be it rain or shine.

I'll do it again next year, and next time, I will run to enjoy the moments of the race, and I plan to me more mentally prepared.


Hope You Enjoyed My Post.
Cheers!
Dennis