Yesterday was my first race since giving birth to Katie on June 20th it was so much fun! My goal going into yesterday’s Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn 5 Miler was to run a smart race that would allow me to have fun and finish feeling strong and healthy. Since starting receiving the all-clear to return to working out from my OB-GYN at my 8 week postpartum appointment, my goal has been to ease back into working out in a smart, healthy fashion. For the past few weeks I have been running an average of two days per week, following a walk/run program during which I increase the running by one minute each run.
Based on this approach, I wanted to run the first 16 minutes of yesteday’s race and then switch to intervals, alternating walking and running. If I wasn’t feeling great, I could do 1:1 intervals, but if I was feeling stronger then I’d increase the intervals to either 3 minutes or 4 minutes of running.
The race began at 7AM near Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Museum, which meant that I hopped on a Citibike at 6:20 which placed me in the starting area by 6:45.
I had just enough time to make my way through security, use the bathroom and make my way into the corral before the 7AM start. Even before the race started, there were a few things that I really liked about the race setup this year.
- I appreciated that the 5 mile and half marathon races started at the same time. This allowed people to mingle with their friends running the other distances, as long as you were in the same corral, and enjoy the support and energy of the larger, half marathon race. There were only 959 people who ran the 5 Miler so the course felt pretty sparse once we split from the 8,500 half marathon runners.
- I loved that RNR provided water, bananas and portapotties within the starting corrals. This is something I haven’t seen at many race starts and it seemed to be appreciated by everyone. While there were, of course, some lines for the portapotties, they moved very quickly.
- While the race still started a few minutes late, it started far faster than years past.
Since Zoe and I have become experts at meeting before race starts, we easily spotted each other and discussed our race plan before we heard the annoucer start the race.
Since she is dealing with a nagging injury, she happily stuck with me during the race. It’s amazing to think that last year, we ran the half marathon together and, halfway during the race, due to increase heart rate, I told her I was pregnant! A lot can change in a year!
Within minutes after the first runners crossed the starting line, Zoe and I were giving each other a high five and starting our run. We both wore headphones for the first 16 minutes while we were running, briefly pointing out sights along the route during these first miles. When we hit 16 minutes, just short of two miles, we switched to intervals, but since we were both feeling good, we decided to start with longer running intervals – 4 minutes run and 2 minutes walking.
Mile 1 Pace – 10:00
Mile 2 Pace – 10:41
For the first two and a half miles we enjoyed the slight downhill as well as the comraderie of the half marathon runners before we veered off and headed into Prospect Park. The final 2.5 miles included the rolling hills of Prospect Park as well as the 3/10 mile climb during mile 4.
Mile 3 Pace – 11:38
Mile 4 Pace – 11:48
Mile 5 Pace – 10:33
As you can tell, our running pace increased during that last mile when we knew the finish line was close and we had the benefit of some gradual downhills.
We finished the race in 54:05 or an average pace of 10:49
Overall, it was a great return to racing and made me even more excited to wake up for those early morning runs. I’m looking forward to the NYRR Jingle Jog on December 2nd which will hopefully be the first race Katie is at the finish line. We didn’t even try bringing her to yesterday’s race since she’s been pretty fussy this week due to the four month sleep regression.
In case you’re wondering, here are my recaps from the past two Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn Races: