Fact: I’ve never been to Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
In three weeks, I am going to be running though Prospect Park. The Brooklyn Half course begins on the street, heads in for a loop of Prospect Park, comes back out and travels down Ocean Parkway all the way to Coney Island. After running the hills of Central Park a few weeks ago, I wanted to know what I was up against. My friend, Javi, who is also training for the half marathon, came with me for an adventure to Brooklyn.
I’m always looking to spice up the routes on my training runs, so this week I mapped out a course that started in Brooklyn and took a lap through Prospect Park. I had looked at the elevation chart and wanted to see how it compared with other hills. What goes up must come down! After Javi and I finished a lap, we headed up the hill one more time (but he took off… his goal is to break 1:30:00. Zoom zoom). Running out of the park to Flatbush Ave, my running route headed straight to the Brooklyn Bridge (about 2 miles away).
My plan was amazing except it was a beautiful day and the best way to describe the crowd on the bridge is like Times Square (minus creepy Elmo). There were just so many people enjoying the view. I had to pause my Garmin and just walk with the crowd- fortunately, this gave me an opportunity to play tourist, too, and take some great pictures 🙂
While crossing the bridge, my friend calls regarding our dinner plans. We are taking a 6:30 train into the city from LI. Mind you, I am in the city and now I have to catch a train at Penn so I can be home and ready in time. Game on! The next part of my run became a race against the clock. Running through Manhattan is an obstacle course of T’s- traffic lights, tourists, and taxis. The strong, fast finish to my run was basically do or die… I had to make my 4:45 train. HAD TO. I arrived outside of Penn with 4 minutes to buy water from a vendor, help a girl buy her ticket, buy my own ticket, and sprint down stairs. NAILED IT!
While my average pace was slower than desired, I covered the distance and had such a fun time doing it! My pace through Prospect Park was perfect- steady on the uphill and letting the downhill carry me. Javi and I are so ready for those hills. Flatbush Ave had energy with the Islanders game just getting underway. The Brooklyn Bridge was scenic- a must go if you have never been, btw. And racing through Manhattan got my adrenaline pumping as I zig-zagged uptown through the busy streets. I cannot wait for Brooklyn! Only 20 days until the big race 🙂