Monday, May 2, 2011

VICTORY! Jersey Shore Anniversary half marathon recap

It's a beauty
I am overjoyed, yesterday was a perfect race in every way.

The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, the crowd once again amazing - everything in place for a great day.

I got up nice and early: 4:30 AM to make my trek southward down to the Jersey Shore. I chewed on a well-earned bagel (mmmm gave those carb-y ass-fateners up long ago but figured I'd have one for "fuel") and guzzled my coffee to go.

Once on location, I found Frannie who decided to make this half her second.

We found our places to run. I decided I wanted to run this race in 2:30 (or around a 11min mile) - a lofty goal as my long runs on a good day say that I am around 2:37. My last race in September I did in 3:03 and the a year ago I did this very race at 3:19.  Sure I'm a slower runner but a runner none-the-less!

Anyway, I must've used the potty about 50 times (well at least 3 times) before the start. And son-of-a gun wouldn't ya know it, by the time I was crossing the start line I had to go again. While I was deeply trying to enjoy the moment and I was - I couldn't help but be distracted. Instead of focusing on "the need for speed," all I could think of was, the "need to pee."  So, for the first time ever, I jumped on a potty line in the middle of a race between mile 2-3.  UGH. I probably lost around 5 mins. or so but I did feel 1,000 times better.

SIDE NOTE:  I know you hardcore folks will just pee on yourselves and save that time. As tempting as that was, I decided against it. Though never say never.

Back to the race. I felt strong mentally and physically and was knocking out miles left and right. It was such a far cry from my last race - for the first time I really felt like a runner. And a runner that wasn't just trying to finish but to finish with a purpose.

OH THIS IS WHAT WE TRAIN FOR. For moments that feel like this.
Into the last mile - Friend Amy caught me excited to see her
The last two miles were run along the ocean and I promised myself that I was going to save something to make those miles really count. That last mile, I turned my music off and ran like I'd never had. I was wooing with the crowds, pushing myself to go as fast as possible, adrenaline doing it's thing and fist pumping like a crazy, middle-aged Jersey girl the whole way! Nike+ data says I was running at a 9:03 at one point during that last mile which is insanely fast for me, never mind to be pulling it off at the end of a 13 mile race!

About that 2:30 goal? That goal that I was worried would be too much to achieve… Hmm, well how's 2:24 grab ya?  11:01 pace… Now if I hadn't stopped to potty, I would've been sub 2:20 and prob. around 10:49 pace! WHAT? SHUT UP! :0)

VICTORY


Thanks to all of you who've been a part of this journey. The Jersey Shore marathon is one I plan to participate in every year. It's really well organized and just awesome. I would encourage anyone to try this one.

Some signs that made me laugh yesterday:

"Worst parade ever!" "Run faster, Snookie is gaining on you!"  "No matter what, last year was worse!" (Last year it was record breaking heat 90 degrees and humid)

And thank you to my bff Amy who came to see me at the finish line -- it meant a lot to me.

Onward and upward - in just (holy freakin' crap) 33 days I'll be taking on 26.2…

XO
Jen
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