While absolutely delighted with this result this race was not about the numbers…
When my son was born in October I took a two-month, sleep-deprived, hiatus from running. So signing up for the New Jersey Marathon was my way of kicking myself in the pants. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t permanently regress into a non-runner. Obviously I had a time goal in mind, but, I did this particular race for the training regiment more so than the thrill of crossing the finish line.
I have only praise to heap onto The New Jersey Marathon. The race was well organized and well executed. The course was flat, fast and interesting. The community support and volunteers were abundant and enthusiastic. The one minor complaint I have is the race website... it’s amateurish, not very navigable and doesn’t do the race justice.
Weather was a major concern for me going into this race. The conditions the night prior were cold and very windy. The forecast called for thunderstorms on race day. Thankfully conditions were much friendlier when the starting gun went off – cool, overcast and dry with the exception of fog.
The starting chute was as humane as I’ve experienced and I was able to line up toward the front along side runners of comparable ability.
I clicked off mile one in 8:20 (inclusive of a quick biologically necessary pit stop). Mile two fell in 7:30. Knowing I was setting myself up for an Icarian fall I eased up for mile three and settled into a more sustainable pace of about 7:50/mile.
Normally, I’d have kept better track of my splits but my watch battery died on race day morning. My trustworthy Timex training partner exhausted its last electrons while sounding my 4:00am wake up call. Literally, the watch flat-lined to wake me up.
It was around Mile 18 that I began to fatigue. I was okay from a cardiovascular point of view but was waning mentally and my legs were feeling some pain. I was also carrying a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders (personal note: incorporate upper body strength training moving forward). My poor mood was exacerbated when a group of three runners I’d passed at mile sixteen caught up to and then passed me at mile twenty-one.
At this point I connected with a runner doing his last leg of a relay (The NJ Marathon consists of a marathon, a half-marathon and a multi person marathon relay). His fresh legs and positive conversation helped lift me from despondency and carry me to mile twenty-five and a big finishing kick.
Ultimately the New Jersey Marathon was a giganterrifenormous reaffirmation of my commitment to running and a healthy lifestyle.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jared, LuAnn, Jessica, Eamonn, Susie, Joe and Sharon. Thank you all for coming to the race and cheering me on. Your being there helped me pull me through to the finish line.
A big sweaty hug to Salena for her support, tolerance and love.
“An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
Sir Isaac Newton