took this morning’s 8 mile run to the beach with an out and back run down ocean ave. there are so few things better than a morning run along the beach. even if my legs felt like lead after an hour and a half of spinning last night.
….not to mention it was 72 degrees at 7am this morning! the weekend forecast is calling for some warm temps and i couldn’t be more excited. i intend on spending every minute i’m not working this weekend OUTSIDE, breaking out the paddleboard, getting some long runs in with the sun shining and maybe doing some patio drinking!
my mood instantly improves when the weather changes around here, i hate being stuck inside because of the snow, rain or just cold temps. during my marathon training i tried to run outside as much as possible, but couldn’t bring myself to train in 20 degree weather or 30 mph gusting wind. once spring rolls around i spend 90% of my time running outside. which means i need to find some new trails to check out!
some of my current favorites are:
thompson park ~ lincroft, nj
fair haven fields ~ fair haven, nj
hartshorne woods ~ highlands, nj
deal test site ~ oakhurst, nj
what are some of your favorite running routes when the weather breaks?
any trails in the northeast i should check out – i’m always up for a weekend road trip!?
i can’t believe it’s taken me almost three weeks to write this race recap, or to write a post at all. life has kind of gotten in the way. work, social obligations, procrastination, etc. has taken over all of my time. but anyway — the nj marathon happened and frankly, i crushed it. just kidding. in all honesty i spent the two taper weeks leading up to the race terrified the training plan i’d downloaded online was completely off base and i was screwed. i had the taper crazies for sure, i spent hours reading running blogs (especially Janae’s ) and driving the course on my way home from work.
fast forward to race day, i met up with some friends before heading over to the start. i ate my dry cheerios, banana, Propel and chai tea beforehand and packed Honey Stinger chews for pre-race fuel. i felt fine, nervous but overall okay. when we got to the race i then realized i really had no idea what i was going to do, realistically i had no idea what i could do.
a few weeks back i watched my brother’s girlfriend run the boston marathon and literally cried several times watching the race the energy was so intense. i felt this overwhelming yearning to be a part of that someday. i didn’t know if i could do it my first time running a marathon and didn’t want to put that pressure on myself because i knew if i got attached to a BQ as my end result and didn’t achieve that, i’d be crushed. so i just neglected to make a race plan. i wrote down the splits i would need to BQ but was hesitant to even look at them more than a few times a day.
back to race day… i found the 3:40 pace group in corral C (mind you i was supposed to be in corral H) and attempted to chat up a few of the ladies who seemed like they had introduced themselves to the pacers previously. i have never felt more ostracized and insulted that in those few seconds of conversation with these people. their response was “oh, if you’re in corral h you shouldn’t try to run with these pace groups.” thankfully, being the stubborn new jerseyian that i am, i found a lovely volunteer who let me into the corral i was not assigned to and made my way over to the 3:35 pace group.
these people were amazing. i spent the first 14 miles chatting with the whole group, we cheered for each other and the other runners around us, we thanked the supporters and volunteers and i was on cloud 9. the group started to kind of thin out when we entered Deal around mile 15/16. i spent the next mile or so running with a few guys that had been running ahead of our pace group. i expected the group to catch up to me eventually so i just kept moving.
when we hit the turn around at mile 19 i saw the rest of the group about a minute or so behind me. i felt great even though it had started raining pretty hard. it had been raining since the start but just lightly drizzling and was honestly more refreshing while running than an annoyance. we ran back through asbury and the wind started kicking. at this point i knew i had less than six miles to go and i had my heart set on that BQ. my mantra was just keep moving. everything kindof ached and my fingers were so cold i had a hard time gripping water cups and getting my gels out of my shorts. i kept replaying this rich roll interview with jesse itzler in my head that described itzler’s time with david goggins, the navy seal that introduced him to the 40% rule:
“He would say that when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done. And he had a motto: If it doesn’t suck we don’t do it. And that was his way of forcing us to get uncomfortable to figure out what our baseline was and what our comfort level was and just turning it upside-down.”
i had more in my tank than my head was telling me i did. or that’s what i told myself. because when i finished at 3:32 and change i felt like i was f#$@ing done. i fist pumped the rainy air and kept a shit eating grin on my face for at least 2 minutes straight — then the cold set in, my legs stopped moving in normal people motions and all i could think about was wrapping myself in blankets and drinking hot toddy’s. unfortunately, i couldn’t do that because i was unable to move my hands to put my dry clothes on and my parents car was parked about 9,000 miles away from the finish.
after panicking that i would never be able to move again, i persuaded my parents and nick to walk back to the car and head home. jumped in the bathtub and felt 100000% better.
it still hasn’t sunk in that i’m going to be able to run the freaking boston marathon.
i signed up for the asbury half as a training run to use as a much needed break from my pretty boring solo long training runs that i had been doing. i’ve also run this race for the last two years and could probably run the course with my eyes closed.
i initially signed up with no intention of running for time (PR or otherwise). but in the days leading up to the race i knew that wasn’t going to be the case.
this is the hardest part of running for me — i am the worst at pacing myself, running slow and controlled runs and i have a tendency to constantly be competing with myself. in some respects this attribute of mine is not necessarily a bad thing, but i think it definitely becomes stressful and detrimental for me to constantly be putting this kind of pressure on myself.
so i figured i needed to come up with a realistic plan for this race. i had been training for the past 12+ weeks so i definitely had the mileage down, but i was seriously lacking in the speed work department. i have a hard time increasing my turnover rate and haven’t really put much effort into correcting that. (whoops). i wrote out the mile splits that i would need to hit a 1:42:00 1/2 marathon time, i had finished last year in 1:44:30 and hoped that (1) being healthy and (2) nearing the end of a harder, more rigid training cycle would put me in a good place to PR by 2 minutes.
i’d need to run at a 7:47 mile pace for the whole race, as i mentioned i suck at speed work and pacing myself during training runs, so i had no idea if this was really achievable, but i was going to try anyway. because i’m a very rational and relaxed human being, i start to panic and psyche myself out in the 48 hours leading up to the race. i worry about the weather, the direction of the wind that day, if my shoes need to be replaced, what im going to eat that morning, if my legs are going to feel like lead, etc.
before i know it, it’s race day and everything turns out fine – made up crisis averted! so why the heck do i stress myself out so much?!
new race goal: sign up for and run a race for FUN! maybe in a new city or with a group of new running partners (bueller? anyone?).
anyone game? any races that i should check out for fun? how do you stop competing with yourself and learn to enjoy the run?
i signed up for the asbury park “runapalooza” half a couple months back simply to break up my long weekend marathon training runs and maybe have some fun (or at the very least, some company). most of my long runs have been solo and thus, crazy boring. i’ve exhausted the arsenal of rich roll podcast and serial episodes. i know every chainsmokers song by heart and i’ve somehow put together a mental catalog of all the clothes and shoes in my closets. this will be the third time i’m running this particular race and i think it will always be one of my favorites. the course is flat and fast, it’s basically in my backyard and the brunch at porta afterward is reason enough to run 13 miles.
the nj marathon on may 1st will be my very first marathon and i didn’t know what to expect from training for the race. i figured i would be so relieved to have people cheering me on that i would just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience of this half. that would be the normal thing to do. but i’m crazy and super competitive and i already know that i want to be running this race to beat my current half PR. so i need to take a step back and really look at the bigger picture, i need to remember to have fun and not take this so seriously.
wish me luck…
after my race tomorrow i’ll be going up to boston to watch my brother’s girlfriend run the marathon on monday. this will be my first time back in boston in almost 10 years and her first time running this particular race and i’m so excited. i’m thrilled that she’ll get to experience the magic that is boston and so proud of her for getting there! running excitement aside, i’m so pumped to see my brother (who will be there with her, obviously), hang out with my mom and explore the city for 48 hours. we have a few things touristy things on the agenda that we plan on checking out: boston common, the waterfront, newbury st. and maybe fenway. oh and watching the race…
any suggestions for us in bean town? food, drink, shopping, running, whatever — are greatly appreciated!
i’m 14 weeks into training for my first marathon. i’m no stranger to running or competing. i played competitive soccer for most of my life, i’ve run two half marathons and a handful of shorter races over the last two years. devoting time and energy to training is not a foreign concept for me, and it’s not in my nature to do things half-assed.
so i was a little worried a few weeks back when my weekly mileage peaked to 48-52 miles and i just wasn’t feeling it. life had gotten a bit chaotic, the weather on the jersey shore really sucked and i was having a hard time finding something to get excited about in the morning. after a couple training runs that felt like i was basically forcing my legs to move through quick sand i started freaking out (because that’s the kind of calm, reasonable person i am).
why did i think i could finish a marathon? i’m not in running shape. who knows if my body can even handle this kind of physical stress? what if i can’t finish and i have to DTF? that would be so embarrassing, maybe i shouldn’t even do this. i’ve only told a few people i’m doing this and they aren’t really even invested in it so it wouldn’t be a big deal, they aren’t even excited about it anyway.
i kept going with my training anyway, keeping that safety net in the back of my mind – i could always quit. then i saw this video: UNBROKEN on Janae’s page (after days of stalking her previous posts).
Accept where you are and the responsibility that you’re going to take yourself where you want to go.
that one video forced me to remember what exactly it is that i’m working for (thanks Mateusz M). and reminded me that i didn’t sign up for this race to win my first damn marathon, just to finish. to finish even if i am crawling over the finish line in front of a bunch of strangers. and be proud as hell of myself for doing it. i worked my ass off for the last 14 weeks to bring myself to the starting line on may 1st with 600+ miles under my belt, 15 long runs and a shit load of useless knowledge on marathon training.
my motivation from the start was to challenge myself. prove that i could do hard things. just try something different that i wasn’t confident i could do. and i’m doing all that already.
we’re often asked about what we’re afraid of… personally, i really can’t come up with anything tangible or significant when asked on the spot. i’m not a huge fan of sharks, i’m slightly freaked out when i drive on the nj turnpike but these aren’t fears that control me. there are a ton of things that i’m absolutely not fearful of too: i’m not afraid of needles or snakes, heights or scary movies. i don’t care if someone doesn’t like me and i’m not afraid of anyone’s perception of me. for some people these are totally real, valid and serious fears. that ain’t me.
clearly, i’m fearless.
yeah right…. so digging a little bit deeper on this question. initially, it’s hard for me to identify exactly what i am afraid of but when i really get down to it there are so many things deep down that scare the shit out of me.
fear of the unknown: not knowing where i’m going to be months from now, what my life is going to be like, if i’m going to be happy, if my family is going to be happy and healthy
fear of failure: never being able to get myself to a place where i’m truly proud of and happy with my life and myself.
fear of being alone: this one is different for me than i think some other people — i’m not necessarily afraid of being by myself, i’m well aware of my need for solitude at times. but rather, i am afraid that i will never truly find my place in this world, where i feel connected to the people and things in my life.
for me these fears cause deep seeded anxiety and leave me feeling uninspired, disheartened and kind of lost.
then there are things that are more accessible on the surface:
not being able to hit sub-8:00 min miles this weekend during my 3rd half marathon to beat last year’s PR.
being a shitty friend because i have sometimes have so much going on in my head and in my life that i forget to reach out and see how my girlfriends are doing and if i can offer them any support.
but sometimes i can break through all the bullshit and see clearly what we all already know, this is what fear does. it paralyzes you. it keeps you from moving forward and establishing any confidence in yourself. it holds you hostage in a state of self-doubt and misery.
i’m starting to really see how much fear has held me back over the past few years. how much anxiety, self-hatred and frustration it has caused within me. and looking back on this – it pisses me off. and i get this overwhelming feeling that i want to tell anyone feeling this same way to stop letting your fears take up space in your life. follow your gut, take chances, ask for help and be brave. do the things you believe in with your whole heart, don’t waste time half-assing anything. and when you do, you will not fail and you will not be afraid.
and if it just so happens that you stumble a bit, you have a support here to bitch and moan to. i’ve been known to give some pretty tough love and i’d be happy to get you back on track.