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’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.