Jersey Shore Half Marathon Recap and Review

This past Sunday I completed my first half marathon – phew glad that it’s over.  My finish time was a little longer than I was hoping, but given the events and stress of the past few weeks, I’m really happy.

Couldn't ask for better weather - clear, sunny, and cool!

Overall thoughts about the race:  The course is really flat and somewhat scenic – perfect for a first long distance race.  Everything seemed to be very well-organized – from checking in, lining up, water stations, to the directions telling runners where to go – it all seemed easy.  The post race spread was also nice: hot soup, bagels, bananas, apples, bottled water, soda and hot dogs.  I still can’t understand how some people eat hot dogs after running.  I only have a few suggestions for the race organizers: add more porta potties along the race course and have police/volunteers on hand to help with exiting traffic.  Although I never actually stopped and used the one porta pottie station, I think if I had seen more stations spaced out throughout the course it would have helped me mentally (more on that).

To the left and behind me, there were clear views of the New York City skyline.

My race recap: Sunday was perfect running weather – sunny, cool, and no humidity.  I walked up to the starting line wearing a long sleeve shirt over my tank.  10 minutes before the race kicked off, I decided to take off the long sleeve shirt and I’m so glad I did.  Although I was sweating, I never felt like my body temperature was an issue during the run.

I shed my long sleeve shirt at the starting line.

I started off feeling great.  However, I really need to work on pacing myself.  My first few miles and eventually the first half of the race, I went out too fast.  Also, as soon as I started the race, I thought I might need to find a porta pottie, but I assured myself that there would be plenty along the route – nope!  This started to give me some anxiety.  I was jealous of the men who could just run off into the woods for a minute or two and take care of business.

My playlist was really random and not the best.  I totally forgot about putting one together until Friday night and I didn’t feel like searching for new downloads, so it was mostly music I already had on my Ipod.  I didn’t allow myself to skip over a song if I wasn’t feeling it, but around mile 5 I decided to replay one of my songs on my playlist.  When I was going through chemo, I listened to an old church school song performed by Bruce Springsteen – “This Lil Light of Mine.”  Cheesy, yes.  But you have to go with what works.  Right after mile 7, I passed my fan club: Bri and my BFF Jen and her son Ryan.  I was super happy and motivated to see them.  But I knew I was starting to slow down and after I passed mile 8, I really started to drag.  I was walking through every water stop.  By mile 9, I started to lose the fun of the run and was mainly just counting down the miles to the end.

By miles 11 and 12, I seriously thought I was dying.  I knew that I would finish and knew that I had the endurance to finish, but my body was in so much pain.  My left knee and hip were the causes of most of my pain – ugh.  And I felt myself compensating.  So, the last mile probably took me about 15 minutes because I did a mix of walking and running.  I was kind of hoping that some of the other runners would call me out on walking, which would in turn motivate me – nope.  In fact over the whole race course, I never felt/saw other runners motivating each other.

I was so relieved when I approached the finish line.

Pushing myself towards the finish line!

Would I do it again?  Maybe.  What would I change for a possible future long distance race? I would definitely try to start out slower.  For the first 5 miles of the race, I wore my Ipod around my bicep.  Believe it or not, I had never done this during my training runs, and even though I have a sport band, I always just carried my Ipod in my hands.  So, I have a nice lil burn on my arm from the irritation caused by the unfamiliar sport band – next time, I need to stick with what I’m used to.  And finally, I would ask someone to jump in the race for the last few miles and run with me.  That might have saved me as I approached the last leg.

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4 Responses to Jersey Shore Half Marathon Recap and Review

  1. amyreinink says:

    I am SO STINKIN’ PROUD OF YOU! Congrats on a great finish—you look glorious and victorious in your race photos!

  2. amy says:

    Good for you! That is an accomplishment you should be very proud of.

  3. Aunt Patti says:

    Congratulations!! Very proud of you–It takes a lot of work and determination to accomplish something like that–you set your goal and did what it took to accomplish it! It must have felt great crossoing that finish line!!

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