When Kim agreed to find a race to make our Delaware weekend a double header, I at first laughed at the thought of running a race on the Jershey Shore... cue in hair gel, tanning, and thick accents
Although I don't watch the show- I did see one episode when they were in Italy and they kept saying "she's too young for you bro!"---- anyone who uses the word bro is an immediate turnoff (unless you are talking about your actual brother)
Nonetheless I had never been to the "garden state", so I figured go big or go home, Jersey shore it is and thus Seaside Heights 1/2 was a go.
Seaside Half Marathon
State # 35 New Jersey
I haven't done this in awhile so how about a little good, bad ugly rundown?
- Pre-race meal Italian dinner meet up: My dad happened to be in NJ that week for work, so he flew in a day early just so he could meet up with me and my running / blogging buddies (ok he probably wanted to see Kim again since they got along so famously when she stayed at our house for the Air Force 1/2) We also were able to meet up with Tonia and her family + Alma's best friend / college roommate--- needless to say we had a great entire weekend of everyone catching up with old friends / family!
Alma, Me, Papa J
Alma, Me, Kim, T, T's sister Gina
After we said our farewells we went back to our hotel and basically CRASHED from exhaustion. At the time I was thankful we had a 10am start time due to being tired and being able to sleep in... I was definitely singing a different tune midway during the race.
- Great scenery BEFORE the race for photos. I know T and G laughed at my excitement to see all the rides and shops since they are from the area- I guess I get that since that is how I feel about the whole excitement with Air Force Museum since I grew up with that.
Me and Kim
T, me, Kim, G (for the record, we were going for a black and white theme, when I asked Kim what to wear on top she said it didn't matter. Apparently everyone else got a different memo)
Look at me, I'm on a beach- wheeeeeeeee
stolen from Alma
Stolen from Alma
- Getting to hang out with some fabulous ladies before start of the race
- Due to not bringing my ipod charger and needing to save my battery, I ran the first 4.5 miles with music and I wasn't hating it.
- I don't remember what mile I was at... maybe 5, but I felt like I was running in slow motion- I said to myself "self, you can go faster than this, suck it up- for 2 miles I had energy out of NO WHERE and passed a ton of people just by opening my stride a little bit which allowed for 35 sec faster miles (yay!)
- Free pasta lunch for all runners after the race- pasta, salad, and rolls--- it was PERFECT
- Having my dad there at the start and finish to cheer me on
- 10am start time- ya its nice for sleeping in, however the heat set in which could have been avoided / lessened with an earlier start. Also it does put a crunch limit on travel plans finishing so late. The 3 of us (me, Kim, Alma) had 6pm departing flights so we played it smart (one of the few times I can claim that)
- "line up where you want" start line. The start was crazy congested which made for a hard first mile. Considering I went out too fast the day before in DE, I told myself nothing below 8 min for mile 1. I took it a little too easy and clocked mile 1 at 8:49- a full 1 min slower than normal which led me to freak out and try to "catch up time" the next few miles.
- Once we got off the boardwalk miles 3-7 were on a long gradual incline that didn't give until we hit our turnaround. The course was advertised as "flat and fast" so I was confused on why my body felt like it was working really hard- I hate false advertisement.
- I kept telling myself that once we hit the turn around I would get a nice 4 miles of downhills- seeing all the people
runningflying on the "back" of the out and back gave me hope that it would get easier. Funny thing... it seemed to be going uphill on the back too! I know this isn't possible, but there was definitely no downhill.
- The last half of the race my wheels came completely off. My body was SUPER stiff and I literally couldn't spread my legs any farther apart. I remember this happened to me exactly one year ago same weekend on day 2 of my double header in Rhode Island, (hands down is still #1 in best scenery for the states I've completed) however its not a consistent issue on day 2 of all my double headers so I have no idea what I did differently?
- With no shade... IT.GOT.HOT. After seeing a few women in front of me sans a shirt, I decided to finally join them at mile 8 and took mine off. I am FAR from where I want to be with my midsection, so I have to be roasting in order to say "screw it" and use my shirt to wipe my sweat.
- It's rather embarrassing how much I walked in the last few miles- I just didn't care anymore. It was a mixture of being tired, and having the same feeling my heart is going to explode out of my chest that I had the day before. I remember my dad joking telling me he would have to hit the road shortly after I was done so "none of that running over 2 hours crap"- obviously he was kidding, but that became my goal in the end just to not go over 2 hours.
- Finishing on the boardwalk was CRUEL. Some parts of it are new, however most of it is old uneven planks where you have to pick up your feet more so you don't trip. It was exhausting have to look down the whole time and even if I wanted to pick up the pace (which if you call stopping at every water fountain along the boardwalk going faster, than I kicked the crap out of my pace!) it was near impossible with how much extra effort it was going to take.
I finished with a 1:57:56- not my best performance but I wasn't going for gold. The race itself was boring, not much change in scenery, no shade, and although there weren't any challenging hills it definitely should not be advertised as flat and fast. I could think of worse things to look at during a race, so its not a deal breaker, but a 10am start time is just way too late. If you are looking at this race to mark it off your states, make sure you register early. They closed online registration 1 month before the race so you are forced to do it race day. I ended up paying an extra $20 on race day, and I received a cotton long sleeve with a boring design vs. the much cooler tech long sleeve that Kim and Alma received.
After this weekends fun adventures but crappy runs I realized what I truly want out of my running--- I want to go fast. I don't know why I bothered with the marathon, I'm not disciplined enough to put that amount of mileage in, but I do have what it takes to bring my times down. I peaked in May for my Oregon race with a 1:42:54 despite walking a bit and being on day 2 of a double header... I think for fall / winter I'll be training to break the next big barrier 1:40---- there I said it! What's that phrase "so it is written, it shall be done"--- I'm going with that!
State #35- New Jersey--- DONE!