New Jersey marathon recap

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The New Jersey marathon was 9 days ago. It was a great race. Perfect day, perfect weather. Nothing nasty like last year.  I stayed in Princeton again and Jeremiah drove me in that morning (thank you!) Brittany beat me there and held a spot for me inside in the bathroom line (another thank you!) We headed outside, did some stretching, and jumped in our corral.

For me, the start was quite different this year than it was last year. Last year I TOOK OFF. (Again, running half the distance). This year I took it easy and let people pass me. Last year I remember thinking at mile 4, “Oh my gosh it’s only mile 4!? I have 9 more miles to go!” This year the first few miles breezed by at a nice and easy pace. My goal was to negative split again, so I figured I’d take the first half like a lovely Sunday run. My watch was funky the whole race, beeping way ahead of mile markers. This does not usually bother me but it really did this time. I honestly considered turning off my watch. I got preoccupied by this for a bit, then committed to only looking at the 13.1 marker and the 20 mile marker.

It’s not even worth sharing my splits since they were so off and I ran a total of 26.54 miles. (I have a watch plan for Chicago. More on that later!)

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So my half split was a bit slower than 10K, but then I got faster, and I ended up finishing in 3:58:22, a 26 second PR, and a negative split race! I never walked and I passed tons of people in the last few miles. I was happy. Later on though I let myself feel disappointed. I still feel a bit disappointed. This is my 6th marathon but only the 2nd I’ve trained really well for. I guess I just don’t want to be ok with this time (3:58). I know I can do better. Everyone kept telling me, “Oh this course is so much faster than NYC, there’s no hills, you’ll definitely PR.” Sure I did, but I thought it’d be by more. I honestly was really hoping I’d break 3:55, or even 3:50! I actually really like running hills. The all flat wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, but I kind of missed the surge of up and down hills. What did I really miss? THE CROWDS! Oh man, at mile 21 all I wanted was people around me. At 23 I pictured myself being in Central Park and literally closed my eyes and tried to hear the crowd. It helped a little but not a ton. I was supposed to pick it up at 23, then continue to do so mile by mile. Maybe it was the wind, or maybe the lack of adrenaline, but I just couldn’t do it. Not until mile 25 that is. I did run the last 1.5 miles around an 8:15 pace!

Thanks to Brian for some pics! Can you tell which is like 17 and which is 22? haha.

At the end of it all, it was a good race. I’m happy. I’m proud of completing another sub-4 marathon. More than anything I’m excited for Chicago. I’m excited to set some goals and achieve them. I’M EXCITED TO HAVE FUN! (more on that in the next post). I did have the best of best time recovering. Thursday morning after the Sunday I race I headed to Florida with my high school BFFs.

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TACOS AND MARGARITAS ON CINCO DE MAYO!

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The weather was in the mid 80s, not too much humidity. Basically summer perfection. I didn’t even pack running clothes. It was a well deserved and much needed break, complete with a temporary tat 🙂

 

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