After qualifying for the 2017 Boston Marathon at this year’s Los Angeles Marathon, there was no reason to race another 26.2 miles before the triathlon season, so I downgraded from the full marathon to the half.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
I drove down on race morning and got to Monmouth Park a few minutes before 6am. The race started at 7:30, so I plenty of time to pick up my race number, chat and take pictures with friends and sneak in a short warmup jog.
^Can you spot me?
The first wave to go at 7:30am were the wheelchair athletes. A minute later, the Elite wave started. And then another minute later, my wave started. I’m still unsure why the race director did not start my wave at the same time as the Elite wave…especially since the Elite wave consisted of both men and women running the half and full marathons. Nonetheless, that meant I had some ‘rabbits’ up the road to chase down.
After hitting the first mile at 5:45, I actually felt pretty relaxed. I crossed the 5km around 18 minutes and by the 10km mark, I had faded slightly, clocking in at 36:38. The fade continued and by mile 7, I decided that I would continue my efforts until I hit the 10 mile marker. I crossed 10 miles around 58 minutes in, then dropped the pace down to 6:30 for the remainder of the race.
After running 13.1 miles through Monmouth County and Long Branch completely alone, I found myself running down the finisher’s chute in 1 hour and 19 minutes. Although I would have been completely content with slowing down, giving high fives and enjoying the crowds near the finish area, I had no choice but to speed up in the last bit to finish in JUST under 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The race was a fun experience and I took home exactly what I wanted – a hard solo run effort on fatigued legs. I would have liked to wrap up this 22-hour training week by cheering on the marathoners, but Mother Nature had other plans, and with downpours, I decided that the best course of action was to warm up, get back to the car, and start the recovery process.
Congrats to all the 2016 Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon and Half Marathon finishers. Shoutout to Otto, Pace Team Coordinator, and his team of 45+ pacers! (Pretty much everyone I knew running was a pacer).
Next up is my first triathlon of 2016!
See you out there!