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Long Branch Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Long Branch, New Jersey
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 2h 35m 56s
Overall Rank = 3798/6000
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 440/540
Pre-race routine:

It has been so long since I did a race, let alone a race report... I definitely am out of the race "routine"

I did this race with one of my younger sisters, Nora, (mosc57) it was her first 1/2 marathon and I was really focusing on her, keeping her calm and distracting her from being too nervous. Turns out, that is a great way to keep from being nervous myself! Who knew?
Event warmup:

Got to stay overnight at my sister's in-law's house - about 14 miles or so from the race location. That worked out great since my daughter had a rough night and by extension, I would have as well had I slept at home the night before. I'm so grateful to them for their hospitality.

Her police officer husband tipped us off to a great place to find free parking, so we didn't have to deal with the shuttle buses, which ended up being a great thing (more on that later)

Nora woke me up at 5AM (!) and I wearily got out of bed and started getting ready. We left the house at about 6AM and were parked by 6:30. walked from our parking spot to the back drop off location.

I was very well hydrated, but did not have to pee - took care of that before we left the house. I ate half a PB bagel and drank small sips of water.

We got rid of our bags, debated on how to dress and both opted to leave our jackets and hats on. (bad choice - more on that later) It was quite chilly, rainy and just not a nice day to be by the water.
  • 2h 35m 56s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 11m 54s  min/mile

well, well, well... since I have not run a race in like FOREVER! this is going to be a little challenging for me to recall all the details...

Nora had it in her mind that she could/wanted to finish at 2h 24m... someone on the biggest loser had done it and so she wanted to match that. I knew that was a lofty goal for me - but I told her we'd try.

The race didn't start on time because there was a huge demand for shuttle buses bringing runners to the start - I guess more people followed the suggestion to use that service rather than park their own cars in the neighborhood. There was also an accident that delayed their arrival. There was no precipitation until after the gun went off. Seriously, then steady rain throughout.

We got next to the 4:45 pacer group, but they just took off way too fast and we couldn't keep up - we lost them very quickly - later were passed by the 4:30 pacer group and passed the 5:00 pacer group which made no sense. So we chose to follow the pace on Nora's Nike+ iPod device.

Halfway through the first mile, I knew I was way too hot with my hat and jacket so I tied my jacket around my waist and handed it off to my brother-in-law Brian as soon as I could - I don't know where along the course that was, but I felt much better after I was unencumbered with that extra clothing. The air was very humid and it steadily rained the entire time. The air was soupy - I could tell because my breathing was labored.

We saw our cheerleaders throughout the course, Brother-in-law Brian and my neice, Seryna were on bikes following us through the area and offering encouragement. Nora's Mother-in-law was there too, cheering loudly. Carol (mosc11) and my mom and nephew came out to support us too, braving the conditions - cold, rainy - not a nice day to spectate let me assure you. Seeing them lifted my spirits.

If I didn't know it before, I know now that 6 miles is my magic number - at 6 miles, I feel like I can conquer the world - 6 miles is heaven - I was clapping with my music, singing, laughing, talking to Nora (who was having a bit of trouble at the time) and feeling great...

But a half marathon is 13.1 miles and therein lies the rub...

I got a weird stitch in my right side, just under my lowest rib and it was killer - had to push it in and walk a little at 7 miles. I started eating my gel shot bloks at about 5 miles and every other mile after that. They helped keep my energy level up, I never felt hungry. I was spot on with hydration - never felt dry and never felt like I had to pee. Was diluting the Gatorade at the fluid stations with water and it was perfect.

The section of the course between mile 9 and mile 10 was on concrete. This sucked. I mean, like really sucked. Why I didn't go off to the side and run on the grass is beyond me. At one point I covered my face and sobbed openly - looking through the cracks in my fingers to make sure I didn't trip. The feeling subsided a little when I ran by a church and saw their sign on the lawn that said:

Those who conquer others are strong.
Those who conquer themselves are mighty.

I kept repeating that second line over and over in my head - it helped. I remembered my mantra from my first 1/2 "I am healthy, I am strong, I can run all day long" Anything to distract me.

I started thinking about other things, imagining that my dog Bongo was running beside me as he'd done on every one of my outdoor training runs with his long doggie tongue hanging out looking up at me blissfully trotting along - the picture of a happy happy dog! I thought of Bongo a lot.

I thought of my daughter. I thought of my husband. I thought of Yanti - remembering that she said to have fun. I thought of how Nora wrote people's names on her "in training" shirt for each mile and was dedicating each mile to those people in our family that she loves and feels inspired by their lives. I thought of Aimee Mullins, who runs on prosthetics from the knees down. Of all the people who probably wish they were healthy enough to even attempt what I was doing.

And so the miles ticked by - I am proud to say that I didn't walk at all after mile 10 - I don't know if what I was doing could be considered "running" but it wasn't walking.

I ran through the pain picking up the pace ever so slightly as I neared the finish. Thrilled to hear my mom and sister and nephew cheering me on.

So I have another 1/2 marathon on the books - will I ever do a full? Right now the answer is no. But then again, after my first 1/2, I said I'd never do another 1/2, so there you go.
What would you do differently?:

I'd be more consistent with the mid-week runs. I did log all the long runs I needed to.
Post race
Warm down:

should have stretched more - the backs of my calves were burning and tight right afterward... other than that, I felt I recovered okay

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm slow... but steady...

Event comments:

good race, a little unorganized, but I might consider it again

Last updated: 2009-03-18 12:00 AM
02:35:56 | 13.1 miles | 11m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/540
Overall: 0/6000
Performance: Average
I was seriously challenged in hitting my lap counter on the watch during this race, I screwed it up but I know some of the splits went as follows: Mile 1 - 11:12 Mile 2 - 10:44 Mile 3 - 10:47 Mile 4 - 10:55 Mile 5 - 11:13 Mile 6 - 12:22 (Nora had to stop and retie laces, stretch a bit) Mile 7 - 11:19 Mile 8 - 13:51 (I missed the marker had to ask a fellow runner if we passed 8 - he's like, yeah a while ago... oh snap!) Mile 9 - 10:22 (I'm sure a minute from mile 8 should be added to this mile) Mile 10 - 12:49 (this was the sobbing portion of the run) Mile 11 - 11:36 Mile 12 - 14:53 Mile 13.1 - ???? I forgot to stop my watch
Course: pretty flat winding course around the neighborhood and business areas of Long Branch and Monmouth Beach
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2009-05-05 10:52 AM

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Clifton, NJ
Subject: Long Branch Half Marathon

2009-05-05 3:24 PM
in reply to: #2131220

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Subject: RE: Long Branch Half Marathon

Mary, I am so proud of you!!!  I love the way that you "talked" your way through the race and were able to "conquer yourself and become mighty"

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