Novo Nordisk New Jersey Half Marathon ~ Oceanport, NJ ~ April 28, 2019
Fourth race of the year, COMPLETE! I have successfully ran a race each month for the year so far! It’s such a fun goal and I’m having so much fun completing it! That’s the point, right?! For this race, I would be meeting some great running pals and visiting/running in a new state!
Post Race: Since I’m a pinny-pincher when it comes to travelling, I purchased an $89 round-trip redeye ticket from Denver to Philly. I landed in Philly at 5am on Friday and would then be waiting on Sara to arrive around 8:30. Gwen graciously agreed to pick us up at the airport and drive us to Asbury Park – thank you again, Gwen! Let me tell you something about the Philly airport, in case this might come in handy for you someday. When you leave the secure area and head to baggage claim, you’d better grab some coffee and food beforehand if you plan to hang around for a bit. There is NOTHING when you enter the unsecure area – vending machines, but that’s IT. Since I had checked a bag, I wanted to make sure I grabbed it right away, but didn’t know I was doing so without the chance of coffee. Sitting around for almost four hours was brutal, it being that early and having not slept at all. I totally signed up to be there that long which I am FINE with, but that liquid magic would have made it easier. Sara was AWESOME enough to grab me a coffee after she landed – thank you again, Sara!
Sunset Park, close to the hotel
Once we got to Asbury Park, the three of us had lunch at the Robinson Ale House (go there!) and then Sara and I checked into The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. Later, we met John and Greg to pick up our packets and then had dinner. Sara and I had talked about going up to NYC on Saturday, but I just didn’t feel like there was enough time to really make that trip worthwhile. I’d rather be able to spend several days there when I finally get to go – someday. We had brunch and walked around Asbury Park a bit, took naps, greeted Abby at the hotel and went back to the expo with her, then met everyone for beer and dinner. The Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten was awesome and we had fun there! I definitely recommend it.
Sara, John, and Greg at dinner Friday night. This was my first time meeting Greg and he was OSOM!
So, it is not unusual for me to have tummy issues post-race, but it isn’t the norm to have tummy issues the days before the race. I’ve been dealing with some very stressful things lately (that I will write about eventually) so I think that was the culprit. I didn’t feel well Friday and most of Saturday and was very worried that I was going to have a terrible race on Sunday. I also hadn’t been sleeping well the last couple weeks and also didn’t sleep well Friday or Saturday.
Flat Chris, minus the long sleeve
Race Day: We woke up at 4:45, got dressed (long shorts and compression socks, tank and really thin long-sleeved shirt) and headed out the door for coffee. I was feeling ok but wasn’t able to go to the bathroom before the race started. After sitting in traffic FOREVER (even though we were early), we got to the parking lot. We were funneled into a security checkpoint where they checked our gear check bags and made sure we weren’t carrying any other prohibited bags/items. There were cops everywhere! They made Sara take her purse back to the car! Once through security, we immediately saw the plentiful PoPs but the ENORMOUS lines of people waiting. Abby said this perfectly in her blog, but it seemed like everyone running the race was in line for the PoPs. There just wasn’t enough time to wait, and I really had to pee after the coffee and water I had. I finally ate a Nature Valley peanut butter ‘biscuit’ as my only pre-race food. I checked my bag (that had a change of clothes in it) and Abby and I headed to Corral 4. We were already unimpressed with the traffic/parking/PoP shit show, and then get in Corral 4 to see that we are BEHIND the 2 hour pacer! WTF?
Corral 4 selfie with Abby
My plan was to keep up with Abby as long as possible and then do my own thing when/if I needed to. John managed to find us in the corral and started with us as well. It was a little chilly/breezy at the start but manageable. I luckily thought to bring a small headband to cover my ears because I needed it (and then lost it during the race!). We headed off and were immediately in a cluster of people – it remained that way for quite a while. It still pisses me off that slower people end up in corrals that they shouldn’t be in. They have corrals for a reason, people. We had to weave in and out of people for more than a mile to even get a little bit of room. Abby and I still had to pee so when we saw some PoPs coming up at mile 2, we headed over to use them. After opening up the door on a guy who’d been unresponsive and forgot to lock the door, we were back in the race in no time. Miles 1-3: 8:52, 8:26, and 9:44.
Got lucky with a successful in-motion selfie! This is my chinning photo, haha! So hot.
We both felt so much better after using the PoP, and I was actually feeling really good – no tummy issues. We were able to maintain a little bit and stayed somewhat consistent. Miles 4-6: 8:23, 8:22, 8:35 (‘hill’). I think I took my first and only Huma+ gel around the 10K point.
I could tell I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them for too much longer so I dropped back around mile. Miles 7-10: 8:33, 8:24, 8:38, 8:49. The course was super flat but I was just running out of steam. My feet were also getting sore from not running much lately.
I think it was somewhere around mile 11 that Abby all of a sudden pops up from behind me! My first thought was, WTF are you doing here? – and then I knew she had to take a PoP break. Around here, we don’t call mid-run poops Code Abby’s for nothing! We ran together for about a mile and then I needed a walk break. She doesn’t know this yet, but I took that break so she would take off without me. If I hadn’t I knew she would stay back with me when I knew she could just finish strong, and I also knew that I didn’t have any kick left for the final mile. Most importantly, I had to fart and it was one of those you had to stop running to make happen, HAHA! Which actually didn’t even happen because I thought I might shit myself instead. You needed to know that, right?) It would have been great to finish with her, but I’m glad she was able to turn on the afterburners for the last mile! Miles 11-13: 9:00, 9:04, 8:54 (see, no kick). I ended with 13.27 miles at 1:56:07 – not bad for barely running lately AND a PoP stop! I will take it! It beats my February 13.1 time by almost a minute!
It was cloudy like that the whole time!
Post-Race: I grabbed a salty, soft pretzel and some Gatorade and immediately saw Abby and John. We walked over to the gear check area and changed into some dry clothes. However, I forgot the most important piece of dry clothing that I needed – UNDIES! UGH! Another weird logistical part of this race was having to leave your gear back in the changing area – you couldn’t take it and go back to where the beer was. You could only take it with you out the exit. After changing, we went over to the too small, gated off beer area. I already started feeling bad again and didn’t even want a beer. I was struggling because I was also starting to get cold. After waiting about an hour and a half for everyone to finish and have their beers, and not wanting to take the shuttle bus back to the start, we took an Uber back to the start area, and then drove back to the hotel. I took a hot shower and laid under the covers until I warmed up. We had lunch at the Robinson Ale House (third time eating there!) where I got a GIANT Vermont Cheddar grilled cheese with apple butter and bacon, and the best tomato bisque soup I’ve ever had (seriously). Oh and some fried calamari! After saying goodbye to everyone, we chilled out in the room for a bit and then went to Cookman Creamery (go there!) where I got some amazing honey lavender ice cream. I still wasn’t feeling great, and hadn’t even had a beer yet, but I was determined to get ice cream. Ice cream > beer
I did finally have beers later that night
All in all, it was a successful race, I got to hang out with some amazing people, visit and run in a new state, and had a blast despite feeling like crap a majority of the time! I doubt I’d run this race again, but the race shirt is probably my favorite one ever received and the medal was cool!
Asbury Convention Center