Thursday, October 18, 2012

Seaside Half Marathon

Seaside Heights, New Jersey
State #16
Start Time: 10am
Temperature: 68 at the finish
Bib #513
Overall: 358/638
Division Place: 16/40
Gender Place: 137
Finish Time: 2:10:26

On the Boardwalk, with T, LJ and Gina.  Alma was off recycling her shoes. 
Our race outfit guidelines for the Seaside Half in New Jersey were decidedly vague.  Black and white.  I tossed them to T at the last cool that she and her sister jumped on board.  T purchased a Lulu outfit, LJ has her Running Skirts Chevrun skirt, I'm in a Skirt Sports skirt...we look great!  Black may have not been the best choice for a top, since the weather was quite a bit warmer than I had expected.  Oh well, makes LJ look like a genius.

We met for dinner on Saturday night, in Tom's River, New Jersey.  LJ's dad was there, as well as T's mom, aunt and sister.  T grew up in the area and had worked at the restaurant in high school!

At dinner.  Hey-there's Alma on the left.
Our motel room in Seaside was sparse.  No blow dryer, weird.  We were reminded to party on the 4th floor roof, best alcohol in town.  Haha...we stayed in our room and went to bed.  Alma's buddy Andrea was with us as well.  We all had races to run in the morning.

The Seaside Heights Boardwalk was 8 blocks from our motel.  With a late, 10am start, we were able to sleep in and leisurely make our way to the start.  Registrations was at the Sawmill restaurant.  LJ had to register as online registration closed in the middle of September.

I'm not sure how we all got were separated before the race.  I don't have a picture that includes Alma.  How did that happen?  Gina and I left T taking pictures of LJ on the beach, in search of a bathroom.  The lines were long everywhere, so we literally snuck into a Mexican restaurant and used their bathrooms on the sly.  Hey, that's what Jersey girls do, right?  They make things happen.  Most of the shops on the Boardwalk were shut down.

Courtney, LJ, T, Gina and Jen.
This course is potentially a PR course.  A flat as a pancake boardwalk out and back.  I think we all had ambitious plans for the day.  At one point, I considered attempting a sub 2, which would have been a big deal for me.

We started on time, but I didn't have my music queued up.  I stopped right before the starting mat and got situated.  All of my buddies were in front of me.  Who am I kidding, almost everyone started in front of me.  What a rookie mistake.

The first two miles were on the Boardwalk.  I passed Gina and Jen right away.  This was Gina's first half ever, I was so excited for her!  A few turns and we were off the boardwalk and onto a two lane road, running into a headwind.

This course had pieces of Santa Cruz, CA (the boardwalk)...Seaside, Oregon (cute beach front houses) and Ocean Shores, WA (sand dunes).  Sadly, most of the course was on the two lane road, behind the sand dunes.  No ocean view to the east (blocked by dunes) and nothing to the west (mostly forested area, I think).  Very, very boring.

By mile 4, I was wishing Alma had run the half with me (she chose to downgrade to the 5k at the last minute).  This is the type of course where you need your chatty energizer bunny to entertain.  I was able to keep my pace at 9:45s for most of the first half.  I thought once I got turned around, with the wind at my back, I could even make up some overall time.  Maybe I could finish under 2:08 and beat my Delaware time from the day before?

The best part of an out and back is seeing friends on the back.  I found speedy Andrea right away.  She killed this race.  Shortly after, I saw LJ, who smiled and gave me a big thumbs down.  Yeah, buddy, this course wasn't fun.

We turned around in a big parking lot, where T appeared out of nowhere.  I chased her down, thinking maybe we could run together for a bit.  I know seeing me wouldn't be the same thrill for her, since she had fallen way off of her sub 2 goal.  She told me her head felt like it was going to explode and waved me on.

Passing T was demoralizing for me.  Plus, the wind at my back was not helping at all.  The last 6 miles were in the blazing sun, without a bit of shade in sight.  I couldn't gain any ground on my pace.

The last two miles on the boardwalk were excruciating.  I had a hard time turning my legs over.  I was beat.  How can a flat course kick my behind like this?  Dang.  Plus, my Garmin showed the course to be long, at every mile it showed a mile + .1.

At 12.5, crowds of people were lined up to cheer us to the finish.  At one point, LJ, Alma and LJ's dad all had their cameras out to take pictures.  I rallied.

See, me, rallying.
I crossed the finish line with 13.0 miles showing on the Garmin.  I was given a bottled water and Gatorade.  I made my way back to my photographers.  Boy, was it hot outside.

Should have packed the sunscreen.
I briefly found T after the finish.  She and her Mom went back to watch Gina.  LJ, Alma and I went upstairs and had free lunch.  Nice touch, race organizers.  Salad, pasta and rolls.  Nothing to drink upstairs, though.

We rushed back to the hotel, showered and packed quickly.  Printing our boarding passes downstairs, I noticed a picture of Pauly D, taken in our hotel's lobby.  Funny.  No blow dryer for us, we all hit the road with wet hair.

The Philadelphia airport is almost 2 hours from Seaside Heights.  We didn't have the time to stop, but Alma did anyway.  We buzzed in to a Wawa, a Walgreens and almost a Starbucks, in the effort to find me a New Jersey mug.  No luck.  Thanks, Alma, for trying to make it happen for me!

I'm glad we ran this race.  Seeing T and hanging out on the Boardwalk made it worthwhile.  The rest of the course, blah.  I've been spoiled with halfs in Delaware, New Orleans and West Virginia where I felt like I really saw an amazing part of the states.  This one, not so much.

I signed up early and paid $45 for this race.  Mediocre medal and a long sleeve cotton t-shirt.  No gels offered on the course.  There could have been a few more aid stations.  I was expecting one at the turn around.  Oh well, being in NJ with good friends made this trip priceless.  Thanks, ladies, for an amazing weekend.

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  1. 1. I love it when you say "dang" in your posts bc I can hear you saying it.... just need to throw a "snarky" in there and my day will be complete.
    2. I forgot about the thumbs down haha.
    3. You left out the word "head" as in T said her HEAD felt like it was going to explode
    4. Noted for future races--- boardwalks SUCK when you have to finish on them.
    5. excellent recap as always. Glad it was such a great weekend for everyone :)

  2. Great job girl! When I'm running my double (Half,10K) in WI/IL, I'm gonna have to dig deep to channel my inner-Kim. Boring courses suck, sorry it wasn't more entertaining... but what a serious bunch of cool chicas!

  3. 1. This does not sound like a fun race.
    2. On the sly might be the most favorite thing I've read on a blog.

  4. Race envy.

    You guys look cute in your sort of matchy matchy-ness.

  5. Are you collecting a mug in every state? What on earth will you do with 50, errr, 49, mugs? :) This will become one of those things that A. will curse you for when she's moving you into the old folks' home and cleaning out your house, haha.

    I am *loving* reading these she said/she said blog entries about the same races that you all attended together!! This is my favorite blog series so far, I think!

    Love you. Proud of you.

  6. The hotel we stayed at in Palm Springs last month didn't have a blow dryer either. I was irked at first until I went outside and my hair was dry in less than 5 minutes. That is what the triple digits in the desert will do to you. Sorry you didn't find a mug or see Snooki! :-)

  7. There weren't any gels on the course? Another reason I am glad I opted for the 5k.

  8. not gonna lie, doesn’t sound like fun. at least you were with some fabulous peeps :):) congrats on another state!