Thursday, October 18, 2012

Voyeur’s recap of a “50-Stater” double-header weekend – Part 2

The first half marathon in the first state of the Union with the "50-Staters" was a success (that's Delaware for those like me who have forgotten their 5th grade history). With only a couple hours to spare before meeting up with friends in New Jersey, we decided it was essential that we do the Rocky dance on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps. We actually made a video but I can't get it off my phone - BOO!

Top 2 levels of Philly Art Museum steps: There were several wedding parties, a quinceañera, tourists, several folks out running the steps, and three LOVELY runners, pictured here.
Anyway, we had just enough time to drive from Wilmington, Delaware to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (< 1hr), pee, run the steps like Rocky Balboa, then drive to Toms River, New Jersey (2+ hrs). Being from a state that takes 4+ hours to drive up & down or 6+ hours to drive across, it seems so very strange to me that you can be in three states within just a couple hours. 

I had never been to New Jersey before and this is what I thought it would be like everywhere:

And it was! Well, a little bit on the Jersey Shore was like this but most of the rest of NJ that we drove through was actually quite rural and undeveloped. Who knew? 

Back to the story - We drove to Toms River and had dinner with none other than "T" (Racing With Babes) and T's sister, who drove 6 hours from Virginia to run with us. T is from this area so her mom and aunt also joined us. We were also joined by Lisa's dad who happened to be in NJ for business...AND my best friend from college, AMN, who is living in Brooklyn (makes me sad, she needs to move back to Seattle). 

Post carb-loading, we found our hotel in Seaside Heights, NJ and got ready for the NEXT big race. Sunday morning, we slept in then slowly made our way to the start for the 10 a.m. race. The tough-as-nails 50-Staters, T, T's sister, and AMN prepped for their half marathon (that would be everyone but me). I actually stuck with my plan of running the 5k (I almost got swept up in the moment and ran the half but I surprised myself by doing the right thing).

Treat from the registration swag bag. Does anyone else find this a bit funny ha-ha and funny peculiar? Includes contact info/ad for a local dentist.

Both Seaside Half Marathon and 5k races started/finished on the boardwalk.

Sad this came out blurry: Me, AMN, Lisa, Kim, T's sister, T
The Seaside 5k Race: It was a warm, sunny day and I got quite overheated during the 5k. I decided to push as hard as I could and approached the make-myself-vomit pace then backed off just enough. This was not extremely fast, but faster than I would have expected given my fitness level and having just ran a half marathon the previous day. Because the 5k was an out-and-back course, I could see who was ahead of me as I approached the turn-around. 

Damned if I wasn't the 6th overall female and damned if all the women ahead of me looked YOUNGer! About 1 mile from the finish, one of the gals in front of me stopped to walk, which put me in 5th place. I pushed hard and felt oh so thankful that I wasn't running 13.1 miles. There was NO WAY I could have done another half marathon that day. No way, no how. In the end, I finished a painful but exhilarating and triumphant 5k in 23:29 for 1st in my age group (30-39 yrs) & 5th female overall!

After that, I took a break to cool off and wade in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean. In October! Amazing. This is where, again, I was oh so thankful that I wasn't running 13.1 miles. I had some nice solo time to soak up my surroundings. Once I felt refreshed, I headed back up to the boardwalk to wait for my girlfriends to finish.

Perfect summer conditions in October (70 degrees by 11 a.m.).
Just like Coney Island!
AMN was the first of our group to come in, followed by Lisa, Kim, then T and T's sister. It wasn't the best day for everyone given the heat, pretty but boring course, and second hard effort for L & K. You can read Lisa's recap HERE and Kim's recap HERE. My photos didn't turn out well of the ladies finishing, but I did download a professional photo of myself, which I will discuss another time.

After a quick meal post-race (pasta & salad provided by the race), we showered then hit the road for our flights out of Philadelphia. I missed my age group award but that was fine. I was tired but happy. I loved every minute of this double-header weekend. 

And you know what? 

These 50-Staters are crazy. Crazy but TOUGH. Running back-to-back half marathons, traveling between states, navigating unknown turnpikes, being prepared for all running conditions, sleeping in strange places, and more - - - it's no joke folks. 

Thoughts about this whole double-header weekend? 
  • Did I mention already, these double-header half marathon weekends are serious fun but also a serious physical challenge. I was plenty sore after just one half marathon and a 5k!
  • I could use more girl time like this, what a blast!
  • I didn't try enough regional beers to find my favorite (only 3 sampled).  
  • My Zensah calf sleeves are not tight enough to provide adequate compression and my Procompression socks (size S) are too big (in the foot and in length). Order a size down if you are a female.
  • Running skirts bring women together. We talked to so many other women simply because of the skirts in common. Odd, but great that it breaks us out & gets us connected.
  • Traveling improves your knowledge of U.S. geography.
  • Traveling around the country broadens our community, it makes our large country feel less impersonal. I certainly felt more connected with the opposite coast simply by getting to see new areas, building positive memories, and chatting up locals.
  • I can see how this would be addictive.
With a little one at home, I'm not sure I will get to participate in many weekends like this but I'm grateful for this one and will jump at the chance to do another.


  1. Wow, great time for your 5K! Congrats on the age group win and some fantastic running! I know what you mean, I sometimes think if I was free and single without husband or children, I'd do a lot more races and travel a lot more!

  2. That's a fast 5k, well done! Congrats on the age group win! Sounds like a good fun weekend.

  3. The AG win is great but to be in the Top 10 women is even better. Congrats! This weekend sounds like so much fun and something that I will not get to do for a very long time. Ah well, we can still run in our 40s and 50s when kids aren't so little and it will be just as much fun. :)

  4. 1. I remember being SHOCKED at how rural NJ was. I never expected it.
    2. Congratulations, speedy!!!!
    3. I feel the same about Zensah - not enough compression for me, and i don't have small calves.
    4. ProCompression has changed their design a tiny bit - the first pair I got, in XS, were too long - almost over my knee. The others have been shortened up a bit, they come to just below my knee, and fit perfectly.

  5. Great pictures of Seaside Heights and the Boardwalk! I am jealous of your down time on the beach. You made a great choice to run the 5k and enjoy the locale after. Congrats on your AG win. Where shall we go next;)

  6. i can't imagine being speedy to win an AG award day after half marathon... even if it was a 5k, speed is speed. I LOVE all your take aways from the double header. I vote for a spring double header involving Maine!

  7. WOW< congrats on a 1 st place in your AG!! I actually went to NJ this weekend of a half marathon. We went to Atlantic City and it was fun! I will have my race report up soon.

  8. i’m so far behind on my reading! congrats on the AG!!! and agree with Lisa, the DAY AFTER A HALF! sounds like someone is back :) so glad yall had fun. slightly jealous. maybe you should consider a few of my trips...

  9. I would love to watch that video. It sounds interesting specially to run all those stairs and yell and celebrate.