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