2017 New Jersey Half Marathon Race Recap

NJ Marathon Expo.jpg

Over the past few months, I’ve had some of the highest mileage weeks since starting running seven years ago. My primary focus was to build a solid base for Grandma’s Marathon in June and there wasn’t a single speed or tempo workout on the plan. Despite not working on pace I was still determined to make a PR (<2:13) happen in New Jersey. My goals were:

(A) 2:08
(B) 2:10
(C) 2:12

Race Day

The plan was to see my family at the start, mile 3 or 4, mile 10, and the finish. We arrived at Monmouth Park by 7 and the race kicked off at 7:30 with Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” blaring from the corral speakers.

Miles 1 – 4 (9:37, 9:34, 9:47, 9:35)

For the past two weeks I had been trying to come up with a pace plan but aside from ‘run 10s for miles 1-4’ the rest was basically ‘just don’t fly and die’. My legs wanted to run 9:05/9:10 and every time I saw that on my watch, I slowed down to a 10. The result was four miles NOT at a 10min pace. My bad. Road closures (& my faster pace) were giving my family some difficulty, so they headed to a later mile to wait for me.

Miles 5 – 9 (9:41, 9:46, 9:44, 9:46, 9:41)

My sister texted to let me know they were at roughly mile 9 so I put my head down and counted down the miles until I would see those familiar faces. Mile 8 is where things have been unraveling in previous halves so I was conscious of this and didn’t let myself fall apart / give up on the possibility of a PR.

Mile 9.png

Miles 10 – 13.1 (10:11, 9:49, 9:41, 9:31)

This happens in EVERY.DAMN.RACE so I’m not even surprised, but getting a salt pill out of my FlipBelt was impossible while running. I knew I needed it so I forced myself to slow to a walk during mile 10 and sadly clocked my ONLY 10+ minute split of the entire race. So sad, could have been some beautiful splits. My legs were starting to feel the mileage at this point but with only a 5k to go, it was not the time to slow down. I saw my parents just before the finish which gave me the final boost I needed.

NJ Half - Finish - 2.jpg

NJ Half - Finish.jpg
Official Finish Time – 2:08

My splits were oddly consistent, with the last mile being the fastest. Not sure how I executed this (honestly, still in shock) but I’m so incredibly happy with that five-minute PR.

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  1. Look at you being a speedy pants. Congrats on the long awaited PR!

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