Yesterday morning started out like every other race morning, EARLY! Every single race I’ve done I wake up with the same thought: “why, oh why did I sign up for this? I could totally just go run X miles myself today and not have to be up this early.”
(Hi, it’s 5:30am on Sunday)
The weather was horrendous and as I listened to the rain that was so hard it sounded like hail hit the skylight in my bathroom I’d be lying if I said the thought to just skip the race and forfeit the $20 registration fee didn’t enter my mind. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was meeting my brother and his girlfriend in Hoboken and that I had blogged about it already, I might’ve just gotten back in bed.
Of course in the end it’s always worth it and the satisfaction of another race under your belt definitely trumps the wake up call. It’s just a little hard to remember that when this is what you’re driving through to get there.
Note that the windshield wipers are on their “frantic” speed here. You know, the highest one where they’re going so fast you think they might just fly off.
Side note: improper frequency of windshield wipers is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It has to be coming down in buckets for me to even contemplate using that speed. This was the kind of rain that is so loud and hard you can’t hear your radio and your hands are on the steering wheel at 10 & 2 like you’re 16 taking your driving test. I probably shouldn’t have been operating a camera at the same time. The things I do for blog content!
1.5 hours later I got to Hoboken and thankfully the rain had stopped. We picked up our bibs, used the nasty port-a-potties and headed to the start.
Adrian was a spectator/cheerleader/photographer this year so he got to eat yummy chocolate, pear croissants while Doreen and I stretched.
Scary and how ‘bout those bags under my eyes!
They changed the course a little this year so we had to walk a few blocks to the start.
Why do we look insanely white compared to everyone else?
And, we’re off!
Doreen’s super excited to see Adrian taking this picture!
We discussed paces right before the start so we knew we wouldn’t really be running this “together”. Doreen is super fast! Even with me thinking I’d be about 20-30 seconds faster per mile this year than last, she still paces quite a bit faster than that. Her goal was to beat Adrian’s time last year of 36:08. So after about the first 1/2 mile I couldn’t even see her anymore.
The course was very similar for the first 4 miles even though they started in a different place so I knew what to expect. Mile 1 was flat and fast but at mile 2 you enter Stevens Institute of Technology’s campus which is full of hills! Last year it kind of took me by surprise so it was nice knowing what to expect this time around. The next 2 miles were again very similar and flat. The last mile they added in a loop through a new park to make the course an exact 5 miles. Last year the course was short (4.94 miles) and while that was great for reducing my pace and time, it’s nice to run a course that’s the exact length it’s supposed to be.
Doreen on the final stretch.
Take the damn picture Adrian, I’m done pretending I’m happy right now!
“Sprinting” at the end.
I looked up about right here to see the clock say 40:38 and I really wanted to clock in before the 41:00 mark. Mission accomplished, new PR 40:54!!
- Mile 1: 8:02
- Mile 2: 8:20 <—hills! (last year this mile was 9:02. Improvement!)
- Mile 3: 7:58 (!!)
- Mile 4: 8:18
- Mile 5: 8:16
Average pace: 8:11
Last year’s time was 42:46 and considering the course was short by .06, I beat that time by more than 2 minutes! Next year the goal will be under 40:00.
Curious if Doreen beat Adrian’s time? Sooooo close! She clocked in at 36:51. I told you she was fast! She killed it!
That’s not an awkward wave, it’s a “5”.
Then onto the best part about any race, food! We headed to La Isla, just like last year for their famous “stuffed french toast”. It was on Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Bobby lost.
The place is kind of a hole in the wall but, like most of those places the food is delicious.
Thank you, Omar. Your french toast rocks.
This picture doesn’t even come close to doing this bad boy justice.
We all split everything and left perfectly satisfied.
And then it started raining again.
Anyone else race this weekend? How’d you do?
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.