It has been a little over a month since my last post, and I do apologize. Life got a bit hectic and so much has
happened since my last race. After completing my first ever half marathon in April, I made the impulse decision to register for 2 more. I now hold 3 half marathon medals, and I am extremely proud of them. Not only that, but I ran all three in just under a month, a feat that I do not believe anyone else has accomplished.
Half Marathon # 2- Palisades Rock the River May 1, 2016
About a week after running the Rutgers Half, I was dying to run another race. I missed the anticipation of running an upcoming race, so I researched local races. The one race that caught my eye, was one I had considered months back; The Rock the River race. You could either run a 6k trail race, or a half marathon. I was ready to register for the 5k, when the other part of me was screaming for a challenge. Here I am a little over a week from my first half, sitting in my car about to leave for work, pondering running another half marathon. Without another thought, my finger hit that register button, and boom- 6 days till race day.
The Rock the River race is known for it’s beauty along the cliffs of the Palisades. Breathtaking views of the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge, and NYC. The catch? Well, the race motto isn’t “Come conquer the cliffs” for nothing…
The race starts at Ross Dock Park located in Fort Lee. Of the 3 races, the half marathon is the most challenging not only because of the mileage, but because of the dramatic increase in elevation along the way. In order to put this into perspective, 5k runners will only experience a 200 ft. elevation change throughout their race. Half marathon runners; 1200ft. This race was no joke ladies and gentleman.
Come race day, I parked in the Mack-Cali parking deck in Fort Lee, and took the shuttle down to Ross Dock. I wasn’t nervous at all. I was actually pretty excited. Got off the shuttle, and walked down to the race HQ. After pinning my race bib on, I used the bathrooms a few times, and right before the race, it started to rain. We all had to get used to it, as we would literally be running the entire race through downpour. Now, not only do we have to stomp out 13.1 miles through sustained rolling hills, but we had to do it all in the rain.
Made my way over to the starting line, taking in a rainy backdrop of the GWB. After the race commenced, the first .5 were flat. Then we all made a sharp turn, and not even a mile into the race, we reached death hill. And my God…
Hills are always challenging, but even more challenging when you aren’t fully warmed up. This massive hill in the beginning of the race had runners walking. For anyone running a half marathon, you should have no problem running at least the first 3-4 miles without stopping, but death hill figuratively brought runners to their knees. I bit my lip, kept my breathing in check as best as I could, and I didn’t stop. Boy was my heart pounding.
I brought 2 GU gels with me, and I consumed the first one around mile 4. The rain was really coming down, my shoes were soaked, and it was just complete misery. One person had already had enough and turned around at mile 4 1/2. Since this race was an out and back (from Fort Lee to Alpine) I was so happy to finally reach the turnaround at mile 7. Few more miles later I saw the GWB slowly rise in the background, and that’s how I knew I was closing in on the finish. Mile 13, I reached death hill again, but I got my revenge going downhill on it. Finally , there was the finish. The announcer called out my name right as I ran through the time clock, and I had not only PR’d, but I completed it in just under 2 1/2 hours. Mission accomplished. Toughest race I have run to date, but damn it it was worth it. Finish Time: 2:29:32
Half Marathon #3- Superhero Half Marathon Morristown, NJ May 15, 2016
Once again, I had been bitten by the race bug. I wanted to run again. I had my eye in Morristown that weekend of May 15, and without hesitation, I signed up. At this point, my friends and family started to wonder if I was crazy.
The race was though mainly through a residential section of Morristown. We did however run over a bridge over Route 287 at one point. My race strategy was the same as the last one. I used an energy gel at mile 4, then again at mile 8. Throughout the race I alternated water and Gatorade at each aid station.
The last few miles were through a park, before coming out and finishing about a mile away from the starting line. As I crossed the finish line, it began to rain. I swiped up my medal and enjoyed the rainy walk to my car. Finish Time: 2:27:20
It’s been a nice few weeks after the race, as I gloat in my accomplishment. However, I did sustain a slight injury that had prevented me from running for 2 weeks. I just got back out there again a few days ago, but I’m still taking it easy just to be safe. I was fortunate enough not to injure myse3lf during my training. Not being able to run is extremely frustrating and unless you’re a runner, you won’t understand this whatsoever.
No local upcoming races as of right now, except for the Philadelphia Marathon this November. I am excited to start my training for that in August. Until then, I look forward to running, and enjoying the summer.
Happy Global Running day to all my fellow runners! Check back soon.