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Apr 29 / Jane

The New Jersey Marathon 2014 – Part 1

Part 1: Pre-Race

The day registration opened for the 2014 race, I signed up. My training had gone well in 2013 but it did not translate on race day. I was disappointed with my 4:43:07 finish and wanted to prove to myself that I could do it better. In the months leading up to training for the 2014 race, I resolved not to run for a time goal, although I wanted to beat 4:43, I really just wanted to enjoy the experience. I put so much pressure on myself in 2013 and I found in subsequent races when I raced for the experience, I did significantly better. In addition to PR’ing in nearly every distance, I enjoyed running more.

Unfortunately this winter brought sub-zero temps and LOTS of snow and ice. The weather and ensuing injury derailed my training a bit. I listened to my body, discovered KT tape, and determined to complete my second marathon at the shore. The final weeks of training went very well but my taper was a little nerve racking: just as I felt I was back on track, the mileage was scaled back.

I was getting excited in the days leading up to race day. I started talking about the race to anyone who’d listen and bringing it up at any opportunity, appropriate or not. I started to think I would be able to run with the 4:25 pace group, or maybe just break 4:30. I definitely wanted to beat last year’s time, but most importantly I wanted to enjoy the marathon. I spent most of my time at the expo, Friday, speaking with the husband and wife in charge of the pacing team; then I spent my Saturday helping Mom and Martha with the neighborhood garage sale. Mom reinforced my A goal: 4:25 and believed I’d even be faster. I would certainly be accepting of faster, but I wasn’t confident in making that a goal.

So I made my goals as follows:

A: 4:25 finish.
B: Faster than last year, beat 4:43.

Obligatory bib-in-hand expo shot.  Bring it on NJ Marathon!

Obligatory bib-in-hand expo shot. Bring it on NJ Marathon!

I set out my clothes and packed my gear bag. I charged my watch, taped my left knee and right foot, and laid out sunscreen. Then I finally sat down, enjoyed a good-luck beer (as Clayton calls it) and watched Spirit of the Marathon. I honestly wasn’t that impressed with the movie, but more on that another time. I got to bed early and was joined by my big kitty, Tula. She woke me a couple times, or maybe I slept light due to the upcoming race and early rise… It’s just easier to blame the cat.

Yummy pre-race brew...  And possibly some motivation for race day?

Yummy pre-race brew… And possibly some motivation for race day?

Part 2: Race Day
Part 3: Post-Race Reflection

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