This is officially the longest I have ever taken to get a race recap up. I blame life. Things have been a little strange over here between work, craziness in Baltimore, and some personal things going on (which I will get into at some later date when things are a little more stable) and from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone who has sent me an email, Facebook or text checking in on us. Betty and I are fine. The events that have been shown on television are mostly occurring about a 10-15 minute drive from our house so I personally have felt pretty safe, but I have some friends who haven’t been quite so lucky. Hopefully everything will be restored to some sort of normalcy soon.
All that said, imagine my shock when I arrived to my hotel in Asbury Park, NJ last Saturday, turned on CNN and Baltimore was all over the news. Pretty unsettling for sure.
Anyway I started writing this recap with the intention of getting it all in to one post, but by the time I started talking about the moron who pulled the fire bell at my hotel the night before the race, I realized that I should probably spare everyone the novel and split it up over a couple days.
Up until pretty much the last minute I still wasn’t sure if the New Jersey Marathon was going to happen for me. After a few well-placed rest days I finally made the decision to go for it with absolutely no time goal in mind although it would have been nice to pull of something similar to Bob Potts last year. I’ll just tell you right now…that did NOT happen. Not anywhere close. And I’m fine with it.
The Expo for the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon & Half Marathon was held at the Monmouth Park racetrack. Despite the fact that New Jersey won’t let you make a left turn pretty much anywhere (WHY IS THAT!?!) I was able to locate the venue easily and picking up my bib was a breeze.
The premium was a little bit on the bland side and didn’t even mention anything about a marathon at all, so I purchased an extra shirt, a magnet which I am now proudly displaying on the Fiat and some strawberry Shot Bloks. The Expo was probably pretty small by most larger marathon standards (definitely way smaller than Baltimore), but it was well-organized and they had pretty much everything I would have needed at that point.
I made my way to Asbury Park where my hotel was located about 6 miles from the starting line and right across the street from a boardwalk area. Shortly after I got myself organized I went out for a short run to get my legs acclimated since I hadn’t been out much in the past couple weeks at all. The weather was a bit breezy, but beautiful and this run felt spectacular.
Then I showered and as has apparently become my tradition for my pre-marathon meal, I found myself a local Olive Garden and proceeded to completely destroy some bread sticks. I even ordered the same thing that I did last year before Potts, whch hilariously enough was the last time I was even in an Olive Garden. This was at around 4:30pm which admittedly was a bit early for dinner, but I was starving after the long, toll-filled drive up.
The hotel I stayed in was nice enough; the room was huge and the bed was comfy, but when I stopped back in briefly after dinner I noticed a strange and familiar odor from the side of the room where a locked door was likely adjoining the room next door.
Someone was most definitely getting as high as a kite in that room.
And I started to get a little concerned that if they continued what they were doing, I was going to be high as a kite as well. There was a wedding being held in the hotel as well and I’m assuming it was some of those guests having a good time. Either way I debated on getting my room switched, but ultimately didn’t because that was the last I smelled of Cheech and Chong next door.
I rounded out the rest of the evening with a stroll up and down the boardwalk checking out some of the buildings that still bore the scars of Hurricane Sandy.
I even stopped into a Mexican restaurant for a (half) a beer. Then it was back to home base to try and relax. First it was time to organize Flat Salt.
Then I took a bubble bath, put on my pajamas and was about to climb into bed when right around 9:00 pm all the fire alarms in the building started to blare. And they needed all of us to clear out.
I BLAME YOU, CHEECH AND CHONG!! But seriously it was probably some dumb drunk wedding guest. I hung out on the curb with another girl who was running the marathon the next day complaining about how we really should be asleep right then. As if I was going to get any sleep anyway.
At least I had Ella to keep me company.
My sweet Betty sent her to Jersey with me to bring me good luck. Isn’t she the best?
And this concludes part 1! Coming up tomorrow…the stuff you really care about! (Including meeting Charissa!!!)
I hope everyone had an epic weekend filled with fun and beautiful weather and if you raced (because I know a LOT of people did!) I hope it was awesome!