Sisters Running the Kitchen


2015 New Jersey Marathon Recap

2015 New Jersey Marathon Recap

On Sunday April 26th, I ran my 8th Marathon- The New Jersey Marathon.  Going into this race, it had been 5 years since I last had a PR (2010 Philadelphia Marathon 3:35:24) and 4 years since going to the Boston Marathon (I ran in 2011).  With each passing year after that, my times got slower and I felt more and more discouraged.  I specifically remember the day this past November that I was thinking about the “good old days” when I first started running- and hit my PR, went to Boston, and was able to run paces that I was now no longer able to.  Suddenly it hit me… I was not born being able to do that.  In fact, I was NEVER a runner. I spent my whole life doing other sports like soccer and Crew- it was only in college that I started to run. The only way I got faster and was able to get that 3:35:24 and was able to run the Boston Marathon was because I put in the work and did not make excuses for myself.

It was this day that was sort of my “wakeup call”.  From that day forward I started to train for first the Central Park Marathon (which is 5 laps around Central Park in February…torture… it got canceled 10 minutes before the event but I ran it anyway-long story) and then The New Jersey Marathon in April.  My goal was to use the Central Park Marathon as a stepping stone to my PR. I chose Central Park because it was local and also mentally and physically challenging- I wanted that.  It was a brutal winter but I never let anything stop me- I was determined. Having my boyfriend Harry deployed in Japan kind of help me keep up my determination, too.  I ran early mornings before work (before the sun even rose), I ran in wind, I ran in bitter cold, I ran in snow…you name it, I did it. There were times when I said- hey lets just do this on the treadmill instead or hey maybe I should take a rest day…but quickly dismissed the idea and got outside and put in the work. I told myself- you wont get your PR and go back to Boston if you sit on the sidelines. Just do it. Get it done. And I did. (P.S. Isn’t this finish line photo fantastic?! haha!)

Going into the New Jersey Marathon- I was SO nervous. This race meant a ton to me.  I was scared of failing, to be honest. But looking back to when I first started training in November- I knew that I had come far. And even if I did not set a PR- I would be able to look back and KNOW that I make progression and be happy (sort of) with that. But I also told myself that I was going out there on that Sunday to put my best foot forward and give it my 100% effort. The night before the marathon I made myself some pasta with red sauce and chicken and bread on the side.  I went to bed that night at 8:30 and woke up at 4:20.  I had a half a bagel with PB and banana at 4:30 AM, showered, drank a little touch of coffee, went to the bathroom x 1,000 times (haha) and took my dog Riley for a walk. I was in the car a little before 5:30 and headed an hour to the marathon.  This was the first marathon I ran alone, by the way- no one came to cheer me on. At first I thought it would present an obstacle for me- it is nice to know when someone you care about will be at a certain mile marker etc. but the more I thought about it- I realized that I did all of these training runs alone (well most of them anyway) and this was for me- my “quest” for the PR- I was going to be in the zone and mentally determined anyway- it did not matter. and that proved to be very true for me. Dont worry- my family loves me. But when you have three kids and they all do marathons… you have to pick and chose what you attend haha and I didnt really talk about it much to my family. I guess you could say it was a personal thing- I needed to get this PR over and done with!

30-40 minutes before the marathon started- I popped a whole bag of sport beans with water.  First time doing this. Glad I did. My plan for the first 5 miles was to keep it slow at 8:20.  As you can see by my splits, I tried incredibly hard to do this and usually my first couple of miles in a marathon are WAY WAY WAY too fast so this was pretty good considering. By mile 3 I hit the 8:20.  I felt good though- it felt effortless- but doesnt it always feel this way in the beginning of a marathon? Looking back on it, I wish I would have hit that 8:20 for all 5 of those miles.  

Then from mile 5-10 my goal was to hit 8:10.  From mile 10-half marathon I wanted to pick it up to low 8. I did faster than low 8 but I was feeling good. Once I hit the half point I wanted to slow it down a bit until 20 but I ended up staying steady. The last 10K I wanted to slow it down to about 8:12-14 if I needed to or keep steady if I was feeling awesome.  I probably went a TAD bit too fast during the race because although I didnt hit “The Wall” (YAY!), I was feeling it and wanting that finish line BADLY.  

With about .75-.80 miles to go, the 3:35 pacing team creeped up on me. I was with them for a few miles but once I picked it up at mile 10- I lost them.  The pacer recognized me and said “COME ON PURPLE GIRL- PICK IT UP!!!” (I was wearing a purple tank).  I looked behind me and saw the 3:35 pace. I cursed out loud and immediately started sprinting.  It hurt so bad- to the point that it almost didnt even hurt because I felt like I blacked out for lack of better terms. haha. When I saw that pacer creeping up on me (thank you for making your presence known, by the way) I thought to myself OHHHH NO NO NO. I did NOT come this far to NOT make it at the last second. I did NOT put all that hard work in this winter to let this happen. There was literally no option at that point- I was getting a PR and qualifying for Boston. Period. and I did it. I crossed in 3:34:10 and set a BQ. Could not be happier. It was a day/race that I will never forget.

Also- side note- The New Jersey Marathon race organizers did a wonderful job. Everything was so organized. Plenty of bathrooms before the race, parking was easy, plenty of water/gatorade and GU stations throughout the course, much better crowd support than I anticipated. Overall- a great day. Oh and you cannot beat 60 and sunny, either.  Best of all- Boston Marathon 2016 will be my 10th marathon (I am running my 9th in Philly this November). Nice way to celebrate the big 1-0.


mile 1: 8:03/mi

mile 2: 8:10/mi

mile 3: 8:20/mi

mile 4: 8:17/mi

mile 5: 8:14/mi

mile 6: 8:02/mi

mile 7: 8:09/mi

mile 8: 8:11/mi

mile 9: 8:09/mi

mile 10: 8:06/mi

mile 11: 7:53/mi

mile 12: 7:57/mi

mile 13:7:58/mi

mile 14: 7:57/mi

mile 15: 8:04/mi

mile 16: 7:59/mi

mile 17: 7:57/mi

mile 18:7:59/mi

mile 19: 8:14/mi

mile 20: 8:00/mi

mile 21: 8:14/mi

mile 22: 8:15/mi

mile 23: 8:14/mi

mile 24: 8:18/mi

mile 25: 8:07/mi

mile 26: 8:19/mi

mile 26.2: 7:42/mi

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Salad

2015 Brooklyn Half Marathon Recap

2015 Brooklyn Half Marathon Recap