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Race Recap: New Jersey Marathon

Race Recap: New Jersey Marathon

Okay, here it is. I’m back with my full recap of the New Jersey Marathon!

I’ll start with a quick look at the expo. I say quick look because there wasn’t really anything there. The half and full marathons draw some 6,000 runners — about 4,000 for the half, and 2,000 for the full (along with a 5K and half relay) — so it’s definitely not the largest expo (although a few of my favorites, like Bondiband, were there)!

I didn’t love the race shirt or the sneak peek of the medal — and I also got the sense that this particular race weekend was going to primarily be geared towards the half marathoners, which I thought ended up being pretty accurate.

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But it didn’t matter all that much then because I knew we had worked HARD for this race…and I couldn’t wait!

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We left for the race around 6am on Sunday, since we live about 30 minutes from the starting line in Monmouth Park Racetrack. Fortunately, Todd figured out a “secret” way to get there via back roads, so we didn’t have to sit in the insane traffic that many other runners had to deal with in trying to get inside the complex.

It was nice and cool in the morning (mid-40′s), but I knew the temperatures were expected to rise to at least the mid-60′s (BOO). We headed right for the (INDOOR!) bathrooms so we didn’t have to use the port-a-potties. As always, the line for the ladies’ room was loooooooong, but we made it to the corrals with a few minutes to spare (an announcement was made that they were delaying the start of the race due to the fact that so many people were having trouble getting in…an issue I faced when I ran the half marathon in 2013.)

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I was nervous because my legs had felt pretty tight and sore in the days leading into the race, but that morning, I felt READY.  We had both trained our butts off and our shared goal was to cross the finish line with a “4″ in front of our time. Given the way our training had gone, honestly, I felt we had this in the bag. In fact, there was a part of me that was sure we were going to crush that goal, and maybe even come in closer to 4:30.

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We squeezed into a corral in front of the 5:00 pacer and started the race with a nice, easy pace of 10:30. The plan was to try to hover around 10:15/10:30 in the beginning of the race, and then evaluate how we felt in the middle to see if we should try picking it up (haha, yeah, right) or try to maintain a sub-11 as best we could for the second half. We saw our fellow Jersey runner friend Kim from Barking Mad About Running and chatted for a minute or so in that first mile. And then it was time to begin my 5th 26.2-mile journey.

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The first couple of miles felt easy. A little too easy. I kept telling myself that we had a long way to go, but I still couldn’t help but feel optimistic that we were going to CRUSH this race. My only issue at that moment was that Todd and I were both complaining of side stitches, which I rarely get anymore, so I wasn’t sure what that was about. We walked through each water stop and I tried to massage my side, and that helped a bit.

The course is practically flat as a pancake, with just a handful of rolling hills (mainly on bridges), and although I was already heating up by the time we were finishing the first 10K, the chilly winds were helping to keep us cool. Better yet, we were running close to the 4:40 pacer, which thrilled me to no end because I was sure we could not only achieve a sub-five, but that we could definitely break 4:45! Ah, gotta love the optimism in the first half of a marathon. :)

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It felt like there were tons of runners and a fair amount of spectators, but I knew that was probably all going to change once the marathoners split off around mile 12 and the half marathoners headed towards the finish line. Sure enough, after the split, Todd and I were practically running alone, with what felt like only a handful of fellow runners in our general vicinity at any given time.

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Where have all the runners gone…?

We quickly discovered that our plan to delay any bathroom breaks until the second half of the course — with the assumption that the lines would be shorter — ended up being a very, very bad idea. Because guess what? There were NO FREAKIN’ PORT-A-POTTIES TO BE FOUND.

As usual, there were runners ducking behind bushes to do their business, but since this course is largely residential (you run through “shore towns” like Oceanport, Long Branch, Asbury Park, etc.), there were others that had no choice but to go on people’s lawns (as discreetly as possible, but, still). Since I have lady parts and it’s not so easy for me — nor would I want to do my private business on somebody’s private property — I got PISSED AS HELL. How are we expected to run for 4 or 5 or 6 hours without being supplied with any sort of bathroom facility? REALLY?!

Unfortunately, it was also somewhere right before the halfway point that I started to feel…not right. My legs were already feeling fatigued, but worse, it was my stomach that started acting up. My stomach was feeling a little crampy and I started to feel borderline nauseous, which never happens, so I wasn’t really sure what do about it. We were sticking to our usual tried-and-true routine of taking fuel every 4-5 miles (I had Clif Bloks and Honey Stingers gels and waffles with me), so I didn’t know what the issue was.

I tried to take a piece of the waffle somewhere in mile 14 and couldn’t get it down — which is NOT a problem I’ve ever had — and as much as I usually love in-race bananas, I held onto mine after the first banana stop because just the thought of eating solid food at that moment made me want to hurl.

That’s how I knew something was wrong. I can assure you that I never, ever have a problem eating. Before running, while running, after running, EVER. And I started to get very afraid that the nausea was going to get worse. It’s not like there were any port-a-potties to duck into, either!

So, of course, that’s when my head started with its usual shenanigans. Here I was, only halfway through the race, and I felt like crap. There were hardly any spectators — or runners, for that matter — and running through residential areas on training runs (I prefer parks) bores me to no end, so the fact that it felt like we were just running up and down side streets at this point made things even worse.

My stomach felt weird and a fatigue took over me that I usually don’t experience until much, much later in a marathon. Was this “the wall,” and was I hitting it when we still had 10+ miles to go? Meanwhile, by mile 15 or 16 that 4:40 pacer was long gone, and I knew we’d never catch her…and I let it get to me.

So then began the panic attacks. I am typically not a crier — at least not in public — but for some reason, every time I run a marathon I end up having a meltdown at least 2-3 times along the course. And I don’t mean like a single rolling tear down my cheek. I mean like I have to stop running because I’m panicking and I can’t catch my breath and I feel like the whole world is ending and my body is falling apart and there’s no way I’m going to make it.

This is the first time Todd got to experience this particular phenomenon (lucky him). I never have a problem during runDisney races (of course), and our only other marathon together thus far was his first (the Rock n’ Roll USA in DC last March), so I was way too worried about him to let myself freak out.

Well, this time, it happened by mile 15…and then again around 18…and then again around 22. I was just DONE. We were fighting just to keep an 11ish pace, and all I wanted to do was stop and walk because I allowed myself to think that I wasn’t going to be able to finish this race. I couldn’t catch my breath, and a constant stream of negativity was playing on loop through my mind…and I hated myself at that moment because I keep letting this happen. Todd kept assuring me that we “banked” plenty of time since we performed so well in the first half (we finished just under 2:20), and that I didn’t have to stress about meeting our time goal.

WHY do I continually let myself fall apart the moment I start to struggle, and WHY can I never just have enough faith in myself that I WILL make it to the finish line? I mean, really…how many times do I have to run a freakin’ marathon before those little voices go away?! This getting ridiculous now!

Meanwhile, we both needed to use a bathroom, and there were NONE to be found. We found one port-a-potty on what appeared to be a construction site, and were behind one other runner waiting in line, but then she told us there was no toilet paper and that it was exceptionally gross (goody), so we moved on. Fortunately, we finally stumbled across two port-a-potties near another banana stop around mile 18, so we stood in line and wasted about 5 minutes with a few other runners who were also disgruntled that there were no bathroom facilities on this course.

I hoped that a pit stop and a quick break (because even sitting in a disgusting port-a-potty feels heavenly during a marathon) would help alleviate some of my discomfort, but I continued to struggle every step of the way. My feet were starting to burn now, and some of my toenails were rubbing against my socks so it felt like I was about to lose them. My legs weren’t TOO tight, but they were definitely heavy, and I just felt…tired. Exhausted. OVER IT.

And then the 4:55 pacer appeared behind us as we were rounding the corner for the out-and-back section of the course (somewhere around mile 20), and I FREAKED. Here was the culmination of everything we worked for in human form, and it was literally chasing us down. I panicked. Again.

Todd kept trying to calm me down. Here I was acting like a complete baby, and he continued to be so calm and sweet and supportive. He kept saying stuff like “we’re in this together” and he “believes in me.”

As much as I appreciated that, and I SO needed him there, I kept telling him to leave me. It was something we had already discussed, and though I would have been disappointed, I also would have completely understood if he ran ahead. I didn’t want to be the reason that he didn’t meet his goal, because he worked so hard for this race and he was doing SO much better than I was. Ironically, we were joking in the weeks before the race that I would be the one leaving him, since that’s the scenario that usually plays out during long runs and races longer than 13.1 miles.

But he wouldn’t leave me. He said it’s “just a number” and he’s not missing the opportunity to finish this race with me, no matter what the clock says. (Interestingly enough, that’s usually MY viewpoint; he’s typically a little more competitive when it comes to finish times.) He was making me feel better, but I still felt guilty for ruining what was supposed to be our triumphant sub-five finish.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day, but the sun was beating down on us now and I felt hot and sweaty and just DRAINED, no matter how much Gatorade I drank (race organizers may have forgotten about the port-a-potties, but the course did NOT lack water stations, I’ll give them that). I took a few bites of banana when they were offered, and I forced down a couple of gels, but my usual mid-run hunger was not happening that day; clearly, my “unsettled” stomach was going to stick with me for the remainder of the race, and I’d just have to try to ignore it.

In those final miles, I remember running with my eyes closed a few times because it literally felt like I was falling asleep standing up…almost like my batteries were “on low.” Speaking of batteries, guess what decided to DIE in the last 10K? My fully-charged iPod. Todd saved the day yet again…he let me take his. Because he knows I will die without the distraction, whereas he runs without music all the time. Have I mentioned yet how glad I was that he was with me for this one?! Seriously.

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Almost there…

As we made our way to the boardwalk, my spirits picked up just a little bit because I knew we were so close (and, yet, still so far!), and plus I like running by the ocean. There were also a couple of photographers hanging around so I was sure to put on my best pretend smile.

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Photo credit: NJ Marathon

The 4:55 pacer caught us again and passed us for good, and I was mad because I knew there was no way in hell we’d ever catch him. I kept compulsively checking my Garmin to monitor our potential finish time, and knew that we were going to cut it so close…and I hoped that if we could just keep the 5:00 pacer at bay, then we’d be okay (meanwhile, of course, I had NO idea what time they actually crossed the starting line and whether or not they were even on their pace).

But it didn’t matter because they represented my goal slipping away and I felt guilty because I had ruined Todd’s race and now we were going to have to fight just to squeak by under five hours. (Note to self: I will never be able to run with a pacer. It clearly screws with my head just a little too much.) I KNEW we were capable of doing so much better, and I was frustrated to be struggling so much when I was so sure I did everything “right” during my training.

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Whoooooo’s in pain…?!?!

Finally…FINALLY…I knew Long Branch’s Pier Village was up ahead, and there were a handful of spectators in those final miles so their cheering helped a little. With just about 2 miles to go, according to my calculations (which I couldn’t rely on since I had some SERIOUS marathon brain going on), we could still make our sub-five goal as long as we stuck to our current pace and didn’t take any more extended walk breaks.

When we passed the 25th mile, I dug deep and we both managed to drop back down to around a 10ish-minute mile, partially because I desperately wanted to be done and partially because if I suffered that much and came in with a time of something like 5:00:01 I would have proceeded to drown myself in the ocean.278430_193465367_XLarge

As we approached the finish line, we scanned the crowds for our parents, and spotted his (I never did see mine) holding signs and cheering for us. I swear, Todd’s parents sometimes seem even more excited about our races than we are, and they’re always super supportive and totally our biggest fans. I was so excited (and relieved!) to see them!

With the finish line up ahead, as per my usual M.O., the nausea, the pain, the frustration, the agony…all of it…was gone. WE MADE IT.

The clock said 5:05. I KNEW we started 10 minutes after the official start of the race, so we both knew then for sure that we HAD it.278430_193915354_XLarge

 

We crossed the finish line in 4:57:34, and I was too relieved that it was over to care that we had come thisclose to missing our goal.278430_193648296_Medium

We got our medals and proceeded to sit on the ground for several minutes because it was absolutely necessary. That’s when I realized that apparently my camera had turned on in my running belt, so the battery was dead, which just felt like the cherry on top of what was already a disastrous race. So we relied on our friends at MarathonFoto and our phones.278430_193170222_XLarge

A fellow runner approached us as we were sitting on the ground and made a comment about how they were watching us and saw how much Todd helped me get to the finish line (which meant I REALLY must’ve looked like a hot mess out there, lol). 278430_193269862_MediumBut, yeah, that pretty much sums up this race. I did it for him in D.C., and he did it for me this weekend. It’s how we roll. :-D

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We got our goody bag (the idea of eating anything from it was completely out of the question, because I STILL felt a little nauseated) and made the long, slow march to find our parents on our sore, stiff legs.

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There’s a finish line festival but I was a little too out of it to really enjoy it, and I was disappointed in that the swarms of spectators that I remember from running the half marathon in 2013 were completely non-existent when it came to the full marathon. Everyone had already gone home, so there wasn’t much of a “festival” at all. It sort of felt like the event should be called “THE NEW JERSEY HALF MARATHON (and also a marathon).”

We hung around a bit to cheer on some of the runners coming in after us, but I couldn’t help but notice that most of the vendors were already starting to pack it up — not cool for those coming in closer to 6 hours, especially with a course time limit of 6:30, might I add. Then we all packed it in and went out for dinner, and by that time, my appetite was starting to come back. :)

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Would I run the marathon again? Honestly, probably not. I think Todd and I have been spoiled in that we’ve run marathons with a whole lot of hoopla (like, you know, the New York City Marathon and the Walt Disney World Marathon), so to arrive to a practically empty “finish line festival” was a little disappointing. The post-race goody bags were pre-packaged, which was nice, but the half marathoners apparently used up all of the heat sheets because none of the marathoners finishing with us got one.

The fact that there were twice as many half marathoners as full marathoners — and that we all got almost the exact same race shirt and medal — was also a little disappointing. I’m not at all saying that finishing a half marathon isn’t an enormous accomplishment, but to me, it just doesn’t seem right to have a half and a full marathon on the same day and not differentiate at all between the two events. Even the official “finisher” shirt says 26.2 AND 13.1.

As disappointed as I was in how my race went down, I was SO proud and excited for Todd’s performance. We have both come a LONG way from our first (non-Disney) marathon finish in 5:20, and I am beyond thrilled by how much we’ve improved in the little over a year that we’ve been running marathons!

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Still, I’m glad that we were able to conquer another 26.2 miles in our home state. And, of course, no matter what…running a marathon will always, ALWAYS be a huge deal for me. A HUGE deal.

Clearly, no matter how much I have changed, the “old me” is always hanging around to tell me that I can’t do it. It frustrates me to no end that I can still so easily slip back into my old mindset. But I guess if running marathons is the only way to prove myself wrong, then so be it. My struggles with obesity will always be part of my story, but crossing the finish line of yet another marathon is just another step towards leaving that 265-pound version of myself in the past.278430_193169191_Medium

And, as always, I will definitely be taking some new lessons learned into our new round of training for the New York City Marathon. I don’t know exactly what caused me to feel sick during this race — I know it could have been much, MUCH hotter and I can’t complain about the beautiful day, but I suspect the sudden warmer temperatures and hot sun after months of training in frigid winter temperatures probably shocked my system a little bit. Especially since, in general, I do NOT do well in warmer weather.

I DO know that I clearly need a longer taper (we tried a shorter plan this time around), and I likely took on a bit too much in the final weeks before the marathon. The fact that I was busting my butt for weeks to earn a new half marathon time to submit for Wine and Dine probably didn’t help, either. It all probably caused “the wall” and my good old friends “dead legs” to find me a little sooner than I would have hoped.

I think the most important lesson I’m taking from this race is that it’s becoming increasingly clear that my mind fails me in a marathon LONG before my body does. Apparently, I need to spend as much time training my brain for a marathon as I do training my body! If I can work on not letting my self-doubt overcome me, then there’s no telling what I’ll be able to accomplish in marathon #6. :)

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Have you ever met a race goal but still been disappointed in your performance?

Comments

  1. Awwww, Todd is such a good guy! You look SO cute together ( I know I say that in most of your posts, but it’s true!). Even though I knew what the outcome was, ( cus I read your post yesterday), I was still on the edge of my seat and had goose bumps while I read it! I saw your shirt yesterday and I didn’t even notice that it had a New Jersey image on it. So cute! You certainly always “dress the part” as to which race you are racing. I didn’t realize that you finished your first Disney Marathon in 5:20. Since I was injured for my first one, I don’t really know what time I am capable of but I think 5:20 doesn’t sound like a bad time, is it? anyway, I just want to say how much of an inspiration you are. I will be thinking of you during my next marathon training cycle and I hope to be able to do my next one in 5:20 ( with no injuries at least).

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Meranda! Believe me, I know! Not too many men who would put up with my ridiculousness on a race course…especially not for 26.2 miles! Haha. He definitely saved my butt this weekend.

      Hahaha, I love ANY sort of “themed” race, because then I can make an “outfit.” LOL. You can see why I’m obsessed with runDisney, yes…? ;)

      So my first Disney marathon (and first marathon in general!) was Dopey, and I finished in closer to 6 hours, because I stopped for a zillion character photos along the way. The 5:20 was my second/Todd’s first marathon two months later (the RnR in DC), which was technically the first full we ran “for time.”

      If it helps at all, we were training at about an 11-11:30 pace for our long runs for that race, and for the NJ Marathon, we pushed it to closer to a 10:30 on long runs. I’ve heard that if you double your average half marathon time and then add 20 minutes, that will give you a good estimate as far as your potential finish time in a full — it has been pretty accurate for me. I think a lot of it is strategy/pacing, too; I can do just fine in the first half, but I’ve found if I go out too fast, then my overall pace takes a serious hit in the second half.

      If there’s anything else I can do to help — not that I’m an expert, by any means — just let me know! I look forward to following with your training, and I think YOU are an inspiration! You’ve had to deal with so much in the way of injuries, but the fact that you keep pushing forward is AMAZING. I know you will make it to that finish line in January! :)

  2. Great recap and congratulations on a sub 5! Right now I’d be ecstatic for a sub 6! Lol!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Jaime! Hey, if I can pull a sub-5 (barely, lol), then I’ll bet you can get your sub-6! :)

  3. what a great story, even though you didnt get the exact result you wanted, you still did sub-5!! (which as you know I am working towards because my past 2 marathons have been hot and disasters). and a great job to Todd as well! He knew you needed him and he pulled you along, it is what all us runners do :)

    I was really struggling with the mental part during training and also long runs and I felt those thoughts creep up during Dopey. I bought Jeff Galloway’s mental training book and it has been a LIFESAVER-for real. When I struggle running, I know say my mantras and it really helps me continue on. Definitely check it out!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Juliana! That is so true! :) You will get your sub-5, too…I HATE it when factors beyond our control mess with us on race day!

      Thanks for the recommendation! Honestly, I need all the help I can get. CLEARLY I have some major mental issues to contend with any time I take on a big race, so I’m willing to try anything. I will definitely check out the book, THANKS! :)

  4. You have the MOST AMAZING marathon recaps! Sorry to hear the second half of the race did not go according to plan – can’t believe there was a lack of porta potties on the course. You and Todd are one great duo (and even though you weren’t feeling it your pictures were great – as usual). Congrats on the PR! So inspiring and now I’m looking forward to marathon training :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Haha, aw, thanks so much!!! :-D Honestly, the lack of port-a-potties was my #1 complaint about this race. So crazy!

  5. Congrats on another marathon you rockstar!! I love how you and Todd run as a team. I completely feel like I would probably be the one having a breakdown as well, so it’s good that you have someone to literally walk you through that!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Stacie! I consider myself very lucky that our paces are so similar, because I don’t know what I’d do if I had to run all of these races alone, haha. Gotta love a mid-race mental breakdown! ;)

  6. I had knots in my stomach while reading this – i am so sorry it was such a disastrous race for you guys! Major kudos for reaching one of your goals despite it all! I am with you about smaller marathons – I’ve never run a super small one and I’m not sure I could!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Karen! We have definitely been spoiled. I guess after all of those months of training, I want lots of lots of excitement and hoopla when I actually take on that 26.2! I guess I’ll just have to stick to the major marathons…which means I have lots of lotteries in my future. ;)

  7. Wow. Reading this was like reliving my marathon all over again! And as a result I’m wondering why the hell I registered for another one lol. Sorry the race was so tough for you, but you pushed through and kicked butt! It just goes to show you how strong you truly are that with all those issues and negativity you were still able to rock it and get your sub 5 time. Congratulations again! Amazing job!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Kellie!! :) LMAO, believe me, the moment we crossed the finish line, we both said, “NO MORE MARATHONS!” Meanwhile, we’ll be at it again this summer when training for NYCM begins. It’s just the way it goes. We’ve all completely lost our damn minds, lol.

      Plus, you gotta admit that once it’s over and the memory of the agony starts to fade away, that training for/running marathons is sooooo worth it. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. ;)

  8. Your race recaps always make me cry! I’m always just so damn happy for you and proud of your accomplishments…. plus could Todd be any better of a guy? The sap in me just comes out full force when I read your blog! haha

    The port-o-potty situation is just not right. I would have freaked out. I always look at the map before hand to see if they indicate where port-o-pottys will be. Even if I don’t have to use the, I like to know where they are. I’m pretty obsessed with that because just the idea running with an upset stomach and not knowing where the next one will be sends me into panic mode! Terrible that this nightmare occurred for you through residential areas too! You should definitely submit a note to the RDs about that. Hopefully it’s something they can correct for next year!

    Enjoy your little break from marathoning! You both have earned some nice and restful weekends filled with fun things in place of 20-milers (which can usually only be described as fun in hindsight :) )

    • Jennifer says:

      Aww, thanks, Kristina! Marathons (okay, running in general) has always been this huge emotional thing for me, so it’s hard NOT to be all sappy when I WRITE these posts, haha.

      I’m like you! I like to be prepared when it comes to the unexpected (e.g. calls of nature), but for this one, I stupidly just ASSUMED that there would be ample facilities along the way. Silly me! Trust me, I made my opinions known via social media, and I saw a lot of other fellow marathoners complaining about the same thing!

      Oh, I will, BELIEVE ME! It’s SO weird not to have to drag myself out of bed on a Sunday and gear up to run for 3 or 4 hours! I am loooooving it. Too bad I have to start training for NYCM in, like, two months. Haha. ;)

  9. Congratulations! Whoa! I was in total suspense reading this. What an emotional roller coaster. Huge high five to Todd for being a rock. Marathons are an emotional endeavor on the best of days, and on the tough ones they can be brutal. I’m so glad he was by your side. But you guys pulled it out!! It’s amazing how much a goal can both motivate and play mind tricks on you. I’m glad you ended up getting the best of this one. Congrats again and enjoy that time that starts with a “4″!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Karla! That’s for sure! I HATE that my mind can take over like that. But now that it’s over (and the memory of the physical and mental anguish is slowly fading away, lol), all I can do is start planning for my next race and figure out a way to keep this from happening again. But I am DEFINITELY celebrating, believe you me! ;)

  10. I am so impressed by your race photos. Despite feeling poorly, you were smiling in every single one. It is hard to run a marathon and not have some doubting thoughts. I suspect even the elite runners have them. However, finding a mantra that works can be very helpful. During my Boston Marathon race, after dealing with food poisoning, I found that thinking about my group, my coach and saying, “I am without limits” to myself really helped alot. Be proud of your effort and yes, you made it under 5 hours. By the way, I have never run with pacers….I negative split most races and alot of them bank time the first half and that would not work for me at all.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Pam! I think I need a mantra or something — ANYTHING — that could help keep me from (mentally!) falling apart in the second half of a race. It seems to be a pattern with me, so looks like I need to work on some strategies for my next race!

  11. First off, I would like to oficially nominate Todd for Sainthood. To be able to just let it go (no Frozen puns intended)and stay with you shows a lot of… well, everything. Many runners would have just taken off whether it was their girlfriend, wife or mother they were leaving behind. PR’s and long, set goals are hard to leave behind.

    And also, who is completely awesome?! That was quite a tough race and you still managed to come in under 4 hours! Meltdowns and all. Plus with marathon #5 in the bag, you can now call yourself a veteran indeed. Congratulations.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Frank!! Appreciate it. :)

      Haha, I think that sounds about right! He definitely got me through this one. Plus, he puts up with a whole lot of other nonsense from me that would also probably make him a “saintly” candidate, lol. ;)

  12. No porta-potties? Who decided that one?

  13. Firstly, you and Todd are just so adorable! I love the support you have for each other and it so shows! I’m sorry to hear about your struggles during the run (and seriously, no portopoties is so terrible on top of it!!) but you you did it and you did it together! =)

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