The Final Weeks: New Jersey Marathon Training

Hey, guys! Thanks so much for all the love on my recap of The Love Run last week! (See what I did there…?) ;)


I know I’ve sucked at blogging lately, but I wanted to drop in with an update on my New Jersey Marathon training.

Because, somehow, it’s only TWO WEEKS AWAY.

How in the world did this happen?! It seems like we just signed up for this race, and next week, I’ll be starting my taper!

But, fortunately, I’m feeling pretty pumped about it. I feel like I’ve done everything I could possibly do to train for this race, which is not something I can honestly say for some of my previous marathons. I’ve been working so hard to get in all of my weekly runs and to push myself to keep a more consistent pace on the long runs.

This time around, I really, REALLY want to perform better than I have in all of my previous marathons. I KNOW I can run a sub-five, and I’m fairly confident that I will be obliterating my New York City Marathon time of 5:15 (still my personal best) this month.

Last weekend, Todd and I tackled our 18-miler in some pretty strong winds.


It was sunny and gorgeous and COOL in the 40s/50s, but good lord was it windy. It almost reminded me of a certain day last fall when I had to run against headwinds that felt strong enough to, oh, I don’t know, blow me off a bridge or something…


Unfortunately, we struggled quite a bit. The 16-miler felt like a breeze (no pun intended, ha), but then with this one, I knew by mile 6 or 7 that it was going to be tough to compete against the wind. The last 10K, in particular, was pretty brutal. I felt strong stamina-wise and everything, but my legs have just HAD. IT., and no matter how hard we tried, it always felt like the wind was pushing against us and making an already difficult task that much harder. I didn’t even know if it was so much physical as it was mental…I HATED the feeling of having this force against me the entire time as we fought our way through 18 freakin’ miles.

Meanwhile, between pushing myself to attempt to PR during the previous weekend’s half marathon and knocking out 3 weekly training runs of 3, 5 or 6, and 7 or 8 miles, and all the Taekwondo I’ve been doing lately, I’m surprised my legs haven’t just fallen off by now. So I guess I can’t be too surprised when they feel so heavy and sore and stiff when I attempt to run for 3+ hours, right?

However, given the fact that our legs are pretty much dead from training and we were fighting at least 25+ mph winds the entire time, I was thrilled with my finish time.0404151814a I’ve been gunning for roughly 10-minute miles on long runs, so I was perfectly happy with how it turned out.


This Sunday, we take on THE long run of this training cycle: 20 miles. After the disaster that was last week’s long run, I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. But on the other hand, I’m super excited (and RELIEVED) that this is the LAST long run we’ll be doing for awhile.

We may or may not have gone ahead and officially signed up for the Wildwood Half next month, so after the marathon, we really only have one long-distance race on the calendar in the near future. Not gonna lie, it was mainly because I want an excuse to do a beach weekend before the room rates skyrocket after Memorial Day. :)

But if the conditions are right (i.e. it isn’t too HOT), I know the course is flat enough that I might even be able to pull off a PR. But if we’re not feeling fully recovered from the marathon, we plan to run it as a “just for fun” kind of thing. We shall see what happens. :)

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Still, it’s kind of nice to think that I won’t have to pull myself out of bed on the weekend to run for 2-4 hours for a couple of months. Until New York City Marathon training part two kicks in, of course. But for that, I already know that the agonizing long runs will be so, SO worth it. ;)

What’s your BIG race this spring?

Does anyone else struggle as much as I do in windy conditions?




  1. my big race was the LAM which was a huge fail because of the weather. Since then I have run 3 races and have a half coming up in less than 2 weeks. It is going to be SUPER hilly so I am using it as a way to push myself. The only way to get better at hills is to do them!

    i have only run one race in the wind and that was the Avengers half which was pretty miserable. hopefully it wont be that bad this year

    • Jennifer says:

      Ugh, I know, I hate when weather totally destroys your goal race…and there’s just nothing you can do about it. SOOOO frustrating!

      But I love your philosophy on hills. I need to adopt a little of that attitude, myself, and stop being such a big fat baby and avoiding them like the plague, lol.

  2. I love that my hubs is twice my size…makes drafting him SO much easier! At least until he figures out what I’m up to and calls me on it, lol! :) Good luck guys!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Hahahaha, that’s genius!!! Definitely won’t be able to use that trick, seeing as how Todd and I are almost exactly the same height, LOL. Thank you!!! :)

  3. I hate most that windy conditions interfere with my music. I have ear buds and can’t hear the music when the winds acting crazy. I don’t want to crank up the volume either for safety stuff.

  4. You are going to have a great race! Way to go on that last training run!

  5. I, also, hate the wind. haha Anything to make things colder just doesn’t do it for me while running.
    You are sure to do awesome in both of your upcoming Jersey races!! And nothing beats a trip to the beach! ;)

    • Jennifer says:

      Exactly! Thanks, Amanda! I am looking forward to some much-needed relaxation at beach that weekend…well, after running the 13.1 miles, I mean. ;)

  6. WAY TO GO on the 18-miler! Seriously, such a good pace/time and that’s with the wind and everything!

    Also, I don’t know why I never thought to swing my water pack around to the front like that. It seems so much more convenient. Do you run with it like that the whole time?

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much, Kristina! :-D

      So, actually, it’s a 4-bottle pack! Todd got it for me for my birthday because I do nothing but whine and complain that I’m thirsty on long runs, and I was forever running out of water, haha. So there are two bottles in front, and two in the back. I’m pretty sure it’s for trail running, actually, but once you get it situated exactly where you need it so it doesn’t bounce, I don’t even really notice that it’s there! And I very rarely run out of water now. :)

  7. It’s funny because I had a discussion with my coach about wind last night. She checked what the wind forecast is for Boston Marathon and was thrilled with the SW7 mph forecast. I guess east winds kill you in Boston and the wind is more important than temp. Guess you know that too!!

    • Jennifer says:

      I would totally agree! All I know is that the wind situation better not be anything like it was for last year’s NYCM. Damn near killed me! lol

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