I had no idea how this race was going to play out. I only registered for it in the beginning of the week because I promised my sister I would run it with her since this was her first road race in 5 years. My only goal was to finish without knee pain! Given that I still have felt pretty sluggish this week, I set the bar really, REALLY low and decided to go into it just to have fun and to take what was given to me. I had no expectations other than to run at the speed my legs would take me and get in a nice workout with 2000 other people.
We got to the start area with about 30 minutes to kill. There were no bathrooms or anything so we kind of just stood around waiting for the start (while taking pictures of ourselves):
Finally around 10:55 we made our way over to what was the start line. There was no marked line or indication of where the actual start was. We made sure to stay to the mid/back of the pack because we wanted to start out slow (my knees were a little achy and I didn’t want to push it right off the line). All of a sudden we heard a cannon fire and we were off!! I was a little thrown off because I wasn’t sure when to actually start my Garmin as there was no line to cross. Looking back, I should have just hit the start when the gun fired because my mile indicators were off by .05.
Our first split was 10:23 (right about my sister’s average pace) and we were feeling good. I even was able to get a couple action shots while running:
This was also the point in the race where I was warmed up and feeling like I could increase the pace a bit so I put the camera away and got down to business. I still stuck by my sister but pulled ahead a bit because my legs were just happy to be running just a smidge faster at that point. Let’s get down to business
Mile 2 split 9:55 — hmmm, okay I’ll take it. Haven’t seen a split like that in about 3 months and I was still feeling like I wasn’t really pushing so I just trotted along and tried to pick it up just a tad more.
Mile 3 split 9:33 — I was feeling good! At this point I wasn’t pushing for a PR or anything but decided to pick it up even more. I still wasn’t even out of breath or feeling fatigued but I was nervous to go too hard and have my knee start hurting. Then I figured that just two weeks ago I was in the most “running pain” I had ever been in and managed so just go for it and see what happens.
Mile 4 split 9:08 — what?!?!? still trucking along but feeling just a bit tired in the legs. What’s one more mile? I kicked it up some more and decided to just let my legs do their thing. With about a 1/2 mile to go I started running even faster.
Mile 5 split 8:30ish — I say “ish” because I crossed the finish line with my Garmin stating 4.95 miles (remember not knowing where the official start line was?) and I also forgot to hit stop as I was walking through the chute. The split says 8:23 on the watch.
The results? A PR with a gun time of 47:51!!! Was SO NOT expecting that …. and then subsequently a little disappointed that I didn’t have a Garmin time to compare to…because gun time is always “longer” than chip time. In any case, I’ll take it 🙂
This race brings out all abilities and is Manasquan’s version of a race “block party”. Heck, there was even a beer stop at mile 3.5! Definitely a fun time and will do it again next year. This race brought me out of my post marathon slug funk and I’m now itching to sign up for more!