New Jersey Marathon

This was quite an experience! I ran the New Jersey Marathon in Long Branch, NJ on Sunday May 6th. This was my first marathon, so I’ve really been looking forward to it. I think I learned a lot from this one! At the start of the day, I thought 3:25 would be a good stretch goal, and the weather was great(54° at the start),  so the 7:53 first mile felt nice and easy. Mile 2 was 7:34, but I knew I should back off a little, and I did. I settled into a nice rhythm over the first half coming through the half mark at 1:41:42. The next 3.5 miles went by uneventfully, and I was feeling confident that I could do this. I had also been taking in fluids at every hydration stop, so I THOUGHT I was staying on top of that, too(I was wrong, REALLY wrong).  I noticed I was slowing down at mile 16(8:12), but I still felt good, so I thought it may have just been a lapse in concentration. But by the next mile, I knew that wasn’t the case. My legs were about to pack it in. I started having  really bad cramps, and my only option was to try to walk them out while massaging my legs. I managed to work them out enough to run, but they kept coming back, so my splits kept climbing. It was a little disheartening to see so many people passing me near the end of the race(three different pace groups passed me in the last 10k), but I was still very happy to complete my first marathon, and give myself a time to crush in my second(10/7, Hudson River Marathon ). My official time was 3:43:36, so there was a pretty big positive split(almost 22 minutes!). Other than having an ambitious goal for a first marathon, hydration was clearly my undoing. I think I did a horrible job in the days leading up to the race, and taking in fluids at every station  know if wasn’t going to make up for it. And it wasn’t just water. I took Gatorade at most aid stations, or water when I downed a GU packet(I took three of those during the race). I don’t know if I would have hit 3:25, but without those cramps I feel like I could have finished quite a bit faster today( close to 3:30 maybe). Things got pretty interesting after the race(this is when I discovered how dehydrated I really was). I found my wife and kids, walked around for a few minutes, and then went to the bathroom. When I came out, I found a nearby sign, and put my head down. When that wasn’t good enough, I tried to lay down on the ground but I just collapsed. The EMS people were there almost instantly, asking questions, helping me onto the back of a truck, and taking me to the tent. I actually need assistance walking from the back of their truck into the tent! Apparently I was REALLY dehydrated, so they gave me fluids intravenously, and  my blood sugar was low, so they gave me some glucose(and a banana). The Dr. was also concerned that my HR was too low so they hooked me up to an ECG.  All while my wife and kids looked on(my son thought this was all incredibly cool, he had a huge smile on his face the entire time!). After my IV bag was done, and I seemed to be ok, they let me go. They just told me to make sure I ate something right away(that was definitely NOT going to be a problem), and try to take it easy.  What an adventure. Hopefully , I never have to go through that again. If I do, I’ll have no one to blame but myself. I’m feeling much better, but I’m going to give myself a lot of time to recover, and then training for Hudson River will start in early June(I’m also running a 5k in about 6 weeks, and a couple of other races later this Summer). Have a great day, everyone! Sorry this race report was so long! Here are the pics!

And we’re underway!

I think this was during mile 25. I was definitely hurting at this point. I think I spotted the camera right after this shot.

Hello cameraman. My legs are about to explode, but I’ll pretend to be happy!

Less than a mile to go

My attempt to kick it in was met with more cramps. Ouch!

Both legs cramping at the same time. Pain. Lots of pain.

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