Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Born to Run" Freehold, NJ

Hmmmmm....does anyone really feel "Born to Run" the day after Thanksgiving? This was definitely not my best pre-race preparation, but I have wanted to run this race for a few years. This was the 25th Annual Born to Run (held in Bruce Springsteen's home town, also hometown of my cousins and Great Uncle- owners of Ballew Jewlers on Main Street in Freehold). For years we have seen runners go through town on the day after Thanksgiving, and this year I decided to join them. The race goes past my cousin's house, and through the park behind their house. It is hard to wuss out on a run that starts less than a mile from where you are staying.

Pre-race preparation was nonexistent (aside from packing lots of gear to ensure I had the right clothes for the weather). A couple of frosty beverages and a huge Thanksgiving dinner were less than ideal. I did make sure to hydrate with lots of water, but ate a heavy breakfast casserole (yum!) and had coffee the day of the race (something I never do). It was an 11am start, so I made sure to stop eating at least 2 hours prior.

Tommy dropped me off at the race site, and I spent pre-race time hanging with family at the jewelry store (about 50 feet from the start-can't beat that). There were almost 700 people in the race, so I had no designs on an amazing finish. My goals for the race were:

1. Finish
2. Avoid revisiting Thanksgiving dinner
3. Run the whole thing (I sometimes lose the psychological battle with myself).
4. If successful with 1 through 3, finish in under 45 minutes

The race was an out and back, with a fair amount of downhill on the first half (leaving lots to look forward to on the return). The halfway point was in the park behind my cousin's house. My initial mile was in line with my goals, so I was hopeful that I could keep it up. Entering the park after mile 2, I was pleased to see my Aunt Marianne and cousin Mark cheering me on. A little further down, my uncles Rob and Doug were there cheering me on. I think I had more of a cheering squad than anyone else in the race! The wind picked up around the lake, but I kept it up. I had on my Army Ten Miler shirt, and ended up running with a girl who had the same shirt for much of the race (the back says "I will never quit!"...good motivation). My family was there on the return leg...still hanging out to cheer me on. One of the dreaded hills on the return leg ends right near my cousin's driveway. I was pleasantly surprised to see Tommy and the kids, my Mom, and my cousin Danielle with her daughter there to cheer me on. I high-fived everyone and got a good dose of oomph! There were lots of retired Marines (in their 70s-80s) manning the road blocks as we got back to town. I always make sure to thank as many of the volunteers as I can during a race, and these guys were great. I did my best to kick it up at the finish, but definitely felt a bit whipped. Thankfully, I met all my goals (my family later reported that someone lost their turkey dinner right in front of them as they were cheering me on). The only thing I need to remember for next time is to look like I am having fun when I finish! It was a great race, good support, lots of nice runners, and I had an awesome cheering section. A great way to work off all the food!

Result: 42:18

12/65 (Females 30-39)

77/267 (Total Females)

282/657 Overall

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