Well, it might have taken me almost 2 weeks, but I’m so excited about this post because I love to reflect back on all the fun stuff! As a matter of fact I just might not even mention a thing about my injuries in this post because we all know they were a far cry from a highlight =)

January 26th, 2014: The Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon

We sure had one very cold and very snowy winter and it was great to have a half marathon to run in the new year while everyone else was home in their PJs watching TV and staying warm. It was 17 degrees that day. I always feel like running in inclement or extreme weather gives you honorary rock star status.

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Enjoying some frozen Gatorade

My friend Carey was the only other brave peep with me that day and we ran together from start to finish. She’s such a consistently paced runner and I enjoyed letting her keep us nice and steady.

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Carey and me braving the cold for 13.1 miles in Central Park

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Hello. Happy Tuesday!

I just got back from a short run. I went out SLOW and my knee seemed to hold up. YAY! At least I know I’m making progress. Crazy weather here. 62 degrees today and we’re expecting snowfall of 3-6 inches tomorrow!

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So I made it through working 2 days straight at the Philadelphia Marathon Expo representing the New Jersey Marathon. Day 1 was AMAZING and EXHILARATING. But Day 2 was even better!

First and foremost, we gave out about a gazillion pounds of Jersey-shore-made salt water taffy. It’s nice to know the Expo patrons were able to get their fix. And we had so many people register for our races and enter our raffle. We gave out a bunch of magnets and shirts too.

taffy

It was so great to have so many runners stop by our booth just to say thank you. Many had qualified for Boston on our course this past year and will be running the Boston Marathon in 2015. Of course this means they probably won’t be registering for the New Jersey Marathon again for 2015 since it’s the week after. Some just told us that they love everything about the race. One man happened to mention to Joe (the race director) that his dad had run the race over 10 times at least.

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Joe answering questions about the race. Otto (with the bright green cap), the pace team leader was answering questions about his pace groups.

Joe then pulled up his data conveniently on his laptop to confirm and then let him know that his dad was eligible for complimentary (FREE!) entry because of his consecutive completion status. YEAH! I’m already signed up for year 3. 7 more and I’ll get complimentary entry too. Joe really is such a wealth of knowledge not just about organizing a marathon but about the sport of running too. We discussed different training plans and always having a purpose for your runs. No junk miles! He took me to lunch at the Reading Market across from the convention center. Woah! Total food mecca! We went to Hershel’s Deli where I scarfed down the best turkey sandwich I’ve ever had (and didn’t even have time to take a picture of it before inhaling it!). We then split their famous apple cake.

Hershel's East Side Apple Cake

Hershel’s East Side Apple Cake

By the end of the night my feet were killing me. So I used my co-worker’s bottle of aerosol deoderant as a foot massage. Weird? Yes. Efficient? Totally! I really needed to massage those arches.

A new way to massage your feet!

A new way to massage your feet!

I keep thinking of all the folks that said Philly was going to be their first race! For some, their first 1/2 marathon. For others, their first full. I found myself excited for absolute strangers. That’s what I love about runners. We’re truly a community that feels more like a family. It just made me more energized for my next marathon training cycle beginning in January.

There were 2 specific negative response I received while working the New Jersey Marathon booth though. One man was disappointed in the finisher’s medal for this year. It wasn’t the size or quality but rather the message. He felt it was a bit juvenile.

Let Your Star Shine!

Let Your Star Shine!

He suggested it be a more beachy theme since it is a race that is run at the Jersey shore and finishes on the boardwalk. We actually appreciated his feedback. And apparently I’m told the 2015 medal is already moving in that direction.

Another runner came to complain about the food at the end of the race. I must admit that while constructive criticism is always appreciated, she was a bit obnoxious. Luckily I didn’t take it personally. As a matter of fact I had just learned a few minutes earlier that the sponsor of the food actually dropped the ball. And this year that feedback has already been taken into consideration and a new plan is in the works. YAY!

After I wrapped up at the Expo on Saturday night I drove straight to my boyfriend’s house. He had been watching Duncan for me for the day.

Duncan and his throne

Apparently duncan treats throw pillows like thrones. And Chester just needs lots of space =)

I walked into a house with the aroma of brownies in the oven. Oh yes, how lucky was I? The boyfriend had brownies in the oven and Ben and Jerry’s standing by. Perfect ending to a perfect night.

Sunday we went out for a bike ride through a state park nearby. We covered almost 10 miles. Very HILLY miles. It was a gorgeous day and we had the park practically to ourselves.

photo 5We both split up to take care of some stuff in the afternoon and then later in the eve he came to install my new storm door while the dogs supervised.

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Hurry up so we can eat pork chops. Well you can eat pork chops and I can beg with my sad eyes

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You almost done with the door install?

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tah dah!

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Welcome!

Can’t believe Thanksgiving is in a couple more days. They’ve already started setting up last night for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

tgparade

This is 34th street! They’ll be doing audio rehearsal and sound check tomorrow probably

Don’t forget to thank those who inspire you to run as part of NYRR’s #GiftOfRunning campaign. I made sure to thank Lisa.

#GiftOfRunning

#GiftOfRunning

Are you a Thanksgiving person? I like it but it always stresses me out that Christmas is 4 weeks away. Sometimes I wish we could just hit the pause button for a bit.

What’s the weather like where you are?

 

 

 

I got these lovely kicks as a birthday gift from my sister-in-law last month and had been planning on saving them until the new year but today I thought I’d try them out to see if they had any impact on my knee issue.

Asics Cumulus 16

Asics Cumulus 16s in bright blue. Apparently I’m supporting Prostate Cancer Awareness and had no idea. When I selected this color it was just because I liked it

Well, the verdict is they didn’t help. :( As a matter of fact about 2 1/2 miles into this run I felt that strange sharp knee pain and had to stop and stretch for a bit. But after that I was totally fine again. This knee thing is so strange. It will be totally fine until I make a turn or get to a part of the road that is uneven and then I’ll get that tweak but then it’ll go back to being fine again. I’m curious to get it looked at but honestly the thought of primary care visits and referrals and $50 copays etc just makes me say forget it.

Well, I managed to get in another solid 3 miles.

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And then I took the doodle in the car to run errands with me…

photo 5He’s been so cute in the car lately. He likes to lean back on the seat and rest his head. Love this boy.

After the errands I took him to the park by the water for a little walk.

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And now I’m typing this post and Duncan is just staring at me. Not sure what he wants. Maybe just my attention.

photo 1Tomorrow I’m going to work at the Philadelphia Marathon Expo. I’ll be at the New Jersey Marathon booth. We’re raffling off a free race entry so come by if you’re planning on attending. =) I’m loving my part time job working for the New Jersey Marathon! I dropped off some postcards at Jackrabbit Sports’ community bulletin area yesterday =)

photoAfter the expo I’ve got to hightail it home because I’m going to the Blue Gala fundraiser event again this year. It’s to raise money for a fairly large animal rescue. I’ll be back at the expo ALL day on Saturday too. I’m exhausted just thinking about the next 2 days.

Have you ever been to Philadelphia? It’s a great city to visit. I seem to do a lot of running there but someday I’ll go just for the culture and good eats. 

What’s on your weekend agenda?

 

 

 

I have run the New Jersey Marathon twice now and I’m already registered to run for the 3rd consecutive time this coming April 26, 2015.

Running the 2014 NJ Marathon

Running the 2014 NJ Marathon

Just a few feet from the finish line of the 2013 NJ Marathon

Just a few feet from the finish line of the 2013 NJ Marathon

When I signed up for the first time back in 2013 it was a total random decision but one of the best decisions I’ve ever made since becoming a runner. signedupOut of the 5 full marathons I’ve completed to date, my 2 NJ Marathon finishes were my fastest and this year I made it the entire 26.2 without ever hitting the wall! And I also met Jane through this race back in 2013. You know Jane….she’s responsible for convincing me to run the Jersey Girl Triathalon =)

2014-sallyjane

Sally and Jane: 2014 New Jersey Marathon finishers…woot woot!

The course happens to be a fast, flat one that is very BQ (Boston Marathon Qualifier) friendly. It also takes you on the iconic Jersey Shore boardwalk in two locations. Now that the repairs have been done following Superstorm Sandy’s destruction 2015 will be the first year back on the boardwalk at mile 20 in Asbury Park. And the final 1/2 mile is on the boardwalk in Long Branch. Nothing more exhilarating than the view of the ocean to your right! 2013-njmarathon-finish The medals are pretty fabulous too! And you can count on there being a unique spinner in the center of the medal each year. I can’t wait to see the 2015 medal. I hear it’s in the works!!!

Up and Running

The medallion in the middle spins!

Let Your Star Shine!

Another spinner! The star spins. Let Your Star Shine!

And how sweet was this post the night before the race… 10301047_10203650056393646_1716213564321201525_n OK, so let me tell you about some of the details. There are 3 races to choose from:

  1. Marathon
  2. Half Marathon
  3. Half Marathon Relay (2 runners split the distance)

So basically that gives you the option to run 6.5 miles, 13.1 or 26.2. The races are held on April 26, 2015 and start in Monmouth, New Jersey at the iconic Monmouth Race Track. The weather in New Jersey in the Spring is usually great running weather. 50 degrees on average. The full marathon has a stretch from mile 16-24 that is an out and back so it’s very spectator friendly. My family waits at mile 17 and then at mile 22. There are lots of local residents who come out and cheer in front of their homes. Many blasting Bruce Springsteen! Even a few local bands set up along the course. And I’m happy to report that each year I’ve run I’ve seen so much progress in the restoration of the shore towns since Superstorm Sandy. So basically just think of the definition of the word resilient when you think of this race….resilient residents AND resilient runners. Am I getting you excited yet? Well great news! A few weeks back through social media I discovered that NJ Marathon was looking to hire some “street team members”. Basically street team members represent the NJ Marathon at vendor booths/tents at other races and race expos (Yep, I’ll be at the Philadelphia Marathon Expo in 2 weeks so if you’re running, come by the expo and say hi!). I inquired and within a day I found I had a new part-time job! How awesome? I get to share my love and knowledge of the race with other runners. And get paid for it! (Disclaimer: I’m being compensated to write this post as part of my job but all opinions and love of this race are purely my own I promise you that!)

And what does this mean for you? You can save 10% off the current race price by using the code NJM15Sally when registering. You can register here.

Below are some links to other posts I’ve written about my experience running the New Jersey Marathon. And if you have questions about the half or the half relay please comment below or shoot me an email. I have some friends who have run the half and would be more than happy to answer questions. 20 mile training run before 2014 NJ Marathon 2014 NJ Marathon Recap 2014 NJ Marathon Race Day post http://www.sweatoutthesmallstuff.com/nj-marathon-expo/ So now you know why you should run the New Jersey Marathon in 2015. =) Have any of you already run it? What year? How did you do?