2017 Spring Lake 5 recap

Hi! I had a super busy weekend so I’m just getting a chance to recap my morning at the 2017 Spring Lake 5 miler in Spring Lake, NJ. I spectated this race in 2014 and 2015 and then ran it last year.IMG_0135

Let me just say that after having to DNS 3 races since March I was so happy to finally get to a start line, see my running friends and just feel like my normal “running-life” self.

I was on the road at 6:30am to make my way down to Spring Lake which is about 40 minutes south of Mr. SOTSS’s house.The race doesn’t start until 8:30 but I always try and park by 7:15 since they start to close roads and street parking fills up quickly. Plus, even though they mail you your race bib, you still need to pick up your t-shirt and souvenir glass.

2017 Spring Lake 5

Ready to run

I met up with Lisa and Bill and we walked toward the start area to get our goodies and then drop them back at the car before heading back and meeting up with Jane and Keri and another of their running group friends.

Photo: @Kmandell14

Photo: @Kmandell14

It felt great to finally see Jane because I was supposed to run the Philly Love Run half marathon with her back in March just shortly after she announced her pregnancy but we all know that my injury forced me to miss the race and subsequently miss meeting the baby (bump). Jane is a rockstar momma to be and has already completed a half, 10 miler and now a 5 miler.

The race starts and finishes by the beach and with the weather being absolutely gorgeous we couldn’t resist taking some pics on the sand.

She's only got 9 more weeks until she meets her little one.

She’s only got 9 more weeks until she meets her little one.

Keri just recently opened a yoga studio so I asked her to suggest to me some ways to work toward accomplishing some poses. She blogs over at Yogaswole. She’s an avid runner as well.

I also got to see my friend Elvia who I haven’t seen in a while too! She’s been running Spring Lake for so many years.

With Lisa still working through some hip issues and my toe still being on the mend the plan was to just take it easy and that we did. We kept a pace between 11:00 and 11:30 per mile. Jane and Keri went up ahead and I didn’t think I’d see them again until after the race since, even at 7 months pregnant Jane is faster than me :) But about 4 miles in I saw Keri standing outside a port-a-potty waiting for Jane. Yassss!!!!! This meant that we could all possibly finish the race together!

Somewhere in the last mile.

Somewhere in the last mile. So freakin happy to be doing what I love.

an opportunity to cool off

an opportunity to cool off

Running through the main drag

Running through the main drag

Best feeling to be running again!

Best feeling to be running again!

Keri, Jane and Me crossing the finish (thanks Lisa for the photo)

Keri, Jane and me crossing the finish (thanks Lisa for the photo)

After crossing the finish line I grabbed the most refreshing orange slice…IMG_0130

And then it was off to breakfast because let’s face it….I was way overdue for a post-race breakfast and it didn’t dissappoint! French toast, eggs and bacon.

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This race is really an enjoyable one. It’s a great way to kick off the unofficial start to summer.

The day after the race my toe was a bit angry but with each passing day felt better and better. I’m not sure how my running schedule will look for the next month or two but I do know I’ll be continuing with yoga and hopefully getting to run at least once a week as I keep getting closer and closer to feeling 100 percent.

How was your weekend?

TGIF! Let the weekend begin!

Seriously….I feel like my eyes need to be propped open with toothpicks. It’s been a long week back after my Adirondacks vacation last weekend. I’m only in week 3 of this new full-time job­‑and with the car accident, complete routine shift, and not yet really feeling like my role is defined yet at the job, I’ve been on edge, unsure, more tired than usual and just feeling a little out of sorts.  

I did manage to get in my 2 weekday runs. The first was a 3-miler on Tuesday night after work.

Post work 5k

Post work 5k

It was what felt like a lovely Summer night even though we’re still a month away from Summer. The temps in New York have been reaching 88-92 each day. Yikes #NotReadyfortheSweat

I have to say that running in the evening for a short 3 miles is perfect. Enough to get out some of the anxiety but it takes up only 30ish minutes which leaves me time for hanging with the doodle and doing some freelance work or chores. 

This morning I was up and out the door at 6am for another 3 miler. It was hot and humid and I was drenched in just 34 minutes.

Why does the color gray show sweat so much

Why does the color gray show sweat so much

Drenched!

Drenched!

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Other than running, walking the dog and drinking too much coffee the rest of my week was spent on the sofa trying to relax and regroup for the next day.

more coffee

more coffee

Strolling the neighborhood for a few miles each night.

Strolling the neighborhood for a few miles each night.

I’ve been dvr-ing Ellen and watching it at night and I’ve been loving that. 

On Wednesday, after work I drove straight to the mall to get a birthday gift for Mr. SOTSS’ daughter. She’s going to be 13! While I was there I saw there was a Nathan’s in the food court and just couldn’t resist. Those fries are my absolute favorite. 

I heart Nathan's fries!

I heart Nathan’s fries!

I’ve got a super busy Memorial Day weekend starting with the Spring Lake 5 tomorrow morning. I can’t believe I’m actually going to be running. Two years ago I registered but got injured and ended up taking Duncan down with me to spectate which was so much fun.

photo-52

I also met Mr. SOTSS for our second date later that day. We wanted the dogs to meet and walked around a park by my house. It started to rain and Duncan was annoyed because he hates walking in the rain. I remember turning around and whispering to him “C’mon Duncan, we’re on a date!” 

Post date

My loyal “wingman”

 I had so much fun spectating that I went again last year to do the same.

he would rather spectate me on the sidelines. LOL.

he would rather spectate me on the sidelines. LOL.

The race is 5 miles and I don’t run a ton of races that distance. My current PR is 49:10 (9:50 per mile pace) which is from 2011. The weather will be warm and as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m just feeling the effects of the transition to working full time in an office again so I really have no expectations or goals for the race other than to see and hug my running peeps. I miss them!

The rest of the weekend will be a back and forth between hanging with Mr. SOTSS and his daughters for fun stuff and home to get some freelance work done and get some chores out of the way. I’m also planning on meeting up with another friend for brunch and of course cuddling as much as I can with my furr kid.

This was the face that said goodbye to me this morning

This was the face that said goodbye to me this morning

I hope you all enjoy your weekend as well. 

What’s the weather by you today?

Any exciting weekend plans?

Hi and happy weekend! And for those in the U.S., Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Today was the Spring Lake 5 miler in Spring Lake New Jersey. I signed up for it last year but due to injury couldn’t run and spectated instead. I had so much fun I decided to go spectate again this year. So at 5:45am Duncan and I were on the road headed down to get a good parking spot. We met up with Lisa and her cousin Bill and his wife and later on the rest of the crew and chit chatted for the hour before the race began.

the runners

the runners

cutest, most well behaved spectator doodle

cutest, most well behaved spectator doodle

I love being at the start of a race where you actually get to see the runners take off at the sound of the horn.

spring-lake-start2

The very front of the pack

Bill is the UPS driver for the town of Spring Lake so all the stores in town know him by name. He’s sort of famous. Anyway, when I mentioned where I would be standing (at the halfway point) Bill told me and his wife to go stand by the Life is Good store because there is a young man named Shaun who loves watching the race and give out high fives to all the runners over there. I had no idea just how well known Shaun is in the community but I soon came to discover that.

This is just a sampling of the high-fives happening. I think I counted at least 100 people

This is just a sampling of the high-fives happening. I think I counted at least 100 people

Waiting for our friends to run by

Waiting for our friends to run by

He was so funny. He refused to get on the curb. Luckily he didn't get trampled over.

He was so funny. He refused to get on the curb. Luckily he didn’t get trampled over.

Bill, Shaun and there's Lisa to the right!

Bill, Shaun and there’s Lisa to the right!

What a sight! This guy was so happy but the runners were even happier to see HIM! I could hear them shouting his name and crossing from the other side of the course just to come give him a high five or a hug. So my camera was out and primed just as Lisa and Bill arrived. I caught Bill’s hug to Shaun and it was such a special moment.

Somehow I spotted Miss Elvia...actually I think she saw me and called my name. The sun was blinding but I snapped this pic and was so happy hours later when I saw I actually got her.

Somehow I spotted Miss Elvia…actually I think she saw me and called my name. The sun was blinding but I snapped this pic and was so happy hours later when I saw I actually got her.

I dig this license

I dig this license

Lisa and Jorge!

Lisa and Jorge!

This little vignette really captures so much for this weekend.

This little vignette really captures so much for this weekend.

I’m hoping next year I’ll finally be able to run it. But I won’t be missing out on races completely this weekend because I just decided I’m going to register for our local 4 mile Memorial Day race here on Staten Island on Monday morning. It’s a super flat course and I’m probably ready to go from 3 miles to 4 for my long run (HA!). So what the heck. I’m pretty stoked. It’ll be my first race in a month. (it feel like so much longer!).

Do you have anything fun going on this weekend?

I’m going on a sailboat tomorrow. I haven’t been on one in about 25 years! I’m hoping I don’t get seasick =)

I have a new profound gratitude for spectators—it’s hard work!

This morning the doodle and I were up and on the road by 5:45am to head down to the Spring Lake 5 Miler in Spring Lake, NJ. We met up with Lisa and her cousin Bill who lives nearby and then walked a few blocks to meet up with Elvia, Colleen and Luie.

Spring Lake 5 Miler

the first time i’ve ever been in a pre-race photo wearing jeans lol! (Thanks Elvia for the pic)

I stopped quick to pick up my tech shirt and commemorative glass. Hey! I might not have been able to run or get a medal but i did pay for this race and the swag that goes with it right? =)

Spring Lake 5 Swag

Spring Lake 5 Swag

A few minutes before the race started Duncan and I skooched out to the first few hundred feet past the starting line so once the race started we could see everyone before scooting up a few blocks to wait for them at mile 3. (I kinda like that I used “skooched” and “scooting” in the same sentence.)

The cutest, furriest spectator just patiently waiting to see some of his favorite runners…

cutest spectator ever!

cutest spectator ever!

Well the start was successful. I snapped a few shots of the first group of runners passing by…

photo 1-2 photo 1 photo 2-2 photo 3-2

Then I saw Lisa and Bill, and while I was calling out for them Elvia saw me. So i snapped this pic of her and managed to get Lisa and Bill in the background (although they didn’t see me or know i was taking the pic). Spectator lesson #1: Call out to your runner by their name and SHOUT IT for best outcome. I had a moment of panic when I saw Lisa and Bill and all I could do was say “Hey! Hi! Let me take your picture”. Only problem was I didn’t say ” HEY LISA, HEY BILL”. LOL! Luckily at least Elvia saw me.

starting

There they are!

Once they ran past, Duncan and I walked up a few blocks and got a good spot at the 3 mile mark to try to see them. Now when we arrived the lead male hadn’t even arrived yet so it was pretty empty. I set myself up on the outside of the turn so that I’d be able to get a good view as the runners turned the corner. Spectator lesson #2: Be specific to which side of the road you’ll be. I didn’t even think to discuss this with them and needless to say I missed EVERYONE!

Mile 3

Strangers at mile 3

I watched the front runners fly by, then the middle of the pack and then the back of the pack…. Finally I noticed the time. It was 9:11am. They started about 8:35. Surely they must have passed. With a bit of disappointment I decided Duncan and I better just head to the finish to catch them. But as we were about 2 blocks away I realized getting through the crowds of runners who had finished, especially with Duncan in tow, would be rather challenging. Just at that moment I got a text from Lisa that they had finished and were coming down the chute so I just stayed put. Spectator lesson #3: Pay attention to the time! I was so focused on making sure I had my camera at the ready I didn’t pay attention to my watch.

Good thing they found ME!!

cousins

Congrats to the cousins

the girls

Running Peepettes

It really was cool to be in the shoes of a spectator this morning for sure.

the spectator duo! (thanks Elvia for the pic

the spectator duo! (thanks Elvia for the pic

I don’t think I ever noticed how each runner has their own unique running form. And I enjoyed hearing one mom telling her small children to look out for daddy who should be passing by any minute. It’s a great thing when kids can be inspired by their parents healthy and active sport. I really was thrilled to have Duncan with me. He was quite a magnet and attracted many pet friendly people to give him some love.

When you really want to participate in something you just have to find a way to do it even if it isn’t in the way you wanted. I came home feeling happy. Just as happy as if I had run. Running races isn’t always about the actual running part….the social and energetic elements of race day were still there for me! And then the best thing happened. Lisa gave me her turkey sub sandwich (the race is sponsored by Jersey Mike’s Subs) Thank you Lisa for not only being a vegetarian but gluten free too leaving no chance in hell you could eat that sandwich!). So on the drive home duncan and I split it and all that remained was this little piece of lettuce…

little lettuce leftover

little lettuce leftover

After an early rise and 3 hours on my feet Duncan and I chilled on the couch for a few hours before heading back out this afternoon for a walk at the park. It started to rain within minutes of walking but we kept going and walked an hour.

wet doodle

is this just pathetic or adorable or both?

My ankle pain, weakness and soreness comes and goes randomly from hour to hour lately so while I was walking this afternoon it actually felt pretty good but this morning it was achy. And now I’m icing it!!!! Not that I’m counting but its’ now been 14 days since I last ran.

Hope you are having a relaxing weekend.

Any spectator failure stories? Any spectator tips?