NJ Marathon Info!

Hey everyone!! I have SO much to share with you regarding my week in Atlanta with Mizuno.

We are on our way home after a fun, exciting week but my mind is focused on one thing – the NJ Marathon on Sunday.  After months and months of planning, training, and imagining this race, it is finally here!

First, the race details.

  • Date: Sunday, May 5th
  • Start time: 8am
  • Route:  It’s a mix between out and back and a loop.  The race starts by Monmouth Race track, heads north for a bit, over to the coastline by mile 10, then south for 8 miles with the turnaround just after mile 18 and heads back north for the final 8 miles.  

  • Elevation: Virtually pancake flat (after my last few races have been in Central Park, this makes me VERY happy!)

The weather forecast looks almost too good to be true.  I’m still not celebrating because I know it can still change.  But right now, race day weather looks to be cool (~45-50 at race start), calm, and sunny.  One of my biggest worries leading up to this race has been the wind.  Before moving last summer, we had lived less than a mile from the SI boardwalk, so almost all of my runs would take place right on the coastline.  Most early mornings were calm, but the wind would often pick up (>15-20 mph winds) by mid-morning.  So far, race morning looks like it will have very little wind (~ 5 mph winds).

For everyone that has asked…if you want to track me, here is the link to sign up to receive alerts (you can get text, email, twitter updates).  My bib is #1023 in case you need it. There’s a part of me that is excited to know that all of my friends will be able to track me on Sunday, but a large part of me is starting to freak out about it. HA. 

Pre-race plan: My husband and I were able to get a hotel room less than 1/2 mile from the start line.  Our plan is to head down (childless!) on Saturday afternoon and head straight to the expo to pick up my bib.  From there, we will likely go to an early dinner and then just relax and rest at the hotel. I’ll probably get up around 5am on Sunday to start fueling.  There will be increased security measures this year because of the events in Boston a few weeks ago, so I plan to head to the start area on the earlier side. 

Goals: Since I try to share most things on here, I will share my three goals.  

  • A goal (this would be a really, really good day): 3:10.  I’ve been training at these (or slightly faster) paces this whole training cycle, so I know it’s possible.  It’s just a question of whether or not things all line up on race day. 
  • B Goal: 3:15.  This would still be a 6+ min PR for me (from a 2009 race).  I can’t complain about that.  
  • C Goal: PR (sub-3:21:32).  Truth be told, I will be extremely unhappy if I fail to at least PR.  I have been training at paces well faster than my current PR.  And, was on track that year to run a 3:15 through the 30k (but then the wheels came off).  Race Strategy:  Since there really is no elevation to worry about, my focus will be on keeping my pace as close to 7:15 as I can.  I’ll give myself a few miles to fully warm up and get comfortable with that pace, but after that will keep the 7:15 within striking distance.   

Race Strategy: I plan to take it easy for the first mile or two and then try to settle into my goal pace of 7:15.  Since it is a flat course, I hope to maintain close to that pace for most of the race – at least through mile 20-22.  If things are still feeling good, then I’ll push for those last 4-6 miles.  I plan to take 1/2 gel every 4 miles (I find that one full gel is too heavy on my stomach but I like having something in me every ~30 min) and water at every water point.

Thoughts: This is my first marathon with an actual race strategy and plan.  With the exception of my last marathon (2011 NYC Marathon), my previous marathons have been run with no idea as to pace, goal time, etc.  I never trained for a certain time.  I would start as hard as I could and run like that for as long as I could and then just try to hang on until the finish.  Not the smartest way to run. Not the most enjoyable either.  So I’m REALLY excited to see what I can do with a plan. I followed my race plan almost flawlessly for the NYC Half Marathon six weeks ago and set a new PR (1:32:23).  

I’ve put in the hard work.  The miles.  The time.  My legs are strong.  They are ready.  Sunday will be the time when I let my mind and heart take over and trust that my legs will follow.

One of my favorite running couples that I has met via social media has been so supportive of my training the last few months.  Lindsey and Glenn both gave me some really awesome advice for Sunday – I plan to repeat their words in my head during the race (if you aren’t following them on twitter or read their awesome blog, you should!):

Do you have any words of wisdom to share?? 

Are you racing this weekend? 

Please let me know if you are going to be at the NJ Marathon expo on Saturday (and what time you are going!).  Would love to try to meet up! 

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    32 thoughts on “NJ Marathon Info!

    1. My heart just hurts for you. I am so sorry that your race ended the way it did…but you have to know and remeber this…YOU inspire runners! You inspire runners whether you run a 3:10 marathon or a 4 hour marathon and that is what counts! We love you whether you PR or not so don’t feel embarrased or ashamed…we all have races or runs that discourage us but we run because we love running whether it is a great run or not so great run :). I think it can be so easy to make running all about a better time/PR or a longer run and forget the joy we get from just running. Now don’t get me wrong, I do speed work too and I have goals and love a PR just as much as the next person, but I work really hard at remebering…I love running! Whether you do your best or not, there is something to get from every race and run.
      You work so hard and are such an awesome runner…you have encouraged me more than a few times to push harder or to even just go for that run when I did not feel like it. You are still an awesome runner who encourages MANY people, who has beutiful kids and a wonderful family!
      You are AMAZING…remeber that!
      Maybe for your next race try to not put so much pressure on yourself…go out there to just enjoy the race and do the best you can with no time goal and see what happens. (I am no expert so this might be bad advice…it is just what I would do).
      Hang in there and rest up! Hugs

      • Jen,
        Thanks so much for your sweet words…I’ve been meaning to respond this this comment to thank you for so long now.
        I agree 100% with you about the pressure – I know that I put WAY too much pressure on this one race…lesson learned, I guess =) I’m excited for the IM – b/c although I’m nervous, I know I’m not going to be racing…more just focused on finishing, you know?
        Anyway, thank you, again – your comment meant so much to me –
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Ironman Lake Placid (T – 11)My Profile

    2. Now that I saw your instagram and know the result of today’s race, I am so sorry!! You trained SO HARD and SO strong!! You did the right thing, of course, and you continue to be my run-spiration, because of your ability, your love for the sport and your smartness in training plans! XO
      jobo recently posted..On travels…and wow, this is really happening.My Profile

    3. SO, so, so excited for you- and what more could you ask for than a flat course and perfect weather? Yay!! Those are great words of advice- I love that he said ‘it’s just running.’ :-) And yes, you are so well prepared, and you have mental toughness like no one else I know- I’ll be cheering from here!!!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Moms: How do you do it all?My Profile

    4. Michele, that course reminds me so much of Shamrock, not just because of the pancake flat nature but also the out and back with the loop at the top! I think having a plan – and, more importantly, following it – is the best thing you can do. That go hard and hang on strategy never worked well for me, but following my plan at Boston no matter how I felt worked really well. You have worked so hard for this and I wish you a very successful race!
      Alison @ racingtales recently posted..My Boston Marathon: Plan the Run, Run the PlanMy Profile

    5. Good luck Michele! I know you are going to do very well, your training is amazing just looking at some of the times you posted here from your workout and races, Def take it easy and ease into your pace after a few miles and you will be fine. Can’t wait to track you online . Rest up , try and ger a nice sleep and Carbo load :)

    6. You sooooo have this! Sounds like you have a solid plan, my advice…stick to it.

      I’m impressed you share ALL your goals, I’m open about sharing my C & B goals, but I almost NEVER tell anyone my A goal before a race. IDK maybe I am just superstitious.

      My advice is stick to the plan. I went in to my last marathon with a solid plan, I stuck to it (it was really hard to in the first half) but it paid off and I was really able to let it rip the second half. 16 minute PR…and ran second half 7 minutes faster than the first. Yep…if you have a plan…stick to it!
      Laura recently posted..The Runners ‘normal’My Profile

    7. Good luck on Sunday, Michele! I’m tracking you and will be cheering from NH!! Hope you have a fantastic race and remember to have fun!
      Steph recently posted..Eugene WeekendMy Profile

    8. Good luck!!!! I’ll be thinking of you while I run my 10K to get my butt moving faster!

    9. I’m so freaking excited for you!!!! You have been working so very hard and have solid training behind you. Definitely trust your training. I think that you will be done with your marathon at about the same time that I’m done running 10 miles down in Philly. HA! xoxox Can’t wait to hear about it!
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: StorytellersMy Profile

    10. Good luck on Sunday! I’m sure you’ll do great! Trust your training and you’ll do great. I’ll be running my second half marathon that day! :)
      catie recently posted..weekly wrap upMy Profile

    11. Michele–I am so pumped for you. When I first saw you were doing a marathon in May, I worried it would be too hot b/c you never know what you’re going to get this time of year. I am so thrilled it will be perfect!

      I think having a plan is the way to success in a marathon–trust it and follow it and you’ll smash your goals. GOOD LUCK! I’ll be thinking of you!
      misszippy1 recently posted..LASIK one year laterMy Profile

    12. This is the moment you have worked so hard for, it is here and you are ready. I will be thinking of you, sending you prayers that when the pain comes your spirit and strength will swiftly carry you to the finish line . Run your heart out Michelle! You own this [insert profanity] race! xoxo
      Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Steven’s Homemade energy bar recipeMy Profile

    13. I totally agree with Glen and Lindsey: trust your training. Sometimes the taper makes you doubt…you feel like you’re not doing enough. The other mantra I tell myself, which is one I think you mentioned before the NYC half is “you can’t bank time.” It keeps me from going out to fast when I feel so good. Keep those first few miles easy and you won’t have to “hang on” for the last few miles. And lastly just believe that you’re gonna rock it! Toe the line and say “I’m strong. I’m Fast. I’m confident.” you got this!
      Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..Live Deep: A Beautiful DayMy Profile

    14. I found your blog a few months ago and have been enjoying following your workouts. Your training has been awesome and I know you will hit your goals. My biggest piece of advice is to stick with your plan and race conservative. You can always pick it up! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    15. That picture is so cute. Your son looks like you! I can’t wait to hear and see what you did in Atlanta with Mizuno. Best of luck to you, I know you will do great and I will say a little prayer for you.

    16. GOOD LUCK! you can do it, i know you will at least PR; you are honest and discplined with your training and clearly talented. I love reading your blogs and cant wait to see how you do. Go Girl. Run baby Run!

    17. Michele I am SO SO excited for you! I just signed up for text alerts to track you on Sunday. I know you will run the best race you can and crush your goals!

    18. FYI – The runner tracking search works by name. I’ll see you at the finish line Sunday with a nice 3:09:55. Xox

    19. So excited for you! Love the advice to trust the training. You’ve put in the time, effort, and sacrifice, and you’re going to ROCK this marathon. Believe in yourself and remember, no matter what, a marathon is a huge accomplishment. Run with confidence and gratitude to be out there running another day!
      Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Things that Scare Me: The FriedrichsbadMy Profile