NJ Marathon – Take 2

Sunday will be my second attempt at the NJ Marathon. After last year’s bonking and DNF’ing (ugh), I thought I would never want to give this marathon another shot. I guess time makes the sting go away a bit because here I am…two days out from running the NJ Marathon.

nj marathon 5

2013 NJ Marathon

I have some times in mind that I’d like to run Sunday, but similar to the LA Marathon, I am really looking to just have a steady race.  Truth is, I am not totally sure what I am capable of running. I ran a lot of miles on the treadmill this winter. I wimped out a bunch during the brutal winter and then had to rely on the treadmill more than I wanted the last couple of months with my husband’s work schedule (he was gone for lengthy trips a handful of times). But rather than dwell on the “what ifs” or what I didn’t do, I’m focusing on what I DID these last 7 weeks (since the LA Marathon):

  • 2 x 20 milers, 2x 18 milers (including an 18 miler with lots of miles at goal pace)
  • First 80+ mile week
  • Changed up some workouts – did a few tough interval sessions
  • More cross training (tried to bike 2x/week for 30-45 min)
  • Lots of strength training and core work (hello Barre and Pilates!)
  • Tested out a new energy drink for race morning (super excited about this!)

Sunday’s forecast is good and bad. The temps look okay (mid 40s at start, mid/upper 50s by finish) and it should be partly cloudy. The downside is that there could be a nasty headwind for the last 8 miles (16-20 mph). Out of my control so I’m trying not to stress about it.


While I was in Boston on Monday, I kept thinking back to my experience with running the Boston Marathon in 2009. I remember not obsessing over my pace or projected finish time (as I do with each mile of a marathon these days). I started a bit fast but never quit and never stopped running – two things I’ve had issues with lately. I ran happy from start to finish.


Still smiling approaching finish line of 2009 Boston Marathon

When I start to see my pace slip, it’s a HUGE mental obstacle for me and I find that my mind just gives up. So on Sunday, I am going to only show the race time – not the distance, not the pace, not the mile pace – nothing on my Garmin. I am going to run on feel and try not to obsess over my pace every few minutes when I start to get tired. I know I’ll still be able to figure out splits at the mile markers but at least I can in blissful ignorance for each mile. My plan is to run whatever feels comfortable. So if that means faster-than-I-should-be for the middle miles (because I will have a tailwind) or slower-than-I-want for the last 8 (because of headwind), so be it.

I will be keeping a quote in mind that my friend, Lauren, shared last year that has stuck with me:

fail better

The best part of the whole weekend is that my family is going to be there!! My boys, husband, mom, dad and sister will be on course cheering for me! AND, I am going to get to meet some of my favorite {super speedy!} running ladies – Hollie and Laura!

me and boys

My loves

Thank you, as always, for your support this training cycle! Excited to give it my all on Sunday…nothing left to do but run 26.2 miles =) Have a great weekend! Oh and if you want to track me, I am bib # 3240!


I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    22 thoughts on “NJ Marathon – Take 2

    1. Pingback: 2014 New Jersey Marathon

    2. Best of luck!!! I can relate to the mental bonking in a race! I just ran Boston on Monday and my watch decided to not work ( kept saying same pace ) so I switched gears and ran by feel! Best decision ever … This is YOUR race and I have a fantastic feeling about it for you!

    3. I’m a recent follower, and I’ve never commented before, but just want to wish you luck on Sunday! Looking forward to your recap next week :)

    4. Good Luck! My second road marathon is in 3 weeks and I’m thinking about doing the same thing with my watch – only showing overall time so I don’t obsess over splits! Just run what feels good!

    5. Best of luck! I think you have a great plan. Read over your post right before running as a pep talk to yourself! Running is learning of course and it seems like you’ve learned so much about yourself since last year’s race from reading your blog. The course is so great for family support too! My fam was able to see me twice plus the finish last year and I think seeing those faces is a huge motivation in a race! Can’t wait to read the recap. You’ve got this!
      Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted..Bacon Scallion Chicken SaladMy Profile

    6. I will be there too and love your plan!! I remember commenting on your post last year after the dnf and wanting to just give you a big ole hug and say it’s ok. You have been such an inspiration to so many. I love that quote!! I am much much slower but have my own goals and hopes for this race. My friends and family will also be there too. They will probably be around mile 15 and 23 so if you here cowbell that’s them. They loved being the only spectators in that part of the course last year. They work hard at it lol. Let’s pray for no headwind!!! And as the slogan for this years race says “let your star shine!” Have a great race michelle!!
      Sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..shop out the small stuffMy Profile

    7. Good luck on Sunday!! I love the strategy and attitude you have going into the race — it truly sets you up to be successful no matter what the outcome!