Monday, April 27, 2015

Long Branch Half Marathon Recap

Sunday was my fourth running of the Long Branch Half Marathon, which was also my first ever half marathon!
A lot of my friends were running it, which made it extra special.
I went to the expo on Friday, since I had an unexpected day off. I was picking up my bib, as well as Eileen and Gigi's bibs. The process went smoothly and I walked the small expo. I was looking for purple compression socks but they only had a brand I have never heard of, so I moved on. Turns out, I didn't actually need them anyway.....

I hit all the booths and went to visit Geico, since they give out the best reusable shopping bags. They were giving people three spins on a slot machine. I waited forever for my turn. No one was winning. The prize was a tech shirt. If you won and wore the shirt for the race, you would get a free 15 minute massage at the finish. I had already picked my awesome flat mama so I wasn't interested in the massage, but who doesn't want a free tech shirt?
Finally my turn. Spin one. Fail. Spin two. Fail. Spin three. Winner! I collected my shirt but had to get it in men's medium. The women's large would have fit my size 2 daughter.
When I get to my car, I checked my phone and saw there was a comment on my flat mama.

I have had this shirt for ages, and never noticed the typo! Suddenly the Geico shirt wasn't looking so bad.
flat mama, take two.

On Saturday night, Gigi arrived. She borrowed my couch the night before the race, since she lives so far. There may have been Italian food and ice cream involved. And a dog walk. Yeah, we party hard.
Early to bed, early to rise. Too early.

We made very good time, arrived at the race and parked pretty easily. We found Eileen and CA, and gave Eileen her bag. It wasn't quite as full as mine, many tables gave out swag per person, not per bag.

Time to hit the port o potties. The lines were insane but we found outrfriends. What better place for a group photo?

By the time we all went to the bathroom the race had started. We listened as each corral was called and walked up just as ours was ready to start. Perfect timing. Immediately after starting, Gigi found a lost iPhone and our first order of business was to give it to a volunteer. Then we plugged in our music and separated,  with plans to meet up at the end. No one was feeling positive going in, and everyone was sure I would finish first again. On the first hill, Eileen and CA passed me by, and at mile 3, so did Gigi. I could see all 3 of them almost the whole time, I just couldn't catch up. 
The first few miles are residential, lots of fun signs and crowd support. I was averaging 12 minutes or less per mile for the first 6. Miles 7 and 8 were just over 12 and I was feeling great. I was looking at another 2015 PR.
my friend Jennifer took this pic around mile 8 I think.

At mile 9, I heard a text come in. Thinking it was the hubs letting me know where he was on the course, I checked it. It was my mom telling me that my dad was back in the ER. He has been in and out of the hospital since January, mostly in. I don't know why, but it really really upset me and I couldn't seem to stop crying. Some of my BGR friends were at mile 9ish and I ran in for a much needed hug. 
I couldn't seem to pick it back up after that. I slowed down to about 13 minutes per mile, sporadically stopping to text the hubs for updates on my dad.
At mile 11ish, the marathoners split off to the right.
At mile 12, CA snapped this photo. They were the second group cheering on runners like this.

I checked my watch and realized that I wouldn't PR but I could finish in about 2:45 and that was OK with me. Jen was at about mile 12.5 and caught me again with CA just in front of me.

The crowds at the finish are always amazing. The super speedy marathoners were finishing, as well, and the announcer was calling out names. I finished in just about 2:45 and collected my medal. 

Eileen and CA found me, I had a little cry, and then we took our group photo and then hunted up Gigi. She was hanging out by bag check, thinking she was last instead of first!
We went on the hunt for the Geico massages, but it was a 30 minute wait, and I wasn't feeling it. We decided to look for the hubs instead, but first, a selfie.

The hubs drove Gigi back to her car, and we hunted down some pancakes. I barely ate on the course and wasn't hungry, but I knew I had to eat! I ended up with stuffed french toast from IHOP. 
Not a bad race overall. Dad was admitted with an infection and will hopefully be back home soon. 
Did you race this weekend? I hope your weather was as amazing as ours!


  1. Great seeing you on Sunday!! :) So sorry to hear about your dad...that has to be the worst kind of text to get during a race. Hope he's okay!

    I loved those guys on the couch, LOL. They also apparently lugged their furniture and sign and moved closer to the marathon finish, because I saw them again somewhere around mile 22, haha. :)

    1. My dad is doing better, thanks! It was so great to see you two again, hope for a repeat sooner rather than later! I was considering the marathon next year, but then I read your post. I will stick with the half!