Hello hello hello!
While I have not been posting anything here in a while, you may have seen me discuss my training plans and some of my races on Twitter, and maybe even on Instagram. As the school work has died down a bit and my commute is not sooo long anymore, I have been able to better balance work, school, my social life, workouts AND still manage to rest enough. I honestly have never felt more accomplished than in the past couple of months.
This Cinco de Mayo I began my day with a 10K. My first 10K in 3 years and due to my consistent training I got a PERSONAL BEST!!! I’m obviously very proud of that because after having to switch a rest day and speed training session, shin splints appeared again and I still did great.
The 10K was the Newport 10K in Jersey City, NJ and this was the 15th annual race event, which to be honest, surprised me. I picked this race because I wanted to sign up for a half marathon prior to the Miami Marathon in 2019 and they had a combo special where I could do the 10K in May and the Newport Liberty Half Marathon in September. It seemed like a great idea and it was an easy way to help avoid any detours from my training and so far, it’s been amazing.
I’m still debating if I would sign up for the race again next year, but I’ve managed to come up with a few key points that should help me decide. First, the good:
- Ridiculously convenient location for me. All I had to do was bike 11 minutes to the event and I biked home afterward. If I were to have taken the train, I probably could’ve made it there in about 20 mins.
- The course is flat for the most part. This, in turn, makes for a fast course and an easy way to make this a part of your training – as I did. The very beginning of the course, however, is full of potholes and an uneven street but we can hope that this was just this year.
- The views. The views were actually my favorite part of the race. The course begins on a main street and there’s not really much to see there, until it weaves into the neighborhood streets and then into the Hudson waterfront at the very end. Jersey City has become home since last August and I have slowly fallen in love with the neighborhoods and therefore, running through some of the streets that I have biked through made the run that much easier. It also took me through streets that I hadn’t been on and I fell in love all over again with all of the brownstones and the beautiful trees that we are finally being blessed with after a lengthy winter. Once you get to Hudson Street, you make a quick turn onto the waterfront and you run down Exchange Place and the Harborside piers and into the Newport area. Here, you get a beautiful view of the NYC skyline and a nice breeze as well, which was great considering we had been hit with a heat wave the few days prior to the race.
Now, the not-so-great…
- Race day bib pick up is not my favorite. One of my least favorite things is having to use the bag check, mostly due to fear that something will get lost. I prefer having the option to pick up my bib and race shirt and any other goodies offered the day prior to the race. This simply feels much more organized to me. Thankfully, the bib pick up was a piece of cake and I was able to get it within 5 minutes. Unfortunately, I walked out with no T-shirt. Maybe they can partner with a running store where we can pick up the day prior??
- No bling, no T-shirt. The race registration came with a race shirt and it seemed to be a tech shirt and it looked nice. Sadly, I walked out without one because since I did not take a bag or anything to the race, I had no where to put the shirt. I decided to opt for picking up my shirt after finishing as it was an option. Once I crossed the finish line I went to the T-shirt tents as they announced all they had were XLs that I could use to go to sleep in. I had requested a Medium when I registered and that’s what I had expected to receive. Not sure what happened there, so I walked out without a shirt since I saw no point in getting one I really would never wear. No medals is usually fine, especially as the registration was not a hefty one. But it could’ve eased the no shirt ordeal for me.
While I still have not made my decision, I will wait to see how the half marathon goes before I consider signing up again. The pros certainly outweigh the cons and next time I could simply pick up my T-shirt prior, bike it back home and then come back to the race. I really did enjoy the views and running through the neighborhoods as that certainly helped the mental fight, reminding myself I had biked on those roads plenty of times and being able to enjoy them at a MUCH SLOWER pace since I was on my feet.
I’m also not sure whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing, but the race is smaller than what I’m accustomed to. Maybe as I continue to improve over the years and I’m in a smaller pool, it’ll be a good thing?
Either way, I did enjoy the race. I was also very proud of myself as I finished under my adjusted goal time (1:15 and under) – with shin splints that certainly did not aid in keeping the mental struggle at bay. It’s a great feeling to see my hard work paying off, especially since I’m now doing my runs and heading to the gym in the mornings before work. I’m also trying to learn how to avoid injuries and working on my mental strength.
Can’t wait to see what else is in store for me this year!
Did you race this weekend? How’d it go??? Made a recap? Post it below!