Thursday, July 16, 2009

How I Saved the Barnegat Bay with an 8K!

The Barnegat Bay from Lavalette, NJ

I saved the Barnegat Bay by running an 8K! How did this "save" the bay? I have no f*cking clue.

I woke up nice and early, dressed, ate some peanut butter on a slice of bread and drank some water. My fiance came along to take pictures and share in the moment with me. We drove over to the bay (a few minutes from my childhood home), registered, got our goodies, and hooked up a little race tracker to our shoe for time keeping.

Hooking up my race tracker

We stretched a little, but mostly hung out and soaked up the sun. There were a few real characters there though. Ya know, the ones that take themselves way too seriously even though it is apparent that they are not hardcore runners. They were doing some stretches that I have never seen before, and trust me, I have seen a lot of weird stretches before- I was a competitive cheerleader for 9 years.
Can you guess which set of legs works 10 hours a day inside and which two sets of legs belong to lifeguards?

Back to how we were "saving the bay". I really don't get it. Especially when there is a water station every mile where you grab a cup, drink/splash/pour it, and then throw it on the ground so that the garbage may blow into the bay before someone has had the chance to clean it up. This seemed illogical to me, but my cousins thought that it would be an opportune time to come up with a song to amuse themselves as I left on my headphones, running and panting, and trying to keep up with the tempo. Their little verse went like this....

Just take one cup at a time
there's no need to waste.
It's like Saving the Bay,
the month after May
It's going to happen when it's
supposed to happen.
When you find the reasons why,
one cup at a time.

Mile 2: Me, my cousin Brittany, my cousin Courtney
In all seriousness, the race was really really hard for me. The race started at 8:30am and it was so hot and sunny. I usually run after work and on shaded roads so I found the sun added a big challenge to the run. I also felt a bit faint at times during the race. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish, but I kept it together.
Part of the course snaked through a neighborhood filled with locals who live there year-round and who (like me) have a certain pride in being from the area. There were so many people outside their homes cheering for us. There were a few awesome houses that even put out their own water stands and sprayed hoses into the air to cool off the runners- now that is gratitude!
I had wanted to run the 8K in 50 minutes because I new I could do it (10min/mile). My pace ended up being more like 11.5min/mile or 57 minutes. I'm not going to lie, I am disappointed in that time, but I know that's not what it's about. Would I do it again? Heck yeah! I can't wait! Me and my cousins have already planned to do it again next year but with more style- I'm going to design some cute tanks for us and get them screen-printed.

The finish line


Bare It All said...

WAy to go! I think that time sounds awesome...I can't believe how far you went. Can you believe that a couple months back you were just trying to do the C25k???

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

Wow! Great job.

Now work on that tan...

Carlos said...

awesome job! you rocked that shit

SassyCassie said...

Wow, that's awesome! Congrats on finishing and planning to do it again next year!