Lincoln Tunnel Challenge

Yesterday was the 26th Annual Lincoln Tunnel Challenge to benefit the New Jersey Special Olympics.

I’d heard of this 5k a couple of years ago, but this was the first time I was able to participate.  It’s a wonderful cause and it’s always a great feeling to know that just by showing up you are contributing to it’s success.  Rumor has it that over 4,000 runners/walkers participated yesterday…and from my perspective it looked like it came off without a hitch.  I can only imagine what it must take to coordinate such an event.  Particularly when it involves shutting down one of the tubes heading into NYC on a Sunday morning?!  But I guess they’ve had over 20 years of practice to perfect the process!

Since I don’t exactly live close to NYC anymore and because of the early start time, I ended up getting a hotel room for the night.  I headed out on Saturday afternoon, leaving the girls at home for 24 hours of Daddy Time.  I ran a whole slew of errands, met up with a friend for a late lunch and then headed over to Weehawken for packet pick-up.  Afterwards, sudden inspiration hit.  I was on my own for the rest of the night.  No obligations. No kids. Just me. And whatever I wanted to do.  And apparently what I wanted to do was head to the movies to finally see The Hunger Games!

Now is probably a good time for me to officially state that this weekend I was the ideal poster-child for:  “What Not to Do Pre-Race Day“.  I broke just about every rule.  I knew it and at times I even found myself giggling about it, but I went ahead with my bad-runner-self anyway.  I mean really.  I was just a 5k…

Pre-race nutrition involved a gluten-free cookie (approximately the size of my head) and a sprite (of equal size) consumed for dinner at the movie theater.  As for the movie, it started after 8PM…which means that by the time I got to the hotel, checked/settled-in and finally got to bed it was close to 1AM.  I was up by 5:30.  Because of my random food intolerances, I had a stash of energy bars/snacks that I picked on, but that cookie was pretty much my largest meal since lunchtime.  And it was a damn good cookie.

So, hours on my feet running errands…check!  Crappy nutritional choices…check!  Very little sleep…check!  Poor weather-planning which resulted in the decision to leave my running jacket at home…check-check!!  And I almost…ALMOST wore a new pair of running shoes for the race.  I bought them the day before and I was dying to try them out, but that’s a rule I couldn’t bring myself to break.

On the morning of the race I ended up arriving super-early.  The view was gorgeous.  I couldn’t help but do a pre-race warm-up/jog along the waterfront.  *le sigh*

Arriving so early was great since I didn’t have to rush around, but it sucked because it was entirely too cold/windy!!  I stood out in the cold for at least an hour and a half before go-time.  By the time the race started my legs were stiff and felt like lead.  But the second that gun went off it was complete and total chaos!!  People literally charged into the tunnel.  It was awesome.

It was also nearly impossible to try to pace myself.  The first two miles felt like a complete and total free for all.  Just full-blown, all out sprinting!  Eventually I settled into a comfortable pace, but the early sprinting and the lack of nutrition had me feeling pretty tanked early on.  I also didn’t anticipate the inclines.  I’ve driven in and out of that tunnel a million times over the years, yet it never occurred to me that I would be running uphill for a good portion of it?!?  They were gradual inclines, but they were loooong.  At times it felt endless.

Should I be corny here and make a comment about lights at the ends of tunnels???  Or shall I just move along and say that (much to my daughter’s disappointment) I may not have taken 1st place but I finished at 27:29…a sub-9:00 mile!!  My goal was to finish under 30 minutes.  Mission Accomplished!  I should eat cookies for dinner more often.

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2 thoughts on “Lincoln Tunnel Challenge

    • thank you! i’m VERY happy with my finish time, but there was that one agonizing second as i crossed the finish line, looked at my time on the clock and thought ‘damn, i totally could’ve done better’. but i got over it very quickly and especially considering it’s only been four months since my little one was born i was pretty psyched!

      lol, sorry didn’t mean to scare you! it was definitely fun…a GREAT experience and i would totally do it again!

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