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Shades of Death Half Marathon Recap

October 10, 2011

Saturday I realized that woah – tomorrow I’d be running the Shades of Death Half Marathon in Allamuchy, NJ!  I mean of course I knew, but it hadn’t really hit me that it was the next day until I noticed I had to do laundry so I’d have some running gear clean!  I started chugging water to get hydrated and made sure to eat a normal dinner (i.e. not trail mix).

IMG_6791 IMG_6802

Sunday morning I got up at 5:15am and set to work drinking coffee, eating a Luna bar, showering, and waking up.  We left the house around 7:00 to head to Allamuchy which is about an hour and fifteen minutes away from home.  The race didn’t start until 9:30 which made it possible for me to do the race.  If it had started at 7:15 like my last half I would have had to leave the house way too early.  We had to park in a nearby “mall” parking lot and take a shuttle to the start which was easy and quick.  I got my packet in the nearby gym and then hopped in the port-a-potty line!

IMG_6806 IMG_6808 The race started a little after 9:30 and as you can see it was already sunny, and just believe me on this one, warm!


The race started off just fine, but I quickly realized that Shades of Death Road had nearly no shade.  Not cool (literally).  The other thing – and this is my only complaint about the race – is that there were supposed to be water stops every two miles.  It turns out over the course of the race there were only 5 water stops.   That means it was over 2.5 miles between water stops, which may not seem like a big difference to those of you at home but on a unusually warm October day the extra 6/10 of a mile between stops was killing me!  I was really regretting not bringing water with me.

Also, a lady carrying a hardcover book passed me.  How’s that for getting psyched out by other runners?  She was running the relay so she only ran half the course, but still!


This is when I passed Tim at around the halfway point.  The race was a loop that you ran twice so he stayed at the start/midpoint/finish to wait for me.  I never hit the groove that I usually hit on long runs around mile 5 and I struggled the whole second loop.  I didn’t think I’d make it under 2:30 but somehow I pulled it out!


The race was chip timed, but only at the finish – I’ve never had that before.  I’m not sure if we will get an official time ever but based on the timer in the photo and the fact that I didn’t cross the start in the front of the pack it turns out my time may be more like 2:27:45 which is only 45 seconds slower than my half a month ago.  Not bad, considering the temperature and sun made this a much hotter race despite being a month farther into fall!  I forgot to stop my Garmin after the finish because I was dying!  We stuck around for a bit after the race and then hopped on the bus back to the parking lot.

There was a cafe called Vanilla Market in the lot so we walked over there to get some much deserved lunch!  Honestly I’m never that hungry immediately after a race but by the time I got home I knew I’d be gnawing my arm off.  Plus pesto + mozzarella + panini press = delicious every time.


Tim also enjoyed his sandwich which had an apple cider dijonnaise on it.  We finished off our meal with a “baby” size chocolate gelato since neither of us were hungry but I always want something sweet!


I couldn’t believe there were only one or two half marathoners partaking in post-race gelato!  Once we got back on the road we ended up stopping at a scenic overlook and then at a bridge in Portland, PA where my darling husband convinced me and my tired legs to walk across the Delaware River back to NJ!




Fist pumping in NJ!  I finally got my husband to stop stopping at scenic overlooks, etc. and take me home!

So glad I completed my second half marathon and also just glad to be done!  I’ll snap a photo of my cool medal and technical long-sleeve shirt and put them up later this week!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ren! permalink
    October 11, 2011 6:40 pm

    You are pretty much my hero, and you’re inspiring me to get off my lazy butt and go run. I cannot believe you’ve run 2 half marathons…that’s so incredible! Do you have any aspirations to run a whole marathon? Did you get a 13.1 magnet for your car? (this would be my motivation, by the way.)

    • October 11, 2011 10:00 pm

      Right now I can’t imagine my body running a whole marathon. I’m thinking of doing another half marathon next fall and training better so I can run it faster!

      The medal was my motivation! I wish there were more circumstances in life where you could earn a medal. (And that it was more appropriate to wear your medal in public!)

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