Belmar 5 miler (33:04)

I was excited to run the Belmar 5 all month.  The plan was to get a gauge of where my fitness was.  I was ready and prepared until last Tuesday when I got a stomach bug.

As I said yesterday, I’m not usually a runner with stomach issues but last week I felt like I got drop kicked in the stomach.  I took both days off from running but even stretching my legs out on Friday didn’t feel great.  I knew I would have to change my expectations and goals for racing but it still didn’t take the sting away.

I got to the race around 7:15.  Since I was unfamiliar with the area of Belmar I wanted to get there extra early.  I arrived with plenty of time to spare.  I did a 2-mile warm up, dropped my bag off and headed to the start.

Nice views
Nice views

The weather was hot and muggy.  It’s July, it’s on the shore and the sun was out.  It’s not like the weather was a surprise.  The majority of the race course was on the boardwalk so it was flat but with no shade.

The race started a few minutes behind schedule.  Once the race began I realized I had started too far back again.  I had made a conscious effort to get towards the front but I guess I didn’t start far enough forward.

During the first mile I passed a lot if people.  It was very motivating because I was passing people but I didn’t feel my best.  I knew I could gut out a five-mile race but that was my limit. Anymore miles and my stomach would have said no thanks. I hit the first mile in 6:27.

The second mile headed along the shore with the direction of the wind.  I felt good but it was because we were going the same direction as the wind. I hit the second mile in 6:27.  I was actually shocked with how fast I was running and how many people I was passing.  My stomach was holding up well too! I thought I might be able to still reach my goal of 32:30.

As the race began to turn and go around a lake, I realized why I felt so good in the beginning.  The wind began hitting us in the face.  Luckily I was near people and could see I was not the only one struggling.  I hit the third mile in 6:48.  I felt awful, I looked awful and I was defeated.

The fourth mile went back on the shore and was going the opposite direction as mile 2.  The wind continued to hit us. Running on any boardwalk can result in lots of wind.  Instead of focusing on the wind, I had my eyes set on a pack of four females about 30 yards in front of me.  I wasn’t getting any closer to them but they weren’t getting any further.  The fourth mile was uneventful and I ran it in 6:47.

At the beginning of the fifth mile a man was calling out places of women. I was surprised when he said I was number 14. I was expecting somewhere in the top 30 but not that low. When I heard I was 14, I decided to make it my goal to be in the top 10. There were four women not to far in front of me.

The last mile was in the neighborhoods with almost no wind. It was flat with minimal turns. I continued to pick people off and ultimately found myself battling for 10th at the final stretch. I sprinted as hard as I could to the end. My last mile was my fastest and I finished it in 6:24.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 6.37.58 AM

I finished the Belmar 5 in 33:04 and 10th women overall. It was a little bit off my goal but due to my stomach and the wind I’m satisfied. It was a great experience for me to get more familiar with Belmar as well. I’ll be returning there for the Belmar Chase 5k on August 22.

Greta finished 3rd and I finished 10th!
Greta finished 3rd and I finished 10th!

Questions for you:

Do you like running along the Boardwalk?

Would you consider yourself to have a “stomach of steel” or can you only eat certain things?

Honestly, I can normally eat about 1-2 hours before a run and feel fine.

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  1. Congrats on pulling out a solid time … and getting over the stomach bug!

    I definitely have a ‘stomach of steel’ … my wife has remarked that she has *never* seen me throw up – and remember we’ve been together more than 25 years! So yeah … 🙂

  2. Great job battling to get the top 10! That’s so great. I’m the opposite from you and my stomach is the worst. I have to be really careful about what I eat before races and have had some unfortunate situations at races when things haven’t worked out. Consider yourself lucky!!

    (by the way, your post title says 5k! I couldn’t believe you would run a 5k in 33 minutes..5 miles makes a lot more sense!)

  3. Awesome job! I love Belmar- my hometown is very close to there and I used to go to the beach there all the time! I enjoy running on the boardwalk as long as it’s not against the wind 🙂

  4. I typically have a good stomach, but if I get a bug, I’m sidelined for awhile. I don’t like running on the boardwalk. The wind is bad enough, but its the hard concrete that I hate more!

  5. Amazing job!! I love that you set a goal for yourself mid race and then crushed it, even though you weren’t feeling well. You should be really proud!!

  6. Congratulations on finishing 10th overall especially since you battled it out with those other ladies :). You did a great job and a 5 miler is a neat distance to race, don’t see a ton of those.

    I have a very sensitive stomach and have to watch what I eat pre-run, that is why i try to get all my runs in during the morning. It stinks to have stomach issues at all, whether it’s on a run or not.

  7. I have the most finicky stomach. It is literally the biggest pain. Congrats on a great race and given the circumstances (heat, wind) you did amazing! I love running along the ocean because it offers pretty views and great distraction… maybe not the best race environment for me though haha.

  8. Ah I LOVE reading your race recaps! It’s always so exciting. I think mostly because I’ll never ever run that fast, and it makes me feel like i’m right there with you hahah

    I never really felt like i had a finicky stomach, but since starting on a new medication my stomach is always angry 🙁 not my favorite!

  9. My stomach is finicky. I can have good days or bad. The amount of veggies I eat does NOT help at all. I cannot eat before I run, either, which is perfect since I’m a morning person. I’ve tried toast, bananas, chocolate, cereal, etc. and I burp EVERYTHING up. I’m sorry you had tummy troubles from our adventures. That damn cafe!!!

  10. Ugh, stomach problems are the worst. I’ve had a finicky one for pretty much my whole life, and I know how big of a struggle it can be to perform the way you want when you’re not exactly feeling the best. I still think you pulled off an awesome race, though… especially with that wind thrown in there. Eesh.

  11. I usually run this race, my family has a beach house in Belmar (until this year the parents rented it out, sad face). The wind is always no joke. I have run the NJ Marathon and Asbury Half as well and still have nightmares about the wind battles.
    I have the worst gut ever. But that’s the IBD mostly, although I don’t think I will ever be able to run truly without fear of what I ate effecting me. I run fasted mostly – and will probably go back to running up to halfs without fuel/water. That was what I did back in the beginning when I didn’t know anything!

  12. Great race, Hollie! Amazing given the heat and how you were feeling. You continually amaze me. I don’t think I could run a sub 7 minute if I were being chased!!!

    I basically could have written the same post as Laur! Good days, bad days and I’m a HUGE veggie eater! I basically eat too much fiber. I can’t run with anything in my stomach, I just get so nauseous.

    I love walking the boardwalk along the Jersey Shore, but running it bores me! It’s so flat and no shade and the planks make me dizzy!!! Lol(z).

  13. I love this picture of you leading the pack of ladies! I remember how hot and humid it was last weekend. I think you ran an excellent race, especially considering you weren’t feeling well and the sun was really beating down.

  14. Nice work! Sounds like a successful check-in point with all things considered. Way to finish strong too!

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