Friday, August 26, 2016

Twin Lights Twilight Run (Highlands, NJ)

The Twin Lights Twilight Run in Highlands was the second leg of the #AP2TheLights adventure. 

If you didn't read about our super hot morning in Asbury Park, then go and read that first here. I'll wait. *attempting to whistle*

Are you all caught up now? Okay, good. ;-)

Carol dropped me off at home around 10 that morning, and with just over eight hours until the second race, I had plenty of time to get bagels and coffee, rest, hydrate like it was going out of style, and watch the Yankees honor the 1996 World Series team. 

Time seemed to DRAG that afternoon! I'm not a huge fan of afternoon and evening races as is (The New Jersey Marathon 5K proved that), but given that I ran one 5K that day, my adrenaline was high already. Eventually, it was time to get changed into my outfit for race #2 and go!

I decided on this shirt since I knew a lot of heart would be carrying me to the finish of this race. 

This race was WAY WAY smaller than that morning. There were only about 50 runners that night. Can we say "Group run?" Carol, who teaches spin (That's actually how we met last year) actually said it would be like a big spin class. Sure, let's go with that...

There was no advance packet pick-up for this race, so I made my way down to Highlands early to get my shirt and bib. I got my stuff, went back to my car, and got a pic with both bibs from that day. 
The proof that I actually was in for two races in the same day. ;-)

The other way that this race would NOT be like this morning was that the elevation was totally different. Asbury Park was flat and the Twin Lights is actually on the highest point on the East Coast. Well, glad I wasn't planning on breaking any kind of records that night...

Carol came down a little while later, and had her husband and son with her. We went through the Twin Lights Museum, since we had time to kill before the race. Soon enough, we were back outside, got a run down of the course, and it was race time...again!
Ready as I'll ever be...again!

Honestly, I was in disbelief that I was actually crazy enough to do this again on the hottest day of the year. I was in disbelief that I was doing it period. Still, I knew that I had no real time goals for this race either. Just get out there, enjoy it, and cross the finish in one piece. Simple, right? ;-)

The course starts on a downhill with very uneven pavement, with the terrain eventually flattening out before climbing back up. Still, I knew that I needed to take advantage of the downhill (200+ foot drop within the first half mile) and work speed in when I could...because we would be going back up this same hill at the end of the race.

I worked speed alright. A little too much, actually. My first mile was the fastest of the day, at 10:17. Then it all went down from there. 

The course was a direct out and back, so I knew the turn around would be coming up soon, but it was at that point I realized that this was NOT a full 5K. My Garmin had me at the turn around at 1.48 or so. Great...

The heat was kicking my butt again and then some. It was actually hotter in the evening than it was that morning, if that is even possible. The heat index was still in the triple digits, and I was really glad I took my Nathan with me that night too. I needed it!

I decided to pull back and take pictures again. I mean, this may never happen again, so I decided to enjoy it, at least a little. 

Yeah, it was a little hot...

 Leftover decor from the Clamfest the previous weekend.

 How can you NOT love a view of the Atlantic Ocean during a race?

While crowd support was smaller than in Asbury Park, it was still awesome! The residents of Highlands were great for sitting out in the heat to cheer us on, have hoses, and there was even one house where they were giving out water bottles! I love when residents get into a race too. It meant so much that day!

The uphills killed me. I trained in the hills quite a bit, but I think coupled with the heat, it was almost too much. I kept trucking along, and soon enough, we were back at the the Twin Lights, and the finish line was near. 

I saw Carol and her family (She is just too fast for me!), and they cheered me as I came in. I sprinted for it, leaped over the finish, and was so happy! I ACTUALLY DID IT! TWO RACES IN ONE DAY! On the hottest day of the year too! 

After crossing the finish, I stopped my Garmin and saw that the actual distance was 2.95 miles. So the course was short. By a lot. But I finished and that's what counts. My unofficial time was 37:50 for the 2.95. Pace was in the 12:50's, but I didn't care. I was so happy and proud of myself for finishing what was the toughest race day of my life. I finished what I started. What could be better than that?

Carol and I met back up and hugged as we congratulated each other. This day was amazing and I probably couldn't have done it without her. I just met her last year, and she has become one of my best friends. Runners and spinners make the best friends! =)

We did it! Two races on the hottest day of the year! I was feeling ALL the emotions at this point. (Thanks Carol for the photo!)

Before I left, I got a picture jumping in front of the lighthouse. I was jumping for joy at how amazing this day was! 

This needs no caption. ;-) 

After I left, I made my way to my favorite restaurant for a pulled pork sandwich, grabbed a six pack of Sam Adams Porch Rocker, and went home to eat and enjoy a beer. I went to bed at 11:00 that night feeling super happy and proud of what I did that day. I never thought something like this was possible, and I made it reality! Thank you everyone for your love, thoughts, likes, comments on all my posts leading up to and on that day! It made it that much more awesome!


  1. Congrats on finishing both races which is a major accomplishment especially given the heat! After the Asbury Park 5k Brian and I hung around for a while and when I got home that afternoon I completely crashed. I don't think I would have been able to pull off a second race that day! Good luck on Keyport to Rook, maybe I will see you at one or both of those races ;)

    1. Thank you! It was tough for sure, but so worth it in the end!