Who says you can't go home?
I just combined Springsteen with Bongiovi...I know, they're both Liberal!
All right, so I just got back from my annual pilgrimage to New Jersey to visit my family and we had a blast. My parents are awesome to host me and the kids and my 5 siblings do a wonderful job of spoiling them...Love it!
Since this is my running blog I won't bore you with the details of the Jersey shore and all the calzones I had...
I will tell you about all of my runs:
After a solo 7 miler early Friday morning, my wife got up early to make us breakfast and then we were on the road by 6:45am...good start!
I met my good friend Gary Rosenberg who reps for Garmin at 8am @ Madison High School for a track workout. Since it is so close to my parents, I just ran there. It was good to see him. Since it was so hot, we decided to do 8 quarters with a 200meter recovery. A short and sweet workout that we did in 74 seconds for each lap. Gary is 40 years old and he ran for Morris Hills back in the proverbial day!
I met a group of guys at River Run Park off of 287 and I bonked on this run last year! I was determined not to have that happen again. This group consisted of former all-state cross country champions from New Jersey. One runner, Brian Harris, was a teammate of Brendon Heffernan who was the national champion in 1992. That was a really good year for New Jersey running as you had Heffernan, Ryan Grote, Chris and Tim Lear, Bob Keino, Brian Walsh and a host of others.
The run started off at 7 minute pace and since I was feeling good I didn't mind being aggressive even though the weather was oppressive as we STARTED running at 8am...these guys like to sleep in! I was on vacation so whatever...The course took us on Black River Road, Lamington Road, and through Donald Trump's new golf course...good stuff! I ended up finishing the run about 10 seconds behind Brian. I was both pleased and spent at the same time...
At the Kitchell Road entrance to Loantaka Park, I met up with a friend of my father's named Philippo Polcara who is from England, Italian descent, and has been living in the States from about 20 years or so. We enjoyed a nice and easy 8 mile run chatting about all things in general. "Phil" is 55 and he was lucking enough to run a half marathon in San Antonio recently where he received a VIP pass from his cousin to have dinner with the likes of Frank Shorter and Mebraton Keflezighi to name just a few...
Over the past weekend, I had received an e-mail from a guy who's wife is friends with 2 of my sisters. He was wanting to run with me. First of all, I think that's awesome when someone reaches out in that way. His name is Brian Bill who ran for Ocean Twp. and who now resides in Florham Park...my hometown! (yet another Springsteen reference) Anyway, we decided to meet up on the roads that Tuesday and he had mapped out a 14 mile run that would take us into the Great Swamp. And you thought I was kidding with my swamp reference! When I tell you that it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to run with Brian and to hear about his desire to break 3 hours in this years NYC Marathon, it was a treat!
Wednesday had me back on the track. This time at Morristown High School with Gary Rosenberg. We actually saw Nick Vena, National Shot Put champion, walking into the school.
Gary is a lot faster than me yet since he is coming back from over training and I am relatively fit, we are currently very compatible. We decided on 7 x 800's. Our times were: 2:43, 2:42, 2:41, 2:39, 2:41, 2:37, 2:34...nice! A cool down and we said our goodbyes...
Since we were down the Jersey Shore in Spring Lake, I had set up a run with my cousin's cousin TJ Langella for our annual 8 miler that takes us through Belmar, Spring Lake, Sea Girt, Brielle and Manasquan...all nice shore towns! TJ was planning on competing in that Saturday's River to Sea relay race. He asked me to be on his team yet we were leaving on Saturday so I had to decline...next year for sure!
Back to Loantaka Park for another easy 8 miler with Phil and Gary. Gary, who reps for Garmin, was very helpful to Phil in helping him set up his GPS as well as letting him know the benefits of upgrading. Sweet tea all around.
Since we were leaving to head back to Charlotte this morning, I didn't want the run to take a long time. What I decided to do was run an 8 mile progression run from my parents house. I felt relatively strong the whole way but that was probably because I didn't run that fast. Still enjoyed it.
I was very fortunate to have the company of great runners and quality people...thanks guys!