Usually when I head home to NJ, I end up running by myself. Which, incidentally, I don't mind, because I like to go out when I feel like going, and hit the parks and the routes I used to run back in the day. But now when I go home I check in with Jason Gers to see what he's got going on. I've known Jason for a while, but had never done any training sessions with him until I was home over Christmas. At this point he's a little faster than I am running, but in general, we're pretty closely matched.
He said he aws going to do a 14 mile run on Saturday morning, with the first 10 easy, then 3 up tempo, then a mile easy. I met him at 8am at the beach in Sea Bright, where it was atypically very calm. No wind whatsoever, the ocean was totally flat. Temp was in the mid 30s. Also joining us were three of his usual training comrades: twins Jay and Dave McGovern, and Bob Horn. I'd never met these guys before, but I've known their names for years. The McGoverns were a few years older in high school (and at a different school) and while they were good then, they're much faster now. All three of those guys are mainstays of the local NJ running scene, you'll always see their names high up in the results.
The planned route was from Sea Bright towards Red Bank (so basically I could have just met them at the turnaround), through Rumson, Little Silver, and Fair Haven. A nice little run. Mostly flat, a few gentle inclines and declines, all road. The first couple of miles were chill in the 7:15 range, and then dropped to 7:00-7:10 for the rest of the first 10 miles. When we hit 10, we picked it up to <6:30 pace (6:29, 6:25, 6:20). Since I am in pretty decent shape, despite this being just my 4th run in the last two weeks, the effort wasn't going to kill me. It was more the running 14 miles that was wearing me out. But I got through it, and felt good.
Saturday night I headed up to beautiful Newark, NJ, with my dad to see Seton Hall take on Louisville. We had awesome seats, and the game was great. It started off bad for The Hall, who were down 15 early, and looked like they were going to go down with a wimper. But in the 2nd half they summoned the courage of lions and came back! Of course, both sides were playing pretty poor basketball, it was as if neither side wanted to win. Seton Hall ended up losing, but it was still a fun game as always.
On the professional running circuit, pretty bad ass weekend. At the Dubai Marathon, 9 of the top 10 were Ethiopian, with the winner setting a course record (2:04:23) in his marathon DEBUT. The guy is allegedly 21 years old. And, he negative split it. Shattered Gebrselassie's previous CR, in fact the top 4 were under 2:05, and there were 13 runners under 2:08. Insane. Even the women's race was fast, with 3 under 2:20 and the top 10 all under 2:26.
We were also treated to some indoor track from the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden. It wasn't the Millrose Games, though, which moved from MSG to the NYC Armory, but based on the broadcast you wouldn't have known that, as they were still basically calling it Millrose. This weekend's broadcast is the New Balance Indoor Games from Boston. AND the Superbowl. It's a great Sunday of sport!