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Saturday, May 26, 2012

To the Sea: 29.5 Hours

One of the cool Art Deco tiles on the wall around the Spring Lake swimming pool*.
H. and I left home 4:30 yesterday and returned 10 P.M. tonight. That's 29.5 hours, but it feels to me like we were away a few days. I feel renewed and refreshed. We spent the night in our friends' lovely "Sailboat Room," a bedroom as pretty as any at a fancy bed and breakfast.

Oh, to drink in the Jersey Shore again, in all its glory!!!! To smell the salt and the marsh and see the long stone jetties and colorful beach umbrellas. To pin a badge on my shirt and unfurl the first big towel of the summer.

The Spring Lake Five Mile Run was fun. The loop was so pretty--first mile by the ocean/boardwalk and through the majestic entrance to the town; then by the lake, with a cool breeze and two glorious white egrets taking flight. Also down the main street in town with cute shops [clothing, chocolate, dance clothes], by beachy Victorian homes with well-tended flowers, by a second lake with a second cool breeze and then the final stretch by the boards again. Best of all, it was flat, which made it easier. I completed it in 1 hour and 30 minutes. I expected to do 20-minute miles, but I did 18-minute ones instead. H. did it in 1 hour 13 minutes. Like I said, we're slow. Slow, but proud. Patsy, Andy, Arin, Chris, Tracy, Barb, Lori, John, Rebecca & Co. really kicked butt. They were way, way, way fast.

Favorite memories:
  • Springsteen's "Born to Run" blaring from the speakers at the starting line. Inspiring and cool.
  • "Theme from Rocky" playing at another point.
  • Cups of water every mile. I think it helped to stay hydrated.
  • Cute kids with water guns asking if you wanted to get sprayed. [I didn't.]
  • Huge crowd--over 8,000--so even if you were slow, you were not alone. I was with many walkers, doing my low-stress jog.
  • Then....brunch at Patsy and Andy's lovely Spring Lake home, including scones from The Scone Pony....yum....I tasted the chocolate-chip and lemon-poppy ones...iced coffee, mimosas, Bloody Marys.....homemade crumb cake brought by a couple of boot campers.
  • Beach in the afternoon! I played paddle ball with young Will, took a walk in the waves, dozed on a chair. Got a sunburn despite the sunscreen.
  • Boardwalk scene--young "special police" officers in polo shirts on bikes, benches, kids dragging boogie boards, freckle-faced boys, the smell of hot fries and a line for the ladies' room.
  • Hoffman's for ice cream. [H. got low-carb vanilla with mixed nuts on top and I got chocolate peanut butter.] And we met our sweet friends there--they live in the area.
  • Barbecue! Sweet white corn, top dogs hot off the grill, nestled in fresh buns--a Memorial Day Weekend must.
  • Great company. Loved talking and laughing with the friends gathered around the table.
  • Ride home on the Garden State Parkway, singing to songs on the radio under a sky changing from twilight to darkness.
My lungs and heart are filled with summertime already, and I am grateful. This was more than 29.5 hours away--it was a greatly needed respite from a long, uphill road. And right now, I feel like a new person. The sea can do that. Good night.

*Image from

  1. The five-mile run, plus walk at least a mile to get there and back, and walk in waves.
  2. Nice cool shower with Dove soap.
  3. Lots of ice water.
  4. Removed self from lime tortilla chip zone when necessary.
  5. Texted someone for support.
  6. Calmly spoke my mind.


  1. Only one thing to say....congratulations! I don't care how slow you say you are, you did it and that's what counts. I am impressed. And good for H., too. Also - so glad that you got to roll out the summer on the beach :) We are going to Dut's for a cookout tomorrow to start our summer. Love, Linny

  2. Yay! Good for you both on completing the run and what a wonderful way to kick off the season!

  3. I am soooooo jealous! I will always connect Spring Lake with the fun of my mid-20s. I love that race, love the beach, love Hoffman's. Let me know if you're going to do it next year. I would definitely try to get in.

    Most of all, CONGRATULATIONS! Five miles is no joke, Alice. Well done!

  4. Hi Lin, Kim and Eileen...thank you!!!! Lin, have fun @ Dut's and say hi for me. Eileen, you should definitely plan to do it next year, you and your Peter.....i will try to remind you to sign up.....i had to get up at like 5 a.m. to sign up online because it closes so quickly....your mid-20s in Spring Lake...must have been so alice

    1. 'Oh, to drink in the Jersey Shore again, in all its glory!!!! To smell the salt and the marsh and see the long stone jetties and colorful beach umbrellas. To pin a badge on my shirt and unfurl the first big towel of the summer.'
      Alice, I like that description! You must have been inspired!
      Have a blessed weekend amongst your loved ones!
      (Sorry about the 'reply', the 'comment' feature does not always work with this new blog is a challenge most times to post!)

  5. Hi Noelle....thank you for the nice are you doing? :) alice

  6. Congratulations. The whole weekend sounds fabulous. And hooray for doing that run!