Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

From Queen Emily (and me).

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

The Borgata's shutting down their newer building, the Water Club, mid-week again. BAD NEWS.

Oh, shore politics.

In case you forgot, it's still birding season in Cape May.

Update on a new station that will connect the NJ Riverline and NJ Transit, which will make another way to take the train to Atlantic City.

Is Atlantic City in a "death spiral"?

Another call to pass the Atlantic City smoking ban (I am 100% for this, by the way).

Alright kids: I'm not going to be doing a "here's what to do down the shore on Halloween post" for a very good reason: WORLD SERIES! The first home game takes place on October 31. As far as I'm concerned? Halloween's taking a back seat this year.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Series Time

In case you haven't heard, the Phillies are playing the Yankees in the World Series. This is sending everyone in an even greater tizzy than last year -- Turnpike series!

Blog regular Steve Chernoski spent the weekend interviewing folks in the middle of the state about how they cheer for and why. While I'm over my head in work and sister-wedding-related issues, enjoy:

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Winners! Turns out that there was a mix up with the timing chip, and the Running Tillies *DID* come in third place for the co-ed relay on Sunday at the Asbury Park Relay Marathon. Official team time: 3:41:00. Woo hoo!

Running with me in that picture is Brian Devers, who finished his first marathon on Sunday. Congrats, Brian!

I'm surprised at how un-sore my legs were yesterday, which was great news since I went to the Bruce Springsteen concert last night and barely sat down for three hours. He played the Born to Run album from start to finish -- perfect since it's largely about Asbury Park and I listened to the album before running my loops on Sunday.

Great show. I was one PATCO stop away from seeing the last swing of the Phillies game, but that's OK. The Boss was worth it (though I think I have a few decades of Spectrum slime on my shoes now).

Now: I'm off to DC for a few days. I'm not even unpacked from Sunday, but I'll be ready. I think someone doesn't want to see me go. She opened up my gym bag for this one:

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Running Photos

Tillie! Lots of Tillies yesterday, from the medals to pumpkins to, of course, the Wonderbar. I ran the marathon in a relay team -- I did the last 10.1 miles, so I had some time to snap pictures.

The marathon was eight loops through Asbury Park, and part of the course was inside Convention Hall. It was also where we finished.

Here are a few pics from Sunday's relay marathon.

Rain much?


Strong finish.

Know the worst time to take someone's picture? After she's run 10.1 miles in a beach storm:

After the race, we went to the Wonderbar. Oh my God, what a great idea -- the cheeseburger was PERFECT. And even though I still think Congress Hall has the best bloody marys at the Jersey Shore, for a beer bar? The Wonderbar does a great job.

The only black mark on the day? The staff at Bird, a shop in Convention Hall. Guys, there was absolutely no reason for you to be rude to the runners. We did not, as you said, put you out of business for the day. YOU put yourself out of business for the day. The Asbury Park Relay Marathon brought 700+ runners and their family and friends to Convention Hall and your doorstep on a cold, rainy, windy day in October. Where else were you going to get that foot traffic on an abysmal day? Yelling at us was uncalled for, and won you no customers where you might have picked up a few that day.

Anyway, despite the crud weather and being yelled at by a shop keeper, I had a great time and am happy with my times. If I can run through that kind of weather, I should be fine during the Philadelphia Half Marathon. I'm feeling better than I thought I would today. My legs aren't that achey, and my hip, which has been giving me problems, feels fine. I'm ready for the Boss concert tonight -- born to run!

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Born to Run

The Running Tillies sure ran. The question is -- how fast?

By our calculations, our two-man relay team finished the Asbury Park Relay Marathon in about 3:40. But according to the first results we're seeing, we've been assigned a 4:22:50, and another team got 3:41.

At 4:22, I'd already eaten two bananas, changed, and was looking for a beer. I was our last runner. The splits don't line up at all. If it was a small amount of time that was off, I wouldn't care. But that's 40 minutes. So we're going to see what's what.

Why's it matter? For finishing the marathon, you get a paperweight engraved with your team and time (it'll be mailed in a few weeks), so it'd be nice to have the right time. Also, 3:41 would put us in third place for a co-ed marathon team. Not bad when you've only got two runners.

Whatever the official time, it was a grueling race. The cold and rain didn't help, but it was nothing compared to those 30mph wind gusts. On one turn, it literally grabbed my first and told it to head westward. Not fun.

I'm tired, and up only because of the Phillies game. I took a lot of pictures, so I'll post them soon.

Until then -- I'm seeing Bruce Springsteen tomorrow night. Can you guess what marathon relay t-shirt I'm wearing?

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

OH NO! LUCY'S HURT! Lucy the Elephant has been wind damaged. Unfortunately, she has a 25,000 wind damage deductible. No word on her healthcare policy.

I've got to get to the Schiavo Library, the new Strathmere Library, next time I'm in town.

The New York Post takes a look at casino deals.

The Walk in Atlantic City is expanding.

This story is so bizarre that I'm going to leave it to the expert to tell you about it.

Yikes, Sea Isle.

Is Resorts being taken over soon?

This looks like fun: wine train.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Running Tillies

Hurray! The fine folks at the Asbury Park Relay Marathon have let me in!

This Sunday, I'll be running on a two-person team with Steve of, which is a great website about all things running down the shore. He's also a mega runner -- multiple marathons under his, shoes.

Our name? The Running Tillies. Tillie is pictured above, and will be on the finisher's medal.

The plan is for Steve to run the first 16 miles, and I'll do the last 10.2. Time is not a huge goal since Steve ran the LBI 18 miler on Sunday, and I'm using this as a training run for the November 22 Philadelphia Half Marathon.

I didn't even know about this race until yesterday when I saw Steve post that he'd been looking for people to split up the race. I would rarely register for something so late, so thank you to the organizers for letting me in. I'm psyched.

Bonus? I can wear my race t-shirt to the Bruce Springsteen concert on Monday. Win!

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Bachelorette Madness

I know I said I was taking a break, but here's a few notes from my sister's Atlantic City bachelorette party since, well, it happened, and I made it out alive:

1. We had dinner at the House of Blues at the Showboat. Fantastic idea -- lots of options on the menus, everyone seemed to like their food, and we had plenty of space for our party of 10 without having to be shut into a special room. Great service, very accommodating, reasonable pricing (we paid $32 a person, including tax, tip, drinks and we all chipped in to pay for my sister's meal), and my sister even sat in what looked like a throne chair.

2. After dinner, we went to Boogie Nights at Resorts. The party was fun, but if you are to do a special event there, DO NOT BUY ONE OF THE SPECIAL PACKAGES. Here's why:

-It's supposed to get you past the line. We waited in line for about 20 minutes.
-I booked the party for 12 people. I was told that they'd only accomidate 10, and charged us for the extras.
-I was charged a mandatory gratuity for someone who opened 2 champagne bottles and put out two trays of chocolate covered strawberries. I should be so lucky to get $60+ for so little work.
-For a group that dropped a few hundred dollars on that party, the staff was incredibly rude.

Like I said, I like the party. My sister had fun. But if I book a group in there again, I'll skip the special fees to wait in line and be treated like crap (sorry, Marples, for the language).

3. Because it was a holiday weekend, and because I tried desperately to keep the costs down, we stayed at the Sheraton, a non-casino hotel. This seemed to be a good option for our group, which ranged in ages from early 20s to card carrying AARP members. It didn't have that frantic energy that I sometimes feel in casino hotels, and we saw a lot of other bachelor/bachelorette parties staying there. I am so glad that the Miss America Memorabilia is still there -- my mom and I had lots of fun looking at the old dresses and shoes. I would totally wear this today:

So that's that. I did have fun despite the rudeness at Boogie Nights, and I'm glad I felt well enough to go.

As for what's next, I might be a late add to a team for the Asbury Park Relay Marathon on Sunday (Come on, organizers. Plllleeeeeeeeeeeeeaasssssssseeeeeeeee let me in), which I think would be a lot of fun. I've never run a relay before, even if our team has pledged not to run this race super fast since we're all training for something else. Anyone else going to be there?

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Brief break

Programming note: if you've been reading along lately, you know that I haven't been feeling well. I was sick, I was better, I was feeling great! And now I'm sick again. I hope that this is just a lingering head cold being drawn out by extreme stress. So I'm taking a blogging break for a bit (and a work break for a bit) while I get my feet back under me and get better.

This isn't easy, no matter how many back issues of the New Yorker and Las Vegas DVDs I have laid out before me. I don't think working at home helps, either, because work is always there, and I don't get paid sick leave. So if you have any good karma to throw my way, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Part II

Alright, alright. Two more pics of Emily on the beach. Not bad for an iphone.

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Field Trip

I'm still not feeling so great -- call it a combo of a lingering head cold and stress. I'm trying to work through it, but this morning, I found myself just staring at the computer screen. So I packed up the dog, and headed down to Strathmere.

It was beautiful. I shared the entire beach with three other people and one other dog. I thought it would be cold, but the air and water were warm enough that I could have gone swimming if I'd had a bathing suit. This was Emily's first time in the true ocean -- her last beach visit was to Higbee Beach, which is part of the Delaware. She wasn't tentative this time, and ran right in. For about a half hour, we both played in the waves, except when Emily took a break to chase birds.

And that was it -- I drove down and back to stand in the sun for a half hour on the beach. And you know what? It was the best thing I could have done today. I feel refreshed, relaxed, and ready to get going tomorrow.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Atlantic City Marathon back on!

Good news today (thanks, twitter friends for the update): The Atlantic City Marathon is back on! The race has been re-scheduled for November 15.

This could be great news for folks who didn't register in time for the November 22 Philadelphia Marathon and half marathon, which sold out. Atlantic City isn't that far from Philly, so it's a viable and non-sold out option.

If I hadn't already paid for Philly, I'd consider running this one too, but it wasn't meant to be. Good luck, runners!

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Friday, October 2, 2009


The Asbury Park Zombie walk is this Saturday. Can I even tell you how upset I am that I can't go. I mean look at this -- LOOK AT THIS.

Why can't I go? Because I'm sick. Sick as a dog (but not like my dog -- she's fine). It's not swine flu, but a nasty head cold that's decided to visit for a while. Though that might make me a better zombie. Hmmmm....

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