Race To Wellness 5K – Recap

This was my first race of the spring season, and it was awesome!

I wasn’t expecting much out of this race, because I haven’t ran much since New York City Marathon. I figured I’d finish in 28-29 minutes…I was just hoping to finish in less than 30 minutes.

I signed up last minute because it was at a local park near me that I hadn’t ever ran at, but had heard was scenic. If you live in central Jersey, I highly suggest checking out Duke Farms – it’s beautiful!

It was supposed to rain all day, but thankfully it held off until after the race.

My mom and I got there around 8:15. She wasn’t running because of an injury, but came to take pictures and support me. This is probably like, the 3rd race I’ve ever ran without her. It’s weird because we run every race together usually, but I made a good playlist and was ready to go.

I had pre-registered, so I was a bit disappointed that 1) they didn’t have a bib for me and gave me a random, unregistered one, so my name isn’t in the results list and 2) they ran out of “goody bags” which was guaranteed for pre-registrants. Oh well.

Duke Farms is a large estate with a lot of history. Here’s a quick tidbit taken from their website:

J.B. Duke transformed more than 2,000 acres of farmland and woodlots into an extraordinary landscape. He excavated nine lakes, constructed some 45 buildings, and built nearly 2 ½ miles of stone walls and more than 18 miles of roadway.

We walked about a quarter of a mile from the registration area to the start line. That would have been good to know ahead of time so I knew how to time my warm-up and going to the bathroom, but it was a good little warm up too. As soon as we got to the start area, I knew it would be a scenic race. Here’s a picture of the start area:

duke farms 5kWe started right at 9:00, and I was off!

duke farm 5k1

I bought actual HEADphones for this race (as opposed to earphones) because I sweat a ton, so those always fall out of my ear. These were from Five Below and worked perfectly. The music helped me get in the zone and also push through the moments when I felt like walking. Oh yeah, I also bought some bright colored socks ;) 8 bucks at Claire’s!

I felt good during Mile 1. I kept looking at my watch and seeing 8:25-8:30 min. per mile pace. I was surprised, and naively thought I could hold that pace the whole race. HA.

At mile 1.5 I started to slow down to a 9:00 min. per mile pace, and there were some small, rolling hills. I kept reminding myself I was halfway done.

At mile 2 I was like, okay time to get into it. I found people ahead of me and tried to keep up with them or pass them. During the last mile of any race I like to throw in some surges. I timed the surges to the chorus of whatever song was playing, so I’d accelerate for about a 1 minute, and then slow down a bit before doing it again.

I finally saw the finish line and started to run as fast as I could – and passed about 3 people! Always feels good to do that right at the finish :)

Finished in 28:04. I felt like I could have probably sped it up a bit more in the last mile, but overall it was a good effort and I felt strong throughout. There were 1-2 times I really wanted to walk for a minute, but I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and focused on one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I feel like a 5K is tougher than a marathon ;)


Now I can’t wait for my next 5K! I probably won’t be running another until late April or early May because I’d like to build a base now. I want to work towards breaking my 5K PR of 25:42. We’ll see how it goes!

Have you ran any 5Ks recently or any coming up?

Do you like racing with music? Headphones or earphones?


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  1. Nice job!!!! I do have a 5k coming up next weekend. I’m excited, but also nervous. I finished like 3rd overall last year, and I’d like to do that again. However I’m not sure what kind of race shape I’m in right now. Working on it!
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    • 3rd overall??! That’s awesome! That’s my goal ONE day lol, we’ll see when…good luck in your race!


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