NJ 5K XC Series Race 2 Recap

Last week I ran the second race in the NJ 5K Summer XC Series with my mom. This 5K series is every Wednesday evening and is only 10 bucks! It’s a low-key event with plenty of food and refreshments post-race for runners. 

I ran the first race in 30:53. I had no expectations since it is on a trail/XC course and the hills are crazy (see hill profile in my previous recap). My goal for the second race was to just do better than the first time.

I actually ran watchless this time around. Not by choice though…I only had 1 GB left on my cell data plan (and 2 weeks left before the new month rolled over) so I couldn’t use RunKeeper, and I didn’t have my watch on me. Oops. So my strategy was to just go out easy and speed up. 



I think I ran the first half pretty well because by the second loop (it’s a 2 loop course) I still felt great. As opposed to last time when my pace dropped from 9:43 to 10:45…yikes.

My mom was actually doing really well but twisted her ankle and fell on the second loop. She was a bit cut up but got back up and kept running to finish the race! She’s fine – she took a few days off to ice and rest.

I felt like I probably could have ran a bit faster this time around but I was cautious in the first half so I didn’t feel awful on the second loop. A thin, one track dirt/grassy trail is tough to run on! My calves were sore (again) the day after, but I’m really liking running on new terrain.

I finished this race in 30:13 – 40 seconds faster! I think as the races go on I will get more used to running on uneven terrain. Right now there is a portion where I slow down because I’m really nervous about twisting my ankle or stepping in a hole I don’t see. My goal for the next race will just be sub-30!

It’s so funny how much of a time difference terrain can make. I am seriously impressed by the high school XC runners who run like, 18 minute 5ks here like it ain’t no thang. Yes I just used that phrase.

I won’t be running it this upcoming week because my mom and I are running our first NYRR race of the year on Saturday (and shooting for a 10K PR), but I’ll be back the following week.


A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on

Anyway, trail runners, what tips do you have for a newbie trail runner?? How do you get over your fear of twisting your ankle? 


Follow Reach Your Peak:

Share this article!


  1. OH man hate to hear your mom fell and twisted her ankle :( but yay for you finishing faster!! That was great time!!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Chocolate Avocado PuddingMy Profile

  2. I’m pretty new to trail running myself. Only did them a few times and not in a real race. I enjoyed them because having to really focus on where my feet were landing really made the time go by fast. Plus I am at a slower pace but I sure felt like I got in a harder workout! WTG on your finish!
    Tricia@MissSippipiddlin recently posted…Building HabitsMy Profile

  3. No trail running advice from me…I’m a newbie too. So glad your mom is ok! Falling while running is definitely a fear of mine!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Weekly recap: Speedy runs, Strawberries, strawberries and MORE strawberries….My Profile

  4. I’m sad that hear that your mom fell, but I’m glad that she is okay! Falling and twisting my ankle is one of my many fears of trail running.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Sweat Pink Athleta Yoga RecapMy Profile

  5. You look like your mom!!!! She’s a cutie!
    Margo recently posted…Brooklyn Fit Chick: “The Toughest Post I Have Written Yet”My Profile

  6. Congrats to both of you! Glad your mom is ok! Trails are definitely tricky. I tend to take them carefully and really watch where I step.
    Marcia recently posted…Tuesdays on the Run and Swimtimidation. It’s a Thing.My Profile

  7. Congrats to both of you! Love the cartoon about Map My Run. Sometimes we do get caught up in our tracking and forget to focus on what we are actualy doing!
    Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment recently posted…Projects, Fitness and Paleo TreatsMy Profile

  8. Fear of twisting my ankle is one of the reasons I don’t run trails! Or do adventure races! I’ve had my share of injuries, and that’s not one I want! Great job on improving as you go!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…BadAss 5 Miler Virtual Race Recap and linkup #TuesdayTalesMy Profile

  9. Love that you did this with your mom!

    I have never done a trail run, but I am a huge spaz, so I imagine I would easily trip over something small and do some damage.
    Jenn recently posted…race report: castaway cay 5k {5.10.2015}My Profile

  10. Way to run and get faster! Hope your mom is okay! :)
    rachel recently posted…Bob Harper’s Black Fire Workout from Daily BurnMy Profile

  11. I totally wish I could get to these races more easily. I am dying to try a trail race! And the way they have this set up where you can see your progress over time is awesome. Can’t wait to see the rest of your races! And good luck with your 10k PR. :)
    Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine recently posted…Assateague State ParkMy Profile

  12. Love love the trails! Start slowly and run the trails often. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you stop worrying about twisting an ankle. #trailsrock
    jill conyers recently posted…Benefits of Heart Rate TrainingMy Profile

  13. I really want to pick up trail running, so Im glad you brought up my worst fear- twisting my ankle! Im glad I’m not the only one.
    Jessica recently posted…Weekend RecapMy Profile

  14. Oh no! All the best to your mum! Hope her ankle is okay!
    Carmy recently posted…A Day In My LifeMy Profile


  1. […] Summer XC Series 5K. You can read more about this race in my other recaps. This was the third time I ran it and it was pretty bad. I did a 1.5 mile warm up, ran the 5K, then […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge