05-07-2015

NJ 5K XC Series Race 1 Recap

Last night I ran my first 5K that is part of the NJ 5K XC Series. I discovered this group last summer on their last race of the year (of course) and have been so excited for it to start back up this spring/summer.

The NJ Trail Series group organizes a 5K every Wednesday evening at Central Park in Morris Plains, NJ. The best part is that it’s only $10, or if you pay for the full series ($75) it comes out to like, $4 a race!

Your $10 includes chip timing and food and refreshments at the end. Yesterday they had pretzels, brownies, chips, juice packs, beer and more.

They actually used some high-tech timing that I have yet to see at other races. They placed a velcro chip around your ankle (like an ankle monitor) which you gave back at the end. I personally liked it better than having to pin something on my shirt and take it off at the end to return it to them for the next race. I’m lazy, I know.

The course is actually a cross country course. The local high school XC team has meets at this park, and big meets (sectionals, counties, etc.) are held here as well. 

My dad ran the race with me, and my mom and aunt (who is visiting from Argentina) came to watch and cheer us on. I love that my dad came to run a 5K with me on his birthday! 

NJ 5K XC Series
The race itself wasn’t anything great for me, time-wise. But I knew that going in. First of all, it’s a XC course, meaning it’s all grass, gravel or dirt. Second of all, I took about 2 weeks off because I was sick before the half marathon I was supposed to run, so I wasn’t in 100% shape. But it was still awesome!!

I don’t know why, but I was so nervous driving to the race and lining up…like butterflies in my stomach. I thought to myself, “Why am I so nervous for this fun run 5K race where I know I’m not even going to PR??”

The race starts in this grassy field then goes out to a dirt, grass and gravel path where we did 2 loops. There are about 3 hills, the first one is really short but steep, the second is longer but not super steep, and the third goes straight up. I swear it felt like I was running at a 90 degree angle. It’s only a few feet long but I had to stop and walk once I got to the top. 

I mean, check out this elevation profile:

IMG_2008
I also like that the updated RunKeeper shows you how many steps you take per minute…very handy! I run around 175-180 steps apparently.

Anyway, I struggled a bit on the second loop but told myself once my RunKeeper told me I had a mile to go I would try to push it. My splits were 9:43, 10:48, 10:15. Like I said, that second mile was tough.

I finished in about 30 minutes and my dad finished in 27:XX minutes. Despite my time, I felt great afterwards. Just happy to be there and happy to be running. I was definitely feeling that runner’s high! I’m really excited to keep running every Wednesday with this group, and perhaps I’ll make some new runner friends! It will be a great way to get in a workout once a week as well, especially on trails.

If you live in New Jersey, I highly suggest you come to a race! Everyone is really nice and welcoming and it is not a competitive atmosphere at all.

Have you run a 5K series or something similar before?

Would you prefer an ankle monitor type thing for racing or good ol’ bibs?

*****************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-22-2013

Miles for Matheny 5K Recap

Yesterday, I started the day off by going to the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon in the morning. My half marathon training group was running and I wanted to go support them. It was great being a spectator for once and taking the race in!

It was on the chillier side but a great day for racing all around. I left early then headed back home to start warming up for my 5K which was at noon. My mom and I did some dynamic warm up drills, and jogged the 1 mile to the park where the starting line was. It’s so convenient having a 5K right in your town!

The course has 2 major hills and a few small ones, so it’s tough. I finished in 27:26, which isn’t my best and I really wanted to PR but you can’t always get your best time! Overall, I felt really strong and my pacing was even, so I am happy with that. Plus, I did get 2nd in my age group!

Mom and me at the finish.

 

It was a great day, and at least it wasn’t rainy like it was last year! This race always has great post-race food so we had a bagel, then headed over to the lunch tent where there were a ton of burgers, hot dogs and desserts. Yum!

Afterwards, we did a cooldown mile back home. I was exhausted and ended up taking a 2 hour nap as soon as I got home. Those post-race naps are the best!

My next race is this upcoming weekend. It will be me and my mom’s first NYRR race of the year – a 4 mile run in Central Park to raise money and awareness for lung cancer. My running coach had me doing a 4 mile tempo run this week, so I figured I’d sign up for a race to make it seem easier/give me more motivation.

Less than 1 month until a) the Brooklyn Half Marathon and b) I graduate with my Master’s degree!!!!

What spring races are you doing this year?

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-20-2013

I Just Can’t Do Morning Runs

I tried today…ok, so it wasn’t really early morning or anything (10 am). But I just am not cut out for it! I have way less energy in the mornings than in the evenings, and my body just feels stiff and tight. I had to run earlier today because I have a 5K tomorrow. My coach told me to get a run in earlier so I give my legs more time to rest.

My mom and I went for an easy 2 mile shakeout run. Except it didn’t feel too easy since I felt stiff but whatever! At least it’s spring now, and warm…and pretty trees are blooming!

I got back and did a good stretch and tennis ball rolling session. My hips have been really tight, same with my IT band. I was also really excited to try out my new protein powder!

Totally clean ingredients. A little more pricey but worth the investment in my opinion. So, post-run I decided to make a spinach, banana and protein smoothie! I never, ever get vanilla protein powder (I hate vanilla…so bland!) but I figured the flavor would go more with green smoothies. It tastes a little different, but any new protein powder you try will take getting used to, since you’re accustomed to your old powder. Anyways, my smoothie was delicious! Creamy and tasted great.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 banana

1 scoop Vega vanilla performance protein powder

Filled half the blending cup with water

*blended in a Magic Bullet, but increase ingredients if you use a bigger blender.

I am really hoping for a PR tomorrow in my 5K…but we will see! It’s a hilly course but that’s where I got my record last year.

Lastly, I leave you with what I found at Target yesterday. Aren’t these the perfect summer sandals?? Can totally be dressed up or down. Love them!

Are you running a spring 5K? Where?

Follow Reach Your Peak: