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