I ran two 5ks in the month of June this year. I had signed up for one of them a few months back with the hopes of a PR. But (spoiler alert) I did not reach that elusive PR so I signed up for one 2 weeks later and got it.
One June 2, I ran the Nisene Marks 5k for the second year in a row. Last year, I ran it with my friend Kathy and it was pouring down. It had only been about a month after my marathon and I was still a little slow. I came in 1st in my age group with an official time of 23:56. This year, I shaved off about 16 seconds. I wanted to do better, but this year also included a steep uphill climb immediately following the start. Also, the age groups were in 10 year ranges (30-39) so I took 3rd in my division (a little sad after I saw that in 30-35 I would have taken 1st). Plus I came in 4th overall woman, so I couldn’t really complain.
But the race was more fun because Alisyn and Elise ran it with me. We had discussed racing each other when we were volunteering for the Capitola Half Marathon & Surfer’s Path Marathon a few weeks prior to the Nisene 5k. Part of our plans was to enjoy post race beers. Unfortunately, Elise had to take a friend to the airport and I had to finish grading, so we didn’t get too hang out for too too long. But we did get those beers (in Starbucks Christmas cups no less). But we were all a little disappointed with our finishing times. Alisyn was heading off to Germany but Elise and I sought out another 5k to “redeem” ourselves.
Two weeks later, Elise and I ran Run in the Name of Love 5k (along with another runner, Michelle, from Santa Cruz Track Club). I had just gotten my official SC Endurance singlet, so Elise and I also represented for them as well. We went out with one goal in mind: PR! My PR was 23:13 so I was looking to end up somewhere in the 22 minute range. The race was a smaller group of runners than I expected, but definitely some speedsters were out there with us. Elise and I picked up bibs and then retreated to my car to be lazy bums pre-race. Right before the race started, a Lululemon rep gave Elise a free tank top because she was decked out in their gear (lucky girl!) and a few minutes later they gave me a head band (just wearing one piece of lulu clothing wasn’t enough for a tank I guess, haha). We positioned our self in the start and off we went.
The course started with a significant downhill slope, nothing to steep but enough to get you moving fast. I immediately felt my legs. I had stupidly gone for a 26 mile ride on rolling hills the day before with one of my best friends (Elise had done a crazy 30 mile ride herself). But I pushed through, ignoring my legs’ plea to stop. Still together at mile 1, Elise and I ran our fastest mile yet at only 6 minutes and 11 seconds!! Soon after, Elise took a quick water break and I was on my own for the next two miles. The rest of the course was filled with small rolling hills and while very small, those uphills really worked me. I crossed the finish line besting my goal time at 21:56 (only 14 seconds from taking 3rd in my age group). Elise came in a little less than a minute later, also beating her PR by over a minute. She took 2nd in her age group. We met up with Michelle and found out she killed it, taking first woman overall! (And only 3 1/2 months after breaking her foot!) The three of us jogged a nice cool down mile and hung out for Michelle and Elise to receive their prizes.
Overall, these 5ks were major successes. Quality time with my newish running friends and at the end, a sweet PR. Run in the Name of Love 5k has a beautiful course that I will have to run again in the future.