Well, I guess the hubs was right – if I don’t stress about a race, I run better. For two weeks in a row (last week the Tinker Bell Half and this weekend’s 5k), I have gone into races with no real goals, no expectations, and come out with good results.
A few weeks back, the gals I run with and I decided we would “fun run” a local fundraising 5k/10k. Ok, actually I was all for supporting the organization but I didn’t want to race. However, after all the ladies said we would just be running this race for fun, no goals, no racing, I was in. The cause is the non-profit organization, Jenny’s Light. This organization is named for Jenny, who took her son’s life and her own due to postpartum depression. You can read the story of Jenny and her family HERE. Jenny’s Light raises money to raise awareness and understanding for perinatal mood disorders and to support those who suffer from it (including the families). This is such an important cause and I would have happily donated money without running any day. But to get to run while raising awareness? Even better!
Sunday morning, SCE ladies and Stacy (a co-Body Pumper who ran her first race at this event!) met up and headed over to Los Gatos for a race with a nice late start of 10am. (Yes you read that right, 10am!) After picking up our bibs, we jogged a nice little warm up while cheering on the kid runners. Our own Trinity and her 3-year-old daughter ran this together and looked crazy cute while doing it. Then it was time for our race.
Earlier in the week, I had told my friend Leslie I would support her through the race since she needed to use it for pace work, aiming to average a 7:15 pace. I thought I could probably do this and it would be a good tempo run for me. The start was a little crowded and we had do a little weaving to get into our pace groove, but pretty soon we were in a comfortable space. The course winds around Vasona Park on the paths so they are a little narrow, but just fine for this size race. Our first mile was right on and we picked up a little speed on the second mile. It was pretty comfortable since we could chat a little, cheer on other runners, and thank the volunteers on the course. In the last mile, Leslie pulled ahead because she’s a speedy lady and I decided to stay where I felt comfortable. I didn’t pay too much attention to my watch, just keeping an eye on Leslie and Trinity ahead of me. I realized when I saw the finish line, I could possibly eek out a sub 22 minute 5k and pushed it a little more. I ended up finishing at 22:02 official time (21:58 according to Garmin but I think my watch auto-paused at one of the hairpin turn arounds). This was the best time I’ve had in a 5k since PRing over a year and a half ago.
I was pretty happy to finish strong and feel good overall. I had gone into this race with no expectations and came out with a strong finishing time and placing 4th in my age group. In fact, all the SCE runners had good races too! Trinity and Leslie took 2nd and 3rd overall women, respectively, and several members placed in the top 3 of their age groups. We hung out at the finish to cheer on our friends. It was great when Stacy finished and the announcer let everyone know this was her first race and she’s only been running for a month! (Leslie made sure that happened, so awesome!) Then we saw Hillary’s hubs finish first in the 10k and SCE member Sam take 2nd overall woman.
We finished our morning with some delicious cupcakes from Buttercup Cupcakes (yum!) to celebrate Hillary’s birthday and some coffee (we had all been craving some all morning). It was a perfect Sunday morning and a great way to rally behind an important cause.