Ladies and gentleman, I have a new 5K PR 🙂
The race and festival were being held at the Arts Quest Center at the Steel Stacks and the course wound through the small towns around Lehigh University. I didn’t think I would ever be describing steel as beautiful, but the location was awesome.
Darius got a great shot of the start line and the epic towers behind it on Friday night:
So far, all the races I’ve done have had less than a few hundred people but there were thousands signed up for these events so I had no idea what to expect. I typically get really intimidated by other runners and I thought I would be nervous the morning of the race but instead I totally thrived from all the activity!
At 8 a.m. Saturday morning we lined up around the 10:30 min/mile pacing area with the start line pretty far off in the distance.
The weather was perfect, cool and sunny. I couldn’t stop bouncing around, smiling, and tweeting while waiting for the race to begin.
Despite there being over 1,200 runners, there wasn’t too much congestion at the start.
Darius and I had walked part of the route the night before the race which was a huge help as the course went up a hill within the first half mile. I’m not a fan of hills, but it turned out not to be so bad and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other thinking about the long down hill portion that I knew would follow soon after.
I started out faster than I usually run, but I was able to keep my breath steady and just kept pushing myself to keep up my pace.
This strategy worked out up until the last half mile where the route again went uphill. My legs were burning but I was so close to the end at that point so there was no way I was going to walk.
I crossed the finish line exhausted, but with a new PR and my first medal!
While I was enjoying my post-race high, Darius was getting ready for the 10K. He had about an hour between the races to
eat bananas recover and refuel before running again.
While he ran another six miles, I went in search of coffee. After wandering around for a bit, a few friendly spectators pointed me in the direction of Horns.
Listen, I know this is supposed to be a race recap, but I have to take a second and talk about this coffee.
The staff at Horns grind the beans fresh for every order and then use a Chemax to brew individual cups. I had just seen a Chemax for the first time a few weeks earlier at my friend Norm’s house but had yet to taste the brew. At first using a Chemax just seems like a long process for a cup of coffee but the result was worth the wait! Best coffee ever.
Ok back to running.
Another thing that made this race so cool was that there were Runner’s World celebs (like Bart Yasso) and bloggers all over the place.
I saw Tina Reale from the Best Body Fitness blog during the race expo and bib pickup on Friday night…but was too shy to talk to her. Tina is also a recovered binge eater and I’ve been reading her blog for over a year so it was really cool to see her in person – even though I just stared at her from a distance haha.
I know running is something you do solo, but I’ve always felt a great sense of community from other runners and being at the Runner’s World festival really brought that to life.
Seeing everyone cross the finish line for the 10K also got me motivated to push my distance. I’ve been running about 3-4 miles a couple times a week for the past month and I’m excited to see that number go higher while my mile time goes lower.
Here’s my time progression:
Morristown Turkey Trot: 36:38 (November 2011)
Franklin Lakes Reindeer Run: 37:07 (December 2011)
Glen Rock Opt-in 5k: 35:31 (April 2012)
Waldwick 5k: 36:29 (May 2012)
Paramus Cancer Care 5k: 34:15 (September 2012)
Runner’s World 5K: 34:12 (October 2012)
I haven’t done anything to get faster except for losing weight. Regularly running more than the 3.1 distance has also helped because it’s given me the confidence to really push myself during the races.
I never thought that I would fall in love with racing but I’m totally addicted.
I know this post is picture heavy already – but I have to leave you with one more gem from the race expo. While I didn’t buy any of the cool running gear for sale or take part in any of the running seminars being held at the festival, I did come away with a completely awkward fake magazine cover.
You can thank Runner’s World for this beauty. Happy Monday 🙂