Even a year ago I never thought I would be the first female across the finish line at a 5K. Or at any race for that matter.
See, I’m a TREADMILL runner. I only started road racing competitively back in May of 2011 (before then it was just a few fun runs here and there). The Hot Pink 5K in Roseville was the first race I remember really trying to run fast. My time was 25:55. And then, I met a real runner (who would quickly become my boyfriend), and oh Lord, did I have something to prove! 😉
The next 5K I ran, I got a race comp in exchange for advertising. It was the Race for Awareness 5K in Lodi. I improved my time by a whole minute (24:55)! Yes, I admit I ran 20 seconds faster per mile just to impress a man. But, I am more of a long distance runner, and I don’t have a lot of natural speed. I am more like a
stubborn determined freight train. Still, my confidence grows with almost every race I run, and I am getting faster. Part of this is honing skills, but I think more of it is just knowing I can do it.
I ran the Carlsbad 5000 in 2012 and my time was 24:59. I was encouraged because the course is a lot more challenging, and I knew the 24:59 would have been worth a 24:50 or so on a flat course. I chose to run the Zoo Zoom 10K after Carlsbad, and my time was 50:31. This is my standing PR for a 10K. I am intimidated to try and best it.
In the fall, I joined the River City Rebels, and I ran their annual Cross Country race “The Rebel Rebellion 5K”. My time on that course was 25:32. It was my first cross country race and one of the first times I felt like a REAL runner. I felt like my ancestors (I am 1/8 Cherokee Indian) running in the wild. The course is rocky and hilly, and the hills are quite steep. I was running with some really fast women: Jaymee Marty, Krystal Buck, Carol Parise, and some of my new teammates Samantha Lawler, Lori Wray and Karen Jeffers (currently the fastest woman on our team). That day, all I wanted was not to suck or come in last place. 😉 I didn’t do either.
PS: It’s a great race and I highly recommend you join us for the next one. There is also people’s race for all speeds and fitness levels.
Then last December, I ran the Woodland Holiday Mile, and my time was 7:25. This is not at all an elite time, but this is amazing for someone who used to run a 9 or 10 minute mile at maximum speed. I won 3rd female overall at the race, and my confidence level was boosted so much that I signed up for a race the very next day. The Fit for Girls 5K. I just HAD to try and beat my 24:55 road PR. I improved my time to 24:32 and I won 3rd in my division. 🙂 I couldn’t believe I was earning things other than finisher’s medals. Surreal.
So, I waited until this month to try and PR again with the Girls on the Run 5K. The conditions were perfect. The race is exactly 1.4 miles from my house, giving me a great little warmup run on my way to the starting line. Looking around at everyone, I never imagined the outcome of the race. Once the race began, all I could think of was Andy telling me to go out fast and that I needed a 7:50 mile. I think I might have run a 7:35 or 7:40. All I knew was that there were only 5 people ahead of me and I could actually see the cyclists. Whaa?
Now, I am sure it was perfectly strange for the kids ahead of me (I’m guessing their ages here, but an 11 year old girl, an 8 year old girl and a seven year old little boy) to have a 35 year OLD lady huffing and puffing behind them. Especially the little boy, who looked back at me strangely and every time I would try to pass him, would cleverly cut me off and keep his lead by a few feet. The other two people ahead of me were: a woman who was pacing the 11 year old (who probably would have beaten me by at least a minute had she not been running for and with the little girl–I’m not sure), and a guy in this 20s who was in the lead for most of the race.
The most surprising part of the race came at around the 2nd mile when the lead runner started walking or perhaps had some sort of shoe malfunction (I’m really not sure what happened) and I FINALLY passed those kids (all three of them, and the pacer). I took the LEAD, and held onto it for at least a 1/4 of a mile. I don’t want to exaggerate, but it felt like longer. Of course, every second of a 5K can feel like an eternity. But, every time I felt like I wanted to slow down, I heard Andy in my head yelling, “If you don’t feel like you’re dying, you’re not running hard enough!!” Well OK then! The cyclists were getting a kick out of me, I think. This short little choo-choo train huffing and wheezing and puffing, running for dear life. Like, “you’re being chased by a knife-wielding lunatic” dear life. Andy says that’s what it feels like when you’re in the lead. 🙂 Also, never look back!
It was fun for a while, but I was passed by the guy who had previously been in the lead the whole time, and another guy in his twenties. I had no illusions of winning the race, but we were almost 2.75 miles in and it hit me that I could actually be the first female across and win the award. At this point one of the two cyclists stopped to wait for the runners who were behind us, and the other cyclist kept going to lead us home. As I passed about the 3 mile mark, I heard a girl cheering, “Looks like you’re gonna get third!” I was encouraged by this at a time when I was almost out of gas. I looked at the clock and it said “23:59”. I was hoping to break 24 minutes, but I wasn’t crushed I didn’t make it. I knew I was going to PR again, and be the first female across the line, and that was enough for me!
As I finished, I looked at the clock and it said “24:18”. Mission accomplished! One of the race volunteers handed me an award. It was a $50 gift card for Athleta. Wow.
Stubbornness Hard work really does pay off. 😉
I think the shoes (pictured above) I decided to test out that day (Skechers GOrun) helped me take 5 seconds off my total time. They were sent to me from Skechers through the River City Rebels. I was really able to push off every stride and propel myself a tiny bit further. So, a big thanks to Skechers for the shoes. I plan on running my next road mile in them as well.
Well, I got the celebrity treatment from Andy that day. He opened a special bottle of bubbly to celebrate my win, and made scallops for dinner (so the pictures of him and the wine above are from that). Swanky! I need to win more often! LOL. Love that guy. 🙂
The truth is, I may never win a race again, but the importance of it all to me is how far I have come, and I know I’m going to get even faster. And if I can do it, you can do it, too!
The Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento‘s 3rd annual 5k spring race was held last Saturday at North Natomas Regional Park. Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which currently serves over 600 girls throughout Sacramento, Natomas, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rocklin, Roseville and Yolo County. The mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Girls on the Run of Greater Sacramento is a curriculum based youth sports program for girls in grades 3-8. The program stresses the importance of equally developing the emotional, mental, social and physical aspects of each girl. The curriculum encourages independent thinking, healthy group dynamics and problem solving and emphasizes the importance of making healthy choices. The girls, led by trained coaches and volunteers, meet two times per week for 12 weeks every spring and fall. The goal of the program is to foster a respect for healthy living while celebrating each girl. Every practice focuses on fitness, character development, positive reinforcement of each individual child, and having fun, while training each girl to run a 5K. Each of GOTR’s 12-week seasons culminate in a 5K run where parents, coaches, teachers, families and friends gather to celebrate and support the girls who, for many, are running their first 5K.
Sorry for the silence, but I have been busy! Andy and I just returned from San Diego (Carlsbad, to be exact). You could call it a business trip I suppose.
For years, this has been Andy’s big deal. The Carlsbad 5000, introduced to him by a friend who used to live there. The best 5K of the year. The past two years I have gone along with him. This trip has a pretty good system/schedule I am not inclined to mess with much (other than where we stay next time) 😉 It’s also a good system because it involves not having to get in your car the entire weekend once you are in Carlsbad. It goes like this: we fly down on Friday, have dinner at Pizza Port, get up and run the course as a mental review/practice on Saturday, register for the race, visit the expo, and have lunch at The Grand Deli, have our pre-race dinner at Caldo Pomodoro on Saturday night, race on Sunday, have lunch at Pollos Maria, and have dinner at Coyote Bar & Grill. Then we fly out on Monday morning. Sounds just awful, doesn’t it? 😉
At last year’s Carlsbad 5000, we both ran the 5K races in our gender/age group. This year, I ran the all day 25K option.
As an All Day 25K participant (and finisher!), I competed in all five open races at Carlsbad 5000, which included: Masters Men, Masters Women, Men 30-39, Women 30-39 and Men and Women 29 & Under. Going in, I registered with the goal to just be able to finish all of the races in under ten minute per mile pace. This was the pace I needed to earn a finisher’s medal. Also at the Carlsbad 5000, if you are in the top 250 people to cross the finish line in your division (mine was the Women 30-39), you are awarded a finisher’s medal.
By the end of the 3rd race, I decided I would try to run hard and try to be in the top 250 in my division’s race. I came in 86th, so not too shabby for my 4th race of the day. 🙂 The medal was mine!
Here is the breakdown of my races:
Race Miles Time / Pace O’All Sex /Div
Masters Men 40+ 3.1069 27:26 /8:50 184 44/44
Masters Women 40+ 3.1069 27:27/ 8:50 159 42/24
Men 30-39 3.1069 27:40/8:55 148 30/30
Women 30-39 3.1069 26:23/8:30 86 19/9
29 & Under (M/F) 3.1069 26:23/8:30 94 15/13
What is wacky is that I ran race 1 & 2, and 4 & 5 in almost the exact same times! But, it is a good thing. I was really looking for consistent 9:00 minute miles, and I ended up doing much better than that. I not only completed all five races, I placed 110th out of 260 All Day 25K participants. YAY 🙂
The All Day 25K participants really get the royal treatment the day of the race. There was a VIP tent set up for us with a gear check for our bags, massive amounts of bottled water and bananas, 3 or 4 different brands of energy bars, 2 different flavors of GU Energy Gel, Sports Blast energy drink, and an entire “brick wall” of a snack boxes with various food items (dried edamame, hummus, dark chocolate) in them. The best part was that only one item out of dozens being offered as refreshments contained gluten (bags of pretzels). There are tables and chairs set up in and outside of the tent so that we could sit and rest between races. I ended up going back to my hotel room to change clothes and rest between the fourth and fifth race because I was so sweaty! 🙂 My other strategy (which worked well) was to eat about a 1/3 of a banana, and 2 bites of an energy bar between races. Not too much food, lots of water. My bar of choice was one Clif White Chocolate Macadamia Nut. Not Paleo, but organic, and better than bagels or donuts. So basically, 1 energy bar, 1 1/2 bananas, and about 64 ounces of water got me through 5 races.
Congrats to the All Day 25K winner, Gilbert Salazar. His times were 17:26, 17:37, 17:45, 18:19, & 18:27. Not a surprise, as he also won the event last year (all of his races were under 18 minutes last year!) You can check out this years results of the All Day 25K here.
What I loved most about the All Day 25K is that I was able to run with people of all ages. Each time I ran the course, I saw something different. It was amazing to see all the leaders fly past me on their way up the hill to the 2nd mile mark. On the day we left Carlsbad, I went out and ran the course again as a recovery day. I just can’t get over the view. It does not suck to run along the ocean, people! What a special place and I’m already looking forward to next year and our little traditions.
I loved running in Andy’s race (he ran a 20:07 this year), and he ran with me in mine (during mile 2) as a cool down. The only downside is that I didn’t get to watch him in his race… because I was in it! 😛 After all the races were over, we went to celebrate and have lunch at Pollos Maria. (That’s where the pics of me in my Carlsbad shirt were taken)
The All Day 25K is a great way to get your long run in if you are training for a spring or an early summer marathon. After you cross the finish line(s), you get 2 free beers from Pizza Port! No wonder they call it the Party By the Sea. 🙂
I am very excited to be attending the Sacramento Running Association Hall of Fame and Annual Achievement Awards on January 26th. It will be held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel Banquet Room at 6pm.
The evening will commence with a no host cocktail hour, followed by dinner and then the induction of the inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2013, including Olympic gold medalist and Sacramento legend Billy Mills. Following the Hall of Fame induction, there will be a presentation of more than 100 Annual Achievement Awards to the Sacramento area’s 2013 top runners in track, road racing, cross country and ultra running.
KCRA anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick will serve as master of ceremonies.
The Greater Sacramento area boasts some tremendous running talent from Olympic gold medalists to collegiate heroes and high school legends. This awards ceremony will honor these individuals from the past and to recognize those who are making history today.
“The whole point of the Hall of Fame is to recognize all the great running that has gone on in this area,” said John Mansoor, the SRA’s executive director. “It’s long overdue. We think we have a great area for running. We need to start recognizing these people.”
Many of Andy’s friends (and mine) will be honored at the banquet (including a few of our teammates from the River City Rebels!), and I am looking forward to seeing them be honored as well as hearing some stories of great races past.
I’ll be taking some pictures and recapping the evening here on my website.
If you’d like to attend the dinner and awards ceremony, you can register here. Tickets are $50 per person.
For a full list of honorees and award winners, and also to find out more about the event, you can click here.
The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.
SRA events include the recently concluded California International Marathon, the Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run on Feb. 3, the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 7, the Gold Rush 100k on May 11 and the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon on Oct. 27.
SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.
You can find them on Facebook here.
So, I just joined a running club last month called the River City Rebels. The Rebels were founded in 1994 by Andy Harris and Mark Hicks, and now have over 100 members–both newcomers to the sport, as well as those with over 20 years of running experience. The River City Rebels Running Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization through their affiliate membership in the RRCA.
It’s a great group of really talented people and I am happy to be a part of the team. I am mainly a treadmill runner, so it’s quite a literal chance of pace for me to run out on the roads and even cross-country.
The 2nd Annual River City Rebel Rebellion was just this past weekend, and I competed in the PAUSATF division. It was my first cross-country race ever. I came in 72nd out of 78 women, and yes, most of the women behind me were a lot older. Still, I feel great about how I did. The 5K course was very challenging with 3 big hills and mixed terrain. I am looking forward to racing with the Rebels for the remainder of the season. Running with people who are a lot faster than you can really motivate!!
I truly have mixed feelings about running competitively. Though I am not a fast runner, I definitely am an endurance runner. My PR for a 1/2 Marathon is 1:54:15. I feel very proud of that.
Gold Rush Fun Run
My next race will be the Gold Rush Fun Run and I will be running the 10-miler. I don’t have a 10-mile PR, but I ran 1:22:39 last year at the Hot Chocolate 15K, which is 9.3 miles. If I can beat that pace (which is 8:53 mins per mile) I will be pleased.
The Gold Rush Fun Run & Walk benefits InAlliance, a nonprofit organization serving people with developmental disabilities. For more information about InAlliance, you can visit their website at www.inallianceinc.com.
The race is set for Saturday, September 22, 2012
Its background is the Sierra Nevada Foothills along the El Dorado Trail. Participants weave their way along a trail, which was once the historic Southern Pacific Railway line, and now features picturesque scenery and an abundance of wildlife.
You can sign up for the 10 Mile, 10K, 5K or 1 mile race followed by an after party with snacks, vendor booth, music, raffle prizes and awards ceremony. The 10 Mile, 10K and 5K runs will be chip timed by Synergy Race Timing. 5K walk and 1 mile stroll are untimed.
The Gold Rush Fun Run & Walk course map is located here: http://goldrushfunrun.com/about/course-maps/
You can register for the race and walk here.
All participants registered for the Gold Rush Fun Run & Walk will receive two free raffle tickets for our Gold Nugget Raffle!
2012 Prizes include a Lake Tahoe Getaway, Specialty Spa Package, and many more. Additional raffle tickets may be purchased the day of the event- 5 tickets for $5, 10 tickets for $10 and 25 tickets for $25.
Important things to know about the race:
7:00am: Packet/Bib Pick-up and Registration
8:30am: 10 Mile Run START
8:45am: 10K Run START
9:00am: 5K Run/Walk START
9:15am: 1 Mile Stroll START
10:30am: Raffle Prizes and Awards Ceremony
12:00pm: Event Concludes
Thursday. September 20, 2012
9:00am-4:30pm at the INALLIANCE Sacramento Office located at 6950 21st Ave, Sacramento, CA 95820.
Friday, September 21, 2012
9:00am-4:30pm at the INALLIANCE Placerville Office
located at 660 Main Street, Placerville, CA 95667.
Race Day- Saturday, September 22, 2012
Beginning at 7:00am at the Registration Table in the parking lot of the El Dorado Trail- County Trail Head located on Jacquier Road, Placerville, CA 95667. Click Here for Map
Friends may pick-up packets and register for you. No entry refunds, transfers or exchanges. Dogs with well behaved owners on short leashes welcome.
Awards: The top three overall male and female finishers in the 10 mile, 10k and 5k races will receive custom medals. Age division awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in each of the following divisions: 12 and Under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+.
All races will take place rain or shine.
For more information, you can call 916-381-1300 x170. Hope to see you there!