Tag Archives: 10k

Let’s Run Together – For Real This Time!

It’s currently snowing (and hailing) outside, but I’m trying to distract myself from it by thinking of warm weather running…

If you remember, last year I wrote a blog post about the Newport 10k in Jersey City that happens each year in May. I was excited to finally run a race in my city, only to have it thwarted with my femoral stress reaction. But good news, I’m going to (attempt to) run it this year! I was so excited when they asked if I’d be a VIP blogger again this year, because I’m determined to get myself to the start (and finish) line this go-around.

Just like last year, there are a few key reasons why I think this race is so great:

  • It starts so close to home! That means I don’t need to take the PATH and subway and worry about travel plans just to get there like I do for most other races. And if even you don’t live IN Jersey City, it’s super easy to get to (you can take the PATH from NYC, or drive since there is ample parking).
  • It runs through my neighborhood. It runs down the street on the opposite side of a small park from my apartment. You can see my apartment as you run by!
  • It’s flat and has minimal turns, which means it’s fast.
  • The views! Yes, I live here and run in the park and along the water multiple times a week, but the views of the city skyline never get old.
  • I know a bunch of people that have run it in the past and sing its praises, which is good enough for me!

So, if you’re looking for a fast spring 10k, come run in Newport with me in May! (Hey look, that rhymed and I didn’t even do it on purpose). Need more details? Here you go!

What: Newport 10K

When: Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. (registration starts at 7am)

Where: Newport Town Square, 100 Town Square Pl, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Background: Known as the fastest course in the tri-state area, the Newport 10,000 is a 10K road race along the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City’s community of Newport. Recreational and elite runners will have the opportunity to compete at the highest level for their share of $15,400 in prize money. The USA Track & Field-certified course is comprised of flat and local roads that interweave along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and provide spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. Racers have access to four water stops during the race, as well as clocks at each mile. The race will be followed by Newport’s annual Post-Race Party, which is going to feature a live DJ, refreshments and prize drawings. Win NY Mets tickets, NY Red Bulls Tickets, a 1-hour massage or several restaurant gift certificates!

Beneficiary: Proceeds will be donated to the Barnibas Health, Jersey City Medical Center, the area’s newest regional referral teaching hospital, providing the highest level of care for women and infants, and trauma and heart patients.

Sponsors: Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP (title sponsor), Cosi, Courtyard Marriott Jersey City, New Jersey Beer Co., Yelp, Verizon

Distance: 10 kilometers (6.2 miles)

Registration fee: $30

Event Website: http://www.newport10k.com/

Seriously, come run with me! Or if you’re in the area, come out and cheer! It’s been really great weather the last few years (hoping this isn’t jinxing it) and I had a fun time cheering. I’m planning to go out for a beer (and food) afterwards… so the more the merrier! And even if you can’t make it this year, keep it in mind for next year.

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Come Run With Me: Newport 10k

Despite living in Jersey City for about a year and a half, I’m yet to run a race in the city. Sure, I’ve logged hundreds of miles in this great city of mine, but never in the form of a race. That isn’t because there aren’t many local races. There are actually a lot! There’s one in particular that I’ve known about for a while and has a pretty great reputation – the Newport 10,000 (aka Newport 10k). This race attracts a lot of runners from all over the state (and NYC), and is fast. So when I saw it would work with my schedule this year, I immediately signed up. Then, as luck would have it, I was contacted and asked if I was interested in being a VIP Blogger for the race. Of course I said yes!

There are a few reasons why I’m so excited for the race this year:

  • It starts so close to home! That means I don’t need to take the PATH and subway and worry about travel plans just to get there like I do for most other races.
  • It runs through my neighborhood. It runs down the street on the opposite side of a small park from my apartment. You can see my apartment as you run by!
  • It’s flat and has minimal turns, which means it’s fast.
  • The views! Yes, I live here and run in the park and along the water multiple times a week, but the views of the city skyline never get old.
  • I know a bunch of people that have run it in the past and sing its praises, which is good enough for me!

So, if you’re looking for a fast spring 10k, come run in Newport with me in May! (Hey look, that rhymed and I didn’t even do it on purpose). Need more details? Here you go!

What: Newport 10K

When: Saturday, May 14th, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Newport Town Square, 100 Town Square Pl, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Background: Known as the fastest course in the tri-state area, the Newport 10,000 is a 10K road race along the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City’s community of Newport. Recreational and elite runners will have the opportunity to compete at the highest level for their share of $15,400 in prize money. The USA Track & Field-certified course is comprised of flat and local roads that interweave along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and provide spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. Racers have access to four water stops during the race, as well as clocks at each mile. The race will be followed by Newport’s annual Post-Race Party, which is going to feature a live DJ, refreshments and prize drawings. Win NY Mets tickets, NY Red Bulls Tickets, a 1-hour massage or several restaurant gift certificates!

Beneficiary: Proceeds will be donated to the Barnibas Health, Jersey City Medical Center, the area’s newest regional referral teaching hospital, providing the highest level of care for women and infants, and trauma and heart patients.

Sponsors: Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP (title sponsor), Cosi, Courtyard Marriott Jersey City, New Jersey Beer Co., Yelp, Verizon

Distance: 10 kilometers (6.2 miles)

Registration fee: $30

Event Website: http://www.newport10k.com/

Seriously, come run with me! Or if you’re in the area, come out and cheer! It was absolutely beautiful last year and I had a fun time cheering. I’m planning to go out for a beer (and food) afterwards… so the more the merrier! And even if you can’t make it this year, keep it in mind for next year.

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Running From Winter

You know, when I signed up to run a 10k this past weekend, I assumed I’d be running in a t-shirt and shorts, relatively comfortable. I giggled at the cute name of the race, Middle Earth’s Run From Winter 10k, and snidely said to myself “Spring arrives three days before the race, so I don’t know how much of a run from the previous season it’ll be.” Well mother nature, you shut me up. This past week has been cold (I remember boasting about it being in the upper 70’s this time last year) and race day was no exception. After waking up and checking the forecast, I ditched my hopes of finally getting to wear arm warmers, and threw on a long sleeve shirt (Oiselle lux layer). I still insisted on wearing shorts, and while a wise decision overall, those first few moments of bare-leg had my skin screaming.

This is my cold face.

This is my cold face.

This particular race actually takes place in a park right by my office, where I do a decent amount of post-work runs in the Spring and Fall (it’s a little too muggy in the summer since it’s near water). I was excited for two reasons: first, I know the course like the back of my hand, and second, it’s flat. I’ve been a bit wary of the 10k distance ever since my first one, because it was basically run down hill, run up a steeper hill, run down hill, run up an even steeper hill. I figured based on those two factors alone a PR was looking pretty likely. I actually raced last weekend, but because my alarm didn’t go off and I barely made it to the start, I didn’t have a bib and therefore no official time (which is why I didn’t do a race recap). According to my results from that, I knew a 46:xx would be doable, assuming there were no surprises.

Race morning started like the all do, me questioning myself, devouring a Picky Bar, and trying to drink the right amount of water to keep me hydrated, but not make me have to pee mid-race. After I arrived at the park, I picked up my bib and set out for an easy mile. Thankfully it warmed me up enough for the start, and before I knew it we were lined up and ready to go. I can honestly say that lining up for a race is one of my least favorite things. I can’t tell you how many people I overhear at almost every single race talking about how they’re “going to get run over” and “should probably move to the back” … but they never actually move. I usually take it upon myself to move in front of them if I can, but it’s so frustrating – why would you want to do that to yourself or other runners?! But I digress…

What, you don't throw up jazz hands while you race?

What, you don’t throw up jazz hands while you race?

The first two miles of the race aren’t anything to write home about. I stayed controlled, didn’t waste energy weaving, and averaged about 7:30’s. I couldn’t help but notice some of the other runner’s labored breathing, and gave myself an imaginary pat on the back for not taking it out too fast (which is almost always the case for me). After the first two miles, everyone seemed to really spread out. Because the course is through a park on paths basically in the woods, it was quiet. There weren’t many spectators, and the race volunteers didn’t make a peep. I actually felt badly for the volunteers at the water stations; I really didn’t see many people taking any water, and they must have been cold! At mile 2.5 we started to see the first finishers on their way back from the turn-around point. I started counting each woman I saw, and figured I was just within the top 10. My original plan was to run the race in 2 mile increments, but decided instead to run it more of a 3, 2, 1.2 mile split.

Pain face.

Pain face.

I wound up slowing down a little during the 5th mile in order to save some energy for a final kick. Between miles three and five I passed about three women, and spent the final mile and a half pretty much alone. Once I hit mile five I started to pick up the pace, and by mile six, I heard an older man coming up behind me. Once the finish line was in sight, I realized he was using me as his final kick motivation, and I could tell he was doing everything in his power to pass me. Being the quiet competitive person I am, I pushed it to puke-pace, and made sure didn’t get in ahead of me. I wound up finishing in 46:22 (7:28 average): a solid 2 minute PR! As it turns out, that put me at 1st in my age group, and the 8th woman overall. Waiting around for the awards in the wind was brutal, but worth it because I got a medal!

My medal and a side of my Oiselle spike bag

My medal and a side of my Oiselle spike bag

Races like this make me really confident in my running; it’s nice to see your hard work paying off. Not every run is wonderful, sometimes things hurt, and I’m often tired, but I love this sport. I’m so happy that after years of always wanting to run, I’ve finally started doing it and am actually enjoying it. Sure I’ll never make it to the Olympics or place outside of small hometown races, but that post-run feeling is addicting! I’m starting to really look forward to my half next month – I’m hoping to PR, and I think things are really lining up for me to do so.

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Relays

To an outsider, sports like swimming and running seem very much individual sports. However, for those of us “in the know,” we realize that at times it can be a very individualized sport, but at the same time, highly team oriented. As someone who puts a lot of pressure on themselves and is intrinsically competitive, swimming was the perfect sport for me growing up. I was able to race against myself and the clock, but at the same time contribute to a team and a common goal. So after I graduated, it was really no surprise to myself or anyone I know that running was the sport I decided to take up next.

Relays were always one of my favorite parts about swimming. I always swam the shorter relays (200 or 400), meaning it was anywhere from 25 to 60 seconds of pure “give it your all.” Or, as I fondly referred to it, going balls to the wall (almost literally). Swimming isn’t much of a spectator sport, but walk into any meet, and you are guaranteed to see people up on their feet, eyes glued to the pool when it comes time for the relays. Sometimes the hardest part about being on a relay was not your actual leg – but standing nearby, either completely out of breath or having near heart palpitations before your turn, knowing there is only so much you can do, and the rest falls into the hands of three teammates.

So obviously when I saw that there was a 10k relay at a park basically 5 minutes from my house on Sunday, I knew I had to sign up. The concept was simple: find a partner, and you each run a 5k, broken in half… meaning 1.55 miles twice. The event was put on by a local running team, so the field was fast. I decided that my best plan of attack was to treat it like a speed workout. Even though running 1.55 miles followed by a 10-ish minute break isn’t ideal, I figured it would be a good general test of my endurance. Plus, I was pumped to see that the race swag was a pair of gloves, instead of yet another boxy race shirt.

They even have little grippies!

They even have little grippies!

The best part of the race was the start – I generally start too fast and have to try and pull back in the first half mile or so, but since I was only running 1.55 and then getting a break, I didn’t pull back as much as normal… but I also didn’t feel like I was trying nearly as hard as a 7 minute mile usually feels. Since the field was full of legitimate high school and college runners, I kept on my merry way as people flew by me. After the first leg, I was definitely tired, but felt like I could have kept going, finishing with a just around 7 minute pace average. I tried my best to keep moving on the muddy grass, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss my turn, so I didn’t move nearly as much as I would have liked.

By the time I started my second leg, my legs were definitely feeling it but overall I was comfortable. And then I got annoyed. Some dude decided that he was going to use me as a wind shield and draft off of me for the next mile. I considered slowing down, and even at one point as he was breathing heavily down my neck ask him if he was going to continue to draft off of me for the remainder of the race, or if he wanted to grow a pair and run his own race. Of course being much meaner in my head, I refrained and carried on. I came around the bend to hand off my baton, and was slammed by someone coming in behind me not paying attention. Not really the way I wanted to end my part of the race, but I was pleased with my overall 22:12! Unfortunately there wasn’t any water near the hand-off area, so I jogged in circles until the hubs finished, with our respectable time of  43:50.

I did about a mile cool down, and waited to see the results just for fun. We came in 55th and 11th in our division (co-ed open). Then we booked it to Old Man Rafferty’s in downtown New Brunswick for brunch with some other friends that ran the race as well. It was a perfect ending to a fun morning. The weather was perfect, the running was speedy but not too difficult, and anything that ends in cupcakes is good if you ask me.

This was obviously round 2.

This was obviously round 2.

Overall I’m really happy with the race, and the way I’ve been running in general. My last few runs while nothing spectacular, have felt good, and have been in the low 8’s. I’d really love to PR at my next half marathon in April, so if I can keep up the mileage and incorporate some more speed work like Sunday’s race, I think I’ll be in good shape. Now if only I could find more relays to do!

Have you ever run (or swam!) a relay? Love or hate them?
Do you have a favorite post-race food?

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My First 10k: Rolling With It

I’ve been running for three years, and in that time, I’ve managed to never race a 10k. Thankfully I had the opportunity to remedy that situation this past Sunday.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I realized I need to race more – it’s a key component to becoming a better runner. So while perusing any website I could think of to find local races, I found the Giralda Farms 5k/10k. I actually had a hard time deciding which distance to do; part of me wanted to take the ‘easy’ way out and run the 5k, not wanting to run a race that would likely hurt (in the good, racing hurt kind of way), but another part of me realized I probably needed a 10k under my belt. The real selling point was the price – whether I ran the 5k or the 10k I was going to pay $18 (a steal if you ask me, most races are at least $25!), so I figured I’d get my money’s worth with the 10k.

3 marathons but no 10k’s? Go figure.

Sunday was absolutely gorgeous – the sun was shining, and by the time the race started at 12p, the temperature was well into the 60’s. Race morning started as they always do, with a PB&J sandwich, some water, and multiple bathroom stops. As soon as we got to the race, though, I realized I had forgotten my Garmin. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but I’ve recently been taking things out a little to fast (i.e. my last 5k), and since I’ve never run a 10k before, I wanted to know my splits. So much for that.

This particular race is run within and along the outside of a corporate park, just across the street from Fairleigh Dickinson University. You may be thinking that a corporate park would be relatively flat… don’t be fooled. The race starts at the entrance, on the precipice of a nice little hill. If there’s one thing I know about geography, it’s that if there’s a downhill, there is likely an uphill not too far away to match it. For the most part the race was “rolling hills,” but there were two hills that could only be characterized as steep inclines – one at about mile 1.2 and another at 3.5.

The 5k and the 10k started off separately, but merged about a quarter of a mile in. Then, at about 1.5, it split off again and left those of us silly enough to sign up for the 10k to trudge on. There weren’t any clocks – just a few volunteers at every mile marker with a stop watch yelling out times (which I appreciated since I didn’t have a watch!). Because the first mile was downhill, despite a super crowded start, I’m sure it was my fastest. I managed to blow by quite a few people on the first hill, but I was nearly spent after that… leaving me with 4 more miles of “fun.” By the time I hit mile 4, I realized the race was pretty much over, and after spending so much time climbing up, I knew it was time to head back down… this was both a blessing and a curse.

I was happy to finish in a respectable (to me) 48:24. I have no idea what my splits were, but my finish was good enough for 9th in my division, the 34th woman, and 191st overall. It was a competitive field on a tough course, so I couldn’t be happier with my first official 10k!

Next up is a 5 miler the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and then Disney in January! I’m eyeing the beginning of the year for a few more races, but haven’t committed to anything just yet. I think the jury is still out on my favorite race distance. Guess I’ll have to run some more races to decide!

What’s your favorite race distance? 
Any fun races planned for the end of the year (turkey trots, jingle bell runs)?  

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