Finally ready to start posting race recaps!

When looking back on my running journey, one of the major memories that stands out for me is the FIRST race. I have never been so amazed at how far I’ve come (even though I’ve since run multiple half marathons) and it was the most incredible feeling. I was instantly hooked on running and racing.

Leading up to the 5k, I had just lost a whopping 30-40lbs and I transformed myself from an overweight, lazy schlub (no other word is appropriate hehe) to a strong, confident woman. I mostly did bootcamp and elliptical workouts, but started running shortly before my first race. I knew I was in good shape, but had no idea if I could actually finish a 5k — they seemed so scary and intimidating!

The Diana Run 5k was the perfect way to start.

A little back story: The Diana 5k run was formed in honor of a senior at my HS who died in a car crash in 2002. She was an amazing person who was athletic, smart, caring, and so much more. But one of her passions was being involved in mission projects. The run proceeds allow teenagers to be involved in mission projects like the ones Diana participated in. A great cause.

I knew this would be THE race. I pitched the idea to my friend J, and he said he would absolutely run the 5k with me! My goal going in was to run in under 30 minutes.

The day of the race, we headed to Plainsboro bright and early. I showed J around a little bit so he could see where I grew up and then we parked at the Middle School, where the race started. It was crazy to see so many people that I hadn’t even thought about in YEARS! The good thing about this race is that it’s pretty small and local. Not intimidating at all! We lined up at the start line and before we knew it, we were off!!

The course was pretty boring and flat, down the major road near our HS and MS. I noticed that a lot of people were going out really fast and I felt so slow! I knew that I was running at 10 min pace or faster so I just kept going. We neared the turn around point at 1.5 miles and I still felt great! I noticed a lot of people stopping to walk (people who I always thought were SO fast and fit in HS), but I picked up my pace. I was half way done and I knew I had a lot of energy. Around mile 2.5, the school was pretty close — the course went around the school and finished in the back. J and I looked at each other and agreed to pick it up. There was an older man running next to us who would pass us so we would pick it up to pass him and we kept going back and forth. It kept J and I going faster and faster before we lost the man (who cheered us on to finish strong!). As we turned into the parking lot, I told J to sprint to the finish and I followed shortly after. As I rounded the curve, I couldn’t believe my eyes — the timer was in the 20s!! I crossed the finish strong and felt AMAZING.

J finished in 25:28

I finished in 25:41 (that’s an 8:16 pace!)

I was so happy and couldn’t believe that I not only beat my 30 min goal, but also ran in the 8s!

We grabbed a little bite to eat and some water and hung around to hear Diana’s mom speak. She was so happy with the turnout at the race and it was great to hear her talk about Diana’s memory. After that, they started announcing awards. I was absolutely SHOCKED when I heard MY name as the 3rd place female in my age group! Unbelievable. Then, they started announcing the guys’ results and J was ALSO 3rd in his age group! It was the first race for both of us so we couldn’t believe that we both placed.

[Matching trophies! Please ignore my messy room…]

It was the perfect race. I will remember it forever.