Today I celebrated Valentine’s Day doing what I love—running. And I couldn’t be more infatuated.

FullSizeRenderMy first race of 2015, this morning I ran Cupid’s Chase 5K is New Brunswick, New Jersey, making it also my first NJ race. Adding to the list of many first, it was the first time I ran complete sub 10 min/mi for an entire race. I PR’ed with an overall time of 30:30.7, which clocked in at 9:50 min/mi. I could not be happier!

IMG_1800I was so happy that my boyfriend took me to the race, which should me that he does support me, even when sometimes he doesn’t completely understand the whole race culture and why us runners do what we do. I am so happy he was in my corner and he was so proud of me. My sister and my other sister’s boyfriend came to surprise me, and seeing their faces cheer me on was the biggest morale booster. I can’t believe them came all the way out to see me, standing in the freezing cold just to be there for me. I am so blessed to have people who support me so much. (My sister also bought me a delicious chocolate cupcake she made for after the race, which was delicious!)

IMG_1803I also was able to meet two awesome women to run with, which meant so much to be since I don’t have many runner friends. I was able to keep a steady pace and we all caught up to each other and finished split seconds apart from each other.

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I applaud the volunteers who organized the whole event, especially those who stood out in the cold to cheer us on. It also felt good to run for those with disabilities.

It was about 30 degrees F if even that, making it the coldest race I ever ran! But once I got moving, I warmed up, but it was still really tough. It was hard to really get good breaths in since I felt like my nose was frozen and had to breathe through my mouth a few times. I probably sounds like the big bad wolf!

The course was 3 loops around a park with one hill. It was a bit tough, but overall a really great course, perfect for a PR. And I can’t believe I did! I never would have imagined running sub 10 min/mi an entire race, and now that I made this goal, I only want to run faster.

IMG_1792So how do you PR in a 5k? So those who don’t know, PR stands for personal record, pretty much your personal best time.

The best way to to PR is pay attention to your strides. Run steady and then sprint with a boost for about 100 meters. Then go back to a comfortable pace for 30 seconds to a minutes to catch your breath and then go back into turbo mode. This is exactly what I did. I made sure my feet really propelled me off the ground and pushed, pushed, pushed. Then I caught me breath and went back into beast mode.

Another good way to PR is while training, throw in a long run once a week. These should be up to 50 percent longer than normal so think 6 miles +. But you don’t need to focus on speed. Instead, just focus on the distance. This builds your endurance. Make sure you also add interval runs into your training, running at a faster pace for 1 minute to 2 and then back to a steady pace for 1 to 3 minutes and repeat a few times.

Overall, I had such an amazing experience. I really wanted to place top 3 in my age group, but I am so proud that I was able to finish with such an amazing time. Looking back two years ago when I started running, I was clocking 12:45 min/mi. This only shows you how hard work and consistency pays off. My next goal would be to finish a 5k in less than 30 minutes, something I really think I can master. After this one, I am so pumped for more races. My other runner friends are already asking me when they can sign up with me, I sparked some motivation back into my mom and my dad called me really supportive of my accomplishments. I couldn’t have had a better Valentine’s Day!

10626389_793552794025083_2616826898571407138_oHow are you spending yours?

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