My weekend running adventures continued on Sunday with the Ridge Road Run for Suicide Prevention. Located at Rumson-Fair Haven High School, this 5k started out back behind the school’s track,taking runners through the beautiful neighborhood of Rumson, and up a hill before lopping around and heading back for the school and ending on the track.

The weather for this race couldn’t be more different than Saturday’s hot and sunny 10k. It was a chilly morning, the temperatures the mild 30s/ cool 40s, but with lots of gusty winds. There was a drizzle on the way to the race, but the rain held out. Once we took off, it wasn’t as cold and windy as expected—which was a pleasant surprise. Although those winds did get us on the way back a bit.

This was my first race as part of a group, joining my She Runs! ladies (the all women running group lead by coach Jen Meditz Vieth). The event had a great turn out, so I wasn’t expecting it to be my fastest time. All six of us running said the goal was just to have fun, so we really didn’t set any pace.

At 9 a.m. we were off and got to chatting right away. I have come to really enjoy running without music—something I never thought I would ever do, but strongly recommend it. My advice is to ditch the music when running with a buddy, so you know you can and then try it when you fly solo. It’s so nice to unplug from time to time. The other ladies raced on ahead while I was in conversation, so finished gabbing and then sped up to catch the other “fast” runners in my group. I was surprised that I did catch up, and kept a great pace.

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I am the runner with her hands up, coach Jen in the front.

Part of this is credited to the amazing Jen whose positivity is just so contagious. She is so motivating and just watching her run so light on her feet makes me want to be a better runner. I learn so much from her, and she really “coached” me on this one once we were in the home stretch. With her by my side and believing me, I believed in myself and even heard myself say “I got this” out loud at one point towards the end.

I knew at mile 2 when the clock was at 20 minutes and 40 something seconds that all I had to do was finish strong the rest of the way. And this was an understatement. I really gave it my all crossing that finish line feeling light on my feet and more like a runner than I ever have.

There was a moment as we curved around the bend to the track where we both got a little nauseous since we were really running fast, and there was a negative thought or two in my head that I wouldn’t be able to power as fast to the end. But I pushed those thoughts away and did. Like Jen said, it was just temporary and we were almost there to the end.

The best part of it all was it was a PR for me! Finishing with a chip time of 30:25.0, with an official time of 30:41.1 this was my fastest 5k time EVER. And it was a great race for this considering I just enjoyed myself, my surroundings and company, running for a good cause and just to be running and have fun. This also crosses another goal off the list, running a sub 10 minute mile.

This also means I can finally set my new goal of getting a sub 30 mins 5k. Just need to dig deeper to shave off a few seconds to make this goal, but it is so reachable.

The Stats

Time: 0:30:41.1

Overall Place: 395

Gender Place: 208

Age Group Place: 8 (out of 33)

Pace: 9:53

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