Yes, this race was over 3 weeks ago. Yes, it is summer vacation and the kids are out of school making it hard for me to think/write. Yes, I’ve fallen behind on my blogging responsibilities but I’m back home and trying my best to catch up this month! I swear!!!
Anyhoo, the See Jane Run 5K/half in Alameda, CA was held on June 22nd this year and I ran the 5K for my 5th year in a row. If you read this blog or know me IRL, you know I have been injured and unable to run since February- this race was my first since recovering from my injury and I was SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY to run 3 miles with some of my favorite people and was treated, in the typical See Jane Run style, to copious amounts of post-race champagne and chocolate afterwards! Can’t get better than that!
When I first started doing races in 2009, the See Jane Run 5K was an easy sell- local, flat, women’s race, medal, plus the aforementioned finishers’ champagne and chocolate- me and my running buddies were all over it! Last year, I applied to be an ambassador and was lucky enough to get accepted and then invited back again this year- for a company and race I love so very much, it is truly an honor.
Leading up to the race and dealing with my knee injury, I was doubtful that I would be able to even do it but my doc gave me the go ahead… well, honestly, he told me NO running on cement. See Jane Run is all asphalt. You’re damn straight I was going to run that 5K anyway!
BFF Amy and I arrived to the race with ample time to get Amy’s bib and wait in line for the porta potty, of course I started seeing lots of running buddies all over the place! Ran into Belle, Coach Al, Coach Rudy, Kim, Liz, Jennette, Lesley, Lea and we hugged, stretched, and chatted as the half marathoners took off and those of us doing the 5K waited for the “GO!”.
I see Amy all the time, recently saw Lea, but haven’t seen Belle in FOREVER so we waited in the start chute together and chatted- Belle is a Team in Training friend and one of the most impressive runners I know! I was telling her about my injury and worry regarding the pavement so when she offered to pace me for the beginning of the race, I happily accepted the great support and awesome company!
And wow did that pay off! The race started and I got all kinds of crazy looks as I screamed, “YAY WE’RE RUNNING!!! AHHHH!!! HERE WE GO 5K!!! LET’S DO THIS!!! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!!! WHERE’S THE CHOCOLATE?!?!?!? WOOOO HOOOO!!!!” I was that elated to be running a race, I couldn’t help myself, and with Belle by my side those first 2 miles flew by- my knee felt zero pain and I, surprisingly, kept up with Belle who set a pace of about 10:00/mile (which is normally super easy for me but having not run for over 4 months, was a bit of a struggle).
First 2 miles, no problem, said goodbye to Belle as I stopped at the aid station for some water, stretched a bit, then popped in my earbuds and happily ran on down the street… the Alameda course is an out-and-back but you finish in a different area than where you start so maybe it’s more apropos to say it’s and out-and-back-and-to-the-side kinda race. Yeah. Makes total sense.
The entire course runs through the already existing paths through Alameda and ends at Washington Park. The paved park paths made it easy for me to get off the pavement momentarily but, around mile 2.75, it didn’t matter anymore- my knee was feeling great and I was getting thirsty for some champagne so I chugged on down the road, stopping to take just a couple photos for the blog, of course.
And then, BOOM- in typical 5K fashion- it was over! Just like that! Such a happy little distance, I felt accomplished and proud of my performance and totally ready to celebrate with my friends!
I finished in 33 minutes which is, essentially, a total miracle. I wasn’t expecting to break 30 like I usually do with a 5K, so given my 4 months of recovery, I told myself to just take my time and walk if I needed to but with Belle’s support and my eagerness to move those legs I did SO MUCH BETTER than I thought I would! Didn’t really need to walk, knee was fine on the asphalt, and I earned yet another medal for a yet another racing accomplishment.
Chocolate eaten in a flash and the champagne flowing (drink lines so much shorter this year!), we decided to keep hanging out in order to wait for Jennette who was tackling the half that day. She finished, found us, and even though it only took us a half hour (respectively) to finish the 5K, we stayed around for about 3 hours afterwards just chatting, laughing, drinking champagne compliments of Barefoot Wine (they were also pouring their brand new Summer Red that day- REALLY yummy!), invading the TNT booth, and just having a FANTASTIC TIME!
All in all, a REALLY great race and a SUPER fantastic day! If you are here in the Bay Area and have yet to run See Jane Run, grab your favorite girlfriends and give it a shot next year- you will not be disappointed! I’ll see you again next year, SJR!!!