My fastest 5k time in living memory was a 20:50 at the 2012 Emerge 5k at Lake Almaden. That day hurt a lot — I raced after a couple of speedsters for 2/3rds of the race, and then couldn’t keep up the pace I’d set — that last third is still etched in my memory as a painful experience. For a while there I was on pace to break 20 minutes, but I was still happy going under 21.
One of the great things about running 52 races for charity is that we get the chance to see others raising money too. The Emerge 5k is a fundraiser that tugs at the heart strings. Six years ago, Jessica was driving her car, was hit by a speeding car, and suffered a traumatic brain injury. This race is a fundraiser for not only her, but also for others who’ve suffered serious brain injury. Her parents are amazing folks — they’ve cared for Jessica at home since her injury, and done so without a ton of help from government funding.
Back to the race. Selina and I promised each other “we’d just cruise” and a good measure of that is whether or not we can chat while we’re running. I’d say we chatted 2/3rds of the way, and didn’t chat so much for the last 1/3rd — there’s something in us that just makes us go faster when folks around us are racing. Anyway, while it was mostly a cruise, Selina (yet again) placed as the 2nd woman overall, and I came 10th (and 7th in the 40 to 99 age group!).
Lake Almaden is a nice place to run. The trails are mostly flat and shaded, and there’s plenty going on with bikers, walkers, runners, and dogs. It’s got a nice community feel, while not being too busy to race. If you live in the South Bay, it’s worth a visit.
In reality, it was a pretty cruisy race relative to 2012 and a few other races we’ve run this year. I’ve decided that it’s more important to get on track to run 52 races than it is to run fast in every race. So, while I’d love to get close to my 21:06 for February, I’ll settle for a 24 minute cruise and the near-certainty of being able to run next week!
Have a great week.