Run for Rowan 5k

When I first started running in 2011 I looked for races that would entice me to run because, to be honest, running was not enticement enough. Shirts, medals, runner camaraderie? That’s what I was looking for. That’s what I needed.

Meeting up with friends, traveling, eating, and a side of running. It was more about the first three and the running just gave me the excuse. Mud runs, Disney races in both California and Florida, Color Runs, I was drawn to them all. The further from New Jersey, the better!

I came to enjoy running somewhere along the way and within the past year and a half, I’ve settled into doing races that are more “local” to me. If I can drive or take a train to the start the morning of the race, I don’t deviate too much from my daily routine with my family. Certainly, I still love to travel and race but there’s a comfort that comes along with running on familiar turf.

Pretty sure that 20 years ago Jay piggybacked me across this very spot when my heels got to be too much after a date party.

Which is why when I heard about Rowan University’s 5k (and the early bird rate of $20 per person) I registered myself and my husband, Jay!

When we graduated from school we planted roots not too far from the campus so it was not only convenient but also familiar. We’ve done training runs though the campus and it’s less than 10 minutes from home.

It was gray and rainy on Saturday morning for this 5k and I knew that I would be running the AC April Fools half the following day so I figured Jay and I could run together at his pace. He hasn’t been feeling well nearly the entire month of April so he hasn’t been training much (read: at all) but he was ready to do his best.

We caught up with old friends and then lined up to run. I’d wager a guess there were around 200 participants. It had a later start than most races I do; it began at 10am.

The route for the 5k was through the campus, to the perimeter of the campus, and then back through the campus. Since it’s hosted by the Rowan Alumni Association, they did a good job of highlighting all the newer buildings on the campus. There’s been a lot of changes since I graduated nearly 20 years ago!

It was all sidewalk running so it was a little tight for the first mile as people tried to figure out their pacing and where they landed within the pack of runners.

Although the day was gray and dreary, overall the campus was a lot prettier than I remembered. It seems like there’s been a lot of attention paid to beautification projects and updating sitting areas and gardens. Every time I visit, there is something new!

The engineering building was brand new 20 years ago. Now it’s expanded to a second building with a walkway connecting the two.

This walkway as not quite as extensive when we were students.

We even got to run past the building we met at as Resident Assistants (so romantic!).

At that point we were about a 10th of a mile from the finish so we didn’t get too wrapped up in nostalgia, we just pushed to the finish line. We finished in 37:36, which was what we expected.

Look, it’s the Rowan Prof!

Thanks to Rowan University for hosting its running alumnus. No matter how many changes have been made, returning to campus is like going home.

I’ve decided that I should focus more on the 5k distance. My body and mind are so conditioned to running longer races that when I run shorter distances; I don’t know exactly how to tap into the speed. I think it comes down to training and speed work.

Of course, that’s not exactly what I was trying to do for this race but looking ahead, I would like to sign up for more 5ks and finally break my 2012 PR. It’s time.

Speaking of PRs, I achieved a significant PR the follow day at the AC April Fools half marathon! Recap of that race is coming up on Friday. Woohoo!

Any advice on how I can work on my 5k speed?

6 thoughts on “Run for Rowan 5k

  1. My alma mater, Ramapo, looks totally different than when I attended as well – so many new dorms!! Ch-ch-changes!

    Speedwork… sigh. Also my fault. I like to run comfortably most days, so I force myself to do intervals once a week even though I hate it. However, I’m not pro on how to get faster since my 5k times just seem to be slipping further and further from my PR (made in my late 28s…ack).

    Looking forward to your April Fools recap too! PR CITY!!!

    • Isn’t it crazy how much can change in such a short amount of time? Everything has to grow and evolve to keep the school competitive and be able to house the new students – it’s really impressive to see just how much they’re able to get done!

      Speedwork. I know. I hate to admit it but I know. I think I PRed back in 2012 because I really didn’t know as much as didn’t question myself so much. I need to just push myself and make it happen!

      YESSSS – AC is coming up next. I don’t have too many pictures from it so I’m hoping that the free pictures come around soon. 😉

  2. I can barely recognize a lot of my Alma Mater at Michigan State sometimes when I see it on tv or others photos! My sister in law is getting married there next year so I am SO excited to travel home and just be near my old stomping grounds!!

    I have no idea how to improve your time, Just wanted to say I love your race recaps always Mer!

    • Oh my gosh – weddings are so much fun and combine them with being able to catch up and see all the changes… that will be AMAZING!

      And thank you so much, Ashley! It’s always awesome to see you around these parts. <3

  3. Like I said on Twitter, super cute that you two met in college. 🙂 Seeing all those new buildings must have been cool. My campus is always adding new buildings. I think they’re replacing one of the parking lots with a Target soon. Haha

    • I think the only thing that would have made college infinitely more cool would have been to have a Target on campus! 😉 I would have never wanted to graduate!

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