Sunset over skyline of Boston, view from Castle Island in "Southie" (or South Boston, from those not from around here)
Yep, been a busy week of racing for me. After not having raced since the Weston Marathon Sports 5 Miler back in July, I decided to do 3 races within 2 weeks of each other. So far, two down, one to go!
On Labor Day, my friend Meg and I ran the Second Annual Bad Habit 5K. It’s a flat and fast 5K, the only “incline” is the Eliot Bridge, and even that really isn’t much. So, it’s a really good opportunity to set a PR. And PR I did!
Until last week, my fastest time at the 5K distance was 25:33, set at the BAA 5K that was held the day before the Boston Marathon. As of last week, my PR became 24:58 (per my Garmin, anyway, the official results said 25:03, even though when I crossed in front of the clock, it said 25 flat.)
I realized after I finished that I made the mistake of pacing off of the wrong person, a guy running in front of me for most of the middle of the race. I didn’t feel like constantly staring at my watch, and wanted to go with the flow. I passed him on the incline to the Eliot Bridge, and then he passed me as we got closer to the finish line, prompting me to say to myself, “oh no, you don’t,” and I sprinted toward the last .15 mile or so, and BEAT HIM BY ABOUT A FOOT. (I later looked him up and realized he was 31, so woohoo to me!) I ”chicked” a guy!
Stats from the Bad Habit 5K:
Division: 3/25!!! (too bad they only gave prizes to 1st 2 in each division)
Garmin time: 24:58, time clock: 25:00, official results time: 25:03
NEWS FLASH: As of this week, my new PR is now 24:45!!!
View of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, Boston College is at the far end in the distance
This past week, I ran the Massport/Zumix Run to the Beat 5K. It’s an inaugural race, so the turnout of 226 runners was pretty impressive. It was also pretty well organized, with a good police presence at the beginning to make sure the road was clear for runners.
There was a choir standing underneath a bridge about a half mile from the start/finish line, and because it was a loopish course, they were there to serenade you, both going and returning. There was also a band comprised of mainly kids, who played for us along the route. Every volunteer holding a directional sign was a kid/teenager, and they actually looked interested in the outcome of the race – one even held out his hand for people to high five him as they ran past. And, while spectators were few, the ones we did have were quite spirited, which, as we all know, really helps!
Another view of the skyline, taken at sunset, from Castle Island
This race was exciting to me for a whole bunch of reasons, but for one main one. It was my friend Dan’s first race EVER. He’s been running for a year or so, but just never raced. And now, I think he’s hooked! (Better late than never, he placed in the top 15% overall, and top 1/3 for his division. Not bad for his first race ever – he beat me by two solid minutes!) We will definitely do that race again next year.
We thought we’d run together, so neither of us wore headphones. But, he is younger than me, and well, he’s a guy, so he runs a whole lot faster than me. When we first lined up, there was a lady standing in front of us who turned around, saw us, and said “you guys go in front of me, you look fast.” (NEVER had anyone say that to me before!) I said “yeah, i don’t think I am going to keep up with all of those guys in front of me” to which she responded that she definitely wasn’t! Gotta say, it felt weird to line up closer to the front than I normally would, but with Dan’s speed, I didn’t want him to have to zig-zag a lot at the beginning.
My sweet girl, Ruthie, just hanging out, in the backyard
Our first mile was 7:40, and suprisingly, I only slowed to 8:04 and 8:09 for my next two miles. He ended up leaving me after about 1.25/1.50 – I had told him prior to the race that he shouldn’t slow down on my account. But I’m very proud of myself for sticking with him as I did. After that, I just tried to concentrate on getting a song running through my head (Britney Spears’ “3″ did the trick, in case you are wondering.) I was pleasantly surprised to pass the 2 mile mark before my Garmin showed 16 minutes!!
Luckily, only a few ladies passed me over the course of the second half of the race, and I admit, I looked at them to try to determine if they were in my age group or not, LOL. Turns out the girl who just beat me at the finish line by 5 seconds was in my age group. But the next one wasn’t anywhere close – I beat 8th place by almost 2 WHOLE MINUTES!!
Stats from the Massport/Zumix Run to the Beat 5K:
Overall placement: 64/226
Division placement (F30-39): 7/47!!!!
Gender placement: 17/117!!!!
Garmin time: 24:45, official result time: 24:50
Anyway, we are hoping to run together again soon – I am hoping we can make it a regular occurrence. As we all know, you’re much less likely to skip out on a run when someone is waiting for you. Plus, I am always afraid of doing tempo runs on my own, and running with him could definitely substitute for one of those. (It’ll have to be an easy run day for him.)
Boats at Castle Island beach (I loved how blue the water was.)
I spent the rest of Saturday with my friend, Meg, at Castle Island. For those of you not familiar with Boston, it’s in South Boston. Neither of us felt like expending too much energy, so hanging out on the beach was just the ticket. There’s a beach shack type of eatery called Sullivan’s, and dinner for two of us cost an entire 11.30. Awesome!
All in all, the weekend was a really good one and was just what I needed after feeling kinda down toward the end of last week. I ran a race and I hung out with two really good friends. It’s funny - a few months ago, both of them were just coworkers of mine. Now I count them both as very good friends, people who I can talk to about so much. I feel very blessed to have them both in my life.