Tag Archives: 5K

another personal record

17 Apr

So I’m not completely sure why, but I’ve PR’d in my last three 5Ks. Today’s was pretty awesome because we got to cross the Boston Marathon finish line. And, oh yeah, I got an amazing time.

When I woke up this morning, it was POURING. Hard wind, hard rain, just plain yuck. I seriously considered not going for a few minutes. Thank goodness I didn’t go that route, because the rest of the day has been beautiful and I would’ve been kicking myself hard.

The start of the race was pretty chilly. I was wearing a t-shirt and arm warmers; not much insulation there. But I figured if I had worn a long-sleeved shirt, it would’ve been bad news bears. The rain had stopped at this point, but it was still very overcast and misting. I claimed a spot in the corral around 7:40am (there were no pacing indicators, so I just went wherever) and just jiggled in place for 20 minutes. Whee.

Aaaand we’re off!

mile 1: 9:18

I wasn’t nervous about this race at all, and just decided to go with the flow again. I was very familiar with the course, and knew when to anticipate hills. There were a few walkers before we even made it a half mile in. Incredibly poor pacing, or intentional walker who placed herself way too far up in the corral? No idea. A lot of weaving was happening, and at one point I got caught in a half-circle of 10:30-11 minute runners. That was tough to break out of and set me back a few seconds. S’all good, though. Just before the 1 mile mark was the big hill of the course: up Park St to the State House. Wheeee hill surges!

mile 2: 8:41

What goes up must come down. The first half mile is all basically downhill, going back to a flat route for the rest of the course. Nothing too special here. I began thinking that maybe I was taking my pace too hard, but just kept rolling with what I was doing anyway.

mile 3: 8:32

It’s interesting to note that last year, my best mile interval time was 8:26. And I ran my final mile of a 5K only 6 seconds slower. Just sayin’. This was a straight shot up Comm Ave, a left onto Hereford, then we shadowed the feeling of finishing the Boston Marathon by turning left onto Boylston to cross the Marathon finish line. I had created a playlist with a set order of songs just for this race, and the best possible song to finish on ended just as I crossed the finish line. Perfect.

Garmin time: 27:18
Average pace: 8:48

I’m a sub-9 minute miler now. In the last month, I’ve improved my 5K time by more than two minutes. I can’t tell you how amazing that feels, considering just 4 months ago, I was battling some weird stigma in my head that I would forever be a 10 minute miler, and I couldn’t get through a 5K without walking. With every race I complete, I’m pushing all that bull away. Sure, this can’t keep happening for every race, and I know that maybe next time I might end up back in 28, 29, or 30. But I feel much more confident in my abilities, and for once I think that maybe in the future, I could run a Boston qualifier.

For now, I’ll enjoy my shiny new medal and PR.

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Ras na hEireann 5K

14 Mar

Apparently, an awful week = motivation to kick ass in a race. Beating my goal time and running negative mile times? Yespleasethankyou.

I ran the Ras na hEireann 5K yesterday, which was a madhouse of 5,000-6,000 runners in Davis Square. MADHOUSE. I don’t know why such a large number is allowed to run there. Combined with having one of the worst intersections in Greater Boston, Davis has a lot of one-way streets and angry drivers due to blocked roads.

Anyway, I made small chat with a girl at the start because hey I’m running alone, might as well talk to somebody. It was freezing. The forecast had said sunny and low 50s, but it was most definitely cloudy and cold. Wouldn’t have been a problem if I had brought gloves and did a proper warm-up. I felt good and warmed up about 2-2.5 miles in… yeah.

Mile 1: 9:51

With the size of the crowd, it took forever to break into a good pace and stop weaving. There were some walkers who must have started up at the 7-8 min/mile pace area. Fail. There was a hill about half a mile in where I picked off a bunch of people. I love a good hill surge. My music shuffle started me off with some Dropkick and I decided to maintain an all-Dropkick playlist for the remainder of the race. It was an Irish race, after all.

Mile 2: 9:19

Finally settled on a pace. Another small hill, and a big downhill for recovery. I began to feel a bit tired since I hadn’t eaten much, but I was determined to get past this stupid mental block I’ve been having. Any time a negative thought entered my mind about my ability, I tried to pick up the pace a bit. No stopping, no giving up on something that should be so simple for me by now. I tried not to look at my watch too much, fearing a time over 30 minutes.

Mile 3: 9:07

Aside from a small hill, the course flattened from here. We rounded the last corner and finished down a bike path. The problem with this bike path? It was flanked by mud on both sides, and in some areas, large puddles seeping onto the brick pathway caused runners to squeeze together as if we were sand racing through an hourglass. How wonderfully metaphorical of me. It slowed me down a bit, but clearly not enough to ruin a rockin’ mile time. With a quarter mile to go, I finally looked down at my watch and realized I could easily take a sub-30.

Finish Line: 8:37

Including a header for a tenth of a mile? Yes, because stupidly important race logistics here. I picked up my pace, ready to make a strong finish. As I approached the line, I noticed a huge crowd of people barely moving. Excuse me, there’s a finish line under all of your feet. This crowd back here needs to cross it. The runners ahead of us were moving so slowly after the finish that the crowd had backed up into the race path. According to the difference between my Garmin time and my chip time, it took me 8 seconds to cross the finish. Insane. And the crowd just kept trudging along, with the backup becoming worse and worse behind us. We were corralled between fences on either side, so it wasn’t like we could even disburse and clear the congestion.

Overall, I enjoyed the race. But the finish line was a disaster. Not to mention the lines 6,000 runners create at bars when free beers are on the menu. And they didn’t have all the same finisher medals for everyone. Trite, but an oddity to note.

Gun time: 32:22
Chip time: 29:26
Real time: 29:18, 9:24 average pace

A Surprising Pace and Discovery

2 Apr

Still having a lot to do at work, I opted to do my run after work instead of at lunch (I didn’t get to lunch until 2, so I would have burnt out horribly). Oh man, I’m glad I waited. I did a lakerun 5K and even though the wind was TOTALLY working against me I made great time:

Distance: 3.15 miles
Time: 30:28
Pace: 9:40

Considering I intended on taking it easy and keeping my pace around 10 minutes, I’m pretty pleased! And although I didn’t have a PR, I FELT a lot better than when I PRed with my tough running group back in January. I’ll give this 5K a Personal Best ;)

Of course, I had a cramp in my left foot when I finished. This time the muscle was actually twitching, so I knew it was a sodium issue. When I got home and got ready to shower, I must have wiped my mouth across my arm or something but HOLY CRAP. Is that sweat on me, or ocean water? Maybe I need to eat something crazy salty a short time before running, because it seems like it’s all leaving my body while I run. Good thing I’m in pre-training mode right now. I’ll use this time to start experimenting with more cramping solutions… Gatorade Endurance, salt packets, Shot Bloks while running any distance, etc.

In other news, two of my coworkers are making breakfast for the office today! We have a full kitchen (we’re in an old apartment), so we’re having pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Then I get a free lunch at a nearby restaurant! Add in the amazing 70° weather, and it’s going to be a fabulous Friday!