Tag Archives: race

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

Market Square Day 10K Race Report

17 Jun

Sad to say I have no photos right now. I’m not even sure if the course had official photographers? Oh well!

I’ve had so little desire to write lately. Due to a new job in the family, I’ve been leaving my house before 7am, getting home around 5:30-6, running after work, and promptly having no desire to do… well, anything at all. I’ve actually been hitting snooze in the morning, which hardly ever happens.

Anyway, back to this weekend’s race!

I drove up with one of my friends on Friday night, and we spent the night at B’s apartment. We got up the next morning at 7am, got our numbers, and chomped down some amazing bagels from a nearby coffee shop. There were around 2,000 runners, so Market Square was quickly filling up behind the starting line. We killed the extra time before the race back at B’s apartment, and went down about 10 minutes before gunfire.

As we approached I told myself “don’t get caught up in the excitement, and don’t try to pass anyone in the first mile.” I repeated that over and over then BOOM we were off. About half a mile in I did start to pass people… but they were walking! Either they REALLY burnt out quickly, or they were walkers that decided not to go to the back of the start for whatever reason. If it’s the latter… come on guys, race etiquette. At least move to the sides of the road.

My friends zoomed off ahead of me and I got into the groove of my music. Side note: don’t you just love it when certain songs come on at just the right time? I kept glancing down at my Garmin, trying to maintain somewhere around a 10:00 pace. I hadn’t done a run longer than 4 miles in a while, so I decided to play it safe.

My first walk break came at a water station in mile 4. I actually brought my own water bottle filled with Gatorade Endurance, knowing that I needed the extra sodium. Even with the Gatorade, I felt a cramp in my foot around 4.5 miles. It slowed me down just enough that I ended up missing my goal time by 26 seconds. Ugh. Oh well, easier to PR next time.

Oh, and this course felt like it was TOTALLY UPHILL. Honestly, now. I think the downhills were gradual enough that they felt flat, then next thing you know you’re running uphill again. There was one last decent-sized hill in the last .2, ending on a wonderful downhill.

My final time: 1:02:26. I really wanted to get sub-1:02.

HOWEVER. The tangents I took brought my distance to 6.25mi, meaning that my average pace was 9:59. hahahaha yes! Victory.

Splits:
9:55, 9:57, 10:08, 10:30 (cramp), 9:56, 9:48, 2:10 (.25mi)

The rest of the weekend was basically spent eating and sleeping. It was one friend’s first time in a timed race, and he was just chowing down everything. We made fun of him relentlessly. All in all a fantastic weekend.

Other new news: I started with my new running group, and I start personal training next week. Hello, more things to write about! If my desire to write regularly returns. Oye.

Reenergized

11 May

Okay I know this sounds super dramatic but whatever, I feel SO amazing today. After a rainy, cold, and windy weekend with sinus problems that could take down a yeti, I cannot even describe how spectacular I feel.

FRIDAY

The first week of each month, my gym does a special Zumba class that focuses on one popular song and everyone learns the official music video dance to that song. This week it was ‘Single Ladies’ and I love me some Bob Fosse, so I was all geared up for it. Wouldn’t you know it, 5 minutes in my right foot cramps up. So we meet again, muscle cramp. Determined not to have to leave, I kicked off my shoes and tried to work out the knot as I learned the steps. The pain finally went away, but the knot remains full force in my foot. 4 days of solid pain. Ugh. Thankfully I was able to get an appointment this week to see my magical massage therapist that got rid of my IT band pain.

SATURDAY

I spent most of the day indoors :( There were thunderstorms all morning, so I used the time to get some housework done. That night, my parents and I took my grandmother out for a Mother’s Day Eve dinner. Mushroom risotto <3

SUNDAY

Much to my mother’s dismay, I signed us up for a local Mother’s Day 3.5 miler. I’ve been getting her to walk around the block most afternoons (there’s a good 1 mile loop), so I wanted her to walk this… and I walked with her. Let me tell you, I sort of wish I had been running… it was frickin’ cold. There was one person in a full-on winter jacket with fur hood. I only had on yoga pants, a long-sleeved top, and the cotton t-shirt we were given. COOOOOOOLD. We stayed in the car for as long as we could, then joined the crowd at the start… wherever the official start line was.

There were a lot of hills on the course, something my mom wasn’t a big fan of. But she kept about a 17 minute pace most of the time. I even got her to run twice! She had two goals for the race: 1) don’t be last, and 2) come in under 1 hour 15 minutes.

As we were approaching the finish, the clock appeared over the top of the last hill: 59:30. I told my mom and got her to start running to the end. She came in at 1:00:01! Just one second over an hour! I told her that next year she’d be running it ;)

MONDAY/YESTERDAY

I woke up with a headache that knocked me back out until 6am (I wake up at 5am). Goodbye, morning strength workout. I debated not going to work, felt a little better, and decided to tough it out. BAD IDEA. The train was hotter than usual (or maybe it was just my body temp) but I felt worse than I did when I woke up. I pushed through about half a day in the office, then went home, finished some work from bed, popped a migraine pill, and took a quick nap.

…which brings us back to the beginning of this post. I think that extra rest yesterday did wonders because I feel like I could solve any problem ever today. Okay maybe not, but I can definitely finish some reports, yeah?

Three Things Thursday

29 Apr

ONE

I reintroduced intervals to my regiment this morning! Starting things off lightly:

.75 mi warm up jog @ 9:30
2×400 (Split 1: 2:00, Split 2: 1:57)
.75 mi cool down @ 9:26

Aw yeah, my strength is coming BACK! I figure that I’ll increase the intervals each week and slowly add in some 800s and 1600s. I’m feeling so good, I may do another 2×400 tonight.

TWO

I signed up for a local 3.5 miler in May… and I’m doing it with my mom! You have to understand, my mom is not the most active person. And ever since I moved home after college, I’m trying to rope her in to creating a healthier lifestyle along with me. I already have her onto healthy snacks and we’ve gotten rid of most of the overprocessed crap that once sat on our shelves (she looooves Trader Joe’s now). But the active thing has always been a barrier. I told her about the race, and she sort of ignored me. I talked to her the next morning and she set her mind on an outright “no, I can’t do it yet…” I told her that I wasn’t expecting her to run, and I’d walk with her… she’d just have to keep up! I walk pretty durn quickly. Finally, she said okay. YAY! I’m hoping that she’ll feel so great after it that she’ll want to keep that activity level going.

THREE

Just look at my lunch today. LOOK AT IT. Salmon, broccoli, veggie & shrimp tempura, Cali roll, and rice. Keyboard shown for size comparison.

I ate it all. Including the miso soup not pictured because I ate it before I even took a picture. Oh my belly is going to burst. Those post-work intervals are looking more appealing than ever.