So long, summer racing

Yesterday’s 5k can be summed up in 2 words: PAIN-FEST. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first lets rewind to the rest of the day.

Because I know you all want to know my daily schedule, my Thursday are spent all day at school with class followed by a 2.5hr lab. Normally I would hate this, as I have hated most labs in my program, but this one is more case studies and critical thinking, so it’s not nearly as bad (or smelly), and actually really interesting. My group ended up finishing our lab a little early, which either means we had no idea what we were doing, or we did great, who knows. I’ve mentioned the weather a couple times this week, so it was no surprise when I left school that it was still a gazillion degrees. I’m still committed to practicing some good race habits, so I wanted to get in some sort of warm-up, but didn’t really want to run around in the heat much longer than I had to. I decided I had enough time, so headed to a Boston Sports Club to do an indoor warm-up. I realized I had only brought enough clothes for the race, so I ducked into a Marshalls and picked up this gem for $5.

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Don’t mind my weird face, I promise I did want to be there. I have a bad habit of buying work-out things when I forget them. Thank god for places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx, I think I’ve bought more $10 sports bras than anyone needs in a lifetime. I know you’re probably thinking that one workout probably isn’t worth the trouble and money to buy something you forgot, but it is for me.

I ended up doing about 30 minutes of cardio, just enough to work up a sweat but not work my legs too hard. I did a couple stretches and then changed into my race shirt for the night.IMG_0823

I’ve been trying to sport my Boston gear during races, gotta represent.

I jumped back on the T (that’s what we call our subway in Boston) and headed over to the Charles River for the 5k. I mentioned this race series in a previous post, but they’re the best. They’re held on the 3rd Thursday (I realize yesterday wasn’t the 3rd Thursday, figuring it was early for light purposes) of every month May-September. These races have changed a bit over the years. They used to be 4 milers where everyone would start at once, but now they are 5ks with wave starts. These are not extremely official or fancy races, you kinda just line up wherever the race director decides to start, and then you line up in order at the end so they can kinda guess about what your time might be – so PSA: this is not the B.A.A. BUT, they’re so much fun. There are always awesome live bands, there’s a BBQ and they usually have enough free beer for everyone to have at least 3 – all for $30.

Anyone who can run a 5k <24 minutes is put in the first wave, so I hurried over there to make my wave start at 6:30. I had plans to meet my husband somewhere near the porta-potties (we’re so romantic), but between me taking the train and him driving from work, our timing didn’t really match up and I ended up heading to the start without him. I ran into a couple people from my running club and we chatted a bit before I took a position a bit towards the front of the pack. These races are on trails by the river, so it’s pretty narrow. If you want a chance to run hard, I suggest you get to the front, otherwise you’re at the mercy of the pace of those in front of you. The course is a bit strange as it loops around the start (I know I’m not selling this race too well at this point, but I promise, it’s awesome), which ended up being great because I spotted Ben, my husband, and he jumped in to try to pace me to a PR- ha. Ben is an amazing runner. He ran XC at Lehigh University and is way way way faster than me. Since he was late and couldn’t really “race” the race, it was nice to have some company. I felt good through the first mile, but then the heat and humidity really started to hit me. By about half way, I was looking at my watch just hoping I would be closer to the finish than I actually was. I thought about stopping at the water stop to recollect myself, but I always feel a bit funny stopping at a water stop in a 5k. Since it’s such a hard effort, a few seconds here or there can really make your time. Anyways, by mile 2 I knew I could stick it out for 1+ more miles, but was feeling pretty awful. As we made our way into the last .10m, I knew I was pretty far off my PR. I made it to the end, stopped my watch, and then tried not to throw up in the line to hand in my number. Unofficial finish: 23:09. Not my worst, but definitely not my best. However, in talking to people after the race, I realized most people struggled in the heat, and I was pretty happy with this race because it was a hard effort for me, and I feel like I gutted it out even when I felt terrible. All in all, it was a really fun night. The band flew up from New Orleans that morning to play, and I was obsessed. A few of the band members actually jumped in and ran the race – how cool is that!? A good friend of ours at the race is from LA, so we all had fun dancing and drinking too much free Harpoon. I’ll leave you with one last picture, you can thank Ben for capturing my stellar dance moves.

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Hope you all have a great Friday! 🙂