The race really won be over last year with 1) great beer and 2) an AMAZING post-race spread of food.
Good food + good beer = good race. :P
This year, the wife and I were joined by my BFF Sarah, her husband Brandon and their daughter Joanna.
Can you tell how excited Brandon was to run his first 5k? :P
There was rain on the forecast for the day and it was spitting on and off while we mulled around pre-race. The race itself began at 10am, but we knew the rain was really supposed to end at 1pm - but were hoping it may end early just for us. ;)
Tori & Joanna
As we stood around chatting and stretching, a couple blog readers (Sally and Jenny) came over to say hi! YAY! I love meeting people that enjoy reading my blog ...
With about 15-20 minutes to go before we lined up for the race, it was time to take my ENERGYbits and get #PoweredByBits.
And as the walkers kicked off the first wave of the race, the rain began to fall harder. Oh YAY ... not!
I didn't mind the rain so much, but it was causing the temp to drop - which was frustrating.
Finally, the walkers had gone as well as the wheelchair so it was time for the runners to hit the pavement.
Sarah and I were aiming for low 7 min/mile pace, but even at the Start my legs were feeling as heavy as lead. I wasn't totally sure why - maybe leftover soreness from last week's half or the previous day's workout (Day 1 of Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred).
But, right off the bat I knew I wasn't going to reach my goal of a sub 23 min half.
I told Sarah to run off without me, but being the good friend that she is she stuck by me.
Plus, it was going to be on the last races we would run together as she is moving to Maine next month. Sad I know!
The race started on a gradual hill - AWESOME, my favorite - and thankfully did offer a downhill at some point. Since you know, what goes up - must come down ... at some point!
We hit Mile One in about a 7:38 pace (if memory serves me correctly).
I was upset. What was going on. I wanted to will my body to go faster, but it wouldn't.
But, I powered on.
And then came another hill. Really Somerville? This course was hillier than I remembered for sure.
I believe Mile Two (with hill) was about a 7:45-ish minute mile.
Okay, going in the wrong direction.
But once we hit Mile Two, there was a glorious glorious downhill.
It was time to make up some serious time and try to save the race.
AAannddd then about 1/2 a mile from the Finish came a pain in my left hamstring that I had never felt before. OOUUCCHH!!
But, I wasn't about to stop. For a second, I thought I wasn't going to finish - then I remembered I finish what I start.
So Sarah motivated me through the last 1/2 mile.
Thank goodness for Sarah's positivity at the end.
Plus, I saw my friend George ahead and I had to try and catch up to him and finish as close to him as possible. It's fun being competitive with friends - as long as it is friendly competition. Like George and I have. It is motivating to have a friend with a similar pace that runs as many races as I do. :)
We finished in 23:31 minutes ... a 7:35 min/mile pace.
No PR BUT a course PR as in 2012 I finished the race in 24:06.
So I was wicked mad when we finished then I remembered how I finished my first-ever 5k in March 2005 in 38:21. Yeah this race was about 15 minutes faster. I will TAKE THAT!
Sarah and I met up with George and grabbed a celebratory Harpoon!
Brandon (Sarah's husband) rocked his first 5k run and finished in 30:19 ... while pushing Joanna in the stroller up the hills. I was wicked impressed and proud!
As Sarah and Brandon got in line for food, I hung with a sleeping Joanna. AND got 2 extra free beers from a guy who had a gluten allergy and he said I deserved them on Mother's Day!
Well, no need to tell him I wasn't a mom so I gladly thanked him and took the beers. ;)
As the rain picked back up, we moved our group inside to eat some of the delicious food provided from local Davis Square establishments.
I even got to see a friend from college and fellow AOII sister, Nadia, who I hadn't seen in ages.
She has embarked on her own weight loss and fitness journey so it was great to connect.
I saw a handful of my Weight Watchers members walking and running in the race as well!
After Joanna made sure the Mile markers were safely returned to the Finish line...
... it was time to part ways and head to home.
But, first Joanna decided that my beer needed a side of Mother's Day flower (that the race handed to all Moms).
Even with the rain, it was a great morning. I was annoyed with my race results, but reminded myself that running is about the friends, family, experience and beer!
Thank you to all the race organizers (especially my friend Paul), volunteers and Somerville cops for all you did to make a great race experience for all...