It's the FINAL countdown... da da da daaaaa! After finishing Yulefest 5k on December 1st, I knew I needed to add one more race to my race calendar for 2013. Why? Well Yulefest marked my 30th race of the year and seeing as how I turned 31 in September I thought it would be fitting to complete 31 races the year I turned 31.
Was I really just finding an excuse to sign up for one more race? Maybe.
But let me live in my own little world here. Okay? Thanks.
I turned to Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the interwebs to find one more race supporting a great cause.
And there was the Jolly Jaunt 5k on Saturday, December 7th in Boston Common in support of the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.
On Friday, December 6th, I got a ride in town to pick up my bib at New Balance on Boylston Street. As we drove down Boylston, we drove over the Boston Marathon Finish Line. I tried to act cool, but like usual I started tearing up. Someday I am sure I won't start crying when I am in that area of Boston but for now I let my body and heart feel whatever emotions it needs to.
The bib pick-up was easy peasy and I was in out and in about 3 minutes. Score!
I love the long-sleeved t-shirt - a nice benefit of running winter races in New England.
The race kicked off at 10am on Saturday, which meant I could sleep in a little. It would be my last Saturday to sleep in since Boston Marathon training with Tedy's Team starts December 14th.
My wife dropped me off at 9:30am. I wandered around Boston Common looking for the two people I knew running, but unfortunately never connected with them. I did, however, find the awesome folks of ENERGYBits so I was able to catch up with them.
(Note: If you are looking to try ENERGYBits, you can use discount code WeightOffMyShoulders for 25% off your order!)
Before I knew it it was time to line up. Yes recently at races I have gotten so caught up in chatting with folks that the whole "race" thing sneaks up on me. ;)
The race had just under 1,000 participants on hand - running and walking - and most of the field were rocking some amazingly festive outfits. I loved the buzz before the Start. There were so many families participating and lots of kids getting ready to
beat me run fast. ;)
After the police gave the A-okay, the race was on. Pretty much right on time - I love a prompt Start.
I decided to leave my music at home and just take in the atmosphere. I also went into the race without any expectations. I just wanted to go out feeling happy and healthy.
My right foot felt better than it had at Yulefest and I noticed a slightly quicker pace on my Garmin. I knew I wouldn't PR, but I made sure to give the race my 100%.
The number of spectators were small since it was supposed to be very cold temps, but the ones along the course were sure vocal! :) I got distracted by all the costumes around me that I didn't realize we were already at the half way mark.
As we made the turn at the half way mark to head back to Boston Commons, we actually merged on to a portion of the Boston Marathon course. I got lost in my thoughts and transported back to Marathon Monday - the last time I had run this part of the city. I allowed only the happy memories to flood into my brain.
It gave me the little boost in my step that I needed.
I checked in on the Garmin and saw I had just 1/2 a mile to go. My Santa socks were slipping down and my headband was starting to slip back on my head, but I was tuning that stuff out.
I looked to my right as we turned on to Arlington St and there was my stoop. It was the stoop I sat on with my friend Robin after the Boston Marathon where I waited for my family. Every time I pass that stoop I start to tear up and I could feel myself doing it again. So I turned back in front of me and focused on getting to the Finish.
I needed a distraction.
So I found a person in front of me and made it my goal to beat them. I got a little deeper into my form and pulled any extra speed I had from inside.
The Finish Line was buzzing with supporters, families and racers who had already finished.
Race #31 was in the books. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, a fun race and great awareness raised for one amazing organization.
Despite my bum right foot (damn that metatarsalgia), I posted a 23:56 finish time. Wow! I was definitely happy with those results.
I am missing my speed from earlier in the year, but I know that it is out of my control right now. I know I will get in back in due time.
But I need to thank New Balance and the Special Olympics of Massachusetts for a great race. I will be back next year for sure!
For now, I will continue planning my 2014 racing schedule as 2013 has officially come to a close.
I think. ;)
Do you have any more races in 2013?