Boston Summer Nights are made for 5ks along the Charles River. Thankfully Racecancer is giving me six chances to take in the glorious views of the water during the Boston 5k Summer Series. August 14th marked the fourth installment of the race and the weather was perfect - 6:30pm start for Women's Only 5k and a 7pm start for the Co-Ed 5k.
I got there a tad early to walk around and take in the sponsor tents. Since I have the season pass for the race series, I use the same bib for all 6 races so I didn't need to pick anything up.
The week prior to the race I experienced a quad injury, which left me with 5 forced rest days. For those that read this blog, you know that is unheard of in my world recently. ;) So it was tough.
The 5k would mark my first run since the injury so my goal was to take it easy.
But I am a horrible pacer when trying to take it easy during a race - I get swept up in the adrenaline of a race. I turned my Garmin over so I wouldn't be tempted to quicken up my pace if I felt I was running "too slow."
I was excited to be testing out my New Balance gear for the first time in a race - I had previously worn it for cross training and practice runs. Aren't those Foam Fresh 980s sweet?
Just before 6:30 I moved myself over to the Start Area for the Women's Only 5k.
My goal? Make it through pain free.
Race Director, Alain, spoke to the crowd briefly and shared a moment of silence for a member of the community's family member who had passed away from cancer. After the moment and race instructions, we were off.
The good thing about a race series means you become very familiar with the course. Knowing the course means less focus on going the right way and more about taking in the views.
Mile 1: 8:09
Even when the Garmin buzzed at Mile One, I went against my instincts and didn't sneak a peek. I was feeling good and wanted to focus on that.
Thankfully there wasn't any quad pain during the race. Now the pesky left hamstring pain took the forefront. I guess it was masked the week before by the quad pain.
It is a lingering pain from May and I know with more rest it will heal ... which I can do once the Half Ironman is over.
I want to commend the 5k for having two water stops on the course (Mile 1 and Mile 2). It is greatly appreciated by the runners.
Now I am doing this race alone and without music so it is all me and my thoughts during the run. ;) Which is a tough thing sometimes. The self-doubt and negative talk can come out in full effect. Trying to banish it is what I am working on.
Mile 2: 8:06
I passed on the water at the second water stop, but the volunteers were cheering everyone on loudly. Something I truly appreciated since this stretch of the race is a little light on the views/fan fare.
As I took the left onto the Arsenal St bridge, I smacked right into two guys standing with their bikes in the middle of the path. The race takes place on an open bike path, but I don't think these guys were ready to share the road. I let them know that there were a bunch of runners behind me and to make sure they stay on one side of the road.
It is all about sharing the road path folks!!
Once over the Arsenal St bridge, you take a left and head straight back to the Start on the path. This is a shady area along the water, which is great for a selfie break.
Now this is why I tell people to take multiple shots. Not every one will be a winner. ;)
(Read more at Mid-Run Selfie)
Mile 3: 8:04
I made sure just before Mile 3 to readjust the outfit before crossing the Finish Line. Gotta look good for those Finish Line photos. ;)
Very good for having come off rest and keeping it conservative.
After grabbing some water and stretching, I was debating taking part in the Co-Ed 5k as well (women's entry gets them into both races), but decided to keep it smart. I had the Falmouth Road Race (7 miles) on the Sunday and didn't want to risk any further injury.
But I did make sure to cheer them off.
It was a great turnout and I know folks had a great after party at Miller's Boston Ale House with Clown Shoes on tap.
I celebrated my 5k with my Chocolate Milk at home. At some point I will make it to an after party ... well I have 2 chances left. :P
Speaking of the next Boston 5k Summer Race is September 4 and you can register here (6pm for Women's Only and 6:30 for Co-Ed).
Will I see you there?