You know that Fall is approaching when the Racecancer Boston 5k Summer Series in winding down. I started this race series in May and can't believe that Race #5 has come and gone. May: Race #1 – 23:29 (7:34 min/mile pace) June: Race #2 - Did Not Start (Hamstring Injury) July: Race #3 - 24:19 (7:50 min/mile pace) August: Race #4 - 24:57 (8:03 min/mile pace) September (1): Race #5 - 22:39 (7:18 min/mile pace) September (2): Race #6 - September 18
My times are not what I have wanted, but I have given my all at those times, which is all I can ask of myself.
I had been disappointed in myself until Race #5, which took place on September 4. My original plan was to take the race super easy as I had my big big race just three days later.
But when the stars align on race day you need to take advantage.
The women's only 5k was set to start at 6pm. With the early race start many of the female racers were not in attendance - meaning a smaller field ... and many of the super speedy ladies wouldn't be racing.
Hmmm... my goal was to take advantage of that. ;)
So I lined up sort of near the front, but reminded myself to run my race.
The horn went off, I clicked on my Garmin and the game was on.
It was crazy being in the top 5 at the beginning of the race. As we took our first loop, I was in a small pack of runners (after 1 girl took off ahead of everyone) and I turned to the woman next to me and said "Wow! This is what the elite women at the Boston Marathon must experience!" Umm yeah not really a response or laugh. Ha. Oops. I guess not everyone likes to chat during a race. :)
It was exciting experience trying to keep up with the two girls just ahead of me.
When I saw the first water stop (thank you race for having 2 on the 5k course), I spotted the Mile 1 marker.
Mile 1: 6:55.
Ummm friends let's take a moment to reflect. The first mile buzzed with a pace with a 6 in the front. Holy crap! I almost teared up when I saw it. Yes I am that dorky. But how could I not? I remember when I started running in 2005 and could barely bust out a 14 min/mile pace. To see that kind of change over the years gives me chills.
Now I was feeling good, but I could tell my body was slowing down a little. Not sure if it was the heat or just tired legs. But I knew the last two miles wouldn't be as fast... and I was okay with that.
I just tried to keep the 2 girls within eye distance. I knew they were gaining ground, but I liked seeing them.
The second mile is pretty boring scenery wise - you have the Charles River on one side (yay) and a boulevard on the other (boring).
Mile 2 marker was met with another water stop ... and a girl flying by me! :P I was holding down 5th place until she came out of nowhere. But she was cooking it so I didn't get too huffy. ;)
Mile 2: 7:25
Off quite a drop. I tried to keep the big picture at the forefront.
The good thing about running the same course over and over again is familiarity. You know the ebbs and flows of the pavement and when you need to give the final kick!
It was kind of an odd experience basically running alone for the final mile. The few girls ahead of me were about a minute in front of me so I didn't see them through the twists and turns of the final mile. I also couldn't hear/see the girl behind me.
Just had to remind myself: One More Mile. You can do it.
So I tried my best to finish strong.
Mile 3: 7:31
When I passed the Mile 3 marker, I could see the Finish and hear folks cheering for someone else. I assumed she was right on my tail so I kicked in everything I had. I wasn't about to get passed in the final stretch of the race!
Final: 22:39 (7:18 min/mile)
I was ecstatic! It was 40 seconds slower than matching my 5k PR (21:59), but I felt proud of my overall performance. I thought I ran the best I could and had a great time being part of a small intimate race.
And holy crap! I finished 6th overall and 2nd in my division. Little 'ol me. I wanted to savor the experience since it will probably never happen again.
Now you may be wondering about the lack of mid-run selfie. Well I was wearing my glasses and I despise running/pics in glasses so there were no pics taken. Until...
I was given the great responsibility of sending off the co-ed 5k race with the bullhorn.
Hey-o! I am hitting the big times. ;)
I meant to head out to get home for dinner, but I ran into a friend Nacole. Nacole attends the Nike Run And Walk Club in Somerville on Wednesday nights. I took the time to catch up with her while she waited for her friends doing the co-ed 5k. She had already rocked the women's only 5k.
It was great to get to know her better and her friends.
While they all headed off to the post-race party, I ventured home for food. I promised that I would attend the post-race party for the final race on September 18.
If you haven't made it to a Racecancer Boston 5k Summer Series, you have one final chance - September 18 (women's only at 6pm and co-ed at 6:15). Feel free to register here.
Have you ever shocked yourself mid-race with an amazing split?