This summer I was asked by the lovely PR folks for Assembly Row in Somerville to take part in their campaign called "Faces of Assembly Row." Well the video finally hit the airwaves yesterday... check it out below: [embedplusvideo height="281" width="450" editlink="http://bit.ly/1e165E7" standard="http://www.youtube.com/v/gUSKzV7F-aI?fs=1" vars="ytid=gUSKzV7F-aI&width=450&height=281&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=" id="ep2750" /]
Sometimes a race is more than a race. Was that deep?
Okay. I'll skip the poetic opener and get to the good stuff. ;)
I love being a part of inaugural races AND uber local races.
The Race To The Row 5k, which took place on August 18, fit both those categories.
Well it was directly across the street from my neighborhood.
Short commute for the win! :)
I actually had the honor of giving away a free entry to the race thanks to the organizers - Somerville Road Runners - and was excited to meet the winner, Shimmy, on race day (it was her first 5k race).
On Saturday, August 17, we headed over to Assembly Row to pick up my bib/t-shirt at Sports Authority, peek around Assembled (weekly artist market) and have the wife get some grub from the food trucks!
Saturday night I took my first stab at applying the KT Tape myself. I had used it on my last two marathons and loved it, but always had a professional administer it at the race expo.
Thankfully the videos on KTTape.com were very helpful and easy to follow.
I thought it looked pretty darn good. I even gave it a try on my ailing wrist.
The other half said I looked like a Power Ranger. Agree? :P
The race started at 9:30am on Sunday which meant we got to sleep in ... as best as possible with the 2 pups. ;)
As always I had laid out my outfit the night before so I didn't have to think at all that morning while getting ready.
We set to leave the house by 8:45am so we could hit Dunkin' Donuts before the race.
I actually had the coffee before my run for one of the first times ever. It was risky to change my pre-race routine, but I was okay with it - I set low expectations for the outcome of the race (which I'll touch on later).
We arrived at the starting area just before 9, which was perfect since the little kid Fun Run was happening at 9.
I was happy to see some familiar faces at the race including my friend and fellow Weight Watchers Leader Heather and my Tedy's Team running mate Meg and her husband Josh.
Heather and I pre-race
We all chatted until we heard the warning call to line up. I quickly hit up the table to get my "hell yes I am 21 and will be having a beer post-race" wristband. ;) Priorities!!
I kept glancing around the crowd to see how many folks were participating in the run-walk and it looked to be about 200. Great turnout for a first-time local run.
The race director gave a countdown through his makeshift megaphone and we were off.
It was a looping pattern so we would run part of the course twice, which was fine by me.
I didn't put any pressure on myself for this race. Since I have been focusing more on my long distance running/Dopey Challenge training I haven't been doing so much speed work. This would be the first time I would be testing the legs in a 5k race since May.
As we headed out on the course, I caught a glimpse of my average pace time about 1/2 a mile in and there was a 6:45 starting back at me.
Did I read that right?
I was in shock! But tried not to get too excited. There were 2.6 more miles to go. :P
The organizers did a great job keeping the run within the Assembly Row Marketplace and the surrounding streets. We didn't have to cross any huge intersections, there were plenty of volunteers and not multiple water stops. Bravo folks! Bravo!
My Garmin buzzed off for Mile 1 and flashing back at me was indeed a sub-7 pace.
I shook my head and kept going.
It couldn't be.
I had to keep my focus so I picked one person in front of me and made a pact with myself that I HAD to pass her by the end of the race ... and then stay in front of her.
As I passed her heading to the Mile 2 marker, 2 other women passed me. Agghh! I kept those two women as close to me as I could, but they were darn speedy!
We hit Mile 2 and according to my Garmin I was still sub-7 pace. Holy heck.
I decided that no matter what I would give it all I had for the last mile. Since it was kind of a loopy-out and back situation going on, I was able to cheer for friends as I raced to the Finish.
I looked down and we were at 2.6 miles. Okay legs give it all you have ... and that is exactly what I did.
Can you tell by the pic? This is me coming into the Finish Line thanks to the wife.
I clicked the Garmin as I crossed the Finish. There it was 6:56 average pace.
Now, in retrospect, I should've known it wouldn't be sub 7 since my watch had us at 3.16 miles instead of the 3.1 for a 5k. Logic should've set it, but I was too darn happy ... and too ready for beer. :)
Either way I had PRed (previous PR 22:20) and THAT was one pleasant surprise. I was more excited talking to my friends who had done amazing things during the run
Meg & I post-race in the beer garden
AND meeting up with Shimmy, the giveaway winner.
She had set out 2 goals: 1) finish in under 33 minutes and 2) give it all she had. And you know what? She did both. Way to rock it Shimmy!! :) :)
Big thanks to Burger Dive for providing great post-race BBQ and for Harpoon Brewery for donating the delicious post-race brews.
Overall, it was one amazing morning. I can't wait to participate next year too!
Oh and those final results were:
I finished in a PR of 21:59.2 (7:05 min/mile). I was 38 out of 208 overall, 9 out of 115 females and 4 out of 55 in my division.
How could I not be proud with those sorts of numbers?
Little 'ol me posted those. I have certainly come a long way since my first 5k in Somerville in March 2005 when I posted a time of 38:21.
And either way: I got to cross the Finish Line of yet another race. The best moment of it all.
Are you in or around the Somerville, MA area? If so, I highly recommend coming over our way and checking out the uber-local Assembled, the Handmade Arts Market at Assembly Row. It offers local artisans, music and some pretty darn delicious food trucks - if you ask me. ;)
Did I also mention free admission??
I have the pleasure of living right across the street from the Assembly Row area, which most people know as the area of Somerville that has the Christmas Tree Shops. :P Whatever landmark you need to use is fine, but I think that gives most people an idea of where in the city this is located.
Assembly Row is nestled between the Sullivan Square and Wellington stops on the Orange Line, but does offer ample free parking if you are stopping by while out and about.
There is a booth (pictured above) where you can catch what Assembly Row should look like when it is completed next year with outlet shops, restaurants and a movie theater. They are even getting their very own orange line stop (Yes closer to my house!)
They actually shut down a portion of the through street to hold the event. The info booth sort of acts as the separator between the artist booths and the food trucks. It makes it flow nicely.
One one end of the street are all the amazing vendors - think Etsy type products! :)
I am always impressed with such creative people so this area of the market always inspires me. There are folks out there selling art work, clothing, bird feeders, hand painted stemware, woodwork, home-made delicacies and so much more.
I loved this wine rack, but unfortunately we do not have the decor to pull it off.
Can you tell there was a theme to my shopping? ;)
Books made in to pocketbooks! How creative. I wish I was cool enough to come up with things like that. I'm just glad there are people out there than can ... and do! :)
And then I caught the cutest dress in the corner of my eye and knew I had to grab it for my 'niece' Joanna.
The booth was adorably designed all around ... I mean hello great use of sidewalk chalk!
Sarah Joyce Designs and company easily won for cutest booth of the day! (She was sharing the booth with another designer)
The Black and Red Lady Bug Pillow case Dress would be mine!!
How freakin' adorable will Joanna look in this? I didn't care that it was a size too big. I had to buy it. :)
Then as we continued around the booths my other half spotted something she just had to have.
There were a lot of cute things at this booth, but the thing she had to have was a piece of stemware.
Yup, a beer stein with a painted mustache on it ... and matching shot glass!
The big decision then was ... which mustache to pick! The tough choices in life... :P
The booths were all amazing and I made sure to stop at each to really appreciate all the time and hard work that went into these pieces.
After seeing such amazing artists and passing tent after tent of yummy fudges, popcorn and BBQ sauces,
it was time to hit up the food side of the market!
They had about half a dozen picnic table set up in the middle of the street with the 4 food trucks spread out on either side.
It was wicked hard to decide which truck to try, but we finally picked the Away Cafe!
We decided on the Sausage Basil Onion (left) and the Smoked Pulled Pork (right).
Boy was the decision tough - drunken chicken sounds pretty fantastic - but these were DELICIOUS!!!
And we were lucky that on August 3rd the Dock Dogs were performing!
The pups were adorable and some were making jumps for the first time. A little stage fright for a few, which made it even cuter when they finally did get in the water.
Do you like the pup I had the honor of standing next to during the performance?
Jealous of his hair, right?
So make sure if you find yourself in the Somerville area on a Saturday between 11-4 be sure to stop on by Assembled ... I promise it won't disappoint. Plus, it feels good to support, shop and eat local!!