“If It’s Not hard, Why Do It?”: Jamestown Bridge 10k Recap

When I checked the course map for Sunday’s Jamestown Bridge 10k, the following keywords popped up:

Average Terrain, Hard Difficulty, Hilly Contour, Long Climb Contour, Oceans, Road Surface, Scenic Surroundings

Oh No.

After running this race my personal keywords are: Rain, hills, wind, rain, wind, hills, rain, rain, COLD.

Ok, so I think you now know, it was windy & raining hard and absolutely FREEZING. However, I’m still happy with my performance, and it gives me a huge kick in the butt in regards to SFM marathon training.

The morning started early, 5:50 to be exact and I woke up, peered out the window and noticed that the streets looked wet, but it seemed as if the rain had stopped, fist pump! I started my coffee maker and started packing for a brief trip home following the race and fueling. By the time Katy swung by at 6:30am to pick me up it was full on pouring rain. We greeted each other acknowledging that we were completely crazy and that we probably wouldn’t expect too much out ourselves in this hilly, and now rainy & windy 10k.

We chatted the entire way there and before we knew it we were parking at North Kingston High school, again, it was still POURING like cats and dogs. We waited in the pouring rain and then finally boarded a shuttle and made our way to the start line. Once we were there it was insanely windy. I had dressed rather conservatively, a running jacket, short sleeve top & running crops but I forgot my gloves. FAIL. My hands by the end of this race were so cold that they felt like paws. We chatted briefly, met up with ACS superstar, Robert Frary and joked about the awful weather. Robert is in remission from throat cancer, hardcore runner and generally awesome person. Despite not being able to eat a normal quantity of food due to side effects from treatment, he absolutely LOVES to run. This doesn’t stop him one bit and next weekend he will be running the Cox Providence Marathon, which will be his third marathon so far this year. Good luck Robert!

The Race

Shortly after, we were on our way. The course starts on a fairly steady downhill so I kept glancing at my garmin to make sure I wasn’t going out too fast. Ooops, I was pacing 7:30 splits. I told myself to dial back, and then I saw Katy start to wiz by me, I warned her that we were on 7:35-ish pace and to hold back, we had some serious hills coming up!

Mile 1: 7:40

Apparently I didn’t heed any advice from Marathoner’s last weekend who said to always conserve your legs in the beginning on down hills. Whoops.

After the first mile mark we started our descent up the Jamestown Bridge. TRIMOM was NOT lying when she said that this was a scenic, but challenging course. Once the bridge was in view my mouth literally dropped and I said to myself “MOTHER EFFER” (Sorry mom) At this point we were right on open water and we were running STRAIGHT into the wind. I just tried to keep my head down, glance at the water and focus. There was a race photographer out on the bridge and I am seriously terrified to see these photos. The climb was difficult, but it was relatively gradual, so at least we had that going for us.

Mile 2: 8:55

After we crested the top of the Jamestown Bridge, we started going down hill again, Oh holy GOD, THANK YOU! I tried to hold back and make sure I wasn’t killing my quads, so I just tried to get into a groove and get to a good pace and brace for a relatively steady flat land. From here the course made it’s way through a really cute little coastal neighborhood. A lot of the neighbors all came out and cheered the runners on, there was even a grandmother holding a pot and banging it with a wooden spoon. Thank you Grandma! We went down a small but steep downhill and then hit a water & Gu stop. I ran w/ a water bottle so I decided to grab a Gu and take as much as I could. I choked it down and then continued on.

Mile 3: 8:04

What goes down, must go back up….eeek. The course then turned right and went back up a small, but very steep hill. This was where I was really feeling it. I had mentally prepared for other hills, but not this one. I just slowed my pace and soldiered on.

Mile 4: 8:37

At the 4 mile marker we then hit our last water station and continued our journey back onto the Jamestown Bridge. I was really hurting here and cursing myself for going out so fast. The only good news about running on the bridge again was the fact that we had the wind at our backs, thank you TAIL WIND! I felt as if my legs were cinder blocks and I trudged up the hill. I just kept telling myself that it would be over soon and this was great preparation for the HBH Half & SFM.

Mile 5: 8:51

Mile 5 was then a downhill, THANK YOU! Everyone was flying by me at this point and I was just trying not to completely fall apart. I coasted down the hill and then I noticed that we had to scale the same down hill that we had started so quickly on. This is when I really started to panic. My legs were so tired that I seriously had no idea how I was going to do this. I tried to focus on my crumbling form, but I kept on falling apart. The hill continued and I just kept on telling myself I could do it.

Mile 6: 9:20

The last .2 was a total blur, I seriously felt like I was crawling up the hill! I saw some runners that had finished earlier and they told us that the finish was just around the corner, I found every last bit of energy I had and pushed it into overdrive, trying hard to finish strong.

.25 2:11

Garmin: 6.25 Miles: 53:41 Average Pace 8:35

Official results: 278/930 Kimberly Chambers 53:42 8:39 F

Check out this amazingly high quality video of the race complete with only the most bumpin’ tracks.

Overall, I was relatively happy with this race. It was extremely challenging and it was fun to get out run in a different part of New England, and as always it was really fun running this race with Katy! I did really hate the rain and wind, but it is great to race in those conditions, as you never know what the weather might do on the day of your “A Race”. Even though I was cursing the course the entire time, I do think I will try to run this again. You can’t improve if you never push yourself, right?

SOGGY.

Afterwards Katy and I chatted about what non-runners say to us when we tell them about running races like the Jamestown Bridge 10k and Heartbreakhill Half. They ultimately always ask, “if it’s so hard, why are you doing it.” We then ultimately decided, “if it not hard, why do it?” and this is going to be my running mantra for the remainder of 2011.

Have you ever signed up for a race purely because it was challenging?

Weekend Recap: Cocktails, Cupcakes & Good Friends

Does anyone remember the Sound of Music? Aside from “Edelweiss”, “The Hills are Alive” I think of Julie Andrews belting out her version of Friday Faves : “These are a few of my favorite things” since this weekend was absolutely gorgeous & full of great times, I feel like if I was actually creative I could put my own spin on these. However, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’ll list it off…

On Friday night my bestie from High School was in town, Kaitlin, and played bartender and made absolutely sinful cucumber basil gin martinis. Seriously, I’m not sure if a single drink could encapsulate all of my favorite things in one fancy glass.

We spent the night chatting, joking, munching and laughing! I was so happy that she was able to squeeze in a quick visit before her family obligations.

This is a riff on her mom’s Facebook photos where she is always making a cute face & holding a fancy cocktail 🙂 Sorry Kay!


Saturday I woke up feeling a little out of it, but it was so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist heading out for a quick three mile run. Afterward I got ready & headed downtown to meet up with some fabulous blogger ladies! Emily, Lauren, Becky, Lizzy & Corey


[Read more…]

St. Patrick’s Day 5k Race Recap

This past Sunday I ran the 71st Annual South Boston St. Patrick’s Day 5k, starting and ending at the Boys & Girls Club of South Boston. The 5k starts at 11am prior to the 1pm South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, so the neighborhood is primed and ready to spectate the two thousand person road race.

Lizzy didn’t want to risk getting injured after running 20 miles the day before, so she graciously gave me her number. It was a great to see one of my favorite running buddies 🙂 Since I switched jobs in October, I went from seeing her nearly everyday in the office to now every few months. Luckily, we’ve vowed to change that and already have a few running dates on the calendar for the next few weeks! She told me I needed to run fast and get both of us a PR 😉

The course was hilly, and as soon as it started I thought to myself “ugh what am I doing?!” People were hanging out of their apartments cheering and yelling “why are you running? You should be drinking!” Stay classy Southie.

The race had two major hills, one right at the beginning, and another around the mile mark. Since it’s an out and back course, those were repeated at during mile 2, eek! Other than the hills, the race was great! It was a beautiful day and everyone was out spectating and getting ready for the infamous South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The runners were also dressed up head to toe in green garb and there was a lot of excitement in the air.

Unlike the An Ras Mor 5k, there was a chip which tracked your time from when you started and finished the race, so I was able to get an accurate 5k time! I crossed the finish line in 23:50, a new PR! After the race I chatted with Lizzy and we have made a pact to try to get down to 22 (ANYWHERE in 22 minutes, really!) From there I walked to a friend’s party for a few hours, walked back along the parade route and then finally met up with my boyfriend and all our friends at his St. Patrick’s Day Parade party.

Junior, my friend’s Bernese Mountain Dog was in full spirit rocking a green polo shirt 🙂

Still rocking my race gear, while celebrating with a few pints 🙂 Doesn’t Foxy look SOOO stylish!?

Party Couch!

Overall it was a great weekend, I was so glad I chose to run the road race AND celebrate with friends. I promise this is the last time I include “St. Patrick’s Day ____” in a post in 2011!  Slainte!

New Kicks and An Ras Mor 5k Race Recap

A weekend I’m actually in Boston…say WHAT?! The past few months have been busy, with a few weekends in NYC, skiing in NH, Maine, and VT we really haven’t had time to breathe. My apartment has been a bit of a disaster for the past few weeks, so I knew a weekend at home to take care of errands, cleaning and actually seeing friends was a must.

So after watching Duke successfully beat Maryland on Friday and a very much needed chance to sleep in on Saturday, Foxy and I headed off to run some errands. The first stop was South End Athletic Company to pick up a new pair of running shoes and use my $50 Gilt City voucher that my friend Lizzy told me about! Lizzy’s brother ran cross country in college with the owners, so there was an added incentive to check it out. The shop opened in the fall of 2009 in one of my favorite neighborhoods, so I was really excited to support a local business started by people that are passionate and running and a healthy lifestyle.

I walked into the shop and explained that I had always worn my trusty Asics Gel Nimbus, but I was looking to branch out and try other kicks. They gave me a quick foot and gait analysis and came to the conclusion that I was in fact wearing the correct type of shoe for my foot/running style- hooray! I tried on several different shoes (unfortunately I don’t remember all of the names) and even took them out for a quick spin on the sidewalk out in front of SEAC. Finally after much deliberation, I found myself struggling to pick between my trusty Nimbus or the Brooks Glycerin 8. They were both very similar, but ultimately I found myself enjoying the feel of the Brooks. So I decided to break up with my old standby’s for the time being and try out Brooks. I really enjoyed my first visit to SEAC and I am already looking forward to meeting up with them for some Thursday Speed Work outs and Saturday Long Runs. Thank you to Lizzy for the tip!

Rob and I grabbed a late brunch at Metropolis Cafe on Tremont st and ran some errands on our way back to Southie and then I took my new kicks for a slow spin on the Treadmill at the gym. They felt great and I was extremely excited, I feel as though my feet always go through a major adjustment period when I buy new shoes, but these felt perfect. I also spent ample time at the gym stretching, foam rolling and doing knee strengthening exercises to avoid a heartbreaking repeat injury to last fall.

On Sunday I woke up ready to run the An Ras Mor 5k in Cambridge. I woke up around 8am on Sunday and made myself some coffee, ate a banana and had a small bowl of my new favorite cereal, Nature’s Path Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch got my St. Patrick’s Day outfit together and headed out the door. Rob was feeling a bit off, but I was proud of him for sucking it up and going forward with the race!

I didn’t really know what to expect for this race so I set the bar very low to tie or beat my last 5k time in December which was 25:05 at the Jingle Bell run in Somerville. I was deathly ill during this race and felt like each step was a struggle, so I figured I would have no problem beating that time, but with running you really never know. I also haven’t been doing much in the way of speed training (If you have any advice on great speed work outs, can you send me some?!), only one tempo run a week, so again, who knows.

[Read more…]