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.
We got there, met up with friends and then we were off! There was no clear distinction for where the start line was, and I forgot to clear out my last run out of my garmin, so I spent the first .08 fumbling with my garmin and weaving in and out of runners. Finally, once I reached the first half mile I felt like I had found a good spot and eased into my pace. I looked down at my garmin and noticed I was hovering around 7:40-7:50 and silently fist pumped to myself. I continued to comfortably move along and take in the scenery.
I made sure to wear a St Patrick’s Day themed outfit, so I ended up getting a lot of cheers and comments throughout the course. As I ran happily and comfortably, I found my mind wandering and going through a mental checklist of things for the race:
- No Inhaler- I forgot to use it and I was feeling fine, YES!
- New Shoes- Usually viewed as a huge no-no, but they felt great!
- No iPod- This was a biggie because the thought didn’t even cross my mind. I did another silent fist pump for not being dependent on the Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears and Rihanna for 3.1 miles.
- I wish I could wear a drinking related shirt and goofy leprechaun hat during all road races, I love everyone’s enthusiasm.
I hit the one mile mark and felt great! The second mile went into Harvard square and then looped around back towards Central square. I continued to feel good and I actually kept passing people, which was a huge shocker, YAY ME! The second half of mile two was slightly up hill and I complained to myself, and then realized “Hmm, this is not nearly as bad as any of the hills in the SF marathon so perhaps I should get an attitude adjustment”. Once I hit the second mile marker I knew I needed to kick it in a bit, so I picked up the pace. About a half mile in my stomach started to grumble, EEK! That’s when I realized that with my small bowl of cereal I had regular milk. This normally would not be a problem, but I’m been having stomach pains after eating dairy and I’m trying to avoid it at all costs! Luckily my stomach issues didn’t get any worse and I was able to push through the last part of the race feeling extremely strong.
My official finish time was 24:47, a pace of 7:59… that doesn’t seem right. My average pace according to my garmin was 7:47 and this time was :37 seconds off what my garmin average pace said I should be at! (My garmin never obtained my real time since I was fumbling for the first .08 of the race before I got it going, lesson learned!) I found this a little frustrating because the race directors actually provided chips. If you provide chips then I expect to have a fully accurate time which starts when I cross the start line and clicks off when I cross the finish line, right? Well, apparently they don’t it that way so I was a bit disappointed that my comfortable 5k pace wasn’t correctly documented. What am I going to do about it?! KICK @$$ in the next few races! There is no rest for the weary here 🙂
All in all it was a fun race, people didn’t dress up nearly as much as I expected people to be dressed up similar to the Somerville Jingle Bell Run in December. I’m also feeling encouraged by how great I felt holding a 7:47 pace with such little speed work. The official bar of the race was the Asgard, which we went over to immediately after the race to secure a table. Good thing we did because after 30 minutes it was PACKED! It was a great time had by all and I always love getting to see friends over running and a few drinks 🙂
If you can’t read my shirt it says “Beer Goggles”, I figured it was the most appropriate shirt I had for a St. Pat’s day Race!
Did you run a St. Patrick’s Day Road Race? How did you do?!