Hope everyone is readying themselves for the Bachelorette tonight! Make sure you are stocked up on wine, go out and buy some red roses, whatever you have to do to get yourself psyched up before 8 pm!
But anyways! This weekend was a fun one. My mom came up and spent the afternoon/night hanging out with me in preparation of the AIDS Walk Boston and 5k Run the next day. We went into Boston on Saturday and enjoyed walking around, doing the touristy thing near the North End and Fanuil Hall. We knew rain was going to be moving in for Sunday, so we took full advantage of the sunshine, walking over to Sargent’s Wharf and taking in the views of Boston Harbour.
So much fun! We kept it low-key Saturday night, working on some travel stuff for the next big half marathon (and new state) we are planning on tackling this summer (I’m planning on doing a full post on this very soon!).
Sunday morning, we woke up to lots of clouds and yes… rain. 😦 Fortunately, it was a 10 am start for the 5k, so we had time to wake ourselves up with a hot cup of coffee before heading to the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River in Boston where the race was being held. It was an interesting Uber ride over there, with the driver spending the whole time asking us a bunch of questions about how to run 5 miles (I mentioned that a 5k was only 3 miles, but it seemed to go over his head), qualifying for Boston (“They don’t let you in if you miss the cut-off by 5 minutes? Really??!”), and generally not paying a whole lot of attention to the road. Thankfully, we made it there in one piece.
After some stretching, I jogged back and it was about time for the runners to hop into the starting corral. Thank goodness the 5k started separately from the walkers – it was a pretty narrow chute, and it would have been PACKED.
The race organizer had the 6 and 7 minute milers line up at the front, with slower paces behind. I had decided I wanted to aim for 7:30 splits, so I went a little behind the front group. Standing there, I noticed there were not many ladies – 3 a little ahead of me, all who looked very fast, and one standing next to me. With those odds, I thought I might have a chance at placing in my age group.
The announcer started counting down the minutes to the start, and at around 3 minutes to go, I started the Strava app on my phone and went to tuck it into my belt. I was struggling to get it put away, when I noticed the race announcer saying “Ready… Set, Go!” Eek! I took off, figuring I would survive carrying my phone for 3 miles.
Through the first mile, the 3 ladies who had been in front of me in the corral slowly widened the gap, while I tried to remember what it felt like to run a 7 minute pace. The one who had been beside me fell away, until it was me and a bunch of guys. Mile 1 – 7:07/mile.
Thoughts during that first mile:
Oh sh*t… This is really hard. I forgot how freaking hard 5ks are…
That’s only 1 mile? FML.
7:07? Hey, that’s pretty dang good! No wonder I’m dying.
The course made a hard right turn after that first mile so that we were running back on the trail in the opposite direction. I saw my mom at that point and she waved and cheered at me. I also noticed there still didn’t appear to be any other ladies around me. Ok, just keep this up Nora, not too far to go now. I had to slow down a couple times going over the cobblestone bridges we crossed because they were so slick from the rain. The last thing I wanted to do was wipe out. Mile 2 – 7:33.
Ok, slower, but that’s more on target with what you expected. Hey, maybe I can get a PR?
Still no ladies passing me… Just keep going!
Just one more mile…. arrrrrghhhh.
Is that the finish? Nope…. maybe that? nope.
I honestly don’t know why I kept expecting to see the finish after mile 2. I know a 5k is 3.1 miles. Maybe lack of oxygen to the brain? I focused on just trying to maintain my pace. There was a guy in a black tank top who’d been in front of me since about the mile and a half mark who had been running pretty consistently to my pace, but he was fading and I was slowly reeling him in. Finally, I passed him. Mile 3 – 7:34.
And yes! There it finally was – the finish line!!! I was stoked to see 22:30 on the clock as I sprinted over the timing mats. Official chip time: 22:29!!!
I absolutely crushed my previous 5k record from last summer (23:01)!! A 30-second PR in a 5k is HUGE, and I think part of me was just shocked that I managed to not only break 23 minutes, but to do it by so much. A couple of notes about that though:
- This course was a tiny bit short. My GPS watch (and my mom’s too) said it was 3.04 miles, not 3.1. Still, it wouldn’t have taken me 30 seconds to run .06 mile, so I’m 100% calling this a new PR.
- It was pancake flat. 90% of the 5ks I’ve raced have been at the Lowell Good Times Series which has some climbs, sharp turns, and usually a little bit of bottlenecking along certain stretches of the course. I guess it’s not all too surprising that I would run a PR on a course that’s a little less challenging.
Even so, I’m totally stoked. I feel like I’m still in fantastic shape from training for Delaware, and I think it helps that I’ve been going to weekly speed workouts for the past 2 weeks.
It gets better. My mom finished a few minutes behind me and after telling me about her race snafu (her music didn’t start on her phone, so she had to stop to fix it quickly), we made our way over to pick up our bag at bag check and noticed they were taping up the results (there were no signs that results were going to be posted there, so it was pure luck that we noticed and that we hadn’t grabbed our bag before they posted them!)
We did it!! Third place for me (turns out one of the women ahead of me in the corral was in an older age group) and FIRST PLACE for my mom! They didn’t give out any medals or shirts in general for he race, so I was thrilled to have an age group prize to commemorate my new PR.
It drizzled/rained pretty steadily after we finished, but we still took the time to walk around and pick up TONS of free samples of awesome healthy snacks (and gelato – less healthy, still delicious). Whole Foods was one of the sponsors of the race and it was awesome. It was a bummer the weather was so horrible because it would have really been a great event on a nicer day.
After picking up enough samples to significantly weigh down our bag, we headed out to grab a hot coffee and more substantial bite to eat.
We ended up at Cafe Bella Vita in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, a little cafe that we had actually eaten at on a previous running adventure. We split a margherita grilled cheese with our coffee and it was perfection. Grilled cheese and coffee probably sounds like a weird combination, but it totally works 😉
So another great race in the books! I actually have another 5k coming up next weekend because it is literally walking distance from my apartment (and along my typical running route!) and how could I turn THAT down?
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! As tough as this was, I’m really enjoying getting back to the shorter races!