Off the the start
As I mentioned, I had high hopes for myself at this race. My goal was to run it in under 19 minutes. I haven't done this since college, so it was a lofty one. But, with my recent marathon traning, I've managed to get my time down to a 19:05, so it wasn't too farfetched. Funny, it doesn't sound like much, but the difference between a 19:05 and a 18:59 is huge for me. I've been stuck in the low 19s for over 3 years now. Grrr. My plan was to start off at a 6:15 pace and hold that through mile 2. After that, assuming I wasn't dying, I was hoping to let it loose run the final mile in just under 6 minutes. When we got started, there was quite a bit of bustling due to the size of the crowd and I had to hop up on the sidewalk to find some room. Within a couple miutes, though, the crowd began to spread out and I was able to find a spot, settle in and get a rhythm going. I passed mile 1 in 6:10. Ok, I thought to myself, that was good. I had a little wiggle room, but was pretty close to my target. I was breathing hard, but I felt like I could manage, so I tried to settle my nerves with some deep breaths and focus on the fact that I only had to hang on for 2 more miles. At a 6 minute pace, this was definitely going to be tough for me, but mentally, the sound of only 2 miles to go when I'm typically running 26.2 was incredibly easy to digest. I didn't see the marker for mile 2 so I just tried to hold my pace and stick with the runners who were around me. Eventually, I started to feel the burn in my chest and I had a feeling we were getting close. But, when I looked at my watch, it said 2.8 miles. Close but not as close as I'd hoped. And then something strange happened. My playlist, which I knew was exactly 20 minutes long, started over. I wasn't totally sure about my pace, but I was pretty convinced that I'd been holding steady in the low 6s. Thus, if my playlist was done than I should be done. Up ahead, I saw people turning for the final .1, so I attempted to shift gears and bring it home. At the corner, I looked up at the race clock. It said 21 minutes. My reaction? WTF? And then I thought, well, maybe I was more tired than I realized. And then, whoa, I'm not even close to my goal time. And then, wow, what a major bummer. Yes, I went through that whole range of emotions in .1 miles. When I crossed the line, I stopped my watch and checked it multiple times hoping that the official clock was wrong. No dice. 21:19.
Does this thing WORK??
OISELLE MA BIRDS
Jess, Kirsten and I found each other and discussed the situation. It was laughable and highly annoying. All three of us had goals and because of the discrepency, we had no idea where we could have truly netted out. We cooled down together and continued to talk, fume really, about what went down. Jess and I said goodbye to Kirsten, who couldn't join us for brunch, and headed over to meet up with the rest of our teammates. When I walked into the restaurant, the first words out of my mouth were, hey ladies!! Congrats on all your 3.45 race PRs today! That got a good laugh. Although, it was, in fact, true as none of us had ever raced this distance before. And I can safely say that none of us will ever do it again. Aside from Jess and a couple other birds, I hadn't met any of the crew that had gathered, so I got everyone's names and then we all settled in to enjoy our brunch. Amazing how easy it is to hang with a group of people that you've never met when you share a common interest. By the end of our meal, I felt like I really knew everyone and decided I wanted to invite the whole crew over for dinner because I hadn't had enough time to chat with each of them. Halfway through, we all got an email from the race director that said the following:
Congrats on finishing the Winter Classic 5K + some today. As you have probably figured out, the Cambridge Auxiliary lead car missed the first turn resulting in a 3.45MI course distance.
As someone who knows the pain associated with 3.1 miles, I'm deeply sorry for the extra tenths. On the bright side, it's a slightly better excuse to enjoy a couple more cold ones.
The Winter Classic 5K
And that was that. Would I have broken 19 if it was a true 3.1 course? We will never know. And I wondered about it for a while, but now, for the most part, I'm over it. I was more than thrilled with my overall place (3rd woman), very happy to have placed as the first Master, a category that I am insanely proud to be in these days. And, getting to spend time with my teammates, well, that was fantastic. So, I'll chalk it up to a weird, but really fun day. In the end, getting 12 super cool gals together to talk about runninng and life for 2 hours was pretty priceless. There will always be more races.
Listen to this:
Set On Fire - Magic Giant
*** SKECHERS WINNERS ***
CONGRATS to Amy Upshaw and Ellen McKinna, winners of the SKECHERS giveaway. Please email me your addresses and shoe sizes (for running) ASAP. Thanks to all for entering! And thanks again to SKECHERS for the shoes. May you all have a very fast day.