We hit the road early Saturday so we could be at John's place by the early afternoon. The drive was fairly uneventful, and we made great time. We got settled in for a bit, and then headed right back out to the expo so we could grab our packets for the am.
|Outside the expo|
|5K packet pickup|
|South Boston's waterfront|
We eventually headed back out of the city to pick up bagels for the am and grab an easy dinner before our early wake-up call. Even though the race didn't start until 8 am, we had to leave his house at 6ish. Yuck. Waking up is definitely my least favorite part of racing.
Before I knew it, the alarm was going off for me to get out of bed. I got dressed, headed downstairs and hit the road. Instead of driving directly into the city and dealing with the lack of parking the inevitable road closures, we drove to the nearest "t-station" (Boston's public transportation system) that was outside of the city, and trained in.
By the time we got to the race's start at Copley Square, it was almost 20 minutes to the gun time. I had time for about a mile warm up, and then I wiggled my way to a decent starting spot. Close to the front, but not too close. Unlike most NYRR races where you are given your corral based on your past performance, you had to seed yourself. Supposedly there were signs for pace suggestions, but it was too crowded for me to see anything.
As I toed the line, I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. I haven't gotten in many quality workouts, due to my allergies ruining my life the past few weeks. But I was in Boston during marathon weekend. I was going to give it my best shot.
The gun went of, and I quickly found my stride. The first half mile went by a little too fast - I looked at my Garmin and it read that I was under a 7:30 min/mile. As much as I would of loved to hang onto that pace for the whole race, it was already feeling rather difficult. As the mile went on, I slipped to about a 8:15 min/mile.
Towards the end of the mile, I spotted a hill. What?! The website clearly said "flat and fast." I am from Miami. Flat and fast means f-l-a-t to me. Clearly, that definition is more flexible in the northeast. The hill must of rattled my pace, because I clicked off the first mile in 8:45.
Luckily, what comes up, must come down, and I was able to regain some speed in the beginning of the second mile. It was tough to push through, but I tried to keep going. I heard someone shout behind me "Oh, we're going at about a 8:30 mile pace" rather easily to his friend. Hmm, this pace was not conversational to me!
After what felt like eternity, the Garmin clicked off my second mile at 8:30 min/mile. One more mile, I told myself. Just keep going! The pace definitely felt uncomfortable to me, but I did my best to hang on. Surprisingly, the Garmin seemed to hover at around a 8:20 min/mile.
Finally, we made the last turn onto Boylston Street. I don't know my way around Boston very well, but I do know the final stretch down Boylston Street meant the finish line was very close. I saw the line in the distance, and thought for a split second I might be able to crack 26 minutes. Clearly, the finish line was a bit deceptive, because as I ran harder and harder, the line didn't seem to get any closer. I gave it one last push, and finally, I crossed! Final time: 26:50.
|Yes, the 5K shared the same finish as the marathon|
As we proceeded through the tent, we got a pre-packaged food bag and our medals (yes, medals for a 5K!). Even though it was a short race, I thought it was a nice touch, especially for those who were racing for the first time.
|Tech shit, bib, and medal|
|Post-race at Boston Common|
Before we knew it, it was after 3, and time to head back to the t-station. After all, Mike and I had a long drive ahead of us, and we had all been up since 5:30 am! I was sad we were not able to hang around for the actual marathon, but the real world was beckoning to us.
It was a fabulous weekend, and Boston is quite a lovely city. I can't wait to come back for the second race in the series, the 10K in a few months, and hopefully, one day, the actual marathon!