Hello everyone and happy Monday! This past weekend, I participated in my first race of 2013 – the Resolution Run to Kick Cancer 5k held in Lexington, MA. I had gotten a flyer about the race on my car at the B.A.A. Half Marathon and I signed up totally on a whim one day. I figured that after my injury, I would be good to go for a 5k in January. Thankfully, I was right and my foot was ready to go on Saturday morning.
I woke up, had my normal pre-race breakfast and headed out to Lexington. I was going to run the race with Steph, but she has been battling a wicked flu – get better Steph! – so I went on my own. I arrived at Lexington High School, where the race was to start and stop, and was happy to find that parking was really easy. I headed into the field house and picked up my bib. Along with my bib, I got a drawstring bag along with a really sweet long sleeve tech shirt inside. I always appreciate it when cold weather races offer long-sleeved shirts, and especially appreciate it when they’re tech shirts. The brooks shirt is really comfortable – can’t wait to try it out on a run.
For a small 5k race, the expo was epic! There were so many vendors, plenty of room to warm up and stretch out, and lots of cancer awareness booths. There was even a booth where you could get swabbed to register to be a bone marrow donor. The cause is close to my heart – my Uncle had multiple myeloma for close to 10 years before he passed away. He received a bone marrow transplant that helped not only save his life, but it increased the quality of his life for many years, and helped him stay alive for much longer than he would have been without it. Luckily, his brother was a perfect match for his transplant, but not everyone is so lucky. It was a simple thing – just had to swab my cheeks with 4 cotton swabs – and that’s it.
Soon it was time to line up. The lineup was surprisingly easy and everyone seemed to line up honestly based on their race time. I also liked that they lined up the walkers separate from the runners. I had no goal to try and really beat a PR in this race. With my foot still not 100% (it’s very close) and the lack of real “training,” this was going to just be a fun run. Before I knew it, the gun went off and I settled into a pretty comfortable 8:30 pace. The first mile flew by in an instant. I was feeling good, so I increased the speed to an 8min/mile pace. Soon, mile 2 flew by. Okay, almost over!
The last mile or so was tough. There were a couple short uphills and my body was starting to get fatigued. My lungs were burning in the cold weather. But I pushed on. As we turned the corner to finish the race at the high school, I looked down at my watch and noticed that I was going to run a 25ish min. race! Holy SHIT! Where did that come from!? I pushed the speed and ended up having plenty for a final quick kick into the finish line. I crossed the finish line officially in 25:08! My 5k PR, which I set last year, is 24:38. As I finished, I couldn’t believe I ran a race 30 seconds off my PR with no speed training whatsoever, after only running regularly post-injury for 6 weeks. I guess my body just did what was natural! I couldn’t be more proud about myself with that time.
25:12 Garmin time. 25:08 official time.
After grabbing a water and banana, I headed back into the field house to stretch out. The food spread after was incredible! They had pizza, qdoba, starbucks coffee, local bakery goods, sandwiches, salads, the works! I was really impressed. There were also samples of Core Power protein drinks and Vita Coco. I grabbed a Vita Coco, small bite of sandwich, stretched, and then headed back home. Overall, it was an awesome race. January in New England can be quite cruel, but it was sunny and about 35 degrees. It was a perfect day for a race. I highly suggest anyone in the area who wants to run a 5k early in the new year to check out the Resolution Run to Kick Cancer. It was an organized and fun race which helps an amazing cause.
Readers: Have you ever run a January “resolution” race before? Do you prefer smaller or larger races?