B.A.A. 5k Race Recap

On Saturday, I competed in the B.A.A. 5k as part of the Distance Medley series hosted by the Boston Athletic Association. This year’s field expanded to include 10,000 runners, as the BAA wanted to include as many runners as possible, allowing us to celebrate our love of Boston following the marathon bombings.

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I decided to get up and run to the start of the course instead of cabbing it in. It should have only taken about 3.5 miles, except I made a few errors about where to go and how to get there. In the end, I wound up running 5 miles to the start of the race in Boston Common (as seen in the map below, hahaha whoops). I fueled the whole morning on just a single ripe banana.

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Because of the number of runners and the insane (for a 5k!) amount of spectators, the start of the race was a little overwhelming, especially for a 5’2″ tall girl. There was also heightened security and a larger than normal police presence. Furthermore, if you wanted to check your bag, you had to dump all of your belongings into clear bag provided by the BAA, making sure all of the contents were visible. Since I only brought my garmin and armband, I just stored my race t-shirt and a bottle of water I picked up from the poland spring stand. After getting through bag check, I got myself down to the “corrals” to get ready for the start of the race.

Most of the runners only fed in and out of one section of the “corrals”( aka, put yourself next to your projected pace). Given that there were so many people, there were many runners who did not place themselves into the correct location because it was so difficult to get to the back of the line. Unfortunately, this also clogged the entire first mile of the race with many faster runners having to dodge some of the slower ones. Most of us cut the B.A.A. a little slack though, because this race was about uniting together as compared to riding the train to PR city.

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One of the best parts of the race was when we eventually ran through the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I did my best to take a picture of it while running but it was really really hard. I almost dropped my phone at this point, but managed to scoop it up before it hit the ground at the last moment. I also happened to get a little teary eyed once I directly passed underneath, which slowed down my pace a bit as my lungs were having a bit of difficulty expanding to full capacity.

photo 5I fed into the finishers shoot, which directed us towards our medals and a sweet stash of food, much more than I had even received for many of my half marathon! I also happened to be one of the lucky few that took their picture with the bag and fife band that played the National Anthem at the start of the race, that is…right before the police made sure to shoo us along.

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Regardless, I was only about 20 seconds behind my 5k race PR time! Yahoo! I was number 1343 out of about 9000 runners and was 67th out of 844 runners in my age group. Pretty stinkin’ good if you ask me! Splits listed below also include my jog into downtown. I’ve actually found that racing more has improved my racing times, because I’m getting better at the mental game that also comes into play. Duh moment. Who would have thought that racing more meant better race times.

Screen shot 2014-04-19 at 4.49.00 PMOverall, it was such an honor to be a part of this race and I am so thankful for having gotten the opportunity to take part. Thank you to the BAA for putting on a spectacular event, and for making every runner feel important, despite their experience or pace.  It truly is an event that I would recommend all of my Boston friends take part in at least once in their running history. Hey, come July, I might even be able to train you for it!

Did any of you readers participate in a race this weekend? Anyone run the BAA 5k? What was your experience?

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Ras na hEireann Race Recap

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Goal officially accomplished! I set out to run this race with hopes of PR’ing at 24:00 minutes, and I did just that at 23:32! Thankfully, I even came in a little bit faster than goal pace, although my garmin and the official results suggest a 5 second pace discrepancy. I find that quite odd given that my garmin still clocked me in about .03 longer, yet the same overall time from the official results. At least I’m getting better at these tangents!

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Lets start from the beginning. First off, the day was FREEZING. I think when race time started, it was about 27 degrees. This would have been..ok… if my mind wasn’t set on it being 40 degrees based on the weather reports from earlier this week. Anyway, I decided to split from the apartment at 10:30, in hopes of making it with a few minutes to spare before the gun went off. In order to grab another mile, I jogged down to the race start, which was an amazing idea given how cold it was.

I decided to leave Chris in the dust at this point, because he wasn’t ready to leave the apartment when I was (even with plenty of warning and planning). I didn’t see him until the very end of the race…which was only about 1 minute after I finished. YES you read that right. Stupid Chris hasn’t been running at ALL and still finished with 7:55 minutes per mile, on average. I have to say, I’m very proud of him, even if I’m also super jealous that he hasn’t put in the same work but put up similar numbers.

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After the race, all of the bars in Davis Square and the surrounding areas hosted an after party, with kegs of Harpoon Beer on tap until they were kicked, with many of the bars hosting a local band.

Baby Snake, Chris, and I wound up heading to The Pub in Ball Square for the rest of the afternoon, where we met up with my co-counselor from camp, Jen, who was also at the race. Jen and I met up at the very start in order to high five and wish each other luck. Jen’s girlfriend, by the way, was also a race photographer for the event.

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Several hours later, ugh…yes..you read that right, and a few games of foosball, Chris and I wandered home with no plans of indulging our Sunday night routine and instead ate a calzone and ice cream. DAIRY AND GLUTEN FAIL. Whatever, it was just what the doctor ordered.

All in all, I have to say that the event was very well organized and the start and finish made for a very enjoyable experience. Most of the 5k’s run in Davis Square are along the same route, so I was pretty familiar with the terrain seeing as how I had run the Jingle Bell run in years past, in addition to jogging along Broadway for many of my weekly training runs. There were some very small hills that would slow me down, but in the same breath, you were always lead to a glorious downhill, which is how we ended the race. Tack on an After Party and my friends, you have a world class 5k experience. I highly recommend this to other runners in the Boston area. Thanks to the organizers for putting together a stellar event!

Friends, you should also join me in running the Runners World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon in June! Use the code from Blonde Ponytail blog and save yourselves some money when you sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 of the events! I’m looking forward to seeing all of my blogging heros!