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!

Monday’s Musings

Well first things first, and if you haven’t heard of or entered my Fitbit Giveaway yet, then you need to get your butt over there and do so right this second!  Contest ends on 2/3!

Today was your typical Monday morning with that good ol’ alarm going off at 5:20.  A funny thing though, I have been so excited about this giveaway that I woke right up and started checking to see who had left comments in the wee hours of the morning.  I was psyched to see 14 of you participate already, given that its my very first giveaway!

Anyway, at school today I was excited to receive my Christmas present from a coworker.  Why yes, it is a month after Christmas but she scrapped the present she originally got me. I was showing her some necklaces I wanted at Baublebar, and then my very good friend went right back to her office to order me the necklace I liked the most! She’s the best (and yes, I’m talking about you, Anh!).

I was also able to sign up for a race that I didn’t think I was originally going to be able to participate in! I typically go home during the first weekend of March to celebrate my sister’s birthday, but she will be in France instead, with her vocal group from college. Yes, I am jealous, but… I’m excited to be able to participate in this year’s Salem Black Cat 10-miler.

It actually works out really well, because its the same day that I had a 10-miler scheduled in my training plan.  The Black Cat race was created as a training run for all of those New Englander’s running that year’s Boston Marathon. Its a fun and motivating way in order to get in your 20 mile training run.  I will be participating in the 10 miler, created as a way to get the rest of us motivated through our training plans for the beginning of race season out here on the Northern side of the East Coast (typically races pick up in April and the majority go until the end of October/beginning of November).

The first 1000 registrants get a long-sleeve tech T, and all finishers receive a race medal (and you all know, that’s the reason I run).  Why don’t you come join me and register today!!

Lastly, friends, I’m seriously aiming for 30 miles this week. This is how I will do it:
Monday- 7
Tuesday- 5/weights
Wednesday- 7
Thursday-5/yoga
Friday- off (all day conference)
Saturday- off (all day conference)
Sunday- …. long run day… the one that gets me every week…. all I need to do is 6 dang miles to hit 30. I CAN DO THIS!!!!


Let’s chat:
1. What did you have for lunch today OR
2. What was on your agenda for this afternoon?

I was/am/currently….walking out of the building at 3:00. THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

Distance Medley

Since we had a snow emergency in good ol’ Boston land, I wasn’t able to make it to the gym last night. With temps around -20 degrees with the windchill, I decided to scrap my speed work tuesday. Instead, I followed the same HiiT workout routine I did last week, and will add an extra easy run day in Friday. Total miles for the week: 12 in 2 days. Goal is 30.

Being fortunate enough to live in the land of the world’s benchmark marathon for a distance runner, I have the pleasure of watching the gun go off in Hopkinton each year, in hopes of seeing runners both great and small cross the finish line on Boylston Street. Its given me enough motivation to want to make the Boston Marathon a goal I hope to attain in the next 10 years*.

*To clarify, I may never attain this goal, but what I wouldn’t give for one of those jackets.
Fortunately, I had the honor of signing up for the distance medley today, which the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) hosts in April, June, and October where runners participate in the 5k, the 10k, and their half marathon in the fall. I’m looking forward to the challenge, especially because I think I will be signing up for the Cape Cod Marathon in Falmouth in October. Fingers crossed! Want to join? Head into the B.A.A. website above, in order to gain registration through January 25th. 

Quick post today, because I was knee deep in coo coo land.

Let’s Chat:
Any races or events that you are either looking forward to, or proud of from your past?

What’s your favorite race medal?

Speedwork Tuesdays and a maybe you’ll run a race with me?

Hello, friends! You all know what today is…right? That’s right, it’s Speedwork Tuesday! Tuesday is the day you should commit to doing a little fun running and pushing yourself a little bit more. In order to run faster, you need to make yourself run fast! Plain and simple. How can you improve to the pace you want without a challenge?

Speedwork Tuesdays are perfect for me because I always get myself to the gym (some people prefer the track) the same night that Chris has hockey. The same could also be said for saturday mornings, as I’m trying to get back into the long run routine when Chris has games. You need to make it work for you, so if you have chorus on Tuesdays, then Speedwork Wednesdays it is.

Believe me, I get it about making it all work and fitting it all in. I get up at 5:30, am on the road at 6:30, start work before 7:30, typically put in a 9 hour+ day, have an hour long commute back, and then force myself out the door for a run or to the gym. Some nights I come right back into the loving arms of my computer to do more school work. Its hard! Some of you even have a second job or kids to take care of! If you can only do a 3 mile speedwork run, then 3 miles is better than no miles. Heck, ONE mile is better than no miles. Make it work for you.

As for me, I got to the gym and decided I would put in a good 5 miles of running and about 30 minutes of strength training. Thankfully, the circuit training machines are about 1 step away from the treadmills, making the transition painless.

The workout?
     1 mile at a 7.0 mph pace (around 8:34 a mile)
     400 m at 7.7 mph, 400 m at 7.2 mph
     400 m at 7.8 mph, 400 m at 7.3 mph
     400 m at 7.9 mph, 400 m at 7.4 mph
     1/2 mile at 7.2 mph pace, then back to 1/2 mile at 7.0 mph

*Oh yea, for those of you who don’t know… mph= Miles per hour, m=meter (400 m= 1 lap around track).

WILL YOU RUN A RACE WITH ME?

After having moved out of Southie in August, I’ve officially decided to retire the whole Southie parade scene. I have been partaking in parade day for many years now, but after the shenanigans of last year, I think it might be time to dial it down a notch. This is especially true given that I’ve moved out of the area and finding your way onto and out of the parade route can be a bit of a nightmare. 
(Oh the parade of 2011. And my long hair.)
Instead, I’m going to sign up for this race that occurs on the same day. Its a wonderfully late start of 11 a.m. and you get a snazzy t-shirt that everyone recognizes in the Boston area. After finishing the race you get a medal to hang in your shiny medal case. Medals are probably the only reason I run races. 
And then, then there is the best part. You can still indulge in a bit of St. Patrick’s fun, as there is a great post-race party sponsored by the bars in the Davis Square area (aka, free beer until the kegs get tapped). 
Who’s with me? I’m just sticking a toe in the puddle of adulthood and I’d love to have some friends to run hand in hand with. Maybe it’ll be your first 5k or your 50th, let’s just try it out together!  Register HERE!  Don’t wait. Its sold out every year for the last 8 years!!


Let’s chat:

What’s your favorite spring event to get the racing season started? 

Proof of the PR

Why yes I did take a screenshot of the race results.  Why, yes…I did cover up my last night with my official blogging last name. Yes, I will eventually get my butt to the gym to do some cardio and strength train instead of tooling around on the internets.  Its a crosstrain day, bitties!

New PR!

I have no race pics to post, nor did I take any pics with my camera, but I just ran a 5 miler in 39:40, with my splits averaging 7:56 a mile! Yahoo!!