Running the Tangents

During the BAA 10K last weekend, one thing that frustrated me was people hogging the corners. Turns out, that’s what you should do and what elite runners always do. OK, I will stop judging now.

I actually read a great explanation over at Science-Based Running about how and why you should hug the corners, also knowing as “running the tangents.” When officials chart out a course, they go by the shortest legal route. This explains why your GPS watch says you ran 3.3 miles in a certified 5K course, if you started and stopped exactly at the start and finish lines.

What I find fascinating, is that “DC Rainmaker did a thumbnail calculation for the National Marathon (now the Rock N Roll USA) and came up with a full half mile, which might be 5 minutes or more for a typical runner!” Five minutes in a marathon may not seem like a big difference, but if you’re trying to qualify for Boston, it’s a world of a difference.

What was also tempting during the 10K, but not legal, was going outside of the cones to pass people. I saw a few people do it, but I knew it wasn’t really acceptable. You’re basically making it easier for yourself than everyone else by running on a clear path. It happened around Miles 3-4 when we had already passed the halfway point and were looping back past the course we had just run, and by then there weren’t too many people behind us, so the opposite side was pretty clear.


BAA 10K Complete!

Edit: Added some additional thoughts about the race at the end.


I woke up very sore today, and for good reason. I successfully completed my first 10K race yesterday! It was a hot, HOT morning but my time was not too bad. I was really hoping to finish in under an hour but my official time was 1:02:41. Had I not walked for about 30 seconds each while taking water at Miles 1, 2, 3, and 5, taken Gatorade AND water at Mile 4, and taken water at the unexpected water station around the 9K/6.5ish mile mark, I would have made my time. I otherwise never walked. It was a crowded race, for sure, but I knew that going in. All BAA races are a clusterf***. People seed themselves at the 9:00-9:59 pace when they should be in the 13:00 pace. I passed a LOT of people walking very early on. It’s frustrating to say the least. But then again, no race is run alone so I need to work on not letting idiots bother me.

Some stats:

  • I ran mostly negative splits (each mile faster than the last).
    • Mile 1 – 10:23 (constantly trying to slow myself down)
    • Mile 2 – 10:14 (still trying to go slow)
    • Mile 3 – 9:57 (finding my groove)
    • Mile 4 – 10:03 (Gatorade AND water here, remember)
    • Mile 5 – 9:37 (making up lost time)
    • Mile 6 – 9:43 (resume natural-ish pace)
    • Mile 6.2 – 9:34 (wanting to sprint but realizing it wasn’t going to happen)
  • I placed 4,878th overall, out of 7,811 finishers and 9,500-ish registrants.
  • I came in 444th out of 874 in my age group, females 30-34.
  • Out of all 4,430 females, I was 2,215th – just BARELY out of the top half.
  • At one point around the 5-mile mark I was running a 4:03 pace. That’s 13.2 mph.
  • I burned 747 calories.
  • My Garmin Forerunner 10 thought it was 66 degrees. I wish!
  • I have officially logged 123 miles on my current running shoes – the Mizuno Wave Rider 19s. They have a lifespan of 300-400 miles, so I may actually need to replace these bad boys before Christmas (they’re usually one of my big gifts from my dad).

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30 Miles in 10 Days

Since I last posted here, I have covered 30+ miles! I didn’t run all of them, and I’m not counting all my dog walks and walks between the parking garage and my office. I mean real workouts. After my 6-mile run last Saturday, I got myself a manicure using the gift certificate I still have from my birthday. I took the T there and ran home. 3 miles.

Tuesday morning before work, I went running. I wasn’t feeling great (more on that later), and every step was a struggle. 2 miles.

I did not run Thursday like I was supposed to, because I had to work late to make up time missed earlier in the day for a doctor’s appointment. Instead, I took a half day from work (Summer Fridays = 24 hours we can use in any combination on any Friday until Labor Day!) and went running in the afternoon. It was easily the best I’ve felt on a run in a long time! 3 miles.

Saturday was my dreaded 7-mile run. I was definitely hungover from having 5 beers over the course of as many hours the night before, and I was burping a lot but no puking, thankfully. Walked more than 60 seconds every mile. I was a hot mess, but I did it. 7 miles.

Saturday afternoon my brother and I headed back home to western Mass to take my dad out for dinner. On Sunday morning, the 3 of us headed out to Mt. Tom for a hike. We planned on 3-3.5 hours, and instead ending up on a 5-hour hike. 9 miles.

My glutes are definitely feeling it today, but I also am realizing how dang expensive it is to park at work every day ($12/day = approximately $240/month), so I want to start riding my bike at least 3 days a week instead of just on Wednesdays as originally planned. It’s 5.2ish miles each way. 10 miles. Continue reading

Run 6.2 Miles? Check!

2016-06-11 13.09.00With the BAA 10K just two weeks from tomorrow, I was starting to get really nervous about it. Last week, I had insane left hip pain and worried it was going to sideline me. I logged 2 miles on Tuesday before work, and by 1.5 miles, the pain was searing. I fully intended to run 3 miles before work on Thursday but I just could not get up. I was exhausted, and needed the extra hour of sleep to get through a 12-hour workday (well, 4 of them were volunteering…but still). Because I got home so late on Thursday, running Friday before work was also not an option.

I woke up this morning and got ready, not really sure what I was capable of. I was not hungover by any means (2 beers and a glass of wine over the course of 4 hours on Friday night), but I was definitely dehydrated and my legs felt crampy. But I went out anyway, and actually felt amazing during my run. No hip pain at all! After 1.5 miles, I decided to walk for 60 seconds. I could’ve kept going, but I wanted to make the full 6 miles by any means necessary.

Around the 1.75-mile mark, I saw a bunch of protestors/picketers/harassers outside Planned Parenthood. That pissed me off and encouraged me to keep going. Continue reading

Riding my Bike to Work

I rode my bike to and from work last Wednesday, and I did not die. I figured since I dropped over $150 on a brand new bike last weekend, I might as well get some use out of it. And, traffic on Tuesday morning was particularly awful and left me with a bad taste in my mouth after spending nearly an hour getting into the office (usually takes me 30 minutes or less). So on Tuesday morning, I only got halfway as ready as I normally do, threw all my stuff and a change of clothes into my backpack, strapped on my helmet, and hit the road…blind. Oops, I forgot my contacts. I didn’t feel like going back up three flights of stairs into my apartment and also did not trust the neighbors not to steal my bike in the 90 seconds I’d be gone, so I wore my glasses instead (they were in my bag). It wasn’t so bad except it was REALLY sunny and I was heading east.

The ride was completely uneventful. I was the only bicyclist who stopped at red lights. There were times I could’ve safely gone, but this was my first time riding in the city and I wanted to be extra cautious. It took me 30 minutes because I did adhere to red lights, but I was moving a lot more than I would’ve been in a car. I took a longer route because it allowed me to avoid Comm Ave, which is super hilly between Brighton and BU, and also scary because of all the delivery trucks taking up the bike lane during the rush hour. Continue reading