I officially ran my fastest race ever! Official times from Thursday night’s 5K were posted over the weekend, and it turns out my time was 28:28 – an average 9:10 pace. Prior to that, the Firecracker 4 on July 4th was my fastest race (4 miles @ 37:20 / 9:20 pace). And before that, I hadn’t race-PR’d since the February 2016 Super Sunday 5K (3.1 miles @ 29:25 / 9:29 pace) – and that was some sort of anomaly given that I was running a LOT less back then, it was freezing cold, and the road was icy from recent snow. That was so long ago that when I finished the Harpoon 5-miler in May in 47:44 (9:33 pace), I thought that was my fastest race ever…but obviously it was not.
I have to credit my teammate Greg for getting me over the finish line so fast. I was pushing hard the entire time, but I never felt “bad” (except for that insane tightness in my calves) so I know I can sustain that pace for longer runs or dig even deeper in upcoming races.
Riding that high, this weekend was all about really getting back on the wagon. On Saturday morning, despite having been out late the night before, I redeemed my free barre class coupon at barre3 in Brookline. The class was HARD. I had to take more rest breaks than I think I’ve ever taken in a fitness class. The instructor knew it was my first time there so she wasn’t hard on me at all, but did come to check on me a few times and made sure I was not dying. I was close, but did not die. Afterward, I felt fine but I knew the real soreness would arrive the following day or even 2 days later.
I admit, going to barre the day before a long run was probably not my best idea, but if I’m going to be doing Sunday long runs for the next few months, that’s how it’s going to go since I can almost guarantee that Fridays will always be a rest day instead of Saturdays.
Sunday was my first time heading to the Boston Marathon adidas Runbase store for a group run. This is the official Boston Marathon store very close to the finish line, just after the famed “Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston.” I had been here a few times to pick up bibs for other BAA races, for a few of their 10K clinics last year, and of course this year to buy my marathon finisher’s jacket. But I had never been for a group run. They started the Sunday long runs most for folks signed up for this year’s BAA Half Marathon, but there were several runners there yesterday who were training for fall full marathons, so the distances ranged from 6 to 16 miles.
Jess, my running homegirl, and I did 6 miles. We followed the route they told us to, knowing there would be water fountains just before the turnaround point at 3 miles. We ran an area neither of us had run before – around the Fens. Then we picked up the turnaround point of the BAA Half Marathon course, and followed that for about 1.5 miles. It was BEAUTIFUL and mostly shaded and so peaceful as we ran through the stretch of the Riverway that is alongside the Muddy River. We didn’t even see many other runners and walkers as it was still only about 9:45 in the morning. We did see our friend Katie – who I worked with at Dana-Farber and who ran with DFMC last year – as she drove by yelling our names. Too funny!
We never did find thoose water fountains, and it was because we followed the path on the west side of Leverett Pond along the Emerald Necklace rather than the east side. Oops! We were pretty dang thirsty but foretunately it wasn’t TOO hot. I was barely sweating though, so despite being well-hydrated all day Saturday and giving myself a boost with nuun on Sunday morning before I left my apartment, I guess I was dehydrated during the run.
The route was perfectly flat so our pace was really consistent in the 10s, but we did take 2 walk breaks closer to the end that I left my watch going for, so we ended up with an average 10:39 pace. I had that same tightness in my calves but otherwise felt good. I like the easy pace of long runs, although we tried not to worry about our pace so I barely looked at my watch.
It was nice to have a dry change of clothes and Gatorade waiting for us back at the store. They have showers, too! I didn’t take advantage of those but depending on what the rest of my Sundays look like, I may if I ever have post-run plans. My sports bra broke (like, actually snapped) as I was changing, so I can no longer put off “buying new running bras” as a want vs. a need anymore. I’m down to 2, and I know 1 of them is very close to snapping as well. Afterward, we grabbed a less-than-impressive brunch at Dillon’s (it has really gone downhill) before I headed home to buy groceries and spend the rest of the day hanging out with Chip on my deck.
Now that I’m doing long runs on Sundays, my schedule looks something like this:
- Sunday – long run
- Monday – yoga sculpt
- Tuesday – softball till Labor Day then 3-mile run, speed workout optional
- Wednesday – 3-mile run till Labor Day, then optional cross-training
- Thursday – 3/4/5-mile run
- Friday – rest
- Saturday – cross-training
I found a free HIIT class in Newton every Saturday through at least September, close enough that I can bike to. I’m biking to yoga, moreso because the class ends at 8:30 and by that time, parking in my neighborhood gets tricky.