52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 11: Gimme five!

I never thought I could run five miles in a row. Maybe over the course of my life, but not in a row. If you had told me this time last year that I would be running such a vast distance at some point in the next 12 months, I would have declared you the ruler of Crazy Land.

Well, I must have relocated to Crazy Land, because last weekend I ran the Hynes 5-Mile Road Race. It was No. 3 in the Wild Rover series, and No. 11 in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge (gosh, the time has flown by – at a blistering speed of 5.5 mph). Needless to say, this race signaled a new distance for me. And, I am ashamed to say, yet another week of zero training. I must stop doing that.

Hynes 5 Mile Road Race

The Hynes Tavern in Lowell, MA, that would soon be overrun (!) by folks in bibs. This was the 32nd incarnation of the Hynes road race.

The forecast was for windy/warm weather, which prompted a question: Could I finally retire the Absurd Winter Running Outfit? It’s a fine line between too chilly and too hot. Sartorial quandaries aside, it turned out to be a glorious day. Warm but not steamy; breezy but not blowy. Ideal. So I doffed my trusty wool and donned one of my many, many running shirts. I would have felt totally hard core had a significant number of runners not also been wearing the same threads. Note to self: Next time, wear a shirt from a different series.

The run …

Sticking to my “plan” from last week (which I think amounts to go forward, stay upright), I started slowly. First mile: 12.50. I figured if I had any hope at all over this distance, slow was the way to go. There was a mamma hill and a few baby hills (actually, more like teen hills), but they were conquerable. I walked the mamma, but was fine with it.

At some point I reached the four-mile marker (44 min), and was still running. I kept it up over the final mile. I have no idea how. I assume I was using my legs, but I couldn’t say for sure. Mr. I Finished 20 Minutes Ago couldn’t believe his eyes when he came to run me in.

The people that you meet …

Hynes 5 Mile Road Race

Milling at the start. That's Dick Hoyt in the red, white and blue shirt with his son Rick.

Apart from my new-found staying power, this race was fabulous for a number of other reasons (beyond beer):

1. I was in the company of Team Hoyt. If you’re not familiar with the inspiring Hoyt story, check out their website. Dick Hoyt has spent the past 35 years running all manner of races with his physically disabled son, Rick, whom he pushes in a custom wheelchair. They have finished 29 Boston Marathons. Dick is now in his 70s. Just running in their presence was a privilege. (Needless to say, they left me in their dust.)

2. Last week I posted a photo of myself, which I rarely do as I usually look deranged. In the same shot, the photographer captured Lin, who had commented on my blog the week before. What are the odds? Lin managed to find me in the crowd, which was impressive, and we had a nice chat. New running buddy!

3. I also ran into the tutu-wearing Janine, from The Purple Giraffe. We’re both doing the Will Run for Beer series. Although she is doing it much, much faster than me.

4. There was a fabulous band. And beer. (You knew I would mention it eventually. It was Coors Light, but I’ll take what I can get.) This whole series was brilliantly executed.

Hynes 5-Mile Road Race

Band and beer.

5.  And this medal, a piece of hardware so giant you could use it in self-defense (its parts came from each of the three races. Genius).

Hynes 5 Mile Road Race

Neck bling.

Eleven runs down, 41 to go. It’s a long, mystifying road ahead.

Hynes 5 Mile Road RaceThe event: Hynes 5-Mile Road Race
The location: Lowell, MA
The date: March 11, 2012
My time: 55.00.4 (pace: 11.01)
Hubby’s time:
35.13.7 (pace: 7.03)
The cause:
This run didn’t have a charity attached to it so we donated $25 to Relay for Life
The T-shirt:
White tech shirt with shamrock insignia
The aftermath: Beer, pasta

Oh, and my apologies that this took so long to post. If I keep this up I’m going to be two weeks behind. Must do better.

20 responses to “52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 11: Gimme five!

  1. 5 miles, that is awesome!! And that prize, I wish that had a series like that around me. I feel more motivated to join a run if afterwards there is a nice piece of jewlery and/or beer. Congrats and kudos to you!!

    • Thanks!! I definitely perform better when there’s a motivating factor. And it just felt wrong to not do all three races in the series and get the pieces of the medal! That series was fabulous. I hope you get to participate in one like it some day. :-)

  2. The second thing I noticed (after noticing Team Hoyt) was the woman in shorts then all rugged up on top. I do NOT understand when people do that!!

    • Me neither! Although I guess your legs get warmer than your top half? I’m usually just hot all over once I get going, so I wouldn’t know. This transitional dressing is causing me headaches!

  3. Great job, S&J! It is a strange but satisfying feeling as you are running and thinking “this is the farthest I have ever run”. I am totally doing this series next year – I have bling envy!

    • Thanks! You’re right about that feeling. At the end of all the 5Ks I would think there is NO WAY I could ever go farther. And then I did those other distances, and was astounded mid-run when I realized how far I had come. But I still thought at the end of both there was NO WAY I could ever go farther. Haha. So right now I’m in the mindset of “there’s no way I am going to be able to run a 10K.” You should definitely run the Wild Rover next year. It was brilliant! :-)

  4. That’s a pretty awesome story to meet a blog buddy in the crowd who was randomly featured in the back of a picture!!! What a small fun crazy world.

    Also … love the “neck bling” nice touch!!
    Happy St. Pat’s Day!!!

    • I know! Isn’t that bizarre? I couldn’t believe it when she pointed it out. It’s SUCH a small world. I keep running into people now that I know only through the blog. So much fun! :-)

      I wonder if people would give me funny looks if I wore that giant medal to work.

  5. Pat’s pretty excited about that shamrock medal you’re sporting lady. What better way to celebrate St Patrick’s day: running, beer, pasta, Irish bling. Good work.

  6. Nice neck bling!! So cool! Nice mention of Team Hoyt too….I have read about them, very inspiring. :) Congrats on a job well done!

  7. Hey Girl! Love the fact that you talked about Team Hoyt in your blog, there is no team more inspirational then theirs! When I feel like I don’t want to get out there and run, I channel them. Dick is in his 70s and still cleans my clock- while pushing his son! Hynes is an awesome race and I am so glad that we were able to connect! I will look for you and Mr I finished 20 minutes ago again on April 7th! Congrats on your longest run to date! You are FABULOUS!!!!
    (btw another fun fact, you met my fellow strider and friend Charmaine last week- well she is right next to Dick Hoyt in this week’s photo!!!!- You may be just destined to join the Striders!!!! LOL)

    • Hey. They are amazing, aren’t they?! Thanks for the congrats! To you too! That is too funny about your friend being in the photo. You’re right, destiny indeed!! Again, lovely to meet you and I hope to run into you again soon. Pun intended. See you in April! :-)

  8. way to go with the 5 miles! Great knocking down a milestone! Cool medal!

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