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