52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 16: Ranting and sweating

A note to all the compression-socks-wearing, tank-top-and-shorts-sporting, giant-GPS-watch-bearing runners who started way too far back in the pack at the B.A.A. 5K in Boston on the weekend. We know you’re awesome. You know you’re awesome. How about giving those of us who aren’t so awesome a break and not crashing into us as you speed through a 6,000-strong crowd of runners (a moveable beast?) in a misguided attempt to get to the front. Did you spend too much time at Starbucks and forget that the race started at 8am? Or maybe you just wanted the rest of us to see your awesomeness in action. In which case, mission accomplished. This is exactly why compression socks give me the fear.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, here’s a photo.

B.A.A. 5K

Crowds gather in the shadow of a couple of Boston landmarks (Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower) for the B.A.A. 5K.

I always try to find the joy in this running lark. Otherwise what’s the point? But this weekend’s 5K was packed with folks who take the pastime seriously. Very seriously. Which is fine, of course. I am full of admiration, awe, respect, etc., for people who can a) run a marathon; b) run the Boston Marathon; and c) run the Boston Marathon in extreme heat, which is what I know many of the 5Kers were doing the day after this run. So, go ahead, take running as seriously as you like. But do it from the front of the pack.

Wait, am I ranting again? Here’s another photo.

B.A.A. 5K

More milling in front of another Boston landmark: the public library. It’s very old.

I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything different from a 5K put on by the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), which hosts the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon. If ever there were going to be a collection of uber-runners in one place, it was this weekend in Boston.

There was a benefit, though. This run was fast. Really fast.

B.A.A. 5K

Er, start.

It felt speedy from the start. The reason I knew this was because I looked down at my new watch (it’s small, so that’s OK) and saw that I was running a consistent 9.40 pace. Which is unheard of for me. Unheard of.

Did I mention how much I love knowing my pace?

There was a hill in my way, of course. And then another. My dreams of doing a sub-30 5K were dashed as soon as I hit those dang inclines. But I still managed to PR, shaving a few seconds off the time I set at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

I guess those uber-runners helped propel me to my best time yet. But I stand by my rant …

After the run, I met up with a couple of girls from my office who had also done the 5K, one of whom had just run her first. As this was a non-Hubby weekend (he was drilling with the Guard), it was great to not be alone. Better to be red-faced and sweaty among others in the same situation than walking the streets solo in that state.

B.A.A. 5K

Elite women do a single mile in a ridiculous time.

I also stuck around long enough to watch the elite men and women do the one-mile invitational. Man, those are some uber-uber-runners.

B.A.A. 5KThe men’s division was won by an Aussie, which made me even more annoyed that there was no Australian flag up on the finish stretch. The New Zealanders got one, but not the Aussies. For shame. Oh well, at least I got a medal. Wait, I’m liking these now?

Sixteen runs down, 36 to go, it’s a long, very serious road ahead.

B.A.A. 5KThe event: B.A.A. 5K
The location: Boston, MA
The date: April 15, 2012
My time: 31.03 (pace 10.00)
The cause: Dana Farber Cancer Insitute
The T-shirt:
Yellow Adidas short-sleeved shirt with black stripes
The aftermath:
A goodie bag with a bagel, fruit cup, Powerade, Power Bar and a can of fizzy grape


19 responses to “52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 16: Ranting and sweating

  1. Congrats on your speedy pace! Isn’t it great when you are running a race and all of a sudden you realize you can run faster than you thought?

    I totally agree on the annoyance of the faster runners “shouldering” through to the front. Of course, I also feel that way about the folks who start walking after only half a mile and were up front. Someone should start a “Happy Medium 5K”!

    • Thanks!! You’re right about the pace. When I started running 10 months ago, I never thought I would ever, EVER get below 11, and now here I am staring nine in the face. Crazy.

      Love the idea of the Happy Medium 5K!! You should definitely get on that. And yes, the walkers who start too far forward are pretty annoying too, but maybe less so for me as I am occasionally one of them (a walker that is; I like to think I don’t start in the wrong spot, but I’m sure I’ve bugged plenty of folks in the past). 🙂

  2. Saving My Belly Button Ring

    Totally cool dude, rants and all! Hahaha Great job!

  3. I couldn’t agree more with your rant. I often ask myself: When did running get so complicated? Running is simple. Put your shoes on and then go.

    Somehow people complicate it with heart rate monitors and iPods and gels and running belts. Then the compression socks, sleeves, and pants and “Never run in cotton.” Never run in cotton?! Poo. Get your shoes and run. Just run.

    • The no-cotton rule amuses me, especially because 50% of the run shirts you get after a race ARE COTTON! But yes, who would have thought something that seems so simple would be made so complex with all the do-dads. It’s Big Run at work … We’re all in its grasp.

  4. What’s wrong with cotton? It’s natural and breathes, leaving you less smelly than wearing synthetic. Wearing synthetic would turn me off running seriously completely (even if I was so inclined).

    • The problem with cotton is that it leaves the sweat sitting on your skin rather than wicking it off, which is bad, or at least feels bad. It actually is bad during the winter as it makes you really cold. Anyway, I don’t have a problem with cotton in theory. I often wear it to the gym but not so much at races. It does smell less! 🙂

  5. Congratulations!! There’s another great landmark in that first picture: The Fairmont. 🙂 (that’s where I work)

    Great job on the 5k! I’m hoping to run in the BAA 10k again this June. It’s such a fun race!

    • Thanks!! And I’m sorry for not pointing out the Fairmont! Terrible oversight. The Oak Bar is one of my faves.:-) Hubby works in the John Hancock tower, so we’re nice and close!

  6. Usually I hear the fast runners complaining about the walkers who start up front. Interesting to read a rant about speedy folks starting too far back and bullying their way through! It’s always tough to accurately gauge your own speed compared to everyone else in a pack of runners at a starting line, but most people can get a general idea. Wonder why those faster runners started so far back?

    Congrats on the new PR! You’ll be running a 9:xx/mile pace in no time.

    P.S. Compression socks aren’t totally evil; they are really nice for recovery after hard races or long runs. But I never race in ’em 🙂

    • Agree that it’s tough to gauge your speed and where exactly you should be! But this is the first time I have really noticed so many faster runners pushing forward. It’s like a whole bunch of them just got to the run too late. But I must admit, too, on occasion there has been the odd walker in my way.

      I hear you about the compression socks. I don’t really have a problem with the socks themselves. I was crying out for a pair a couple of weeks ago because I was in shorts and freezing. I’m sure I’ll wind up in them eventually. I think it’s just what they represent. 🙂

  7. “he was drilling with the Guard”

    I always expect “drilling” to be followed by the name of a person, or a disparaging nickname. Hubby breaks the mold.

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  9. My daughter Lydia and I did this run too. I saw those compression socks, too, plus lots of running skirts! As I was running, I thought of your goal of one 5K per week, and I realized that Lydia and I need a rhythm like that. I can’t match that, but as a new ‘runner’ (or at least person who runs) I’m determined now to do one 5K per month.

    Thanks for the inspiration! and your humor.

    • I forgot about the running skirts! I may have to devote a post to them at some point. I don’t quite understand them, but I may be in the minority. Hope you enjoyed the run!

      I think a 5K a month is a fabulous goal! When I move out of Crazytown next year, I think that’s probably what I’ll shoot for too. (I won’t know what to do with myself.) The weekly rhythm really does help keep me going though. Thanks so much for reading!! 🙂

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