There’s a smorgasbord of runs to choose from every week in New England, so we’d managed to steer clear of repeats from 2011. But I was keen to do one to really get an idea of how much I have improved. Or if I had at all … The Officer Jamie Cochrane Memorial Road Race was perfect. It’s right on our doorstep in Quincy, MA, and last year it had a great raffle and terrific food. All excellent reasons to run. No beer though, but that’s OK. I guess free ale and law enforcement don’t really mix. There were lots of cops around.
This run honors Quincy officer Jamie, who was killed on his motorcycle while off-duty. It’s been going for five years and attracts a sizeable local crowd. Last year I showed up solo (pre-52 Runs, 52 Weeks), so it was great this time to not be the loser sitting by herself on the grass at the end. I talked Cute Dogs & Hugs blogger Tiffany and her hubby into it, as well as my running buddy from the Old Fashioned 10 Miler and Flat 5K, which seems like eons ago. And of course my own hubby was there. It was a merry gathering.
I was particularly merry when I realized the weather was going to play nice. I’m still so shell-shocked from the long hot summer that anything that seems remotely cool is making me completely giddy. I recalled that this course was relatively flat. Hmmm, could this be the day I set a PR (30.02, for those keeping score)? If nuns can’t get me there, maybe cooler weather and trainee cops in formation can …
There was a good amount of pomp and circumstance at this event. The cops rode though the crowd on their fancy bikes and we got a low-level flyover from a helicopter with its sirens blaring. There was also a lovely rendition of the anthem from a cop and his two daughters. I love that kind of stuff. This is an especially poignant race as it involves law enforcement and happens near Sept. 11 (last year it was right on that date).
I lined up towards the back as usual for the 5K (there was also a 10K), and then immediately regretted it when the gun went off. I don’t know why I’m not confident enough to start farther up in the crowd. I feel as though I lost time playing dodgem among the walkers and strollers, and the last thing I want to be is a run bully.
Once I found some space I took off. (As much as I can take off.) I felt pretty good for the first two miles and my watch showed me mostly under 10 minutes. Woooo. Savvy readers might notice a distinct lack of photos from this race. I thought maybe I should focus on the, um, running. It’s boring, I know. I’m sure it won’t last.
At mile two, I mean literally at the mile two sign, I had to slow to a walk. Dang it. I was going too fast, I guess. That old lack of mid-week training came back to bite me in the butt. I’d blame my old foe Stamina for deserting me again when I needed him (I don’t know why Stamina is a “he”), but I know it’s basically my fault.
So, as usual, I walked here and there in the last mile. There was a hill, but nothing compared to recent behemoths I’ve known. What I thought was lovely weather was actually gray skies concealing insidious humidity. I couldn’t rely on the cops for motivation as they were running behind me. I could hear their cadences in the distance though. Next time, I’ll have to make sure they are yelling in my direction.
It won’t come as a surprise to learn that I didn’t hit that elusive under-30 milestone. I didn’t do badly though, and I improved my time by more than four minutes over last year’s. I am encouraged by the fact that the weather is getting cooler by the day. All those torturous summer miles have to pay off sometime.
Oh, and I scored the exact same raffle prize I did last year! How strange is that?
The event: Officer Jamie Cochrane Memorial Road Race
The location: Quincy, MA
The date: September 9, 2012
My time: 31.10 (pace: 10.01); last year 35.50 (11.31)
Hubby’s time: 44.13 (pace 7.07); he did the 10K
The cause: Local charities
The T-shirt: Light blue cotton long-sleeved tee
The aftermath: Pasta, burgers, hot dogs, oranges, bananas