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 …
On your bike!
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).
Apologies for the extended absence. Can someone please invent a time machine? …
I had really been looking forward to writing this post. Last week, I officially hit the halfway point in my 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge. Hooray! I figured I would spend the next 300 words excitedly recounting my experiences and proclaiming how far I had come. (Nothing like a little proclaiming between friends.) But instead, on the illustrious occasion of my halfaversary, any excitement I may have had gave way to a feeling that I am Right. Back. Where. I. Started.
Lest you think I am a total drama queen, allow me to explain. I ran the five-mile Squantum 5 on Thursday night. It was very, very hot and there were hills. I was suffering from horrible jet lag, having flown in from Australia a couple of nights before and gone straight back to work. I had done very little exercise the previous two weeks thanks to travel and family obligations. (I squeezed in five miles, but they weren’t quality miles.)
Best start sign ever.
You know what happens when you combine jet lag, heat, hills, and a lack of preparation?
You come fourth last.
As in only three people are slower than you.
As in almost everyone is already on their second beer at the party tent before you’ve even managed to put a toenail across the finish line.
I’m the shadowy figure taking a photo. I thought I’d have no trouble keeping up with the woman in front with the knee brace, who looked to be pretty hobbled as she started running. But nooooo.
It was tough for me to get my head around this turn of events. I’m not fast by any means, but I’m usually somewhere about three-quarters into the pack; I have even been known to be in the middle on a good day.
The Stars and Stripes hovers over the start of the Jamie Cochrane Memorial Road Race on Sept 11, 2011.
With Hubby away with the Massachusetts National Guard, it was time for my first – gasp – solo 5K. Technically I always run solo, but usually have my other half/cheering squad at the finish line to help me cross.
But I couldn’t resist this race as it was practically on my doorstep: the Officer Jamie Cochrane Memorial Road Race, held in Quincy, MA, the place I currently call home. It was a stunning day for a race, possibly the nicest since I started doing these events. It also happened to be September 11, so it was heavy on the poignancy. The event raised money for various charities.