Great Bear 5k race recap (and my week!)

I’m so happy to be back writing a race recap! This was a particularly fun and meaningful one, and not just because it was my first race and by far my fastest run post-injury. J and my mom and dad and I all ran the Needham Great Bear 5k, which has raised over $100k for prostate cancer research. It’s organized by a friend of my dad’s from college. And, it was my dad’s first organized 5k since the 80s!!

This morning we all piled into the car for a quick and easy ride to the start. The race started and ended at a local middle school, and bib pickup and bathroom stops were a breeze. We took a half mile jog up and down the street, and then easily lined up in the corrals, which were informally marked out by pace. J and I started together between the 7 and 8 minute corrals, figuring we’d see how we were feeling (he ran 10 miles yesterday!)

Once the race started, the first mile was relatively quick, coming in at 6:58. I was feeling good despite the heavy, humid air, so I kept it up for a 7:01 in the second mile. I then turned a corner into a solid uphill climb for the third mile, and I held the effort steady and managed to pass a few folks at a 7:33 pace. Turning into the finishing chute I gave it my all but didn’t have too much in me, so I let the other woman nearby kick it ahead of my across the finish line. I was breathing hard and heavy by the end, but ran the .1 at a 5:44 pace. It felt so amazing to run hard again, and I’m so proud of my 22:20 on basically no speed training!

After I finished J and my dad finished pretty soon after. My dad ran just over 30 minutes, and placed a strong second in his age group! My mom power walked it in and then we stopped by the awards table–I was pretty shocked to have taken home 1st in my age group! Pre-injury I was hoping to crack top 3 women at the race, and I ended up 7th, which I’m more than happy with. After some post-race snacks (lots of fresh fruit and gf options!) and photo ops, of course, we were on our way.

This was such a fun and rewarding morning, and the details were seamless. The course was easy to follow and 3.1 miles on the nose, the volunteers were helpful and friendly, and the trophies were a super nice touch. Plus, there were tons of kids and parents running together, which is the cutest! Does anyone else love small local races??

See below for the recap of the rest of my week! I don’t have a ton to say other than I’m feeling much better and stronger, and trying to ramp up carefully with lots of cross training. Onwards and upwards!

Weekly totals: 15.2 miles

  • Monday: PT (lots of hips)
  • Tuesday: 3 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for 4.2 miles
  • Wednesday:AM-3 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for 3.8 miles, PM-75 minute hot yoga class
  • Thursday: 25 minutes on the elliptical + lifting, core, and PT exercises
  • Friday: Trial 5k with no stops! 3.5 miles total
  • Saturday: 75 minute hot yoga class
  • Sunday: Great Bear 5k! 3.6 miles total

Linking up with The Weekly Wrap (hosted by Hoho Runs and Taking the Long Way Home).

Winter Classic 5k Recap–new PR (so close!)

I’m back again with one last race recap of 2017 (I promise!) and I have to admit, I did not want to run this one. I definitely overbooked myself this fall on the racing front and was just feeling very blah overall this week–a little bit frustrated professionally, and annoyed I had missed a few runs/workouts due to poor planning. I was excited for a morning with the Oiselle gals but just not geared up for the 5k.

Putting my best foot forward, I started race morning with a light breakfast and then an easy warmup jog, during which I learned my speedy friend Cait and I were feeling equally ambivalent about the race. However, it was a clear and cold morning–similar to last year, which was a great race for me. As Cait and I shed our layers she asked me what I was thinking for pace, and I mentioned maybe trying to run a tempo a bit faster than my half marathon pace (7 min/mile-ish). She asked what I thought about 6:40s, and of course (as I am very susceptible to running peer pressure) I told her I’d give it a whirl.

We started up near-ish to the front of the corrals and took the announcer’s advice to “go go go!” The first mile started a little bit slow as we worked our way around some slower runners to settle into the pack. We hit the first full mile split at 6:34–right on track. I barely looked at my watch during this race, keeping the effort hard but steady and pacing along with Cait. The second mile started to feel pretty tough–there’s a slight but steady uphill at this point, and my nose was pretty stuffed up from the cold. I got a little lift from seeing a friend in the pack and getting some cheers from the girls spectating. Cait and I checked in with each other to make sure the pace was ok, and then pushed through the second mile at a 6:29. I knew at this point I was going to hang on as best I could, gutting it out to the finish. We could tell there weren’t many women ahead of us so we picked off a few in the last quarter mile or so, hitting mile 3 at a 6:22 pace and then sprinting it in at  5:20 pace for the .1.

I wasn’t quite sure where we had ended up, but was THRILLED when both of our watches both said 19:59!! It turns out my official time was 20:01, which is a little bit frustrating, but either way it’s a huge 33 second PR for me–and close enough to a sub-20. Running a 19:XX 5k has been a dream goal of mine for a long time, and considering I wasn’t even going to run hard I’m super proud of my time. I came in as 13th female (out of 934), 75th overall (out of 1766), and 3rd in my age group. Big, huge THANK YOU to Cait for pacing me to a time I didn’t think was possible!! Chase your fast friends, guys–it’s the best way to get faster yourself.

We ended the morning with a quick stop by the post-race party (it was COLD) and then a fun coffee meetup with the team. Big props to the Cambridge Classic folks for a well-organized race, as always! I like that this one brings out both the folks who want to run/race hard and the folks who want to wear funny costumes and party afterwards. And everyone in between 🙂

Back soon with a recap of the first official week of Boston training! I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.