It’s been a while since I ran a 5k – looks like it’s been since December 2019 since I actually raced one. This was the race that started me toward believing I could become a better runner – faster, do longer distances, more consistent. The club that runs the race –Central Mass Striders – has become important to me as a support system for both running and lasting personal friendships, but also giving back, so since the return of racing in Massachusetts I’ve been volunteering at this race while we work out the kinks on a new course and getting people back into the swing of things.
This week with the July 4 holiday on Sunday, meaning a long weekend for a lot of folks and the generally crummy weather, I figured there wouldn’t be too many people out running this race (I was correct) and with some encouragement that we could get some course monitors, but only if I ran the race, it was an easy decision to make.
Where in the before times the course was around the neighborhoods surrounding Worcester State University and Tatnuck Square in Worcester, and since the college is still not allowing outside events, the club partnered with a fitness club, Worcester Fitness, in another part of the city, to use the course the fitness club had typically used and to use their facilities for registration and the like.
It’s a reasonably familiar 5k route in Worcester, around Indian Lake. Worcester Fitness uses it for their runs, both clockwise and counter-clockwise, and the Greendale YMCA and Bancroft School used to run the Shore Park 5k using it but starting on the other side of the lake.
The first week we ran the race – June 5 – we had 34 participants. 31 the following week. 26 the next two weeks. The month of June gifted us with some beautiful Saturday weather. Today, July was kinder in terms of temperature, but the happenstance of the calendar noted earlier and the rain gave us 15 runners.
I ran a pretty good race today. I didn’t feel great, but I knew I was running pretty quickly, keeping up with the eventual winner for roughly half of the first mile and keeping him within shooting distance for probably 3.5k. I started off in first or second and kept that place for the entirety of the race and I got to High-5 a pair of very enthusiastic course monitors as I ran by which lifted my spirits.
Just as my watch clicked off mile 2, my heart rate was skyrocketing – I haven’t pushed that hard in a long time and it caught up with me – so I actually walked for a short bit while I brought it down. Short races are much different in terms of pacing and I’ve clearly not practiced running hard and short.
I finished with some of the best mile splits I think I’ve had in a very long time, if not ever, and came in second – which has NEVER happened. I’ve never even sniffed second place in any race. This was a top-3 5k effort for me. The dirty little secret here is that it’s probably a Personal Best, given the Top 2 are times earned at Canal Diggers races, widely known in the area as something shorter than 5k. But, it is what it is.
And I’m super happy we’re racing again.
5k Race History
|CMS 52-Week 5k Series||3-Jul-21||22:34|
|Run4Veterans 5k Road Race/Walk||4-Nov-17||23:59|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||10-Mar-18||24:11|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||24-Feb-18||24:16|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||17-Feb-18||24:22|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||27-Jan-18||24:24|
|Old Fashioned Ten Miler & Flat 5k||19-Feb-17||24:26|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||21-Jan-17||24:27|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||3-Mar-18||24:30|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||4-Feb-17||24:36|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||25-Feb-17||24:36|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||26-Nov-16||24:42|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||18-Mar-17||24:42|
|Shrewsbury Road Scholars 5k||10-Apr-16||24:45|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||28-Jan-17||24:48|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||28-Oct-17||24:55|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||25-Nov-17||24:55|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||21-Oct-17||25:13|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||2-Dec-16||25:14|
|Craft Brew Races|Worcester||30-Apr-16||25:18|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||25-Jun-16||25:26|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||9-Jul-16||25:28|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||17-Jan-17||25:29|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||13-Jan-18||25:30|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||31-Dec-16||25:41|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||4-Mar-17||25:42|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||13-Jan-19||25:44|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||4-Jun-16||25:47|
|Guinness Shamrock Shuffle||26-Mar-16||25:48|
|Worcester Running Festival 5k||19-Jun-16||25:50|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||16-Sep-17||25:54|
|LUK’s 6th Annual Scholarship 5k||22-May-16||25:55|
|CMS Lake Park Summer Fitness 5K||26-Jul-16||25:57|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||30-Apr-16||25:58|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||21-May-16||26:00|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||16-Jul-16||26:01|
|Franklin County 5k||23-Apr-16||26:13|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||27-Feb-16||26:15|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||2-Jul-16||26:15|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||11-Feb-17||26:17|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||12-Mar-16||26:27|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||18-Jun-16||26:32|
|CMS Lake Park Summer Fitness 5K||12-Jul-16||26:34|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||2-Apr-16||26:35|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||19-Aug-17||26:36|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||19-Nov-16||26:44|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||6-Aug-16||26:47|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||22-Oct-16||26:51|
|PLR ShamRock & Roll 5k||6-Mar-16||27:07|
|Katie Chalifoux Memorial 5K Road Race||30-May-16||27:10|
|CMS Lake Park Summer Fitness 5K||5-Jul-16||27:32|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||20-Aug-16||27:37|
|CMS 52 Week 5k Series||20-Feb-16||27:39|
|CMS Lake Park Summer||15-Jul-17||27:48|
|FIT Turkey Trot 5K||24-Nov-16||28:37|
|Sweetheart 5k Fun Run||13-Feb-16||28:48|