2018 Race Recap: #2 CMS 52-Week 5k

cms_logo_smallWhat a weird day.  I woke up to 59-degree weather, perhaps a touch overcast, but otherwise a very pleasant January morning.  Now, it was widely reported that today was going to be strange, going from a high of about 59 to a low of 7 – or there about – so I was paying attention to the weather forecast, but my iPhone was telling me it was going to be about 57 and overcast through about 11 AM or so, so I figured I was good to go.  Put on a short sleeve shirt, a pair of shorts and a light fleece.  ‘Ret to go.

At about 8:20, it was still about 58-59 and overcast, to script, when I went into the Worcester State University building to register.  I came out to a noticeably colder day – I’m guessing it must’ve lost 4 degrees in the time I was inside.

I went for a quick warmup run, during which it started to rain on me.  Back at the University building, I took off the fleece after deciding to run in shirt sleeves – after all it was still very much in the mid-50’s.

At about 8:50 we headed out to the starting line, and I quickly decided shirt sleeves was not going to be my thing today – according to Apple, it was now about 47-degrees and it was pouring.  Back on went the fleece, as I regretted having registered for this.

Here’s the start. Note here, I’m comfortably ahead of the pack – this doesn’t stand very long because I’m a terrible runner who knows nothing of pacing.

Running the course clockwise today probably helped as it’s mostly downhill, but there was a strong headwind during mile 2 – there were times I find myself unable to breath the wind was coming in so hard and fast at me, but by mile 3 the sun was out again  and it was probably in the low 40’s.  Just flat out crazy weather.  I’m sure my perception of the temps is off, but the story does play itself out in my splits with mile 2 being the slowest of the 3.

Note the lack of anyone near me at the finish (there’s a 0.1 mile overlap on the course to complete the 5k, which explains the Similar angle). Not really hard to tell the start of race pic from the race finish pic is it?

Official time: 25:14, not my best, not my worst.  It’s another minor victory for being the fastest 3-miles I’ve put down this year after having been laid up in December. I figured I’d  be chasing 26-minutes today, so I felt good that I didn’t.

Clockwise (last 5):

January 13, 2018: 25:14   53 degrees, cloudy, 22 mph wind, rainy
November 25, 2017: 24:55 Sunny and 28 degrees.
October 28, 2017: 24:53 Sunny and 56 degrees.
September 16, 2017: 25:56  Cloudy, humid, 60’s.
February 25, 2017:  24:36 cloudy, warm and 52 degrees.

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2018 Race Recap: #1 Freezer Five

Image result for freezer five sterling maToday was pretty difficult.  The Freezer Five is a 5-mile race through Sterling, MA, along a course that’s reasonably wide open, past the municipal airport around and back.  The course itself looks like a wildly out of proportion upside down coat hanger that’s had its hook straightened and stretched out.

It’s not terribly challenging in terms of elevation profile: some slight elevation loss, some slight elevation gain. What makes it challenging is really just getting out there in the cold – today was somewhere around 5 degrees Fahrenheit or so.

I was about 20-seconds/mile slower today than I was a year ago.  A year ago the course was actually in much worse shape with snow, but it was definitely warmer.  I really felt the effect of having been laid up the better part of December, the result of having been relegated to a walking boot for most of the month.  The good news there is that while the doctors originally thought I had a partial Achilles tear, it turns out that it was tendinitis. So while the net effect of the boot was positive (my Achilles felt GREAT today), and despite the workouts I was doing while in the boot, I hadn’t changed my eating (read here more calories going in, fewer going out) so I packed on some pounds. Combined with a vast reduction in cardio work over that time, I was huffing and puffing my way through this.  In November, a group of us ran this course and I did it slightly faster than I ran the race last January, so I’m sure I could’ve hit this harder this year had I not been forced to take some time off running.  On the one hand, it would be easy to think of a missed opportunity, but really today is about giving myself grace: I came off the bench with a last minute decision to run and made it happen.

I considered my time today a minor victory given those circumstances and am generally pleased by the effort I put in out there.  It was difficult: between December 11 and today I had run 4 easy-miles yesterday.  I’m a little sore all over right now, but I’m glad I went out there and did it.  Onward and upward.

Distance: 5 Miles
2018 Time: 44:24 8:52 pace
2017 Time: 43:04 8:36.8 pace