Sunday, April 22, 2012

Doyle's 5 Mile

I love this race.

Have I ever told you that?  If not, I'm surprised because I love this race.

Quick recap: My goal was to run between a 13-14 min mile and finish in 1:10 or under.  I finished the 5 mile course in 1:09 before the rain came.

Full reca: All week long the weather has beautiful but today, the predictions were for rain and lots of it.  We need the rain as we're in drought conditions, but today?  Why?  At race time it was 55* and drizzly.  I could live with that, the hope was that the rain would hold off, and it ultimately did.  Gazelle Boy was shivering.  In his Kafka t-shirt and shorts, he was freezing in the raw conditions.  I know he likes to pass runners in these situations, but I was worried about him and wanted him to move up front.  He moved far enough front that I couldn't see him, but I had no idea where he was in the crowd.

To top it off, we were on our way to the race when I realized my watch and inhaler were on the coffee table at home (d'oh), so I took this as a a sign that I need to focus less on time and more on just running.  So I decided I would run through a song or two and then walk a song.

The start is always chaotic.  Two thousand runners trying to get across the start line is not a pretty sight.  This year was the first time the race was chip timed, so it didn't matter that it took a couple of minutes to get across.  I had somehow managed to start both the Nike+ GPS and the Nike+ - I'm not sure how but they were both battling for my attention on the course.   As always, the Boston Police Gaelic column stood at the 1/4 mile mark playing for us. :)

The drizzle stopped and we we were off.  I moved along to the my angry Irish run playlist and the beat of Floggy Molly.  Just before the 1 mile mark, there were a number of people jumping up and down trying to flag someone's attention.  I could see a small crowd gathered around someone and I said out loud, "Please G-d, don't let it be my son" as all I could see was a well toned leg in shoes like the ones he wears.  I got closer and caught a glimpse of the blue, long sleeved race shirt on the person and veered off.  Unless someone gave Gazelle Boy a shirt after he moved forward, it wasn't him.  There were a large number of people around the person, so I kept going saying a prayer that they'd be OK.

My heart went out of the race at that point.  I had no definitive way of knowing if Gazelle Boy was Ok or not, so I powered through.  He didn't pass me at his usual spot and I was starting to worry again until just after the 2nd mile mark I saw him in the distance coming down the road from the Franklin Park Zoo leg of the race.  I joyfully yelled my traditional greeting to him, "You're getting beat by a girl!"  He ran over and asked if I had an inhaler.  I said no, he said he was OK but... and took off in the direction of the last mile while I headed to the zoo and turn around.  A great weight had been lifted and I was back in the race.

I trucked along, pretty uneventfully, The women holding the 3rd mile marker were not in the right place, but it was OK since I knew about what I was doing.  I had settled into a good rhythm with some of the folks around me in terms of running/walking and passing/being passed.  This is perhaps my favorite part of the course.  Turning off the main road past the golf course and running through a wooded section with a little brook and ducks and green, green leaves of spring.  It's that feeling like you're somewhere other than the densest part of the city.  The final turn to go under the overpass and up the street to finish at Doyle's.

At the finish, I crossed at 1:09 and change.  My husband and Gazelle Boy stood there with a beer for me and we drank up.  I ran into one of my running buddies, couldn't find the others and we decided to get Gazelle Boy in from the cold and get some food.

Gazelle Boy's slow pace?  A 7:41 mile for 38:25.  My pace?  A 13:39 for a 1:08 finish.

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