Monday, May 07, 2012

Poetry in Motion (Moody St 5k Race Report)

When Jim Walker (@brandnewwatch) sent out a tweet reminding folks that time was running out for signing up for the Moody Street 5K, I figured it was time for another race.  OK so I took a week off from running while I stressed over final projects for school and such and a race seemed like a good idea to get my butt back in motion.

I responded to him in haiku form:

Running Moody Street
5k on a May Sunday
hope the weather's nice

and he replied, "Hopefully we'll see some poetry in motion out there."

Hmmm... Jim, why'd you have to give me ideas? So I ran off to Target and picked up a cheap C9 wicking shirt and, in sharpie, drew a picture of a bear reading a book under some flowering plants and on the back I wrote:

Is there anything
as delightful as a run
in the morning sun?

I also added a couple of hashtags (#haiku #amrunning).  When I got to the race, someone said I should add my twitter name, so I found a sharpie and added @Karlsie.

The day started beautiful.  I left the house and the sun was out.  By the time I got to Waltham it was chilly and clouded over.  My husband was support crew and to show how supportive he was, he ran home and got a black compression shirt for me and drove back in time before the race start.  He now gets why I give myself a bunch of time before a race. ;)  I ran into a friend from the running club, we chatted for a bit before heading our separate ways for race prep.  We met up again just before the line up at the start of the race.  We realized there were a ton of kids from little ones up through high school as this was a race to benefit Waltham schools.  There were also a bunch of walkers, so it was going to be interesting.

We lined up on the bridge on Moody Street that goes over the Charles River, my friend near the front and me in the back.  A cold wind blew but just as the gun went off, the sun came out and the wind died down.  We started up Moody Street, which is a slight uphill.  I quickly fell into running 3 minutes/walking 2 minutes with a goal of a 13:30 mile.  This was my Sunday morning run and I wasn't going to push hard.  I had a goal of 42 minutes or less and the idea was to set a steady pace for myself.  We turned off Moody and down a side street at Mile One to loop around.  I was on track at a 13 minute pace and was relaxing into everything.  The loop was a mile through a side neighborhood with little glimpses of the Charles here and there.  At mile 2, I was still on track and we began the descent past the old Waltham Watch Factory and the DCR walkway along the Charles.  I loved being in the middle of the pack for a change at a race and really enjoyed knowing that there were plenty of folks behind me.

We wrapped down the side of the Charles and made the turn back onto Moody at the 3 mile mark.  Now here's were it got weird.  When I crossed where the start line was, you could hear the beep of the initial timer.  I kept running because the crowd seemed to be up ahead.  I'm glad I did because the finish was a good block or so up from the start line.  Had I slowed down/stopped at the beep, I wouldn't have finished the race.  As I crossed, the guy at the end yelled "41 minutes" - right in my goal range.

Later I checked the race results and saw that I did indeed finish in 41 and change with a 13 and change pace.  More importantly, nothing nagged, hurt or complained the whole time.  It felt good and I'm feeling a little more confident overall.

Another race is in the books and it's time to think about the next set of goals.  In the meantime, perhaps I'll put some of my haiku on the back of running shirts to inspire folks.  After all, poetry in motion is a good thing.

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