Who: Just me, with Drew, Mum, and Jack for moral support
Benefited: I don’t know… it was sponsored, among others, by Fallon Community Health Plan
Photos: (click to open larger versions)
Photos with * courtesy of RaceWire; those without courtesy of Drew
Recap: Earlier in the summer, my dad told me about how Worcester has designs to become the “Running Capital of New England” [Boston Marathon aside, apparently] and how they had established a three-race series called the Tour de Worcester. One of those races was a 6K in honor of the Worcester 6 – the six Worcester firefighters who died in the cold storage fire in 1999. I wanted badly to run that race, but by the time I heard about it it had already happened. So I signed up for the 3rd race in the series – the Canal Diggers – instead.
This was the first 5K I ran by myself, and I found that it was much harder to run without a running buddy. When I run with someone, I can distract myself from the unpleasant aspects of running by chatting, and I stay more motivated to keep going because I don’t want to slow the other person down. During this race I had no one to distract/motivate me, and I seemed to be the only solo runner without an iPod, so I was pretty high-and-dry on the motivation front.
Also, expecting to experience “run like the wind” feelings like I had during my last race, I was disappointed when the day turned out much warmer than expected. I failed to hydrate properly, having anticipated a cooler morning, and as such found myself with side stitches and cramps galore as I dragged myself up some of Worcester’s tamer hills. I didn’t want to faint so I took it easy, only really trying hard the few times I approached my cheering fans (Drew, Mum, and Jack); the course doubled back on itself so they were able to see me stagger past a few times without having to wander too far.
When RaceWire texted me my results a short while after the race, I was gobsmacked to see how close I had come to my PR, given how much I had walked; I was only 7 seconds short. I was disappointed in myself then… if I had known how close I was to matching or even beating my PR, I would have tried a littler harder. Nevertheless, I was pretty proud of myself for managing such a quick-for-me time despite my perceived slowness. Training was definitely paying off!
Bonus highlights of this race included seeing so many people start dancing when “Blurred Lines” started playing pre-race; crossing the starting line to Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream;” running past Turtle Boy; running alongside Worcester’s annual pride parade and getting pumped by a band’s rousing rendition of “When the Saints [Spurs] Go Marching In“; and of course, running through my home city <3. I also got to wear my awesome Blerch shirt for the first time!