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struggle before the race even starte
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This week was full of learning experiences for me. A hot 14 mile run on Monday reminded You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. me that I need to start taking hydration seriously again now that the weather is warming up. A 5K on Thursday night You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. reminded me that course and conditions on race day can conspire to smash hopes of a new PR. And running that same 5K course backward to meet my family (they were walking it) reminded me how much I love this sport – cheering on friends and seeing members (past and present) of my beginner 5K group heading toward the finish line was amazingly uplifting. It was a great night for running in my hometown.Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit (29 miles), Asics HyperSpeed 6 (7 miles), Skechers GoMeb Speed 3 Prototype (6 miles, including 5K race).
I also finally bought a pair of the New Balance Fresh Foam 980 from my LRS for a future review. I’m sending the New Balance MT00 v2 back unworn due to a pointy fit in the toebox and the realization You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. that I will almost never require an aggressively lugged shoe like this for my typical running needs.About a month ago I You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. ran a 5K in which I finished just two seconds short of my PR. To say that I was happy would be an understatement. It was only my second 5K of the year, and it gave me hope that a new PR would soon follow.
I had set my eyes on the Concord Rock ‘n Race 5K as my next attempt. The Rock ‘n Race is one of the biggest running events of the year in New Hampshire – for a night the streets of my home town are taken over by a crowd of around 3,000 runners and at least as many walkers. There are bands and food on the course. For a town with a population of just over 40,000, it’s quite an impressive event.I’ve run the Rock ‘n Race several times before (it’s been several years since my last attempt), and I knew that the course You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. was going to be tougher than the one I ran my previous race on. I’d forgotten just how tough it is. The course starts fast,You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.  but from mile 1.5 to about mile 2.6 there is a slow but steady climb, with a couple of short, sharp inclines. The final half mile includes a big downhill leading into a flat, fast finish.I’ll cut to the chase and say that I didn’t PR at the Rock ‘n Race. Not even close. In fact, I finished almost a full minute slower than the 5K I ran in mid-April.I kind of had a sense that it was going to be a struggle before the race even started. My legs felt dead during my warmup – I thought maybe they were still recovering from a long, dehydrating run earlier in the week. It was a pretty warm night, and by about a mile into the race it felt like my mouth had been stuffed with cotton – for some reason I was dying for some You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. water, which almost never happens to me in a 5K. The hills sapped me, and I simply didn’t have the toughness to maintain pace You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view.on the inclines. I gave in to my screaming legs and let myself slow down. I told myself that I’d be content (not happy, but content) with a sub-20. I beat that by only 10 seconds with a finish time of 19:50, and it was a struggle to get there with a near all-out effort in the final tenth of a mile. When I crossed the finish line I wasn’t particularly pleased with the result.My spirits lifted as I ran the course backwards to meet up with my family. I passed hundreds of runners heading toward the finish line. I saw friends. I saw and cheered on 4 or 5 runners from my beginner 5K group who were on their way to finishing their first ever 5K (they were doing the race in lieu of our usual Thursday workout). I saw You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login to view. people from last year’s 5K group who are now regular runners (which is awesome!). And then I spotted my wife pushing my 4 year old son in a stroller and my 8 year old daughter running alongside her (my older son had apparently taken off ahead with a friend). We ran-walked the final mile together and had a blast. It kind of put things into perspective a bit, and I got a little pissed off at myself for being upset about my own race. It felt selfish to be worried about my own time on a night in which my home town celebrates the sport that I love. But I can’t deny that finishing a minute slower than my previous race still stung a bit.
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