Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Boston BuildUp Series: Part I

First off: no, I will not be running the Boston Marathon this April. I qualified this past November, with the NYC Marathon, but that means I can run Boston in 2015--so not this year.

The title of this post, therefore, reflects solely the name of the series of races I am running between January and March. Many people use this series of four races to prepare for Boston in April, hence the name Boston BuildUp Series. The races progress in length, adding 5k each time. The first race--which took place on January 5th--was 10k long, and the last race--which will take place on March 2nd--will consequently be 25k long.

Part I
That first race might have been the shortest, but it was by no means the easiest. In fact, that 10k might be the stupidest, scariest race I've ever run.

What could be so scary about running 6.2 miles, you ask? Were you running away from a pack of lions? Was a man with a gun chasing you? No, the race wasn't scary in that way. I wasn't fearing for my life, but I was fearing for my quality of life, as one does when dealing with black ice.

Black ice is scary enough when you're driving a car: a 4,000-pound instrument that can grind its deeply treaded tires into any remotely friction-inducing surface. At that point, you just drive slowly or pull over, and you should be safe. Conversely, when you're 135 pounds worth of person who has just covered one-third of a 6.2-mile race and the roads turn into sheets of ice . . . well, you stop thinking about your PR, for starters. Then you begin measuring the length of the steps you are taking and realize that your cadence has tripled and yet you are going almost nowhere. Your arms are flailing out to your sides as you dodge this way and that, trying to get your well-worn shoes to grip any little patch of snow in order to avoid the ice rink which the roads have now become.

Never in my life did I think I'd be running a race by weaving between patches of snow. Of course, I also never thought I'd run a race where I cared more about keeping my limbs intact than getting to the finish line ahead of the person in front of me. Or that I'd see people actually move faster when they fell and slid down a paved surface on their butt.

Needless to say, I finished this race in 52:28, which means I somehow averaged 8:26/mile--a shockingly fast race for literally pussy-footing my way through all 6.2 miles of rolling hills. I am proud to say, however, that I did not fall or twist anything beyond repair, and was therefore read to race when the 15k came around on January 19th.

Results of this race:

Race Length
Finishing Time
Average Pace
Overall Place
Age Group Place
(F < 40)
21 / 287
15 / 44

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