Yesterday was my 7th race of the year, for my #14in2014 – the Abington Police Community Partners 5K in my hometown of Abington, MA.
It looked like it was going to be a washout, but we completely lucked out with the weather. Friday night after work, Tara and I packed our bags to stay with Julie and Dan for the weekend. Whenever I have a race up in MA, we try to make that one of our “friend weekends” and stay with them. We hadn’t seen them since Easter so it was nice to hang out. We didn’t get up there until about 8:30 Friday night and just had dinner and hung out for a bit before getting to bed around 10. You know, with a race the next morning and all. Normally, when the four of us get together, we stay up and talk about ridiculous things until who knows when. You wouldn’t realize we talk to each other literally almost every day.
Saturday morning, I got up around 5:30 to get race ready – coffee, breakfast, water, etc. It was pouring rain when I got up and I planned for the worst (having to run with my rain jacket on and no phone/music). The plan was to get Tara up at 6:00 and then Julie and Dan up at 7:00 and we managed to follow it and get out the door by 7:30 for the drive over.
I needed to be there before they closed the road around 8:00 and to pick up my packet since I couldn’t get to early packet pick-up in time. This wasn’t an issue at all and there were hardly any people there when we arrived. As we were driving there, it had been drizzling and by the time we arrived it had all but stopped raining completely. By the time the race started, there was no rain and the sun was even trying to peek through! It was super humid (around 96% humidity), but only around 62* so it was mostly comfortable until I started running and then I ended up getting soaked in sweat. Blech.
The course itself is really nice. No one has ever heard of Abington when I tell them where I’m from. It’s a small town with currently around 15-16,000 people (around 13,000 when I grew up there). The race starts right in front of the police station, goes up to one of the main roads, down behind the junior high, through the cemetery, back out to the police station which is about halfway (and where the water stop was), then around Island Grove which is our local lake or whatever you want to call it. We then finish right next to the police station in the parking lot. It’s a gun timed race with no chips, so they just write down your time when you cross the finish line. I hate that, so I’m going to use my Garmin time.
I was VERY pleased with my time (which was technically 35:52:54 on my watch itself, but uploaded as 35:53 above). It was only 54 seconds slower than my time last year. Considering this is the first race where I’ve almost run the entire thing again (dealing with all these stupid injuries), I was completely excited to get such a great time. It felt good to be able to feel a little bit of my endurance come back. I did still walk 3-4 times, but for shorter increments. I feel like when I do run, I’m faster than I used to be which is nice since I’m not training to be faster.
I love having people there to cheer me on. Of course, my lovely bride is my biggest and best cheerleader, but I like having my friends there, too. That’s the nice thing about having races closer to them.
I’m definitely chalking this race up as a win. Now, I just need to keep myself healthy for my big goal #1 for 2014 – Tough Mudder. Less than two weeks now!!!