End of Year PR!

Happy New Year! I ended up jumping in a 5 mile road race at the last minute on Saturday, December 30, while visiting family in Cambridge, Mass., and low and behold, I managed a masters PR of 29:46. Wasn’t expecting this at all as I hadn’t done any fast running for three weeks after San Francisco. The course was a nice, scenic 2.5 mile loop that went around a pond and had markers every 1/4 mile (in some places they had markers every 200 meters!). The North Medford Running Club hosts a 2.5 and 5 mile race every Saturday in Cambridge rain or shine and has been doing this for years. It’s an old school race with no entry fee where you’re given a popsickle stick at the end with your place written on it and you bring it over to a guy who records your name. Wish there were more races like this. Anyway, people as famous as Henry Rono, Bill Rodgers, Geoff Smith and GBTC legends from the ’70s and ’80s have run on this course. I started out cautiously and did the first mile in 6:17 and felt great so I gradually accelerated and reached the 2 mile mark in 12:26 before getting into a great groove and hitting the first lap in 15:20. The second lap was just a blur. I got into one of those amazing zones where I just glued my eyes on two guys who were ahead of me and never even looked at my watch. I passed the first guy with about a mile to go and caught the second guy just before the 2 mile/4.5 mile mark. I looked at my watch there and saw I was at 27:07, which meant I needed a 2:52 final 800 to break 30. I started running as hard as I could and the other guy wouldn’t give up so that really pushed me. Finally with about 200 to go I pulled away and was shocked to finish in 29:46… a 2:39 final half-mile! It’s nice to end the year on such a positive note and this race will hopefully keep me pumped up this winter as I build a base for the Spring racing season.

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