I don’t know if this was the former “Shore Park 5k” or just the same setup/course, time of year, or what, but in re-reading that write up there are more than a few parallels – starting with the late registration.
I was trying to decide what to do for a run today, and the RD gave a presentation with a bib giveaway at Sneakerama Thursday evening so I decided to go down and run this. The time of day worked out well so it fit in with my busy lifestyle. <<eye roll emoji here>> The day started off with a slice of cold pizza, a sausage & French toast breakfast sandwich and a large coffee, so why not race a 5k?
5k’s are hard man. There’s no build up, there’s no finding a rhythm, it’s just all out redline sprinting for 3 miles. My training for racing in general has been essentially non-existent for the better part of the last 18 months if not more, since the world went to hell and I basically through out the training plan we were working on for a 8:10 paced Providence Marathon 2020. I’ve just run the miles, with whatever intensity. Know what else is hard? Track workouts. I hate those too, but the two are both good for training for speed.
So there I am, my belly full of crummy breakfast food, racing around to get some cash and registering about 20 minutes before the race. A quick stretch, a quick stride through the parking lot as a “warm up,” the national anthem, and it was time to toe the line.
Now my club’s weekly 5k uses this course with a starting point on the other side of the course, and we run it the opposite direction so the course is really familiar, so I knew what to expect, but I wasn’t feeling particularly game ready. A little creaky, a little sore, and my culinary choices noted above didn’t help matters.
Short story short, by the time we actually started running, I felt fine and loose and just did what felt good. About mile 2.5, my heart rate was going bonkers because I simply haven’t trained and I had to walk a bit – and got sniped by a couple of people which felt terrible – so I picked it back up. With about a quarter mile to go, another guy made his move on me – clearly thinking I’d bottomed out, but as he got to my side I slipped into another gear and bolted. The last 0.1 mile registered at just below a 6-minute pace. The old man wasn’t going down that easy.
Its a decent race, but just as I said about the 2018 Shore Park 5k, $40 is a pretty steep fine for a 5k – t shirt or not – especially if you don’t get a medal or anything .
Now, I say this is a kinda PR even though it shows up as my 3rd fastest 5k. The Canal Diggers 5k was historically shorter…a lot shorter…than 5k. That changed this year with the opening of Polar Park and the reconfiguration of Kelley Square (I’m sure a lot of runners were caught unaware that the new course went from a reported 2.9/3.0 miles to 3.3 miles), but that’s not when I ran to PRs. I’m sure most runners in Worcester call Canal Diggers their PR, but…it is kind of a…uh. Not. Anyway, I’ll keep those as my PR but as incentive to break it.
22:12 | 7:08.7 /mi
M 50-59: 1/16