You may notice, Few Loyal Followers, that this is my second race post in one week. Why do two races in one week, you ask? Poor timing is the answer. And procrastination. I finished the NPS Virtual 10K on Thursday because I had to submit my time by Saturday and this 5K had been scheduled for months, so I couldn’t blow it off. Especially because it benefited a very special cause. But I was very lucky that I wasn’t injured or blew my plan for my time goals doing the 10K this late. I did have a little bit of pain in my shoulder, I think due to holding my phone in an odd position while I was running and then sitting at my desk for the next eight hours. I iced it a little bit and spent a little time away from the desk on Friday and it felt fine today.
Today’s weather was perfect for the 5K. It was cool, crisp Fall weather, though a little windy at a couple points on the course. The City of Presidents 5K has been going on for decades and has kind of switched causes every few years. This year got personal.
The picture is a bit small, but you might be able to see a name in the sun on the back of my shirt. Emily was my first friend in elementary school and I later learned that a lot of people could say that about her. She was outgoing and brought people together. She was a great runner, way faster than I’ll every be. We kind of drifted apart because of middle school silliness and the fact that she went to the public school and I went on to Catholic high school. I only saw her occasionally at state-wide meets at Franklin Park and at our brothers’ graduation. She had just gotten her first full time teaching position at a middle school in Quincy when she was struck and killed in a drunken hit and run last August while walking down the road with her boyfriend in Maine. It wasn’t fair, it really wasn’t, she had just started her life and some idiot make a stupid decision and ruined it all. If I sound bitter, it’s maybe because I haven’t moved past anger yet. And frustration. I got to reconcile with the other girls I was close with when I was young, but I never really got to mend our friendship. Our last interactions will always be awkward and stilted and there’s nothing I can do to change that.
But I can run. This year, the race’s proceeds all went to the Quincy Public School system in her name and many of the participants were running in honor of her. And I can push myself to do my best, to take advantage of just being alive and being able to find joy in the cool air and miles of a good run.
I did pretty good, results wise. The important thing was soaking up the love and positivity surrounding the event but the time was also good. I had a goal of running in 25 minutes, which I almost made. I need to work a bit on my endurance, I can run the first mile in under 8 minutes, I just can’t quite sustain it. According to my MapMyFitness, my first mile was 7:59 but then it drops to 8:15, then 8:25. Even if I missed my final goal, I’m really happy with the final time. 25:54 is definitely the fastest I’ve run a 5K since graduating from high school and I’m looking forward to the next year of races and hopefully improving my performance even more!
And enjoying the Fall weather. Pumpkin Cookies+New Cozy Sweaters=A Perfect Post-Race Afternoon. (Not pictured: beer. Essential post-race item.)