Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pugs and Mugs

A few months ago, I decided to look for a 5K to do in Boston, my old home, as my first 5K.  I figured that getting to go to Boston would be a good motivator for me since I love it there.
It was a choice between the PRoNE 5K or The Foxboro against Diabetes 5K, which were both this past Saturday, June 2.  I discussed with many of my college friends and we decided to do the PRoNE 5K because of its location; Castle Island.  The PRoNE 5K donates money to the Pug Rescue of New England, which helps rescue and support pugs in New England (if you can't figure that out from the title of the organization).
Race Map
It worked out great because the American Craft Beer Festival was also on June 2nd.  Cameron and I went to that 2 years ago with some friends and we all had a great time.  We were all very excited to spend the day together, running a 5K and then at the Beer Festival.  The name "Pugs and Mugs" was born during a conversation about getting tee-shirts made for the weekend.

Anyway, back to the 5K.  June 2 seems like a great day for a 5K, right? Especially in Boston where it cools down nicely.  Last time we went to the Beer Festival, I wore a strapless sundress and we spent all day outside beforehand.  So obviously, this time would be exactly the same... right?!


As you can see... Rain/Thunder = strapless sundress.  Crap.  My OCD self had picked out my Brooks Running shorts and my Sweat Pink tank top to run in.  I threw a pair of capris in my bag and figured I'd be fine in capris and the tank top - I run in tank tops as long as it is above 55/60.

Before the Race:
We all wake up on Saturday morning at 6:45 and its POURING rain.  Not only that, it's also like 53 degrees.  So Wendi, our very amazing hostess, gets out sweatshirts for all of us, including extra ones for after the race and we all get ready and head out.  We got to the event at 7:50ish, registered and got back in the car to wait.  It was freezing.  I committed to wearing Wendi's sweatshirt over my tanktop, which was a challenge itself because I'm very particular about what I work out in.

At 8:45, we climbed out of the cars and got ready for the race.  We took a couple pre-race pictures, but I look so horrifying, those will hopefully be deleted from Wendi's phone shortly. I put my arm band under the sweatshirt to keep my phone dry and set up my music.  We all lined up - my ex-roommate, Tim (ok, half of the people I ran with are ex-roommates, but he is the most recent one), started at the front and the rest of us gathered in the middle.

The Race:
At 9:05 we were off.  It was steadily raining and I had to dodge many people at the beginning.  Note to  anyone who participates in Run/Walks... try to position yourself appropriately.  I think I was positioned appropriately, but I had to run around people who were walking with 4-5 people in a row taking up the entire sidewalk.

About 7-8 minutes into the run, I was feeling pretty good and I hit a head wind.  The wind was literally pounding against me and I was just pushing through it.  I hit mile 1 running and was proud I'd made that with this wind against me.  If you look at the map, you can see that there is a little addition to the route outside of the circle to make it a 5K.  I ran down that and back up and then walked for about a minute, at which point one of my friends caught up to me and we talked about the ridiculous headwind.

We thought that was ridiculous... oh wait... it gets WORSE.

Between the mile 1 and mile 2 markers, the wind was brutal.  There was a causeway where the wind was completely against us BUT the rain, which was very hard, was coming directly from the right.  There were puddles (more like lakes) all over the route and my feet were soaking wet.  It literally felt like I was running through the Perfect Storm.  Except George Clooney was not there and it seemed like I would never make it to the mile 2 marker.

I ran the entire time over the cause way, although running might not be the most accurate word.  I did not walk.  I really wanted to, but I was trying to hard not to.  At one point, "I'm Not Afraid" by Eminem came on my music, which revived me.  I particularly like the lyric, "We'll walk this route together through the storm, whatever weather, cold or warm, just letting you know that you're not alone" as it made me think of all my friends running this with me and where they were at this point.  I pushed through and made it over the causeway.

I had been planning on walking after that, but I finally found the mile 2 marker and decided to keep running.  At this point, I'd probably been running for about 26 minutes.  Shortly after the mile 2 marker was the race photographer.  I remembered reading on someone else's blog to smile at the finish line so your picture is good, so I smiled the whole way to the race photographer.

Pretty good picture right?? You can see the causeway from hell directly behind me.

Not too soon after this picture was taken, a tail wind appeared!  Suddenly I was being pushed along, but because I was only 2.something miles into the race, I didn't want to expend all my energy and tried to run conservatively.  The rain had lightened up and there was a really cool military fort on one side of us.

I kept running and "Edge of Glory" came on.  As many people know, I strongly dislike Gaga, but I really love this song for some reason, and it's a great song to run to.

About a minute into "Edge of Glory", I turned a corner and could see all the tents and the finish line!  But I'd just passed mile 2!  How did I get to the end so quickly??  I passed the mile 3 marker and sped up to the finish line.

The official results:

I finished in 33:37.1. I had been hoping to break 30 minutes before the race started, but honestly, between the sciatica and the weather, I was just happy that it wasn't more than a minute above my best practice run (which was during ideal conditions).
I DID IT!  I finished my first 5K!

After the Race
Once we all finished, Tim had to collect his prize... because... oh wait... I forgot to mention... Tim WON! This is why he went to the front of the pack in the beginning.  He ran it in 18:08.  He got a heart rate monitor, which is cool.  We were all hoping for a pug, but nope.

Tim: the winner!!

There was lots of free baked goods - we took some brownies and bananas and headed out.  It's a shame we didn't stay for the rest of the race, but the weather was miserable. All of us were drenched.  Completely soaking wet.  One of my friends had to wring her sweater out.  I wanted to make sure to get a picture of myself in my SweatPink shirt with my race number, so I forced Wendi to take one while we were all dripping in the car.

We all showered and changed and then threw a load of our wet, gross clothes into the washing machine.  Thank goodness Wendi has a free washer/dryer!  To reward ourselves, we went to my favorite mall, the Natick Collection and shopped for a little bit.  I actually didn't buy anything, but I love the Natick Collection and was just happy to pay it a visit.

At 4:00, a bunch of us headed to the American Craft Beer Festival to wait in line.  We wanted to sit under cover and wait for the 6:00 start.  We had a great time at the Beer Festival - you get to try lots of different beers and we all just hung out for a very long time.   It was a very nice way to conclude the day and we had a very fun filled day!  Sorry, no pictures of the Beer Festival - with the rain, my hair was super frizzy and I didn't wear makeup.

Thoughts on the Race
When we got back to Wendi's, Cameron looked up to see if the mile markers were accurate.  We found that they weren't - the mile 2 marker was at least 1/3 of a mile too far.  That made sense because I was most frustrated during "mile 2".  Besides the giant storm over the causeway, I also thought I was running the slowest mile I've run in months, which really frustrated me.  I also was trying to conserve energy and actually pace myself because I thought that I was not even halfway through it.

I am very proud of all of my friends, because we all got up on our Saturday together and ran in the cold pouring rain and wind.

I want to work on finding a GPS for my phone that is more accurate than the ones I currently have.  My phone has perpetual problems finding signals, so a lot of times, I run and when I stop the timer, its like, "You have run 0.0 miles! You burned 0 calories!"  Annoying!  However, if I'd had the GPS working, it could have told me that I had gotten to mile 2 and my attitude might have been different.

I'll run another race and I loved going with everyone.  Mt. Washington was Summer 2011, PRoNE 5K was Summer 2012.  What does everyone want to do Summer 2013?!

Last note, we all put the pink SweatPink shoelaces in our shoes to run together.  It was GREAT!  It was so easy to find each other because we looked out for the shoelaces.  Love them!

Have you run a race in brutal weather?  Has it effected your time?  What should my friends and I try in the Summer of 2013? 


  1. Congrats on your first 5k (in blog form cuz saying it in person just isn't enough.. ill probably text you later too)! Way to go! It was such a fun day all around. Glad I could be there for it.

    Yeah that wind on the causeway was absurd, definitely slowed everyone down and was a big mental hurdle. Way to push through it. On the plus side, at least it wasn't 95.. and the course was almost perfectly flat, the value of which shouldn't be underestimated because hills can suck.. possibly more than wind.

    Also, I clearly didn't realize you're supposed to smile at the finish line. I instead went with a trying not to vomit face. Though I have a feeling if I had tried to smile my face wouldn't have looked much different.. probably wouldve just been a little creepier..

    Check out the names of the two people who finished right ahead of you..

  2. I usually look somewhere between constipated and furious in race photos so your ability to fain a smile in your picture is commendable. Also, congrats on your first 5k! It sounds like you had fun in spite of the weather. Any plans to keep up the running this summer? Any desire to extend your distance? Maybe some more races next spring?

  3. Running in heat and humidity can put you at risk for dehydration, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. se water to cool yourself during runs. If you are overheating, splashing water on your head and body will cool you down quickly and have a lasting effect as the water evaporates from your skin.