Sunday, April 18, 2010

BAA 5k

Up and out the door at 4:30 to head down to Boston for the BAA 5k. I have slight feeling of terror when I think about how easy it is becoming to get up at 4:30, carpe diem, eh? I got to the race with time to spare. As I was walking down the fabled finishing stretch on Boylston Street I could see Mike Pieroni waiting for me at the finish. Mike and I chatted for a couple of minutes about my training as we walked across the finish and down to the elite tent. With temps in the high 30s it was a nice surprise to find that the elite tent was heated to approximately seventy degrees. A few minutes later some of the usual cast of BAA all stars showed up and within minutes we were in a good rhythm of busting one and others chops. We were all pretty psyched about the new uniforms that we got hooked up with this week. Apparently we are the first people in the world to get this kit. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

After the usual warm-up, bathroom stop, changing tango I headed over to the line for some striders. It's so strange being in a 5k with five thousand people. The experience of the front runner is so detached and impersonal. As I stood there planning a strategy I was only thinking of two or three people to beat rather than the other four thousand nine hundred and ninety eight. Only a couple of minutes before the start Josh Cox came strolling over to the line. Having recently viewed one of his workouts online I knew that he was fit. I figured there would be a few tactics over the first thousand meters that would lead to a slow start. Following what seemed like an endless barrage of opening ceremonies we were off to the sound of a rather out of place air horn.

Apparently you don't fly three thousand miles cross-country to a race without prize money to sit on a couple of club runners. Cox took it out like a champ. I figured that I would be able to hang so I tucked in tight on his left shoulder. As we passed 800 in around 2:14 alarms were sounding in the control room. Red warning lights were flashing all over the place and I knew that I needed to chill or face some serious lactate. I settled in through the mile (4:46) and had my rhythm re-established by the time I passed the place where everyone knows your name. Unfortunately, Brian Harvey had also gaped me and showed no signs of slowing down. I passed two mile in 9:40 and knew that I needed to stay strong so I did my best to surge. As I turned onto Boylston Street I could sense the chase pack in my presence. As I looked down Boylston I thought of all of my Boston Marathon memories from my lifetime. I always feel so bad for the athletes that get run down on the long lonely corridor of concrete and glass that is Boylston Street. I was able to find a gear that has eluded me through my marathon training thus far. As I passed three miles in 14:30 I was disappointed and driven at the same time. Cox was already finished but I knew that if I could man-up for a little longer that I could at least crack fifteen minutes. Luckily I managed a twenty-eight second final 200 and finished in 14:58. Not exactly what I was looking for but I'll take it. Despite the effort I felt strong over the last 2k and felt as if I had another two miles in the tank at that pace.

The awards were best described as fun. I am assuming that this is the only way that I will ever be standing on the podium on Boylston getting presented with a crystal of some sort by a city offical. Overall the morning was a great experience. The energy in the air was electric, almost on a seemingly cosmic level. Perhaps I will be finishing a longer race on Boylston next April.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on reaching the podium and hanging tough over the last 2k. That you felt like you had some in the tank at the end is a good sign. Keep up the good work.