JFK 50 Miler

May the 4th Be With You, 2010 - Race - Lowell, MA - 3.1

Day 124 - Another Good Times race, another shot at a 5K PR.

Weather conditions didn't look that great for a PR run while I drove home from work. It was about high 60's when I left Burlington, and it fell below 60 by the time I got to home base in Lowell. The skies were threatening, but only a light drizzle was falling.

I made it out to Hookslides a little after 6:30PM and was ready to race by 6:45. I got to the starting line and was pleasantly surprised to discover that we were finally returning to the old Good Times course.

I had a good feeling that I would be able to crack 18 on this old course, much more so than the alternate course that we had been running the previous two weeks. Based on my past experience, the old course usually runs a little under 3.1 for distance on my Garmin vs. the 3.13 that I've been getting on on the alternate course. This difference equates to about 10-15 seconds for me, which would put me well below 18, based on my PR of 18:06 in the previous week on the alternate course.

There were too many new and old faces that showed up last night to name here, and I even missed a couple at the race itself (Frank G. for one)! Probably another record, but 235 runners lined up for the start.

Actually, 109 females lined up first! Tonight's theme was "Rose Maguire Mill Girl Chase". The female runners are given a 2 min 30 second head start, and it's up to the boys to catch them. First one across the line earns $100! I didn't see multi-year defending champ Kara in the crowd, so Titus had a very good shot at finally winning it all.

This theme would also definitely make breaking 18 a little easier for me, as I'm typically faster when I'm constantly chasing down other runners, i.e. Reach the Beach Relay.

I wasn't going to just settle for another 18 and change PR tonight, so I shot out of the start and focused on staying around or below my target pace of 5:44. I definitely didn't want a conservative run with regrets at the end. Enough of that from the weekend run in Westford.

Trouble struck right away as I rounded the first right hand turn. I came down off of the sidewalk awkwardly, after the turn, and felt a pop in my right knee. I began to feel a burning sensation around the ITB region. Not this again! The pain came and went, depending on how I landed my right foot. I made a quick adjustment to avoid the pain, and this slowed me down a bit. I was actually thinking about ending my run to avoid any further damage, but the pain finally subsided, and I didn't feel it again for the rest of the race as I got onto the river walk stretch.

I got through Mile 1 in 5:46 with Jonathan M. right next to me! Either I was going slower than I had hoped for or Jonathan was kicking ass tonight. He was definitely kicking ass tonight (finished with another PR!). We had passed a good majority of the female runners by this point, and fortunately, the crowd began to thin out as I made my way across the already crowded University Ave bridge.

Mile 2 also came and went in 5:46. I had consciously gone into this run with a focus on improving my Mile 2 split, as this mile has always been my slowest, even with the down hill portion. At least tonight it will either be tied for my fastest mile, or tied for my slowest mile.

There were only a handful of female runenrs left in front of me. Speaking of handful, I tapped Linda M. on the ass as I passed her near the end of the VFW section. A couple of folks behind her behind got a good chuckle, herself included. I passed the final female runner right before the turn onto the Aiken St. bridge, and Brian B. was right on my tail, and eventually passed me (with a few words of encouragement) as we came across the final water stop.

I managed to pass Brian back with about a half mile to go. I was really hurting at this point and my legs felt like lead. As much as I regretted not running the 10K on Sunday in Westford, I was now more thankful that I did not. All I could do to block out the pain was to close my eyes for a few short moments at a time and just gut it out to the finish.

Brian wasn't able to make a move on  me at the 3 mile (5:49) mark (thankfully), but he definitely pushed me for the final kick. I flopped across the finish line with a PR time of 17:44!

(Photo Finish Courtesy of Mike Stanwyck - #14 Death)

New PR moves me into a dead tie with legendary runner amd 365 Day Race contestant, Frank Georges, on the all-time Good Times PR list.

NEW PR FOR FIL FARIA TOO! Incredible job! I knew you could do it! Now it's time to tackle sub-19!


Rose Results

Congrats to birthday boy Ryan F. on a two minute improvement over his previous week's time, but still has some work to do to beat his PR!

Also, congrats to the rest of the Faria Gang, including Kelly on another PR!!

Very nice to see all of the runners back tonight. It's not a Good Times without the crowd. Also, very nice to see the grill going at the after party. Hmmmmm...burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and beeeeer. They're going to have to re-name the race series to The Great Times!

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