NYC Brew Hop – New Season Best

Great turnout for the Brew Hop 5K in NYC! This low-key race was much more about the post-race beer festival than the race itself (they didn’t even have chip timing!). Lots of friends showed up to race (and a few just to drink) for the 11th of the 30-race campaign.

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With a noon start time, the weather (around 70 degrees) was much better for drinking than running. With lingering injuries and travel-related weight gain, my goals were pretty straightforward:

Race Goals:
1) Don’t aggravate hamstring injury. ()
2) Don’t injury anything else. ()
3) Run a fairly consistent pace around 7min/mile. ()
4) Don’t lose to Alex Kapelman. ()

I made a few conscious changes for this race.

First, I opted to start near the front so as not to have to waste energy weaving around runners in the first half-mile. I also decided to race with music on but to turn my pace notifications off (usually I have my running app update me every half-mile with my average pace). I would have to race much more on feel and see if my pacing would be any better this time around.

I still went out a bit too fast during the first half-mile, but managed to slow my pace a little to average right about 7min for the first mile. My second mile was a few seconds slower and my abs were beginning to hurt, but my last 1.1 miles were fairly quick and I had a strong finishing kick for a new #30at30 best time of 21:36 (6:57/mile average)!

It’s unclear where I finished, though by my calculations, I was probably in the top 15-20. It was a slow field. Luckily, my hamstring held up pretty well and didn’t hurt much until a few hours after the race. 

Alex Kapelman didn’t run, so that was an easy check mark.

The course was a good one and the race very fun…  but the beer festival was the best part. It was great to have so many friends show up and relax after a tough workout. The afternoon weather was near-perfect. I would definitely recommend this event.

We’ll definitely look for another NYC event in the spring, so keep your eye on the schedule page in the coming weeks for updates. 


Red Bandana Run

DSC_8856.jpgRace number nine was the Welles Remy Crowther Red Bandana Run in Boston! The 14th annual race is in memory of Camp Becket alumnus Welles Crowther – the Man in the Red Bandana. Each year, members of the Becket-Chimney Corners family come to run the 5K at Boston College.

There was an incredible age range in attendance, as we had everyone from a few current campers and even one or two folks as old as Tim Murphy. Oddly, this was my first Red Bandana Run, but it certainly won’t be my last. 

Still nursing my hamstring strain and fresh off a flight from Eastern Europe, I had pretty low expectations for my performance in the race itself. Given my recent lack of training, jet lag, and hilly course I expected to a slow race of about 24min.

Race Goals:
1) Don’t aggravate my hamstring injury. ()
2) Don’t injure anything else. ()
3) Don’t lose to any former campers. ()
4) Try to break 23:30 if my hamstring feels okay. ()

Given the huge field that featured over 1500 runners, I should have started closer to the front. Instead, our crew started toward the back of the pack, and I wasted considerable energy over the first mile darting around runners. The first mile was a significant net downhill and my time was pretty quick (about 6:40 pace). Knowing that the last mile was largely uphill, I grew nervous about maintaining my pace and slowed significantly during the middle third of the race.

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The final hill was reasonably tough but didn’t live up to the hype. It was my own lack of fitness that did me in, not the course. I should have done a better job with my diet and core strengthening while traveling the past few weeks. 

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Still, the finish was good for a respectable 22:12, which was far faster than I had planned to run! My hamstring held up pretty well, too. At some point I may need to take sufficient time off to let the injury fully heal, but its good to know I can run at a decent clip while it’s still recovering.

Next week is another 5K – the Brew Hop in NYC! I’m going to try to train a reasonable amount this week despite my hamstring and see how it feels…


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