Race 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.
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.
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.
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…