Plymouth Independence Day 5k Recap

This Fourth of July, Mallory, her dad and I ran the inaugural Plymouth Independence Day 5k in Plymouth, MA (duh). We were right in the middle of a New England heat wave, which means air feels not only hot, but weighted and wet and hard to breathe, so I decided early on this would not be a PR kinda run.

Mallory and I before the race
When I run an inaugural race, I hope it will be small, just a few locals and newbies to running coming out to support such and such, so I can place in my age group as a person on the average end of speed. This has happened once, but never again and not in Plymouth. It was 592 runners strong, which seems great for an inaugural race on a hot holiday morning. On a side note, the race I placed in had 40 runners. Big difference!

This race was well-organized. It was a point to point, which I haven't seen in a 5k before. There were shuttles for those who parked at the finish. Mallory's dad's girlfriend dropped us off and met us at the finish. The start had plenty of bathrooms, water, shirts and flags. Our shirts were New Balance singlets, with a value that might be greater than the $25 cost of entry. Shirts were offered in red, white or navy blue. They had extra small as an option and my shirt actually fit, which is rare and fantastic. The back (as shown) had all the sponsors and the front was the New Balance logo. I would have liked the front to have a big race logo or something more event-looking, but I am still happy with getting a shirt I can wear due to proper sizing and quality.

I am not sure of exact temperature at the start of the race, but I think it was around 80 sticky Fahrenheit in the shade. Our bibs were chipped, but there wasn't a timing mat at the start. That was unfortunate, because it knocked a few seconds off my time fighting the crowd to get ahead after the gun went off. Had I been racing to PR, I would have been pretty irritated. As it was, I was just thinking all the other thirty-something females were no more than 7 seconds ahead of me anyway. I was of two minds with the PR, race-to-place thing. A part of me always wants to kick some ass, even when the other part has made a decision to take it easy and go with the conditions. I ended up deciding I would just run it and see what happened.

There was more shade in the first mile and I wasn't hot yet. I am freezing all the time, so standing in the shade before the race, I had goosebumps while others were getting sweaty standing still. My first mile was fast. My watch said I was in the 7:15 zone, which would get me a good PR. And I felt good.

Then we got out of the shade of taller buildings. And I was really hot. I normally don't drink water, but I looked forward to the water stop, slowed down and had a glass. I gave up on the PR idea and decided I did not care. Running a 5k was good enough. I stopped looking at my pace all together.
We turned into a neighborhood and went up a small hill. I looked back, didn't see any women close by, decided I would not be passing anyone the way I was feeling anyway and walked. A couple guys passed me. My competitive soul wandered to the part of my mind residing in Alaska and set up a tent. It cared very little. My mind said, "It's just too f&$@ing hot to be running right now." I convinced myself to just keep running. I didn't want anyone thinking I was sick and asking, "Are you okay?" I mean, let's not be embarrassed right?

The race finished along the water, after Plymouth Rock (How Patriotic right?) and the start and finish lines for the Plymouth Marathon which are painted on the street. My time was 24:50. Not a PR, no placing, but I was happy considering how overheated I felt. We got water, bananas and Power bars. Downside, we were given empty water bottles and had to wait in line to fill them, which sucked.

When my time was posted on athlinks, I felt a tinge of regret for my attitude and my block of walking. Had I matched my PR, I would have placed.  This seems to be how races go for me lately. I think I don't have a chance and ease up, only to discover later I was closer than I thought. Then I beat myself up for a bit. Kinda reminds me of this: The Psycholgical Suckiness of Second Place.  It's harder to be closer to the top than somewhere in the middle. I was a water stop, walk and state of mind away from placing. Que Sera Sera.

There's always next time and we are signing up for 3 more 5ks (that we know of) this year.

Before and After. Apparently, I lost 2 inches. 
Support: 4 1/2
Course: 5
Tee Shirt: 3 1/2
Bling: None
Overall: 4 1/2


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