This past Friday I ran my first in-person 5K race of the year! In the beginning of this year, I didn’t think races would be possible, but I’m glad I’ve been able to run in two so far.
I ran this exact race two years ago, which you can read about here and get some background on The Big E. This race comes with a cool swag bag, which includes a t-shirt and a free ticket to The Big E. I was doing this race with my coworkers—some of us were going to run it while some were going to walk it—and we went over to the fair grounds at lunch to get our swag bags.
After work, we got to The Big E around 5:30 since the race started at 6:30. We hung around while we were waiting and ending up seeing another coworker who was running it too. The race starts between the state houses and goes up the Avenue of States, which features a state house for each of the New England states.
Right before the 5K, they did a Kid’s Fun Run which goes straight down the Avenue of States, so our start time was more around 6:50 p.m. And then after the National Anthem, we were off.
My goal for this race was to just try my best and and fun. The weather has still been really weird here—it’s either incredibly hot or we’re getting the tail end of a hurricane—so it’s been hard to run.
The first mile felt good and was just over 11:00 minutes. That’s been pretty average for me lately; I used to run closer to 10:00 minute miles, but I’ve slowed a bit. I ran to a mile and a half before stopping to walk a little bit, and I think I walked two more times before the race was over. It is what it is. As I’m getting back into running more, I want to work on just pushing through the feeling to stop, unless I actually need to because of my asthma.
This course is actually closer to 3.2 miles rather than the standard 3.1 miles for a 5K. I knew this the last time I ran, and it’s helpful to know so I can pace myself at the end. It ends running up the Avenue of States and to where the starting line was. Once I turned that corner, I started to run faster know I was almost done.
My final time was 35:30, which I will absolutely take. I was hoping for anything under 40:00 minutes. The 35:30 is closer to my 5K times when I first started running 3 years ago, but it’s perfectly okay.
Those of us who ran the race then took pictures in front of our respective state houses while we waited for the walkers to finish. The last time there was a cool Big E backdrop set up that we took pictures in front of, but it wasn’t there on Friday, so we opted for the state houses instead.
After the race, we all headed to a brewery that’s on one of the side streets across from The Big E, Two Weeks Notice. We went there last time, too, so we’ve made it sort of a tradition now. Josh lives nearby, so I suggested that he meet us at the brewery afterward so he could meet my work friends. I was nervous about it just because we’re a weird group of people, but I think it went well and it was fun. The beer I got was Pink Slip, their milkshake IPA, and I got a hot dog from their kitchen. We all stayed until after 9:30 p.m., and by that time, all I wanted to do was go home and crawl into bed.
My next 5K is October 3, so hopefully I can get in a better running routine now that it’s turning to fall here in New England.