Winter Classic 5K Race Recap and Week Recap

Oh the best laid race plans of mice and men…Going into this the Winter Classic 5K my goal was to just take it easy, enjoy the race experience, and enjoy the first time that The Hub Running Club would be entered into a race as a team.  Before the race I met up with my Hub teammates Kat and Brenna who were both able to sign up in time after I put out the notice of the team race option with about 70 spots remaining int he race.  Both are great runners and awesome people to have on the Hub, plus Kat comes with the additional benefit of a great husband, Brendan.  I’ve yet to meet Brenna’s boyfriend, but no doubt he is also awesome.  We had the luxury of a little base camp thanks to my friend Liana, the voice of the great Run To Munch blog.  The race itself seemed very well-organized and packet pick-up day of was a breeze.  In addition to a cool long sleeve tech shirt, we also got race pint glasses.  Given the race’s sponsorship by Jack’s Abby Brewing and the post-race beer, this seemed like a particularly fitting piece of race swag.


According to the training plan drawn up by Coach Humphrey, today was meant to be a rest day, which made sense given that I had done 4 miles Tuesday, 5.5 on Wednesday with the Marathon Sports Group Run, an 8.7 mile tempo run with the Hub on Thursday, 4 on Friday, and 8 on Saturday.  The Thursday evening tempo run was my favorite run of the week.  It was my first time on the Boston Marathon Course since the 2012 race and was meant to be a 2 mile warm-up followed by 4 miles at goal marathon pace and another 2 miles cool-down.  We mostly stuck to the plan, but were in the low 8s -high 7s for the middle miles – faster than my goal MP but never feeling like I was pushing beyond what I consider to be a comfortable tempo pace.  On Saturday I ran basically the same route, but with even faster splits, with our last mile coming at a swift 7:38, at least swift for me.  All this is to say that I should have taken the day off, as intended, or at least gone with a truly conversational pace.  Still, as I made my way to the corral, a nagging voice in the back of my head told me that it was not very likely that I would be following that conservative plan and, when the gun went off, it was out the window entirely.

The race started as so many do, with a mass of people on narrow Cambridge streets all trying to get out of each other’s way.  The race was a definite mix of people going for time and those going for a good time with lots of holiday costumes and cheer to be found.  The only real problem was that the early goings featured a few turns, which always creates a jumble of people but, by the time we made our way to Mass Ave it got easier to navigate.  According to my Garmin, I went through the first mile in 7:09, not what I would hope for a few months from now, but fine for now.  We had about 1.1 miles on Mass Ave, which featured the only thing that could really be considered a climb on the course.  I don’t see anything greater than 1% grade throughout the course in fact.  Feeling good through Mile 1, I figured I might as well go for it and kicked my Karhu Flows into gear, taking Mile 2 in 6:49.  Spurring me on was the presence of a dude in a Rudolph suit whose bells were jangling constantly behind me.  Thankfully I was able to drop him though the sound of bells may forever be imprinted on my brain.  Mile 3, as it is wont to do, turned into to gutcheck-fest, and I slogged through it in 7:02.  It would have been smart to know where the finish was so I could have known where and when to kick, but that did leave me with enough energy to make a good go of it in the home stretch.  The SpeedKat PR’ed on the day and finished a couple minutes ahead of me and she and Brendan provided a great boost with their enthusiastic yelling at the end.  A visual recap follows…now:

Winter Classic Recap


And my official results:

Winter Classic Results


I’m honestly quite happy with the day, both for the result and with the race in general.  I would absolutely do another race with the same organizers.  Moreover, whatever benefits I lost from a missed rest day were far outweighed by the huge boost of confidence I got from the race itself.  As an indicator of where I can get to for Patriot’s Day, I’ll take this race as a good jumping off point and am looking forward to see what 19 more weeks of training gets me!

Run Happy!


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One Response to “Winter Classic 5K Race Recap and Week Recap”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Hahaa, I’ve gotten beat by costume runners before and it does take the pride down a notch or two. I remembering nearing the end of a half once and I saw a guy in a kilt, and I was like, “Uh, HECK no!” And had to sprint past him.

    Great race, and glad to hear that your Boston training is going well.

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