Today I ran the Clamdigger 5 Miles. I originally planned to run the BAA 5K in Boston, but I missed the registration cut-off. And then I thought I might run a 5K in Worcester, but I had a conflict — the only time I could get my hair cut before a wedding next weekend — so I went online to find an event. The closest “good” one I could find was way down in Southern Rhode Island. (It’s a small state, unless you have to clean it.) Not my finest effort at planning ahead.
Now I like running — that’s probably not a surprise — but I was really looking forward to a shorter race after the half-marathon last month. I was a whole lot less nervous than before New Bedford; mostly I was anxious to see how fast I could run. I was hoping for something between 37 and 40 minutes. And I was also hoping to see how well my diabetes skills were holding up.
(I’m not going to say much about diabetes, except that it cooperated nicely enough. I mean, it didn’t cooperate really well — my CGM woke me up every two hours during the night, because I just could not bring my blood sugar down below 200. In fact, when the CGM high alarm went off in the first mile I almost kicked my pump after it slipped out of my hand as I was turning off the alarm. But my blood glucose didn’t move around too much during the race and was sufficiently low that it didn’t make running difficult.)
A word about the course in Westerly. It is very flat; it’s right along the coast; and it’s an out-and-back. Oh, and the wind was blowing like crazy. It would be at our back on the way out and in our faces on the return. Because it had rained overnight and the tides were high and wind-driven, there was a bit seawater on the road.
I had a strategy: Run really fast on the way out, being near the front so that I wouldn’t need to share the sidewalk skirting the big water puddle and letting the wind push me down the road, and then try to keep running fast once we turned into the wind. I had done a tempo run a couple weeks ago with four miles at 7:30/mile, and I hoped to go a bit faster than that. Run fast. Some strategy, huh?
But that seemed to work pretty well. I was near the front at the start. While I didn’t go crazy to stay with the guys who went out at 5-minute-something pace, there weren’t that many people in front of me. I missed the first hand-painted mile marker sign, but I couldn’t really believe the 13:40 I saw on my watch at mile #2. (Did I mention the wind was quite strong?) The third mile was mostly sheltered from the wind and I still felt pretty strong. I’d been passed by a half-dozen or so people, but I was starting to make up some distance after we turned into the wind. With one mile left, I was excited by what I saw on my watch. That final mile hurt, but I ran it as fast as I could.
36:26. I beat the low end of my time range and finished 21st out of 137. Yay!