A Few Firsts

This past weekend was a weekend of a few firsts.

Saturday marked the first time since I was 14 that I’ve been on a bicycle. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I was talked into doing a 50 mile charity ride with some people from my work. Having no bike, I asked them to find me one. About two weeks ago, I followed a coworker to a client’s house where they let me borrow their absolutely ridiculous Trek road bike. I had been a little worried before for a number of reasons. Among them the 13 year gap in getting on a bike, having no experience riding distance on a bike, no helmet, no cycling gear, and generally no idea what I would be doing and how to do it. Once I took possession of the bike, my anxiety was exacerbated. This thing has multiple breaking systems, more gears than I have finger and toes combined, weighs about half an ounce. I’m a little bit out of my league.
However, on Saturday I went for a ride…and guess what? Wasn’t so bad. I rode 26.2 miles (had to see if I could ride a marathon). The first 15 miles were super easy. At one point going downhill, I cruised a mile in well under 3 minutes, which is just absurd to me. Once I rode 15, I decided to could do 20, once I did 20 I knew I could do 25 and once I set out to do 25, I just had to ride 26.2. Because. You know.
’ll let you all know after this Saturday if I survived and how it went.

The other first is much more exciting – Katie ran her first 5K!

One day I mentioned that there was a 5K in a zoo. This piqued Katie’s curiosity. In the past, even though I had promised to never force her to run, I had definitely been politely nudging. As she volunteered to do this one, I think I still kept my promise. For 2.5 weeks Katie poured her mind, body, sweat, and soul into training for the race. We did progressive runs of 1.5, 1.75 2 miles, 2.5, and then ran around the Chestnut Hill reservoir which wound up being 3.1 miles – but I didn’t want to ruin that at the time. Given that most people who train for a race take weeks (as in many more than 2.5) to get in shape, I’m seriously impressed with this. It definitely ranks in the top of my coaching achievements (until I get my sister to do a marathon and get Peter to embrace his natural affinity to running and brazenly ignore any pain he feels).

The day of the race we woke up to a torrential downpour. I won’t lie; I secretly just wanted to stay in bed. But, I quickly erased this thought because this was Katie’s first race! Rain, no rain. Whatever, we were doing it. We headied to the Franklin Park Zoo where there was a bit of parking confusion but it all worked out. The RaceMenu team was furiously working to get everything in order for the start. The course was set to go through the zoo, out into the park, onto the White Stadium track, and then turn onto some trails before returning and finishing in the zoo. Unfortunately, whoever had the keys to the track decided to sleep in on a rainy morning and were weren’t able to get it unlocked. So, the race wound up having a course length around 2.9 miles, according to my Garmin. The race started a little late, but that probably worked out for the best because the skies cleared and turned into a perfect running morning.
The race started and we headed out of the zoo, Katie was running a bit faster than normal, but looked strong. Once we turned on to the trails, the terrain was unpredictable and muddy and much hillier than we had thought. Once we were on the way back into the zoo, Katie picked up the pace as we ran along the paths and around the animals. Close to the finish I spotted a camel, and got very excited. Katie, in the throes of competition, was not as entertained. We made a few quick turns and then there was the finish line, Katie finished strong and I was very happy to have seen a camel.

After the race we had a few celebratory beers before 10AM and then took a walk around the zoo. Fun fact for you all: this was the first time I had ever been in a zoo, so I was pretty happy all around. We then headed to the Squealing Pig in Mission Hill for a great post-race burger.

It was a great firsts weekend. So, now I have the final summer 5K on Thursday, the ride on Saturday, and then the BAA half and maybe, possibly another big race in October, but we’ll see how I’m feeling after the half. It’s been a pretty great year of running.



About Graham Runs Boston

Bostonian running around Boston. Team RaceMenu distance runner. Oyster appreciator, beer lover, outside all the time when I can, loosely pursuing a BQ
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One Response to A Few Firsts

  1. Lara says:

    I suppose you wouldn’t remember it very well, but we went to the Bronx Zoo with Grandma, Grandpa, David and Doug when you were little. I was about 11 years old. Yay for running through a zoo, and Katie doing her first official 5k!

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