This past Sunday I ran my third 5K in one week's time. I feel like I reached some sort of milestone... even though I collectively run the distance of all three races quite often. At least I did about a month or so ago.

> My first goal was to beat my old pace (7:14) at least once.

Goal achieved in last week's Heartbreak Hill 5K (7:04 pace).

> My second goal was to support a cause that's dear to me. I lost a loved one to ALS.

Goal achieved in the Sharon Timlin 5K to Cure ALS. Secondarily, I finished this race faster (7:08 pace) than my old PR, though not my new PR. That's ok! I still consider this as another point toward goal #1.

> My third and final goal was to just enjoy my running again.

Goal accomplished by 5K #3. The Brookline Flag Day 5K was a no pressure, fun, family time event. Small field, but I instantly picked out the fast folks. Sure enough, the chick I thought would be fastest kicked my rear, though I would have given her a run for her money had I PRed. I ran this one slower (7:25 pace) than the other two races, but I'm so happy with that time. My legs were jello from Saturday's race and it was steamy hot on Sunday morning at 10:30. Didn't matter. It was so much fun. Watching the kids' race prior to mine was almost as fun as running down Harvard St. in my home town.

I loved my mini goal to run three 5Ks in a week. It was a great time, extremely fulfilling and just what I needed to start a steamy running season. It really did make me want to run more again.

Now to attempt to get up my mileage without blowing my hip apart. Good times!
Today I ran my second 5K in less than a week. The only problem is that my D-tag didn't seem to work. I'm not in the results, which is frustrating. I just complained to Bay State Timing. The good news is that I know I finished just slightly slower than I did in last week's race (around 22:05-22:10), and today's weather was not as kind. HOT.

I have one more 5K to go tomorrow before a break until August. I'll be at the Brookline Flag Day 5K. Here's hoping for a sub 7:00 pace.

I should add that I wasn't trying to plan three 5Ks in one week. It just happened that way. I heard about the Heartbreak Hill 5K first. I love that stretch of road, so I had to run that last week. Then I heard about today's race, which I had to run because I lost a loved one to ALS, and it's one of the few charities I would run for. And finally I heard about Brookline Flag Day festivities. Brookline is my hometown, so of course I registered.

After a season of half marathons and a full marathon, all of these 5Ks are just fun.

Good luck to everyone else racing tomorrow!
I just took 30 seconds off my best 5K time. That feels good. I'm also not one to brag about place, since my place is only as good as the other runners who show up to race, but this is still fun to see:
I've been going through an internal battle over my running lately. I've had some major disappointments in the past few months as well as some major accomplishments, but the disappointments really have me down.

As a runner, you have to know the road never really ends. A bad race is a bad race. You move on to the next one. I've never had a problem doing that, until this season.

Warning, I'm going to complain for a minute here:

First I failed to improve my marathon time, after 6 months of some of the best training of my life and suffering through almost constant hip injury. My hips are fine when I run, but then I spend the rest of my days limping around, everywhere. I know I should see a doctor, but I haven't, and he's just going to tell me to stop running. Still, it sucks to go through all of this training, lose downtime that I could be spending with my husband, limp around everywhere I go, and not even see a one second improvement in my marathon.

Then, I totally bonked my last half marathon. Granted, I use half marathons more as training than racing events, but I love halfs. I feel good running halfs. I stunk up the course on this last one... And I say that knowing that people will say something like, "What are you complaining about!? I'd be happy to break 2 hours in a half!" If you're one of those people, I appreciate your thoughts, but I'm not trying to compare my time to yours. You would be upset too if you lost 15+ minutes off of your best time.

I haven't had the motivation to run at all lately because I've been so disappointed. And yes, I'm still limping around.

Today I may have had a ray of hope. I ran a strong 5K, maybe my best ever, and several people complimented me on a great race when it was over. I think I helped pace them. I have two more 5Ks next weekend, then a break from racing for a while.

Today's 5K reminded me that I do love to run. Maybe I've just been putting too much pressure on myself. In the past few months, I've also left a job and started a new one, which I love and want to do well at. I'm sure that's part of the problem with my running. Running is no longer my saving grace from work, like it was a few months ago. Now I like going to work. I don't NEED to run to forget about the rest of my day.

I have to feel that I WANT to run and I LOVE to run. And I do feel that, just not all of the time lately. To help me make sure I feel that way, I'm going to stop trying to BQ for a while. I'm going to sign up for a half and a full in the fall, but I just want to enjoy them, even if that means jogging. I missed the feeling I had in my first full, when all I wanted to do was finish. I did finish. And I didn't want to stop running. I felt so amazing...

I need to get that amazing feeling back.
Last week I ran my first real PW - personal worst race ever. It wasn't a "worst" by a few seconds or even a few minutes. I ran a half marathon a full 16+ minutes slower than my best half marathon just two months ago. Of course, I'm not buying the photos from my PW event, but I had to laugh at my finish line pictures.

Check out the finish line photo at my best event - 13.1 NYC on April 3 (1:40:12) - and the finish line photo at my worst event - Johnny Kelley Half Marathon in Hyannis on May 30 (1:57:48).

Can you guess which is which? :)