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What progress looks, feels like after one year of running

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  May 6, 2013 09:04 AM

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Hi all.

I've missed you. @BeWellBoston had kind of an epic nine days at a fellowship, and then I celebrated my RANiversary by re-running the same race that got me started exactly one year ago yesterday.

In a phrase: It was awesome.

But I know you all too well for that to be enough of a summary. So here's my breakdown.

Since it's always hard for me to describe a race course, and this would be the second time I've tried to do so, I thought I would make it easier on myself (and you) by showing you a video of the route. The site called "View the race" goes through and drives or bikes many race routes around the region with a camera and records them so you can watch the course before ever setting foot on it. Pretty neat, huh?

Here's what the course looked like. In short: Rolling hills, winding turn, and a nasty long uphill to end the race.

Now that you've seen the course, let's get down to the nitty gritty.

beforeAfterWestford.jpgThis was the first race I ever ran last year, but it was also my work hubby, Joe Allen-Black's first race, too. So, because he and I are sentimental, and decided last year to make this race a tradition, he ran it again with me this year. The other key member of my bullpen this year was none other than Mr. #ProjectAdam himself, Adam Salsman.

Salsman and I have been training together a lot, and, he's also the guy I convinced to do a triathlon with me this summer. Joe and I were really excited for Salsman to run this race with us this year because it's a really fun race (despite those dang hills)!

The nice thing about re-running a race you've done once before is you know where the going will get tough, you know where those really big potholes are, and there's something deeply satisfying about improving your time on the exact same course in nearly the exact same conditions a year later that is simply wonderful.

Just how much did I improve? Well, last year my time was 36.05. This year? 28:17. That's 7.88 minutes faster in just a year. And while it wasn't the fastest 5K I've ever run (my personal record is 27.50), I'm pretty darn pumped about seeing such a dramatic improvement.

What made the race so excellent was having family and friends there to cheer me on (thanks Mom for bringing and watching little man, and thanks Sue for giving me a big hug before the race and a huge high five after!).

Next year I want even more friends to run this with me. There I go again ... I just said next year ... again ...

What's your favorite way to measure improvement?

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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