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Boston JP Morgan, Andy nagelin

50 5Ks and beyond

Race Name Date Location Finish time Result
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 9/17/14 Wakefield 21:39 14th
Granara-Skerry 5K 9/27/14 Medford 21:33 29th
Baystate Marathon 10/19/14 Lowell 3:49:27 701st
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 10/22/14 Wakefield * *
Melrose YMCA Spooky Sprint 5K 10/25/14 Melrose 21:37 2nd Place M50-59
5K Stride for the Saugus Y 11/8/14 Saugus 23:29 3rd Place M50-59
Burbank YMCA 5K 11/22/14 Wakefield 22:50 19th
DCR Turkey Trot 5K 11/23/14 Saugus 23:04 *
Boston Volvo National MS Society 5K 11/27/14 Brighton 22:42 114th
Cambridge Winter Classic 5K 12/7/14 Cambridge 21:42
Assault on Mt. Hood 3.6 Mile 12/13/14 Melrose 25:58 104th
Jingle Bell Run 5K 12/14/14 Somerville 23:44 543rd
SRR Club Run 5K 12/22/14 Somerville * *
Castaway Cay 5K 1/3/15 Bahamas * *
Derry 16 Miler 1/25/15 Derry, NH 2:23 202nd
Super Sunday 5K 2/1/15 Cambridge 22:21 3rd Place M50-59
Smuttynose Palooza 5K 3/7/15 Salisbury 21:53 51st
Running of The Leprechauns 5K 3/14/15 Medford 21:40 1st Place M50-59
Nutty Irish 2.7 Mile Snow Shoe Race 3/21/15 Salem 30:48 *
April Fool’s 4 Miler 3/28/15 Salisbury 29:19 88th
Cambridge City Run 5 Miler 3/29/15 Cambridge 37:34 *
Great Bay Half Marathon 4/12/15 New Market, NH 1:51
Cambridge Spring Classic 5K 4/26/15 Cambridge 22:30 *
Healthy Melrose 5K 5/2/15 Melrose 23:10 3rd Place M50-59
Boys & Girls Club 3.5 Miler 5/3/15 Woburn 25:56 37th
Pine Hill Little League 5K 5/9/15 Lynn 21:38 1st Place Male
Harpoon 5 Miler 5/17/15 South Boston 36:46
Boston’s Run to Remember Half 5/24/15 Boston 1:46 954th
New Balance Foundation 5K 5/30/15 East Boston 22:43 4th place 18+
Hallmark Health 5K 6/6/15 Wakefield 22:30 1st Place M50-59
JP Morgan Corp Challenge 3.5 6/11/15 Boston
Samantha’s Harvest 5K 6/14/15 Reading 23:13 16th
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 6/17/15 Wakefield 23:59 22nd
BAA 10K 6/21/15 Boston 51:34 1504th
Brendan’s Home Run 5K 6/21/15 Belmont * 273rd
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 6/24/15 Wakefield 23:30 24th
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 7/1/15 Wakefield 23:25 15th
Lynnfield 4th of July 5K 7/4/15 Lynnfield 22:26 3rd Place M50-59
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 7/8/15 Wakefield 24:02 20th
Marathon Sports Trail Run 7/9/15 Medford
Marathon Sports Trail Run 7/16/15 Medford
Mystic River 5K 7/18/15 Medford 23:30 24th
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 7/22/15 Wakefield 22:27 28th
Moving Beyond Witness 5K 7/25/15 Medford 22:33 8th
Maine Lobsterfest 10K 8/2/15 Rockland, ME 48:47 58th
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 8/5/15 Wakefield 22:52 20th
SRR Club Run 5K 8/10/15 Somerville 22:49
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 8/12/15 Wakefield 22:00 17th Course PR
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 8/19/15 Wakefield 22:27 17th
Mystic’s Lake Q 5K 8/26/15 Somerville 22:02 17th
Cure SMA 5K 8/29/15 Wakefield 21:17 1st M50-59

I’ve sat down to write this post several times now. I guess I’m still sorting out how I feel about the challenge being met, not having a goal to focus on and what does it mean.

I think most of us like goals. There’s the feeling that what we are doing has some purpose beyond just the doing. The feeling that each step gets us closer to that something that we want.

My running goal was my way to celebrate and embrace turning 50. I didn’t want to go out and eat a big fancy dinner or buy an expensive bottle of bourbon. I didn’t want to consume, I wanted to experience.

I’d like to think that 50 years old is half-way. In many ways I’m in my prime and in many ways the glory days are over. That’s life, can I get 50 more years please?

Running 50 5Ks was a long term project. As such I got to think about and appreciate where I am many times throughout the year.

My life isn’t perfect and there are things I wish I could change, but that’s life.

Running 50 5ks was a way to celebrate my health. I have friends who never made it to 50. Before many races during the year I thought about how lucky I am to be able to do this. To want to do this.

Now that the goal has been met and one race beyond, I’m not sure how I feel.

Do I feel worthy of claiming success of a goal I set for my self? Did I set the bar too low?

I don’t know.

Running 51 races in 51 weeks wasn’t easy. I did give up many leisurely nights at home. I had to plan ahead and stay on top of my schedule.

Looking for, registering for and running all of those races took a level of focus not unlike that required to prepare for and run a marathon.

I didn’t cross a single starting line without thinking I could go all in. Even when I felt tired or sore I always ran all in.

Even in the rain on Father’s Day for the BAA 10K I had a good time. Maybe even a great time.

Maybe I discovered how much I love to run. Why else would I do this? How else could I do this?

I firmly believe that you have to want something in order for it to be a goal. Moving towards it and achieving it has to give you satisfaction. There has to be purpose to the effort.

Only a leader or a lover can create a want outside of yourself. You want to achieve to make them happy. Their happiness is your happiness.

You have to want something in your heart in order for it to be a goal. It may be to please a leader or a lover or it may be to please yourself. Without joy in the doing and achieving, the effort and accomplishment are meaningless. Mere tasks and obligations.

My Journey

I had many moments of joy while running these races. There were times when I felt I was in the best place possible and doing the best thing possible. I met new friends and and got to know old friends better.

During one race in Wakefield I was running down Rt. 129 by the lake with four other guys. We were in the road hugging the parked cars trying not to get hit. I laughed to my self that we were crazy to be running balls to the wall in traffic. Then the thrill of the run hit me. We were racing each other and no one was letting up. If any one of us had slowed just a bit someone could have gotten hurt.

The thrill may have been from the danger. I trusted these guys because I knew they were runners and just like me, they knew what they were doing. No one was going to do anything stupid and all of us trusted our bodies to carry us through this dangerous section.

I felt great joy running with guys who had the same focus and intensity that I did. I didn’t pass all of those guys, but I did pass one or two, and they didn’t make it easy. Finishing that race and running with those guys was a great time. None of us came in first, but we all killed it that night. What a run!

As I put together this list of races I was able to recall moments from each race like it was yesterday. Not the entire race, but at least a few special moments from each one. I don’t recall every moment of that night on Route 129, but I’ll never forget that stretch of road.

My Races

You will note that some races on my list are 10Ks, half-marathons and then there’s the Derry 16-Miler. You will also note that a few races were less than 5K.

The Nutty Irish Snow Shoe race was supposed to be a 5K, but the conditions were so poor they had to change the course.

It was my first race in snow shoes and it was an adventure. Less then a dozen of us ran in snow shoes and mine were hiking snow shoes. I’ll never forget that one!

Taking into account my slightly longer races, I think my average is well over 5K per race.

A few wins along the way

I actually won a race for the first time this year! Two women finished ahead of me, but I was the First Place Man at the Pine Hill Little League 5K in Lynn!

It was a small race but there were plenty of guys there younger than me. Even after I passed the last guy in front of me, I expected someone to come jogging by me barely breaking a sweat! I was shocked when the race director walked up to me and told me she had a trophy for me! Another unforgettable moment.

This year I came in first in my age group 3 times, second place once and 3rd place four times. Sometimes I still cannot believe it.

50 5Ks and one big lesson

Now that it is over, how do I feel?

With 8 age group top three finishes and a race win, I definitely went after my goal. I took this seriously and worked at it. I’ve never run this well or gone this long without an injury.

I put in my time in the gym for strength and stretching and that made a big difference. I made a plan and I stuck with it.

As I’ve sat down to write this post so many times, I never felt the joy that I felt while running. I guess I thought I would feel that joy or a sense of accomplishment when I reflected on my year. But I do not.

The lesson I have drawn from my experience this year is that the joy is in the doing.

Run well my friends,

Andy

© 2015 andrew nagelin


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