I decided to tackle my first 10k of the year. This race was just an opportunity to run a longer race distance since I needed to be training for my Sept. 4 half marathon.
I had run this race as 5k with two friends 4 years ago.
My goal that day was to keep up with my friend Holly and as you can see from the pic, she beat me!!
Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:
There was a long hilly 10 miler, then a hilly 5k race followed by some short runs.
I’ve given up checking the weather before the race but I’m sure it probably said chance of rain.
I ignored it and wore the usual summer outfit of a tank and skirt:
I probably wasn’t thinking clearly because going to this race, which started at 8:00 am, meant that I had to leave my house at no later than 6:30 am. According to Google, it was going to take 1h 9min. There was another local race that started later and was only 20 minutes away. (Crazy lady I am!)
So I got up earlier on a Saturday than I do on a normal work day (Oh, the things we runners do…) and found the location with no problem.
It had rained all night and lightly on my drive but it stopped. The temps were already in the 70s and the sun was peaking out. But the humidity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bib pick up was inside the school and there were real restrooms there, as well.
I was hoping that my friends would be here and I happily found them immediately. They chose to run the 5k (Smart ladies!)
I also bumped into someone from where I work who was running the 10K. She lives in this area and I wished her luck since I thought that she would win it (and she was 1st female.)
I didn’t remember much about the race course but according the website: “The 5k race is a gentle upslope out and a quick downslope back, starting and ending in front of the Greenwich Central Middle School. The 10k, which starts a short distance from the 5k start, follows the 5k course and then continues through the beautiful countryside over rolling hills.”
According the chart below, mile 2 does not look fun!!
I had hoped to have a decent race. No goals since I hadn’t run a 10k in ages. I had also wanted to run 5 more miles after the race (per my training plan for my next half marathon.)
Most of runners were doing the 5k. I was hoping that the 10k was clearly marked since there were not many of us.
The 5k started near the school but for the 10k, we had to walk about 1/2 mile.
I was sweaty by the time I got to the start. lol
Obviously it was a remote start…however that works. They announced that it was hilly and that runners should pace themselves. They also apologized that the course was long. How encouraging….
So off we went at 8 am (15 minutes before the 5k start back at the school.)
I tried to remember than this was NOT a 5k so I needed to start slower and conserve energy.
Running uphill certainly did the trick. I ran much slower than last week. It was a gradual hill so I was even able to run the whole mile.
Well that running ended. Mile 2 was very very long and steep. To make matters worse, the lead 5kers that started 15 minutes later sped by us and the water stop during this mile was empty.
The good news was that when we turned slight left and kept heading up, the view was amazing. And I didn’t care how often I walked because it was important in this humidity to just finish uptight.
Phew. Finally some downhill. Of course that mean that eventually we will go uphill again. I enjoyed nevertheless. I tried to pick up the pace and make up time.
And there was a water stop and it was manned. I took advantage to have some water and even take a GU (It had been hours since my breakfast.)
I realized that I was wearing my newish Topos. I had raced in them twice before but not a race this long. And I am prone to blisters when my feet sweat. Blisters started forming around this time. Ouch! (I normally wrap my feet for half marathons but I did not think to today…lesson learned.)
The views of the countryside were still very pretty. One of the volunteers encouraged us by saying that now, there was only ONE more big hill.
I counted about 6 more and lost count. Apparently in this area, they are not considered hills.
Most of the race, I was following, an older women in black (that I knew from some previous races) and her daughter and a younger women also in black. The older woman in black walked often as I did when there was a hill. The younger women never walked at all.
In this mile, we arrived at the biggest hill yet. Yup, more walking. And my blisters seemed to be getting bigger and more painful.
Guess what? The older woman got further and further ahead of the younger woman even though she walked the hills.
We finally joined the loop that we started on. That meant that it was slightly downhill. The same water stop that was empty before was still empty.
At this point, I wound up running with the older woman’s daughter (her mom finished ahead). We dragged each other toward the finish line. We even passed past the younger woman who did not walk at all during the race.
I walked one more time so that I could actually sprint across the finish line.
My running friends were waiting there screaming my name.
I quickly glanced up at the clock… 1:02:XX … 5 minutes slower than my PR and maybe a PW but I was not disappointed. at. all.
Post Race Activities:
The first thing I did was go to my car and take off my shoes and put on my flip flops. Then I grabbed some refreshments. Chocolate milk= my favorite.
Finally I went over to check out the results.
Kim, her daughter and I all won our age groups. Mine AG was 60-99!! I laughed.
I hung out for a little longer and chatted with my co-worker and ate some more. Obviously I was dragging my feet on running for miles.
I changed shoes and socks and headed back out.
But it was even warmer, sunnier and my blisters HURT!
I decided to call it a day, head toward home and reward myself with delicious ice cream.
9 hilly miles rather than 11 flat miles will have to do for a long run. Hopefully next weekend will be cooler and I can get 12 done.
Additional Race Reflections:
Since I never train on hills, I expected to have difficulty on them. The humidity didn’t help and then there were the blisters. All in all, I was happy that I did the race. I’ve never regretted a race I’ve run. My only regret would be if I got injured or ran while injured. I didn’t even have DOMs the next day. So it’s all good.
As they say: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
- Small local race.
- Well organized
- Real Bathrooms
- Plenty of parking
- Easy packet pick up.
- Gender specific shirts.
- Decent post-race refreshments (bagels & cream cheese, donuts, bananas, chocolate milk and more)
- Scenic course.
- A real race.
- Only one water stop rather than 3
- Hot humid weather
- Age Group award – a ribbon!?
- Oldest age group – 60-99!
Would I recommend this race?
Possibly. It was a nice small race but not sure I would repeat it just because it was a long drive. But maybe for the 5k if I was not training for a half marathon.
The split times don’t really tell the story due to the rolling hills.
This chart does show the hills and when I walked.
Half marathon #3 for 2021:
I was hoping that I’d be better trained for this one…but it’s hard in the summer. I’m just happy that races are happening again and I am healthy enough to run them.
I’m also linking up here:
Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.