I hardly ever race 10Ks. I really enjoy the distance, but I often think they are difficult to find or usually occur when I’m not in town. I’ve run this particular race several times before, but usually pacing friends or running as a group. Last year, I signed up for it with the intention of racing it, but there was a coating of fresh snow on the ground and the course was pretty slippery. My next recent 10K attempt was part of the Steelman Triathlon in August, and I ran a 43:40 (after swimming and biking) so I hoped I could break that at the Super Bowl Sunday 10K this year.
I wasn’t sure how it would all go down since I did a few challenging runs earlier in the week. The previous Sunday was the Fred Lebow Half Marathon, and I did a track workout on Tuesday afternoon. Thursday afternoon was an aggressively paced 17 mile run with some speedy friends, and the day before the race I ran an easy paced 11 miler that made me feel like I’ve never run a mile in my entire life. I thought for sure that I was screwed.
The same thing happens every single year on the morning of this race. It’s a late start, and I’m an early riser. It’s in the middle of Boston Marathon training, so no matter how I organize my training runs that week, I usually show up at the starting line with tired legs. I spend the whole morning asking myself why the hell I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a race in the dead of the winter. Then I start to think about the hills. It’s not that there are any significant climbs that stand out (well, maybe that first hill on the way out…it’s pretty rough), it’s that the entire course feels like it’s all uphill. It’s technically “rolling” hills but I swear all I remember about that course from year to year is climbing, climbing, climbing.
Good thing I love hills, and it went much better than expected! Many of my friends were there, and everyone ran really well. The weather was absolutely ideal, especially since we’ve been living in some crazy weird polar vortex this winter. I had a blast hanging out and catching up with friends at the starting line, and cheering everyone on at the finish after I was done. Lots of happy finishers and smiling faces crossed the finish line and strolled through the LVRR for hot soup, pizza, and soft pretzels. Of course, the swag is always good: the female shirts were baby blue with dark blue print, and made by Saucony. Super cute.
I set a new 10K PR with a 41:48, roughly a 6:44 pace and came in as the 3rd overall female! I was so happy and excited and felt really strong while I was running that day. Races like that get me pumped up for my spring races…like BOSTON! Great job to all who ran, a big thank you to the volunteers.