Mother’s Day 10K Recap
Yeah, so it is five days after the race. That’s how much I didn’t want to post about this trainwreck of a race.
This was my third year running this race and so I was hoping for a good one….third time’s the charm and all of that. Unfortunately as the weather forecast came into focus, I knew I was going to be dealing with a warm race with humidity. I scaled back expectations and with hesitation drove out to the beach where the race started and ended early Sunday morning.
For the first time, a friend was joining me at this race. She’s a speedy 5Ker, and I convinced her that she could handle the 10K distance with that kind of speed under her belt. We had originally thought to carpool, but I ended up advising her against it because it would take me so much longer than her to cross the finish line. Yep, low expectations, that’s me.
Made it to the site without any problems, got my race number and shirt, and made a bathroom stop. This might be the only race I’ve ever done that had more than enough bathroom facilities for the size of the race. Eight or nine stalls in the beach house nearby checkin made for nearly zero lines. Awesome!
I spent some time prerace putting out flyers for the 5K I am in charge of in a few weeks (!!) and before I knew it, it was time for one more pit stop. I hemmed and hawed about my head….it was still cloudy out, should I just wear my headband? Or keep the hat on that I swear by when it is sunny for long distances? What if the sun comes out during the 3rd mile, I thought? I kept it on.
Probably shouldn’t have, but more on that later.
I found my friend just as we were lining up. She’d actually brought her husband and they planned on running together. Good thing; I could have never kept up with her.
No announcements, no national anthem, no nothing. Boom. The gun went off and we were out.
After my 10K two weeks ago I decided to make a concerted effort to not go out too quickly. This was a flatter course but the humidity and heat were much greater today so I wanted to be sure not to go off the rails later. I was in the back, but fine with that.
Mile 1 and 2 passed with me feeling good and careful. I passed one or two people, not many. I was getting warm though, even though the sun hadn’t broken through the clouds. Really warm.
Mile 3 goes through South Norwalk, a busy urban downtown area with cobblestones and bridges over rivers leading out to Long Island Sound. A guy in front of me ducked into an alley, I suppose to pee (ew). Another guy was practically limping in front of me as we neared the I 95 underpass. I asked him if he was OK, and he said he was just hoping to finish at this point.
That was the moment when I realized, yeah, me too.
The very urban part of this race is the most challenging: miles 3-5. I started to feel really tired here. It still wasn’t sunny but the heat was really getting to me. I stopped at the second water stop even though I had a water bottle with me. I just needed the walk. And then as you’re leaving the urban area, you encounter the course’s few hills and they felt monumental to me.
This is where I just came off the rails.
I felt tired. I needed water. I needed to walk. The woman I’d been pacing with kept getting further and further away as I took walk break after walk break managing hills that shouldn’t have been as hard as they felt. It still wasn’t that sunny, and my hat wasn’t dripping my sweat the way I remembered from last year.
I don’t know if it was really the humidity, the one extra drink I’d had the night before, or just my head telling me I didn’t have anything left in me, but by the time I hit mile 5, I was struggling to just put one foot in front of the other. I didn’t care about time. I saw the woman in purple get further away as I gasped for air and kept moving forward.
Mile 5-6 are mostly flat and you can see that you’re back near the beach and getting closer the whole way. You actually run the same roads you drove in on, so you know you’re getting there. But no matter how much I kept moving, everything still seemed impossibly far away. When I hit mile 6, I desperately looked around for the finish, not being able to see it.
Finally, I looped around and saw the finish line. I also saw the clock reading 1:19 and change. Seriously. What a disappointment. I ran through it, hearing both my friends (who had finished TWENTY minutes prior) and my husband and kids cheering me on. Which was nice, but I was mortified at my performance. I couldn’t believe they all were there to witness the horrible time I’d clocked on a mostly flat course.
In the end, it was my second worst 10K (I’ve now run 7, including this one three times) at 1:19:35. 5th from last. I hated nearly every minute of the last four miles of this one. Part of it has to be the heat; we haven’t had a lot of warm days yet and I am just not acclimated to it. I’m not sure about the rest. I said to my husband and friends afterwards, “Never again.”
But then they handed me a medal and my kids got ice cream for free off of the ice cream truck.
So we’ll see.