(Okay not so much of a tale, but more of a few humble brags and fun running pictures.)
Soon after Boston the questions, “Are you taking time off running?” and “When’s your next race?” pop up. Friends and co-workers all kinda laughed when I said Steve and I already signed up for two back to back 10-Miler weekends.
Six days after the marathon we had the Columbia 10 Miler on the schedule. I was using this as a shake out run and didn’t want to push hard so soon after Boston. And Steve hadn’t been running more than a few 5k’s each week. He sacrificed time out on the road to be sure I got in all my marathon training miles. (If I haven’t said thank you, Thank You Stephen.) Our Columbia 10 Miler goal was to finish in 1:30-1:40 which breaks down to 9-10:00 minute per mile pace. We thought that would be doable for the day.
If you can spot us below, I’m pretty sure we were chatting about pace, downhill felt awesome!
I had to wear my Boston shirt, but I didn’t know we’d be matching… oops.
We cruised. Hitting much faster paces than we had talked about, and working hard without over doing it. That’s key for distances over the 10k.
We took a gel at Mile 5 and later learned that Steve needs more nutrition for that type of duration. We maintained a good pace, slowed just a bit, but there was a point around mile 8 where he just felt out of energy. He needed more fuel. Lesson learned!
We crossed the line in 1:22:41 (8:16/pace)
Steve is a lot like me with running and fitness, he’s a workhorse. Even low on energy he never lost steam. It’s the part of running where your mind takes over and you ignore the body. You can do anything for a mile or two. I broke down the end of the race in minutes instead of distance. So i’d tell him, “We have about 5 minutes left to run.” To me, minutes are easier to wrap the mind around than distance. Time goes down, distance seems far. I’ve been using this trick for the last year, especially during the final miles of a marathon.
Stephen PR’d his 10 Mile and I finished feeling pretty good. I was so proud of him, but little did I know a week later he’d do it again…
The following weekend we headed south to St. Mary’s for the next ten. Last year this race was a half marathon and we ran it the day after completing a Ragnar Trail event. I will never forget how it felt waking up that morning, like a truck had run us over and we were about to go run another 13 miles in the heat. Haha.
We both don’t normally run in compression socks, but we were brutally sore and thought it was a good idea, even in the heat and humidity.
Anywho, we headed down, settled into a Comfort Inn, grabbed dinner and relaxed in the hotel. I knew I wanted to run this ten miler hard. I wanted to see if the training I had put in for Boston was still there. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t and still don’t feel like I got to use the training because the weather in Boston held me back that day. I was still hungry to see the Garmin flash numbers that showed the training.
It was a cold breezy morning and both of us seemed ready to work. We warmed up, stretched and soon after some encouraging words to each other, we took off.
I went to work immediately. I knew the 10 mile tempo workouts I had been doing once a week since January were paced between 7:10-7:20s. My goal was to do a normal for me tempo and try to stay near those paces, hopefully finishing between 1:10-1:15.
The picture below is me thinking “oh god, wind.”
I tried not to think about the wind. I kept reminding myself that Boston’s weather was 10000x worse and it was sunny and mild out. I could deal with wind.
I could also deal with the pace. 7:05s were showing up on my watch and it didn’t feel too bad. I knew it was going to hurt for a bit until I settled into the pace, and I was right.
Below: notice the wind in my hair haha. We had it at our sides on some roads, but on the open country roads it was head on terrible wind.
There were a couple out-n-back turnarounds where I got to see Stephen and get a few high fives in passing. It definitely helped my morale. I was running even paces, I felt good, but like any race, it’s hard to run hard for extended periods of time. And almost every turn was into headwind, which I was so over.
Can you spot Steve below? These are the open, flat, boring, windy roads I was talking about.
A left turn happened and the wind died finally. The camera guy caught the moment of sweet relief going into mile 7. About 21 more minutes of work.
I chased the few guys in front of me, never letting anyone pass. My pace started hitting 6:45s, I just had to push for a few more minutes.
I finished in 1:09:13 (6:55/pace) 1st Female
Steve finished in 1:19:57 (7:59/pace) 3rd in his age group! He absolutely crushed the Columbia 10 Miler, PR’d AGAIN and if post race memory serves me correctly he said to me, “I’m coming for ya.” That’s my man.
We had two very good races back to back which were great practice for the future. Stephen’s 2nd gel at St. Mary’s obviously helped his energy and finishing speed and I learned that my Boston speed wasn’t a fluke.
Neither was this picture I took. Always happy to catch the fun moments.
Have you ever raced a 10 Miler?
What’s your favorite race distance?