Elizabeth River Run 10k (39:19)

I have been excited to run a 10k since the last 10k I ran in November…mostly because they are almost never offered anywhere anymore.  It seems there are either 5ks or half marathons…at least in my life.  My best 10k times are just splits from half marathon PRs…well until last weekend.   

This particular race is a masters championship race so there are a lot of fast people and big competition that come down to run it.  The club that I’m a member of (Tidewater Striders) have a big rivalry with another local club and they use age grades times to determine the fastest team overall.  Plus it’s an excuse to sport a team singlet so I look like I’m a serious runner or something…

Dad and I got there and casually warmed up but I mostly warmed up my vocal cords chatting to everyone. It was nice to finally be back in Virginia and see a whole slew of great runners and my friends.  I love actually knowing more than 1 person at road races.  I got to the starting line and was ready to go.  Normally this race is upwards of 70 degrees, there is no shade or cloud cover and it’s sweaty just thinking about it…this year it was roughly 50 but the wind was out of control.

Can you see me now? I’m right behind my rival. 😉

With that we lined up and the race was off.  I hit the first mile in 5:55 (where is my pizza deal?).  I was somewhat boxed in and there was a pack of about 10 people around me, with me being the caboose.  I would love to say I was drafting off of them but I was about 5 feet behind about to blow away.

By mile 2 (6:21) the pack had fizzled out and I noticed I was roughly 5th female overall but it didn’t look like there was anyone in my age group ahead of me.  (I don’t even deny that 20-24 females is generally a pretty easy age group compared to 25-29 but also anywhere in the 30s.   We started running along the water and that is where the wind started.


Around the 5k point, I thought I might blow away. I hit it in 19:45 and was like oh my gosh…ain’t no one negative splits a 10k in the wind if I don’t break 40 I’m not going to be happy. So I started to run…faster…I would have been pretty torked honestly if I hadn’t broken 40 and I barely ever make goals like that for myself.  Mile 3 was my slowest mile due to wind and whatever else at 6:36.

Around mile 4.5 I had in my sights my 14 year old rival. We always run roughly the same 5k/10k times over the summer. I knew I probably had some endurance on him so when I caught him I said “we got this man, it’s a sub 40 day for both of us” and we upped the speed a bit. I later passed him but he thanked me and was glad our rivalry can continue.  I was glad we both ended up breaking 40 minutes.  (though I’m not actually sure if he had already broken it before).

I hit mile 4 at a 6:24 pace and mile 5 at 6:27 pace.  Then just charged the last final stretch which was just straight and looking at the finish line. During the last mile all I could think about was a sub 40. Then realized I was 40 seconds ahead of that…there is a reason I decided being a math major wasn’t for me..ha ha…In short this race felt good, not great, the wind certainly slowed me (and everyone) down but at least it wasn’t a heat box.


Splits were 5:55, 6:21, 6:36, 6:24, 6:27 and 6:11…typical race for me.  My races tend to be in parabola form with fastest towards the outer miles and slowest towards the inner.  I didn’t feel terrible during the race by any means but I didn’t feel awesome like the Nike half a few weeks ago either.  I just felt like…I’m running a road race.


I got to see Kris and Renee who both ran PR’s and took 1st overall and second respectively.  I probably say this a lot (and they are tired of it) but both of them are huge idols of mine.


Questions for you:

What is the most common race distance near you?  (probably after 5ks I’d assume)

What or when is your goal race? 


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  1. Congrats on the race! Those are some good times!

    My favorite race is the 10k – short enough (time wise) but long enough to really test your racing ability.

    My goal race is the Chicago Marathon this October. I’m trying to qualify for Boston.

  2. You used “parabola” in your race report. I swoon.

    Nice work on the sub-40. I love 10ks but like you said, they are so hard to find.

  3. It was SO great to see you!! I hope we get to run together often this summer. Congrats on an awesome 10K. That wind was brutal and you pushed through that last half. Nice work!

  4. I think I’d use the 14 year old rival to motivate me too. Plus, a sub-40. I’m not a big fan of the 10K, I’m realizing. It’s a little too long and too fast for me. I’d rather do short and faster, or long and slower. It’s really cool that you’ve formed a relationship with people in your area at races. It makes them even more fun to do. I don’t know anyone when I go usually because I don’t do them that often. Maybe this summer that will change. I’m joining a club to run with. Can’t wait for a singlet of my own haha

    1. I use all my rivals to motivate me. He is a quick kid. Most of my friends are from road races because I never did track or cross country or that in high school. I also didn’t have a close knit college team either.

  5. Love the pictures! And love that you had friends at the race. I think my most favorite part is that your math major-ish mind thinks of your splits as a parabola haha. You rocked another race, for sure!

  6. Lol I love how you talk about all of your runs like they’re no big thing. If I could run that fast, you better believe that I’d be making a huge deal out of it, but you’re just like… oh, I’m running. You’re fabulous, and congrats on the sub 40.

  7. Congrats on the PR girl, that’s awesome. Seems like there are always 5ks wherever I am. Lots of halfs when I was in Eugene too.

  8. AHHH great race, Hollie! I love 10ks. I usually slow down in the 4th or 5th mile, and I like how you got it out of the way earlier. I like your rivalry thing going on – it’s nice to have someone to push yourself against on race day.

    Your pics are excellent. Well done!

      1. LOL I I unintentionally slowed down. That’s what happens when I’m not trained.

        Your race was even more impressive considering the wind. Gonna have to find me a rival now.

  9. Congratulations on your 10K and I love the pictures! It looks like you, Renee, and Kris had great races. Glad it wasn’t super hot too, I would rather deal with wind than intense heat but if it “slowed you down” then you would rock it out even more in ideal conditions (whatever that is. lol).

    I actually like 10Ks and there are not very many here at all… we do have some odd distances. A couple of 12Ks have popped up lately, obviously 5K is the most common though. Anytime I can do a more obscure distance I go for it, haha.

  10. wonderful recap and congrats on breaking 40!! in colorado there seems to be a plethora of races in different races. however now that you mention it, it seems like less 10k’s? then again, i don’t really look for 10k’s too often. i’d be totally okay with sticking to the bolder boulder 10k each year!

    again, congrats on breaking 40! 🙂 🙂

  11. I knew you were going to go sub-40, even if you didn’t know it. I was so excited to hear how the race went. They might be your idols, but you bet your ass you are my idol.

  12. 10k’s are hard to find around here, and definitely the least attended. Maybe that’s why there are not a lot of them. I raced one last year in a town about a half hour away that had 24 racers. 5k is the most popular around here, but I haven’t run one in over a year now. I prefer longer distances.

  13. Ironically, the most popular distance near me are 10Ks…even over and above 5Ks. Perhaps we should switch locations because I’m always after half marathons and there are hardly any of them aside from in September, when they’re all crammed together. Road halfs are hard to come by, but trail halfs are a bit more common…however that’s no good when I’ve been gunning for a PR for three years!

    I’ve already had my goal marathon, and I’m still trying to work out which half to go all out for in September. I suspect it will end up being both of them for me to even have a chance at getting close to my PR…or I’ll just fail miserably like I did in 2012. How’s that for a positive attitude?

    Congrats once again on an amazing time.


    1. That’s so crazy. I’d love to do more 10ks…but I’m not sure over halves…certainly over 5ks. Not sure about trail half marathons either but I think I’d do one.

      I hope you do reach your half goal after that rocking full marathon!

  14. Great write-up and great race…good job!

    Here in NH there are plenty of 5Ks and 10Ks, especially during the summer. The half/full marathons dominate the Spring and Autumn.

    Goal race: Boston Marathon, but only if I qualify. We’ll see if I can come October.

  15. Congrats on your PR, you are the fastest! 10Ks are hard to find here too, there are plenty of 5ks and half marathons if that’s your jam though. I wanted to run a 10K before the end of May (spoiler, didn’t happen) and I had very few choices. I think maybe there may be more nov-feb, I just didn’t need to run one then.

  16. I’ve never really thought about it, but I run a lot of different distances. At least six 5ks, four 6ks, seven 10ks, one 10-miler, four half marathons, one marathon. Near me though (Augusta, GA), I actually think 10k is the most common (after 5k). There’s not a huge running community here so I guess one half a year is all my town can manage.

    1. I actually had no idea you had run a full marathon! That’s awesome Erin. I like to run a lot of distances too…I personally think the same distance is so boring all the time.

  17. *Disclaimer: I did not do a mathematical calculation. But I’d say that there might actually be the most 10Ks? Out here, the races are all huge, and often double up distances (more participants for just a little more organization, maybe?). So there are often 5K/10K combos, and 10K/half-marathon combos. Because the 10K double-dips, I’m gonna go with that one! 🙂

  18. Congrats on the sub 40, again! Considering the weather, that’s pretty huge! I love the fact you explained your mile splits as a parabola. Pretty much made my day 🙂 And I also love the fact you have a archnemesis who is 14 years old! LOL

  19. Nice race! Windy conditions are the worst, in my opinion. I think there is a pretty good amount of 10k races here…but 5k is for sure the most popular. We also have a bunch of random distances like 8ks.

  20. Congratulations on a great race!! I love the you have a 14 year old rival and that you used the word parabola in your race recap (I interpret a lot of math classes).

    You are absolutely right, there are rarely 10Ks anywhere! Which is why I’ve only done 4 I think, and my current PR was during a relay leg. We’re doing a 10K in Boston in June, though. Probably half marathons are the most common near us, other than 5Ks.

    1. I have a math minor. LOL…I sometimes throw a few math terms for fun. I do agree though between Rochester and Syracuse there is nearly a half marathon to be found every other weekend. I loved it!

  21. So glad you got your sub 40, you rock 😀 I’m starting to think VA is just incredibly windy all the time though, haha. I need to find a 10k sometime soon because I keep running 10k PRs in 1/2 marathon splits and that annoys me for some reason. But alas, they are difficult to find.

  22. I think there are two listed 10ks on Buffalo Runners this year. Maybe four of five 8ks. What is that? I like the funky distances!

    Great race! I think I’d rather run in heat than wind though, I HATE feeling like I’m going nowhere. Ugh.

    How do you like your compression socks? After this weekend I’m seriously considering them but I can’t decide if the hype is worth the $50…

    1. I love compression socks. Since upping my mileage to what it is now, I don’t think I’d be able to survive without them. It could be all mental but I mean if it’s mentally helping me it’s working. I use Zensah and CEP.

  23. That PR is so amazing – well-run race, as well. Pfft I WISH I could crank out 6:11 at the end of a 10k! I’m swamped in 5ks here and honestly kind of sick of half-marathons, too. I’d love to improve at the 10k but there aren’t many chances to do so: and if I want to improve at a distance, I need to race it a lot.

  24. I agree, 10k’s are hard to come by these days. I also see lots of 5k ot half marathons offered. I’d love to run a 10k some day..seems like the perfect distance to me!

  25. I just love all of the little jokes and such in this recap. Congrats on winning your age group and breaking 40! Super happy for you!! Plus I know it must be great being back in VA running with all of these people you know!

  26. Nice run holly!! Sub 40 is awesome, especially considering the wind! I am amazed at how fast some of these little kids are, that is nuts! I thought a mile was crazy far when I was a youngin! Are you doing any races this summer up by me? I’d love to come cheer!

    1. Woof. I totally spelled your name wrong (I know the right way I apologize, I’ll blame all the pain meds) and I need to stop using exclamations every where.

  27. Great race again Hollie! You are awesome!

    I’d have to say the most common race distance in Pittsburgh is the 5k!

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