Pineland Striders 10k (41:00)

It’s pretty easy to find a 5k most weekends but finding a 10k at any time of the year is difficult. A solid 6-7 mile tempo run also happens to be my “workout” distance. After my coworker (easily) convinced me to run the Pineland Striders 10k, I found myself waking up Saturday morning and heading to do a hot, humid and relatively inexpensive 10k.

I got there around 7:15 for an 8:30 start. For some reason I have this notion it takes me 45+ minutes to get anywhere in NJ from my house. Realistically that wasn’t the case and I was early. I payed, grabbed my tshirt and did a 2 mile warmup.

I found myself extremely hot at the starting line and delayering into a sports bra.  I normally don’t race in sports bras but it’s been so hot so that is two in a row. I was already sweating so I knew it would probably be better. I hid my shirt in a bush. Looking back that was dumb considering I would be pissed if someone stole it.

The race started with an air siran and we were off. There was a 5k that was basically doing half the 10k course. I just assumed all of the leaders were doing the 10k. Why I did that I don’t know.

I hit the first mile in 6:21. Not bad and not great but I wasn’t expecting great things either.  You can’t set personal records in an 85 degree+ 10k.

At 1.66, the 5kers turned around and to my shock I found myself 3rd overall (both males and females). The leaders were out of sight so I just preyed I was going the right way. I found some volunteers around mile 2 and I assumed I was.

I hit the second mile at 13 minutes exactly.  I could already feel my pace getting slower and slower.  I made my goal to finish under 42 minutes.

There wasn’t much excitement between mile 2 and 3 because I was running alone.  I have had quite a few races this has happened to me lately.  I just kept running.  I felt indifferent, I didn’t feel good or bad.  I did feel hot.  Races that you run alone, make for really boring race recaps.

We turned around at 3 miles and headed back the way we came.  It was motivating to see all of the racers and it made miles 3 and 4 go by rather quickly despite getting slower  (6:46, 6:48).

Between mile 4 and 5 a man passed me.  He was really cruising and ended up beating me by 20+ seconds.  At mile 5, two deer also crossed the road.  I’ve never done a race that animals have crossed the road.  When people think of NJ, they don’t think that there are a lot of trees and pines and gardens (The Garden State).  There were a lot of deer out during the race.  Anyways, they didn’t interfere with anyone but it was pretty cool.

Mile 5 headed onto a field and cross country type of course.  I had no idea that they were doing that and thought the entire race was on the road…surprise it wasn’t.  Maybe if I checked the course map I would have known the last mile goes onto the field and the last .2 is on a track.

When I hit the track, I sidefived a cheering girl and ran into the finish line. I immediately got water.  For winning overall female, I received the biggest trophy ever.  I am really excited by it!


Take aways:

This was a hot, humid 10k.  I did exactly what I wanted to do.  I don’t expect any summertime PRs…although a 5k PR would be nice.  It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I did it.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten any trophies?

This is one of my very few.  I’m a little of a sucker for them.

Do you look at race course maps before running?

Not normally.  Actually, not really ever…I think I probably for at maximum 5 races.

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  1. Great job – and I think the humidity has settled in pretty well and that makes a huge difference!

    I run relatively few races, so I definitely study the maps – and last year I ran one where they didn’t have the real maps available so it was just a terrain approximation – and WAY underestimated the hills and valleys! Ugh! In that case had I not known I would have assumed it more hilly and probably been better off!

  2. Nice work Hollie!! If able I always look up the course map and spend time training on the course whenever possible. For example a huge part of my fall race schedule was based around being able to acquire the course maps of the events I’m running. I plan to spend lots of time on the courses doing race specific training

  3. Great job Hollie! I love using races as a workout day – even better when you win something at the end of your workout 😉

    I usually check out the course map. I like to know if I need to do some extra hill training. I didn’t look at the map for a few races and really regretted that decision haha – I like to be mentally prepared as well as phyiscally!!

  4. I actually do have a little trophy, which I think is funny! Who gives trophies anymore?! I rarely look at course maps before a race, and once I got very confused – I had run the race before and it was a separate 5k and 10k course, and this time the 10k was a double loop. I didn’t know where to go and for a minute thought the 10k was cancelled. When I got back to the 5k finish line, someone was like, “Pink bibs keep running for the 10k!” otherwise I would have definitely turned that into a 5k!

  5. You did a great job considering the heat! Congratulations on your OA win! A win is a win even if it’s super humid outside. It is hard to determine when there are several distance races and you don’t know who’s doing what, I guess assuming they’re all in your race is the safe bet ;).

    I study the maps if it’s a smaller race, has a lot of turns, or if the race may not be well marked. I know people who’ve gotten lost in races or taken wrong turns, and volunteers who’ve totally allowed this to happen. Most of the races around here use the same courses, so it’s not TOO important. I have actually been on a few courses where the race was so small and there were so many courses where I couldn’t *always* see someone in front of me, but that doesn’t happen often.

    I have a couple trophies. My favorite thing to ever win is a gift card :).

  6. I do have some small trophies. When I was younger they didn’t mean as much. Now well into my mid 30’s I savor them! 🙂 I saw your trophy pic on instagram – it’s fabulous! Congrats on the race.

    I usually do NOT look at the course map but often I wish I had. In general, I like going into races with a blase, relaxed attitude but I think it might result in a better outcome if I went in prepared… not sure why i equate being prepared with “unrelaxed”. :).

  7. I ALWAYS look at course maps. I can’t stand not knowing the course. I got a medal at a 5k in June for winning 2nd in my age group. I actually didn’t know the course on that one! haha. Great job on your win.

  8. Congrats on the first place AND the trophy! I haven’t got any trophies yet, but I’m still happy with a simple medal for now haha! Actually, the races I’ve been participating so far (Spartan Race) don’t even disclose the exact distance you’re running, so it’s always a surprise. I love surprises 😀 xoxo

  9. I’ve not once gotten a trophy for running, and I don’t expect to. So I continue to covet the skiing trophies I got when I was in high school. That’s not weird, right???

    I absolutely look at race maps, especially anything longer than a 10k. I want to know where and how many aid stations there will be, as well as matching key points in the course profile with points on the map. I like to know where I think I want to attack, and where I want to lay off. Plus, I like maps. 🙂

  10. I got a pint glass once for coming in 3rd in my bracket.
    Usually I do not look at course or elevation maps. I did for my last marathon and it didn’t make much of a difference. I knew the hills were there but I finished about 25 minutes better than I estimated I would based on a re-con of the course. Maybe I did well because I had low expectations and was more relaxed?

      1. Absolutely. Some races give the option of a hat instead of a shirt. You can never have too many hats, and I have bags full of shirts!

  11. Congratulations!! I know it’s not a PR, but first female and 41:00 in those conditions (or in any conditions, really) are both amazing. 🙂 I’m doing a Firecracker 5k on Friday and I’m hoping since it will be up north (northern Michigan) that it will be a little cooler and less humid than it has been at home lately.

  12. Congrats on the win! What a great trophy 🙂 I would love to have a trophy someday… even if someone made it just for me for being nice or something. Haha

  13. Baller trophy! I really like the palm tree one from SoBe–very unique. I LOVE the summer, but it makes for tough training, racing, and PR-ing. I’m doing a 4th of July 5-K, and although a PR would be amazing, I know making it a tempo run is a better, smarter option.

    1. Good luck tomorrow Carrie! I would totally race as hard as you can and if it’s a PR than yay…if not…then it was a great workout 🙂

  14. That IS one sweet trophy haha! Congratulations on your win! When it gets hot outside, I am always in a sports bra. It may be mental, but I swear that not having a singlet on makes a huge difference!
    I’m pretty good about looking at race maps before a race, especially if I haven’t run it before, though I have had courses changed on me in the past!

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