Last Sunday, my coworker, husband and I ran the Icicle 10 miler in Wilmington, De. Last week was a strong training week, and my body was tired.
Even though it was warm, the weather left a lot to be desired. It was raining and windy. I raced last year and enjoyed the course, so I knew I wanted to go back this year too.
We arrived with no issues and warmed up two miles. The race was well put together and started right at 9 am.
The first mile is downhill. It’s hard to dial in the pace and after the first mile, you realize you probably don’t feel as good as you think. I was running with a pack of several people and we hit the first mile in 6:19. I thought to myself: “good time for the bank.” Since I raced the course before, I knew the first mile was the easiest.
The second and third mile began to climb a few hills. The hills were small, but I started to feel down. My goal was to run faster than last year (1:07.36), but I ran each mile in 6:40 and 6:44. I was drastically slowing down, and I was beginning to feel demotivated.
The fourth mile was almost entirely uphill, and I ran a 6:56. Despite having a hard training week, I knew I was in better fitness than 2015. I felt as if I was not going to beat last years time. I let myself wallow in a pity party for a second and then got over it.
The fifth mile energized me, and I began to feel better. I started to pick up my pace and finally got out of my pity party. I hit the halfway point at 33:17. I thought to myself, great I’m still on track to be faster than last year.
Since it was a loop, I passed several of the leaders who were already coming back. I saw my husband as well as the first place woman. I was second women where I stayed the entire race.
During mile 6, many people were cheering from the opposite direction. An Oiselle athlete cheered “go LOLZ”, I wish I could have you post race. I ran the sixth mile in 6:36 and began feeling more confident.
The seventh mile wrapped through a park and climbed over a few more hills. Despite feeling tired, I felt motivated. Better late than never but I began to feel strong during the race. I started passing several people and focusing on the finish line.
Both mile 8 and 9, I ran alone. They were boring, and there were several people about 20 seconds in front of me, but I was alone. I ran mile 8 in 6:33 and mile 9 in 6:22. I was shocked and motivated when my watch beeped a 6:22 mile for number 9.
I knew the tenth mile was going to be challenging. I remembered it from last year, and I had run by the uphill. The first half was flat and then we turned a corner and up we went. There were many spectators at both the bottom and after we reached the top. With hills, I just tell myself nothing lasts forever. By the time I knew it, we were at the top.
The last quarter of a mile was a sprint to the finish. I ran the last and hardest mile in 6:36 and crossed the finish line in 1:05.33. I was second female overall.
I was pleasantly surprised with my time! During the middle of the race I had hoped to “just beat” last year, and I ended up negative splitting the race by just over a minute. Plus it was a challenging course on a difficult day.
It shows me that I ran 6 seconds faster on a harder day, course and untapered versus Broad Street 6 months ago (Cliffs Notes: Broad Street is the fastest ten miler in the country and a straight line course and normally on a beautiful day…2015 it was).
Right now I know I’m in great fitness and I cannot wait to see where Spring half marathons and even Broad Street this year goes. I think I’m capable of running a 1:03 10 mile race tapered.
Questions for you:
Do you like hilly or flat courses?
How do you taper for big events?