Cape May 10k (41:07)

A 41:07 is a great 10k time, but it’s not a great 10k time for me.  In fact, I ran a 38:13 10k during the April Fools Half Marathon and ran almost 20 seconds per faster in the Broad Street 10 miler last weekend.  Not great races come with the territory and not every race is going to be “the best ever”.  I wouldn’t use the term bad because I started and finished injury free. A race I left inured, I would call bad.

Anyway, my husband and I left the house around 5:30 am on Saturday.  When we left, it was a torrential downpour.  The roads were flooded, and it looked like it would be one of the most challenging races ever.

Last year, a storm had passed through during the race, and it was so unseasonable the weather channel was down filming Cape May.  I knew there was very little that would cancel the race.

As we were driving down, the weather cleared up.  It was extremely windy along the shore but at least not raining.

We got to the race around 7, signed up and went on a short warmup.  I saw a few people I knew got to the start, and by the time I knew it, we were off.  The 5k and 10k went off together.  During the first mile, I knew I didn’t feel good.

It wasn’t the feeling where things would get better.  I didn’t feel good, and I knew I wouldn’t during the entire race. I was more tired and sore then I had been all week.  I knew the next few miles were not going to be fun and spoiler: they weren’t!

I hit the first mile in 6:18 but I knew we had a tailwind.  I didn’t know much about the course, but since it went along the shore, I assumed it would be windy. I ran the second mile alone and it was into the headwind.  I heard my watch beep and I looked down to a 6:46.  At that point, I knew there was no point in stressing about time, and I just needed to get through the race.

We ran into a straight headwind for the third mile.  I was running alone and into 35 mph headwind.  It felt magnified since we were right along the water.  I hit mile 3 in 6:58.  It was slower than most, if not all, of my half marathon miles in 2018.

After reaching the halfway point, I told myself “just a 5k left”.  We turned around mile 4 and headed back towards the start.  This time we had a tailwind for a mile, and I ran a 6:36.  I should tell you I felt magically better, but I felt no different than when I ran the first half of the race.

Around mile 5, the bottom of my feet started to burn.  It is a sensation I haven’t had in a very long time and typically happens with trainers, not flats.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I told myself, if it gets worse you will stop and NGAF that you “had a mile to go”.

The final mile went along the boardwalk.  My feet hurt, but they weren’t getting worse.   Around mile 5.5, you could see the finish, and I just wanted to be done.  My friend and local, Grace, passed me around 5.5 like I was standing still.  It was the only person I ran “with” for the last 5 miles.

I crossed the finish in 41:07.  On a “bad day,” I had wanted to run around 40 minutes, but I didn’t meet that goal.  The minute I stopped, my feet hurt.

A lot.

It wasn’t a bone or tendon hurt, but the bottom of my feet just burned.  I had to sit down for a second.  I quickly took off my shoes only to realize I never put on my racing flats.  I had worn a pair of trainers that had 500 miles on them.  I remember putting them in the donation pile at home, but I had taken them out to “wear casually”.  No wonder my feet hurt.  I had essentially run with no cushion on the pavement for 6.2 miles.

Ultimately from wearing the wrong shoes, I lost both of my middle toenails.  I’m embarrassed it happened, but oh well.  With or without my racing shoes, it wasn’t my day.  I wasn’t feeling great and it was also windy. I’m not happy with my time, but I’m happy I’m healthy.  Not every race will be your best. I’m not devastated because it’s unhealthy to think you’ll feel perfect every day.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite racing shoe?

For 10ks I like the Saucony Type A.

Do you like the 10k?  What are some 10k tips you have?