Last weekend, I ran the Garden State 10 Miler. To preface, I wasn’t feeling great the entire week before. My legs felt as though they lacked any pep, and my calves were just tight. Not tight in an injured way but tight a “I’ve been running sort of way”.
I had gone back and forth a dozen times about even racing. Since I knew the race director, Mike, I decided I would. Plus if I ran a 1:02 or 1:32 no one would care all that much. It would still be fun.
I got to the race around 8. It started at 9:30, but between walking to the start to pick up my bib, back to my car, it was time to go. There was a 5k beforehand, which my husband ran. If you run both the 5k and half marathon you can do “the half marathon challenge”.
The start of the race was about 60 degrees, windy, and humid. It was sprinkling lightly but forecasted to downpour. Spoiler: it did.
With that, we were off. The first mile went slightly downhill. I was running next to a young kid who would surge and then slow down multiple times. He was doing the relay. He surged, fell back, and I would pass him. When I ran by, he would pick it up. I hit the first mile in 6:51 and thought it was a solid place for how I felt for the day.
The next couple of miles racers began to thin out. I could feel a pack behind me, but for the most part, I was running alone. The next mile went into the wind, and I ran a 6:47.
In my mind, I computed it to staying under a 90 minute half which is what I’ve recently been around. The third mile was one of my fastest, and I ran a 6:35. I attempted to throw a few surges in to break up the pack behind me. I didn’t want to deal with it for the rest of the race.
I don’t like running close to anyone, and I would rather run alone. The next mile looped around back near the start. I saw the race director, and the relay handoff went through. “Only six more miles to go”.
There wasn’t any Gatorade, which based on the 60-degree humid weather, I could have used. I’ve said before but in any race 10 miles or above, I take the on-course beverage aid.
I focused on making it halfway and truthfully, that mile felt the longest. It had not rained but had already gotten humid. I hit the halfway in 34 minutes and thought 1:08 was doable.
Mile 6 was my other fastest mile, and I ran a 6:35 without much note. The next mile had Gatorade. When we passed the volunteers said, “one second we aren’t ready yet”. So I ended up doubling back and getting some. It put a hiccup in my stride, and I couldn’t get my rhythm in. I ran it in 7:08.
The next three miles were just focused on getting to the end. I was tired. Between mile 7-8, two females passed me. I knew I was in the top 10 but had no idea where.
We entered the park around mile 9 — one more mile to go. Then the skies opened up, and it began torrential downpouring. I mean pouring! We were running in a headwind, and it was pouring rain. I laughed because it reminded me of a scene out of a bad movie.
I crossed the finish in 1:08.34. I won’t say I’m especially happy with the time, but I made do for where I’m at with training in life. The course was challenging, and it was a humid day.
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Questions for you:
Do you like 10-mile races?
Would you rather run in torrential rain or very humid, thick weather?