The Cape May 10k begins my racing to get back into shape. It’s been mentally tough to start at one of my slower points in many years, but it is what it is.
After going to a college roommates wedding on Friday in Baltimore, we got home late Friday. Cape May is about 90 minutes from my house, which means between the 2 hours to Baltimore, 2 hours home, then 90 minutes to Cape May, my car got a workout before the race. Did all of this play a role in how I raced the day after, probably.
I like Cape May a lot. It’s a small town and one of the most beautiful in NJ. I take any opportunity to get down there. I got there around 7:20, ran a couple of miles and got to the start around 7:55. After talking with a new friend, Sandy, we were off.
During the first mile, I felt pretty good. I thought: maybe this will be the unicorn day that surprises me with how I feel. I logged a 6:36 mile and was pleased.
The second mile looped around the shore, and we got a little breeze. It was lonely, and I found myself running alone the entire time. It felt like a time trial. I ran a 6:43 and I couldn’t get a groove or find a new, faster gear.
Between the 2nd and 3rd mile, the 5ks headed toward the finish line and truthfully I was jealous. I was over the race already. I hit the third mile in 6:48.
I tried everything to get back into a better headspace — just three more miles. Already halfway done. I couldn’t get back there. I didn’t give up, but my legs felt like they hit a wall. I ran the 4th mile in 6:59. I was running alone and it just felt like I couldn’t find a faster groove.
The next two miles were just focused on the finish line. I got to run with my good friend Skip, who I run with regularly back home and training. We tried to keep each other motivated.
I hit mile 5 in 7:01 and just kept going. We ran up on the boardwalk, and I nearly slipped and fell on the sand. At 5.5, you can see the finish line, and it does not feel like it’s getting closer. I weaved around a few 5kers and crossed in 42:35.
I would be lying if I was particularly pleased with a 42:35 10k, but it gives me room to improve. The next day, I ran 12 miles and ran my last 3 miles at 7:08, 7:01, 6:56 and felt better than the 10k. I’m actually racing several 10ks this summer. I plan to keep racing and hopefully race my way back into shape.
Also thank you to my good friend, Lindsay, for the photos.
Questions for you:
Have you run a 10k?
What’s your favorite town in your state?