A couple of weeks ago I ran the Cape May 10k in 42:35. I thought, at the minimum at ERR I could beat that. Spoiler: I did not. The weather, however, was much hotter and much more humid at the ERR, plus the is much more difficult. So it was a harder effort. By much more humid, I mean it was 100% humidity.
Anyway, I got to the race around 7:15, warmed up, saw a few friends, and got to the start around 8 am. The race started at 8:15, and I was already sweating through my clothes beforehand. I’ve run the race a few times, but not since 2013. There is minimal shade, and it can be either very hot and humid, cold, or somewhere in the middle. When I lived in VA, I ran it years that it was any of those.
I was busy talking, and by the time I knew it, we were off. I was caught off guard but not a big deal and my own fault. During the first mile, I found myself as 5th women overall, where I stayed the entire time. At first, I thought I might be able to catch the fourth-place women, but that quickly faded. My legs did not feel good, and I was overheated at the start.
I ran the majority of the miles alone, just wondering what I was doing. If I stopped, no one would know, and it was something I constantly had to talk myself out of. I hit the first mile in 6:30, which was way to fast for where I should be. The course itself at that point had minimal turns, but I knew the turns were all coming.
During the second mile, I settled in alone. I saw many friends and waved to everyone I knew. I hit the second mile in 6:47, which is about where I figured my fitness was in the humidity.
During the third mile, I was running along the waterfront, and I was roasting. I laughed and thought, wow I’m working my tan. I told myself get to mile 3 and you’ll be halfway. I reached mile 3 in 6:47.
The next couple of miles went by without much note. It was hot, humid, and I just wished I hadn’t signed up for four 10ks this summer. I told myself “just 20 minutes left”, then “just 10”. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to race, but with the humidity, it became increasingly more difficult to breathe.
Around mile 5, I got some magical wind. I don’t know what was going on, but all of a sudden, I began to feel better. Maybe it was the fact that we were “almost done” or that I woke up again, but my legs felt better. I ran the last mile in 6:47 and crossed in 42:40.
I won’t say I love running 42:40s for a 10k. I’ve run faster workouts but I’m coming to terms with this is where I am fitness wise and in the heat. I know it’s a better effort than the Cape May 10k. I’ll keep grinding along and still signing up for races. I always enjoy seeing friends that I grew up with. I’m hoping I’ll just keep putting in the work and it will translate when it gets cooler. Or my marathon will be in the heat, and I’ll have put the work in the heat. HA
Thank you to Cliff for the photos. Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about rest days and cross training. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.
Questions for you:
Do you like 10ks? How do you pace them?
Where did you grow up?
I just had a 43:30 10k and wasn’t happy with that time at all, but I was happy with my effort. It was a grind to say the least. Stupid summer.
I definitely don’t love the 10k. It’s challenging and can get extremely uncomfortable…I’ve been racing poorly (like 90 seconds slower in the 5k) uggg lately thanks to bronchitis. I’m finally on the mend and feeling stronger. So hopefully fall will prove to be much better!
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