This was possibly the hottest and most humid race I’ve done since living in Texas. By no coincidence, it was also my slowest. It’s been a few years since I’ve run the Pineland Striders 10k. I know many of the local group members and local runners, so it’s always fun to run.
I arrived with my father in law around 7:30 am. We signed up and together with the local running store owner, did about 2-mile warmup. By the time it was time to start, I was sweating through my clothing.
The 5k and 10k go off together. I was too busy chatting, and all of a sudden, we were off. For the first mile, I was running with a few local runners and friends. We hit the first mile around 6:45, and it felt challenging. My legs felt tired, and the humidity. I thought to myself: We have how many more miles?
The 5k turned around, and the 10k kept going. I found myself running with a friend, and we were tied for the first woman overall. The next few miles were uneventful. We were running even splits of 6:55. It felt challenging, but I could still talk. The humidity was sinking in, and I felt how oppressive it was.
The roads weren’t closed, and during mile 3, several cars came whizzing by. I felt a bit uncomfortable but managed to stay out of their way. I couldn’t keep up and remained as second woman the rest of the way.
During the fourth mile, we began catching the 5kers. We were going on a narrow path, so it was more challenging to pass people. I’m sure the 5kers were just as frustrated. We kept trucking along.
By mile 5, I was running alone and just death marching it to the finish line. It was the most humid day we’ve had so far, and my entire body felt it. I looked as if I had gone swimming.
As I remembered, the last mile cuts across the field and around the track. The last thing you want to do at the end of a 10k is run through the field. It’s a nice challenge toward the end. I didn’t want to hurt myself, so I just focused on staying smooth. I wasn’t going to pass anyone, so I didn’t feel forced to “sprint to the end.”
Due to track maintenance, this year we went around and over gravel. The last .75 was one of the most challenging race finishes I’ve done. I crossed the finish in 44:05 and as second woman. While it’s one of my slower races, it was hot and humid, and the dew point was 74!
It was great to see so many friends and run another race with my father in law.
Questions for you:
What is the most challenging race finish you’ve done?
Do you prefer racing on grass or road?