Last weekend my friend Alexis and I drove up to Connecticut to run the Sea Legs Shuffle 10 miler. Without traffic, it’s only a 3-hour drive, but there are very few times you drive over the George Washington Bridge without traffic.
Truthfully, I don’t know if I have encountered a trafficless time. We arrived at 4:10 and missed the packet pickup by 10 minutes.
Why Connecticut? It’s summer, and it’s hot, so there aren’t a lot of longer races in the northeast. The half marathon we originally planned in northern PA was sold out, so we decided to go to Connecticut and run the 10 miler instead.
The morning was easy. We made it to the start around 7, grabbed our packets, and warmed up. We both had long runs to do and thought it would be fun to do a long run while getting a hard workout in.
I ran about 5 miles and lined up at the start around 8:05. The race started at 8:10, and it was packed. We didn’t realize it was a Connecticut championship race and extremely competitive. I started in the middle of the pack, which is where I belonged.
The first mile went over a gravel road. There was a lot of dirt being kicked up everywhere. The first mile was flat and easy. I ran a 6:53. The highlight of the race occurred when I saw fast friend, Amanda, whiz by me. We chatted for a second but then she took off.
I was happy with the mile but knew the heat would probably slow me down later. We headed out of the town of Guilford. Throughout the rest of the race, there wasn’t much flat ground. It was either up or down. It wore on me and it was hard to get any groove.
During the second mile, many people went by me. I felt like that was the theme of the race, and I was regularly passed throughout the race.
Around mile 3, the road was a bit shadier. It was a beautiful view of the water, and it kept my mind off the hills.
As I hit mile 4, I saw the leaders coming back (they were already around mile 5-6). It made me happier because I realized every hill we went up, we would go down (and vice versa).
Just after, we went around a giant loop near the water. The view was stunning. I hit the halfway around 36 minutes. I knew the end goal was 20 miles for the day and ten quality race miles. It wasn’t a PR race and I’m not in PR shape.
The next 5 miles felt like I was counting down each and every mile. I began to realize there was a lack of Generation Ucann on the course. The race advertised electrolyte drink, but there were only two stops. Due to the heat (the feels like temperature was about 90) my body was hot, and I could feel the lack of electrolytes as the race got longer.
I hit mile 7 in 7:14, which is about the pace I averaged for the rest of the race. I saw two people stop and drop out of the race. They were ok, but I could tell heat and lack of electrolytes were affecting a lot of people.
Around mile 8, we went over an overpass, and my legs weren’t ready for it. It was tough, but I also knew we were going to go back over it. I just kept focusing on the finish.
At mile 9, I caught another woman, and another person dropped out. It’s the most people I’ve seen drop from a shorter race.
We went over the overpass one last time, and I just focused on the finish. The home stretch went back over the grass, and I crossed in 1:13. I finished the last portion of my 20 miles, and by the time it was done, it was above 90. I’m happy with a quality long run and enjoyable time.
My PR is over a minute per mile faster, but I’m happy with my effort for the course and the day. It was a fun adventure which feels like the theme of my 2019.
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Questions for you:
Have you done a 10-mile race before?
What is your favorite distance to run?