Cow Run 10 Miler (7:30)
The Cow Run 10 Miler was the longest and fastest run I’ve done since the 18.12 Challenge. I had no idea what to expect. The weather forecast was decent, although we dealt with a headwind most of the race. I was too concerned and my goal was to start and finish healthy, something I hadn’t done in 5 weeks. Plus, I was wearing a $15, one size fits all Cow Dress. It was the first time I feel like a costume hindered my running, but that’s okay.
The 6th annual Cow Run 10 Miler ends in Salem County, NJ. Most people don’t realize, but southern NJ has a lot of farmlands and a lot of cow pastures. One year, actual cows chased runners in the “great cow chase.” Luckily, this year at the Cow Run 10 Miler, no cows chased us…or turkeys…or anything.
Anyway, my husband and I got to Salem, NJ, around 7:45. We met up with friends Grace and Lom and took the bus over to Cow Town Rodeo. The Cow Run is a 10-mile point to point race. Unfortunately, that meant we dealt with a headwind for most of the race.
Anyway, I warmed up 1.5 miles with Grace (who ended up winning for women). I felt like garbage and my mind couldn’t comprehend I was going to run 10 miles. The Cow Run 10 Miler start was delayed due to one bus running late.
We finally started. During the first mile, I thought I felt “pretty good.” Maybe I’ll surprise myself, and that quickly faded. I ran the first mile in 7:00 and knew there was no way I could hold that for the entire race.
During the second mile of the Cow Run 10 Miler, my body started to heat up. We ran up a couple of hills and I was already sweating through my dress. The dress was not moisture-wicking and maybe I should have practiced running in it beforehand. Truthfully I wasn’t out for a PR or to run fast, just to have fun and get a solid workout in. I completed stopping and taking off the dress but just decided to keep it.
During the third mile of the Cow Run 10 Miler, I ran alone. I was running near a man playing music out of his phone, it annoyed me, but I bit my tongue. I just kept plodding along.
The next mile of the Cow Run 10 Miler, felt like it would never end. We were running a straight, boring road, into a headwind. My dress was flapping around with the wind, and I was overheated. It was not pleasant and I questioned myself every step of the way.
I hit mile 5 around 37:00 minutes and just chuckled. It’s been challenging to adjust to paces the last six months and what is hard effort versus easy. I was overheated and running in headwind and I tried not to let that get me down. I reminded myself, “you’re halfway there.”
The next mile went by a little faster, but we were just running into a headwind. I began counting down. At mile 6, I was like just half an hour to go. A few women went by me between mile 6-7. I just kept plodding along.
Mile 7 felt like I hit a huge wall. Since the Cow Run 10 Miler was my longest run in 5 weeks, I began to hit a wall. Hitting a wall in a 10-mile race makes me question running a marathon next month, but I just progressed on.
During mile 8 of the Cow Run 10 Miler, we passed a hospital. Two more miles, I told myself. I just kept trying to motivate myself.
The last two miles went by without notice. I was just counting down. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to my watch but just trying to run around effort. I thought 7:30 pace would be good.
By the time I knew it, we were in downtown Salem sprinting towards the finish. My sprint was more like an “in my mind I’m sprinting but not really,” and I crossed the Cow Run 10 Miler finish in 1:15.00 exactly.
It was fun to see so many actual cows at the Cow Town 10 Miler finish. I wanted to take a photo with the cows. Apparently, they just wanted to lick my cow dress because of all of the sweat and Gatorade I spilled on it.
Cow Run 10 Miler Thoughts:
I felt decent and my hamstring seemed to hold up. It’s a bit sorer than I would like post-race.
Questions for you:
Have you ever run a race in a costume? I’ve done many and I really enjoy it.
Have you done a cow run?