Distance Series 10 Miler
Running, Training, Training Sub 1:25

Distance Series 10 Miler (1:10.07)

Distance Series 10 Miler (1:10.07)

The Distance Series is one of my favorite local races in Virginia. Since I grew up in Hampton Roads, I always have both family and friends racing.  The Distance Series has three races from January to late March to get ready for the Shamrock Half Marathon.  There are 10/15/20 milers in the series or the shorter series 6/10/12.

The last Distance Series race I ran was in 2018, the 15 Miler. It was one of my best races in 2018.  Usually, January is dreary and I like to take a short trip out of New Jersey. This winter has been mild, and in fact, the Distance Series was hot. I haven’t run a January race that was 65-70 degrees and humid in a long time (maybe ever).  It felt like I was running a late May race! Anyway, I still had an enjoyable time and even with the humidity barely missed my “A” goal of under 1:10.

Dad and I arrived around 8 am picked up our packets and talked to a few friends. I saw good friend Mollie and we decided to warm up together. It was hot and to be honest; my body didn’t feel great.  We jogged about 2 miles and then headed to the start.

Distance Series 10 Miler

The Distance Series 10 Miler went off promptly at 9 am. It runs on the Dismal Swamp Trail, which is a boring, flat, trail next to the Dismal Swamp. In the summer, it’s insanely buggy.  The last time I ran there was the day before my wedding in 2015, my how time flies.

My A goal was to run a 1:10.  Based on my 10k, my VDot indicates I’m in between 1:09-1:10 shape right now. I knew the weather was not ideal, so it was a stretch to run 1:09.  I hit the first mile in 7:01. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed, but I evaluated how I was feeling and knew I needed to run conservatively, otherwise it would be a death march to the finish.

I ran the next mile of the Distance Series 10 Miler in 6:57. I felt better about it. For the most part, I was running alone and just lost in my own thoughts.  The 6 miler and 10 miler were together until mile 3, so it was tough to know who was running what. I wasn’t running for a place but more to see what kind of fitness I was in.

I crossed the third mile of the Distance Series 10 Miler in 6:57. I felt decent, but my legs were still stiff. I noticed we had a headwind, so I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if the last 5 miles were tailwind…then I realized, did I really want tailwind with how hot it already was?

The next two miles of the Distance Series 10 Miler went by without much note. I was just plugging along. Around mile 4.5, I saw the leaders heading back. I couldn’t tell if it was a tailwind. All I wanted to do was get to mile 5 to find out if it was a tailwind. I crossed mile 5 in 35:10.

As we headed back, I realized it was no wind. The air was a standstill and the humidity was high. I felt like I roasted the last 5 miles of the Distance Series 10 Miler.  I just plugged along. Running in the Dismal Swamp can be mentally challenging because there are mile markers by the .25, so you literally count down. It felt like it was dragging.

As I was heading back, I grabbed Gatorade at the two remaining stops. I ran mile 5 in 7:01, followed by 6 in 6:57.  The miles felt like they were taking forever; I just wanted to be done. Something happened that I’ve never had happen before and that my leg started to spaz out a little bit. I think I was cramping due to the heat. Once I grabbed Gatorade around mile 7.5-8, it felt better.

The next few miles of the Distance Series 10 Miler were uneventful and I ran a 6:59, 6:58, 6:59. I wanted so badly to be under 1:10, but I realized due to not running in a perfect line and adding almost a 10th of a mile, I wouldn’t be there. I crossed mile 9 at 1:03.15, and I knew I would need to haul butt to be under 1:10.

Distance Series 10 Miler

I felt like I was powering during the last mile of the Distance Series 10 Miler.  I passed a few of the six miler races, but I had tunnel vision to the end. I saw the clock ticking 1:09.45 and I knew I was just a little bit off. I didn’t let that dampen my spirits and I still powered to the end. My last 30 seconds was about 6:12 pace. I crossed in 1:10.07.

Distance Series 10 Miler

Distance Series 10 Miler Thoughts:

I’m happy with my effort at the Distance Series 10 Miler.  If it was better weather, I would have run under 1:10 but can’t change the weather. My effort was there and I was much more consistent.  I didn’t “fly and die,” so I was happy with that. Plus, the last time I ran a 10 miler in October, I ran a 1:15.

I’m looking forward to my next race in a few weeks (a 5k).

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

How was the weather near you last weekend?

What is your favorite distance to race? 

 

 

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Hair of the Dog 10k Bethany Beach
Running, Running Reads, Training

Hair of the Dog 10k (41:49)

Hair of the Dog 10k Bethany Beach (41:49)

2019 was not my year for running and I wanted to start fresh. I talked about it in my yearly recap but it wasn’t a priority. I ran and had fun but I am minutes away from PRs.

My husband and I had never been to the Delaware Shore (Rehobeth Beach, Dewey Beach, and Bethany Beach), so we decided to check it out.  We knew there was a Hair of the Dog 10k at Bethany Beach and thought it would be something fun and different to spend the New Year in Delaware.  The Annual Hair of the Dog 5k/10k also have a Polar bear Plunge. The Post Race Party and Post Plunge Party at Mangos is right in downtown Bethany Beach.

One thing I appreciate about the Hair of the Dog 10k is that it started at 8:30 am (the 5k started at 10 am). New Years Day races usually start at odd times ranging anywhere from 10 am to 5 pm.  It makes sense, but I appreciated the normal race start.

On race day, we got there around 7:30 am, did signup and packet pickup, then a quick warm-up. It was a beautiful day in Rehobeth: just under 40 degrees, some wind, but sunny. We’ve had a couple of New Years that have been 10 degrees or less so we couldn’t ask for better weather.

We lined up at 8:25 am and by 8:30, we were off. My goal for the Hair of the Dog 10k was not to fly and die. IE: go out too fast and pick up the pieces.

My fitness is not anywhere and I feel like I’m starting over to get back into “PR” fitness. I know the work it takes to get there, and I know it won’t be easy. I thought under 42 would be a reach goal considering I didn’t run under 42 at all in 2019.

When we started moving, I felt good.  I found myself in a pack with a few other people.  We crossed the first mile at 6:41. I thought, wow, I’m on pace to run under 42 at the Hair of the Dog 10k. Then I laughed because making that goal at mile 1 seemed silly.

During the second mile, a woman passed me. I tried to go with her, but I didn’t have it in me. The second mile had a 180-degree turn and I crossed in 6:47. Here comes the fading, I told myself. Then during mile 3 of the Hair of the Dog 10k, I realized I didn’t feel that bad.  We went onto the slippery boardwalk and I became cautious of ice and slick patches. I crossed mile 3 in 6:43.  I just wanted to get off the slippery boardwalk.

Hair of the Dog 10k Bethany Beach mw running
Hair of the Dog 10k Bethany Beach
Thank you Dave Fredman Frederick for the Photo

Maybe slowing down a few seconds helped in the second 5k.  As we left the boardwalk, I passed the woman and was in first. The next few miles didn’t feel bad and dare I say: “good”?  I crossed mile 4 in 6:39, my fastest mile of the day.

After crossing mile 4 of the Hair of the Dog 10k, I grabbed water and kept going. Mile 5 had another 180-degree turn and I crossed in 6:40. During the final mile, the cyclist began chanting, “go go.” Then as I entered the boardwalk, she fell back and yelled, “go go, you can catch her” at the second place woman.  I crossed mile 6 in 6:40 and just powered to the finish.

Even though we were on the boardwalk, I still sprinted to the end. I passed one guy and crossed in 41:49.  Later, my watch recorded I went 6:12 pace for the final bit. This is funny because I rarely ever have a “kick.”

Hair of the Dog 10k Thoughts:

I couldn’t have asked for a better start running-wise to 2020. I am looking forward to dedicating time to get back into shape.  I know it will be a long way to go before 38 minute 10ks feel “easy,” but I’m also looking forward t the process, something I couldn’t say last year.

Questions for you:

How was your New Years? What is your goal for 2020? 

Did you run a race? Was it called “Hair of the Dog” or “Resolution Run”? 

Gritty 5k me
Running, Running Reads, Training

Gritty 5k (20:45)

Gritty 5k (20:45)

After running the Heroes to Hero 5k the day before, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Gritty 5k fun run on Sunday, October 13. The Gritty 5k seemed like it would be a lot of fun and no pressure. There were zero awards for race winners of the Gritty 5k, just most Gritty themed and for Gritty Costumes. All of the proceeds for the Gritty 5k go to the Philadelphia Flyers Charity.  My two good friends Danielle and Amelia, also came down to do the Gritty 5k so it was awesome to catch up with them too.

Danielle and I wanted to do a long run that day to get ready for the NYCM so long run was our primary goal and racing fast at the Gritty 5k was our secondary goal. Since the Gritty 5k starts at the Wells Fargo Stadium, there is plenty of parking.

We got to the Gritty 5k around 7:30 warmed up 4 miles and got to the start around 8:20.

Of course, I left my bib at the car so I had to run back before getting to the Gritty 5k starting line.  I panicked but luckily the Gritty 5k didn’t start on time…at all.

I wasn’t surprised that the Gritty 5k started about 20 minutes late from the warmup and race announcements. I hope next year they either state the true start is 8:50 or do all of the warmups, stretches, dancing, etc beforehand. Anyway, after that, we were off.

Even though the Gritty 5k was massive, the majority of people participating were not weekend warrior road racers. There were more Flyer fans at the Gritty 5k than people who identified as “runners.” More people dressed up as Gritty himself, then didn’t. My feet cringed, seeing people running in converse, basketball shoes, and vans but more power to them or being active and supporting a charity.  There was a huge after-party celebrating the Flyers Home Opener at the Xfinity Live and Wells Fargo Center. If you are looking for a no-pressure, party race, the Gritty 5k is for you.

The first mile of the Gritty 5k was filled with people that took the race out too fast. It goes through the Philadelphia Flyers Stadium. While I know many people don’t love that course, I do. I think it’s well marked and wide.

During the first mile of the Gritty 5k, Girard went by me wearing a full Gritty outfit and wig. I was loling. I felt comfortable and like I was pushing it, but not too much. I considered adding a second race+long run a “danger zone” weekend for me and made sure to listen to all cues from my body.

I hit the first mile of the Gritty 5k in around 6:40 and it felt comfortable. I saw two females running side by side just up ahead and I was hoping to catch them. Around 1.5, I caught them and didn’t look back. We traveled through the Navy Yard. It was windy, but not too bad.

I hit mile 2 in 6:43 and felt comfortable. At the Heroes to Hero 5k, I ran mile 2 in 6:35 and thought I would keel over.

The last mile of the Gritty 5k went by quickly. During the final mile of the Gritty 5k, there was a hot dog stop (instead of water stop). I tried to grab a hot dog but was too far over. I was happy my hamstring felt the same whether I was running or walking. It didn’t seem to get worse, albeit still noticeable. I crossed the Gritty 5k finish line in 20:45 which I was pleased with.

Gritty 5k Thoughts:

It’s been rough not comparing myself to previous years and previous fitness levels, but I know it will come back when it comes back.  I’m happy with my results for where I am right now. Plus, it was fun to get 15 miles in with Danielle, which was the primary goal of Sunday anyway. I had an enjoyable time at the Gritty 5k and I highly recommend it. The Gritty 5k was a well-organized race and a lot of fun.

Have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you done a Charity race? 

Are you a Gritty fan?

me heroes to hero 5k
Running, Running Reads

Heroes to Hero 5k (20:30)

Heroes to Hero 5k (20:30)

The Heroes to Hero 5k is well put together, the money raised goes to a good cause, and you get a cotton long-sleeve T-shirt. I always see a lot of friends and coworkers so I enjoy it. Even though it was my slowest Heroes to Hero 5k yet, I had an enjoyable time with friends.

Anyway, as I get back into my running my body feels like it’s taken 12 steps back. In the last couple of weeks, I can’t seem to get into a groove or fitness back. I haven’t run anything fast in over a month, and my body felt that. I was hoping I would be faster than 20:30, but that’s all my body had for the day.

With the Heroes to Hero 5k, you must take a bus over from Glouster to the start in Audubon.  The bus ride was easy and we made it to the start with about 20 minutes to spare. The race went off a few minutes late and before I knew it, we were of.  I got to chat with a lot of friends in the beginning which is always fun.

The Heroes to Hero 5k started fast. I felt like I was flying. I crossed the first mile in 6:20 and thought it would be awesome to break 20 minutes. My body quickly reminded me I hadn’t done any speed in a few months and my calves were stiff. I began to feel the tightness of my hamstring, but it was a different tight than it’s been.

Around mile 2, I passed a few men. I could see the first place female (a 13-year-old) way out in front and I knew I wasn’t in shape to catch her. I just progressed on. My body hurt after mile 1 and it felt like a death march for miles 2 and 3. I could have finished the race at mile 1 and been perfectly content.

I hit mile 2 of the Heroes to Hero 5k in 6:35 and I thought I was going slower than that. My legs were stiff and I was tired. My body just wanted to be done.

We ran under the giant firetruck and flag and I was counting down the final mile. .9 to go,  then .89. I had taken out the race entirely too fast for where I’m at with life now and it bit me in the butt. I crossed the Heroes to Hero 5k finish line in 20:30.

 

Heroes to Hero 5k Thoughts:

I’m not thrilled with a 20:30 time but for now that is the shape I’m in. After my marathon, I’m looking forward to getting back into speed and working on that.

Questions for you:

Do you have a favorite local 5k?

Do you prefer loop courses or point to point?