Last weekend I decided to run the Newport 10 Miler. As many people know, my brother is in the Navy. Over the last year, he’s gone to various schools around the country. It’s been awesome because I’ve been able to see him several times including for the Christmas last year and in Phoenix. He leaves to go back to Spain soon, so as one last hurrah my parents drove up to see me, and we drove up to see him.
I heard the Newport 10 miler was a beautiful course, so I decided to run. I wasn’t all that concerned about pace or my finishing time. May and June are always dicey months for me where I seem to get niggles I ignore which ultimately turn into an injury. This May I bebopped around with my training and workouts. It wasn’t as if I didn’t run, but running wasn’t my priority. I have no regrets about that.
The race officials sent several emails saying parking was difficult and to get there as early as possible. Even though the race started at 7:30, they recommended getting there at 5 am. Dad and I met them halfway and got there at about 6. Honestly, I’m glad we didn’t get there any later because parking is challenging and there is one 1 lane going in and out, so there is a lot of traffic
The race started at 7:30. After chatting for a while with a few people who I didn’t know, it was time to go. I planned to run my own race. I knew I wasn’t in the same shape as Broad Street, so I wasn’t going to be dumb and run it like I was. The over 1-mile walk to/from my car was warm up for me, and I didn’t do anything extra.
The first mile, I ran with a bunch of men. There were several women in front, but I was tucked into a pack of dudes. We went up and around and honestly, there were several rolling hills that I wasn’t expecting. I ran the first mile in 6:35 and I thought, eh; I would be happy with the race being at that pace but never judge a race by the first mile…
The next two miles went by quickly. We turned and ran near the water. It was beautiful. Both miles I ran at 6:33 and I felt good about it. By mile 3, I found myself as the 3rd woman. I could see the first two women running side by side about 30 seconds ahead.
As mile 4 approached, I could tell I was catching one of the females. I consider myself a somewhat strong “wind runner.” I don’t get upset when the wind is blasting in your face, I just put my head down and go. It’s probably because most of my half marathons were in the wind last year. We hit some headwind, and I just propelled myself forward as best as I could.
On the downhill around mile 5, I caught one of the women and found myself as second. I felt good.
My primary goal of this race was to run faster per mile than last month when I ran a 41 minute 10k. That 10k race left me feeling demotivated and wondering if I was even in good running shape anymore. Silly but since then I’ve just been in a funk.
I hit the 10k of this 10 miler around 40:30 which was almost 40 seconds faster on a harder course. I also knew with the headwind we had going out, we would have a tailwind for part of the second half, and we did.
After that, I told myself to just focus on the finish. I wasn’t tapered, or even really ready for the rolling hills on the course. Would I say the course was a hard, hilly, course? No, but I will say the elevation changes a lot, and you aren’t ever really on a flat surface. My body was not ready for that.
The next 2 miles without any note. A woman told me I was “so close to catching the first place woman,” but I knew the first woman was gapping.
Around mile 9, we entered the Fort and headed to the finish. When you pass the Fort, you still have about half of a mile to go. Those finishes are mentally tough because you never feel like the half-mile will end.
Finally, I ran through the Fort gates and saw the finish. I crossed in 1:03.57 and as second woman overall. I was pleasantly surprised with my time as well as placing. Over the last month, I haven’t put as much time and effort into running (which yes, would mean it’s not a priority in my life right now).
It’s not a PR, but Newport was definitely a fun and challenging course. I was surprised with the rolling hills. It’s not a “hilly” course, but there aren’t many sections you are running on a flat surface. It’s either up or down. I’m happy with my effort and I’m hoping to get back to running more routinely soon.
Questions for you:
What is the most scenic race you’ve done?
Have you ever been to Newport?