The Finish at the 50 10k was last week (on the 3rd of July). It was a nice race but the weather was terrible. I was totally a back-of-the-pack runner but it was my first ever 10k. I’m a bit torn between feeling like “that was pathetic!” (grumpy and frowning) and “I have so much room for improvement!” (optimistic and looking forward to future [yet to be chosen] races).
The race was at 6 pm in the evening. I think all 6000 of the runners were hoping that the temps were going to drop a little by then. While it was in the high 80s during the day, weather.com was claiming the temp would drop to the mid 70s. I’m pretty sure it didn’t and it was probably mid 80s by the time of the race. Plus, the humidity was supposed to drop to about 50% by the start of the race (which is pretty low for New England), but I think it remained around 80%.
It was BRUTAL! In addition, the time leading up to the start of the race was totally stressful; my wonderful boyfriend and I were trying to find my mother (so T and my mom could watch the race together), but she kept getting lost and stuck in the stadium. I guess they actually found one another right before the race started, but I never saw them together. I gave up on the search and just joined the lined up runners. T and my mom watched me cross the starting line, but I never saw them.
I never got my picture with Jerod Mayo, I’m going to assume I was too slow and he had already left. 😦 But I did get to see him as I crossed the starting line! At 6’1”, he was a lot shorter than I imagined. I don’t know why, but I always think of football players as 7 foot tall Titans. I was still super excited to see him though and I’m glad he donated his time to this.
Breakdown of my thoughts and missteps during the run:
- My shoelace came untied in the first 1/5 of a mile, so lame!
- I wish large groups of walkers wouldn’t seed themselves at an 8 minute pace, it’s a pain to run around them in the beginning of the race!
- There was no 1 mile marker, but I started to walk somewhere between where I think the mile marker would have been and the actual 2 mile mark. I took a total of about 20 steps. That’s right, it was so hot I couldn’t even run 2 whole miles! Although by my second walked step, my thoughts revolved around how I thought I was going to pass out… and in reaction to that thought, I started running again… not even close to a sane thought, I know.
- I walked through all of the water stops (about every mile), but ran the rest of the time.
- After my cup of water at the 3rd mile, I thought about turning around and getting a second cup because I still felt dehydrated. I didn’t though, the thought of turning around was too weird during a race.
- That led me to drink 2 cups of water at the 4 mile water station. That was stupid, I immediately felt like I was going to ralph on the sidewalk (luckily, I didn’t).
- Some really awesome people created their own water station outside of their house. Unfortunately, it was like 5 houses away from the official 4 mile water stop, so not a ton of people went to them. However, that doesn’t take away from their awesomeness!
- At about mile 4.25, some really awesome people were hosting something resembling a block party to watch all the runners, they also had their garden hoses hooked up with some sprayers and they were spraying water in a nice arc that covered half the street. We runners could decide to run on the “raining” side of the street or the dry side. I chose the wet side and got nicely misted. I seriously wanted to kiss those people! It instantly cooled me down and the rest of the run was much more pleasant.
- I have decided that any spectator who accurately yells “less than a mile to go” is wonderful! I love that person every time!
- A woman in front of me heard the cheer above and got so excited about it that she almost ran into a yield sign. The comedy was enjoyed by all (and she didn’t actually hit the sign, so all was good).
- I got a side stitch with .25 miles to go (just I was running back into the stadium parking lot) I’ve never gotten a cramp while running before (that I can remember).
- The end of the race involved running through the stadium’s underbelly (where the players do!), through the chute, through the inflated football helmet, and onto the field. I ran through the underbelly with a man who did a really great announcer impersonation. I learned this when he turned to his adult daughter (or very young girlfriend, I’m guessing daughter) and proclaimed “Announcing the New England Patriots.” First, he sounded spot on. Second, it was so cool that someone else was thinking that! That would totally be on the speakers if we were the real players, we were in the right spot. It totally brought a smile to my face. So thank you, mystery guy!
- 60 yards before the finish line, I got to high-five my director of marketing (he also ran the race and was waiting for his daughter to finish)! This is the first time I’ve ever seen someone I knew during a race! (besides my super awesome support team comprised of my boyfriend and parents)
- This was the second race where I charged (sprinted to) the finish line! I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been holding back on the run or if the fartlek work is paying off, but it felt great!
- Also, I wore the same shirt for this, my first 10k, that I wore for my first 5k. I don’t know why, but that thought makes me happy.
- My race playlist was perfectly timed. The song that comes over the speakers after a touchdown (“This is Our House” by Bon Jovi) came on just as I was running onto the field!
All in all, my sweaty/overheated/pathetic effort is reflected in the numbers:
Place: 2713/2992 (Gross!)
Gun time: 1:22:34
Net time: 1:15:07 (yep, it took over 7 minutes to get to the starting line – the 10k and 5k runners all started at the same place and time)
There were no timers on the course (which I thought was a bummer considering how large this race was) and I don’t wear a watch, so I don’t know if my pace was better in the beginning and I petered out or if I was this slow the whole time.
Even with the heat and my poor performance, I still loved the race itself. It was a fun idea and a great location. Now I need to work on getting stronger and faster so that my next 10k will be better (and I won’t be in the back of the pack!)