Posted by: kellietris | February 6, 2012

‘Can you take a hit from a 300lb lineman?’: Mid Winter 10-Miler Race Report

Yesterday I ran ten miles!

Today I cannot walk down stairs!

Moral of the story is: train before running 10 miles. I admit I did it wrong. I’ve been spinning like a fiend, and running only when guilted into it (and I was usually guilting myself). Now that I have a coach this will no longer be a problem, but yesterday I ran the Cape Elizabeth Mid-Winter Classic having run maybe ten miles in the last month. Maybe.

”]bring it on, tuckOne of the troubles with the mid-winter classic is that it takes place in mid-winter. Last year’s race was cancelled because of too much snow (they couldn’t peel back the snowbanks enough to let 800 people run), and the year before that the temperature topped out around 15 degrees with a stiff breeze leaving windchills close to zero. I ran it two years ago and still get chills thinking about it. This year’s forecast was for temps in the mid-20s, which I think is the worst weather to dress for. You can’t wear too many layers, because you’ll overheat half a mile from the start… but if you don’t wear enough your extremities go numb. Most people wore tights and long sleeved jackets, but I’m not most people, so I ran in my Tom Brady jersey with a tech shirt underneath. This turned out to be the perfect combination. Granted my definition of cold is a little off, and I was the only one I saw running in short sleeves, but I didn’t overheat and I didn’t freeze. I also got a lot of ‘go Pats!’ from the sidelines, and one excellent exchange in which a fellow runner first informed me I am a badass because ‘I bet Tom Brady wouldn’t be out here in short sleeves’, then proceeded to ask me if I could take a hit from a 300lb lineman… because it had to be established that I am not in fact more of a badass than Tom Brady himself. The winner of the ‘cook kids run in football jerseys on Superbowl Sunday was the guy in a Doug Flutie jersey. Kudos.

This course is not, how you say, completely flat. There are a couple super long stretches that are going up at just enough of an incline to make you hare your life. There are a couple real hills thrown in there too, but I actually prefer the 5-6% graded hills to the 0.5% mile and a half like what happens from mile 7-8.5 here. The last mile and a half is notorious for its headwind, too… straight on and pretty darn chilly.

not flat

Course profile. That last little bump there is a killer.

I went into this one with no expectation or explicit goal other than to go faster than I did when I ran it two years ago. in 2010 I finished 19th to last place, and averaged 11:20 per mile. I was secretly hopeful I would average around ten minutes this time around, but I wasn’t going to be disappointed with 10:30s.

The race started and as usual, I went out too fast. My first mile was a 9:07. I knew I was going too fast, and half my brain said ‘hey idiot, you should slow down’ but the irrational side won and I kept on chugging. Second mile was 9:09. I caught a glimpse of a couple friends about an eighth of a mile ahead of me and decided ‘hey! I should go catch them!’ so I did. I reeled them in and said hello, and after seeing my heart rate monitor basically flashing IMPENDING DOOM I let them get away again and settled myself down. Mile 3 was 8:53. I got my heart rate under control and took to conquering the real hills. I actually like running up the steeper ones, I’ve been working on picking up my feet and keeping a high cadence, and they felt pretty solid. My next few miles were right around 9:30. I saw a woman drop a mitten, and not notice. I picked it up and decided to reel her in like I did my friends, so I had another pretty peppy mile randomly thrown in there. It’s funny the things that motivate! That hill at mile 7-8 was pretty tough. I started getting passed by more and more people, people who I’d passed earlier (passing people on the road is still very new to me- being passed is old hat). Despite feeling like I wasn’t moving, those two miles were ~10:10s. A super fast friend who had finished half an hour prior helped pull me up the final hill towards the finish, and my last mile was back down to a 9:45. I crossed the finish line in 1:36:01, a neat 20 minutes off my 10-mile PR from 2010 on the same course. [I just went back and looked at my 10-mile split from the 13.1 I did in October, and it looks like I matched that time down to the second, which is kinda creepy].

I’m pretty proud of myself for how far I’ve come with my running ability in the last two years. I’m by no means quick, and I totally don’t train right, and I still have a huge mental hurdle to clear, but I’m making progress, and that helps. Especially the mental aspect. I like to see numbers that show I’m getting faster (the Garmin I have has changed my life), and running the same course as two years ago 20 whole minutes faster than last time makes me feel pretty good. I’m lighter than I was then, and I’ve run that distance a couple more times now, but it felt really good to cross that finish line yesterday.

I totally Gronk’d my mittens at the finish, too.

Today I’m dealing with the fallout. My calves are tight like you wouldn’t believe… I can’t stand on my toes to save my life. Of course today the elevator at work was broken so I had to climb the 4 flights of stairs a couple times, but that’s what I get. One week into my Ironman training, and so far so good 🙂

New goal: run ten miles, and be able to walk properly the next day.

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