Finally, after more than three months of marriage, it was honeymoon time! But before we made it to our tropical paradise, my husband and I had to make a stop in Cleveland. No jokes, please! I grew up there and my family lives there. Also exciting about Cleveland on this particular weekend? The Perfect 10-miler race!
We’d be staying at my mom and dad’s house (they would be taking care of our little Otto pup during our time away) and the race was only 15 minutes from their place. Columbus doesn’t have many 10-milers that I know of, which is actually one of my favorite distances to race. This one not only fit perfectly with our schedule, the bonus was that I could drink up and eat up the entire next week (all-inclusive honeymoon, baby!) without feeling all too guilty since I got a nice hard long run in before our departure, right? I wouldn’t say it was “perfect,” but I crushed what I thought I would accomplish, which I never take for granted.
Not sure if any out in blog land have noticed, but I haven’t been posting weekly training updates here at Salty. I found myself becoming more obsessive and regimented when I began meticulously recording my training schedule, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for me because of my past issues. The positive side of this is that I’m running more freely and not for the wrong reasons; the negative side of this is that I haven’t been running and/or training all that much! So, to jump right into a 10-miler after subsisting on mainly daily easy 3-milers was going to be a stretch. But my goal was a 7:20 pace and I averaged a 7:10. I was able to snag 3rd place in my age group (25-29) and even improved my weakest point of racing: kicking the last 800 meters. I gained some mental confidence by consistently passing runners throughout the race.
I wasn’t able to pick up my race packet beforehand since I wasn’t heading up to Cleveland until the night before, which meant I had to get there extra early (not a good thing for me)! I whipped up a small coffee at my parents’ house ( does anyone else always drink a cup of joe before they race?!), kissed my hubby goodbye, and was off to the track (the race literally starts and ends at a high school track). Fortunately, I didn’t get there all too early because the registration intern slept through her alarm and didn’t get there but 5 minutes before me. . As the lady behind me said, “her name is mud!!”. Poor thing!
I started off conservatively at about 7:25 pace but quickly moved my way up to a pack of female leaders to drop my pace to 7:05/7:10. I was able to pace with another woman for miles 4 through 7 until she broke off to about a 7:00 pace. I was primarily alone and had cramping through miles 8 and 9, so I wish I would have stuck it out and hung with her, but at the time I didn’t have it in me. Easier said than done sometimes; although, if I had incorporated more speed into my work-outs, it would have been doable.
Finishing time of 1 hour 11 minutes and 35 seconds. Last time I ran it (in 2009), I finished in 1 hour 11 minutes and 10 seconds, so I was pretty much spot on in comparison. Little did I know that in 2009, the overall top three female finishers in the Perfect 10 miler were our very own Pepper, Salty and Rosemary! Superstars!!!
This little 10 mile race turned out to be the perfect honeymoon kick-off!
Do you like racing 10 miles? What’s your favorite race distance?