Monday, June 10, 2013

Guest post: Boston Marathon Solidarity Run 10K Race Report

My pal Suz sent me this awesome race report this morning, and has kindly offered to write this guest post -- I'm so proud of her for digging deep and finishing this race! And, hell, one of the secrets of age group racing is choosing your races wisely! :)
On Saturday I ran the Arlington Runners Club’s Boston Marathon Solidarity Run 10k. I saw it advertised in an email and thought, I lived in Arlington, MA and the full registration fee would go to the One Fund Boston, so why not? An added bonus was that there were only 16 women registered for the 10k and, depending on their ages, I might medal in my age group.
So, Saturday morning I got up, had a slice of toast with peanut butter and a banana, and headed off to Arlington. My new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13s arrived on Friday, so I had my new shoes to wear! I got the green ones, and they are beautiful. I arrived at the race site at 8am and had an hour to kill, so I sat in the car for a bit, then I went and picked up my t-shirt and bib. Sat in the car some more, drank some water, used the bathroom at the Stillaguamish Athletic Club, which they kindly made available to the runners. Stood out in the chilly morning air, sizing up the competition, “Is she in her 40s? What about her?” I only saw a few ladies that looked to be my age and running the 10k (they also had a 5k). Finally, they gathered us all around, thanked the sponsors, made brief remarks regarding the course, and then had the 10k-ers line up. On your mark, get set, go!

And we were off. I estimated 20-30 doing the 10k as I had a good view of the pack as they pulled away from me, only to be seen one other time as I was rounding a corner to a long straight-away. This wasn’t so bad, though a bit of a wake up call. I realized that this is how it will be in TC. I did feel a bit like Seabiscuit without the explosive speed at the end to come from behind and win. The course is a loop around the Arlington Airport and is mostly on packed gravel or grass. It was a pleasant run. I saw a blue jay. I made the mistake of not carrying any water with me because I didn’t see anyone else doing it. I know, run your own race. There were a couple of water stops, one at 1 ½ miles (the turn-around point for the 5k). The volunteer there thought I was part of the 5k and told me to go around the cone. I told her that no, I’m part of the 10k and had miles to go. I did get passed by the 5 fastest 5k-ers before the water stop. Four of the five looked to be in high school. One nice girl shouted out encouragement to me as she passed me going back.
So, on I went. I only had one moment when I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to turn or not, but soon found that I was heading the right way. As I was approaching the 4 mile mark, I was having a tough time mentally and was happy that I had put my headphones in my race belt, just in case. At 4 miles, there was another water stop and I got to practice taking a cup of water from the volunteer. Nailed it. Of course, then I stop to drink it. During mile 5, through a particularly boring part of the course that was on pavement but past warehouses and hangars, I started to have doubts about TC and the 15k. I wasn’t thinking about my pace, just that I was out there alone, getting tired, feeling like this stupid race would never be over. Why did I think this was a good idea. A dark place, indeed. But on I plodded, taking short walk breaks when I needed, but never very long. I might have done myself some good if I had forced myself to walk for 2 minutes. I rounded a corner and could see some volunteers far in the distance, waiting for me, so that encouraged me to run, if only so that they could be done with their day. They cheered me on as I passed. Finally I saw the finish line, so I dug deep and finished strong. I remembered to turn off my watch after crossing the line.
I thanked the volunteers as they took my bib tag, looked around for some water, didn’t see any so walked over to my car where I had some. As I was drinking and stretching, one of the volunteers shouted out to me “Good job, 10k!” as she was leaving. I will say this, the Arlington Runners Club has some very nice members and they threw a good race. As I was rehydrating, I looked at my watch to see what my time was and was shocked to see 86:45 with an average pace of 13:56! No wonder why I was exhausted! I wasn’t quite ready to get in the car yet, so I wandered over to the finishers board (or whatever they call it) and saw that there were 35 of us in the 10k. I was looking at the other tags and saw only two others in my group. I had medalled! One of the volunteers asked me what my group was and I told her 40-49 and she said I think you get a ribbon and I said, yes, I think I came in third, so I got a third place ribbon! Yes, I came in dead last, 8 minutes behind the runner in front of me (also a lady in her 40s), but I did it. I ran my own race. And suddenly, all those dark thoughts about not trying the 15k in TC went away.
Suz and her 3rd place ribbon
Suz and her 3rd place ribbon!!! Sweet!!!
I still haven’t actually registered for TC. Six miles was hard, and while I still have 3 weeks of training, it kind of feels like, I only have 3 weeks of training. I wonder how I will be able to do another 3 miles. I think a run/walk combo will be the way to go. I think I also need to pay more attention to my pace during the race. I did look at my watch a couple of times and saw it was in the 13s, which should have been a clue that I was doing okay.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! So inspirational! And a ribbon at the end! Yeah!