Welp. I missed the memo that this race is a hill-fest. So let’s start with this:
Technically, this 10-miler was perfect timing – 2 weeks out from my marathon. In reality, I was just getting over a head cold that had me asleep for most of last week. But I was feeling much healthier on Saturday so I decided to go for it.
We got to South Lakes High School in Reston, Va., and followed the wandering runners toward the start. There was very little communication at the beginning of the race. A lot of runners asking questions that no one was answering. We were herded across a street and then we were off. No gun or horn that we could hear and there was a lot of confusion among the runners near me. But we got the picture, time to start.
The race was on the street for all 10 miles, not particularly scenic, but there were a few patches of some beautiful lakes. It was a much bigger race than I was expecting. You’d think people would want to be inside with their coffee on a chilly morning in early March rather than out running a 10-mile race.
Maybe it’s the upcoming marathons – but people were out and they were movin’!
There were photographers everywhere! And I can’t help but cheese it up for the cameras… See?
Smiles aside, I had a rough time at this race. The remnants of my head cold were pounding and my legs felt heavy every step of the way. I quickly dropped my time goal and thought of the race as a training run for my upcoming marathon. I needed to run 10 miles today anyway, doing it in a race setting will help me pick up the pace – no matter now much I am slugging along.
I ended with a PR! This really isn’t indicative of a fast race for me right now, but more how much more in shape I have gotten during marathon training over the winter. My last 10 miler was almost 10 months ago and I felt on top of the world when I finished. This race I suffered through and landed with a 1:23:52.
As a crossed the finish line a child handed me a medal – I always love when kids are at the finish line. Their bouncy energy keeps me going the next few steps until I get a water. In this case, the water was halfway around the track which was a bummer. You gotta have water at the finish, folks.
All the USA TODAY runners (Here I am with Kat and John) met up afterward, snapped this picture and then headed for the warmth of our cars. A successful 10 miler! And the marathon taper begins!