Sunday, October 26, 2014

Perfect 10-Miler (2014)

Today was a beautiful day for a race. It was 50 and sunny at the start, warming up to 60. I'm sure there are some who would argue that was too warm, but with 30 MPH wind gusts predicted for later in the race, it was a good start.

That is the best thing I can say about my performance in today's race -- CGIs Perfect-10 Miler, a women's only race. It was a good start. I picked out a sparkly outfit the night before -- sort of getting in the spirit of Halloween and creating something sparkly and girly. I was actually disappointment more people did not wear costumes this year.

I caught up with Martha at the start line (good thing since I had her bib). I was stunned to be standing behind Stacy (who beat me by at least 30 minutes, so that was the last I saw of her).

Before the start of the race I heard they were expecting about 5,000 women running. That must have been for the 10-miler and 5K combined because 1975 women finished. Rather than closing the gate at the 2:30 mark (as advertised) they continued to track runners for more than a half an hour. This is something for those wary about running a race of this distance to keep in mind. It is a lot of people. We were crowded at the start. I ran through my first 2:1 interval maintaining a 10 minute pace for the first 6 minutes or so. I was feeling good and thinking I might just PR. I had a decent training run on Friday, the weather was nice, the course if flat -- it felt like my day.

Then near disaster struck. Well, THAT sounds a bit melodramatic. See that little lip between the road and the grass? This year they shifted the route and we cut up and over the grass to the other side of the road, rather than timing it so we did that at a point where the road goes naturally (as they did last year). The bummer is, they had leeway since we did a mile loop at the end that was BORING. I'm sure they had some wisdom.

All that being said, about 6/10 of a mile into a 10 mile race I went down and landed in front of the dude directing runners to turn. I stayed down for what seemed like 5 minutes (still waiting for the GPS watch to connect to give me the details, time is funny that way). He immediately asked if I wanted an ambulance. Um, no, I want to see if I can shake this out. Gabrielle got a late start. She saw me on the ground and asked if I wanted company. She is so sweet! I waved her on. Finally I was either tired of dealing with him or feeling better and I got up to see how it felt. It was a little sore, so I pressed on.

As I passed Gabrielle and other friends along the way, I gave them updates. The nice thing about doing a race close to home (even one this large) is bumping into running friends along the way.

Another highlight of the race was at the 6 mile water table when the kids were handing out bite sized pieces of chocolate. I run for chocolate!

As I bumped into more women, I shared my tale of woe (and my scraped leg) with new friends. I kept walking at a new friend's running pace for half a mile, until she had to go to the bathroom. She saw me at the end and congratulated me.

I pushed my way through the last 9.4 miles not by reminding myself of the medal at the end, but with the promise of ice at the finish line. I crossed the finish line 8 minutes slower than last year, but that did include a few minutes deciding whether or not to continue moving or have my first DNF. The EMT gave me some ice and cleaned my leg. He felt the ankle, but did not find anything wrong with it. That is encouraging.

I hobbled to the food tent, seeing Martha again. I gave Martha her new long-sleeved running shirt (race swag) and she went home to George. I felt last year's finisher's food of a chocolate fondue more appealing than this year's pile of grilled food. The grilled food was too much to juggle with a pretzel in a bag and a water bottle and a long line for hot chocolate. Nice thought, just I wasn't in the mood for lunch. I was in the mood for a treat (like last year).

Another big change from last year was they separated the start and finish lines. I like the new finisher's party zone, and was grateful to park near the finish line, but the walk to the start seemed long (probably because it was crowded with women doing the same thing, and not because of the actual distance).

To sum up:




PlaceBib #First NameLast NameCityStateGenderAgeAge Group PlaceChip TimeGun TimePace
17302678JacquelynPillsburyLawrencevilleNJF45255 F 45-492:07:17.32:08:31.412:44/M
Overall time: 2:07.17.2 -- faster than last weekend's hilly 10 miler. Still under a 13 minute pace. If I heal up this week, I'm on target to finish out my 2014 race season with the Princeton Half Marathon. Fortunately I have not yet signed up for the Trenton 10K (I'm not doing the half marathon!), and still have over a week to make that decision.

Friends seen at the finish:
Perfect Princess Debbie

Michelle and Kim

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