Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Westport Island Shore Run 10K Recap and Another PR!

Wow, that's a wordy title! I feel like adding the PR part makes it more exciting. I hope I don't bore you with what is to come, but I suppose it's just another race report when it comes down to it.

Sunday was the Westport Island Shore Run 10K that had been postponed due to Hurricane Irene. And, of course, it was raining buckets. Actually, other than the astronomically high tides that threatened to wash the runners off the two causeways along the course, the weather was much better on the original race date in August.

I like running in the rain. I think it makes it a little more exciting, though not always the most comfortable. The best part of running cross-country in high school was getting wet and muddy. Luckily, it was pretty cool (54 degrees at race time) and I knew I wouldn't have a risk of overheating like I did during the L.L. Bean 10K in July and the Beach to Beacon in August. Maybe for some that would be cold, but once I get going it is perfect. I decided to wear my black running skirt, my new Everyday Endurance performance tee that I bought with the gift certificate I won from FitCraftyEnglishTeacher, and my blue Zensah sleeves. One runner asked me if I was cold as we made the trek to the start (about a quarter mile from the finish) as a lot of people were wearing long sleeves or jackets. Nope, this is perfect running weather. I'm a little crazy. They were offering runners trash bags to wear for the walk to the starting line, but I declined. I was about to get wet, why bother trying to stay dry? Another guy asked me what the blue things on my legs were and I gave him a quick lesson on compression. I love how they make my legs feel AND the fashion statement they make!

Once lining up, I recognized Wade, Jen from Running with the Girl's brother-in-law, and at first thought it was Ward, her husband. They are twins. But, duh, why would her husband be running this race when she is running her first marathon?!? Anyway, Wade ended coming in second overall! The race director made the announcements and we were off. I led the female runners for about .2 miles! I was winning! Ha ha! One girl passed me as we were passing the town hall where we would eventually circle around to finish at and I tried just keeping her in my sights (She was only one of two people to pass me the entire race). Ian and the boys came to cheer me on and I waved as I ran by. Troopers they are, coming out in the rain. Zeke was happy though, he got to hold the umbrella.

I felt really good the first mile. Soaked already, of course, but having a good time. I felt like the pace was manageable and the field of runners so small that it was easier focusing on my pace than racing everyone else around me. Mile one split - 7:47. Wow! This feels good for that fast! 

I caught up to one guy and ran with him through the second mile. We actually chatted for a bit and he was from Edmonton. As in Canada. As in over 2700 miles away. And he was just passing through on his way to Arizona making a giant circle around North America! Mile two split - 8:00. Chatting and running fast. Awesome! There was an unmanned water station that I skipped and he slowed down at, so I went on ahead.

There were some major hills throughout the course. Steep, almost fall on your face downhills and steep, almost crawl on hands and knees uphills. Mixed with wet leaves and pine needles, I really had to concentrate on not falling down. I could still see the girl that passed me in the beginning way up ahead, but for almost the entire rest of the race I ran by myself.

Mile three - 8:06 (still going strong)
Mile four - 8:35 (slowing down, but still on the road to a PR)

So up until this point I was in second place for females. Very exciting. Then I heard someone coming up behind me right before the mile five marker. And then they passed me. Darn, it was a woman.

Mile five - 8:39 (stay strong and you will PR)

Down a hill, across the second causeway, and ahead lies the beast of a hill. Sea level to 110 feet in less than a quarter mile after running for over five miles = torture.

My legs were screaming and now I have to admit that I walked up this hill. Yes, I walked. For shame. But it was a full arms pumping, lean into the hill, power walking that was probably close to as fast as I was running, and it allowed me to catch my breath and the lady who passed me and was still running got no further ahead. I normally like to attack the hills, but knew if I wanted to finish strong I needed to let up and recover a little here. It started to level out and I took back to running.

Mile 6  - 8:53 (see, I didn't loose much time from walking)

The last .2 is mostly downhill and I powered to the finish, waved at the boys on my way by, and looked at the clock at the finish line!


Seriously? That's 1:55 off my best 10K! On a hilly course in the pouring rain. I was probably carrying a good five pounds of water in my clothes. I was hoping for a sub-53, but was unsure of how the terrain would actually be and I killed it! Yay!

Final standings - 
8 out of 24 overall (very small field)
3 out of 10 females
1 out of 3 in my age group (30-39)

Lucky #11 and race bling!
Soaked and smiling!


  1. Sweet shirt, sweet race! I am happy you recognized Wade (well, sorta!). He said it was a super challenging race, but loved it!

  2. WOW!!!! congrats on an awesome race!!! you conquered those hills!

  3. I love it! Great job! I used to think if I didn't run it was a failure...but I am learning that sometimes you just have to dig deep and make smart choices. Sounds like you made a good one and it paid off! Way to go!

  4. Woohoo! Congrats on your PR and age group place!


Thanks for your comments!