Monday, February 6, 2012

Mid-Winter 10 Mile Classic Recap and a PR

Yesterday I ran in the Mid-Winter Classic, a ten-mile race held in Cape Elizabeth. This year was the 30th running of this race and I was so excited to be a part of it. Last year the race was postponed and then canceled due to snow storms and those runners had first dibs in this years race. Fellow running girls Jen and Stacy were two such runners, so I wanted to get in. I did, as did other members of our little running group, Jill and Jess (and her husband, Joe).

Having only raced a 10K distance before, I was sure nervous going in and didn't really know what to expect. But I thought it would be a good race to test myself as a precursor to my first half marathon that is happening in 60 days. Whoa, 60 days! 

I knew I wanted to be under 1:25 for an overall time (8:30 pace). My training thus far has been in preparation for an 8:30 half marathon pace and my 10K PR was at an 8:06 pace, so I felt a good goal for a 10-miler would be 8:15. Makes sense, right? Then running pal Jen announces we have to run it in 1:19 = 7:54 pace...uh, that's faster than my 10K pace...are you crazy? Poor Jen came down with a terrible chest cold and had a 103-degree fever the morning of the race (she still ran 'cuz she's bad-ass), so it was up to me to race my heart out for a 1:19. Honestly, in my head I wanted to keep it close to 8-minute mile and hold on as long as possible. That would bring me close.

The weather conditions were pretty much ideal for running in February. There hasn't been much snow and the roads were clear. We all went back and forth on what to wear, but I decided less is best for racing. It was sunny and around 20-degrees with minimal wind, so I went with capris and my blue Zensah sleeves, my white long sleeve base layer and a blue tee. More than one person during the race commented on my outfit coordination. Ha! This was also the first time racing in my Brooks Pure Connects. I think they should be renamed Pure Awesomeness.

Like always, the start is so slow. It only took 13 seconds to reach the start line, but took quite a while for the field of 611 runners to thin out. Of course I didn't start my watch until crossing the line since there was no start mat and my watch would be more accurate than the gun time. Mile one was pretty much down hill. Jess ran with me for a bit until we saw "sickly" Jen blow past us. Jess went to catch up with Jen while I tried to keep a steady pace. I eventually caught up with Jen, but neither of us saw the camera or I think we would have put on more pretty faces. Mile one split - 8:08
I'm #484 in blue and Jen is #55 in the purple shirt
Then come the hills. Ugh. Mile two had some toughies, but I had been studying the course profile and knew there were some good downhills around miles three and four. Mile two split - 7:53

I skipped the water station at mile three, knowing that there was another one at mile five where I had planned on refueling. Mile three split - 7:53

I totally missed seeing the mile four marker. I remember looking down at my watch and it said 8:35. This had been a downhill mile, so I know I must have already passed it. So miles four and five - 15:55. Halfway done and still putting out sub-8 minute miles! I did stop to walk for a few seconds to drink choke on some water and then took off again. I took out a Shot Blok to eat on the run. This was literally my first attempt at refueling while running. I've eaten once or twice during our long runs, but we have always stopped to do this. Needless to say, I only ate one before deciding I can't breathe heavily and eat at the same time and said screw it, I don't need to eat. I guess I'm going to have to practice this. I also had to take my gloves off at this point. My hands had been hot since mile three and one glove was wet from the water I spilled grabbing the water cup.
I forget where this camera was, I think right before mile 5 and the water stop. (Photo: Maine Running Photos)

Mile six split - 8:06
Mile seven split - 8:36 The third water station (my second stop) must have been within this split because I walked for a few seconds to get a good drink. 
Mile eight split - 8:03

And so began the gradual hill from hell. My quads were very fatigued at this point and this hill, though not steep, literally went on for more than a mile. I wanted to walk, but I was within two miles from the finish. Only eight laps around a track. I can do this. I was also excited to see that even if I ran the last two miles at a 10 minute pace I still would surpass my goal. Run, run, run! 

Mile nine split - 8:35

Soon I could see the high school where the race began and ended and knew I was going to make it. Plus the finish was downhill. I love downhill finishes.  

Mile ten - 8:16

My stats:
1:21:28, 8:08 pace!
238 out of 611 overall
58 out of 262 females
12 out of 43 in age group (35-39)

Everyone had a great run!
Speedy Jess with a 1:18 (Photo: Running with the Girls)
I don't think Ward recognized me until after I passed him! (Photo: Running with the Girls)
Jen still posts a 1:24, fever and all! (Photo: Running with the Girls)
Jill and Stacy. This was near the beginning, but they were still smiling at the finish. (Photo: Maine Running Photos)
All smiles! Me, Jen, Jill, Jess, and Stacy
Running 10 miles makes you downright giddy!
Thanks ladies, for once again, an awesome run!

Hey, and you know what? Tomorrow is the my official Runniversary! Guess what I'll be doing in the morning. Have you signed up for my virtual run and giveaway? Do it here. Also, only one more day to enter my Handful giveaway. It ends Tuesday at midnight EST!

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