This morning I finally ran the Berbee Derby. I remember hearing about it my first year in Madison, but it never worked out (and I wasn’t really a runner then). I signed up for it two years ago after I was injured, but before I knew how bad it was. So I already had a shirt, but I wanted to run it!
Back in September when I ran 6 miles, which was my longest run in two years, I said my comeback was complete. Well, I suppose I consider this my comeback complete because two years ago I ran a great half in September and some great races in the fall. I was getting faster and then I got hurt.
Initial weather forecasts last week had today’s temp between like 13 and 17. What we got was a lot better… about 31. It was all rainy and yucky last night and I actually saw some snow or maybe sleet falling as I went to get in the car and head to the race. But race time was clear of precipitation.
My brother was running the 10K too and our parents and two of our sisters came as well, though I’m not sure they watched much! Unfortunately Doug and I decided it was too cold for Allie, so he and Allie stayed home. I rode with my family and we got there in plenty of time to get a good parking spot. I signed up with the Team in Training team and we got to pick up our packets and wait INSIDE for the start! That was awesome. Indoors also meant no using porta potties!
Anyway, Jacob and I headed out to the start at about 5 minutes to 9. I had one what’s become my normal layers, capris with long pants over them, a long sleeve compression shirt, short sleeve over it and then my hoodie over that. I had on my gloves and new team in training stocking cap. I had also bought a headband ear warmer last night and decided to wear that as well. Waiting at the start and then once I started running I was a little too warm.
Jacob and I started together but he left me almost immediately because he’s really fast and I’m not. I was trying to run relaxed, though my first mile split was 11:13, way too fast for me. I usually go out too fast in 5Ks just because they’re shorter and I want to be done. This time I went out too fast but I did feel relaxed. My second was 11:43, closer to my normal for racing.
I had my normal wanting to stop that I get when starting races, but I didn’t stop until I walked through the water stop at the 5K turnaround. The hills were rolling and I was running them just fine. The first half of my race was great. My third mile time was 11:38. I wish I would have set my splits to show the kilometers because I’m pretty sure I set another 5K PR.
Unfortunately, the second half was another story. The course turned back just before mile 3 and we headed into the wind. I got real cold and was glad I had my layers. I ran pretty well until I got to the second water stop, which was where the route joined the Capital City Trail. I walked ahead of it to have my shot blocks. I had my water and I was ready to start running again, but it got really really hard. I was cold and my legs were getting really heavy. To add to it, the shot blocks didn’t sit well. I’ve used them twice before and once they were great and the second time they were iffy. Well, today they were awful and did not sit well at all.
I ran OK for a bit after that, but I just got colder and my stomach was sloshing around. I got to the point during mille 5 when I was walking more than running. Mile 4 was 13:14 and mile 5 was 12:47. Once I was into mile 6, I was really trying to run again, but then I saw the hill. And I lost feeling in my legs. And my stomach felt like it was going to fall out. So I decided to run downhills and walk the uphills. They were still rolling before the big one but I just didn’t have it. I can usually pick up in the last mile with the thought that I only have about 12 minutes left. But I knew I had more than that though. Who’s idea is it to make the last mile of a 10K up hill? And especially such a steep hill? My mile 6 time was 14:26, eeek!
I struggled up the hill that wasn’t continuous, so I was able to run a few strides here and there. When I finally got to the top, about .4 from the finish, I was able to start running again. In fact, I was back to my previous pace. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. But I’m also happy with my race. I’ve avoided 10Ks since I started racing again, partly for my fear of finishing last. Considering we ran into the wind, my shot blocks didn’t sit well, and there was such a hill at the end, I’m satisfied!
My official time is 1:17:59, good enough for overall 12:34 pace, which is awesome. My training pace is anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute slower. I’d predicted about 1:15. If I could have kept it up a little better, I would have blown that away. But there’s always next time. What really matters is I finally ran my 10K, which is also my final long run before CIM. Next weekend is the ultimate goal of my comeback to running over the last summer and fall.
As an aside, I’m delighted my shirt is red. I ran two other races this fall and both shirts were blue. I totally expected this shirt to be blue too!