The 20-mile run has been a part of Stoughton’s Syttende Mai festival (celebration of the town’s Norwegian heritage) for a long time. This year was only the second year the 10-mile run has added to the festivities. There’s also a 17-mile walk. I don’t know why so many would walk 17 miles, but there were plenty of walkers! But on to the race…
Anyway, I didn’t find out about the race until after the registration fee had gone up, but signed up right away because it fit perfectly into my training schedule. To run a 10-miler in a race setting was great practice for the big day. The Saturday morning seemed nice enough. I had my oatmeal for breakfast, got dressed and we headed out. It was 45 degrees, which would have been perfect except for the wind. Doug dropped me off at the start and I decided I needed to keep my jacket, which I was glad to have, but became a bit problematic later. Doug and Allie went home to get ready for the day, as we were headed two hours north to my cousin’s wedding after the race.
I ran a mile to warmup before the race so I’d make a total of 11 miles. It was good, as warmups go. I actually managed to keep myself nice and slow and I got done about 4 minutes before the start of the race. The first mile was a little difficult, but I settled in and sped up a bit in mile 2. There were a good number of participants in the three races and I was never by myself on the course, even though I was at the back of the 10-mile pack from the start. I liked this one because even if I had finished last, I didn’t know it. The route was the second 10 miles of the 20-mile run, on hilly country roads. It was quiet and peaceful.
This race was ideally a “training run,” so ideally I wouldn’t “race” it per se, but I don’t pace myself very well yet. I just go with what feels natural. On Saturday, my natural pace was under 12 minutes a mile for every mile except 1. So with the weather, the layers I was wearing, the hills and my speed, the race as a whole was difficult, but pretty good. I could tell I wasn’t going to feel as good as my last 10-miler. I didn’t stop until the water station at mile 5 though. I ate my fruit snacks, drank my water, and texted Doug to let him know where I was. I was keeping a good pace and thought I might finish in under 2 hours.
It got harder after this and I would stop twice more at water stops, once around 6.5 and the other around 8. After the water stop at 6.5, we crossed onto a county highway that was really slanted on the side where we were running. It also got really windy here and blew my hat off my head. It was tough but I kept going. From this highway we entered Stoughton with 2 miles to go. I stopped at the 8-mile water stop and had my second fruit snack and made myself go even though I didn’t feel like I could. I was going to stop again with about 3/4 of a mile to go so I could finish strong. But even though it got so hard, I was more motivated to keep moving as I got further in town. Stoughton’s downtown is typical small town Main Street and there were people lining the street cheering, even for the back of the pack 10-milers. I slapped a few kids hands and kept plodding along on the longest mile ever. And it was funny to look back at my time because I was so tired and that mile seemed SO long, but that was actually one of my faster miles.
So I didn’t stop and I crossed the finish in under 2 hours after all! My official chip time was 1:59:05. Total for my 11 was about 2:12, which is in line with my expected pace for the half, predicting 2:36. Its going to be so hard. This weekend I’d like to run 12 or even 13, to get over the 2-hour hump. But if I don’t feel like it, I’ll skip the long run and I know I’ll be fine for the half.
The after effects of the race weren’t terrible. My quads are still yelling at me, though I was still able to run 3 miles and do bodypump on Sunday. Wearing my jacket ended up being a good thing when the wind got going again toward the end, but the extra sweat it created lead to some chafing in the sports bra area and, strangely, around my waistline of the pants I was wearing. I also got some chafing around my ankle from the timing chip thats still quite bothersome. I’ll be thinking a lot about what to wear for the half to avoid that sting!