This race was put on in Portsmouth, VA by one of our local run clubs, the Tidewater Striders. This year was their 40th year putting on the race, but a new course route due to construction. I haven’t run this race before, but apparently it was more “turny” than previous years. I didn’t really seem to notice though. There were a lot of markers and volunteers directing runners. The course had some nice views, not that I was able to appreciate them fully. I was mainly focused on not passing out or vomiting on the runner next to me.
I must say that I physically felt strong going into the race. I felt recovered from the 60k and have been doing a workout or two a week for the past few weeks. It wasn’t horrendously hot, but it was pretty humid on race morning. I warmed up with a mile and some dynamic and static stretches. I took a Gu and some Nuun electrolyte drink about 15 minutes prior to the start.
The gun went off and I kept having to pace check with my watch. I’m more of a start out slow finish fast type of runner, but there have been a few races where I felt I’ve had more gas in the tank at the finish and regret not going out faster. Both the first two miles beeped off at 6:15. Consistent. About halfway through the third mile, I started to feel the pace. Only 3.5 miles left I thought to myself. Kind of early in a 10k to be thinking that. The third mile was a 6:25.
The fourth and fifth miles were a struggle. I would be lying if I told you the thought of dropping out hadn’t crossed my mind once or twice. I tried to focus on my form and keeping my breathing even. I just told myself to make it to the last mile. I knew I could push myself in from there. Miles four and five were 6:37, 6:42. I was able to push a little on the last mile with 6:25 and didn’t think I could have been happier to see the finish line. I managed a female win, which I was excited about even though I didn’t PR. My overall time was 40:28, about a minute slower than my best time. I am overall pleased with that time and my overall effort. I was aiming for about two minutes faster, but it is only the beginning of my new training block.
I’m not sure what my next race is. Maybe the Fourth of July 5k at the Mount Trashmore YMCA in Virginia Beach, which is also put on by the Tidewater Striders. I’m not a huge fan of summer races because I don’t like racing in the heat and humidity, but there is a kids dash and that would just be too fun to pass up. Also, the Tidewater Striders races are always affordable and even more discounted if you are a member (which I am). They also put on a Summer Series, which consist of four (three are free for members) family friendly races held at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in July. We did a couple last summer and the kids and I had an absolute blast. Not to mention NBG is always a good time!
That’s all for now! Stay hydrated out there! Also, thank you Clif for the race photos!