I gave a bit of a preview of the race in yesterday’s training recap post, but as promised, here is the full recap. Warning: it’s a long one, so if you just want the quick and dirty, scroll all the way down.
I initially signed up for the race at the encouragement of my friend, C, who lured me in with the promise of a Timex watch as the finisher’s premium. Since I’m a sucker for cool stuff, I was in! Then, after I registered I noticed this blurb on the home page of the race…
Notice: This is not a race you are likely to set a personal record. It is a tough race with a hilly course run in the heat and humidity of a Chesapeake August. Temperatures can be 80 degrees at the start, with high humidity. Please be sure you are properly trained.
Um…this was NOT reassuring to say the least, so I just decided I’d treat the race as a training run. Nothing more and nothing less. But as my marathon training went along, I decided I wanted to set a PR. Luckily for me, my Cherry Blossom 10 Miler time left ample room for PR setting (1:51:02). Then my ankles started killing me and I went back to focusing on just finishing the dang race. I rested my ankles, set my alarm for 0 dark 30 and went to bed the night before the race hoping and praying it’d all work out.
Once we got to the Navy Stadium (the start of the race), I started to feel pretty excited. The runners seemed friendly and excited and by how organized the start was (folks started crossing the start line RIGHT at 7am), I was confident that the race would be managed well. And it was. Despite the hills, I MIGHT think about doing this race again just because the execution was so fantastic. And it was great hill training for my marathon, which is a bit hilly as well. I actually think Richmond will be a bit easier (not easier overall, because DUH it’s a marathon, but the hills might be more manageable) because the hills are rolling hills (mostly) where the A10 was NOT.
Anyway, I could definitely tell the difference in how I attacked the hills in Sunday’s race compared to my June 10k in Annapolis when the hills attacked me.
On to the actual recap! My Nike app gives me a little update every two miles so that’s how I’ll structure this portion of the recap. Here’s what I was thinking every couple of miles…
Miles 1 & 2: Ah, nice flat start. I feel like we are going too fast. Oh, yeah that was just 2 pretty fast miles. I guess my ankles are okay?
Miles 3 & 4: OOh, it’s pretty. Oh. Dang. I know we’re getting close to the huge bridge. Maybe if I take some fuel it will help? This bridge is awful. Why did I sign up for this race?
Miles 5 & 6: Over the bridge – yay! Running through shaded neighborhoods is awesome. I love how friendly the folks of Annapolis are. Oh, wow someone is offering beer. That sounds like the LAST thing I want right now. Gross. But, it’s a nice offer. Kids offering high fives! Yes! I love high fives!
Miles 7 & 8: More hills. I.HATE.HILLS. Right now I hate my life. Why did I sign up for this race? More fuel! Meh, it probably won’t help. Oh, look I’m passing people on the hills. I love hills. Well, not really. But I love passing people on them Oops, probably shouldn’t admit that! I love running!
Miles 9 & 10: Dang it. I forgot we have to run back over that awful bridge. Ugh. Can I walk? No, because if I walk I won’t run anymore. Maybe it won’t be as bad as I remember? Oh…it’s worse. Sigh. OMG. There is a tiny rolling hill at mile 9.5 – WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO ME? Finish line? Finish line! Yay!!! I love running! And I PR’ed? Yes! Oooh Popsicles!
There were 7 water stations on the course and the city of Annapolis was super welcoming. I have to say that running an extremely well managed race is a fantastic thing. This was a tough course, but there were beautiful views and I feel really good that I pushed myself during the 1:46 it took me to finish. I’m calling this a success!
What was the last great race you ran? What made it so awesome?