Hermes 10 Miler Race Recap

FYI I started this post 3 weeks ago, so some of it is less relevant now than it would have been. But I have a small human that needs me a lot and that doesn’t leave a heck of a lot of time for me. And when I do get me time, other things win out over blogging 99.9% of the time. ANYWAY, ICYMI (you don’t want to know how long it took me to figure out what that stood for…)

JESSE THOMAS WON THE WILDFLOWER TRI LAST WEEKEND, a few weeks ago making it the FOURTH year in a row he’s won, despite the fact that he had a pretty very rough year between last year’s win and this year’s win. You can read Jesse’s recap of the day HERE and his wife’s (superstar sisterhero Lauren Fleshman) awesome post HERE. And by winning he’s finished a close second (in my books) to Meb in the “most inspirational performance of the year” category. It’s amazing what can happen when you just put your head down and run your own race sometimes – a thought that is the perfect segway into the point of my much more egotistical race recap…

Two  three? four? weeks ago I ran the Cleveland 10 miler, and after roughly 3 1/2 months of slowly returning to running {after a 10 month pregnancy/new baby hiatus}, I ran a personal best. Now, My 10-mile PR was not anything I was overly proud of, it was a solid 10 seconds slower per mile than my half marathon PR. But I’ve now knocked that gap down to 4 seconds/mile, and I did it having only run 15 miles/week for a month. So the circumstances under which I ran a PR make me very excited about where I’m at fitness-wise. Actually, there was a lot about this race that made me feel pretty positive about the status of my running.

There I am, in the way back, in the neon yellow top. Thanks to Hermes Cleveland Facebook page for the pic!

There I am, in the way back, in the neon yellow top. Thanks to Hermes Cleveland Facebook page for the pic!

I certainly didn’t go into this race trying to PR. In fact, my only goal was running a negative split (run the second 5 miles faster than the first 5). But by mile 2 I knew I was either going to PR and negative split or absolutely tank it (though my gut was saying PR). Since I have a tendency to get winded with race recaps and since the race was 2 weeks forever ago, here are some conveniently bullet-pointed tidbits that I’m taking away from the day:

  • The stats- final time: 1:21:30, 1st 5 miles: 41:09, 2nd 5 miles: 40:20, 24th AG, 298th overall.
  • The weather was perrrrrrfect, with exception of some hella crazy headwind during the last mile {joy}. This is a modern miracle in Cleveland in late April, where you can either have 80 degrees or snowing, so I enjoyed every 45-50 degree second of it.
  • I made a VERY smart move of setting my Garmin data display to only show distance and elapsed time. This way I could run blissfully unaware of pace but still have mile splits afterward (and during, since I did auto-split every 1.0 mile). Next time I will turn off the auto-split and manually hit the lap button every mile marker because the two were a little off.
  • I am 100% positive that I run better without seeing “current lap pace” on my watch. I switched to see it once during mile 9 and I didn’t like the way my brain reacted to the slower-than-I-wanted-to-see pace. Luckily I kept the old noggin in check and put my head down and ran. (Also luckily it was the second to last mile.)
  • The course changed from the last time I ran this race (in 2011). I didn’t know the course had changed until I started running the “changed” portion from miles 7-9. Unfortunately this changed part was a lot hillier and closer to the lake (aka windy) than the course I remember. At least it kept things interesting! I really have to try and improve my race-course-prep methods: so far this year I’m 2 for 2 in races that I’ve been surprised by the course.
  • Mentally, I was on point for this race, which was a big change from my first race this year. There were a couple times when doubt crept into my brain as I ticked off mile after mile at a faster pace than I’ve run ANY of my runs post-baby. Literally: since having baby I’ve run exactly 2 miles faster than the 8:09/mile average pace I held for the race. I’m still not exactly sure how that’s possible. Fortunately I was able to quickly squash any doubts and send them on their little way, surrounding myself with positive talk. The only mile this started to falter was mile 8. Two miles seemed like SUCH A LONG WAY TO GO and I was starting to reach my limits physically. Luckily hubster had perfectly positioned himself right past the 8 mile marker and he was such an encouragement.
  • Just because you run in the same shoes for every run does not mean you won’t get a righteous blister on race day. I’m not sure if it was because my sock was too low or WHAT, but around mile 3 I felt the dreaded rub on the old twice-repaired achilles. This has happened before, with the Karhus, and I can’t say I didn’t feel it coming with the Hokas (the kailua tarmac model that I have has a very high/weird heel cup). But since I hadn’t had any problems yet I thought I would be out of the woods blister-wise. I had pain from mile 3-mile 5 ish and then the pain stopped and I knew it was bleeding. Sure enough, blood running all down the back of my shoe when I finished the race. *sad face* and also *most painful shower ever*.

    No picture of the bloody carnage on the back of my shoe because I took that Shizz off as soon as I crossed the finish line. Walking around in socks = up to date tetanus shot FTW..

    No picture of the bloody carnage on the back of my shoe because I took that Shizz off as soon as I crossed the finish line. Walking around in socks = up to date tetanus shot FTW..

Running since the race has kind of been a little hit-and-miss. I had to take a solid 6 days off because of the blister (seriously, I could barely wear shoes with a back on them). Then I had a great week of running (4 days, 18 mies), followed by one day of running last week due to some crazy weather (90 degree day, flooding) and travel. So hopefully this week I will be able to get back in a bit of a groove. Thankfully after 3 weeks of crazy travel we aren’t planning on leaving town for the next month.

You can't take this sweet little feisty 15 lb ball of fun out on a run when it's 90 degrees...or when it's thunder storming...or when your smooth paths are flooded. But she's still freaking amazing.

You can’t take this sweet little feisty 15 lb ball of fun out on a run when it’s 90 degrees…or when it’s thunder storming…or when your smooth paths are flooded. But she’s still freaking amazing.


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