The Mid Winter Classic 10 Miler kind of sneaked up on me. I registered for it back in November after my running buddy suggested it. It sounded like fun since I never raced a 10 miler before. It turns out my friend wasn’t able to run the race so I was going solo not only on the run but for the trip North to Cape Elizabeth. I gave Ron and the kids a free pass on this one.
My plan was to leave at 8 for the 9:45 a.m. race. That would give me plenty of time to get there, pick up my bib, use the bathroom and warm up a bit. Amy was going to be racing too so we were going to meet up. In theory, it was a good plan. However, when the directions that you got from the race website are completely wrong and you get lost 3 times, everything doesn’t go as planned.
Thankfully, I had a general idea of where I was going and happened to stumble upon the right way. I pulled into the parking lot with less than 10 minutes to spare before go time. Definitely not my ideal way to start a race!
As I was jogging up to the starting line, someone grabbed me – Amy! It’s always so nice to see a familiar face!
Amy and I planned to stick together for a bit. I wasn’t sure how my knee was going to hold up. We were both freezing waiting for the
gun cannon to go off (yes they started the race with a cannon!). The temps were in the mid 20s with a few flurries and windy. Extra motivation to run fast!
I had no idea what the race course was like. I know the description said “rolling hills” i.e. lots of hills. Someone had told Amy that the first 3 miles were the worst. The good news is at least we’d warm up quick. The bad news? That person LIED!
In the first 1.7 miles I think we climbed 2 hills. At this point Amy told me to keep going. I was feeling really good despite the hills. I was letting gravity and momentum do it’s job on the downhill. I don’t remember much from miles 3-8. I zoned out. I just ran, looked at other runners shoes, clothing, form. Whatever it took to not think about the next hill.
By mile 8 the wind was hitting us right in the face. It was cold and quite irritating. I was mostly alone so there was no one to tuck behind to block the wind. I knew that there was a mega hill coming up at mile 9. As I started to climb, I could feel myself slow down a lot. The wind was horrible! Thankfully, at that moment, a tall guy came up beside me. I discretely tucked myself behind him. Instantly my load felt 10x lighter. Mr. Tall Guy was working hard pulling me up the hill. He was grunting and pushing but cruising at a good pace. We climbed for at least 3/4 mile. At the top, I got besides him and thanked him for pulling me up the hill. He actually thanked me for giving him the extra push. He could hear my foot falls behind him and was motivated to keep moving!
After that killer hill, I felt lighter. I picked up the pace for the last 1/4 mile and crossed the finish line at 1:23.
No frosty eyelashes this week!
This was my first 10 miler race so I didn’t have any expectations. I liked the distance. I disliked the hills. I don’t think I’ve ever run that many hills in one day. One of my concerns going into the race was if I’d feel good. After taking 2 weeks off entirely from running and the longest distance run last week was 6.5 miles, I’d say my body responded well. This gave me another boost in confidence that my body can handle a marathon if treated the right way.