Mid-Winter Classic 10 Miler – Recap

As the buffalo chicken dip warms in the crockpot and I wait for the Super Bowl, I decided to write a race recap as it was fresh in my mind!

So first lets go back to this week. Last weekend I slipped walking my dog and caught myself with my knee. The same knee that I just got rid of my runners knee on. I spent most of this week discouraged as I tried to run and had strange pain I couldn’t pinpoint. I tried to get in to my PT but he is only in Portsmouth one day a week now 😦 (so sad!!). So I decided to try a sports massage on Saturday before the race. GAME CHANGER!

Saturday, I went to Knead to Run Massage in Exeter, NH. I told Sara what was bothering me and she was able to pinpoint the tightness. She worked on it, but not too much because she knew my race was today. I was very impressed with her knowledge of runners and where I feel pain just based on my ankle break in high school and my recent knee pain. I will be returning! Already booked my next appointment. It was a splurge for me, but I realized after going that it will be a necessary addition to my training.

Anyway, I was contemplating not racing this weekend up until my massage. Then afterwards I felt great. I slept amazing and I decided I would give it a shot, worst case scenario I would just run easy and go for miles.

I left my house around 7:30 because I wanted to have time to add a few miles in before. I got to Cape Elizabeth High School at 8:30. When I stepped out of the car I noticed the wind and started having my doubts, it was also cold! I grabbed my number and went out for three easy miles. Even in the warmup miles I was unsure what I would go for today, the miles didn’t feel easy and I was running around 9 minute pace. 2 minutes off what I was aiming for as a pace the first half of the race AND I knew the course would be hilly. I headed back to the gym went to the bathroom again and then did some rolling and headed to the start.

I always tell myself the faster you run the sooner its over before I start. Before I knew it we were off. I should add this race only has about 1,000 runners but less showed up today probably because of the weather and Super Bowl plans! In the first mile I aimed to settle into a pace. The first mile is one of the easiest on this course because it’s downhill. So it was a little fast at 6:48, but then I pulled myself back and settled into a pace around 7. There were a lot of hills in the next two miles so I aimed to stay comfortable and not really focus on pace. Something I do in most races is I find someone around my pace in the beginning miles and settle in behind them so that they can do the work and I can just relax and stay calm and run behind them. I did this in this race too. For the first 5 miles I stayed behind a girl around 7 minute pace and just made myself stay with her no matter what.

When I crossed the mat at mile 5 at 34:46 (6:58 pace) I knew I could stay where I was or start pushing it. My goal for today was sub 1:10 because I have been going for that for a while. I don’t run many races but it has been my 10 miler goal since 2017. I decided it was go time. If I couldn’t hold on to it, that’s okay but I was going to try. I set my sights on another person and spend the next two miles chasing them (6:50, 6:55). Still not as fast as I hoped but I decided to keep pushing but not go all out until the last two miles. Mile 7 was a 6:51. It was go time, only 2 miles left. I can do it. I can do it. I repeated it over and over. It started to feel uncomfortable. I no longer felt calm and in control, but that’s because I was pushing myself and that is what racing is for!

Around mile 7 I was 6th girl. Now I was chasing the 4th place girl, I was determined to catch her. Mile 8, 6:39 pace, got into 4th place. No other females in sight so I knew I probably wouldn’t catch them but set my sights on the next people in view and went after them. I never did catch them but I am super proud of my last mile being a 6:32!

Came in at 1:08:30 4th female and 1st in my age group and a huge PR! I mean I say huge but a 2 minute PR on a windy cold day, I will take it. I did a 2.5 mile cool down for 15.5 miles total for the day.

Also, NO KNEE pain!!! Knead to run massage gets credit for that one 🙂

Now time for the super bowl. I have all the snacks and beer!


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