The 10-Mile Smackdown: “Where Were You Today?”

Last Sunday I ran a race. 10 miles, very hilly. Road. The last time I ran 10 miles was in mid-December, and that was a mellow training run. I haven’t been doing much of any kind of distance lately, and I haven’t been running much at all (the past few weeks/months have been…ugly). I decided to view this as a training run, not a race.

Naturally my competitive self used a pace predictor to see what I could do, based on a race I ran a few months ago, had I trained for this one: 1:16 (a 7:42 pace). I knew that was highly improbable, given my current sorry training level and current extra weight (due to a bad case of “not running much,” etc.) but as I came in under 1:20, I’d be happy.

In the first mile, I gave up the “keep it mellow” idea and decided to run it as hard as I possibly could. It was a USATF race, and I wanted to help my running club make a good showing (hahahaha….more on this later). Oh, the hills! Oh, the ice! Seriously, you had to slow down hard around the turns, and the dirt road section was a total mince-fest just to stay upright at times.

I'm the beefy, bare-limbed one with the face of pain. / Photo Credit: Joe O'Leary

I’m the beefy, bare-limbed one with the face of pain. / Photo Credit: Joe O’Leary

I ran as hard as I could for 10 miles and crossed the finish line at 1:19 (a 7:54 pace, not my best but not terrible for my current state). My calves immediately seized up (hills!!). After collapsing over a sawhorse trying not to die (same as I did after my Mill Cities Relay leg, which I would totally link to, except apparently I did not post about it, but in that race, just two months ago, I ran 4.75 miles at a sub-7 pace as part of the winning women’s masters team), I sort of cowboy’d my way to the water station and gulped away. I say “cowboy’d” because I imagine that’s how a cowboy would walk after a nonstop three-day ride.

After I was able to walk again, and put on some layers, and eat (oh, such good post-race soup!), I said goodbye to a few members of my running club and caught my ride home.

And then later that afternoon I received an email from a pal in the running club, a speedy-fast woman I hadn’t seen at the race:

What happened today!  We missed you!  We needed you!  SRR MASTER’s women came in 3rd team but L——— had to score up from the Seniors category.  Hope everything is OK…

*Ahem.* That’s right. I was so slow she did not realize I’d been at the race! That’s not humiliating at all, nope. I had to email her back to let her know that I’d been four minutes too slow for my time to count for the Master’s team. Just under four minutes, actually. [L——-, by the way, totally kicks ass and I knew before the race not to even try to keep up with her.]

And just after that, because my humiliation was not yet complete, my husband asked me to help him with something in the basement, and — oh yes, I cannot make this up — I could not get up the stairs afterward (remember: hills). Husband and children watched in amusement as I clawed my way back up to the kitchen, whimpering.

Tuesday’s yoga class helped a lot, but still, I will be taking it easy for awhile until my quad and my calf feel better. Oh, and I obviously have a lot of work to do to get back in shape and get my distance and speed back up (because, you know, I was so slow she did not notice I was there, which I think is hilarious).

Oh, in other exciting news, I was just selected to be a Fitfluential Ambassador! More on that soon.


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