An extremely popular local event is almost here. The Tarheel 10 Miler, and 4 Mile Run are this weekend in Chapel Hill, NC. An event I have never run before, almost every runner I know has run this event at least once. This is my year. I am a bit stressed about getting there, parking, etc., as Chapel Hill is about an hours drive, and with numerous road closures will be a real adventure just getting to the starting line. I feel a night of little sleep coming up.
Spring is a popular time for racing, and this area is loaded up with local events. Running for our Heroes 5k is also taking place the same day in Raleigh. We have plenty of runners to make each race successful here don’t we? The Tarheel event just sold out at 6,000 runners. This is a BIG local race. I am looking forward to it.
I have never run a ten mile race, so no matter how I finish this will be a PR for me. This race will also be my first non-marathon distance race this year. Actually my last six races have all been marathons. I have to go back to October of last year, when I ran my last Half, to find a race when I spent less than three hours on a race course. It will be interesting to see what kind of effort I will be able to give considering I won’t be running 26.2. My body is used to going out at a certain speed, knowing I am in it for the distance. This weekend, I have to switch gears. I can go out faster if I want to, or I can save it for the finish. The possibilities are endless really. It will just be interesting to see how my body and mind react to a change in distance. This is a local artists rendering of the race course. The finish is most challenging, uphill on Laurel Hill.
This race will be my one and only “long run” before the All American Marathon on May 4th. Having just run Rock ‘n’ Roll on the 13th, I have had to recover, and build slowly. That was only 10 days ago, so I am feeling pretty good considering. The Tarheel Ten Miler will be fun. I am not going to go all out, or try to set any speed records for myself. I just want to enjoy another local event, and continue to let my hamstrings recover.
Wake up call came early today! 3:45 am. The second race in the new Raleigh Triple Crown Series was taking place at 7am this morning. Those who run three half marathons in the Spring in and around Raleigh are treated to a special medal to commemorate supporting local races at 39.3 miles. I ran the RunRaleigh Half on 4/14, the Invitational today, and am signed up to run the Midtown Race Series Lookout Capital Half on 6/1.
Today’s race was tough! Hills, trails, and 100% humidity. I was drenched by mile 2. It was very draining right from the get go. There are several challenging hills all along this course, which is mostly run in a very beautiful State Park close to home. Umstead State Park is a great place to run, and train. Unfortunately I have never run there, so today’s race course was a complete unknown for me. I did look into an elevation chart, but it was completely useless. It shouldn’t be a problem for me anyway, right? I mean, I just ran the Blue Ridge Marathon a month ago, so this would be mole hills compared to that. Wrong! The weather today was tough! Climbing those hills while sweating profusely was ridiculous. I slowed down a bit at mile 4, and then again at mile 9. I was aware, and tried to make up time on some of the downhills. The important thing for me today was to stay hydrated, and I stopped at every hydration station except the last one. Having had a heat stroke during a 10k race a few years ago, I am ultra sensitive to my hydration during longer runs. This was not the day to skip stations, it was a day to replace my liquids that I was losing every second. I probably lost two minutes or more, but that was ok.
About 10 miles into the race the pace runner for the 1:45 pace group passed me. What? I don’t think so. It took me two miles to catch up, but I did, having a very good finishing three miles. I sort of had a second wind, knowing that I was about to be done. I talked with the pacer and we ran side by side about a half mile before I passed her. My strong finish felt good. I crossed the line in 1:45:54 gun time. Chip time has still not been posted. I came in 7th in my Age Group. Overall results have not been posted yet either. Will update this post when the final results are available. Overall I am pleased with my run today. Not a PR by any stretch, but happy considering the course and conditions. Next time I run this event, I will order up cooler weather and no humidity, and also a slight breeze that can penetrate the canopy of trees in the park. I would have done better today if the conditions were more favorable.
Next race is Lookout Capital Half on 6/1, and already looking forward to it.