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Monday, August 25, 2014

Annapolis Ten Mile Run 2014

I was so very nervous about this race. Sure, I've run it 6 times in the past, but this race is notoriously difficult - hot, humid, hilly and an expectation of a fast time. In previous years, the rules clearly stated that there was a 12 minute per mile pace expected by mile 8 or else you'd be swept. However, the other day I was going back over the website, and I noticed that this year the expected per mile pace is 15 minutes per mile. I don't know when they changed it - it could have been several years ago for all I know, but I think that's a good change. After all, they never were actually sweeping people anyway.

This is the third race that I've run since having a baby, and the longest. I was trained for it, but I'm so much slower than I was when I last ran it in 2012. I tried to set a modest goal, but I didn't want to make this race the worst A-10 I've ever done, either. So, I looked at my last time, which was 2012, when I ran a 2:03, and my best time, which was 2010 - 2:00. And, I looked at my worst time - 2:12, 2007. I decided to set a goal for 2:10, a 13-minute per mile pace (which would match the pace that I kept for the 10K that I ran in April). My "true" goal, though, was to beat my 2007 time and make this race "not my worst."

Todd and I arrived in Annapolis in the afternoon on Saturday. We had planned to quickly pick up our packets and then walk with Owen around the city dock, but rain spoiled those plans. We are Ingress players, and there were tons of playing opportunities downtown, so we did drive around for a bit playing the game. It was not as fun as it would have been on foot with the stroller on a non-rainy day. Owen was fussy, so we went ahead over to the stadium and got our packets.

They gave us an orange hat with our race numbers. I don't get it - why an orange hat? It doesn't match anything else that we've ever gotten for this race. Maybe it matches some overall apparel set that the Annapolis Striders have going on? Who knows. Anyway, I also purchased a belt to hold my phone because I'd forgotten mine at home.

After packet pickup, we headed to my mom's house so she could enjoy some time with Owen. My mom and her SO were going to watch Owen during the race and Todd and I were VERY VERY nervous about this. So, we wanted to give Owen plenty of time to warm up to her. Then, the five of us headed out to Bertucci's for our traditional pre-A10 pizza.

In the morning, we got up early, but remained happy that we don't have to get up as early as people do who don't stay in Annapolis. We left Owen with my mom and headed down to the race. *TMI Alert* Since having Owen, I have had more of a need to go to the bathroom during runs. I was nervous about this, so I felt like I needed to wait in line for a potty and go before the race. This took up ALL of the time that we had before the race started, and the national anthem was playing while I was in the potty. But, I was glad I did and we were properly positioned in the back of the pack when I was done.

Looking towards the starting line from the back of the pack

Todd was running with me because his training has been spotty all summer. I was glad for this, though, it's always nice to have company. In years past, we've always known lots of people to be running this race also, but this year we had exactly zero Fleet Feet Baltimore people coming down with us, so we had no one to meet and no one to run with.

We started farther back than I've ever started and I LOVED it. I was able to easily take walk breaks before mile 1 was even through. We were doing 1:1s and things were going well. The weather was nice too - sunny and about 66 degrees at the start. That's a good starting temp. It was humid, though, and I could feel it.

Things went about as you would expect - I was beating my goal pace of 13 minutes and feeling great about it, but apprehensive as I knew I'd start to fade once I hit the big hills after going through downtown Annapolis. We made it over the bridge and I was slowly feeling a migraine coming on. Bleh. The race had running medics, so I started keeping my eye out for someone wearing a medical vest. We finally passed her at the out & back around mile 7, and Todd stopped her and asked her for some Tylenol. Todd stopped her because when the time came I was like "oh, never mind. It's no big deal," but Todd insisted. The medic gave me some tylenol and made a note on my bib. The headache was gone before we even hit mile 8.

I faded some in the second half of the race, but in general things were good. Todd was hamming it up with the other runners, at one point grabbing someone's sign and cheering me on with it as I passed him. We crossed the finish line pretty strong, and I ended up making my goal exactly - 2:10:18.

The bad part? They'd run out of XL jackets at the finish. Come on, race directors. I HATE THIS. The rule should be - take the size you registered for, period. At the end, after all of the runners had finished, if there is some left, THEN you can trade. Not, "oh, I didn't notice that the size chart was so small and this isn't going to fit me can I take an XL that is reserved for someone slower than me?" Screw people that do that.

I ended up with a Men's L, which I am not happy about. Boo Annapolis Striders.

All in all, a good race. I was dreading it since it's my first foray into long distance in 2 years, but I feel like I'm truly "back." Now, all eyes are on my half marathon in October...

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Deddy Hidayat said...
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*jeanne* said...

LOL - "the National Anthem was playing" while you were in the port-o-pot! That's funny for me because I have been singing the National Anthem at this race since 2007. :-)

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