Another race in the books. Another race in my race streak knocked off. This was race number three of four in my four consecutive racing weeks and it was a nice break from triathlon. Yes, I really just said that.
After Delta Lake, and having what felt to me to be the worst race I’ve ever suffered through, I was happy to just putter through a regular old road race this past weekend. And with two fall half marathons creeping into my sights, I need to start really shifting my focus to be more running centric.
Hubs and I ran the Cubby Chase 5k last year and this year I opted to run the 10k while he stuck with the 5k. I love this race because it’s only $20 regardless of distance and there’s no price increases. That includes medals, tech wick shirts, and a wonderful and overflowing smorgasbord of food at the finish line. Also, it’s hosted by our local hospital benefiting the Autism Center at the Ontario ARC and the Geneva General Child Care center. I love a race where the money goes to a good, and in the case very local, cause. Plus, we can see the hospital from our back deck; it’s less than a five minute walk for us from our house. Hello convenience!
The 5k loop is actually the direct loop around our neighborhood that hubby and I both run regularly, just in reverse order. The 10k is most of that loop before it branches off into town and loops through the college before heading back past the historic row houses on Main Street.
The race was tough. Considering I’ve run the entire 10k loop basically a gazillion times before, I struggled some. The first mile is a doozey just because running up the North Street hill is tough. After climbing up North Street you get the nice descent down Castle and where the first aid station cropped up manned by the Geneva High School football team. I gladly grabbed a water cup and walked a few seconds to slurp it down.
At the bottom of Castle the 10k hangs right onto Pulteny Street and about halfway down was about when I started to feel the humidity squeeze me. We’ve had so few hot and humid days I have not acclimated to it this summer, so when the sun beat down and the humidity level jacked up, I was in for a rough go at things. The course veered off Pulteny and up to the Row House district. Here I grabbed another water cup and walked for a minute.
At this point my heart rate was starting to climb up to beyond my comfort level. I had some tingling in my feet and I’m thinking that was part of the problem. As we swung back down onto Pulteny after bypassing the part that closed for campus construction, I took another short walk break, but this time there was no aid station to justify it. My heart rate was over 180 and I needed to give my feet a few kicks to get blood down into them. I did manage to run through the whole art park and only walked to grab another water cup and walk up the hill leading back out onto Main Street.
Main Street is a tricky devil too because no matter which direction you run it, it’s basically a false flat before cresting at the overpass halfway between downtown and the art park. So I had to slog up this horrid false flat, huffing and puffing and struggling to keep my heart rate under 180, which had turned into an impossible task. My pace was over 10 minute miles, which is soul crushing to me, and even going that slowly I just could not get my heart rate down. It was awful.
Once I passed the Mile 5 sign I said eff it to my heart rate and started to pick my pace back up. I refused to end this race slogging along in pain. And give my heart the big middle finger I did. I swung back around through the hospital parking lot and crossed the finish line with a max heart rate of 197. I’m pretty surprised I didn’t vomit.
Official race time, 1:04:33. My worst 10k time ever with the exception of Delta Lake.
Typical middle of the pack performance on my part. That crappy pace is based on 6.2 miles, of which this race was not. The course ran long and my Garmin clocked me a very different pace because of that.
I’m not terribly bent out of shape over my lack luster performance. The humidity and fair weather we’ve experienced all summer are beyond my control and I did all I could to keep myself in check during the race. There was just nothing short of walking that was going to spare my body through this one, so the results of my race are what they are.
I’m glad I did stick with the 10k as I had toyed with the idea of bumping down the 5k. As much as I hate my splits and my time and pace, I’m not disappointed since the humidity basically destroyed me and I just can’t control that. All said and done, I do love this race and I will keep running it every year.
Next race on the docket is my final of four straight races in a row; Iron Girl Syracuse. This is my benchmark race, so wish me luck that I see some improvements.