Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Race Report: The Reston 10-Miler

Remember all my PANIC TRAINING? Per usual, it turns out that Past Stimey is awesome and totally knew what she was doing. I ran all ten miles of the Reston 10-miler (minus 0.1-0.2 mile stretches at each of three water stations that I walked) and I did it in (just barely) under two hours and ten minutes, which is exactly what I'd hoped to do.

12883329444_5c74e37077_b-copyDon't I look all energetic and perky in that photo to the left? I should, because that was taken probably less than a quarter mile into the race.

Side note: It's funny that I call them "races," considering that they are much more like "running events," considering I ain't racing nobody.

Except for myself, of course. I race that bitch hard.

So anywho, I was sidelined in the last week before the race by a particularly virulent cold. It arrived on Tuesday and I spent the next five days trying to sit perfectly still and willing myself to get better.

I was really worried, because under the best of situations, I was concerned that I wasn't going to finish under the two-hour, fifteen-minute course limit. Inability to breathe or sneezing fits weren't going to help me finish with the slim cushion I had.

Fortunately, I felt a LOT better by race day and even though I wasn't at 100%, I probably ran at the same pace I would have if I hadn't been sick. See, I wasn't aiming for fast. I was aiming to finish.

(And I did. Woo!)

You know how some people run marathons and ultras and go for 15-mile runs like it ain't no thang? Those people be hard core. I have a secret to tell you: Ten miles is really far to run. When I caught myself thinking, "Well, no matter what, worst case scenario, in another hour and a half, this will all be over," it came home to me that ten miles is long.

I broke my run into little milestones, with the goal being to not think past the next one.

Said milestones:

3 miles: I made it to the first water station! Break time!

3.1 miles: I ran a 5k!

3.33 miles: I'm a third of the way done!

4 miles: Almost halfway there!

5 miles: Really halfway there!

5.5 miles: Only a half mile until the next water station. A half mile is nothing.

6 miles: Water station!

6.2 miles: I just ran a 10k!

6.9 miles: Only a 5k to run. I can run a 5k any day.

7.2 miles: I want to walk. I really want to walk. I am not going to walk.

7.5 miles: This (aka, Desperation Sets In):

1. The washcloth at my waist was for nose blowing. I used it a lot.
2. For anyone who thinks they can’t run, look at this photo and know that if *I* can run 10-miles, you can run too.
3. Even though both of my feet are touching the ground here, I assure you that I was actually running. Veeeeery slowly, but I was. 4. My face looks like it is actually going to explode.

8 miles: This is now officially the longest race I have ever run.

8.2 miles: Oh, thank God, the water stop that was supposed to be at mile 8.5 is early! THANK THE GOOD LORD! I will now take my short, sanctioned water-stop walk.

8.5 miles: According to the course elevation map, I just crested the last hill. Only one and a half miles to go—and they're all downhill! Piece of motherfucking cake!

9 miles: Not a piece of cake. But only one mile. On a good day, I could hop one mile if I wanted to. (It's no longer a good day.)

9.5 miles: This race is never going to end.

9.7ish miles: I can almost see the finish line, but the course takes a windy route down and around a turnaround and then back up a veeeery slight uphill that will almost kill me.

10 miles: I DID IT! Except that unless you run the very edge of a course, you are always going to run longer than the official distance. Only .2 miles to go. Not only can you do this, Stimey, but you should be able to speed up juuuust a smidge.

10.2 miles: FINISH LINE! I REALLY DID IT! VICTORY IS MINE! I AM AWESOME! Oh, shit. How far away is my car?

10.7 miles: I am at my car. It finally feels safe to stop moving.

Yeah, that was hard. I was just barely trained enough to run that. Also, why—when I did a lot of long runs with absolutely no foot pain—did I develop blisters at mile four during this race? I don't understand that.

All said, I'm proud of me. I pushed myself and I met my goal. Now I know I can do it—and knowing that is worth every tenth of a mile I ran.


  1. You are unbelievably hardcore. I felt like a rockstar yesterday when I ran 3 miles in my basement on a treadmill watching Alias yesterday. No f'in way am I running 10 miles. Ever.

    Seriously. You win everything. Algernon is proud of you too. He knows about this. He just does.

  2. You are totally awesome! Congratulations!!!!

  3. Longtime lurker but had to come out to say that's amazing! Congratulations! I can't run anything, even without a cold. :-)

  4. Congratulations! When I saw how sick you were the Friday before the race, I was worried for you. But I should have known better than to doubt Stimey. Awesome job!

  5. Congratulations! You are such a rockstar!
    And since you included the kilometers in there, this might be the first time I've had any inkling what 10 miles is like.

  6. You are so full of awesome. Huge well done to you. Absolutely amazing.

  7. You did it!! Nothing short of awesome. 10 miles is a lot!!

  8. You're so awesome, Jodi. Thank you.

  9. Thanks so much!! I appreciate the delurk!

  10. See, the thing is, I am incredibly stubborn. Stubbornness does wonders.

  11. I always forget that most of the people in the world have no concept of miles. let's call this about a 17k.

  12. You are amazing! I'd be happy if I could run a 5k, I can't even imagine running 10 miles. You give me hope that I mgiht get there someday!

  13. So proud of you! (The only way I'm running is if something is chasing me!) You set your mind to it and you did it! Keep on rockin it....I'll sit here and cheer you on!

  14. You CAN get there. I promise. Really. If I can do it, you can do it. If running is something you're interested in, get a couch to 5k app and start. It doesn't matter how slow you run, all you have to do is run. I repeat: If I can do it, you can do it.

  15. Jean, Congratulations!!! :)
    This is a great motto: "I broke my run into little milestones, with the goal being to not think past the next one." I'm going to borrow that, except in the context of finding a new job. Milestone 1: update resume.
    And, it will also be helpful in unpacking the boxes that currently take up the entire living area in my new place. They looked FINE, until I had to open them all to find my hairdryer. Tip: If the movers write 'misc' on the box, that is where they packed the hairdryer. I hope to unpack everything over the weekend.

  16. You almost make me believe that. ;-) I do agree with what another comment said, that breaking it up into little milestones would help.

  17. Congratulations! It would have been easy to use that cold as an excuse to drop out, but you didn't! As a new runner who is not fast, I really enjoy your running posts!

  18. Hello there this is Keegan again from the Sluis academy and i must say good job! its nice to accomplish running goals! shows the hard work and dedication you have put in! keep up the good work!

  19. You should believe it. :)

  20. You. Are. Awesome!!! So happy for you! I will try to remember the little milestones thing...running a 10k soon and will try it out then. Can't wait to hear what the next crazy, I mean, fun thing you try out! ;)

  21. […] I remember passing 10 miles well under two hours and marveling that I’d covered that distance nearly 15 minutes faster than when I ran my ten-miler in early March. […]


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