On Monday I ran the Tufts 10K for Women in Boston! I ran this race 3 years ago as my second race, although it felt like my first. I had great memories of the race, so I was excited to run it again!
I was working on my speed to run the race in 60:00 or less. I was doing SO well… until I got sick! I had a sinus infection and brochitis, and it just wasn’t the kind of sick that I could run through. I had a couple of runs in the 3 weeks leading up to the race, and they left me feeling horrible. I figured it would be best to rest and get better for race day. So… I amended my goal to 62:00, which would be 10 minute miles. Given how much faster I was running over the summer, I thought that was reasonable.
I ate my favorite pre-race meal the night before, drank water all weekend, and went to bed early. I woke up feeling rested, hydrated and strong! I drove myself to the T, took the train to Boston Common, registered, and found Lauren!
After some chatting and walking around, we headed for the start, which was madness! Over 8,000 women (& a few men) ran this race and everyone was trying to walk up the same set of stairs to get out of the Common and into the street! Lauren likened it to “a middle school dance where there was a fire”. We had to climb over the railing of the stairs and push our way to the road. So many people!
That white and blue banner in the distance is the start.
I think it took 6 or 7 minutes to get across the start line. There was a funnel for us all to go through to get there, which made the going very slow! I was feeling claustrophobic and couldn’t wait to bust out and run!
See me? With the braid?
The first 3 miles or so was very claustrophobic. I felt like I was constantly jockeying for position and weaving in and out of people. It really can’t be helped when there’s that many people running, but it really wasn’t the strong and relaxing start I was hoping for. However, it was very empowering for everyone. Mostly women run this race, and there were lots of shirts supporting and worn by cancer survivors, stroke survivors, etc. The middle of the race is run along the Charles, then there’s a hairpin turn and you run down the other side of the road. I was running by the people on the other side and being aggrevated about all the weaving in and out and I knew I was nowhere near the pace I wanted to be and then on the other side I saw a woman on crutches, with an above-knee amputation, motoring along. She was going as fast as she could, and it was totally inspiring. All my negative thoughts flew out of my head.
Around mile 4 we buttonhooked back again and headed toward the bridge to cross the Charles. Some runners (including myself) took advantage of the sidewalk and grass on the side of the street. I sped up as much as I could while still pacing myself. On the bridge I took a GU because I was starting to feel tired. The crowd of runners thinned out for the rest of the race and I was able to pick up my pace for the final 2 miles. The last mile was awesome, with lots of people standing and cheering. And lots of little kids giving high fives! Nothing to help push you along like strangers high fiving you!
I stretched my long legs out and sprinted across the finish. I think I had a little extra gas left and probably could have started sprinting earlier. My official time was 1:04:17. 10:20/mile. I’ve been trying so hard not to beat myself up about my time since I was sick… and the first half of the race was so crowded. I’m not blaming anyone else for it, I think I just should have started farther up, or been more aggressive about getting through the crowd. Regardless, if I run this race again, I don’t think I’ll set a time goal for myself. Its a race I think I should just run and enjoy running :)
Do you always have a goal? Or do you run some races ‘just for fun’?