Race Report: Charlottesville 10 Miler


Summary: I missed my goal by about 17 seconds. It was a real let down. I knew by mile 5 I wouldn’t make it, despite being ahead of my pace. But, it was still my second fastest 10 miler ever, and the fastest post-scope, so I’m pretty pleased with that. Here we go, mile by mile:

Before the start:
I ate the most incredible chicken and waffles for dinner the night before. Probably not the best pre-race meal, but when life offers you an unexpected dinner out with no kids, you have to say yes.

The weather was forecast to be 40 and cool, partly cloudy. Too cold to wear short sleeves and too warm to wear long sleeves. I usually put together my outfit the night before, but this time, I packed an assortment of layers and didn’t decide and pin on my number until I arrived at JPJ. Final verdict: Long-sleeved tech shirt, half-Buff as headband/ear warmer, gloves.

Met the ladies and we all made frantic trips to the bathroom, got separated just before the start, but found each other again thank goodness.

Mile 1, 11:19: Allison got sucked up in the crowd and I didn’t see her again for miles. It was mile 1, what can I say. My hands were sweaty almost immediately.

Mile 2, 9:55: Thinner crowds. Leveraged the downhills.

Mile 3, 9:57: This was way too fast for me. I was doing my best to keep up with Judy and Melissa. I should have bid them a fond farewell, and stuck to a conversational pace on these uphills.

Mile 4, 9:23: I was beyond fatigued at the crest of Grady. I leveraged the downhill, but was still working way too hard.

Mile 5, 9:57: By the time I hit the uphill going to the Mall, I still hadn’t recovered from being so winded at the top of Grady. I recall being extremely pissed off about having to dodge patio seating going down the mall. I knew that the second half was not going to be kind to me.

Mile 6, 10:24: This has never been my favorite part, but the North Downtown residents are so awesome. Copious amounts of water. Cute kids.

Mile 7, 10:32: The hill by the cemetery was awful. Did it get bigger this year?

Mile 8, 10:23: Despite some major uphill, I was getting my shit back together. So I thought.

Mile 9, 11:00: Side stitch and general malaise. The negative self talk set in. I felt lightheaded and nauseous. I walked up some of the corner. I walked through a water stop. Eventually I started to snap out of it.

Mile 10, 9:53: Thank you, giant mile marker signs! I saw Mile 9 coming and decided I could endure anything for ten more minutes. I hit the last downhill on Alderman, and just kept booking it. By the time I saw the clock, it was already past my goal time, and I knew that even with the delay between gun and chip, I probably had missed it. But the ladies were at the finish with their giant medals! They didn’t even look sweaty. I figured they had been done for about an hour and were just being nice waiting around for this slowpoke, which was not the case, of course.

Final chip time: 1:42:48, 18 seconds off my goal time. Sad trombone. The chicken and waffles were worth it.

I realized this is actually my second-fastest 10 miler ever, and almost three minutes faster than last year’s Cherry Blossom 10 miler. I wish I felt happier about that. I usually set my goals conservatively, so that I’ll beat them. This was one of the only times where I publicly set a goal that would be hard to reach. I fell short.

Next steps: Park to Park on April 25, which is going to have to be a 13.1 mile fun run, as I’m traveling for two weeks between now and then and will likely hardly run.

And then? I’m seriously thinking about Richmond, the full, in November. It’s been 9 years. I *know* I can beat the tortured 5:34 of that unseasonably scorching hot day. Other possibilities: Rivanna Greenbelt, Sept or Oct. Not sure I am up for that mental challenge, though. Shamrock next March. So far away. I want to ride this fitness level through the summer and coast into fall. And then maybe sit around all winter.


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