RR: Towpath 10 Miler

This weekend was wondrous.  The Color Run came to town (another post altogether), and I had myself another lil’ PR party at the Towpath 10 Miler.  Read on.

I’m not supposed to be running fast…nor am I supposed to be running roads (something about a trail 50K in less than a month?).  Oh wells!

The Towpath 10-Miler is part of the Towpath Trilogy, a three-event series that also includes a half marathon in the spring and a full in the fall.  All the races run on what is known ’round these parts as the Towpath, 80+ miles of paved/crushed limestone trail that runs alongside the Ohio Canal.  It’s a bit southwest of me and not ideal for most of my runs, but I don’t mind the hike every once and a while.

The race was Sunday, and Friday night I realized that although the 10 miler had been on my calendar since January, I hadn’t ever actually registered.  Oops.  Knowing how terrible I am at getting places on time, let alone early, I decided to cruise out to Valley View to register on Saturday afternoon after the Color Run (and a super scrubby shower).  Since I had seven miles to go to round off my planned ten, I hit the Towpath in the opposite direction around 3:00.  Double oops.  It was HOT (the canal was cracked and dry), and the path was almost 100% sun.   Even though I kept a leisurely pace and hydrated like a pro, my body was working overtime to keep cool.  By the time I got back to my car I was drenched, salt-crusted, and pretty pretty pink.

I came across that turtle about five minutes into my run.  It was crossing the path and actually turned around to bite me in the face pose for a photo.  I also spent a good twenty minutes watching a blue heron glide overhead.  (PS Did you know that Cornell has a live cam of a Great Blue Heron’s nest?  Wish my grandmother could see it!)

Anywho, after Saturday’s sweat feast, I was surprised to wake up Sunday to an overcast, relatively cool morning.  The race started at 7:00, so I met up with Mike squared and his sister Tess at the Quaker Steak and Lube in Valley View at 6:00.  From there it was a nice warm-up walk to the start line.  M^2 had been talking quite a bit of smack about this race on Facebook, challenging me to a head to head race-off.  With Starbucks on the line for the winner, I was dead set on leaving him in my dust on the Towpath (oops number 3).

After missing my sub 1:20 goal at the Spring Classic 10 Miler in April (but pounding out a killer PR), I was hoping to break into the teens on Sunday.    The course was flat, except for a set of bridges we would hit twice.  My plan was to run easy for the first five miles and then turn on the burners little by little for the second half of the race.  I got worried as soon as the race began, because my legs felt a bit dead, like they were missing their normal spring (if that makes any sense at all).  I am way overdue for new road shoes, and in fact I hope to retire my fabulously yellow Adizero Bostons next week.  I have also been going full throttle with my workouts lately, but it’s nearly impossible to get me to admit that I overtrain.  Instead I reminded myself that the first couple miles of a run are always a little tough as I find my stride and settle my breathing.  Mike and I stuck together for about half of the race, chatting about anything and everything and nothing and smiling for the cameras.  He pulled ahead, but I could see him the entire race…even as he finished 45 seconds in front of me!

On a side note, I am 100% happy with Brightroom’s photos of the race.  They were posted the very next day and are so darn GOOD!  I’ve never loved race pics more (except for the jumping Flying Pig pic).  Bravo!

I kept a steady pace the entire race, never finding my next gear until the speediest runner I know found me around mile 8.5.  He had just finished the 10K (and by finished, I mean WON) and backtracked to help me beat Mike break 1:20 finish strong.  It started to rain, mostly a sprinkling but with brief moments of heavier drops.  I knew Mike had me beat…and from the constant math I was doing in my head I knew that sub 1:20 was a slim chance…but I enjoyed the company and the last push to the finish, passing a few prospective age-group girls in the last half mile or so.  I ended up with a one minute four second PR and (more importantly!) some badass finishing stretch photos!

That last picture is my favorite race picture EVER.  We’re talking buy-worthy, here.

I didn’t hit my A goal, but PRs are always welcome.  Sub 1:20, I will see you at the Perfect 10 Miler in August, after a full month of speed and pavement and pink Adizero Bostons.  And Mike^2, double or nothing?

STATS:  1:20:50, 4/40 in my age group, 109/496 overall

PROS: post-race brunch, two distances to pick from, plenty of water stops, race photo ops galore, early start time, easy parking

CONS: Donkey on the ill-fitting tech t, pavement, no close Starbucks (:

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3 thoughts on “RR: Towpath 10 Miler

  1. Great post!! So close to sub 1:20! You’ll get it at the Perfect 10!! Let’s hope the weather is comparable to last years cooler temps & drizzle:)! I’ll see you there!

  2. Pingback: RR: Perfect 10 Miler, 2012 Edition « RUN RUN REPEAT

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