This is a highly opinionated post. If you don’t like it I’m not sorry.
I thought about this blog post for 10 (long) miles today. In fact, I feel as if I have to back track for some to explain a bit about myself and how competitive I can be. I’m training for a half ironman (70.3 miles) and multiple other races, but today’s training included a 10 mile run. In Philadelphia today, was the Broad Street Run. A race that sells out every year and is from North Philly to South. One straight, downhill road that is 10 miles long from start to finish. I ran it last year, as a fun run, not pushing my time. To be completely honest I wasn’t overwhelmingly excited about it or even saw the draw of what was so great about it. I live in the city, I can run Broad street any time I want, so I felt the need to atleast run this race once and see if I saw the hype behind it, but I didn’t. I have to be honest, I know MANY people that run this race every year and then don’t do other run until Broad Street comes up again the next year. You my friend, are not a runner, don’t take offense.
So today instead of running Broad Street I ran a 10 mile road/trail race in New Jersey-Run the Vineyards at Auburn Road Winery. This race was capped at only 200 runners and challenged me from the start. In the past few years I have started to take myself more seriously when racing, before it just seemed like a fun way to get in shape and now its part of my life and I couldn’t imagine not racing ( I would probably lose my sanity too).
I had my running plan, but I knew this race was going to throw me thru some loops. I don’t do much trail racing so that was going to be tough and the area I was running has a ton of rolling hills. But a majority of the race was on the road, I have my fueling/nutrition down pack. 10 minutes after 8, its time to move! Running out of the vineyard and onto the road. Hill. Hill. Hill. Turn Around. I see two girls pacing together near me and I just can’t seem to get into the groove of things. We are about 5k in and I still don’t feel comfortable. WTF!!!! People are starting to spread out now, we are going off road again and I’ve got to stay focused. Nearing 5 miles and I’m thinking damn, what is wrong with me? I’ve run 10 miles a million times and I feel like my legs are made of cement! I know this is a training run, but come on Leann, you need to kick into gear. My mind was playing with me and I was bound and determined not to let it win. The mental game was real today. Focus. You got this. You are not going to walk.
I get to about mile 7 and I finally start to feel like I my body has relaxed and its doing what its trained to do. My mind has quieted down and I am just focused on staying on pace and getting over these hills. They are literally one after another and I can see one of the leaders in a neon shirt every time he climbs as my warning what ahead.
I spot a lady in front of me that I tell myself, I am going to pass, she’s been pacing in front of me for the past 8 miles, but I’m sorry its time to take it home now. I shout some encouraging words to her as I pass because I could tell she was running out of energy, you had an awesome pace lady in purple, thanks for inspiring me! 2 miles left and I’m enjoying this. It’s not Broad Street at all, this is tough, this is not all down hill. I can finally see the winery! Ah! I freaking made it.
So of course I have to see my results asap, 4th out of 64 in my age group, damn, I have mixed feelings on this. Tough race, I should be proud, I fought for that #4 spot, but the competitive bug in me said next time push harder. How bad do you want it?