I have so many “favorite” races I do every year, I don’t have much room in my race calendar to try new ones, but this weekend I ran a new-to-me 10 miler that I just may be adding to my list of favorites. Fittingly, it was called the Reston Perfect 10.
I guess this is my new race outfit:
#Runner shirt from Pavement Runner
(Hurry! Only 2 more days to get your own here)
Nathan Hydration Pack, CW-X Compression shorts,
PRO Compression socks, and Handana.
I had to arrive early to get my bib, and was glad to find two women from my Moms Run This Town Group. We hung out and took turns holding each other’s gear while we used the bathroom. We hit the porta pottys once, but when the school doors were unlocked giving us access to real bathrooms, we took advantage of the opportunity to “go” one more time. 😉
The race start for the Reston Perfect 10 was anti-climactic. Because the race started in the road, people didn’t begin lining up until a few minutes before 8:00. There was no singing of the National Anthem, and I didn’t really hear the fuzzy megaphone announcement, but we started right on time.
As I was cruising along during the first mile, I realized that I was running a 10 mile race, that I was about to run as hard as I did in the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run and the GW Parkway Classic in April, but really hadn’t since. This race sort of snuck up on me, since I’ve been focusing on Ragnar all summer, and then focusing on recovering from Ragnar for the past two weeks. For the first time I honestly went into a race with no goal other than to get the t-shirt (i.e., not bail and DNS for no good reason).
I had heard that the course was hilly, so I tried to run at a hard but sustainable effort, and hoped for a sub-9:00 min/mile pace finish. It was interesting running a route that I had no experience with. I had no idea where to expect the biggest hills, and no idea when I had climbed the last hill. It really forced me to focus on what I could do at the moment, so I gave myself some slack on the climbs and tried to pick up my pace on the downhill segments. I found that running rolling hills that go down after they go up was almost easy after the up-up-up hills of my first Ragnar leg!
My split times look a bit erratic,
but my slowest miles coincide with the longest hills.
The finish was almost as anti-climactic as the start. We followed a short out-and-back along the school’s main driveway, and then cut through a small back parking lot and through a gate onto the track, where the finish seemed to come out of nowhere less than 1/4 lap ahead. Most of us walked around the track to cool down, and volunteers greeted us along the way with water, Gatorade and bananas.
All in all it was a great race. I went into it with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the easy logistics, pretty course, and good support. The Reston 10 Miler is along the same course in March, so I definitely will sign up if it doesn’t conflict with my son’s lacrosse schedule!
How often do you race without a set goal?
Do you have a favorite race you like to do every year?