Monday, April 29, 2013

Newport 10 Miler Recap

I have lived in Rhode Island almost ten years.  I knew it was a beautiful state but it wasn't until I was a runner that I truly appreciated that fact.  To say to you that the Inaugural Newport 10 Miler was the most beautiful race I have ever run, is just not enough, but I will do my best to describe it to you.

First, lets start with shirt and number pick-up.  I got lost.  As many times as I have been to Newport, I have never been to Fort Adams.  Now I will never forget how to get there. Once there, I got my number, 1110, and shirt.  I really liked the color of the shirt and will actually wear it out.  

While making a new playlist for Sunday's race, I thought it might be fun to drive together with Beth and Jenn.  I sent them a message and within 20 minutes our plan to meet in the morning was set and I was thrilled to not have to drive!  Thank you Beth!

I did not sleep well, and was up before the alarm. I felt pretty good though and was feeling excited.  The last thing I did before walking out the door was put on my Garmin.  I noticed that it read, 9:47 pm April 27.  Well, that is clearly wrong as it is 6:25 am on April 28th.  I started to hit every button I could but nothing happened. I plugged it in and unplugged it, nothing.  What is a gadget challenged girl to do?  Mr. RWM would not be happy if I woke him up, but this is kind of an emergency, right?

I decided to suck it up and figure it out myself.  I opened the computer and typed in "Garmin 405 frozen" and got my answer in 5 seconds.  Nice, internet.  And just so you know, hit both side buttons at the same time and it will reset. 

I got to our meeting spot with 5 minutes to spare and Beth and Jenn were already there. Nice!  We got to Fort Adams and parked without any problems.  The morning was beautiful.  A bright sunny day and it was warming up every minute.  I had made arm warmers out of knee socks which I didn't really need.
Ready to go!

We stretched, walked around a bit and I got to meet a fellow Tough Chik, who was there to run this race from Florida with a good friend of hers.  We only got to talk for a minute but I did get this great pic of us.  
Fellow TC Angela and I

There were hundreds of Boston Strong shirts and people just wearing blue and yellow. The race had given each of us a black ribbon to wear also.  It was all very heart warming.
Beautiful day!
Starting to line up!

We lined up, sang the National Anthem, had a moment of silence for Boston, and then instead of a gun going off, it was a cannon!  How cool is that!

My goal was 1:45 which is a 10:30 pace.  Beth and Jenn were both aiming to PR also.  I knew we would separate quickly, so I just told them to have a good race.  

The first mile was basically leaving Fort Adams and it stayed pretty thick with people.  I lost Jenn but still had my eye on Beth.  I looked at my watch and it read 10:13.  I was going out too fast but felt good and thought I could do it.  By the end of mile one, my arm warmers were off.
Check out this pic from Newport Daily News.  Can you find me?

Mile two started the stretch along Ocean Drive.   The race web site describes it as "unparalleled scenic oceanfront racing."  It was a spectacular view and would of been a good spot for a picture, but I didn't want to give up my PR.  

I still had Beth in my sights.  Mile three and four were good.  10:25 and 10:35, right on target but I was unsure I would be able to keep it up.  I slowed down just a bit for mile 5, 10:50 pace.  

The end of Ocean Drive was a water stop with gatorade and bananas.  I grab water and gatorade and was sorry I didn't bring my own fuel.  A banana seemed to much and I thought eating it would slow me down.  

At mile six we turned left onto Bellevue Ave and my running tour of the Newport Mansions began.  If you don't know what I mean, google it.  There is nothing like it.   This race did not disappoint in scenery.  Every street we ran on had something nice to see. No construction or commercial areas, just beautiful homes, ocean front and of course, Fort Adams.  Despite that, I started to hit a wall at 6.5 miles.

I can't say for sure why.  I was feeling a little tired but good.  I had lost sight of Beth and we started to hit a few hills.  I was beginning to think my PR was gone.  I kept looking at my Garmin, but found out that I can't do math and run at the same time.   Oh, who am I kidding.  Math is not my strong point when sitting perfectly still with a calculator.

Mile 7 had the biggest hill of the race.  It reminded me of the dreaded hill that I live at the bottom of, but a little longer.  I made it up but my legs were jelly.  Mile eight was my slowest, 11:28.  Seeing that number fueled me.  I was not going to lose that PR.  I knew with my fast miles in the beginning I could make this all even out and sill come in at 1:45 or so I hoped.

It was here I also turned off my music.  Everything around me was so nice, I wanted to take in the sounds and smells that went along with it.  I was happy I did that.  I heard laughter and cheering.  I heard people encouraging each other and just having a good time.  My spirits were lifted and I ran.

I ran steady and I was calm.  I was smiling because I felt so lucky to be able to run where I do.  There were Boston shirts all around me and I felt honored to be in there presence.  I had trained for this race for 10 weeks and here I was one mile from the finish.  However, this mile felt like the longest even though it was my fastest.  

It was the kind of finish you couldn't see.  I knew it was coming up but I was running and running.  I looped around and ran into the walls of Fort Adams and then still had to run a bit.  It was here that I saw Beth, yay! And then the clock.  I ran my heart out through the finish chute.  When I stopped I held back tears I was so happy!  Jenn came up to me first and soon Beth joined us.  We stretched a bit, talked about the race, got some snacks and water and then headed over to the truck with our official times posted on it.

I did it everyone!  My official time was 1:45:58.  I am still coming down from the high!  And a huge congrats goes out to Beth and Jenn who also PR'er at this fabulous race.
We did it!

I would say the toughest part of the course was the last 4 miles.  I definitely would of slowed my pace in the beginning if I knew that.  But if I am honest with myself, I should of slowed down when I realized how fast my first mile was and saved some of my energy for the end whether the course was tough or not.  I enjoyed every minute and think this will have to be a yearly event for me.  

From the race, Beth, Jenn and I headed to breakfast and it was the perfect way to end such a wonderful morning.  

When I got home, Mr. RWM, George and Gracie were waiting for me with hugs and congrats.  However, when I told George how far I had run, he said he wasn't that impressed. Huh, why I asked.  His response, "Well, you ran 13 miles before so 10 isn't so hard."  Out of the mouths of babes, too funny!

Over the next 4 to 5 weeks, I am going to run for fun but hold an 8-10 mile long run while I figure out my plan for Philly.  I am looking forward to running just because I want to but I am sure I will be ready for new plan of action in a couple weeks.  Funny how our running minds work.

Thanks goes to the organizers of the Newport 10 Miler and all the wonderful volunteers and sponsors.  You put on a great show and I will see you next year!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! We look forward to hosting you again soon!