Race Recap: Old Fashioned 10 Miler 2019

2019 Old Fashioned 10 Miler Race Recap

One of the most frustrating things about being an athlete with Addison’s Disease is that sometimes you can do everything right leading up to a race, taper, stay hydrated, take your meds, and yet somehow your body chemistry still drifts off and you end up with a performance that is less than your best.

This is exactly what happened to me this past Sunday during the Old Fashioned 10 miler in Foxboro. I went out a little fast but not completely crazy, yet by mile 3 I was fighting an intense internal battle not to pull up and stop completely. 

 

The silver lining is that after almost 4 years now, I’m becoming better at discerning the Addison’s/adrenal fatigue from the larger fitness fatigue. I might not have been in peak shape for a 10 miler, but I certainly had enough endurance to get through 3 miles. I knew my (somewhat arbitrary) goal of running the race at or under 70 minutes wasn’t going to happen.

While I was disappointed in my actual performance, I was again perversely pleased with my mental performance. I could have stubbornly continued to push and hit my goal pace and I likely would have blown up and DNF’d. I remember 3 distinct times I had decided to stop and walk, but each time, while I slowed, I didn’t actual stop and even recovered a little to run the last few miles quicker than the middle section.

It was a nice demonstration that some of the mental practices I’ve been practicing during workouts (smiling, gratitude, and mantras) mostly from Deena Kastor’s book, have some merit and are paying off. As you get older and speed gains are harder to find, it’s nice to have another lever to try to pull.

 

PRE RACE

This is the 24th running of the OFTM run by the Wampanoag Road Runners. I love races run by running clubs. They usually have the runner’s needs in mind and no how to structure things to make it easy to prep for and recover from the race. 

The OFTM is no exception. Online sign-up was simple and while no pre-race bib pickup was available there were more than enough race volunteers handy on race day to make bib and swag bag pickup a one or two minute process for most runners.

Another great thing about the OFTM, some might call it a necessity for a race in New England in February, indoor place to leave bags (there was no official bag drop but many were leaving bags inside) and stay warm while waiting to warm up. 

No indoor plumbing facilities though. Plenty of Porta-potties were available outside.

 

THE RACE

The OFTM offers a 5k, a 10 miler and a unique half marathon combo with a cumulative time and ranking for those that run both. I’ve done the bad ass half in the past, but opted just for the 10 miler this year.

The 10 miler start line is about a half mile from the finish (and the indoor area for runners to wait). This year the weather was chilly (it is February after all) but bright with little wind so the walk and wait for the start wasn’t as bad as in past years.

MILES 1 – 3

After a mild, almost unnoticeable, climb in the first mile, mile 2 includes a big downhill before a small net uphill in mile 3 again. This is pretty representative of the course which has one big climb approaching mile 8 but is mostly rolling ups and downs on side suburban streets.

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I went out a little fast (6:43) in the first mile which is sort of to be expected for a race start as people jockey for positions, even as I really tried to moderate my tempo. I backed off even further in the downhill second mile (6:46, but 6:59 GAP) and let even more people pass me. At this point I was smugly thinking I’d see them in the back half of the race as I passed them. Oh, the hubris.

 

MILES 4 – 6

By the climb nearing mile 4, I was giving in to some negative despite my best efforts. More people were passing me and I was unable to hook on to any of them. I only had one gear and the climb has sapped my legs. I started to recognize that hazy feeling of adrenal fatigue settling in. A quick peek showed my HR was already redlining. Unfortunately I still had a long way to go. 

The 10 miler offers water stops at 3, 5,  and 7. I skipped the 3 mile one but was eager to grab the Gatorade at 5 and 7. Anything to give me a little energy. It was really hard not to bail and get a lift back from a volunteer.

For these miles my average times had slipped about 7 and any time I banked in the first few miles was gone. Not that I needed much confirmation that a PR was out of the question. I was in survival mode now, not PR mode.

MILES 7 – 10 

These miles are a bit of a blur other than the leg crushing hill at 8. I was just trying to stay positive, play head games with myself and get to the finish. I was rather happy that my last mile was the fastest since mile 6 but I was really happy to see the finish line.

 

Final stats: 1:12:18/7:12 mile (strava entry)

104 of 609, 15th of 69 in my AG

 

Strangely given what I just described, that time is a PR for this course. When is a course PR a disappointment? When you’ve somehow told yourself you are going to run 7 minutes miles for the race despite not running the distance more than a handful of times in the past year. Such is the runner’s mindset. Something to shoot for next year!

 

POST RACE

There’s a good food spread post-race, especially if you like chicken salad. There’s mac ’n cheese, bagels, peanut butter, fruit and water. You could also hit up some of the samples from your swag bag if you wanted.

There’s free massage therapists, along with many raffle prizes based on your race bib.

Along with the swag (a t-shirt if you register early enough), mostly food samples and coupons, you get a nice finisher’s medal.

There are awards for the overall and AG top 3, but I was far from the podium so I’m not sure what they were.

 

SUMMARY

This is a very well run race that brings out some seriously fast runners but also a wide swath of times throughout the pack. You won’t be running alone in either the 5k or 10 miler. 

A unique distance, it offers a good chance to get some speed work done for spring marathon training. 

Indoor facilities are a plus and while the swag and food is mostly no-frills, it’s solid and plentiful. I’ll keep coming back.

 

MIKE'S WINDOW

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