Today I ran the Market Square Day (MSD) 10k in Portsmouth, NH. Much like last week, I didn’t have any big expectations for this race. I’ve only run two other 10Ks. I ran MSD last year. Last year, I had hoped to break 60 minutes and came in with 1 hour, 2 minutes and 3 seconds. My second 10k was the Saunders 10k last August. I managed to break the one hour mark with 57:48.
So, I didn’t care about a PR, would have liked to come in under 60 minutes, but wouldn’t be upset no matter what.
I liked this race a lot last year because there were a lot of spectators. The race starts in downtown Portsmouth at the start of a street fair/festival type thing (that’s the official term). The course makes a quick loop around the downtown area and heads into nearby neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are the best part. People stand in their front yards cheering. Last year many many people had music playing loudly for the runners. Motivating music like Eye of the Tiger from Rocky and the theme from Chariots of Fire. This year the number of spectators seemed to be down from last year, and there were definitely fewer musical interludes. There were plenty of people holding out hoses to spray down hot runners, which was great because it WAS hot, despite a 9 AM start.
There are a few hills, which I of course swore at as I ran up them, but the course isn’t too bad elevation-wise.
I did discover yet another running motivational tip, and that is what I dub “pre-blogging”. Many athletes visualize winning races or olympic medals and they feel that helps them perform better in competitive events. I found thinking about what I would blog after the race to be my visualization. I wanted to write that I had a PR. I wanted to write that I had a great race. I wanted to write that I once again conquered hills and heat and running in general. Guess what? It worked. I finished in 57:15 (official time). A PR by more than 30 seconds!
There won’t be any race reports for a little while. My next race isn’t scheduled until the Saunders 10k in August. Don’t worry though, I’m sure I’ll post plenty of regular running post between now and then.
A post-race note: if you find yourself in a race of some sort, and you’d like to be running faster than those around you, UNLESS YOU ARE TRYING TO COME IN FIRST, don’t be an a$$hole and dodge in and out of people reckelssly just to get ahead of someone by 10 feet. (And if you have any chance of coming in first, don’t start at the back of the freakin pack.)