In this morning’s Bottle & Cork 10 Miler, I did something I’ve never done before in a race: I took my shirt off. I ran six of the 10 miles in just a sports bra and shorts, tucking the Eastern Shore Running Club T-shirt I’d been wearing into my shorts.
It was just so hot. The weather on the results page said the weather for the race in Dewey Beach, Delaware, was “90 degrees and humid.” There was also an option to drop down to the 5K or, for runners expecting to be over two hours, to start an hour early.
My boyfriend, Mike, and I drove to Dewey Beach for the race, and I felt a little bit of a breeze when we parked. But that wasn’t how the race felt. Since I’ve had heat-related issues in the past, I played it safe and walked when I needed to.
We started the race near the beach at 8 a.m., and I started pretty strong, clocking my first mile at 8:48. My next mile was run in 9:16, according to my watch.
But at that point, I decided to start walking for .05 of a mile when I got to each mile. I used this as a reward for getting to each mile, and I usually had some extra energy after my walk break, so I don’t really think it hurt my overall time. If I had been running the whole time, I would have been sucking up more energy, so my running pace probably would have been similar to the walk plus the run.
I also stopped at every water stop. At first, I got two cups of water at each stop, but as the race went on, I was getting three cups of water at each stop. (They were small cups.) I had a packet of Clif Shot Bloks during the race, a couple maybe around Mile 2.5-3 or so and four around the Mile 8 marker or so.
I felt like I was focusing too much on the heat and getting to the next mile marker, but it is a cool course. We got to run on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk and through pretty neighborhoods.
Some parts were hotter than others. The Mile 8 area by a bridge seemed especially tough. I do remember crying while I was having trouble when I ran this race in 2011, but I can’t recall the exact location — Mike thought it was near the bridge but I thought it was earlier. That year, I ended up with a time of 1:27:15, and I think at the time it was my slowest 10-mile race. I would have been ecstatic and shocked to run that kind of time today.
Mile 4 was where I decided to switch from the shirt to the sports bra. I could feel the difference immediately. It felt better than wearing the shirt, but one problem was that I had already started chafing underneath my bra despite putting on Body Glide. That wasn’t comfortable, but tucking my shirt underneath wasn’t helping, so it was worth running in just the bra.
I continued my walk breaks at each mile and during water stops, and I kept passing and being passed by the same fellow runners. People were friendly and we would kind of encourage each other on.
In one of the neighborhoods, there was a woman spraying a hose, which was much appreciated, and near the 8.55-mile beer stop (I didn’t get any beer during the race), there was a hose that was set on a mister setting.
I ended up taking an extra walk break I believe right before we got on Route 1, which was in the eighth mile, and I also walked a little extra after getting water during the ninth mile. Looking at my splits, I was actually relatively consistent from miles 3-7, but I lost a little mental energy when I realized it would be unlikely to stay under an average 10-minute-per-mile pace if I kept going at the same speed.
The ninth mile was my slowest, at 11:28. But once I reached that Mile 9 marker, I was ready to finish strong, and gave it what I had left. A strong finish worked well for me in last week’s Mike Sterling Crab Derby 10K.
My last mile was actually my fastest, at 8:46. My watch was a little off, logging 10.12 miles, which was probably a result of not running the tangents well. (Here’s a map if you’re interested in seeing the course.)
I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 1:42:19 and received my finisher’s medal. The 10-miler finishers all received a medal commemorating the 40th anniversary of this race.
This is my new slowest 10-mile race; my previous slowest 10-mile race was the also very hot and humid Baltimore 10 Miler earlier this year. I feel like I keep getting slower and slower race times, but I actually don’t mind on a hot day like this. I didn’t need any kind of medical help and finishing healthy is the most important thing.
The email I got with the results said I finished 122nd of 243 people. This would mean I finished exactly in the middle: 121 were ahead of me and 121 were behind me. I don’t think this included the people who did the early start.
I was also eighth of 20 women in the female 25-29 age group, according to the results, and I ran a 10:14-per-mile pace.
There were several members of the Eastern Shore Running Club who ran the race, and Mike and I went into the after-party and met up with some of our friends.
There were plenty of food choices, but after having several small cups of water after the race I had a beer and a water at the after-party and waited to eat until Mike and I had brunch nearby at The Starboard.
Despite the heat, it was a well-organized race with thankfully lots of water stops and cheerful volunteers and some local residents, like the woman with the hose. It felt good to cross that finish line!
Mile 1: 8:48
Mile 2: 9:16
Mile 3: 10:27
Mile 4: 10:23
Mile 5: 10:31
Mile 6: 10:18
Mile 7: 10:22
Mile 8: 11:08
Mile 9: 11:28
Mile 10: 8:46
Extra tracked by watch (.12): 0:54
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