Phil and I were scraping ice off the windshield at 7:45 a.m. so we could leave grandma’s house and head to the 10K in Sturbridge. I warmed up in a heavy sweatshirt and extra pair of shorts since I forgot to pack sweatpants. I kept my hands in my pockets for most of it. I chuckled because I actually considered racing in a tank top today!
On the starting line in my shorts and short sleeve shirt I looked around puzzled at so many “locals” wearing tights, long sleeves, and jackets. I mean, I’m the one not used to this cold weather. We are about to start and the race director yelled out instructions since her bullhorn would not work. She started out saying “it’s a balmy 46 degrees this morning.” Yikes. I had a couple flashbacks to the freezing Disney marathon in January.
For the first mile and a half my hands and forearms actually hurt from the cold. Once I hit two miles I don’t know if they warmed up or went numb, but at least they didn’t hurt anymore.
The 5K and 10K started out together and there was no way to know who was in which race. The 5K was out and back so once they started turning around I could see who the competition was in the 10K. There was a pack of four runners, three women and one guy, a little over 100 meters ahead of me. I thought for sure they would turn around with the 5K runners but they kept going straight ahead for the 10K. So the competition begins!
I immediately picked up the pace to work towards this pack. Then they started to spread out a little. I knew they had gone out too fast. Within about half to three quarters of a mile, I caught and passed the first two women. The guy and third female had pulled away a little. We went up a hilly road which fortunately had some nice big down hills where I was able to make up quite a bit of distance on those two. By mile three I had passed the female leader and shortly after the guy she had been running with. Now the field was so spread out I only saw one high school or college aged kid ahead of me so I pressed on to close the gap on him.
I pushed the pace for the last two miles up and down some nice sized hills and caught him with about a half mile to go. I am fortunate that I am a good down hill runner. My up hill running is not what it used to be but I still gave it a good effort. At the top of the last hill, we had a short sprint to the finish line. I was sprinting all out but unfortunately younger legs prevailed once again. The young guy was about a step ahead of me at the finish line. But I was not disappointed since I was the overall female winner and ran sub 43 minutes on a hilly course. Official time was 42:50. At the awards ceremony I received an envelope with a $125 gift certificate for a local chiropractor. I thought that was nice but what am I going to do with that since I am leaving Tuesday. But I also noticed $40 cash which was sweet so we went into this quaint gift shop across the street where I bought two very cute pairs of earrings and still had enough left for lunch.
There was a fall festival going on in the area so layered up in pants, two long sleeve shirts, and a sweatshirt with hood on, Phil and I checked out the scarecrow judging contest, live music, and beautiful foliage then had some delicious treats and hot chocolate from the local bakery. We have lots of interesting photos from the race, the fun festivities, and this cute New England town. And that was just this morning!