Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was somewhat low key and I spent as much time as possible soaking up the summer sun!
Sunday morning I woke up bright and early to run the BAA 10k with about 7,500 of my closest friends. Thanks to my friend Kristine, I signed up somewhat last minute and I wasn’t at all prepared to run 6.2 miles. But, I figured it was a way for me to get out of the house to run and I clearly get easily pressured by my friends to run races for which I’m way under-trained!
Yesterday was the fourth time I’ve run this race and, despite the heat (except for last year’s torrential downpours), I actually enjoy the course. I think this is considered an out and back — there’s one section of the course you only run on the way out, but the rest of the course is on the same route. It’s a fairly flat course with a couple of short hills, and one long hill in the middle.
Miles 1-2.2: The race starts in the Boston Common (only photo I have of the race, sorry!) and heads down Charles Street over to Commonwealth (Comm) Ave. This is where I spotted the lead runners (go Shalane) — I hadn’t even finished one mile and they were headed in for the finish! This is also where I seriously contemplated taking off my bib and walking back to the finish. But, I decided to suck it up and finish the race. For the most part, this course is flat, but Comm Ave is where you get your first (baby) hill. You head under an underpass, but it’s a short downhill before a quick uphill. Next, you head onto Bay State Road for a short bit. This section is flat, flat, flat, which is great since the next mile is a climb up Comm Ave. My plan was to alternate running .3 and walking .1 — I was able to keep this up for the most part, but I just wasn’t feeling it yet at this point. The heat didn’t really bother me, it was just that I wasn’t trained.
Miles 2.2-4.4: This is where the one-ish mile climb begins. It’s actually not a terrible hill, but there is no shade along this part of the course, which can make it more difficult in the heat. This is actually where I started getting into a groove — It could be due to the long downhill that is mile four or the realization that I was nearly done!
Miles 4.4-6.2: Back onto the (mostly) flat roads. With the exception of the underpass again, this part of the course is flat. I try not to let myself get discouraged at this point since you see lots of runners who have already finished. I just kept telling myself to do what I could and to keep moving. I also had the encouragement of the awesome volunteers (thank you!) Around mile five is where the heat started to bother me — that is when I started pouring water on me. I just felt overheated, so I drank one and dumped one. Finally, we took a quick right before taking a quick left into the final stretch of the course to finish back in the Common. I picked up the pace as much as I could and crossed with a huge smile. I was happy I hadn’t bailed on the race and really happy to be done!
Overall, I really enjoyed this race and this think it is well organized. Runners self-seed themselves into the corral matched up with their pace. There are four waves, and it took me 15 minutes after the first wave started before I crossed the start line. I never felt crowded — then again, I always start toward the back. There are water stops at every mile, and Gatorade at mile four. All the volunteers were so nice, too! As much as I dread running in the heat, I really do enjoy this race. It’s also convenient to my house. I picked up my friends and was easily able to find a free parking spot just a short walk from the start.
This was far from a course, or even a 10k PR, but I have to say, it was the first time in weeks I had no discomfort in my legs while running. They felt great after, too. I did feel a little sore in my tush, but I think it’s because of the two miles of climbing and descending.
I can’t say now that I would run this race next year, but I do know I would definitely consider it. 🙂