“I keep on hoping we’ll eat cake by the ocean”
I’m a little behind in my blogging as this race took place on June 4th, but here we go! Since the spring half-marathon plan blew up in my face, I decided to jump start my marathon training with this 10-miler I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now. The race promised a fairly flat course (not true) and some amazing scenery (true). It did not disappoint visually as the course took you from Fort Adams State Park, down by the ocean, through some gorgeous mansions and ended through the archway into Fort Adams itself. Definitely one of my favorite courses to date! Despite being tired from vacation and my lack of training due to my injury, I had a great time. Well by great time, I mean I had fun – my actual race time was just okay.
You really couldn’t ask a better day for a June race. There was sunshine and blue sky, but the air still felt cool with barely any humidity. I was thankful for this since I had been slightly dreading this race due to the fact that I had not trained for it at all. I couldn’t remember the last time I had run more than 6 miles (but I do remember snow was on the ground). Nervous energy aside, I made my way to the starting line. I decided to run in wave 2, recommended for people running between a 9 & 11-minute pace.
I had to keep telling myself to slow down. I wasn’t listening. All my nerves bolted me ahead in the first half mile before I realized what I was doing. Slow it down! Distance! I had to keep telling myself. My feet finally got the message around mile 2, just in time for these wonderful ocean views.
The course stayed on Ocean Ave for a few more miles and running along the coast was incredibly scenic. Unfortunately I was starting to feel the effects of the sun beating down and I wished for some shade. As much as I love running next to the ocean, I was a little relived when we turned down Bellevue Ave, where many of the famous Newport mansions are located.
Finally some shade – and a change of scenery. Here you are running through what looks like a perfectly designed neighborhood with houses you would only be able to take a tour in. I can’t remember which mansions we actually ran by, but I believe I saw the driveway for Rosecliff, where I actually toured a few years back. Movies have been filmed there such as True Lies & The Great Gatsby (the 1974 film). After another turn took us running through an area with more average-sized homes and schools, which was very pleasant. There were open fields and trees that seemed perfectly placed. I was definitely feeling tired at this point and my lack of training began to get the better of me. When I finally saw the sign to turn into Fort Adams, some relief washed over me.
The relief was short lived with the quad-killer hill going into Fort Adams State Park. At this point, I was very happy I wasn’t running a half marathon. The last mile seemed to take it’s toll as I tried to ramp up my speed a little. The coolness factor of the race increased as I ran through the fort walls into Fort Adams for the final stretch to the finish line. I had a reach goal of finishing in 1.5 hours, but half way through the race I knew that was a pipe dream. I changed my goal to 1 hour 40 min, and then during the very hilly mile 8 changed it to…whatever just enjoy this race and stop thinking about your time.
In the end, I finished in 1 hour 39 min so I wasn’t too far off. Technically this is a PR, since this was my first actual 10-mile race. I have to say, I really like this distance and I think I might try to seek out more 10-mile races. It has the feel of a half marathon, but less chance of hitting “the wall” or just getting sick of the course in general. It’s enough of a challenge distance-wise, but easier to pace than a 10K.
As for this particular race, I loved it and would definitely run it again and also recommend it to others. The race and information was very well organized, the location for the course couldn’t have been better and the after party was well-run as well. Race photos were free as well as the first post-run beer. Of course the weather really helped in making this a great day. All in all, this was a moving postcard of a race, and a great way for me to kick off my distance training.