what a strange experience it was to find myself in norwalk, lined up for the 2010 edition of the boston build-up 10k! the night before i was intent on doing the mhrrc "recover from the holidays" 50k in staatsburg, new york. listening to the wind howl all night long, waking up to a temperature of 16 degrees, 45 mph wind gusts, and a real feel temperature of -4 degrees, i emailed emmy at 6 a.m. and said "no 50k for me today!" i just couldn't face the drive up there and the prospect of 5+ hours doing the ten 5k out and backs in that weather.
forgive that long winded intro, but the 10k was infinitely preferable under the circumstances. even so, when i got to the high school i didn't have my race bib! i'd forgotten it (actually i'd never packed it b/c i hadn't expected to do the race). thankfully, jim gave me a makeshift tag to turn in when i came through the chute. as i ran an easy warm-up mile with emmy and rob, all i could do was jump back and forth between relief at skipping the 50k and mild astonishment that i'd still have to run (albeit less) in this deep freeze.
amazingly, once the race got underway, the cold weather wasn't much of a factor. i had on 3 top layers, a buff, and a wool cap that kept me relatively warm. except for the occasional heavy wind gusts, the course was more of a challenge. it packs the biggest gnarliest hill in the last mile. cresting the final hill means reaching the 9k mark - and 6/10th's of a mile to still to go. that climb has gotten the better of me on many occasions (this year included).
i missed the first mile marker (jim had included both mile and kilometer markings), but reached two miles in 13:48 - and felt pretty good. that would be my last upbeat assessment. around the 4k mark i got a side stitch. that didn't bother me much because i figured it would work itself out in a mile or so. i reached 3 miles in 20:35 and my 5k split was 21:22. there was an outside chance at a 43 minute finish (roughly my result last year), but that slipped away quickly as my second half was decidedly much tougher, physically.
the side stitch just wouldn't leave me - and eventually morphed into a nauseousness that made the side stitch seem like an old friend! i never had that sensation during a race and wondered if it wasn't the early onset of a cold? i hit 5 miles in 35:25, and the bottom fell out of my run. i hit the hill after managing a jog for the first half, walked the rest - i reached the 9k split in 40:53. over the years, i've walked that stretch a few times - in 2006 i walked it during a 40:35 finish (my pr on this course).
this time it wasn't from being spent, it was from feeling physically sick. at the top of the i felt like i could puke! but with the finish so close, i just gutted it out and managed a 44:51 (44:53 official). it took me a bit of time to recover from those last two miles (i literally sat in the car for 5 minutes trying to get it together). but withing 10 minutes i was back to myself (for better or worse) - and only had the cold weather to contend with from there.
i never figured out what caused the problem. that afternoon i went out for an easy 6+ miles and felt fine. hopefully that mysterious ailment was just a one time fluke occurrence. now, 24 hours later, no cold symptoms :D
next time: a more upbeat and positive race report!
here are the 2010 race photos.