I didn’t think anything could ever be as physically challenging for me as last month’s SeaWheeze half-marathon, especially considering that my calves spearheaded a full-blown mutiny during it. But I was naive. Little did I know that lurking around the corner was the New Hampshire 10 Miler, waiting, despite the slightly shorter distance, to assume its place as my Toughest. Run. Ever.
This race (my second-longest run yet and No. 39 in the 52 Weeks challenge) fell firmly into the pretty-but-perilous category. What is it with scenic runs? I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be so distracted by nature that we don’t notice the torture, but that rarely works for me. The 10-miler was around Lake Massabesic, which looked quite lovely on the map. I initially envisioned a nice easy loop around the lake, with cool breezes and water views. I really need to stop envisioning things. A fellow runner snapped me out of it when he described the course as a “roller coaster.” This was bad.
Hilly as a picture
Rather than jabber on about hills – because I’m not really allowed – I thought I’d let my camera do the jabbering. For what is a hilly hell run if you can’t document its hellaciousness? (Hubby once said to me that perhaps I would go faster if I stopped taking pictures along the way. I’ll take that under advisement.)
I will say that a) “roller coaster” was no lie; this was just about the hilliest run I have encountered, and b) the camera doesn’t do some of these hills justice; they were long, steep, and unrelenting. Oh, and it was hot. Of course.
Needless to say, I walked a lot. Thankfully I had a walk/run buddy for most of the way (she’s ahead of me in the hill 7 photo). We spent half the time questioning our sanity and the other half trying to ascend hills while remaining upright. She got me at the end, but that’s OK, she deserved it. I mentally checked out of this run around mile seven, probably when I realized it wasn’t going to get any better. I need to work on that.
I did get a little lift on that final hill with an unofficial water stop. You have got to love folks who use their own resources to come out and help people who are about to keel over. I don’t know who they were, but I sent lots of good vibes their way. I hope they got them.
The event: NH 10 Miler
The location: Lake Massabesic, NH
The date: September 1, 2012
My time: 2.05.37 (pace: 12.31)
Hubby’s time: 1.14.33 (pace: 7.28)
The cause: Local charities
The T-shirt: Long-sleeve black tech shirt
The aftermath: Bananas, bagels, beer