Running road races is not something I seek out all the time but there are a few throughout the year that have a great history, beautiful routes and are iconic to the area. The Beach to Beacon 10k is one of those. It's run in Cape Elizabeth, ME and was created about 18 years ago by the 1983 Gold medalist marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson. It is hard to get into which seems crazy because there were 6300 racers this year; it's the case where you need all your friends ready to hit the 'register' key at the same time in order to get entered. It fills up in minutes. Luckily, our friend Chris Brooks works for a law firm in Portland who had extra entries, they sponsor the event, so Andrew and I were able to get in this year.
My first impression of the enormity of the race and the juxtaposition of the location was when we parked. Along a small country road and there was a steady stream of people in race gear walking down the road, it went on for miles. It was so unnatural to see all of these people planted into a normally quiet stretch of road. And then an hour later, it was back to it's normal, tranquil self.
My plan was to go out and run what feels pretty good. This is my third 10K race and second this year. The last one I ran a 42:33 on a course with a similar elevation profile in Porstmouth, NH and since I have been running more lately for the 50k training I figured it would be easy to break 42 minutes. This was my goal. Things felt easy and cruisy for the first 3-4 miles but then my turn over started to slow down. I was working SO hard but my pace was slipping. I ran a 42:39 and was frustrated for a few minutes after crossing the line but then got over it. I was shocked that I ran a 7:30 final mile because it felt like I had more in me than that. Andrew was still recovering from his big effort so he ran a cool 38 min race; his good intention of pacing me fizzled at the start which I was expecting. But I appreciated the initial thought!
Due to my 50K training, my Saturday was not over, I had to run 18 miles total. I ran with Andrew back to the car and then he drove back to the finish where we met up. I was surprised how easy the next 11+ miles felt since I had just run so hard; I even had a few miles in there that were around a 7:30 pace. That goes to show how much a hard effort can wear me out in a short time. And I realized the training I have been doing for the longer distances is paying off but hurting the speed distance.
All in all, a very satisfying day.