Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill 10K Recap

Hi Everyone!

Happy Thursday! Last we talked I was recapping my marvelous weekend and it might have been just a little too marvelous because Monday/Tuesday I came down with an awful cold and was down the for the count. Monday afternoon I came home from work early – slept from 2-5, woke up to eat some dinner and then slept from 7 until 11 the next morning. YIKES! I’m still not feeling 100% but saltines, Gatorade, Mac&Cheese, a Grey’s Anatomy marathon, and puppy snuggles all day Tuesday definitely helped speed the recovery.

On that note – I think it’s about time to recap my race from this past weekend! Five days is a little too long to wait don’t you think??

Saturday morning Henri and I woke up bright and early (after staying up pretty late for my sister’s graduation dinner). When I rolled over to turn off my alarm I seriously thought about hitting the snooze button and rolling over to tell Henri that I didn’t feel up to going into the City to run a race. But then I thought if I didn’t I’d have to do a long run and that sounded even worse! haha

So we crawled out of bed and got ourselves to the BC campus (race headquarters) by 6:15. We were a little early but I wanted to make sure that we got there in time to park before the 5K started because I didn’t know if we would have to cross their course to park. Luckily we didn’t have any trouble parking and within 5 mins of getting to BC we were walking into the Expo to pick up my bib 2 (25)I was really psyched with my bib number – 6372. If you add the first two numbers and the second two numbers (6+3 and 7+2) they both equal 9! Anyone else do weird math with their bib numbers or is that just me? 🙂

After getting my number we headed out of the building where the expo was and headed to the starting line area. After walking up a bagillion stairs we finally made it and set up a little camp in the shade. I still had 45 minutes until I had to start warming up so Henri and I just chattedand looked through the program of the week’s races while I massaged my calves and shins with my stick (they’ve been giving me some problems so I wanted to make sure they were loose and warmed up). Right before I started my warm-up we set out to find the restrooms and even though they were realllllllly far from the start there weren’t any lines which I really appreciated.

I started my warm-up jog as the 5Kers were coming back towards the finish line and I ran in the opposite direction as them cheering for all the runners. There were so many people running that I’m really surprised that I spotted Sarah and was able to cheer for her! I headed to the starting line about 15 minutes before go-time and easily made my way to the front of the corrals. I was READY to run! (p.s. as always I was #keepinittight in my #flystyle)photo 4 (16)The announcers at the start/finish line were hilarious and had us cracking up right until the air horn signaled that it was time to race! As soon as we were off and running another girl and I broke away from the rest of the women. Since it was a really hill course and that it was going to be a hot race due to the later start time (8:30) I knew that I was racing for place not time. I don’t have a lot of experience with head-to-head racing so I wanted this to be an experience race and I immediately decided that I would just stick with her for as long as it made sense and then would make my move when it felt right. 

Elevation map of the course

Elevation map of the course

We ran together for the first two miles and hit them in 5:55 and 5:53 respectively. I felt strong through the 2nd mile marker but in the back of my head I knew it was because we had just run all downhill and to get back to the finish we had to run the same course in reverse! As we made the slight climb to mile 3 I took the lead and began to pull away. Since there was a bit of a hill mile 3 ended up being 6:10.

At the turn around point right around 5K it was really nice to be able to scope out where the other racers were and I could tell that I had created a pretty significant lead and that me and lady #2 were WAY ahead of the 3rd lady. I settled into a pace and braced myself for the climb back up Heartbreak Hill. Luckily this is also when the race got really really fun! After turning around I was backtracking the first half of the race – and there were masses of runners coming down the hill towards me. All of these runners were seriously the nicest! They cheered me on, whistled and shouted at me to make sure I knew I was the “first woman”! I love the running community – my favorite kind of people! Thanks to them miles 4 & 5 in 6:04 and 6:02.

Mile 6 was by far the hardest of the whole race! I barely remember running this hill during Boston because that’s how traumatic it is at mile 20 of a marathon, but boy do I remember running it on Saturday. Every step up that hill was a struggle – and by that point all the runners on the other side of the street had passed me and were cruising along down the hill. I feel like I more shuffled than ran up that hill. I hit mile marker 6 in 6:34 and thank goodness that was the peak of the hill. One I got there it was all downhill to the finish. photo 4 (12)I sprinted it into the finish and broke the tape at 38 minutes flat – a minute and forty seconds slower than my time from January but on a much harder/hillier course on a hotter day!

photo 5 (12)

From Henri’s Instagram.

I was handed a water bottle and told to wait for the 2nd and 3rd women because they were going to do the awards right there at the finish 2 (20) I hydrated while chatting it up with Shalene and me and the girl that came in second just HAD to grab a group photo!photo 3 (20)We were given our awards in a quick ceremony and I even got to shake Bart Yasso’s hand! :O so cool! (btw the lady that came in 3rd also won the 5K – rockstar!)photo 4 (13)I found Henri to drop off all my new bling…photo 2 (21)… and headed out for a 3 mile cool-down to and around the reservoir. I used to run there all the time with my summer running club and it’s always nice to run there again – even if I got more than one face-full of gnats!photo 1 (26)After my cool-down Henri and I found Sarah again and he snapped a photo for us! Girl ran the HAT TRICK – the 5K, 10K and the Half Marathon the next day! I don’t know if I could ever do that!photo 5 (14)Then Henri and I hit up the expo for a little bit, caught up with my high school friend and her boyfriend for a little bit, and spent about 30 mins trying to find our car! (note to self: when parking at before 6am ALWAYS drop a pin by your car so that you can find it 5 hours later when all you really want to do is sit down!)

All in all it was a great race and a great day! Runner’s World not only knows how to put on a great race but also an amazing weekend full of fun running activities! I can’t wait to run this race next year and hopefully someday I can go to the original in Pennsylvania!

Have you ever run more than one race in a day? Tell us about it!

When you run a hilly race do you think about your time differently than the same distance on a flat course?




12 thoughts on “Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill 10K Recap

  1. Ack, you are AMAZING you speedy lady! I am so tough on myself and tend to compare times immediately and feel a bit disappointed but usually after a day or so I can objectively look at the course and conditions and judge it differently than my perfectly flat and cool PRs.

  2. That’s awesome! I love that you were just hanging out with Shalane!! Very cool looking award – congrats!!

    I’ve only run two races in a day one time – I ran a 5k and then I had a 20 minute break and then I ran a 10k – I won $$ in both races – my most lucrative day of racing ever!! (I’m pretty sure it was just luck because my times were nothing to write home about).

  3. Congratulations! You’re time is amazing for such a tough course! Super cool that you got to shake Bart Yasso’s hand and meet Shalane too. I ran the mile in the distance medley followed by the 5k after all the heats were done and it wasn’t too bad. Most likely because the mile served as a kind of a warm-up since I’m not super speedy. I don’t know about the Hat Trick though- that’s taking it to a whole other level. Way to go for those people though!:)

  4. I was SO excited when I heard you cheering! So so so glad we got to see each other and can’t wait for the jamestown half 🙂

  5. I am so glad that you OWNED that race! I really, REALLY wanted to do the Heartbreak Hill Half but after injuring myself in February, I realized that wasn’t going to happen this year…boo! At least there’s (hopefully) always next year! I also saw that you’re doing the Jamestown Half?! Talk about hills! I did that last year, and would have run it again this year but my sister’s getting married that weekend. Guess I’ll just have to wait until next year to run it again!

  6. Pingback: Runner’s World Festival! | Will Run for Boston

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