“If It’s Not hard, Why Do It?”: Jamestown Bridge 10k Recap

When I checked the course map for Sunday’s Jamestown Bridge 10k, the following keywords popped up:

Average Terrain, Hard Difficulty, Hilly Contour, Long Climb Contour, Oceans, Road Surface, Scenic Surroundings

Oh No.

After running this race my personal keywords are: Rain, hills, wind, rain, wind, hills, rain, rain, COLD.

Ok, so I think you now know, it was windy & raining hard and absolutely FREEZING. However, I’m still happy with my performance, and it gives me a huge kick in the butt in regards to SFM marathon training.

The morning started early, 5:50 to be exact and I woke up, peered out the window and noticed that the streets looked wet, but it seemed as if the rain had stopped, fist pump! I started my coffee maker and started packing for a brief trip home following the race and fueling. By the time Katy swung by at 6:30am to pick me up it was full on pouring rain. We greeted each other acknowledging that we were completely crazy and that we probably wouldn’t expect too much out ourselves in this hilly, and now rainy & windy 10k.

We chatted the entire way there and before we knew it we were parking at North Kingston High school, again, it was still POURING like cats and dogs. We waited in the pouring rain and then finally boarded a shuttle and made our way to the start line. Once we were there it was insanely windy. I had dressed rather conservatively, a running jacket, short sleeve top & running crops but I forgot my gloves. FAIL. My hands by the end of this race were so cold that they felt like paws. We chatted briefly, met up with ACS superstar, Robert Frary and joked about the awful weather. Robert is in remission from throat cancer, hardcore runner and generally awesome person. Despite not being able to eat a normal quantity of food due to side effects from treatment, he absolutely LOVES to run. This doesn’t stop him one bit and next weekend he will be running the Cox Providence Marathon, which will be his third marathon so far this year. Good luck Robert!

The Race

Shortly after, we were on our way. The course starts on a fairly steady downhill so I kept glancing at my garmin to make sure I wasn’t going out too fast. Ooops, I was pacing 7:30 splits. I told myself to dial back, and then I saw Katy start to wiz by me, I warned her that we were on 7:35-ish pace and to hold back, we had some serious hills coming up!

Mile 1: 7:40

Apparently I didn’t heed any advice from Marathoner’s last weekend who said to always conserve your legs in the beginning on down hills. Whoops.

After the first mile mark we started our descent up the Jamestown Bridge. TRIMOM was NOT lying when she said that this was a scenic, but challenging course. Once the bridge was in view my mouth literally dropped and I said to myself “MOTHER EFFER” (Sorry mom) At this point we were right on open water and we were running STRAIGHT into the wind. I just tried to keep my head down, glance at the water and focus. There was a race photographer out on the bridge and I am seriously terrified to see these photos. The climb was difficult, but it was relatively gradual, so at least we had that going for us.

Mile 2: 8:55

After we crested the top of the Jamestown Bridge, we started going down hill again, Oh holy GOD, THANK YOU! I tried to hold back and make sure I wasn’t killing my quads, so I just tried to get into a groove and get to a good pace and brace for a relatively steady flat land. From here the course made it’s way through a really cute little coastal neighborhood. A lot of the neighbors all came out and cheered the runners on, there was even a grandmother holding a pot and banging it with a wooden spoon. Thank you Grandma! We went down a small but steep downhill and then hit a water & Gu stop. I ran w/ a water bottle so I decided to grab a Gu and take as much as I could. I choked it down and then continued on.

Mile 3: 8:04

What goes down, must go back up….eeek. The course then turned right and went back up a small, but very steep hill. This was where I was really feeling it. I had mentally prepared for other hills, but not this one. I just slowed my pace and soldiered on.

Mile 4: 8:37

At the 4 mile marker we then hit our last water station and continued our journey back onto the Jamestown Bridge. I was really hurting here and cursing myself for going out so fast. The only good news about running on the bridge again was the fact that we had the wind at our backs, thank you TAIL WIND! I felt as if my legs were cinder blocks and I trudged up the hill. I just kept telling myself that it would be over soon and this was great preparation for the HBH Half & SFM.

Mile 5: 8:51

Mile 5 was then a downhill, THANK YOU! Everyone was flying by me at this point and I was just trying not to completely fall apart. I coasted down the hill and then I noticed that we had to scale the same down hill that we had started so quickly on. This is when I really started to panic. My legs were so tired that I seriously had no idea how I was going to do this. I tried to focus on my crumbling form, but I kept on falling apart. The hill continued and I just kept on telling myself I could do it.

Mile 6: 9:20

The last .2 was a total blur, I seriously felt like I was crawling up the hill! I saw some runners that had finished earlier and they told us that the finish was just around the corner, I found every last bit of energy I had and pushed it into overdrive, trying hard to finish strong.

.25 2:11

Garmin: 6.25 Miles: 53:41 Average Pace 8:35

Official results: 278/930 Kimberly Chambers 53:42 8:39 F

Check out this amazingly high quality video of the race complete with only the most bumpin’ tracks.

Overall, I was relatively happy with this race. It was extremely challenging and it was fun to get out run in a different part of New England, and as always it was really fun running this race with Katy! I did really hate the rain and wind, but it is great to race in those conditions, as you never know what the weather might do on the day of your “A Race”. Even though I was cursing the course the entire time, I do think I will try to run this again. You can’t improve if you never push yourself, right?

SOGGY.

Afterwards Katy and I chatted about what non-runners say to us when we tell them about running races like the Jamestown Bridge 10k and Heartbreakhill Half. They ultimately always ask, “if it’s so hard, why are you doing it.” We then ultimately decided, “if it not hard, why do it?” and this is going to be my running mantra for the remainder of 2011.

Have you ever signed up for a race purely because it was challenging?

2011 Race list (Thus Far)

I have a lot of races coming up, so I thought it might be fun to put them all in one place!

Doyle’s Pub Emerald Necklace 5 Miler

5 Miles Jamaica Plain, MA 4/10/11

From what I’ve heard this is a great 5 mile course along the Emerald Necklace in Jamaica Plain. It’s complete with a great free race T-Shirt & free beer, how can you beat that?

BAA 5k

5k Boston, MA 4/17/11

A fun & popular 5k that takes place the day before the marathon. It’s officially the most expensive 5k I have ever registered for, but the awesome t-shirt, medal, fast field & finishing under the official Boston Marathon finish line makes it worth it.

Jamestown Bridge 10k

10k Jamestown, RI 4/23/11

This race is apparently very hilly and challenging and weaves throughout scenic Jamestown and Newport, RI. I definitely need the hill race experience so this is a no-brainer in my book. Plus Katy & I will be running this one together!

Boston Marine Corps Honor Run

5k South Boston, MA 5/7/11

Walking distance from my apartment and a fun way to kick off an old fashioned day drinking party, the Kentucky Derby. I’m looking forward to getting a lot of friends involved in this fun and flat 5k.

Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon

Half Marathon Newton, MA 5/15/11

Oh Heartbreak, we meet again. Remember that time I vowed to never run you again? Well, those emotions were fleeting and I’m hungry and ready for more! I’m looking forward to improving upon last year’s time which given my awful race, won’t be terribly difficult

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge

3.5 Miles Boston, MA 6/2/11

One of my favorite spring/summer events in Boston! It starts and ends at Boston Common, and it’s a great chance to get out of the office with coworkers and get your sweat on followed by a few celebratory brews afterwards.

Yarmouth Run for the Arts 5k

5k Bass River, MA 6/18/11

This race is in the neighborhood of my family’s house on the cape, and it also happens to be on my Birthday! Plus, I can convince Foxy to run with me 🙂

Nantucket Triathlon

Sprint Tri Nantucket Island, MA 7/23/11

I’m pretty excited for this one, it’s a great excuse to get to Nantucket during the peak summer months and spend time with friends! This is the weekend before SF so I will be keeping this fun and avoiding ruining my taper.

San Francisco Marathon

Full Marathon San Francisco, CA 7/31/11

This is the biggie. I absolutely CAN’T WAIT. I have a good feeling about this one.

Hyannis Sprint II Triathlon

Sprint Triathlon Hyannis, MA 9/10/11

I’m excited to have another sprint triathlon on the schedule that I can go full bore and actually race. It’s helpful that this is close to my family’s house and it’s a great chance to see my mom 🙂

That’s it for now. I’m considering a few fall Half Marathons, hoping to get a spot on a Reach the Beach Relay team, the Tufts 10k and numerous other races. Decisions, decisions!

What does your race schedule look like? Do you have any suggestions of races I should add?