I’m going to cut right to the chase, so to speak, since no one was actually chasing me: I did PR at the Sachuest Point10K in Newport, Rhode Island, on April 9. Only, because I am bad at remembering things, I didn't figure out it was a PR for a few hours after I'd crossed the finish line.
Let me back up.
My boon (and non-running) companion Jenny and I left for Newport, about a 4 hour trip from where we both live, on Friday, April 7, which also happened to be my 46th birthday. My family and I celebrated in our usual way by not really celebrating at all. We manage expectations by keeping them as low as humanly possible; that way everything is a lovely surprise.
Non-running Jenny and I farted around Newport — a lovely city that is very New England-y in all of the best ways — on Saturday, then met up with some mother runners for dinner. There was chatting and eating and more chatting.
The next morning, after shoving a bagel in my face and hitting the bathroom one last time, we drove to second beach. When I picked up my bib and t-shirt the evening before, I learned the 10K++ had miraculously become a bona fide 10K, thanks to some flooding. While the organizer was disappointed because it meant the course was more of an out-and-back than she’d intended, I was thrilled. Rather than turn off Herr Garmin the Second at the actual 10K mark, which is what Coach and I agreed on, I could just run without paying too much attention to the distance. My goal, which we also came up with during our conversation, was to keep my pace just a little bit faster than I felt comfortable with.
After a windy, chilly start, the first mile clipped by. As did the second. I felt great, frankly, and was able to keep the first two miles under 10:45 as planned. The hills started right when I was going to pick it up for the next two miles. A bit of a bummer, yes, but I made sure to stay uncomfortable even when I slowed off of my goal pace to heave myself up and over the course. By the last mile, I was ready to be done. I put what was left of my pedal to the metal and booked it on home.
My A goal was 1:07; B goal was 1:08 — both of which I knew would be PRs, even if I couldn’t remember exactly what my PR was because, unlike some mother runners, those numbers aren’t etched on my brain. Back when Coach and I first started working together a couple of years ago, I’d told her my 10K PR was 63 minutes, which couldn’t possibly be true. If it is, I can find no record of it and it likely only exists with a naked Timothy Olyphant riding a unicorn in the fantasy section of my brain.
After a quick shower and brunch, Jenny and I hit the road. I was pretty sure that my 1:09 wasn’t a PR, which, like the hills, was a bummer, but I was thrilled by the run I’d put together. I felt strong the whole way through and pushed harder than I thought I could. I didn’t beat myself up when I slowed down on the uphills, which is a minor miracle for me. Plus, the love for running I really hadn’t felt for a few months was finally back. And that was enough.
Still, I had to check.
After some poking around online, I discovered that my best 10K was a 1:11 in 2014, which means I’d knocked two minutes off of my time. And, lo, there was much rejoicing.
There is no rest for the weary mother runner, however. I’m gearing up for the Pittsburgh Half, where I shall run with no urgency because I’ll be working the Expo most of the weekend (and finding other mother runner shenanigans, too). My only race goal is to take a selfie on each of the five bridges the course crosses. I love a good bridge. Hope to see you there.
So are you a BAMR who remembers her PRs down to the second? Or are you a BAMR who can maybe remember the first number, if you’re feeling lucky?