Race Report: Marlborough Tough Ten
here’s the scoop
A week ago on Saturday November 17, I realized I hadn’t run in a while and felt like I needed a shot of exercise. So I threw on my blue hand-me-down sneakers and went on an 8 mile run from my house to Ward Reservation and back (this is all in Andover, MA by the way). After running the back roads of suburbia, exploring new areas of downtown, asking a snow-shoveling man for directions, and poking around Ward Reservation, I found myself back at my house with an interest in running reignited. I wanted to:
- go on more cool runs
- but also be around more people doing the cool runs too
- experience competition again
Thus, after The Run, I whipped open the laptop and searched for the first upcoming race I could find: the Marlborough Tough Ten Mile Turkey Trot taking place on Sunday November 25 at 9:00 am, exactly 1 week away.
This race looked appealing to me for a couple of reasons: it was 10 miles, and the registration fee was a donation to the local food pantry (15 cans of veggies) instead of a straight up entry fee.
I had one week to prepare. I don’t know much about preparing for a race so I just did what felt right for my body. My training goals were to:
- get miles under my belt
- stretch a lot
- not worry too much about running fast
- mixing in some strength via body weight exercises: upper body, core, and legs
These goals manifested into the following week long training sesh:
- sat nov 17, start: 1:00 pm – 8 mile road run
- sun nov 18, start: 6:30 pm – core, upper body, legs … 1.4 mile cool down
- mon nov 19, start: 5:45 am – 2.9 mile road run
- tues nov 20, start: 5:45 am – 3.4 mile road run
- wed nov 21, start: 7:00 pm – core, upper body, legs … 1.4 mile cool down
- thurs nov 22, start: 8:45 am – 8 mile road run
- sat nov 24, start: 9:00 am – 4 mile road run
I confirmed that racing is really fun! Going to an actual event makes you feel like you’re running for a reason. Running with others is a cool shared experience, scratches the competitive itch, and gives a sense of community. Much more fun than running alone.
In a field of about 100 runners, I came in 8th place overall, clocking in at 1 hour and 14 minutes, 7:25/mile pace.
Through school I’ve played competitive sports my whole life: soccer, baseball, basketball, and ultimate frisbee. Since I graduated college this past May 2018, this is really the first time I haven’t been on an official team of some kind or another. Running in the Tough Ten reminded me how fun it is to compete and to test yourself. Physical exercise on your own is great for the body and mind, but I find that the whole experience is elevated when you share it with other people by competing against them and collaborating with them. In this way, everyone involved moves forward in one way or another.