Sunday, October 21, 2012

Terri Roemer Paramus Run, 10k/5k Double, Paramus, NJ. 10/21/12

(   Article in the Record, by Bruce Weber)

The Terri Roemer Paramus Run, is an annual run that benefits the Paramus Scholarship Fund in Paramus, NJ. Runners have the option of running either the 10k at 9:05 am, the 5k at 11:15 am.  This gives runners plenty of time to race both. The race description explains: "Both the 5K and 10K courses pass through scenic, tree-lined residential neighborhoods." Um, they forgot to mention the hill.

Yesterday I ran an easy paced 22.5 miles, most of it with Team in Training.  It took just under 4 hours and worked out to 10:35 pace.  I don't care what anyone else thinks, I know that for me slower, longer running seems to make me stronger and takes very little out of me. I knew I wanted to race something today, so I was happy to take it easy.  But during the last 3 miles of the run, the allergies I thought I had been suffering from began to feel more like a cold.  My throat felt inflamed and the gatorade I refilled my bottle with was burning as a swallowed, badly.  Each swallow felt worse.  I was getting goose-bumps and felt like crud.  I could not wait to just get home.  This run no longer felt easy!

Even feeling sick, I still combed the race calendar for options. I was really happy to see a 10k USATF-NJ points race scheduled.   I am short on Category 2 races (those btw 4 miles and 15k) so it was nice to get another set of points for my score card. Once I realized I could run both the 5k and the 10k I was sold! 

So after getting registered I barely had time for a little warm up.  I knew nothing about the course, had no expectations, realized that if I just ran 18 miles at 7:09 pace and a half at 7:01 pace, so I should be shooting for about 6:40 for this race. I felt achy and had a lot of congestion but I have raced much sicker and still ran PR's so I didn't think it was going to make this worse... and if it did, it did, so what? It will still be a workout. 

The 10k
Gun goes off and I try to find a comfortable pace.  As I now look over my splits, I am surprised at what I see.  I take splits, but dont always look at them until later.  I thought my first mile was faster, but it was actually M1- 6:38.  I continued on cruising along thinking that I would try to run a pace that I could pick up the speed from in the last 2 miles.  M2-6:38.  (Cool! I had no idea I was that even!)  

And then came the hill!  I am actually glad I did not know about this until I had to run it. I am sure I would have not run the first two miles as well if I was trying to save myself for this.  I have to look at the data, but the hill was long and steep and one of those cruel tricks RD's play where you go up a steep hill to a turn and hope that you will go down after the turn... but you DON'T, you get to go up more instead.  I hunkered down, reminded myself that I run a lot, so I am strong and just tried to minimize the havoc this incline was going to wreck upon my pace.  As I passed mile 3 mark I convinced myself that we just got rid of all the Ups at once, so the next 3 miles will just all have to be downhills now!  :)  M3- 7:05.  (Ok, not as bad as I thought!)

I got back into my stride and found my rhythm.  I was now coughing out phlegm from my congestion and it was choking me at times,  As I a started to feel crappy, it was then that I heard my head... the song from two weeks ago that propelled to a 18 miler PR.  Awesome!  

We we making our way back downhill, but I felt like it was a little too steep for my legs to just fly.  I still needed a minute or two to recover from grinding up that incline.  I managed to salvage this mile and hit M4 in 6:38.  I noticed the clock reads 27:01, a time a few seconds faster than my 4 mile PR, although I have run a 4 mile split faster in an 8k. 

At this point, I started to get tired. I was told by the girls directing us that I was first female!  I didn't want to loose my position.  As we turned a corner, I peaked over my shoulder and saw only one guy in the distance. (Yeah, I know you aren't supposed to peak, but I dont like rules and I like to have information, so I look all the time especially when I cant gather the information I need without looking back).  I relaxed this mile focused on pushing in mile 6. M5 6:48.

I hit mile 6 and realized that if I can just hold my pace, I may actually win my first 10k race ever!  At some turn in the final mile, I had the chance to scan back and again saw no women. (oh boy, there she goes looking back again!) ;)  But the course was very turny so that didnt mean I was going to win it.  I figured if I just don't slow down, if there is a chick chasing me down and if she flies past me the she deserve that win.  I just didn't want to give it away.  M6: 6:37

At this point in the race, I was pretty thrilled that I was about to win. I looked at my time and realized I could be sub-42 and I picked it up, running the last .2 in 1:19 and securing the win :) 

10k Stats
TIme: 41:46 (6:43)
Overall: 24/448
Gender 1/197

So I get some water, talk to the RD, jog back to my car and text Sid.  I put on some warm clothes and head back to the race hoping to jog around between the races.  It was at this time I debated even running the 5k.  I had felt a large hot spot on the ball of my foot and it was getting more aggravated as I walked around on it.  I jogged a little and it actually felt better when running than it did when walking, so I decided to go for it.   I had worn a brand new pair of T7 Racers, which were great.  I love these flats.  The spot form after I had experienced some rawness related to the way I had taped up my plantar fascia.  The skin peeled recently there, and now I was racing fast, mostly up on my balls of my feet.  The turny, downhill running seemed to heat up the area.  I had my Connects with me, but I felt no need to change them for the 5k, b/c when running or jogging the hot spot wasn't an issue. 

Awards were announced btw the races, so instead of logging more miles, I socialized.  Hey after all, isn't this the fun of racing :)

I dropped my plaque off at my car, took off my warm up clothes, headed back to the porta pottie line and then off to the start.  This race had almost twice as many as the 10k.  Even though I felt stiff and tired, I still lined up towards the front. The gun went off and we ran the same way we did for the 10k.  I recognized several men who were just ahead of me in the 10k, also just ahead of me in the 5k.  

I wasn't even sure how to handle this race.  At a few tenths in I started to feel like this was not one of my brightest ideas!  My legs were tired! I was stuck behind runners and not sure I wanted to move beyond them when opening presented themselves (but I did). 

I hit mile 1, so grateful to only have 2 miles left, not 5!  M1- 6:42  Because I had assumed my first mile of my 10k was a lot faster (I thought the clock read 6:29, when it read 6:38!) I was really concerned to have run my first mile so much slower than before...(actually only 4 seconds)...  I was wondering how this was going to go.  

Then I saw Jim O, who called out 4th woman and 46th OA.  "Seriously! No Way!"  I either thought that or said it out loud.  A guy next to me, clearly much fresher than myself, attempted to help me out by making some race related small talk about what I need to do and where the other women ahead of me are.  I was so tired and congested that all I could hear was my heartbeat in my ears.  I believed I grunted something at him, as he pointed out the 3rd place woman directly ahead of us.  I moved ahead and passed her before 1.5 miles to go.  

I no longer was worried about my pace and I became focused on trying to hold a top 3 for the next 1.5 miles.  I had now passed a few of the men who had beaten me in 10k.  I felt proud to have the strength to run further faster than those who can run faster than me shorter.  It gave me hope that I have a new marathon PR in me that wants to come out soon. 

As I hit mile 2 it seemed surreal to only have 1 mile left to go. I could feel that I had the energy to maintain my speed but I wasn't sure I could catch anyone or run any faster.  M2- 6:45

I could see the first place and second place females ahead of me.  The really were not too far, but it looked like an eternity.  If I sped and they faded I could catch them in the last mile.  I tried to dig for something and it was rough.  I was depleted.  I was still gaining on the women.  I was actually reeling them in, but the straight away as so long, that they were really 10-20 second ahead of me. 
M3- 6:39

Every step felt like it was in slow motion.  I was truly working hard for this.  I could hear them announce "First woman... Here comes second woman"....I tried to dig for anything  and as I approached, they announced that I was securely in 3rd.  Final 0.1: 0:41

5k Stats
Time: 20:53 (6:44)
Overall 29th/708
Gender  3rd/373

The coolest part about this double is that my 5k time was exactly half of my 10k time.  Clearly I have 1 speed... now if only I can just hold that pace for 26.2... look out! ;)  


  1. Very impressive! I've done two races in one day before, but never that close together. Congrats! :)

  2. Great job. I ran both also and I just didn't have the kick at the end of the 5K. Worse than the hill was waiting an hour for the 2nd race to start while watching everyone eat

    1. LOL! I just saw this comment. I remember sitting in my car to avoid the food!

  3. Very nice read. I've done the Paramus Run 5K the last couple of years, and finally summoned up enough courage for the 10K this time. Your article was informative and hopefully has prepped me a bit better on what to expect.

    Your race times are extremely impressive! Good luck for your HM/FM...

    1. Thank you and Good Luck! I wish I could return. The races are really a lot of fun! :)

  4. Shannon...I must agree that the 10K course is super tough. RD's always...always note that the courses are "flat and fast"...flat to me is a track! The hill on that course is not a joke...but I figure everyone in the race has to endure it! Hope your running is still going strong!

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