Shane and I had the distinct pleasure of taking on our first race of the summer last night, braving 10 miles down by the beach. Here are a few things we took away.blessing footage 1

*** Photo credit George Ross @ RaceRhodeIsland.net

Ten Miles is a Long Way to Go

10 miles in the training log doesn’t compare to a 10 mile race. It’s a long way to go, and a large amount of time spent working your threshold. However, while the running is tough, you can also use it to your advantage, because you’re working at a pace that’s within your control. Unlike a 5k, which is short and fairly straight forward, a 10 mile race is long enough where you go through ebbs and flows. Shane and I both found ourselves cruising through some miles, working through others, back cruising again, working, cruising… In the end, I think you may be able to use longer distances to your advantage, even if it’s a tough day. Which brings me to…

Knowledge is Power

This year, thank god, I ran smart. Shane and I went out with a pace in mind, found a rhythm, and worked away at a solid rate. What we didn’t do was try to go out at a pace we knew we couldn’t handle. Compare that to last year, when I didn’t enter with much of a plan and, to my extreme detriment, didn’t listen to my body. I was toast by mile four and suffered the remaining six; it was rough, but it was an important lesson to learn, and I knew not to do that again. Knowing the race, having a plan, and listening to my body all led to a positive experience.

The Blessing is what running, to me, is all about

If you’ve ever had the privilege of running the Blessing, then you know just how special the event is. All walks of life convene at a small little middle school in Narragansett, amidst an evening ocean backdrop, in the late July heat, to test themselves. Ten miles isn’t the local church 5k, so it takes a certain level of motivation to get yourself out there, regardless of ability. Still, this year the Blessing had nearly 2500 finishers; that’s 2500 people who wanted to go out and collectively engage in pain. Whether your goal is to break 60 minutes, crack 2 hours, or just finish, the level of joy you get for accomplishing it is the same for everyone. There aren’t many sports that can give you that.

Go Rhode Island

Any race that doesn’t end by the beach just can’t compete. Sorry.

-Liam