Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2017 EQT 10 Miler Recap

I have only ever done one 10 mile race. It was in 2015 and it was in the single digits. When I was putting things together for the fall I was having a hard time finding a half marathon to fit in to my training schedule. I decided to add the EQT 10 Miler to my schedule to give the distance another shot.

I had the perfect early November outfit picked out. Then Mother Nature decided that we needed another warm and humid day in Pittsburgh. I had no idea what to wear. I changed my outfit three times. It ended up being around 60 degrees and humid at the start.

This isn't even what I decided on!

Hubs parked downtown and I ran to the start line. This race was part of my long run so this worked. I met up with some of my running friends before hand. It was so nice to see so many people. It was very chill. I liked it.

Remember Jen (in the dark blue next to me)

We made our way to the start line and I saw Amanda. I love her so much. She had hand warmers! I’m drenched in sweat and she is making me warmer! It was so nice to chat with her for a little bit. She really is the best.

Seriously, she is the best!

I couldn’t believe it was time to start already. As I got closer to the start line I realized I was lined up between the 8:00 and 8:30 pacer. Oh man. I guess this is the decision I am making.

The beginning of this race is pretty rolling. The road is wet and slippery. I just wanted to find my pace. I wanted to establish a pace that I could maintain. The 8:00 pacer was gone. I never saw them after the start. I didn’t want to look at my watch because I didn’t want to be super focused.

Mile 1: 8:11

Crap. I’m really fast. I was hoping to be around 8:45 for the first five miles or so. Well, no turning back now. This pace felt pretty good. I hate the West End in any race I run. Heck, I even hate sitting in traffic there everyday. It actually didn’t seem as bad this time. Heading up to the West End Bridge I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Jen. She wasn’t feeling to well this morning and decided to hang with me for a little bit.

Mile 2: 8:13

So Jen and I chatted for a little as we moved through the city. We talked about her wedding, random 90s music that I was pumping and anything to keep us distracted. It was really nice!

Mile 3: 8:06

At this point I have realized my watch is off. I’m not weaving or anything. Jen and I are still doing well but after a slight uphill, she pulled a head of me. No worries, I just need to keep my pace.

Mile 4: 8:18

About a half mile in to this mile is the relay exchange. I know Gretchen is running the second leg of the relay and I am searching for her. I found her and screamed that I was fast and to let my husband know. I took my gel and salt tab and started on the bridge.

Mile 5: 7:56

This mile is the worst of the race. You have all of these people cheering on the bridge and then nothing. I saw hubs there and yelled to him that I was fast. He told me to forget about it and keep going. And then the air stopped moving and I felt the humidity. Holy crap was it humid.

Mile 6: 8:22

I remember hitting the 10k mark around 50 minutes on the clock. I am really putting together a great race! As I got to the final bridge I saw Jen struggling. I asked her if she was alright and she said yes. If she wasn’t I would have stayed with her. My watch was very off so I decided I would lap it at the mile seven mark to give me an accurate final three miles.

Mile 7: 8:29

I had no idea where we were going. I knew we were in the strip district, but I don’t know where to go. It is very quiet and my headphones have disconnected. I fixed them and kept moving. We turned down on to Liberty and it was the same end stretch as the Pittsburgh Marathon. At least I know where I am!

Mile 8: 8:37

The humidity was building and it was getting darker. The rain was coming and I really wanted to beat it. I heard my name called from the side of the road and it was Jen Bigham and her family cheering on runners. It was great!

Mile 9: 8:46

Last mile!!! Yay! At this point I know my PR is happening but I want a good finish. All of a sudden Jen comes up next to me! She told me she was just focusing on catching up to me. I told her my PR was a lock and I was coasting. The last half mile was electric. The crowd was rowdy and I really soaked it all in.

Mile 10: 7:52
Official Time: 1:24:51

Ladies and gentleman, that is a 14 minute 10 mile PR!! I couldn't believe it. To be honest, I still can't. I was aiming for just under 1:30 since I am marathon training. Wow, I just have no words. My body is doing some amazing work and I am thrilled to have had this experience. Plus, I finished right before the rain!

Overall, this was a great race. I am still not sure how I feel about the distance, but I totally get why so many people love this race. The only thing negative I can say about it is having packet pick up at Fleet Feet in the South Hills. It is really out of the way for me to get there and I didn't want to deal with race day pick up.

Below is the elevation chart and course map for the EQT 10 miler.

Have you done a 10 miler before? What are your thoughts on the distance?


  1. You killed it in this race! You looked so good and strong when I saw you so I knew a good race was in your hands. Happy to hear you kept it up and had such an amazing final mile! Way to go!!

  2. Congratulations on your huge PR, you had a fantastic race - so speedy! The hard work is paying off :)

  3. Congrats on that huge PR! I love that 10 mile distance--in fact, I wish there were more 10 mile races.

  4. I love a good 10-miler! I think it's my favorite. Wish I could find more! Great job SMASHING your time!!