Mid-Winter Classic 10-miler race report

I am happy to report that this was a totally awesome race. My goal was 1:35; my time was 1:30:31!

That’s the 6-second video Tony recorded of me crossing the finish line. 🙂

Backing up …

My little sister by 7 years came down yesterday to spend time with us/visit our brother/cheer me on for this race. We picked up my bib at Maine Running Company in Portland and went shopping.

Me & Gweeb

Jean (also known as Gweeb) lives two hours away in Bangor and I don’t see her nearly enough. It was a nice surprise to have her down for the weekend. Guests can be an added pressure, but it isn’t like that with Gweeb.  We carb-loaded at my favorite Lewiston-Auburn restaurant,* Davincis. I picked the perfect thing — Penne Mona Lisa. White pasta and red sauce. Yum.

This morning, I had four slices of raisin toast; one of those slices with peanut butter and banana. And coffee. Tony drove to Cape Elizabeth High School for the start of the race.

I took photos in the car.

It's really bright ...

This is not a flattering angle, is it?

Tony, driving

I felt so nervous before the race! I questioned everything I had done to prepare for it. Was I rested enough? Did I eat the right things? Did I drink enough water? Did I bring enough fuel? Should I have brought my fuel belt?

I realized, after the race started, the only thing holding me back is me.

The weather as perfect. The music I chose was perfect. I felt great. I was going to do my best.

My goal as 9:30 miles. I looked down at my watch after the first mile. 9:08. Fuck, I thought. I’m going too fast. But I just ran on how I felt. I saw my heart rate in those early miles, and it was in the 160s. Earlier races, I tried to race under 141, so 160s seemed kinda high? But fuck it. This was a learning experience. If I bonk, whatever. I could still walk it in. I wasn’t worried about finishing.

And I held it.


  • 1 – 9:08.05 / 154 hr
  • 2 – 8:55.27 / 162
  • 3 – 9:09.84 / 159
  • 4 & 5 – 18:24.55 (9:12.23 avg.) / 157
  • 6 – 9:15.01 / 157
  • 7 – 9:23.43 / 162
  • 8 – 8:52.15 / 163
  • 9 – 8:52.70 / 167
  • 10 8:07.97 / 174
My sister asked me what I think about when I run for ten miles. So as I was running, I thought, “what am I thinking about?” I realized that I’m at least 80 percent thinking about form. Are my shoulders back? Core engaged? Hips forward? Arms loose? Shoulders straight?
I also thought about this:


I thought about this as many people who were significantly older than me ran in front of me. With a gait that suggested it was quite taxing for them to run. But still faster than me! For several miles!  I’m still at a point in my life where I don’t see people younger than me and think, if I were that young, I’d be fast like them. I don’t think that day will come for a long time. This is a sport that rewards technique — you can’t muscle through it. Which is one of the things I really like about running.

I crossed the finish line gasping for water. And air. Especially air. And wishing the fluid would get out of my lungs, dammit. I gave that last mile my all, and I’m really happy with the result.

*Of which there are MANY restaurants of distinction to choose from, so this distinction is with love!

** These are from my watch taken at mile stops. And I must be off somewhere by about 27 seconds, because my watch clocked me at 1:30:08.


Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

I'm a new mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, our daughter Felicity, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.