Good morning and Happy Monday!
Today, I’m sharing my race recap of the Hot Cider Hustle 10k I ran this past Saturday in D.C. If you follow me on Instagram, you caught the photos I shared and the exciting news! If you don’t follow me on Instagram, what are you waiting for? Let’s be friends!
Felix and I signed up to run the Hot Cider Hustle 10k as a precursor to our half-marathon training (which starts on Nov. 20!). I had never run more than 5 miles before, so this was my very first 10k, and to say I was a little nervous was an understatement.
Day Before the Race
I set out my clothes the night before after stopping by Road Runner Sports in Falls Church to pick up our race bibs. I appreciated this facet of the race, because having to register and pick up your bib the morning of can be a huge hassle, so it was nice just showing up the morning of!
Typically, the night before a race, you want to ensure you’re fueling your body properly with adequate nutrition and hydration. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as they should have since we had plans on the agenda to attend a gala in DC with a few friends for the Hispanic Bar Association‘s Equal Justice Awards.
We spent the night playing dress up, eating ice cream for dinner, and having a few drinks and dancing well into the night.
Was it an ideal way to prep for a race the next day? Probably not. Was it fun as hell? Definitely so. Also, the evening concluded with me making actual eye contact with David Tutera, who I absolutely ADORE. If you’re a fan of wedding shows and have watched My Fair Wedding, then you’ll understand the below image.
I had to reenact the EXACT way I was standing, jaw ajar, when we locked eyes. Like, seriously, this is what I looked like when I saw one of the coolest and most fabulous fashion designers ever.
I am an idiot.
Bedtime was around midnight and our alarms were set for 6 a.m.!
I woke up on race day feeling pretty good, despite not having an actual meal before bedtime. I made sure to hydrate well the night before and began drinking water immediately upon waking.
After having coffee and getting dressed, I made myself a large piece of toast with almond butter and strawberry jelly and ate that around 8 a.m. as we made our way to RFK Stadium where the Hot Cider Hustle was held.
Proper fuel before a race is important, and I’m still playing around with this since I typically work out first thing in the morning in a fasted state. I have an incredibly sensitive stomach, so I get queasy pretty easily, but this toast seemed to settle well.
We arrived around 8:30 a.m., stood in line for the port-a-potties to get out last-minute nervous pees (I can’t be the only one), and walked towards our corral and began warming up with light jogging and stretching.
At 9 a.m. on the dot, the shot was fired and we were off!
Miles 1 & 2
I felt good during the first 2 miles. My legs were warming up, and I was making sure to keep my pace on the slower side so I wouldn’t burn out too quickly. The wind was pretty killer, and I was happy to have my ear warmer and fleece. Towards the end of mile 2, the route became pretty desolate. There weren’t any spectators, there was no music, and we were basically just running around a completely empty parking lot.
Miles 3 & 4
My legs were still feeling okay during miles 3 and 4, but I was having incredibly sharp diaphragm cramps. I made sure to focus on my breathing, inhaling deeply, holding my breath and exhaling every few steps or so. At one point during mile 3.5, I turned to Felix and asked him for help. “Just talk to me, please. About anything,” I said. I needed a distraction, especially since the course was pretty boring.
Miles 5 & 6
Around miles 5 and 6, my cramping eased up and I was able to get into a nice stride with my pace and breath. We also saw one of my coworkers, and after screaming from excitement and giving high fives, it gave me the strength I needed to keep going. I was feeling pretty weak at this point, and I contemplated taking a Gu, but I only had a little over a mile to go. I just know that in the future, I need to fuel more before a run of this distance.
Mile 6 & 6.2
When we hit mile 5.6 or so, Felix said to me, “We’re at 50 minutes.” This prompted me to speed up my pace to ensure I crossed that finish line before the time read 60:00. My goal was to run the 10k in under 60 minutes. We rounded the final corner with only .2 miles to go, and that’s when the tears began to stream down my face. I pushed as hard as I could, and I felt my tired legs propel me forward and my face turn into a scowl from pain and exhaustion. I saw that the timer read 56:00 and that’s when I sprinted.
I crossed the finish line in 56:05, and immediately broke down crying. I also felt like I was going to be sick, so I made sure to walk around for awhile, drink some water and try to understand what we just did.
We ran a race.
And we killed it.
We stayed for about 30 minutes or so, saying hi to my coworker and standing in line for our hot cider and caramel apples before stretching and taking pictures.
I’ve said this before, but I’m so thankful I had Felix by my side. His encouragement helped me when I needed it the most, and his willingness to talk to me for a mile to keep me going was such a nice and supportive gesture. It helped confirm that, while racing for individual times, everyone who is racing is in it together, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
After leaving RFK, we cleaned up a bit in the parking lot (I joined the #sportsbrasquad for the first time – look her up, she’s the COOLEST) before heading to Eastern Market for brunch with Felix’s sister and her boyfriend, which I shared on my Instagram stories.
I dove right into a mimosa, French toast and an omelette and loved every single bite.
After strolling through the market for several hours, we came home and posted up on the sofa for the rest of the evening and finished Stranger Things.
Total distance: 6.2 miles
Average pace: 9’19”
1: 8:46 – super excited race day mile
2: 8:47 – this is still kind of fun, but where is everybody mile
3: 8:59 – diaphragm cramp mile
4: 9:07 – talk to me before I quit mile
5: 9:12 – omg is this over mile
6: 9:10 – I HAVE TO BEAT 60 MINUTES MILE
.2: booked it and cried a lot mile
I’m not surprised my pace slowed down during this race. I would have preferred negative splits, but with the side stitch and the mental struggle, I’m so proud my pace didn’t slow more than 9:10. That’s AMAZING.
While I enjoyed pushing myself and tackling a new-to-me distance, overall, I didn’t enjoy the route, aside from the beginning of the race. There was only music at the starting line and the fact that the route took us through an empty parking lot, it didn’t allow for much to look at or listen to and that got boring very fast. I did enjoy the race swag, however. The fleece, coffee mug and caramel apple were nice treats to have post-race!
Would I recommend running a Hot Cider Hustle to anyone? Maybe! I’d say depending on where the location is. It’s also a good race for people of all levels, offering a 5k, 10k and 15k.
Sunday was spent foam rolling and soaking in epsom salts. I also ate a lot of cornbread for ~*balance*~.
Question of the Day!
Do you have a favorite race you’ve run?
What’s your go-to race day breakfast?
Have you watched Stranger Things yet?!