Capital City Classic Ten Miler Recap

Mental Will

You guys, I decided yesterday that I have a serious attitude problem when it comes to athletic endeavors. I need one of those awesome 90s motivational posters with a ski slope or Mt. Everest on it to tell me about how life is a very large percentage about attitude. About 3 miles into this race I looked over at my friend Lesley and said something to the effect of “This is why I’m crazy. I dragged my ass out of bed on a Sunday morning when I could be doing many other things, and here I am in the middle of running 10 miles, and instead of telling myself how awesome I am, I’m thinking of all the ways I could have done better — I could have trained more, I could have fueled better, I could have been more organized my stuff better. So no matter how much I do today, I have already decided (3 MILES IN) that I am NOT doing my best.”

I mean, you can imagine that the next 7 miles were loooooong, right?

But let me start back at the beginning. I had signed up for this race about a month ago after my friend Lesley and I had exchanged some fun emails about running. She had run The Relay before, she was making a bunch of running goals for herself this year so we had decided to do some an event together this year and since she is an awesome bad-ass and running coach, she would pace me. She mentioned this race in an email and impulsively, I signed up. I knew it would feel tough but I also knew that 2 weeks before The Relay I should be able to run 10 miles…uh, otherwise I was probably going to be in some trouble. :)


The race started early, and it was in a beautiful area downtown, so despite being nervous I just kept telling myself what I always tell myself about running — that:

a) You are lucky that you even have the physical capability to be able to do it at all (OBVIOUSLY after the events of this crazy week, I felt that even more strongly) and

b) You always get to see things on foot that you never get to see just driving around…so be grateful!


So the race started and I instantly had The Panic. The fact was I was undertrained (I haven’t run in almost 3 weeks, nor have I even worked out in almost a week) and instead of hydrating and eating well on Saturday in preparation, I drank wine and ate Mexican Food. BRILLIANT. 1 mile in and my legs were not feeling fresh and I wasn’t feeling super peppy.

The second and third miles were fine. Nothing felt great, but at least I didn’t have “I’M GOING TO DIE OUT HERE ON A RUNNING TRAIL” on loop in my mind. By Mile 4 I was basically ready to stop. The only upside to this, I thought, was that during The Relay I actually *do* get to stop at Mile 4. I’m going to remind myself of this moment when I am running in Sonoma! So I was starting to feel a little defeated, but Lesley just kept telling me to soldier on, so I did. Running is one of the few times in my life where I just want to be bossed around. :)

tower bridge

We finally got to cross the Tower Bridge which was a pretty little bonus, but at this point I was still feeling TIRED AS HELL. Also, I had a super immediate and ravenous hunger that was almost making me nauseated. I’m guessing my pre-fuel strategy of “eat one meal on a Saturday and have it be Mexican food” was maybe not ideal. But we were busy on Saturday, and that is what happened — and hey — LESSON LEARNED FOR THE RELAY! Luckily I had an old Peanut Butter Gu with my water bottle so I chugged that down. (FOUL!)

We made it to Mile 5 which is where we saw my friend Grace who is part of my Relay Team and that was AWESOME! I was tired and feeling defeated and sometimes all it takes to turn that round is someone hollering your name and waving. This was also the point where I realized that I had forgotten to Body Glide my boobs. What? TMI? I mean, listen — this is real running talk, my friends and BOOBS NEED BODY GLIDE. Ah well, I managed to get all the other good spots, so don’t worry!

We kept going through a random neighborhood in West Sacramento and at this point I started doing some running and some walking. Anytime there was an incline, I walked. Anytime I wanted to die, I walked. :) My mental fortitude was kind of shot by mile 6, and I was most disappointed by that, but hey — it is what it is. Here’s the thing about mental reserves and stress: when you are using a lot of it during your day job 5 days a week — you don’t have a ton leftover for random weekend 10 milers. Noted.

Source: Lesley’s Instagram

Mental fortitude running low or not, I kept putting one foot in front of the other and I feel pretty good about that. We finished our last few miles doing some running and some walking and praying the finish line would be soon! (Well maybe the praying was just me. Lesley was mostly just telling me that I could do it, on repeat! She’s a gem!) The last mile was through Old Sacramento which was cute, but also kind of weird terrain to be running on, and my capacity for dealing with weird at mile 9 was sort of low, you know? We came right up on the last quarter of a mile and our two favorite gentlemen were cheering us on, which was VERY cute. Lesley (again, with the gem-ness) had made me a poster and Garrett was doing some crazy town cheering and holding it when we ran by, and seriously you guys: IT MADE ME CRY.

Our boys are pretty awesome @lesleyjtaylor

Having the finish line be in sight, knowing that I didn’t die, feeling no knee pain at all (WOO HOOO VICTORY!) and seeing people that I love cheering me on….well, WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! It was just emotional. I also felt like, despite the struggles of the day, getting through that 10 miles made me feel like The Relay is going to be just fine. No matter what I’ll get there. (EVEN IF I HAVE TO DO SOME WALKING!)


Total Time: 2:24:57

It was a slow day, but it was a victory just to finish. The first 5 miles I average about 13:30, but the last 5 miles there was A LOT of walking and having a crappy attitude — so I think I’m going to have to revisit that attitude situation. If you have one of those Mt. Everest posters around, send it my way would ya? HA! Anytime before The Relay would be GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT! :)

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12 comments to Capital City Classic Ten Miler Recap

  • Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan
    April 22, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Congratulations! You’re one of a kind, and I love you bunches!

    Fun fact: I NEVER EVER EVER in all my years of running have run without walking. Even when I’m super trained and prepared, I run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute. So… yeah. Walking + running + 100% approved, in my opinion.

  • Rani
    April 22, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Congratulations Holly! I ran that race as a 5k yesterday and didn’t feel on my A-Game either (I blame it on allergies). I feel you on the portion through Old Sac, that cobble-stone felt like an ankle-breaker in the making :0
    Just finishing the race is an accomplishment and you got one of those nifty stained-glass medals- Woot!

  • Roberts
    April 22, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Haha I’ve found eating to be a tricky subject during The Relay. I failed at it the first year and was a little better the second year. I havent even made my plan for this year but it will probably resemble last years. Good job on the 10 miler, I was scheduled to run the 10k in that race but life happens. It looked like a fun course.

  • Steph
    April 22, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Woohoo! You did it! YOU did it!!!

    That poster is really pretty! Good job, Lesley!

    And WAY TO GO, Holly! YOU DID IT!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed
    April 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Good job! Just think of this race as a great learning tool for The Relay :)

  • Liz
    April 22, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Thank you for sharing!! I am running a relay in two weeks and I am super nervous about having to run three times in one day, about food and about everything else about it :). Good job on the 10 miles!!!

  • Cami Sebern
    April 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    10 miles is a long way and you did it!! You did it!! Enough said.

  • eileen ragan | leanerbythelake
    April 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Be proud of yourself! I am!

    Thanks for sharing that Jennings quote. I’m in the process of training for my first race and it helps to have motivation like this.

    Happy Monday!

  • Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School)
    April 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    you DID it!

    this lesley person sounds like someone to keep around.

    you DID it!

  • Lesley
    April 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Well thanks for all the compliments, folks. I was super excited to run a race with Holly this year because I wanted to be a part of one of her achievements. I think this blog is just about as wonderful as its author; I often find fuel for life here. So how about paying it forward, right?

    This was the best 10 miles I’ve ever run. It was really moving to watch Holly battle and press on and refuse defeat. That inspires me. A lot. I’m sure there will be a time this year when I’m mid-battle, thinking of this time we spent together. So…she might think that I was there to help her, but really it was about supporting both of us. xoxo

  • Rachel @ painfreekitchen
    April 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

    So even though we don’t actually know each other, I feel super proud of you :) I’ve never been able to run for more than a few minutes total, let alone 2 hours! I mean, seriously? That’s some seriousness right there.

    As far as the attitude adjustment, not sure I have any advice there because I probably would have been thinking the same things. “WTF am I doing this?”

    However, you might try doing another sport maybe? Not crossfit, not running, not weight lifting. Not the things that we’re supposed to do. But maybe something totally random that you’ve always wanted to do? Dance, horseback ride, play tennis? Maybe the feelings of why am I doing this come from the fact that everyone talks about how awesome running is so you should feel it too?

    PS. Boob glide? That’s just dirty…. 😉

  • Heather BTV
    April 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    FINALLY getting caught up on your blog after a crazy week myself! I cried when I read the sign. FACT. :)





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