10 miles is probably my favorite distance to race. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because I’ve had some good experiences in the past. Whether it be at the Foxboro Old Fashioned 10m (a traditional Boston tune-up for me), or at the now defunct Run for the Border 10m (where I set a tailwind-aided, never to be duplicated, dream-like PR) I generally seem to do well with this distance. Of course, for every “rule” there is the “exception” and my 10m exception would have to be the Yankee Homecoming race. I NEVER do well there. Too crowded, too hot & too late in the day!
Another reason I like the 10m distance is that it’s long enough that the pace required to maintain even splits throughout is just slow enough to allow me to breathe fairly easily – unlike a 5k or 10k. But, the entire race takes just over an hour which is short enough so that my legs don’t start to feel like concrete cylinders – unlike a Half Marathon. I’m sure there’s some physiology that explains this phenomenon, but for now, I’m content in knowing that, for some reason, the 10 miler is my “sweet spot”.
This month, I ran two very different ten mile races, on two separate continents and both were perfect in their own special way.