Let’s just say yesterday’s race, the 10 mile inaugural Hot Dash in Minneapolis was less than hot. Here’s a recap of my experience, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the uglier.
I went into this race with the mind set that “it’s 10 miles, I’ve run farther before, no big deal”. My last race was a half marathon at the end of October ’14. I figured I’d done a good job maintaining my running stamina by running 2-5 miles, 2-3 times a week on the treadmill. This was my first mistake.
Woke up on race day, showered, got my gear in order, inhaled a bagel and some water. As I turned the knob to leave for my car a thought crossed my mind: “Oh shoot, forgot the body glide. No worries, I’ve got my good socks.” Skipped it and left the house. Mistake number two.
Picked up my friend and we drove down to the cities. Found a great parking spot (we were an hour and a half early) and chilled in the car for a while. We headed down to the start with plenty of time to use the porta-potties and get set in the coral. National anthem, then we were off – exactly at 9:00 am. (Gotta hand it to Twin Cities in Motion. Every race of theirs I’ve run has been perfectly punctual.)
Mile 1: Was feeling great but went out too fast for my current fitness level after a winter of short treadmill runs.
Mile 2: Realized I went out too fast and tried to pull back.
Mile 3: Still trying to recover from my initial burst of energy, my Spotify is interrupted and my playlist starts going haywire. This has happened before – I realize my 8 year old is on our same account trying to play music. I try texting and calling him but he won’t answer. I call my husband but my 6 year old answers. I tell him to tell his Dad to check his phone to get our 8 year old off the darn Spotify account. Finally the competition for the music ends. (I find out later it was actually my 6 year old who was on it.) This whole ordeal slowed me down, I had jogged slowly trying to figure it out, walked some.
Mile 4: Get myself regrouped, pace is back up – enter, the side stitch!
Mile 5 & 6: Just plodding along as best I can. Wound up taking way more walk breaks than I usually would.
Mile 7: Blister on the left foot, keep on jogging.
Mile 8: Taking even more walk breaks now due to blister. Get some semi-urgent work texts, so I answer those and some work emails.
Mile 8.5: Hubby texting me that he can see my progress on MapMyRun and is virtually cheering me on – so thankful for that! Kicked it up and tried my best to get my pace up.
Mile 9.5: Blister is killing me now, start running with a limp just tapping my left toe which causes an increased strain on that calf.
Finish: As I’m rounding the corner to the finish I see about 5 people who (somehow) look to be in worse shape than I am. I figure I can just sprint and at least have passed a couple. As I’m running like my life depended on it my overused calf collapses. That’s the best word I have for it. It just quit working. I thought I was actually going to face plant across the finish line. But I didn’t, I finished strong and was never more happy for a race to be over.
My slowest race pace in a really long time. Later at home I showered, I cried, I slept. Then I got over myself.
Whenever I’ve made a mistake, my grandmother has asked me one question: “Did you learn something?” The answer is yes. I learned many things along this 10 mile course.
- Don’t go out too fast! I say I won’t every time but the race excitement always gets the better of me. Need to work on that.
- Don’t take a significant distance for granted. Next time I’ll train better.
- For goodness sake, DO the body glide! It takes literally less than a minute!
- Be more flexible. I should have just switched to a different music app or gone without. I let that slip up mess with my mojo way more than it should have.
Enough of that. There were some great things about yesterday too. Had a lot of fun with with my running buddy before and after the race. The race itself was really well organized – plenty of porta-potties, water stops, parking. The course was relatively flat (I cannot tell you how grateful for that I was!). It wasn’t too crowded. Post race snacks were really amazing: (fresh!) bananas, large water bottles, chips, bread, nut roll, “dash hash”, beer. The after-party village area was also pretty great: fire pits to warm up and a contest for the best runner in lumber jack costume.
I did run 10 miles. I did finish the race. I learned some valuable lessons.
My next race is a 17 mile trail run. I’ve never run more than 13.1 miles. I’ve never run a trail race. I have a month to take what I’ve learned and get ready for this thing. Here we go!