A double race weekend means two race recaps this week!
When Christine and I signed up for this one back in March, we dreamed of a nice day, cold brews and a great run. Little did we know when we signed up it would be 92 degrees at the start of the race. Our goal of maybe racing it changed to run it safely and smartly. We had to trust ourselves to make the right call.
I picked up our race packets on Friday after leaving work so we arrived to the event about an hour before the start. We stayed in our cars for a bit and then found a shady place to hang out before it was time to go. I did the best I could to prepare for the heat throughout the day by drinking a ton of water. I just hoped it would be enough. This was going to be brutal!
We had our post race meeting around 3:50pm and we lined up shortly after for the 4pm start. Christine and I stepped out of the shade to line up and the sun and heat immediately hit us. I know there were several times I second guessed our decision but knowing how Christine and I both are, I knew that we’d play it safe. The gun went off on time! We found ourselves running pretty well for the first mile. I was actually surprised to look down and see that we were running under a 10 min pace and it felt okay. I thought if we could just find a good easy feeling pace early, we’d be good. We hung in there for the first mile as we turned into the Arboretum and bam! Just like that. Full sun and hot. Ugh. We both instantly said out loud, “This is awful!”. We tried to run along this sunny section, but we were burning up. It was thick, no breeze, just yuck. I can’t remember who said it, but one of us did, “Let’s walk a minute!”. YES!! My heart rate was up, the air was so thick breathing was an issue and I was happy if we walked the other 4 miles.
We kept moving and decided that we’d try to run for 3 minutes and walk for one. We went through a few intervals like that but then even at that pace, we were still struggling. We stopped at the first water stop and our one minute walk breaks turned into 5 minutes. Neither one of us worried about it at all. This was all about just finishing. All around us too, people were walking. You’d see someone start running and everyone would kind of start doing the same thing. Someone would stop and a bunch of us would stop to walk too. We were among good company!
To my surprise, we hit mile 3 and were still smiling and carrying on. We’d run some and walk some. Just moving forward and having fun! Police officers on the course were cutting up with us, telling us that we signed for this! It was all entertaining. Several of our friends were out on the course volunteering and offering their support. They were just as hot as all of us! The race director planned for the heat accordingly. There was plenty of water (cold too!) at each stop and there were wet towels at the mile 2.5/4 water stop, although we never got one.
Christine and I just did what we do well, smiled, laughed and kept on moving. Several houses had sprinklers set up along the course and we hit everyone of them! Thanking the neighbors for being so kind to the runners! The miles flew by! Around mile 4, we decided we’d try to run a bit longer than we had. It was pretty shaded along this section and flat. We started running along and actually the last mile was our fastest of the day, I think. At that point, we just wanted to be done. We passed another group of friends out on the course and made our way to the finish line.
We finished in 56:30 and were thrilled that we were even under an hour. I quickly realized that I had run the 10K in 56:02 just the day before. The temperature was about 20 degrees warmer for this race. It became super clear how the heat affects pace and how I feel running in it. We grabbed our finisher’s glasses and made our way directly to the beer line. They had cold wet rags at the finish line too! The race director was passing out freezy pops to all of us waiting. It was the perfect post race treat!
We later checked the results to make sure that our bibs worked; Christine’s kind of melted from being in my car. Christine starts laughing and points to the results page. She had placed 2nd in her age group!!! We started cracking up! Obviously that was not our intention when we started running the race, but what an awesome surprise!! We waited for the awards ceremony where I appropriately photobombed her picture. 🙂 We grabbed another brew and grabbed dinner after.
Even with all the heat, sun and hot, it ended up being a really great race! Sometimes you just have to take things for what they are and treat each day and race as it comes. You have to trust in your instincts to know that you’re making the right decision and not to second guess it. Things went off yesterday just as they should have. We had fun, we got to spend the race running together, and we finished safely.
Do you trust your instincts when it comes to making a race day decision?
Trust is the word this week!
Race Day Recaps also at The Silvah Lining.
Go be awesome! 🙂
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