And just like that, the 2017 race season has started. The Hot Dash 10 mile has been my season opener the past two years, but my legs weren’t quite race ready a month ago. So we switched it up and instead I raced Minnesota’s annual rite of spring: the Get in Gear half marathon. I was pretty stoked, too, because most of the course – river road along the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Paul – is my regular long run route and my absolute favorite place to run.
After a chill morning – the race started at 9a – I checked my sweats and did a quick warm-up before lining up with the 7:00-mile pacer. The first four miles ticked off quickly as I kept pace with three other women. By the time we cruised downhill under the Franklin bridge I was warmed up and right on target. My legs felt strong, too.
But as I flew down that giant hill I also knew I had to run back up it – along with quite a few other climbs between miles four and eight. And they weren’t much fun at race pace. By the time I hit the uphill into mile eight at Franklin… OMG. OUCH.