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.
It leveled out for a mile after that so I was able to get my heart rate in check, but by mile 9.5 at the Lake Street bridge I was oddly dizzy so I had to stop for a few seconds to get it together. And the climb at mile 10 into Summit Avenue in St. Paul? Yeah, I walked a short stretch of it.
My legs felt fine, but my mind just kinda checked out for a mile. And as it did, I got in. Nothing will destroy a race or you like getting in your head. Not sure what snapped me out of it, but after some positive self-talk…
You’ve run this stretch hundreds of times. Get moving NOW! Three-ish miles to go!
…I put my head down and found my focus. It hurt like hell.
My Garmin beeped just after mile 12 – phone connected – so I knew Nick and Luma were nearby. And as I rounded the corner to cross Ford bridge, there they were. Exactly the boost I needed for the final mile.
And then a tenth of a mile later this happened…
Nick captures my best moments.
No idea where that came from. It was puke + rally, though, as there was a woman hot on my tail. So I hightailed it out of there (maybe lost about 20 seconds), running as fast as I could to the finish line. Because the faster you run, the faster you’re done! I hit the finish line at Minnehaha park with a new PR and a lot of nausea. And just like Kona, I lost it again as soon as I hit stop on my Garmin (thanks for the water, Paul!). Really hoping puke + rally won’t become a thing!
OFFICIAL RESULTS // 1:34:32, 7:13 pace, 1st AG, 13th OA
Garmin splits: 7:03 / 7:00 / 7:04 / 6:59 / 7:02 / 7:08 / 7:02 / 7:19 / 7:11 / 7:31 / 7:16 / 7:03 / 7:23
Love this little wiggly so much ♥