Yesterday I ran Too Hot To Handle 15k and I didn’t die.
I was signed up to run this race last summer, but ended up with an ankle injury about a week before the race. I wanted to register for 2016 so that I could actually go and run it (actually, I just wanted the race shirt).
I got up bright and early Sunday morning to head to the race venue. The race was held at White Rock Lake in Dallas which is about 1:10 from me. I wanted to get there early as parking in this particular location is limited. I arrived just after 6am and was so glad that I got an early start. Parking was already beginning to fill up! I sat in my car a bit but didn’t stay long because I’m not good at sitting. This gave me more than enough time to take care of all the pre-race stuff plus I had plenty of time to center myself and get mentally ready, which I desperately needed. My confidence had taken a hit since training in the heat and rehabbing my psoas.
Finally it was time to head to the start line! The weather ended up being perfect (for July, anyway)…I actually had chill bumps pre-race. The temps were in the 70s and the sun was hidden mostly by clouds. As soon as we started, I felt the sun on my back….of course! Luckily, that only lasted for a moment. Another plus was that a good portion of the course was shaded which helped in managing the heat as well.
Going into the race I really had no idea what I could manage with my current fitness level. I was hoping to keep most miles at or below 9:00 pace, or run the race at 1:25 or less. I eventually decided not to stress over it, run what I could and focus on the mile I was in.
Mile 1 – I went out too fast. I knew I was going out too fast and I really did try to slow down, but we all know how that goes… Mile 1 came in at 8:44. I got my heart rate leveled out and started getting into a groove in mile 2, which came in at 8:54. Mile 3 was mostly up, and since I was still trying to keep heart rate under control, came in slower at 9:08. I managed to keep my shirt on through mile 4…I tried to keep it on but I needed a breeze! LOL I was still feeling pretty good, keeping a fairly steady pace and my heart rate was still in zone 2. I stayed right around the 9:00 mark during miles 4-7. Mile 8 came it at 9:07 – I was starting to get hot and tired. Thankfully, the race volunteers were handing out wet, ice-cold towels at the aid stations, which definitely helped me from falling completely off-pace. Mile 9 came in at 8:51. My heart rate was in the low part of zone 4 at this point. I really tried to push the pace those last couple of miles but I just couldn’t get my legs to turnover as fast as I needed/wanted.
The end result was a time of 1:24:39 and 8th out of 56 in my age group; 150/604 overall. While this wasn’t my best outing, I am very pleased with the results. I didn’t taper at all for this race and I kept my heart rate in zone 2 for most of the run. I did manage to get into zone 3, but only hit zone 4 briefly last mile. For those of you that don’t train by heart rate, this was, for the most part, an easy run. In any case, it was a much-needed confidence boost!
I knew that I wouldn’t place in my age group with the time that I had, although I didn’t expect it in any case because Run Project races are usually well attended by really fast runners. LOL Because of this reason, I had not planned to stay for awards. However, I was still in line to get my post-race banana and water when 5k awards started and the announcer mentioned Lakewood Brewery would start serving beer at 10. (I may have squealed.) I hiked back to my car to get my driver’s license and still had a 30 minute wait when I got back, but I waited because Lakewood is one of my favorite local breweries. It was sooooo worth it!!
This week, I felt a lot of anxiety about this race and almost considered not running it. I was THAT rattled. I am SO glad that I did! I haven’t really raced since Rock n Roll Dallas in March and I needed it very badly! Now my eyes are fixed on July 31, when I’ll be participating in my first triathlon!