Monday, March 9, 2015

Hot Dash 10 Mile Race Recap

I ran the inaugural Hot Dash 10 mile race on Saturday morning.  Truth be told, I completely regretted signing up for this race in the weeks leading up to it.  I signed up thinking it would be motivational and would push me to increase my weekend long run distances.  I thought the motivation might result in me becoming a winter runner.

Well, that plan kind of failed.  As usual, January and February were cold.  February was especially cold as we didn't get above freezing for most of the month and there were many subzero mornings.  I'm a hearty Minnesotan, but I'm not THAT hearty.  So my mileage has been very low and I only got in a handful of runs in the 6-8 mile range.

I went into this race with no expectations besides finishing.  I didn't have a pace goal in mind; I decided to just try to hold a pace that felt comfortable.  My previous PR was 1:32:32, which is about a 9:15 average pace.  I went into this thinking there was no way I'd beat that PR.

Luckily the race-day weather was perfect.  It was 37 degrees and sunny so I was able to just wear a light long sleeve and running pants.  

Getting ready to head out the door, feeling awfully nervous about how this race would go.

In my mind I thought it was realistic that I'd run around a 9:20-9:30 minute/mile pace.  Here is how my splits broke out:

Mile 1 -8:24
Mile 2 - 8:26

* After the first couple of miles I was surprised how comfortable the 8:30'ish pace felt.  I figured this race would turn into a tale of me starting too fast but I decided to just stick with the pace I was running since it felt good.

Mile 3 - 8:32
Mile 4 - 8:29
Mile 5 - 8:23

* At the halfway point I thought - "huh, I guess maybe I will PR."

Mile 6 - 8:20
Mile 7 - 8:25
Mile 8 - 8:24
Mile 9 - 8:28
Mile 10 - 8:22
The rest - 1:30 (the course measured 0.17 miles long)

The happy smile of a girl that just surprised herself and PR'd!
My official time was 1:25:37 - so I was 5 seconds shy of shaving 7 minutes off my last PR!  My official average page was 8:34. I love stats, so here are some finishing stats:

- 338th out of 1,029 total runners
- 128th out 576 female runners
- 31st out of 107 F30-35 runners

The only explanation I can come up with for this surprise PR is that I've done a lot of strength training and cross training over the last year.  If you need proof that strength training and cross training matter, my PR is proof of that.  I have done no speed training, hills, tempo runs, etc since last September.  The only explanation for my ability to maintain an 8:35 pace for 10 miles is that the combination of strength training and cardio I have done has made me a far stronger runner than I was when all I did was run!

It's nice to have a strong race under my belt.  Now I can focus on my next race which is a half marathon at the end of April!!  The spring session of my running club started on Saturday so my goal is to run with the group one week night and on Saturday mornings.  This 10-mile race showed me that I am in better shape than I thought I was so I am feeling good about my overall level of fitness!

But all that said, even though I ran a strong race and PR'd  - I'm NEVER signing up for a March race again.  I learned my lesson - nothing will turn me into a person who loves running in bitterly cold Minnesota temps!


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Great job on the PR! Your intentions were good when you signed up, but even if you are a hearty Midwesterner, it is still not fun to run around in the cold every day! I am glad that in the end your strength training paid off; it makes me wonder what else you can do with a good balance of cardio, strength and core!

I ran this weekend, but am realizing that my race at the end of the month is going to be difficult, as my feet and back are sore from my weekend run, which was only a third of the distance as my race will be!!

Marisa A. said...

Yes to strength training!!! I remember when I ran the Get Lucky Half Marathon last year and I had basically zero expectations as I hadn't done very many long runs but had been killing my strength training, and also it was about 18 degrees out. But I definitely surprised myself by running about 20 seconds faster than my usual race pace! I'm by no means a fast runner so anytime my speed increases I get excited :)

Marlys said...

Bravo! That was awesome to cut that much off your PR, and am so happy the weather was so nice that morning! It sounds like the next two weeks are going to be pretty awesome in the weather department!

missris said...

Woohooo congratulations on a PR! I'm with you though--I don't think I'll EVER be a winter runner (unless it's indoor on the treadmill, that is).

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Woohoo!!! Congratulations on the personal record - that' fantastic!! It's even better because you totally weren't expecting that. I'm happy for you - that's a great accomplishment :-)

Emilie said...

Way to go!!! That is an impressive PR! I agree that winter running is not fun. I was much better about running outside last winter because I went into work for 9am instead of 8am so I had an extra hour to play with in the mornings. This year has been such a struggle, plus our average temperature for the entire month of February was 15 degrees or something ridiculous like that. I am nervous for my half next month but I'm hoping that my strength training will help me, plus I should be able get in some runs outside now that the clocks have changed.

Nora said...

Way to go on the PR! So happy for you :)

Jeanie said...

Good for you, Lisa. That's impressive! And the weather is turning for the good, I think (hope) so more to come, I suspect!

Amber said...

SO awesome! I definitely find with the addition of strength training and cross training I can run way less and still have strong races. Another big difference I've noticed with strength training is I recover much much quicker!

I will never be signing up for an early in the season race again either. Even though we have had a very mild winter I still discovered I just don't really like training in January/February.

Gracie said...

Good job on the PR and good reminder to focus on strength and cross training .

Stephany said...

Way to go on the huge PR, especially since you went into the race not very confident! I'm glad you had a wonderful race day, but I totally understand not wanting to train for a race during a bitterly cold Minnesota winter.

Leigh said...

Congratulations on a great race Lisa! All of the strength training definitely paid off

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

wahoo! way to go!

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

That's an AWESOME race result! Here's a few other things I think also contributed to your great timing.
(1) Not over-training. You kept your distance running limited, so your body wasn't tired by the time race day was here.
(2) Getting the right sleep. Even though your body wakes up earlier than you'd like, at least it was a natural wake-up, rather than the alarm dragging you out of bed earlier than your normal time.
(3) Weather! When I ran my fastest marathon, it was 36 degrees at the start of the race. I think that's a GREAT temperature for longer runs - your body heats up (no worries of frostbite), but it's not too hot.

In any case, you did such a great job. Congrats!!

Charis Faith said...

Congratulations on the PR!!!! I totally agree about the cross training and strength workouts! They make a huge difference!!!! I didn't deal with temps as cold as yours but I did a lot of treadmill running to get ready for my half!

Abby said...

Way to go!! I'm so proud of you! You keep such a good consistent pace!! That is awesome!!

You lucked on out weather!! That's awesome!

My ideal race temp is between 40-45 degrees! So 37 is not bad!

Way to go, Lisa!