Monday, April 4, 2016

TCM Hot Dash 10 Mile 2016 - Race Recap

I had such a pleasant 10 mile race at TCM Hot Dash on 19-Mar. I had made up the blog post in my head while running and promised myself I would publish it immediately after reaching home. Haha, but life happens and here comes the post a few weeks late.

Got up at 6:15 then snoozed till 6:30. Made my tea and Dosa for breakfast. Avoided looking at the clock to avoid the rising panic of being late. Then got ready and left home by 7:30 am. Surprise outside - there was a neat silver powdery layer of snow on roof & roads. Great ! Its Spring but no letup in cold. Again I avoided worrying about icy roads and being late.

This race was in NE of downtown Minneapolis and I had googled the route to start point, in advance. Driving the last block, I tailgated a car with Ragner sticker. Reached at 8:30 at the parking spots given in the race site. I had toggled all week about buying an advance parking ticket. Thankfully it was not full and no long queues.

Temps were around 25F. There were many people warming in their car. It was tempting to stay in my car, but I needed my bib and a right size shirt, so I followed a runner-looking crowd and reached Registration tent. I had an extra hoodie but nothing else for bag check. Good thing about winter races is I can carry my phone & car key in my jacket. Its the hot races where I need a safe place to store these. By the time I reached, my fingers had frozen in my new thin running gloves - but I am never going back to those bulky gloves while running. Actually I was avoiding panic that my gear might not be enough for these temps, because of a long run gone bad 2 weeks back. I got lost and cold around West Medicine Lake and gave up because I was going cold. I had to call my hubby to pick me up from wherever I was. Last week's 9-mile long run at Luce Line Trail went super, so I could keep my panic down.

Everything was cool and methodical at Registration area. Bib, T-shirt, safety pins, coffee. Then I followed others and landed in a building with heating. A Blessing ! Its amazing how many places you can discover by following others. That was a good place to spend the next 40 minutes. Then in the last 10 minutes, when the 5K crowd had left, I did the bag check and pit stop and joined the 10 mile start line.

The roads were wet or icy all through. I think I ran the whole thing looking down - not a recommended approach, but it worked for me. My mind was only on one step at a time. And past few weeks of training helped. I could feel the difference in  the quality of my run. I was not doing any Flash-like sprints or anything miraculous. But I could run farther without walking. I think I walked at Mile 3. Here onwards it was in the North Arts District. This route was same as first half of Minneapolis Marathon. Second half will be covered by Get in Gear.

For a change I set my watch to show pace. This was a change for me, after some chat with a trainer. Numbers showed some facts. Even though I felt, I was chugging same as before, the pace showed I really started fast and was slower in the next half. So that's a learning.

At mile 8-9, I was fed-up, waiting for this to end. It was on the Mill City side of the river. And I could see I have to go past the StoneArch Bridge and turn. I could hear the guy on loudspeaker at the finish line. It was hard to believe all of that, was just a mile away. So it was causing panic. But I made through that and even sprinted the last quarter mile and finished at 2:12 minutes.

Picked up my bag (not a last one haha) and made my way to the end celebration area. It was very satisfactory. A hot meal of mashed potatoes with peas & cornflakes, lots of energy bars and water and photo booth. Skipped the free beer.

This race T-shirt and medal are awesome.

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