This morning my wife and I woke up and got ready to run our first 10 mile race of the season, the Hot Dash, which is a re-branded race that Twin Cities In Motion does every March. The previous incarnation was a week or so later, and was yet-another-Irish-themed-race, so the change to something else is quite welcome.
From a weather perspective, we couldn’t have asked for a better running day in March. The temp when we arrived on site was in the upper 30s, and the high today is in the 40s. I made the decision to go with shorts for my race attire, with a long sleeve top. I wore some outer clothing, which I ditched at the bag check before the race started, but I did keep my hat and gloves with me.
The race started and I went out faster than I knew I should have, so I tried to ease it up just a bit. I ended up falling into a really comfortable groove, and all of a sudden the miles just clicked on by. Every time I checked my pace I was sub-10 minute miles, which is something I haven’t maintained for a long time. I worried that I might blow up mid-way, but to my astonishment I managed to finish the entire race with every mile sub-10 and feeling absolutely great. Well, all except for one particular mile. I decided to be a proper gentleman and not pee in the woods, and instead I waited for two and a half minutes for a portable toilet. According to Strava, there is a 2.5 minute discrepancy between my overall time, and my moving time, which accounts for my bathroom break.
If you discount my bathroom break, my entire run was around a 9:30 average pace which blew me away. The only thing I can attribute it to was all of the trail running that I’ve been doing lately. Running on the road seemed quite effortless, and the few hills on the course were nothing to me as I cruised over them without dropping pace. Despite my struggles to enjoy some of my long runs lately, I know that the work that I’m doing is helping. Today’s race is proof that I still can come close to what I used to be able to do.
So back into training next week as I get ready for my first big trail race in April, Zumbro 17.