Last weekend, I ran the Hot Dash 10 mile race in Minneapolis. I have run the race the last 2 years as a part of the race series that I did leading up to the Twin Cities Marathon. I was never a huge fan of the race– it’s in the early spring when it’s hard to get out and train, and the course is really hilly. But, it’s always a nice butt kicking to kick off my spring races.
Last weekend, I ran my first race of the year: a valentines 5k. I’ve been working really hard on HIIT the last few months, but haven’t been doing a ton of running outside. I wasn’t really sure where my training was at, but I was hoping to be near a PR.
As the race approached, the weather conditions looked worse and worse. We had freezing rain, and then a lot of snow, and then were being hit with below-zero cold. Race morning was expected to be 12 below temperatures, and I was a little surprised they didn’t cancel due to the conditions. But, I do live in Minnesota and it’s a February race!
After having a crappy race day experience during my last marathon, I decided to sign up for a thanksgiving turkey trot 10k to give myself something to move on to. I wouldn’t call it a ‘redemption’ race since I really did nothing wrong before the marathon, I just wound up really sick and stressed out on race day and didn’t enjoy it. I wanted to have a race to spark the enjoyment again.
My training for the Twin Cities Marathon this year was some of my best training ever. My long runs went great and I did more strength training than ever before. I also feel like I was able to balance my training with the rest of my life, and I took a lot of pressure off of myself by feeling like I had to post each and every workout on social media. I felt like I was running for me, and really enjoyed the process.
Everything was great until an easy 12 miler 2 weeks before the marathon. I felt fine when I was running, but after the fact, I started feeling pain in both of my feet on the inside of the arches as well as the inside of the knees. Whenever I experience something like this, I usually take a few days off to make sure I feel better before running again (Sorry if this offends you. If you believe in running while injured, go for it!).
A few weeks ago, my friend asked me to join her in running a local 5k race called the Torchlight 5k. I’m actually not a huge fan of 5k races because my running goals aren’t speed, and it seems like a lot of effort to pay and then only run 20 minutes! At this point in my marathon training, racing also isn’t the best idea because putting my body under that pressure for a short distance isn’t super beneficial for my end goal. BUT, it seemed like a fun race, I wanted to join my friend, and I knew I could take it as easy as I wanted, so I signed up.
For the past few years, I have been running a half marathon on the 4th of July, called the Red White and Boom half marathon. I’m not one to get into themed races, but it usually falls in a perfect spot in my training cycle about a month after the Birdtown half marathon. It’s nice to get another month of training in after the Birdtown and see how my fitness level has improved. I ran my first sub-2 hour half marathon at the Red White and Boom a few years ago!
The race is always a hot one since it’s on the 4th of July, and this year it was supposed to be near 100 on race day. The race starts at 6:30am which is a little early for me, but its the coolest part of the day. Knowing how hot it was going to be, I came to terms that I probably wouldn’t beat my PR of 1:41 that I set at Birdtown this year during perfect weather conditions, but I was okay with that. Once you get into the mindset of training for a full marathon, you’d rather focus on that long term goal anyways!