Last weekend, I ran my first “virtual” race. I usually run a few races during the spring and summer, but this year all races were canceled or moved to virtual due to the pandemic. Part of me was excited to finally race, but part of me was nervous about pushing myself in a race that I was running all by myself.
The Red White and Boom half marathon is one of my favorite races of the year. It’s always on the 4th of July and usually really hot, but its so festive and a fun way to kick off the holiday. I’ve been working with a running coach the last few months, so I was excited to test my fitness to see if my work is paying off.
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Last weekend, I ran my 3rd Twin Cities marathon. As I shared earlier, my training went pretty well up until September. I think I hit almost every run on my plan, and my first 20 miler felt really good. Then in September, my IT band started flaring up and I came down with a cold. I got my second 20 miler in, but it was ROUGH. I also started missing more workouts than I completed, just trying to get my body to recover.
I spent the day before the marathon in bed with body aches and a fever. If you’ve been following along, this is the exact same thing that happened last year. Knowing how miserable last year’s race was, I was dreading having to go through that again. I woke up on race morning and didn’t feel as bad as the day before but was really nauseous. Last year I made the mistake of not eating before the race, so I ate a starch bar and a spoonful of peanut butter. I kept sipping mint tea to try to help, but it didn’t seem to help. I just tried to get ready and calm myself before the race.
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Last year, I ran the torchlight 5k race for the first time, because a friend of mine really wanted to do it. I’m not big on 5k races, and I don’t really know why. I prefer to run long distances, but I’m usually more successful (ranking wise) at the shorter distances. And they’re pretty fun too since you’re only miserable for like 20 minutes! We decided to run again this year, and another friend of mine happened to be in town, so she was able to run it too!
After a few weeks of marathon training in really hot weather, we were lucky to have a non-humid 80 degree race day. The cool thing about the torchlight 5k is that it’s right before a big parade in Minneapolis, so the run is at 7:30pm and the course is along the parade route. Races are normally so early in the morning, but I always feel much faster running in the afternoon/evening!
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One of my favorite races of the year is the Red, White, and Boom half marathon in Minneapolis. This was the race that I first broke a 2:00 half marathon, on my second race ever. It usually ends up being a super hot and humid day, but something about the excitement of the race makes up for the weather! The race also follows a pretty flat and scenic course, with lots of people coming out to celebrate the event. The race finishes by running across the historic stone arch bridge which is always a great ending!
As I shared after my last half marathon, it’s been a rough season of racing for me. After having a great 10 mile race at goal pace, and feeling like my training was going so well, I got sick and it all fell apart in 2 half marathon attempts after that. I also discovered that I had an iron deficiency, and suspect that I was overtraining and exhausting my body between the two half marathon attempts.
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Every May, there is a one mile race in downtown Minneapolis. I ran it for the first time last year and had so much fun. I never run “just” a mile, especially during a race, so its a fun way to see how your fitness has improved without a huge commitment.
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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.
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