Sunday, July 15, 2012

Too Hot to Handle 15K

Today I ran the Too Hot to Handle 15 K.  Texas, July, 15K, sounds fun!  It actually wasn't all that hot, and the course was nicely shaded for the most part.  I finished in 1:53 and some seconds.  I did some serious walking in the second half, but ended up running more than I thought I would be able to.  My training, once again, was subpar.  My goal headed into the race was to make it to the half-way point before stopping to take a walk break.  The course was a nice out-and-back, so judging halfway was easy.  I felt really good the first half, so then decided to go to 5 miles.  Was still feeling good shortly before the 5 mile marker, so decided to get to 6.  Runkeeper told me when I reached 6 according to GPS, but I couldn't see the mile marker on the course anywhere.  I ran for another minute or so, before deciding to walk.  Not two seconds later, I saw the marker.  I made myself start running again until I passed it.  At one point around the 5 mile mark, I started thinking of trying to run the whole thing.  I swear my legs heard my thoughts, and they immediately registered a protest.  It was as if they said "look bitch, if that's the way you're going to think, we'll just quit now!"  I reconsidered, and said I would evaluate how I was feeling at 6 miles.  My legs concurred that this was a much better plan.

I ran a lot of the race without music, which was less boring than I thought it would be. Around mile 2, my iPod decided it didn't really need to send a signal to my headphones.  I unplugged the headphones and replugged them several times, but that fixed it only the first time.  I unplugged them so I could at least hear the Runkeeper prompts every half mile.  There were still a lot of people running near me, and I enjoyed listening to snippets of their conversations.  Around mile 8, I plugged my headphones back in, and the iPod decided it could send me music again.  It was much appreciated!  I made myself run the whole last mile, and I was so glad to see the finish line!  I actually started crying when I finished, which made catching my breath difficult.

A few thoughts about the race set up:  the race is held on the trails around White Rock Lake.  While it was nice to run on the trails instead of the road, the trails were still open to the public.  Several bikers were trying to do their rides at the same time the race was going on, and some of the bikers were none to happy to have so many runners on the path.  Some of the runners definitely contributed to the problem by not staying towards the right of the path, so the bikers could easily pass on the left.  The course support was great - water and powerade around every mile, with sprinklers set up at several stations.  Whomever prepared the powerade made it very weak though. After spitting it out at the second or third station, I stuck with water the rest of the time.  There was a nice lady around mile 7 offering ice cold washcloths.  I'm pretty sure she was an angel.  People park like assholes.  We got there about 45 minutes before the start.  Much of the parking is just along the side of the streets surrounding the park.  We passed at least 5 spots where someone could have parked if people had parked another foot or so either forward or back.  It seems to me that if you are attending a popular event, and you know parking is limited, you'd park yourself in a manner that would allow your fellow runners to park as well.

The same race organizers run the same race in January, called Too Cold to Hold.  I'm definitely signing up.  I will be very curious to see how much faster I can do this race in less hot conditions!

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