Downtown DashAfter the Little Rock Half Marathon, I was signed up for the Downtown Dash 10K to support the Junior League.
I had done this race last year, and thought it'd be a good race to try to help me continue to regain my endurance, and confidence truth be told. Though, I knew that the course was kind of tricky. It's a double loop and there are some challenging long, gradual inclines. It may not be a straight up big hill, the those gradual inclines really sneak up on you.
The race started just over a mile from my house, so I did a slow, easy warmup run down to the start. Only it was warm and humid. I knew right away it was not going to be a good running day. Not only was my cardio still down, but the humidity is never good for my asthma.
I lined up near the front. Unfortunately, several kids and slower runners did as well. It's a small race so maybe it's just a lack of general race etiquette/knowledge, but please don't line up in front if you aren't able to race fast. It's just out of courtesy and also safety really. So, it was a very frustrating start.
Mentally this race got me because it's a double loop. I know the hills, I know the incredibly long, slow, gradual, butt-kicking inclines. I managed 1st in master's but my time was significantly slower than last year. I was frustrated.
This race kicked my rear far more than it should have. I honestly felt like I had run a half not a 10K.
RussVegas HalfThankfully I have very patient running friends who have helped me along. Because I didn't think I was going to do the Little Rock Half, I had signed up for another half - RussVegas. It was highly recommended.
As race day approached, I dreaded my decision to have signed up. I hadn't been doing dedicated speed work, but at least I had worked up to 13 miles steadily. Race start time was 7:30 and it was just over an hour away so that meant a very early wake up call.
The weather started off right around 45 degrees, which would have been fantastic. However, the temps rose fast as the sun came up. It was in the 60s by the time I finished if that gives you an idea of how quickly it warmed up.
The course was surprisingly populated with spectators, bands, live music. It was mostly flat and fairly scenic as well. I was really impressed with the crowd support. That truly goes a long way for the runners.
While the course was mostly flat, there was one really nasty bridge right at mile 12. As you came around the corner, it didn't look too bad from the side, but man once you started up it, your perspective came to a screeching halt ... oh no, that was my speed! Not only was it steep, but the grade changed halfway up to an even steeper stretch. It was like a death march at that point. I was struggling with my breathing, the heat was really getting to me then that darn hill.
Luckily it is pretty much straight down as soon as you crest. I tried to take advantage of that. I could see the enormous American flag at the finish, but it was still so incredibly far way. But I could see it. The end in sight.
I crossed the finish line at 1:37:46. Again, not my best time, but all things considered, I was really proud. I feel like I raced as hard as I could. I did stop at several aid stations for water knowing that the water was more important than my time. So, it could have been faster? But maybe not if I was too dehydrated.
I took 1st in Master's division. This race, while difficult for me still, gave me some much-needed confidence.
One of the best parts of the day was that I got to meet Beth from Running Around My Kitchen. We had actually run near each other for a huge part of the Little Rock Half Marathon without even knowing it. There's even a picture of us next to each other during the race! So, it was great to actually get to finally meet her and not just run near her LOL.