This past Sunday I ran in the longest hot weather, summer race I've ever done.
In the past, I usually take a "break" in the summer, kind of "saving myself" for marathon training and because I am not a big fan of the heat. I've had bad experiences in hot weather while running...heart rates in the 200s and probable heat stroke 4 years ago. Those two things alone make me leery of running outside in the summer. So this summer....I've committed myself to running outside once a week (if not more), so I can become "acclimated" to the heat, work on my mental toughness (I need some!) AND so I can do races like this!
Too Hot to Handle was definitely a race on my radar early on, but due to unknown summer plans/vacations, etc, I never registered. Lucky for me, one of my fellow MRTT'ers had a bib available that would have gone unused. So, I jumped right in!
This 15k course is entirely next to one of the few outdoor oasis' in Dallas - White Rock Lake. It was flat, shady in most parts and had nice scenery! There was also a 5k option available.
I arrived at the race site at 6:50am (yawn!) so that I'd have plenty of time to park and walk to the start.
I met my fellow MRTT & Lifetime Run friends for a picture and soon we were lined up to start.
Honestly, the first few miles weren't all that bad. The race started at 7:30am and while it was still in the 80s, it didn't seem terribly hot. The course was well supported and even had sprinklers at several aid stations to run through. It felt awesome! Volunteers handed out ice cold towels at 3 stations (*awesome*) and at the finish. There was no lack of water or Gatorade (a problem that another summer race in the area, that will remain unnamed, chronically seems to have).
After mile 4, I slowed down significantly. My goal was 11min/mile, which is a lot slower than the pace I have been running, and I hit that spot on. Running by effort only and taking walking breaks when I felt like I needed it, this pace felt comfortable without feeling like my heart was going to explode. Seeing that I hadn't run 9 miles since March, I am pretty happy with my finish time. At the time I finished, temps were in the low 90s. This race definitely lived up to its "Too Hot" title.
Post race there were a lot of vendors, snow cones (to purchase) and beer. I had to work, so I headed straight home without checking any of that out, but it all looked pretty fun.
Despite my loathing of running in the heat, I will definitely do this race next year! I've already recruited my fashion twin Luisa and I'm sure I can bully a few more friends into this as well.