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Dash for a Splash 2012

You rarely hear someone say they regretted getting in exercise (injuries notwithstanding). I tackled the Dash even with my uncertainty and can add another year of participation to the list.

Just a few days ago it was hot and sticky but the mornings have really begun to cool down. Typically the Dash is pretty hit or miss with weather. There have been several times I trekked the distance in the rain. Not this year! It was a chilly morning (52 degrees) and I walked around with a light jacket until it was time to line up.

There’s always a harsh divide between the runners and the walkers. I tend to be smack dab in the middle of both groups. I always start out at the front of the walkers and some runners pushing strollers will glide past me, but more typically I’ll end up catching up to people to dash out too fast and loose steam.

On your mark, get set, GO!! (Can you spot Alex in the front?)

I’ve always loved how small this race is. You’re not packed in wall-to-wall people and can do your own thing. I also love the fact that the majority of people are walkers so I never have to worry about coming in last 😉

I started out walking. My main concern this year was just to keep my heart rate at a reasonable level. Last year it topped 200 bpm and I didn’t want a repeat of that! So I turned on my tunes and focused on quick, easy steps.

This race was so different from other years in many ways. One – normally I pre-plan everything. I even strip down my mp3 player so I just have 43 minutes of tunes on there and know which song will end at the 40 min mark – and push to finish before that song ends. I also never, ever, ever have a cheering squad. Alex is too fast for Mom & Dad to drive around to watch and cheer but if they went out to cheer me on, they’d miss seeing him cross. So I always run alone.

Imagine my surprise when I was trekking down the road and a familar guy was snapping away taking pictures of me. 🙂

Ben weaved through the bakc neighborhoods and stopped to offer smiles, encouragement, and my water bottle. It was fantastic!

The final mile+ of the race transitions to sidewalks. Since there aren’t many people usually this doesn’t prove to be a big issue but for whatever reason I encountered two younger boys who would walk in the middle of the sidewalk and just as I was about to pass them, would dash ahead a bit and then slow to a walk until I got ready to pass again. –sigh– It’s tougher to keep scooting over to the grass and weaving in and out. I prefer to try and keep my strides even. I finally had to just jog until the kid would tire and I was sufficiently in front so I wouldn’t have to keep weaving, which I did with each boy (one and mile 1 and the other around mile 2) but then I got some side aches.

(One of the boys who kept jumping in front of me:)

The temperatures were amazing though. Once I got going I never felt overly hot. There was just a slight breeze and it was fantastic.

So was my cheering squad.

I did a few quick runs and would run past every driveway and road apron and then walk the rest of the time. Although I ran each time I saw Ben.

Ben would walk along with me as I chugged some water and gave me updates on Alex. Apparently he was sitting around 7th overall when Ben last saw him.

As I was rounding the final turn to head to the finish, there wasn’t much gas left in the tank. No one anywhere in front of or behind me so you know all the people at the finish line are watching you. I kept walking until I was half-way there and then jogged across the finish line to a great round of applause.

Nothing fantastic about my time: 41:31 – 25 seconds slower than last year. I also finished 5th in my age group. I always try to finish under 40 and set goals to run a full mile the next year but it hasn’t happened yet. In the meantime I’m just proud that I got up and did it and many thanks to all of you for your encouragement leading up to it.

Alex, the running superstar kicked up the octane in the final mile and finished 3rd overall and first in his age group. One day…. 😉

And now another year to train and come back stronger next time!


10 Responses

  1. Great job! Congratulations on going ahead with the run/walk and pushing through. Way to go 🙂

  2. Great job doing the race even with the feelings of doubt! You kicked butt in my opinion 🙂

  3. I am so glad you decided to do the race! And how sweet to have Ben follow you – he’s a keeper!

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