Here are some of my take aways from the Holston River Endurance Run, which was my first-ever timed event:
- These people are crazy to run around in circles for hours. And so am I. And I want more of it.
- Big gravel hurts to run on. ‘Nuff said.
- There’s a very big mental aspect to timed races. In a normal race, if you run faster you’re done sooner. In a timed race, running faster will get you more miles. However, it won’t make it end any sooner.
- Sunscreen should get reapplied mid-race on a sunny day. I didn’t want to “waste time” by reapplying sunscreen, but I should have. I ended up with a sunburned neck and sunburned shoulders.
- I need to work on hydration, especially in hot and humid conditions. By the end of the race my calves were cramping. I was also covered in goosebumps, had a headache, was coated in salt, and had stopped sweating. Things were definitely headed downhill and it’s a good thing I was only running the 6 hour option.
- I should have been better prepared. I knew it was going to be hot and humid. But other than bringing a cooler with a bottle of Powerade and putting on sunscreen, I didn’t do anything to prepare. I saw other runners who had brought coolers for cold washcloths and wondered why I didn’t think of that. It would have been nice to have a cold washcloth or even a Buff with ice on the back of my neck.
- If I wasn’t afraid of the dark I would have signed up for the 6 hour night option to stay away from the sun and heat. I need to keep working on being okay with running at night. (Looking at you, Into the Darkness 4 miler!)
- I finished with 21 laps / 25.5 miles. I would have really liked to get one more lap in to put me over a marathon distance. BUT, I am really happy with my accomplishment. It’s the furthest I’ve run in over two years, and I’ve really been through the ringer since then. It’s nice to be on the other side of things.
And there you have it. On to the next!