“This isn’t going to be pretty.” At over 100 degrees at the start of the race with no air movement, I knew it was going to be hot. But I had no idea just how truly hot it would be. And I’ve never wanted to quit a race so badly in my life. An 8k race at that!
We started out the 8k Hypnosis Race at an easy 9 mile pace heading up the slow grade at Estrella Mountain Park. A field of about 100, I thought there would be more crowding during the initial mile of the race. But the triple degree heat was like being slowly baked in an oven. And trying to run at any kind of decent pace just wasn’t happening.
Shortly after the right turn onto the technical portion of the competitive loop that says, “Experts Only”, the true suffering began. Every time I hit an uphill portion, I struggled to maintain even a slow run. My heart rate was too high, my body was already overheating, and I flat out wanted to quit. Over and over, I thought about turning around and just calling it a day. But then I realized that nobody was passing me. And it dawned on me that maybe everyone else out here was suffering just as much as I was.
And so I pushed on, walking and trotting whenever I could on the slow uphill battle. It wasn’t until the midway point of the race as we hit the top of the biggest climb that I realized I had no choice but to keep moving forward. After all, my car was back at the finish line.
Thank goodness for the water drop. While the water was hot, it was still water. And after I refilled my empty handheld, half of the water was poured on the back of my neck in an attempt to cool my core and the other half was quickly consumed. Fortunately, we had just one minor climb followed by the finish line after a nice downhill descent.
During the final section, I was able to move a few places ahead out of sheer determination to get to the ice bucket where I would proceed to shove handfuls of ice in variously clothing areas and begin what I knew would be a long hydration process.
See, I have this new rule. “You don’t go home until you pee.” After an ER visit two years ago following the same event, but with a longer distanced race, I vowed to never let that happen again. It took 3 hours of constant drinking to get to that place, but I wasn’t about to spend the evening in the ER again. And so I drank and drank and drank until finally, I was able to go home.
So while nothing about Hypnosis was pretty for me I learned that my mind is the first thing that can get me out of the game, and the best tool that I have to keep me in it. Still, somehow I managed to finish in 6th place for the women. I’ll take it. I will definitely take it.
Oh, and as I have a birthday on Friday- this is my final race before becoming a master’s runner. 40, here I come!
***Special thanks to Aravaipa Running for a challenging, but amazing race, Squirrel’s Nut Butter for keeping me chafe free despite massive sweating, Acel Compression Socks for keeping my legs and feet healthy, and Honey Stinger for keeping me fueled. An extra special thank you to my wonderful husband and amazing son, for always supporting me in all of my endeavors. And, to my amazing parents that are teaching me more and more each day what it means to persevere through even the toughest of situations.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free or at a discount. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”