I’m going to start this race report with two lists. First, a list of lessons I learned. We’re all here for the takeaways, right?
- Don’t trust people who tell you races are flat.
- Always wear sunscreen.
- Don’t part your hair down the middle for marathons.
- Don’t skip the warmup ever ever ever.
- Go ahead and pee in the bushes.
I always say it’s a bad idea to sign up for a race on the tail of another race, especially a bad one. But last fall, after a whole season of never feeling good (running or otherwise, which might’ve been iron, life stress or both or neither) I scrapped my fall marathon and running a half instead, and not particularly well. My husband was signed up for the full and ended up DNF’ing, so it was a rough day all-around. On my way home I was texting about my poor performance with one of my best friends. She replied that she was planning on Grandma’s, and over the next few days I did a little research. I knew a bunch of girls had run hella fast there last year, the weather should be okay, and it was net-downhill. Plus my friend was going and Mr. Chic doesn’t usually run a spring full. What the hell! I figured. Time to get myself sorted out, to get in some good training, take a fun girls’ trip, run a new race and see a new city. I signed up within a month.
Not only was the entry cheap-ish, but you get a jacket if you sign up early. A JACKET!
Which brings us to the second list, a list of things I did not know, that you may want to know before signing up:
- The race entry is cheap, but nothing else is.
- Hotels are expensive and sell out fast.
- Flights are pretty limited into Duluth.
- It’s a net-downhill course in the same way Boston is. The hilly way.