Preparing for the Dash N Dine 5k

By Cheri Felix

I’m in Utah somewhere in between nowhere and somewhere. I was sitting at the only coffee shop for miles (that resides in someone’s house) when a climber asked me “Are you a runner?” I paused and said “Yes.” For some reason I felt the need to add that I usually self identify as a mountain biker, but yes, I am a runner too. It was my Hokas that gave it away. That and probably the shorts and the socks. The whole combination. I share this tale as an example that we all feel a little out of place sometimes. We all feel like we don’t quite fit or belong or know what we are doing. So this week I will offer my very novice advice for preparing for the Dash & Dine 5k Run Series.

5k is the Euro way of saying 3.1 miles, and most of us can get through 3.1 miles. Even with some walking or slow swaying or crawling. One thing you should know is that (in my experience) running with a bunch of people makes it go faster. You will probably run faster in an organized run.

What should you do to prepare?

Well, if you’re like me, practice running for 3.1 without stopping or only stopping at mile intervals. If you’re new to running or out of shape like most normal human beings in March, walk at the 1/2 mile mark. For me, it means NOT stopping to take pictures I can post later on social media. Do not worry about timing yourself. Just run. ADVICE: The first mile kind of sucks for most of us. It’s like cleaning the kitchen or cleaning out your car or going through your kid’s room; it’s hard to start but after a bit, something clicks. I am not promising hearts, flowers and unicorns but it will get better.

You can also do the run/walk or walk/run thing. Lots of really smart people recommend that strategy as a training tool. Another of the my favorite strategies just in case you are busy working, taking care of the kids, keeping the boss happy, trying not to stress about if you have enough in savings or just have a busy life, is to just show up. Show up and run and watch the magic unfold. If you tried this strategy with the SAT’s, don’t worry. This will be better.

In the 5k, pace yourself.

On that first mile you may want to go out fast but resist that temptation. Make it your goal to make each mile a bit faster. Even if it’s by 5 seconds. If you go out too fast it’s akin to saying yes to a blind date you haven’t googled; you may get in over your head real fast. The last part (where you can smell the finish) is downhill. Running downhill is still running. Save some for that last part and try to surge a bit or just finish with (or without) dignity.

The Dash & Dine 5k Run Series is a training tool for the Bolder Boulder but it’s also an opportunity to push yourself in an inclusive setting. I will never be the fastest woman out there, but I will be out there. I can’t let fear of being last or in the middle hold me back. And neither should you. And remember, you are what you say you are. If you call yourself a runner, you’re a runner. No need to add words like “just” or “only”. Come out for the first Dash & Dine 5k Run Series on Tuesday, April 11. We’ll be having fun. One way or another.

See you soon!

[Editor’s notes: Stopping to take pictures for your social feed is a perfectly acceptable reason to stop, walk and take in the views during your run. There are special random awards planned for the real runners in the pack that may finish in say, in 45th place.]

Women’s Wednesday: What to Wear for a 5k

From Dash-N-Dine

By Cheri Felix

Last week we talked about why you should do the Dash & Dine. Now that we’ve got that covered, this week I’m going to give you a bunch of free advice that will vary between sort of helpful to did she really say that? Let’s get started.

If you’re new to the Dash & Dine or to running or racing a 5K you should stick with me. If you’re totally a master and have the latest rage; a gear room and you run all the time, you should stick with me too. Okay, what to wear. I find that when I run I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of menopause. Meaning, I get hot easily. So it’s important to wear whatever you want and not get caught up in what everyone else is wearing and how much their clothing and shoes cost. It’s all about layers and keeping dry. Wear something you can take off and tie around your waist and yes, if it’s raining do not wear your puffy painted sweatshirt. You will be sorry if you do that. Final word; dress comfortably and know that it’s a 5k. You can wear anything for a 5k.

How serious will this be?

I’m going to be very honest because I think you can handle it. IT DOESN’T MATTER. This is like taking a test in high school; eyes on your own desk. If someone wants to act like they might get asked to join the NIKE running team, then great. For the rest of us, we are really just out there to push ourselves and to get some good photos to post on Facebook. What time should you get there? Well, race starts at 6:30. If you need to sign up on site, arrive early enough to to do that. Plan for time to warm up, which can mean calisthenics, push-ups, jumping jacks or running up the hill and back a few times. (Revolution Running will lead a FREE warm up with dynamic drills if you would like to join.) I tend to go for the Jack Black version; I talk a lot and try to look cool. And yes, you’ll need to pee. Do that when you get there, when the line is short(er).

In summary, the Dash & Dine is inclusive.

Whether your 5k time is 17:21 (yes, there are those people) or 49:19, you’ll fit in. You may feel a little like a fish out of water but that’s okay. It’s okay to feel a bit uncomfortable. It’s okay to wonder what you were thinking when you signed up. It’s okay to worry that all the other cool kids will be faster than you. When we feel uncomfortable and we still show up, that’s when the good stuff happens. Next time we’ll cover what it feels like to run a 5k and what you might want to start doing in order to get ready.

See you soon!

Women’s Wednesday: From the Couch to Dash n Dine

From the Boulder Dash n Dine Series

By Cheri Felix

Like many great things in my life, it was a friend who introduced me to The Dash & Dine Run Series. We went on the final night of the series in 2015. It was darkish outside and rainy and cold and it seemed that only the “serious” people were out that night. I mean really, if you had to choose between your couch on a night like that and running a 5k in the rain with a bunch of strangers, wouldn’t you choose the couch? I’ll cut to the chase. It was so much fun and it was so gratifying that I waited all the next year for the series to start again. I wasn’t going to miss out.

A 5k. It’s a nice low number and if you convert it to miles, it’s even lower; 3.1 miles. It can be a tougher distance for long distance runners but for the REST of us, it’s completely manageable. Like, even if you walk/run or run/walk or mostly walk with a side of running, it’s manageable. And when you’re done, there’s food waiting for you. And there’s the lovely feeling you get when you realize you could’ve stayed home to watch Netflix or make dinner or clean our your kid’s lunchbox but you chose to go for a group run instead. It’s like the best feeling. Way better than the one you get from cleaning out the lunchbox.

Is it a race? For some. Is it timed? Yes. Do you have to race? No. Here’s how you do it; you show up, you run and at the end of the race, you’ll know how long it took you. What you do with that information is up to you. Me? I try to get a little faster. I compete with myself. No matter how long it takes me, I feel proud of myself. At the end of the day, I pushed myself for a small window of time mostly with strangers mixed with a few friends. And someone fed me. It really is awesome. Come on out this year. Don’t be like me. Don’t wait until the last night in the series. And it is fun. It’s not serious. It’s only running. It’s just you, your feet and your (elevated) heart rate having a little Tuesday night date night.

Plan Now
Tuesday nights at the Boulder Reservoir. Series begins April 11th. Don’t wait to see if it fits in your life. Sign up and tell your favorite (or least favorite) friends.

Next time we’ll talk about what to wear (whatever you want) and what you can expect. We’ll also be talking about the 5k distance and I’ll give you some completely novice tips. It will be like a Food Network or HGTV show except no one will cry and you don’t have to make big decisions.

See additional series details and sign up here.