Dash-n-Dine Race Recap: Fun is Key

By Cheri Felix

Now that we’ve completed Dash & Dine #1, here is my race report. Mine might be different than the usual race report (as if anyone else went home to write in their Dash & Dine diary).

Easy. I signed up a long time ago so all I needed to do was pick up my bib. Keep your bib. It’s your bib for the series. That’s slick. Now all I have to do is show up. No waiting in line. Now I have more port-o-potty time.

Warmup. Matt from Revolution Running lead us in a FREE coached warmup. First we ran and then we did drills. It was my first coached warm up and I’ll admit, my first real warm up. Matt was nice and helpful. It was fun. And he’ll be there again next Tuesday.

Fun. I want to be very clear. I am not that person who says “I’m just out here to have fun. I don’t care about my time.” That’s not me. I do care about my time. I want to get faster and stronger. Of course, at some point I won’t get faster, things will level out. But for now, there’s room for improvement. But it does have to be fun. Even after childbirth they handed me a beautiful baby. Suffering is fine as long as it’s served with a side of fun. Friends, kind spectators, food afterwards and a welcoming finish line; all ingredients for a fun evening.

My time. Okay, here it is. My time was 14 seconds slower than my fastest time last year. Which means I am 14 seconds slower than my peak time which was at the END of the Dash & Dine 5k series. The good news is that my last mile was faster than my first two. Can I go out a few seconds faster on the first mile without losing it? Can I go a bit faster on the second mile if there is no headwind this time? Maybe. Or maybe #2 will just be slower. What then? Who knows. Perhaps that’s part of why we line up. It’s an unknown and in this life of immediately knowing whatever we need to know whenever we need to know it (goodbye microfiche, hello Google) we line up not knowing how it will all work out. And like when some of us get married or take our car into the shop, we hope for the best.

Honesty. I’ll be honest. There are some people out there that are fast. Like 18, 19, 20 minute 5k fast. You can’t see me, but I’m clapping for them. For the rest of us, we line up, we run and we finish. Our time is our time. It’s a number on a clock. It’s not a statement about who you are as a person. It’s not a determinate of how long you’ll live or how much you will be loved. It’s not a hint as to how nice you are or how you will be remembered. It’s a number and it’s your number.

I hope you’ll come out for the next Dash & Dine on Tuesday. I’ll be there and I’ll probably be talking loudly at the start and laughing at the finish. If you need a pep talk, come find me.

See you there!

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.]