Ooooh! Of all the things I love to write, race reports are right at the top of my list! I take not of every good, bad, and humiliating thing that happens and write the report in my head during the race. When I get home I just dump it all out and share with
my adoring public the two or three friends who care.
Right! This race! I ran the TC 10-Miler, which is the little sister race to the Twin Cities Marathon. According to my husband it’s weird that Twin Cities doesn’t have a half-marathon to go with the full. I don’t care what he thinks. I love half marathons, but I think 10 milers are even better: the best part of the half, without the mental frickery of that last 5k.
Race day weather was absolutely PERFECT. Minnesota gals like me are all sorts of jazz hands about fall weather, so a forecast of 42 degrees at race time was ideal. There was a little bit of hustle to get through the port-o-potty line and get to Corral 3 where all the
super fast 10 minute milers go. I’m generally pretty full of nerves at the start line, and I’m shocked I didn’t have a heart attack when I wasn’t in my corral 30 minutes before the race like I prefer. I felt strangely calm.
As for goals, I had none. I had a couple of disastrous half marathons in May, about which I could write several lengthy posts, which did a number on my confidence. So maybe I had a goal, but it wasn’t a GOAL like breaking xx minutes is a GOAL; it was a goal to have fun. I still wanted to do the best I could, but I just couldn’t predict how I might feel on race day.
As we finally crossed the starting line and – WOW- what a gorgeous morning! The sky was all pink and blue and full of downtown skyline. The first mile took us out of downtown Minneapolis and along the Mississippi River. I felt perfect during those first 4 miles, hitting splits of 10:03, 9:58, 9:40, and 10:01. There were hills, but they felt easy. You know when you’re feeling really good on a run and suddenly you start planning your next ultra even though you’ve never run an ultra? Yep, I was high on running and feeling pretty invincible. It helped that I was running next to my sister and some friends!
Then that whole reality thing set in. Somewhere between mile 4 and 5, a long hill happened. I ran the whole thing, but really struggled to catch my breath afterward and walked through the next aid station. I *knew* once I introduced walking into the mix, I would want to add in more and more walk breaks.
Just as this minor, potentially fleeting moment of impending defeat happened, I saw a race photographer. Oh, come on! Although in the actual photos, you cannot tell how I’m feeling, so that’s good. I’d show you, but I didn’t buy them; darn those kids needing to eat!
So, the pictures weren’t lying. That walk break felt ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-mazing. Once I stopped, I wanted to do ALL THE WALKING! This is where I differ from the other Salties, I actually really suck at racing. When things feel hard, I don’t have that ability to really push myself. I have never quit a race, but I have absolutely backed off or walked in situations where some people would just push themselves though it.
Miles 6-9 were a mix of walking up hills, running the flats, walking the water stations, running the downhills. It wasn’t miserable and I never considered quitting. I actually was having fun. One of my oldest friends, Rachel, caught up to me the last few miles of the race, and it felt really good to have a familiar face nearby.
If you’ve ever run TC 10 or Twin Cities Marathon, you know how awesome the final miles of the race route are. Summit Avenue is a gorgeous, tree-lined, historical house filled area of St Paul, and it is chockfull of crowd support. Summit Ave. leads you to the finish line at the State Capitol. The best part of TC 10 is that I didn’t have to run the full marathon this time to be able to enjoy this particular part of the race. TCM 2012 was the first marathon I ever ran, and I’ve been dying to get back to Summit Ave. ever since.
My splits after the magical first 4 miles went like this: 10:46, 11:20, 11:48, 11:48, 12:34, and 10:21. Like I said, I really didn’t even try to run the hills. The nice thing about not setting a time goal is that I had nothing to be disappointed about with my final time. According to my Garmin, I did 10.13 miles and averaged a 10:48 pace. Considering I walked so much, I was pretty pleased by this. I must have been running faster than I thought during my running spurts, or maybe not walking as much as it felt like I was.
I sprinted the final stretch and made my way through the maze of food stations, which had the usual bananas, chocolate milk, soup, bread, and chips. As much as I LOVE free food, I am never able to choke down food right after a race. I made my way to the longest line EVER for my finishers shirt. If there is any criticism I have about this race is how skin tight the shirts fit. My long sleeve Brooks size Medium fits like an extra small. Disappointing for a shirt I waited 30 minutes in line to get!
As for the TC 10 race, itself, I highly recommend it! The whole weekend of TCM events is well-organized, and if you’re as obsessed with fall as I am, you can’t beat the scenery! Two enthusiastic thumbs up!