I have many thoughts about my first Twin Cities 10 Mile, but the overwhelming one is surprise. In a good way.
Beyond that, my brain is spinning with floor samples, paint colors, baby calves, new employees, home improvement websites, dairy farming, and moving boxes.
I don’t know that I can do justice to putting my race experience into words at the moment, but I do want to update you all.
So here’s the quick version; I may write more or share some additional reflections later if they seem worthwhile.
First, I knew I didn’t get enough sleep before race day. Friday night we were up until midnight harvesting, washing, and freezing the last of our garden veggies, and I had a 4:30 am wake-up call the next morning to be at the farm on time. Saturday I had extra chores and projects because I’d juggled things so I could be gone Sunday for race day.
Then, Saturday night I arrived at my sister and brother-in-law’s about 10:00 with hopes of getting to bed soon. But, we don’t see each other that much. As we talked and caught up I suddenly realized it was 12:30, and my 4 am alarm wasn’t going to be so pleasant.
I wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on myself for this race though. I would run easy* and be fine, as long as I didn’t sleep through my alarm. 🙂
I actually woke up right on schedule, and as forecast, was greeted by a 28 degree morning. Luckily the wind was almost non-existent. I had only packed capris so I wouldn’t agonize about what to wear on my legs, and soon I was dressed and en route to meet my friend Lani for the bus to the start.
My camera lens was apparently full of farm dust, so here’s the one and only photo I attempted. (I’ll have to post more once the website ones are up.)
These ladies are awesome! Lani is in the middle, and we ran into her friend Sarah (who quickly became my friend Sarah) on the bus.
The race starts in downtown Minneapolis, and I weaved and bobbed along the crowded street as I chatted with Sarah. (Lani started in a different corral.)
I was wearing a simple watch to keep time, but that was it. No pace or instant GPS info. I was surprised to see 8:54 at mile 1, especially because of my cold muscles at the start.
The first few miles really passed quickly as I took in the last of downtown and then the fall leaves and panoramic views of the Mississippi.
About mile 3 we headed up some substantial hills as we climbed from water level up to the river bluffs.
We passed the University of Minnesota campus, and I felt some nostalgia for my alma mater and college life.
By mile 5, my lack of endurance and lack of sleep were starting to catch up with me. I knew I’d run the first half under 9-minute pace, and I didn’t know how realistic that was for the remaining miles.
I just tried to settle in and focus on each mile, the spectators, and the beautiful trees and stately old homes lining the final miles on Summit Avenue.
At 8 miles I was just over 70 minutes, and I couldn’t believe I was hanging on so well. I felt slow and beat up, but apparently I can’t just “take it easy.”
It’s a race gosh darn 🙂 and I’m going to run the very best I can in the moment.
I drank about 1/2 cup of fluid at each station, but in hindsight it probably wasn’t enough. The freezing morning meant I didn’t feel that thirsty, but the body still needs hydration on a long run.
Just past mile 9 is when you see St. Paul’s Cathedral, and it’s all downhill from there as you race toward the Capitol building and the finish.
That downhill hurt more than I expected, but I picked up steam and passed several people before I crossed the line. Then it was gracious volunteers draping me in a foil blanket and handing out rolls, fruit, chocolate milk and hot broth. As much as I love chocolate milk, I may have been equally thankful for that broth. 🙂
And as tired as my body felt, I was almost surprised it was over already.
Being the 10 mile starts almost an hour ahead of the marathon the lines were still short for everything. I waited only about 5 minutes to get into a heated tent for a free massage. They worked on my sore legs and back, hitting some much needed pressure points. Bliss…
Now, I suppose you’re wondering how I did?
In spite of feeling like I crashed the second half, I fought pretty well, running the first 5 at 8:43 pace and the second 5 at 8:51.
My official time of 1:27:47, 8:47 pace, was good enough for 923rd place of 4650 females. Top 20%!
In my 22-29 AG I was 233 / 950 and overall 2384 / 7672. Arbitrary numbers maybe, but I’m happy to be moving closer to the front of the pack than the back.
I said I’d be thrilled to break 1:30, so obviously I am happily surprised with these results.
The other thing I was pleased about was not feeling bittersweet toward the marathon. I honestly was thrilled and happy to be running the 10 mile on a brisk October day. I knew I made the best decision.
I didn’t feel like less of a runner. I didn’t feel like I was missing out. I think I’m finally at peace with this whole marathon business for a while.
I still want to do another one when the time is right, but I don’t need to rush or hurry or prove anything. It will wait for me. One or ten years, I doubt the marathon is going away anytime soon.
I suppose I lied; this didn’t end up bring the quick version! I think this is the full deal, poorly edited though it may be.
Because I got so few pictures I borrowed a few from social media for your viewing pleasure. If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend this race.