Saturday, October 26, 2013

TC 10 mile Race Report: October 6, 2013

Waiting for the start.  All the photos in this post are credit of my running buddy, Rose.
Pre-race smiles in the middle of the pack.
Morning sunlight pouring down Summit Ave.

Another late race report following another satisfying race!  To my good fortune, I was selected to run in the TC 10 mile, the little sister race to the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.  Runners are chosen through a lottery system for the TC 10 mile so I always feel pretty lucky when my number gets pulled!
This year, I started the race with a speedy running buddy of mine (and talented photographer as you can see from this photos!).  After a summer of hardcore hiking and training, Rose was ready to PR.  I didn't know what to expect although I hoped to beat my time from Women Run The Cities 10 mile race without overdoing it.  (I still had a half marathon trail race and the Monster Dash Half marathon ahead of me!)
Some of the most memorable moments of this race were before we even arrived at the start line.  The TC 10 mile starts at a very early 7 am in order to clear the line and set up for the marathon's 8 am start.  This is pretty early for a road race, and too early to expect a ride from my dear husband (especially with a six month old to tote along!).  So, Rose (who is an avid biker and major fan of public transportation) encouraged me to rent a "Nice Ride" and bike with her to the Metrodome (which I mistakenly call the "metronome" almost exclusively).  Even though I had never rode a "Nice Ride" before, I thought, "Well, why not!?  It's a good warm up!"
So, with the sky still full of stars, I headed to the nearest nice ride station.  Trouble was...the station wasn't where I remembered.  After a little run up and down Lake Street, I finally found a station, hopped on a bike, and headed to the greenway to meet my buddy.  I could see her light flashing in the distance so I started singing the flying monkey song from Wizard of Oz as I headed towards her.  It felt very surreal!
We arrived at the start line with plenty of time to spare (and just enough time to make it through port-a-pot line...the setting of a second funny pre-race moment...a huge suburban attempted to get out of a parking structure blocked by runners waiting for the port-a-pot...and those runners weren't moving for fear of losing their place in line!  I don't think the driver was prepared for such a hold up!)

At last, the horn sounded, and Rose and I cruised through the first few miles together.  At around mile three, we spotted her husband on the top of the Franklin Bridge.  We waved and yelled at him but he missed us.  Luckily, we ran up the ramp to the bridge itself and caught his attention thanks to Rose's impressive amplification of his last name.  He waved at us and then headed (according to Rose) back to bed.  After crossing Franklin Bridge, I checked in with myself and decided I better pick up the pace if I wanted to PR.  I knew I had more speed in me than I was exerting so I might as well give it a try.  I wished Rose luck and powered on.

The next few miles, I listened to music, tried to catch fit women, and focused on the next mile marker.  Strong.  Steady.  Relaxed.  I told myself.  I breathed, and moved between phases of feeling tired and heavy legged to phases of relaxed strength.  That's the thing with running distance races- I find that the tired phases don't necessarily last the whole race; I just need to hold tight and the tiredness cycles into a steady run again.  Refusing to look at my Garmin, I ran by effort, a strategy that's worked well for me in the past.

As I passed the Cathedral and headed downhill to the Capitol, I saw Mike and Misha waving from the sidelines!  I crossed the finish line and immediately checked my watch- a new 10 mile PR! Mike, Misha and I found each other and headed to the capitol steps to meet Rose.  Not long after, she strolled our direction with a big smile on her face- a PR too!  We were happy campers!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pretty much every weekday morning.

As a teacher, I am a creature of habit.

 5:30 alarm, sleep
5:40 alarm, sleep
5:50 wake up
Head downstairs, get coffee and oatmeal started.
Do 8 minutes of abs while waiting for coffee and oatmeal.
Eat breakfast, read emails, check weather, and toodle around feedly and pinterest
6:30 Feed Misha or prep milk, brush teeth, floss, comb hair and get dressed.  Pick out a scarf to wear.
7:15 Bike to work, enjoy the fall colors
7:45 Meet with students about essays, respond to work emails, get ready for classes
8:30-11:30 Teach!
11:30-12:00 Wrap up materials, get ready for tomorrow's classes.
12:00 Bike home, enjoy leaves again!
12:30 Home sweet home!  Cuddle and feed Misha.
1:00 Eat lunch outside on our picnic table and make plans for the afternoon.

Unlike my mornings at work, weekday afternoons have yet to fall into a routine.  Although sometimes I yearn for this, I am okay with no routine with one caveat.  I need to spend some time moving, and preferably, outside.  For me, working up a sweat can make a world of difference in terms of how the rest of the day shapes up.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Race Report: Women Run The Cities 10 Mile

I am going to keep this race report brief as it is already overdue and I am running another 10 mile race this Sunday!

I signed up for Women Run The Cities for four reasons.
1. One of my favorite local trail races, the surley loppet half marathon, was already full.
2. I love all female events.
3. The start and finish line is only two miles from my house (perfect distance for an easy warm up).
4. Breaking up a training cycle with local distance races keeps me motivated.

I didn't have a concrete race plan, but I approached the race as a training run.  This means no PR-ing (unless I feel downright incredible and a PR pace feels like floating on air which is highly unlikely).  That said, I wanted to feel tired at the end of the race to mimic the fatigue I should feel during the last stretches of a goal race.  To accomplish this, I left home extra earlier and jogged over to the start line, a nice and easy two mile warm up.  I always love running and biking through the neighborhoods early in the morning.  There is something so peaceful about households waking up, turning on the coffee, and taking in the brisk autumn air as they go out to collect the paper.

Oh right...I said this report was going to brief.  Oh dear.

I wore my garmin but I decided to run by feel and resisted looking at my pace.  I took the first few miles nice and easy (by the time the race started, I had cooled down from my "warm up" so I had to warm up all over again...ah, the benefits of old age).  I passed a few pace groups but I resisted checking out the pace.  I just wanted to listen to my body.  Coming up to the turn around beneath the overpass (around mile 4), I saw a running friend of mine on the other side.  I decided I would catch up to her and stick with her for a while so I wouldn't be pressured into pushing my pace.  This was a good goal since I would have to tackle a long gradual hill in order to reach her.  It gave me something to think about!  I caught up to my friend and paced her through mile 8.5.  It was wonderful to catch up because she is something like a running mom mentor.  She is just turned 50 and she is in great shape!  We talked runner mom philosophy and then parted ways so I could kick it in a bit during the last mile and half.

I felt pretty strong as I was cruising toward the finish.  There were a couple other women striding in so I tried to stick with them.  It helped to remind myself that I ran a speedy 5k at the end of triathlon only a month or so before so I had a kick in me.

Race results: 18/108 in my division.

Not a PR- but that's a good thing.  :)