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!

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