My 2014 racing season was significantly scaled back compared to prior seasons. This is simple cause and effect; multiple weddings, baby showers and family celebrations has meant a very limited amount of time for organized races. That said, I was not going to miss the opportunity of running in the TC 10Miler especially because I was not selected for the lottery the last two years. That being the case, I was auto allowed in this year and love this race. I was in!
This particular race is great for many reasons and I would strongly encourage others to look into it. If you are not ready to step up to the 10 mile distance, they also offer 5K and 10K options the day before. I would like to compliment the Twin Cities in Motion organization for another successful execution of the races and associated tasks. They must have a real power house of a project manager. There are also really great sponsors that help out by donating their time, energy and finances.
In order to prepare for the 10Miler, I was consistently running in the gym and weight training. The later, probably did me no favors but I do like to maintain my muscle suit. However, for race days, I wish I could take it off. The extra 15-20lbs really can slow me down, especially on the climbs throughout the course. My complaint is my own doing and honestly the course is mostly flat with a few down hills and the slight climb on Summit Avenue.
My early morning alarm woke me just as intended (5:45AM) and I quickly made my way downstairs to fix my race day coffee and simple breakfast. After making my peanut butter toast, I laced up my laces and asked my new Moto X what the temperature was outside. With it being a cool 36 degrees I decided upon a long sleeve over my race shirt and bib. It proved perfect for the beginning few miles of the race.
My wonderful wife Nellie and cutie daughter Madison gave me a lift to the starting line. After a quick stretch and my favorite, the national anthem, it was time to race. I was positioned in corral 1 (green) and tore out of the gate shoulder to shoulder with over a thousand other participants. With the streets already lined with cheering fans, we made our way out of downtown. It took over two miles into the course before I felt like I wasn’t tripping on the heals of other runners.
I started off the race chewing gum so that I wouldn’t burnout my throat and to keep my pace throttled. It proved to be very effective and as my body broke its initial sweat (3 miles in), I kicked the gum and my long sleeve. It was my hope to steadily hold a sub 7:30 mile pace and contend with my best 10Miler time. I seemed to hold a consistent speed as I ventured pass the halfway point. Periodically I would catch a quick swallow of water at the water stations. I knew my body needed it in order to prevent cramping.
At around six miles I ate a couple of strawberry blocks and hammered up the Summit hill climb stretch. My legs were now entering the numb stage and my second wind was upon me. I was defeating the pavement and enjoying the crowds of fans and the beautiful views. I had switched on my iPod around mile 4 and had been rocking out as I made my way. Nothing like music and the beat to match the cadence of your stride.
With the bulk of the course long behind me, I realized that I was nearing the final decent to the capital building. My favorite part was running under the American flag that was held over the race course by two fire trucks. With fans lining both sides of the road, I sprinted my was down the final stretch. Just as I approached the finish line, I saw the official race clock and was ecstatic to see it at just under an hour and twelve minutes. I was about to beat my best time!
I finished and felt great about it! I soon wrapped myself in a heat shield and began nourishing my fatigued body with Cliff bars and bananas. I came across a former colleague and shared pleasantries and briefly made small talk before making my way. I got my Brooks T-shirt and medal and made my way to grab coffee. Caribou rocks!
My Biggest Fans:
It took me a bit of walking around before I found my wife and kiddo. They both hugged and congratulated me on a job well done. My reward was to be a hot meal at the Uptown Dinner with my family. Super happy with another TC 10Miler under my belt, it was well worth my efforts!
Until next time, happy trails!