I woke up Saturday morning completely unmotivated to run a 10K. It was early (6a), it was cold (29 degrees!) and it looked like I’d cried my eyes out on Friday (I had).
But, after a bit of cajoling from Nick and downing some espresso and half a blueberry coconut Rise bar, I pulled on my running tights and a jacket,
reluctantly ready to go.
We left around 7:10a for the 7:30a start since it was just down the road from our house at the Minnesota state capitol. A definite perk of doing hometown races… you don’t have to drive very far! After snagging some sweet parking, we warmed up with a light quarter-mile jog to the starting line. Another race perk: A personal photographer! Nick wasn’t racing, so he cheered and snapped non-iPhone pictures :)
While shivering a couple rows back from the frontrunners – they were wearing tank tops and shorts! – Nick and I ran into his friend, Hilary. It was great to finally meet her in person… she’s a rock star skier and acupuncturist – and, a fast runner; she was the 10th woman overall!
I didn’t have any expectations for this race… not even any pre-race butterflies! As my first 10K, I had nothing to compare it to… no PR, no how-much-does-50-minutes-of-174 bpm hurt.
The only familiarity: It was an out-and-back down Summit, my regular running route.
After an incredible national anthem – seriously, the kid should go on the Voice – the gun sounded, and we were off, uphill, toward the cathedral. Almost immediately, my heart rate shot up to the mid 160s, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. But, then again, I was too distracted by the mass of people running to really notice. It had been a year since I’ve started just a running race (the Monster Dash last October); I’d forgotten the energy of it!
In a flash, we were past the cathedral and running down my favorite stretch of Summit – from the cathedral to Ramsey hill. The autumn colors were at their peak, an umbrella of brilliant reds, oranges and yellows.
Other than numb toes the first three miles – because it was so cold? my shoes? – the rest of the run was uneventful. A few spectators cheered and rang cowbells, but for the most part, it was pretty quiet… perhaps because it was early, brisk and overcast – or they were waiting to cheer at Sunday’s marathon instead.
What I liked about out-and-back: Seeing the other runners for most of it. Since I started near the front, I didn’t realize how many people were running – and there were a lot! It’s pretty cool to see so many people of all ages, shapes and sizes signing up for races.
By the time I hit mile five, I was ready to cross the finish line. It had been awhile since I’d pushed myself hard on a mid distance run. Heck, it had been awhile since I’d really done any hardcore training (my average the past couple months has been maybe 10 miles a week).
My mantra those last two miles: You can do anything for 16 minutes; it’s only 16 minutes.
And, before I knew it, I was rounding Summit next to the cathedral and running downhill toward the capitol finish. There were quite a few spectators lined up down the chute, but other than hearing Nick cheer my name, I couldn’t pick out his bright blue jacket in the crowd. I crossed the finish line with a few other runners who also kicked it the last quarter-mile… every time I sped up, they sped up and vice versa. A fun way to finish a race!
After an ice cold glass of water – it was hard to drink because of the serious goosebumps – and grabbing a banana, I found Nick, took a few pics and hightailed it out of there. I couldn’t wait to get home and warm up!
Overall, I was really happy with this race. I would have been happy running 8:30s, so I was ecstatic to average 7:40 and place ninth in my 30-34 age group. Not bad for not running much the past couple months!
TCM Events does a great job with this weekend of running events, and I’m happy to have been a part of it again this year (I ran the 10 Mile a couple years ago). And, after spectating the 26.2 and then hearing marathon stories from teammates Sonia and Nannette – both ran fantastic races last weekend… Sonia the TC Marathon and Nannette the Chicago Marathon – I may have caught the marathon bug again. In addition to a 140.6 in 2013, I’m leaning toward a 26.2, too.
OFFICIAL RESULTS // 47:38.
Garmin Edge 500 splits: 7:40/ 7:34 / 7:52 / 7:45 / 7:46 / 7:33 / 1:22 (0.2 miles).
Congrats to all the other runners!