Fueled by gluten-free PB toast and a double shot of espresso, race morning started later than usual (a 9a race start). After a bit of fretting about what to wear, I made a last minute decision on a hooded Patagonia rain jacket. Probably not the wisest decision (don’t wear anything new on race day!), but it turned out to be a great choice for a soggy, windy 30-degree morning.
We got to Lake Harriet about 25 minutes early, and while Nick found parking a few blocks away, I stood in the middle of the crowd and shivered. Ten minutes before the gun, I added another base layer. So cold!
There were a TON of puddles to dodge as we walked to the starting line near the bandshell – a theme that continued all 10 miles. Not kidding, you can barely run two steps around Lake Harriet without having to dodge a water-filled pothole. Let’s hope the city of Minneapolis fixes that before cycling season!
Anyway, the gun went off and the sea o’ green starting moving pretty quickly, and it didn’t take long for the crowd to thin out. Right away I found myself running next to a guy in an Ironman Canada finisher’s jersey because obviously that would happen. Super nice guy, and he’s racing it again this year.
In a blink, three miles and lap one around Harriet were done. My legs felt great, and my heart rate manageable. I saw Nick right as I turned the corner to round toward Lake Calhoun and tossed him my mittens – and was wishing I wouldn’t have added that second base layer.
The lap around Calhoun was pretty uneventful (other than passing Ironman Canada guy!). Fewer potholes, a bit windy and around mile five my heart rate monitor started to chafe something terrible. (My ancient, almost-all-plastic Garmin strap was promptly replaced after the race with the premium strap, and the quarter-sized chafe scab is nearly gone a week later.)
As I rounded back to Harriet, there was my number one sherpa again, snapping pics. And, then I saw a cinnamon vizsla at mile seven, which was pretty awesome, too. (Even though we’re far too busy, I keep telling Nick we need – need – a vizsla!)
The last three-mile loop around Harriet was decent, and my legs still felt strong, but I was ready to be done running, ready for dry socks and ready for a piping hot cappuccino.
About a quarter-mile from the finish, a girl passed me – argh! – and despite my kick, I just couldn’t catch her. Nonetheless, I was happy with my time, which was faster than I thought I’d run.
OFFICIAL RESULTS // 1:18:16, 7:49 pace, 10th AG
My mile splits: There aren’t any. I’ve been holding out on buying a new running watch (who am I kidding? I should just get the Garmin 910), so I currently run with my Edge 500. Super inconvenient for running because it doesn’t give mile splits, but this early in the season I’m not overly concerned with it. I looked at it once the entire race, and that was only to see my heart rate around mile five.
Of course my 500 missed the first 0.75 miles of the race (I swear this happens every single race), so my adjusted Garmin time was 1:18:17, just a second off my official time. My average HR: 169; and, max HR: 178.
Overall, a solid 10 miles, and I’m really happy with a 10th place AG finish. I had no idea there were 7:49s in me! I’m excited to see what some more hard work brings this season :)
A side note about race organizer TCM Events… they always put on a top-notch race, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was well organized, just $60 and had an easy packet pick-up and a good race day expo (despite the soggy weather), and from the looks of it, tasty post-race food (I only had a banana, bit of hot chocolate and a couple bites of a four-leaf clover sugar cookie… it’s always tough to eat post race). Plus, there weren’t 10,000 runners like Team Ortho’s Get Lucky 7K, so I crossed the starting line in less than a minute compared to 45 minutes it took some people at the 7K (which is a little ridiculous).
Even better, though, was TCM’s stellar customer service after the race. Because my last name was spelled wrong, my results initially didn’t show up in the official results. I thought my chip didn’t activate so I tweeted them and fantastic employee (and awesome runner and former G-Free Runner blogger!) Carrisa followed up immediately. She found my time and corrected the spelling of my name in the official results. You rock, Carissa (and, nice to finally meet you in person!)! Thank you!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!