Rounding out my season (most likely) was last week’s TC 10 Mile. And, given I haven’t exactly been on a structured training schedule since Ironman Canada – that starts again in two weeks – my plan was to just run at a comfortable pace.
Well, we all know that isn’t possible. It’s far too easy to give into my competitive nature and get caught up in the race excitement.
Well before sunrise, Nick and I headed downtown Minneapolis with friends Margaret + Jake for the 7a start. We parked with no issue in a nearby ramp, tried to stay warm (it was 45 degrees… I was second guessing my decision to wear shorts), took a few pics and made our way to corral one.
Just before sunrise, the gun sounded, and we were off… the pitterpat of thousands of feet, the fog of everyone’s breath, the steamy Mississippi River… beautiful. Nick and I ran together the first mile, clocking in around 8:00. He took off at mile two and for a second I debated following, but knew running sevens wouldn’t be wise. Funny, considering mile two beeped at 7:22. Certainly wasn’t expecting that! My legs felt great, however, and I settled into a 7:30 pace along River Road to cheers from friends Sonia and Suraya + Eric.
Around mile four the course crosses into Saint Paul and after a punchy hill at Summit and River Road, you’re on the homestretch. Twitter friend and Oiselle runner Tracy was at the top the hill; she looked great in her bird singlet, and it was great to finally meet her in real life!
I ate a salted caramel Gu at mile six… more or less because I love all things salted caramel and kinda wanted a mini second breakfast; I wasn’t hungry, and my stomach was a tiny bit wonky. My right hip started aching a bit around mile seven (an old injury), but with only a few miles to go, I ignored it and kept the pace around 7:30. With about two miles left, near Lexington, Sonia hollered that I was only two minutes behind Nick. Dang, I thought… I should have ran with him the entire race.
By the Dale + Summit intersection, I was more than ready to be done – my legs were toast – but kept repeating “just seven more minutes, just seven more minutes.”
The hardest part of the 10 Mile: The final descent to the finish. My legs were not having it as I booked it downhill by the cathedral (my last Garmin mile split read 6:59). I thought for sure they would buckle, and I’d be laying on the pavement! I heard a few people yell for me down the chute – thanks, Angie and Laura! – and with a nice kick to the line, I was done.
What I love about this race:
- It’s in my backyard. I’ve ran up and down Summit and River Road so many times I could run it in my sleep. Even better: The race finishes about a mile from our house.
- TCM Events. This organization puts on a stellar race. From the top-notch expo to outstanding race support to super customer service, it’s one of the most well run races I’ve ran. There was even a sweat check for the 10 Mile, key for a chilly race morning.
- Crowd support. Regardless of the weather, spectators are out, bundled in parkas and ringing cowbells.
- Time of year. Pretty sure Summit in early October is one of the most gorgeous streets ever. If you live in MSP and haven’t ran it lately, do it this weekend.
- Post-race fuel. My stomach wasn’t ready for food immediately following the race, but the gluten-free options were abundant (the chicken broth was so good!).
- It was a PR!