I never have a hard time figuring out my race calendar at the beginning of the year. I have so many races that are "must runs," the calendar kind of decides itself. The St. Paul Human Race is definitely a must run. On Sunday, I ran the race for the fourth year.
There are a lot of things I love about this race. It marks the beginning of spring for me. It's a very popular race, and a lot of people bring their St. Patrick's Day spirit to the race. It starts near St. Thomas and runs down Summit Avenue, does a loop around William Mitchell (where I went to law school) and goes back to St. Thomas.
This year, the weather was perfect. I had seen rain on the forecast, but it held off. There was a strong wind that we ran into for the first 2 1/2 miles, but that meant a nice wind pushing us towards the finish.
I made it to the race in plenty of time to meet up with my mom (for her dual duties as race photographer and Sophie watcher), get registered, and use the restroom. We even had time for a group picture at the start.
Jim and I have been training for the marathon together and ran 18 miles on Friday afternoon. So at the start of the race we decided to shoot for just under 9-minute miles and treat the race as a sort of tempo run. When the race started, I could definitely feel that 18 miles in my legs. But we settled into a nice pace for the first mile. The first two miles were nice and consistent - 8:28's.
I slowed down for water in the third mile - it was warm! The third mile definitely felt the toughest and was an 8:45. Near the four-mile mark a group of four guys passed me. They were singing. Loudly. Badly. Shortly after they passed me, a girl wearing a tutu passed me. Nothing kicks you in the ass more than seeing people that make you think, "How in the hell is that person passing me." The fourth mile was still pretty tough (I think I kept expecting that wind to push me, and it just wasn't living up to my expectations). Another 8:45. The fifth mile, I just wanted to be done. I pushed and ran an 8:05 that mile, for a finish time of 42:31. Then it was on to Chipotle for a yummy post-race burrito.
Sophie had a great time being outside around all the people (and dogs). She cheered for all the runners, tried to steal a doll from another little girl, and picked up trash off the ground. She's getting the hang of this race thing - next year, she'll be ready for the kids races! She enjoyed the post-race Chipotle too, and ate almost a whole container of guacamole.