Sunday, October 3, 2010
Race Report - Twin Cities Marathon
My #1 fan!
This morning my mom dropped me off at the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis a little over an hour before the start of the marathon. It was a brisk morning - 39 degrees - and I was actually worried I might be chilly in the race. I went inside the dome to use the restroom and to stay warm while waiting for the start. Right away I ran into Julie and it was great to wait out the start of the race with a familiar face.
Before long, we headed outside to drop off our sweat bags and line up in the corral. As we packed in like sardines with 11,000 of our closest running friends, I quickly realized I would not have a problem feeling cold during the race. I warmed up fast! National anthem, first corral start, and then we were off.
In my last post, I said that one of my main goals was to enjoy the race. I really fulfilled this goal, especially the first 10 or so miles. There were so many spectators out on the course, the weather was beautiful, all the people running around me were in high spirits - it was easy to get carried along with all the excitement. I kept ticking off the lakes as we passed them, and the first part of the race felt like it went very quickly.
Miles 11ish through 16 were the most difficult of the race for me. For a couple mile stretch in there things seemed to quiet down a little. Less spectators, runners working hard meant less chatting and cheering, and the scenery wasn't as exciting. I had expected to see my brother and Sophie near the halfway point, but they didn't make it in time. I missed out on the nice boost seeing them would have brought. About mile 13, my legs started cramping up. I stopped to stretch a couple of times, but it didn't really help.
At mile 16, my running partner Jim was on the side with his wife. He jumped in and ran to nearly the finish with me. This was a HUGE help. He also had my handheld filled with kona kola nuun, which was a welcome change from the powerade and water on the course. Running with Jim gave me and new strength and I kept going strong.
My leg cramping never went away, but I just kept ticking off the miles. Once we were at the 22 mile mark and onto Summit Ave., I was in my home stretch! I just kept my eyes peeled for the St. Paul Cathedral (soooo close to the finish). Just before the cathedral, Jim's wife was on the sidelines again, and she said Sophie was waiting for me at the finish. This, along with the nice downhill past the cathedral and into mile 26, was the push I needed.
I ran down the hill strong, saw Sophie and my mom and brother cheering for me, and kicked it to the finish. Final time - 4:44:54. My second fastest marathon time, and a course PR for me by about 11 minutes.
Although this wasn't a marathon PR for me, I still feel that this was the strongest I have ever run a marathon. I have never experienced leg cramping like I did today, and yet I totally ran through it, just stopping at the water stops. In the past I would have walked MUCH more - in fact, in prior marathons, I have walked more for less painful problems. I am very proud of how I ran the race, and just had an awesome day.
Thank you all for your supportive comments and good vibes - I thought of you many times out on the course today!