Yesterday after Troy's football game I traveled to St. Paul to meet up with Marie and Bonnie, both of whom were running Twin Cities. We headed off to the Expo to do all of the shopping and wandering. All I kept thinking is that there are WAY too many people. Too many people in St. Paul, too many people at the Expo; I realized how much I love living in Rural Minnesota! I'm actually glad that I no longer work downtown, too. The people, the noise, the smell..it all drove me insane. Or am I just PMSing?
After we picked up our packets we headed over to Cosetta's for a lunch lunch. It was fantastic. I had chicken and pasta. Yeah, pasta. Haven't had that since Superior 100! Yummy.
By 1000 last night I was in bed, read for an hour and drifted off. Back up at 4 AM to get ready for the marathon.
Curt, from my Run Club offered to pick me up today so I didn't have to drive and park and bus or anything. At 545 I realized I had given Curt incorrect directions. I told him to take a Left when he should take a Right into my neighborhood. I grabbed my running flashlight and ran out and up the road, carrying my race bag. I saw a van take a turn into the darkness and thought it was probably he. It was. A few more blocks to run and eventually I caught up with them! Thank goodness!
After we picked up Steve we were on our way to the Dome. My knee hurt. It felt stiff, it has been stiff since Superior. I tried not to think about it.
Peg, Curt's wife, dropped us off at the Dome. It was chilly, 50F and windy, but a high of 84 was forecast. Much warmer than we had anticipated.
I had picked up a 350 pace band at the Expo, but really didn't think I could run a 350. I wanted to get in under 430 though. I figured if I could catch the 450 or 4 pace group I'd hang with them and see how I felt. My nagging knee was making me nervous.
10500 of us began the race. Again, I was thinking about too many people, too crowded, too loud, too many bad smells. I was thinking I LOVE TRAILS! I love woods, I love peace and quiet and room to run. My god, it was CROWDED. The guy in back of me kept on running on the back of my shoes. It sucked!
I got over the resentment of 10500 others and tried to navigate myself through the throngs of people. We were backed up and congested. Running the parkways around the lakes was damn near impossible. Miraculously I found the 430 pace group, then the 400 pace group and the 350 group. I hung with the 350's for 16 miles. I had NO knee pain. I couldn't even believe it. The route unclogged and I was able to enjoy myself. So much so, that I decided I hang back a bit. I ran a bit slower and watched the 400 team come along. This was a fun group. I ran with them over the next 10 miles.
Some odd things: I only stopped to pee one time. Usually I make 3-4 stops. I drank at each aid station, I took one E Cap since it was warm, but I didn't begin to swell until AFTER I took the E Cap. Maybe I didn't need it? I didn't take anymore. I consumed 4 Espresso Hammergels and wasn't hungry or headachy or tired or anything.
I had a very enjoyable time. I took in the crowds of spectators, the beautiful landscape. The trees are turning, there was a nice breeze, it was sunny..just beautiful. Once I got past the crowds, I really enjoyed the race.
The last miles along Summit Avenue are fantastic. It runs downhill, you are almost near the end, there are huge mansions with big oaks and maples, turning brilliant orange and red.
Yeah, I loved it.
I was able to get a PR for this course. I've run TCM 6 times; my fastest was 4:09, my PR for a marathon was at Grandmas last year at 359. I finished today in 4:00 right on! I ran like hell the last mile, trying to get a 359, but didn't. And I'm fine with 4:00! More than fine. Exuberant. No knee pain! I wasn't sure what I would be able to do today. I promised myself I'd walk off the course if my knee hurt. It didn't!
Now I feel ready for Ed Fitz 100K. Definitely :) A few more back to back long ones and I'll be there.
THE TWINS WON TODAY AND DETROIT LOST SO YEAH BABY WE WON THE DIVISION!! WOOHOO WHAT A GREAT DAY!