Yes, I had a complete blast! Wait a minute, who was that woman that wasn't looking forward to Twin Cities Marathon yesterday? Who was that woman that wasn't looking forward to the crowds, to the spectators and all of the marathon hullabaloo?
I guess the reason I have run the TCM for the past 7 years is because IT IS FUN!
I knew it was going to be a good day when I looked at the thermometer at 4 AM and it was 72F. Wow, nice. No long sleeves, no jacket, just a singlet and shorts. Rocking. The forecast told me 85 and sunny, maybe some clouds near 12. Wow, rocking again. I mean, I've been running in heat for what..5 months now? Woohoo.
Second good omen: I decided to risk it and see if I could get as close to the Metrodome as the Jerry Huff Parking Ramp. We always park here for the Twins/Vikings game and then I wouldn't have to park and bus. OK, score again. The roads were blocked just past the Ramp. AND parking was free. Woohoo.
I arrived to the Dome at 6 AM, yeah, for an 8 AM start. Oh well. Walked around the circumference of the Dome many times, used the potties, lubed up my feet and hung out on a bench.
It was fun to run into friends; as I first entered the Dome I saw Karen, then as I was waiting outside for a porta pottie here comes Kevin and Jason. Awesome!
I headed for the drop bags at 730 and made my way to the start, walking up to the Wave 2, near the 430 pace group. I figured I'd run about a 430, grabbed a 430 pace chart and really didn't want to run over 430.
Today was my 20th marathon. My first 3 marathons were 457, 445 and 441. All of the others have been less than 430.
A spokesperson told us that today was the HOTTEST TCM marathon start in it's history, 26 years. He told us that it was 74F and the high would be 85 with maybe a bit of cloud cover around noon. People were kind of freaked by this. I wasn't, and was perplexed why so many were. What have you been running in all summer? I suppose most aren't pushing the marathon pace in training, so the exertion is greater in the marathon. I had SCAPS, gels, was going to drink allot, I was ready.
GO! We were off. I loved running downtown, I saw the office building I used to work in, the restaurants I used to lunch in, running down Hennepin is a trip. The spectators were great all throughout the start.
I was digging this. No pressure, just run, enjoy the morning. I peed when I needed to, I hardly looked at my watch at all, I was totally soaking in the views, I didn't run hard. I took it nice and easy.
Eventually, about 10 miles I began to get warm. I noticed my feet, ears and face were warm. I decided I better take my first of 2 Scaps. Many residents along the course had their hoses out for us to run through, very nice. Alan Page was playing a horn on the corner, as always.
I spotted Toni and then Tom along the course, it was fun to see them. At about mile 12 I saw Valeria fly by. I saw Jefferey, who I had been looking for, I saw Kevin, in the bright yellow shirt he told me he'd be in! I saw him right before the finish line, too. It's amazing to me that a person can actually spot friends along the course in 300,000 spectators! I saw the whole Crocker family and I didn't even know they'd be out there.
The lakes were beautiful. Isle, Calhoun and Harriet. The trees were spectacular in their full color. Especially the last 6 miles along Summit Ave, wow!
As I ran up to Lake Nakomis I felt the tug of FANS hit me. I ran up the concrete bridge, almost thinking I should walk the bridge as I do at FANS each lap..I didn't. I ran, thinking that I would be done this same day, not running for 24 hours as I do at FANS each June. This felt easy today in comparison to FANS.
The whole marathon seemed pretty easy today, just because I can compare it to my other races this summer, it was a nice little mind game.
I saw Maynard of the Dogs along the course, it was fun to see him, too.
I reached the 13 mark in 205. Damn, that will do just fine, I thought.
The miles clicked by, I was still digging the whole vibe. I danced along, listening to the spectators for a while, listening to my music, listening to the music along the course. It was great.
At mile 22 I heard a band playing IRON MAIDEN. I couldn't believe it. FEAR OF THE DARK. Holy freaking crap, man, one of my favorite songs, that I had just been listening to on my iPod. Tyler even plays it on his guitar and I love it. I turned my iPod off, looked at the guitar player and said FEAR OF THE DARK? He was like yeah! I began doing a dance, he grabbed my arm and I did a little jig right there at mile 22. Woohoo. I was stoked. I danced until the song was done and said I had to finish the job. Off I went. He probably thought I was a crazy old lady, getting off on Rock and Roll.
I was now looking for John and Cheri. I knew there were going to be on Victoria, thought Victoria was near 22 then thought maybe I missed it because I was so excited about the band. Dang. I kept looking.
People were dropping like flies. I mean, a guy was running in front of me, and boom! Down he'd go, the medics were right on him, dragging him off the course. I saw people laying along the grassy ways, with medics over them. I saw numerous ambulances. The volunteers were outstanding. Water, Poweraid, ice, they were really on it.
Pretty soon I saw Victoria. Yeah, I didn't miss John and Cheri! I was looking for them and pretty soon there they were, with Alicia! I ran up to them and hugged them each, I was all gross and sweaty, after I left them I thought I probably shouldn't have slimed them that way. I was just so super excited to see them! So excited that my next mile was a 748. NUTS!
I ran on down the hill, under the huge flag, across the finish line, in 417. It was all awesome fun.
After collecting my drop bag and heading to the changing tent, the talk was all about the heat. It was hot, I drank a ton, but I don't think I suffered any from it. It's been hot all summer, perfect training conditions.
I changed clothes, jumped on the bus heading for the Dome and arrived to my car by 130. Back home and showered, I'll head off to Tyler's 4:00 baseball game soon.
Congratulations Twin Cities Marathon runners!! Oh yeah, I'll be back next year..hey, maybe it will be a training run for a resurrected Ed Fitz 100K. If not, I'll just run it because it's a rocking good time :)