Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Minneapolis Marathon: 2012

Running the Minneapolis Marathon was a back up plan for me after I fell during a Zumbro 100 training run  upon the course in late March. While training in the months following that fall I learned that I was only able to run 30-40 miles before I felt the familiar disc pain.  Instead of sucking it up and then hurting myself further I scratched my 100s off of the summer schedule.

Really, I am just happy to be able to run each day. After the five month layoff this past year I am thrilled to be able to run  a marathon!

Without any speed training I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do for Minneapolis Marathon.  I had been logging long slow hours in training for the 100s.  I decided I’d run Minneapolis slow and easy and use it as a baseline of where I’m at marathon wise, then focus on marathon training during the next four months and take a stab at a faster Twin Cities Marathon.  I think I will look up my Boston Qualifier time and perhaps plan a little trip out East.

I enjoy Team Ortho races very much as the organization is impeccable, the volunteers are amazing, the swag is top notch and the races aren’t crowded. Yet. There were less than 1000 in the marathon, sweet!

Race start was 630 AM. I woke up before 4 as usual. I just don’t sleep well since my hysterectomy and wonderful menopause. Plenty of time to dress, eat and pack for the race. Instead of the oats that I normally ate in the past for races I opted for a hunk of chicken breast and half of a sweet potato along with coffee. 

I arrived to the race site by 530, a good hour before start time. Time to lube up my feet, attach my number, get my gear in order.

We were able to use The Depot Hotel for the bathrooms and such, very  nice. The start wasn’t even crowded. I wandered around the avenue, walking up to the start, checking out the different pace teams-with only 1000 people running the marathon it wasn’t crowded at all.  There were huge gaps of space.

It was going to be a warm day, a high of 80 was forecast. I was sure to wear Skinceutical’s SPF 50, hat and glasses and I carried my own water bottle and gels.

The course had been altered due to flooding at Pike Island. We ran past the Guthrie Theatre, around the Dome,  along the Mississippi, into Fort Snelling State Park, finishing at Bohemian Flats along the river. It really is a nice course-plenty of water and gels at the aid stations, tons of volunteers.

I just took it all in, checked out the relay runners-one group was dressed in full hockey attire. When I began to feel hot I thought of them. When I began to feel tired I thought about the fact that I had been going to run Kettle 100 this day, and my friends running FANS 24 Hour Run. I didn’t feel quite so tired anymore!

A few times I heard JULIE BERG yelled out.  I looked and saw Donna Rae waving at mile 4 and again at mile 18 as she was running the race, too.  There were a few out and back sections where we could see the other participants. At mile 14 Brook passed me up and I saw Marie riding along the course on her bike at mile 24 or so. Very cool!  Very fun!

I reached the halfway point at 2:11, figured I’d finish before 5:00 and I was fine with this. I wasn’t sure how 5 hours of pavement would feel to my discs but I hadn’t any pain yet so I just went with the flow.

By mile 20 I was feeling the heat and turned on my iPod. It felt good to listen to some music and turn my thoughts off.  The 430 pace group was just ahead so I decided to run into the finish with them. I plodded along, enjoying the sights, enjoying the downhill cruise into the finish.

As I crossed the finish line I was handed a bag of food:  chips, banana, salted nut roll, popcorn and a bottle of water. So convenient, instead of  walking all over the finish looking for water!  A medal was placed around my neck and I spotted the bus next. I walked up to the bus, waited about 2 minutes in line and rode the bus back to the start where my car was. That took a whole 7 minutes.  I didn’t feel the need to hang around the finish to eat burgers and drink beer, ha!  I was anxious to get home and spend the Sunday with my family. 

Great race, great day!

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