Twin Cities Marathon Race Report

So i am not even sure where to begin this one, but ill start from the day before.

Saturday morning I walk up at 3:45 AM to catch my flight in the morning leaving from Reno to Minnesota.  I had a connection in Colorado.  I was lucky enough to get an aisle seat each time and was able to move my legs around a bit each flight.  I landed in Minneapolis around 1:30 pm Saturday and my girlfriend came and picked me up.  She is grew up in the Twin Cities and was the one who told me I had to run this race! She ran it herself a couple years ago but currently is studying away in Med school in North Carolina. Either way, she made the journey back for the weekend just to see me race.  <3

I will be staying at her sister’s place and we head back and wait for her to get off from school and then proceed to the expo.  Her sister’s favorite thing to do is grab as many free chips as possible at the expo.  Pretty damn good chips I might add.  I talked with the people at the Hoka booth about my problems with the Bondi Bs and I was all set to buy a pair of Tarmacs there as they were $40 off normal price.  But, they didn’t have my size… Oh well I will get those when I get back home.

After the expo we met up with my parents who also came up to see me in the marathon. I started running long distance 2 years ago, and this is the first marathon they were able to go too.  It meant a lot to me that they made the trip and I was so happy they were there to cheer me on throughout the course.

We all went out to carb overload at my usual spot for a pre-race.  Noodles and Company. I just get two bowls of buttered noodles with light butter and a big chocolate chip cookie.  With lots of water!

After dinner I laid out my clothes in typical pre-race fashion to make sure I was all set.

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Afterwards, it was time to get some much needed sleep. I was already pretty tired still from the lack of sleep the night before and the long flight from the west.  Hopped into bed and tossed and turned for a while. I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep, waking up periodically, all paranoid I would miss my alarm. I also kept reviewing split times in my head and where I should possibly at what mile.

 

Wake up in the morning and have a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, and two glasses of Orange Juice. Use the “facilities” take a shower and gear up.  It’s race time!

 

I knew Mac and Cook were going to at our pre-arranged meeting spot so I planned to be there at 7:30 to greet them.  I wait around a bit and see Cook and introduce myself.  We both waited for Mac another 10-15 mins and then decide we might see him on the course.  I hit the restroom and tell Cook I’ll meet him buy the 3:35 pacer.  It was cool to be inside the metrodome as it nice and warm with plenty of spots to pee.  No waiting for Porter Potties.

As I approach the 3:35 pacer I tell myself to keep my jacket on as long as possible, to stay warm and check my laces one last time.  I lost Cook at this point and start looking for both him and Mac who was suppose to be wearing a white visor.  I approach a group of guys one of them wearing a visor and ask if he is Mac from the runner’s world forums.  Sure enough, he is. Mac, sorry to interrupt you, you can fill everyone in here if you’d like lol.

I turn around and see Cook and wave him over.  So we are set, as Honky would say the 3 amigos are ready to rumble.  We all inch forward and I toss my coat off at this point.  This is the first marathon in over a year that I have run that is not raining. I look up at a beautiful sunrise with some scattered clouds and I am so excited not to have the added wind/cold and rain that CIM and SLC brought.

Let’s do this.

Mile 1: 8:19

I was just trying to keep up with Mac at this point he and his friends took off rather fast and left Cook and I in the dust. I tell Cook we should try and catch up.

Mile 2: 8:21

Caught up to Mac and his friend, Cook was running right with me.  We ran pass a church that was ringing all their GIANT bells for the runners, it was a very cool thing to see and hear. Just massive. I think this is where Mac peeled off to hug someone and that’s when Cook and I passed him. Also we had a good uphill on this mile.

Mile 3: 8:01

At this point the 3:35 pace group was getting pretty far ahead and I mentioned to Cook that we should try and keep them in sights, if we can. Slight downhill for this mile so my pace picks up a bit. I mention to Mac and Cook that I trained on some big hills back home so I should ready for this. And and I think i said I felt great.

Mile 4: 7:58

Cruise on by, keeping the 3:35s in view, but they are very far away. I turn around and see Cook and Mac still with me but they are falling behind.  I raise my arm in a “come on, follow me” kind of way to encourage them to catch up.  I know they both wanted 3:35 and I didn’t want to lose that pace group. I took my first blok shot here.

Mile 5: 8:01

I turn around one last time to check for Mac and Cook and I don’t see them.  I was pretty bummed at this point because I was looking forward to running with them the whole way and bouncing encouragement off each other along the way.  At this point I feel the 3:35 pace group is NOT going the correct pace and I keep telling myself to slow down, or I might end up a causality.

Mile 6: 8:04

I was suppose to meet my girlfriend and my parents at this mile marker and I kept my ears and eyes open for them.  Sure enough I see my girl and my parents. I run by and give my parents a quick hug and grab a water bottle from them, take a swig and drop it and run off. My girl was screaming louder than I ever heard her, my mom was ringing the cowbell medal I gave her and my Dad was filming me with his camera. Tears filled my eyes at this point. It was so great to have them all here for this one, as I know it wasn’t easy for them to make the trip.

Mile 7: 7:58

After running 7 miles with no music I decide it’s time to put my game face on and throw on the headphones. The crowd support along the first 7 was AMAZING!. I don’t think there was an empty section the entire way.  It literally felt like a finish line throughout most of the course and in specific sections. it was louder!

Mile 8: 7:56

I took off my headphones every time I saw a larger crowd so I could enjoy the moment. It was awesome! I also took my 2nd blok shot here.

Mile 9: 8:00

I love giving the little kids high fives and try to do that as much as I can in these earlier miles.

Mile 10:  8:10

After looking over my previous mile paces I think I told myself to slow down at this point.  I tell myself that I just have a long run left (16 miles) Nice and easy to the end.

Mile 11: 7:55

The crowds were just too much! Every time, I would start to slow down a bit they kept me up. That and I didn’t want to lose that pace group, they were still far ahead of me and I barely saw the balloon.

Mile 12: 8:01

Took my 3rd chew blok here.  Are you ready for consistency? Here we goo…

Mile 13: 8:01

Always nice to have that in a race, as it’s a good sign things are flowing right. At seeing that at the halfway point was great for me.  I read the timer at 13.1 and realized I was right on pace for my target goal. Fantastic!

Mile 14: 8:07

Started to feel a little tired here, I remember telling myself it was too early to wear in to being tired.

Mile 15: 8:01

Another 8:01 mile, I seem to like this pace. lol

Mile 16: 8:04

I take my 4th chew blok here and I start looking for my parents.  They were going to try and meet me at this mile.  Sure enough I catch them on the left.  Grab another water bottle from them take a couple swigs and throw it on the side. No time for hugs this time around, I have to catch that pace group! I tell myself only a 10 miler left, you got this!

Mile 17: 8:10

We start climbing gradually at this point.  Nothing major but I know the hills are coming so I tell myself I NEED to catch them before the big hills because i know I slow down on hills.

Mile 18: 8:10

Consistency is the key at this point, I think I lost one of my gloves around this mile. So i had to alternate keeping my hands warm with one glove.

Mile 19: 8:10

3 miles, the same exact pace, kind of strange. Opened up my delta airline pretzel bag at this point. mmm Salt. Also grabbed the little sport beans pouch I had and ate two of those, ugh they tasted nasty. lol

Mile 20: 8:01

I am still far behind the pace group and I realize if I try to speed up anymore I will tire myself out. My legs are starting to hurt at this point.  But I tear through the wall and apparently I was pretty focused as my g/f and her friend were there waving and cheering at me but I never noticed them. Took my 4th chew blok and decided to open my other bag at this point so I could easily use it for later. Only 6 miles left, just a 10k… focus!

Mile 21: 8:07

Made it past the wall, legs are still hurting but everything feels good. I grab some water from a water station and pour it over my head. I know my body temp is high and the hills are coming, I need to cool down as much as possible.

Mile 22: 8:32

Helloooooo Summit Avenue. My slowest mile of the race. This was the dreaded hill everyone talked about, I must say the steepest section was pretty intense and a lot of runners just bowed out and started walking. The crowd was at the steep section and cheering us on with a fury. I put my head down and trodded up. Just like the half I ran a few weeks ago I told myself, except… easier. lol

Mile 23: 8:16

Still going up hill at this point, but more gradual.  I got this, I run a hill twice a week that is a 250ft incline. I am gaining on the pace group. Finally!

Mile 24: 8:01

Really making ground on the pace group I can actually see the person who is holding the balloons and what color shirt they are wearing. I take my last chew blok here.

Mile 25: 7:49

With less than 2 miles left I knew I had to push my pace as much as possible to catch the pace group. I put it all on the table here. I reached inside and just told my tired legs to run. I screamed at myself, out loud to PUSH and get this done.

Mile 26: 7:43

My fastest mile. About 25.5 miles in I finally passed the pace group, on an Uphill of all places. There were only 3 runners with him as I assume the rest either couldn’t stay with his fast pace or decided to push forward.  I see the church on the left and realize I only have a slight downhill section left and then I am home free. I start RUNNING. I am push so hard in this mile I swear it felt like I passed 80+ people.  My watch screams at me, Congratulations, you have a new record for most calories burned. Shortly after it says Congratulations you have reached your goal of 26.2 miles. Umm but the finish line is way up there! about a half mile more!

Mile 26.2 (26.5 according to my GPS) 3:19 — 6:44 pace

I scale back a little bit after I see how far the finish line is, but then the roar of the crowd gets me back in it and I start lifting my legs harder and faster. I see the finish timer. It read 3:34:40 something. At this point I know I made my goal, I started about a min or so later than the lead pack. I still decide to push it in before 3:35. Sure enough, I do.  3:34:56 was the final gun-time.

Final Chip time 3:33:16.  I laughed at the time because all my marathons have had a 3 in the finish number.

Now the tears start filling my eyes and I can’t believe what I just did. I crushed my old PR by 10 mins! I was fueled with happiness. Grab some free food, my medal, blanket to keep warm and some soup! Meet up with my parents and my dad was nice enough to give me his gloves as I lost mine and was pretty cold at this point. It also started to rain. Either way I finished!

Definitely one of my favorite marathons, only my 5th marathon total but still the great crowd support really helped me along the way.  Apparently it was less than normal this year because it was cold and rainy near the end. But compared the last two I ran, One being monsoon like conditions… this one just seemed so much better.

It was fun getting to meet Cook and Mac and having the chance to run with them, hopefully we can organize another marathon to run again together. Mac I know you want a rematch!  Sorry the race didn’t work out for you, but as other’s have said at least you got that finisher’s shirt and a well deserved one at that. And at 4:10 you beat A LOT of other runners.

Cook, congrats on the 3:40! Way to power it in, maybe we can meet up on the east coast at some future point. I hope the the government shutdown doesn’t last too long so you can get back to work soon!

I felt pretty damn good after the marathon, my legs are a little sore today, but honestly I am walking around fine and if all goes well I should be back running on Wednesday or Thursday. Next up for me, the California International Marathon in December, hopefully it won’t be a monsoon this year.

Thanks everyone for the support along the way and Happy Running!

 ParentsME

 

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