Official time: 1:59:34 (Garmin distance 10.1 so 11:51 pace)
Oh friends. It would appear that my last update was after my first week of training. And to be completely honest with you, that was my LAST week of training as well.
I went into this race COMPLETELY unprepared. I hadn’t even put my running shoes on for two weeks. Thankfully, my last run had been a 9-miler that felt great, so I knew I’d be able to make the entire distance. How quickly I did that, however, was up in the air.
Despite all that, I knew I just wanted to have fun. I kept reminding myself that I was selected to do this race through a lottery, meaning someone didn’t get a spot because of me. That was just enough motivation for me to keep sticking it out.
The race started in the shadow of the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. I took the train to the start, and learned that runners are some of the most friendly, chipper people to talk to at 5:30 in the morning!
At the start line, there was hot coffee, which tasted incredible. And no, it wasn’t tasty because of the situation (chilly morning, 6am, etc.), it was absolutely better than a Maxwell House! I actually tweeted the race organization to ask where it was from, it was so good! Turns out, it was just from Caribou Coffee. Maybe I should start getting plain coffee from them instead of milk and sugar filled lattes!
I spent part of the wait in an entryway to a parking garage with a large group of fellow runners. It wasn’t heated, but it was just enough out of the elements, plus the body heat from all of us made it a great place to wait, sip coffee, and get pumped up!
I made my way to the corrals about 15 minutes before the start. Unfortunately our corral didn’t even toe the line until 20 minutes after the first group went, so there was a lot of waiting and I got SUPER cold!
Once I got started though, I warmed up pretty quickly. The first mile was through Gold Medal Park, which marks the 4th race in which I’ve run past that park! I felt good, a few aches and pains as my body was warming up and finding its rhythm, but it wasn’t horrible.
Miles 2 and 3 took us through the University of Minnesota campus, which was basically murder. Did you know that campus was so hilly? I do now. And I do not like. Around Mile 3 we entered St. Paul and met up with the marathon course, The rest of the route stayed on the same course.
The rest of the race was rather uneventful, running-wise. I walked more than I wanted, but not as much as I have in past long runs. I was feeling pretty rough in the last half mile, but someone gave me the encouragement I needed, and I ran with her for about a quarter mile before falling back and just taking in the scene in the finisher chute.
I ran underneath a US flag held up by a Minneapolis fire truck on one side of the road, and a St. Paul fire truck on the other. That was super cool! My sister was near the finish line cheering me on with the thunder clappers I demanded she bring (which she then sent home with me to give to the kids which I now regret having been beat with them).
My husband and kiddos weren’t able to be there, but one of the local news stations had a live feed of the finish line, so they were able to see me cross from the comfort of home!
Once I crossed the finish line, things got dicey. I was excited to see all the offerings, and I made some poor choices. First I had some blue Powerade. Then I had some chocolate milk. Then I had some hot chicken broth. All of those things tasted great (especially the broth, so hot and salty!!), but having them one on top of the other turned out to be not so great.
The line for the finisher shirts wasn’t so much of a line as much as it was a giant mass of unmoving people. Seriously, I stood barely moving for about 20 minutes. I was wearing my fancy space blanket and started feeling like I was overheating. Which made all the liquids I just consumed start working against each other. And I hadn’t had solid food since 4:45 that morning. All signs were pointing to either puking or passing out, but thankfully I did neither!
I finally got my shirt, met up with my sister, took a picture, threw my sweats on (because I got cold QUICKLY after taking off my space blanket and could NOT warm back up again) and headed to my sister’s car, where she graciously took me back to where I parked my car so I wouldn’t have to take the train all the way!
All in all, this was an awesome race! Had I been more prepared, I could have easily PRed. But my lack of training, lack of music (I ran sans music thinking there would be more people on the course, but apparently they were all still in bed, waiting for the marathoners to come through), and overall lack of preparation held me back. I will absolutely be signing up for the lottery for this race next year, though!
- Seeing the sun rise as we ran! Which wasn’t as awesome when the sun was directly in our eyes causing us to not see ANYTHING more than 10 feet in front of us.
- Around mile 4 (marathon Mile 20) there was an actual WALL. You know how runners “hit the wall” around Mile 20? Well there actually was a giant inflatable wall that we had to run under!
- I saw a friend of mine from high school around Mile 7! She had a sign for me and everything!!! Talk about awesome motivation!
- There were several sponsored cheering sections, but the BEST was some athletic clothing company. They were pumping out AWESOME music, had a TON of spectators, and formed the most incredible high five wall of all time!! I felt like a freaking rock star!!
- I also high-fived a cop, but he was JUST almost out of my reach and I think I pulled an arm muscle trying to get him.
- Seeing my sister at the end, and knowing my kids were watching me cross at home 🙂