The race expo was great- I've been to this expo for the past 6 years as a runner and as an employee of a running store; the TC In Motion group really puts on a well organized expo. My only gripe is that there isn't an express lane through the booths to the race bibs (at the back of the facility of course) so that those folks who'd rather skip sellers of inspirational running skirts and compression socks can do so. It can get a little congested.
Okay- flash forward to race day. I've been having some problems with my left knee so my training has not been the best for this race- and my motivation slump isn't completely resolved. So I went into this race hoping to run a controlled effort and finish strong. As I mentioned, the course starts at the MN state capitol and goes out and back onto Summit Avenue. This means there is a pretty substantial hill about half a mile into the race.
I parked by the St. Paul Cathedral to avoid the madness by the Capital. Our weather has been pretty crisp and cool, and Saturday morning was no exception. I wore some Nike capris, a Nike Pro long sleeve (soft and warm and a few years old) and my company team shirt (SO CUTE this year and also a very soft blend). I didn't bring a sweat bag to the start because I was running a little late so by the time I was near the start I only had about ten minutes to spare! This allowed just enough time to use the restroom and hop in line.
Oh, shoes. I usually like to wear racing flats, even if it is just a low key race, but with my knee being weird I opted to wear my training shoes (Brooks Ravennas, my loves!). I also wore gloves.
I started off with a nice, comfortable 6:54 for the first mile. It is so tempting to go out hard but I kept reminding myself that this is a six mile race and I can always push hard towards the end. My next two miles were 6:47 and 6:53. I felt really good and really comfortable with these miles. There was a bit of a headwind but I tucked in by a couple of guys and just waited for the turn around.
Once we turned, I pushed a little harder with each mile, and tried to catch as many women as I could. Mile 4 was 6:38, mile 5 was 6:33, and mile 6 was 6:27. I was surprised how easy this felt. The effort was definitely there but I felt like I could have kept going. I ended up running 41:28 and was the 5th woman. This is definitely not a PR but the course is challenging and I'm satisfied with the result.
Something I learned about myself: I don't look up at the end of races. The race photography company had 12 pictures of me and in each of them I'm looking at the ground.
The one that comes the closest to being an eyes open pic:
|Hey bro, why are you messing with your watch? The timing mat is up ahead...|
Yeah. So nice.
I already signed up for Turkey Trot 10k and would love to run under 40, and have at least one decent photo.