Twin Cities Marathon 2014 (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN)
· Date: 10/05/2014
· Goal: 3:14:19
· Time: 3:12:59
· Overall Place: 507/8848
· Age Group Place: 101/797
This race was a long time coming… This was the first marathon I’d ever watched, when my sister ran it in 2008. I wasn’t even a runner then. There was also the challenge of beating my father-in-law’s time from 1984, when he ran it at age 30 (same as me now). One of the first things I did when we decided to move back to Minnesota was sign up for this race.
My training leading up to the race was far from ideal; a 3-week period of no running and fairly low mileage when I was running (moving, changing jobs…life). I did manage two tough long runs of 19 and 20 miles along with a more recent 14 and 15. The odd training schedule left me going back and forth on my goal leading up to race day. I decided on trying to PR, but pulled back from my original goal of 3:05 (BQ). My plan was to tuck in behind the 3:15 pacer until mile 20, then pull away to make up the time I needed.
The first 3 miles went as planned, but a bathroom break was needed (yes, 3 miles in)! I quickly caught back up to the pace group, which was led by Harvey Lewis. Yes, the Harvey Lewis that won the Badwater 135 this year. That was awesome! I stuck with the group for another couple miles until we hit a couple of small downhills. After getting stuck behind the mass of people running at a slower downhill pace than I wanted to run, I got around them for the next one, picked up my pace and was on my own from there. Shortly after here I saw both groups of people I was lucky enough to have cheering for me, back to back. I had a ton of support along the course which was awesome. Two different groups of family and friends essentially playing leap frog down the course.
As I picked my pace up into the 7:10-7:15 range, I knew it was going to be tough to hold and knew the end of the race would be a challenge. I kept the pace up anyway as I’m not nearly disciplined enough to slow down. With the Minneapolis lakes behind me, I was running along Minnehaha Falls when things started to feel a bit more challenging. Around mile 16, I could feel it. I did my best to ignore the thoughts that things are getting tougher and continued to focus on getting through mile 20, as I had been since the halfway point. After seeing Terese and our friend Jen one last time at mile 19 as I headed into St. Paul, I had only a mile to cover until I hit mile 21.
Anybody who has run this race knows that mile 21 is where things getting interesting. 3 miles of incline up Summit Ave. The 1st mile was the flattest of the 3 and my pace stayed the same. The next two were the tough ones. While the inclines didn’t look too steep, I definitely felt the impact on my body. As I pushed through this part of the race, my pace dropped. First by 20 seconds, then another 10. While that amount of time isn’t even significant in some situations, it certainly was here. I was up against the clock without really knowing how much time I had, but knowing it was close, and my energy was running out.
As I finished the famous stretch of hills on Summit and things flattened out, I literally focused on putting one foot in front of the other and could only muster a 7:35 pace. The sweet view of the finish line finally presented itself and after one final push, I was done. 3:12:59. An awesome race and an awesome day. It feels so good to be home. Thanks to all my family friends for the support!