Friday, October 15, 2010

Twin Cities Marathon Race Reports

After a summer of hard work, long runs, and various sore body parts, several members of the St. Croix Valley Runners Group took part in the 2010 Twin Cities Marathon on October 3rd.  This race seems to become an annual pilgrimage for many in the group.  Though we all shared the race course, and experienced the fantastic, made-for-marathons weather, we all had some very different experiences.
Candy says…
The weather did not disappoint with perfect running conditions—about 40 degrees at the start, sunny skies and very little wind. This was my 6th Twin Cities and 15th marathon. My goal for the race was to do a training run for New York and keep my pace at an average of 9:50 minute miles. I finally got it right. Mary and I started in corral #1 together and then went our separate ways, checking in with each other periodically as we traded places. I felt good at the halfway point and just figured I would keep on doing what I was doing. I continued to feel very comfortable with my pace and the weather, concentrating on my leg turnover. Some familiar faces in the crowd also helped. The net result was a marathon PR by nine minutes at a 9:40 minute average. The best part was for the first time I did not die over the last six miles. Maybe I should run every marathon as a training run? Next stop—New York on Nov. 7.
Scott added…
Well, I felt my training was about 80 percent and with some health issues leading up to the race with my son I backed off my goal a little.  7:25 pace was my previous best so I was thinking I'll try 7:20 and a PR.  I know the weather was nice but not quite as cool as I was hoping for.  The first few miles were ok.  My shoe came untied around mile four ( I did double knot them).  My legs were feeling heavy and I had negative thoughts running through my head.  I said a little prayer for a better attitude.  The miles were clicking off between 6:50 and 7:10.  I kept telling myself to slow down.  It felt like I was but the times said otherwise.  I got to mile 11 and thought well you’re committed now.  My parents met me at mile 13 and I threw them some clothes and gave them the so so sign.  At mile 14 I had to hit the restroom.  Mile 16 came and my usual marathon side stitch started coming.  This is way earlier than normal.  With some light pressure from my fingers I was able to ward it off.  I can usually tell how the race will pan out around 18. I started thinking doubling my half time of 1:33 would be nice. Mentally I was breaking it down 18 to 22 and 22 to 26. I punched the wall at 20 and said not this time. I started thinking at 21 that I felt better than I did at 11.  At mile 23 the side stitch got real bad. Extreme sharp pain.  It hurt more when I pushed on it.  I pulled over and it felt better immediately.  Starting up it came back but with less pain.  I would have to do this three more times.  I ran mile 25 to 26 in 6:53 so I felt awesome other than my side.  A good kick down the hill to the finish left me with a 7 minute PR and around 30 seconds off a negative split. Never thought that would happen in a marathon.  It gave me a lot of confidence in the way I ran and trained.
Lisa added…
It was the perfect day for running the Twin Cities Marathon.  My identical twin sister and brother-in-law had flown in Friday so my sister and I could run it together.  This was our 5th marathon and my sister said it was the most beautiful marathon she has ever run.  My goal was to finish strong and I achieved that but, with a lot left at the end, I was disappointed that I hadn't pushed myself harder.  I finished in a 3:25 but was short of a PR by 2+ minutes which I think I could have achieved if I hadn't let myself slow down during the run up Summit.  I also could have done without the hills at the end!  I was surprised to see members of the Stillwater Running Club cheering me on and it helped so much to see familiar faces (especially at mile 21!).  I loved the course and will definitely return to run it again.  The next two marathons on the list are Chicago and Boston.
Kent added…
After checking the weather app for the 10 days prior to Twin Cities, I had promised myself that I would aim for a Boston qualifying time (3:20:59) but would be happy with 3:30 or better. My goal was to start slowish, race the middle 15 miles, and use the built up time cushion to ease my way to the finish. Through the halfway point I was about a minute ahead of schedule and feeling good. 
The dreaded run up the river road and across the river to mile 20 did me in again this year. At the 20 mile mark I realized I was a minute behind schedule and didn't feel that I had the gas to make it up. As I was adjusting my goal to 3:30 the 3:20 pace group passed me by. I decided to give my original 3:20 goal another shot and I jumped on with the pace group. Having never run with a pace group, I was amazed how nice it was to only focus on the back of the group leader's shirt. I didn't look at the hill to St. Thomas or the rolling hills of Summit Avenue. A good friend of mine was in the pace group but I ran quietly behind her, not wanting to break my concentration. 
After feeling like we raced up Summit, I had to pull off at mile 25 due to general exhaustion. I wobbled a bit and gave myself 30 seconds to sit on the curb, giving up the 3:20 goal again. I peeled myself from the curb and allowed myself to run easy to the finish. At the top of the hill into the finish I realized that an all out sprint could still result in a 3:20:59 finishing time. I barreled down the hill, passing many runners who would eventually beat me to the finish.  At 10 feet before the finish, my legs numb from the effort, I could only walk to the finish line, knowing that I had made my time.  As I slowed up my legs collapsed and I hit the pavement 8 feet from the finish.  Two volunteers from the finish line tried to help me stand but I couldn't support my weight.  As another volunteer came toward me with the wheelchair I decided that that was not how this was going to end.  I managed to crawl on hands and knees across the line to finish at 3:20:47.
Needless to say, they tend to get the collapsing runners into the medical tent quickly and hold them there for quite a while.  An ice bath and leg massage revived me enough to walk the 3/4 mile to the car. Overcoming the regret of not being able to run or even walk across the line took a bit longer.

Awesome guys and gals!  Time to start trailing for next year!

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