October 9, 2012 by Carin
I ran and finished my 12th marathon on Sunday! The Twin Cities Marathon was this past Sunday and it was AWESOME! While once again I missed my marathon goal of under 4:00 hours, I had a much better race. My friend Jen even told me that I looked so much better “Night and Day” as she put it. Read her spectating review here! The weather was perfect. Some might say cold, but I would say perfect. 30 degrees at the beginning assured that no one was going to be too hot and we certainly didn’t have to worry about humidity. The sun was shining and it was B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L! This was fall at its finest with the leaves on full color display, falling from the trees and crunching beneath runner’s feet. A perfect day for a run! I have to admit I was in better spirits overall knowing that I would be running with 12,000 other runners and the streets would be lined with spectators cheering for us. I was nervous and excited all the same. Nervous at some points more than excited, just ask my husband as I shed a few tears before leaving the car to head to the start. My biggest worry was a repeat of Women Rock, but I also knew that this race was going to be completely different and better. Relieving the tension in the car was just what I needed to focus on all the good parts of the race.
I managed to maintain my race pace for about 20 miles, slowing down some. The race course really highlights some of the best aspects of the Twin Cities; the lakes, Minnehaha creek, Mississippi River, Summit Avenue and our state capital. But once I hit mile 20, just as I was getting close to Summit Ave, things started going downhill. Summit Ave is slightly uphill the whole 5+ miles with some rolling hills. My hamstrings and calves started to get very tight which made running very uncomfortable and required many stops to stretch. The rolling hills only made it harder to get my hamstrings and calves to work for me. I worked really hard to focus on everything but the discomfort, but eventually it was beyond any distraction I could find. I took to walking some, but running slowly felt more comfortable and slowly I ran for those 5 miles. My race pace was out the window!
I have wondered whether I might have felt a little better if I hadn’t run the Women Rock marathon five weeks prior, but the what ifs are just that and I won’t ever know (Read my thoughts and review of the race here). Fresh legs or not, I am really happy with how I did. My goal of running a sub 4:00 hour marathon will just have to hang out there a little longer until I figure out if I will run another marathon or the where/when of it. I have a whole winter to think it over and figure out what my strategy is going to be. Winter will be my time to run a little less, do some yoga, lift weights and give my body a break from the long miles I have been running all summer.
A mental break from training is also what I need. I am burned out and need a break from the rigidity of a training schedule. I look forward to going back to the gym and having the kids in the daycare for some “me” time during the day. So if there is anything to look forward to about winter, it is that.
Have you had any big accomplishment this summer? What are you looking forward to as we head into winter?