Yesterday was race day!
I woke up at 5:45 a.m. and immediately checked the weather. The forecast had been calling for rain in the morning and I was praying that it would magically show 0% chance of rain around 8 a.m. (race start time), but alas it didn’t. Radar looked like spotty showers were going to be moving through until about 8:30 or 9 and then it would stop. My thoughts then moved to what I was going to wear. I opted for my tights, t-shirt, and arm warmers.
This race starts and ends at the football stadium on the University of Minnesota campus (my alma mater). I decided to line up by the 10 min/mile pacer. That was the pace I was hoping to run and I figured it would help me not get caught up in the adrenaline and start too fast. Turned out to be a good idea.
It was sprinkling while we waited for the race to start, but nothing too bad. I had my phone with me (per usual) to listen to music while I ran. I’m super paranoid about my phone getting wet, so I kept debating whether I should keep it in my arm band or put it in the zip lock bag in my spi belt until the rain stopped. Since it was just sprinkling, I kept it in the arm band, which is actually really good for keeping moisture off the phone. Of course, about 2 minutes before the gun went off, one cloud decided to spit out some large rain drops on us. Awesome. So, wet and cold, we took off.
I stayed with the 10 min/mile pacer for the first few miles, but somewhere around mile 3 I realized I had pulled ahead of them a bit. I decided to go with it as long as I was feeling good and I could always drop back if I needed to. The rain didn’t stick around long once we got started (thank God). It was a bit windy too and my hands were freezing in the beginning.
Before I knew it we had reached the halfway point. I noticed that my legs were still feeling good even at the slightly faster pace than I had planned, so I kept it up.
This course is hilly. I ran it last year, so I was definitely more prepared (at least mentally) for the hills. Of course several of the hills come during the second half of the race. Just when you think you’re done with them, there’s one more. I bet the people that mapped this course had a lot of fun with that.
My watch beeped that I was at mile 9 and I knew a PR was actually within reach if I held my pace (and tried to kick it into high gear at the very end). The finish line is actually at the 50 yard line of the field and they project the finish line on the jubmotron! I ran around the outside of the stadium and then entered the tunnel. Coming on to the field I saw Goldy Gopher and gave him a high five right before crossing the finish line!
My official time was 1:39:59 –> a PR!
However, a friend pointed out that people were saying the course was long (about 10.25 miles). I double checked my watch and she was right. My Garmin had the distance at 10.22 miles which made sense because I knew my pace was faster than a 10 min mile. So, my PR is actually a bit bigger than I had originally realized!
This reflects my Garmin distance:
Overall, I’m really happy with how the race went. Despite feeling like a
hot wet mess at the end, I felt pretty good the whole time and surprised myself with my pace for the second time this year. I have another race (a 10K) in a couple weeks. We’ll see if this momentum keeps up or not!
The rest of the day was spent lounging, napping, and watching the Gopher Hockey team play in the NCAA National Championship game. They didn’t win. Oh well, until next year!
Definitely a Gopher-filled weekend. 🙂