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Mpls, MN, United States

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Monday, October 08, 2007

TCM Report

I survived the Twin Cities Marathon! Thank you for your good thoughts and encouragement.

It was a pretty awful day for a race--73° at the 8:00 a.m. start, with a dew point of 68, and 80° by the time I finished. There was a little bit of sunshine, but the day was mostly hazy; thankfully some clouds moved in and provided a bit of very welcome cooling near the end. I am not generally a sweater (although my cooling system does seem to become more efficient when I'm training), but it was so humid that even I was already sweating in the first mile. I struggled to stay hydrated throughout the race, drinking two of the (thankfully large, and strong) cups of Powerade, and one of water, at each station.

At the end of the race, the announcers said that Chicago's (concurrent) marathon had ended up being even hotter, although our starting line was warmer than theirs. Apparently some elite athletes had transferred from that race to this one as late as Saturday night, anticipating that Twin Cities would be cooler (my dad said, "They should have run Portland, the pansies!"). Chicago ended up being black-flagged a few hours in because of the heat; we were allowed to suffer through the duration of ours (although the course cutoff is 6 hours--you don't even get a shirt if you don't make that deadline!).

My chip time was 4:40, which is a pace of 10:43, and not as fast as I had wanted to be. However, I do appear to have beaten the guys with whom I ran Bear Water, which is some indication of how the heat hit everyone. The heat was hard, but there was another thing: I was pretty lonely. That may sound a little strange, after my sociability at Bear Water, but I never really found anyone to talk to during the TCM. I talked for a few minutes to Juan Jose, who had flown out from Monterrey for the race; to a guy who was running his first marathon since 1989; and to another who'd only run once a week during his training. But I hadn't been able to find my friend at the beginning of the race (he called along the course, when he was at mile 16 and I was at 19 or 20), so I started alone and never really found anyone whose pace to match and with whom to chat. It was the first marathon I'd run without Bryant; although I'd been pretty slow at San Diego because of his injuries (after all, he'd slowed his pace to finish with me at Lincoln), I missed running with him and crossing the finish line together.

The great thing, though, was my supportive friends here. My neighbor/running partner drove me to the dome, walked around with me to find the starting line (accidentally getting momentarily trapped in the runners' chute, the only person there in jeans and cute shoes), and surprised me by sticking around to cheer me at the beginning of the race (she related later that when she called my name as I ran by, I turned around and startled, and for a terrible second she had visions of me falling and herself being responsible for my demise). A friend was waiting by his house between miles 18 and 19, and even though we ended up not seeing each other, somehow knowing he was there was encouraging. And then three friends were at the finish line to cheer for me and our other friend, bearing protein and energy bars and lots of enthusiastic, quasi-disbelieving congratulations. Afterward, we all went out for pizza, and though they laughed at my limp and cringed at my blisters, they claimed to be inspired to register for next year's race.

As far as the physical damages, I seem to be in pretty good shape. My lower left leg hurts a bit-- mostly, oddly enough, around the shin--and is responsible for the limp. That knee is popping quite a lot, but the joint itself seems to be fine. I have the usual fatigue and sore muscles (including my shoulders and obliques), but overall I think my body may actually be getting better at this drill. Phoenix, anyone?

These pictures were taken with my phone, which I carried in my fuel belt; friends took a few more, which I'll post if I get them.


Kendra said...

wow, i'm so impressed that you ran a marathon. i TRIED to train for a 10K once but couldn't even pull that off. i think i need a running buddy... too bad you're too far away!

Carissa J said...


I Hope So said...

oh i get more and more jealous of you by the day. look at your cute, lean body! bah.

congrats!! i can't imagine what a sense of accomplishment you must feel after such a race. you rock.

Curly Sue said...

You're hard core, grrl.

strovska said...

wow! when my knee pops, it's not because i've just run a marathon....

Hathor said...

I am impressed as always, goddess. Congrats. Maybe we'll go walking while you're here. I was much better at it when you were here with me.

Cerise said...

Thank you, Fan Club! Mandy, thanks too for calling it my "cute, lean" body; it had seemed to me to be rather ridiculously narrow in those pictures.