July 4th, 2014.
This was a last-minute add-on event, and certainly a “C” category race. For some reason, I thought this was on the same weekend as my upcoming 70.3. When I realized that it wasn’t, I figured it would be a good final long training run going into next weekend.
I have participated in the run for the last two years and it is a wonderful event. But, my “taper” for this event was to do an 85 mile ride the day before followed by a 3 mile run. So, yeah, the legs were pretty beat-up already.
The weather was ideal. Sunny, about 60 degrees at the starting line with a light breeze, and dew-points in the 40’s. This was a huge change from the first time I competed in this event (temperature was in the mid 80’s and extremely humid at 5 am…90 minutes before the race started and before the sun even came up! It was shortened to a 5 miler that day).
I had to park several blocks away from the start. Once I arrived at the venue, I had to pick up my packet (bib, chip, shirt, pint glass). I was just going to check the swag, but I figured the glass might get broken, so I walked back to the car to leave the shirt and glass there. By the time I got back to the start line, I had to use the porta-potty, and the start was imminent. This was the first time I started a race in line for the restrooms. The line was short so I stayed put. As I was exiting the restroom, the announcer was calling that they were going to close the starting line in under 2 minutes. I crossed the starting line with the runners pushing the strollers and with the walkers. I passed 840 runners in the first half of the race!
The course was scenic through the north side of Minneapolis and along the waterfront. My iPod failed so I was running without tunes (Ironman prohibits iPods on any part of the race, so I should be getting used to this anyways). I just found my stride and tuned out. The miles and the aid stations just clicked by. The sun got a little warm by the end, but I never had to pour water over my head, so I would say that the weather was as perfect as possible. I did see someone down on the ground at mile 12. Paramedics were already there and he was conscious and talking with the first responders. Shortly after that, an ambulance was heading towards the scene with lights and sirens, so it must have been fairly serious. I hope he’s OK.
The final stretch was on the stone arch bridge crossing the Mississippi River back to the starting area. I grabbed my medal, got my finisher photo, and joined the “4th of July Picnic” (hot dogs, chips, chocolate milk, etc).
Finish Time: 2:06:52 (Average Pace: 9:42/mile. Overall position: 1303/2366).
Overall, I am pleased. I kept my pace under 10 minute/mile for the entire race the day after a really big workout day. I had set no goal and was barely paying attention to my pace. I just found my stride and it was very comfortable. This was my last big workout before Ironman 70.3 Muncie, and I feel pretty good going into race week…