13.1 Minneapolis

After running this race 2 year sin a row I think I can say this is my favorite course, maybe it has something to do with both years being good races for me, who knows but I guess it means I keep running it. After a Summer of heat and humidity I was thrilled to be racing in perfect weather: 60F at the start, a little overcast and just a slight breeze. The race starts at the same spot as the 4th of July half but follows a much different course, one with smaller hills and much more shade.

I decided this would be the day I raced smart and lined up by the 1:35 pacer telling myself I wouldn't go out too fast. I also decided to take a different fueling strategy and carry 1 gel (Honey Stingers my new favorite) and take a small amount every water stop, I didn't realize there were water stops every mile though. A little overkill so I skipped the first and last but kept with the plan at the rest.

By Mile 2 I was ahead of the 1:35 pacer and decided to stick with it just running what felt good and giving myself a cushion of time in case I lost it later in the course. I was keeping pretty even splits between 6:59 - 7:05 for the first half. The Mile 6 split: 42:50 and on pace to run a 1:33-1:34, doing good now to keep this up. My legs are feeling good and my stomach is tolerating the gel, what more could I want?!
Having fun at the finish whilemommy and daddy run.
I get to the next water stop and as I grab water it spills over my Garmin and the watch is going crazy! This is why I need to remember to lock the bezel. I can't get the screen I want and finally decide I need to just stop messing with the watch and focus on running. Luckily I was still getting my splits but had no idea of my overall time or exact mileage. This would have been really helpful at the end! My splits are continuing 7:05 - 7:15, still good!

Mile 10 and a little hillier, wow my legs are deciding I've pushed enough! Just keep moving and try to keep a 7:30 pace and you'll be fine I keep telling myself. Pace now 7:15- 7:20. I know that after Mile 11 is a wonderful downhill, knowing this will help get me back on a better pace. And the downhill! The next 1.5 miles is an out and back and I start counting women in front of me, having no idea where I am sitting. I count 4, not bad. One is close, now if I can just catch and pass her. Less then 1 mile to go and I can hear the finish line, time to push it and see if I can get a sub 1:35, I know the pacer is close behind. I'm really wishing my watch was showing me my overall time right now. I see the clock at the finish line ticking away and think I have about 5 seconds extra.

Post Race Beer, what else do you need at 9am?
 Done! The clock says 1:35:04, I did it maybe? Nope! 1:35:00 Official chip time (7:15 pace), 1 second, if only I'd known! 90th overall, 16th woman and 4th in age group. Last year was a much slower group, this finish would have gotten me an overall place, not this year, guess that's what happens when there is $1000+ prize. Like a friend said, "Placing is about who else shows up, but PRs are all about you!"

I am thrilled with the finish time and the race, but you set these random time goals and when it is so close it's almost worse then being far away. Last year this race started my streak of PRs and again I was able to set a PR (by almost 3 minutes), hopefully this will be the start of another PR streak.

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