TC 10 Mile - Race Review

Registration: Online.  My registration for TC 10 Mile was included by registering for the TC Summit Challenge that probably deserves it's own post.  For those not participating in a race series, the entry is by lottery.

Packet Pick Up: There is a huge race expo for the TC Race Weekend.  Races include TC 5K, TC 10K, TC 10 Mile and the Marathon, as well as a bunch of kids/family races I don't pretend to understand.  Race expo is at the Xcel Energy Center and it's always a big deal.  This year I met Olive for some big shopping.  I found good deals on running belts because all of mine seem to have broken right at the end of my training session.  Olive found her dream pillows at the expo.  We both had a good time.

Weather and Wardrobe: Start temps for the 10 mile were 35* and 90% humidity.  I wish I was joking.  I take a city bus from my house to the start line, so I was outside from 5:30am on.  Race starts at 7am for the Pro Women and my corral took off around 7:20am.
  • Throw away layers: Sweat pants, a fleece top I didn't want, fleece headband, and mismatched socks used as gloves
  • Shirt: I work my 'ugly Christmas sweater' running shirt and it was totally the right decision, technical short sleeve shirt underneath as well
  • Bottom: Saucony full length tights
  • Socks: Smart wool socks
  • Shoes: Brooks Green Silence
  • Head: Visor.  I did not wear sunglasses.  I thought they would've fogged instantly in all the humidity.

Start Line: Race starts in downtown Minneapolis near the Viking Ship.  (I refuse to learn the real name of the Vikings stadium).  10 Mile and Marathon have different start lines, though they are within a block or two of each other. 
  • Weather: Runners were not allowed inside the Viking Ship which was a bummer because it was really cold outside.  Apparently this will be different in future years.
  • Amenities: There seemed to be plenty of potties.  I walked a block or two off the starting line to use the 'Marathon' potties which had basically no line.  That's fairly amazing given the number of people there. 
  • Corrals: So, my Corral seemed to have the most people.  From the train station, Corral C is the easiest to get to.  The other two corrals seemed to involve some walking, and knowing which way to go.  It didn't bother me.  I couldn't tell if the fasties I saw in my corral meant to be there, or just got to the race late and didn't really know where else to go.

Course: I finally got to test out the 'real' course.  The past two years I ran on a modified course.  West River Road had been closed due to a mud slide and ensuing reconstruction of a hill side and some other stuff.
  • Downtown: The course starts in downtown and runs by the Guthrie and a few other landmarks.
  • The River: Everyone remarked on how amazing this part of the course was.  There were ice chunks floating around and steam rising off the river, with the some coming up over it.  It was early in the course and fairly down hill, which also probably helped everyone's enjoyment.
  • Up the hill to Franklin Bridge: Let the climbing begin.  Don't try to win the race on this hill.
  • Over Franklin Bridge: There were lots of spectators here
  • Up East River Road for a while: The 10 mile and marathon courses are the same on this side of the river, so I'd see marathon mile markers and I knew then I had 0.2 to go to get to the 10 mile marker.  There are a few hills, but this is the last reprieve before more climbing
  • Up the hill to Cretin: Big hill.  Don't try to win the race on this hill.
  • Along Summit Ave, more hills: Summit Ave is climbing to "the Summit" which means it's still a lot of up, though nothing as steep as the climb to Franking nor that damn hill before Cretin. The spectators are out in full force here and there's parties every block or two.  My favorites for this part were the sign that said "Summit Ave is your B!tch" and the people that hand out beer.
  • Look for the Cathedral: Nothing like being on Summit, rounding the corner and seeing that Cathedral come out of nowhere.  Now it's really downhill to the finish. 

Finish: The finish line with the cathedral on the left and the Capital way off in the distance is fairly amazing.  Even if it didn't have the emotional piece that goes with the finish line, this part of the course would be amazing. The finish area is well done.  Bag check was easy.  There is a changing tent which I used.  Lots and lots of good food including hot broth for recovery.  And then there's the beer garden. 

Race Recommended For:
  • New to going far: If you want to go longer than a 5K or 10K, this is a good step up in distance before trying the half marathon.
  • Experienced: This is a great course and a well done race.  Go enjoy yourself.
  • Climbers and mountain goats: Any trail person that wants to try a road race, this is the one for you.  For a road race, there is a lot of up.
  • Anybody: This is a really well known and well done race.  Just try it.

My Race: I was happy with my race but disappointed with my time.  I thought I could've done a little faster given my training this year.  But when I think about how I was feeling, I was digging pretty deep.  I did go hard, and I did negative split the race. Intellectually I know I should be happy with this, but I can't help feeling a bit bummed too.

Lessons Learned: I need to have a better mental game on race day. 
The best race I had all year was Red White and Boom.  I think a big part of that was having such a strong mental game going into the race. I knew what paces I wanted to hit starting out, I knew my plan for the hill, and then I knew what I was going to do in the middle and end of the race.
This race, I knew to not start out like a nut, and not to try to win the race on any of the hills.  I had no mental game for the back half of the race other than "I wonder if I can hit this pace".
In the first part of the race, I hit paces okay.  I'm not sure if I could've gone faster in the first mile or two, but I really wasn't feeling it at the time.
I did maintain my senses on the hills and let people go by me.
Everything after the Franklin Bridge is where I had the most room for improvement. I just kind of turned off my watch and tried to go by feel.  I should've had a "try for this pace, if not, then use this pace as plan B" strategy.  I didn't have enough confidence in myself that I could hit my A paces, especially while climbing up Summit, and I didn't have a back up plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment