My thoughts on the 29th annual Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
October 3, 2010
My Run: Overall, the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon (MTC) was my fifth full marathon, and my first since the Country Music Marathon in April 2010. All five of my marathons have been within the past 12 months, with the 2009 Chicago Marathon being my first. In the first four marathons, I set PRs in 3 of them, improving from 3:53 in Chicago (10/09) to 3:39 in Knoxville (03/10). Even though I was steadily improving, I knew I needed a better cross training program if I was truly going to take my running to the next level and ultimately qualify for Boston.
With that in mind, I started P90X in June after doing a lot of research into cross training programs. Even with the improved training I knew that closing a 24-minute gap to qualify for Boston by the MTC in October would be exceptionally difficult.
Throughout my training this summer I began to see steady improvement, and as of August began to think about setting 3:30 as a goal for the MTC depending on the race day conditions. However, when I stated this goal to someone in our running group, their response back was “You’re faster than that! You should be going for 3:15!” This was both encouraging and terrifying at the same time.
As August moved into September, our group did a couple of marathon pace indicator workouts, and things seemed to be pointing in the direction of being capable of doing a 3:15. With this in mind, I started increasing the speed of my tempo runs. My first attempt at a 10-mile tempo run at 3:15 marathon pace was a bust. I only lasted through 7-miles. However, my next attempt of 11-miles was very successful. After discussing this with several members of our running group, I decided to go for it at MTC provided that weather conditions were favorable.
When I woke up on race-day morning, it was 39 degrees, and the highs during the race were only supposed to reach the low 50s. Perfect conditions! Unfortunately, there was not a 3:15 pace group, only a 3:10 or 3:20. At the advice of several from my group, my goal was to run even splits as much as possible, and not try to bank any time. From their experience, they indicated I would need all of the stamina I could get for the hills beginning at mile 20.