Friday, May 13, 2011

TC 1 Mile Race Report

It was a dark and stormy night... no, not believing it... OK, how about it was a misty mid-evening... more believable?  OK, I'll stick with that.  Yep, the evening had its share of little droplets of water.  The breeze swirled around through the buildings and the Hennepin County Library, located right next to the start, hasn't seen that many people in ages.  (It is actually a nicely designed building.)

Candid photo of my Bikila's while playing footsy with Future Wifey
The night was planned with multiple waves culminating in the USA 1 Mile Road Race Championships.  Myself and my lovely Future Wifey were in the Friends and Family wave that kicked off the night.  Participation was slightly dropped due to the weather,but the corral still filled up and got packed together rather cozily.  I started towards the back half of the pack to begin with since I was running in my newly acquired Vibram Bikilas this year and didn't really know if I could keep an above average pace throughout the entire mile.  They drew a bit of attention from the racers near me, and we started talking about minimalist running and some of the possible advantages and disadvantages.  We heard a faint beep and wondered if it was the start signal.  We decided it must have been since when we looked forward there was a line of bobbing heads.  The shuffle towards the start began.

Nothing too horrible only about half a minute of lag between gun time and chip time.  Then I became one of the bobbing heads.  My legs felt great the misty mid-evening was a nice temp for running and the mist that had been falling earlier had stopped, or at least I didn't notice it anymore.  The art of weaving through aspiring runners (read: new to organized events) and miniature munchkins (Family wave remember) is a bit difficult in such tight quarters, but I managed: 1) Not to squish any wee one or 2) shoulder tackle the woman pushing a stroller towards the front of the pack.

Side rant: I am fine with women and men that want to push their kids into the street  in strollers. BUT, please be mindful of other runners.  Ask the other runners around you what their expected pace is going to be.  If you can't match it, make the beeping noise for comedic effect and back until the response is near what you expect to run.

Back to sanity now.  The organizers were nice enough to set up clocks at 1/4 mile interval to help pace out the pack.  The first one for me read a litte over 3 minutes, and I figured that it would likely be around that as my lateral movement was almost equal to my forward at that point.  It was about that time when I came across a little runner dressed all in pink holding the hand of a bent over mommy.   I couldn't resist also stooping over and offering a high (for her) five.  She swung and missed (seriously you gotta look at the elbow you will never miss).  She managed to hit my wrist though and I figured it was close enough and continued on.

The wee one's energy must have been contagious because I picked up my own pace.  1/2 mile marker read only about 5:00.  The crowds weren't nearly as thick as they were in years past when the weather was nicer, but the ones that did brave the elements were loud enough.  The 3/4 marker read 6:55 or something near that, and I decided that my pace was about right since I was starting to get a nice burning sensation building in my calf muscles due to my adjusted stride (still not quite fully adapted to the Vibrams).

I passed by the always lively Brits Pub Cheer Zone and knew that the finish was near.  I buckled down and started to hit a decent stride (great wish I could have found that earlier).  My foot strikes felt light as a feather and the final clock came into view.  The crowd of stalled earlier finishers also came into view.  I wanted to be able to run through the mats not just too them, but that would have required a plow in front of me.  I managed to hit the first mat still in stride but had to pull back quickly other wise I was going to find out what people felt like under foot in the Vibrams.

The finish line fare wasn't much.  People shelling out water and massages that would have taken 10 times longer to get when compared to how long they lasted.  Free movie pass to a screening of the new Pirates movie was a nice treat though.

Future Wifey had already finished (new PR for her 7:08) while I set a nice little mark of my own at 8:28.  No where near my old glory days, but respectable for 240lbs rumbling down the street near barefoot.  We started to walk back and started planning how to get warmer clothes in time to see the main event of the evening.  We also expressed hopes of seeing one of the other Minneapolis area bloggers Steve the lucky man who got to meet Ryan Hall at the press event (photographic proof HERE).  No sooner had we mentioned that; I noticed a Tyr transitions bag not unlike the one my fiance won in a give away done by Steve.  We poke and prodded at each other trying to figure out if it was actually him or someone else who just had a really sweet transition bag.  Finally, I called out "Steve"; he turned, and we introduced ourselves while professing our jealousy at his ability to meet Ryan.

Mini Minneapolis blogger meet up accomplished; we headed towards the Brits Pub Cheer Zone where we planned to act like civilized rabid fans.  We found an empty space at a table near the edge of the patio next to the street and claimed it as ours.  I ran off to grab our sweat shirts out of the car while Richelle procured the traditional cowbells from the people handing them out.  I found Uncle Sam on the way back and told him I too heard some thing about the Boom (a half marathon on the 4th of July) and received a water bottle for my effort at remembering the phrase to garner a prize if he was spotted.  Since we were waiting at a busy corner, he was quickly mobbed.  I scooted away to finish my mission.  Warm clothing and wallet procured from my nearby vehicle; I went to find Richelle and show off my new found swag.  On the way I ran into a few cowbell dispensing Target employees and grabbed as many as they would dole out (turns out 3).  At the corner near Brits, I saw a cowbell lacking wee one and handed my surplus one to her much to the delight of her and the "what have you done" glares of her parents.

I found that my timing couldn't have been better.  The table spot mentioned earlier had become the entire table and the Women's Championship Wave was only minutes away from starting.  Multiple cowbells in hand and wonderful Get Lucky! 7k sweatshirt on I set about being a human noisemaker as the elite women flew past (congrats to Sara Hall and her 4:30.8 win).  The Men's Championship followed shortly after with David Torrence claiming his 3rd straight in 3:58.4.  That's right, by the time I would have been barely over 1/4 of the way through my race, he would have been finishing his had they began at the same time.  Puts their speed into perspective.  After the Men's raced by we retired to the interior of Brit's Pub for a post race beer and some amazing food.
Future Wifey enjoying a well deserved beer after setting a new PR
The aforementioned amazing food

Race gear and swag

Previously mentioned calf muscles

Pictures will likely fill in later to make this an even longer post. made it an even longer post.  The shorter version of the evening: "I ran a mile; it was kind of misting.",  just didn't seem as entertaining.

Question:  What should my sign off be or should '/end' continue its reign?


1 comment:

  1. You could go all Walter Cronkite with: "And that's the way it was." Unless that's already been copyrighted.

    I didn't realize you acquired three cowbells, but that was awesome of you to give one away. Your thoughtfulness is one of your traits I like best. :)

    Oh, my new PR is 7:09. ;-) Maybe I'll shoot for a 7:08 next year.