After some overnight oats (thanks Michelle), coffee, and running around our townhouse getting all our crap together, it was time to go pick up another MN Running Wild member, drive to downtown St. Paul, take a wrong turn, drop off Laura and other Nate, find a parking garage, and pick up my race number. Whew...
I met some running friends at the pacer table, including another Nate. Nate and I ran the same legs of the Ragnar Relay and I asked if it was cool if I ran with him. I had no clue what shape I was in for a 1/2 and he said he was going out at 6 minute miles. A little later, Brit and Jared showed up. Brit registered for some other race or race series before registering for the correct race. She did get a cool bag and hat out of the deal.
After a quick warmup I proceeded to cool down while waiting for the race to start. It was pretty windy and in the shade from the buildings I was starting to get numb in the extremities. I said "hi" to Scott, the Securian flame, Gerad Mead, a local speedster, Don, the 1:30 pacer, and Wayne--all excellent runners and fellow MN Running Wild guys. I gave Brit and Laura good luck hugs, helped Brittany find someone to show her how Jared's Garmin worked, and it was time to go.
The first part of the race was nice and chilly. I eventually got behind a guy in a Gear West shirt, who I later found out was Chad. He, Nate, and a couple other guys then took turns running into a 10-20 mph headwind on Shepherd road. It seemed like the Gear West guy was doing the most leading so when he slowed down a little I asked if he wanted a break. "Sure," he said. "I was just looking at the marker but go ahead."
And so I did. Nate and some other guy passed us and from then on Nate and his orange jacket just got smaller and smaller. We turned around around mile 7.5 and started running back towards the rest of the field. Mile 9 I got a little too pumped from all the people who recognized me. Gear West Guy said, "A lot of people know you." "I pace a lot," I said.
Not much happened after that. I ran too fast for a couple of miles then I slowed down. Then I slowed down some more. At 12 Gear West guy passed me, then someone else passed me. Then the course turned up into St. Paul. I kept thinking, time to kick, I can still get these two. Then, Ok, kick. Speed up. Suffer more. Go get them. It wasn't happening. They beat me and some lady beat me for 9th place. I never saw her. I don't know if she just had a faster chip time or passed me while I was closing my eyes.
I got to chat with a couple other MN Running Wild friends and then went to cool down to watch Laura finish. She was running with Brittany. I got to see Seth and Adam, more MNRWs, and then ran into Jared. Then I started getting really cold. I took some pictures of Brit and Laura--they both looked great.
Now it's over. I felt pretty terrible on the drive home and thereafter, but then I got some egg and bean fajita in me and felt better. Oh yeah, and I ran 1:21 something.
Tonight I went with my running spouse to see "Red Tails." Tomorrow I start a real triathlon training program.