Another belated report, but better late than never.
On Saturday the 14th, I woke up early, and got ready to rock. Ready to rock twenty miles around the beautiful city of White Bear Lake. It was a busy morning, and though Laura was also running the twenty mile race, she was driving separately. I was pacing the 2:40 group of the Get Ready to Rock! 20 mile, and afterward had to get home, get cleaned up, and take my MTLE test for my K-12 Reading License.
It was an extremely pleasant morning for running. We've had unseasonably warm weather for fall, so a temperature in the low 50s felt a little chilly. After meeting the pace director, getting my bib number and pacing singlet, I waited in my car to stay warm.
Laura came a little later for a quick photo before we got the race rolling. She's planning on running the Twin Cities Marathon, and was going to use the 20 mile to see if she was ready. Laura's been very busy. As of September 1st, she and two colleagues became the co-owners of Children's Country Day School, so she's been keeping herself more than occupied with that. As if that weren't enough, she's working on a master's degree in early childhood administration. Short story long, her training for Twin Cities Marathon hasn't gone exactly according to plan.
I, however, was using the 20 mile as an easy long run as part of my training for the Rock 'n Roll St. Louis Marathon, and to make the dreams come true of some would-be 20 mile finishers.
Get Ready to Rock! was an interesting race. After one of the early miles registered on our Garmins as 0.9 miles, the markers were pretty accurate from the point on. But, because of that 10th of a mile inaccuracy, the other pacer and I were ahead of schedule for most of the race. After running several miles in the 8:10s (our pace was supposed to be 8 flat), we ran in the last few miles just under 8 minute pace, just in case the course gave the tenth-of-a-mile back at the end, as is often the case.
In the middle miles somewhere, one of my coworkers jumped on the course and ran with us for a few miles. It was cool having another person running an easy pace to swap running stories with. I don't know how the pacees feel about their pacers yammering the whole time, but it makes it go by quicker for me.
Coming into the last half mile, Sam, the pace director, was spectating. "Nice job guys, but slow down," he said. "You're going to come in fast." And we did. My official time was 2:39:19. Not exactly spot-on. Not a big deal though--most people are running the 20 mile as a gear-up for a fall marathon, so they're not super-concerned with the pace, other than that it's consistent, which we were (other than our slow down for a couple miles).
It was a nice day for a run. The course was shaded, went around Bald Eagle Lake a couple times, and the weather was clear, cool, and just a little breezy. Sam let us drop our pace signs after a mile, then pick them up again at mile 19, which was awesome. The race was very "no frills," but enjoyable nonetheless. Laura also had a good time, and feels ready to complete the Twin Cities Marathon in a couple weeks.
Oh, and I even passed my MTLE test afterwards.