Race Report: Twin Cities Marathon (Solo)

That was an experience I don’t care to repeat.

Watch Results:
Time: 7:02:58
Pace: 15:12
Distance: 27.81 mi
Heart Rate: N/A

Goals:
A: 6:00
B: 6:30

Food:
What I ate the night before: solo deep dish pizza, slice of cheesy garlic bread
What I ate on race morning: cereal, energy bar
What I carried with me: water (2L), gels

Gear:
What I wore: t-shirt, shorts, trucker hat
Gadgets: GPS watch, fitness tracker, hydration pack

Discussion: Well. Nothing went as anticipated, which is to be expected when I do almost no planning.

I thought I could be footloose and fancy-free about this race since the stakes were low, but when I turned the lights off to go to sleep on Friday night, anxiety descended upon me just like it does during a regular race. I don’t know how much sleep I got, but it wasn’t much and it wasn’t restful. Since I was making my own schedule, I figured I could set my alarm for an hour or so later and eke out a little more sleep. Nope. I woke up before that alarm, despite being exhausted. Disappointing.

I hadn’t done much prepping the night before, and while there wasn’t much to do, I wish I’d spent that little extra time putting gels and supplies in my pack and writing out the race route, just to shave off a bit of time. I ate part of a bowl of cereal, until I couldn’t shovel any more food into my mouth, and during the drive to the race start, I ate an energy bar. This was definitely not enough food! I generally underfuel for races (not on purpose, I just haven’t figured out what works), but this was exceptionally bad. I wanted to have my usual bagels but I dawdled on Friday and the bagel place was already closed. Since I started running much later in the day than I would for a regular race, I wasn’t able to rely on residual fuel from my dinner the night before. I didn’t consider that either.

I was able to conveniently park directly at the corner of Portland and 6th, the start of the race. It’s funny because to me, the race “starts” in front of US Bank Stadium, because I’m all the way back in the third corral. Here I was in the first corral, all by myself! (Side note: because the run took so long and then I relaxed at home for awhile, I had to pay $16 to park. Not my worst parking mistake ever, but woof!)

I made it all of a block on 6th before I hit a traffic light. I did not anticipate the impact that all these traffic lights would have on my run. When I was doing my solo 50k, I made up my own route, so I could skip the busy streets and the traffic lights. The TCM route goes down major streets, and without the street closures I was often stuck waiting at lights or stop signs. There were a few times I had to veer off course a bit to find the actual crosswalk or traffic light to safely cross the street. I probably could have crossed against the light a few times, but I am a rule follower by nature and as the race wore on, I didn’t trust my legs to be able to quickly get out of the way of an unexpected car.

While the first few miles of the race were fairly faithful to the race course, things started to get complicated when I got the Lake of the Isles. I couldn’t always count on a sidewalk or trail to be close to the road, and often times the trail that was closer to the road was the bike path. I ended up running on the curb or on the grass for most of the sections around the lakes as well as along Minnehaha Parkway. I hate running in grass, and while the curbs were wide enough to run along, I felt too close to traffic and worried all it took was one wrong step and I’d fall right in front of a car. Once I got past Minnehaha Falls and onto West River Rd, I was able to use the running path (for the most part), which was fine in some ways but also annoying because I was constantly stepping onto the grass or into the bikeway to try to maintain social distance. I am curious how much of the extra mileage I added as a result of adapting to the course without the closed roads, and how much was a result of normal GPS errors (like the giant error at the beginning when going under the Government Center). When I ran the marathon in 2018, my watch read 26.76 miles, which would imply that I added an extra mile of running with the little detours and deviations. That does seem a bit extreme – although I did also add an extra little bit by not remembering where the race ended.

This was my first time using the navigation feature on my watch – I created the route on the MovesCount site, uploaded it to my watch, and then used navigation mode for the race. I ended up not needing it, as the only time I got “off course” was the turn off Lake Harriet onto Minnehaha Parkway, when I took the right side of the creek instead of the left side of the creek, and yet I was still within the tolerances of the program. It did once tell me that I was going off course, but that was when I was finding a safer way to cross Lyndale. It also told me when I was at the end of my course so I knew when to stop running. (Silly me, it was past the actual finish line, but oh well.) It did also drain the battery quite a bit so I don’t really intend to use it that much. My watch went from nearly fully charged (maybe? It does fluctuate quite rapidly, it’ll say 85% charged and then when I attach it to the charge, will change to 71% or something – not thrilled with Suunto lately and probably won’t buy another watch from them, more on that at another time) down to 20%, and for a watch that’s supposed to be for ultrarunners, I feel like it should last a bit longer.

The run itself was nothing special. I walked a lot, although I definitely forced myself to run at times when I wanted to walk, so I guess I did some work on my mental game. I wanted to quit about a thousand times, but I didn’t, so hooray! I was clearly not trained to run a marathon, especially not lugging 2 liters of water with me (and yes I needed that much, I had less than 500 mL left when I finished), though I had hoped to finish it faster. I’m not sure if all the stops for traffic were a help or a hindrance to me – did the pause to recover help me go faster later, or did the pauses just increase my fatigue by drawing out the run longer?

I guess somewhere in my mind I was hoping I’d run faster, that my untrained self would somehow still be able to keep up a decent pace. I ended up running the exact same pace (per my watch/GPS) as I did for my 50K in the spring, which is kind of interesting. I do miss having something to train for – I suppose I could have trained for this, but eh. I’m never going to be able to treat a virtual/solo run like a real race and give it that same effort, so putting in a tough training block seems like a waste.

Maybe I do miss racing. I’d like the chance to train for and run a regular old marathon, and see if I can knock down my PR, get under 5 hours, etc. It’s sometimes fun to do big challenges like this on my own, but when the world emerges from this pandemic and we can have big events again, I’m going to be shelling out the $$$ for races again.

Twin Cities Marathon (Solo) 2020 Goals

Tomorrow, provided I don’t wake up and chicken out, I’m running a solo Twin Cities Marathon. I was planning on doing it last week, the official weekend of the race, but I was feeling kinda crappy due to the colder weather and decided to wait.

I haven’t really done any marathon training and I’ll be running this effort unsupported, so I’m not expecting any miracles here. But I’m fully recovered from my FANS effort and I needed something new to focus on.

I didn’t sign up for the official virtual race, because it was $125, but I am running the race course (provided I don’t take a wrong turn). I’m going to drive myself to the start, park somewhere nearby, and then get my spouse to pick me up at the Capitol when I’ve finished. I’ll probably start around 10:00, which is great for me but also means it’ll consume my entire day. The key here is not farting around at starting at 11:30 or something.

I have to carry a bunch of stuff with me since this is an unsupported run and I’m super slow. I’ll be wearing my hydration pack, carrying gels, my cell phone, sunscreen, probably some money, and a mask, just in case I have to duck in somewhere to use a bathroom. (Are public bathrooms open? I guess I’ll find out.) I’ve done a self-supported long run before (my BTTT 50K back in May), but never a point-to-point one, so I’ll be like a pack mule comparatively speaking.

I don’t really have goals that I’ve been working toward, but I also don’t want to be out there forever, so I’d ideally like to finish in 6 hours. I ran TCM in 2018 in ~5:33, so I guess that would mean I’d be finishing at a pace about a minute slower than I did when I trained and ran the race supported (~13:43 vs 12:43). That’s probably a bit ambitious, but I did a heck of a lot of walking during that race thanks to a side stitch, and I also ran several of my FANS efforts at a faster pace than that. If I finish in less than 6:30 that will be acceptable.

The nice thing is if I fail for some reason, I can go out and try again next weekend, or I can just… not. And if I wake up a bit later than planned, I can just start slightly later. And if I go off course, it’ll just be a Twin Cities Ultramarathon. And if I totally bonk and end up walking it in, there won’t be any SAG wagon chasing me down. I like these low stakes endeavors!

Fall 2020 Running Goals

I have a lot more certainty about my fall running goals than I did about my spring and summer goals. When I started setting my spring goals, I had no idea how long this pandemic would last (and it shouldn’t still be this bad! Ugh!) In the summer, it was clear that there would be long-term impacts to racing and training, but I didn’t re-imagine my approach to running. Now that I’ve made a decision that I’m not going to sign up for any in-person races this fall, and I’m not going to travel too far for any adventures.

  1. Complete 45% of St. Paul streets.
    I got up to 31.74% completion during the summer (I’m currently at 35.38%), so this might seem a bit unambitious. I’m scaling back a bit on this for a couple reasons. It’s getting dark earlier these days, and I don’t want to waste a bunch of waning daylight driving to Como Park to complete some streets. I’m also obsessing a bit over the completion project. I’m barely running any trails (paved or otherwise) because I’m planning out how I can run some boring industrial road instead. Setting a less ambitious goal will give me an opportunity to run more trails, or just run routes I like and haven’t run in awhile.
  2. Complete 25% of West St. Paul streets.
    I’m currently at 16.67% of West St. Paul, which is a little bit harder to complete because so many of the streets are long. St. Paul has a lot of tiny streets that are only a block or two long; West. St. Paul is laid out more like a suburb so the streets are harder to complete. WSP is closer to my home (and easier to drive to) than most of St. Paul, so it’ll be more convenient and will help me maximize daylight. There are a lot of streets without sidewalks, so I’m not thrilled about that.
  3. Run a solo Twin Cities Marathon.
    This might actually turn into a Twin Cities ultramarathon, because part of the course is currently under construction and has a short detour. My current plan is to run it on the proposed marathon day, but that’s weather permitting. I might enlist my mom to meet me at Lake Nokomis to refuel (and maybe one other point along the way?), and I’ll have to figure out how to get to the start (light rail? drive?), but those are logistics for another day. I considered signing up for the official virtual race, but it costs as much as just doing the race, so no thank you. My cousin just ran a virtual Boston Marathon and I was re-inspired by his awesome effort. (Plus he raised like $13K for the Michael J Fox Foundation in memory of his father! Now that’s inspiring.)
  4. Get caught up and ahead on YTD mileage over last year.
    I want to be able to cruise in December, rather than pound out 12 miles on 12/30 in order to barely eke ahead of my previous year’s mileage (as happened in 2019). I don’t need to match 2019’s totals by November (that’s way too ambitious), but I’d like to be like a week (say 40 miles) ahead by 11/30.
  5. Run 3 new trails/parks in the Twin Cities metro area.
    I haven’t done enough exploring around here! I’ve been too focused on new counties and new state parks to check out some of the local options. Since I’m not focusing on traveling outside the Twin Cities right now, this is a great time to find some new urban/suburban trails. Now that summer is over and kids are back in school, perhaps places like Elm Creek won’t be so crowded.

Spring 2020 Running Goals Revisited

We’re almost a month into June and I have hardly thought about running at all. I mean, I am still running, but without a lot of thought. I just go out and do it, since there’s nothing to train for.

There’s not much to discuss with my spring running goals (they weren’t that exciting to begin with), but I still feel the need to be consistent with my posts. Spring running goal evaluation:

  1. Run two races.
    I ran one race, a virtual 50K. That was the only option; all in-person races were canceled. I didn’t find any other virtual races that were reasonably priced.
  2. Run a mile in two new counties.
    I did my best to stay near home the last few months, so this was tough to do. I think I got in one new county, Anoka County, but I can’t verify that because my counties list is on my desk at work.
  3. Visit two new state parks.
    Again, tough to do without driving quite a bit. I did visit William O’Brien State Park back in March, which was okay. It was still pretty snowy there, so the run wasn’t very entertaining. I will have to go back again and try out the full park now that the snow is gone.

Not a great performance, only 50%, but when I wrote those goals I had no idea what this pandemic would look like. So many race I love have been canceled. So many conveniences I took for granted, like bathrooms at state parks, have changed the way I approach my runs.

As far as my overall 2020 running goals, I am doing okay. I’m right on track with my number of long runs and I am averaging 100 pushups a day (I’ve missed a few days, but made up for them with >100 pushups on other days). I didn’t get any cross-country skiing done – I never took the time to wax and prep my skis. I’ll have to wait til November or December to hit this goal. I’m planning to buy a bike and have a model picked out, thanks to my friend Waylon, but the bike shop in my neighborhood is closed due to the pandemic. They are accepting online orders, but I don’t know anything about what size bike I need, and would like to test ride a few, so I’ll have to call them and see if there’s a test ride option. FANS has been canceled, but if there’s a virtual option, I will go for a distance personal best and fundraise. I don’t think I’ll have the choice to run a new marathon, unless the Mankato Marathon goes through, or some other late fall marathon. (The Fargo Marathon is occurring in August, but I don’t think North Dakota is handling the pandemic very well, and I also don’t want to run a marathon in North Dakota in August.)

It’s kind of nice, saving money on races, spending less time traveling for races and long runs, and doing my own thing, but I do miss the structure of a training plan and the support and atmosphere of a race. Still, it’s a small price to pay to keep hundreds of thousands more people from getting seriously ill or dying.

Cooler Heads Prevailed

In case it wasn’t obvious, I didn’t run the Mankato Marathon last weekend. It was a good decision, for many reasons, which I will enumerate here.

  1. It was an overreaction.
    I wanted to run the Mankato Marathon because I was upset with myself for my poor performance/DNF at the Twin Cities Marathon. I was mad at myself for not achieving my main goal for the fall, getting a marathon PR. I have signed up for races on an impulse before, and I am sure I will in the future, but any time I can restrain myself from making a reactionary and overly emotional decision to enter a race, I consider that a win.
  2. It would have expensive.
    The race itself would have been nearly $100, plus I would have needed to get a hotel room the night before the race in order to safely get to and from the race. It’s an hour and a half drive from my house to Mankato, and I’d have needed to arrive there well before race start in order to get my bib and handle the rest of the logistics. We all know I don’t sleep well before races even in the best of circumstances; it’s highly likely I wouldn’t have slept a wink before the race, knowing I had to drive and deal with packet pick-up, and then I’d have had to drive home after running for 5-6 hours. NOT SAFE.
  3. I have two other races coming up.
    I’ve already paid for Icebox 480 and Mustache Run. It’s likely my performance at Icebox would be negatively affected by running a full marathon two weeks before. I can focus on trying to get a 50K in less than 8 hours and set myself up for success now.
  4. I was less ready than I thought I was.
    I ran 9 miles on Saturday afternoon and I felt pretty fatigued after the first 5-6 miles, and that’s after sleeping in! I have had a lot of stress at work lately and I think that affected me a lot more than I realized. My resting heart rate has been up, too, which is another sign of fatigue. I might have ended up crashing and burning again, but without an easy way to bail out this time.
  5. It was really, really, really, really, really, really nice to have a weekend with no commitments.
    I slept in! I ran when I wanted to! I vegged out! It was great. I enjoy running, but with a lot of commitments lately, doing nothing was far preferable to running a marathon. Of course if I’d destroyed it with a 4:55 time or something I would probably feel different.

I’m moving forward and trying to put my disappointment behind me. I hate that I have to wait until next year to get redemption at this race, but I can’t let that get me down. Not every race is going to go well, or even go decently. Time to move on.

Road to Redemption

As you might expect, I am having a hard time coming to grips with my non-performance at Twin Cities Marathon last weekend. I’m questioning my decision to drop out of the race, still wondering what happened, not sure if I’m past whatever it was that did happen, and looking ahead to what I can do to wash the stench of failure off of my body.

I signed up for the Moustache Run the same evening as TCM, but I was planning on doing that anyway. And of course I already have the Icebox 480 coming up at the beginning of November. But I really, really, really wanted to get a marathon PR this year. Early last week, I started searching for another marathon nearby to try to capitalize on my training.

Enter the Mankato Marathon, which is October 19th. No, I haven’t actually signed up for it yet, but I’m still thinking about it. Registration is still open, and the price isn’t going to change between now and race day, so there’s no reason for me to jump the gun. What’s stopping me? Two things: money and health. Pretty important things!

This race has been on my mind so frequently that last night I dreamed about it. In the dream, I signed up and then showed up on race day completely unprepared. The race started and I wasn’t even in my gear! I rushed to get ready and tried to start, and they didn’t let me. The worst possible outcome: paying for a race I didn’t even start, thanks to nothing but my own logistical incompetence! Not ideal.

Money is the most important factor in the decision to run or not. The race is far enough away (the drive is about an hour and a half long) that I wouldn’t feel comfortable driving down there on race day and would need a hotel room. There is actually packet pick-up the day of the race, but the race itself starts at 7:30 a.m. As we all know, I can’t sleep before races even when I don’t have to do much on race day to get to the starting line. Driving for an hour and a half to get to the race start with enough time to pick up my packet, drop off my finish line bag, and get to the start would be extremely stressful for me. I’d almost certainly be driving down on an hour or less of sleep, and then driving back after a sleepless night and 5-6 hours of running. That’s not safe. So it’s either rent a room for the night or don’t run. I had a third option of staying with a family member but I didn’t feel comfortable asking any of my extended family.

The other question is health. Obviously something was up on race day, and I need to be sure that whatever the problem is, I’ve fixed it. I have run a couple times since then (once at Battle Creek, and once on the treadmill) and have felt okay both times, but I’ve felt cold-like symptoms coming on a few times thanks to the cold snap (complete with snow!) and the rain. I’m not going to sign up until I can tell if I have a cold or if it’s just some allergies.

Of course this is a completely crazy and desperate idea. And of course it’s going to be detrimental to my race at Icebox. But it’s still nagging at me, even after a week of pondering it. I’ll make the final decision Thursday, based on my health and also my financial situation. If we get some good financial news this week, and I don’t have a cold, then I’ll go for it. If we get no news or bad news (not catastrophic, don’t worry), or if I still feel sneezy, then I’ll rest up for Icebox and work through my emotions in some other constructive way.

Four more days of equivocating! I’m so excited.

The Long Walk

The long walk isn’t a marathon. That’s the whole problem. It’s much shorter. It’s me, fighting my way through the crowds on the Capitol grounds to get to the gate of the finish line area, bib clutched in hand so I can prove I belong back there. Then it’s swimming upstream of runners in their medals and mylar blankets, trying to avoid being noticed while I retrieve my drop bag. My fingers can’t untie the knot I enthusiastically cinched it with five hours prior, so I rip it open and put on the jacket I tossed in there before I handed it over to a volunteer. And finally, it’s leaving the crowds behind and walking a mile and a half back to my car at Union Depot, just like I did the year before, but without a medal and a mylar blanket of my own, because I didn’t finish. Of course, it’s also spending that walk thinking about what went wrong on the race and second guessing my decision to drop out.

There’s no traditional race report to be found here, not just because it was a DNF, but because the entire 13.3-ish miles that I completed before dropping out, I spent trying to figure out what went wrong. I don’t really have splits because the first mile was so jacked up from being in downtown Minneapolis that it looks like I set a mile PR. I promise I didn’t even come close. This will be a list of excuses couched in overwrought language.

I slept poorly the night before, as I usually do, but I did manage to get a couple hours of sleep. I’m not sure how many, maybe as little as one, maybe two and a half, but either way it was enough that I didn’t feel completely woozy like I do on no sleep. I got up, got dressed in clothes I’d put together the night before for the cliched “flat lay” for my Instagram, and completed the remaining items I had on the obsessively detailed checklist I made for the race. Items on the list include “remove rings” (I don’t race in my rings because my fingers get puffy and they get tight, especially my Order of the Engineer ring, but I forget to take them off sometimes) and “fill soft flask” because it’s too important a task to leave to my forgetful brain. I left a little later than planned and had to park a little farther away from the light rail station than I wanted to because the Union Depot parking lot was unexpectedly full. I had to hustle a bit and got on the train with only a couple minutes to spare before it left.

The start area was absurdly crowded and it took me quite awhile to get to the bag drop. I had to meet my colleagues at 7:45 to take a group pic, and I barely made it back in time. I only met up with one (who had flown in all the way from Houston!) for a pic and then tried to find a spot toward the back of Corral 3. That didn’t work because there were Biffy lines that prevented me from going much further back. I did find my other colleague and he and I stood together until the start.

Right from the beginning, it felt hard. Yes, a marathon is hard, but it felt too hard. I don’t know what pace I was actually running at the beginning because of the GPS errors from running through downtown, I know that I hit mile 1 at about 11:50, so I was about 25 seconds over my A goal pace, and slower than I went out last year, so I know I wasn’t out of control. I chalked it up to the lack of warm-up and the wind through downtown, and then the second mile felt slow because there’s a hill there. But the third mile felt hard, too, and the fourth. I grabbed some Gatorade at the aid station around mile 4, and at mile 5 ate my first gel, thinking that maybe I just needed some more fuel. Through 5 miles I think I was at about 58:40 or something, so just below 12 min/mile pace. The last 5 mile run I raced, my pace was 10:01 or something. I finished the Run Baby Run 10K back in August at a 11:09 pace. I think I was still around 12 mins at the 6 mile mark (I had to glance at elapsed time on my watch and I think I was at like 1:11:XX), and if Run Baby Run felt hard a minute faster in high humidity, there was just no reason to be through 6 miles at a pace 40-50 seconds slower and feel like I couldn’t hold it. And yet I did.

Between Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, I started taking walking breaks. I thought maybe I could give my body a chance to take in the gel and the Gatorade, I’d start to perk up again. The Chain of Lakes section is supposed to be a section to cruise through, not a place to struggle for no apparent reason. But I thought maybe I could turn the race around. The section around Minnehaha Parkway (which is really nice! I need to run there more often) has one of the bigger hills of the race so that slowed me further since I walked the entire thing. My walk breaks were becoming longer and I wasn’t feeling any better, despite having more Gatorade and another gel at mile 10.

I also wasn’t having any fun. I had a few sections where I gave thumbs up to people who cheered for me by name thanks to my bib, and I saw my friend Laura at mile 4, which perked me up momentarily, but I wasn’t smiling. I smile during races a lot, partially because I’m having fun, partially because it helps keep my spirits from sagging, and partially because it suppresses the gag reflex. I wasn’t thanking as many volunteers or enjoying the surroundings and the music and the general party atmosphere. It was a grind.

As I started the section around Lake Nokomis, I started to think seriously about quitting. I had thought about quitting several times, but I often do when I’m getting settled in to races and then that feeling dissipates once I’m in a groove. But I’d keep talking myself out of it, saying I could do a run/walk and keep on surviving. So what if I didn’t make my A or B goal? Maybe I could still make my C. Or maybe just a PR. Or maybe I’d battle my way to a finish. Instead, I came through the half marathon mark at around 2:50, and at that point knew I’d spend most of the rest of the race chased by the sag wagon. I didn’t have enough water and fuel to continue on the sidewalks on my own (and there would be no value in doing so) and if I got on the sag bus at like mile 16-17 I’d probably be bus-sick all the way to the finish. I’d gotten nauseated on the light rail on the way to the race and that was before running (although it was also because a woman was smoking on the train).

The thought of running down Summit didn’t appeal to me, or that amazing point in the race when the course crosses into St. Paul. I didn’t care about seeing the Cathedral and then heading down into the Capitol to the finish. I love so much about this course and nothing was giving me joy at all. I didn’t want to learn a lesson or tough it out or force them to cut me. I just wanted to be done.

Conveniently, my mom was spectating at the half marathon mark and I was able to drop out and get a ride back to the Capitol with her. I didn’t know you could just drop whenever, so I continued past the half marathon timing mat to the drop station, thinking they’d need to take my number or my bib or whatever. I guess they don’t do that in big races! Weird. I’ve never dropped out of a road race before. So I added probably an extra half mile of walking to my daily total because I’d walked to the drop station and then back to my mom. Then she and I walked back to her car, which was parked like… maybe another mile away, maybe a little less, at my cousin’s house. This ended up giving me time to cool down and stabilize so that I didn’t get so claustrophobic when I got in the car. I felt sort of crappy in general at that point: my lower back hurt, and my face was sunburned (if I had continued this would actually have become a huge problem, because I wasn’t carrying any extra with me), and I’d been feeling slightly breathless the whole day, likely due to the wind and the cold-like symptoms I’d had earlier in the week (as well as the overall labored running).

I’m so disappointed, and I can’t really tell what the cause of my dead legs/low energy was. I didn’t have a designed taper, but I also didn’t run a lot of mileage so I didn’t think my legs had been overly taxed, and this week I ran like 15 miles with two rest days so I don’t think I overdid it. Of course the converse could be true, that I didn’t run enough miles, but that would become evident later in the race, not from the get-go. I didn’t sleep, sure, but I never sleep before races. I had a bit of a cold last weekend, but I got over it and it was never in my lungs. I don’t eat very well, but I never have and I’ve still managed to run a couple miles without my thighs turning to cement. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself for this one event, but I didn’t really.

Maybe there’s nothing to figure out. Maybe it just wasn’t my day. I’ve been stressed at work and that’s probably taken its toll in ways I didn’t realize. The good news is that I am not hurt or sick or otherwise impaired in the long-term, so I can go out and run some other fun races and try to make at least a few of the goals I’ve made for myself this fall. The bad news is that I didn’t have an amazing Twin Cities Marathon experience and I’d really been looking forward to it. Next year, I’ll be ready.