Don’t Call it a Comeback! TC 10 mile Race Recap

October 9, 2019

This past Sunday Jason and I joined over 10,000 people to run one of my favorite races; the Twin Cities 10 Mile, a.k.a. The Shortcut to the Capital. The 10 mile takes place the same day as the Twin Cities Marathon and uses part of the same course as the marathon…just 16 miles shorter!

TC 10 Mile Course Map

The 10 mile is such a popular race that you have to enter a lottery, then hope your name is dawn to get a bib. We’ve been lucky enough to have run the 10 mile 3 times before. But even with the lottery, I would recommend this race hands down! Here’s why:

  • The Course! It’s challenging (check that elevation gain) but beautiful. You get to see downtown Minneapolis, the Mississippi River, stately historic homes on tree lined streets, downtown St. Paul, the Cathedral of St. Paul and the capitol building.
  • The specators. I swear the town shuts down during marathon weekend. Even at 7am when the 10 mile starts, there are people out in their front yards cheering for the runners.
  • The finish line views. You come to the top of a hill, the Cathedral on your left, the capitol building in front of you, a giant American flag hanging over the road between two fire trucks, people lining both sides of the course cheering you on (plus it’s downhill, I love a good downhill). Every time I run this course I start choking up at the top of this hill.
  • It’s so organized! Twin Cities in Motion does a wonderful job putting on the 10 mile and the Marathon. The food after the run and the swag are usually pretty awesome too.

I will admit, I was woefully under trained this time around. We had only run a 6 mile long run about a month before the race. I’ve been fitting in short runs maybe 1-2 times a week, and working out at Alchemy (more on that later but if you’re curious now – 2-3 times a week, so I did not have much of a base.

Let me be real about why though; it has been really hard for me to want to run this past year. I was just coming off a long training block chasing a 5k PR when we found out we were pregnant for the first time. We actually found out we were pregnant the day after the 10 mile last year, so this year’s race was a little bittersweet for me. I knew I wanted to stay active during my pregnancy, so after some guidance from my doctor I cut back on my mileage and pace, did more yoga and focused on strength training. But after our first miscarriage I lost all my motivation, stopped caring and really started to experience the first signs of anxiety and depression. I knew working out again would help me feel better but it was just easier to stay in bed for longer, or crash on the couch at the end of the day. I signed up for the 10 mile lottery when it opened, but thought there was no way I’d get in 3 years in a row. When I did get the news that I had a bib for the race, I kinda looked forward to having some structure and schedule again. But it took a lot of energy to get me out the door on a run. I think I did not want to give my mind the time or free space to think. To remember what we had lost, or worry about something happening to me on a run. I hated running alone. If I couldn’t go with someone or take one of our dogs, I’d skip it, out of fear something would happen to me and no one would be able to help. On warm sunny days over the summer, I tried a few runs on my own, but stayed on busy streets, or would only go when Jason was home. I’m still struggling with the motivation to get out the door these days, especially now that it’s dark in the morning and getting darker earlier in the evenings. But, if you haven’t experienced it yet, the running community is a welcoming, supportive one and if it were not for the encouragement of my running friends and Jason, I don’t know how I would have gotten to the start line on Sunday.

So I’m sure you’re wondering…how’d the race go? Mentally I was so worried about the last 4 miles. From the time the gun went off all I could think about was possibly crashing at mile 6 and having to drop out. Somehow Jason picked up on this and was great at pointing out all the funny signs, or really dressed up and passionate spectators, like the older gentleman wearing a kilt around mile 4 who was dancing the best old man dance ever! As long as we were talking back and forth, it helped keep my mind off of the anxiety I had about finishing. Also, if you ever run the 10 mile or the marathon, TC Running Company puts on the best cheer zone at mile 8/24 hands down! You can hear their music for blocks in every direction.

Remember how I said the finish is one of my favorites? All those people, the cathedral, the volunteers, the giant American flag and the sight of the finish line? Yeah, I started crying again this year, but not because I was overwhelmed by the crowd and finally getting to the finish. This year was different. As I got to the top of the hill, the bells of the cathedral started ringing. I don’t know why (it wasn’t the top of an hour) but as soon as I heard the bells the tears started. I immediately thought of the two babies we had lost, but not in mourning. Rather like they were behind ringing the bells as a welcome back to running and in celebration of me finishing this race.

I somehow held it together and made it to the finish line. Even thought it wasn’t a PR, and I had to stop and walk a few times, I’m proud of this finish. I got back out there and it feels like running and I may be getting back together again.

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