TC10 “Race” Report

Last weekend I ran my 5th consecutive TC10 mile, which is part of the Twin Cities Marathon weekend. Not bad for a fat guy, huh? I remember five years ago when running 10 miles seemed daunting. I took that first one pretty seriously, never missing a training run and readying myself for the big day. Funny how things change. Ten miles isn’t really a big deal anymore- not that it is easy by any means- I just know that I can do it. That said, I took it a little too easy this year. I think I ran about 50 miles total all summer before last weekend. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous how I would feel during the race, especially since I tried some cramming the weekend before by running 7 miles and my knees felt like they needed WD40. Whoops.

When I tell people I am running, they all ask what my goal is. Given my lack of really any training whatsoever, my response was “to finish.” But I was asked to clarify that somewhat the night before as I was face down in a plate of sweet plantains, (Brasa is seriously an awesome pre-race meal – but that is a different post) so I settled on “to not cry.”

The morning of the race was cold (35-40), and consistent with my lack of preparation I had no clue what to wear mainly because I couldn’t remember what it was like to run in the cold because, well, I hadn’t been running. So I geared up in tights, stocking hat, arm warmers and gloves. Needless to say I was too warm. The gloves were thrown to the side of the road by mile 2, hat was off by mile 3 and arm warmers pulled off by mile 4. Oh well.

The “race” (my pace was more like a jog) actually went well. The weather and fall colors were great and the route is really beautiful. Running down Summit Ave with the sun shining down and the trees all yellow and orange, it really doesn’t get any better. There also were a lot more spectators this year than I remember from past years. So I just took it all in and enjoyed myself. When I hit the last mile I tried to run a little faster, but no dice, so I just eased it into the finish. My time? A few seconds slower than my first ever TC10, but 8-9 minutes (or so) slower than last year. Not bad.

Here is me at the finish. I of course grabbed as many Nut Rolls as I could (I think I ate four, because nothing says “EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT” like running 10 miles. I may have gained weight that day).

 

Me at the finsh with my Nut Rolls

 

Here is a pic of Dave, Melissa and me watching the marathoners come through. Dave didn’t train either but still beat me by about 30 minutes and Melissa didn’t run because she broke her foot, but it was nice of her to come watch, drive us home and allow us to talk her into eating a massive post race breakfast at the Egg and I.

Next year I will see if there is a way to negative train, or maybe I should take it seriously again?

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Interbike Recaps

Here is a dump of Interbike Recaps for those who care:

Gear Junkie blogs his highlights including a flat-less bike tire.

Twenty Nine Inches names the Salsa Spearfish Best of Show and posts pictures here, here, here and here.

Bike Commuters profiles Banjo Brothers and city bikes.

Urban Velo does quick blurbs on the new Ergon flat pedals and All-City pedals.

ibikempls has pictures of Bill Walton, dogs with cameras and hipster bling.

There is plenty more out there, but this is probably enough, right?

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Interbike

Here is what I know about Interbike: Everybody that goes to Interbike bitches about going to Interbike. That is all well and cool maybe if you work in the bike industry. But when you work in fabric box all day building PowerPoint presentations and going through 200 daily emails, going to Interbike sounds like heaven. But alas, since I haven’t gone and probably never will and you probably won’t either, I will be bringing you some coverage of the coverage of Interbike. Maybe I should call it “Metabike.” But whatever, here it goes.

I basically have a love affair with bikes (sorry babe). One of the companies that I admire a lot is Salsa. Their people ride a ton and it is a brand that I personally connect with, maybe because the staff just seem like regular guys and not a bunch of hipsters. They may actually take daily showers as well, but I can’t confirm.

They have shown a plethora of new stuff in the last couple days. Here goes:

Spearfish – New Full Suspension endurance racing rig

Photo from Salsa Cycles Website

Fargo – Updated

Photo from Salsa Cycles Website

El Mariachi Complete (I have the 2009 version – love it)

Photo from Salsa Cycles Website

Casseroll – Updated

Photo from Salsa Cycles Website

These are all 29ers (except the Casseroll which is 700c and road focused) and Salsa gets a lot of love from the Site Twenty Nine Inches. See their coverage here:

No updates on the Ti Selma except for a couple of Facebook and Twitter posts but it is real, and they basically have every bike in Ti (Vaya, Fargo, Selma, El Mariachi, A la Carte, La Cruz).

Not sure how realistic Ti is from a cost perspective for most folks, but it is for sure a lot of new stuff considering 2010 was pretty slow. I now have a bunch of new bikes to oogle over and think about getting. Should be fun.

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Cheq “maggedon”

My goal was to finish…and in one piece. I knew the Chequamegon 40 was going to be hard. I was prepared to suffer. I didn’t give a crap about my time. I seriously just wanted to make it to the finish, alive and without any broken bones.

Here I am at the start looking fresh

I got my first mountain bike last summer. I ride a lot on the road, but still not completely comfortable on technical stuff. Chequamegon isn’t very technical, but there are some tricky spots. So I just went and hoped for the best.

My rig

I started in the back, where I  belonged.

Everybody is nervous at the rollout. 1800 riders starting at once causes some traffic, but it went smoothly. I hung at the back, gave myself some space and so when I hit Rosie’s field I could get comfortable.

I actually felt pretty good the first 15 miles or so and I was cruising along quite nicely. However, I was having to work hard on the steeper climbs given I was on a 1×9 and didn’t have a true granny gear. Then it happened. My legs cramped at mile 18, quads first, then calves. Seriously, I was so pissed, but the lack of granny gear got the best of me I think. Those last 22 miles were a struggle.

Here is the famed Seeley Firetower climb (I walked):

On the positive side of things, the woods out in Wisconsin were gorgeous and the weather was perfect, mid 50’s, sunny and no wind. But the course is relentless. The hills never stop coming and just when you think you crushed a hill, you get another. Everybody around me was walking at some point, I would climb past a walker, they would climb past me walking. That is what it is like in the back of the pack.

Pretty much any significant hill I encountered over those last 22 would throw my legs into a tizzy. I walked up a lot of frickin’ hills. Throw in some mud and puddles and it made for some interesting stuff. I almost bit it a few times, but was able to stay upright.

But guess what? I finished that sucker. In a blazing 5 hours and 13 minutes. I wasn’t last,  but let’s just say they were closing down the post-race donut hole station when I rolled across. I grabbed a beer, talked with some buddies and hit the road for home.

Dave and I at the finish (he finished in 3:38 and had a couple cold ones down already)

I made it in one piece and I can’t wait to try it again next year.

More pics here.

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