Yesterday I finished my 22nd marathon, my third Twin Cities Marathon and celebrated my 10th anniversary of running marathons! All in the place where it started… at the Twin Cities Marathon!

Let’s back up a little bit and talk about the weekend! Now that I live in Minneapolis, I’m a quick(ish) drive away from my family so they came in for the weekend. It takes about four hours for them to get here so it was a great time for them to see my place and tour around Minneapolis. My mom, sister, nephew and niece all came in (my nephew was excited for the solid Pokemon hunting that we have here ;)). 

Friday night we adventured around my neighborhood and ordered in pizza (I’m from a small town that doesn’t do this so my niece and nephew were pretty pumped about it). The next morning, we woke up early and went to the expo via train. 

I love the Twin Cities Marathon expo; it’s just the right size and has some cool vendors. 

2016 Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl

2016 Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl

My favorite thing about the packet? Well, we got some sweet hats (appearances will be made on the blog soon) and it didn’t have a bunch of random samples and papers in it. All it had was our bib and the hat, which I think is genius for both the runners and sponsors of the event. 

Afterwards, we ventured to a Twin Cities classic:

Mickey's Diner in St. Paul | Crazy Running Girl


This diner has been on Food Network several times and it was so. good. I just did a plain BLT and some fries, which worked well for my gut. 🙂

Afterwards, we rested up and headed over to Minnehaha Falls, which is one of my favorite parks in the city:

Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis | Crazy Running Girl


With my sister | Crazy Running Girl


And my niece and nephew tried to teach me what it’s like to be a kid again (this thing was terrifying, FYI): 

Playground equipment adventures | Crazy Running Girl


For dinner, we went to Northeast and tried out Hazels. I’ve never been here before but have heard amazing things, and it was delicious. 

Trying the salmon at Hazels in Northeast Minneapolis | Crazy Running Girl


P.S., I did fish with wild rice before Grandma’s Marathon and it worked well for my gut. I’ve tried so many different pre-race dinner foods and have not been able to find something that works well for my body —> but this seems to, so I’m sticking with it. 

2016 Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl


The Twin Cities Marathon starts at 8 a.m., which feels SO LATE in the world of marathon race days and like you have so much time in the morning! I slept in til 6:30, grabbed two hardboiled eggs and a plain bagel and headed out the door with my sister after dressing in my cold-weather gear:

Cold-weather gear for Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl

I was to the starting line area just after 7, and chilled out (literally, it was cold) and got mentally prepped for the race. I decided that I was going to run the mile I was in and use that philosophy as long as I could. I need to talk more about this —> but seriously, the best mantra that I’ve ever used in my life. 

Anyways, we were off right at 8 and wove through the streets of downtown before we headed to the lakes area. I haven’t run over in this area since I was back and it was such a good reminder of how amazing the running is here in Minneapolis! I realized over the course of this race, that I need to head to a lot of different areas in the city to run again — it really was like a reunion tour of my city yesterday. 🙂

The lakes (Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet) have some really good crowds and I was feeling pretty good. We could see our breath at this point (it was high 30s at the start) and I was so happy I opted for capris (the first time I haven’t worn shorts in a marathon). From there, we headed to Lake Nokomis, which I remembered I hated the last few times I’ve run this race and hated again. I don’t know why. 

2016 Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl


I was running really solid at this point —> sub-8’s and it felt easy, which surprised me. I saw my family around mile 10 and it was so good to see some familiar faces! Also, I forgot to mention that I made them this sign for the race:

Marathon race day sign at Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl


Ha, ha. I guess it was a hit 😉

When we hit the halfway point, I realized I was on target for a PR and had some wiggle room. I just needed to keep trucking along and based on how I felt, I wasn’t too worried. 

I saw my friend Katie (well actually, heard) around mile 15 and threw a wave back. Once I hit 16, I started feeling it in my legs (the lack of hill training) and it was getting harder to push but I was still on target. Second view of my family around 18:

2016 Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl


And then we were in St. Paul and headed towards the finish… not without Summit Avenue, of course. This is probably the part of the race that I remembered most when I ran it previously, mostly because it’s terrible. It’s basically a five-mile hill and then you get a little bit of a downhill to the finish. Anyways, we were about two miles in and I was thinking “this isn’t THAT bad” because in my head, I thought that we were going to be off it soon. 


At that point, my legs did not want to go faster than a 8:30ish pace, so I knew the idea of a PR was kinda out the window, but I was not that mad about it because I knew I went into this undertrained and was impressed with how I’d run the race thus far if that makes sense. 

I started hating Summit even more (aka didn’t see Katie around mile 22) but kept pushing through… and finally reached the top of it and saw the finish line with about .4 miles to go. 

I crossed the finish line just under 3:34 (3:33.53) and was so happy to be DONE! The weirdest thing –> well, two really – my left arm hurt SO BAD the entire race, I’m not sure if I slept on it funny or what, but it still hurts which is so strange. And my knee was angry starting around mile 11, which I’ve never really had that pain before, so I hope it was just a random thing with the cold weather. 

Walking through the finish was so easy –> grabbed my medal, heat sheet, gatorade and water (they had tons of snacks you could grab — I just was not hungry) and then you got your finisher shirt before you exited. Because it’s a smaller race, finding my family was a breeze. 

2016 Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl


Some thoughts about this race:

  • I am proud of how I ran it –> I nailed my paces for the first ~20ish miles, which was far better than I imagined. I felt undertrained going into this race (like I talked about last week) and with all of the life changes over the past few weeks (moving across the country, starting a new job, figuring out a new life), I had no idea how this race would go. 
  • Even saying that, I am a little mad that I wasn’t prepared because the weather was phenomenal. I have not had a good marathon weather race day like this in ages and here I wasted it being all undertrained. Such is life, right? 
  • Twin Cities Marathon is AMAZING. They put on such a good show and there’s awesome volunteers and crowd support. The course is absolutely beautiful (even though Summit sucks, it’s still gorgeous). 
  • I finally learned what works for me mentally —> focusing on the mile I was in made such a difference vs. looking at it as “6 more miles at this pace.” I need to work on this. 
  • Lastly, I need to figure out how to break through the wall. I think this is what’s holding me back from a sub-3:30. I’m glad I finally realized this. 😉
  • It was awesome to have my family there to cheer me on… it was the FIRST time they’ve seen me run 26.2 and I think they had fun cheering. 😉 My nephew (he’ll be 14) even said he wants to run it next year, which would be a lot of fun! 

2016 Twin Cities Marathon | Crazy Running Girl


Have you ever run Twin Cities Marathon? What did you think? 

Also, what do you think is “ideal” weather for racing? 

Who else raced this weekend!? Details!! 


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