Red, White & Boom Half Marathon #RaceRecap #RunTheBoom #TCinMotion

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Hey! What a novel idea! Let’s write a race recap on the actual day that the race was run! This is something I used to do as a novice blogger. But now, finding the time to do it after running the race is a struggle.

Or perhaps it is just because I’m lazy.

No matter.

This is the first year I’ve run this event. I find that fascinating because it is rare that we actually go out of town on the 4th of July. I suppose I’m always afraid to schedule a run on the holiday just in case we happen to decide to go out of town. This year, I figured I’d jump the gun.

I’m very glad I did.

I have yet to run a Twin Cities In Motion event and not be totally blown away by the quality of it. They do a tremendous job. The courses are well laid out, and the volunteers are top notch. The packet pick-ups are flawless, the post race events are extra special, and the bling is super. Seriously, I’m always impressed.

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This year I am running as a TC in Motion Ambassador. I’m proud to have been chosen for this position. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to help this organization promote their events.

It was an early…and I mean early run. 6:30 am. On numerous occasions this week, my husband questioned why the start time was so early. My only legitimate response was the unpredictable July weather. July 4th in the Twin Cities could be a scorcher. It could also be 50° and rainy. Crap shoot, really. But I’m guessing that TC in Motion is thinking the former. Best to get that run done before the heat of the day, and so that the participants can continue their Independence Day celebrations with friends and family at home.

Last week my husband asked (about 307 times) what time this race was, what time I wanted to leave, and what time I was going to get up. It all came to fruition last night when he found me in bed at 8:30 pm.

“You’re in bed already?”

Um. Yeah. “I plan to get up at 4:00 am so I could be out of the house a little after 5:00 am.”

“Well, the girls have a ride to the school in the morning, so I can go with you!” he said, with a little glee in his voice.

Great! Having him there always gives me much less to worry about…i.e. parking, bringing a bag with me, bringing a jacket and my eyeglasses, and just the companionship, in general.

Falling asleep before 9:00 pm isn’t an easy feat. I cheated and took some Advil and a half of an anxiety pill I’ve had in my nightstand drawer for over 9 years from when I actually needed anxiety medication. It’s long expired, but apparently it still does the trick. And just a half a dose! I can’t imagine I ever had to take a full dose.

I got a decent nights sleep, thank heavens. I actually set two alarms on my Fitbit. One for 4:00 am and one for 4:15 am…just in case. I did lay in bed a few extra minutes before getting up at about 4:07 am-ish.

Upon stepping out of bed, I found that the KT tape I so carefully applied onto both Achilles had peeled off. What a waste. I ended up reapplying it in the morning, but used Rock Tape instead. I find it definitely adheres better.

I continued to get ready to roll, mixing my hydration, collecting my gear, and brewing some Bulletproof Coffee for my to-go cup. I wasn’t at all hungry this morning, but I carried a Generation UCAN Cinnamon bar with my just in case.

We got out of the house by 5:07 am. Good enough for government work. Needless to say, there was no traffic…at all.

We arrived downtown at 5:50 am, parked, with no hassle, and headed out. It was just a block walk to the start line of the half marathon and the entrance to the Stone Arch Bridge. On the other side of the bridge was the 5K start line, and the TC in Motion VIP tent, and the after race events. I was invited to check out the VIP tent before and after the race, so we headed for a walk over the bridge. I was also excited to meet up with a few of my local Facebook VRF’s as well.

The weather was stellar. It was in the upper 50s and sunny, but warming up fast. I needed a jacket early on, but shed it in time for the starting gun. Walking across the bridge was educational to say the least. It is situated over the St. Anthony Falls lock and dam of the Mississippi River. Even my husband was struck by the history and the beauty of the scene. He stopped every few hundred feet to snap a photo or two. This slowed our pace accordingly, but it was still only 6:00 am. However, we’d have to cross the bridge again to get back to the start line.

VIP Wrist Band

VIP Wrist Band

We arrived at the VIP tent, and I entered the area thanks to my blue wrist band which granted my access. Inside there were Porta-Potties with no lines, a personal bag check area, and standing tables set up for after event snacking and drinking. The food was being set up before the starting gun, and they were checking bags, but I had my husband with me this morning. I used the potty and left to meet up with my friends.


Facebook VRFs


View from the Stone Arch Bridge

View from the Stone Arch Bridge

We all met up rather quickly. We took our photo, and headed to the start. There was only 15 minutes to spare, and it would take about 10 to cross the bridge. I spotted the 1:50:00 pacer and told my husband to stick with him. He’d take me to where I wanted to be at the start line.

We hustled and arrived just as they began to play the National Anthem. I had just barely a minute afterwards to buckle up my hydration belt and set up my phone and watch before kissing him goodbye and crawling under the tape to get into the start corral. Then we were off! No time for a start line #selfie, even!

I had no expectations for this run. I wasn’t sure how my Achilles would feel. They’ve been bothersome lately, especially if I wear ankle socks. I opted for the higher crew socks today, and they didn’t argue at all, thank goodness. I actually felt pretty good. I started right…slow and methodical, and thought to increase my pace somewhere after the 10K mark, and then hopefully negative split the run.

I was listening to Ben Greenfield, for entertainment, and had chosen a podcast that was 1:44:00 long. I was praying that this would be good enough!

It wasn’t a flat run, and it wasn’t hilly like Lola’s Half Marathon, but it had some challenging spots. I slowed down considerably at each uphill, trying to conserve power and energy. And I utilized every bit of shade I could find by staying on the east side of the road. The sun was still low enough to cast some decent shadows on the course. I was able to really focus on the podcast, which was rather interesting. Clearly, my mind was engaged. This tells me I must have gotten enough sleep, and my pre-race hydration and fueling was right on target. I hadn’t eaten, but I did take my 30 EnergyBits, 2 Sports Leg tabs, my MEStrength Electrolyte Mix in Lemon Lime, and a new pre-race booster called Gnarly Pump (more on that later). I honestly had no complaints.

It is rather apparent, however, that my heart rate training hasn’t quite improved with my running at faster paces. It was up there, my heart rate, that is. By mile 3, I was already in the upper 160’s. And during the remainder of the event, it was in the low to mid 170’s. I’m really working on getting this number down. But as soon as my extended pace is in the lower 8 minute per mile range, it shoots up there. Clearly, this will continue to be an aspect I’ll have to work on.

My pace was rather consistent at the start, in the lower 8 minute per mile range, and then I managed to step it up the second half to the upper 7’s. I felt good though, never necessarily winded, or fatigued. I did have to slow down considerably during the uphill portions, as I mentioned earlier.

We passed the halfway mark, which is where the relay teams handed off to their partners, and I decided to wait until mile 8 to refuel. I had a little left in me, still. The clock said 52:something when I passed it. It seemed too slow to me, and I thought at that time that I’d be lucky to pull off a 1:50:00 finish. It didn’t faze me, however. I just kept running.

The course was sporadically littered with handfuls of fans, and they helped us get through the monotony of the run. The volunteers and Minneapolis finest were among the best fans on the course and were well appreciated. It was a rather scenic course, yet not scenic at the same time. Of course, running along the Mississippi is always a treat, as well as running through some of the historic parks of the City of Minneapolis.

At mile 8, I did refuel, and it was probably a good thing I did. Here, I got a decent second wind. I could feel everything calm down, from my leg muscles, to my heart rate, to my perceived effort. I’m sure those ketones were kicking in now. Fat adaption at it’s finest! I saw a few folks heaving on the side of the road. I was surprised, especially during a half marathon, to see that. But it was warm, and those sugar burners sure do down a lot of those glucose packs. They would make me barf, too!

The rest of the run was nothing, really. It went fast. Faster than Lola’s. Faster than Grandma’s. It just went. And at mile 11, I was able to pour some on. In fact, the final mile over the Stone Arch Bridge was a piece of cake. I finally saw some photographers, and gave a smile and a wave, and before I knew it, I was across the finish line.



I wasn’t able to get an extra medal for Delaney, today. But I will call TC in Motion later this week to see if they have any extras after the event that they can spare. And my husband was unable to get my finish line video as he had issues with his phone and some stuff going on at home. But no matter. I was still happy to have him there.

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I made it through the food line, collected some goodies for him, and was handed a cup which I assumed was water. One gulp told me it wasn’t and I spat it out on the ground. UGH! Powerade! I almost lost my cookies. I quickly tossed that cup looked for a cup of water to swish out the gunk. I didn’t see my husband and had just sent him a text when he appeared behind me just frazzled, as he filled me in on what had transpired while I was finishing. We headed back to the VIP area so that I could finish my research on this option that TC in Motion offers it’s participants.

TC In Motion VIP Experience

TC In Motion VIP Experience

Here is how it works. For $20, you can purchase a wristband which allows you access to this area. In it you’ll find private use Porta-Potties and a private bag check area pre-race. Afterwards, you’ve still got the Porta-Potties, plus an additional source of post race goodies including cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches, fresh fruit selections, candies, and a special gift of a TC in Motion water bottle, not to mention a can of Summit Ale for the racers, if you partake in beer…which I don’t. In fact, none of the food worked for me, but I donated my portion to my husband, who accepted it shamelessly. He’s really good for that! I did get a bottle of water, however. And after mistakenly swigging down that Powerade earlier, proved to be a Godsend.

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Before long we were headed back over the Stone Arch Bridge, as the remainder of the runners finished their race. We took a few last photos, too. The views from here were outstanding, and the conditions were perfect! It is crazy how as we headed home, the sky filled to the brim with clouds. Somehow, we were shined upon this morning, in full American fashion!


By the time I arrived home I learned I finished 2nd in my age group. Not nearly fast enough to win one of the cash awards that TC in Motion offers it’s top finishers overall and in the Master’s Category, but faster than I thought I had finished. I was pretty shocked at my finishing time because I started rather slow. I must have made up a lot of time in the second half of the run.

Would I run this TC in Motion event again? Most certainly. Would I recommend it to a friend? Well, of course. It is a great way to kick off a 4th of July celebration. Then again, what celebration isn’t best kicked off with a run?

Did you participate in an Independence Day race or event? Tell me about it. How did you do?

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