Monday, May 25, 2009

05/24/09: Mississippi 10Miler

One thing sort of missing from the Mississippi 10Miler in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the Mississippi River, despite the race course running along a sidewalk on Mississippi River Boulevard. The river is there, off to the west somewhere, but only an occasional glimpse of the river far below the bluff can be seen through the constant foliage. It’s an attractive course, the Ford Motor Company manufacturing facility not withstanding, but the scenery was blandly attractive, mostly large, well-tended lawns of various houses and churches. Not that I was complaining -it wasn’t too long into the race before I was working too hard to give a damn what kind of landscape we were running through.

The race was put on by the Minnesota Distance Running Association and it’s a basic club run, I’m pretty sure. The course is basic - run five miles south from the intersection of Mississippi River Blvd. and Summit Avenue, turn around, and come back, and the below-average entry fee ($15 race day, $10 pre-registered) doesn’t include a t-shirt, which there are t-shirts available for $8 except there weren’t any extra-large or large available by the time I registered so I guess eight bucks for a race t-shirt is considered a good deal in Minnesota. I passed on the shirt and I would have passed even if they had my size; I don’t need to pay eight bucks for a shirt that I’ll probably wear twice before throwing into the clothing donation bins in the Target parking lot in Grapevine. Yes, I wash them before giving them away.

Driving to the race I listened to The Neon Bible by Arcade Fire which may be the most awesome CD I own that I never listen to. (Not to self: Move “Intervention” and “The Neon Bible” into my Choice Tracks play list at work.) “Keep The Car Running” and “No Cars Go” are excellent motivational tunes to listen to before a race, although they may be better suited for a 5K rather than ten miles. I kept my enthusiasm in check, though; I ran the first mile in about 8:50 and my final two miles were my two fastest, 7:53 and 8:07. Although I didn’t totally trust their splits and I did accidentally dump my data (not a euphemism; note to self: don’t try to store splits while staggering around immediately after the race) so who knows?

Driving back to the hotel postrace, I continued listening to The Neon Bible although in one respect it bummed me out. I’ve had the CD for maybe two years now and I’ve listened to it maybe a dozen times - this is mostly because I’m now more likely to listen to stuff I’m familiar with rather than something new. If this had come out while I was in high school, two things would be true: I’d have bought it on vinyl because CDs weren’t around yet and it would have taken me maybe a week to listen to it twelve times. Maybe less. Oh well, better late than never, I guess - it’s always worked for my running.

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