I tend to plan too many races every year, and usually it works out for my training program. This time it was the Lola’s 10 Mile race in Waconia, MN, and it fit pretty well into my two weeks of tapering before Grandma’s Marathon. Last year when my wife and I did this race it was fun, but annoying. We had an hour of lightning delays to start the morning with driving rain, and a course that is part dirt and gravel. By the end we had a great time, but we were hoping for a different set of circumstances this time.
The weather this year was amazing. Mid-60s with a lot of sun, although it did tend to get a bit hot towards the end of the race. We started mostly on time, and not a single drop of rain during the entire course. The only weather related issues were the stiff breeze coming off the lake, which if you consider that we’re running a big circle, meant that we had the wind at our backs for a while, and dead in our face for a good portion of the end.
Because I had to pee while waiting in the start corral I decided to go out fast and let the adrenaline take me. That way I could hit the first porta-pottie I saw and not be too far behind the pace, like at Hot Dash. My first mile was right around 9:00, and if you subtract my bathroom break, mile two was even faster. I managed to keep the 9:30 pace group in sight for almost the entire race. I haven’t been running this fast until this past week, so I was a bit out of my element, but I managed to hold it together with only one mile that skirted the 10:00 mark at 9:55.
I finished strong at 1:34:54, meaning that I ran a perfect 9:30 pace average throughout the race. Considering that this is a course with some decent hills and a killer F-U hill at mile 9, I’m very happy with how it went. I have one more small trail race the Tuesday before Grandma’s and then it’s showtime to see if I can make another good attempt at beating 5 hours.
Waconia is a small town and so the after-party is a fun get together at Lola’s lakeside restaurant with free food and beer for racers. I was a great ending to a fun race, and hopefully we can continue to make this an annual tradition.