Twin Cities Marathon

Wow- what an amazing weekend! I love taking road trips with my mom. She really is my number one fan. I love that we can get away for a few days and reconnect, since day to day we are both pretty busy. This weekend we headed to St. Paul Minnesota for the Twin Cities marathon. We had a six hour drive so we packed up the car early.

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In typical fashion, I brought some “goodies” with me. Our road trips always include a big bag of carrots. This time I also made some sweet potato pumpkin dip for the carrots.

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When we arrived in St. Paul our first stop was the race expo. This is one of the bigger expos with lots of great vendors. We loaded up on lots great goodies and even took a cheesy finish line picture.

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After the expo we hit the roads to try and find a few spots my mom could watch for me to cheer me on. Neither of us being familiar with the cities made this a bit of a challenge but we managed!

It was finally time to check into our hotel. My mom snapped this picture from our hotel room.

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After we got settled in we did some official Internet research to find a good place to get some pasta for dinner. I found a place called DeGidio’s and it was even within walking distance. The restaurant was pretty busy and the wait was long so we just cozied up to the bar to eat. We had a fabulous meal and the service at the bar was excellent!! Definitely a place I would recommend. After dinner we walked back to the hotel so I could get some sleep. Luckily, I don’t have any trouble falling asleep in hotels or nights before races. I was out within minutes of hitting the pillow.

Race morning was chilly with a bit of wind. Not bad running weather, but I hadn’t yet acclimated to cooler temps because at home it hasn’t cooled off as much. Luckily I brought some warm clothes and my trusty blanket.

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My mom was right by the edge of the corral so I hung onto my warm clothes until the last minute. We snapped one more quick picture then it was go time.

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Twin Cities marathon is a fabulous race! The crowd support is truly some of the best. People line the sides of the entire course. They are energetic and amazing. The cities offer great scenery as you run around the lakes. The foliage is breathtaking. The course does put up some hills to be tackled, but they are manageable. At the finish line they offer warm chicken and vegetable broth, along with the other standard post-race goodies. But the broth is my favorite. After a cold run it’s soothing and warm.

I was hoping to finish this race in four hours but came in at 4:10. Not a bad finish considering. I had been pretty sick earlier in the week and the cold air in my chest was pretty brutal. If I’m being honest, I was miserable from about mile 10 on. So I will take my 4:10 finish and hold my head high. I’m proud of how far I have come in my running and I accept that not every race can be a PR.

Mom and I always go for pizza after my races and this time was no different. Siri helped us find a local pizzeria. A quick glance at the menu online and we were sold. Lots of great options, including gluten free and vegan options. I ordered the mushroom and arugula pizza with Daiya cheese. It was amazing! The crust was thinner so it wasn’t overly filling. If you are in the St. Paul area and looking for good pizza, check out Pizza Luce’. You won’t be disappointed.

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With full bellies and a long drive ahead of us, we decided to get on the road. We both wished we would have had more time to explore and check out the beautiful scenery. Maybe next time.

Do you enjoy road trips? Do you have any habits or rituals that you follow when you travel?

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