Lift Bridge 10 Mile Race report

Monday, July 25, 2016

I can sum up this race in three words: HOT, HUMID & HILLS.

I’m a wimp. At the last minute, I booked a hotel room in Stillwater so I wouldn’t have to wake up super early for this race. It really wasn’t necessary. The race was only an hour from home, so we could easily have gotten up early and gone but I wanted to go to packet pick up Friday night and drive the course beforehand so I knew what to expect. Also I wanted to relax the night before and get a good night sleep. Which I did for the most part except for the rude loud neighbors at 1am. I eventually went back to sleep but I was plotting in my awaken daze to get even with them. But I did not. My plan to sleep in didn’t work as I was up at 6 something anyways. But at least I didn’t have to stress of driving an hour to the race start that I was unfamiliar with. I had two pieces of toast and some Nutella, my race day ritual.

The Beginning
I knew going in this was a small race and a near last place finish was a strong possibility. With the hot, humid weather, I knew that there would be some people who would not show up. It was a very small field, smaller than previous years with only 223 participants. The only nice thing about a small race is parking isn’t an issue. We parked a block away from the park and made our way to the start with a quick stop at the porta-potty. As we were walking from there to the start, the National Anthem was playing and I’m like shoot, that doesn’t give me much time to chill. So after that they sounded the gun. I was one of the last people to cross the start line…I thought for sure I was going to be last the whole way. ARGH!

The first half of a mile was flat along the railroad. I had the 11:00 pacer in my sights for this stretch. I was running pretty fast and I felt ok but I knew that if I tried to keep the pacer in my sights I would fizzle out in no time. It didn’t matter because I fizzled out anyways…I’ll get to that later. We turned up 5th Ave. and crossed Hwy. 95 as we made our way up the hill to Stagecoach Trail. I ran for a bit with a couple of ladies that I noticed were doing intervals. They were doing 2 minute running, 2 minutes walking. That was a bit too much walking for me so I bid them good bye during mile 2. Mile 2 was a long straight stretch with a modest incline of 75 feet. I noticed a lot of people walking during this mile up the one big hill. I tried to run most of the hill. We were rewarded with the first water stop at the end of the hill and mile 2. Mile 3 continued down Stagecoach Trail and eventually turned into a housing development and what would be the start of the uphill climbs. Mile 1 = 12:46; Mile 2 = 13:24; Mile 3 = 13:18

The Middle
Oh the hills…I knew they were coming, I saw it on the elevation chart when I signed up for this race and because we drove it the day before I really knew they were coming. Like with the other hill during mile 2, I tried my best to run most of it. They had race cones up every so 100 feet or and I would tell myself “run 2 cones and then you can walk to the next cone.” That really was my mantra for miles 4 and 5. The serious climbing was during mile 4 with over 120 feet of elevation. I know that doesn’t seem like much. Everybody around me was walking. I was the only one running at least part of these hills. I would get close to catching other people but I could never quite overtake them. This is really were I fizzled out. I thought I could recover by it wasn’t going to happen. The heat, humidity and these damn hills killed my legs. At the end of mile 4 was the next water stop. The volunteers at these water stops…all of them…were awesome. There was short downhill section after that but when we turned the corner at the bottom of the hill was the next climb. This one was worse than the ones during mile 4. This hill was almost 100 feet and it was a less than quarter mile. It was steep. I walked it, I didn’t care. Everybody around me walked it.  Once on top we started on a newly graveled road…thanks for that! And shortly after that was a nice long downhill. My quarter mile walk killed my pace for mile 5 and I never recovered, it was one of my slowest miles. During mile 5 I was passed by a speed walker…yes, walker. It was so crushing but boy could she move. I was amazed. I kept her in my sights for the next 3 miles but never could overtake her. Mile 6 was rolling but it was a net elevation loss of 20 feet, I managed to get back some time but my pace was still in the 14s. At the end of mile 6 was the second water stop. These guys were the best. They sprayed me down with water which felt amazing and they were so encouraging. They were truly the best and it made me feel good for the next 4 miles. Mile 4 = 14:26; Mile 5 = 14:40; Mile 6 = 14:19

The Finish
So those wonderful volunteers at the end of mile 6 gave me a boast and I had another under 13 minute mile for mile 7. Another thing was the nice downhill during mile 7 and running fast so the cops can let traffic through. Half way through mile 7 we popped back on to Stagecoach Trail. It is a fairly busy road and I didn’t want to make traffic wait for me any longer than they had too. During mile 8, we ran to Hwy 95. Hwy 95 is very busy road and we ran on the shoulder for over 2.5 miles. I continued counting cones except now it was run 3 cones, walking one. Just before the end mile 8 was the last water stop. Again they sprayed me which felt great. I refilled my water as I knew this was the last stop and I had two miles to go. I also tried some Gatorade…big mistake. Even though it was really watered downed, it did not agree with me. It really made the last two miles miserable. I should have just stuck to my water. Oh well. The time I wasted refilling my water bottles really effected my time which is why I had an almost 15 minute mile. I bet I wasted a minute refilling which means I probably would have had another under 14 mile. After the mile 8 water stop was a nice downhill into town. One benefit of running a major road is the wind of passing semis. There was no breeze which made the hot humid conditions unbearable. The occasional semi driving past gave enough of a breeze to temporary cool me down a bit. The down side to running on a major road was the massive amount of road kill you have to dodge. It was really gross and with the weather the past week you can imagine the unpleasant odor. I spent a bit of time plugging my noise! I was very happy to see the end of mile 9. Only one mile to go! The course turned down a residential street back to the park. They had volunteers at each street corner cheering us on. That was cool. One lady said, “you are going to beat the rain” I told her I wish it was raining! I was very happy to see Eric around a half a mile left to go. He had an ice cold water which was greatly appreciated. I rounded some corners and “sprinted” into the finish. Mile 7 = 13:58; Mile 8 = 14:58; Mile 9 = 14:43; Mile 10 = 16:03.

My total time was 2:23:22, which is over 7 minutes slower than the first 10 miles Grandma’s half marathon. I’m not happy with the time but considering the course and weather I’m ok with it. There were not too many people around at the finish line. They had a lot of ice cold water along with the usual post-race food: bananas, pretzels, and fruity snacks. Overall it was a nice run. The course was fine but if you don’t feel comfortable running on a shoulder with traffic flying past you at 55 mph, I wouldn’t recommend it. The first 5 miles of hills killed me. I should have trained more hills. But I don’t feel so bad because Eric struggled too and even (GASP) walked up a hill!

While sitting around the park trying to cool down, we could tell the storm was coming in and thankfully everybody finished before it hit. The temperature plummeted (after we were done of course!) And we drove in it all the way home. It was a slow drive home as a lot of people were stopping on the interstate.

It felt a lot hotter than 75!

July is always busy

Monday, July 18, 2016

July is always busy. With Eric refereeing soccer, my band concerts, Twins games and visits to Valleyfair our evenings can be busy. Since I last wrote, Eric had an emergency soccer game he had to ref, I had two concerts in Chanhassen and Hopkins and we had two Twins games…that was all in 1 week!
We had planned to visit Valleyfair’s waterpark on Monday since it was the hottest day of the week. But a last minute phone call from Eric’s soccer assigner meant he had a game in Minnetonka. So rain check for Valleyfair. Instead I did a 5 mile run. Well I only ran 3 because it was so stinking hot and walked 2 miles home. I was a hot sweaty mess! Like my “Snap” says, WTF was I thinking? It was 90 degrees but with the humidity it felt like 98 degrees. It was probably a bad idea, but I got the miles in.

So on Tuesday, after work, we went to Valleyfair. We ate some pizza and went to the waterpark. We hummed and hawed about if we really wanted to get wet. It was sort of warm at 80 degrees but it was WINDY! We finally decided what the heck and went on a couple of the tube rides and three times around the lazy river. We decided to do a couple other rides too. We spent a couple hours there.
Tempo Run
On Wednesday night I tried running again. This time it was much cooler at 81 degrees…hahaha. But the humidity wasn’t bad and there was a bit of a breezy so it wasn’t too bad. I got 4 fast “tempo” miles in and a 1.5 mile cool down to make it another 5+ mile day for me.
Chanhassen Concert
Thursday was a very weird day. It was cold and rainy. I wasn’t sure the concert would be happening. We had to stop at the EP Mall before to pick up my new contact lenses and on the way to the park in Chanhassen it poured. My concert looked doubtful. I get there and it wasn’t raining and the band was set up so I grabbed my stuff and set up. We played a warmup piece and then the rains came. It was about 5 minutes before the concert start time so we all tried to cover our music and wait for a decision.  Well the rain left and the radar said we were in the clear so we played on. The concert wasn’t too bad. There were a few brave souls that stuck around after the rain to hear us play so that was nice of them. I was soaking wet after the rain and the temperature was in the 60s so I was freezing the entire time.
Twins vs Indians (Game #1)
Friday after work, Eric and I went for a 3 mile run around Lake Harriet. It was a busy place since it was hosting the 2016 ILYA MC Invitational Regatta. There were people setting up chairs for the big event.  Of course there were the people in my way playing the new Pok√©mon Go game. It is some silly craze that hopefully will go away. Haha! After the run we went to the Twins/Indians game. It was DQ hat night. Unfortunately the hat is kind of lame. I don’t have a picture of it but trust me it isn’t cool. We stuck around until 9pm. My mom came up early and was sitting at my house. I was feeling like a bad daughter and wanted to get home to see her. We left it was tied…the Twins ended up losing so no big deal leaving early.
Hopkins Concert
Saturday was the annual Hopkins Raspberry Festival Battle of the Bands. We were the first band to play. It was a beautiful day for a concert. The weather was perfect. After the concert we transferred mom to my old phone. Her phone need replacing and my old phone wasn’t that old so took care of that and some other shopping. We had a cookout with our friends for dinner. It was a nice night too…until the rain came.
Twins vs Indians (Game #2)
I went for a very slow 8 mile run yesterday morning and then my brother, his girlfriend and her kids came up to go to the Twins game. It was a bit warm in our seats. We sat in our old section and I forgot that our seats were in the sun for the first 3 innings. My legs are sunburned! We had a fund time. The Twins lost (of course). After the game, my family left and Eric and I did some grocery shopping and just crashed on the couch and watched the movie “Eddie the Eagle.”

Another fun and busy week.

Running, Concerts, Twins, Camping, Kayaking, and Valleyfair

Sunday, July 10, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been busy! We have visited Valleyfair a lot, we have swim a lot and kayaked too.

Insane Inflatable and Sioux Falls Weekend...
The weekend after Grandma’s we traveled to Sioux Falls for the Insane Inflatable 5K. You know the race I always hurt myself on. I hate this race. Every year I say I’m never doing again. This year I got swallowed by one of the inflatables and hurt my shoulder. It sucked. I hate this race!  Byron and Paula introduced me to a new board game, Ticket to Ride. I loved it. It is game about traveling on train. You build trains across the USA. It was fun! We also went to the waterpark too. It was a lot of fun!

Concert season...
Welcome to 2016 Summer Concert season. We started in good old Shakopee. Eric and I biked to the concert. It went well, I was a bit nervous about it. Our next concert was 3 days later at the Eden Prairie July 4th celebration (on July 3rd) at Round Lake Park. We had our most recent concert on Friday at Chaska. We have 4 more concerts to go!

Twins games...
We have a couple Twins games. We saw the Phillies the Wednesday after Grandma’s. We were going to run around Lake Nokomis before the game but I forgot my shoes…but I had my swim suit. I don’t know why I had my swimsuit. But anyways, I went for a nice swim and Eric went for a run. I enjoyed my swim. I really contemplating doing the Minneapolis Triathlon but alas I did not do it. We saw the Texas Rangers on July 3rd (yes the same day as my concert). It was a beautiful day for a game. It was Armed Forces Day so we got to see the big US flag and the military flied over too. Very cool! Unfortunately we had to leave early for the concert. Oh darn.

Camping and swimming...
We went camping with the Stayers on July 1st at Flandrau State Park in New Ulm. Danielle and Bradley joined us for dinner and campfire and also the next day to go swimming. Before swimming, I went for a slow 3 mile trail run. I suck at trial running! We were about to leave when DJ text to say she was coming. So we killed some time at Danielle’s house before heading back to Flandrau for round two of swimming. After about 2 hours we went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner with Danielle and Bradley.

Red, White and Boom 5K...
I’d do a normal race report but why bother…it was only a 5K. The weather wasn’t bad, a little hot and humid but not as bad as Grandma’s. The race started in St. Anthony Main, ran up to Plymouth Ave. bridge…I hate this bridge, and down West River Parkway and finally across the Stone Arch bridge. This is a common route in Minneapolis. I have ran it numerous times and both directions. My pace was pretty good the first two miles. I fell off a bit on the last mile but still managed to keep my time under 37 minutes. My overall pace was 11:52 which is still pretty good for me. I was happy with my time. Of course I wanted to be under 35 again but those days might be over. :(

So after an amazing day of swimming and kayaking in North Mankato with Libby and the girls and DJ and kids back in early June, Eric and I decided we needed some kayaks. It is so much fun to go out in the river. Fleet Farm had them on sale so we bought two. Well on July 4th (after our race) we drove down to Mankato. DJ rented a kayak and the three of us went down the Blue Earth River from Rapidan Dam to the County Road 90 landing. That is 9 miles. It took us two and half hours. I didn’t realize there were rapids on the river! I got soaked on a few of them! It was a lot of fun but my legs didn’t want to move after we got done. I was so sore!

Eric and I decided to take the day off after the 4th to relax from our super busy weekend. It was so nice! We went to Valleyfair’s waterpark in the afternoon for a couple hours and had lunch at Panda Express. We went home for a couple hours to relax before returning for dinner and some rides. We got on two rides before there was lightning. We went to Coaster’s for some burgers and fries and went home. Then the storm came…WOW! It was crazy windy, pouring raining, big thunder and bright lightning.

As you can tell we have had a crazy couple of weeks.