Hypothermic Half Marathon

Monday, February 20, 2017

60s in February in Minnesota?? Who would have thought?

This race was a last minute decision, I signed up Monday after the forecast for race day was A-MAZ-ING! I thought about running this race months ago, but never signed up because running a half in February in Minnesota is risky. 5K’s are fine because it is at most 45 minutes out in the bad weather. But three hours in below zero temps doesn’t sound like fun.

Anyway, the weather was perfect. The start was 39 degrees with a little wind. This is a very small race. There were only 200 people registered so a last place finish was quite possible. Eric actually ran with me for most of the race.  I wasn’t looking for a fast time as this was a training run.

The course was a two-loop course. It ran around Purgatory Creek and Staring Lake on the walking paths. There wasn’t a lot of support on the course. There was one water spot that we ran past 4 times. I guess that isn’t horrible but it was at mile 1.5, mile 5, mile 8 and mile 11. That is quite a gap between them. There were no supporters on the course. There were a lot of people on the walking path asking if there was a race going one…I’m thinking I’m wearing a bib, what do you think?  But I was nice about it. The worst part about the run was the hill at miles 3 and 10. It was very steep and kind of long. It was also icy which seems odd since it was 60 degrees. After you climb the hill, we ran along Pioneer Trail for about a half a mile and then back down the hill…icy again. I struggled during mile 3 and 10. I’m not good at hills.

Overall this race was small and not much support. I’m not sure I’d do it again, maybe if it is going to be a nice day again. It reaffirmed that I really loved the half distance.

Overall my time was about normal for a training run. A bit slower than on the treadmill but on the treadmill I don't have a long steep incline. My overall time was 3:09:30.


Just Do It!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

If you are thinking of registering for your first 5K or 10K or half marathon or marathon or whatever distance, but have concerns or doubts that you can’t do it, don’t hesitate, SIGN UP!! I don’t give running advice often because I still feel like a newbie, but this is something I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to do.

18 months ago (after a year of stressing out), I finally registered for my first half marathon.  I had a lot of doubt and really didn’t think I could do it. But I persevered and enjoyed my first half so much I signed up for my second, third…seventh).  Last night, on a whim, I registered for a half marathon taking place this weekend! As I reflected on that this morning, I look back at old self and think, why did I drag my feet? Why was I so scared?  This has been such a fun journey. I wish I would have started it sooner.

So if you are thinking about doing it, just do it! <Thanks Nike! And enjoy the journey.

Galloway Effed Up My 5K

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ok, so I’m slow and only getting slow. I love running but I’m slow. I used to knock out a 5K in 34 minutes or faster…not now. I’m lucky if I can beat 40 minutes. What happen? I narrowed it down to 2 reasons. One is the 25+ pound weight gain (damn you chocolate chip cookies) and second is running the Galloway method (run/walk).

Straight running to intervals…
Prior to expanding my running to distances longer than a 10K, I straight ran the whole race and was getting faster and stronger. I loved running 5Ks and 10Ks. Life was good. But I was convinced to expand my running to half marathons. Well I was pretty much dead after 10Ks so the thought of straight running a half was overwhelming…it wasn’t going to happen. I researched and after many, many positive reviews, I switched to the Galloway method for long runs. At first it was running a half mile, walk a minute, over and over again. And that worked well but I started to adjust my run/walk intervals to be shorter and I became much faster. Heck I ran 8 miles in March 2016 in the same time it took me to ran some 10Ks in 2015 with a 45 second run/15 second walk interval. It was awesome.

But something happened…
I’m not sure what happened but since March 2016 to now, I have gotten substantially slower. Last year I ran Goldy’s 5k in April in 34 minutes. That was my last good 5K. Since then I have done nothing but sucked at 5ks. I ran lots of 10 mile races and 5 half marathons in 2016 that I’m proud of and my times were pretty consistent. Slow, but consistent. My 5k times have just plummeted. By October, my average 5K time was around 39 minutes. Now it is 41 minutes. It is very frustrating.

But, I love Galloway method…
Don’t get me wrong, I love, Love, LOVE running the Galloway method. It is the only way I can run long races. I have increased my endurance greatly. I managed to knock out a 16 mile run on a treadmill last weekend. It was slow but I was still “running” during mile 16.  Also the thought of going out for a 10 mile run doesn’t scare me anymore. I think heck it is only 10 miles. I never thought I’d get to this point in my running life.

Can’t run straight…
Since I convert to Galloway since the beginning of 2016, my endurance to run a whole mile has diminished. I’m lucky if I can run a half a mile straight before I start thinking about walking breaks. Also, because I’ve been training for longer races, I’ve been training at slower paces so that I can run all miles close to the same time which means my 12 minute miles are now closer to 14 minute miles. Based on racing calculators out there, that is the pace I can run to finish a half marathon or marathon in an upright position.

Well maybe this spring I can get some intense speed workouts and get faster again…I sure hope so.

Valentine’s Day 5K

It was a perfect day for a 5K. It was 40 degrees at the start, no wind, no snow, no rain. It was amazing. I was a bit cold at the start waiting around but once I got started I, of course, got HOT. One thing I learned today was that running vests are annoying to run with when you get hot and you have to care them because there are no sleeves to wrap around your waist. Duh!

This year the race was at Lake Nokomis instead of Lake Harriet. This is awesome because I love Lake Nokomis, I lived near there for a year and went swimming in the lake and rollerbladed around it many times. Last summer, between work and Twins games, we would go running around the lake. So I know this place and it isn’t hilly like Lake Harriet. I was very optimistic.

The first mile went well. I thought for sure I was going to break my slow 5K streak. I was feeling great and mile one came in at 12:30. I did the math and thought I got this. Well that came to a screeching halt during mile 2. I started needing walking breaks it was very frustrating. My time plummeted even though I tried to run faster. Mile 2 was 12:59. I was happy that it was still under 13 minutes but it wasn’t pretty. Mile 3 was a complete disaster. I was reading somebody’s shirt and miss stepped in a pothole. Rolled my damn ankle. DAMMIT!  I walked it off and started running again. It was really a struggle. I saw the finish in sight and tried to “sprint” to the finish. And my pace does reflect that I did well running the last part of the race. Mile 3 was 13:37 but my pace for the sprint in was under 11:00…lately that is fast for me. Overall it was ok. My time was 40:31…so I beat 41 minutes…so yay I guess?

I followed that up with an 8 mile long run in preparation for my next half marathon…in 22 days.