40 races for 40 years – Update #1

Monday, April 24, 2017

Well it has been a little over a month since I decided to run 40 races this year to celebrate my 40th birthday. And I’ve been busy! Since my marathon, I have ran 5 races. Granted most of them have been 5K, but they are still races!

Good thing my birthday is in late December so it makes it easy to count up my races. So far I have ran 9 races and have 31 to go. I have registered for 18, I registered for another one this morning! That makes 13 more I need to figure out.  I have a list of 16 potential races to choose from for those last 13 races. I can do this! 

There are 247 days left in my challenge. That equals a race every 7 days…every weekend. I have some back-to-back weekends so I won’t have a race EVERY weekend.  Here is what I have booked:

4/30/2017            Oshkosh Half Marathon
5/7/2017              Eau Claire Marathon 5K
5/11/2017            Medtronic TC 1 Mile
5/28/2017            Brussels 20KM
6/3/2017              Lola's Lake Waconia 5K
6/11/2017            Bubble Run
6/17/2017            Rock N' Roll Seattle 5K
6/18/2017            Rock N' Roll Seattle Half Marathon
7/4/2017              Red, White and Boom 5K
7/16/2017            Rock N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon
7/19/2017            Torchlight 5K
8/12/2017            Gopher to Badger Half Marathon
10/1/2017           TC 10 Mile
10/22/2017         Mankato Half Marathon
10/28/2017         Minneapolis Halloween 5K
11/12/2017         Madison Half Marathon
11/23/2017         Turkey Trot 6K
12/9/2017           Reindeer Run 5K

Hot Chocolate 15K – Minneapolis

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My brief description of this race is “WET & MISERABLE.”

I didn’t enjoy this race at all. It was a very miserable from the pre-start of the race until the end. It was pouring when we started. I shouldn’t say it was all bad. My first 2 miles were really good. As I’ve mention numerous times in other posts, I’ve been running intervals lately to survive the longer distances. As a result, my ability to run straight has gone down the toilet. I managed to run almost 2 miles before I did a walk break…2 miles!  I felt pretty good. But the first few miles were flat, I knew what was coming up so I was banking some miles beforehand.

Around mile 2, I ran into Brenda. Brenda and I have seen each other at many different races in the Twin Cities and spent quite a bit of time on the relay bus and at the finish line of the Lake Minnetonka Half marathon, waiting for our relay teammates to finish the race. When I caught up to her on this day, she wanted to quit. I told her she absolutely could not quit. I don’t blame her for wanting to quit, it was miserable. It was still pouring. She asked if she could tag along with me and I said absolutely, I promised I’d get her to the finish line.

The course this year was different than the last couple years. We ran on West River Road which has been closed the last few years because of a landslide. I kind of wish it was still closed because it is hillier than all get out. And the hills are long which means going out is fast but eventually you turn around which means you are running up these long hills. Ugh!  For this particular race, the long up hill was mile 7. I could tell on the way out to the turnaround that I’d be walking up mile 7. I’m just not trained for hills and I don’t want to kill myself.

When Brenda and I got to the turnaround point there were very few people behind us. It was strange. I know there were more people behind us but where did they go. The police car, following the “last” runner was less than a half a mile away from me. What the heck was going on?  And where did the 15:00 pacer go? Where did the Sweeper go?  The course time limit is 15 minute miles. And we were well under that pace. I found out after the race that for some reason, race officials made the slower runners divert to a shorter course. Basically they told them to turn around over a mile before the actual turnaround. Eric said the diverted runners only did 7 miles of the 9.35 mile course. I have no idea why, my guess is the weather was a major factor. So Brenda and I were literally the back of the pack. I think 30 people finished behind us.

On the way back to the finish we did a lot of walking. Most of the first 5 miles were flat or downhill so we were paying for it now. We would run occasionally but mostly we walked it. Ha! We ran into a couple of people that we talked with but ended up leaving them when they stopped for this or that. As far as course support goes, it wasn’t great. There were no candy stations this year, I think the crappy weather was the reason. There were a few occasions I was relieved I brought my own water because the water stops were so far apart.

When we got to the last quarter of a mile the cop actually told us to get on the sidewalk. We thought it was strange because we were only 20 yards behind the people in front of us who were allowed to continue on the road. Brenda and I said screw it and went back to the road and sprinted to the finish. When we got to the finish line they were already taking it down! What the heck!  We were still over 5 minutes ahead of the course time limit so this was just ridiculous. Thankfully I still got my chocolate at the end!

Eric and I decided that we probably won’t do the Minneapolis Hot Chocolate 15K run again unless the medal is too fantastic that we have to. I’m ok with this as my goal is half marathons now.  My mile splits are terrible but I have to remember, I was getting Brenda to the finish line so I probably wouldn’t have walked as much as I did.  But for sure mile 7 was screwed no matter what.

Scheel’s Spring 5K & Goldy’s 5K

Monday, April 10, 2017

I had back-to-back races over the weekend. I guess when you make a goal to run 40 races for 40 years and you have less than a year to do it, this is bound to happen! :) I’m also happy to report that my feet feel pretty good, so go in fact that I finally feel like I can start training again…it only took 36 days after my marathon. I don’t think that is normal. Ha!

Scheel’s Spring 5K
The first race was Saturday in Mankato. We drove down to Mankato after work for packet pick up and meet DJ, Eric’s brother Tim, Danielle and Bradley at Dino’s pizza for dinner. It was good but since it was Friday having no meat kind of sucked.  We spent the night at DJ’s.

Race morning was clear but very WINDY. My Garmin says it was 11 mph but I think it was stronger than that. It also made the air very cold. So cold that I ran into the Scheel’s store and bought long sleeve shirt…thankfully it was on clearance and I actually LOVE it. I also forgot a head band and with the windy, my hair was flying in my face so I bought a matching headband…which I also LOVE.

The race itself was an out-and-back course from the mall parking lot. Nothing very scenic, lots of businesses and a couple car dealerships. It really wasn’t exciting. My first mile went exceptionally well but I think it was aided by the wind as it was at my back pushing me. Mile one time was 12:24. I’ll take that! Mile 2 was a bit slower at 12:45. There really wasn’t much assistance from the wind on that mile. Mile 3 was a bear. It was entirely into the windy and I was tired. My time was 13:15 which I’m not too happy about but my overall time was just under 40 minutes which made me happy. I like seeing the 30s again. I just need to get it much lower!

Goldy’s 5K
Sunday was our 4th time running Goldy’s 5K. I really like this race except it is very crowded with LOTS of walkers. I must have been tired from the day before because my legs were not having it during this race. The first half mile I was struggling with weird back/shoulder pain. It was taking my breath away literally. So I wasn’t surprised that my first mile was much slower than the day before at 12:56. My goal for this race was to keep my overall pace under 13 so that was looking a bit in jeopardy.

Mile 2 is where it gets crowd. There are a few narrow spots where we have to filter through and when you have people walking 4 across, there is no getting around them until you get in a more open area. As a result my pace was over 13:20. Mile 3 was a little better, I was under 13 minute mile pace for most of it and I think my watch went a little wonky when we rant by and under the stadium because my mile 3 and the course marker for mile 3 were complete different and not in the usual way. Normally my watch would hit miles before the actual mile marker, but not this time. So my watch says mile 3 was 13:18 but according to their mile markers it was around 12:45. I’m not sure which to believe. The rest of this race is inside the stadium so my watch doesn’t like it. Overall my time was 40:01. Darn, I missed an under 40 time by 2 seconds. Agh!

My Feet
I’m happy that my foot pain was very minimal this weekend. I had more pain on Saturday than Sunday. It was strange, all day Friday my right foot was hurting under my big toe. This is not the foot that I was having problems with before. It hurt pretty bad Saturday morning but I ran through the pain. Whatever it was, it must have resolved itself by Sunday morning as I was relatively pain free. :)

My next big test will be this weekend. I’m running the Hot Chocolate 15K. This course is very hilly so I’m not sure how I will do. As I haven’t really trained in 36 days, this will be a challenge. But I guess it is good to get it done since my next half marathon is just 20 days away. Yikes!