Mankato Half Marathon

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It was a perfect day for racing. It was cool, not much sun and no wind. It was a great day.

After running the Mankato 10K for the last 3 years, I bumped up my game and did the half this year. I was very familiar with the course. I have watched people run the full before and the half runs on the same course except for the crazy first loop. The course is mostly flat or downhill with some inclines. I lost 582 feet but also gained 372 feet.

The Start
DJ hung out with us at the start of the race which was nice because I could keep my “throw away” hoodie on up until we started running so I didn’t get cold. And since I didn’t have to toss it along the route, I get to keep it for another race. Not much fanfare at the start of this race. Heck I didn’t even hear the national anthem. I started in the back like usual which means I actually passed quite a few people. The first mile was flat and I’ve ran most of it before in the 10K race. I didn’t take my first walk break until 5 minutes in. It was still crowded and I didn’t want to skirt around people to get out of their way. I think that helped me get a 12:35. Mile 2 was also flat and I managed to get a 12:47. Mile 3 was where we had our first noticeable hill but I kept my time under 13 minutes with a 12:58. Once we go to the end of Mile 3 we turned right on to County Road 90. I should point out that most of this race is on county roads in the country. If you like city running, this race isn’t for you. Ha! County Road 90 is out in the open on top of the hill which means it tends to be very windy. Thankfully there was no noticeable wind. Mile 4 again was flat and I slowed down a wee bit and even though I ran hard the last bit of the mile, it was just over 13 minutes at 13:02. Bummer.

The Middle
Mile 5 was the start of the awesome downhill section of this race. With the 125-foot hill, my time again was under 13, and close to my first mile time with 12:36. I knew I would have a good mile here but I was very surprised that it was that fast. I was happy. Mile 6 was very hilly, both up and down, we lost 170 feet but climbed 101 feet. The downhill was in the beginning of the mile and the uphill was at the end so I even though I tried to get another under 13 mile, it was 13:11. Mile 7 flattened out a bit and my time was a consistent 13:07. My time through 7 miles was so much faster than I had predicted, I was so happy. And I was right on track for an under 3-hour half, something I haven’t accomplished since 2015.

Mile 8 was another uphill. I had run on this part of the course before so I knew what to expect. I knew this is where my time would plummet and I was right. Miles 8 and 9 were both over 14 minutes. Boo! But as I did the math, I knew I could beat 3 hours if I really tried the last 4 miles. But what came ahead was Sibley Park and more hills…uphills.

The Finish
Just after mile 9 we headed towards Sibley Park. At this point, we saw the faster runners coming out of the park and heading to the finish line. Lucky ducks. It is kind of demoralizing to think they are over 3 miles ahead of you and less than a half a mile from the finish. It was during this time I was passed by the first marathoner. I knew it would happen, I just thought it would be after I hit mile 10, not before it. Funny story, he passed me just after a water stop. I threw my cup towards the garbage can and hit the lead biker. There was no warning that the first marathoner was right there. It really took me by surprise. Mile 11 was the start of the death march to the finish. We looped around the park and there was a dreadful uphill and then a steep downhill. There was another water stop in there and then it was up the hill again to the running path. At this point I was being passed by quite a few marathoners. There were still a lot of us slower half marathoners too so I wasn’t alone.

When I passed mile 12 my overall time was 2:43. That left me just under 17 minutes to get to the finish to get an under 3 hour half. I really thought for sure today would be the day I get under 3 again. I was so excited running/walking my way to the finish line. I got to the last uphill just before the end of mile 13 and I turned the corner and saw the finish line. My excitement turned to disappointment when I realized that I will not make it. I knew the distance to the finish line and I knew that I would have to run a 9 minute pace to get there under 3. I was really deflated. This course was .15 long. When I passed 13.1 miles my time was 2:59 but that extra .15 put me over 3 hours. My finish time was 3:00:27.

27 fucking seconds. Dammit!

I’m disappointed that the race was long so my official time is over 3 hours. But I’m very happy with my race. I did way better than I had anticipated and I came oh so close to getting a 2:XX time again. And I beat the first female marathoner. Woo hoo!

Sever's Corn Maze & Lantern Light Festival

Friday, October 20, 2017

We spent this beautiful, mild (75 degrees) October Friday night exploring some of the fun activities in this awesome town I call home, Shakopee. I always tell people I love living here because there is always something to do.

Sever's Corn Maze
First stop was the corn maze. This is an annual event for us. This is the first time we went by ourselves!  It was so much fun to go at sunset. Overall it was a great time.

Lantern Light Festival
 After Sever's we went to the other side of Canterbury Park's parking lot for the Lantern Light Festival. We have driven past this a few times and it looked interesting so we finally paid the exorbitant fee  ($24.50 each) to see this display. It really was cool.

Blake Adam Dobie

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My First GREAT nephew!
Born October 9, 2017
8lbs 6 oz.
19.75 inches

I'm in love

TC 5K & 10 Mile

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Friday afternoon, Eric and I went to the TC Marathon Expo and decided on the whim to run the 5K on Saturday. I didn’t need the race to get to my 40 races this year but I want to see the logistics of Sunday morning and what better way than run a Saturday race.  After driving to the airport at midnight to pick Eric’s brother, Phil, we got up kind of early to head over to the Capitol for our 5K race. 

We start and finish at the same spot so we dropped off Mom and Phil and went to the starting corral. This race was surprising a good one for me. The first mile is almost entirely up a big hill. My first mile was barely under 13 minutes at 12:50. Mile 2 was a little faster at 12:41. Mile 2 is mostly flat. Mile 3 runs down the hill that I ran up for Mile 1 so this was my fastest mile at 12:07. I haven’t ran a 12:07 mile in a very long time so that made me feel awesome. Overall my time was 38:30…my fastest 5K this year.

TC 10 Mile
Another early start for us as my race started at 7. Well my corral started closer to 7:15. We parked at CenterPoint Energy’s River location parking lot. Thank God Eric can park there as parking anywhere in the area was over $40 since it was also Vikings game day. We quickly walked to the starting area so I could us the porta-potty before the race. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this race. I knew it started with a great downhill but after that it was a 5 mile climb to Summit Ave. Oh and it was raining…hard. 

The Start
The start was on downtown streets, past the Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum and down the long hill to the river bottoms. I really like the first 2 miles. My pace doesn’t reflect it but I was having fun. Mile 3 was the long up hill to Franklin Ave. bridge. It was over an 80-foot climb. And it was the start of the 5 miles of climbing. 

The Middle
Once we got to the Franklin Ave. bridge, we were on the official marathon race course. It was at this point we started to have spectators. Prior to this we were alone. Somehow I managed to have a speedy mile 4, it was on par with my first mile. Miles 5-7 were just awful. I walked a lot. It seemed like we were always running up hill. I walked one hill during mile 7 because my legs were toast by then. 

The Finish
We finally made it to Summit Ave. with the nice rolling hills. I continued to run intervals but shortened the run portion. It must have worked as mile 8 was much faster than miles 5-7. Mile 9 slowed again, I’m not sure why. There was a hill but not a big one. Mile 10 is what I waited for. The downhill finish. The same last mile from the 5K the day before. I didn’t run it in 12:07 like the day before, but it was still one of my fastest miles, which is amazing since it was mile 10. My time after mile 10 was 2:17:07…but like usual, the course was long. 

My official finish time was 2:18:24. 

Women Run the Cities 5K

This race was held a couple weeks ago when we were in a rare heat wave. And when I say heat wave, it was like 75 degrees at 9am and very humid. Oddly enough this race had a 5K, 10K and 10 mile. The 10 mile was canceled because of the conditions…that seemed odd since we ran a half marathon a week before and it was the same conditions and they only told us to drink more. Haha! Oh well, my race was on as planned.

The course started and ended in Minnehaha Falls Park. Not the best place to find parking for this race. Eric dropped me off near the start and drove around to find parking. I managed to find him just before I started. My first mistake with this start was standing in the back. There were a lot, A LOT, of walkers. And they all lined up where ever they felt like it so I was dodging them the entire first mile. It was a bit frustrating. I started out strong and had a good first mile. 

Mile 2 went long almost as well as the first mile. During this mile, the fast 10K runners were catching up to us and passing us constantly so I had to always look behind me when I wanted to pass somebody. There were two water stops in this mile, one in the beginning and one at the end. That may have slowed me down a bit as mile 2 was 21 seconds slower that Mile 1.

Mile 3, the heat and humid started to hit me. I couldn’t keep up the running pace and walked more than I wanted to. This race wasn’t one that I was trying to get a PR on so I wasn’t too disappointed. My focus was to make sure it was under 13 minutes. I barely accomplished that with a 12:56 mile. I saw the finish and sprinted in with a time of 39:30. I got my medal, water and banana, met Eric and immediately went home. It was a warm race and I wanted to get into some AC.

National Parks Sites & The Top of the Rock

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Our rest of our last full day in New York we went to some more National Parks sites. After the 9/11 Memorial, we ventured down to Trinity Church. 

A very old and beautiful church. We also walked around their cemetery to see the Alexander Hamilton’s tomb.

 Also nearby was the Federal Hall National Memorial, the place that George Washington’s inauguration was held. It was an interesting place but I was disappointed to find out it wasn’t the actual building. Oh well, I guess the site will do. It is kitty-corner from NY Stock Exchange.

From there we walked south to Castle Clinton National Monument. It was America's first immigration station (predating Ellis Island), where more than 8 million people arrived in the U.S. from 1855 to 1890.

After a short subway ride to Union Square, we walked to Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site. We got there in time to catch the tour of the place. I was, again, disappointed that this wasn’t the original house but a recreated house. It was furnished with the Roosevelt family items but the building itself was not the original. Boo! The tour was quite long but interesting.

We made our way back to the hotel in the pouring rain. It was not a pleasant end to our afternoon. After relaxing for bit, we went across the street to the Irish Pub for some dinner and walked to the Rockefeller Center to go to the Top of the Rock. We had some amazing views of NYC at night. It was very cold and windy up there but a cool sight. We got a 360 view of NYC. The best part of going to the Rock instead of the Empire State Building is that we could get the Empire State building into my pictures!  That is a very smart tip I read somewhere. It was also conveniently located close to our hotel.

Overall our trip to NYC was short but we got to see a lot of new things that we didn’t see the last time we were here.