Monday, March 25, 2013

Irish Run St. Paul

So this was a busy weekend of racing for me. I was expecting/hoping for warmer temps for the weekend races but it is Minnesota so you never know what you're going to get for spring weather. 

I signed up for the Irish Run St. Paul earlier this year as part of the MDRA Grand Prix series. Then I decided that I wanted to run the MDRA Lake Johanna 4 mile because it would get me out to a new location to run. The race was free to MDRA members so it wasn't going to cost me anything. I ran the Lake Johanna 4 mile on Saturday and averaged of 7:02 miles. Then I ran the Irish Run St. Paul 8k on Sunday and again averaged 7:02 miles. Hey if nothing else, I am consistent.

I think the girl to my left thinks I am crazy for wearing shorts.
I picked up my bib the day before which was so nice. It allowed me to stay at home until 12:45. The race started at 1:20. I drove to a location about a mile from the start and finish line. I didn't need to park so far away but this distance away would allow me to get at least a mile warm-up and cool-down.

I ended up running about 1.5 miles for my warm-up. Midway through my warm-up, I ran into my fellow Oiselle teammate Melissa. It was great to have a chance to wish her good luck. She is super speedy. I also saw her out on the course because it was an out and back. It was fun to cheer for her in the middle of the race.

Pre-race, I did some strides and dynamic stretching. I was wearing shorts and it was chilly out so my legs were pretty red by the time the race started. I didn't know where to line up to start. I lined up in the middle of the pack. I figured that would be a good spot for me. I might have started a little too far back because I was weaving a lot in the first mile and got stuck behind some other people for a while.

I was hoping to maintain about 3:30 1/2 miles. I have my Garmin set up to tell me my 1/2 splits. Sometimes, I look at it during the race and other times I analyze my pace post race. The race starts out going down summit ave toward the Mississippi river. It is about 1k down hill and then you turn around and climb for most of the next 4k. Then you turn around again and head back down the hill toward the finish line.

I did a decent job maintaining 3:25:-3:35 1/2 mile splits. I ended up running next to a girl for about 2k but there was an uphill in the last mile and I just couldn't hang with her anymore. Something I realized this weekend, I really need to work on my hill climbing. I seemed to lose contact with the women running near me on the hills and then I was unable catch back up after the hill.

I finished the 8k in 34:53. Overall, it was fun to get out there and push myself again. I am looking forward to the Spring racing season. Hopefully, I can improve my times a little. I also realized how much I love to run this weekend. Whether, I am racing or just out for a run by myself, I love it. This really isn't something new but it is nice to have an occasional reminder.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lake Johanna 4 Mile

The Minnesota Distance Running Association put on a great race this morning. I decided last weekend to sign up for the MDRA Spring Race Series. This was the first race in the series. The race was described as a scenic yet challenging Four mile loop around Lake Johanna through the residential neighborhood of Arden Hills. It had just the right amount of hill to make you hurt.

The race didn't start until 11am. At first I thought this was going to be great but by 9:00, I was ready to run. I got extra time to be nervous about the race. I got to the start a little after 10am. I quickly signed up and shed a few extra layers. I headed out for a 2ish mile warm-up, did some stretching and lined up at the starting line.

I ran into Steve at the start and said hi. It is really fun getting to know some of the local runners. The race started and there was a gradual uphill for the first mile or so and then the course was rolling the rest of the way.

I started out next to a women and we stayed side by side for the first 2 miles. Then she passed me. We had almost caught up to 2 other women when she started to pick it up. I wanted to go with her but I couldn't get my legs to pick it up. I stayed about 10 meters behind the 3 women for the next mile and a quarter. Then we hit a long uphill in the last mile and I just couldn't hang with them on the hill. I told myself that it would be ok, I could catch them on the downhill but I didn't catch back up. I finished a few seconds behind the 3rd women in 28:08. I was a disappointed that I wasn't able to find my really competitive side and run with the women instead of accepting 4th place. I know that I am capable of faster time.
My Mac Jacket keeping me warm post race. I didn't win any of the door prizes.

Thanks MDRA for a great race. I am looking forward to the next race in the series which is a 7 miler next weekend.