Sunday, April 14, 2013

10 Mile Race through the Snow

Yesterday, I raced the Fred Kurz 10 mile. It is a unique race in that everyone starts at a different time and they try to get everyone to finish at the same time, 10:30am. I've never done a race like this before. It was very intimidating to know that all the faster runners were starting behind me. They estimate your finish time based on 2 race time you submit with your entry.

I wasn't sure what time I would be starting. The first runners were going off at 8:30 so I figured if I got there about 8:15. I would have time to get my bib and warm up.

I got to the school and was so happy to see that packet pick-up was in the school. It has been pretty chill in Minnesota this April. We had snow a few times last week. I didn't expect it to stick but there was about 6-8 inches of fresh snow on the ground race morning.

I was told my start time was at 9:17 so I had about 1 hour to kill before the start. It was a little to early to warm up so I sat down by a wall and got stuff ready for the race. I was thinking about heading to my car to drop stuff off when I heard a quiet "Julie." I looked around but didn't recognize anyone. Then the guy next to me says, "Your Julie ..., right." I look at him confused and replied yes. He says, "I am Barrett ... I graduated with your brother." I didn't recognize him but it was so awesome that he recognized me. We chatted for a bit. He was starting at 9:11 so a little before me. I wished him good luck and was off on my warm up.

I went and check out the trail on my warm up. I was told it was a hard packed gravel trail. Well, there was no gravel to be seen only 6-8 inches of snow that hadn't been packed down yet except for one wheel mark that zig zagged along the trail.

Before, I knew it it was almost 9:17. I started with 5 people which was kind of fun. We chatted for the first 1/2 mile then we got on the trail and one of the women took the lead. I tucked in behind her on the narrow part of the trail that was packed down. After about a 1/2 mile the 2 men behind us passed us. I stayed behind her for another 1/4 mile and decided that I better get around her and catch back up to the 2 men. I stayed behind them until about 2.5 miles into the race when they caught up to a group of men but didn't pass them. I wanted to go faster but passing 5 men that were running single file was going to be a challenge on the snow covered trail.

I passed a couple of them and snuck in to rest for a few short bit then I was off and passed the last one. From that point on in the race, I was on my own. It had been nice to have someone blocking the wind for me but I wanted to try and race so I need to go on my own.

The race was an out and back course. I wasn't sure what the etiquette was when I was meeting people that were on their way back. I didn't know if I should move out of the small section of packed snow or make them. I decided to make them move out of the packed section and that I would move out after I hit the turn around. It seemed to work.

Every time that I went to pass people, I had to speed up because I wanted to get around them quickly and get back onto the packed section of trail. A few times, I spooked people when I passed them. One time, I slipped and checked a guy with my shoulder. I apologize and raced away.

I ened up passing a lot of people after the turn around so I felt like I was doing a fartlek workout. Good thing, I did one on Monday to prepare me for the race.

I was hoping to not get passed but 2 men passed me in the last half mile. They were flying.

When I finished, I had almost caught all of the women that started before me. I think there was 1 women that I didn't catch.

I finished in 1:15:41 which was slower than they predicted but I was happy with the time considering the conditions. While I was waiting around for the award, I noticed a someone that I recognized but didn't know how. I went up and talked to him. We figured out that we have a mutual friend so we have met each other through them before. It was fun chatting with him while waiting for the award.

It turns out that I took 1st in my age group and was the 2nd place women. I won a fleece jacket.

It was less than ideal racing conditions but I am really glad that I got out there and did the race anyway.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Training Recap for the week of April 1

It was a great week for training. The snow has finally melted off the track! Yeah! I love winter and snow but I was ready to hit the track.

I made some plans to run with friends this week so I ended up only running a few days on my own the entire time. Actually, I am planning to meet a friend on the track one time per week. We won't always be doing the same workouts but it will be nice to have someone at the track with me.


Monday: 2.5 mile warm-up to the track, 6 x 400 m with 400 m jog, 2.5 mile cool-down

The track is 2.5 miles from my house so I will always have a good warm-up to get there. I forgot my watch so I have no idea what kind of pace I was running. It was challenging but I think I was pretty consistent. I didn't want to do anything crazy on my first day on the track. It was just the right amount because my legs were still pretty tired from the hilly 7 mile race on Saturday.

Tuesday: 5 easy miles

Wednesday: 2 mile warm-up to the hill, 6 x 0.25 mile hill repeats, 3.3 mile cool-down

After last weeks poor performance on the hills, I decided that I needed to add hill repeats to my weekly calendar. It was windy Wednesday. There was a nice headwind going up the hill, extra strength training, and a great tailwind when I was jogging down the hill. The repeats weren't fast but they were difficult. 

Thursday: Off

I need to bring a snack to school so when I get home around 6:15 I can go out for a run right away.

Friday: 5 easy miles

Saturday: 13 miles easy

I was meeting a friend to run 9 miles but decided that I wanted a few more miles for the week so I ran the 2 miles to and from her house instead of bicycling it.

Total: about 38 miles

Not high mileage but I am slowly trying to increase the miles.

I can't add...all week long I thought I was going to be over 40 miles for the week. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Run Hood to Coast with Nuun

Yes, please.

Sounds like a blast.


I made a video application to be part of Nuun's Hood to Coast relay team.

I had a ton of fun making this video.

I discovered that I really like making videos.

I really wish I had more time to do fun thing like this.

Without further ado...

I love running!

I love hydrating with Nuun!

I really want to run Hood to Coast with the Nuun team!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

MDRA 7 Miler Recap

Wow, I have been racing a lot during the last week...3 races in 8 days. Race number 3 was the MDRA 7 Miler. I am really enjoying the MDRA races. This is the first year that I've run them. They are a great test of your current fitness

Early Saturday morning, the lightening and thunder woke me up. I grabbed my phone to check the radar, hoping, the weather would blow past before the race started. It looked promising that the rain would stop before I left for the race. I was relieved because it was going to be about 30 degrees so with some rain that would be chilly.

It wasn’t raining when I left for the race. Unfortunately, it started to rain as I was driving there. Luckily, there was a gym to use for prerace preparations. I got registered and headed out for a windy, rainy, cold warm-up run. I don’t think I warmed up much on my run.

We headed out of the gym at about 5 min to 9am. It was a chip-timed event, which was nice for the small event. The roads were open to traffic so you had to watch for cars. The race was 7 miles and it was a hilly course. This was my first time running it but I heard people talking about the hills.

I was hoping to run around 7:00-7:10 for my mile splits. I love having my Garmin set to give me half-mile splits. I think it helps me stay on pace sometimes.

Every time the Garmin beeped I looked down and was running 3:25-3:35 half miles. I was okay with that. I felt it was a decent pace for my current fitness level. Then at mile 2.5 the watch beeped and I looked at it…3:52. “What??? Pick up the pace Cuz. You are racing.” There were a few longer hills but nothing to slow me down almost 20 sec in a half mile. I did start to wonder if 3:25-3:35 was too fast for me for the course but I went back to that pace after my slow half mile.

I knew that I was in about 6th place at that point in the race. I wanted to stay there but I had a feeling there were some women close behind. I couldn’t hear them. The half miles were ticking by and I was starting to feel the effort then around mile 4.5 there was a hill…it was a hill that just wouldn’t end. I felt like I was walking, a few men ran past me. When I finally reached the top, I was exhausted. My Garmin beeped so I looked at it…4:17. What? NO…I slowed down almost 45 sec in that half mile. Not good. I started to worry my legs were done for in the race. I knew there were some hill coming up and that there must be a few women on my heels.

Could I pick the pace back up? I didn’t know but I had to try. Luckily, my legs responded and the next half-mile split was back at 3:28. Good, now only 1.5 miles to go. I could hear the breathing behind me but I managed to hold them off all the way to the finish line.

I finished in 50:45. I was hoping to be closer to 49 min.

I realized that I need to work on my hill climbing. I decided to start doing hill repeats 1 time per week. Yesterday was my first day of hill repeats. It was hard but I did it.

Workout: 2 mile warm-up; 6 x 400 m hill repeats into the wind; 3 mile cool-down

I am looking forward to running the hill again next week.