Monthly Archives: May 2009

Happy 2nd Blogiversary!!

treehuggerpresentHappy Blogiversary!! Hard to believe that it has been 2 years of blogging about my running adventures.  Thank you for making it possible.  I appreciate your comments, feedback, and thoughts throughout the journey.

As a treat I’ve picked 5 highlights/blog posts from the last two years (out of almost 500) to share with you as a special present.  This was no easy task so I hope you appreciate them!

1) Completing my first marathon and dedicating it to my African friends by raising money for World Vision

2) I also enjoyed reading and sharing thoughts from the Sacred Art of Running

3) Being in Minneapolis wouldn’t be complete without winter running (almost getting hypothermia) and running along the Minneapolis Riverfront

4) A delicious post about running strategies

5) Who doesnt like the idea of ruining their next race

Finally, a must read post that I stole from someone else talks about proper t-shirt etiquette.

Race Review: Brian Kraft 5k

Monday morning was another near perfect morning for a race. Upper 50’s into the 60’s by race time, overcast, and a slight breeze (a little more than slight at parts!). The sun warmed us up while waiting at the starting line but seemed to disappear as we made the 5k loop around Lake Nokomis.

This event hosted by USATF-MN was pretty well organized and efficient. I arrived early was able to get my bib number and t-shirt within 5 minutes and waited around in my car for awhile.  It was cool enough at the time to want to get back “inside” and relax a bit before the warm-up.  Sadly, the Nokomis Community Center building was closed for the holiday weekend.

I did a short warm-up, stretched, and waited for the start. The starting line was approximately 1/4 mile away from the check-in/finish area, which we would run by at the start.  The event had 506 finishers with times ranging from 14:43 – 51:31. This was gun-time only race. This is a super flat race with the longest “climb” being 17 feet over a 1/4 of a mile, so pretty much negligible!

I finally ran into Nathan the only other MDRA athlete competing at the race so we talked and jogged to the start.

I had trouble figuring out where I wanted to line up, because I didn’t want to be too far forward and get sucked out too fast, but I also didn’t want to get stuck behind a lot of people.  I ended up getting a decent spot 5-6 rows deep and had a great start.  It took only a second or two to cross the starting line.  I took off pretty quickly and a lot of people passed me and it got crowded pretty quickly, but then the road opened up and I was able to settle into a pace that was fast but relaxed.    At about the 1/2 mile mark we turned south and picked up some headwind.  It didn’t feel super strong, but it was noticeable.  Not a lot happened in the first mile, a lot of people were getting settled into their pace.  There was some back and forth as we came through the mile in 6:18.  I remember thinking that might have been a little fast, but was pretty close to my race plan.

The miles seemed really long. At least compared to other runs around the lakes.   Nokomis is shaped in such a way that you can’t really see all the way around the lake, or much of the rest of the lake except at a few spots, which makes it seem like forever around.  It may have also been that I’m not used to running at such a fast pace, which tires you out and requires more effort.  This second mile was on the West side of the Cedar Ave bridge which seems really far out there and was pretty desolate.  There wasn’t a ton of cheering fans anywhere on the course, but especially not on this section.  I belive the water stop was here somewhere and I grabbed a quick squirt of water.

The racing was pretty solid through here, not much changes but continuing to go back and forth with a few runners or at least not letting myself fade away from them.  I came through mile 2 in 6:27.  Oops a little slow!

More of the same continued as we came through the third mile. A couple guys fell off and I  started seeing some new people ahead who were fading back a little.  They had jerseys that I recognized from the USATF Team Circuit, so even though we didn’t field a team, I thought I should try and get them!  I was beginning to get fatigued as well so the increased effort really just kept my pace the same.

We should have had a tailwind, but I’m not really sure if we did or not.  As we approached the starting line I remember thinking it was time to start shifting gears a little bit.  I started passing several runners and came across the third mile in 6:24.

I was feeling good, maybe a little too good as I crossed the 3 mile mark and made the final kick to the finish.  As the finish line came in sight, so did a bunch of runners that looked like they wanted to get passed.  I obliged and passed what seemed like quite a few runners.  Seeing the clock in the mid-19’s also helped the urge to kick and I came through the last 0.1 miles in 0:30 which is 4:49 pace for the last segment.  Yikes.  My overall unofficial time was 19:45 and the official time was 19:46.
After regaining my breath and stumbling around a bit I was able to enjoy the post-race bread, bananas, water, and carrot cake! After talking with some of the guys I wandered over to the lake for a nice ice bath. I waded in far enough to cover my knees and enjoyed the cold (but not too bad) water. I felt and feel like I ran a tough race but don’t think I hit 100% effort for the whole 5k. I’m glad to report that my foot and IT band felt fine throughout the race and only a little uncomfortable since finishing.

Overall this is an excellent small race with high quality competition.

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Need to Focus

Last Year

Have you heard about the Tough Guy race?  Sounds like fun, in a masochistic kind of way.  Last year’s Twin Cities Marathon filled up, sadly it is only about 75% full at this point.  I got new shoes! I switched over to a Mizuno shoe, learn about my thought process.  This week’s Foto Friday was from a recent camping trip at St Croix State Park.

Last Year’s Mileage

Run: 17.3 Miles

This Year

This week I had hoped to transition from the tough training weekend back into a decent week of running.  I took Monday off to let my body recover and then Tuesday I decided to bike to some meetings in the morning and ended up with 20 miles for the day.  Tuesday was actually a record setting temperature (at 97).  I did go on Wedsnday for an easy 6.2 miles around a river loop with some hills in 46:35 on a gorgeous morning.  Temps were about 70 when I finished.  Thursday was another gorgeous morning and I did the almost 3 mile loop around Lake of the Isles.  I ran it in 20:17 and the temp was about 60.  After that my foot started to hurt again.  Surprisingly it felt pretty good on Monday and most of Tuesday.  I’m realizing that the more/longer I’m on it at any given time the more it hurts.  I am out of excuses for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Part of it was that I really want my foot to stop hurting.  It was such a gorgeous week for running though and I should have gone out.  Each day I regretted not doing it, except Saturday when we walked around for hours at the Mall of America with my sister-in-law.  This really made my foot hurt.  Plus I’m racing on Monday.

Weekly Mileage

Run: 9.0 Miles
Bike: 37.0 Miles

Race Plan: Brian Kraft 5k

Image from Down the Backstretch

The next race in the USATF-MN series is the Brian Kraft 5k around Lake Nokomis. It should be a very fast race.  Last year it was won in 14:47 by Jeremy Polson and 16:52 by Rasa Troup.

My post-collegiate 5k PR is 18:19 at the 2003 Jersey Shore 5k.  During which I cramped with a half-mile to go placing 2nd.  I’m not in the type of speed shape.  My most recent 5k was the Giving Thanks 5k from Thanksgiving where I ran a 20:01.  Based on my TC 1 Mile time, McMillan says I should be able to run a 18:49 (6:03).

That seems a little un-realistic.  I think I’ll shoot for a 19:30 which is a 6:15 pace.  I’ve not done much speed work lately so we’ll see how that goes!

About the Race

This is the 12th edition of the race hosted by the USATF-MN chapter. All proceeds from the race benefit the Arnold S Leonard Cancer Research Fund which supports cancer research at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Arnold Leonard has

devoted himself entirely to cancer research in genetic engineering, boosting the immune system with human interleukin-2 gene, boosted by the use of very high antioxidant oils. An Endowed Scholar Chair has been placed in Dr. Leonard’s name in the Surgery Department at the University of Minnesota, and he has also received the Wangensteen Award for Academic Excellence. Dr. Leonard belongs to all the major surgical societies, and continues to lecture throughout the world on the importance of the immune system and its relationship to cancer plus the importance of nutraceuticals as synergistic to the genetic engineering experiments in reducing cancer. He has written over 250 articles and books.

Who is Brian Kraft?

From the race website:

Brian Kraft was an enthusiastic and talented runner from Bemidji, Minnesota. His running career was cut short at the age of 19 with the discovery of Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in his back. Brian lived with cancer for 15 years, undergoing chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and countless surgical procedures.

Throughout the years, Brian continued to run. He ran the lakes and parkways and raced with the local running crowd. In spite of all that life threw his way, he kept a positive attitude. Brian attributed his strength in his fight against cancer to his love of running and to the work of his long-time friend, Dr. Arny Leonard.

Two more detailed stories are available.  The first is a 2007 article originally published in the Minnesota Running and Track magazine, now available a doc file here.  The second is a blog post by the same author at Down the Backstretch, a local blog.

[tags] Brian Kraft Memorial 5k, 5k, Brian Kraft, Cancer [/tags]

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TC 10 or 26.2

A few weeks ago I ran the TC 1 Mile race in Minneapolis which is hosted by the Twin Cities Marathon as part of their annual series of events.  Part of the deal is that every 1 mile runner is put into a drawing for a guaranteed TC 10 mile entry.

You see the 10 mile race takes place on the same morning of the marathon, but has a lottery entry system which caps at around 6,000 entrants.  To encourage runners to compete in  the 1 mile and the 10 mile they offer 1,000 guaranteed entries to the 10 mile race drawn at random from the 1 mile finishers.  This year only about 2,300 runners finished the 1 mile race which means almost 50% of the field received entry into the 10 mile.  Including me.

This was the e-mail I received on May 12:

Congratulations on being one of the 1,000 randomly drawn finishers to receive a guaranteed entry to the Medtronic TC 10 Mile! We’d like to offer a special ‘thank you’ for joining us on a beautiful May 7th evening for a great downtown race, and hope the excitement of two national championship races and a sub-four minute mile is still high.

Sadly, all TC Marathon, Inc entries are non-transferable, including this guarenteed entry.  Don’t worry, even with this entry you still get to pay the full $60 plus processing fees to race.

Even with this “great prize” I decided to get an e-mail that said this:

Congratulations! You are officially registered for the 28th annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 4, 2009.

So I have officially registered for the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon, which is currently just over 75% full (pdf).

[tags] Twin Cities, Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon, 1 Mile, 10 Mile [/tags]

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