Category Archives: 10K

Race Review: Hennepin Lakes Classic 10K

This is the pack at the end of the first lap. Our faces are a little grainy but you can see the lake and skyline which makes it cool!

This is the pack at the end of the first lap. Our faces are a little grainy but you can see the lake and skyline which makes it cool!

It has been awhile since I raced so I was glad to get out there and do it again.  The 31st Annual Hennepin Lakes Classic 10K, 5K, Doubleheader had a decent day for racing.  It was about 72 at the start with humidity about the same, with a slight breeze.  To top it off it was overcast… until the start! Located at beautiful Lake Calhoun on Minneapolis’ west side this could have been a good race.

If you read my weekly training update you pretty much know how I felt going into the race, but I woke up feeling pretty good and thought it’d be a good day for racing.  After warming up and hitting the porta-potty it was time to line and get this thing started.

I wanted to take it out slow and build the pace throughout the race.  I discovered that MDRA Teammate Colin had the same plan in mind for about the same finish time so I stayed back with him at the start.  It is frustrating because we definitely weren’t that far back from the front – maybe 6-10ft or so and we got boxed in pretty much from the buzzer.  We settled into what felt like a good pace and dodged people for awhile coming through the first mile in 6:33. Maybe a touch faster than we expected but a good start.  A quick little hill with about 50ft elevation gain at about 1.25 wasn’t too bad.  It was really enough to make you push up it. They had water available at the 1.5 mark which was good.  Up until this point the race had been along East Calhoun Parkway, now we headed out onto Lake Street for the last half of the second mile.  We came through the 2 mile in 6:45. I really need to figure out how to setup the Garmin so it gives me the mile time and overall (anyone know how to do that?) so I don’t have to do math in my head while running! Finishing up on Lake St we turned onto West Calhoun Parkway where we were quickly hit hard with a headwind. By now the race had pretty much strung out and there were just little clumps of runners and a lot of individual runners.  Colin and I were still together and looking at the picutres my wife took, there was actually 6 of us in the picture for maybe a pack of 4 or 5 ( I think we were passing some of them). Up to this point all the miles had been marked perfectly, Mile 3 was setup pretty early. But actually it was the 3 mile mark for the 5K race later – but it was blown around by the wind and a “helpful” spectator put it back up (but the wrong way)! The 3 mile mark was in the right spot and we ran it in 6:51. There was a waterstop setup as we passed the finish chute – I drank a little and tossed the rest on my head. We hit the first 5K in 20:55.

At this point I knew we were off pace and that’d I’d have to run a 20:30 to PR and 19:05 to hit my goal of breaking 40.  The headwind took a lot out of us.  As we rounded a curve female teammate Carly made herself known as she pulled up beside me.  So here we were 3 teammates running 3 abreast down the street, if only for a few strides. The 4th mile was pretty unremarkable as we all struggled along,except that there was a headwind here too. I think the larger pack at the start mitigated much of the wind’s force but now in smaller groups we could feel it. We came through 4 in 6:47. I’m not sure when Colin dropped back but Carly was right with me until we hit the hill.  Part of me wanted to beat her and part of me wanted to help her.  I decided that I needed to focus on my race and try and encourage her as much as I could.  So as we went up the hill at about 4.5 and I started to pull away I yelled some encouragement to her as I passed some other runners.  Grabbed some water at about 4.75 and came through the 5 mile in 6:48. As I approached the mile mark I knew that I needed to be around 32 minutes to hit my goal time so I was a little discouraged to see my Garmin click over to 34 minutes.  But I still put in a quick surge and tried to pick-up the pace (although my effort felt a lot harder than my times showed) and actually examining the 1/4 mile segment my pace slowed by a few seconds.  Nevertheless I did pull away from the small group I was in and continued passing people for the whole race.  Turning back onto West Calhoun I again got hit with the strong headwinds. I kept pushing myself knowing that the only way I could PR was going to be pushing the last mile HARD.  I came through mile 6 in 6:52. Still struggling to run as hard as possible I finished the last 0.2 miles in 1:19 (which is 5:45 pace).  Final 5K time 20:58 pretty much an even split race.  Overall time was 41:59.

Post race they had lots of water, some healthy fruit bar, fruit strips, and Naked Juice. They were also giving away Clif Bars.  Nothing too fancy but still a pretty nice setup.  This is my second event hosted by The Sporting Life (TSL) Events (the other was Human Race 8K).  They put on a good race.

5K Start

5K Start

I recovered a little bit and cooled down with some of the guys who were warming up for the 5K.  I was very glad not to be doing the double header! We stuck around for the start of the 5K and then took a quick dip in Lake Calhoun before heading home!

Were you there? What did you think of the event?  Several of my teammates doubled!

[tags] Hennepin Lakes Classic, 10K, Lake Calhoun, Race Review [/tags]

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Race Day: Get in Gear 10K

This race is billed as the annual rite into the spring racing season. Well it definitely wasn’t spring out there. I awoke to a car completely covered in snow and snow covering most of the grass. It wasn’t sticking to the roads but the air temperature was about 30 with the wind chill of around 18. It was pretty windy and intermittent light snow. YUCK! Why did we move to Minnesota??

I’ll start out by saying that I was pleased with my time after the race given the conditions. When I got home I became even happier when I realized that I was only 2 seconds from a PR. That happiness was tempered with the thought that I should have found a few more seconds and actually PRed but oh well.

Packet Pick-up went pretty smoothly. I went down on Friday because Minnehaha Falls (check out this older pic of the falls) is only about a mile from work. The packets were full of goodies including a box of Minute rice! I opted for the cotton t-shirt instead of paying more for the tech shirt – it has a pretty good design.

Race morning was biting cold. I wasn’t 100% sure what to wear but opted for a long sleeve tech shirt underneath the jersey with tights. And of course gloves and a hat! At the start it was a little chilly but I’m glad that was all I wore because it got warm on parts of the course. We had to wait around for awhile before the gun went off but this is the largest 10K in Minnesota and the 15th in the nation. This year there were almost 3,500 finishers and I’m sure some people didn’t even show up. We settled into our spot in the chute and shuffled to the line. It was then that we realized we started to far back in the chute. Within the first few hundred yards we were dodging people left and right some who were almost walking. I tried not to zig-zag too much but had to fight the crowd for at least the first mile. The course was pretty scenic running along the Mississippi Byways right next to the Mississippi River. The overall course was mostly flat with a net elevation loss and only one hill worth mentioning (right after halfway). I came through the first mile in 6:34. I felt like I was working a little bit but it didn’t seem strenuous. I was definitely a little tight.

We continued along the river for the second mile. At this point I let teammates Kirk and Chris pull away a bit. Nothing too exciting was happening. We were mostly protected from the wind during this stretch. It was generally from the West but was blowing pretty much every direction at some point! I came through the second mile in 6:27. The third mile continued on the West bank before making a jump onto the Lake Street bridge. I caught back up to Kirk and Chris as we got to the middle of the bridge and ran with them for awhile again. It was really during this mile that it finally seemed like the crowd had dispersed on the course. After crossing the bridge we headed down the East Bank of the Mississippi, now in Saint Paul. I came through the third mile in 6:36. I came through the 5K in 20:22.

Right after the third mile we climbed up the hill to the University of St Thomas area before turning into the wind and going back to the river. When we made the turn and headed West again, it was spitting snow and had some powerful wind gusts during this short section. With the hill I let Kirk and Chris go but started finding other people to run with. As in most races I would pick it up for awhile with the occasional runner who was passing me. I went with one guy wearing an IU Little 500 hoodie for awhile and he helped me catch onto another group of guys that I’d run with for awhile. I came through mile four in 6:46. Mile 5 was more of the same trying to hang on and push through the tiredness. Going back and forth with runners and staying tough. I came through the mile in 6:40. Mile 6 seemed pretty long but it was a difficult mile. We continued along the river before making a quick loop to get onto the Ford Parkway bridge. In my mind this meant we were pretty much done, but in reality we had almost 3/4 of a mile to go from when we actually got on the bridge. The bridge was brutal because we were running right back into the wind. I tried to draft off of some people but it wasn’t really effective and actually slowed me down a bit (maybe my 2 seconds for a PR!). A small group of us went back and forth for the rest of the race. After I crossed the bridge I kept thinking – we have to be almost done. Finally we came to the 6 mile mark and I ran it in 6:52. The last .2 went by pretty quickly as we left the main roads and down into the park (the last half mile was pretty much all downhill). Somewhere in there we merged with the 5K runners so the final sprints to the finish was a mix of 5Kers and 10Kers which made it a little frustrating since you didn’t know who you were trying to outkick! I did manage to kick in the last 0.2 miles in 1:32. My last 5K was 20:50 my Garmin measured the total course 0.09 long so officially the last 5K was 21:08.

My overall 10K time was 41:30.

I think this would be a good race if it hadn’t been so cold! April is so unpredictable that you never know for sure what you are going to get. I would say that crowd support was pretty good for how cold it was! What did you think of the race?

[tags] 10K, Get in Gear, Race Review [/tags]

Training Analysis, Part 2

As I continue to review my training throughout 2007 here is the second installment of my attempt to provide thoughts, insights, and other information from it for you. I trained for 3 major events this year, the Indy 500 Mini Marathon, Bears of the Blue River 10K, and Midsouth Half Marathon. Read part 1.

After the Mini Marathon, I took it easy for a few weeks training wise and ran a couple of races. (I started this blog on May 28th). I wasn’t training for anything specifically until about mid-June. I raced each Thursday night with the Anderson Road Runner’s Thursday Night Point Series. This was a 2.64 mile race that was run every week around Shadyside park in Anderson. They provided good opportunities for speedwork but didn’t always fit well into the training schedule. My overall mileage was still pretty low and not running very many 5 day weeks. This was all just base-building workouts with a couple of races thrown in for speed!

I didn’t actually begin the Cool Running 10K Advanced Workout until the end of June. The advanced program is for runners averaging 40-60 miles a week and who expect to run between 34 and 40 minutes. It includes more speedwork and pace work. This was the same program I have used in previous years with good success.

I missed the first 3 weeks because of my lack of planning ahead. I decided to begin training for the Bears of Blue River 10K because I had enjoyed it both times I’d previously run it and also because it was a money race! I always enjoy getting money!!

I hadn’t missed a lot of training and my mileage wasn’t too far off what was required up to that point, so I jumped right in. Throughout the program I was able to train a lot more consistently than during the Mini training. I ran 5-6 days a week and maintained about 30 miles a week training. My mileage peeked at 44.

Even with the improved consistency I still missed a lot of the speed work and some of the longer runs or changed the schedule around. This plan mostly did speed work on Mondays and Thursdays with a long run on Saturday. This fit pretty well with my schedule, except for the Thursday races. I mixed and matched my speedwork. For example, one week I was supposed to do a 14 mile run on Saturday with 8×800 on Monday with 6-7 hills on Thursday and race a 5K on Saturday. There was a group running 15 on Sunday so I did that, and ran 6×1000 meter repeats on a set of hills called Spaghetti Bowl at Mounds on Weds. We missed the Thursday night run because of vacation! My thought was to combine the speed workout and the hill workout into 1 day and not need to run two different workouts. This wasn’t brilliant! Each workout has a specific purpose and benefits. Mixing the two doesn’t necessarily reap the benefits of both. I also missed a couple of long runs, one weekend I was in KY for a wedding and didn’t have the energy and time for the 12 miler. Another weekend was a 5K race in the points series, so I rode my bike the 11 miles there, raced the 5K, and rode my bike 11 miles home. It was a good cross-training day.

Most of my “bad” pain was gone and everything was looking good for me, I thought. I felt like most of my runs were solid, turning in decent interval splits based on my goal pace, even though some of my actual race performances weren’t especially exciting. I wasn’t coming close to my PR at any distance, but did run some of the same races as before at the same or better times. Most noticeably an almost 2 minute PR at the Buzzards Roost 10K and and only being off my Chesterfield 10K time by 20 seconds from last year. Both without any real rest time.

Everything felt great going into the race. I took it easy during the Thursday night race, but early in the week I had been having some stomach concerns. Nothing major but my stomach felt a little queasy before, during, and after running. It had pretty much gone away by Thursday.

However, on race morning we made 2-3 bathrooms stops during the hour drive to the race. This wasn’t normal pre-race jitters but was diarrhea. Not good before a race of any distance! I’m guessing by race time I didn’t really have any nutrients left in my body! This pretty much negated much of my training. But I think we all know that we can’t always plan for everything and that sometime extraneous issues affect our running.

You can read my full race report, but my time was 43:02 with these splits 6:37, 6:22, 6:59, 6:44, 7:20, 7:30, 1:27

Don’t get me wrong, I was very frustrated with my performance. I was glad that my legs felt fine during most of the training and that my body was able to handle the stress of summer training and competition.

Graph it!

This is a graph from my online training log.

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Race Day: Bears of Blue River 10K

With a 7:30am start the Bears of the Blue River 10K insured a cooler start, with a little rain it was actually an excellent starting temp in the mid-70’s and a slight drizzle.  The Bears is a combined 5K and 10K.

We started out with the 5K group, not really knowing who was racing in each section.  I started with a group of women I knew from other races and knew where running the 5K.  I let them go after mile 2 which was a mistake but ran a 20:37 5K which was about 30 seconds off where I wanted to be.  I was hoping to run just under 20 minutes.  I had been having some stomach issues all week and had been fine until Saturday morning!  I felt the lack of energy during the race.

After passing the finish area, my wife told me that I was in second place overall in the 10K and that the leader was about a minute ahead of me.  The second 5K is pretty lonely because of the small group of participants and the lonely course winding along the Blue River.  That 5K pretty much stunk, I had a decent enough lead to hold onto second place but definitely should not have.

My overall time was 43:02 (3 minutes behind where I wanted to be) but was good enough for a second place overall finish and earning $50!!!

The race is a USATF certified course with the first 5K being an out and back and the second being a loop.  Only small hills grace the course that has ample water stops and overall support.  Cold water and fruit await the finishers as well as the prospect of $$$.  This was my third year competing in Shelbyville but only my second earning money.  It seems to come and go with the top runners. Last year had 2 Kenyans, this year only 1.  It got a little lonely and boring out during the second 5K but the course was very well marked.  This was the 28th annual race held in conjunction with Shelbyville’s annual Bears of the Blue River Festival.

Ok well I guess I’ll post my splits although they are kind of embarrassing.  I think some of my Mini splits were faster.
6:37, 6:22, 6:59, 6:44, 7:20, 7:30, 1:27

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Updated Title to reflect proper event name, per comment below.
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Race Review: Chesterfield 10K – July 4th

On a relatively cool morning, at least for the Fourth, about 125 runners and walkers from around East Central gathered to take part in this 16th annual 5K and 10K tradition starting near the Millcreek Civic Center in downtown Chesterfield, IN.

I ran a decent race, considering my pre-race preparations (eating ribs and staying out until 1:30am watching the midnight parade!).  My time was 43:05, with my splits being 6:25, 6:26, 7:27, 6:36, 7:26, 7:00, 1:45.  Don’t get too excited about my uneven looking splits.  I was told that the overall race was exactly 6.2 by GPS, but the individual miles weren’t marked correctly.  So those middle couple miles where my times varied by a minute were long, short, and long respectively!

The course overall is pretty flat.  10K runners start with the 5K group, running through Chesterfield and down the hill to the river level.  The 5K group then runs into the Greenhill (?) addition up a hill and turns around.  The 10K proceeds through “Deadman’s curve” before heading up a hill.  The 10K had 3 water stops and a 4th “rouge” stop!  The only other hill of significance is right before the 6 mile mark, although there are some smaller hills leading into that.

The race started approximately on time and was supported well by the Chesterfield Police force. Each mile mark was marked and had someone reading off overall race time, which was appreciated. At the finish there was water and making the short walk back to the Civic Center they had water, bananas, cookies, apples, and WATERMELON to rehydrate and replenish your body!!

Unfortunately, we waited a long time after the completion of the race it was around 10:30 (8:30 start), before the awards started.  This was actually better than last year, so that is encouraging! All winners received plaques.

I haven’t done this for other races, but click here to see a map of the actual course. I’ll post overall results when I get them.