Category Archives: Half Marathon

Get in Gear 10k

I didn’t run the Get in Gear 10k this year, though I would have loved to be in shape to take part in this “Annual Rite of Spring.”  It was a cool (low-50’s) and rainy morning (with a spell of lightening and thunder before race time), which was actually better than two years ago when it was in the 30’s with snow on the ground!  See my race report from the 2008 edition.

As I mentioned on Monday a friend and I showed up to Minnehaha Falls fairly late, close to 10am or an hour after the 10k and 1/2 started and 40 minutes after the 5k.   The 10k race is the main event, even though there is a 2k, 5k, and half-marathon.  We got to see the back of the pack runners finishing and then the half-marathon leaders finish.  It was sad to see that they haven’t fixed the finish area problem of runners from the longer races merging into the shorter ones and having to dodge runners and walkers.  It seems it would be easy to setup cones for at least the last tenth of a mile to separate the races.  I’m sure the leaders would appreciate that!

Below is a video montage I created from some of the videos and pictures I took.  I’m not sure what the issue is with my cell phone’s video encryption but sometimes Windows Movie Maker doesn’t read the video, while Flickr does.  So Kim Scheel, Women’s 1/2 marathon finisher, didn’t make it into the montage, but gets her own separate video!

Kim Scheel finishing the 1/2 marathon in 1:28:23.

Rocco at the MDRA (who finished in 37:21) also found this video by Brett Sall who finished in 45:25, not bad for his first race:

Get In Gear 10K from Brett Sall on Vimeo.

How was your Get in Gear Experience this year?

[tags] Get in Gear, 10k, GetinGear[/tags]

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January Races

It is a little late to be doing this, but better late than never!

Here are some upcoming races for the month of January:

January 16 – Polar Challenge 5k in Bemedji, MN

January 23 – Securian Frozen 5k & Half Marathon at the St Paul Winter Carnival.  Check out my thoughts on last year’s race.

January 30 – Winterfest 5k in Waconia sounds like fun.

Last weekend was the “World’s Most Prestigous Indoor Marathon” the Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon.  The Meet of the Miles was also recently held, but I can’t find a link.  It also is the first race in the MDRA Grand Prix.

Since I’m not running I won’t be running any of these… will you?

* This is not a comprehensive list!

[tags] January, 5k, half-marathon [/tags]

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Week 12: Half Marathon Training

Last Year

I celebrated being done with the training cycle by resting and racing the Get in Gear 10k – almost setting a PR (posted my race number).  To go along with this phase I talked about detraining. A local marathoner used his mad skills to chase down a thief (Team Cross doesn’t recommend doing this).  My mom sent me a story from the hometown paper about a co-worker/teacher who ran at Boston.  This week’s Foto Friday was a picture of “Get in Gear” written in the snow before the race start.

Mileage

Running – 9.2 miles

3 m run + strength
6 x 400
5-K pace
2 m run + strength
30 min tempo
Rest
Rest
Half Marathon

Monday was an easy 3.25 on my Metrodome Loop.  Nothing too exciting. About 42 and overcast with a wind chill of 35.  It didn’t really seem that windy and overall the run felt nice and relaxed.  I finished in 24:30.

Tuesday I ran my 6×400 workout on the Greenway on a nice morning.  44 and sunny with a decent amount of headwind.  My goal was 1:26 which is 5k pace but I didn’t want to push too hard.  I won’t see any benefit from this workout on race day – it was just an opportunity to open up the legs and sharpen up a bit.  My splits were 1:33, 1:30,1:30,1:27,1:29,1:28 and only on the second half did it really feel like I was having to push.  The rest felt very smooth.  It was a total 5 mile workout in 39:44.

Wednesday – a 2 mile run felt like such a waste of time.  It would take almost as much time to get ready as it would to run it.  So I decided to take the day off, rest my foot and enjoy tapering.

Thursday was a pretty overcast morning but warm.  55 and humid for my 4 mile run. I didn’t really try to make it a tempo at all.  I figured an easy run was more appropriate and it felt good.  I did it in 30 minutes heading East along the Greenway.  Nothing special. My heel felt pretty good all day.

Friday felt a little lazy but rested.  Foot pain is almost gone!

Saturday another rest day.

Sunday Race Day!  I was initially very disappointed but after processing it and writing my review it wasn’t quite as bad as previously thought.  But still a 1:36:26 is not what I had planned on.

Mileage:

Running – 25.5 miles

Biking – 8  miles

Race Review: Lake Minnetonka Half

Wow. You could not have asked for a much better day to race. Mid to upper 40’s at the start with a slight breeze off the lake.  It was only in the mid-50’s at the finish.  Unfortunately, my race performance didn’t match the quality of the day.  But first some details.

Packet pick-up went smoothly at the Wells Fargo near the starting line.  A spacious and un-crowded room at about 7:15.  Picked up my bib number – 381 and then my timing chip.  Went to pick up some nice looking shirts and they only had smalls.  I’m not sure how you make that mistake when the race filled up ahead of time.  Seems pretty simple to place an order and get your shirts in time.  They are mailing them to us at a later time.  I jogged the 1/4 mile to the lake shore and warmed up a little bit before heading back to the start.  We were delayed for several minutes due to our missing police escort.

When the siren blew we were off.  I started a few rows back and went out what felt really slow.  I let a good number of people pass me and tried to stay very relaxed. I checked my Garmin pace and slowed down even more!  The first mile went along the Lake and then up a little hill where I saw my wife and we came through mile 1 in 6:47. I promise it felt a lot slower (the mile was a little short).  So I slowed down a little and didn’t push as we climbed the steepest and longest hill of the day. We kind of meandered through the countryside occasionally getting a glimpse of the lake through the huge houses. I tried to maintain my pace even with the mostly downhill coming through mile 2 in 7:13.  Ok and even 7 pace that is pretty good.  We continued a little bit before turning on to a main road – where I was expecting to see my wife and be able to toss her my arm warmers.  They had served their purpose and it was time to be done with them.  Sadly I wouldn’t see her again until the finish.  Evidently, she got messed up with some construction and had to turn around and then the cops wouldn’t let her through, so she ended up going all the way around the opposite side of the lake.  This is really odd since lots of cars were on the course and it was advertised as an “open course”.  It is really annoying that there was an apparent double standard.  So a little frustrated I came through mile 3 in 6:43.  I took water at the aid station and came through the 5k in 21:29.

These next few miles were on a random, hilly country road away from the scenery of the lake and pretty unshaded.  There were two large hills in this mile and per my plan I didn’t push the pace up them.  I tried to just stay relaxed.  I came through mile 4 in 7:18.  I felt ok with that and kept what felt like a steady pace.  There was a few small pockets of people cheering along the way but for the most part it was pretty quiet.  Mile 5 was 7:09.  A little disappointed in two mile over 7 I wasn’t too worried, I figured that it would be easy enough to make up.  As we kept going up and down I decided to take one of my Clif Shot Bloks.  I also took water and Gatorade at the waterstop. We came back out by the main lake and back onto the shoulder of a main road and through mile 6 in 7:32. Ok, now I was a little frustrated and given the plan was to run a faster second half I picked it up.  I came through 10k in 43:38 (my PR is 41:28) and the half way mark in 46:00.  It wasn’t marked so I didn’t know where it was, but that would seem to be right on track for where I wanted to be coming out of the first half.

We continued right next to the lake shore through a little town and my pick-up worked as I ran mile 7 in 6:52.  That was helpful, especially as I was catching up to some people.  More of the same as we kept running next to the lake and I came through mile 8 in 7:02.  I tried to stay focused on pushing the pace a little bit as we dropped down to within several feet of the lake shore for a little bit and then back up a short and steep hill through an aid station.  We were running next to a bike trail then we jumped onto it for a few yards before crossing a timing mat and turning back the way we came and then another turn back towards the lake.  We then hit mile 9 in 7:36.  I came through the 15k in 1:06:04. (My PR is 1:03:24).

As we continued on the lake shore it was almost as if something inside of me fell apart.  It was almost as if I hit a small wall or gotten into a funk.  I took a second shot blok to see if that would help, but the wheels were falling off.  I tried to keep pushing but it was getting harder.  I came through mile 10 in 7:29. I definitely didn’t remember their being so many hills throughout the last half of the race. I was starting to get passed my more and more people now. I came through mile 11 in 7:47.  Crap.  That’s unacceptable.  I remember telling myself I needed to keep it under 8 minute miles. Somewhere along here there was a waterstop – but it was off the course in a parking lot.  I probably should have gone through it but I just wanted to finish and the shorter the course the better. However I did come through mile 12 in 8:03. Yes the wheels were falling off the bus.  My 20k time was 1:30:35.

We turned onto a dirt trail right before the 12 mile mark and I knew this was going to be the way to the finish.  Yes, 1 mile to go pick up the pace a little…  Not happening.  Getting passed by everyone and their brother.  A few runners tried to encourage me and I did try to pick it up I promise. The last mile was a pretty slow uphill grind which wasn’t overly pleasant. As we got closer to the finish you could start to hear people yelling and getting excited.  It was a 6-8 foot wide trail but once we got within the last 1/4 or so it was lined with people on either side – making a lot of noise.  It was a cool tunnel effect.  I could hear someone coming behind me. I tried to open my stride a little.  Then he pulled up into my vision and I thought “I can’t let this happen” and dropped gears and gave it every last ounce.  I pulled away from him and left him in my dust – so to speak!  I came through mile 13 in 7:49 and the last 0.1(or 0.18) in 1:09.  My final time was 1:36:26.  A long ways off my goal, 3 minutes off my PR, and my 4th fastest half-marathon ever.  The course was a little long!

After recovering my breath I shuffled over to get water, Gatorade, and refreshments.  They had quite a spread of fruit, bread, and snacks available.  I found my wife and learned of her plight with the road marshals.  And I just sat down for a little bit.  Exhausted. Frustrated. Disappointed.  It was a pretty tough course though, I will give it that.  And in hindsight – not a PR style course.

As I’ve written this though I’ve realized that I’m in pretty good shape! While none of my splits are super impressive I was pretty consistent throughout the race and even with my wheels falling completely off I didn’t do too terrible!  As of this writing the official results are posted yet – but this is the link they are supposed to be posted at!  The results are posted here (pdf).

As you can see by the chart below – the “official” mile markers were a little bit off.

Split Times
GPS Marked
6:58 6:47
6:56 7:13
6:43 6:43
7:11 7:18
7:09 7:09
7:08 7:32
7:11 6:52
7:10 7:02
7:12 7:36
7:42 7:29
7:42 7:47
7:56 8:03
8:13 8:48
1:09

[tags] Half Marathon, Lake Minnetonka, Race [/tags]

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Race Plan: Lake Minnetonka Half-Marathon

The time has come.  Twelve weeks of training is about to pay off on what should be a beautiful morning to race around beautiful Lake Minnetonka.

Yesterday I published a course preview and I must say that I think it is a pretty ideal course.  Point to point, a few hills, and nice scenery.

My goal is to break 1:30:00 in the half-marathon.  This equals a 6:52 pace for 13.1 miles.  I always say this – but my plan is to go out slow and finish faster.  I’d like to go through the first mile in about 7:15 and then slowly pick up the pace throughout.  I don’t often do this part successfully (although I did it too successfully at the Mid-South Half Marathon, going out 8:05 which was a little too slow!).

I’ve been able to nudge my times down.  My official PR is 1:33:22 set at the Rochester Half Marathon last year.  However, during the City of Lakes 25k I came through the half-marathon in 1:31 something.

I just need to relax, go out slow, and not get over-psyched about the race and I’ll let my training speak for itself.  A Sunday morning race, will make for a pretty low-key Saturday (hopefully) and I should be able to get and stay hydrated and eat good pre-race foods.

About the Race

The 2009 Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon in its 29th year of running filled and closed again this year.  As suspected this is NOT a closed course (if you look at the map you’ll see that some of these roads are the only way in and out of the area) but you are allowed to wear headphones!  They are offering awards in 10 year age groups.  There isn’t much race history to be found on the website.  Wells Fargo is the “title” sponsor for the event starting in downtown Wayzata and finishing in downtown Excelsior.

About Lake Minnetonka

From the Lake Minnetonka website:

Lake Minnetonka (meaning “Big Waters” in the native Dakota language), is located twenty miles due West of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota. Formed by glacial melting following the last Ice Age, Lake Minnetonka is one of the largest lakes in the state, boasting 110 miles of shoreline (officially). Other estimates have placed the figure closer to 350 miles, but any way you slice it, it’s a BIG lake.

Various Native American tribes inhabited the area for centuries before the lake was discovered by portagers in 1822. Ancient Indian burial mounds are visible in many locations along the shoreline, and one village on the western end of the lake was originally christened “Mound City” for this reason (known today simply as Mound).

In 1852, a dam was built on Minnehaha Creek and a logger’s settlement grew into the village of Minnetonka Mills. That same year, a fellow from New York City by the name of George Bertram, after a brief visit to the lake, returned to the east coast and recruited a number of his friends, establishing the “Excelsior Pioneer Association”. They returned to Lake Minnetonka in 1853 and founded the town of Excelsior on the southern side of the lower lake.

Wayzata (Dakota for “North Shore”), was founded in 1854, followed by Deephaven, Orono, and nearly a dozen other townships and municipalities.

[tags] Lake Minnetonka, Half Marathon, Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon [/tags]

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