Category Archives: USATF

Race Review: MDRA 15K

Sunday was an excellent, pretty much perfect day for a race. I woke up a little tired from seeing the in-laws off last night and slowly worked out some of the kinks on the warm-up.  The temps were right around 60 – which almost felt cold! It was great.

The MDRA 15K is the state masters and open 15K championship as well as being part of the USATF-MN Team Circuit.  So needless to say there was some competition at the front! It otherwise would be a fairly small race which included a 5K.  The 15K saw 9 new records this year! According to the final results the winning time was 48:00 a little bit off my official time of 63:24 which is a 15K PR.  This is also my first road 15K, the rest were all part of the DINO Series in Indiana.  I finished 4th on our team this week.

It was a good race – we started about 400m in front of the 5K start, so each loop was a little over 5K. I’m very pleased with my race, I finished approximately on the same pace as last week’s 10K. The race started towards the top of one of the major hills along the course and finished behind the start at the bottom of the hill, ensuring an overall elevation loss.  The course while on the road was fairly scenic winding through Braemar Park, a residential area, and along I-494 and US 169. The first mile was mostly downhill winding past the indoor driving range and parts of the golf course.  The road actually went through the golf course where mile 1 was located. I decided today to hit the split button on my Garmin so I could actually read my mile splits and not have to do the math in my head! This produced a little discrepency since the mile markers were a little off according to Garmin.  I’ll list the split times I clicked.  6:24 for mile 1. I felt pretty good with that split but thought it would be best to slow down a little so that I wasn’t totally wiped out at the end of the race. It was a little hard to let a pack go, but I new it was the smart thing to do.  I continued cruising along as we went through the residential section hit a couple small hills and grabbed some water along the way.  I remained comfortable and ran mostly by myself coming through mile 2 in 6:38. We have left the scenic portion and ran the next mile mostly on frontage roads alongside the interstate so not too exciting.  We also hit the first major hill of the course along this stretch.  The hill wasn’t steep enough to make you winded but it was a fairly long steady uphill. The downhill felt good as we came back by the parking area, crowds, and water stops.  I came through mile 3 in 6:54. The first 5K was 20:29.

Up the hill we go passing the starting line.  I got a couple people on this long steady hill, even though I was trying to keep the pace under wraps. We wound back down the hill and two guys came by at a decent pace.  I decided to go with them for awhile thinking they would help pull me up to the next big pack.  We never caught the pack and I stayed with them for a mile or so.  Mile 4 was 6:50. They didn’t really help my overall pace too much as I’d let them go a little bit and then surge to catch back up. This got a little tiring and finally they just pulled away as we went back into the residential area and hit the small hills. I grabbed some water again and went through mile 5 in 6:49. Back up the long frontage road hill, still feeling pretty solid along the way. I caught a few people on the hill even though I remained at a steady pace.  i came through mile 6 in 6:56. And through the 10K in 41:36 (that 5K was 21:07). That split was actually faster than last week’s 10K and only 8 seconds off my 10K PR. Wow!!

Somewhere in here a woman came into the picture – I can’t remember if she passed me or if I caught up to her.  But going back up the hill I was able to put some distance on her even though I remained at a steady pace.  She caught back up to me heading back down the hill though and we continued battling the rest of the race.  It was nice to have a little motivation to keep pushing hard. I came through mile 7 in 6:58. I remained in front but she was right there and I could here her breathing and footsteps as we hit some of the small hills in the neighborhood.  I figured if I could keep her behind me I would be fine, but didn’t want to get into a kicking match too far out.  I was finally starting to feel the pain of the miles and some pain in my right buttocks.  I came through mile 8 in 7:01. I skipped the final water stop and focused on pushing through – there was a pack a few hundred yards ahead of me.  I started trying to focus on them but also kept an ear out for the woman behind me.  She did pass me coming out onto the frontage road and I stayed right with her.  As we started climbing the hill I started picking up the pace a little bit and was able to go by her pretty easily.  Along the way I caught a Slab City runner and kept picking up the pace or at least the intensity. I came through mile 9 in 6:53. 3/10ths of a mile is a pretty long way to kick and I had no idea what she might try to do so as soon as I saw the 9 mile marker I started picking up the pace and steadily increasing it.  I came through the last 0.3 miles in 1:55 (5:57 pace).  The final time was 1:03:23 (1:03:24 officially) with the last 5K at 21:46. Not even splits but not too much of a spread either, in my opinion.

I felt good and felt like I recovered pretty quickly.  The woman I was racing, Laurie Hanscom finished 9 seconds behind me, so I waited and thanked her for a good race and told her she did a good job. I joined some of the other guys on the team to cheer our female teammates on to the finish.  I finished 58th overall and Laurie finished 4th overall for the women.  I can’t complain too much about the day.

I finished it off with a chiropractic treatment, chiropractors in Franklin.  At first I thought it was a massage which would have felt great on my tight lower back.  I decided to go ahead and give it a try since it was free! It was my first time and was a different feeling.  I think I will stick to massages for now!

All in all a good day!

[tags] MDRA, 15K, Race Review, Edina, USATF [/tags]

Zemanta Pixie

Olympic Trials Follow-up

It seems like a lot of time has passed since the Olympic Track Trials ended a few weeks ago and we now find ourselves about halfway between their ending and the beginning of the actual Olympic games.  For the athletes there is still a lot of training to accomplish for the races ahead.

There were so many people covering the trials that you could sit comfortably at home on your couch and watch or read coverage almost non-stop.  Some of the sites I follwed were Runnerville, The Final Sprint, 3000 Miles to the Trials, NBC Olympics, and Josh Cox.

I’d like to highlight a view videos that I’ve found since the trials that I think are pretty good or relevant.

This is one with Ryan Hall after the marathon trials in November. Unfortunately, it wasn’t embeddable into the post, so follow the link and watch.

This is a somewhat funny video by Joe Cebulski. You probably have never heard of Joe but he graduated a year or two before I went to Taylor so we almost ran together! He competed in the Decathlon and placed 18th. (NBC doesn’t like to embed their videos, sorry).

I’ll end this tribute with a video of the 800.  As a former 800m runner I know the joy and pains of the race. I never would have thought about diving to the finish – but I also was never a few hundredths of a second away from going to the Olympics! So enjoy!

[tags] Olympics, Joe Cebulski, Ryan Hall, Christian Smith, Olympic Trials [/tags]

Race Review: USATF-MN 5000m Championships

This Sunday race is part of the USATF-MN Team Circuit and was also part of a bigger USATF-MN Championship track meet. This would be the first time I’ve raced on a track since I graduated from college in 2003. It brought back a flood of memories from the tons of track meets that I competed in during junior high, high school, and college. It was in the low 60’s but with pretty high humidity the weather wasn’t exactly perfect for a race. The race was held at Hamline University’s Klas Field. The 9-lane mondo track was well used the weekend as the MSHSL Championships (Minnesota State High School League) were held there over the weekend.

We did a warm-up and then sat around and waited. The officials weren’t really in too much of a hurry and the meet was behind schedule pretty much from the beginning. It opened with a 5K race walk with 2 competitors before the women’s 5K and then the Men’s Master’s 5k. The Men’s Open 5K was next followed by a 3 person heat of the 100m hurdles and then the 1500.

One highlight of the meet was that Carrie Tollefson competed in the 1500 trying to get her Olympic “A” standard. She need a 4:10 but ran a 4:19 – still an impressive showing. She had a rabbit pull her through 800 meters and then was left to finish by herself. There was a slight headwind on the homestretch. It was fun to watch her run and then to see her wait around to congratulate the rest of the runners! A couple of her Team USA – Minnesota teammates were there to cheer her on.

Back to my race! I went in with no expectations having done no speed work in a long time and having done a 10-miler the day before. I knew I was going to get lapped several times since my PR is 18 and change. But my team needed me to compete so that we could score – so I took one for the team!

I did some math and decided that I would try and run 90 second quarters which is a 6:02 pace and would translate to a 18:44 5K. So I thought I would try that and hopefully break 19 minutes. Sadly that didn’t happen. I was proud of myself for showing great restraint and not pushing the first quarter too hard. I was pretty much on pace through the first half of the race so that was good. A runner from the Slab City racing team came by and asked what I was hoping to run and said that is what he was planning. He offered to trade laps which sounded good with the slight headwind. It was 2 laps in when he went by so I sat behind him for 2 laps and then went around him, but he came back by after another lap and pulled away. I had started to drop the pace slightly by that point but only a second or two a lap!

Here are my 400 splits:

  1. 1:23
  2. 1:31
  3. 1:31
  4. 1:32 – 5:58 mile
  5. 1:32
  6. 1:34
  7. 1:39
  8. 1:42 – 12:27 through 2 miles (6:29 mile)
  9. 1:39
  10. 1:42
  11. 1:42
  12. 1:35 – 19:08 through 3 miles (6:38 mile)
  13. 0:43 – last 200

If you aren’t familiar with a 5K on the track you start at the 200 meter mark and then run 12.5 laps. Each person/team or coach does the counting differently. Some people take the 200 off the beginning so that each mile is calculated at the finish line, while others do it the way I did and count it at the end. It was a little easier that way since they were calling out the time at the 200 mark.

Not a lot to report since it was round and round ya go! They didn’t have any water available which didn’t surprise me too much. It was an $8 entry and all I have to show for it is a plain bib! Some of the other guys got awards and some of the women’s team did too.

It was a good day all in all. Don’t think I would do it again unless I had done more specific training.

[tags] USATF-MN, 5000m Championships, Hamline [/tags]

Race Day: TC 1 Mile

As I said last week the mile is a very different distance to race and one I haven’t done in a long time. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the $10,000 time bonus for breaking 4:00 but then again no one else did either! The event was well supported with aid stations every mile!

Ok, seriously though! Thursday was a beautiful day but as it got closer to evening it looked like it might rain and the temperatures dropped. Walking from the car to packet pickup I was chilly in my t-shirt and shorts but once we started warming up I wasn’t cold again until leaving the restaurant on the way home!

We did a couple mile warm-up while watching some of the first waves start. There were 8 waves, starting with a mass wave followed by four 10 year age groups, then the USATF Championship wave, women elite and finally the male elite wave. Since this is a USATF Circuit race I ran with the MDRA team in the USATF Championship Wave.

There isn’t a lot to report in a mile race! The course started alongside Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis on Willow Street before turning left onto 14th Street and finally turning onto Nicollet Ave for the majority of the mile. The quarter mile was marked with duct tape at the corner of 14th and Lasalle Ave with someone yelling this is the quarter. The half mile was marked with a digital clock near the corner of 13th and Nicollet. There may have been a 3/4 mark but I didn’t see it, the mark would have been at about 10th St. The race ended outside of M&I Bank, major race sponsor between 6th and 7th Streets on Nicollet.

For those unfamiliar with Nicollet, after 13th St it becomes a transportation mall with a fairly narrow street lined on either side with downtown restaurants and businesses. Several of the restaurants were designated cheer zones and there was a lot of crowd support in the last half mile.

My Garmin said there was a net elevation gain of 62 ft. I’m not going to bank on its accuracy (look at the map, I’m sure I didn’t zigzag!) But it was more uphill than flat or downhill in my opinion – I don’t think it was noticeable but gradual.

Now to my actual race – not sure what to do I went out hard running almost 100% and was probably in oxygen debt before the 1/4 mile mark. Garmin says I went through in 1:15. I didn’t know my time until the half mile which I thought said 2:33, my Garmin says it was 2:41. The 2nd 1/4 time was 1:26. I was starting to hurt pretty good and was feeling the anaerobic nature of the event and lack of oxygen! But I kept pushing through, people were passing me and I tried not to let them! There were a few women ahead of me and I tried to get them – one past me somewhere in here – which upset me. In this almost sprint race there is less focus on externals as everything seems to flying by and my gaze was straight forward. I went through the 3rd 1/4 in 1:23. Somewhere in here I saw the finish line and put in a final push and as it neared I really kicked it in. I ended up passing a lot people in the last quarter – well maybe 5 or 6, including at least one woman. The final 1/4 was 1:20. My splits add up to 5:25, although officially my time was 5:27. It seems everyone’s times from the team were off by 2 seconds or so as well. It was chip-timed so I’m sure their time is accurate.

My final breakdown is 126th place with a 5:27 mile. 1:15, 1:26, 1:23, and 1:20. My slowest pace was 6:02 while I dropped into 4:30’s in the final kick! Team MDRA finished 6th with a combined time of 25:05 in the USATF results. I should have actually scored for the team but it looks like they made an error.

They had water bottles available at the finish area and I guess treats inside the M&I Building but we were more interested in watching the elites race than anything else. Kenyans Josephat Kithii and Rose Kosgei won the elite divisions, neither getting the bonus. Both did set new course records though! Check out Down the Backstretch or The Final Sprint for all the details!

Congrads to fellow teammates for their performances Kirk, Nate, Mike, and Colin.

[tags] TC Mile, Mile, Minnesota, USATF, Nicollet Mall [/tags]

One mile – $25,000

That is what is happening tonight in downtown Minneapolis at the Medtronic TC 1 Mile. A field including 2,600 average joes (or citizen runners) will compete before two waves of elite runners go for the gold. Well the gold in this case is $4,000 for the winners and a $10,000 bonus to the first male runner to go sub-4 and the first female to go sub-4:28. Can you do it?

This is part of the USATF circuit and I’m looking forward to racing a mile. It is an odd distance one that I have touched really since high school. Most of the college meets I was at only had the 1500 and since I was an 800 specialist I didn’t jump up much. How does one train for a mile race? Especially one that falls 3 weeks after a half-marathon and 2 weeks after a 10K. Who knows would be my answer! I did a lot of easy running with some strides so we’ll see what my body is capable of.

However there are a lot of athletes who are training for these middle distance events on the track and they will be in top form. The race has received a lot of publicity, especially since they have upped the ante with prize money. Race director Brian Mastel says, “The fields include two Olympians, a three-time NCAA Champion, an age group world record holder and nine men who have broken the four-minute barrier.”

12 men and 10 women will be competing in the elite fields including:

Joining two-time champion of the event, Luke Watson, will be Team USA Minnesota runner Brad Lowery, in addition to former Team USA Minnesota runner, Ryan Kleimenhagen. The field also includes two runners who’ve recently been added to the list of sub-four minute milers, Steve Sherer, ranked second in the United States at the mile indoors and Jordan Fife, ranked 6th in the United States at the mile indoors, as well as several runners from Kenya, including Haron Lagat, Vincent Rono, Josephat Kithii, Eliud Njubi, and Benson Chesang.
The women’s field will feature 2004 Olympian Carrie Tollefson, her Team USA Minnesota teammate Emily Brown, former NCAA 1500 meter champion Tiffany McWilliams, and the top returning runner from last year’s race, Colleen Newhart. This year’s race will also have a strong international field with such runners as, Rose Kosgei, Margaret Chirchir, Meskerem Legesse, and Marina Munca.

Two of the runners are from Indiana: Luke Watson and Jordan Fife and three from Minnesota: Brad Lowery, Carrie Tollefson, and Rasa Troup.

It should be a fun night! Hopefully i won’t be so exhausted after my race that I will get to enjoy watching the elite race.  Waves start at 6:50pm with the championship male wave at 7:58.

HT: Down the Backstretch The Final Sprint Cool Running

[tags] mile, Medtronic, TC One Mile [/tags]