Tag Archives: Lake Nokomis

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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Marathon Training: Week 10

This was a pretty good week of training overall.  The weather finally cooperated for the most part with only a few humid days and many excellent nights.  My in-laws came in Monday night and left on Saturday night so we had plenty of touristy things to do around town.  We had a great hill workout on Tuesday followed by a PR in the 15K on Sunday!

Monday: Easy 4 miles. Four nice easy recovery miles on a cool but humid morning. It was 70 degrees again with like 90% humidity. I ran down Park Ave towards downtown and came home on the LRT Trail my Downtown-Park 4 Mile loop.  Its a good loop mixing in some scenery with the Metrodome and just being downtown! I ran it in 31:11.  I failed on the first attempt at Day 1 of Week 5 of push-ups.  So back to Week 4 for me!

Tuesday: 8-10 miles with hills. I finally started bike commuting again this week so that has been fun! With the marathon training class actually meeting in south Minneapolis I was even able to ride to class which felt great! We met at Lake Nokomis and then ran to the Ford Dam on the Mississippi River for a hill repeat workout.  It was in the low 80’s without a lot of humidity so a pretty good day for a tough workout. From our starting point to the bottom of the hill it was just under 2 miles. We then proceeded to run up a 1/4 mile hill 10 times! My Garmin says it was like a 10% grade without 70 ft of elevation gain (Does that sound right?), but the Garmin’s elevation profiles are notoriously off. I do know that we ran up the hill 10 times and here are my splits: 1:37, 1:32, 1:30, 1:27, 1:23, 1:36, 1:34, 1:31, 1:34, and 1:15.  This was a fun workout not only having the guys I normally run with but also having the entire training class running up and down the hill passing each other all the time – it was a good “team building” workout.  We took our time jogging back to complete the 8.25 mile workout in 1:05:21.  Afterwards it was a quick swim in the lake before heading home on the bike for 23.5 miles of biking.  I was worn out, but luckily the National Night Out block party was still going on!

Wednesday: 5 easy miles. I thought I would be completly exhausted and worn out after so much excercie yesterday, but I didn’t feel too bad. In some ways I think biking like that helps clean out some of the toxins from my legs.  I did my push-ups before heading out and did 77 back on Week 4 Day 2. Yesterday evening I left the car at a tire shop to get a screw pulled out of the tire and fixed so I planned my run to end at the tire shop. It was a beautiful morning in the upper 60’s and it felt really nice despite the humidity.  I ran along the Greenway and ended the route perfectly at the shop for 5 miles in 40:45.

Thursday: Rest Day! This was a day of rest from running, but we spent a lot of time walking around.  My in-laws are visiting so we did some touristy things like visiting the Walker Art Center, wandering around St Paul, and much more.

Friday: 9 miles at race pace. I was still a little undecided about racing on Sunday or not but thought I should keep my options open and not run at race pace. I can always make it up later! I ended up running 9.5 miles with a starting temp of 61 and some nice breezes.  It was humid but the low temp kept most of it away! I ran the route that takes me downtown and makes a square around the river.  I added a little bit of distance by cross the Stone Arch Bridge twice and running along the East side of the river towards the Univ of MN before cutting back across on 10th Ave Bridge. The bridge seemed to take forever but it gave me plenty of time to look at the new 35W Bridge that is rapidly nearing completion. I took it nice and easy and could feel a little bit of the Tuesday workout. My overall run time was 1:17:45.  I did my push-ups before leaving again and managed to get 85 done for Week 4 Day 3.

Saturday: 10-12 miles. I took today off since I knew we’d be doing more walking and touristy stuff today and I’m planning to race on Sunday.

Sunday: Cross Training. 15K Race today in 1:03:22 unofficially.  It was the MDRA 15K which was a 3 lap course with some hills on a beautiful morning temps stayed around 60 the entire race.  Check back tomorrow for more details!

Weekly Totals:

Running – 36.1 miles

Biking – 24.5 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: Practice makes perfect. Practice not only running, but everything else related to race day. That includes equipment. Do you know what shoes you’ll wear on race day? Buy a new pair now! How about shorts and singlet? Test your clothing in training to make sure nothing chafes or causes a blister. Do you expect hot or cold weather race day? Weather can be unpredictable. Will you be prepared if the temperature suddenly drops (or rises) 30 degrees on race day? Consider every scenario you might encounter.

Week 10

[tags] Marathon Training, Hal Higdon [/tags]

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