Tag Archives: Stone Arch Bridge

Marathon Training: Week 14

Image from stock.xchn.

Only a few more weeks to go and I think the fall weather has finally arrived.  I ran what was hopefully my last “hot” run on Monday.  It is amazing how much the temps have dropped through the week.  Monday morning was 70 and the temps barely broke 70 for the rest of the week! This was also the first week back for students at school so that was a little added stress but overall a very good week.

Monday: 4-6 miles. On Labor Day I did a random 6 mile route that took me downtown and across the Stone Arch Bridge and down to the river on some random trails I hadn’t done before.  I took it pretty easy and ran in 50:23.  It was 70 with high humidity. My stomach was a little upset and my legs a little tired from the 20 miler still.

Tuesday: 8-10 mile progression run. We met at Lake Harriet for our group 10 mile progression run.  We ran around Lake Harriet for a warm-up, did Calhoun to Isles at Marathon Pace, did the entire Isles at half-marathon pace and then the short side of Calhoun at 10K pace.  We hit each pace a little fast, so the overall 9.82 miles in 1:11:14 was actually at 7:15 or marathon pace.  The Marathon Pace segment was 2.54 miles in 18:19 or 7:12 pace.  The Half-Marathon Pace segment was 2.63 miles in 17:36 or 6:42 pace.  The 10K Pace segment was 1.43 miles in 8:48 or 6:10 pace.  I was quite pleased with the workout and how I felt overall at the end.  The 10K segment hurt but I never felt my pace was out of control. It was in the mid-60’s for the run.

Wednesday: 5-7 mile recovery run.As always when I run on Weds in the morning I am pretty tired and sore from last night’s workout.  This 3.5 mile run at Powderhorn Park was no different.  My left achilles and right ankle were a little tight, so I enjoyed running a lot of the run on grass and was glad to get home and ice! I ran it in 30:16 and with the 52 temp I was wearing long sleeves!

Thursday: Rest Day! I nice day of rest.  I didn’t do anything today except work and lounge around at home!

Friday: 6 mile run. This was a nice easy run along the Greenway.  I felt comfortable the entire 6 miles.  I went east for the first time in awhile.  It was 53 and sunny, so I wore a long sleeve shirt again and by the end I was getting pretty warm. I finished in 46:59.

Saturday: 10-12 miles. Because of tomorrow’s race I didn’t want to run today, however the training group was getting a 30% discount at Marathon Sports after the morning run.  So, I rode my bike there and bought a few items and rode home.  It was a scenic ride down the Greenway and around Lake Calhoun and Harriet.

Sunday: Cross-Training. I raced a 25K this morning instead of cross-training.  This was the last race of the USATF series and a beautiful morning.  I set out to run marathon pace and instead ran a very nice 1:48:40 or 7 minute pace and PRing in the half-marathon.  Stay tuned for more about the race!

Weekly Mileage:

Running: 40.9 miles

Biking: 33 miles

Hal’s Tip of the Week: Too much racing can compromise your marathon training. In the marathon training class in Chicago, we used to recommend that students race no more than three out of the 18 weekends at distances between 10-K and 25-K. Now we don’t recommend any racing out of fear of injury. Races, nevertheless, can help you determine your fitness level and help select you predict marathon pace. Here’s a handy formula for predicting marathon time. Multiply your 10-K time by 4.66. (For instance, 40:00 for 10-K predicts 3:06:40 for the marathon.) First-timers, however, should take a more conservative approach and multiply 10-K time by a factor of 5. (For instance, 50:00 for 10-K predicts 4:10 for the marathon.) By choosing the more conservative formula, and starting more slowly, you’re less likely to hit the wall.

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

Week 14

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Running the Minneapolis Riverfront

One of my newer favorite places to run is along the Minneapolis Riverfront. It is about 1.5 miles from my house which makes it a good place to run for any distance run, plenty of scenery with the Mississippi River, cobblestone streets, dirt trails, mill ruins, and much more.  From my house I also get to run by the Metrodome – where the Vikings and Twins play.

The official riverfront website describes the area:

The Minneapolis Riverfront District is many things to many people. To some, it’s a giant archaeological dig. To others, its a playground of dining and nightlife. And to yet others, it is a maze of beautiful parks and trails.

The picture is from a recent 10 mile run and you can see a more detailed map of the area. I often run this route in the other direction crossing over the Stone Arch Bridge first.  On this particular run I never actually crossed the bridge since I extended it and ran through the University of Minnesota.

Surface Type Before I take you on a tour of the above route a quick note about running surface.  Most of the run is on some type of hard surface – road or sidewalk. Along much of the West River Parkway you can find a single track cow path that has been worn into the dirt between the walking and biking trails.  There is a section on the west side of the river there is a short section of dirt trail that follows a small cove. Crossing the bridges provides some elevation change, otherwise it is mostly flat.  After crossing over the river you can run on grass and dirt trails for awhile as you jump onto Boom Island and cross over onto Nicollet Island.  After a short period of dirt trails at the beginning and end of the Island the rest of the run is on sidewalks or roads.  This might be one of the best runs from my house for getting off the hard surfaces.

Step-by-Step Guide to the Sights and Trails There are a ton of things to see along the way. The downtown skyline is always present in your view. But my route mostly skirts the downtown area running by the Metrodome, before turning onto West River Parkway. From here the trail splits, you can go straight down to the river (and come back up later) or stay up on the top of the bluff.  Either way you see the Guthrie Theater and Mill City Museum. You can cross the pedestrian/bicycle only Stone Arch Bridge or continue on the West side as we will do here. You are now running along the St Anthony Falls Heritage Trail, which takes you into First Bridge Park before the trail crosses the Hennepin Ave Bridge.  We’ll stay on the West River Parkway and run past the Federal Reserve Building and through a stretch of turtle trail.  Lots of turtles are scored into the sidewalk on this stretch. From here you begin to run under a lot of trees and a more natural scenery.  You can stay on the paved trail or take a short detour on a dirt trail that follows the little inlet with two bridge to choose from (I prefer the shorter one because it makes a better loop) and can continue along the trail until it forces you back up into a little park area.  A nice benefit of running the Riverfront is the ample supply of water and occasional port-a-potties! Both have come in handy. Finally, we get to cross the river via the Plymouth Ave Bridge which drops you onto Boom Island.

Unfortunately, Boom Island is no longer an island, but hosts a nice park which includes a lighthouse and access to several riverboats. There is a paved trail that cuts through the park, but I prefer running in the grass along the river, this adds distance and also keeps you on softer surfaces longer.  You’ll eventually get to the Boom-Nicollet Island Pedestrian Bridge which is a cool old-school bridge onto Nicollet Island. Follow this dirt trail until it comes out on the road.  Here you can complete the short side of the island or double backon the road to get a longer and more scenic section. Running along Island Ave will take you along the river but also through some very nice residential sections before going under the Hennepin Ave Bridge and into Nicollet Island Park. I recommend continuing along the river’s edge around the tip of the island and crossing over the wooden Merriam St Bridge. As you cross over this bridge you almost enter another time period as you enter the cobblestone streets of Historic St Anthony Main. Running along this bridge also puts you back onto the St Anthony Falls Heritage Trail. If you want you can go explore the Hennepin Island Hydro-electric plant, but I’d save it for another day.  I’ve never noticed signs for Pillsbury Park, but it is on the map, Father Hennepin Park is well marked and takes you back away from the road.  Somewhere along this stretch you have the option of following the “Lower Trail” section which takes a lot of stairs down to the river. (I wouldn’t recommend taking the lower trail, it is a bunch of steps that lead down to the river – it is neat, but not really worth the effort on a run). As you come up to the Bandstand grab a quick drink of water and make an important decision.  You can cross over the Stone Arch Bridge and complete the loop or head up 6th Ave SE and do some other running. I’ve seen runners do multiple loops along the Riverfront so give that a thought too.  As of this writing you can see the finishing touches being put on the new 35W Bridge from the Stone Arch Bridge or by running up to the 10th Ave Bridge which is just south of where you are currently contemplating.

Whatever you end up deciding this is a fun run to do and gives you a good taste of Minneapolis.  The route as I’ve described it is approximately 4.5 miles long starting at 11th Ave S and W River Parkway and ending at the parking lot on the West end of the Stone Arch Bridge.

All of this is also part of the Mississippi National River Park and Recreation Area.

I should give credit to AEngelsrud for pointing this loop out to me via Twitter.

[tags] Minneapolis, Riverfront, Minneapolis Riverfront, Mississippi River, Tourism, Running [/tags]

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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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