Tag Archives: University of Minnesota

Race Plan: Brian Kraft 5k

Image from Down the Backstretch

The next race in the USATF-MN series is the Brian Kraft 5k around Lake Nokomis. It should be a very fast race.  Last year it was won in 14:47 by Jeremy Polson and 16:52 by Rasa Troup.

My post-collegiate 5k PR is 18:19 at the 2003 Jersey Shore 5k.  During which I cramped with a half-mile to go placing 2nd.  I’m not in the type of speed shape.  My most recent 5k was the Giving Thanks 5k from Thanksgiving where I ran a 20:01.  Based on my TC 1 Mile time, McMillan says I should be able to run a 18:49 (6:03).

That seems a little un-realistic.  I think I’ll shoot for a 19:30 which is a 6:15 pace.  I’ve not done much speed work lately so we’ll see how that goes!

About the Race

This is the 12th edition of the race hosted by the USATF-MN chapter. All proceeds from the race benefit the Arnold S Leonard Cancer Research Fund which supports cancer research at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Arnold Leonard has

devoted himself entirely to cancer research in genetic engineering, boosting the immune system with human interleukin-2 gene, boosted by the use of very high antioxidant oils. An Endowed Scholar Chair has been placed in Dr. Leonard’s name in the Surgery Department at the University of Minnesota, and he has also received the Wangensteen Award for Academic Excellence. Dr. Leonard belongs to all the major surgical societies, and continues to lecture throughout the world on the importance of the immune system and its relationship to cancer plus the importance of nutraceuticals as synergistic to the genetic engineering experiments in reducing cancer. He has written over 250 articles and books.

Who is Brian Kraft?

From the race website:

Brian Kraft was an enthusiastic and talented runner from Bemidji, Minnesota. His running career was cut short at the age of 19 with the discovery of Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in his back. Brian lived with cancer for 15 years, undergoing chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and countless surgical procedures.

Throughout the years, Brian continued to run. He ran the lakes and parkways and raced with the local running crowd. In spite of all that life threw his way, he kept a positive attitude. Brian attributed his strength in his fight against cancer to his love of running and to the work of his long-time friend, Dr. Arny Leonard.

Two more detailed stories are available.  The first is a 2007 article originally published in the Minnesota Running and Track magazine, now available a doc file here.  The second is a blog post by the same author at Down the Backstretch, a local blog.

[tags] Brian Kraft Memorial 5k, 5k, Brian Kraft, Cancer [/tags]

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U of MN Conducting Study

The University of Minnesota is looking for runners to take part in a research study to help find out more information about how runner’s process insulin and the impact that might have for persons with diabetes.  Here is their official advertisement:

Subject: Looking for volunteers in a University of Minnesota Study on Fat effects on Muscle metabolism

We are currently looking for volunteers to evaluate the effects of fat infusion on muscle metabolism and glucose usage. We are interested in subjects ages 18-45 who are participating in a regular running program and are otherwise in good health as well as subjects ages 18-45 who are not exercising regularly and are otherwise in good health.

The study will involve 3 outpatient visits to the University of Minnesota  and will involve measurement of running capacity (Vo2 max) 3) Measurement of body fat and lean muscle 4) Measurement of the body’s ability to use glucose (insulin resistance) with an insulin infusion. 5) Measurement of the muscle fat content and energy capacity using muscle biopsy before and after a fat infusion.  Three  muscle biopsies will be involved (1 from 1 leg, 2 from the other leg). Each biopsy will be roughly the size of 2 pencil erasers.

Compensation will be provided.

If interested, please email endores@umn.edu

After conducting the initial screening interview I declined to participate in the study.  I’m posting it here to see if anyone else might be interested.  It sounds like an important study but I felt that the slight risks and timing weren’t a wise move for me in 2009, especially given the amount of compensation involved ($300 for over 12 hours of “work”).

[tags] Diabetes, Research, Running [/tags]

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Race Review: Rocky’s Run 8k

The Rocky’s Run 5k & 8k brought back a lot of college memories for me.  I’ve done a lot of trail races since college, but this is the first “cross country” race.  So many things about it were similar to a cross country meet.

Location – a golf course, we ran on a few golf courses throughout my career, most notably the Notre Dame Invitational.

Format – this event was a 5k and 8k.  The women’s USATF race was the 5k and the men’s was the 8k – just like in college.  NCAA men run a 10k championship race, my alma mater was NAIA so we stayed at the 8k all year.

Weather – this was like an early season race, warm and sunny! My first collegiate 8k was at Purdue on an extremely hot morning.

Team – This was part of the USATF Team XC series.  We cheered for our female teammates (and Kirk who ran the double so he could score in the Grand Prix) and they cheered for us. All of the other factors heightened the team feeling.

Ok, but what about the race? This was my hardest workout since Twin Cities so I pretty much had no expectations going into it.  When you have no expectations you can come out happy! I ran a 34:40 which is just at 7 minute pace and we actually cut off a little piece of the course.  How does a golf cart mislead the race leaders?? I finished 44/87, just missing the top 50%. But I was a 1:20 faster than the average!

The course was fairly hilly, nothing major but lots of little ups and downs that wear on you over 5 miles.  The course had a lot of turns and made numerous loops (see picture).  Since this was my first year here I had no idea where in the world we would be going next, except for seeing the string of people ahead of me, occasionally.

I think I may have been a little dehyrdated.  The sunny conditions took some out of me.  The nicest thing though was how short the race felt compared to the marathon. And the rest of the day I wasn’t sore or tired.  What a nice feeling.  It did help that I had an hour to lounge around after the race talking with Nathan and Mike, while we waited for AAA to retrieve Nathan’s car keys for him!

Another little highlight of the morning was the fact that the Rocky’s Run raises money for the University of Minnesota’s Women’s Cross Country Team‘s scholarship fund. After the 5k it was announced that their Varsity team won Big Ten Championships! You can read more about the story of Rocky here.

[tags] Rockys Run, University of Minnesota, XC [/tags]

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Marathon Training: Week 11

A pretty good week that ended with my longest run ever! I definitely started to feel the load of building up the miles this week though, especially on the hills.  The weather has been great for pretty much all the runs so that is really nice.

Monday:4-6 easy miles. 5 mile recovery run. It was nice and slow as I was feeling yesterday’s race. I ran around Powderhorn Park doing laps around the lower level until I got to 3.5 so that I would hit 5 on the way home.  I finished the run in 42:05. The temperature was around 60 with high humidity, but it was cool enough that the humidity wasn’t much of a factor.

Tuesday:8-10 miles with hills. 8.6 miles at Hyland Hills again. This time we didn’t run up the ski hill, but it didn’t matter too much because my body was quite tired.  I really felt all of the previous hillwork and racing on hills during the run.  Hyland is a great place to run because it has a lot of options for hills and flat spots too. 1:08:30 was our overal time on a pretty good evening to run.  We got the run in between some major deluges, so it was pretty humid and around 75. Surprisingly the trails weren’t really that wet.

Wednesday: 5-7 easy miles. I had planned to run 6 miles today but ended up only running 4.  I felt pretty wiped out and didn’t want to push it too hard.  I was suffering a little bit from Olympic sleep deprivation and this run is always pretty tough anyways. I did my Downtown via Park 4 mile loop in 33:22.  It was a nice 61 degrees but 94% humidity made for a nice sweaty run! I seemed to hit a lot of red lights today – which I didn’t complain too much about!

Thursday:Rest Day. I did a pretty good job of resting, but I did bike commute 8.6 miles, but I tried to keep it at an easier pace.

Friday:10 miles. A nice 10 miler to start the weekend off! It really would have been nice to get out on some trails but I did what has become my normal Friday loop of running around the Minneapolis Riverfront – Boon Island, Nicollet Island, and the W River Parkway.  I tacked on some miles running through the University of Minnesota East Bank Campus and made it home in 1:22:20 for the run.  I wanted it to be an easy run as the 20 miler loomed on Saturday, so that definitely fit the bill. It was in the low 60’s and humid for this run as well!

Saturday:18-20 miles. Ta dah, my longest run ever and the route-maker made it a little long, thanks Nathan! Couldn’t have asked for a better day for this run and a great group of about 10 people to run with for it.  We ran almost the entire first half of the Twin Cities Marathon Course and got a waterstop provided by the marathon. We ended up running 21 miles around the Lakes for a pretty decent run.  We finished in 2:45:22 before it got too hot.  Temps started in the mid 60’s and were in the mid-70’s when I got home. We felt the heat on some of the exposed areas around the Lakes but much of the run was shaded! I felt good for the first half and struggled more in the second.  After the last stop at 17.5 I started feeling bad for awhile (I had taken too much water) and finished valiantly with a long slow uphill in the last mile. My hip flexors and toes hurt the worst!

Sunday: Cross-Training. I rode my bike to the YWCA and swam a total of 400 yards.  I did my best Phelps impersonation and failed miserably! I did swim 200 yards without stopping – alternating freestyle and backstroke.  I didn’t feel too sore upon waking up so that is a really good thing! It was nice to sit in the hot tub though!

Weekly Mileage Totals:

Running – 48.6 miles

Biking – 52.2 miles

Swimming – 400 yards

Tip of the Week: Occasional racing may be important for marathon success. Particularly this is true for Novice runners who have raced infrequently–or not at all–before catching the Marathon Bug. One reason for racing is to test your fitness: to get an idea of how fast a pace you will be able to carry in the marathon. Another is to test all your strategies from the shoes you’ll wear to grabbing fluids at water stations. Leave nothing to chance. Too much racing, however, can lead to overtraining, so don’t overdo it.

Week 11

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

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