The Yukon Days mile and three mile races were both interesting in their own ways. I signed up for these races because they were cheap and I thought it'd be a fun way to get some speed work in. I don't know if I really got any speed work in--I ran the mile in 7:10 (7:11 official) and the 3 mile at a 7:51 pace (officially 8:33 but more on that later). The race was run on frozen White Bear Lake. The mile was a simple out and back around some cones and the 3 mile was a triangle route.
The mile race was first, and of the two races I enjoyed the mile much more. First of all, the course was super-simple. All we had to do was run to some cones, turn around them, and run back. The footing at the beginning of the race was tough--it's snowed a couple of inches in the last few days so there was maybe 2 1/2" of fresh, unpacked snow on top of the ice. Yak Trax helped but not a ton.
The pace was really slow at the beginning--I was planning on tailing the leaders so they'd pack the snow for me, but after maybe 400m I decided we were going too slow and turned myself into a human snow plow. By the time I turned around I was maybe 15m ahead of the next runner. A pickup had driven out to the turnaround to put the 1/2 mile split time up so I ran in its tracks for the next quarter mile or so, even though it meant running a little farther than a mile.
No one made a move to try to catch me at the end so I was able to finish without breaking into a sprint. Even though I was running at slower than half marathon pace it was still pretty tough, even in the pickup tracks. I finished first out of 99 other runners who also thought it'd be fun to run a race on a frozen lake.
The 3 mile didn't go so hot. My legs were pretty tired from the mile, but I decided to go for another win. At the mile turn I was about 30m behind the leader and 3rd place was quite a ways behind me. The leader kept pulling away from me as we moved toward the 2 mile turn, but as we approached the turn he slowed, then turned around and asked if I knew where to go because the cones were placed kind of funny. I pointed at a tall cone I believed was the 2 mile marker but he thought we needed to go to the right where there were some cones off to the side. I followed him, unfortunately, and we ended up adding over a quarter mile on with that little detour. Somehow he came back and finished 2nd male, 4th overall. I tried to catch back up to the dozen or so people who went the right way, but after passing a couple of guys the next few looked like they were too far so I just slowed down and figured I didn't care any more. Result: 6th place, 4th in men's division. I don't think I would have been able to catch the guy leading most of the way, but my time at 3 miles on my Garmin was faster than the young lady who ended up first overall. Oh well.
Here's the Garmin proof of how I got 6th instead of 2nd. Notice the spot right by mile 2 at the top.
Oh well. Here's my workouts for the week:
16.1 miles with last 4 at HMP (7:01/mi)
4.2 miles easy
7.6 miles including speedwork of 3 X 1 mile @ 6:15-6:25 with 2 minute recovery
5.2 miles easy w/8 X 10 second hill sprints
6.2 miles easy
4.7 miles easy
5.3 miles including 1 mile and 3 mile races
Next week: goal of 49 miles
A shot from the Yukon Days 1 mile: