In running there's nothing more exciting than having an unexpectedly great race, especially when the race is a tune-up for a goal race. On Saturday morning I went into the Dr. Fetzer Memorial 20k with three goals:
1. Break 1:25
2. Get a good stimulus for aerobic improvement
3. Use my time to set my goal pace for the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon on May 8th.
I went out with a 6:30 mile, which was uphill for about a quarter-mile. The next mile brought us back down hill and I ran it in 6:18. When I hit the lap button on the Garmin 305 and saw 6:18 I thought either I was going to pay for that mile later or I was in better shape than I thought.
After around 3 miles I caught a guy in front of me who was in triathlete gear and we chatted for a bit. We ran in silence for a while and than we started chatting when he asked me what my goal was. His name was Kam and he was looking to run 6:20 - 6:30 miles and I told him I was looking for 6:30 - 6:50. As we were talking about our goals and what races we'd ran I realized I was talking pretty comfortably and could probably run faster. Two guys passed us and they were going pretty quick. When a guy in gray passed us I was feeling pretty fresh so I decided to try and go with him.
I stayed with the guy for about a mile and then on a bridge he sped up right before we passed these two women (the women started 13 minutes before the men). I got boxed in behind them. After I got around them I decided I was going to catch this guy again. He was maybe 20 meters ahead of me so I tried to gradually catch up to him. He didn't look overly speedy so I thought I could maybe throw a surge at him and try to lose him. That's when I dropped a 6:07 mile but he stayed right with me. He passed me at a water stop and I never did catch him again. I'm not sure what his name was so he either finished 40 seconds or a minute faster than me based on the results. I know he was close to catching another guy but I don't know if he ever did.
The 6:07 mile didn't kill me and I was able to finish strong for the last several miles. I wasn't able to run another fast mile, but I was very happy with my time. On to the goals.
Goal number one, running under 1:25, was a success--in fact, I smashed goal #1. Demolished it, destroyed it, and kicked it in the head. I ran 1:19:53--6:26 miles. Goal number two was also a success--definitely a good aerobic stimulus for training.
Goal number three, using the 20k to set a goal pace for the May 8th marathon, I'm not so sure about. According to McMillian's running calculator a 1:19:53 is equivalent to a sub-three hour marathon. That's awfully fast. I was only shooting for sub-3:10. Maybe now I'll shoot for sub-3:05 and see what happens from there.
This weekend was a busy weekend. After the 20k I went to beautiful Frontenac State Park and did some volunteer work clearing trails. It was gorgeous out there and I wished I'd brought my camera.
Today (Sunday) my wife and I headed to Lewiston, MN and ran the Fool's 5. It was Laura's fourth year running this race. It was my first and I ran with her for the first couple of miles before finishing up with some easy 8 minute miles. I used the 5 mile race as part of a 7 mile training run to get a good start at my peak training week for the marathon.
I finished this week with just over 48 miles. I was shooting for 50 this week but decided it didn't make sense to push it on Thursday and Friday and sacrifice a strong race effort on Saturday. Life gets busy sometimes so you just got to do what you can.
Next week I'll shoot for 60+ miles and that should be the most before the marathon in May.
Here are some shots of the Fetzer 20k:
Here I am behind my new friend Kam. I ran with him for a few miles after this:
The guy in the gray shirt passed me after this: