Monday, August 8, 2011

Minnesota Half Marathon Pace Report and Wedding Weekend Fun!

I had a crazy weekend with a lot going on, including a good amount of running. I also, unfortunately, broke my streak of consecutive days of 10 mile or more runs. I'm not too upset about it and although I was feeling pretty strong with all the 10 milers I think taking a break this past Friday did me some good.

Like I said, my weekend was crazy. On Thursday night we had a wedding rehearsal in the Twin Cities then drove an hour to Rochester for another wedding--my sister-in-law's--on Friday. We got there about 11:00 PM Thursday and I was planning on getting my 10 mile run in before 9 AM on Friday. Unfortunately I woke up at 6:45 AM feeling exhausted. I'd gotten up on Thursday morning at 4:10 AM to do a track workout with some MN Running Wild friends so I'd gotten about 5 hours of sleep Wednesday night and then had 6 or fewer hours of sleep Thursday night. It was Friday morning and I knew I had two more late nights coming, a race to pace on Saturday, and I felt tired and sick to my stomach. I decided to sleep another couple hours before wedding day brunch and thus ended my 10 mile streak.

We finished up the wedding on Friday night and headed back to the Twin Cities. Laura was in her friend's wedding and had to leave at 7 AM Saturday morning for all those festivities and I was pacing the Minnesota Half Marathon at 8 AM and had to leave at 6:30 AM for that so it was another short night of sleep. After warming up and chatting with the other pacers we waited for the inline skaters to get going and we were off.

It was another warm one but not as warm as Red Wing. The sky was overcast and I actually felt pretty good the whole race. There were more hills then Red Wing but nothing too terrible. I had a pretty decent-sized group the first 6 or 7 miles and then I had quite a few people take off ahead of me. It was a nice change to see people going for it rather than dropping runners as has been the case the last few events I've paced. It's nice to know I'm helping people start out conservatively so that can hit a good time.

I was pacing the 1:35 group--7:15 per mile. My mile splits were great with my fastest mile being 7:07 and my slowest mile at 7:23 (the last mile). Besides those two miles every other split was between 7:11 and 7:18. My group had broken apart completely at mile 10 or so with a couple taking off and a couple falling back. Around mile 12 I caught up to one of the runners who had started with me. He stayed with me a little bit and then sped off. At mile 12 I was 5 seconds fast according to my pace band, though according to my Garmin the last 1.1 miles were actually 1.15 miles so I was probably right on or a little slow at that point.

At 12 one of the course marshals told me I was close to the third place female and I could see her just ahead. I caught her with about 3/4 of a mile to go and slowed up for her a little bit. I told her we had 3/4 of a mile left and since I had no more pace group I would run her in. With about a quarter mile left I knew I was a little behind my pace and I was encouraging her to take off. She did and I let her go--I didn't think it'd be cool to stay while she was in third place. She finished several seconds ahead me.

As I finished the announcer said, "And here's a member of the MN Pacers finishing almost exactly on pace!" That was pretty cool to hear and my official time was 1:35:07. Not bad. I chatted with a MN Running Wild friend, Scott, who went and showed everyone up running the fastest pace group at 1:29:59. Color me impressed. I did a little cool down and finished with 15 miles for the day.

After a short nap it was time to go to the next wedding. We had a great time and I ate a ton of food. Fortunately we got to sleep in on Sunday morning which was good as I did a double running 7 miles around noon and then a 10 mile tempo run in the evening.

I'm racing the Gopher to Badger 1/2 Marathon on Saturday and then running in the Ragnar Relay in less then two weeks so I'm planning on cooling it a little bit--not tapering, just cutting back the mileage a hair. I'm hoping for a good time at Gopher to Badger as I haven't raced a 1/2 Marathon in over 18 months. If you read this long thanks for indulging in my long-windedness.


Nitmos said...

What are you shooting for at Gopher to Badger?

TCHusker - Nate said...

I think I'd like to go around 1:22. I'll probably write a post about it.