Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Taking a Break: Med City Marathon and 5k

Nate and Nate before Nate dropped. <photocredit>
Hello Readers,

Thanks to all of you who've followed me--it doesn't matter if we've met, if you're a close friend, an accidental reader who's looking for an effective kidney stone treatment or cold remedy. However we've crossed paths--thank you for stopping by.

Thank you to all the Med City runners, friends, family members, and all the people who've run with me since this blog started and before it began. Rochester has been my adopted hometown in Minnesota, and runners from Nebraska, Minnesota, Tanzania, and all over the world have become my extended family.

Running is a coping mechanism, and the 1,100 miles I've put on my running shoes this season ended with a painful 5k, followed by dropping out of the Med City Marathon after 23 miles.

I'm out of commission for a while, but will go into some rest and recovery mode filled with inspiration. Med City was my first DNF. I consider it a badge of honor to know that my body was physically and mentally exhausted. Twenty three miles was a long way to run, and I knew it was time to stop.

Writing is magic. There's no way around that. You'll imagine what I try to describe to you, or I'll try to explain and you'll try to understand, and we'll meet somewhere in the middle.

The stories I've heard while pacing have made my life's journey easier, and the inspiration I've drawn from other runners has been invaluable.

In the meantime, here's a few of my favorite blog topics:

Kidney Stones 


Pace Reports

I'll be working on making this blog more useful, so check back now and then.

You're also welcome to come find me at my new nook of the web for awhile:

Twin Cities Runner Coaching

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Med City Marathon Pacing: It's Goal Time!

Thanks everyone who stopped by the pacer booth to say "hi." Especially thank you to the gentleman who stopped by to say "thank you."

I feel like Rochester is one of my adopted home towns. Always good to see friends and family at the Med City 5k--my in-laws came out, even though Sherry's been a little under-the-weather.

I hope to see you all  at the race. We'll try to run even splits, but it's a little warm. If I were racing today I'd dial my goal back a minute or two, but come join me in the 3:35 group or say, "hi" at the starting line.

And if there's lightning, get off the course. They'll be other marathons, and the race organizers would rather you finish 20 miles (or 7) alive than have this be your last race.

On that happy note; stay safe, have fun, and feel free to correct my grammar.

Happy Running!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Med City 5k: It's Goal Time!

It's goal time!

A: Run fast
B: Run faster than 16:17
C: Run faster than 16:30

Thanks for following. Here's a couple of my favorites from the past few years:

2012 Med City 5k

2012 Med City Marathon 

2013 Med City Marathon

Runner's Prayer

I haven't looked at these for awhile, so if theirs any proofreaders out they're, please feel free to corect and errores.

Happy Running!

Friday, May 22, 2015

TC One Mile: Race Report

It took four years and three attempts, but it finally happened. On a drizzly, breezy, and cool evening, I finally broke five minutes in a road mile.

Unfortunately I forgot that I had yet to pick up my packet, so without a number I couldn't check my sweats at the finish. Instead, I jogged to the start in my sweats, caring the sweet race bag I got at the Fargo Marathon on my back. It worked out fine because that meant I was able to see the course twice and plan my race accordingly.

It turned into an evening of surprise reunions. I met Victoria, Jason, and I jogged Hennepin Ave toward packet pick up. While jogging with them, we passed Jana. She'd run almost the entire time with me at the 3:35 pace group at the Fargo Marathon. The only reason I remember her name is because she had so many fans along the course.

"Just for fun tonight!" she said as she smiled and continued to jog away.

At packet pickup I saw Linda, jogged to the start, dropped my sweats, and found Jon. Then I ran at a brisk pace back to the finish. My warm fuzzies brought me to the start line, and my adrenaline rush of making it just in time was held in check by the first quarter mile incline.

I ran a good race--slightly negative splits, and broke 5:00 in the road mile for the first time ever. A shiny new PR always feels good, so I celebrated it after the race by pretending to be important.

Jon's VIP Media Pass
I always like to thank those who make a new PR possible. For all my running friends; especially Hura, Don, Gerad, Dan, and all the other talented runners I've been blessed to run with. You've joined me for more runs than I can count, and I think of you often when I run.

Thank you. Thanks to all the athletes I admired who gave me the time of day, especially Dena, Carie, and Katie.

For Coach Rathke--who saw some talent in me and helped me grow as a runner. For Coach Einspahr--who gave me enough space to decide what kind of runner I wanted to be. Thanks to my wanna-be athlete friends who've put up with my stream-of-conscious talking, unsolicited advice, and have spent a lot of time with me on buses.

For my running and non-running roomates; Jared and Britney, Tom, Mark, Josh, Kenny, and Matt. I can hear the music playing me off the stage so I'll wrap this up.

Thanks to everyone, friends and family alike. If I haven't mentioned you buy name and you've put up with my running-related odors and messes; thank you. It's been a fun ride.

Tomorrow is the Med City 5k, and I'm going to try to run fast. Oh, and thanks to Laura--the only girl I'm still trying to impress.

Happy Running

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fargo Marathon: Pace Report

Another weekend and another pacing gig--pacing assignment number three this year at the Fargo Marathon was a fun, quick trip to Fargo, filled with running-related activty.

Our first stop in Fargo was to the expo at the North Dakota State Fargodome. After picking up our packets, spending some time at the pacer booth, and looking around at the expo, we watched Deena Kastor speak. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend checking out one of her talks. Then, we spent a little more time at the pacer booth before heading out to look for some dinner.

We grabbed dinner at an Italian place called Johnny Carino's. Carino's was packed, but we didn't have to wait too long for a table, and the food was great. We then headed over to the hotel, spent a little time in the hot tub, and crashed before waking up early to leave for the race.

Deena Kastor!
I had heard that parking at the Fargodome would be limited, but we were pleasantly surprised when we easily found a space. Inside the dome we joined the pace team by the start. Deena Kastor, American marathon and world masters marathon record holder also happened to be hanging out by the start. We got a chance to chat with her for a little bit, and she was extremely friendly. Besides answering our questions, she also asked us about our running. I still really can't believe I was answering questions from and Olympian bronze-medalist about how my running was going.

The race started inside the dome, so I was a little nervous about the GPS situation. I really appreciate having my pace on my wrist when pacing. I decided to test out my Garmin by starting it inside the dome and then jogging about a quarter of a mile outside the dome. Fortunately the GPS picked up a signal after about a minute outside the dome, so I figured it'd be good to go for pacing (it was).

The fearless pace team.
Back inside I introduced myself to about a dozen runners planning to run with the 3:35 pace group. It was a great group of runners, and about five of them stayed with me from the start until about half a mile from the finish. Then, all but one of them ran ahead (the last young man also ran ahead of me just before we entered the dome at the finish). There were several inspiring moments along the course, including when the young man shared that he was running the race for his mother who'd been diagnosed with cancer. Several other runners also shared how they' been affected by cancer.

Entering the Fargodome
Listening to people's stories, jokes, and trying to honor requests of, "tell a story," or, "what's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?" made the race go by quickly. The course was nice and flat and the weather was cool.

There were lots of bands along the course--someone said there were supposed to be 52 bands and DJs, meaning there was something loud going on at least every half mile. I felt great the whole time besides having to pee for the last twenty miles or so. I've never appreciated the post-race bathrooms so much. I kept a pretty consistent pace, and finished the race at 1:34:29.

Laura had run the half marathon, so we grabbed some expo food, showered, and then got lunch in downtown Fargo at JL Beers. On our way home we checked out Buffalo River State Park, stretching out our legs with a nice three mile hike.

Next weekend I'll be pacing the the Run and Ride Half Marathon at Valley Fair, followed by the Med City Marathon the weekend after that. Between those two I'll be racing the TC One Mile and the Med City 5k.

Post-race cool down hike at Buffalo River State Park

Tonight at the TC One Mile, and I only have one goal: run under 5 minutes.

Happy Running!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon: Pace Report

Pre-race game face
My second pacing gig of 2015 is in the books. For the second time in a few years, I jogged around Lake Minnetonka carrying a pacer sign, attempting to run even splits en route to a 1:35 finishing time.

 The weather was pretty nice, though a little humid for a half marathon. Laura and I had been camping for the previous couple days and had really been enjoying the warm temperatures and the sun. Fortunately for the runners, the sky was overcast on Sunday morning, keeping temperatures cool enough to be pretty comfortable.

At Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon I had the privilege of having a co-pacer, Mike. It's always nice having someone to share the pacing duties. Only having to carry the sign half the time leads to a less sore neck, and there's also someone checking on the pace meaning I don't have to look at my watch quite as often.

I also really like pacing the 1:35 group. Checking my pace on a pace band is fine, but it adds one more thing to keep track of, and when I pace the 1:35 group I can easily add 7:15 for each mile, eliminating the need for a pace band.

Finishing on time
The Lake Minnetonka course is nice with a lot of sections being along water. It's got enough rolling hills to keep things interesting, but there are no really steep or long hills. The only downside to running next to so much water is that if it's windy, it can really hit you. Sunday wasn't too windy, but even a moderate amount of wind can be bothersome when trying to control a cardboard pacing sign.

Mike and I had a nice time chatting and running pretty consistently at our assigned pace. We came through the finish right on time at 1:34:50. Runners were very friendly after the race, and I had several thank me for pacing. One guy even stopped his car in the parking lot to thank me.

It'll be a busy May for pacing the next few weeks. This weekend I'll be pacing the Fargo Marathon for the first time. I'm looking forward to doing a new race and notching marathon number 13. Then it's on to the inaugural Valley Fair Half Marathon, followed by the Med City Marathon.

Happy Running!