Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mudball 4 Mile: Race Report

I didn't set any goals for this one for a couple reasons. First off, I've never run it before, so I had no idea what the hills or running surface was like. Without that information, guessing my pace would be difficult. Secondly, I hadn't planned my race well due to an error in timing. I had written the wrong date in the planner and had been planning to do the race on Saturday and a longish run on Sunday. Instead, the race was on Sunday, so I ended up doing my long run on Saturday and racing on Sunday.

Saturday happened to be pretty warm, so my long run took a little more out of me than normal. As a result, my legs weren't exactly fresh for the Mudball 4 Mill on Sunday.

As a bonus, Laura and baby Calvin came along to watch. We also ran into a couple of running friends and they got to meet Calvin.The race itself actually went decent. My legs felt pretty heavy during my warmup, but once we got started they didn't feel bad at all.I started out with the leaders and managed to stay with the first place dude for the first couple miles. Then, my long run started to catch up with me and the hills started to drain me. The leader pulled away halfway through the second mile, but the second place guy had dropped off sometime during the first mile.

I thought maybe the first place guy would slow up, and he did, but not as much as me. I ended up finishing in 25:21, a little over 30 seconds behind the winner.

It was cool having Calvin and Laura at the race. For a race the day after a long run, it went pretty decent.

Happy Running!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Race Report: Ron Daws 25k

Ron Daws was a famous (as famous as a runner can be) Minnesota athlete who ran in the 1968 Olympic Marathon. The race of his namesake, the Ron Daws 25k, is a hilly route through Hopkins, Minn., one of Daws's favorites.

Start of the Ron Daws 25k <photo credit>
 I did this race once before, back in 2011, when I used it as a training run for the 2011 Boston Marathon. I was in a little better shape back then, and as that was my only 25k, it's stood as my PR since then.

My top goal for the race was a new PR, but about halfway to the race I noticed my naked wrist--I'd forgotten my Garmin 210. No GPS watch meant never having any idea how long I'd been running and having only a general idea of how fast I was running.

At the race, I ran into my friends Don and Jared. They were both in the midst of marathon training for Boston and Fargo respectively. Don was kind enough to offer me his watch, but I declined. I'd do my best to run by feel.

The toughest part of the race this year wasn't the hills--those were hard--but rather, the wind. I was pretty much constant at 15 - 20 mph, and there were frequent 40 mph gusts. The hills were also tough, but in the second part of the race there was a section that started downhill and the wind was so strong it felt as if I were running in place.

No watch didn't end up being a huge problem. I ran with another runner who was training for the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, and he was nice enough to give me splits for the five miles I ran with him.

After that, I caught up to another runner. He had forgotten to start his watch, so no splits for him. The Ron Daws is also a pretty bare bones race (it does cost $5), so there were no volunteers giving splits at the mile markers either.

Still, running by feel worked out well enough. Had I known how close I was to a PR, the watch may have helped push me a little, but I doubt it. I finished with a time of 1:42:45, less than 30 seconds short of a PR. Two seconds a mile faster and I would have had it. I did, however, manage to reach my "B" goal for the second time this year.

I met up with Jared and Don after the race and we headed over to Pizza Luce for some brunch, beer, and talking about running. Though the race was cold, windy, and hilly, it was still fun.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Race Report: Lake Johanna 4 Mile

It was a nice, warm day on Saturday, March 12. With the race starting at 11:00 a.m., the temperature had already crept above 60. There wasn't much wind, the ice on Lake Johanna was sparkling, and the sky was clear--similar conditions to the 2015 edition.

I got to the race about a half an hour early--there was no line to speak of to register. The Lake Johanna 4 Mile is one of three races that's included with the MDRA membership, so I thought there might be more people registering the day of since there are no real benefits to mailing a registration in (I don't remember if there was much of a line to register last year's race).

Since I finished registering so quickly, I had time to chat with a couple of runners before I did a warm up jog and a couple of striders. I saw Peter, a runner Laura and I often see at the YMCA, and Angie Voight, a doctor who treated my broken leg in 2012 and also a frequent expert on C Tolle Run.

Right before the start, I ran into the Burnsville High School cross country coach and a couple Burnsville High athletes. I have the privilege of helping out a little with cross country this past fall, so it was cool to get to race with one of their better high school athletes.

The race itself went OK. I definitely came out a little fast with a 5:51, which would turn out to be my fastest mile of the race.

It was a hilly race, and hills in the middle of mile three and the beginning of mile four took their toll on me. I haven't been running a ton of tough hills, and definitely haven't been running fast on any hills.

I finished 5th overall--the same place I finished last year, in a time of 24:08. I'm happy enough with my time, which was under my B goal, but it's hard not to think about the fact that the pace I ran is still slower than my PR half marathon pace. I suppose that just means I have a ways to go if I'm going to race well this fall.

My 5th place finish also meant that the top finishing times this year were a fair amount slower than last year's times. Had I run the time I ran last year (22:05), I could have competed for the win.

Happy Running!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ron Daws 25k: It's Goal Time

I haven't raced a 25k in several years--my last one was in 2011, also the Ron Daws 25k. In that race, I ran 1:42:18. At that time I was mainly using it as a training run for Boston, but it still remains my fastest 25k.

This year I'd like to change that. Based on my time at the Lake Johanna 4 Mile, it's a pretty lofty goal and likely out of my range, but what the heck? I'll try it anyway. So, here are my ABC goals:

A. Set a PR (faster than 1:42:18)
B. Run under 1:45 (under a 6:46 pace)
C. Run under 1:48

I'll have to pay close attention to how I'm feeling. If the PR is truly out of my range, running that fast for more than a mile could tank my other two goals. We'll see how it goes!

Happy Running!