Monday, May 25, 2009

Another successful benchmark effort

The last few weeks of training have gone well for me. The legs were feeling pretty fresh, only two days after a pretty good fast-finish long run on Saturday.
I've been itching to get out and race a little bit, so Mary and I went to Mankato today for the 10 Kato run, which is held every Memorial Day in Mankato, MN.
I've run this course twice before, and it is not an easy 10K. It features a 190 ft. drop in elevation(miles 3.7 to 4.2) and then back up the 190ft. in the next 1.8 miles. That makes it a 3.6% grade which isn't too bad, but it is taxing on the legs at that stage of the race.
I started out near the front, and a lot of runners zipped out very fast. I was probably in 20th place at the half mile mark (which I hit in 2:51 - waaay too fast).
Soon I settled into a nice 6:00 pace and started picking off runners.
Hit the 4 mile (cruising down the hill yet) in 23:50 - yowsers!?!?!
Shortly after that came the long climb up the hill (Glenwood Ave).
It was tough, but didn't go any slower than 6:25 going up the long hill.
And, I was still able to see the leaders, but really couldn't gain any ground on them.
Finished in 4th place overall in 37:23 - only 1:11 behind the winner.
My prior PR at the 10K distance was 39:59 - so crushed it by 2:35
Here's a HR and elevation chart of the race.

Mary also ran a PR today (52:56), so her training is coming together very well.
Got to visit with some old and new running friends today.
Grandma's Marathon is less than 4 weeks away now.
Time to focus on maintaining quality training and diet. After that, a slow taper into goal race day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Success at New Prague Half!

Yesterday, Mary and I went to New Prague, MN to run the half marathon there.
This will be a short and sweet race report.
First of all, Schmoopie had a great day, setting a new PR!
She ran 1:55:06, wiping out her previous PR of 1:58:03 set 2 years ago!
It was a late decision for me to run this, but thought it would work as a "benchmark" race. My goal was to run around 1:26, as this is the time that most of the race predictor calculators will equate to a 3 hour marathon.
I ran the first 4 miles alongside Sonya Decker, she ended up winning the women's overall.
The pace felt good, and I drafted/used a couple runners ("Jake" and "Butch") when the wind got strong from miles 7-12.
Just before mile 12, I dropped the proverbial hammer.
My lap split from mile 12 to 13 showed a 5:46 and the Garmin showed a bit faster.
Came in at 1:24:06 for 9th/663 overall and 1st place AG in M45-49.
Smashed my prior PR of 1:27:00!
This was a real confidence booster for me.
It was a fantastic day!