Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rochester Half Marathon 1:45:56

The Rochester Half Marathon (map) is put on by the Rochester Track Club, and if I lived in Rochester I would be a member.  They put on a quality event with a great group of volunteers.

Parking was incredibly easy, with numerous empty parking garages and on street parking.  Packet pickup was at the Holiday Inn, so I parked in the garage attached to the Holiday Inn.  I was the only person parked on the top floor.  As soon as I entered someone asked if I was running and showed me to the conference room.  Once I had my number attached I stretched and waited.  The 5k was first, and Renee from Renee's Ramblings was calling the start.  Then it was time for the Half Marathon to start.

Hat and Medal (Pic from Renee's Ramblings)

The first 2 miles of the course were hilly (and it takes a lot for me to call something hilly).  However, it seemed the downhill was steeper and longer than the uphill.  My mile 1 split was 8:25 (mostly uphill) and my mile 2 split was 6:57 (mostly downhill).  At around mile 3 the course goes off the street and onto bike paths.  The bike path was not a problem because at this point most people have been sorted out by pace.  It was on the bike path that I began to focus on my form. 

Once on the bike path a lot of back and forth was happening with a group of about 5.  I knew if they dropped me it would be a long, slow day.  I stuck with them and at about mile 5 one woman started to break away.  I was singularly focused on staying with her and what a lucky break for me.  She did splits of 8:11, 8:10, 8:01, 8:10, 7:54, 8:08 (miles 5-10).  And some of this was in traffic!  She was very consistent and I did everything I could to keep up.  At one point I did get next to her and thank her for motivating me, she said my loud feet were motivation for her and then took off again.  I tried to run softer.

The trails were very nice with lots of shade.  The water stops also had Gatorade and a few had ice.  At one station they wore cardboard signs saying "free ice" and "free water."

At mile 9 I took 2 Hammer Endurolytes (electrolyte supplement) and 2 Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps (they "Scavenge excess ammonia to reduce fatigue").  I don't expect anything special when I take supplements, I think of them as helping to improve recovery.  But this time was different.  I've never done the Anti-Fatigue Caps before and I noticed an uptick in energy at about mile 11.  Correction, not more energy but less pain.  This was perfect timing because I was falling off the pace big time, 8:16 for mile 11 and slowing.  I slowly passed the woman pacing me and she didn't keep up. 

I hit the finish line in 1:45:56.  Average pace was 8:09.
135 out of 484 total
107 out of 271 males
19 out of 34 age group

For my next race:
Focus on form from the start
Focus on running with a softer footfall
Try Anti-Fatigue Caps again, they seem to work
In training do some speed work, especially after my long runs

2010 Rochester Half Marathon

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Over 100 Miles for Aug

For the 3rd month in a row I've run over 100 miles.  It is such a great feeling to go out on a run and be 10 miles into it and still feel fresh.  Then some days you go 2 miles and feel completely spent, but overall it has been great!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Hammer Nutrition Autoship Program

Today I signed up for the Hammer Nutrition Autoship Program.  I really like Recoverite and the supplements, so this is a way to get them automatically sent every 3 months.  I'll also get a discount and free shipping with my quarterly shipments. 

By signing up I also get tons of free stuff, like a free running kit (long or short sleeve shirt and shorts) with my first shipment.  I also get a client number that others can use when they place a shipment.  If it is your first order and you reference my client number, you get 15% off the entire order (but you can only do it once).  The linke to a 15% discount is here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rochester Medal and Hat

At the Rochester Half Marathon this weekend you don't get a shirt, you get a hat.  I found pictures of the hat and Medal on Renee's Ramblings blog. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

One Week till the Rochester Half

I've never been to Rochester before, so this is going to be a great opportunity to run a race and see a city.  I plan to drive down Saturday before the race, but also thinking about staying Friday night. 

As for preparing, I did speed work this week!  I wanted to reduce my miles after Gopher to Badger, but also wanted to make sure the miles I got were quality.  So Sunday and Monday were 0 days.  Then Tuesday an easy day.  Wednesday I did 5 hilly miles followed by a 6:47 mile!!  I took a 3 minute rest then ran a 7:49.  Since this was out and back over a small hill I thought the times would be comparable, but the out mile must have more elevation drop because it is much faster then I expected. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gopher to Badger Half Marathon - 1:43:53

Today was the Gopher to Badger Half Marathon.  This was my second half and I was ready for a good race.  I'm a big fan of Hammer Nutrition products and have been using a few, before the race I took 2 Anti-Fatigue Caps, 2 Endurance Amino, and 2 Endurolytes.  I don't eat solid food before a run.  The plan was a gel at miles 2, 6, and 9, with 2 Endurolytes at mile 6 if it was humid. 

Two guys from the St. Croix Valley Runners were doing the race too, and Tom offered to drive us.  They were both 1:40-ish runners so I was hopping to hang on to the pace they set.  Once at the start I ran into Julie from Julie's Running Blog.  She was taking it easy (and a good idea since the weather turned out to be a challenge).  I lined up with the 1:45 pacer but after the first turn never saw them again. 

The race started with rolling hills and I was able to build up a lead on the 1:40 pacer as my downhills made up for any slowness in the uphill sections.  I was actually feeling good until the mile 6 aid station.  I took a gel and Endurolytes.  Out of the aid station the 1:40 pacer passed me and I couldn't stay with them.  This was a long, hot, lonely, and slightly uphill section (or maybe it just seemed that way).  I settled into an 8 min pace but was slowing.  Then Tom caught me at about 8 miles. 

What a relief to have someone to run with.  I pushed to stay with him and it changed my mental state from "just make it" to "this is like our Saturday morning runs".  My spirits lifted and I didn't struggle as much to keep up.  Tom knows I'm a bit faster on the downhill so he let me go first as we entered the sidewalk under highway 94.  I pushed hard and waited for him to catch me.  He didn't catch up till we crossed the finish line and we got the exact same time!

1:43:53 (7:56 per mile pace)
About 10 min faster than my Stillwater Half Marathon
91 out of 736

Other notes:
-  Shoes soaked from puring water on my back
-  Blister on little toe
-  15 min ice bath felt great, but still sore
-  Did NOT wear visor, need to practice wearing it on runs
-  Two weeks till next half, Rochester Half Marathon on August 28

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sat with St. Croix Valley Runners

I ran with the St. Croix Valley Runners again today.  It was a small group since tomorrow is the Red Wing River City Ramble 1/2 Marathon

Next weekend is the Gopher to Badger 1/2 Marathon and a few people are doing that one.  G to B is the race I am getting ready for.  My training is going well and I think if the weather is good I should do OK.  Today I had a great run, 5 miles in 39 minutes for under 8 min miles.  If I want to break 1:45, and I do, this is how fast I'll need to run. 

My Hammer Visor is here!  I ran in it once and it held back the sweat.  I was going to run with it today, but didn't want to try something new while running with others.  I knew I'd push myself to keep up with the faster runners so I didn't want anything like visor issues slowing me down.  But I did try a Chocolate Hammer gel and it was good, but I just don't like chocolate when running.  Banana was good after being in my shorts pocket an hour, warm like when you microwave a banana.  And Hammer Tropical was very good.  I bought the Hammer gel sampler kit with the visor and I am having fun trying new flavors. 

Sunday is my last long run before G to B so I'll be putting all my race day stuff to the test.  This means no breakfast or any solid food before the run (this has been working out great for me, more sleep and no stomach or bathroom issues!).  I just bought a box of Band-Aids, 100 of them, so I have plenty of protection.  I'll also try to fine tune my gel consumption.  Last weekend I over-did it and will cut back to every 25 min (I was at 20).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Run; 12 slow miles

70 degrees when I started at 8am and 80 degrees at 10am.  I don't know the humidity, but my shirt has never been wetter.  I also never felt so tired, on the last two miles I had to run 1 min and walk 30 sec.  The Gopher to Badger 1/2 Marathon is in two weeks so I'll need to do some experimenting to make sure I'm ready if the humidity is like today.  Maybe some Hammer Endurolytes during the run (which I take before and after, but never during the run).  Maybe some type of sport drink.  I'll have to think about it this week and do a test run next weekend.

Since I am a Hammer fan (and the price was right) I bought a visor to help keep the sweat out of my eyes.  I hope I don't need it, but just in case I'll have it.