Sunday, October 31, 2010

Surf the Murph

This weekend was Surf the Murph.  I was thinking of doing the 25k, but decided to make the Mankato Half my final race of 2010.  Next year I may give this race a try.

Race Reports:
North Woods Trail Running: Surf the Murph 25K 2010
... mostly just running; Surf the Murph 2010
Westy's Running; Surf the Murph

Friday, October 29, 2010

2011 Spring Races

The 2010 season is over, and I'm looking forward to 2011.  This is what I am thinking for the spring.

1-Jan;  Polar Dash 5k  
19-Mar;  Get Lucky 7k
1-May;  Eau Claire Half
14-May;  Superior 25k

This would be a nice build to the Superior 25k. 

Superior Trail Logo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mankato Marathon Pictures

Stage to the right.

Dick Beardsley

Alley before turning to finish.

After turning you see the finish line.

Everytime a runner came in the crowd cheered.

Pictures from other Bloggers:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mankato Half Marathon - 1:43:43

When I think about how the perfect running event should be organized, what the atmosphere at the expo should be like, and the on-course support, it was the Mankato races I was thinking of.  This is the first year of the races and they did an excellent job.

The expo was held in downtown Mankato, and the $3 parking garage had plenty of spaces.  Free parking was available at area businesses and those parking lots looked like they had open spots too.  When I entered the expo I saw hundreds of people looking at the numerous booths and seating for about 200 in front of a stage.  Starting at 4:30 they had speakers, with Dick Beardsley as the featured speaker. 

The numerous booths included 2 different energy drink companies, complimentary chair massage, 3 different running stores, 2 different head wear companies, the YMCA, 2 local coaches, the "Orthopaedic and Fracture Clinic" with bones that broke in two to reveal a pen, the local newspaper, and a section selling Mankato Marathon specific apparel and posters.  The place was filled with runners and non-runners too.

Dick Beardsley setting the 1981
Grandma's Marathon course record
At 6:30 Dick Beardsley was speaking, and he was a GREAT speaker.  I enjoyed it so much I bought his book called "Staying the Course: A Runner's Toughest Race".  I finished my day by reading the first chapter in his book and went to bed confident the race would be a good one.

The forecast was rain, but when I woke up it was dry and in the 50's.  At the start it rained a little, but not enough to get my clothes wet.  I met the 1:40 pacer, his name was Seth.  Dick Beardsley did the start and I took a Hammer gel just before he said go.  I didn't take water with it like you should, and my stomach started to get upset.  The first two miles were a bit fast and the pacer was behind me so I took my time at the aid station and slowed down.  I think the combination of water and a slower pace helped settle my stomach.  Seth caught me at exactly the 3 mile maker.  Feeling good, back on pace, and only 10 more miles.

Mile 4 was flat and mile 5 had a great downhill that let me bank 40 seconds.  I kept the momentum going for miles 6-8.  I took another Hammer gel, this time with water, and my one hour Hammer supplements.  Mile 8 had some uphill and I started to feel a bit heavy in the legs and potential stomach issues.  During mile 9 I got such a bad side ache I had to walk.  Seth finally caught up and I asked for help, they recommended intense breathing and push on the side ache.  This helped, but I couldn't keep the pace and got dropped.  I hit the aid station and took some water, forced more air in and out and started to feel better.  "Better" is relative, as I still felt horrible but could at least run.  Mile 10 was more downhill and I did it in 8 minutes!  I pushed the pace and the ache came back.  This yo-yo continued for miles 11 and 12.  I'd push and hurt, back off and feel better.  I never ran with a side stitch before, so I was completely unprepared for dealing with it.  I had to walk again during mile 12 when the ache became unbearable.  Miles 11-13 were all over 8 minutes.

At about 12.5 miles I thought I could still PR if I picked it up.  I pushed hard and felt better.  Nearing mile marker 13 you enter an alley.  The alley was lined with yelling spectators and the noise bounced off the walls making it very loud.  Then you take a right and see the finish line and more people on both sides clapping and yelling.  It was a huge rush and I finished really strong.  Of the races I've run, the Mankato finish was the greatest in terms of motivation and crowd support. 

After crossing the line I got a pair of gloves, my medal, and then saw the food tables.  They had lots of great stuff like Greek yogurt, popcorn, chocolate milk, and the usual bananas, pretzels etc. 

I would definitely recommend this race to anyone.  I didn't do the time I wanted, but every race you learn something and now I'll be better prepared for the next one.  The lesson from this race is breathing.  I usually don't focus on breathing, but since I was slightly congested I should have made sure to keep the air flowing to avoid the side ache.  I also should never take a gel without water.

Official Results:
1:43:43 (A PR by 10 seconds, Gopher to Badger was 1:43:53)
7:55 pace
84 out of 874 total
69 out of 322 men
21 out of 103 age group

Proceeds from Dick Beardsley book sales go to his foundation.

Other Race Reports:
Depression Marathon Blog; Good. Good. Good. BOOM!
Historiadora on the Run; Race Report: Mankato Half-Marathon
Pacer Report  -  JerBear Shares; Race Report: Mankato Half Marathon; WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?
Journey to My First Marathon....and beyond; Marathon #3 - Mankato
SHE SAID. SHE SAID; race recap: 2010 mankato half-marathon
A day in the Life; Mankato Marathon

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

When I started running in late 2009, I looked at my diet and noticed a few areas that were out of balance.  I had very little variety, and just like in running if you do the same thing over and over it could lead to injury.  So I needed to start introducing new foods.  I've been successful in doing that, and much happier with the new variety of foods I eat. 

To further my knowledge I've been reading books like "The Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson.  What I like about this book is that it works.  I've lost some weight, but that is not what impresses me.  Mr. Sisson says we eat to many carbohydrates.  So for a few days I cut back on the bread, pasta, and crackers.  I immediately dropped over 5 pounds.  Cool, but not as cool as this.  I did a low carb day with lots of fruit and vegetables.  The next day I had oatmeal and a Hammer Recoverite drink for breakfast.  That's a good amount of carbohydrates.  As Mr. Sisson predicts I crashed and got really hungry.  So the next day I avoided the carbs and guess what, no crash and consistent energy! 

I also like that he makes a great omelet.  In fact, I'm going to go make one for lunch now (I even bought organic eggs specifically for omelet making).

Mankato Half Marathon on Saturday

Only a few days till the Mankato Half.  I've decided to run with the 1:40 pacer and push the last mile to get under 1:40.  I've been doing runs at the 7:40 pace without really trying, so I am very positive.  However, the weather forecast is rain.  I've only run once in the rain, so this could be a real challenge.  It will also be in the 40-50 degree range, add some rain and it could be very cold. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Taper for Mankato has begun!

My 2 week taper has begun, so I cut out swimming this week.  I'll still do weights and Yoga this week, but only Yoga next week.  I've also reduced my running miles and will focus on tempo runs. 

My goal time is under 1:40, and I think I can do it.  On my Sunday long run (on the Gateway Trail) I did 10 miles at an average pace of 7:37, and I need 7:40's to hit my goal.  My last two miles were 7:08 and 7:13, so the big difference this time will be my ability to finish strong.