Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

I just got an email that my credit card was charged for the Grandma's Half Marathon.  I guess this June I will be running a Half Marathon in Duluth.  This will be the 35th anniversary, so runners in both the full and half get a water bottle with the 35 Years logo and a "cinch backpack".  It should be fun, except for the part when I have to wake up the morning of the race (because the race starts at 6:30am).  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

White Bear Winter Frolic 5K

This morning was the White Bear Winter Frolic 5K (put on by Vacation Sports).  We had a lot of snow last weekend in our area of Minnesota, this creates uneven surfaces and slick spots.  This morning as I got out of the car I checked the temperature, 2 degrees.  It had began to snow, making the slick spots hard to identify.  Even with the cold and snow everyone at the start was in a festive mood. 

Packet Pickup was Indoors
The race started and for a short time you have the option of running on the road or a sidewalk.  I didn't have much choice since I was running in a crowd and ended up on the sidewalk.  The surface was very tricky as some parts were not shoveled very good.  But soon I was able to get back on the road and settle into a nice pace.  The course follows the frozen White Bear Lake.  Not much of a view, except for snow, but since footing was an issue it was better not to look around.

I wanted to run fast, but lately I have not been running much.  I really noticed it after the turnaround.  I was actually out of breath, but my leg muscles felt fine.  This was a change from my past races.  I guess the lack of cardio finally caught up with me, while the increase in weights has helped.

Setting up the Finish Line
Near the end I found myself running alone, with the nearest person about 20 seconds ahead of me.  Then with about a mile to go someone caught up and passed.  I stayed with them and near the finish they choose the sidewalk instead of the road.  This time I took the road and while they slowed for the rough sections I was able to pass.  I ran hard at the end and finished in front of them. 

Long Sleeve Cotton

34 overall
6 out of 15 in age group
22:13 time for 7:09 pace
My Garmin data says 3 miles at 22:15 for a pace of 7:25

Monday, February 14, 2011

May 29; Stillwater Half Marathon

The Stillwater Half Marathon is officially on my schedule.  The route is new this year and will be challenging in terms of hills and sun exposure, but the area is beautiful and it should be a good run.

Lottery registration for the 2011 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

Lottery registration for Grandma's Half Marathon started today (it is officially called the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon).  Entry into the lottery runs till Friday, February 25.  Only 5,700 runners are selected.  I put my name in (and credit card details) and should know on Monday, February 28 if I was selected.

Run for Others 5K and 10K; April 16

While at the Sweetheart Run a member of the St. Andrew's Running club made an announcement about a race in April.  The Run for Others raises money to support Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for families in need.  The cost is $20 and includes a shirt.  I will consider adding this race to my schedule.

Sweetheart Run 10K

This past weekend was the Sweetheart Run, put on by Vacation Sports.  The event took place in Mahtomedi, Minnesota at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church.  The church has a running club that meets on Saturdays, and they are a sponsor of the event.  Runners had access to the warm church for packet pickup, bathrooms, and after the event.  Having a warm place is reason enough to run this race.  In addition to the 10K, they had 10 mile and 5K races. 

A few minutes before the start I made my way to the starting line.  The 10 mile and 10K started together with about 100 runners.  It was an out and back course with only a few turns.  We did cross one major road, but they had volunteers posted to stop traffic.  The run was about half on paved roads and half on dirt roads.  The dirt roads were tricky because of snow and ice, but what you would expect for Minnesota in February.

I was planning to run easy since I haven't been running much (only 7 miles total in February).  I went out with a group of about 5 others, but when I turned for the 10K they kept going for the 10 mile turnaround.  I was alone at this point.  A few minutes later I dropped my glove and looked behind me as I picked it up.  I didn't even see anyone running my way.  The runner in front of me was wearing a neon green jacket that I focused on, but he was to far for me to catch.  So I spent the last half of the race running by myself. 

I was happy with the effort and thought I might be in the top 10.  When results were posted I was 6th overall!!  My time was 50:21 (8:07 pace, but I think the course was short).  I was 2nd in my age group and received a medal.  Runners were very appreciative we could use the church, and many said they would do this race again.