Before and After - Baker Park Reserve

This is odd because the "after" shot of the summer is actually taken last year and the "before" shot of early spring was taken just now.  A good reminder that green is coming and beautiful things are on their way. 


Long run on paved trails - Baker Park Reserve

Long run Tuesday - this is a new thing for me.  Actually reading some older posts made me believe I could do a long run after work and survive the experience.  I remember this run as one of my most favorite experiences ever.  I tried for the repeat today.

Plan: Two loops?  Maybe just 11 miles?  Maybe 10?  10 miles sounds good, so out five and back five.  And then, at the end of that, I'd like to go to TRX Kettlebell class and survive the experience.  

Route: I was figuring on an out and back on the paved trail.  I know the trail goes in a loop, but I was thinking the loop itself was too big for two circuits.  Out and back is what happened.  I got to 4.75 miles and was at the top of a hill.  I was all "no way am running a quarter mile down just to run back up"

Weather: Big part of the reason I'm doing a long run on Tuesday.  It was 60*, partly sunny and windy.  I see rain and other junk in the weather for pretty much every other day this week and the temperature is going to drop a lot too.

Execution: I did a really good job of keeping my heart rate in check for like the first seven miles.  I was proud of that because there were a lot of hills.  Then I got hot and tired and wanted to be done and went a little nuts.  Whatever.  I had a good time.   Ultimately I decided to forgo TRX Kettlebell class in favor of not puking on anyone. But it was a great run and I was happy for all the time out on the trails.

Nutrition: The weak link tonight was my stomach.  I carried a bottle of water and some chews with me.  The next race I'm running has water every 2.5 miles so that's how I tried to drink and eat.  But my stomach was not having it.  Like, not even the water when it was 60* and sunny.  My stomach was in a full on knot by the end.  Not good times.


Hanging out on the Rum River Trail

This is a step back week for me so I'm not running super far nor super hard.  Thank god after that race on Saturday.

Today at the end of the day, I found myself near the trail head for the Rum River Regional Trail.  The trail is one of my favorites because it's gorgeous.  It also meets my post-work requirements of having a place to park and a place to change into running gear.  

I had a slow, low heart rate run and took lots of pictures.  I was shocked when Strava told me my last run on this trail was last summer.  What have I been doing?!?! This trail is not super hilly, but has lots of little ups and downs which keep things interesting.  Perhaps I should make more of an effort to run here this year.


Race Shirt - Tuesdays on the Run

Tuesdays on the Run asks all about race shirt etiquette.

As a back of the pack runner, I feel strongly that race directors should give shirts at packet pick up instead of after the race.  One of my favorite organizations, Twin Cities in Motion gives out 10-mile and Marathon finisher shirts after the race in the finisher chute.  I was pretty hacked off when and they didn't have a shirt for meThe 10 Mile race is a lottery and it sells out every year.  You knew how many shirts you needed.

"Finisher" Shirts - I get that these shirts say finisher, and should therefore be earned.  But poor planning on the race directors part means that the slower finishers (who've probably been practicing for months and months and months) get screwed out of something they worked really hard for.  It's such a head game to be in the back of the pack anyways.  It sucks to show up at the finish line and hear "well if you'd gotten here sooner..."

To answer the original question - the only time I think I'd wear a race shirt at the race is if I did same day packet pick up, no bag check for my stuff, and I didn't have time to run back to my car to drop the shirt.  In that case, I'd probably throw it on over whatever else I'm wearing and hope it's not too hot.


Hot Dash 10 Mile - the one where I make all of the mistakes...

Race number 2 in the TCM Summit Challenge is the Hot Dash 10 Mile.

Registration - online, one registration for the entire series of races.  Also, apparently yes I will have the same number for these races, or it has been the same so far. This was a question I'd had from the previous race.

Weather and Wardrobe - This morning I went outside, and saw a full inch of snow.  Oh fuck.  Air temps 28*, winds around 10mph in my face for the first 4 miles.
Top: Smart wool base layer and wind breaker
Bottom: Lined fleece tights
Socks: Compression socks with smart wool socks over top
Shoes: Altra Lone Peaks (I've run both road races this year in my trail shoes because of snow)
Also: gloves came off around mile 1, hat come off around mile 8 and I instantly regretted that decision

Packet Pick Up - I did a light rail/bus combination to get myself to the start line today.  When I arrived, I stopped by the Big Book of Numbers to find my race number, then grabbed my packet.  I estimate it took about 3 minutes and the volunteers were nice.  Bag check was a bit busy because everyone had to wait in line for the stapler to attach their number to their bag, but I used a spare pin so I avoided that line.

Start line - the start line is where things really began to fall apart for me.  The website said they'd have pacers for 11:00/mile, 12:00/mile and 12:30/mile.  I wanted to stay with 12:00/mile, because I knew I could hold it and move up if I wanted.  One was way too fast and one was too slow.  Except the 12:00/mile pacer was nowhere to be seen.  Ever.  The roads before the race were crazy icy and some people from the 'burbs couldn't make it in so I'm wondering if that's what happened.

Course - this course blows.  Even if I'd been having a good day I would've hated this course hard.
Partial Road Closures - Mile 2 -7 were largely on Marshall Ave which was partially open to traffic.  Normally this wouldn't bother me.  I mention it becuase..
Two Way Running Traffic on a partially open road - This course starts with a long out and back section.  Somewhere before mile 3 the leaders started coming "back".  The course got really narrow and very confused with cop cars and lead out bikes telling us to move one way and volunteers telling us to move back because there were cars allowed on part of that street
Industrial NE Minneapolis is boring - The volunteers cheered for us and tried to be interesting.  But we were literally running by seven miles of factories.
Cobblestones at the finish - Whose idea was this?!?

Race - I didn't have a back up plan when the pacer was a no show.  I thought I'd be in a group and just let everyone drag me through this.  I hadn't thought at all about what kind of pace I thought I could hold on my own, or what kind of race I wanted to have (other than "please don't make my ankle worse").   Since I was alone, I wasn't mentally prepared for this race at all and that was the real mistake of the day.  Sigh.  I went out a bit too hard and paid for it near the end of the race.

Finish - I hate cobbles.  Also, there wasn't a big "FINISH LINE" with a sign and balloons that I could see from far off.  Once I turned onto the cobbles I had difficulty telling how much farther I had to run.  Am I there yet?!? 

Race Recommended For - Um, well... I wouldn't run this race again unless it's part of a race series.  The course is not fun.  And the pre-race logistics (ie parking in NE Minneapolis) make it a pain in the ass.  This hurts me to say because the race is well organized and well supported, both things I've come to expect from TCM.  But the scheduling and the course felt like "we needed a spring race and these are the roads the Minneapolis police would let us close so let's see what we can throw together". 

Goals/Outcomes - Before the race I was thinking I'd stay with the 12:00/mile pacer and then if I was feeling good late in the race I'd pull on ahead.  Instead, there was no pacer and I went out way too damn fast.  In the end, I beat my time from October. Barely.  Given the week of not really running, that surprised me.  I wish I'd believed in myself that I had that fitness level in me.  I think I could've paced better and squeezed out a bit more at the end. 


Good cardio - I needed that

Let's review:
Friday - ran just over a mile.  On the way to catch the train I fell SPECTACULARLY and rolled my ankle. Ankle swollen.
Saturday - Ankle swollen.  Ran just over a mile.  Less pain while running than sitting still.  That's gotta be good right? 
Sunday - Ankle less swollen.  Now wearing two compression socks on one foot.  All of my shoes are zero drop!?!?  Ran my mile. 
Monday - Maybe walking around Costco will be my exercise.  Ankle improving but still tender.  Ran my mile.  Have found at least two pairs of zero drop shoes.  Am terribly sad that Speedstars are no longer made. 

Today: Now have an actual brace. My ankle is unswollen and that slightly green "post bruise" color.  Am going insane.  I need to MOVE.  Ran my mile on the treadmill.  Then got in the pool.
The workout was going to be 200 warm up, then 300 backstroke + 200 free X 3, then cool down.
Yeah, that warmup sucked.
I started my first 300 and then was all "see if you can go to 400" and then was like "500?" and then was like "800?"  and then "1,000?" and then it was like "just go to 1200 and do a cool down"  I went totally by effort and let it feel hard.  I must've needed it because it felt really good to move.

Tomorrow, I may try the elliptical.


It's been a while since I've fallen down

One of the things I use this blog for is "when was that one time I had that one fall?"

This is a new one for me becuase I was not running.  I was in work shoes/boots.  Slipped on the edge of the sidewalk, stumbled, fell spectacularly and rolled my ankle.  There was at least one somersault.

That was last night.  My ankle is still mildly swollen and bruised. I have two compression socks on one foot right now.  I have a race on Saturday, so workouts this week will be light but still need to happen.

On with the adventure.  


Ft Snelling Run

Spring is springing earlier than normal.  (Last year at this time I think it was about 5*)  I was super excited to get out for a long run today. 
Note for myself - it was 40* when I started and 50* when I finished.  I wore capris, wool socks, a short sleeve shirt and a long sleeve shirt.  All was well.

Goals for the run: Heart rate in zones 2 and 3.  Except on that big hill.  Anything is fair game on that hill.

Route: The Ft Snelling run is one of my favorites, and one that I've used in marathon training quite a lot.  I was a bit intimidated by the distance, about 1.5 miles longer than I've been going recently, but the weather was so perfect I had to give it a try.  I was nervous that I'd run into an icy patch or two on the down part of this trail.  Instead I hit like half a mile of packed snow and ice.  Then I got really nervous the up hill would be icy, but it was fine.
Note to self: wait longer to run this trail next year.

Execution: I felt a bit slow to start.  As I got further into the run and my heart rate was staying where I wanted it, I was more and more encouraged.  The winds were out of the south today, so the beginning was slower than coming home. Over all, I was surprised and pleased.  Such a nice switch from the crap fast that was last week.

Bonus:  At first I thought it was going to be the shoes I wore for the run.  But instead, let's talk about the eagles I saw hanging out.