Wednesday, April 10, 2013

5 days!

Okay, I'm good and exited now. I'm checking the weather sites as though they actually mean anything (currently 55 with a high chance of rain and a headwind) and packing one of everything just in case. Or rather, planning on packing one of everything since I haven't actually started packing yet . . . At least I don't have to worry about single digits, snow, mud, and river crossings like some of my friends this weekend. Not that I don't also wish I was able to head to Zumbro, too . . .

I don't have too much of a plan for the race itself. I don't even know what a reasonable goal really is right now. I feel as though I'm in good shape but I don't know about good road marathon shape. And I had those 10 days of sick in March. So . . . under normalish weather conditions (no raging heat, no brutal head wind the entire way) anything under 3:50 sounds good with a preference to rock it out and see something 20 minutes faster than that. If we get not normalish weather, then it will probably become time to just have fun and enjoy.

Now, my old shoes were getting rather flat feeling and once I checked my shiny mileage spreadsheet I saw that they did, in fact, have probably a good 350 miles on them (I got them before I started using the spreadsheet, so I'm not positive on the exact mileage), so I decided on getting new shoes this last weekend. Since they're the same brand/model as usual, I'm not too concerned about switched to new shoes so close to a race. I've been on a couple of test runs and the problem area from my previous pair don't seem to exist on the new ones, so I'll probably wear them Monday. Granted, the runs were nothing too long but what I was worried about was a tight and sharp part of the heel that needed a couple weeks to bend back/soften up on the old pair and made itself apparent from the first three mile run that rubbed my heel off. I might wear my old shoes to walk around in this weekend and that way I have them with me if I change my mind. Though really, I'm checking a bag that will be probably mostly empty (since all race clothing will be on my carry on) so I could always just pack them, too.

If you don't know, I'm an over-packer for short trips. Especially for races. I want to have everything with me that I might possibly want. Now, come a longer trip and I'll probably have the exact same amount of stuff, so I'm not a heavy packer for those! It's New England in the spring - we don't really know what the weather will be like. So my racing jersey, t-shirt, and long sleeve. My roll down sleeves. Shorts, half tights, skirt. Boston has a .7 mile walk from where you drop your bag to the starting line so not only do you want clothes to put on when you finish, you ALSO want clothes to wear to the start that you can just toss (they have loads of collection points and donate everything that gets dumped to charity). Last time I found a zip up hoodie at Savers and it was great because I could keep in on for the first mile but still have my number showing and then toss it when I warmed up, so I'm planning on doing the same thing again. If it's even chilly enough to not toss it right at the start. Is it going to be 70? 50 with rain? Who knows! I've seen both predictions today!

Alright, I work a half day Friday. Then I take the Skyline Shuttle to the Cities (yay for not stressing about driving in gross weather or making a friend or sister worry about emergency snow parking with my car), fly out Friday night, arrive crazy late in Boston. I plan to sleep in late Saturday, spend too much time at the expo, and then hang out with friends until Monday. I may or may not update again before then, depending on how fast I pack tomorrow (ha! I'm a slow packer!) and what kind of time I have over the weekend.

If you want to track me, you can get texts or emails by going here. My bib number is 15438. Looks like it sends out at 10K, half marathon, 30k, and finish.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Human Race 8K

I ran the Human Race last weekend (the 24th, not the 31st). Though, it's not the Human Race now, as it's been renamed to Irish Run, complete with a bright green race shirt but hey, more shirts for being visible on a bike is always good, right? This was a short little 8K down in the Cities. I'm on the Austin-Jarrow racing team and we do the USATF team circuit - most of the races of which are in the Cities. The bad part is it's a long way to drive for short races but the good part is there's always lots of teammates running with you and they're generally a fun time.

The Irish Run changed it's start/finish this year to be right behind Macalester. It was also fun to have a race covering roads I ran in college - I knew exactly where I was at all times and knew what the road crossings meant in terms of distance to the finish, which really helps. We do about a mile down Summit and then turn around and head back up, past the start and just over a mile the other direction before turning around Billy Mitchell Law School and finishing where we started. I didn't think I would like the change but I really did. You end with a nice three block downhill, which is always a good finish.

It took a long time for my Short Race head to get in the game so perhaps two miles of warmup was not enough. Around two miles in the race, I felt a tap on my shoulder and saw my friend Rudy going by me. An awesome guy but he should not be passing me! Crap. My second mile split was no good either, but I generally try to not freak out about mile splits one way or the other and just use them as a guide. About a half mile later, I passed Rudy back and finally got some groove going and was running the 7 minute miles I should have been doing for mile 2. I wish the race had been at least a 10K and I could have done so much better! It was great fun to pass so many people on the way back, though, since it felt like the entire race was passing me in the beginning.

I came across the finish in what I thought was a few seconds slower than last year and was a bit bummed about it. But then I was rather hyper and ready for more running! On the way back to Duluth, I remembered that it took me a few seconds to cross the starting line and low and behold, I actually ran two seconds faster than last year! Granted, I wanted to run about thirty seconds faster than last year since last year was grossly hot but since I really haven't been doing any sort of speed training (so much for marathon specific track workouts . . .) I'm happy with it. Stupid second mile time. Good thing there were footsteps right behind me on the last stretch to help push out those two seconds! I didn't realize she was so close, though, until I saw the pictures! I did manage to drop her in the last block :) I like to think I'm a hard person to beat coming into the finish. Unless your name is Marcus . . .

So, here I am now, 13 days to Boston! Soon I can start stalking the weather predictions. Of course, I'll be bringing every possible racing gear anyway, so I don't know why I bother. I have my seat booked on a shuttle down to the Cities and back (it'll be nice to not have to drive, even if it gets me back to Duluth a little later Tuesday than I would like), my tickets are bought, my friend is going to host me. All that's left is obsessive list making to make sure I don't forget anything. And trying to figure out if airport security will let me fly with a sealed bottle of Boost . . .