AM: 3+M wm; 13.1 race (alternating marathon and tempo pace); 4M cd :: 20M
So perusing the internet at the end of the work day Friday I came across the website for the Heart of the City Half-Marathon in Burnsville today. For some reason I checked out the awards page and found that it was $300 for 1st place. Considering the scheduled volume for my workout today was 14M, I thought that it might be wise to make it worth my while not just physiologically, but monetarily as well. If it were only that easy. The first familiar person I saw as I was walking to the registration tent this morning was Chris. I think my first words were "Hey, workout day for you too?" Oh well, 2nd place still garnered $150. On the bright side I got to do some running with Chris and it ensured that I would keep this a workout effort, not a race.
So Daniels Running Formula "Elite" plan, first marathon workout:
6M marathon pace (5:30)
1M tempo pace (5:15)
5M marathon pace
1M tempo pace
1M marathon pace
Starting off I was in a good place: 5:30, 5:31, 5:24, 5:44, 5:36; 5:29 for the first 6M portion of the workout. The first three miles were primarily downhill so the effort was relaxed. I should have taken that 5:24/5:44 two mile stretch as a warning about the accuracy of the course/mile markers. I didn't feel my effort changed that much for those two miles and there weren't any major obstacles in the course to slow me down.
I was running pretty comfortably at this point, but the thought of picking up didn't seem so appealing as I approached the 6 mile mark. That changed once I picked up the pace. It was like a gun went off and I slipped into the faster pace almost immediately with relatively little effort. In my mind I focused on staying relaxed in both form and breathing. It was a beautiful day weather wise. They had predicted scattered showers for the morning, but now it was clear skies and rather warm. Miles 6-7: 5:13. I was very happy with the workout at this point.
Backing off at mile 8 I focused on slipping back into my marathon pace for the next 5 mile stretch. Up until now I felt like every thing was marked pretty accurately, but for the rest of the race? Uh-boy: 4:36, 6:57, 5:54, 4:42, 5:43. After the first two splits I just kept hitting the lap button for a little comic relief. With no way getting accurate info on pace I just monitored the effort to make sure that I was still in workout mode, not race mode.
Hitting mile ~12 I was supposed to pick the pace up again. The effort was harder, but my split at mile 13 was 5:29. I finished in 1:12:05 which is about 5:30/mile. So overall the pace was just a little slow, but then again if I can't trust the mile marks, what is my confidence in the accuracy of the course as a whole?
I want to take a second here to clarify that I'm don't want to give a negative impression of this race. It was a beautiful course and it was well run. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to do a new/different race. It is also for a very good cause. The Tender Hearts Foundation provides housing to homeless teens. A lot of them are kids who may or may not have graduated from high school, aren't going to college, and have been kicked out of their house at 18. It allows them to build save some money, build a credit history, and avoid hopping from couch to couch. And as far as I know it doesn't rely on any government funding.
Chris and I got in a relaxed cooldown and enjoyed the $6 all you can eat pancake breakfast. While we waited for the awards we lounged under the trees in the city center park. It was definitely one of those "It doesn't get any better than this" (Alas, we weren't drinking Old Milwaukee).
Took my cold bath when I got home. That is something I have been working into the routine, at least on the harder days. I feel it has been helping.
The only downer about today was not using those marks I worked on Thursday night. Next Sat we'll be in Duluth so I'll be running on Grandma's course. The next Sat I'll actually be racing the Bjorklund 1/2 marathon on Grandma's course, and the next Saturday may only be an easy long run. I hope somebody out there is using those marks. Oh wait, I just realized I'm doing a tempo run this coming week. Nevermind, it wasn't for naught.
Tender Hearts Foundation
"Kinda gamey." What a great line.
Not exactly Puff the Magic Dragon