Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Trot 10k recap

Like so many others, I ran a 10k yesterday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Just kidding, I didn't do it to celebrate Thanksgiving, I did it because the race was cheap and in my area. There are a couple of big local races- one is a 5k in downtown Minneapolis sponsored by Lifetime Fitness, another is a 10k around Lake Harriet, and the one I ran was an inaugural 5k/10k in St. Paul. I will never do the Lifetime Fitness one- it is pricey, crowded, and they don't keep results. Sorry, but what the heck is the point of racing if there are no results? No thanks. I've done the Lake Harriet one before and actually really liked that race but since another one was offered in St. Paul and is closer to home, of course I'm going to pick that one!

Anyway. I ran the Turkey Trot Saint Paul. As I mentioned, the race was really reasonably priced ($35 since I signed up a couple months ago). So that was a plus.  However, packet pick up was the night before at the Crown Plaza in St. Paul- terrible idea. First of all, downtown St. Paul has a lot of one way streets and limited parking. I probably drove around for 15 minutes before finding a place to park. There wasn't much to pick up- just the bib and t-shirt, and socks, for the first 2000 registrants. You were supposed to look up your number ahead of time but they did have all the numbers printed off in case you forgot or didn't do that.

So race day was clear and cold. It started at 7:30 am and I think it was about 24 degrees. I didn't do much of a warm up for the race- I misjudged how long it would take me to get moving and get to the start, so I only had about 15 minutes to spare. One major positive about the race was the number of porta-potties. There were a lot. No complaints there!

The race was held on Shepard Road, from the Science Museum to a spot 3.1 miles down the road, and back. Not necessarily the most exciting or scenic course, despite the river being right there. Shepard road is two lanes each way so it was kind of like running on a highway. There are also some long, gradual hills, which weren't too terrible. There were pacers for this race, including a pacer for 40:00. I started close to the front of the race and figured I'd take it easy for the first couple miles and try to push the last two.

At about mile 1 I found myself in a good rhythm and running with some guy (we'll call him B because I think I heard someone cheer for him and I think the name they yelled started with "B"). B and I ended up running pretty much the entire race together, which was really nice! I love finding running buddies during races. It is way easier to run with someone.  At about mile 2 we got caught by another girl and guy but stayed with them as a nice little four-some until about mile 4. There was a pretty good hill at that point and the two that had been with me and B dropped off. After one more little hill at mile 4.75 the race was pretty flat or slightly downhill, which worked well for my plan of pushing a bit. B out kicked me at the end but I still ran 40:29, which I think is a PR. 


Mile 1 6:36
Mile 2 6:32
Mile 3 6:30
Mile 4 6:31
Mile 5 6:31
Mile 6 6:22
Mile .2 1:26

No photos of this race but here are some other cool pictures:

Tailgating before the Gopher Game- Bloody Marys. We had to stay warm somehow!

Luther fans at the DIII Central Region Cross Country Championships.  Please note it was about 30 degrees out.

I believe these are St. Olaf fans, giving Luther a run for their money in regards to "crazy accessories".

A pack of men.
The men's winner. Now that is a finishing sprint. 

I have found that some people do not like Bloody Marys. Do you? What fixings do you add? For our tailgating we had beef sticks, pepper jack cheese, pickles, celery, lemon wedges, and worchestershire sauce. I have to admit, they were phenomenal.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Recently Mr. B and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. Our initial plan for celebrating was a road trip to watch the Packers at Lambeau. However, one morning about a month ago, I learned that Mr. B had booked us a weekend trip to New York City instead- over the weekend of the New York Marathon no less! Of course, the Packers would be fun...but a trip to watch the New York Marathon would be incredible!
Oh hey New York!
On Saturday morning I had hoped to catch the Dash to the Finish 5k, which included some of my favorite professional runners: Chris Solinsky, Shalane Flanagan, Molly Huddle, Ben True, Sally Kipyego, and Lopez Lomong (just to name a few). Unfortunately we got a little behind and missed the elite race (but Nick Willis won the men's competition in 13:47 and Molly Huddle won for women in 15:27 - interviews, more results, etc., are here ). I did get a picture of the masses running:
One thing you can't see in this picture is the ridiculous number of people running and taking photos of themselves! Some even had those things that you stick your camera/phone to the end of so it doesn't look like a selfie (like this thing)

Okay- I am all about documenting memories, etc, (even though somehow there are no pics of Mr. B & me together from our weekend) but seriously, why would you run 3.1 miles holding that thing?! Do you need that many photos, or worse, a video of just your face, bobbing in and out of the frame?!

Sorry. Rant over. 

Mr. B and I were staying in midtown, about 1.2 miles south of Central Park, so on Sunday we ran over the park. One thing we noticed on our way was how windy it was- just a stiff headwind until we turned for home. I have a feeling that contributed to the somewhat "slow" times. Anyway, we were at the park pretty early and if we had wanted to could have snagged a front row seat to the finish. Security was understandably tight- even with just our running clothes we got wanded by police before entering the park, and all bags were searched before people were allowed near the course. We finished our run down 5th avenue (I was staring so hard at the amazing displays in those high end shops that I was afraid I'd run into the glass like a little bird).

We went back to the park after changing into warmer clothes, and positioned ourselves near what I believe was about mile 25.5 (just an estimate). We arrived just in time to see Kim Smith, a runner from New Zealand, pass by en route to a 6th place finish. Here are some of the elite runners I was able to get photos of, including links to some articles about them:

Julia Stamps Mallon: Bad Ass.
Ryan Vail, top American man.

Never giving up: Meb Keflezighi- great post- race interview is here
Yuki Kawauchi- finishing marathon #9 of 2013, also works a full time job and is not a "professional" runnner
Wesley Korir- 2012 Boston Champion and maybe future president of Kenya
The environment around the race was really great- though some people were oblivious to the fact that a race was happening (I saw a girl try to just walk through the crowd of, bad idea), most people were super excited! I know it sounds very naive of me, but I just didn't realize how big this race is! I think I read that over 50,000 people started the race- almost 5x the number that start the Twin Cities marathon (12k in 2013). I can't even imagine dealing with the logistics of something so big. Personally, I'm not sure I'd enjoy a race that huge, though I'm sure it would be an amazing experience!
Running last week:
Monday: off
Thursday: off
Friday: 7.5
Saturday: off

I clearly didn't follow my plan for running, so this week I'm not making a plan and am just focusing on getting 5+ miles in on at least 5 days (including a long run on Saturday).

Do you prefer larger races, or small ones?
Who is your favorite or inspirational elite runner? Do you follow elite racing at all?
-I love Kara Goucher of course, but I also really admire the runners who aren't "big names" or maybe don't have shoe contracts, but keep running and competing at a high level- Jason Hartmann comes to mind.