I’ve run a lot of races. Lots of different distances. Lots of different locations.
But the race I did last weekend was definitely a first. It was a marathon relay, so 4 people were covering 26.2 miles. That doesn’t sound too unusual, but the kicker for this race was it was indoors…on a track…surrounding an ice rink.
It was at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, WI. This race was a meet up for a lot of area Oiselle Volee runners. I recently joined the Volee team, so I was excited for my first race as an official member. There were 10 Oiselle teams doing the marathon relay–40 ladies total. My team was made up of three other Minnesota Volee members.
For the relay, you can split up the distance however you want, but most teams do 12 x 800’s. Meaning, you do two laps around the track (800 meters) and then change runners. Each person does 12 two-lap sets.
You wear an ankle bracelet to keep track of your official time, so you have to hand off the bracelet each time you change runners–just like passing the baton in a relay. Our on-deck runner was the person in charge of moving the bracelet from one runner to the next.
Since we were running shorter distances with each leg, we all tried to push our pace a bit. It was like an intense interval workout. The concrete under the track and the fact that you were running in circles in the same direction took a little bit of a toll on your body. I could feel it a bit in my left calf and my right hip.
I didn’t have a watch to keep track of my personal pace/time for each leg, but I was able to sneak a peak at the main race clock and get an idea of how fast I was going around the track. I think I was hanging somewhere around 2:15 – 2:20 per lap. No matter what the pace, I felt like I was pushing myself to run as fast as I could with each leg.
Everyone on our team was doing awesome and flying around the track! Very fitting since our team name was The Flying V!
We finished the marathon relay in 3 hrs 39 min 37 sec! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to achieve a marathon time like that on my own, so it was amazing to do it on a team with three other stellar runners. And with the support of all the other Volee teammates cheering each other on. We kept it light and fun all weekend with lots of laughs and a fair amount of inside jokes when the weekend was over. 🙂
Certainly an interesting running experience! If I do this race again, I’d probably train a little bit differently to prepare for the speed and interval aspects, but overall I felt good throughout the race. Getting my running groove back slowly but surely.
Next up is training for a spring half marathon with a 10 mile and 10K race thrown in. Looking forward to getting back into a regular training routine!
Have you ever run an indoor race? What’s on your spring race schedule?
It’s been a week since marathon day. The soreness in my legs is gone, but the good feels about the day remain. I’m proud to say I finished my second marathon and that it went even better than I was expecting.
The day started off with a 5:30 a.m. alarm so I could eat breakfast and get ready before catching the light rail to the start line. In looking at the weather, I opted for a t-shirt, capris, and a hat. It was going to be cloudy, and there was a chance of rain in the afternoon, so I knew I could get a little wet near the end of the race.
I got to the start area about 7:15. I snapped a picture of the sunrise behind U.S. Bank Stadium.
As I started walking around, orienting myself with where I needed to go, it started to sprinkle. Then it started to lightly rain. I popped into an underground parking entrance to take cover and avoid getting too wet before the race. Of course I didn’t bring a poncho or trash bag cause I wasn’t expecting pre-race rain. The little bit of rain that did fall on me made me chilly. At that moment I really regretted leaving my arm warmers on my kitchen table. I realized that if it rained during the earlier miles of the race, I actually might want them. Luckily, my parents were still at my place, so I texted them to bring along while spectating.
I had to hop out into the light rain for a few minutes to hit the bathroom lines, but didn’t get too wet. The rain stopped by the time I headed to the corral. Before I knew it, corral 1 was off. I actually felt pretty calm. I think I was just ready to get running. I ditched my throw-away shirt as we made our way up to the line, and then I was off.
My legs felt good and fresh. I think not running for two days before the race was good. I did my best to find a comfortable pace without going out too fast.
At mile 2.5, I saw my parents and my sister. I was feeling good and holding on to about a 9:40 pace. As long as that felt good, I was going with it.
The miles continued to tick by fairly quickly as I tried to take in the sights of the spectators and fellow runners. We passed the 10K checkpoint and then were heading around the lakes. I saw my parents again around mile 8 and was still keeping my pace. My foot was doing just fine as well. No pain or soreness to get in my way.
I couldn’t believe it when I passed the halfway point! I was still feeling good and able to keep up a good pace. There were some sprinkles falling periodically around this point of the race, but nothing that lasted too long. I saw some friends on the south side of Lake Nokomis and gave them huge hugs, which gave me another burst of energy.
I could feel a bit of fatigue in my legs around mile 15, but was able to keep my pace. I saw my friend Kate just past mile 16. She brought me a dry hat and socks if I needed them, but I was doing ok, so gave her a hug and keep chugging along.
Getting to mile 17 was sort of a milestone in my head since that would mean the remaining miles would be in single digits. I kept pushing knowing I would see more friends around mile 18. I got much needed high fives from them as I continued on. I was certainly feeling the tiredness in my legs. When I saw my parents just before mile 19, I warned them that my pace would likely slow from then to the finish.
Mile 19 was the first time I had to do a little walking. I knew that would happen at some point. I was pleasantly surprised that I felt as good as I did up until that point. I made it closer to mile 20-21 before needing to walk in my first marathon, but given my altered training near the end, 19 miles was pretty darn good.
I used downhills and flat areas to run, and resolved to needing to walk a bit on some of the uphills.
As I made my way up the hill towards Summit Ave, I knew I was approaching the home stretch, but the rain was also starting to come down. It was going to be a long final 5 miles, but I told myself to just keep moving forward.
I kept my walk/run routine going. I was also keeping an eye on my left glute. I had a few steps where I felt some pain in it while running. It wasn’t constant and didn’t hurt when I walked, but wanted to make sure it didn’t get worse. I think it was an effect of my legs just getting really fatigued.
The rain sucked and I was getting chilly, but it motivated me to run as much as I could to get to mile 24 where Hyedi would be cheering. I didn’t want her standing in the rain any longer than she had to! I really appreciate that she braved the rain because it was certainly needed to get some words or encouragement as I pushed through the last two miles.
I did a little more walking in those last two miles than I wanted, but as I spotted the top of the cathedral, I knew I was almost to the end. Thank goodness the last part of this course is almost entirely downhill. I used that to propel me through the last .2 miles and pushed my legs as hard as I could.
As I approached the finish line, I felt a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
I had to compose myself a little as I turned off my Garmin and approached a volunteer who put my medal around my neck.
I made a beeline for the volunteers with the heat sheets so I could warm up. Then I grabbed some food and my finishers shirt to make my way out and find my parents.
It’s amazing the range of emotions you go through at the end. From feeling exhausted and uncomfortable to elated and in disbelief that you just put your body through that kind of physical and mental challenge.
In looking at the TC Marathon app on the way home, I saw that my race time was 4:34:41. A new PR!!!
I really did not know what to expect with this race given the end of my training. Apparently, it was good that I did as much resting and cross training as I did because my foot held up just fine for the whole race. And the good training I put in all summer certainly paid off and pulled me through.
I can’t help but wonder what the race or my time would’ve been like if I had been able to complete my training as planned, but I cannot complain about the outcome. And I know there’s always next time. 😉
Eight more weeks to go! As I type that it seems really far away and really close all at the same time.
The peak mileage weeks are in view, and I’m trying to make sure I stay healthy and injury free. I’ve been good with that so far, but I did notice the beginning of a black toenail after my long run this past week. It happened on the same toe the last time I trained for a marathon, so apparently I’m prone to it when my mileage gets up around 17 miles.
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 3.81 miles (9:11/mile)
I had flag football practice in the evening. We didn’t have a ton of people, but we were still able to run some plays. Practice ran a little longer than I had planned, but I still squeezed in a quick (literally) run. It was supposed to be 4 miles, but I figured I could cut it a tad short given the running I did at practice. 😉
Wednesday – 8.04 miles (9:34/mile)
My legs were feeling that football practice for this 8 miler. My legs were tired and heavy the whole way. My ankles were also really sore. At first I wasn’t sure why, but then I realized that all of the quick side to side running and uneven ground probably took a toll on my ankles.
Thursday – 4.05 miles (9:40/mile)
The ankles were still sore for this run, but got in a few easy miles. It was an unseasonably cool day. Basically a preview of fall running.
Afterwards, I met up with a friend to catch up over dinner and a cocktail.
Friday – rest
Saturday – 17.1 miles (9:43/mile)
I was up bright and early to get my long run started. I obviously wasn’t awake yet because I drove all the way to the lakes and realized I forgot my Garmin. Oh well. I had RunKeeper on my phone. I think the Garmin is just a little more accurate.
It was a gorgeous, cool morning for a run.
I feel like my long runs after a step-back week are sometimes less than stellar, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. My legs felt ok, but my pace wasn’t as fast as I’ve been doing. My early miles were hanging out around a 9:45/mile pace. Nothing to complain about, so I tried to just settle in.
The miles actually ticked by fairly fast. Before I knew it, I was heading back to Lake Harriet for one more loop around that lake to finish up my 17 miles. Somehow, my legs found a little extra energy and my average pace increased to about 9:30/mile for the last 3 miles.
I was exhausted after my run from getting up early and not getting a good night of sleep, so I definitely took a nap in the afternoon!
Sunday – 3.12 miles (16:34/mile)
My sister, a friend, and I did Fifteen’s 5K on Sunday morning. We took it easy and walked most of it. Was a fun way to get in my cross training for the week. You finish the race near home plate on Target Field, which was also pretty cool!
I cleaned up when I got home and headed to a birthday party for a friend’s kiddo. Then I headed back to Target Field for the Twins game. You get a ticket to the game with your race registration. The Texas Rangers went up by 5 runs in the first inning, so things didn’t start well. Around the third inning the rain came. It was a short rain delay and then the clouds parted and it turned out to be a lovely afternoon for baseball. Apparently the break was good for the Twins as well because they came back to win 6-5!
I wanted a fun race to do over the summer to help break up the training. A friend and I signed up for the Torchlight 5K. I ran this race once before several years ago and had fun, so I thought it would be good to try it again. I knew it would likely be hot, but was treating it as a training run rather than actually racing it.
The race was on Wednesday evening. All afternoon at worked I watched as dark clouds moved in. It started storming a little after that, and I just hoped that it would stop by race time. Luckily it did! The rain actually cut the heat and humidity down.
I headed home from work to change and have a bowl of cereal before heading to the race. It’s a point to point course through downtown Minneapolis, so I parked closer to the finish. This was good for logistics of not having to walk too far after the race, but also because I technically had to do 4 miles for my training plan that day. I ran/walk a little over a mile to get to the start line and meet up with my friend.
It was a crowded start corral. We tried to work out way up between the 9:00 and 10:00 minute mile pace signs, but could quite get there. We figured we’d just have to do a little weaving, but it would be ok.
They let us go in waves, so that helped thin things out by the time we stepped across the start line. I was using this as a training run, but planned to step up the pace a little. We held around a 9:00/mile pace throughout the race. A lot of the course is flat or even downhill.
Around mile 2, I could feel the humidity coming back. Made for a sweaty run! We crossed the Stone Arch Bridge and then turned a corner into the home stretch of the race. As we crossed the finish line and stopped our watches, we both noticed the course was long. We had it clocked at 3.31 miles. Turns out there was a typo when the course got certified, so it was in fact long. Not the end of the world, especially since I wasn’t racing it, but always a little disappointing when that happens. My official time was 29:49.
After the race, we grabbed our free Chick-fil-A, beer, and other swag.
We chilled in the grass for a little bit before heading back across the river to head home. On the walk back, we snapped a selfie. 🙂
The sun was going down and more storms were rolling in, so we got some great pics of the clouds. They looked pretty cool!
I had a lot of fun at the race! It was a really nice change to the training schedule, and I’d definitely do this race again.
But, I’ll get to that. This is a tad long, but stick with me.
In my last two weeks of training I was busy at work and then on vacation with my family, so I didn’t get a chance to do weekly recaps, but there wasn’t anything really out of the ordinary. I managed to get in a few short runs on the beach while on vacation along with plenty of rest and relaxation leading up to race day.
On Friday, we stopped by the race expo to pick up my packet. It wasn’t a huge expo, so easy to get in and out.
After that, my parents and I headed to dinner and had a couple of drinks on a patio to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I was sitting on a bar stool and must have been sitting in an odd position for awhile because I woke up on Saturday morning and noticed it hurt when I twisted my knee in a certain way. I tried stretching my legs and took it easy all day, but was feeling the pain on and off. Needless to say, I was starting to get a bit anxious for my race. I didn’t hurt when I walked, but I hadn’t tested it running. By the time I went to bed it was better, so I crossed my fingers all would be well in the morning.
On Sunday morning I woke up about 5:30 a.m. to start getting ready. Luckily, no pain in the knee! (Phew)
The weather was perfect. It was clear and about 50 degrees. The race also started nice and early – 7:10 a.m. My parents dropped me off near the start line and then made their way to their first spectating spot. I lined up just behind the 9:00 minute mile pacer as I was hoping to do about a 9:15-9:20 pace if I wanted to PR.
Things got going right on time and we headed down Ocean Blvd. There were over 1,000 runners, but I didn’t have to do a lot of weaving around people and found a comfortable pace that didn’t feel like I was going out too fast.
About mile 2 I saw my parents at their first spot. We had talked about them going to 3 spots along the course, but they ended up going to about 6! Super spectators! They got some good action shots and even had a sign. ❤
In the first several miles, I was keeping up a faster pace than expected, but felt good. In mile 5, we turned up a street heading west and I felt my pace slow a little running into the wind and slightly uphill. I felt a slight twinge of pain above my right knee (the one that had been hurting the day before), but nothing bad. Going into mile 6 we started heading east and got the benefit of the slight downhill, so my pace picked up. I also noticed that I wasn’t feeling anything around my knee anymore. (Yay!)
As we approached the halfway point, I looked at my pace and started doing a little math. I was not only on pace to PR, but I realized if I kept up my pace I could actually finish in under 2 hours. That goal hadn’t occurred to me until that moment. I thought doing a sub-2 half marathon was a ways off for me. In my last 12 mile training run, the first 10 miles were great and then my legs basically gave up on me for the last 2, so I was a little worried something similar would happen, but decided to see what I could do.
We made our way through some more neighborhood streets and around mile 11.5 we turned back on to Ocean Blvd. On the home stretch. The sun was rising and there wasn’t shade, but it was at least behind us. I focused on putting one foot in front of the other. At mile 12.5, they hand out tiaras and pink boas to the runners. I grabbed them, but just carried them in my hand so I could concentrate on pushing it through the finish line. I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. It said something just over 1:57. I knew my actual time would be a bit higher because my watch paused when I had to stop and tie my shoe early in the race, but I was feeling pretty confident that I had done it!
I grabbed my celebratory pink “bubbly” and medal. That medal is a beast! It’s huge and so heavy.
My parents found me and we made our way to the car. I checked the live race results and sure enough, I had finished under 2 hours!! Official time was 1:58:08. I still can’t believe it! The great weather and a flat course helped, but I know I put in a lot of good training for this race. It provides some fuel for bigger and better goals and some confidence as I get ready for marathon training.
Overall, I had a lot of fun at this race. It was a literal explosion of pink (seriously, look at the swag), but it was well organized and you can’t beat running in Myrtle Beach.
After 5 years of doing this race, I’ve got the pre-race routine down. I got up and had breakfast before heading to campus. I know that traffic can get a bit backed up and I wanted park in one of the lots by the stadium. I don’t mind being early and sitting in my car for a little bit if it means parking close.
I hit the restroom line and then just walked around for about 10 minutes to warm up until it was time to head to the corral. I sandwiched myself between the 9:30 and 9:00 pacers since I was aiming for something around a 9:20-9:25 pace.
I started my watch as I crossed the start line and we were off! The adrenaline and crowd often make me start a little too fast, so I tried to keep my pace under control while I warmed up. We headed up University Ave. and then turned into campus. Before I knew it I saw the marker for mile 1. Then my watch beeped a decent distance after I passed it, so I was a little worried the course would be off. I kept up a slightly faster than expected pace in mile 2. A big downhill helped with that. It was immediately followed by a big uphill that took some energy, but I settled into a comfortable pace when I got to the top.
It wasn’t that warm, but it felt humid to me. I felt like I was seating a lot even just a couple of miles in. I wasn’t thinking I’d want water at the first water stop, but I decided to take some cause I was feeling thirsty. I continued down the river road holding a good pace. The mile markers started lining up better with when my watch beeped, so I was feeling a little better about the course.
Around mile 5, I took a GU for a mid-race pick me up. I think mile 6 ended up being my slowest mile, but by mile 7 I picked up the pace again (maybe the GU was working). The last couple of miles have a couple of killer uphills that can make the thighs burn. I managed to keep the legs pumping as I made my way back to University Ave. for the home stretch. I picked up the pace a little and then a lot as we hit the outside of the stadium. Before I knew it, we were turning into the tunnel and hit the field. I crossed the finish line (at the 50 yard line) and stopped my watch.
I grabbed my medal and asked a kind stranger to take my picture. 🙂
My official time was 1:32:04, a new PR! That amounted to about a 9:13 pace, faster than I had hoped. I felt good through the race. I love doing this race every year because I continue to see progress. I feel faster and stronger each time I do it. It’s a nice benchmark early in the year.
Hope it’s a good prelude for my half marathon in a couple of weeks!
It’s not turkey day without a turkey trot! This was my 4th year doing the Turkey Trot 5 mile run in my hometown. I was happy to see the temps were close to 30 the morning of the race – not bad at all for a run.
My parents and I got to the start about 15 minutes before the race started. They made their way to the start line for the 2 mile walk (with the dog) and I headed to the run start. I made my way into the corral and stayed near the front to hopefully avoid a lot of weaving around people.
The strategy worked out pretty well. The road is also wide at the beginning of the course, which helped. I did notice that my pace was a little faster than I was planning since I was moving with the flow of the crowd, but I was feeling good and getting warmed up.
Not long after we started, some snow flurries started falling on us. It was actually really pretty!
As I passed miles 1 and 2, my watch beeped close to the mile markers. At mile 3 I ran passed the mile marker and a little ways away noticed my watch hadn’t beeped yet. I was about 0.1 miles off. It was the same story at mile 4. I was thinking the course was going to be short. As I made my way through the last mile, we rounded the path down near the river and then up by the ice arena where my watch beeped for mile 5 just before crossing the finish line. So things worked out in the end!
I had told my parents that I was expecting to run a 9:30 pace. I ended up keeping up my fast pace from the beginning of the race and ran a 9:16 pace! More than enough for a new 5 mile PR!
I made my way to the food lines at the end and found my parents. With our mini pumpkin pies in hand, we headed back to the car. We were on our way to pick up my grandma and had to stop at a gas station to get some pumpkin spice cappuccino (our new tradition). We ended up stopping at three different gas stations before getting all of the drinks we needed — long story, but worth it!
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying the holiday. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!