Wednesday night was the Torchlight 5K sponsored by Lifetime. This was a race I had been preparing for my whole life, or for less than 24 hours. Upon talking with the lovely Miss Kayla, she invited me to run with her and her people. Since I had just run 3.5 miles and felt really good during it, I thought it would be good to run another 3.1 for the third day in a row. Below are the highlights and lowlights:
- Pretty flat course. The race began off Hennepin near the Basilica, went over the river via the Stone Arch Bridge, and ended at St. Anthony Main. There was one nice downhill near the Guthrie which was more than welcome. Otherwise, no real hills, which was appreciated 🙂
- My time: unofficially, as this was not a chip timed event, was around 26:30 ish, which would put me near my record pace I set at the Gussie Gallop 5K.
- Only stopped twice, though I didn’t feel like I needed to. The first time was to take my t-shirt off. I was wearing Under Armour as well. It was a pretty hot day, and somewhat muggy. The second stop was due to flashbacks or just not knowing what was going on. Upon coming up to the 3 mile marker, I thought to myself ‘I have 10 more to go?’ I guess I thought I was at the half-marathon. Odd. A runner who had been running at my pace passed me and gave me a weird look. I quickly realized ‘oh, I’m almost done’. You don’t have to be smart to be a runner, I proved that to be true.
- Thanks for the warning about exits being closed, Minneapolis! Traffic was of course, a mess at the time we were heading downtown. I figured we would wait in the Dunwoody/Hennepin exit and get off right next to the race area. That exit was closed, with no explanation. Next option: 12th street exit. Also closed, without any warning. Ended up getting off on 4th and parking near the Target Center, then partially running to registration/t-shirt pickup. Granted, it would have helped if we had left ten minutes earlier, but my car decided to be a brat and the alarm system went a little nuts. Thanks to Hyundai Elantra for that wonderful moment!
- 5,800 others also ran this 5K. This made the first 3.0 miles difficult to navigate through, luckily the last .1 mile was a breeze. I felt like I was Adrian Peterson navigating through defenses shakin’, breakin’ ankles, etc.
- Other runners did not have the same objective as I did. Mine was to finish with a good time. Others chose to walk by themselves, or to walk with a group in a line covering the width of the street, or to stop for no reason other than the ‘absolutely necessary photo opportunity at mile .6. There were many people like myself who were weaving our way through this traffic. Kayla almost took out a guy who was sprinting on the edge as she was trying to avoid a slow runner. It was good entertainment for me; though he didn’t appreciate the small laughter I let out about it.
- Not a chip timed race. Not that I need to be super official, but if I am going to spend $35 for a race sponsored by a large company like Lifetime Fitness, shouldn’t there be a at least a disposable chip available? Luckily, I brought my watch for a more ‘official’ time.
- T-shirt design. Very unimpressive. It’s a beige/tan shirt, small logo on the front, with the saying ‘light up downtown’. I guess it’s better than a standard white t-shirt with generic logo. It felt like something was missing.
Will I do this race again? Absolutely. The course was easy, the company was great, and the free beer afterward always helps. (MGD 64 isn’t… horrible; worth the price we paid). What would I do differently? Plan more than ta day before on running a race; get there earlier so I can put the tshirt(s) in the car and not run with them in my hands; go to the front of the line to avoid human traffic; run faster 🙂
Now I need to find another race, 5K or 10K preferred. If you know of one, contact me asap!
Have a great Friday!
Yesterday was my first race since the Minneapolis half-marathon. It was a little 5K, but with new expectations and goals behind it.
Compared to my first ever 5K in April, I had a time in mind: sub 27 minute 5K, which would mean I am running sub 9 minute miles. I did not think this would be difficult, as I have been training harder to improve my pace, and recently ran my fastest mile ever at 5:51.
The race: Gussie Gallop in St. Augusta, MN. My friend Sarah, who was more than gracious to take pictures of me at the half-marathon, invited me up for a fun day of running, Mongo’s, and a favorite past time of mine: BINGO.
The course was said to be relatively flat; that ended up being a lie. I didn’t mind it, since I had struggled with hills in the half-marathon, and need to work on hills to improve. It was an interesting experience running through a small town, next to farms and small homes, and having traffic on the road with you. It was my first experience in a cemetery, as we had to run through part of one towards the finish. It was also the first 5K that had a water stop in the middle. I thought that was only for races longer than a 5K. Sarah and I ran together the whole time, which makes running much easier during both training and a race.
My previous best in a 5K race wsa 29:53, which was during the St. Thomas 5K. Yesterday, I ran 26:23, an improvement of 3:30. If my guess is right, I ran 8:49 miles, which is a big step in the right direction. Anytime you can improve your time by 3:30, that is a significant accomplishment; it’s something I am proud of. I struggled around mile 2; it was very muggy, and I wore a long sleeve shirt over my Nike Drifit shirt, which I had to take off and throw in someone’s yard. The last mile felt so much better than the previous two. Overall, I placed 45th out of 205 total runners, putting me in the top 25%. Never in my life would I have said that I would have run all these races, and be in the top 25% of any race. It feels pretty good.
My next race may be on July 4th, the Firecracker Run, which would be a 10K. Again, I am working on pace and speeting things up. With my height (6’4”) and the long legs that come with that, there is no reason why I can not keep improving my times, my distances, and become a respected runner/athlete.
I hope everyone had a good weekend!
I have been away from the blog for three weeks (bad Jason!). It has not been due to a lack of material, and not fully due to a lack of time (though that has been the reason some of the time), it became a ‘out of sight, out of mind’ situation. I have been blogging a bit on the Spyder Trap Online Marketing Blog, though that is more professional and industry related. A lot has happened in my life in the last three weeks. Let’s give a quick recap.
I ran in the St. Thomas ‘Running to Open Doors’ 5k with my running friend Katie on April 18th. This was my first real run since I had purchased new running shoes. I had been dealing with some foot issues that sidelined me for over a week. Though I improved my time compared to the first 5K I ran by 71 seconds (look at #57), it was very apparent that I was not ready for a race of any kind. I struggled with pacing and cramping, having to actually stop twice to stretch out. Since the race, I have done some running, getting up to the 6-7 mile range. I am behind where I want to be at this time. We are four weeks away from the Minneapolis half-marathon; time to get going!
Work is going very well. I am almost two full months in and have noticed myself grow professionally during that time. I can tell in how I talk with people, how I think through questions; my understanding of all online marketing is much greater than it was just 7 weeks prior. There are plenty of improvements to be made with myself: improving my networking skills: recognizing an opportunity, asking the right questions, etc.; increase my knowledge in web programming: not necessarily with writing code or creating web pages, but with knowing how to talk about it with clients; that is key since I have added an ‘account executive’ hat to the pile I wear already. I want to be a ‘one-person agency’. To clarify what that means: I want to have a wide knowledge base in all that encompasses online marketing, and have the ability to deliver on each task within online marketing. I do not think there is a better way to show value than by having the ability to talk about everything, and execute everything.
Overall, life is going very well. The only obstacle in front of me is myself. In some things in life (it is increasing every day) I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I expect so much out of myself at all moments of the day, i is to the point where if something goes well, it does not excite me, because I expected that to happen. I think to myself: ”why get excited for doing what you were supoosed to do?” Then when I don’t execute something as well as I should have, it makes me go crazy inside, even over small mistakes. I try to hide it as best as possible, though lately I have done a terrible job of doing so.
For those who are perfectionists, were perfectionists, or know someone like that:
- Is there a way to end the perfectionism in you?
- How do you deal with a perfectionist?
Today was the day where I finally tested myself in a race situation. This was not part of the original plan; the Minneapolis Half-Marathon was to be my racing debut. Thanks to my marathon running friend, Kenny, he informed me of ‘Run With the Wolves 5K‘ early this week. Upon hearing about it, I instantly signed up. I have not timed myself once since I started running; this race was going to provide me with the benchmark to establish my goal for future races.
Leading up to this morning, I did not get the night of rest I had hoped for. Staying out a little later than I had planned, my phone kept ringing after 1:30am. Not in the mood to talk, I finally fell asleep around 3am. Race time was only 6.5 hours away.
I woke up only getting four hours of sleep, but I felt really good. I chose to take two days off from running to allow my body to be fully rested. I had a banana and wheaties for breakfast around 8am, leaving me an hour and a half until race time. Check in was easy since I had preregistered. I grabbed my bag of goodies which included a game ticket for the Wolves/Nuggets game tomorrow, a 2008-2009 team yearbook, some Gatorade products for after the race, and other promotional propaganda. Before the race, there was a contest to see if anyone could guess how many hours of sleep current Timberwolves player Mark Madsen got last night. After a couple minutes of guessing, I guessed ‘4:15’, which was close enough, winning me a $50 gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Bling!
After some relaxing with the crew, it was race time. My goal was to not take any walking breaks. Based on pure guesswork, I had myself pegged for running ten-minute miles (had not been timing my runs); start, run, finish; that was the plan.
I had never run around Lake Harriet; I am used to the flatter confines of Lake Calhoun, or the flatlands of Hopkins. Lake Harriet has some decent uphill parts to the course which were a nice test for me. I used the downhill parts as my ‘break’ within the race, a strategy I will use in future runs. I kept a nice, steady pace throughout the race. My legs never felt fatigued, further verifying I need to start pushing myself further. I kept seeking out landmarks along the course to use as a ‘checkpoint’. I hope I do not have to keep doing that to motivate myself. At the end of the race, I felt a sense of accomplishment, finishing the race how I wanted to: start, run, finish. I now know how it will feel to cross the finish line.
Now for the analysis of the race: I felt good during the whole race. My right trapezius felt tight from the halfway point on; that has happened a couple times before, not sure what that is from (there is no soreness now), my lungs felt good, my pace was consistent; overall, the experience was solid. The only negative to come of this: there was a guy that was sprinting as far as he could, then walked when he was tired. This was repeated four or five times. I thought the tortoise (me) would beat the hare (other guy). Unfortunately, sprint walking guy sprinted past me in the last 50 meters. I was not too happy about that.
My official time was 30 minutes and 14 seconds for a 9 minute and 45 second per mile pace. That slightly exceeded my expectations of ten minute miles. If I was to keep that pace during the half-marathon, I would complete that race in 2 hours 7 minutes and 40 seconds. Long term, I would like to get below 9 minutes per mile; that might take a little while.
After the race, Ken, Alex, and myself got the chance to talk with Mark Madsen about twitter (he’s now following me… bling!), basketball, and other random things. He’s a very nice guy and was very accessible. We also got a photo with him. I can not wait to get the photos of today from Brit. Thanks to Brit and Marlee for taking pics!
Thanks to everyone for the kind and encouraging words. Today was a step closer to the half-marathon. 57 days away, but who is counting?
One of the more important ’09 resolutions/goals was to improve my health. One of the obvious ways to do that is to start exercising. Let me give you a brief background on how I’ve done in recent memory with working out:
- bought a one-year membership to Bally’s Total Fitness after graduating college; never used it
- broke my wrist and had surgery, effectively ending my 2008 athletic season; that didn’t help things
- I went up the stairs in the River Centre on Saturday before the Minnesota Wild game; I was thoroughly winded.
Pathetic. That is the one word that describes my workout ethic in the last 17 months. I’m honestly surprised I don’t look like this. Because I don’t, I have a chance to get back to where I’ve been before a few times. I don’t doubt that I can get there, it’s about maintaining and improving.
Last night, I tried to go to bed early: fail. To get myself tired, I figured a few push-ups and sit-ups would do a body good. I did 20 sit-ups, and 16 push-ups, all 20 and 16 were a complete struggle. I don’t mind that I can only do 20 and 16, it’s just a reminder of how far off I am. I plan on doing at least X sit-ups and X push-ups every night and/or morning. I don’t want to join a gym until I’m much further along in this process, plus, I don’t want to be at any gym during January and February with all of those people that have ‘getting in shape’ as a New Years resolution; it makes the gym too crowded. You do get to see who will make it and who won’t.
There’s another reason why I want to get in better shape. Sometimes, to motivate people, you need to put something on the line. Since improving my health for the short and long term wasn’t enough, my friend Brian thought of a good idea: sign up for a race. 5k? 10k? Half-marathon? Of course, there would have to be a wager to make it competitive versus each other; that has yet to be determined. Brian sent me an email with a link to the Minneapolis Marathon, which has a half-marathon and a 5K, on May 31, a day before my birthday. What a birthday present to give myself; finishing my first race, and to beat Brian in whatever wager we have. Whenever I’ve been in top shape, I’ve despised running with a passion. Since I’ve posted this, consider this to be my way of saying ‘yes, I’ll run in a race with you on May 31.’
Here are some questions for you:
- How many of you have ‘getting in shape’ as your resolution?
- Did you join a gym?
- What workout(s) do you do or are planning on doing?
- For someone who’s never trained for a race of any size, what kind of training regimen do you recommend?
Wish me luck, here goes workout #2.