This past Saturday I raced the 10K at the Securian Winter Run in downtown St. Paul. As it’s about time to start gearing up the training for the season it was a good opportunity to see where my run performance is at. I had raced the half marathon twice in the past; both times it was near zero degree temps. I was overjoyed when the temperatures for Saturday were predicted to be in the low 30’s with no snow, so the roads would be clear and my muscles and breathing wouldn’t be affected by ridiculous cold. Saturday was beautiful, mid 30’s and sunny; I actually think I got a little tan on my face, no complaints! The half marathon went off at 9am and the 10K group followed five minutes later. The course starts winding you up and down through downtown St. Paul for two miles, then the course heads down to the river for a few miles with the last mile weaving you back through downtown to the finish line.
At the start of the race I took off with a pack of about five men and one girl. I knew some of the people in the front pack would take it out harder and fall off so I tried to relax and hang back a bit. My plan was to race hard the first half but really push the pace on the second half. When my watch buzzed for mile one I glanced at my watch, 5:46, oops! I wasn’t really expecting that, I settled into my pace a little more and worked on picking off a couple of the racers ahead. Pretty quickly we mixed in with crowds of people running the half so you couldn’t tell who was who. Mile 2 buzzed and I had settled into a 6:20 pace. I was feeling pretty good so just worked to maintain that pace the next mile.
Hitting mile 3 I wanted to pick up the pace a bit, the mile included a long gradual climb so I was happy with mile 4 buzzing in at 6:19. Mile five I got down to 6:13. Mile 6 popped up to 6:29, but that included a pretty steep stop you in your tracks climb. The last .4 miles I was 7:12 pace, which is a little disappointing, but there was a decent climb and a lot of turns. My final time was 40:14 for 6.4 miles, making my 10K “split” about 38:59. I’m happy with about a one minute 10K PR but I definitely have some hard work ahead to keep that time coming down. Results
Sunday the racing continued as I had signed up to race in the “Ice Breaker” masters swim meet at the U of M. This was my first swim meet of the off season so I was looking forward to seeing where I was at in the pool. I signed up for the 200 free, 500 free and 1000 free. At this point I’m only four weeks back into training after a few weeks off in December so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The 200 free is basically a sprint in my book, the first 50 doesn’t take much thought, the second 50 I always try to build or hold, the third 50 is when you try to hit the gas and race, the last 50 is whatever you have left. My splits were good, I descended the last three 50’s but I would like to see another tenth or so come off of each of those. My turns were horrible so there’s some room to improve there. Splits below:
The 500 free is my favorite event, it’s not a complete sprint as there is some strategy but it’s close to all out the whole way. I like to settle in for the first 150, the next 150 I try to hold a strong pace and the last 200 is when I try to kick it in and race. Unfortunately there wasn’t anyone to race at the 300 so I just had to race myself. My splits were OK, the last 200 I was over 32 and I’d like to see all 31’s but it was a fairly consistent pace for the most part. About 4 seconds shy of my PCPR (post college personal record). Splits below:
29.23 1:01.20 (31.97) 1:33.01 (31.81) 2:04.75 (31.74)
2:36.72 (31.97) 3:08.55 (31.83) 3:40.74 (32.19) 4:12.99 (32.25)
4:45.56 (32.57) 5:16.87 (31.31)
I’ve only raced the 1000 free once since college and I remembered it being painful and thinking “why did I do this when I don’t have to?” I was excited for the 1000 because someone else had a seed time near me so I would have someone to help push me. I expected he would take it out fast and then fall off a bit. I knew I had to just let him go at the beginning of the race so the first 250 I took out strong and just did my own pacing. The next 250 I wanted to hold the pace. The third 250 I could tell my competition was dropping off a bit so I held on strong and the last 250 is when I went after him. I never caught him but it sure was motivating for that last bit of the race, as you can see my splits came down under 32.5 when I had been holding mostly 32.8ish with a couple over 33. I’m glad I stuck around for this as it’s about a 4 second PCPR, which I wasn’t expecting.
29.86 1:02.40 (32.54) 1:35.21 (32.81) 2:08.14 (32.93)
2:41.00 (32.86) 3:13.95 (32.95) 3:46.78 (32.83) 4:19.91 (33.13)
4:52.68 (32.77) 5:25.24 (32.56) 5:58.09 (32.85) 6:30.92 (32.83)
7:03.73 (32.81) 7:36.45 (32.72) 8:09.59 (33.14) 8:42.05 (32.46)
9:14.75 (32.70) 9:47.08 (32.33) 10:19.40 (32.32) 10:50.73 (31.33)
Overall I’m pretty happy with the results of the weekend; the swim that matters most in relation to triathlon (1000) was better than I expected with 4 weeks of swimming under my belt. I am hoping to do some more swim meets this spring, if you’re interested anyone can sign up! Check out the calendar and other results here. There are people of all levels racing so don’t be shy! You’ll probably recognize quite a few triathletes out there as well.
In other new, I’m happy to share I just got a new bike! Thanks to the folks at Gear West for building this beautiful machine for me, she rides like a dream. Another thanks to Zipp and Trek for helping me get one of fastest and smoothest rides. Check back next week and I’ll detail out my new setup. For now feel free to admire my race setup.