40 days to go and a race update…

Authors note: This is my second attempt to write this post – thanks to Windows Live Writer.  Tip for anyone using this editor, don’t use the “View/Web Layout” view without first saving your post.  One second it was there… the next it was gone.  Also, turn on the “Auto Save as Draft” feature in user options – this is not set by default. DOH!

40 days to go to the Twin Cities Marathon and, at this point, I’m not to sure how I feel about it.  I’m, of course, looking forward to it – but I’m a little apprehensive.  Maybe having done one already and knowing what to expect, I’m a little more nervous than last year.  I think I just have more respect for the distance – I know what I’m up against, I understand the challenge that awaits me…

I also know I can do it.

On to my race report…

Last Sunday  I ran the Woodbury Country Mile 1/2 Marathon.  Overall, the run was good, I felt great, finished strong, and I think I even gained a little confidence.  It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

The day started perfectly, I was up at around 6:00 am for a 7:00 am race start.  I had my gear ready to go (race number pre-pinned neatly to my shirt thanks to my lovely wife), so I was able to get dressed quickly, relax for a few minutes, and then head out to the race start. 

The weather was ideal, cool – but not cold.  Mid 50’s with a nice breeze and plenty of nice warm sun.  It was a perfect morning for a nice, long run.  I got to the race start at about 6:30 am, spent a little time in my car with some “motivational” music on the stereo, and then headed out to make my way to the race start.  The start is a third of a mile or so from the parking area, so it proved to be a nice little warm up trek.

I bumped in to some friends from the fire department on the way to the starting line (they were there to provide medical support if necessary), so I stopped and chatted for a minute.  They offered lots of positive encouragement and good vibes, so I headed to the starting line in a great frame of mind – ready for whatever got in my way.

The race started 10 minutes later and I was on my way – every step one step closer to the finish.  This is my second year running this race and I really like the course.  It winds its way around three lakes in the heart of Woodbury, sticking mainly to bike paths.  This helps keep traffic control issues to a minimum and safety to a maximum.  There are plenty of water/Gatorade stations along the way (7 I think), and the volunteers were friendly and helpful.

The only real points of interest or things to note on the course is the construction work zone and trail running section in the first mile of the course.  This slowed the first mile down a little bit, but it was well managed and I think the best it could have been under the circumstances.

Here are my splits:

  1. 8:38.89  (slowest mile, construction and trail section)
  2. 8:10.49
  3. 8:05.51
  4. 8:14.35
  5. 8:22.35
  6. 8:30.80
  7. 8:32.98
  8. 8:14.19
  9. 8:15.21
  10. 8:24.34
  11. 8:00.50 (fastest mile)
  12. 8:26.45 (Very hilly section)
  13. 8:15.94 (Uphill most of the last mile and through road construction)

Finish: 1:48:59 (Chip time)

So, as you can see, no PR this year.  Last year I ran a 1:48:35 – 24 seconds faster than this year.  However, I feel better about this year’s run than the run last year, I finished stronger, I was less fatigued, and I was the one doing the passing in the last 3 miles.  Am I disappointed that I didn’t do better? Sure. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t, but I can feel good about the ease at which I was able to complete this run. 

Lessons learned: For the Twin Cities Marathon, I really need to make sure I find and stick with a pace group running my desired pace (between 8:30 and 8:40 minute miles).  I clearly am not very good at maintaining a consistent pace throughout a run.  Also, some good advice I read somewhere – a marathon is just a 20 mile warm up with a 10K run at the end.

Once my run was complete, the real fun began!

First, Peter, my 1 year old, worked super hard to complete his first ‘race’ – the Woodbury Country Mile Diaper Dash.  He did a great job and finished with a smile on his face!  I’m so proud of him.  Super job Pete!

Next, David, my three year old, took off in the Toddler Trot and earned himself a finishers medal.  He was a little apprehensive at first, but once he got going there was no stopping him! Way to go Dave!

Finally, Alex, my six year old, ran his first race – The Woodbury Country Mile.  This is a long run for a six year old but he stuck with it and finished strong.  He also earned himself a finishers medal! He ran through a little pain and kept fighting till the finish – he did a great job! Nice work Alex!

I’ll have pictures of all the festivities soon!

40 days until the Twin Cities Marathon…

Aaron

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