Not the race report you thought you’d find.
Instead of running the event, I actually volunteered as a course marshal!
This was something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. So, when the RD did a call for volunteers I jumped at the change to not run the most difficult half marathon in South Dakota.
There was a fast descent from an out and back spur that I was making sure people took a right at to go up and then a sharp right at to get back onto the main course. It’s a good thing they had someone stationed there, as multiple people had to be put back on course by myself! When you’re running hard downhill, you often don’t think or notice the signs.
We were pretty much up in the hills in the middle of nowhere, with spotty reception. The aid-station workers and course people had to drive for a good 20+ minutes on sketchy gravel roads to get out there.
After the last participant came through I gave my gear to a fellow course marshall & ran back 7k to the finish. It was nice to get my run in & see a bit of the course. I’ve never done this event, but have been out on the path during other trail runs. There’s a cool view in a big clearing.
There is quite a bit of elevation change on the course, with a great deal of rocks on the path as well. It’s likely the course would have taken me about a half hour longer than a flatter half marathon. One lady said this was even more difficult than the Big Horn 30k.
The last mile featured three or four creek crossing as well as a few blocks distance worth of flooded path which was actually quite fun to run in!
Funny enough, I spent some time contemplating if I wanted to save my new SKORA Phase shoes for clean casual wear or for running in them. Clearly I chose the latter.
This was a great experience and I’ll definitely be back out there to volunteer at other runs. It was such a fulfilling day, giving my time to make the race a better experience for the athletes out on the course. The tents, tables, signs, etc don’t get put up magically, it’s interesting to see what happens behind the scenes. I have always tried to thank volunteers out there, and it was cool to be on the receiving end of it while making the day about the runners.
Had a fun time at my hometown half marathon!
Ran a 1:27, which is a couple minutes slower than my fastest of the year. But I’m not in any sort of great condition, so I’m pleased with it on a rolling hills course.
It was a perfect day to run. Temps were very comfortable. We got down poured on for a while, but the sun was barely out at all.
I am a chronic sandbagger so decided this time I was just going to run as hard as I could from the get go and just see what happened. I stuck with 1st & 2nd until a hill somewhere during mile 6 then dropped back about :45 seconds a mile and actually maintained that all the way to the finish.
No time goal, but my mental goal was to never have an easy second, and I succeeded! I slowed down for the second half, but kept the effort very high.
I really just felt like suffering.
Oh, and there were four pairs of SKORAs at this event!!
Mile splits (because I just used my stopwatch:
6:31 (lost the two leaders) /
Desi and I are housesitting in Panama City, Panama for a month June 20-July 20, and we happen to be in town for the Panama International Half Marathon!
Having just come off a block of higher mileage and a race, my volume and quality have both been low. I’ve never really ran a race for fun before, not expecting to do my best, and so I really was looking forward to this opportunity to go into a race with absolutely no expectations 🙂
The weather here in Panama is not like any I’ve ever experienced before. Living in South Dakota, we have fairly cold winters that we can run through with appropriate clothing and the summers are generally fairly comfortable where you may move your hard workouts to the AM. Here in the Panamanian winter, 90 degrees feels cool and almost no one is out at the very busy 3.5km track around a park that we live next from sunrise to sunset. Come 5pm though, it starts to pick up. Come 7pm, it’s packed.
So, I knew it was going to be a slow run regardless, this heat is incredible and something I’m definitely not used to.
I took the bulk of the run easy, I didn’t even warmup beforehand. I was simply using this as my scheduled 90 minute easy run. Of course it was going to be much faster than my regular easy pace, but it was not much of a workout.
The route was great. Plenty of space, no traffic, and as you can see from the map a cool course over a landbridge of sorts. We went out into the gulf around San Filipe, which is a super old, historic, and beautiful part of Panama City. It was cool to see it from a bit of a distance from the water!
We ran two out and backs. The first was about 3.5km round trip back to the start, then we went out along a three to four lane highway that we had all to ourselves. This was another 9km out, taking us just passed the halfway mark.
At the turnaround at 13km I was in 49th place and finally started to ease out of the easy pace and began picking off runners, cruising by 12 people I think, until the finish.
It was an enjoyable race and a great workout. They now do this event at 5pm because when they would run in the AM it would be so hot at the finish! Having the temp cooling off was fantastic, and I was almost never actually in the sun during the run!
During the run I carried a gatorade that came in our bag. I tossed that after the turnaround and only once grabbed a bag of water. I felt fantastic after the event and Desi and I walked for a while and enjoyed the view of the city and the gulf.
Honestly though, the reason did the race was because it came with a cool shirt, as you can see above, it’s not half bad. And it’s a nice Puma one! This will be my Panama souvenir!
This is a set of questions I have each of my athletes fill out in the few weeks prior to an A or longer tune-up race.
Hopefully this should help put all your ducks in a row and finalize the details. It’s nice to force the athlete to think things out a bit as well as to give the coach a more clear understanding of what the processes will be leading up to and during the event for the runner.
If you have any other suggestions on questions I could include, please leave a comment!
What would a perfect race be for you?
What about a secondary goal?
What are your travel plans for this event. Will you need a day off for travel to the destination? Are you driving? Who will be with you and will someone be able to hold on to your gear during the run?
Where are you staying? What is the travel time to the race start? What time do you have to wake up?
What will your nutrition plan be for the morning of the race?
What gear will you be wearing? Don’t forget the little things like chafing cream!
Will a warm-up be possible? Will you be standing in a corral for a half hour?
What will you wear before the event, will you need to stay warm?
What is your nutrition plan during the event?
Go through your pacing strategy.
Will a cooldown be possible?
What are you going to do immediately post-race?
Today I was able to participate in a six person marathon relay!
It took place indoors at the enormous rec complex in Gillette, WY. A spectacular venue for such an event.
Initially I was going to do the full marathon as a warmup, long run at 90% goal marathon pace, and cool down. However Sunday I developed a fever through Monday. Tuesday or Wednesday the fever was gone, however I was in no shape to do a long run on Saturday, so called the RD to drop down to an opened slot in the relay team going from town.
On the 200m track, each runner was do to 35 laps with one doing 36, making for about 4.4 mile legs per runner.
With a 5k pace of 5:40 I was kind of hoping to average 6:00 pace for the 4.5 miles of my leg with 45 second laps. No doubt that would have been fine if I was healthy, however going by feel I was only able to manage a 49 second fairly consistent average with 6:30 miles. That’s marathon pace, yikes!
Moral of the story is running after having a fever and a could is no joke!
On the bright side, I was able to hang out with the rest of the team, which was super fun. This was my first relay and it was certainly a blast cheering people on and getting to talk running all day 🙂 Plus we brought home the Rapid City team’s second win in a row!
Something that surprised me is how unmotivating the other runners on the track were. I thought having the other teams there with you, on the track and cheering on the side would be super motivating. Ironically though, it just felt like a solo time trial. I had no real idea where the other runners on the track where at, so I was not really racing against anyone else.
Last night I returned from Austin, Texas and The Running Event.
This is an industry only, and you can read more about it here (posting on Jan1st).
The above link is from SKORA’s website, but I wanted to share my own thoughts and experiences from a more personal point of view as well.
We’ll start with the race since I started my post with an image from the run.
The last 7 weeks after my period of rest post Crazy Horse 13.1 have been focusing on getting myself comfortable with a higher volume of running. I’ve averaged about 10:30 of running weekly, including a couple unloading weeks. Among the volume I’ve sprinkled in some tempo and speed workouts to stay sharp, but the focus was on volume to go into the upcoming training for Fargo comfortable with 10+ hours of weekly running.
All this running, the fact that I’ve not done a speed workout on the road in about a month, and that I’m just coming off a half marathon block means I’m very happy with a 17:40 PR in the 5k!
I ran it without a watch and just went by feel. Mile 1 hard but controlled. Mile 2 I’m just getting that “I might throw up” feeling. Mile 3 the real suffering starts, with the last half mile being as hard as I can really push myself.
The conditions were about 50-60 degrees, overcast, a bit misty at times, and very very humid. I’ll take it.
The course was relatively flat with a couple short and steeper hills. Two loops.
The event was poorly organized, as far as I could tell. The buses left the Hilton near the convention center at 6:30, no problem. However, no one that I was aware of actually knew when the race started. They eventually told us over the intercoms at 7am that they would start in about 20 minutes. I only saw a single bathroom, which was the park one. Not enough for over 300 runners. The course was a figure 8 that we did twice. When I was finishing lap 2 we actually joined people who were finishing lap 1. They had to go left onto the big lap 2 and we had to go right towards the finish. Then we did the figure 8 a second time and joined people who were behind us and then we split from them. The split location and which way you were supposed to go was a bit confusing. Needless to say many people had to do U-turns. Luckily for me I went the correct direction each time!
On Austin, TX
David and I stayed at The Omni hotel in downtown Austin, I’d highly recommend it to anyone traveling. Great location and service, wonderful breakfast and dinner.
Coming from South Dakota, I was hoping for some great weather in Austin, however it kind of felt more like the Pacific NW. It was very very humid for the entire trip and quite cold for Texas. I experienced temps from the 40’s the first morning to 70’s the last afternoon of my trip.
We tried a few different restaurants downtown Austin. Benji’s Cantina had the second best food of the trip, but by far the best service. La Condesa may be the best restaurant I have ever been to in my life, and the fish tacos, the best food I’ve ever tasted. Crave had everything from burgers to sushi. The food was fine, the host at the front door was super nice and the waiter was great as well.
On the Expo
This was 300 of the best brands in running, all showing off their current and 2015 product. I was the “kid in a candy store”, as they say.
SKORA’s big news at the expo was our new Tempo model, which I’ve been wearing for a few hundred miles. This is the first time we really put out the details to people about the model. I will certainly have a full review up at some point.
It was cool to have people compliment SKORA’s social media without actually knowing it’s me doing the social. That’s super cool!
For The Running Event, I was also active on Twitter hashtags #TRE14 and #TheRunningEvent which actually brought retailers and media to our booth who likely would never have stopped by. That blew my mind that I drove traffic to our space by tweeting to media personal and retailers who were using those hashtags.
This was my second running of the Turkey Day 5k in Watertown and its 14th running.
No other race in town brings in a quarter of the amount of participants as this one, with 396 participants.
Inside the high school at the sign up area I could see multiple current or ex cross country runners. All of them from out of town and skinnier than me. Always reminds me I still have a few pounds to lose.
The first 2k were uphill and the 3rd and 5th k were into the wind, so it was not going to be a fast race. I went out hard and was in 3nd for the first couple kilometers, just ahead of a group of 3 that caught and ran with me for a bit before edging away on an uphill.
I ended up finishing in 6th place with a watch time of 18 flat. 19 seconds slower than the last 2 5k’s, but still a good time considering the conditions.
What I learned:
Always dress light. It was bloody cold, but I stripped down a bit. Just cover the skin. Speaking of blood, I got a bloody nose during this run.
Going out hard for these shorter events really works great for me. Of the 4 or so I’ve done this during, I’ve been pleased with the results.
I need to lose weight. Duh. Knew that.
The Phase-X without insole is a bit low. Feels better with those extra few mm.