Monday, June 06, 2011

Minneapolis Marathon

This past Sunday I ran the Minneapolis Marathon as part of the Team Ortho Monster Series that I entered. Last year I ran a few of the Ortho races and really enjoyed them. I entered the series this past January as an alternative to the Ultra Gnarly Bandit Series incase I had a hysterectomy, which I did, and the series has been a lot of fun.

Minneapolis Marathon was race III out of V.

Summer arrived in the Midwest this past weekend. Most of us from the area haven’t had any heat training yet this summer as the past five weekends have been in the 50s with rain. Friday arrived with summer! 86 Friday, 85 Saturday and Sunday, it is 94 today!

What a way to acclimate, on race day.

I normally love to run in the heat but I have to admit, the heat helped to brutalize the Minneapolis Marathon for me!

I had a few goals for the marathon. One, I wanted to run the first half faster than the Get Lucky Half Marathon in March and two, I wanted to feel good at the half. That would show me any progress I’ve made on endurance these past weeks. If you read the race report for the half you will remember that I felt like death during that half marathon. I couldn’t breathe, I was dizzy, I was a mess. Of course it was only 7 weeks or so post op.

As all Team Ortho races, parking was a treat. $3 parking in a lot less than a block away to the start/finish, hand directed to my spot. So amazing!

This was the second year for the Minneapolis Marathon and I hadn’t run it before. There were 4800 registered for either the relay, half marathon or marathon.

I liked the 7 AM start, for me earlier is better. We were able to use the facilities at The Depot Hotel, using nice clean toilets, hot water..what a treat! I walked over to the start and lined up near the 10 minute mile pacers. It was already 65F and felt nice, no sleeves necessary. I was trying a new sunscreen for racing, Skinceuticals, which my friend Alicia recommended. I am beginning to show sun spots and certainly don’t need anymore sun damage. This sunscreen is a physical block that is also water/sweat proof. I had been wearing the brand under my make up but hadn’t had the opportunity to try out on a sunny hot day.

The start was at the Depot Hotel, running through the Warehouse District, down Plymouth Avenue, to the Stone Arch Bridge. I had never walked down in that area and it was so pretty. Cobblestone roads – which weren’t so great to run on – but didn’t last very long. We ran through beautiful neighborhoods that I hadn’t seen before. It was a 6 mile loop over and back across the river and then we headed back near our starting place before heading out on the out and back marathon run. It really was a pretty loop and most of it was nicely shaded.

There was a relay taking place within the race which was a new event to me. Every 6 miles or so there would be a big RELAY sign with cones directing the participants to their hand off area. It was fun to see new fresh runners with lots of speed burning up the course for a few miles.

The stretch along West River Road was mostly shaded with a few long sunny spots. Whew, those spots warmed me up quickly. I felt like it was 90F already and really it was about 75F at this time.

I have never stood under any of the sprinklers at the summer marathons, but yesterday, I soaked myself under each one. I was that hot! After a cool soaking I felt new life in my body as I continued to run along the course.

Along West River Road was the half marathon turnaround and once the half marathoners left the course, wow, did it thin out! All of a sudden the course was wide and clear with a few runners here and there. Less than 900 finished the marathon.

I was able to reach both of my goals: at the half marathon I felt good, just hot, and I was 12 minutes faster than I was at Lucky 7 half marathon. Good enough!

I continued on and really began to get hot on this exposed section. I was carrying a 24 oz water bottle that I was filling at the aid stations and gulping down a couple little glasses of power aid or whatever the available energy drink was. I was taking a Hammergel every 35 to 40 minutes, I didn’t take any S or ECAPS. I was wondering if I should have brought some along with all of the heat.

We made a u turn and then entered the Fort Snelling State Park. Wow, I didn’t even know this existed. We ran downhill on a shaded path deep in the woods for over a mile, then hit a sandy trail through the park that was still shaded. 6 nice wooded shaded miles through the park. I liked it, although it was quite hilly. This was an out and back so it did get a little crowded in areas. I noticed that many of the runners coming back were looking pretty tough. The heat was taking it’s toll. I finally reached the turn around and headed back out of the park. As we exited the park we took a sharp left and the trail went straight up a huge hill! I could only laugh at it. I began to walk up the hill, sweat falling into my eyes when I realized the sunblock was working very well. It didn’t sting my eyes and it wasn’t wearing off. Good deal. I also noticed that it felt good to walk up this hill, using other muscles after the downhill running earlier.

I was just looking forward to hitting the 20 mile marker. I was hot and tired. I wasn’t sore at all, I wasn’t out of breath or dizzy, I was trying to be happy that I felt pretty good and that I have the endurance back. Speed is another thing.

Eventually mile 20 came and went, I just looked for the next mile. At mile 23 I filled up my water bottle and then noticed the 430 pace group coming up the way. I walked out of the aid station, waiting to run the last three miles with the group.

I came into the finish line at 4:34, I felt nauseous by now and had a bad stitch in my side. I thought about my friends running FANS and Kettle 100 and was just glad that I only had a marathon for today!

I had only a short walk to my car where I had a cooler holding a recovery shake and quinoa salad. I could stomach the shake but ate the salad later in the day when I was famished!

No pain or stiffness today, no bleeding or cramping during the race, all is good. The next race in the Monster Series is the Minneapolis Duathlon. Something new for me! I’m looking forward to it.

The Twin Cities Marathon is in 4 months. I’d like to run another Boston Qualifier. I have the endurance down, now the speed workouts begin.

Today is swimming and biking in preparation for the Graniteman Tri in 8 weeks. Another first!


Anonymous said...

Sound fun!! (sort of!) GREAT JOB! :)

Helen said...

Nice job Julie. I bet you made a few runners envious with your water bottle :)

I just ready your last post too - that's an awesome goal. You will have a blast volunteering at IM Wisconsin. And I would definitely recommend that race. It was the first of 2 I did and by far my fav.

Julie B said...

Hey Helen, although I like to dream big, IM WI is quite a stretch as I haven't yet completed my first sprint! I wonder if it is equal to a goal of running a 100 before taking a step? Biking to/from work today with hill running tonight ;)

Raquelita said...

I just came across your blog, as I was looking for other runners who had participated in the Minneapolis Marathon. Congratulations on an excellent performance on a hot day! I also went for the sprinklers during the race and you are right about how much it thinned out at the half turnaround. It was like two different events!

Great recap!

Danni said...

Nice work!

Danni said...

Nice work! BTW, an IM is way easier than 100 in many ways.

freight audit said...

I want to run with you!

Julie B said...

Hi Raquelita! It was a warm day, wasn't it. Are you doing the series? Maybe we'll meet at Minneapolis Duathalon?

Hey Dani, thanks and that is GOOD to hear!!

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