Monday, August 13, 2018

The Minnesota Half Marathon



I ran the Minnesota Half Marathon in St. Paul on August 4th. I’ve now run 11 half marathons since 2009. Half’s are nothing to be trifled with, but they don’t have as much of a mental challenge as a full so I have to guard against being complacent. They are still hard.

I felt prepared for this race. My training for the Twin Cities Marathon in October is going well, I’m heat acclimated, I’m making my peace with my slower times this year. I’m trying as hard as I can, it’s just not translating into much in the shorter races. I still have hope for Twin Cities though, weather permitting. So much of a marathon is in planning and mental preparation. We’ll see! 

Anyway the Minnesota Half was held in downtown St. Paul along the river. It’s a very pretty course but hillier than I thought it would be. No steep hills but lots of rolling up and down. Its part of a race series. Next year I might do the series and get a hoodie!

It had an early start time, 7:15 AM.  No complaints there for an August race, but that meant I was up at 3:30 AM and on the road by 5. Despite the GPS insisting that I take Shepherd Blvd which was closed because of the race, I was parking at the Science Museum before 6 am. 

It was an easy walk to the starting area from the Museum parking lot, and I had and plenty of time to use the porta potties multiple times before the start of the race.

This race had inline skaters racing too, they started first, about 15 minutes before the runners. Since it was an out and back we runners could see them zooming by, very cool.

I used a 60/30 run/walk interval for the entire race, doing 20 extra steps whenever I got behind my pace, and starting my pace checks over with the start of each mile. I still lagged behind my goal for most of the race but that’s the way it’s been for me all summer whether because of the heat, humidity or plain old age who knows.

I was able to really keep pushing until the last two miles when exhaustion forced me to dial it back a little. I poured it back on for the last half mile however so at least I finished strong. And no problems with my breathing either thank goodness. I actually went to see a speech therapist about the problem I've been having with my breathing last week. My new primary care physician thought it actually was a problem with my vocal cords collapsing in extremely stressful situations, or as a reaction to a sudden change in temperature. It turns out the speech therapist agreed with her. She thinks I have something called Vocal Cord Disfunction, or VCD. Its causes people’s vocal cords to “cramp up” in certain situations. The solution is some breathing exercises that the speech therapist taught me. The exercises will help my vocal cords to relax when and if this happens again. I’ve been practicing them and I think its going to work, since consciously relaxing does make it better.

After the race I got my nice medal and a bunch of goodies, including a banana, chips, energy bar, apple, fruit in a squeeze bottle, and a nut bar. I could have gotten frozen yogurt too but it didn’t appeal. I very slowly made my way back to my car, and drove home. I was really tired, but not very sore. I mostly lazed around Saturday afternoon, rousing myself enough to take the dogs for a walk, but that was about it. When I went to bed I slept for 10 hours, so I really WAS tired!

I’m pretty back to normal today (Sunday) but no running is on the agenda until Tuesday. Then it’s back to work! Oh and by the way I won my age group, first out of 2 women age 65-69. Sigh. Where have all the old lady runners gone? I was the third oldest woman in this race. There was one woman in 70-74. There were 10 men in age 65-69 and one man in 70-74. Maybe I need to start a running club - Minnesota Runner’s 65+!




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