Sunday, April 9, 2017

Scheels Mankato Spring Half Marathon

I took it easy this week in anticipation for my first race of 2017! 
The Scheels Mankato Spring Half Marathon was my tenth half marathon! 

This week also wrapped up week 9 of Grandma's Marathon Training.

STATS: 

23.5 miles
Tempo
Short Course

The medal is really beautiful! 


MONDAY

I started out the week with a tempo run.  It went pretty well, considering I ran 16 miles two days before that.  I was happy with my overall 8:37 pace and started Monday off on the right foot.  

THURSDAY

On Thursday, I caught up with a good friend and ran some relaxed easy miles in preparation for my half marathon.   It was definitely nice to "let go" and run "just to run."  I was able to remove myself just a bit from the intensity of marathon training this week and it was really a treat!  

I was really looking forward to running my first half of the year,  and I had some pretty lofty time goals.  I have been running pretty solid paces for my tempos,  so I wanted to push for 1:49:59.  8:23/mile.  It would have been about a 4 1/2 minute PR.  

I know.   I know.  The time goal "may" have been a bit of a stretch,  but I had a great running partner by my side the entire time who kept me going and motivated! 

The temperature for the run was perfect!  It was upper 40's at the start.  Absolutely perfect running weather.  But, and this was a BIG BUT - 30 mph winds.  That, my friends...... was the kicker.  OH, Wait....  THE HILLS!  Yikes!  There weren't many, but they were difficult and the wind in your face doubled the intensity.  




Ummm, NO.  The course wasn't flat.   It was quite hilly actually.  Even the little "speed bumps" on the course proved to be difficult with 30 mph winds.  

What I will say is there were parts of the course that were absolutely beautiful.  About 3.5 miles were paved trail and secluded in the woods and truly awesome.  This was a time when I could regulate my breathing and concentrate on running a solid pace.  I did just that. 

I held a steady goal pace until about mile 9.  But,  at the 9 mile hill,  my body was ready to stop.   I sure wanted to walk the uphill in some parts, and I should have paid more attention to just how long this hill was,  but I know that it was 1/2 mile for sure!  

Positive self-talk took hold and my friend Hannah started talking about her previous marathons to keep me distracted.  

We crossed the finish line at 12.79 miles.  Say what???  The course was nearly 1/2 mile short!!  We, as well as several other runners,  noticed the mistake after mile 4.  The turnaround revealed mile 5  much to quickly, and sure enough, at the 5 mile marker - GPS read 4.5 miles. 

Consequently, the mile markers held exactly 1/2 mile off until mile 12.  We knew that we absolutely were going to be running a short course.  

I was disappointed the course was short,  but I was also relieved,  because after the relentless wind,  I really was ready to finish.   There was a whole lot of PR talk amongst all the runners at the finish line and also a whole lot of talk about a short course from others.  I hate to break the bubble for these runners, but their PR was imaginary.  Refer to sponge bob above.  LOL.  

Of course I still celebrated at the finish.   Per tradition, I nailed my celebratory jump!  




I posted on social media... does this still count as half marathon #10?  Even though I didn't run 13.1 miles?  The general consensus is YES.  

I did fall short of my goal by 5 minutes.  Here's my rational:  I was 0.4 miles from my watch reading 13.1 miles at the finish.  I'm adding 4 minutes to my time to have a realistic half marathon finish.  If my "adjusted" time goes to 1:54:43 I narrowly, by seconds,  beat my best half PR.    I will factor in the hilly route with crazy winds and my finish time is solid.  

Here are my stats: 



If I compare myself to others in the race,  I am very happy with my placement.  We ALL ran a short course.  Other than the finish time and the average pace,  every other stat is correct.  Yeah!!  

Will I run this course again?  Absolutely.  It was the inaugural run and there was bound to be a few kinks.  I can just about guarantee you that the course will NOT be short next time.  

Here are the PROS and CONS.


PROS 

  • Great SWAG
  • Flush Toilets inside Scheels as well as Porta-Potties
  • Easy parking
  • Friendly Volunteers
  • Scheels was open early
  • Parts of the course were truly beautiful and tranquil
  • Small running field
  • Chip-timed
  • Certified Course

CONS

  • Short Course - come on Final Stretch,  you're seasoned race planners! 
  • Pricey - I paid $72 after fees to run! 
  • Hilly
  • Crowd support is minimal
  • Parts of the course were farm country - no cover from the elements


I am competitive with myself,  and while I can't control Mother Nature,  this race is on my list to do again.  With two conditions;  correct distance and no wind.  Here's to hoping! 

I'm once again linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap!  Grab and snack and have a read! 





32 comments:

  1. Wow that is an amazing half marathon time! I'm sorry the course was too short though, but all of your hard work is paying off! It is so hard to run hills plus windy weather conditions! That's double the effort! You are awesome!

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    1. Thanks Katie! I just wish that the finish time was the "ACTUAL" 13.1. :)

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  2. I definitly would count it as a half marathon (with the caveat that it was a shortened course)...after all, you didn't cut the course or anything like that. I have done several 20K's (12.4 miles), and I lump them all into my half marathon count because they're so close in distance (really, what's a half mile when we're talking 12-13 miles, right?) You did a great job...that's still an awesome finish time!

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  3. I hate when they can't get the course right. I have to say more times than not for me it's always been long no short. I think I'd kind of like it. But still you did an amazing job and should celebrate it.

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    1. It definitely was nice to have a shorter course with all the wind.

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  4. Gosh, it sounds like quite a mixed bag of flat and hills, hard and beautiful! Too bad the course was short, but I definitely would count it as a half - just don't measure future PRs against it!

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    1. Yup - precisely why I'm adding 4 minutes to my time to get a bit more realistic! :)

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  5. Great pacing for such a hilly course! You are on track for an amazing marathon in June!

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    1. Crossing fingers - I still have my doubts, but I'll die trying.

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  6. Congrats on your finish! We have a huge race in are area that is a flat course but it is always so darn windy when it is race day. That is always a challenge. 72$ isn't too bad for a half. I have paid much more! But I guess it is if it is a local one.

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    1. I just registered for Fort Collins Half Marathon and that was $119. YIKES!

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  7. That SpongeBob meme made me chuckle, LOL
    Congrats on your finish on a hilly course!

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  8. I am not about the hills. I think the extra effort there balances out the shortened course. You definitely earned the half-marathon distance!

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  9. I've run a short-course race before and it's disconcerting and like you said, at the same time a pleasant surprise to be done. That finish time means sub 4 is well within your reach at Grandma's. Just saying. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Marcia! :) Your comments mean the world to me!

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  10. I would definitely count it as a half! Though not as a new PR. A half mile short is BIG DEAL.

    I ran a 5K once that was .2 short, also an inaugural race.

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    1. They said they'd make improvements for next year. :) lol - I would think so!

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  11. I'd count it as a half, but not a PR. I can't believe it was short by 1/2 mile! That's craziness. But congrats on a strong finish regardless.

    I once ran a race (that I've run several times) that was about .3 miles too long because the lead car took a wrong turn in the first mile. Since I had run the race in the two years prior, I knew right away we were in for a longer than normal race. That was...frustrating. The race directors adjusted everyone's times and I ended up with a PR after they did that, but it didn't feel right. But hey, at least I was out there running!

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    1. It's the MOST important part about the race in my opinion!

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  12. WAY TO GO!!! I'd definitely count it as a half, though it is a bummer that it was short. What the heck, race organizers?

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  13. Awesome job even if it was a short course. And you totally nailed the leap!

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  14. Way to go!
    That's the worst when a course is short or over! My second half marathon was 300 metres over. I got a PB of 28 minutes but still would have love to known my actualy 21.2 PB not +300 metres.

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  15. Your hard work has paid off that's a great pace! Congrats

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  16. Thats pretty frustrating that the course was short! It definitely counts though! I ran a 5k that was a little short and that is my PR, (I guess, even though technically its not) but its going to be so hard to ever beat it on a real course!

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  17. That stinks that the course was short, but it definitely counts as half #10! The Spongebob meme cracked me up :)

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  18. You did great! I hate when courses run short - it's so deceptive for your time! But yes, inaugural events do come with kinks, so hopefully this is one they can correct!

    Congratulations!

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  19. Why do I always seem to get the long courses? I say a half is a half and great job! I would be thrilled with those results!

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  20. Congrats on your 10th Half-Marathon and you almost crushed your goal as well! Awesome job!!! Well done!

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