By Cool J in Minneapolis
In my “Fits Do Future Race Reviews post from a few months ago, I did publicly state that I was going to run this race, and I did register a few months ago. I hate to register for a race and not run it, but as the race date approached, I started second guessing whether or not I was ready to run a half marathon. It wasn’t a question of whether I could finish it. It was a question of whether I would end up with a time that might be discouraging on my “Get Faster” campaign.
But I wanted to do a long run today anyways, so I figured I could go into it with the mentality that it was just a supported long run with a nice change of scenery for the route.
And it was! I didn’t PR, but I felt pretty good. It was a confidence boost to find out where I am right now, and to know I don’t have that far to go. I’ve put it out there into the blogosphere that I want to run 3:45 at Newport, and according to McMillan’s Pace Calculator, I should try to get to a 1:46 half marathon race time. I didn’t reach that goal today, but I feel like maybe, just maybe it’s obtainable. Perhaps I can get there, after we delve into speed training for Newport with the expert coaches at Calhoun Beach Running Club.
As for the race? It’s a pretty good winter run. Here is what I posted previously on my “future” race review:
The Securian Run
When: Saturday, January 26
Where: St. Paul, MN
This half marathon has a rocky history. The first time I registered, it was so cold that the race directors shortened it to a 1/4 marathon. The second time I ran it, the turn around point was set too early, and the race only ended up being 11 miles! Needless to say, I set quite a PR at that one! However, this is one of few long distance races in the area in the cold months of winter, so it’s definitely on my radar.
So maybe the race has had a few hiccups in the past (though I completely understood why they shorten the race when it’s too cold for the volunteers!) But I definitely give this race a positive review. It was well-organized; they even had pacers this year! It’s not too big or too crowded either. And the race was definitely the full 13.1 miles today. In fact, my Garmin said 13.35 miles, so we didn’t get shortchanged this time around!
The course goes along Shepherd Road in St. Paul, which follows the Mississippi River. There are definitely some rolling hills on this road, and one killer hill right around mile 12. It’s a challenging spot for a tough hill. In fact, I thought about walking it. But it’s short, and at that point, you’re almost to the finish line, so I pushed through (at a much slower pace!)
The road is concrete rather than pavement, which some runners really don’t like. I didn’t notice it being particularily hard, but then again, it was 0 degrees at the start. I didn’t feel a whole lot of anything! The road did have a bit of a camber too, which could be a little annoying sometimes.
And yes, about the temperature…I guess it could have been worse. The wind wasn’t so bad, and I warmed up pretty well and felt that I was dressed appropriately. Only my face got really cold, even with a neck gator pulled up around it. (Tip? Wear a neck gator and keep turning it around as it gets sweaty and frozen for dry protection from the cold).