Securian Winter Carnival 10K Race Report and BIG Announcement

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I had hoped to be able to do the half marathon this year - when I signed up for their half a couple of years ago, it was so cold that day that they shortened it to a 1/4 marathon. My sister Annie was being officially inducted into her nursing program early in the afternoon, though, and some quick math when we contemplated signing up revealed that Steve had time to run the half, but we'd never make it to LaCrosse in time if I ran it too. Fortunately, this year they added a 10K to their annual scheduled 5K and half.

Steve and I got to the race around 40 minutes before the half start and quickly saw people we recognized. We snapped this photo before we got too distracted...

Our BIG announcement!

I joked that this way people passing me wouldn't feel too good about themselves :)

Yep, that's what you think. We're due in June! This would be Baby's 3rd road race. (I ran Twin Cities Marathon the day before we found out then had a brief freak-out the next morning. I ran the Polar Dash a few weeks ago in a time that wasn't worth posting - see below.) We made our way to the porta-potties to stand in line, a must for me these days. Afterward, I smooched Steve, wished him luck, and headed back inside for a few seconds to warm up since his race started 5 min before mine.

Inside, I ran into Steve Q who was sporting a shirt from the early 80s when this race was a full marathon. I showed him my shirt, thanked him again for the fudge he gave us at Dome Running a couple of weeks ago, and made my way through the building. As I passed one woman, she said to me, "Oh! I just read your shirt! I just found out I'm pregnant this morning... It was sort of unexpected..."

"Congratulations!" I said with a big smile.

" you can still do all of this?" She asked with tears forming in her eyes.

"Sure!" I replied, "I found out the day after I ran a marathon. You just have to take it easy." I congratulated her again, gave her a warm pat on the shoulder, and made my way out the door.

I saw the start of the half marathon but somehow missed Steve. Five minutes later, the 10K started. I lined up toward the back knowing I wasn't out to win the race. The goal was the same as my 10K a few weeks ago - keep it comfortable. My pace has become embarrassingly slow in the last few months, but running still feels good.

"When are you due?" a voice beside me asked about a half mile in.

"June 11th," I replied, and with that, I made my first friend of the day. It turned out that my new friend's name is Drew, and he's also a triathlete. We chatted about our race schedules and our favorite races as we ran through downtown St. Paul. When we passed mile 1, I realized I'd forgotten to start my watch. Drew said he had about 11 minutes for time - right on track for my recent pace. As we made our way toward the river, I was really sad to have to let Dru go, but I figured it was a good time to take advantage of a porta potty (BTW, they were EVERYWHERE on the course - a pregnant lady's dream). With my bathroom stop, miles 2 and 3 took me 23:40. Keeping my conversational pace, I cheered in all of the 10K runners who had already hit the turnaround. Around mile 4, I caught up with an older gentleman. "How are you feeling?" I asked.

"Oh, not bad for an old guy," he joked, and that's when I made my second friend for the day. His name is Jerry Stamm. Jerry and I spent the next mile and a half sharing running stories. He's 66 years old and got into running in 1983. He ran his first marathon when he was 50 years old. Jerry's pace was just a hair slower than mine, but I was having so much fun talking to him that I didn't care. Miles 4 and 5 ticked by in 22:50. With about 3/4 mile left, I told Jerry that I was going to pick it up a little, and he told me to go on ahead. With just a few block left, I heard a "Hi hun!" and turned to see Steve passing me. I had joked that with a few minutes' head start, he could beat me to the finish line, but I didn't really think it would happen. It turns out that their half marathon was 1.4 miles short secondary to a volunteer having them turn around early.

Steve passing me with just a few blocks left

I hit the finish line feeling like I could have easily run another 6 miles. I had a huge smile on my face and Steve caught it in picture.

All smiles after 6.2 miles!

My last 1.2 miles took me 12:02 for a total time of 1:09:26 - a minute faster than my race 4 weeks ago and a new pregnant PR! I saw Jerry a few minutes later and thanked him for a great run. Steve and I said goodbye to Nicole, his running partner for his race, and booked it to our car.

Steve was a little bummed that his race was short but wasn't too broken up about it. We both agreed that had it been and "A" race for either of us, we would have been pretty upset. The 10K was great - I loved the combination of running by the parks and downtown and getting to see the river too. They had plenty of bathrooms and water, and we had beautiful January weather.

We made it to Annie's ceremony a few minutes late but with plenty of time to make her smile up on stage. We snapped this pic after her ceremony:

The Linder Kids - Matt, Me, Annie, Steph, and Mike

Then we ate a tasty, tasty supper. Thanks Mom and Dad for treating us!

More on being preggo in an upcoming post. For now, happy training, everyone!

My Latest Evotri Article

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Below is the latest article I wrote for Evotri. I know this time of year I can usually use all of the motivation I can find. I left out a ton of books that we have on our bookshelves for brevity's sake :)

Maybe you’re looking for some tri-related reading to take along on your winter or spring vacation. Maybe you’ve recently signed up for your first triathlon and are looking for a place to start. Maybe you’re just looking for motivation to get you off the couch and back to training this month. I have mentioned before that when I signed up for my first triathlon, I didn’t know a soul who’d ever done one. To help me figure out what exactly I was supposed to be doing, I turned to my local Barnes and Noble and picked out a book that looked like it had what I’d need. I’m now heading into my 7th year of tri training and have amassed more triathlon-related books than I really care to admit. Below, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites, a brief description of each, and who I think could benefit from reading them.

Triathlon Training, Michael Finch – This was my very first triathlon book. It is written for the super beginner, and that’s exactly why I recommend it for people brand new to the sport. The information it offers is valuable but basic. The training programs, which vary from sprint distance to iron distance, are canned ,week-by-week plans. Having the plans pre-made helps take some of the overwhelming factor out of being new to the sport. Steve and I have used the programs offered in this book for his student tri club.

The Triathlete’s Training Bible, Joe Friel – This book is often considered a “must have” in every triathlete’s library. It covers all topics in much more detail than Triathlon Training. It’s nearly twice as long and doesn’t have the same pictures and illustrations. I honestly think it would have been too much for me when I started, but once I’d been in the sport a year or two, I found it really helpful. Joe Friel flushes out the concepts behind periodization and shows you how to build your own training program depending on the time you have and the races you are training for.

Triathlon Swimming: Made Easy, Terry Laughlin – I read this book while reteaching myself how to swim through the Total Immersion program. Although the book does go through the 13 steps of Total Immersion, I think many tri swimmers could benefit from reading it. It discusses efficiency in the water, gives some exercises to help you become more efficient, and offers valuable visualization techniques and tips for “feeling” the water to slip through it more easily.

Trizophrenia, Jef Mallett – Although this book won’t do much to advance your fitness, it’s a great book that reminds us why we love the sport. The stories and anecdotes will resonate with beginners to seasoned triathletes. It may also be an insightful read for those who love us but don’t necessarily train with us. The illustrations (Mallett is the creator of the comic Frazz) are an added bonus to the lighthearted book.

17 Hours to Glory, Mathias Müeller with Timothy Carlson – I have been doing this sport for a while and knew some of the big names but didn’t necessarily know their stories. I had seen the images of the woman crawling across the finish line at Kona all those years ago but didn’t know her name. I knew the names Mark Allen and Dave Scott but admittedly couldn’t tell you which was which. This book offers a valuable history lesson on some of the biggest pro names in the sport while intermixing stories of inspirational age groupers like Team Hoyt and Sarah Reinertsen. The 17 chapters, which each focus on one athlete, make for a moving read whether you’re Kona bound or new to the sport.

Training and Racing with a Power Meter (2nd Edition), Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan, PhD – When I first got my Cycelops Power Tap and Joule, I was SUPER excited but also felt a little lost. I wanted to be able to get the most out of this tool in my training and racing. When I asked my coach for resources, he referred me to this book.

The Time-Crunched Triathlete, Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg – This is the newest addition to our triathlon library, and although I haven’t gotten to read it yet (Steve’s been hogging it), I am really interested in some of its theories. I have definitely had seasons where training took a back seat to the rest of my life. It offers sprint and oly plans to keep you competitive and a 70.3 program that promises to get you to the finish line (but not necessarily with a PR).

Happy Reading, Everybody!

New Year, New Post, New Race Distance!

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Happy New Year everybody!

So I realize that it's been an ETERNITY since I posted last, but I really haven't had much to say! I haven't raced since the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, and the rest of my workouts have sort of been business as usual. I'm still trying to get to Master's swim, but driving late in the evening to swim and then leave the Y wet in -20 degree F temps at 9 PM has been a challenge to say the least. I'm hoping to get back in the pool this week now that the Holidays are over and I'm not so dang exhausted. Biking outside is obviously over since we've had over 3 feet of snow so far this year - the snowiest December on record. My brother Matt, Steve, and I have been hitting our trainers in our basement once or twice a week. Monday Matt and I went for 1:40. I'm not sure if I mentioned it last winter, but the Spinnervals Endurance Pack is TOTALLY worth the money. The individual workouts are INTENSE, and even if you choose to just do a part of one, you'll still get a fabulous workout. The DVDs are 90 minutes, 90 minutes (3 x 30 minutes), 2 hours, 2 hours, and 3 hours. Matt and I are working our way up to those distances. Even if we only do 60-90 minutes of one, we never feel like we're slacking!

My running has been going surprisingly well. After a great November, December hit with a bang - lots of cold and snow. I was thankful to be able to retreat to the Metrodome for twice weekly Dome running, but then the roof collapsed, and that's been out of the question. I was faced with the decision to either head to the Y for the treadmill, which I detest, stop running and hibernate all winter, or bundle up, HTFU, and head outside. When I found out that they have been plowing down by the Mississippi (just under a mile from our house), I dug out my turtle fur, my windproof hat, and my trail shoes. It was embarrassingly obvious last year when I realized that trail shoes make great winter running shoes - they're windproof and have much better grip than my regular shoes. It only took me 12 years of winter running to figure that out! I always forget how much I love to run in the winter. There's something magical about it. It's quiet, really bright at night from all of the snow, and I always feel safer knowing the likelihood of someone hiding out in the bushes when it's sub-zero is pretty low. It takes me forever to warm up afterward, but I'm rarely cold during the run. Thank goodness for our fireplace!

As I was running by the river two weeks ago, I saw signs for the Polar Dash run. I hopped on their website to see that they had a 5K and a 10K and decided that 1/1/11 sounded like a great day to run my first 10K. I've run a dozen marathons and done races of many distances, but despite having done a number of 10Ks as part of multisport races, I've never done one as a stand alone race. Steve signed me up, and I was ready to go!

The Polar Dash starts at Shriner's Hospital in Minneapolis, about 1 2/3 mile from our house. Steve and I decided that we would just run to the starting line and run home. He was doing an indoor track meet today, so he just came along to cheer and take pictures. The race doesn't start until 11 AM, which is a good thing because we got freezing rain and snow the night before and these temperatures the morning of the race:


We needed all of the help we could get in the temperature department!

We got to the race site with about 15-20 minutes to spare. I hit up a porta potty, ate some Sharkies, and stood by one of the propane warmers for a minute before making my way to the start.

Frozen face, frozen Sharkies :)

Steve and me before the race (Steve's face is already frozen).
Thanks for the photo Guy and Jenny!

There were just under 1800 runners between the 5K and 10K, and we all started together. It took me 5 minutes just to get to the starting line! Soon enough, though, we were off. My fingers had gone numb while we were waiting, so I was happy to get moving.

Getting started with 1800 other runners

Starting with a smile

Since the 5K and 10K were together for the first 1.5 miles, there were lots of families, dogs, and runners of all ability. It was a pretty packed field, especially when the 5K front runners had turned around and were heading back. When we passed the 5K turn around, our field thinned out a lot. There was a lot of slushy, slippery snow on the road at the start of the race, but once we got into St. Paul, the roads were totally clear. I love running on my home turf, and this race was no exception. Seeing all of the trees covered in snow, the frozen river, and the faces happy to be out running with me was a great way to start the year. I got to cheer for people who were making their way back. When I hit the turn around, I was feeling great. By mile 4, my feet were wet, but I was staying plenty warm. One of the bike medics passed me at around mile 5 and asked how I was feeling. "Great!" I replied. "And good thing too because I have to run home after this!" I joked. I felt strong as I neared the finish line. I flashed Steve a smile as I ran it in, and the smile was still there when I hit the mat.

My finish with a smile

I got my medal, downed a glass of hot chocolate, and Steve and I quickly made our way back home. He had been standing outside for over an hour at that point, and his fingers were frozen. We cheered for other 10K runners as we ran back along the river, and I made it a point to thank the volunteers again. One lady asked me if I ever warmed up. I replied that it was fine while we were running. She and the other volunteers had the hard job! We snapped this photo before changing into warm clothes and making some homemade hot chocolate:

The medals are stained glass and super fun!

Then I grabbed the newest issue of Runner's World, a warm kitty, and my warmest fleece and sat by the fireplace.

The perfect recipe for thawing out

Overall, I had a great race. I LOVE races in my backyard. It was well organized, and it was nice to be able to sleep in that morning. This may have to be a yearly tradition!