2014: Lake Trout Festival Half Marathon

I am not exactly sure as to why, at least at the time doing so in mid-May, I signed up for this race: there was no peer pressure, and I didn’t know any of my friends that had signed up either. Looking back, and thinking more about it, it probably had something to do with the event being in the general home area, finding a reason to keep running, and having driven up and down the scenic course many many times before, the need to traverse it by foot: getting to know some more people in the community along the way.

Breakers To Bay a week before was a relative success but it also had left me nursing pain in the left calf and right knee, and with remnants of upper respiratory tract infection. I opted not run for four days after the last race but kept up with Rob Larson recommended set of exercises. Resting well and continuing with Shannon‘s and Nancy’s recommended cure for a mild case of tendinitis in my left calf helped quite a bit.

A 4.50 mile run along the Tech Trails with the Keweenaw Running Group showed a mild recurrence of left calf pain but no signs of pain in the right knee or side stitches (Exercise-related Transient Abdominal Pain). A 1.50+ mile hill climb the next day — after few puffs of medication to open out my nasal passages (thanks be to Shannon for a quick diagnosis and prescription), and an hour and half of softball — at sub 12:00 pace with no pain of any kind provided a good boost of confidence for this race.

Summary of training activities
## Activity Date and Time Details
Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR, Cadence
01 Breakers To Bay 2014-05-31 09:01:00 5.00 mi, 0:54:18, 10:55 min/mile, 5.50 mph, 178 bpm, 150 spm
02 KRG Run #4 2014-06-04 18:02:00 4.46 mi, 0:54:25, 12:15 min/mile, 4.90 mph, 175 bpm, 152 spm
03 Downtown2SoftballFields Run 2014-06-05 20:00:00 1.57 mi, 0:18:21, 11:41 min/mile, 5.10 mph, 174 bpm, 152 spm

Plenty of rest through out the week leading up to this event, and a good meal in The Fitz with good friends made little work of only 5.5 hours of sleep the night before the race. 6:15 am dead line to catch the last shuttle for a 7 am start time seemed nearly impossible to meet on my drive down to L’Anse. Fortunately, things worked out and I made it to L’Anse waterfront to pick up my race packet with plenty of time to spare — in spite of stopping to photograph the spectacular sunrise over the Keweenaw Bay.

The conditions were pretty ideal for the run: scientifically proven picky bar for breakfast (thanks to Amy), mostly cloudy but not humid weather that kept the sun hiding, temperatures hovering around the low 50s, a gentle breeze off the lake that turned into fog and mist for the last 10+ miles of the course, an opportunity to choose between asphalt or a grassier surface to run, friendly volunteers and law enforcement officials handling the aid stations and traffic, remembering to lengthen each stride by a few inches (thanks to Rob) to reduce the chances of chafing, and taking gels at pre-planned intervals (thanks to Andi) to sustain the energy level … combined to make me feel nearly as good, if not better than, for the second half of the half marathon as the first half — something that had never happened before.

13.1 miles in 2:22:48 @ 5.52 mph, 10:52 minutes/mile
Splits: 9:45, 9:55, 9:47, 11:09, 11:16, 11:17, 11:35, 10:50, 11:14, 11:23, 11:33, 11:57, 11:26
Courtesy: Garmin Forerunner 405CX, Garmin Foot Pod and WP GPX Maps plugin for WordPress

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Pain in the left calf went away after the third mile, right knee didn’t hurt at all, side stitches didn’t show up, and breathing was fairly uniform … making me want to run longer segments and not walk as much or as frequently as I had done in some of the previous events. Thanks in great great part to all those men in the 30-39 age group that chose to stay home, I got my first ever podium finish (#2 in my age group; there were only two in my age group) with a personal record time of 2:22:48.6 — a little over 10 minutes faster than my previous best effort in the Door County Half Marathon a few weeks ago.

Personal goals for the event (in order of importance)
## Goal Result
01 Finish the race without bodily injuries to myself or to anyone around me Yes
02 Run at least 90% of the length of the course, irrespective of pace Yes
03 Use the aid stations to hydrate/electrolyte; use gu/gel appropriately Yes
04 Improve upon the current PR for this distance: 2:33:13 (5.10 mph, 11:42 min/mile) Yes; 2:22:48 (5.52 mph, 10:54 min/mile)
05 Finish under 2:30:00 (5.24 mph or faster; 11:27 min/mile or less) Yes; 2:22:48 (5.52 mph; 10:54 min/mile)

It seemed to have taken forever to get here, but with the dream of a sub 2:30 half marathon now a reality, I hope keeping up with the aforementioned exercises and frequent runs will work their magic towards realizing the new dream: a sub 2:15 half marathon. Next event of any distance (Run The Keweenaw: A Festival of Trails) isn’t due for nearly four more weeks, and of such distance (Hancock Canal Run) isn’t due for nearly five more weeks. That should give me plenty of opportunity to train, assuming that my mind and body won’t get too complacent with the latest result and revert to their old but well known lethargic, and procrastinating framework.

Praise be to the Good Lord, and thanks be to

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my good friends — the Abbotts (Kathy and Mike), the Blakes (Amy and Scott), the Boissevains (Margi and Paul), the Brewsters (Katie and Brian), the Bunkers (Kris and Kate), the Carlsons (Abby, Cassondra, Josh, and Justin), the Carmeans (Jess and Tim), the Chards (Amy and David), the Durochers (Bridget and John), the Engstroms (Christine and Jaime), the Fredricksons (Lynda and Dave), the Gracis (Kara and Sam), the Handlers (Christine, Rob, Shannon and Stephen), the Kramers (Mandy and Jim), the Lehtos (Tammi and Chris), the MacDonalds (Cynthia and Bruce), the MacInnes’ (Elizabeth and Scott), the Meyers’ (Jeanne, Ted and John), the Obermanns (Catherine and Tim), the Oppligers (Shawn, Emily and Doug), the Pergers (Liz and Dr. Warren), the Rasners (Amanda and Donald), the Resslers (Dee and Tom), the Richards’ (Carrie and Dr. Bob), the Salos (Karen and Dan), the Smigowskis (Christina and Tim), the Stenvigs, the Stickelmyers, the Tervos, the Vendlinskis (Andi, Jim and Rick), the Vertins (Melissa and Joel), the Vizankos (Kelly and Steve), the Watrous’ (Liisa and Matt), the Weathers’ (Stacy and Bryant), the Wilmers’ (Kelly and Stephen), the Youngs (Amber, Christine and Michael), the Zerbsts (Kristen and Ron), team /var/run (Nancy Banfield, Josh Myles and Amy Blake), Keweenaw Running Group, Houghton Police Department, Adam Griffis, Dr. Alex Mayer, Amy Madsen, Ashley Ames, Dr. Bryan Suits, Caleb Wendel, Chelsea Trowbridge, Christopher Schwartz, Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann, Darcy Donnelly, Erin Kauppila, Greg Reed, Jeffrey Toorongian, Julie Ruotsala, Katie Temple, Kelly Boyer and Todd Ontl, Kelly Wooten, Kelsae Eliszewski, Kim Green, Krista Kasuboski, Kristin Thompson, Laura Mlynski, Lauri Keteri-Smith, Leah Tollefson, Lena Widman, Louisa Raisbeck and Jesse Cleaver, Lynette Potvin and Matt Manders, Lynn Czarnecki Makela, Lynn Geisler, Mahesh Shastry, Marc Rea, Maria Janowiak, Mark Mehler, Matt Mlinar, Mary Webster, Michael Babcock, Mike LaMotte, Shreya Kumar and Randal Harrison, Ray Sharp, Rebecca Anderson, Ryan Towles, Riccardo Tortini, Robert Larson, Dr. Robert Weidman, Sam Roache, Sarah Bird and William Atkinson, Sarah Conner, Sarah Menassian, Sarah Stream, Scott Gibbs, Sue Peterson, Tony Schwenn, and more (in and outside of my community) — for the often unexpected, undeserved, unrewarded acts of constant encouragement, and offerings of constructive criticism, tested tips and tricks to improve myself as a runner.

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