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Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

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Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by DonSoule on Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:17 pm

You may have already seen this in Rachel's "FrosBite Marathon Relay" Thread -  I decided to move it since it's mostly about my next race tomorrow - so if you didn't read it in her thread first some of it might not make sense but I think it mostly stands on it's own related to my race tomorrow - the comment addressed to Tom P  relates to a comment he made on the other thread too:

I'm doing a race on Saturday that's part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival - a big celebration of winter we have every year and one of the opening events is a Half Marathon, 10K & 5K in very unpredictable weather.  I usually run the Half and will again this Saturday - it's called the Securian Winter Run now - it use to be called the Frozen Half and in the early 80's they had the "Torturous Marathon" & "Less Torturous Half" - yes I ran the "Saint Paul Winter Carnival Torturous Marathon" back it 1983 and use to have a great finisher picture of me and the huge icicles hanging from a mustache I had back then (lost the photo - if I find it I'll post it somewhere). I ran the "Less Torturous Half Marathon" in 1984 and then they got rid of the Marathon and went to the "Frozen Half" as the longerst distance.

Well today it was -18F with a -41F Wind Chill and Monday it's predicted to be -21F with -40F Wind Chill  with a High of Monday of -9F.   So we sort of got lucky for Saturday, at the 9AM race start time the prediction is for +2F with a wind chill of -19F  Very Happy

Tom,  They did cut my Saturday "Winter Run Half" short a few year's ago when it was really cold - the reason they gave was it was for the sake of the water station volunteers not the runners - I've volunteered at many winter races and I know the runners have it easy compared to the volunteers -  At the race I'm running at on Saturday, they went to small bottled waters at the water stops so they don't have to fill cups and I think the bottles help to keep the water from freezing as fast and the volunteers don't get splashed with water (that freezes on them) at the hand off etc.

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by DonSoule on Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:20 pm

I'll post an update on this race tomorrow after the race - you can wish me luck if you see this today Smile
(or tomorrow before 9AM CST)

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by Rachel August on Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:52 pm

Good luck on your race tomorrow Don!!!!

I LOVE those names - "Torturous Marathon" - "Less Torturous Half" - "Frozen Half" - sounds accurate!

-19 wind chill.....warm....yeah...you guys in MN are pretty tough!

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by mikenall on Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:32 pm

Not for me. but good luck and have fun. They don't make enough layers for me to even attempt that.

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by DonSoule on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:13 pm

Just checked the latest forecast and now it says at the 9AM start time in Saint Paul it will be -2F with a -25F Wind Chill,  I might have to plan an extra layer Smile

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by echoguy on Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:19 pm

Sounds like fun to me!! Good luck.

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by Gary E on Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:33 am

I think I barely made the deadline to wish you luck, Don. I'll be thinking of you while I run on a treadmill at my fitness club...but I will be out in the sub-zero elements later in the day to scout a route for our hiking group. We've yet to miss a Wednesday hike in over five years (and that included several days when the authorities cautioned only "vital employees" to use the icy roads), but, of course, we consider our outdoor recreation to be vital to our health and well-being.
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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by DonSoule on Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:41 pm

Marty Humphrey, one of my coaches from the MDRA fall marathon training class would have been proud of me yesterday at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon".  I didn't look at my watch once during the race to check on my pace etc.  I ran the whole thing by how I felt that day modified by the extremely slippery conditions on the course.  I went comfortably hard for the first 10 miles and then gave it whatever I had left in the final 5K Smile About the only thing I could figure out, was just before the turn around on the long out and back section of the race on a very icy Shepherd Rd was that I was behind the 2Hr pacer and ahead of the 2:10 pacer but I didn't know if they were on pace or not.  I didn't even see the clock at the finish,  but today I saw on the Anderson Race Management web site was that my time was 02:05:03 (although it didn't say if this was a gun or chip time). My watch claims I did it in 02:04:57 but I didn't get it clicked on exactly at the start or exactly at the finish. (yes, I did finally look at my watch about 40 minutes after I finished the race)  Anyway this wasn't a PR but I doubt there were too many PR set yesterday due to the icy footing and extra layers to handle the -20+F wind chills - there was also a fairly strong head wind at times especially on the hill going down Kellogg Blvd in the first mile and the final long hill in the last mile,  I'm guessing the Wind Chill spiked to -25F to -30F on some of those sections with the added downtown wind tunnel effect,   And for me who has a hard time with hills, those downtown hills were challenging and even the rolling hills on Shepherd Rd slowed me a little.  

I think the temperature was around 0F at the start with a wind chill of -19F and for most of the race although I suspect the Wind Chill went at least to -25F at times.  I dressed fairly well for the race except I made the mistake of not stepping outside into the wind chill before the start or I would have worn heavier gloves.  I had some very thin gloves on with a whole in one of the fingers and my fingers felt frozen throughout the race especially when I spilled some water on them at one of water stops,  Actually the fingers of the one glove froze solid so I couldn't get my fingers in them - not a big problem since they stayed warmer curled around some hand warmers I put in the gloves anyway.  The first mile was cold all over but after I wormed up, the cold didn't bother me except for my fingers which stayed mostly frozen in spite of the hand warmers and my face at the times we ran into the wind.

Overall I was very pleased with my time and the effort I gave Smile and I could tell on today's run that I must have given it a good effort since I had to run much slower today and my quads were also complaining about those hills or maybe some of it was some the gymnastics and altered stride needed to avoid a fall on the ice at times.   I talked to a faster runner today who ran it yesterday and said (although still finishing much faster than I) that it was his worst Half time ever due to the extra layers he had to wear and the wind and the extremely icy conditions.   So that made me feel better about my time which was my 5th or 6th fasted Half Marathon of the 30+ I've run in the past 8 years. (I thought I was in PR condition so that was my only slight disappointment - maybe next time???)   I also saw in the results that I squeaked into the top half of my age group with my time - I was 16th out of 32 in the age 60-69 age group. (we have way to many fast old guys in MN - maybe the harsh conditions toughens us up) .  It was my fastest Winter Carnival Half of the 5 I've done in the past 6 years and may have been the coldest since I didn't do it due to an injury the year they shortened it due to cold temperatures,  So at least I had a PR for this race Smile  My run today also confirmed that it was wise to run my last Half at Disney much slower than I was capable of since I sure didn't want to try running a Marathon today after a hard effort yesterday!  I beat my Disney Half time by about 54 minutes Very Happy

I had a fun lunch after the race with my Polar Bear running buddy Howard, his son Steve and my Charities Challenge running friends Julie Silverman and Ivan.   We rehashed our race experiences and talked all things running Very Happy

Oh if you're wondering if I've become a convert to Marty's old school philosophy of running without your watch and relying on how the pace feels  ????  Not really, the only reason I didn't look at my watch was I made the mistake of putting my watch on against my skin and I didn't want to expose my arms to the elements in order to take a look at my watch by rolling back the two layers of long sleeved shirts I had on my arms (one of my lest layered body parts other than my cold hands).  Next race I'm sure I'll wear my watch on the outside of my long sleeves and constantly monitor my pace and distance as usual.

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by echoguy on Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:32 pm

Congrats Don!! You are going to surprise yourself with your speed when the weather breaks..

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by Rachel August on Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:13 am

Congrats Don - sounds dangerous to me but then again I live in MI!!!!

I was with some 7 min mile runners yesterday as they ran our Frostbite - very competitive group but no one seems to care about time in icy conditions!!!

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by DonSoule on Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:14 pm

echoguy wrote:Congrats Don!! You are going to surprise yourself with your speed when the weather breaks..

Thanks Brian, That would be a nice surprise  Very Happy   - I've read somewhere that anyone who starts running or starts running again after a long break like me (20 years of no running and massive weight gain) no matter what their starting age is has about 7 - 10 years of improvement before their times stop improving - well this is year 10 for me after starting to run again in 2005 when I lost over 100 lbs in a weight loss group and was inspired to train for another Marathon (finished the 1986 TCM and next one was the 2006 TCM).

Anyway I'm banking on at least that 10 yr improvement window  Very Happy  - Last year was the year of the PW with 0 PR's at any distance but I hope to get back to running some PR's in 2014 (ever the optimist)

Rachel August wrote:Congrats Don - sounds dangerous to me but then again I live in MI!!!!  
 

Rachel, thanks for your comments and encouragement!  Very Happy 

I have a facebook friend that wrote about her Securian Winter Run Half experience in her Blog -  She experienced a little more of the icy danger than I did -  and she is a little more entertaining in her writing than I -   anyway, I thought you and others might enjoy her description of the race if this link works: http://nolongernakedrunning.com/2014/01/27/securian-winter-run/
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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by EugeneRunner on Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:54 pm

Nice run Don! Impressive run no matter what the weather is. It is tough to guess how much the wind and cold might have slowed you down, but it seems like there is no doubt it would have been sub 2 with decent weather.

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Re: Saint Paul Winter Carnival "Securian Winter Run Half Marathon" 1/25/14

Post by Rachel August on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:51 am

I agree!!!! Don, sub 2 should be no problem for you....now we just have to figure out how to get to spring......

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