March 24, 2012: MDRA Lake Johanna 4 mile road race, Arden Hills, MN
Only one week after the brain-melting heat of the Human Race, I tried to get a shot at redemption by doing a low-key four miler on a cool, humid morning. Despite feeling a bit better and thinking I was running faster, I still only managed a 24:21 (6:05 pace), and faced the reality of having some guy pushing a baby stroller beat me in a race. While I would say hats off to him, I do note that the course was *not* closed to traffic, and I'm not sure I would have risked pushing any of my sons that fast under those conditions. Not my place to judge, of course. I finished 9th overall, and 3rd in the 50-59 age group.
April 1, 2012: Urban Environmental Challenge 10k Trail Race, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY
During a short visit to my old stomping grounds, my old pal Matt Rosetti talked me into a reunion race: it was 10 years ago that I dragged him to this race, which he ended up winning back then by an inch after a long, hard kick. I took fourth on that day. Now, ten years later, Matt won again, but I managed only 7th overall on the day - I guess those ten years took more of a toll on me than on him! The course has a few technical bits, and I managed to run 42:34 for the 10k-ish distance. I was happy to win my age group, and thus earn a delicious Lloyd's Carrot Cake, which I've praised lovingly before in a post about this race last year.
April 21, 2012: Trail Mix 25k, Hyland Lake Park Preserve, Bloomington, MN
The first race of the UMTR Trail Race Series didn't go too well for me. I guess I had one of those days when you just don't have it. I felt tired and lethargic throughout the race, and struggled to maintain pace and form the entire way. Could it have been some kind of reaction to the Tetanus booster shot that I received a couple days earlier during my annual physical exam? I suppose I'll never know. At any rate, I stumbled through the race, got passed by no fewer than six runners in the final two miles (embarrassing) to finish in 1:48:12, good for 22nd place and 3rd in the 50-54 age group. The course itself is very easy, with wide grassy trails, no single track and no technical sections at all, not exactly my forte, but at least it wasn't just another road race.
April 28, 2012: Get in Gear 10k, Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis, MN
Feeling tired from so much racing, and thinking I would be more focused on the UMTR Grand Prix Series race the following weekend, I approached this race as a hard tempo run. On a cool, drizzly, breezy morning, I was very pleasantly surprised to feel pretty strong, so I just went with the flow. I ran the first 5k in 18:47, and finished the race in 37:33 (easing up during the final mile to save something for the following week). My 6:03 pace was my fastest 10k in a few years, so I really could not complain. I just missed cracking the top 100 overall in this race, which to my understanding is one of the area's most-competitive events, coming home in 101st and ending up 8th in my age group. Nothing to brag about, but at least a fairly solid performance for my current state of fitness.
May 5, 2012: Runnin' in the Ruff 10k trail race (see yesterday's post)
May 12, 2012: New Prague Half-marathon, New Prague, MN. Back to the roads and back to the MDRA Grand Prix series. Fourth race weekend in a row, probably not too smart. I wish the organizers of these Grand Prix things would not load up on races in bunches, and I also wish that the distances did not vary so much ... but if wishes were dollars, we'd all be rich, right?