Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Running outside & Mankato Marathon update

While high temperatures in the 20s and 30s will never be considered a tropical heat wave, by Minnesota-in-January standards, it's close enough.

Temperatures for the rest of the week are supposed to rise into the 30s, with highs possibly topping out in the 40s, a far cry from the recent trend of -10 and -20 degree days we've been enduring lately. This bodes well for outdoor enthusiasts, as runners are starting to make their way off the treadmills and onto to the running paths. Some cyclists are even starting to break their bikes out of hibernation.

With temperatures rising into the teens yesterday, I decided to ditch the treadmill routine and join the outdoor running crowd. My ambition got worked up from reading other marathon training blogs on how runners train through snow storms and run up mountains regardless of weather conditions (I know, I know, insert 'Rocky' montage here, right?). Plus I figured I was going to have to get used to outdoor running eventually.

The run was far from ideal. I slipped and fell at the start of the run, probably much to the delight of passing pedestrians. I also had to run with short strides and step gingerly due to multiple ice patches, had to run without music because my iPod and cold weather don't get along, and had to cut the run short at 5 miles because they haven't plowed the Red Jacket Trail past Mount Kato yet. I probably could have gotten a much more comprehensive workout if had just ran on a treadmill at the Y instead.

Still, it felt good to run outside again.

Mankato Marathon update:
According to race director Mark Bongers, the event's Web site is still under construction but should be completed by the end of January. On it will be registration info, training plan options, pricing structures and course maps.

As far as course routes go, all three races -- full marathon, half marathon, 10k race -- have been preliminarily approved by the city and the police department. However final approval and course permits are still required and the marathon course still needs U.S.A. Track & Field certification to make it a sanctioned Boston Marathon qualifier.

Bongers said the three courses are generally the same as they were explained during the marathon runners forum in January, during which he described them as the following:

  • Half Marathon: From Stadium road, take a right onto Monks Ave, follow until County Road 90, take a right onto the South Bend bike trail, follow the trail until it connects with the Red Jacket Trail, follow the Red Jacket Trail back to the YMCA, Take a left on Riverfront Drive, run through Sibley Park and cut back towards the Verizon Center via the bike trail along the Minnesota River and Front Street.
  • Full Marathon: Same start as the half marathon, but take a left on County Road 90. From there, follow County Road 90 across Highway 22, take a left on County Road 83, follow County Road 83 until it turns into South Victory Drive, take a left onto Balcerzak Drive, take a left onto Monks Ave and once out to County Road 90, follow the half marathon course to the finish line.
  • 10K: Bongers would like it to follow Stadium Road down to Stoltzman, where it would then cut down to Riverfront and make its way over to the Verizon center from there.

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