Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Icebreaker Indoor Race Weekend Recap

Why start the year with one race when you can start with two? After the Icebreaker indoor races, I think it's safe to say 2017 is off to a fine running start!

I originally planned on only running the 5k distance on Friday evening. But when a friend from the gym asked if I'd be interested in doing the marathon relay on Saturday, I couldn't say no. I've always loved the relay because of the camaraderie between teams and high-energy atmosphere.

With my off-and-on foot issues, Coach Matt and I weren't quite sure how the races would pan out. I set my expectations pretty low figuring the races would serve as a rust buster. I'm still working on building fitness, but the races - especially the 5k - could serve as a training benchmark.

The 5k Race
This was my first time doing a 5k on a track, and I was super excited to give it a try. Before the race started I looked at a pace chart to see the lap splits I needed to hit to get within range of my goal time. Without any hills, uneven roads, wind, etc. to get in the way of racing, this would be a great race to make a PR attempt.

However, in my current state I would not be making a PR attempt so I lined up midpack to avoid the temptation of starting too fast. I was fortunate to find my groove within the first lap or two of the race, and knowing it was only 11 laps was somewhat comforting - I knew all I needed to do was keep running.

One thing that made the race really fun was being able to see all - or at least most - of the runners during the race at some point. Coach Matt lapped me several times and it was exciting knowing he was leading the race. I also got to see Mom several times during the race and was happy to cheer her on during those laps.

Since I wanted to save my legs for the relay the next day, I didn't kick and only did a small surge the last half lap of the race. I'll admit I was a bit disappointed when I saw my time but recognize it was the first race of the year. I also realize I need to learn how to hurt again during a race!

The Marathon Relay Race
This race is always a favorite of mine. It was my 6th year doing the race but my 1st time running as a member of a mixed team (two guys, two girls). Our team name was The Y-Blitzers - named after a class we all take at the Downtown YMCA

When running this race in the past, it's usually been for a fast time and podium finish. This year was different in that my team was just looking to finish without focusing on a particular time or place. So instead of short two-lap intervals like I usually run at this race, we decided to split up the distance so we all ran three intervals: 12 laps, 8 laps and 4 laps. In a way it ended up being kind of like racing a 5k, 2-mile and 1-mile all in one afternoon!

I was a little concerned the 12-lap segment would feel terrible after running the 5k the night before but it turned out I had nothing to worry about. Shockingly, I actually ended up running faster than I did at the 5k race. I guess it just shows I definitely could have fun that 5k harder! 

The 8-lap segment ended up being the toughest. My legs were super stiff and heavy for the first 4 laps and I never got to the point where I felt like I was cruising. I was sure glad when I was done with that one - and even happier when I was done with my final 4-lap segment!

Overall, I think it was a great weekend of running. If it was a test of how things are going so far this year, I think I definitely passed. Although I still have work to do in terms of speed, I'm making progress. And that's a fantastic feeling :)

Tell me: How is your running/racing going this year? Do you feel you're on track with your running or other fitness goals?

- ST


  1. Sounds like you had a great time! I have not run on an indoor track since Sophomore year in high school and that was a long long long long .... long time ago! :)

    My winter series has not been great this year. I have not been running consistently and it shows in my times. I had a horrible placing (14 / 14 in my age group) for the Big Chill race a couple weeks back. But I am working on correcting that. I already have 3 Ragnars that are planned and a few 1/2 marathons for this year.

    Charlie is adorable!!!! One of my cats (Chamiko) had to get some teeth pulled this week. He is my old man (16 years) cat.

    1. I'm sorry to hear about the Winter Series so far - I hope things turned around with the Cupid Shuffle! I'm signed up for Luck of the Irish so will see you there!

  2. Congrats on some great running! It's a lot of fun when races go much better than expected like yours. I've set my expectations low for my first race of the year - the low temp for the day is supposed to be 70. I'm just hoping for a fun race and a finish!

    1. Thanks Tina! That sounds like a warm race - I hope it turns out to be a good start to the year for you :)