Chicago Marathon Training {Week Four} + Rice Lake Classic Recap

You’d think half way through my second summer in Minnesota I’d be getting used to humidity. Not so much. Saturday morning it was the annual Rice Lake Classic. I meet some of my running friends for a quick picture before lining up to defend my age group title.

MRTT at Rice Lake Classic

I was half joking about defending my age group winner status. I really wanted to repeat my performance, but was not at all confident. It was 72 degree and nearly 80% humidity. Neither one are ideal for a run, especially one to push at. Regardless when the race was started, I carefully ran through the grass and picked up speed once I hit the pavement. I remembered that the course was a bit hilly but the flatest mile was the first. I covered it in 6:55. Yes, I ran a sub-7 minute mile. Just that one, but I did it! At the time it didn’t even feel like that fast of an effort. Of course as I started the second mile I started to feel that fast start. The sweet 16 year old girl I was running with started getting farther and farther ahead. I told her to keep it up because she could win for the women.

I walked through the water stop that was just before mile two. I drank half my cup and poured the other half on my head. I was happy to see the second mile marker which did not come nearly as quickly at the first (7:34). I told myself to keep running until the next hill just after the three mile mark. I forgot about the hill in between which I took a 30 second walk break at. I was totally overheating. My third mile was again slower, but still quick at 7:49. I hit the 5k mark at 23 minutes. Yeay!

Less than a mile to go and a hill right up to the finish line. I was so hot and so thirsty that I walked again on that last hill until people near the finish line could see me. I put in some effort to try to pick it up at the end, but we finished in grass again so I took care not to twist an ankle.

My official finish time was 28:16 (7:39 avg. pace). I improved my time by 1.12. I still had several miles to run after the race to get in my 14. Amy and Beth were nice enough to run two more miles with me while we waiting age group awards.

To my surprise not only did I win my age group but I was also the second woman overall. Thank you small race! My friend Amy also won her age group again and Beth got second in the same age group. It was fun to represent our running group well.

Age Group Winners

I finished my run inside in cool air conditioning before joining Josh and the kids for Maple Grove Days festivities.

The rest of the week in training:

Monday – 30 mins cycling + 30 mins incline walk + weights
Tuesday – 6 miles tempo
Wednesday – 35 mins elliptical + 10 mins stair climber + abs
Thursday – 10 x 400 @ 6:40 min/mile
Friday – Rest
Saturday – Rice Lake Classic + 9.25 miles = 14 miles
Sunday – 1200 yd swim

New Hometown Race

Racing is expensive. For that reason I don’t often do many outside of a marathon or half marathon every year. The running group I joined posted some information about the Rice Lake Classic in Maple Grove on its Facebook page. I was intrigued and decided to check out the webpage. Turns out it only cost $10 for entry, plus a t-shirt. Ten Dollars! Obviously I had to register.

This morning I met up with some of the mother runners to run the 3.7 mile race around Rice Lake.

Moms Run This Town - Rice Lake Classic

The race was small – limited to 350 entries. When we lined up at the start, it was kind of unclear where the actual start was. Amy, who I’ve had the pleasure of running with on several occasions and I loved the older man that blew his whistle to start the race. It was so small town and fun. We started on grass which was wet from the rain we’ve had the past few days…again. Fear of sliding and falling did help prevent me from sprinting out too fast.

Rice Lake is a new trail for me so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Around a quarter mile in we hit the first of many hills. It was short and steep which seemed like no big deal. What I didn’t realize is that there were several of these short steep hills with a few longer ones in between. My first mile was great. I felt good and was pushing myself just enough that I was slightly uncomfortable. I finished it in 7:44.

After that I started to succumb to the humidity. It was only about 70-75 degrees outside but it was so humid you could see the moisture in the air. I was really hoping it would start raining on us. Alas, it did not. I slowed a bit at mile two – 8:01. I decided to skip the water stop because I didn’t want to lose any more momentum.

Shortly thereafter, on the longest hill of the course, I lost my momentum. I took a brief walk break about mile 2.5. The humidity was getting to me and I was overheating. I picked it back up again running through to the 5k mark. I set a new 5k PR of 24:12 (7:47 pace!). I kept trying to push through but around mile 3.25 I took one more short break.

Of course to finish the race there was one more short hill to conquer before sprinting through the grass to the finish line. When I finished I felt like I was going to vomit. I was completely overheated and worn out. It’s amazing how short races can take it out of you and 10 miles can feel like nothing. I was supposed to run 10 total today but just could not handle the weather. I decided that I could probably just do my long run tomorrow.

My watch said I had finished 3.72 miles in 29:26 which was about a 7:54 average pace. With no chip timing and no clear start point, I wasn’t sure how accurate my Garmin time was. I was going to head home but got caught up talking to the ladies and decided I may as well stay for the age group awards.

As we listened to the names being called for the 30-39 age group and I heard the finish times of the 2nd and 3rd place women, I realized I won my age group! I collected my metal and headed back to the group. Amy’s name was called for winning her age group right after me! Then her mom for the 60+ group. Her reaction was the best. She screamed. I loved it.

Rice Lake Classic Age Group Winners

We were happy runners!

When I got home I received my official results. I have to say it was the fastest turnaround on results I’ve ever gotten.

Congratulations JESSICA VAN KIRK on finishing the Rice Lake 3.7 Mile!
Your Time of 29:28 with a pace of  7:58 per mile, put you in 49th Overall!
In your Division of F30-39 your Division Place was 1 out of 55 .
Your Gender Place was 5 out of 142 .

I think this may just become my new favorite annual race.