Coliseum Running at the MN State Fair

>> Wednesday, December 31, 2008

After Jen told me that Dome Running wasn’t listed this week on MDRA’s website, I had to think of another way to get in my speed work. So yesterday I did intervals at the Coliseum at the Minnesota State Fair:



I had driven by the fairgrounds many times this winter, and I had noticed a sign that said “Coliseum jogging and skating: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm daily.” So I showed up at 11:30. I drove through the fairgrounds, and the “World’s Greatest French Fries” and one of a dozen “Cheese Curds” stands both looked sad covered in snow:



But the giant slide looked REALLY inviting!! Who wants to jump a 3 foot fence with me and have a BLAST some night?



Anyway, I got to the Coliseum, and here’s the outside as I got out of my car and looked up:



I got inside and looked left...



...and I looked right:



And then I saw it. I should have known it. There was a touch of Bengay in the air. It was a weekday. It was mid-day. Yep, the place was crawling with old people. Here’s one:



Ooh, here’s another (wearing a sweet denim shirt):



And here’s a third, which officially makes it a “herd:”



Seriously though, there weren’t many people there. I was the only one under 50 years old getting ready to run (or walk) around the coliseum. At the center of the building was a ice rink that was just starting to fill up with people:



I asked a woman walking around the coliseum if she knew how long a lap was, and she said, “Well, I’ve been told that 5 laps makes 1 mile.” So that’d be 320 meters / lap. I figured I’d do 2 lap intervals (640 meters) with 60 seconds rest. I used the red arrow that said “Vending” (5 photos above) as my start/finish line. Here were my splits:

1:51
1:47
1:44
1:44
1:44
1:45
1:45

1:45.7 average
Unknown distance (SHORTER than 640 meters)

It’s probably CLOSE to being 5 laps / mile, but not quite. I’m not that fast (that’d be running a 4:24/mile pace!). But it was still a good workout! After catching my breath for a few minutes, I snapped a sweaty photo:



I stretched a bit and then climbed the stairs inside the arena. The rink had filled up with ice skaters:



There were 47 stairs that I had just climbed in order to get that photo at the top of the arena. They were small steps, but they had little “grippies” on them so they were safe. AND THAT GAVE ME AN IDEA! I think we should skip the Saturday 9 am meeting at the icy and treacherous JJ Hill steps (see previous post) and instead meet at the Coliseum at 11:30 am to run stairs in comfort! I still want to run a workout on the JJ Hill steps sometime, just not when I’m going to slip and die. That’s fair, right? And if I bring an ass pad, I can lay that out of the way so I can do sit-ups and push-ups and make it a great Crossfit-like workout! I think I’ve sold myself on the idea of indoor stairs this weekend...

Anyway, as I was doing a cool down lap, I noticed a ticket booth. I came in a different entrance, so I didn’t see the man behind the window. Being I’m a good boy, I walked up to him on my way out and said, “I came in a different way and just noticed you here. Is there a charge to run in here?” He laughed at my honesty, commended me, and said it was 3 bucks. Not a bad deal to be able to skate, run stairs, or walk/run laps. He told me that the Coliseum is open 7 days a week (except for New Years Day) from November through March. I told him I’d be back.

So check back tomorrow to see if I can break 5 minutes in the 1600 meters at the “New Years Resolution Challenge” indoor track meet.

And let me know if you want to run stairs with Borsch, Steph, Jen, and myself on Saturday (maybe at the JJ Hill House, but more likely at the State Fair Coliseum at 11:30).

Happy New Year everyone! Yay 2009!

29 comments:

Carly 7:37 AM, December 31, 2008  

Thanks for the heads up. This is a great option for the crazy slick days. LMAO at the place crawling with old peeps. Maybe I have a chance to look fast.

Blyfinn 7:37 AM, December 31, 2008  

I love the "good workout prof vein" that you have. I really wish I had places around here that would open there doors for something like that.

joyRuN 7:40 AM, December 31, 2008  

Great workout, honest Abe! The vein of approval says so :)

Happy New Year's!

Shannon 7:47 AM, December 31, 2008  

Just want to wish you a Happy New Year, I'm glad my blog bumped into yours in 08'.

Jess 7:48 AM, December 31, 2008  

New idea: Join the old people for some "mall jogging" first thing in the morning! I bet the Mall of America allows walkers in the mornings in the winter. You could go and do your speedwork!

X-Country2 9:03 AM, December 31, 2008  

You MN people are so resourceful this time of year! I still covet those stairs at the Metrodome.

triguyjt 9:13 AM, December 31, 2008  

love your honesty!!

hey that slide looks like fun!!

and in frigid wesather just curdy would the cheese curds be??

next time, just strap on the yaktrax and runon the ice...weeeee happy new year

Carolina John 10:04 AM, December 31, 2008  

Sounds like a fun workout! hit them stairs hard. you'll like it.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg 10:07 AM, December 31, 2008  

Old people don't lie. For instance, when they say, "Get off my lawn!" they really want you off their lawn. And when they say, "You call that hippie noise music?!? That's not MUSIC. Now, Lawrence Welk - THAT's music!" they really mean they don't consider your hippie noise music.

So when that old lady said 5 laps was a mile, I - if I were you - would have just taken my 4:24 mile and been happy.

But not YOU, Mr. I-go-out-of-my-way-to-pay-3-bucks-even-after-I-got-over-on-Da-MAN!

Are you sure you didn't realize that childhood dream of becoming a priest? Because that don't sound like lay behavior to me, Father McHonest.

Great job, Steve!

AKA Alice 10:24 AM, December 31, 2008  

I agree "slip and die" = bad and unfair...so do the steps inside.

Hmmmm if you bring a herd of young and fit runners, I wonder what the combo Bengay/sweat smell will be...ewwwwww.

Fizzgig 10:30 AM, December 31, 2008  

what's a cheese curd? and why does it need a stand? lol

HAPPY NEW YEAr!

Kelly 10:35 AM, December 31, 2008  

You have some very cool places to run up there in crazy MN.

Have a good new year!

Kim 12:08 PM, December 31, 2008  

that's an awesome place to run! and find a new grandparent! :) happy new year to you and pharmie!

The Happy Runner 12:37 PM, December 31, 2008  

Some days, I wish I could run with old peeps and feel fast.

Good luck breaking 5 minutes tomorrow!

Runner Leana 1:30 PM, December 31, 2008  

Glad to hear you are feeling better! Hope you have a great New Year and all the best for 2009!

Michelle J 2:44 PM, December 31, 2008  

Happy New Year Steve!!

It has been great to get to know you and read your blog!!! You make me laugh and then i get envious at your speed!!!

Keep it real in 09!!!!!

Wendy 2:52 PM, December 31, 2008  

Happy New Year Steve!! (I think running steps indoors borders on brilliant. Plus you could go skating for your cool down!)

Karen 3:25 PM, December 31, 2008  

what's a cheese curd?

Happy New Year!

Anonymous,  4:45 PM, December 31, 2008  

Boring pictures. What's next? Mall parking lots?

J~Mom 9:27 PM, December 31, 2008  

I agree that slide looks awfully tempting! I am glad that you are over there and I am way over here or I might have to jump the fence with you! LOL

Nat 10:51 PM, December 31, 2008  

Where do you find all these indoor places to run? Totally cool.

Happy New Year.

Rainmaker 11:57 PM, December 31, 2008  

I ordered off of amazon a little rolling tape measure, like X-Country coaches use. It was like $20 and great when you want to know exactly the distance of something. And it's super small it fits right under the seat in your car all year round.

Happy New Year!

Melanie 7:53 AM, January 01, 2009  

it's neat that you have so many options to run indoor in the cold winter months! THere may be here too, but i just may not be aware! :) Happy New Year!

kt 8:53 AM, January 01, 2009  

I often feel like I swim with "the herd". They just seem to congregate but I am glad they are working out. Happy New Year.

Charisa 2:11 PM, January 01, 2009  

Sounds like a great workout - love the slide photos!

BaddApple 2:39 PM, January 01, 2009  

Careful I'm getting up there so I could be in that group. The post made me laugh. Thanks for adding me to your blog list. happy New Year!

Bill 8:29 PM, January 01, 2009  

It's great that you have so many options available to you during this time of year. Goes to show that the community understands.

Unlike here, where they waited until November to close and remodel the only community indoor pool, instead of doing it over the summer when there were four community outdoor pools open. Bastages.

RBR 12:08 AM, January 02, 2009  

I vote for the indoor, "less likely-to-break-your-stinking-neck" venue for stair work, but that is just me.

I had no doubt that you were the type of guy that would go back and pay. I am with you. The guilt is not worth $3 and I am not even catholic.

I will be rooting for you to break 5 minutes for 1600 (which honestly, sounds ridiculously fast. You keep this up and they are going to start drug testing you before races)

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