Women Rock 5K

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Firstly let me say that waking up at 5am on a day off and not being able to get back to sleep sucks…two days in a row. :(

The Start
Our start time was 30 minutes after the 10K and Half Marathon so that was good. So instead of me and 5,000 of my closest women friends starting at one time we only had over 1,300. So that was cool. Temperature wise it was great…68 degrees…but there was 98% humidity. Yuck! The air was just thick. It is a weird feeling “sweaty” while waiting for the race to start and it was only 68 degrees. It was just DJ and I at this race. Obviously Eric couldn’t participated because well, he isn’t a woman duh! Although there was a guy in front of us who was wearing a wig. When we started one of the camera guys caught he was a guy and was saying we have a cheater. LOL! Brenda didn't sign up but really wish she would have done same day registrtation. The first mile seemed fast but it was one of my slowest first miles during a race all summer…it must be the lack of Eric effect. It was still a respectable 11:25.

The Middle
The course ran down Shepard Road along the Mississippi river bottoms in St. Paul. It was an out and back course...my least favorite, but DJ’s favorite. There was one water stop just after mile 1. There was a pep band there from a local high school. Being the band geek that I am, I much prefer that to some other type of band except for maybe a polka band. LOL! I actually walked through the water stop as I’m still not a pro and drinking from a cup and running. My water bottle no problem but with cups it ends up down the front of my shirt. Reason #1 for not wearing a white shirt. Mile 2 was the slowest at 11:47. I was feeling pretty dejected at the mile 2 marker.

The Finish
Right around the 2.5 mile mark I mentioned to DJ that I could probably walk. I was feeling pretty tired, the humidity took a toll, and realized that this wasn’t going to be the best time. But for some reason instead of walking I picked up the pace. I saw the finish in sight so I thought maybe I could get the 35 minutes yet again. That wasn’t to happen. I crossed the “finish line” with a time of 36:13 (DARN IT!) But we think the actual finish line was a little sooner than the sign because the black timing mat was way sooner. We were not chipped time so we aren’t sure. And although I’m upset that I’m over 36 minutes again my average pace was 11:16. Yep that was faster than at the last 5K I ran which was 11:23. You see, the last 5K was 3.09 miles and this one was 3.21 miles.  That .12 makes a difference. If the 5K was a truly a 5K I would have finished with a time of 35:13. I’m happy with that.

Oh so the last mile was the fastest at 10:56. But what is more impressive is our pace for the last 1.21 miles was 10:45. That means I really “sprinted” to the finish. I had enough in the tank to finish very strong. Best. Finish. Ever. Maybe it is because I wasn’t upset that Eric took off on me again.

Splits, Map and Pictures 
Here are the splits, maps and pictures:


50 Pounds Later...

Friday, August 29, 2014

I'll admit I felt pretty awesome when I saw this after picture of me in the pink shirt. So awesome that I even bought it at the Women Rock Expo. I asked Eric to take a picture so I can see what it looked like on as there was no mirror...I'm not sure why I'm not smiling but anyways I love my new picture.

An Anniversary, a State Fair and a 5K

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It was a very busy weekend for us. Friday night my mom and brother came up. To celebrate our 11th anniversary, we went to the State Fair fairly early in the morning on Saturday. First stop was Sweet Martha cookies and milk…yum!  We walked around a bit. Took the sky glider to Machinery hill…yes mom rode it! Here is proof:

We saw the dog show, where dogs did tricks and jumped in the water. I was interesting. We slowly made our way back to Leinie’s lodge and food building. For lunch I had an egg roll, some of mom’s lo Mein, cheese curds (of course!) and a mini corn dog. We watched the band performing at Leinie’s stage while we ate. We did some shopping in the Grandstand and watched the parade. Did a bit more shopping before we called it a day. I got my fried candy bar and we went home.

After the fair we stopped at the mall to get Mike some new clothes. He lost 14 sizes in pants! Crazy! We got him some new jeans…Levi’s! and a couple shirts.

For our anniversary we went out to eat at Jimmy’s. I was still stuffed from the fair but I had a steak anyways! It was delicious. We spent a few dollars…or a lot of dollars at the casino before we called it a night. We had to be up early Sunday for the 5K race.

Sunday morning was the Minneapolis Duathlon. Mike and I walked the 5K part. Eric and Brenda walked too but much faster than us. It went well. He finished 2 minutes faster than his best time so that is major improvement. And we finished before the first place guy who did the entire duathlon. That guy was amazing. He ran a 5k, biked 15 miles and ran another 5K in about an hour and half. Amazing. Technically, I finished last.

To celebrate our finish we stopped at Caribou Coffee for some breakfast and relax at home before having lunch at Don Pablo’s with DJ and Brenda.

Eric and I relax after everybody went home and eventually found our way to Valleyfair. We did two rounds in the lazy river before we were kicked out because of lightening. Seriously?  Well all the rides were stopped so we just went home. That was our day and our weekend.

The One Hundreds

Friday, August 22, 2014

I have finally made it. See:

This was yesterday after my long run so it doesn’t count but this morning I was at 199.8 so that counts and I finally got under 200…Woo Hoo!

It has been a long journey and it is definitely not over. I’ll be over 200 again after Saturday…with the State Fair and all. There is no way I don’t gain!  But come Monday I’ll get back on the wagon again and hopefully get under 200 again.

The Day Off
I had some extra days that I need to take off that Eric, unfortunately, does have. So yesterday was one of those “throw away” days. I slept in until 9am…surprisingly Swirl let me sleep that long. I’m not sure if he realized I was home or not but at 9am I heard the scratch at the door. I figured I better get up. Now if you know me, you realize that is a huge deal because I’m normally up at early on days off and weekends.

The Long Run
Yesterday morning we had storms, I slept through them. When I woke up at 9am I saw sun and knew I was in trouble. The weather forecast was for hot humid weather after the rain. Darn it, I missed the rain! I had a little breakfast and put on the running gear. I also used my water belt. And man did I need that! I drank every ounce on the run. When I decided to take the day off I know this was going to be a long run day. I had counted on it so I had to do it. And I didn’t have the benefit of Eric dropping me off far away from home. I had to do this on my own without giving up. I did a 6 mile loop around Shakopee. The first 2 miles were under shade trees. However, once I got on the running path, I was in the sun almost the whole way.  My first mile and my last mile were the slowest and my overall pace was slow but I got faster as the run went on. Here is my course and splits:

The Relaxing

After the run, I squeezed about a pound of water sweat out my clothes and relaxed. I didn’t really do much the rest of the day. I did some cleaning and went shopping for a bit but that was it. It was a successfully day off! :)

Fifteen’s 5K

Monday, August 18, 2014

What an awesome day. Best race ever!

The Start
An 8am start is great, better than those 7am or 6am starts. We started by Gold Medal Park by Guthrie Theater. Some of the area mascots were there including TC Bear. He was taking pictures with people before the start. Here is our before race picture (I love my tank):

The race was pretty straight with only a few turns (see route below). There was a bit of a hill before mile 1 so my time was a little slower than usually. But that is ok, I actually run up the hill! Progress! The key with this race was pacing. I didn’t start too fast to make sure I had enough in the tank for later. I’m learning! The weather wasn’t perfect, about 70 degrees but with 90% humidity it was stick and thick air to breathe.Yuck! Give me -5 degrees anyday! I thought this was going to be a problem but I felt fine almost the whole way. 

The Middle
Not much to say for the middle. We ran around the North Loop which has really been built up with new condos and restaurants all over. It is kind of a cool area now. With the humidity, I’m so glad I wore my tank top though; I think I would have overheated in a t-shirt by mile 1. Mile 2 was faster than mile 1 so that made me happy. We kept a consistent 11:15-11:20 pace for most of the race until we hit the big hill up the overpass. Now it really wasn’t big, but it was a bit long and I had to stop half way and walk a bit mostly because I wanted to finish strong. By the time I got to the top of the hill my pace had jumped to 11:30. I thought my 35 minute finish time was out of reach but I keep trucking on.

The End
After the overpass hill there was a nice looping downhill all the way to the stadium which was awesome because I really cruised down it and under the overpass I just walked up. At this point I switch my watch to total time so I wasn’t sure what my pace was but when I entered the stadium and my time was still under 35 minutes I knew that I could finally achieve that 35 minute mark. We came into the stadium in the left field wall and ran down the third base line and finished near home plate. I came in with my strongest finished yet (check my pace line below). I sprinted to the finish and came in at 35:13. That is almost a minute faster than my previous PR. Whoop, Whoop! I was so overheated but it was awesome!

The Medal (And Twins Players)
We exited out the stadium onto the plaza where we were greeted by some Twins players. I got my medal from Brian Duensing.
Fifteen's 5K Medal
Dozier, Perkins, Pelfrey and Pressly and a few others were there too. I got some signatures on my bib and pictures. See:
Dozier :)
Dozier is a hottie!
Duensing isn't bad either!
Perkins...Goldy photo bombed us!
No bananas…that was a bummer. Plenty of water, chips, peanuts and such but nothing really sweet. :( We wondered around the stadium plaza before heading back to the car. It was a great day!

Here is the route and pace information, look at my strong finish...almost a 9:20 pace for a bit!

I didn't get a mile split under 11 minutes but that is ok because I got my total time under 36!

My New Running Plan

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I have come up with a clever way to keep me motivated in the running department. I make Eric drive me to some point in town to drop me off and then I HAVE to run (or walk) home. Monday he dropped me off at Lion’s Park and I ran almost 5 miles home. Today he dropped me off at the high school and I ran 4 miles home. It is great because I have to run, I can’t quit half way through and take a shortcut home. It is a great way to make sure I get my miles in. Eventually I want him to drop me off at Wal-Mart (that is a 10K).  Or even Bloomington which is really only 7 miles.

I was really motivate to run on Monday so it wasn’t so important. Today I didn’t want to run at all but I really had no choice…Eric dropped me off and I was on my own with just my watch and iPod. No phone, no way to call home.

So that is my new running plan. If I want to upgrade from 5K-10K runner status to a 10 mile or half marathon, I need to increase my mileage. That will not happen if I stick to running around my neighborhood. I need to expand my running area so I don’t lose motivation and get bored. 

This weekend starts my string of 5K weekends. The next 3 weekends I have races. It should be fun. Hopefully I get into the elusive 35 minute club…even if it is 35:59. I just want to see 35.

2014 Festival Weekend

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another successful Fall Festival Weekend is in the books. I got to see family and friends again. It was a nice weekend. But traditions were broken.

Ashley for the Arts
Saturday we drove down to Mike’s for a cookout before heading the Ashley for the Arts concert and fireworks. Dinner was good, corn on the cob was the best. I love it! We walked over the park for the concert. I didn’t like the group…there were like a bad Nirvana. I’m not into grunge so I wasn’t happy. Eric and I walked around a bit but mostly we sat through the gritty music. After that was the Hawaiian Fire Dancers. It was interesting, like what you would see at a luau. Then came the fireworks. They were pretty good for a small town. It was like a 20 minutes show. We got home and crashed in bed.

Fall Festival
Unlike prior years there was no going to church early to drop off pies and cakes. We just went to the Polka Mass at 10:30. Afterwards we played the cake walk and won cupcakes. Ate some chicken and chips and played the Rootbeer Barrels were I won two water bottles…just what I need more water bottles. Next was Bingo. We played most of the 3 hours except for a few times we walked around the auction and beer tent. The only winner was Eric. Yay Eric! I never win!

We stayed for the first hour of the polka music and left. We gave Aunt Bev a ride home and stopped at Fazoli’s for dinner and that was about it.

Another long tiring weekend.

Faster and faster I go, Who’s going to stop me? Donuts

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I had a pretty awesome run today.  And I had to share. So I started out slow, I’m not sure what my problem was but I go faster and faster with each mile. My fastest mile was mile 5.  Mile 5!!! That is crazy. Here are my splits:

As you can see each mile was faster than the last. That never happens for me. The first 2.5 miles were in the rain the last were hot and humid but I still managed to get faster. I’m so happy. This is definitely a running high day.

I celebrated with a maple glazed donut and chocolate glazed donut. I haven’t eaten all my calories I burned so that is good. LOL!  

The Highs and Lows of Running

Thursday, August 7, 2014

So I’ve been running for 318 days now and I’m always learning new things. One thing I learned early on and still struggle with today are the highs and lows of running. This week is a perfect example of how you never know what type of run you will have until you get out there. 
running lows :(
Monday was a cool day and I was really motivated to go out running. Eric had a soccer game so I was going to go for a "long" run. Well I started out feeling tired. I was very slow and struggle to get to 3 miles before I threw in the towel. I was all dejected because I really thought I’d do 4 miles, easy, and be happy the whole time. I was wrong. I was miserable and just wanted to go home.

So fast forward two days to yesterday. It was hot, humid and we spent the afternoon walking around Valleyfair, riding rides and swimming in the wave pool. I got home, made dinner and fell asleep on the couch watching TV. I woke up around 7pm and felt terrible. I guess eating a big dinner and then immediately sleeping makes your stomach upset. I knew I should go for a run but didn’t want to. Eventually I pulled my shoes on and went out. I told Eric I won’t be out long because I don’t think I’d make 3 miles.

It was AMAZING. This was the best run I have had in a long time. I went 3.75 miles on a hilly course and I could have gone even more miles. I was fast (fairly) and I was feeling great. It was hard to believe 45 minutes before this I was struggling to get off the couch.  

So I guess the moral of the story is when you feel like crap and don’t want to run, you should anyway because you could have the best run of your life.  For comparison sake here are the splits from the two days. 

Bad Run 
My overall pace was 13:24.

I didn't get to 4 miles so it only shows whole miles on the splits, my overall pace was 12:32. It took me 2:36 less to run 3 miles!

Chili-Fremont Fire/Rescue 10K

Monday, August 4, 2014

This was a lonely race. There were only 10 participants in the 10K which meant a for-sure-last-place-finish.

The Start
About 30 minutes before the race it poured. Great! Since the first mile was on the grass it meant wet shoes for the other 5 miles. Great! We walked over to the park to get our stuff and take a group photo. This is the Tractor Central team:

There were 4 of us on the team that did the 10K. The rest did the 5K. The start was simple. Like I said the first mile or so was on an old railroad bed…so old it was grass! And since we got a nice rain shower beforehand it was also muddy. I was never so relieved to get on crushed rock in all my life! Once we got off the railroad bed there was our first water station. It was unmanned so we had to pour our own water. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, it was a small race and it was only the second year they have run it. After that it was a stretch of gravel roads.

The Middle
The middle miles of the race (basically miles 2-5) were on the country roads. A very lonely place. It was just me, Eric and the cows. There were a lot of cows and smell. Oh well, welcome to country life. We didn’t see any traffic either. During almost the entire race we were behind the other two 10k runners on the Tractor Central team. We always had them in our sight so that made me feel good. I guess we weren’t always lonely. I’m glad I had Eric there to push me. I would have been in trouble if I was by myself.

The Water Stop
At mile 4 there was a water stop. This one had two guys, one was a medic. They handed us water so that was nice. I did pretty good up to this point. After that we rounded the corner and headed back into town. I started to fall apart at mile 4.5. It makes sense because that is the most I had run in over 2 months so of course I was struggling after that. I took more and more walk breaks. After mile five we finally were on pavement…Thank you GOD! I love pavement.

The Finish
We eventually lost the other two runners when we hit the turns in town. There was a lot of confusing at the finish. The volunteers had us running circles in town and this town isn’t very big (5 streets). The other two girls were wondering where we went because it took us so long to get to the finish line after them. I don’t know if the volunteers thought we were 5K runners because the course we ran, we should have met the two girls as we ran on the same street twice but we didn’t run into them. Around every corner I was hoping for the finish. And it wasn’t there. Eventually we got to the finish. Eric let me finish in front of him so I wasn’t last…wasn’t that nice…and uncharacteristic of him?

Being there were only 10 of us doing the 10K, are chances of getting a medal was pretty high. I didn’t plan on it but I thought I had a chance. We both got 3rd place medals. In our age groups...but we are the same age you say? Apparently they thought Eric was 35. So he got 3rd in the 24-35 age category and I got 3rd place for the 36+ age category.

Overall it was good. I need to work on my longer distance again! The temperature really warmed up after the rain and it was humid. I can’t wait to run a 10K on pavement. The two that I have completed have been on grass, dirt, gravel and sand with hardly any pavement. I want pavement!

Here are the splits, you can tell I like pavement because my pace was almost minute faster than the mile before:

Here are some more pictures. Mike finished the 5K! Good Job!

July 2014 Recap

Friday, August 1, 2014

Runs: 12
Miles: 37
Races: 1 (Torchlight 5K - 36:14)
Outdoors: All!
Indoors: None
Longest: 4.5 miles
Average Pace: 12:55

I don't really have much to say for July. My pace decreased so it is under 13 again. That makes me happy. My miles went up slightly. The beginning of the month I was focusing on my biking since I was biking at the triathlon so that cut into my running. I also had 3 concerts which also takes away from evening time. I only had one race and I did well. If I didn’t have to stop for a train and traffic (stupid race), I would have had a time under 36 minutes for a 5K. But I’m still chasing that 35 minute mark. This month has been relatively cool which is surprising for July. But there have been some hot and humid days too where it was so hard to run. I would come home soaked…it was gross! I look forward to August. I have 4 races planned so I’m going to be very busy. 

Trophies for July