Monster Dash 5K

Monday, October 27, 2014

A great race for me.

Getting there…
Monster Dash is a huge race, probably the biggest I’ve ever entered. There over 7,000 in the 5K alone. An additionally 11,000 people did the 10 mile and half marathon. It was very chaotic! The lineup of cars trying to get off at Kellogg Blvd. to park was a mile long. We were smart enough to go past them and park near the Union Depot. We only paid $4 for parking and got right in. Win for us. The walk to the start was about a mile away. So it was our pre-race warmup. Like I said there were lots of people there:

We lined up near the front. I wasn’t about to wait forever to start this thing. It was cold I wanted to be done. Mike and Bradley were walking, DJ, Eric and I were running.

The Start
The event wasn’t chipped time and there really wasn’t any waves by time. It was just a massive amount of people started at the same time of varying paces…including walkers. I started out ok. The first mile was relatively flat and my average pace was 11:05. Not bad for mile one.

The Middle
Mile 2 is where it got fun…NOT!  It was an uphill climb most of the way, well ok only half of the way. But it sucked. And it sucked the wind out of me. Also during mile 2 was the water stop and trick or treat stop. Being the stupid runner that I am, I took the Sixlets and enjoyed it…but then my mouth was all waxy and I didn’t like that so much. I really should have avoided the Sixlets until after the race…lesson learned.  The uphill and water/candy stop really hurt my mile 2 and I came in with a time of 11:33. My moving time was 11:14 so I wasted 19 seconds drinking water and eating candy…bad me.

The End
I had a great finish. I thought a new personal record (PR) would be out of reach with that dang hill but we had a nice downhill during mile 3 (which consequently I have to run up this weekend for Chocolate Frolic…not looking forward to that!). I actually got ahead of Eric and DJ on the downhill. I’m good at them. I need to the all downhill half marathon in Utah! My mile 3 time was 10:37. I like that my last miles are becoming my fastest…but it means that I should be faster than I am because if I have enough in the tank to finish that fast I should have enough to run faster throughout the run but I digress. The last .18 of a mile was at 9:13 pace. This doesn’t surprise me. During my speed workouts, I have been getting down to the 9:15 pace for a quarter of a mile. I’m very happy.

Overall time was 34:55, a 10:59 pace. Yep I broke the 35 minute barrier and the 11:00 pace barrier. It was a successful run.

As always…Pictures:

Mankato 10K Photos...they are actually pretty good!

Friday, October 24, 2014

So I get to thank my nephew Dylan for the thumb up pose. :)

Mankato 10K

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Breakout 10K.

We met my mom, Mike and Brenda at Caribou at 6:45am for some pre-race beverages. I was still feeling a bit stuffed up from my cold…yes I got a cold before my “should be breakout 10K.” I was very angry Friday morning when I woke up with a stuffed up nose. I actually wanted to cry because I trained really hard for this 10K and it was going to be ruined by a damn cold. But alas, I drank my delicious Caribou hot chocolate, excited for the day but also nervous how my breathing would be effected.

The Start
It was pretty chilly and very windy morning when Eric, DJ and I stood at the start line. DJ dropped down to the 10K from the full marathon…she was smart! The temperature at start time was 45 degrees but with 12 mph wind it felt cold. But I was ready to go; I wanted this to be awesome. There were almost 700 of us lined up at the start. The Half and Full marathoners were around too. They started 30 minutes after us. They blew the horn and we were on our way. At about a half mile I thought to myself I’m crazy. This cold, windy air is going to make me sicker but I pressed on.

Mile 1 was good at 11:12. There were a ton of people around us. DJ was way ahead of us…and she said she was walking it…liar!  The first couple miles were pretty boring as we ran through some neighborhoods. There were some rolling hills that don’t even show up on the elevation chart. I run up all the hills!  Mile 2 came in a little slower at 11:16 but like I said there were some hills.

The Middle
Between Mile 2 and 3 was the first water stop. I walked through the water stop because I still haven’t mastered drinking and running and I didn’t want to get wet when it was so cold and windy. Mile 3 was my slowest of the entire run at 11:22. I wasn’t too upset because I walked through the water stop and I knew what was coming…the HILL! The main reason I decided to jump up to the 10K this weekend was I know the hill would be fun to run down and I’d have a good time. I was right. Mile 4 was all downhill and my pace for that mile was the fastest mile EVER for me. I ran it in 10:19. My fastest mile by almost 30 seconds. Somewhere on the hill I past DJ and never looked back. Eric always told me that hills were equalizers. He was right. I was feeling awesome…until I hit the bottom of the hill.

The Finish
Flying down the hill was great but when you get to the bottom you realize you still have 2 more miles to go. It really was a blow to my ego.  But I kept trucking on. Mile 5 was tough as we ran on Stoltzman Road and they didn’t block it off to traffic so we had to run on the shoulder with cars whipping past us going 45+. That was the toughest mile mentally even though it was my second fastest at 11:11. Mile 6 brought us on to Riverfront Drive. It was a relief we had the road to ourselves. Mile 6 was slow at 11:19.  Eric left me at some point before we reached Mile 6. I had enough in me though to sprint to the finish. My last split was a 9:36 pace. I think the speed workouts are helping.

It took over a  minute for me to get over the "start" line. That is my time says 1:08.

Results and Analysis
My overall time was 1:07:43 with a pace of 11:04, my fastest 10K by 12 minutes. This 10K was a little short of a true 10K but who cares. If you extrapolate it out it would have been about 1:09. That is still 10 minutes faster. I was so happy with my result. I was smiling crossing the finish line. I felt great afterwards too. The 11:04 pace was also my fastest pace for any of my runs ever…and I went 6 miles! I know that big hill helped a lot but I am excited for my next 5K. Maybe, just maybe, I can get under 35.

My time for the last half of this 10K was 33:59! That included the hill. If you take the hill out of the equation my 5K time was 34:55. I can do this!
Mankato Marathon 10K Medal. Nice medal!

Mankato Weekend and 5K

We had a great weekend in Mankato with family. We met my mom and Mike and Danielle and Bradley’s house. We had lunch at Culver’s and then we split up. Mike, Eric and I went to the Mankato Marathon Expo and the other three went back the apartment. The Expo was nice, not as big as the TC marathon but that one is huge.  We got our shirts...sadly they were out of the XL and XXL shirts for the 5K so Mike was stuck with a large. We got XL shirts for the 10K and gave one to Mike and it fits! He is melting away!

Expo and Pork Power 5K
After the Expo we got ready for the Pork Power 5K. I was going to walk with Mike and Eric was going to run. There were only 554 people that did the 5K so it wasn’t too crowded and there were a lot of walkers. The water stop had bacon. I had a piece. It was ok…cold but tasty. It made me so thirsty though! Mike kept a very consistent pace and we finished in 46 minutes. It was just shy of a 5K but still very fast especially for walking! We met Mom, Bradley and Eric at the finish line. Eric finished in 27 minutes. Danielle was at her office working.
Pre-Race Mankato Marathon Pork Power 5K
I'm not sure what I'm laughing at.
We did it very fast!
Showing off our medals at the finish
Mankato Marathon Pork Power 5K Medal
We went back to Danielle and Bradley’s place afterwards and relaxed and got ready for dinner. We went to dinner with Bradley’s family, including his grandparents from Pittsburgh. Bradley chose Shogun for dinner. We sat around the grill and had Hibachi Chef so that was fun. I just ordered Chicken Teriyaki from the kitchen though. It was good.  I ate way too much!

Sunday Morning
Sunday was my big day. It was the day of my “breakout” 10K. The other 10Ks were not really road races. San Francisco was a trail run on sand, steps and gravel. And Chili 10K was technically a road race but it was also on grass and gravel and with only 10 entrants it was lonely. This was my 10K. I’ll talk more about that race in my race report but I will say I was very happy with 1:07 time. It was my fastest ever…the big downhill helped.

The Marathon
DJ was smart and went down to the 10K race. Brenda was still doing the Marathon. After mom and Mike left we went back to DJs to change and ventured out to find Brenda. We found at Mile 16. She was the last one and was on pace for 6:30 time. That would be faster than her Grandma’s Marathon time.  She looked like she was in pain. After we saw here we had to go back to DJs to pick up Beth and take her to work. We met Brenda again at mile 22. She was still last but was keeping up her walking pace.  We picked up some lunch and waited for Brenda at the finish line. Her time was 6:38. Not bad considering she heard “popping” noises in both feet at mile 5. I would have quit…she is way more mentally ready for the marathon than I would be. She also said it was the stupidest thing she ever did.
Bringing her in!


The Quick Trip

Monday, October 13, 2014

In 53 hours, we drove 1,131 miles, across two states. It was a quick trip out to Rapid City. It was a good trip. We got to see Dan, we needed that.

Sioux Falls
Friday after work we left from our house, picked up DJ and kids and drove to Sioux Falls and spent the night with Byron and Paula. It was good to see them again. It has been a while. Early Saturday morning DJ, Abbie and I went for a Caribou coffee run. Yum! I need that too. We got back to the house in time to see Paula off. Her sister had a cross country meet. We had a little breakfast and we were off to Rapid City.

Long, Boring, Windy
It is such a long drive across the state of SD. Long and boring…and windy. We stopped in Mitchell for gas and Chamberlain for lunch. After that we pretty much drove the rest of the way out. We got to Dan and Libby’s house around 3. Dan was napping so Eric and I went for a run.

5 Miles
Eric and I went to Sioux Park to go for a 5 mile run. I had a back ache and told Eric that we should do just 4 miles but he forced me to do 5 miles. We ran to Canyon Lake and back. I was very upset for a lot of it and walked some but I picked up Eric picked up the pace and my last two miles were the fastest. See:

Pizza and Bowling
After the run, we stopped at the parent’s house for a bit and then headed back to Dan’s for pizza. We got to see Tim and Matt. Matt drove up for the weekend from Denver. It’s always great to see him, he cracks me up. We had a nice conversation with Dan until about 8:30pm when he went to bed. After that Eric, niece Judy, Beth, Abbie and I met Carrie and her kids at the bowling alley for Cosmic Bowling. I did pretty well the first game, I beat Eric with a 123. But my second game sucked…I was tired!

Psalm 23
So we went to 8am Mass since we had to get on the road. It was the longest Mass ever. The priest was going on and on about the Islamic state. It was hard to listen to him preach about the Islamic state when I kept thinking he looks like a terrorist with his silly beard. And then the psalm was 23…seriously! I’m so weak…I cried. Communion was 2 hours later…Ok so it really wasn’t 2 hours, it was an hour. But I seriously thought Mass was that long. I looked at my watch and was 10am when we got communion…I forgot to turn my clock back so it really was only 9am but still a normal Sunday Mass was an hour and a half.

Breakfast and the Getaway
After Mass we had crepes at the Dan’s and took some pictures and then we were off for home. It was a whirlwind trip with more hours the road than actually in Rapid City but it was worth it. We got home about 10pm last night.

The 30 Week Plan

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Yep, I have a plan. It is a 30 week plan. It is a plan that will hopefully get me from my piddly 5K/10K runs to a Half Marathon, 13.1 miles. I’m not sure about this but I have a plan.

I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m crazy. I’m not really driven or competitive so it must be that I’m crazy. I had been toying with the idea for a while but never really gave it much serious thought. I always had excuses like, “My toes hurt after 4 miles, how can I do 13.1 miles?” Well I guess I’ll have to figure that out. Now most of your half marathon plans are nice little 12 week or sometimes 16 week plans.  But I have 30 weeks before the half marathon so why wait, I’m starting now. If I wait until January or February to start I may chicken out. By starting now, I have the train’s engine in motion, I just have to keep it on the track.

I always thought, half-heartedly, that I would do a half marathon and left it at that. I never acted on it. Well, finally, I acted on it. Now I haven’t signed up for the half marathon yet. No I’m not chickening out or making excuses. Well I guess I am. I can’t register…registration isn’t open yet. But I made a very important step in the right direction. I signed up for my first 15K…9.32 miles. Eek! This race is going to be part of my 30 week plan. The 15K is two weeks before the half marathon so that will be a good “training” run.

13.1 said miles
According to Hal Higdon (a running guru), “Don't worry about making the final jump from 10 miles in practice to 13.1 miles in the race. Inspiration will carry you to the finish line…” He says I can do it, I can do it.

May 3, 2015
That is the date for the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. It goes from Wayzata to Excelsior with many parts along Lake Minnetonka. Funny story, a few years ago a weatherman who recently moved to the area said one day, “it is a beautiful day tomorrow, a great day for a stroll around Lake Minnetonka.” Lake Minnetonka is 125 miles around. Thankfully this run is just 13.1 miles.

It is just a Half
I don’t know why I’m making a big deal about it…this is just a half marathon. A lot of people do full marathons and don’t write long blogs about it. Well I'm just planning on doing a half  and I just blogged about it. So there!

Polka for Parkinson’s and 56 Years

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

This weekend was quite busy for us. We started off with the TC 5K on Saturday morning. After the run, which I did great, we made our traditional stop at Caribou Coffee for a breakfast sandwich and a hot chocolate.

Polka for Parkinson’s
We drove to Holmen to meet Mom and Nancy then went to Polka for Parkinson’s at the Moose Lodge in  LaCrosse. It is put on by a local hospital. Mollie B and Squeezebox were there …you know Mollie B from the Polka Party on RFD-TV. It was a big deal, she is famous! LOL!  It was good music and good food! After Mollie B, Eric and I went to 4pm Mass at a church nearby. I was shocked to see Father Kunz!  A priest that was at SMU and who also was at my home parish for years. It was so weird to see him again. I know he recognized Eric because at Communion he smirked at him. But being Eric, he snuck out after Mass and didn’t talk to him. We went back to the Polka for Parkinson’s but didn’t stay long as the other band wasn’t very good.

56 Years…
Sunday was a retirement party for my Aunt Betty Jane…56 years at Northern Investment Company. That is crazy.  I got to see family and friends and had a great meal. I ate at least 3 Special k bars. I’m surprised I didn’t gain 10 pounds! We hung out there for a while and eventually came home.

It was a good weekend.


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Expo
The Expo on Friday night was awesome. If I was rich, I would have walked out poor. But I didn’t buy anything!  I wanted to, but resisted the urge. I did, however sign us up for the Hot Chocolate 15K in April 2015. Yep, I signed up for a race that is over 9 miles long. I’m really wondering what I was thinking but I guess I have to take the plunge. I also had been toying with the idea of running the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon in May 2015. We stopped by the Run MN booth and spun the wheel and guess what! I landed on the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. It must be fate because now I have a discount on the registration of that race.

The Start
It was a chilly morning with the temps in the 40s but the wind was whipping around 17 mph. It felt cold. I wore two layers.  I’m not sure how many people were in the 5K. There were over 2,000 finishers but there were people running the 5K who were doing what they call the “Looney Challenge” or “Ultra Looney Challenge.” These people would run the 5K, the 10K and the 10 mile or Marathon races. They were not included in our finisher count and there were a lot of them!


We started up a hill past, the St. Paul Cathedral onto Summit Ave. The first mile was almost entirely uphill. That may have sucked in the beginning but it ultimately led to an awesome finish! I struggled a little up the hill. I think a lot of it was also the cold windy weather too.  Mile 1 ended up being 11:29. Not bad considering it was almost a continual uphill.

The Middle
Not much about the middle. It was mostly flat with a few little rolling hills. My pace got a little better and by the end of mile 2 I was down to about 11:20.  Mile 2 came in at 11:16. I was getting faster! But there were no water stops so that was a bummer.

The Finish
What goes up, most come down, especially on an out-and-back course. I have mentioned it numerous times that I hate out-and-back courses but this one wasn’t so bad when the last mile was mostly downhill! I “sprinted” to the finish. My pace for mile 3 was 10:56 but the last .15 miles I ran in 10:13 pace. That was awesome!  I finished with the exact same time, 35:13, as my PR. I call that good. I wish I could have pushed it a bit more but alas I didn’t.

Again, like the last couple races, my last mile was my fastest. I’m not sure if that means I could run the first 2 miles faster and I just don’t push myself? I’m not sure. Eric is done with soccer so we can start running together again and he can get me faster…I hope!


TC 5K Medal - pretty cool and heavy!


Swirl, the 5K Kitty.

September 2014 Recap

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Runs: 11
Miles: 42.7
Races: 3 (Suds Run 5K - 38:46; Thunder Bay 5K - 36:27; Circle K 5K - 36:48)
Outdoors: All!
Indoors: None
Longest: 6 miles (twice)
Average Pace: 12:34

September was frustrating. I started out the month with a 6 mile run and hurt my foot. That set me back a few days. The next day I went on vacation to Iceland so I didn’t get much running done there…I went 3 miles one day. I came back from Iceland and got Bronchitis. I ran 2 races with Bronchitis, the Suds Run 5K which was when I was at the worse and Thunder Bay 5K a week later. Thankfully I had an antibiotic in between time and managed to clear most of it up. The Suds Run was especially frustrating because I got stung by wasps at the end of the race. It wasn’t a good weekend…or month! I picked up my running the last week and a half. I did 6 runs in 10 days. All were longer than 3 miles with two 4.5 milers, a 5 miler and another 6 miler. At least after the last 6 miler I don’t think I hurt myself. September was a month of firsts. My first run internationally and my first international race (Iceland and Canada).

Trophies for September