Unleash the SHE 5K

Monday, April 27, 2015

Another first! This is the first time I ran a race in honor of somebody and actually did some fundraising for the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic cancer and a leading cause of cancer-related death in women. The survival rate has barely improved since the “War on Cancer” was declared over 40 years ago. Due to the lack of an early detection test, over 80% of ovarian cancer is diagnosed in the late stages. I ran in honor of my Aunt Grace. She lost her battle against Ovarian Cancer in 2013.

I roped in my sister and brother to do the race with Eric and I. This was my brother's first 5K since his hip replacement in January. Amazing!

There were 900 people (mostly women and a few brave men) that participated in the race. There was the timed run for women only and the coed untimed walk/run. Mike and Nancy did the walk. Eric was going to go with the walkers but he saw some men go with the runners so he changed his mind. He eventually caught up to me before mile 1.

We couldn't have asked for a better day. The sun was shining and it was 48 degrees. The race itself was on a flat course and was a bit crowded. The first mile seemed to take forever. The second mile flew by and the third seemed long again. I think Mile 3 seemed long because we were running into the wind the whole way. Even though it was a light breeze at 7 mph, it was tiring. Overall my time was slower than Goldy's which is a bit disappointing but this race wasn't as big as Goldy's and I didn't know the course to know when to kick it into high gear. It was a good run overall, I'm happy with it.

When I crossed the finish line, the announcer said my name and said I was running in honor of my Aunt Grace. I was surprised to hear that. It was very bittersweet.

Mike and Nancy came in at 57 minutes. Very impressive! I'm so proud of Mike. 

The after run snacks were great! They had your standards, water, oranges and bananas but also Oreos, animal crackers and Cheez-its. It was a good day to fight ovarian cancer!



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

In addition to all the running and races we have done the last couple of weeks, we have also had a couple weddings.

Paula and Tom
The first wedding was Friday, April 10th. It was for my cousin Paula and her new husband Tom. It was a very nice ceremony in Chippewa Falls, WI and the reception was at a golf club in Eau Claire. We rushed out of work and headed straight to Wisconsin, no easy task during rush hour!  We arrived with a few minutes to spare for the ceremony at 7pm. After the ceremony we headed to the reception in Eau Claire. There was a live band and appetizers for food. It was nice to see my cousins but the late start made for a long night…and we had Goldy’s run the next morning!

Angela and John
This past weekend was my friend and college roommate, Angela’s wedding. Yes it was on Saturday after the 15K. We rushed home from the race, showered, changed and ran out the door for the almost 2 hour drive to the church. We snuck in the door and sat at the back. We got there just as they were saying their “I Dos.” We got there 30 minutes late and it lasted another hour…thank goodness for a long Catholic Mass! Ha!

After the Mass, we headed to Albert Lea to check into our hotel and for the reception. I know we could have probably just gone home after the reception but I didn’t really want to drive an hour and half all the way home after the long, tiring day we had. The reception space was very tight, I’m not sure if it was exceeding fire code!  We had a nice visit with DeAnn & Brion, Heidi and her daughter, Denise and her family and Andrea and her family (all former SMU alumni). It was nice to see old friends. Angela looked beautiful in her dress. She was one happy bride. I just can’t believe she will be a farmer! Ha! It was a nice evening. But I was so happy to crash into bed!

Angela with Kim and baby Mary
SMU Crew

Hot Chocolate 15K

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I did it! I finished a 15K…9.4 miles (almost 10 miles) and survived! It feels incredible. I can’t believe I did it. My crazy idea to do this in October has come and gone and I did it!
The day started out great. We parked the car and walked to the park (about a mile). The temperature was 55 degrees, sunny and barely any windy. Perfect conditions for a run, I was relieved. I scanned the crowd and saw a lot of women of my size or larger. I know I shouldn’t judge but it made me feel good that I wasn’t the only one.
My main goal was to finish under 2 hours.  But I had three little goals, one for each of the 5Ks (because 5x3=15):
  • First 5K – keep my overall pace at or below 12:00 per mile.  Goal one: Success!! (11:50!)
  • Middle 5K – keep my overall pace at or below 12:15 per mile. Goal two: Success (12:07!)
  • Last 5K – keep my overall pace at or below 12:52 per mile. Goal three: Success (12:23!!!)
The Start


The start was great. There were a ton of people but it didn’t seem like I had to do much weaving around people. Most of the walkers were respectfully and moved to the side. I appreciate that. The first part of the run is not in a very nice area so there really isn’t much to look at except for the unexpected Ferris Wheel on the side of the road. I didn’t catch the restaurant it was attached too. LOL! The first water stop was just before mile 2. A little early for me but I took the water because I knew it was along race and not that many water stops so take it when you can get it. At mile 2.35 we turned left on St. Anthony Parkway. What a relief to get away from the industrial area and get into the park setting. Shortly we were at the 42nd Ave. Bridge…the longest uphill bridge ever. Ugh. But I kept going because I knew that on the other side of the bridge was the 5K marker and the next water stop…with Tootsie Rolls. I was really craving Tootsie Rolls! First 5K was complete, overall time was 36:44.
The Middle
Don’t remember much about mile 4. I know we ran past an oxygen company and thought it was bit funny…I need Oxygen! At the end of mile 4 I was tricked. I saw flags flying and I thought I need water…I was so happy to see it was just up ahead. I was pissed when it just turned out to be Ortho People advertising their races…I need water!  Fortunately the water was less than a half a mile away but it was a bit blow to my spirit. The 3rd water stop had marshmallows which I skipped but drank a couple glasses of water and poured one over my head. I was very warm by this point! We made it to the 10K marker and I was feeling pretty good. 10K was complete, overall time 1:15.32. Woo Hoo!
The End
It was after the 10K when Eric and I had a bit of a spat. He decided we should finish it over 10 minutes faster than I knew I could do and I got pissed. He wanted me to “push myself” but I was already giving my all and knew that trying to keep up with this pace wasn’t going to happen. My attitude soured. I knew I was going to finish but I was so mad I wanted to walk the rest of the way. Anyways mile 7 was brutal. I was really warm and very thirsty and the next water stop was still over a half a mile away. But I pressed on. I walked more often but still kept moving forward. The last water stop had chocolate chips. I was so happy to have chocolate again and WATER! I took a couple waters and downed them like nothing and took one for the road. It was less than 2 miles to go and I knew that this race was mine. All I had left to do was running along the Mississippi River, across the Stone Arch Bridge and down St. Anthony Main.

I don’t remember much about mile 9. But I do remember walking up the last hill and then sprinted to the finish. I was so happy to be done. I got my water and my chocolate and gorged!

Pictures, Maps and More



Goldy’s Run 5K

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I had very low expectations for Goldy’s Run as I was suffering a cold and didn’t feel the best. I told Eric he should do his own race because I was going to be slow. The weather was perfect. The temps were in the low 40s with hardly any wind and the sun was shining!! Last year it was cold, wet and windy. There were 3,530 people who participated in the 5K (over 2,200 did the 10 mile). I was finisher number 1,765...the exact middle. :)

The Start
Like all races the start was crowded, but unlike other races, this race was crowded the entire 3 miles. There were walkers and strollers and all around it was a jungle of people to run through. The first mile was very frustrating; it was so bad that Eric couldn’t sprint away from me. We didn’t run together but he was always within sight. And he had my phone so I knew he was near when my watch buzzed to tell me it connected with my phone (Eric was carrying my phone). The first mile came in at 11:08. Not bad for this cold suffering women!

The Middle
Mile 2 has a lot of turns in it…check out the map below, it is crazy! I don’t remember much about the middle. I tried to maintain the same pace and even though I was wearing the heart rate monitor, I never really looked at it.

The Finish
As soon as the stadium was in sight (about the 2.3 miles mark) I changed my watch to show me my current pace. I told myself that my current pace cannot go above 11:00/miles. I didn’t pay attention to anything else. I basically sprinted (well for me sprinted) the last .8 miles. The last part of the run includes running around the stadium and finally go in the shoot and unto the field with the finish at the 50 yard line. I knew I was doing well because right before I ran into the stadium, I hit mile 3 and my time was 10:30. It has been a long time since my last mile was my fastest.  I never gave up my pace until the finish and finished with a time of 33:37. Officially my fastest 5K ever based on pace. My fastest overall 5K was 33:36 but that one was 3.08 miles and this one was 3.10 miles. And the amazing thing is I had a cold! I ran my best race with a cold! What the heck!

The Pictures, Maps and Splits


I was the exact middle finisher of the 5K!

Grandma Kate’s Funeral

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

We got up early Monday morning and drove 3 hours northwest from Mitchell to Gettysburg, SD (where the battle wasn’t). I’m very thankful that South Dakota allows you to drive 65 on two-lane roads. It wasn’t a very exciting drive, there isn’t much to see. We got Gettysburg around 12:30 and met people at the hotel. We immediately went to the CafĂ© for lunch. It was good!

After lunch we hung out at the hotel with family. It was nice to see everybody that was there. We made it to the church by 2pm and socialized with people I’d never met. We got some nice pictures:
The Kids: Kara, Bill, Bruce, Jay
Molly and Terry (missing Mike)

Then lined up for the funeral procession. There was a lot of family there!  The Mass seemed short. There wasn’t a lot of singing. The priest actually talked about Grandma Kate! (The last funeral I went to for my friend Mary, the priest went on and on about going to confession and being “good” since we were in Lent and never really talked about Mary…it really upset me!) Some cousin gave a eulogy and that was it. After Mass we had ice cream and Oreos. That was it!

We ventured out to the farm to get a picture at the “rock.” It was so windy! While we waited for the others to arrive, we checked out the new shed that was recently built with the 16 row planter and other toys inside. Once everybody arrived we hurried to snap the photo of the gang before the windy blew us away. Byron…silly boy, locked his keys in the car. Why he was locking his car in the middle of nowhere South Dakota, especially since we were only going to be 50 feet away was silly. Oh well, it happens.

We went up to the house and looked at old photos of Grandma Kate and the family. We talked with Eric’s Aunts Kara and Molly. And whoever else was there. We eventually made our way to Uncle Bruce’s house where we saw the rest of the family. We eat some food and around 8pm we finally made our way out the door and on the road home. We got as far as Watertown before we called it a night.


Happy Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2015

This weekend we traveled down to my mom and brother’s house in Wisconsin. Saturday morning we picked up my bike at Erik’s Bike Shop. They tuned it up so I’m ready to ride this spring. I can’t wait! But we didn’t have time for that, we had to hit the road! We decided to take the long, scenic route through Hastings, Red Wing and Lake City, following the Mississippi River all the way to Winona. Since we were have a nice little drive, we drove around St. Mary’s University campus to see the sights of our college days. They have made a lot of improvements since our time but nothing new since the last time we drove around campus. Of course it was dead since it was Easter Break. After that we crossed the bridge and took the backroads to Mike’s house. It was a very nice day for a drive.

Easter Vigil
Mom and Eric wanted to go to the Easter Vigil. I’m not a big fan of 2 ½ hour Masses but I went along. Mom wanted to see who the new Catholics and their sponsors. One of them supposedly looked like mom. Yep she did! And walked like her too! Ha! We got out just before 11pm and stopped at Kwik Trip for pizza and pop. Yes, at 11pm at night. We had burgers at 4pm so 7 hours later I was hungry! It was delicious!

Running around the Statues
I tried sleeping in…mom said I could sleep in if I go to Easter Vigil…well I was up around 6. Darn it! I helped around the house and then went for a 3 mile run to Memorial Park. It was fun to run around the park and see the war statues. It made for an enjoyable run. I got a heart rate monitor so I didn’t focus on my pace. I focused on my heart rate and I’m happy that my pace was 12:05. I really like training with the heart rate monitor. Hopefully it will improve my running.

Easter Breakfast and Lunch
Nancy and the kids came up for breakfast. I made French toast and mom made kielbasa. I loved it. We got the stuff ready for our Easter lunch and before too long it was time to eat ham, cheesy potatoes and all the fixings. Yum! All the food was good. We didn’t stay around for too long as we had to drive to South Dakota for Eric’s Grandma’s Funeral. We left around 3pm and got to Mitchell around 9pm.

It was a pleasant weekend! 


March 2015 Recap

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Runs: 13
Miles: 50.9
Races: 2 (Hot Dash 5K - 34:46; O’Gara’s Irish Run 8K - 57:00)
Outdoors: 12
Indoors: 1
Longest: 8 miles
Average Pace: 12:13

March’s nice weather meant back outside for runs. That normally means a faster pace but for some reason that isn’t the case, my pace got a lot worse, 21 seconds worse!! Maybe it is because I ran a lot of longer runs which means a slower pace. Hopefully that is it! I’m very excited that I got back over 50 miles for the month!! Whoop!

I had two races this month. The Hot Dash 5K was the first weekend. It was a nice 37 degrees at start so that was great! My time was faster than my February race which makes me very happy. But I still can’t get back to my glory days (of early December ha!) of 33 minute times. I’m still carrying that extra Christmas weight (Yes I haven’t lost it at all! Very bummed!). Two weeks later we did the O’Gara’s Irish Run 8K. The start temp was 10 degrees cooler than Hot Dash but still was close to freezing. I finished in exactly 57 minutes. My first mile was well below 11 minutes which made my day but the overall pace after that sucked.

I had a first for me this month. Eric and I went to Sakatah State Park and ran 8 miles. It is amazing that I could go that far. It is all in preparation for the 15K in April. I was on such a high after that run that I signed up for the Women’s Rock Starlet Challenge (2.5K, 5K and 10K races) in August. But the last two runs of the month were not my best and now I’m second guessing my decision. Maybe it was the shoes? I didn’t use my old faithful Saucony’s for the last two runs. I used my new Asics and Hokas. I really hate the Hokas! I flushed $180 down the toilet as I can’t take them back either. Bad move on my part.

Trophies for March
Well for some reason a lot of my trophies on Nike+ disappeared. Like the bronze one. I know I earned it because I ran more than 15 miles. I’m not sure what Nike is doing.