Women Run the Cities 10 Mile Race Recap

On Sunday morning I was up bright and early for race day! It was a rainy morning, so I kept checking the radar to see how long the rain was going to last and plan out what kind of gear I needed to bring. It wasn’t too cold and was humid, so I opted for capris and a t-shirt, but wore a hat to keep any rain off my face. I also threw a plastic poncho in my bag in case I wanted to wear it before the race started to stay relatively dry.

I got to the course about an hour before it started so I could park fairly close. I sat in my car for a while to stay dry and the light rain continued to roll through. It looked like it would pass not long after the race started, so at 8 a.m., I threw on my poncho and headed to the start. After hitting up the restroom, I headed to the corral. I lined up between the 9:00 and 10:00 pacers since I wanted to run somewhere around a 9:30 pace.

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At 8:30 a.m., the horn blew and I tossed the poncho aside as I crossed the start. I had a good pace out of the gate — I usually do given the crowd and adrenaline. I could feel some tiredness in my legs after having a few running days in a row, but after a couple of miles they loosened up and I started to get in a groove.

The first 6ish miles were an out and back route. Near the turnaround point (about mile 4), you get some help from a nice, long downhill. Unfortunately, that means you have to run up that hill on your way back. I could feel the difference in pace, but kept pushing through to get up the hill.

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I was keeping a good pace and took my Gu just after mile 5. I think it kicked in by mile 7 because my pace definitely picked up. My Garmin shows miles 7, 8, and 9 as 9:14, 9:16, and 9:10 respectively. As I got to the last mile, I kept up the pace and tried to kick in the last half mile. Mile 10 was 9:04!

I crossed the finish line in 1:34:55 — a new 10 mile PR!

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As I walked down the finisher’s shoot, they handed me the biggest bottle of water I’ve ever gotten at the end of a race, 1 liter. They definitely wanted us to be hydrated!

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Overall, it was a great race. The rain pushed through quickly and most of race was dry. The sun even came out from behind some clouds late in the race and it felt kind of steamy.

I’m excited for my 10K race coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m planning to race that one and go for another PR. Just a couple of weeks after that will be Vancouver!

Vancouver Half Training – Week 8

October is right around the corner and that means race day is getting closer and closer! I’m really excited for this race – not only because it will be the culmination of another training cycle but because it will be an awesome way to explore a new city.

Here’s how the last week of training went. It was good for running. I didn’t get all of the strength training in that I wanted, but I guess something is better than nothing!

Monday – rest day

I headed to happy hour with some friends right after work. We sat outside, sipped beer and chatted. I kept my eating under control after having pizza for lunch by ordering the market salad. It was tomato, watermelon, ground cherries, feta and a watermelon vinaigrette – so fresh and delicious!

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Tuesday – 4.57 miles (9:29/mile)

I met up with Hyedi and a few of her local Oiselle teammates for a group run. We ventured out around St. Paul and one of the girls showed us a trail not far from downtown. Great views and fun to go “off-roading” for a change.

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After the run, we grabbed a beer and a snack.

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Wednesday – 7.09 miles (9:27/mile)

Got in my longer weekday run after work. There was some rain in the forecast. The wind picked up a bit in mile 4 and I thought the storm was starting for sure, but I managed to beat it and not get wet.

Thursday – rest day

I got invited to a sneak peek event for Herbie’s on the Park, a new restaurant in downtown St. Paul.

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My coworker and I headed over there right at 5 p.m. We looked around the beautiful old building and grabbed a drink. Then we hit up the food – there was a great spread of things to taste. This pic doesn’t even do it justice! I tried the house salad, deviled egg (which had candied bacon as a garnish), mini burger, and mini lobster roll. For dessert I had a mini creme brulee, and it was amazing!

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After checking out Herbie’s, I headed to a going away party for a friend setting out on an amazing adventure. Sad to say good-bye (luckily only for a short time), but excited for the opportunity she has.

Friday – 5 miles (9:40/mile)

It was raining after work, so I stuck to the treadmill for my run. I felt remarkably good on the treadmill for 5 miles. I did some strength training after and then enjoyed relaxing for the rest of the night.

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Saturday – 4.01 miles (9:31/mile)

I got up on Saturday morning and headed out for a short, easy run. I had missed this run during the week, but I didn’t want to overdo it because my long run was coming on Sunday. My legs felt pretty good on this run — I was expecting them to be more tired.

I managed to get in an arm and back workout after my run.

Sunday – 10.13 miles (9:22/mile)

I was up early to head to the Women Run the Cities 10 mile for my long run. A race recap is coming, but overall it was a great run!

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I hadn’t done this race before, so it was nice to try something new and it was a great way to get in my 10 mile run. I’ve got one more race coming, a 10K, before the half.

Here’s to another good week!

Vancouver Half Training – Week 7

Finally getting back at the weekly recaps. We’re passed the halfway point in the training cycle, so mileage is getting higher, but so far feeling good.

Monday – cross training

I did a leg workout, as my cross training for the day.

Tuesday – 4.76 miles (9:33/mile)

My hamstring was bugging me a little during Monday’s leg workout. Felt tight and sore. Could’ve been the flag football and busy previous week, but I wasn’t sure what this run would be like. I ended up being able to do all of the miles I needed to and kept a good pace with no issues.

Wednesday – rest day

I picked up a friend and we headed to book club for the evening.

Thursday – 7 miles (9:28/mile)

I had the day off from work, so it was easy to fit in a longer weekday run. I also managed to get in an ab workout.

Friday – 3 miles (9:07/mile)

We had the Run@Work 5K over our lunch hour, so I ran with Kate. We started somewhere in the middle of the corral and planned to run between a 9:00-9:30 pace. The course starts on a steep uphill, but you’re met with an immediate downhill and then it got flat for a while. It was an out and back course, so we had to deal with the hills one last time, but it ended with a downhill. Overall, a great race except they didn’t have cups at the finish line for water.

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I took the afternoon off from work, so I headed home and did a little strength training.

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sweaty selfie

Then I met up with Hyedi to hang with her and her son at a nearby playground. So cute watching him explore!

Saturday – 4.01 miles (9:35/mile)

I got up and did a short, easy run before heading to the farmers market to pick up some veggies for the week. Also had to get a delicious Rise Bagel and Arrowhead coffee.

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I spent the rest of the day grocery shopping, cleaning and relaxing.

Sunday – 9.06 miles (9:29/mile)

I headed to the lakes for a change of scenery. I planned to park at Lake Harriet, but several streets were closed for a bike tour, so I changed my plan and headed to Lake Calhoun. Legs felt pretty fresh even though I’d had several run days in a row. By the last 2 miles my legs were feeling it a little, but I was also feeling thirsty, so might have been a touch dehydrated. I guzzled down my water when I was done and headed home.

Time to rest up before the start of another week!

Day off in pictures

After several busy weeks at work, I took a much needed day off on Thursday to relax and have some “me” time.

I started the day with coffee in my favorite mug.

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Then headed out for a run and did an ab workout.

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For lunch, I made a fish taco bowl.

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I pampered myself with a haircut in the afternoon.

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And picked up a sweet treat.

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I enjoyed my caffeine and chocolate while working on some spin4 stuff for our upcoming event (I’m on the planning committee).

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Later, I met a friend for dinner at Parlour. We had to have the burger – so good!

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All in all, a lovely day off!

What would you do on a day off?

Back at it

No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’ve just had a really busy few weeks and haven’t made time for blogging. I had a big work event to prepare for that called for some long hours and had to finalize some things for a charity event last weekend (more on that in a minute).

I’ve still been keeping up with my training despite the busy schedule and am feeling pretty good. I’m over halfway through the training cycle already! My hamstring has been bugging me a little recently, so I’m keeping an eye on that. It doesn’t hurt when I run, but I can feel some tightness/soreness in it when I stretch and felt it when I was doing lunges the other day.

I finally started a strength training program! I’ve been saying I want to get stronger for a long time, and now I have a plan to follow that I’m hoping will help my running so I can avoid some of those little injuries. I can already tell that certain exercises are easier to do now that I’m into week 3 of the plan.

This past weekend, I got to enjoy a different kind of workout by playing in a flag football tournament to benefit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

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The Touch of Football event took place at the new U.S. Bank Stadium. Even as a Packers fan, I could appreciate the nice, new stadium. My team played 3 games. We weren’t very good, but we had fun anyway!

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By last Sunday I was exhausted. My entire body was sore. Probably partially from football and partially from just being totally spent after going full steam all week. I still managed to get in a 6 mile run since I had skipped it earlier in the week, but then tried to relax for most of the day.

Still working on recovering and getting back to my regular routine. Will try to pick up the weekly recaps next week!

Vancouver Half Training – Week 3

This is coming a bit later than I planned. It’s been a busy week.

I had to make some tweaks to the training plan last week due to weather and my knee feeling “off.” Changed up the mileage a tad on a couple of runs and swapped a run for the elliptical for something low impact. Overall not too bad of a week for training.

Monday – 2.43 mile walk (40 minutes)

Just did a walk on this cross training day.

Tuesday – 3.5 miles (9:51/mile pace) 

Kate and I were planning to meet up for a run, but rain moved in, so we called for a literal rain check. I hit the workout room for an indoor run on the treadmill. Had some Olympic track & field for motivation.

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It always happens that after running outside consistently I remember how much I dislike the treadmill. I feel like my form is different or I’m not as relaxed. My knee started to hurt a tiny bit during the run. It’s been a little off lately. Not sure what’s going on there.

I made it through the run and then looked out the window to see a beautiful, epic rainbow over the river. It had stopped raining so I darted outside to snap some pictures. My camera couldn’t do this thing justice.

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Wednesday – rest day

I had a Spin4 planning committee meeting after work (an upcoming CCFA event!) and then I headed straight to book club, so I embraced the rest day after my knee feeling weird the day before.

Thursday – 35 minute elliptical

The weather wasn’t fabulous again, so I opted to swap my run for an elliptical workout to give the knee an extra break.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – 3.82 miles (9:42/mile pace)

I woke up about 7:30 and checked the weather. Looked like rain was coming in and it would be rainy most of the day. I decided to get up and try to outrun the rain. I had 3 mile run on my plan, but I wanted to do closer to 4 since I skipped a run during the week.

Of course it started lightly sprinkling as soon as I walked outside. The light sprinkle lasted most of the run and then the rain picked up in the last mile. It actually felt good to run in the rain for a little bit. I stopped at 3.84 miles and felt good about it. And the knee felt good, too.

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That night I met up with some college friends to grab Chinese food at Village Wok one more time before it gets torn down. So sad to see a campus staple going away. All in the name of another apartment building. There’s a sign in the window that says Village Wok will be back, but I know it won’t be the same.

Sesame chicken
Sesame chicken

Sunday – 6.27 miles (9:36/mile pace) and 32 minute walk

It was a gorgeous morning, so I decided to head over to Lake Nokomis for my long run.

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I felt good running around the lake. My knee hurt a tiny bit around mile 4.5 (grrr), but then it went away. Not sure what’s up with that, but it’s annoying! I’m got a plan to start doing more consistent strength training that I’m hoping will help.

I didn’t have much going on the rest of the day, so I got to relax. I was feeling restless in the afternoon and decided to go out for a walk before dinner just to get a little more fresh air and enjoy the sunshine.

Gopher to Badger 5K Race Recap

This was a new race for me to try and kind of fun since I’m originally from Wisconsin, but now live in Minnesota (go Gophers!).

Hyedi and I met up about 6:15 a.m. to head to Hudson, WI. We parked and got over to the finish area which is where we needed to hop on a shuttle to get to the start. It’s a point-to-point course since you start in MN and run to WI — hence the name of the race!

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The shuttles were kind of a hot mess. It was really confusing as far as what time we needed to get on them and it seemed like they almost didn’t have enough shuttles for the number of runners. The shuttles left maybe 20 minutes later than scheduled. I was getting frustrated and annoyed just wanting to get to the start so I could use the restroom and get prepped before the race started.

We finally got to the start and again the organization was a hot mess. The 5K was supposed to start at 7:40, but it was maybe 7:30 when we actually arrived, so I knew they were not going to start on time. We hopped in a restroom line (there were only 4 bathrooms at the start). I wasn’t sure if we’d get through before the race actually started, but we just made it and lined up semi near the front.

The other bad thing was the 5K start was right on the Ragnar Relay course that was happening at the same time. I felt so bad for the Ragnar runners trying to get through the crowd of people waiting at the start line.

So, the pre-race portion was a bit frustrating, but once we got running things got better. I had a 3 mile pace run on my training schedule and came into the race aiming for a 9:20-9:30 pace. The race starts on a downhill, so you get some good momentum going. Had to weave around some people, but didn’t feel as bad as some races. Hyedi and I ran together for the first mile (my Garmin said 9:06) and then she picked up her pace a bit. Near the end of mile 1 the course narrows on the sidewalks/path, but it had thinned out enough that I didn’t get stuck behind too many people.

Mile 2 was also primarily downhill as you go across the bridge over the St. Croix river and enter WI. I maintained the faster pace (9:04) through that mile. As I came into mile 3, I was still feeling good and the course remained flat, so I pushed it towards the finish (8:46).

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Photo credit: Hyedi

I crossed the finish line in 28:23! Definitely faster than I was planning to run, but it felt good.

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The organization at the finish line was better. I got water and a little food and walked around for a couple of minutes to cool down. We snapped a picture by Goldy before heading out.

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Overall, I’m really happy with how the run part of this race went–and I guess that’s the most important thing. I’d like to actually train for a 5K at some point and aim for a new PR.

Have you ever dealt with a poorly organized start?