Running in Circles

An 8 mile run was on the schedule this past weekend. Problem was, the temps were going to be in the single digits — for the high. Hello Minnesota winter! Luckily, there are some options for indoor running that don’t include a treadmill. A couple people from my Team Challenge group met at a sports dome to do an indoor run on Saturday.

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It takes about 4.8 laps around the track to equal 1 mile. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do all 8 miles, but once I got going it wasn’t too bad. The track was turf, so it was a bit softer to run on than pavement. Felt good to get in another long run, even if it was in circles. :)

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Where do you run in the winter? How cold is too cold for an outdoor run?

Stepping into 2016

Took a little blogging break for the holidays, but I’m trying to get back to it in the new year. I’m 8 weeks out from my first race of 2016 – the New Orleans Half Marathon with Team Challenge! You can read more about why I’m running the race and raising funds for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America on my Team Challenge Personal Page.

It’s been a process to work up to longer mileage. I took most of October off after the marathon.  November was about slowly getting back into running and building a base. In December I officially started half marathon training. I had a 7 mile run this past weekend, and it started to feel like I was getting back into a groove of long-distance running. I’m looking forward to tackling 8 miles this weekend.

I spent New Year’s Eve hanging out with friends — just the way I like it! I dragged my butt off the couch on Jan. 1 for a run to kick off what I hope will be another amazing year for running.

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2015 was certainly the year of the marathon, and my #2015bestnine proved that! Can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

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What are your goals for 2016?

Turkey Trot Race Recap

For the third year in a row, my family started out Thanksgiving Day with a turkey trot in my hometown. My mom, dad and sister did the 2 mile walk and I did the 5 mile run. It was a chilly morning (in the 20s), but nothing compared to the bitter cold we dealt with last year.

I lined up in the middle of the pack, and right at 8 a.m. we were off. The course was different this year, so that offered a change of scenery. I started out a little fast, which I tend to do when it’s cold, but was holding a good pace through the first few miles, so I tried to keep it up the whole way. Part of the course went on to the bike/walk path along the river which was nice to look at, but I’m always skeptical when races use a path instead of the road because it can get so crowded. Luckily, things had spread out enough by that part of the course that it wasn’t a problem.

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I crossed the finish line in 48:55 and then the mist started to fall as I made my way over to get my pie. The rain held out for the whole race, and we were so glad. By the time we got back in the car it had turned to a sprinkle, but we were done! We grabbed a pumpkin cappuccino on our way home.

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We spent some time relaxing the rest of the day until more family came over for our big Thanksgiving dinner and to watch the Packers take on the Bears. The Packers were not able to pull out a win which made for some sad Wisconsonites, but we had fun watching together and placing some fun bets on the game.

We weren’t done with football yet, as my family and I headed to the Gophers vs. Badgers game on Saturday. It was cold, so we were bundled up. Unfortunately the Gophers weren’t able to pull out a win either (not a good weekend for my teams), but again we had fun cheering them on.

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I’m officially in Christmas mode now and got my apartment decorated on Sunday. I’m excited for the holiday season to continue!

tree

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you do a Turkey Trot?

Girls on the Run 5K Race Recap

This past Saturday I ran the Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K. It was such a great event! It’s so cool to see so many young girls having a good time and being excited about running. They had music, a “happy hair” and face painting before the race.

I registered as a running buddy, so I was paired with a girl to run the race with and encourage her along the way. I got there early to pick up my packet and found the school team my running buddy was on. The team literally gave their girls wings to wear for the race – so cool! They had extra, so I got to wear some too. :)

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At 9 a.m. we all headed to the start line. When we crossed the line my buddy took off like a rocket! All I could do was hope I could keep up with her. I almost lost her at the beginning when we were weaving around all the people, but I eventually caught up.

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I let my buddy set the pace, and she took the walk/run strategy. She did such a good job and never gave up even when she was pretty tired near the end. We got her to start running again as soon as we saw the finish line in the distance and she took of sprinting for a rock star finish! We did the 5K in 40:10 – pretty impressive for a 5th graders first 5K!

We collected our medals at the end and my buddy’s mom found us. Her mom thanked me for running with her daughter and gave me a big hug. It was so sweet!

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I’ve heard nothing but good things about Girls on the Run, and getting to participate in this celebratory 5k reaffirmed that all of those opinions are right. It was a great morning and a wonderful opportunity to provide a fun, active, and positive atmosphere for some truly spectacular girls.

I hope the 5K entry winner had a great experience, too!

The rest of the weekend was full of cheering on the Gopher volleyball team who took down #1 seed Penn State and getting in a good 4.5 training run at Lake Nokomis for Team Challenge.

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nokomis

How was your weekend?

Disclosure: I received a free race entry and one to give away. All opinions are my own. 

30 Day Challenge + Last Call for Race Entry Giveaway

One thing that I’ve never been great at is consistently incorporating strength training in my workout routine. I go in spurts where I do it a couple of days a week for a while and then it always seems to fall off.

I wanted to do something that would give me a kick in the butt to do more strength training while I’m building up my base again after the marathon and before New Orleans Half training really picks up. So, I decided to do a 30 day challenge of planks, push-ups, and squats! I was thinking about this on Nov. 1, and since there are 30 days in November, I decided there’s no time like the present.

I did a 30 day challenge a couple of years ago, so I pulled out the schedule I used for that.

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I’m keeping myself motivated by putting the printed schedule on my coffee table so I see it each day and can cross it off when I’ve done the exercises. I have no excuses – these are things I can easily do in my living room while watching TV or right after a run.

My hope is that getting into a routine in November will carry over to at least doing some strength training a couple of days per week throughout half marathon training.

And don’t forget about the Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K Giveaway! This is your last call to enter!

Have you ever done a 30 day challenge?

Girls on the Run 5K Race Entry Giveaway!

I’ve slowly been getting back into running with some 2-2.5 mile runs over the last week. Getting back into running has me looking ahead to my next races.

I wrote about my next big race, the New Orleans Half with Team Challenge, but I’ve got a couple of other races in mind to finish out 2015. One is an annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day where they give you a mini pumpkin pie at the end. It’s pretty much the best. :)

Who needs a medal when there's pie?!

The other race on my calendar is the Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K on November 14.

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Photo credit: GOTR-TC

If you’re not familiar with Girl on the Run Twin Cities (GOTR-TC), it’s a youth development program offered in 35 elementary and middle schools across the Twin Cities. The program aims to strengthen girls’ physical, mental, social and emotional competencies to positively navigate life experiences. Coaches follow a curriculum to teach life skills through interactive lessons and running games. The program ends with the girls being ready to complete a celebratory 5K.

I know how much running has helped me build my own physical, mental, social and emotional competencies. I didn’t get to experience all of the amazing benefits of running until I was in my 20s, but GOTR-TC offers girls a chance to experience them at a young age so they can carry the lessons and confidence long after the program is done.

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Photo credit: GOTR-TC

I’ve attended a few events for GOTR-TC in the past and I’m really excited to run alongside and support these girls. They give me motivation to continue my running journey and see what other amazing roads it will lead me down.

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Photo credit: GOTR-TC

Now the best news: GOTR-TC has provided a free race entry for one lucky On A Fun Run reader! This is a great race for all ability levels. It’s not a competitive run; it’s all about fun and celebrating the accomplishments of the girls.

To win a free entry to the GOTR-TC 5K on November 14, leave a comment telling me what gifts running has given you or what motivates you to run. I’ll select a winner on November 4. Good luck!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary race entry. All opinions are my own.