Vancouver Half Training – Week 11

I cut back on the running a little this week because my knee felt a tad sore. I opted for some low-impact cross training to give it a break. I’m thinking it’s because my shoes are starting to wear down. I just need them to get me through the half!

Monday – rest

I did a little bit of an arm workout that included some lunges and squats. That’s when I was feeling the sore knee, so I kept doing arm stuff but stopped the leg stuff.

Tuesday – 4.78 miles (9:26/mile)

I headed out to see how the knee was feeling. It was on and off when I would feel it. Nothing bad and not constant pain. Just a little tightness/soreness that I could feel. I iced it when I was done.

Wednesday – 40 minute elliptical

I decided to go low impact and hop on the elliptical. The knee felt fine on there. Still iced after just to be safe.

Thursday – 30 minute elliptical

Was super tempting to go outside for a run since it was nice out, but I was short on time before I needed to head to book club and figured another low impact day would be good.

Friday – 6 miles (9:33/mile)

I was good at first and then started to feel it a little around mile 2. It was on and off again. I kept going for the full 6 miles.

Saturday – rest

I normally love to run or workout on the weekends because my time is more flexible. This weekend it was nice to let myself sleep a little later and just relax in the morning. I headed out to Caribou to get a pumpkin pie latte and made myself breakfast. At noon, I headed to my sister’s place to meet up with her, our parents, grandma, uncle and this cutie!


We have a few October birthdays in the family, so we were doing some celebrating. We played some Uno (I lost), opened presents, and had cake. Then we headed out to dinner. I tried to head to bed at a decent hour so I could get up for my last long run before the half.

Sunday 12 miles (9:30/mile)

I decided to head to the lakes for my 12 miles. It was a nice, cool fall morning and the lakes were beautiful.


I headed around Lake Harriet first. I had my hand-held water bottle in my car, but was hoping I wouldn’t have to carry it if the water fountains were still on. I checked the fountain by Harriet and it was still on, so after I looped around the lake, I grabbed a drink there and headed to Calhoun.

My plan was to head up to Lake of Isles and then back to finish Calhoun. I got to the water fountain on Isles and it was turned off — crap. I didn’t stay on Isles for the full loop because I was already feeling a little thirsty and wanted to head back to where I knew I had water.


So, a bit of a runner fail for not carrying water with me. It’s that time of year where public restrooms and fountains are getting shut off. It all ended up working out and I finished up my run around Lake Harriet.

I was pleasantly surprised that my knee didn’t bother me like it had been. I told myself I’d cut it short if I was feeling it too much. I didn’t want to do anything stupid the week before my race. Luckily, I didn’t have to and had a solid run.

On Sunday afternoon, I went back to my sister’s place to carve pumpkins with her and a friend.


I made an emoji inspired pumpkin, too.


I’ve got a busy week ahead, which is ok because I’m planning to take it fairly easy on the running to rest up before the race. I can’t believe my 3rd half marathon of the year is just a week away!

What are some of your runner fails? (It’s ok, we all have them ;))

Vancouver Half Training – Week 10

It was a pretty standard week of training. I did some ab workouts a couple of days, but did not do great with other strength training last week. The longer weekday runs take more time which makes it hard to want to come in and spend another 20-30 minutes doing strength training. I’m trying to keep up with some of it, but I’ll have to hit it harder when this training cycle is done.

Monday – 27 minute bike ride (4.62 miles)

I hoped on my bike for a short ride as my cross training. Nice to take it easy after 11 miles the day before.

Tuesday – 5.02 miles (9:28/mile)

Wednesday – 7.42 miles (9:27/mile)

It was a gorgeous fall day, so I set out for my long weekday run. I took in the beauty of the river as I finished my run.


Thursday – 4.55 miles (9:39/mile)

I took it easy on this run knowing that I was racing on Saturday.

Friday – rest

Saturday – 6.49 miles (9:06/mile)

I was up before the sun and off to the TC 10K. It was a beautiful day for a fall race. Check out my race recap for more on how it went!


After the race I went home and showered and changed. Then I headed back to the capitol area to watch some friends’ kids to the toddler trot. It’s a super cute “race” for little kids that’s part of marathon weekend.

After that, it was the usual errands and weekend chores with some relaxation mixed in.

Sunday – 2.69 miles (9:19/mile) and 2.58 miles (9:33/mile)

It was Twin Cities Marathon day! I got up early to meet up with a friend and cheer on her husband who was running. We headed to mile 8 and saw him on the course. Then we headed over to mile 16 to see him again.


After that, we drove to the finish line and parked. Then we ran to mile 24 on the course. We stayed there for about an hour and waited for a few more people that we knew to come by. We cheered them on and then ran back to the finish line to meet up the marathon finishers.

It was a busy morning of spectating, but so nice out and so much fun! I definitely got marathon fever standing there watching the runners go by. I’m starting to more seriously think about when and where my next marathon will be.

But first things first, I need to focus on my upcoming half!

Anyone else have marathon fever? Or the urge to run a race of any distance?  

Twin Cities 10K Race Recap

This past weekend was Twin Cities Marathon weekend! While I wasn’t running the marathon, I at least got to join in the fun by doing the TC 10k on Saturday.

Preparing for this race was a bit different than some of my other recent races because the temperature was much cooler in the morning. I’m not used to cold weather running yet, so I had to strategize about what to wear. I went with tights, a t-shirt and arm warmers – my usual spring/fall race outfit.

I got to the race about 30 minutes before it started and sat in the car for about 10 minutes to stay warm. I was parked close, so I hoped out at 7:10 and headed to the start. There aren’t pacers for this race, so people just line up in the corral. I wanted to try and limit the amount of weaving I had to do at the beginning, so I attempted to work my way up to the middle of the corral.

It was chilly and my hands were pretty cold standing there, but it was a gorgeous morning for running in St. Paul!


At 7:30 the horn sounded and we were off. The course is a little more narrow at the beginning, especially with so many people, so I still had to do a lot of weaving around people as we got going. You also start this course on some uphills, so the first 1/2 mile was a little slow, but it was probably good so I could get warmed up. I tried to keep a moderate pace through the first mile. My watched beeped right as I passed the mile 1 mile marker and showed 9:27.

After that, I was off. I wasn’t just running this one, I was racing. I wanted to see how much time I could shave off of my 10k PR since it had actually been about 2 years since I’d done a 10k race.

Miles 2 and 3 continued down Summit Ave. the road has some small rolling hills on it, so you have some slight inclines and then are met with a nice downhill to help you along. I kept up my pace with a 9:14 and 9:09.

Pretty soon, I saw the turnaround point. I felt like I was loosing a little steam just before that point, but once I turned the corner I found a second wind. That often happens to me with an out and back route. Miles 4 and 5 were 9:08 and 9:11. I remember my watch beeping at mile 5 and I noted my time. A little later, I saw one of the mile marker flags. I couldn’t read the mile number clearly at first because the wind was blowing the flag, but I thought it was odd that mile 6 was coming up so soon. But it was actually the mile 5 marker. That was also weird because my watch had beeped way before the flag. I kept chugging a long hoping that things would even out as I got to the end.

The adrenaline and the help of some nice downhills leading into the finish line helped me clock an 8:58 for mile 6! I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. As I looked down at it, I was surprised and confused by what I saw. I had measured the course as 6.5 miles.


Now, some variation is to be expected on your GPS watch in a race if you do some weaving and aren’t running the tangents, but .3 miles was pretty significant for that to be why it was long. I also saw that my total time was 59:04, which was only about 25 faster than my previous 10k PR. That’s great that it was a PR, but given how fast I was running (note the avg. pace of 9:06), that time should’ve been much faster.

It was getting chilly once I stopped running, so I headed back to my car fairly quickly feeling confused and honestly a bit disappointed even though I had actually run a really strong race. I was going for a big PR and that final time just didn’t sit well with me.

I took to Twitter to ask if anyone else had measured the course as long and scoured through the #tc10k hashtag to see if people were saying anything about the course. I wasn’t seeing much right away, but some people replied a bit later saying they measured the course as long, too. Then Twin Cities in Motion (they put on the race) replied to my tweet and confirmed that there had been an error in race set up and that they’d send some post-race communication confirming the exact distance. I haven’t received that communication yet, but at least I know I’m not crazy and my watch wasn’t way off.

Once I had some answers, I tried to reset my mental state. The fact is, I ran fast — faster than I even thought I was going to run. The work I’ve put in this year is clear given that I still managed to get a 10k PR on a long course (my official time was 59:03). I can’t be mad at that!


I’ve got two weeks until the Vancouver Half, and I’ve got my sights set on a PR there as well.

Have you ever run a race where there was an error in the course?

spin4 cures

This past Saturday, I headed over to CycleBar in Woodbury, MN for a launch party for spin4 crohns and colitis cures. I’m on the planning committee for this event which will take place on Nov. 12 at CycleBar, but we held this launch party to give people a chance to learn more before they sign up.

So, what is spin4?

It’s an indoor cycling relay event. Participants reserve a bike, form a team, raise funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), and take turns cycling during the 2-hour event. The event raises funds to help more than one million Americans who suffer with the painful and life changing aspects of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic digestive diseases.


I’ve written about CCFA before – in fact, participating in CCFA’s Team Challenge program for the first time in 2013 is the whole reason I started this blog! I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and this organization has become near and dear to me over the last few years for all of the great work they do and all of the amazing people I’ve met.

At the launch party, we set up an info table on spin4 to chat with people who came into CycleBar for Saturday morning classes. It’s always amazing to hear how many people know someone affected by Crohn’s or colitis.


The event also included a free 30-minute intro to cycle class where people could get a taste for the studio and what the spin4 event will be like. I got to do the free class, my second at CycleBar, and had a great time!


They have bike shoes that you can borrow so you can clip into the pedals.


I got settled at my bike and prepared for class. Each bike has a monitor to show your stats (RPM, resistance, etc.). The instructor got things started (to a little Justin Timberlake :)) and did a nice job of explaining different aspects of the bike, and what to expect in the class. Perfect instruction for beginners while also being motivating and getting our heart rates up.

I didn’t pedal as fast as I normally would because I had my long run ahead of me later that day, but I still got in a good workout. They do some songs where you’re focused on speed, some with “hills” where you increase your resistance, and they always use one song to do some core and arm work. Another thing they do is one song where they turn down the lights and you just ride at whatever speed and resistance you want. The instructor doesn’t guide you. It’s all about you riding your ride and having a few minutes to connect with yourself mentally and physically.

A 30 minute class goes by fast! It was over before I knew it. Their regular classes are 50 minutes.

The lights, music, and motivating instructors make for a great workout experience. Not to mention, the studio is lovely.


I’m considering buying a package of classes to do some indoor cross training during the cold winter months.

I’m so excited for spin4 to take place at this studio in November. It’s going to be an amazing event! We’ll have all the amenities of the studio available to participants along with prizes and more.

These spin4 events happen all around the country, so if you’re not in the Twin Cities and are interested, check out the spin4 website to see if there’s an event near you! You can also check out the Twin Cities page to learn more about our event and hopefully you can join us!

It will truly be a party on a bike!

Vancouver Half Training – Week 9

We’re into October and the half is getting closer and closer! I felt like I got back on track with strength training last week. Hope I can keep it up this week.

Monday – 26 minute bike ride

I pulled my bike out of the garage (after years) and pumped up the tires. I’ve been wanting to do this forever and just haven’t done it. Thought it would be a nice cross-training alternative while the weather is still nice.

I took it out for a short ride to test it out. I went 3.82 miles. Then I came in and got my leg workout done.

Tuesday – 5.18 miles (9:40/mile)

Rain came through, so I was stuck with the treadmill for 5 miles. My legs were pretty tired for most of the run. Not as loose as the 5 miles I did on the treadmill the Friday before.

Wednesday – rest

I skipped a regular workout for some retail cardio (a.k.a. fall clothes shopping). Gotta get ready for the cool temps with some new sweaters!

Thursday – 7.02 miles (9:36/mile)

It was a beautiful day, but I was tired after work. I set out saying I’d do at least 6 miles since I got a little bit of a later start than I had planned. I managed to push it to 7 and felt good through the run.

Friday – 4.57 miles (9:40/mile)

I tried to get in a shorter, easy run since I skipped Wednesday, but didn’t want to do too much since Saturday was going to be a busy workout day.

Saturday – 30 minute spin class and 11.08 miles (9:34/mile)

Yep, you read that right. I got up and headed to a spin4 launch party at CycleBar on Saturday morning. (More on spin4 coming later this week!) Part of the event included a free 30-minute intro to cycle class. I didn’t pedal as hard as I normally would since I was trying to save my legs for my long run, but still had a great time in the class!


Later in the afternoon, I headed to the lakes for my long run. I started at Lake Harriet and did 2 laps around the lake before heading over to Lake Calhoun for a lap. I finished up the last mile on Lake Harriet.


I’m not used to doing my long run in the middle of the afternoon, but it went pretty well. My legs were definitely tired — I’m sure from cycling and from running on Thursday and Friday. Took a little bit to warm up and was tough in a few spots, but the nice weather helped me push through.

Sunday – rest

Well, it wasn’t a total rest day because we did a lot of walking and standing at the Ryder Cup!


I spent the day on the course with my family. We hung out at hole 4 and watched all 12 pairs come through during the match play. Then we wandered around to a couple other holes, grabbed food, and did a little shopping.


There were tons of people there! Getting back to the parking shuttles was insane with a sea of people, but it was worth it to be outside on a gorgeous day and witness the USA winning back the cup!


It was a long day, but a great way to cap off the week!

Are you a golf fan? Who’s ready for fall weather?

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.


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.


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!


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!


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!


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.


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


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!