Building Strength 5K Race Recap and Weekend Update

Saturday morning was the Building Strength 5K benefiting South Metro Human Services. It’s a smaller 5K, but it’s close to my heart because it was the first 5K I ever ran 3 years ago. It’s sort of like an anniversary each year that I do this race.

It was a gorgeous morning — actually warmer than it has been the last couple years. I met up with Hyedi and other friends before the race. Several of us lined up to run together and were aiming for a sub 30 time. At 9 a.m., we were off. The route is two laps around a park. It’s a nice route with a good mix of sun and shade and just a few small hills. We kept a good pace throughout and I felt pretty good. My unofficial time was 29:27. EDIT: My official time was 29:26.¬†It was a lot of fun running, hanging out with friends, and supporting a good cause!

Building Strength 5K

Stole this pic from Hyedi
Stole this pic from Hyedi ūüôā

Later that day, my parents were in town. We went for a leisurely walk by the river. With temps in the 80’s in September, we needed to soak up as much sun as possible.

river walk

Then we headed to the Gopher volleyball game. We ended up playing musical chairs with our seats. When we reached our assigned seats we found scaffolding was set up over them (they were in the last row of the lower level). My sister went to the ticket window to let them know and they assigned us new seats that were in the second to last row of the upper level – a much worse location. We sat there for the first two games of the match, but then decided to talk to the ticket office again because it didn’t seem right to be given worse seats for something that wasn’t our fault. The office did the right thing and gave us new seats on the floor to watch the rest of the game. The Gophers lost to Penn State, but it was still fun to see a game!


On Sunday morning, I got up and headed out for a run. I wanted to get in one more long run before next weekend’s TC Looney Challenge¬†(3 races in 2 days). Doing the run the day after the 5K was also a good test of running on tired legs. I set out with a goal of running somewhere between¬†1 hour and 30 minutes¬†to¬†1 hour and 45 minutes. My legs were tired and heavy at the beginning, but after a couple miles they started to warm up and I was keeping a pace around 10:35/mile. My route ended up having a couple of hills on it, which I actually handled without any trouble.

I made it to¬†1 hour and 30 minutes and still felt good, so I decided to try for the last 15 minutes. When RunKeeper chimed in that I had reached that time, I saw that my distance was just short of 10 miles, so I decided to run for one more minute in order to hit 10. Overall, it was a good run. Really the best part about it was the mental boost it gave me for next weekend. I was feeling a bit nervous about running¬†3 races in¬†2 days. It’s still going to be hard, but I feel more confident that my body will get me through it.

In the afternoon, I met up with a few coworkers and their families to celebrate one of the last hot days before winter hits by sitting outside in a park and relaxing. A lovely way to wrap up a busy weekend!

How was your weekend?


Summer Bucket List Recap

It’s officially fall! Without a doubt my favorite season. But, before I jump boots first into fall, I need to recap my summer bucket list.

2014 Summer Bucket List

  • Take in some smooth jazz at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
    Sort of. I got a group of friends together and we ventured out for the last day of Jazz Fest. Of course, it’s an outdoor festival and storms decided to roll through that same night. Most of the shows got cancelled, so we only heard about 5 minutes of jazz. It was still a fun night out with friends, and that was the point!


  • Eat on the rooftop patio at Amore Victoria.¬†
    Check! Had a lovely happy hour on the rooftop with a dear friend.


  • Take a day trip to Stillwater.
    Fail – for now. I didn’t get there this summer, but I already have plans to go this fall, so just postponed.


  • Go see a show or movie at one of the Minneapolis Music & Movies in the park locations.
    Check! I did get to hear some music at Minnehaha Park. It wasn’t the jazz quartet that the website said it would be, but the drummer was pretty good.
    music in the park


  • Play mini golf.
    Check! Got to play on my favorite mini golf course in Myrtle Beach!
    mini golf


  • Go to a St. Paul Saints baseball game.
    Fail. Just didn’t get there.


  • Buy some fruits, veggies, and other fun stuff at the Minneapolis and St. Paul Farmers Markets.
    Check! And, made it to the Mill City Farmer’s Market! Bought some delicious veggies, beautiful flowers, and fun treats on each trip.

    Tulips from Mill City Farmers Market
    Tulips from Mill City Farmers Market
    St. Paul Farmers Market
    St. Paul Farmers Market
    Minneapolis Farmers Market
    Minneapolis Farmers Market


  • Spend a night at the drive-in.
    Fail. But, I made a solid effort. A friend and I had plans to go a couple weeks ago, but the movies weren’t very good. We decided to postpone until the next weekend only to find that the drive-in had closed for the season. Oh well, there’s always next year!


  • Eat something on a stick at the MN State Fair.
    Check! Got a lot of yummy food at the fair, but I made sure to get a pickle on a stick.

    Pickle on a Stick!
    Pickle on a Stick!
  • Walk around the Minneapolis¬†Sculpture Garden.
    Check!¬†Last Sunday morning, I made a trip to wander around the sculpture garden and take some pictures. It has beena couple years since I’ve been there. I saw a lot of sculptures that I had seen before, but also saw some new ones. Here are some pics. I was kind of obsessed with the wind chimes and snowman.

    "Front of Snowman"
    “Front of Snowman”
    47 wind chimes hanging in the trees. Beautiful sound!
    47 wind chimes hanging in the trees. Beautiful sound!


    bronze coat


I didn’t get to everything on my list, but I still had a great summer! I’m looking forward to a new season and new fun times.

What’s something fun you did this summer? What fun plans do you have for fall?

Run@Work Day 5K & Run: Twin K Race Recaps

Two races in one week! Well, I use the term “race” loosely. I didn’t actually race either of them, but rather treated them like regular training runs. This was made even easier given the fact that they were both free races. Yes, FREE! That doesn’t happen very often.

First up was the Run @ Work Day 5K. This is the second year I’ve done this race. I actually set my 5K PR at the race last year. The course starts and ends in front of the State Capitol and takes place during lunchtime. It was a beautiful day for a run.


Once we got started, I focused on trying to keep a comfortable pace on the hilly course. I had a few moments where I got caught up in the crowd and was running a bit faster than I needed to, but I got things back under control pretty quick. My goal was stay between 10-10:30 minute miles. My chip time was 30:57, so I’d say I did pretty good!

After the run, there were several tables for health care and fitness related organizations to hand out information and other swag.

runatwork swag

Walked away with some fun stuff and felt good about the run.

On Saturday morning, I got geared up for the Run: Twin K sponsored by Lululemon. It was a 14K (8.69 miles). I signed up for it because of the free registration, but also because it’s a nice distance to run two weeks before the TC Looney Challenge. I treated the race like my long run for the week and again had a goal of keeping a 10-10:30 min/mile pace.

run twin k

The course was an out and back on Summit Ave. It’s a beautiful street with big, old houses and lots of trees. The trees were awesome because they provided a lot of shade.

The first couple miles were a little rough. It was crowded at the beginning and my legs were a little tired, but not as bad as I thought they’d be after doing a 5K the day before. (I purposefully did the two races in two days to help prepare myself for running on tired legs during the Looney Challenge.) I think the rough part was mental. I wasn’t mentally thinking about running for 90 minutes and was thinking more about the 30 minute run I had done the day before. After a few miles, I started to settle into a groove and felt better – except for needing to pee. I hated to stop in the middle of the race, but when I saw a porta-potty near the halfway point, I took the opportunity. There were 5 or 6 people in line, so I had to wait a few minutes.

After that, I thought the second half was going to be smooth sailing. For awhile, it was. I had my GU at the turnaround spot and grabbed some water before heading back. The not-so-great part came when I got to the next water stop and they had run out of water. I’d taken water or Gatorade at each stop on the way out, but was still kind of wanting more. There was supposed to be one more stop on the course, so I hoped they’d have water when I got there. They didn’t. Okay, well at least there will be water at the finish – right? Ha, normally you’d be right, but they had run out of water there too and were “going to get more.” They had cups and there was a water fountain, so a super long line got started in front of that. I did finally get a glass of water. Kind of a bad race-day logistics fail. It would’ve been one thing to not provide water or provide limited water (especially since it was a free race), but they said in the Facebook event that there would be a water stop every 1.5 miles so you’d be “well hydrated.”

Not sure if I’d do the race again or not. It is free and a unique distance, but I’d probably bring my own water bottle – just in case. They did have volunteers along the course dressed up in goofy costumes that were sort of entertaining. At the end of the race, they gave out pint glasses.

pint glass

My chip time was 1:34:21, but that includes the bathroom stop. My RunKeeper time was 1:27:52 (10:14 min/mile avg pace). At least I met my goal!

I physically felt good about the race, but it wasn’t my best race mentally. It’s less than two weeks til the Looney Challenge, so hoping for some good runs — both physically and mentally — in the next couple weeks!

Have you ever done 2 races in a row? Have you run a race again even after a bad experience?

Much Needed Vacation

I got to spend a week in my favorite place – Myrtle Beach! It was a much needed vacation full of relaxation, sun bathing, family, food, and fun.


I did manage to squeeze in some good workouts. The weather on the first morning kept me inside on the treadmill for a 3 mile run, but luckily the workout room has a nice view!

workout room 1

workout room 2

On Saturday, I went for a 4.42 mile walk on the beach with the family. I got in a long run on the beach on Sunday with 5 hot, sweaty miles.

beach run

The rain decided to hang around all day on Monday, so I hit the workout room for 5 miles on the stationary bike. I got back outside for a 3.5 mile run on the beach on Tuesday. Finished the week with walks on the beach and around the neighborhood with the family. On one of our walks, we saw dolphins!


But the workouts were only a small part of the vacation. It mostly looked like this:

beach relaxing

And we spent the evenings eating really good food, shopping, and exploring.

My sis and I

I also managed to check off one of my summer bucket list items: mini golf! We played on a course that actually hosts The Masters of professional mini golf.

mini golf

All in all, a really good vacation! It took everything I had to walk on the plane to come home – especially since I left 88 degree weather for 50 degree weather. Apparently fall has arrived in MN.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Did you know you could be a professional mini golfer?

Getting my running groove back

Well, I’ve alluded to it a little on here, but my shin has been bugging me for several weeks. I took a solid 3 weeks off of running after the Big Ten 10K, but that still didn’t get rid of it. I finally went to the doc last Friday because I was getting worried it was something bad like a stress fracture. Luckily, the doc diagnosed it as shin splints. Still a bummer, but he gave me the green light to keep running and they gave me some strengthening exercises which I’ve started doing every day.


I’ve gotten in a few runs in the last couple weeks and have felt good for the most part. I ran 3.75 miles on Monday. Sadly, that’s the farthest I’ve run in weeks. It wasn’t my best run. Made it through, but my legs felt tired and heavy. Still getting my running groove back. Hoping to slowly build up my mileage and be at least somewhat prepared for the TC Looney Challenge in October. I know I won’t be as well trained as I had hoped, but I think I can at least get to a point where I can complete all three races.

In other news…I’ve been working on that summer bucket list! Last week, I ventured over to Minnehaha Falls for a walk and to check off, “Go see a show or movie at one of the Minneapolis Music & Movies in the park locations.” The website said it was supposed to be a jazz quartet, but it ended up just being a guy playing the drums. (I actually think he was part of the quartet, but the rest of his group wasn’t there yet for some reason.) So, I sat and watched for a little bit anyway. He was actually pretty good and it was a really nice night.

Minnehaha falls  music in the park

On Sunday I headed to the “Great Minnesota Get Together” a.k.a. the MN State Fair.

state fair

I met up with my sister and some friends to explore the fair and most importantly get some food!

Blueberry Lemonade
Blueberry Lemonade
Chicken in a Waffle
Chicken in a Waffle
Pretzel Curds
Pretzel Curds
Pickle on a Stick!
Pickle on a Stick!

The pickle on a stick helped me cross off, “Eat something on a stick at the MN State Fair.”

Kind of wish I could’ve tried more food, but there’s always next year!

What’s your favorite fair food? Have you ever had to get your running groove back?