The TC10 Mile - that wasn’t

Hello!!!

I am finally writing the update for the TC10Mile which I was training for last summer & fall. 

Training, itself, went really well, until I landed in Minnesota.  The first three days I was there, the weather was gorgeous; and then it began to rain. It rained for seven straight days, and Minnesota in October means upper 50s for the highs, on non rainy days. 

I got sick.

The day before the race, my boyfriend ran his first two races (he opted to run the TC Loony Challenge, which I ran in 2014), in the rain and cold weather. He was amazing and bought me some medicine from the store down the road because I wasn’t feeling any better on day 6 of this crud (I rarely take any medicine, so I knew this was a doozy). 

We watched the forecast for Sunday, race day, and talked about making the final decision once the morning alarm goes off. We anticipated me not running, but I laid all of my gear out just in case the weather pushed through faster than forecasted.

The weather was worse than forecasted, as it didn’t push through as fast as forecasted and it was windier than predicted. My boyfriend actually told me to stay in bed, to prevent me from further exacerbating my illness, to stay warm, and to hopefully get a little more sleep.

And I slept through what would have been my 10-mile run.

I was bummed, but knew that it was just a race, and my health was the important thing to focus on.

I didn’t start to begin healing until I got back to the Hawaiian warmth and sun, four days after the race.

At which point I stalked the countdown to register for The Hapalua.

Never let a failure be your future, allow it to be a lesson to learn from. For me, destination races are probably no longer for me. 

Nothing wrong with that!

6 weeks until Marathon Day, I've hit a road block

Happy Monday!!! It's been a month since I've posted, and the reason is because I hit a road block mentally in my training.

Have you ever noticed when one thing in life is lacking, other areas of your life also feel as if they fade off a bit? That's how the past month or so has been for me.

Monday's are great days to hit the reset button: new week, better mindset, same goals. So, here we are!

Yesterday, I started 2 personal development programs which lead me through prompts to reaffirm myself and break negative thinking habits. One is 7-minutes twice a day (petakelly.com), the other is 30 minutes once a day (healthymindandbody.com; this is for members only, I am able to help you setup your membership account). Making time for these is important to make sure I finish the marathon, and everything else in my life stays the course and propels me to amazing things.

Of all the advice that I've heard through this marathon training, the most spoken was "It's mostly mental" so while I was warned about it, I really didn't think the mental part would happen in my training. I know it's going to be a mental struggle on race day, but I am sure it won't be as much of a struggle as training is going mentally.

Mental road block running? Yep. I know. Running is usually as simple as lacing up shoes, grabbing a water bottle, and heading out for an hour or three. But since this is my first marathon, and the half-marathons I've trained for had shorter training schedules and mileage, it becomes a battle for me. Here's a few things that run through my head when I check my training schedule for the day: -Have I fueled properly -Am I hydrated properly -What's the weather like -I haven't slept decently -I'll do it later today -I'll get to it tomorrow -I've walked that many miles today And so on.

I really don't want to get hurt, I want to be able to finish the marathon on my own accord, but the daunting 26.2 miles really freaks me out that I'll be out there for over 4 hours.

I've decided this will be my only marathon, and I'm relieved knowing that once I cross the finish line I will only run a few times a month if I'm craving it. I've decided I'm taking next year off, I might run a fun 5k here and there, but nothing longer.

I always wanted to run this marathon, and I honestly was planning on doing it next year. Now that it's 6 weeks away, I really just want to get this over with. I made the commitment, and my fundraiser is $25 away from my goal, so I will finish this thing and make sure there's a buffet of all my favorite foods at home afterwards.

Sometimes, taking a step back at what you're doing is really needed to make sure you're going down a path you want. Sticking to commitments is important, if you don't follow through then you'll be in the habit of quitting and never really knowing what life would be like had you finished.

I ran a half-marathon. Again.

May 23rd, 2015. Stillwater, Minnesota. I dressed for what I thought the weather would be like. Note the patriotic colors. :)

The forecast was in the 60s and moving into the 80s, chances of spotty rain showers, which means humidity and clouds. It was an 8 am start time, and I had to drive about 40 minutes to my friends house so her mom was able to drop us off at the start. The start line drop off was race-illegal, the start location was not ideal for on-site parking or drop off, but we made it work by walking a block from where we were dropped off. Definitely better than the 10 minute yellow bus ride most other runners had to take. We waited in the port-o-pottie line for about 15 minutes, because there were 8 of them for everyone. Eight. Craziness.

You could get 3 people wide through that, it was a slow start.

The start line was also not close at all to the finish line, which isn't uncommon, but the weird part was that we ran mostly on a bike/paved trail. The cheer zones were when the trail crossed the road, which is also where the fuel/water stops were. It was a bit amusing, I'm assuming, for our cheerleaders finding where they would be able to see us, getting there, avoiding the road closure/traffic stop. But they were at each possible cheer zone, and it was amazing!

The run itself wasn't the greatest, to be honest. I had prepared to the best that I could according to the elevation they had posted on the race website, but they changed the posted course on the website on race week. The original race started in a neighborhood and followed roads the entire way, which is easy to train for if you're able to replicate (or run the actual course). The actual race was on a bike trail, which isn't as easy to replicate DAYS before the race.

A downside to having a tree lined trail, is the lack of a breeze. Since this day was cloudy, it held the humidity in, and the trees kept the breeze from giving us any sort of break. My girlfriend started to overheat pretty quickly, so this was difficulty number 1. At about mile 3 I was at max for the heat so I ditched my shirt, thankfully friend's mom happened to be right there so I handed it off to her. Friend apologized profusely for slowing us down, and told me to keep running, but since I told her we would walk the entire thing if we had to because I didn't sign up to do the race alone and she had zero reason to be alone. It was a run for fun, not for time, and I was going to stick by her side unless she decided to leave the race early. She said she would have felt terribly for a long time if she quit, so we ran/walk for random periods of time when she felt up to it.

This trail is beautiful, well paved, tons of miles to take on, and there is an unpaved portion for horses which makes it even more majestic. The trail is also hilly, and not the every once in a while big hills, it was filled with the small frequent hills. There was a hill at least twice a mile. My girl friend had sciata issues going into the race (she never told me it was for at least a month before hand, probably knowing I would've told her to stop training), and those little hills put her in a lot of pain. I went into the race with tight shins, and those little hills flared my shin splints. Welcome difficulty number 2.

When we started the road portion of the race, there were a few big hills, which are expected in Stillwater (if you know the area, you know they're actually called bluffs), but after the first 8 or so miles having a lot of hills my shins were SHOT. Welcome the stupidity that I tell myself: ignore the pain and push on.

We slowly ran the last mile, most of it was down hill. I kept checking my Nike+ Running app, and told her the time we were coming up on. We finished the race at 3 hours, give or take a few seconds. When I told her at the 13 mile mark that if she walked the last few feet that she would surpass the 3 hour mark, she gave me the look of disgust and pushed through it.

Not the best, nor the worst, finish line photo.

While it wasn't the prettiest of runs, it was a beautiful scenery, and I'm so glad I stuck with my girlfriend to finish the race together, since we started this adventure together. She's taking the rest of the summer off, except a few fun 5ks, while I start marathon training officially on Monday.

The Birdtown 8k - There will be hills

Last year was The Birdtown's inaugural event, I ran the 8k last year and felt it was a good race for the weekend before my half-marathon on 5/23/15. When I registered for this year's: I forgot about the hills. I forgot how too-fast I ran. I remembered feeling good afterwards.

I wasn't mentally prepared for this race, my sleep was lacking because one of our cats decided a lot lately that he wants everyone to walk up at 5am, and since I rarely have a reason to be up that early, I do not go to bed earlier enough to get a lot of sleep. We left about 15 minutes later than I really wanted to, but I was the reason for that because I didn't have my bag packed the night before like I usually do.

I forgot that the main road to get to the parking area would be blocked for the half-marathon and 4k that started before the 8k, and that the typical road to take as an alternate was completely shut-down for all of the distances. We had to park 5 blocks further away than I would have liked, so we had to walk that much further to get to the start. We arrived at the start line 1 minute before the gun went off.  One Minute.

The weather was okay, the temperature was in the 60s, there was some wind, but the humidity was higher than it should be in May in Minnesota. I was deciding the final 2 miles if I should run without a shirt, as I usually would run with only a sports bra for a top in that kind of weather, but since that required exertion I decided to just think about it instead of act upon it.

Thankfully, I did run this event last year, so I remembered how many potholes and uneven the pavement would be for a majority of the course. I also remembered how little vehicle traffic there would be so I could run on the road for portions that the sidewalk was not comfortable, and run on the sidewalk when the roads wear really uncomfortable. This was MAJORLY beneficial.

Since we arrived one minute before the gun went off, I didn't get to use the port-o-potty before the race like my body is accustomed to, so I had to pee immediately. I didn't see a single port-o-potty until mile 3, which was mentally tough fighting my bladder on all of the hills before getting to 'go.' But once I was relieved, my mood lightened, until I remembered the final hill.

My chip time was 2 seconds slower than last year, even though I did take walking breaks, I also stopped to use the port-o-potty this year, so I did run it faster. What was I thinking? I probably wasn't, but I still felt good mentally. Until 4 hours later when I sat through my brother's college commencement for 2.5 straight hours, my shins started feeling very tight.

Birdtown Results

My shins hurt a lot last night when I finally returned home, and was getting more difficult to walk up the stairs. I slept with my Zensah Calf-Sleeves on for compression, and turned on heated mattress cover to keep the muscles warm. I woke up and they felt healed! I spent an hour in heated yoga this morning, and my brain and body are all sorts of happy now!

Side note: I realized I ran 85.5 miles in April, my highest mileage month to date. WOO HOO!

Next week is the half-marathon, I'm hoping to keep this peacefulness my brain is currently in through the next 7 days. :)

Happy Sunday!

UV Splash 5k - It's more than just glow sticks

Have you heard of the UV Splash? Until 3 days ago, I had not. I saw an ad for it in one of those upcoming race newsletters that list about 10 races, and read the word FREE twice. My thoughts: 1. A FREE race? HECK YES!!

2. What does UV Splash entail?

Here's the link for the one in the Twin Cities: http://newcolordash5k.ticketmob.com/event.cfm?cart&showTimingID=60843

UVSplash

Doesn't that look FUN?? I'm PUMPED!!

Let me know if you've heard about one of these races, or have participated in one before!!

I'm running a Marathon - WHOA

On February 5, 2015, I made a life-changing decision.  It effects more than just my life, which makes it slightly more exciting/anxious.  I decided, and registered, to run my first marathon.  Twenty-two point six miles.  Consecutively.  In one morning. I made the decision at a Charity information session, this will be the first year Childrensmn.org will have a fundraising running team, and I am very excited to be one of their Superstars. "About Children's Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States and the only health system in Minnesota to provide care exclusively to children, from before birth through young adulthood. An independent and not-for-profit system since 1924, Children's serves kids throughout the Upper Midwest at two free-standing hospitals, 12 primary and specialty-care clinics and six rehabilitation sites. Children's maintains its longstanding commitment to the community to improve children's health by providing high-quality, family-centered pediatric services and advancing those efforts through research and education. An award-winning health system, Children's is regularly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top children's hospital and by The Leapfrog Group for quality and efficiency."

What a fantastic organization to partner up with on this LIFE CHANGING journey!!  My fundraising page: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/account/72706/.

October 4, 2015 is the day!!  The Twin Cities Medtronic Marathon is the event.  It has been rated in the Top 10 popular races for multiple years, and there are many reasons why.  I ran the 10 mile event last year, it shares part of the marathon course, and it has an amazing volunteer support team, extensive crowd support along the majority of the course, and the scenery along the route is spectacular!!  The fall leaves, the fall air, the river, the old brick homes, and the rolling bluffs (read: this is NOT a FLAT course) are beautiful!!!

Please, share your tips, stories of first races, and if you've ran, or will be running, this event!!!

2015 Race - Finally registered for one!!

Happy Tuesday!!! I usually have 5 races I've registered for by this time of year, but considering how drastically my life has changed in the last year, race registration is going to be a LOT different.

So what did I choose for my first race of 2015???

The Hot Chocolate 15K!! (http://www.hotchocolate15k.com)  This will be my first Hot Chocolate Race, and I'm excited!!!

I'll be running in Minneapolis, but they have 14 other cities you can run in!

Next week is the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon lottery entry, and I'll be throwing my hat in that ring.  It would be a phenomenal deal if I was able to run that, and then I'm also considering running the Medtronic Marathon in October.  Those are my only plans so far this year, a lot different than the past two years.  I have my reasons for not running several races that I have in the past, but a lot of it has to do with now owning my own business.

Have you ever ran a CHOCOLATE race before??

IsaBodyChallenge update - TransformationTuesday

Hey! Happy #TransformationTuesday!!I just started my third IsaBodyChallenge, and wanted to share my progress! I started in May, wanting to get rid of the sluggishness, to stop living off coffee & red bull, and to start living ACTIVELY. Here's my before and current, with progress pictures:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/532/56066027/files/2015/01/img_5694.jpg Now, I'm waking up at 5am with energy to get my workout done right away, with out the need for coffee or red bull, and I have so much energy to get through the day!! Honestly, I didn't workout that much. I am excited to see the changes now that I'm working out at least 15 minutes everyday!!!

What transformation have you gone through, without knowing how much you were going to change?

Medtronic Weekend, Part 2: All the Running

Last month I wrote about planning and packing for this crazy weekend of running 3 races, and attending a 3 day seminar. Read that here. The TC Loony Challenge comprises of 2 races, in one weekend. A 10k at 7:30am Saturday, 5k at 9:00am Saturday, and a 10 mile at 7:00am Sunday. My training was the schedule for a half-marathon, even though my longest mileage was that of race day, I felt it was the best idea considering I would be running 19.3 miles between two days. I made the last 4 weekends look like this: 6.2 miles (10k) on Saturday, and at least 6.2 miles on Sunday. I increased the Sunday mileage each week, with my last weekend having a 6.2 mile run followed by a 3.1 mile walk on Saturday, and a 10 mile run on Sunday. Knowing my legs could handle the mileage, I knew I would be fine.

The forecast was looking pretty good: 50s. AWESOME!

And then the day before the weekend came, and the forecast turned COLD: Highs in the 30s, with race time temps in the 20s and feel like temps in the teens! AAAAGHH! I had to completely repack my race bag, adding sweat pants and sweat shirts to keep me warm before and after running, and adding a jacket to wear during the first few miles of each race.

Good thing I have enough clothes to accommodate that kind of need. ;-)

My races were good, I kept about a 10:00/mile time both days. My legs were not impressed with the hills, which I didn't incorporate enough of during training, but really weren't happy with the temps. My 10k was just over 1 hour, my 5k was just over 30 minutes, and my 10 mile was just under 1:40. I'm very happy considering the feat I just accomplished.

If you've never experienced a race during the Medtronic weekend, whether as a runner or as a fan, I highly recommend it!! The views along each route are beautiful, it's during the fall leaf change which brings amazing colors to the landscape. The historic houses, the views of the river, and the final leg which over looks the state Capital are AWEsome! I would have taken photos, but with the temps being so low this year it would have killed my battery. :-(

The entire distance, of all of the races, are lined with fans showing their support! It's phenomenal the turnout, especially for how cold it was this year. There are people who had a keg setup, mobile fire-pits, blankets, chairs, signs, hot dog stand, and the police and medical support, along with the volunteers, were cheering the runners on. This was amazing for me, it truly is my favorite part.

Medtronic weekend is the first weekend in October each year, and registration is currently open for the TC Loony Challenge, along with the other challenges. The registration for the individual races is not yet open. Whether you come to run, or just to cheer and tour the cities, you'll be blown away. Here's the website: Medtronic Weekend Hopefully I see you next year!!

Medtronic weekend, Part 1: Planning and Packing

This year, I registered for the TC Loony Challenge. That means I'm registering to run a 10k, a 5k, and a 10 mile, all in one weekend. WHAT WAS I THINKING???? In August, I registered for a personal development seminar weekend, which was scheduled the same weekend as the Medtronic Marathon weekend.

Again, what was I thinking?

When it came to race week, I had to write down my daily schedule to wrap my head around everywhere I needed to be, at what time, and how much time I would be there. I literally scheduled every second possible of the day, to ensure I didn't have a panic attack.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the races were 15 miles away from the seminar. And highways were closed for construction. And main roads were detoured for the races.

Serious planning needed.

We decided to get a hotel room where the seminar was held so I could shower after the races and get to training right away, because we live 20 minutes away from the races, in the opposite direction of the seminar.

My planning also included every meal I was going to eat, every snack I might want, and every drink I would need. I packed a wheeled cooler with 3 gallons of water, in Nalgene and throw away water bottles, a frozen gallon water bottle to keep things cold, and to use on the last day. There were four bottles of coconut water to up my hydration, ginger ale, and anything chocolate related I could possibly get my hands on. I packed my 6 meal Isolator bag with lunches and dinners for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I packed the mini-Isolator with oatmeal energy cookies (I'll post that recipe soon, promise), and race day peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I also packed my meal replacement shakes and bars, because that is the easiest way to get a full meal, especially when it's organic, non-GMO, and delicious.

I packed a running gear bag, with two of every possible article of clothing, since the weather was drastically changing with the words rain and snow in the forecast and something about it not getting above 40 degrees. Headphones, ArmPocket, headphones charger, and sweat wicking head band. Three pairs of shoes, who wants to run with wet feet in cold weather?! Two jackets for pre- and post- race to recoup my body heat, wind in 30 degree weather is nothing to mess with. The feel like temperature is in the 20s. BRRRR!! Hats, mittens, extra sweat shirts and pants, and scarves. It all went in. I added water bottles for running in here, one 8-oz bottle for every two miles running plus an extra bottle for each race. That is 12 bottles, by the way. I use my own protein and electrolytes while running, which also reduces the need to be in the water station line, so I threw those in there, too. I also threw in 1 GU packet for each 2 miles, plus 3 extras incase I dropped one.

I packed a normal clothing suitcase with clothing that was functional and fashionable. Sweaters, leggings, boots, long sleeve sweater dresses, and stretchy skinny jeans that all could be mixed and matched. All the usual bathroom and everyday items went in, including my travel pillow and blanket because sleeping with two comfort items really helps me get comfortable fast and fall asleep sooner.

Let's recap so far: 1 wheeled cooler 1 Large Isolator cooler 1 Small Isolator cooler 1 Running Bag 1 Large Suitcase

And that was just my stuff, boyfriend still had his own suitcase and backpack. Good thing the hotel had a bellhop with a luggage cart!

Part 2: All the Running

How the @thebirdtown 8K was inspirational

I heard about The Birdtown Half Marathon at the beginning of May, a little late in the year for me to comfortably sign up for a half marathon even though I knew I was capable of a successful race.After looking at their website (thebirdtown.com), I learned they had two smaller distances I could run: an 8k and an 4k. These distances seemed very random to me, but didn't put a second thought into it and I registered for the 8k. An 8k is 4.97 miles, thank you Google. About the race, from the website: "This is the inaugural year of The Birdtown Half Marathon and we couldn't be more excited! Our route will run the roads of Robbinsdale, MN through wooded parkways and around beautiful Minnesota lakes." The mayor of Robbinsdale made a promise that if 400 people registered for the race, he would run in a kilt. Not only did they hit that mark, they passed it and had to cap the number of runners to 650 and CLOSE registration for the 8k as it reached the 200 registration mark. "Proceeds from The Birdtown Half Marathon will go to the Heart of Robbinsdale Community Foundation. Founded in 2007, the Heart of Robbinsdale Community Foundation was created with the mission of supporting and enriching the quality of life in Robbinsdale, Minnesota."

The event was put together almost better than some of the BIG races I've participated in. Check out these pre/post-race area maps:

20140521-145251-53571267.jpg Those arrows are fantastic for someone like me!! Here's the photos I took during the race: Not the greatest, and not that many, though. 20140521-150129-54089837.jpg Starting area was next to this beautiful lake. 20140521-150131-54091167.jpgThe last stretch had a view of North Memorial Health Center, the main sponsor for this event, and where my grandma spent many years as a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room. 20140521-145250-53570912.jpg It holds a few memories for me, visiting grandma at work, and eating lunch with her sometimes after my special doctor visits at the clinic across the street from the Hospital. 20140521-150130-54090504.jpg I still have two pairs of her work scrub pants, they're SO COMFORTABLE. Back to the race... It was a beautiful day: mostly sunny, temps expected to be in the 50s at the finish line, slight breeze. I made a rookie mistake of wearing my finisher shirt during the race, thinking it would keep the wind at bay, not knowing what it would actually help/hinder during my race since I didn't even bother trying it on before hand. There was a small issue with the chip time mats, so the start was delayed. I didn't pay attention to the time that ticked by, I had my music on and zoned out to everything other than the morning run I was about to take on. I was feeling pretty stoked, after-all this was two days after my 12.2 HILLY run (that post here), and I had a deep tissue sports massage just the day before. I was expecting to be in some sort of pain, but I wasn't. At all. It was a little odd, especially since the massage therapist told me to expect to be in pain and if I wasn't in pain then I needed to come in every week to release the muscle tightness which we shall refer to as my entire back. Once the timing system was working, we counted down from 10 and were off. I didn't study the race route, I rarely do, so I just kept up with a few of the people in front of me. We shall refer to them as the only people in front of me, I was in the front part of the corral. We followed a street through the cute part of Robbinsdale toward the bike path; along the way we had a few inclines, followed by some declines. I laughed to myself, probably out-loud, since I am once again running hills on a route I really should have looked into but didn't. We followed a sidewalk into the residential neighborhood, and there were spectators! After the residential neighborhood, we followed the Parkway to the finish line, and the last stretch had a wonderful decline. The pace felt good throughout the race, I was struggling a little bit but just attributed that to my 12.2 miler 48 hours prior without even looking at what my current pace actually was. I just figured it was just going to be a difficult 10:00/mile pace for me to work through, and had to tell myself at least once during each mile that I could, and would, run this to the end. This wasn't a completely closed course, it was mostly monitored by course marshalls, and we stayed inside our orange cones. There were police officers at busy intersections to ensure safety, and some even cheered the runners on. I will be running this event again. The finisher shirt didn't breathe as well as I would have liked it to, by the end of the race I was close to over heating. Thankfully I was well hydrated. My results: 20140521-153258-55978897.jpg WHAT?! Even though I heard the Nike+ Running app tell me I was doing pretty good for pace, I couldn't believe it when I saw the time clock read in the 40s as I approached it! How inspiring I feel every time I think of that, and really believe I will speed up more often knowing how good I felt going that fast for that long! By the mile: 1 mile 9'01" 2 mile 8'59" (fastest) 3 mile 9'06" 4 mile 9'31" I am amazed, ecstatic, inspired, motivated.

Have you had one of these races? What was your mantra to get yourself through something that felt so difficult and ended up be so rewarding?

Lifestyle Accountability - Podcast

I was very surprised, flattered, and honored, to be asked to participate in a podcast for 'Lifestyle Accountability'. I had never participated in such a thing before! Adam Bate asked me because of my healthy lifestyle which I share on this blog. It is a "daily podcast where [they] inspire people to take action and make healthy changed to their lives by sharing the stories of others."Before responding to the request, I did some research and I was very pleased. So I agreed, nervously, to participate! Find more about this amazing Podcast here. Find the podcast which I was the guest here. Let me know what you think!!

Get Lucky 7K

Get Lucky Twin Cities offers a half-marathon distance in addition to the 7k, but I'm not that in love with winter to prepare for a winter half-marathon. So I stick with the shorter distances when snow is still on the ground.I competed a great 'warm up' run the day before, since I hadn't run in over 2 weeks. I knew a 7k wouldn't be a problem for me, but it's always a good excuse to get in some miles. Date: March 15, 2014 Scene: Saint Patrick's Day decorations every where, green leggings on many, leprechaun costumes on even more. On the streets of Minneapolis, in the "Mill City" neighborhood (gorgeous!), one block from the Mississippi River. Traffic noises, thousands of runners, and an irish band. Forecast was 30 degrees, slight wind, and sunshine. This is an awesome forecast for a run in Minnesota during March (or any month November - March). I was feeling great, energized, excited, and healthy. This was my second time running this race, last year was my first time and I am happy to say it improved in a few important ways. This year they had an indoor pre-race location, they had waves for start times, and the finish area was more organized. All of these amazing things kept us runners warm! Here's my mileage, for March. I'm quite happy with both (yes, only two) days that I ran, and my time for the 7k was awesome considering I was running just for fun and was not looking to PR! AprilMileage During the entire run I was feeling good, I dressed properly, fueled properly, and the sun felt SO GOOD on my face. I ran with some of my favorite people, which made it an even better day. Because of the outside temperatures, I didn't take any photos in fear of wrecking my phone. The course goes around the river, so the wind gets a bit chillier than running through the park or city. And I didn't want to take of my gloves to operate the camera. BRRRR!

Afterwards we had lunch at a new restaurant, and then spent the afternoon watching TV show marathons in the warmth of the livingroom.

What about you?! Did you run this event?! Did you participate in a Saint Patrick's Day event?

The Color Run & MLB All Star Week

This will be my third year running The Color Run, and this year we are running as a wedding party group! My running buddy is getting married in August, so this is one of the activities us girls are doing. So exciting!! Since the All Star Game will be in Minnesota this year, which happens to be the same week when The Color Run is scheduled each year, MLB has brought Nike to the run this year:"The first event of its kind in history! Experience The Happiest 5k with some EXCITING additions from Major League Baseball.

MLB All-Star Themed Course Appearances from MLB legends and mascots Giveaways AND MORE" The Color Run All Star Week I heard about this matchup after we registered for the race, and I am PUMPED! My boyfriend and I will be getting All Star Week event tickets, so I'll get to enjoy a week of baseball in addition to the run. My running buddy hasn't mentioned anything else to do after the run, we are running the morning run, so we will probably all shower at my house since it's the closest and go out for food and eats.

Are you running a Color Run? Are you coming to All Star Week? Have you participated in a bachelorette run?

TC Valentine's 5K Feb 8 2014

This Saturday, I'll be running in the The Twin Cities' Oldest Winter Running Event! (race website link), TC Valentine's 5K Logo
hosted by Twin Cities in Motion (twitter link). I am very excited, boyfriend and I didn't get to run many races together last year but this year his schedule will be more accomodating! AND running girlfriend and her fiancé will be running, too!! The Twin Cities in Motion puts this event on, and it has many fantastic things to look forward to:Running Perks We're planning on going to the after race party at Cooper Irish Pub and then doing some other stuff, since this will be our Valentine's Day. It will be a busy week, and this will be a great reward when we get there!

Are you running a Valentine's Day themed race? Do you run with a significant other? What are your thoughts on running in tutus?

Moustache Run

Three days after Thanksgiving, on a balmy Saturday morning in Minneapolis, Movember was coming to an end for thousands of runners. November 30, 2013, marked the second Moustache Run, and I have ran both events. Last year, it was only an untimed 5k. This year they kept the 5k and added a timed half-marathon! This event raises money for prostate cancer awareness. From moustacherun.com website:"CHARITY Every three minutes, a new case of prostate cancer is diagnosed in the United States. Every 15 minutes, a man dies from it. As an extension of the movement, we’re raising money to help find a cure, and support men’s health, in general. Portions of Moustache Run proceeds go directly to organizations dedicated to prostate cancer research and support in the local communities where we host our event."

The spirit in the air was not only a hum of excitement from runners, but also from the GOOD that this awareness is bringing. As every themed race, the creativity of what runners brought was outstanding. There were real 'staches of all shapes and sizes, along with non-real moustaches on all ages and genders. There were hats and some runners dressed head to toe (why didn't I get pictures?!?!). We even found Waldo! 20131208-154020.jpg This event was the largest Moustache Run in the country. They chose a beautiful 5 K course and, from what I depicted of the map, a beautiful half-marathon course. 20131208-153652.jpg 20131208-153659.jpg There was Muscle Milk, water, and saltiness after the race just before heading to the indoor post-race party. Hot chocolate, $5 t-shirts (and now I wonder why didn't I buy one?!?!), and some beers were available throughout the beautiful setup of the Minneapolis Event Center. There was a big improvement upon last year's event, and I look forward to the 2014 event, and might consider partaking in a longer distance should they keep it in the mix!

After a little after-partying (I didn't drink), I headed to Thanksgiving celebration #3, and enjoyed a second serving of pie to celebrate my race! Did you celebrate Movember? Did you do a race near Thanksgiving? What pie did you eat!?

Monster Dash Minnesota

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It should be internationally recognized, in my opinion. I don't think I can really pin point why it's my favorite holiday, though. I like dressing up, I like haunted houses, scary movies, but I don't like candy. I like cider, but that is really a fall drink not just for Halloween.When you couple the Halloween theme with running, you have me sold. The Monster Dash, which is put on by Team Ortho has three course lengths, 5k, 10 mile, and half marathon. This was my first year participating, and I can't think of why it took me so long to get on board this great thing!! October 26, 2013 was a chilly day, but the sun was shining and the seasons were visibly changing, it was going to be a gorgeous run. The bag drop area was well organized, you dropped your clear bag marked with your bib number into a CLEAN garbage can which gets moved to the finish line area. 20131125-135054.jpg People were standing in the one sunny area, the steps of the cathedral. 20131125-135114.jpg This is where the Red Bull Crashed Ice happens every year, I'll tell you about that in February when it returns for the third year! The Race: There seemed to be a slight problem with the start, because it didn't start on time, it started roughly 10 minutes late. Once we got going, the energy kept flowing! I did a LOT of sight seeing, both structural, natural, or costumes! 20131125-135103.jpg 20131125-135123.jpg 20131125-135141.jpg

This course 'is all down hill' because you start at the top and eventually end at the bottom. Along the way you see beautiful historic houses, and gorgeous hill-side views of valleys and the river. 20131125-135133.jpg 20131125-135150.jpg The costumes were in abundance, creativity was flowing, and a lot of smiling faces surrounded us. I was so excited!!! 20131125-135202.jpg There were spectators and a few musical bands or people playing music the entire way, it was fantastic to see the people that turned out to cheer on their runners! 20131125-135212.jpg Check out my time per mile: 20131125-135218.jpg 9:51/mile! So exciting!! There were sufficient water stops along the way, there was at least one stop that had Gatorade, and I think there was a GU stop for the half runners. At the end of the 10 mile, there was a finish shoot to get your medal, water, food bag, salty items, and use the line of port a potties should you have the need. Next you had to get in line for the shuttles to take you to the finish area of the half, where all of the bags are dropped, and all of the after race events take place. Here's the participant sweatshirt each runner got (it has thumb holes!) 20131125-140812.jpg Here's the medal and timer chip: 20131125-140807.jpg The brutal Autumn wind was made worse because the finish line events were right along the river, which made the wind even colder. We didn't stick around for the post-race events, but maybe next time if the weather is better. Overall, it was a great run and I would definitely take on this course again, maybe even the half-marathon distance!!

What races have you dressed up for? What's your favorite season to run in? Why?

First Half-Marathon: FINISHED!

I started this blog to share my journey training for my first marathon, the Rock n' Roll Las Vegas Half-Marathon.

On November 17, 2013, I completed my first half-marathon!!! 2:15:29 is my official time, and I am SO EXCITED about it! Not only was it 4 minutes around my 'goal' time, but it felt so GOOD! The only soreness immediately after running I felt was my ankles, and I blame not training enough on running while dodging fellow runners. How do you train for that, other than do it a lot during other races? Please let me know in the comments, on twitter, or in email.

The Goods: A great participant shirt from Brooks, A GLOW-IN-THE-DARK medal, and an experience of the Strip like never before.

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The entire strip was closed for runners, for 8 hours!! Picture this: the sun is setting on the Las Vegas Strip, music is pumping, and the countdown begins. We started the race in front of Mandalay Bay, ran south in the North Bound lanes along the airport, turned around at the Burger King, and started up the South Bound lanes into the heart of the strip.

The Strip is lit-up in true Las Vegas fashion, daylight has left us. Mid-strip we changed into the North bound lanes, ran all the way passed the mono-rail and went through nearby neighborhoods looping back towards the Strip. This is when the marathoners ran to the desert, came back through Fremont Street, and then joined back up with us half-marathoners onto the South bound lanes of the strip to finish in front of The Mirage hotel. The crowds and cheering zones, the bands and the DJs, the lights and the atmosphere.

It was a fantastic experience! I can't say I would run that course again, but that is only because I want to do OTHER courses before repeating this one. The other days we were in Vegas were lovely mini-vacation days, we didn't gamble, but we did eat! We walked around a little, since this wasn't our first time in Vegas we didn't do a lot of the normal tourist stuff, we mainly ate and enjoyed the weather. The weather!! Mid 60s for highs, sunny all day, and a slight breeze. It was quite the weekend for a runcation!

Now that I have accomplished the first half-marathon, why don't we see how the rest of my life goes!?

Warrior Dash 5K

If you ever get a chance, you need to do this adventure race.Your ego won't let you fail, and if you train a bit in the months before hand, you won't get hurt. And you really don't get that dirty. Before picture: 20131114-165837.jpg Our shoes were pretty much brown when we finished, so much fun!!!

This was my second year participating in a Warrior Dash, and I'm sad that I have not seen Minnesota listed as a 2014 course, yet! Last year I participated in the Minnesota I course, and this year I participated in the Minnesota II course. I must admit, I thought the Minnesota II course was EASIER, mainly because it was flat terrain compared to the ski hills of the Minnesota I course. There seemed to be more water stations this year, compared to what I remember from last year, as well.

Instead of hills this year, we encountered: Horse poop (it is a horse pasture), freshly plowed hay fields and all of the ruts tractors create (rolling of ankles was highly possible), and a beautiful, flat run through some trees.

Here are the goods: Shirt (SOFT!) by Reebok: Last year 20131124-073032.jpg This year 20131124-073039.jpg

Bottle Opener medal: 20131124-073230.jpg Last year was a round medal. 20131124-073237.jpg The timing chip was your free beer token, I kept mine from last year. Fuzzy Warrior Hat: 20131124-073931.jpg Monster was giving away cans of their yummy iced tea + lemonade energy drinks, so we grabbed one. The free beer at the end of the run was delicious, so I hear. I don't drink beer, that whole gluten intolerance thing is THE WORST with beer, and neither does my girl friend (she just doesn't like it). We saw they were selling some so we asked and they honored our gluten free request and we had some yummy CIDER! 20131114-165843.jpg

Are you a Warrior? Find a Dash near you: Here

Have you participated in an adventure race? Which one? Do you have any hilarious stories to share?