Giving Thanks 5K Race Report

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Quick post before heading to bed. We just got home from Thanksgiving with one of the families (since we grew up in the same town and all of our aunts and uncles are close, we usually have 4 Thanksgivings and 6 Christmases to choose from). I ate my meal over 7 hours ago, and somehow I'm still full.

I'm one of the few people who actually has to work tomorrow, so this will be short :)

Steve and I did this race last year and had a blast. It's a little smaller and less insane than the really big 5K that's run here in town, and they limit the field to 700 people. I think they must have come close to their limit, but the crowd was very manageable. I didn't really know what to expect going into this race. Unlike Steve, I haven't run a 5K since doing this one last year. I've had one speed workout as of late, and that was just last week. I had an idea of what a good time would be for me but didn't really know if it was achievable at this point in the game. If nothing else, it would serve as a good baseline marker.


Steve and me before the start of the race. Notice that I'm wearing my lucky sweatshirt.

As soon as they shouted "Go!" I tried to settle into a comfortable speedy pace. Last year, the course was measured in km, so I was expecting it this year too. It was a two-loop course, so when I saw a 3 soon after we started, I figured we were talking km again this year. When I hit the 1, I looked at my split and realized that I was doing pretty good. Too good in fact. The time didn't quite fit. I assumed that the markers were a little off. When I hit the 2, my split was a bit slower than expected, but I was still on track for my goal race, and it confirmed my theory that the first km was short. When I hit the 3, my time was still slow and I was starting to wonder why I hadn't seen a 4km mark in the first loop. I was a bit confused but was keeping a pace that was just under throwing up. When I got to about 1/2 mile from the finish, I realized that there was no way I was going to finish in my goal time. Something just seemed off. The splits weren't adding up right.


Trying to book it into the finish line. I swear my hips aren't that big in real life. At least I hope they're not...

I crossed the finish line 25:29, a craptastically slow time for me. At least it gives me something to build off of. I was sort of hoping for a sub-24 minute time, but realistically, without a lot of recent speedwork it's probably what I deserved. I couldn't have run it any faster, that's for sure. Steve had been waiting at the finish line for over 7 minutes by the time I crossed it. I think he finished 4th overall. Great job honey! As for those crazy splits that I couldn't make sense of? Turns out they were the mile markers counting backwards! I've done my fair share of 5Ks, and I've never seen one marked like that. Live and learn I guess.

I don't know when my next 5K will be - maybe next year around this time. It's really not my favorite length. I don't have a fast twitch muscle in my body and am totally built for distance. Somehow Steve and I are a bit opposite on that spectrum I guess. It's not that I don't like the burn, and other races certainly aren't easy. I was telling Steve on the way home from the race that I didn't even feel like I'd officially "earned" my turkey for the day. Am I alone on this one?

In other news, I heard about a possible inaugural marathon here in MN in May. I'm not sure of the logistics besides the fact that it would be held in Stillwater, a town not far from me. Tempting...

My Friday Night Out

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Last night around 8 PM, I put on a tight little black outfit, my most expensive shoes, and a little extra flair to really get noticed. Then I hit the streets looking for some fun.

Of course my little black number consisted of running tights and some really warm long sleeves, the most expensive shoes I own are my Saucony Hurricane Xs, and my "extra flair" is an orange reflective vest that resembles what you'd see a construction worker wearing. And with the cold weather we're having, I may as well be going out because it takes me forever to put all of these clothes on.

I was back in under an hour, and I had a fantastic run. I had to work this morning, which meant a 5 AM alarm clock and no intervals with Steve's speed Saturday crew, so I squeezed in a 5 miler in the dark last night. It's getting pretty chilly around here, but I'm getting used to it again.

I hit the dome for intervals on Tuesday. I did 600s with 90 seconds rest in between - nothing too serious, and my pace needs a little work, but at least I was relatively consistent:

2:54
2:58
3:02
3:02
2:57

I'll hopefully be working my way up in repeats and down in time over the next few weeks to months. I'll be doing my first half marathon of 2009 in 8 short weeks, and Borsch has thrown down the gauntlet. My half marathon PR is somewhere around 1:56, and he's sworn that he's going to beat it. I guess that means I'll just have to set a new PR! Just try and catch me Borsch!

Turns Out I'm a Minnesotan After All

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So I've been a little bummed lately. Since the clocks fell back a couple of weeks ago, I leave home when it's dark in the morning and leave work when it's dark in the afternoon. On top of that, the beautiful long fall we've had is finally over, and winter will soon be upon us. There have been snow flurries several days already with a couple of mornings of actual snow that has stuck around overnight. Our temps are now in the 20s to mid 30s, and I know it's only going to get colder. Getting ready for a run takes twice as long because I have to put on so many clothes, and after I get home, I have to camp by the fireplace to try and scare off what I like to call "exercise chillies."

Today Steve and Borsch had convinced a bunch of people to come out and do a track workout. I had a long run on the books, so I decided to do a few miles ahead of time and then just run the rest on the track so I could still see everybody. I checked the weather channel this morning, and they were saying that the temp was 31 degrees with a 15 MPH wind. I put on a tank top, light under armor, and medium weight shirt on top with shorts underneath pants for my bottom half. I also brought along an ear band and mittens. I stepped outside and knew it would be a chilly run. I'm not sure what the wind chill was today, but it probably wasn't much higher than 20. But a funny thing happened. My body is just used to this, and even though I'm almost always cold while sitting at home, I was warm within a couple of blocks. A half a mile into my run, I had to shed my pants and tie them around my waist. I was running in shorts. My first really cold run of the season, and I did it in shorts. My body just knows. I really don't know how it does it. I ran the next 3.5 miles in shorts, and I was comfortably cool. I had to put my pants back on while waiting at the track, but I was a little sweaty by then, and even Minnesotans have limits.

At the track, Steve and Borsch were waiting at the start line, and Ryan was there too. Turns out he did Steelhead. He saw Steve cheering and saw me finish. It's funny how you can travel 8 hours to do a race and meet a guy who lives 5 miles down the road! Before long, Iron Girl Nyhus and Greg joined us along with Jen, a really cool girl who got her ears talked off while running with me. I just stuck with the long run theme and ran a few more miles while everybody else did intervals.


Jen and I on our run. I talked the poor girl's ear off! I hope I didn't scare her away...

We said our goodbyes, and Steve, Borsch, and I ran home to pick up Steph for her birthday meal. I had the most amazing strawberry French toast:


Yummy! That giant ball is real whipped cream.

I'll be doing my intervals this week in shorts again, but they will be indoors. Dome running starts at the Metrodome on Tuesday. 600s, here I come!