race recap: 13.1 Minneapolis 5k

23 Aug

As I mentioned, Anne and I are in process of making some changes (mostly cosmetic) to the blog. Please bear with us in the process.

One of the things I am going to be writing more about is fitness.


Short answer: It’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want to write about. :)

Longer answer: Working out is a big part of my life and I believe being active is important for a healthy lifestyle. AND, it makes for less guilt when I want the second serving of pasta. AND, I’ve been inspired by reading other bloggers tales about races and training and so on….so maybe somebody will be inspired by mine.

Currently, I’m training for my second half-marathon. As of today, I’m 25% done with training. Wow – that went fast!

I’m training with my friend, Willa. This will be her first half-marathon. It has been so awesome to have a training partner. She is going to do awesome!

As part of the training, we are doing a couple of races. Today was the first. We did the 13.1 Minneapolis 5K. Confusing name, right? Well, 13.1 is the “brand” and they had a 5k in addition to the half marathon.

I have done countless 5k’s over the past 5 years. Most of them I finish around 31-32 minutes. I’ve never been super serious about them. Here’s a photo from one of my first ones – the Monster Dash on Halloween. Costumes are encouraged.

I’m pretty sure this was the Halloween of 2005. Do you love our costumes?
Action shot!

This is a great event and it’s a beautiful time of year in Minnesota.

These guys were great running partners. Jackie just moved back to Minneapolis so as soon as she is recovered from baby #2, she’ll be back running. Yay! Jon is one of my best biking pals and will run the occasional 5k or…marathon. He’s always up for something. Sadly, he currently lives in PA. Jon…..come back!

Okay, back to the event at hand.

This  event was different for me. This was a race and not just a run. It was business.

I got up early enough (2 hours before race time – so 5:15) to eat my favorite pre-run meal: toast with almond butter and  a mashed banana on top plus a cup of coffee for an energy boost. I gave myself some time to digest and wake up. Running right after eating does not treat me well.

I parked about 3/4 of a mile away from the start line so I could walk a bit to get my body warmed up. I think that definitely helps get my legs ready.

My goal today was two fold.

1. I wanted a personal record. For me, I believe that would be under 31 minutes.

2. I wanted to finish in under 30 minutes.

I was pretty confident I could do it, but was still nervous. I have been doing speed-work as part of my training and have definitely become a faster runner this past year. However, it’s super humid here and that tends to slow me down. I was also worried I’d go out too fast and then hit a wall. I know, it seems funny to be worried about hitting a wall when I’m only running 3.1 miles, right?

I felt good at the start of the race. The timer started and we were off! I felt strong and in control.

Mile 1: 8:55.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never run a mile under 9 minutes so this was on one hand, exciting (!), but on the other, worrisome that I wouldn’t keep up the pace. However, I felt awesome and kept reminding myself that I could give it my all for a half hour and would have all day to recover.  Just do it!

Mile 2: 9:07.

I was still amazed by this. Super fast for me. This included a short hill that I knew was coming but still stunk.  At this point, I knew I was going to hit my goals and that was super thrilling.

Mile 3: 9:24.

This is about the pace I intended to keep all race long. I think I was beaming now. Plus, knowing I only had .1 to go was nice. The last .1 I picked up the pace more so I could be strong at the finish.

Mile .1: 1:00 (8:27 pace)

I finished in 28:28 by my watch.


I was so excited I could hardly stand it.

Then I turned around and there was Willa also claiming a PR! It was a great day all around.

Humidity? You don’t scare me. I can PR no matter how high you are.

The race itself was very well organized and the half marathon seemed well put together as well. They had water stops out for both routes along with mile markers and clock on top of each one. Loved that!

At the end they had water, gatorade, bananas and bagels. I opted for the gatorade and snagged a banana for later.

We walked back to our cars which were conveniently parked by my favorite coffee shop. A giant coffee was in order. We needed to rehash every step of the race – that’s the best part!

All sweaty and gross but so amped about the run!

Are you training for anything? What are your fitness goals?




10 Responses to “race recap: 13.1 Minneapolis 5k”

  1. Monica August 23, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    actually, i need a new goal post-wedding. i don’t enjoy running enough to do another half. ideas?

    • jen August 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

      30 days in a row of yoga? Swimming?

  2. Monica August 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    oh – and DUH! – Congratulations!! That is a great time and I am very proud of you. What are your speed workouts like? I can’t convince anyone here to do those with me.

    • jen August 23, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

      I’ve been doing both tempo runs and 400’s. Hal Higdon is my guy. :) Gotta love someone that says if you want to have faster times, you need to practice running faster!

  3. couchpotatoathlete August 24, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Great job on setting a new PR!

    I have been interested in running that Monster Dash (I’m in MN too!) — I love your costumes :)

  4. Nic August 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Have you done a race sponsored by schells before? They usually put on a great event!
    My third and final half marathon for 2010 is going to be the Moster Dash. I’m never done it but it looks like a good time!

    • jen August 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

      Nic – I have not done one by Schells.
      My husband did the Monster Half last year. I will likely do the 10 mile this year – my half is the week before.

  5. erika @ Dr.TriRunner August 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    HI from a neighbor blogger!! I found you through healthylivingblogs’ Minnesota list! :)

    The Monster Dash is hands down my absolute favorite half. EVER. Not only is fall my favorite season, but that whole course is “home turf” for me, so ti always goes by really quickly! Which coffee shop did you go to? I’m disappointed in myself in that I can’t recognize it from the background!! (ps… if you’ve never seen the blog http://52coffees.room34.com/ … check it out! Highlights a bunch of indie coffee shops in the Twin Cities!!)

    • jen August 24, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Erika! The coffee shop is Nokomis Beach – one of my favorites. Thanks for the link to the coffee blog – I love it!
      I think I’m going to do the Monster 10 mile this year. It’ll be the week after the half I’m doing. I’m going to check out your blog. :)

  6. Dani September 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    Hi Jen,
    Great job on your PR. Awesome! I love it when I hear that. Anyway, I’m helping to capture awareness numbers about the 13.1 race, which is why I’m reaching out to you. Do you have an approximate number of viewers that read your blog — maybe monthly? Any numbers you can provide would suffice, they don’t have to be uber accurate.

    Also, please let me know if you’re interested in participating in the race again next year. I’ll be helping to promote and can get you a free entry and possibly a few discounts for your friends.


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