Monthly Archives: January 2013

Weekly Wednesday Ragnar post: Meet Patti!

PK photo for blog
Name: Patricia K.
Location/hometown: Wausau, WI
How long have you been running: I ran in USATF events and Badger State (Wisconsin) events since I was 9-years-old.  Additionally, I ran varsity track for 4 years at Wausau West High School, although I was always a sprinter (100 meter, 200 meter, and sprint relays).  The first long distance race I completed was after college with Hyedi.  And the longest race I’ve finished was the Monster Dash (10 mile) in October, 2012.
Why did you decide to run Ragnar? To be with my friends, Hyedi and Angela.  We are celebrating Hyedi’s 28th birthday!  We are also celebrating a decade of our friendship, since we met at the University of Minnesota as freshmen in Pioneer Hall.
How many Ragnar Relays have you run? Zero.
What are you most looking forward to about Ragnar 2013? I’m looking forward to being a part of a team and working toward a goal.  In high school, I ran track and my favorite events were relay races.
Give me one fun random fact about yourself: I love the candy, Swedish Fish.

Ragnar goodies and a protein powder swap

Last week, I came home to a giant box of Ragnar swag!

Postcards and temporary tattoos to hand out at events.

Postcards and temporary tattoos to hand out at events.

One of the awesome ambassador shirts!

One of the awesome ambassador shirts!

Front view.

Front view.

My cat decided the empty box was hers.

My cat decided the empty box was hers.

I also had the chance to meet one of the other MN Ragnar ambassadors, Sonia, this weekend!

This weekend, my friend Mandy and I ventured out in the sleet/snow/rain/crap on Sunday to exchange protein powders. I bought some PlantFusion and split that with her and she bought some FitMixer and shared that with me! Great way to try different powders to see what we like the best!

We decided to have lunch at Parka — so I “finally” had the chance to try more than their pastries/coffee! I’ve now only been there three times in the first five days they’ve been open 😉 But anyways — I was super impressed with the meal.

I started with a chai:

That's a beautiful cup of chai.

That’s a beautiful cup of chai.

Then Mandy and I each ordered their chicken and wild rice soup — along with Rustica bread:

Isn't that soup bowl fabulous?

Isn’t that soup bowl fabulous?

And we split the Brussels sprouts:

Bacon makes everything better.

Bacon makes everything better.

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The service hasn’t been fantastic each time I’ve been there but I know that comes with a new restaurant. And everyone has been so nice and apologetic about it. I’m already looking forward to my next visit!

What’s the last great dining experience you’ve had? Why?



I ran outside!!!!!

Yup — I’m so excited about this that I used five exclamation points! Yesterday, I did my long run outside — my first outside run in 27 days!

Frozen river.

Frozen river.

I had every intention of running six easy miles. I bundled up in running tights and a pair of pants over those, my Lululemon Run Swiftly LS, a long sleeved tech over that and a Lululemon zip-up. I also tried one of those balaclava thingys and my Brooks gloves. Something about this run was off the entire time. As I posted on Dailymile, I never really felt like I found my groove. Not sure if it was the new-ish shoes, wearing too many clothes or just running outside again after so long. Or maybe it was a combination of all of those things. Oh, and I’m never wearing a Balaclava again. I think I’ve just get a neck warmer and pair that with a hat/headband.


Mile 1 – 9:03
Mile 2 – 9:09 (after the first mile, I decided that I had gone out too fast and decided to slow down)
Mile 3 – 8:55 (I decided that I didn’t care that I had gone out too fast)
Mile 4 – 8:59
Mile 5 – 8:32 (whoa)
Mile 6 (0.7 mi) – 6:08

I’ve decided (officially) that I won’t be running a marathon this year, but I want to sign up for another half – but which one? I have my eye on the Madison half and signing up for the 19.3 challenge while I’m at it.

On a totally unrelated note — my ten year is coming up and it’s being planned via Facebook and of course people are very opinionated about where and when this takes place. I’ve thought about weighing in a few times, but I realized I don’t really have an opinion. Has anyone had a fun high school reunion? What’d you do?

Parka Mpls + recent runs

YAY — we have a new restaurant in my neighborhood! And I didn’t even know it was coming.

While Blue Door is still not quite open yet, this awesome new place just opened this week.

I love this sign.

I love this sign.

I stopped in on my way to work Thursday morning — the day after they opened.

Cute interior.

Cute interior.

I ordered a latte and asked which bakery item they’d recommend. Even though I’ve broken my morning baked goods addiction, I had to give something a try since Parka’s baked goods aren’t just any baked goods. They’re Rustica baked goods. I went with the lemon danish (upon recommendation) and it was glorious.



AND since I have a problem with buying coffee mugs, I walked out of there with this:

Of course I had to buy a mug.

Cute, right? Dont’ tell my husband.

I’m already totally obsessed with this place. It’s cute, the people are friendly, it shares a space with this fabulous store and the food looks amazing.

Recent runs

It’s still pretty cold outside here in Minneapolis so my last couple of runs have been on the treadmill.

On Tuesday, I did some 400s just to see how my lungs were feeling. The last time I tried running any faster than 7 mph, they started protesting. This time was much better.

I warmed up @ 3.0 mph for three minutes and then @ 6.0 mph for one mile.

1 – 1@7.7 mph
2 – 1@7.7 mph
3 – 1@7.7 mph
4 – 1@7.7 mph
5 – 1@7.9mph
6 – 1@7.8mph
7 – 1@7.7 mph
8 – 1@7.7 mph

I then cooled down with a 3.0 mph walk.

Then yesterday after work I got in an easy three miles (9:23 pace) and have six miles planned for either tomorrow or Sunday. This weekend, besides getting a run in, I hope to meet up with some of the other MN Ragnar Ambassadors, get some studying in and I have a massage scheduled for Sunday. What’s everyone else up to?

Weekly Wednesday Ragnar Post: Because of Ragnar…

Most of you reading this are likely very familiar with what the Ragnar Relay Series is. If that’s the case, feel free to skip this post and use your time exploring some other fun reads today. Like Erin’s or Carly’s (yummy recipes!), Amy’s (she just kicked off Boston training!) or Emily’s (she’s back!)!

But if you’re not — read on.

The Ragnar Relay Series is…(according to their website) an overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. A team is made up of 6-12 individuals; each individual runs 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. Pair that with crazy costumes, inside jokes, a great finish line party and unforgettable stories. Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.

So what is Ragnar to me? To me, Ragnar was one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life — so far. One where I made new friends and bonded with existing friends. Because, let’s face it, you become quite intimate with the five other sweaty runners in your van.

Our team: Made in the 80s

Our team: Made in the 80s

Because of Ragnar I got to experience running in the middle of the night under a starlit sky in the middle of nowhere on the back roads of Wisconsin.

I didn't take any "middle of the night" pictures, but you get the idea.

I didn’t take any “middle of the night” pictures, but you get the idea.

Because of Ragnar I attempted sleep on a gymnasium floor along with dozens of other strangers. And when that didn’t work I gave up and ran my three legs  in over 24 hours on no sleep.

Because of Ragnar, when it was over I took the best shower of my life, scarfed down a burrito at my fave Mexican restaurant and slept for like, two days straight.

We also broke into this when it was over.

We also broke into this when it was over.

Because of Ragnar I gained the confidence to sign up for a half marathon, a triathlon and eventually, a marathon.

Because of Ragnar, this year I have the fabulous opportunity of representing Ragnar as an Ambassador!

Finally, because of Ragnar in 2009, I’m running it again in 2013 —  better prepared — and I can’t wait!

Happy Sunday!

After J and I got home from the gym Saturday, I jumped out of the car and ran to the door to check if my Amazon order had arrived. Spoiler alert: it had!

New Polar FT4 heart rate monitor:

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Not a fan of the pink, but I'll live with it.

Not a fan of the pink, but I’ll live with it.

PlantFusion protein powder:

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It’s been a really relaxing and pretty healthy weekend! Saturday morning I went back to bed after letting the dog out and then finally had the chance to try Tina’s French Toast Scramble recipe. It was delicious and kept me full until lunch!

I love that our weekends are now allowing for J and I to go to the gym together again. My knees were bothering my slightly (I think from not having my bike seat at the right height during spin on Thursday) so I walked on the treadmill and did a strength circuit. After a Carrie Tollefson sighting (she is looking SO cute and pregnant!) J and I headed home to eat lunch and get ready to go see Zero Dark Thirty.

Has anyone else seen the movie? I really liked it, although I felt a little let down and I’m not sure why — because I thought it was really good!

Today for breakfast, I tried Fit Foodie Lee’s blueberry quinoa breakfast recipe (YUM) and then we headed to the gym again. I had five miles on my training schedule and had planned to run the first couple in my new shoes and then switch to my Mizunos for the last three, but I forgot my other shoes at home. But the new shoes really felt great the entire time!

Weird angle.

Weird angle.

These are definitely keepers!

I was also really impressed with my new heart rate monitor. It’s a pretty basic model — maybe even more basic than my old F6 but it seems to have everything I need.



Post-gym I tried out my new PlantFusion protein powder. Verdict? Easy on the stomach but will go with the unflavored next time. Can’t wait to try out  the Fitmixer I ordered when it arrives later this week! I’m also planning to try Vega and Garden of Life, based on people’s recommendations.

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Now I’m at a local cafe getting some studying done.

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Happy Sunday!

Let’s try that again..

My new shoes arrived today! Again! After they first arrived a couple of weeks ago, I had to send them back to Running Warehouse for a smaller size. These seem to fit MUCH better but I’m still surprised at how much room is in the toe area. Looking forward to trying them out on a short run tomorrow.

Today was a breakthrough for me. I got my butt out of bed at 5 a.m. to meet a friend for a spin class at Lifetime. It was nice knowing that someone was going to be waiting for me! I don’t know how I used to work out every single morning.

Oh spin bike, it feels like I never left you.

Oh spin bike, it feels like I never left you.

The only other cycle class I’ve taken at Lifetime I was hugely disappointed in and this one started out kind of rocky too. But we did a fun pyramid workout and finished with tabatas on the bikes!

After class I decided it was time to pull the trigger and buy a new heart rate monitor. I started looking at heart rate monitors right after my old one died and I’ve had my eye on one for a long time, but never wanted to spend the money. But thanks to some Christmas money, I ordered today and it should arrive on Saturday!

I feel really lucky to live where I do and be able to run by the river and so many beautiful lakes. When it’s this cold outside, I need to remind myself of this.

Speaking of which, remember this photo I took?

Frozen falls.

Frozen falls.

Well, check these out. Pretty amazing.

Cruise countdown: 23 days

I also found out about this today. Uh oh. Yup that’s right — a Lululemon outlet.