Friday night, J and I fought Friday night rush hour traffic to drive the 45 miles to New Richmond, WI to have dinner and then tour the 45th Parallel Spirits distillery!
First, we stopped at a local place that had great reviews — Brady’s Brewhouse. I had a wheat beer (lowest ABV on the menu since I knew I would be tasting some whiskey later and I was driving) and after taking forever to decide, I went with the Chicken and Waffles for dinner. Everything on their menu looked great!
After dinner, it was on to the main event!
What makes this place unique is that they get their grains from a local farmer and produce their flagship products right in the facility — from start to finish. There’s more about their interesting story here.
After the tour, our group split up and we went into the tasting room where our bartender poured us 11 different samples of everything from their signature Bourbon, Rye Whiskey and vodka to a few varieties of Aquavits, horseradish vodka, a lemoncello and gin.
My favorites were the 45th Parallel vodka (SO smooth. You could literally sip it) and the Border Bourbon. So we decided to buy a bottle of each!
This was a super fun thing to do on a Friday night — thanks to J’s sister and family for the thoughtful gift!
Saturday morning, I woke up to drizzling rain and 35 degrees. Booooo. I had a pre-race breakfast of a piece of sprouted grain toast, almond butter and a pear. I also drank a cup of coffee and water. Since J was volunteering at the race and had to be there at 7:45, I drove separately. Once I picked up my race bib and shirt, I headed back to the car to stay warm. What I noticed immediately was that there were quite a few more people than the last time we had done this race. A few years ago I volunteered at the race and my husband ran it. The race is in its sixth year of existence and raises money for a scholarship fund that was established for Joe Plant, a St. Paul Police Officer who passed away suddenly in 2008. Joe loved running around Lake Phalen in St. Paul, where the race is held. Some friends of ours work with one of the family members who founded the race. It’s a great event and I’m so glad our friends told us about it.
The race started at 9 and I stayed in my car right up until about 8:50. I made a quick stop in the bathroom (real bathrooms! Not porta potties! And no line!) We lined up — shivering — and I positioned myself maybe about twenty people from the front. Then, we were off! I didn’t really have a game plan for this race, to be honest. So I decided to try and keep a somewhat consistent pace throughout the entire race. It worked well for the most part.
My left shin started bothering me right after I completed mile 1 and I noticed it for the rest of the race. Annoying. I also noticed that after passing one woman, I could only remember there still being one, maybe two, other women ahead of me. I had a brief moment of thinking maybe I was in the top three females? I quickly pushed that thought out of my mind and concentrated on keeping my pace because I was getting tired. There was now a headwind after we rounded the other side of the lake. And I could see there was a final hill at the end up to the finish line — my legs had had enough. I crossed the finish line and handed my tag from my race bib to my husband who was collecting them and putting them in order as people finished. That’s the fun part of races that aren’t chip timed, I guess 🙂
The official results were posted a few hours after the race and even though my Garmin said 24:37, my official time was 24:42 — so a PR of about 13 seconds. And — I can’t even believe this — I placed 1st in my division and was the 3rd overall female! While this was a very small race and really the top finishers were slower than a lot of other races I run (the overall winner’s time was just over 20 minutes), I’m totally enjoying this! Of course, once I told my husband how well I did, he told me there were medals and things for those who placed and we left too soon. Bummer!
- I honestly feel like I was a little off and I could’ve run faster, because my Shamrock Shuffle 5K split was 24:35 — but I’m SO happy with my time.
- I think I was only was passed by one or two people but I passed quite a few runners — including some pretty tough-looking St. Paul policemen 🙂
- After the TC 1 mile this Thursday, I’m looking forward to a break from racing. Next up: the Minneapolis Half on June 2.
Who else raced this weekend? How’d it go? Have you even run a race where they manually entered in race times?