Category Archives: #13in2013

My top five running moments of 2013 (and an announcement!)

In terms of life, 2013 brought lots of ups and downs (including ones I haven’t been brave enough to share here yet, but probably will one day) and to be honest, I’m SO READY for 2014. Running was kind of the same story also. 2013 brought PRs in almost every distance (it didn’t hurt that I ran 19 races over the course of the year) but it was also the year that I dealt with more injuries than ever before. So here’s my top five running moments of 2013:

1. The Marathon


2. Chicago!

The Big Ten 10K was a lot of fun (got to show off my U of M gopher pride!) and it was a 10K PR for me, but the entire trip was also a blast — Andrea and I ate our way through Chicago and I got to finally meet Hillary in person!


3. Witnessing my husband BQ!

No words can express what it felt like to see my husband achieve something he had worked so hard for — he didn’t just qualify for Boston, but absolutely crushed that qualifying time.


4. Making the Oiselle Volee team

This was definitely the highlight of my year and if this list was in any particular order (and if I weren’t too lazy to go back and rearrange it) this would be #1.


5. Hiring a coach

Yup — this is my big news! I officially have a running coach! I’m THRILLED to be working with Coach Kevin Granato and join the Granato Racing Team. I love everything about the GR training philosophy (in three words: purpose. quality. PRs.) and the results his racers achieve are incredibly impressive.

So what’s in store for 2014? I’ll definitely be focusing on quality, not quantity (in terms of racing) this year. With Coach’s help, I hope to set some new PRs; but more importantly, take my running and racing to the next level. And of course, I can’t wait to cheer on my husband at Boston!

What did your 2013 look like?

What does 2014 look like for you, fitness-wise?

(I wrote a similar post, linking up with Miss Zippy over at We Run This Blog if you wanna check it out.)


Race Recap: 2013 Turkey Trot Saint Paul

After a restless night of sleep, I got up when my alarm went off at 6:15 a.m. I felt lazy so breakfast was coffee, a mini blueberry Clif bar and a mini Balance Bar that I found leftover from HLS. I scored free parking by parking a little ways away, but it gave me a chance to get a little warm-up in before the race. After a minor fiasco where they couldn’t find my bib at first, I finally secured my bib and race shirt and jogged back to my car to strip down to the layers I planned to race in. When I got back to my car, I noticed my toes were in pain from the cold which had happened to me the prior weekend. It was about ten degrees warmer, so I was confused. I wasn’t wearing the warmest of socks, but didn’t have any issues with them last winter. Perhaps the shoes I’m running in currently are just that much thinner?

It was nearing race time, so I headed to the start time and I positioned myself near-ish to the front. I knew that this was the type of race where there would be some walkers starting closer to the front than they should, but I also get anxiety about starting too close to the front. But again, I regretted starting further back than I should have and had to do a lot of weaving for the first quarter of a mile or so.


(can you believe it was 60 degrees last year on Thanksgiving day?)

Minus a little phlegm (sorry, TMI, but that cold I felt coming on has only gotten worse since then), I felt really good and decided to push hard for as long as I could. Since I hadn’t been running a ton, I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be able to hold the pace, but (spoiler alert) I actually ended up with negative splits.

The course was an out-and-back and besides a few inclines, it was pretty flat. My left hamstring started acting up at barely a mile in and then I started getting hungry right around the turnaround/halfway point. After that, for the rest of the race I kept focusing on maintaining my pace and not getting passed. Before I knew it, I could see the finish line in the distance!

24:30 / 7:54 pace

18th in AG

43rd female

156th overall

All weekend I was debating if I had indeed achieved a PR. My official time was a 5K PR but my Garmin and RunKeeper both showed a short course. But thanks to Twitter and Katie, I checked the website and since it was a certified course, I’m calling it a PR!


Who else turkey trotted?

Any tips for keeping my toes warm this winter while running?

Tough decisions

I haven’t been talking about it much, but I was scheduled to sit for my personal training certification this past Friday. I haven’t been talking about it because quite frankly, I’m really disappointed in myself for slacking on the studying. So Thursday afternoon I was faced with a tough decision — take the exam, severely underprepared and know that it would be quite likely I’d have to retake the exam (and pay another fee) or just reschedule and go into it more prepared and pay a lesser fee (and not have to drive the hour and a half each way to the exam site). Ultimately, I decided to pay the rescheduling fee and wait until March to take the exam. So friends, you might not see me much between now and March!

On another note, I wrote a little “what I’m thankful for”-type post over at We Run This Blog — check it out! On a less serious note, here are a few of the material things I’m thankful for lately:

Stouts — especially this one. Sad note to add to this one. Really working on cutting back on my alcohol consumption (that makes it sound like I drink WAY more than I do) because it’s one of my migraine triggers and I’ve been having them frequently again. Bummer.

Urban Decay makeup setting spray — it’s an oil-control makeup setting spray and really works wonders!

All the coffee.

Personalized stuff

Not pictured: super cute return address labels

Not pictured: super cute return address labels

In running non-news, a little later than last year, I’m starting to take a look at races for 2014. I mean, last year at this time, I had already committed to running Ragnar Relay. But unlike last year, I’m not really itching to run again. I’ve kind of been enjoying the time off. And I’ve been loving the high intensity spin classes I’ve been taking bright and early on Tuesday mornings.

With all of that said, I just signed up to run a turkey trot tomorrow morning — maybe I’ll get to 20 races this year after all!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

Fun Run Recap: Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K

I had been crossing my fingers for no rain so I was thrilled to wake up to dry skies and a zero percent chance of precipitation for the next few hours. For my outfit, I settled on capris, my Oiselle singlet and arm warmers and a headband. After a Picky Bar and some coffee, I drove to Mandy’s house and we walked to go get our packets.

In terms of positive energy and all-around “warmandfuzziness,” there’s nothing quite like a Girls on the Run 5K and I noticed that this year, it was even more overwhelming because the program has grown so much here in the Twin Cities! I remember being a running buddy at the first 5K where there were just the girls from the two schools, the coaches and their running buddies. Now, the program has expanded to five sites and the 5K was open to community runners for the first time ever.

We got our packets and then met up with Amanda and Kristen before heading out for warm-up stretches!


The four of us ran together and I tried to keep us at a pace that could keep us warm — OK, maybe keep me warm. The wind + my bare shoulders wasn’t pleasant at all. Once we finished (which was awesome because people were cheering so loudly….for the GOTR girls behind us!) we cheered on the girls who were coming across the finish line.


Then, we went inside to warm up — my Oiselle Happy Hoodie never felt so good!




It was fun morning — seriously, if you’ve never been to a Girls on the Run 5K — try and check one out!

FAB Fitness: weekly workouts 10/21 – 10/27

Tuesday: Spin

I’m pretty sure that when my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m., I laughed out loud and muttered “yeah right.” But knowing that I’d be charged if I didn’t show up to class and that Mandy was waiting for me, forced me to drag myself out of bed. But really, I hadn’t taken a spin class in months, but was looking forward to getting back on a bike! Plus, my favorite instructor was teaching.

Class started out pretty good, legs felt strong and it felt nice to be spinning again. But by the third song I was cursing myself for pushing so hard already during the warm up. I was tired and my legs didn’t want to move very fast on the “hills.” I also realized that the piece of toast with almond butter that I ate before class was not enough. I felt like such a rookie.

But then came the post-class rush and I felt fantastic the rest of the day with TONS of energy. Excited to have spin back in my life 🙂

Wednesday: Does eating count?

As you might remember, I just started a new job about a month ago. (Where did October go?) On Wednesday, we had a team offsite at this amazing place called Create Catering. Just a couple of the many dishes we were treated to:

Chef working his magic.

Chef working his magic.




Saturday: Long walk with the hubs and pup and race spectating!

It was a gorgeous fall day — perfect for a walk by the river. J, Cole (the pup) and I also headed over to St. Paul to cheer on Andrea who rocked her first half marathon!

It was also Andrea's birthday!

It was also Andrea’s birthday!


Sunday: Absolutely Arms

I was looking forward to this class all week, even though I’d never taken it before. But it combines two things I love: the KrankCycle and TRX. And, as I found out, a lot of other stuff!

The class was basically circuit training — we were broken up into groups and some of us started on the KrankCycles and others on the floor and rotated through different exercises. We kranked, did TRX work, pushups, ab work, rowing, squats, burpees — and lots of other fun stuff. My arms were jelly by the end and by the next day, my whole body felt nice and sore. Definitely missed that feeling!

I had no desire whatsoever to run at all this week. Maybe next week. Or maybe not! All I know for sure is that I’m racing on November 3 (race #18 of the year) and will be forced to run then 🙂

Hope everyone is having a good week so far! Tell me about your workouts. Do you have any more fall races?

Setting some goals

Soooooo now that the marathon is over, what’s next? I’ve decided to set some goals to keep me motivated over the next few months:

Run 20 races in 2013

As part of my #13in2013 challenge, I’m up to 17 races for the year and would love to make it 20 total by the time we ring in the New Year. Next up? The Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K.

Set some new PRs

No marathons for me in 2014, so I’m planning to shift my focus to improving my 5K time and build up to a spring half marathon. Although, a recent email from a friend may have shifted my plans to running a half as soon as February 🙂

Quality cross training 

No more excuses. Since I’m not running for hours on end every week anymore, I am planning to make cross training a priority to get strong and keep myself healthy. I’m planning to focus on weight training, swimming, spinning and yoga.

Get certified

My personal training certification test is a little over a month away. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been able to devote as much time to studying as I should be…but I’m buckling down over the next month and will go into the test as prepared as I can!

What are your fall/winter goals?

Gopher to Badger 5K race recap

Race #14 of the year is in the books!

The day started out as any other typical race morning. I woke up around 5 a.m. and had a cup of coffee along with one piece of Ezekiel toast with AB. The weather looked like it’d be about 60 degrees at race start with sun and no wind so I decided on my Oiselle stride shorts and new Flyte tank (yup — I wore it again), compression socks and sunglasses. My mom and I left the house close to 6:30 so I would have time to get my race packet and take a bus to the start line.

Both the half marathon and 5K distances finished in the same place, Lakefront Park in Hudson, Wisconsin. As we pulled up to the park, I realized I had been there once before — sometime around 5 a.m. during my last Ragnar Relay!


Pretty, pretty.

I secured my race packet and met up with my friend Amanda, who traveled from Madison and was running the half marathon. Reunited after at least eight years probably!?!


Had to represent Minnesota while waiting for the race to start!

The half marathoners left in their buses around 7:20 and then I got in line for the 5K bus. It took us across the river to Minnesota to the start line, which was in a residential area in the city of Afton (I think). Then, the route followed the last 3.1 miles of the half marathon course.

I can’t say I was a fan of the way the start was organized (maybe my only complaint about this race). There were no mats at the start (which isn’t necessarily unusual) but then again, my Garmin time seemed to be pretty off from the official time and I pressed “start” right when I passed the start banner. So that was a little confusing. Also, there was no organization and there were groups of walkers that started right up front. The race also started early, so I was a bit surprised when I heard the horn go off.

Mile 1: 7:46

OK — enough complaining. After finally weaving my way through to a place where I could run at a pace with my own personal space, I settled in and focused on maintaining my position and not getting passed.

Mile 2: 7:42

Mile 2 included a nice, long downhill slope that I was very happy about. At this point, you’re also basically running alongside Interstate I-94 too, which was really weird. Things went pretty well during this mile. Right in front of me was a tall girl with long legs that I tried to keep up with — and almost did, until the end of mile 2 when she took off.


Mile 3: 7:40

Mile 3 takes you into downtown Hudson. I was tired and thirsty but somehow kept my legs moving. Left, right, left right. And by the end of the race, I was pretty much on my own. I wasn’t fast enough (or had enough left in the tank to pick up the pace at all) to stick with the pack in front of my, but I had also picked off a few people who had probably gone out too fast. So as I came into the park for the last .2 or so, the spectators were pretty great and definitely got me through to the end.

Wow -- check out that terrible form.

Wow — check out that terrible form.

Final time: 24:37 (and did you check out those negative splits?!?!)

Overall, pretty happy with this race. I was only passed by one person the entire race and by no females! I have to admit though, I feel a little frustrated because it felt like I was running so fast the entire time and then I look at how much further I have to go to make my sub-24:00 goal. I have literally NO idea how people run 17:XX 5Ks. Or faster. Oh, I guess they must put in hard work 🙂


My mom and I watched the 5K awards ceremony and then headed back to the finish line to see Amanda. She had a great race!

How do you approach 5Ks? Do you have any 5K goals?