Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Old Glory Run 5K Race Report!

On Saturday morning I drove to Cold Spring, Minnesota to run in my second 5K of the season. The city of Cold Spring is where I graduated from high school so it holds a special place in my heart. I registered to run in a wonderful race called the Old Glory Run. It is a race where all of the proceedes go the help local veterans who served to protect our country. It is a great cause and I was happy to run.

If you look at this picture above you can see it was raining. The weather was not the best but it did not hinder the outcome of runners and support for this great cause. I was standing under the coffee tent when I took this picture. It was all good because I was able to people watch and chit chat with other runners wanting coffee:)

After a few minutes of waiting under the tent I noticed my very good friend Jean! Jean and I ran track together in high school. We actually ran on several of the same relay teams. It was so nice to see her and catch up. I love this picture!

The race started at 11 AM and a few minutes before we all headed to the start line. This picture shows my view of the people behind me. When I was waiting in line I noticed several of my St. Cloud River Runner peeps who were also running. This run was my first 5K ever two years ago. I remember how nervous I was not knowing how it would go or how I would do. That first 5K was a tough one. It was challenging for sure....big time sucking air and heart rate explosions....not good:) It was kind of weird because I was not nervous for this run and that never happens. I felt calm and at peace with myself. In a few minutes we were off and the race started. I was just running on how I felt. I didn't feel like I started off too fast. My breathing and heart rate felt fine. There were several huge puddles to dodge along the route. After getting my feet wet going through the second huge puddle I just didn't care anymore. Oh what the hell! LOL! My feet were totally soaked:) Oh well, it was just a quick 5K and I would live. Mile one went by and my Garmin read 7:20 and all was good. The course went through the city of Cold Spring. There were a few little hills and several turns. Mile two went by and I didn't look at my garmin. I just kept running trying to keep a steady pace. In my mind I didn't think that I was running any faster than last week. Actually I was expecting around the same time or slower than last week because of the rain and puddles. Along the race route I heard a few people yell, "Go Julie!" I found this interesting...out of all of the people running who and the hell is going to recognize me? Thanks for the cheers Sue and Brian!! I continued on the last mile remembering that the home stretch is a long street leading down to the baseball field finish. I looked at the road I was running on and knew I only had a little more to go before this last stretch. I was feeling okay and picked it up a bit. I took the left hand turn that led me down to the finish. I ran the same pace that last stretch and could see the finish. Eventually I could see the clock....holy cow....23:25 and a little left to go! I picked it up and finally crossed the finish. I am pretty sure I was smiling:)

After catching my breath and grabbing a water I bumped into a few of my running group peeps. From left to right we have Lyndon, Dave, me and Curt.

A little later I ran into one of my very best friends from high school. Clare ran her first 5K and did awesome! She walked part of it and still had a great time. I was able to chat with a few more people that I graduated with before checking for my results. I walked over to the results board and was shocked to see that my final time was 23:31 and it was enough to give me third place for my age group again!!

After the awards cremony I got one more picture of Curt and his son Kyle. They both also had age group wins. It was a good day and a little rain never hurts:) It gives us character and makes us stronger. I will take a little rain over hot and humid any day!

My final stats time 23:31

I placed 85 out of 1017.

I placed 16 out of 660 women.

I placed 3 out of 114 for my age group.
Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Local 5K Race Report.

This morning I ran in the Maple Grove 5K. Damn, it was a chilly morning once again. When the heck is Minnesota going to see spring? The weather we have been having is just crazy...this morning it was 43 degrees when I pulled into the school parking lot. I stayed in my van as long as possible because I was wearing shorts. Brrr!!!
There was also a half marathon going on this morning and it was scheduled to start fifteen minutes before the 5K. I stood in the Football stands and watched the start. There were just over 700 runners making there way around the high school track.

Eventually the 5K runners made our way to the start line. There were 317 of us total. I lined up closer to the front than I do with the bigger races. I noticed a woman checking her running watch and I realized that I had not started mine! Crap!! I started my Garmin hoping that I would be able to pick up a satellite ASAP! I started casual conversation with that woman. We chatted for a few minutes. She told me that today was her first 5K of the season. I asked her what type of pace she was looking to run and she told me a seven minute mile. I laughed and told her I would be watching her back for most of the race:) This nice woman ended up winning the race for the females! The race official started the race and we were off. The first mile went by just fine. I was feeling okay but not fabulous. I didn't really have any time goals other than to finish under 25 minutes. Last year when I ran this my time was 23:50 and I took home second place for my age group. At the mile marker I looked down at my Garmin and it showed that my time was 7:47. Last year I did the first mile just under seven minutes. The course is one of my favorite 5K courses because it is very flat and fast. I continued to run and before I knew it I came up to the mile two marker. I never looked at my Garmin after that first time. I just wanted to run it on how I felt. It was okay. I know I wasn't busting butt and cheek but I was keeping a steady pace. The last mile was pretty tough. I am so used to running a half marathon pace that this 5K business was a little tough for this under trained runner. Note to self....must train more...must do speed drills! Run fast to be fast:) The final stretch of the race was to finish around the high school track. Last year I was feeling great and kicked it at the end. I had flash backs to my wonderful track days:) This year I was just fine keeping my steady pace and didn't feel the need to make myself puke. Not puking is always good:)

Final stats...

Final time...24:51.

I finished 28 out of 317 total.

I finished 10 out of 231 women.

I finished 3 out of 39 for my age group.
This was not my fasted and not my slowest. I finished around where I thought I surprises today.

It was so cold out there that as soon as the award ceremony was over I left ASAP. My hubby took pictures of me at home.

Next week I am running another 5K called the Old Glory Run. Hoping to do a little better...must do speed drills:)

Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon Race Report.

Well, I finished my first race of the season! Yesterday morning I got up at 5:30 to get ready for the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. I was planning on wearing my purple running singlet, black Nike running shorts and a light jacket. I quick ran upstairs and grabbed my Nike running pants....just in case. That was the best decision I have ever made! I drove to the Wayzata Bay Center and parked my van. There were other runners still picking up their race packets. I noticed that everyone was dressed like they were running in the freaking winter. People had running pants, jackets, hats and gloves. I started to get nervous because I knew I would be underdressed and freazing my butt off for thirteen miles! God, I should of known better! I do live in Minnesota. I picked up my running pants and decided to put them on in one of the restrooms in the mall. I ran into my blogger friend Tim who was also running. He was dressed in layers and prepared for cold weather running. I spoke with him for a few minutes and quickly put on my running pants. I went back into my van and searched for a sweatshirt or luck! I needed to have at least one more layer on the top for me to be safe. Not going to happen! I did however, find a pair of running gloves in my trunk and my jacket had a hood. It was thirty something and the wind gusts were between 20 to 30 miles an hour. It was going to be ugly.

I have not run anything over six miles since November. My last half marathon was the Monster Dash. I took the winter off from running and have only recently been running two times a week. One of my runs is three to four miles and the other is just six. I was not trained for this and had no business running a half as my first run of the season. I figured I would finish somewhere between 2:15 to 2:20. Last year I ran this and finished in 1:54. I decided to put myself between the 2:05 and 2:10 pacers and wing it.

I started off really slow. It was cold and windy and at times there were snowflakes dancing around. Unbelievable! Shocker.... it is May! Last year it was so beautiful and the weather was perfect for running.

The first water stop was at around mile three and I felt okay. I walked through it and started up slowly again. The runners were all pretty quiet and it seemed like we were all in our own little worlds.

This was the last picture that I took during the race. My camera died on me....go figure. I have not used my blogging camera for some time and I forgot to check the battery before leaving. Bummer! The course was pretty and made it's way around the lovely Lake Minnetonka. It was hard to appreciate it because of the crappy weather. Miles four, five and six went by and I was feeling fine. I picked up my pace a little and wondered when I would start feeling it. You know, sucking air and muscle spasms:) It really never happened. Since I was not racing this one I really had time to think about everything. It was my time. I listened to my feet hitting the pavement, the other runners making their way and the wind blowing. I thought about my family, my friends, and life in general. It was during this race that I remembered why I run. I run because it makes me happy. Here I am this forty-one year old "okay" runner. I am not an elite runner and I do not get age group wins at every race that I run. I run because it is part of me and I love it! Yes, there are moments that are tough and times when I wonder why I put my body through it. There is something about the feeling I get when my feet move to my own groove and my body goes with it! Harmony...that is what it is. It is the feeling I get when I finally make my way across that finish line! It is joy and feeling of accomplishment! I have not felt that joy in such a long time. I continued on and made my way mile after mile. It was at mile 12 where my body started to get tired. I was running the gravel path that was the start of the last mile. This is the path where I left my pacers last year and picked up my pace to PR. I was not feeling that spunk and energy. I was tired and really just wanted to be done. I honestly started to think about walking. Whenever I think of walking, I always think of my running dad (Denny). Denny gave me some advice after my first marathon. He told me that I need to keep moving and push through the pain, negative thoughts and challenging moments. I heard Denny's voice say, "Come on Julie, let's go!" I imagined that he was running in front of me and that I was attempting to keep up with him. I did not stop to walk during that last mile....I kept moving. Keep in mind, I was not sprinting in...I am sure I looked pretty pathetic and my running form sucked! The point is that I didn't stop. I made my way up to the finisher's shoot and crossed that finish line! As I was making my way up to the finish I saw my blogger friend Beth's husband Mike. He yelled, "Go Julie!" I didn't get a chance to talk to Mike or Beth after the year guys:) Half marathon number one....done! Final time 2:01:13! I will take it! In two weeks I have the Maple Grove 5K. I think I am more terrified for that one than I was for the Lake Minnetonka Half. I am not ready to be busting butt in a 5K!!!

Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!
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