Monday, May 30, 2011

Race Report: Stillwater 10K

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope those of you who are in the U.S. are enjoying your day off... I know I am!  Thanks to all our veterans and servicemen and women who have made and continue to make countless sacrifices for our country.

On Sunday, I ran the Stillwater 10K, part of the Stillwater Marathon weekend of racesStillwater, located east of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, holds special significance to me and several of my friends and family: my friend Seth ran his first marathon there in 2009, future hubs ran the 12K race last year (that distance was discontinued this year in favor of a 5K and 10K), and the Ragnar Relay course goes through Stillwater.

Mark and I headed to Stillwater about 5:30 a.m., enjoying the sunrise, music on the radio and the drive.

Downtown Minneapolis at sunrise
The weather here continues to be cool and rainy on weekends and pleasantly sunny during the week, so I had a hard time deciding what to wear for the race.  I ultimately settled on my Ragnar t-shirt, my trusty gray pair of running shorts (I don't even want to tell you how many years I've had those shorts!), and a pair of INKnBURN arm sleeves, which were a birthday gift from future hubs back in April.  They worked great!

Click HERE for more info on these sleeves.
Mark dropped me off at Stillwater Junior High School, where the 10K start was located, then headed towards downtown Stillwater to find a place to park and wait for me at the finish.  I did a quick warmup jog, stretched, and used the porta-potties before the race started at 7:00 a.m.  The skies turned overcast, and I felt cool and my legs had goosebumps on them, but I knew that I'd warm up fast enough once the race started.

My goal for the race was to beat my 10K PR of 52:57, earned last July.  Mark warned me that this would be a hilly course, but I thought I'd be able to make up for any lost time on the downhill portions.  I positioned myself towards the front of the start corral, said a quick prayer, and waited for the horn to go off.

The first mile went by quickly.  There was a slight rise for the first two blocks, then a gradual decline for a half-mile.  I passed several runners as the pack of participants thinned out and people found their own paces.  There was a slight uphill before the first mile-marker, but it wasn't bad.  I was working hard, but I felt like I was at a pace that I could maintain for a while.

Mile 1 - 7:32

We continued running through the nice residential parts of Stillwater, encountering a few mild rises and declines.  It seemed like this race never had any flat sections.  My iPod has been testy lately, so I'm glad it was working fine during the race.

Mile 2 - 8:02

There were two water stops before mile 3, which is usually unheard of, but the 10K course followed the latter portions of the marathon, 20-mile and half-marathon courses, so of course water is needed for those runners.  I skipped those water stops and kept going.

Just before mile 3, there was a nasty hill.  My pace slowed considerably as I trucked up that hill, and several people passed me, which was disheartening.  The hill reminded me of the steep incline I traversed during my first leg of Ragnar last year.  I kept on moving, and once I reached the summit, I walked for about 15-20 seconds to catch my breath before starting to run again.

Mile 3 - 8:41

While I was busting out my first two miles, Mark was at the start line for the marathon, 20-mile and half-marathon races, taking pictures and cheering on the runners.

Love this shirt!

The start

A good crowd of runners

See bib #22?  That's the lady with the purple "Don't Be Last" shirt.
After the runners passed through the start, Mark walked over to the finish line area at Lowell Park, taking pictures along the way...

This was one of Mark's favorite pictures of the day

The iconic Stillwater Lift Bridge, spanning the swollen St. Croix River

See the gold height sign?  There used to be a pathway underneath that for people to walk on.  It's still flooded.

He took a few photos of the 5K and 10K finishers...

First female 10K finisher

She just passed the guy...

... and he realizes that he won't catch up with her.

Kim, one of our Team Ortho friends, and her son.

Her son finished his first 5K race ever.  Good job, little man!
Out on the race course, I was trying to keep up my speed.  After hitting the 5K mark (and passing the 5K start line and balloons), the course turned from residential streets to county roads.  There were a few small rises, but mostly a gradual downhill.  I walked through a water stop and drank a cup of water.

Mile 4 - 8:00

There was a steep downhill between miles 4 and 5.  I just let my legs coast on that downhill, as I did on most of the downhill portions of the course.  I checked out my Garmin a couple times and noticed that I was getting a 7-minute mile reading.  Good, I thought, that should make up for that awful hill before mile 3.

Mile 5 - 7:53

There was another gradual uphill after the steep downhill, but then it leveled off and turned into another gradual downhill for the rest of the course.  My legs were getting tired of the hills, and I took another short walk break (about 15-20 seconds), but I knew that the finish would be coming soon, so I commenced running.  I passed some of the participants walking the 5K.  I took in the sights of the course... the historic buildings along the waterfront, the Minnesota Zephyr train, a few coffeeshops.  I thought about my friend Seth, knowing that he ran this part of the course two years ago as he was finishing up his first marathon.  I wondered what he thought about when he was running.  I thought about Mark, waiting for me at the finish, and that made me smile and pick up the pace a little.

Mile 6 - 8:17

I could see the finish line balloons in the distance, and as I turned onto Mulberry Street, I focused on keeping a strong pace through the finish.  I didn't think I'd have the strength to sprint, but I picked up the pace a little.  I rounded the corner and found myself on a dirt path straightaway toward the finish line.

Off in the distance, in blue

Nasty heel strike... does anyone else find that their form goes out the window as they're approaching the finish line?

I look simultaneously determined and pissed

This is my favorite of the finish photos that Mark took
When I saw that the clock was in the 51:xx range, I knew I had a PR in the bag.

I'm sure some of the spectators were wondering what was on my arms

Last .20-mile = 7:43

The Red Dragon (my Garmin) read 50:09.  Here are my official stats:

Official finish time: 50:07
Average pace: 8:04/mile
Overall place: 49/249
Gender place: 22/162
Division place: 6/35 (25-29 age group)
I made my way through the food area, picking up water, a banana and bagel, and other items.  I found Mark and also talked to Kim and gave her son a high-five.  Then, Mark and I headed toward the waterfront to take pictures.

Me, in front of the Lift Bridge

I can't believe how high the water is!

This shot is a little blurry
Future hubs and I headed over to the Water Street Inn so I could redeem my free beer coupon at their outdoor patio.

Grain Belt... "The Friendly Beer"
This was a great race and I'm so thankful I reached my "A" goal of a new 10K PR.  I really liked the course, despite how hilly it was.  Its beauty made up for the hills.  The one thing that was lacking was spectator support.  There were very few people out on the course cheering, and there weren't a lot of spectators at the finish area either.  I'm assuming that more showed up for the longer races, but it seems as if more people attended the previous years' races.  I also hope that they bring back the 12K (with finisher medal!) for next year.  There are so many 5Ks and 10Ks here in Minnesota during the summer that it's nice to have a unique distance offered.

The swag, including some of the post-race food
The race expo was small, but I scored a great deal (60% off list price) on a Mizuno tank top and a Skirt Sports running skirt.  I've never worn a running skirt before, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Survey Says...

This evening, I had the opportunity to participate in a focus group sponsored by Twin Cities in MotionHave you ever participated in a focus group before?  I hadn't before today, but the event was pretty informal.  We (a group of runners and I) introduced ourselves by talking about how we got started running.  The group leader then asked us a bunch of questions about races, specifically about what factors influence our decision to run certain races.  Subsequent questions focused on more specifics such as race organization, courses, safety, swag, fees, etc.  Plus, we received a free meal: Subway sandwiches and chips for dinner.  Overall, I enjoyed this focus group session and hope to be able to participate in more in the future.

We also received a few small gifts in appreciation for our time and feedback.  Two of those items will be included in a giveaway I'm planning for next week.  I just need to get the additional items ready.

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be seeking your advice, so here's what I'm puzzling over...

Cue the thinking/raised eyebrow/I'm not amused photo!
I'm debating whether or not to run the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon on July 4.  I have not registered for this race yet, but there is space still available.

  • I am currently injury-free.
  • My runs are going well.
  • This run would (in a way) fit into my Ragnar training.
  • The swag is awesome:

Brooks technical shirt
Finisher medal
  • The race would be a great excuse to dress up in costume.  I already have one in the works. :)
  • I already have the day off.

  • My longest run of this training cycle so far has been a 10K.  I've got a 10K race (Stillwater 10K as part of the Stillwater Marathon weekend) this weekend, so then I'd have to do a 7-mile long run on June 5, an 8-miler on June 11 or 12, a 10-miler on June 18 or 19, an 8-miler on June 25 or 26, and then race on July 4.  A half-marathon is doable with this short of training, but it won't be my best effort (which is fine with me).
  • I'm worried about getting injured again.  I always do once I'm able to run again after taking time off due to injury.
  • Planning a wedding (a.k.a. death by a thousand paper cuts).
  • Figuring out where future hubs and I are going to live after we get married.  We're thinking about getting an apartment for a year, then finding a condo, townhouse or house.  I doubt the housing market is going to rebound in a year's time.
  • Getting burned out before Ragnar and Savannah, although I'm more likely to get burned out training in hot weather for Ragnar.

What do you think I should do?
Please comment with your advice.  Thanks a bunch!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Art, Running and Tornadoes

Art-A-Whirl turned out to be a success for me, even though it didn't start out that way.  I had no sales on Friday, causing me to question whether my jewelry was any good.  I sold two necklaces on Saturday and went home knowing that the weekend wasn't a complete bust.  Sunday was my best day (five bracelets, two necklaces, three pairs of earrings, and a bracelet/earrings set went to happy homes).  Overall, I had $141 in jewelry sales.

Here are a few pictures, courtesy of my friend Kim:

Scarves and ties really dress up a table
Hanging jewelry on a branch was future hubs' idea
A bunch of bracelets
The artist and her table
Things I learned:
1. The items I thought would sell didn't and those I didn't think would sell did.  Never underestimate what someone wants in a piece of jewelry.
2. Set up a lamp either on the table or next to it.  Like flies to a zapper, the warm glow will draw the patrons in.  At least that's what happened with the other woman that was selling jewelry near me in the Waterbury building.
3. I need better business cards... something more artistic... maybe with a photo in the background.
4. Similar to the business card thing, I need better price tags.  Mine look way too homemade.

Rainy weather this weekend caused a significant drop in Art-A-Whirl attendance this year.  Hopefully the weather next year will be nicer.

Speaking of the weather, the sky unleashed a fury of severe storms and tornadoes this weekend in the Midwest.  Three tornadoes hit the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, with the most damage occurring to neighborhoods in north Minneapolis.  One of my best friends lives in north Minneapolis with his girlfriend.  Fortunately, they were not hurt and their house is okay.  Reading about the devastation in the paper and online and seeing the pictures is heart-wrenching.  Please keep those affected by the major storms throughout the country in your thoughts and prayers.

For the second year in a row, I'm running Ragnar Relay (Great River).  Some of the members have changed this year, but we've got a good core of veterans returning for more hot weather/stinky vans/sleep deprivation fun.  We had our first team meeting on Sunday night, although it was mostly van-specific (future hubs and I are in van 2).  We've got a great crew on board this year.

The course has changed this year in several places, and I discovered that I (runner #7) will be running a total of 16.9 miles this year instead of 13.2.  My longest leg of the relay will be my last one (6.5 miles), and not my first one (5.9 miles), although the first one will still have that nasty hill.  Knowing about the changes will affect my training and the races I decide to run this summer, but I'm debating on how much.  I will post an entry later this week asking for your advice.  Stay tuned!

If you wear jewelry, describe your favorite piece(s) of jewelry.
Future hubs gave me a beautiful sapphire ring in 2009 that I wear all the time on my right middle finger.

Have you ever experienced severe weather like a tornado (or hurricane, typhoon, flooding, etc.)?
When I was in high school, my mom picked me up from school and a storm was rolling in as we were heading home.  We looked out the front window and saw a cloud slowly rotating above our car.

Have you participated in a Ragnar Relay or other relay event?
I did Ragnar and a duathlon relay last year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. My brother Kevin is an avid horseback rider.  Unfortunately, he won't be riding a horse... or doing much that requires the use of both arms... for a while.  On Sunday, he got thrown off his horse and dislocated his right shoulder, his left pinky finger, and fractured that same pinky finger in two places.

I stole this picture from his girlfriend's blog.  Sorry, Heather!
Doing anything with two hands, let alone one, is quite difficult for him now.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  I hope he heals up soon!

2. I am selling my jewelry at Art-A-Whirl this weekend in northeast Minneapolis.  Art-A-Whirl is the largest open studio and gallery tour in the US, so my handiwork will get a lot more exposure than Etsy and the craft shows I do in my hometown.  I'm hoping for a lot of sales this weekend, especially because my jewelry is so reasonably priced.

3. A local elite runner linked the Brooks Beasts site (click HERE) on her Facebook wall.  Check out these videos of up-and-coming athletes: their workouts, pre-race rituals, and the joy they get from running.

Have you ever gone horseback riding before?  Ever get thrown from a horse?
I've only gone once.  That was enough for me.  Never been thrown and don't plan to because I'm not going horseback riding again.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

Yes, I had one of those days today...

An Office Space kind of day...

A case of the Mondays...

But a run at the end of the day, followed by a delicious meal of pasta and red wine definitely made my day better.

Finally, here is my favorite scene from Office Space:

Do you ever have bad days at work?  Do those bad days usually happen on Mondays?
Mine usually do.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Race Report: Medtronic TC 1 Mile

"It All Starts with the First Mile!" is the tagline of the Medtronic TC 1 Mile, a fitting slogan for a one mile race, but a better indicator of what we as runners experience.  After all, we start our running journeys with those first few steps and that first mile, then work our way up to longer distances.  This race, its seventh running held Thursday night, has become popular as a way for runners to test their speed, enjoy the chance to run on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis with no traffic, and possibly win a guaranteed entry into the popular Medtronic TC 10 Mile, held the same day in October as Twin Cities Marathon.

This was my third year running the race, and my goal was to break my PR of 7:25, achieved the first year I ran this race back in 2008.  I've become a faster runner since then, so I wanted a PR that would reflect my increased speed.

I left work early Thursday afternoon so future hubs and I would have plenty of time to drive to downtown Minneapolis and find parking.  The cool, drizzly weather made it difficult for me to decide what to wear, but I settled on my lululemon long-sleeved top with a short-sleeved race shirt from last year over it and a pair of lululemon running crops.  Oh, and don't forget my Sauconys!

We found a parking garage early, so took our time heading to the start area.  We waited for over an hour before the race started, but that gave us plenty of time to stretch, warm up, and chat with several of our Team Ortho friends and other random participants.  Runners really are a friendly bunch.  The Minneapolis Central Library, near the start line, was full of runners trying to stay dry and warm.  I appreciated the use of their restroom facilities.

About 15 minutes before the start of the race, Mark and I made our way to the start corral to find our places.  We were in the "friends and family" wave, the first of seven waves for the race with the last two serving as the women's and men's USA 1 Mile Road Championship races, respectively.  I chatted with a few runners and weaved my way towards the front of the corral.  I knew from years past that if I wanted to run fast and not have to worry about tripping over people, I needed to be near the front.

iPods and other mp3 players were banned from the race.  I also ran without my Garmin because I thought it might be a distraction, plus the rain and skyscrapers would interfere with the GPS signal.  So, in a way, I "ran naked."  Future hubs was even more of a minimalist because he ran in his Vibrams.  You can read about his experience HERE.

After the national anthem, I jogged in place a little and said a quick prayer before the horn went off to start the race.  "Light and fast" was my mantra for the race, and I found my stride quickly.  I didn't have to weave around a lot of people, although I worried about a little girl near the front of the pack who seemed oblivious to the runners passing her up.  I hope no one tripped her or tripped over her.

I thought the wet pavement would affect my footing, but I felt like I was moving at a good clip.  There was a slight rise for the first three blocks, so I felt like I was working hard and my lungs were burning.  Running fast definitely affected my ability to do math in my head, however.  The timing clock at the quarter-mile mark read 1:48 as I passed, and for some reason I thought I wouldn't run faster than a 7:30 mile, but I resolved to keep my pace going.  The course then hit a slight downhill, so I felt my momentum gaining.  I passed the half-mile clock at 3:30 and realized then that I could run a seven-minute mile.  Good thing I wasn't a math major in college!

The final half-mile was a blur.  I passed restaurants and shops along Nicollet Mall and the few crowds that braved the weather to cheer on the runners.  I remember focusing on keeping that steady fast stride, trying not to slow down.  Once I passed Brit's Pub, I knew that the end was near.  After rounding the only curve on the course, the finish line was in sight.

"Keep it steady" my mind told my legs.  My lungs and legs were burning.  Nearing the finish line, I finally made out the finish clock in the distance.  6:56... 6:57... 6:58... but I couldn't kick my legs into a higher gear and sprint to the finish.  "Keep it steady" I told myself again as the clocked passed the 7:05 mark.  Almost there... and then I passed the finish line and was done.  The last time I remember seeing was 7:09, but I passed over the finish mats a few seconds after that.  All I knew was that I broke my old PR, and I was happy. :)

I chatted briefly with another Team Ortho friend, then grabbed a bottle of water.  Free movie passes to the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie were being handed out, too, along with posters, bandannas and temporary tattoos.  I snagged a pass, tattoo and bandanna before they were all out.  Then, I headed back to the finish area and saw Mark finish the race.  He picked up some water and a Pirates pass.  No post-race food was handed out due to the short distance of the race.  We also skipped out on the post-race massages... they weren't necessary in our eyes.

We headed back towards Brit's Pub, our traditional post-race eating establishment.

On our walk there, we walked behind someone who looked like Steve from Steve in a Speedo?!... Gross! and were trying to figure out if the woman next to him was his pregnant wife, Pharmie from Rx: Ironman.  Mark finally called out "Steve" to get the man's attention, and sure enough, it was Steve and Pharmie.  I was hoping we'd have the opportunity to meet them during the race, so I'm glad that we did.  We chatted easily while we walked, as if we hadn't just met, talking about the race and the fact that Steve got to meet Ryan and Sara Hall at the Twin Cities in Motion press luncheon earlier in the day.  Pharmie ran much faster (10:00 or so) than she thought she would (13:00) for being 35 weeks pregnant.  Mark and I enjoyed meeting them, but we wish someone had snapped a photo of the four of us.  Be sure to follow their blogs!

Once at Brit's, Mark headed back to the car to get his backpack containing our stuff.  Brit's was an official race "cheer zone," so I found a couple cowbells to ring.  I scoped out a spot along Brit's outdoor patio and watched some of the remaining waves go by, cheering them loudly, and waited for Mark to come back because he would have my camera.

I also saw the guy dressed as Uncle Sam; I told him "I heard about the Boom" (the Red, White & Boom TC Half Marathon, which I hope to run this year) and received a sticker and a pair of Fitsok (the best running socks on the planet).  However, the socks were too large for me.  Mark received a stainless steel water bottle when he saw Uncle Sam, so after some hesitation bribing, Mark and I swapped prizes.  I already have several pairs of Fitsoks.

We stood by a family that had a super cute French bulldog named Sophie.

At 7:53 p.m., it was time for the USA Women's 1-Mile Road Championship race.  I had my camera set to take video.  Sara Hall was favored to win.  In this video, she's in second place (she's just a blur as she runs by... sorry!), but she kicked it in the final stretch to win in 4:30.8, setting a new course record and winning an extra $10,000 for breaking the 4:32 mark.

At 8:03 p.m., the men's championship race started.  Ryan Hall was a late entrant to the race, and this was his first mile race since 2006.  Boston must have taken a lot out of him because he was the last finisher in the championship wave with a 4:17.2.  David Torrence made history by winning his third consecutive one-mile road championship with a 3:58.4 (new course record), also winning $10,000 for breaking four minutes.  Here's the video of the runners before they hit the final stretch.

Once the race ended, future hubs and I headed inside Brit's, got a table, and ordered beer and food.

Mark, unhappy that his beer hadn't arrived yet

A well-deserved pint of Fuller's ESB... yum!

My favorite meal at Brit's Pub: cheese toasty with tomato soup

Bon appetit!
Here are my stats:

Official finish time: 7:09
Overall place: 806/2154
Gender place: 167/1068
Division place: 58/277 (19-29 age group)

Future hubs clocked an 8:28.  Not bad for his first race in Vibrams.

Close to playing footsie :)
I couldn't have asked for a better race and I'm so incredibly thankful that it went well and that I got my coveted PR.  Even the rainy weather didn't hinder my run.  The temperature was perfect for racing.

The swag: shirt and bib, plus the cowbells and water bottle
Seeing Ryan and Sara Hall run, meeting Steve and Pharmie, and eating our delicious post-race meal at Brit's Pub capped off a terrific event.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The Medtronic TC 1 Mile is tomorrow evening.  The weather forecast calls for rain... boo!  I'm hoping to PR (sub-7:25) but if I don't (the weather may be a factor, plus my legs have felt sluggish lately), then there's always next year.  I'm more excited to watch Ryan and Sara Hall run. :)

Speaking of the weather, spring was entirely skipped here in Minnesota.  Last week, we had snow flurries early in the week.  The last three days, it has been hot and humid.  Yesterday, the high reached 88 degrees!  The sudden change in weather has led to more headaches and stomachaches for me, plus more restless nights of sleep.  I hope it cools off soon!

I enjoyed my favorite pre-race/night-before-race fuel this evening: sushi!  After work, I headed over to Crave at the Mall of America for dinner.  Yeah, I know the race is only a mile, so there's really no reason for me to get particular about my food choices.  But I like sushi and wanted an excuse to eat some, hee hee!  I also walked around the mall and did a little shopping at The Limited and the Nike Store.  Found an awesome blue dri-fit running singlet at Nike and I can't wait to wear it!

Time for bed... here's hoping the rain stays away for the race!  I'm thinking of running the race sans-The Red Dragon (i.e. without my Garmin) because the skyscrapers in downtown Minneapolis will interfere too much with the signal.  What do you think?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Race Report: Verd Anez Benefit 5K

On Saturday morning, I ran the Verd Anez Benefit 5K. Verd, a beloved hockey coach and community member, died on January 31 of this year. He was shoveling snow off the roof of a pole shed when he fell through a fiberglass skylight. He was killed instantly when he hit the floor of the shed. Verd and his wife, Karen, have seven children, ranging in age from elementary school to college.

My dad worked with Verd's father at Minnesota Power for a number of years. My parents often stopped to talk to Verd and his family after church. Family meant everything to him, he had a deep love of God and strong faith, and he was known for his kindness and generosity. He will be greatly missed.

Click HERE for a KARE 11 news report about Verd, if you want to read more. There is also a video on that page you can watch.

Last weekend when I was home, I read a short article in the local paper about the 5K, which was being held to raise money for his family, and I decided then that I would run it. I didn't know Verd well, but I wanted to run to commemorate his life and also do something to help his grieving family.

Saturday morning, I headed over to the race site (Little Falls Community Middle School) about 8:30 a.m. I registered for the race and picked up my t-shirt. The race didn't start until 10:00, so I had plenty of time to stretch, drink some water, use the bathroom at the middle school, and chat with several people that I knew, including an old teacher, former classmates, a family friend, and one of my dad's co-workers. 

This was just a few minutes after registration opened.  More people showed up... a LOT more.
Before the race, Fr. Mark, the priest from Our Lady of Lourdes, gave a blessing over the runners. To commemorate Verd's spirituality, his family released several doves into the sky. Here is the video I took. If you want to skip the prayer and go to the flight of the doves (although if you want to hear a true central Minnesota accent, I'd listen to the prayer), go to 1:12 in the video.

The race started behind the press box at the track/football field between the middle school and high school. There were no bib numbers, timing chips, or prizes for the winners. The scoreboard on the football field kept track of the elapsed time. My wardrobe (long-sleeved tech shirt and cropped running pants) was a smart choice because it was a cool, cloudy day with periods of sprinkles.

I started out the race towards the front of the pack. The first mile was pretty easy for me. I had about a 7:56/mile pace going as the course weaved around the middle and high schools and into a residential neighborhood. There was a slight downhill during this portion, so that helped me out. I felt like I was slowing down a little as I hit the halfway mark, and I stopped at the lone water stop on the course to drink a little water. At this point in the race, my forearms felt strange, like the muscles were both tensing up and going numb. I had rolled up the sleeves of the long-sleeved tech shirt I was wearing, so I rolled them back down again. A few minutes after the race ended, my arms felt fine. That's the first time that's ever happened to me before… weird.

After the half-way mark was a gradual incline as Broadway turned into First Street. I trucked my way up that hill, but felt my pace slowing as I passed Lindbergh Elementary and the middle school. We ran around the middle school again and past the Exchange Arena, where Verd coached hockey, to finish where the race started, behind the press box. I kept my steady stride going as I finished, looking at the scoreboard for my finish time.


Not too bad for my first 5K of the year. I should get faster as the summer progresses.

I drank a bunch of Gatorade after the race and picked up a few food items to take home, as I wasn't hungry at that point and planned to eat something when I got home. I chatted with my former teacher after she finished (28:xx); she's running her very first half-marathon in Fargo on May 21. Rain was coming down harder at that point, so I headed home.

Race shirt and post-race fuel
Back of t-shirt... love that quote!
Later that day, Mom and I attended the spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Verd's family.

Verd, thank you for gracing us with your presence for the short time you were on this earth. You will be deeply missed.