Dog Day 5k Recap


Two years ago, Sophie and I participated in the Dog Day 5k Walk/Run in Minneapolis. The intention was just to walk it, but we ended up adding a little bit of jogging here and there.

This year, I wanted to run it.

{Well, jog it. We all know that I don’t really run.}

Wednesday, National Running Day, I did a run that felt really great! Thursday, we ventured out downtown to pick up our packets so as not to feel rushed with the dogs on Race Day.

The Night Before…

Since I was so anxiety-ridden the nights before both my first and second 5ks, I knew that I wanted to have plans this time rather than spend the night at home. I needed the distraction. So my friend Jen and I went to my friend Ceci’s place for a 31 party. Ceci always has great food. She is so good at hosting events! So, that day, I made sure to have a light lunch and then had one of my favorites as a snack after work, my Poor Man’s Caprese:

Cottage cheese topped with tomato, salt and pepper, and a light drizzle of olive oil. This time, I added fresh oregano from my CSA box for extra flavor.

Then, I took Sophie for a mile walk around the neighborhood to keep up my #RWRunStreak going and got my stuff together for the next day. But the pre-race anxiety was still there. I still had time to kill before the party – too much time with my thoughts. I talked to my friend Jen about it that night and during our discussion, I couldn’t pinpoint what it is that makes me nervous and anxious. I know that it’s:

  • Not a fear of not finishing – I know I can do that.
  • Not a fear of coming in last – I only had that fear at my second 5k and that was immediately before the race, not the night before. And I wasn’t afraid of that happening at the Dog Day 5k because it’s casual and people walk their dogs, too.
  • Not a fear of stopping to walk – I used to do that on the treadmill, but since I’ve started running outside, I’ve never stopped to to walk. {Although my running is very slow, so the difference between walking and running is negligible anyway!}

We all know that worrying has very little benefit; so I’m really trying to figure out how to put this night-before-race anxiety to bed. It is purposeless! I knew that the night’s distraction would help.

Friends & Fun…

Ceci always comes up with something creative when she is entertaining. For this party, she delighted everyone with margaritas and a nacho bar!

Tortilla chips in a Mexican hat!

All the toppings: taco beef, queso, scallions, tomatoes, black beans, guacamole, shredded cheese, lettuce, cilantro, sour cream…

I made a plateful of nachos and tried a little of the queso {very rich!}, but tried to load up on beef, black beans and tomatoes! I also passed on Ceci’s to-die-for margaritas. I tasted Jen’s and they were so yummy that I knew if I had one, I would probably have another! I sucked down water instead.

I may have had two of these desserts, too:

dessert spread

It was such a fun night – a good distraction from my thoughts, great to see Ceci {a fellow Wineaux}, and hang out with Jen.

When I got home, I followed my usual night-before-race ritual by taking a hot shower to help myself fall asleep easily. {Thanks, Mom!} I also applied some of my Daisy Blue Naturals lavender body oil. I like it because it’s relaxing and soothing. {Another natural sleep aid, if you will.} But my husband HATES this stuff. Whenever I use it, if he comes anywhere near me, he crinkles his nose and says, “Phew! You STINK!” So I only use it now when he is out of town or the night before a race. Still, I just checked their website and they don’t appear to make it anymore. Bummer! {Though I’m sure Rob will be quite elated with this news!}

Race Day…

When I woke up on Saturday, I really wasn’t hungry; but I knew I needed fuel. I tried to decide which fruit to have with my pb on whole wheat toast:

banana or blackberries?

The bananas were still rather green. I like mine more on the yellow side. In fact, I like them better even a bit bruised and mushy! So I decided to finish off the blackberries, even though I know bananas are a fueling powerhouse both pre- and post-run. {We also stopped at Caribou Coffee on the way, where I got my usual Americano.}

Pre-race breakfast: peanut butter on whole wheat toast, blackberries with 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt and 1 tsp honey

This year, the Dog Day 5k was in Waconia and in conjunction with the inaugural Lola’s Half-Marathon and 5k. There were pros and cons to this.


  • It was more than just a Dog Day event.
  • The time ticking across the finish line was for the half-marathoners, who started roughly thirty minutes before us. This means that I didn’t know my time until later in the day.
  • Mile Markers: The half-marathoners’ starting line was different than that of the 5kers. So, when I came up to the one-mile marker, I looked at my HRM {which I forgot to start right away, so it may have been off anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes} and saw ten minutes, I got excited! Maybe the Map My Run app was right on Wednesday. Maybe I was running faster! Then I came up on another one-mile marker which had “5k” painted on it. Bummer. That was our mile-marker. The first one was not. Not as fast as I had hoped.
  • The Minneapolis Dog Day 5k was a beautiful run along the river in the Mill City area. Running around the neighborhood is something I do at home – I didn’t need to run around the neighborhood in Waconia, too. It wasn’t very scenic next to the highway either. Luckily, the Half-Marathoners got to run around beautiful Lake Waconia!


  • Because the Dog Day 5k was in conjunction with the other race, there were more amenities, like a free hotdog/hamburger/brat and free beers at Lola’s Lakehouse afterward.
  • Outdoor music and fun!
  • The inspiration of half-marathoners.
  • Pupper Dawgs allowed!

We went with our friends Steve and Terri and their pooches, Porter and Paisley. The plan was that I would run the race sans dog and Rob would walk Sophie. We left the old-man dog at home.

Steve giving Porter, Paisley and Sophie pre-race treats. Dogs need pre-race fuel, too, right?!

I totally missed Terri and Paisley at the finish line, but here’s little Paisley post-race:

Paisley: 5k Finisher!

Here’s Sophie and Porter crossing the finish line:

Sophie & Porter: 5k Finishers!

Tired post-race Sophie with a wet beard

Afterwards, Paisley and Porter passed an agility test!

You can do it!


My race time: 38:40.

No PR for me. Not a big deal, though, because I felt great! There was something different about this race. There were pooches! How can you NOT smile when they are running next to you?! If I started to get tired, I’d occupy my mind with trying to give them names. My brother and I did this on trip to New York City. Every time we’d pass a pupper dawg, we’d try to figure out what his name might be.

And I felt great afterward! I don’t know if it was knowing that I’d be waiting for my husband, friends and pooches… Or maybe it was that I knew that there was free beer to follow. 😉 Whatever the case, I was just content and happy to be mellow, casual and hanging out with these great peeps post-race:

Rob, Terri and Steve with pooches post-race

Ahhh… Summer Shandy! Sophie went right for the water. Check out her wet paws!

It was nice just sitting back, sipping beers and listening to the band after the race. It was truly relaxing. No wonder I was so content. Relaxation will do that to ya.

My time will improve eventually; I just have to remember that I’m still a fat girl running. As I continue to run, the weight will come off and I’ll get faster.

Now, if you made it this far…

I recently decided to steal this race recap format from Tiffany at Cute Dogs & Hugs!

  • The Event: Dog Day 5k 2012
  • The Location:  Waconia, MN
  • The Date: June 9, 2012
  • My Time: 38:40
  • The Weather: Mid 70’s that morning (hot and humid later in the day). Sunny.
  • General Feeling: Content
  • Uniqueness: Pupper dawgs of all breeds and sizes!
  • The Goods: green t-shirt, doggie 5k finisher charm, water bottle
  • The Grub: apples, bananas, Pearson’s Nut Rolls, lunch (hamburger, brat, or hotdog), two free beers (choice of Miller Lite, Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss or Summer Shandy)

If you run, what do you do the night before a race?

And whether you run or not, how do you calm nerves?



19 responses »

  1. That’s such a cute race with all the dogs! The night before my race I just lay out all the clothes or anything I’ll need for the next day and then just spend the night relaxing and picturing myself crossing the finish line. I always get really nervous too…don’t know why!

  2. Thanks for the shout out! I usually get pre-race jitters, always if it’s before a race and sometimes if it’s just a normal run on my own. Not sure why. I think I just overthink and overanalyze what could potentially happen with my allergies/asthma in the great outdoors. It’s important to think positive! Great job on your 5k! I wish there were more doggy races near me!

  3. Usually I eat the scariest food I can get my hands on the night before a race (hotdogs from The Wienery, Blue Nile, El Taco Riendo) which is to say NOT pasta. And then for race morning, I try to structure my long runs the same way as race morning that way it’s more familiar/routine and less foreign and overwhelming.

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