Tag Archives: 5k

The Nearly Perfect Weekend


This has been a nearly perfect weekend!

On Friday night, I finally won the Champion Title at our monthly Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament!

We’ve been hosting for eight years, nine times a year. So this means that out of 72 games, I finally won one. It does feel strange winning, almost wrong, when you are the host. But now that I’ve won, I’ve redeemed myself as a player in my own eyes. And I don’t feel like I need to win again. πŸ˜‰

orbsop trophy 1

Then, Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day in Minnesota.

My husband and I participated in the Challenge Obesity 5k. It was the first time I was to run a 5k since my back surgery just over a year ago. I walked a couple of them last year. However, the last 5k race I ran was in November of 2012.

But this was Rob’s first 5k! We had a lot better weather at Lake Como this year than I did with the girls last year. It was The Perfect Weather for a run.

Lake Como

Yet, this was the most difficult 5k I’ve ever done.

I started off strong, feeling great; but I think I did that first mile a little too fast. By mile 2, I had petered out. I wanted to stop so many times. And I finished horribly – almost four minutes more than my slowest 5k race: 42:40. That was a little disappointing. {And what made the day nearly perfect, instead of just perfect.} As I crossed the finish line, I was completely out of breath and dizzy for several minutes after the run. I had to keep walking around because I felt like I would fall over. I’ve got a lot of work to do!

On the other hand, Rob had the best first race experience!

This was his first time running more than 21 minutes at a time. He felt great the throughout the whole race! He even picked up the pace at each mile. Rob said that about two thirds of way through the run, a guy who had about twenty pounds on him and was six inches shorter passed him. This made Rob mad! Since the race was two laps around Lake Como, he thought he was being lapped by this guy. He wasn’t going to let that happen! So he picked up the pace and kept the guy just in the distance to pace himself. About a half-mile later, the guy veered off onto another path. He wasn’t even in the race! He was just a guy running around the lake in the neighborhood.

Rob laughed and loved the fact that he had that guy as a motivator. And he finished his very first 5k in 35:18.

He now has the running, bug, too.

Carrie & Rob 5k 5.17.14

Our next race is the The Bacon Chase on July 19th. You may know hat I’m not a huge bacon fan. I’m okay with bacon by itself. I’m just not into bacon-flavored foods or bacon added to dishes or sandwiches. But when I saw this race, I knew it was right up Rob’s alley. It’s going to be fun! And it’ll keep us running until then. I always need an upcoming race to keep me going.

I took Rob out for brunch to celebrate his first 5k at Ward 6 in St. Paul. We also found that they have a great cocktail list and all Minnesota beers on tap. Restaurant Impression to come!

ward 6

When we got home, we were determined to enjoy the day and perfect weather to its full extent. We played a little cribbage on the deck while the dogs frolicked in the yard. We followed that by an afternoon nap with the windows open, creating the perfect cross breeze.

I ended this near perfect day by enjoying some Punch Pizza with some friends while watching the Veronica Mars movie.

photo 1(5)

Punch: The only certified Neapolitan pizza in Minnesota

Sunday was equally beautiful.

I slept in. That felt great. Then Rob discovered that they sell Izzy’s Ice Cream at Kowalski’s in Eagan. For the record, Izzy’s is the best local ice cream in the Twin Cities!

There is absolutely no reason to be inside on a beautiful weekend like this. Remember this post from Winter Carrie? She told me to get outside. So I did.

I tried to savor this perfect weather as much as I could, even with a Sunday nap out in the hammock. {I puffy heart weekend naps.} Dinner was a cook-out at our friends’ place. We were spoiled with an excellent dinner outside and enjoyed every moment of this perfect weather sans mosquitoes. {We are smart enough to realize that won’t last long!}

Who could ask for a better weekend!?

Here’s what’s on tap this week: planning

Β Food

*We didn’t make a few of these last week, so they’ve been pushed to this week!

  • Monday – Dinner out after golf league
  • Tuesday – San Marzano Tomato Pasta
  • Wednesday Andouille Sausage with Red Beans & Rice and Creole Roasted Veggies
  • Thursday –Pork Chops with Garlic Green Beans and perhaps this Garlic Cheddar Beer Bread
  • Friday – TBD
  • Saturday – TBD
  • Sunday – TBD


  • Caprese Salad {Not a poorman’s caprese. I’ve got mozzarella on hand for the real deal this time!}
  • Leftovers – We’ll have a lot this week!
  • Snacks – fruit, nuts and dark chocolate



We are using this Advanced Beginner’s 5k Program to keep going with our running. We are going to start at Week 3, so I can attempt to move into the 5k to 10k program easier later this summer.

  • Monday – Golf
  • Tuesday –RUN2 miles
  • Wednesday – cross train /Β Yoga
  • Thursday – RUN – 1.5 miles at race pace
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN- 2.5 miles
  • Sunday –yoga and/or cross train

What was the highlight of your weekend?

What do you do to enjoy the outdoor weather?


Walk FUR Love & Food & Fitness Link-Up


Last week, I attempted to run three miles.Β 

During my first attempt, I stopped and walked. I couldn’t handle (or thought I couldn’t handle) the hills in my neighborhood. I was angry with myself because I’ve done it before. I almost walked home. I turned the corner and started running again, anyway, just to see what would happen. Another runner was running toward me, a young guy. I always nod or lift a hand to wave to whomever I pass when I’m running. Before I had the opportunity to do so, he extended both of his pointer fingers toward me as if to say, “You go, girl!”

That’s all it took. It immediately lifted my spirits. A young, fit kid was giving me props. It was enough for me to finish the route. I was slow. But I did it all, despite the walks and made it home.

The second run was difficult, too. But I made it three miles without stopping. Despite the fact that it took me 39 minutes. I still didn’t feel ready for the 5k, especially because I’ve have intermittent back pain. Not while running, but in the evening later on or during the day at work.

I told my friend Stacy that I almost considered not doing this 5k… that I though about skipping it entirely. But while I was running, I thought about all of the people who donated to the cause. I thought about all of the dogs who needed adopting. I knew in my heart that I needed to go and support this cause.

Now here’s the part where I hope you aren’t disappointed in me…

I walked the 5k.

I could tell you about all of my excuses. How I woke up with a charlie horse in my left calf. How I didn’t walk the dogs this week, so I wasn’t sure they would be ready and didn’t want to leave Rob behind handling both of them. How after sitting in the grass for an hour my back hurt and I was stiff. I could tell you all those things (okay, so I did) and more.

But I walked it anyway. And you know what?

I had a hard time walking it.

I didn’t do so well. Neither did the pooches. After about a half mile, I could tell they wanted to be done. Pathetic. I felt like a bad doggie momma not walking them enough. Then I tried to think of the positive things instead.

  • Now I had the chance to walk again with Rob. It’s been one of our favorite things to do together when I was doing the LOST Virtual Race Series.
  • At least I was walking this thing. I know we would have been catching up on episodes of Downton Abbey on the couch if we hadn’t!
  • And I also knew that walking is the best thing for my back.

I do have to say that I was really surprised by how small this event was. I knew it was going to be small, but not this small. I think Rob counted six runners. {It wasn’t timed.} But you know what? It was more about the dogs. My favorite was the kissing booth! You could get puppy kisses for just $1.

I did expect more staff, too. I thought they would recognize alumni or do an adoption announcement with the pets needing to be adopted. None of that happened. But what do I know? I’ve never organized one of these things. I truly wasn’t looking for recognition for adopting Shamrock. It was more that I think when you show those things, people’s hearts fill with joy and they may be inspired to do the same. I will say that when we parked ourselves in the grass about an hour before the walk, we loved passing the time watching all of the other dogs and their owners, occasionally letting our dogs interact with some of them.

I also felt that they gave away too much. There were a lot of items in our goodie bags, although I’m sure they were most likely donated. They offered free t-shirts and hats with suggested donations of $10 and $5 respectively. That’s it! And they served lunch – barbecued sandwiches, potato chips, cookies and pop. Yes, I’m sure – donated. But there were donation boxes set up everywhere. Honestly, I just wanted to give, give, give to make this not only a better event, but so they could raise so much more money! It’s such a good cause and we would never have that wonderful new addition to our family without it.

So, in terms of running, in terms of fitness, what now? I’m not really sure. I’m thinking I should back off on running. I don’t think I should be experiencing back pain again. After the walk, I iced and napped. And I’ve gained 12 lbs since the surgery. But I have to start somewhere.

Since I haven’t tried hard enough to incorporate all of the things I need to, I’m going to start simple. And since walking is the best thing for my back, my goal is to walk a minimum of one mile every day no matter what. I can surely do that. My plan is to do that through the end of this year.

What I want to do is finish the LOST Virtual Races. Joe has added four more races to reflect the last Stations of the LOST Dharma Initiative. I wanted to run them. I need some sort of goal.

Or maybe I’ll start with the 7 miles of walking the first week and increase 10% every week.

And I need to strengthen my core.

There’s a lot I need to do, but I’m going to start with the walking, until I can wrap my head around everything. Until I can get past the fact that I’m not where I was pre-surgery and I can formulate a real plan.

Now it’s time for:


Last week…


  • Monday – Pork Chops with Veg – It was a 100 degrees. Rob didn’t want me heating up the house. He called an audible and we went toΒ Roasted Pear for half-price wine night and pizza.
  • Tuesday – Hot dogs (Nathans) & Veggie – I reheated some leftover green beans and added some pesto.
  • Wednesday – Chicken Taco Skillet (with beef) – I went with the Bertolli’s bag meal this night. These are only in our freezer for last-minute, I-feel-too-busy-and-emotionally-drained-but-it’s-better-than-eating-out nights.
  • Thursday– Chili or Bag Meal – Our plans changed. Rob had a Happy Hour planned with the boys. It just so happened that I had last minute plans with the girls, too. My friend Jen picked up a Papa Murphy’s Herb Chicken Mediterranean deLITE pizza. So good.Β  We had grapes for dessert. This night also doubled as a puppy play-date for Sophie, Shamrock and Sohpie’s old pal Finnegan.
  • Friday – Healthy Take-out – Another audible. I stopped at the grocery store and was about to call Rob to find out what he wanted when he called me to find out where I was. He had already made plans to meet a couple of friends at Sul Lago. I wasn’t about to complain. I will say that it’s the first time I ordered the scallops there and they were crazy good. The crisp salad on the side was so refreshing, too. I will definitely get those again!
  • Saturday – Walk FUR Love 5k. Dinner out – most likely here. You’ll see a post this week on where we went instead!
  • Sunday – Packer Game Day at the Buffalo Tap. Another post on that this week.
  • Breakfasts – Magic Smoothies, Overnight Oats, Granola with Milk, Peanut Butter Toast
  • Lunches – Leftovers (Lasagna Soup!) and Snack Lunches


  • Monday Walk on treadmill and/or pilates/yoga. Nothing. It was 100 degrees. No excuse.
  • Tuesday – Run 30 minutes – I didn’t do very well with this one. See above. I think I stopped running at about 28 minutes before I started walking. But I kept going.
  • Wednesday – Pilates/Yoga, walk one dog around the block
  • Thursday – Run 30 minutes – Run 3 miles. Completed! YAY!
  • Friday – Walk one dog around the block (Rest Day)
  • Saturday – 5k Race (walked)
  • Sunday – Nothing

So let’s look at what’s in store for this week:


  • Monday – Three Cheese Lasagna Skillet
  • Tuesday – Black Bean Burger (cooking for one after getting my hair done) with Caprese Salad
  • Wednesday – Pork Chops with Pesto Green Beans
  • Thursday – A variation of theseΒ Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
  • Friday – Poker night! It’s the first of the season and we are expecting 22 people. Rob plans on going to Happy Hour. Sometimes I go, sometimes I don’t. It’s always a last minute decision (based on what I have left to clean!) There’s always something healthy at the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe, but if I don’t go, there’s plenty that I can eat at home, too.
  • Saturday – Dinner out with the girls. It’s my turn to pick and I’ve chosen Barrio. I’ve never been there. What would you choose?
  • Sunday – Another Packer Game we can’t watch at home. There are only four this year, but the first two happen to be back to back. Will we go back to the Buffalo Tap? We have a few other options. Not because we don’t love the Tap, but because it can get spendy!
  • Breakfasts – 90-Second Breakfast Sandwiches, granola with greek yogurt, Magic Smoothies, and/or Peanut Butter Toast
  • Lunches – Leftovers and Snack Lunches


See my notes above. This week’s goal is to walk one mile every day. That’s it.

How do you adapt when you can seem to do what you used to do?


Couch to 5k – Week 8 {And Food & Fitness Link-Up}


This past week I completed the last week of the Couch to 5k program!

That means that I will be running my first post-surgery 5k this coming weekend. The 5k-ish {not official, more like 3.21 miles} is a walk/run fundraiser for the Scott Carver County Humane Society, which is where we found Shamrock.

My fundraising goal since I signed up just 3 weeks ago is $250. With your help, I’ve raised $100! Surely I have 15 more friends who can spare a 10-spot. If so, you can donate here. A special thanks goes out to all of you who have donated already. Cheers to you!

So how did Week 8 go?

Couch to 5k – Week 8

Day 1 – Monday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 28 min
  • 5 min cool-down

It was a little rough. I’m having the soreness and aches and pains in my legs that I’ve had in the past. But I’m also having back pain. It’s no where nearly as bad as it was before surgery, but I hope it’s not running that’s causing it. I’ve been icing and taking everything else pretty easy.

Day 1

Day 2 – Wednesday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 29 min
  • 5 min cool-down

Same aches and pains and random lower back pain. This does not happen immediately after running. In fact, I feel better while I am running. Sometimes it’s a few hours later or the next day.

Remember last week’s Food & Fitness Plan? Well, I semi-failed on the Fitness portion. I only ran the three days required in the C25k program. I didn’t do anything else.Β I did try walking the dogs one night, but Sham has been no good on the leash lately. I’ve decided to walk them separately, hoping to teach Shamrock a little more. They used to be better walking together, but I think Sham is becoming more confident and getting bolder! At least Rob gets to walk them in the 5k walk on Saturday.

And that yoga I said I’d do? Haven’t done. It’s my core that I need to make stronger!

Day 2

Day 3 – Sunday

My Saturday run became my Sunday run due to the fact that we had to get out of our neighborhood early to avoid a local festival and make it to a wedding. But then on Sunday, I just wasn’t feeling well. By the time I got to feeling better to run, it was 7:15pm and I knew if I changed into my running clothes then and made my way outside, it would soon be dark.

That was no excuse. And I knew running would do me well mentally and also help make up for my poor eating All. Day. Long. So I did this run on the treadmill. Though we recently got a very nice, new treadmill, I forgot how hard it is to run on that thing. Not hard on my body, but how hard it is mentally. I look down at the time and speed rather than pay attention to how I’m feeling when I’m running outside. I don’t know how I’m going to continue this throughout winter. I need to change my mindset, cover the time so I can’t see it, and find something really stimulating to watch on TV. Any suggestions?

So, despite completing the program, I don’t feel ready at all. When I ran my first 5k, I was working out five days per week. I need to get it together and do that instead of just running the three times.

This week, I’m running for 30 minutes each on Tuesday and Thursday. Of course, I’m nervous about Saturday, but it’s nothing like the nerves before my first 5k. And I actually don’t expect to do very well this time. And I’m facing my worst fear of coming in last. But, so what if I do? At least I’ll have finished it. I do have legs and feet and lungs to run. That’s something for which to be grateful!


And now for this week’s Food & Fitness Link-up:

planningLast week, I did so-so. My food plan was pretty good until Sunday. On Wednesday, I was cooking for just me so I changed my mind on baking a frozen black bean burger and decided to use up some sausage and make some Lasagna Soup instead. And since nothing was truly planned on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I can tell you that it was not good. That needs to change!

As for fitness, I need to figure out how I am going to really get on this yoga/pilates core work-out thing? Why am I not doing it? Why am I putting it off? I need to make a plan to do it right after work or something. I want to be stronger. I want to prevent back injuries in the future. This is what I need to do.

Here’s the plan for this week:


We are pretty well-stocked, so I didn’t do any grocery shopping this week. But I didn’t make it to the farmer’s market, so I need to add some veg to round out the meals below.

Monday – Pork Chops with Veg

Tuesday – Hot dogs & Veggie (Suggestion?)

WednesdayChicken Taco Skillet (with beef)

Thursday – Chili or Bag Meal

Friday – Healthy Take-out

SaturdayWalk FUR Love 5k. Dinner out – most likely here.

Sunday – Packer Game Day! It doesn’t look like it’ll be on regular TV here, so we’ll probably go somewhere to watch it. One of our favorite Packer Bars is the Buffalo Tap. Whatever we do, I’m going to look for the healthiest options! Dinner will be leftovers.

BreakfastsMagic Smoothies, Overnight Oats, Granola with Milk, Peanut Butter Toast (lots of options!)

Lunches – Leftovers (Lasagna Soup!) and Snack Lunches


Monday – Walk on treadmill and/or pilates/yoga. It’s going to be 100 degrees today!

Tuesday – Run 30 minutes

Wednesday – Pilates/Yoga, walk one dog around the block

Thursday – Run 30 minutes

Friday – Walk one dog around the block (Rest Day)

Saturday – 5k Race

Sunday – Pilates/Yoga, Walk



TheΒ Wine Bible giveaway ends at midnight tonight! {technically Tuesday at 12:01 am CST}, so please head over there to comment on what you’d like to learn most about wine for a chance to win!


Please look at my Food & Fitness Plan to answer:

What are your favorite side veggies and favorite ways to prepare them?

What kind of veggies do you serve with hotdogs!?

What is your favorite healthy take-out food?

What would you order at First Course of the Buffalo Tap?

How do you add pilates and/or yoga into your fitness routine?


Fiesta En

Couch to 5k – Week 7 {And Food & Fitness Link-up}


Whew! Was it a hot one last week! I can’t believe that I’m done with the intervals and am now “running” non-stop. That’s in quotes because I’m still very slow. Most people could walk faster than I run. Heck, I could probably walk faster than I run. πŸ˜‰ I can’t believe that in just two weeks, I’ll be attempting to run my first 5k post-surgery. And it’s actually a Charity Run/Walk for the Carver Scott County Humane Society where we foundΒ Shamrock. I’d love it if you’d join me, bring your pooch(es) or consider donating. I’m sure I have a few friends out there who could spare $10 for such a good cause. Click here for our story and donation page.

And speaking of Animal Rescues, I saw this ad in a magazine this weekend and it got me laughing:Rescue


Couch to 5k – Week 7

Day 1 – Tuesday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 20 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
  • Run 5 min
  • 5 min cool down

I had a busy week, so finding the days to run that weren’t consecutive was a little difficult. I ended up running late (for me) on Tuesday night. I normally have to run right after work so that I don’t end up sitting down and staying there. But after dinner and a friend and her daughter left, I put on my shoes and off I went. I did wonder how early it was starting to get dark, so I used the flashing button I got at one of my races last year, just in case. And I’m glad I did because it did start to get dark quickly. And surprisingly, it was still hot and humid that late.

But it felt so good that I did it and didn’t skip it!neverregret

Day 2 – Thursday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 26 min
  • 5 min cool down

If you look at this one, they added six minutes to the longest run of the program so far. That is challenging, mentally! On this run, I was really wishing to hear that “YOU ARE HALFWAY THERE!” prompt much sooner than it came. Once it did, I started counting to pass the time. When I thought I should have about 5 minutes of running left, the time/distance prompt told me that my total duration (including warm-up) was 28 minutes. This meant that I only had 3 minutes of running left! Although I was hot and highly dehydrated (I didn’t drink enough water during the day), the knowledge of only three remaining minutes changed my attitude and energy completely. In my mind, it’s almost like I shaved off two minutes! I’m telling you, running is 80% mental.

Day 3 – SaturdayΒ 

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 27 min
  • 5 min cool down

We were up at a friend’s cabin for Labor Day weekend. I’ve walked down the winding roads through these woods before. However, I know there are bears in the area. There are also lots of mosquitoes. {They LOVE ME!} People tend to drive a little too fast on those winding roads with all of those blind spots around the curves. I wasn’t sure if i wanted to do it. If I did, I wouldn’t be listening to any music because I’d want to hear the occasional vehicle coming up behind me. Besides, I love running when I can just hear the sounds of nature. I also knew my reward would be jumping into the lake!

So I did it. And our friend Lisa walked/ran beside me with Ronnie, their Golden Retriever, part of the way. We went pretty early in the morning, so we only passed a few cars. The weather was much more beautiful than the heat we had earlier in the week in the Twin Cities. It was peaceful. However, I was much slower than usual (at least according to my GPS/App). I’m thinking that my pace might be a little faster to music.

Afterward, I jumped into this beautiful body of water:


Lac Courte Oreilles near Hayward, Wisconsin

And so did Sham. Here’s a fun picture of our little sea dog resting on the dock after his dip in the lake:


You can read about my first weeks in this Couch to 5k experience here:


This week marks the eighth and official last week of this Couch to 5k program. However, It does offer two more weeks for those who want it, but they are just 30-minute, 45-minute and 60-minute running prompts as well as a distance prompt.

So I’ll finish by doing Week 8 this week. Then I’ll follow 30-minute prompts the following week. And do you know what my sub-45-minute run will be? It’ll be the Walk/Run Fur Love for Shamrock and the Carver Scott County Humane Society on Saturday, September 14th. At least, I’m hoping for it to be a sub-45. Here are my times from my previous 5ks from last year:

  1. 38:54
  2. 38:20
  3. 38:40
  4. 36:08
  5. 38:27
  6. 37:44
  7. 35:35
  8. 38:13
  9. 37:35

If I don’t come in under 45, or even 40 minutes, then I know I still have some work to do to get back to where I was before surgery. Even though this race is just a bit over a 5k – 3.21 miles.


And now, for something new…

planningWhen Racheal at Running with Racheal mentioned that she and Deneene at Southern Living Yankee were doing a Link-up to plan and hold themselves accountable for planning their food and fitness for the week, I thought, “I’m in!” When I read Racheal’s blog, I’m always inspired with dinner ideas. So here’s what’s on tap at our house this coming week:


Monday – Just got back in town. I think we will be dining out at The Roasted Pear, a local, easy joint. I adore their Roasted Pear Spinach salad! I still need to do a Restaurant Impression on this place!

Tuesday – I’m going to try out a variation on this Creamy Chicken and Herb Skillet by using pork along with a side of garlic green beans.

Wednesday – Black Bean Burger with a Side Salad.

Thursday – San Marzano Tomato Pasta

Friday – Poker night. We’ll be out.

Saturday – Off to aΒ wedding!

Sunday – This one is TBD. I really need to get more veggies in the house! I’m writing this before I’ve done my weekly grocery shopping. We’ll probably do either lunch or dinner out and may have leftover San Marzano pasta for the other meal. That’s my plan if I don’t come up with another option.

Breakfasts – Peanut Butter Toast or Granola with Greek Yogurt

Lunches – Snack Lunches or Leftovers


Monday Day 1 of C25k, Week 8 – 28 minute run

Tuesday – Walk dogs around the block, pilates/yoga

Wednesday – Day 2 of C25k, Week 8 – 29 minute run

Thursday Walk dogs around the block, pilates/yoga

Friday – REST

Saturday – Day 2 of C25k, Week 8 – 30 minute run

Sunday – Try out the elliptical (I have not done this since back surgery, but should be fine because it’s lower impact than running!)


This week, I rewarded myself with a dip in the lake after a run.

How do you reward yourself after a workout?


Couch to 5k – Week 6 (And a Charity Race for Shamrock!)


It’s that week of the Couch to 5k that I like to call The Turning Point. On Day 3, you must run 20 minutes with no walking breaks. Why do I say this is The Turning Point? Because if you’ve never been a runner before, NOW YOU ARE. Why?

Because you completed your entire run without stopping.

No Matter How Slow You Go - You Are Still Lapping Everybody On The Couch

What’s interesting to me is how quickly things progress in these last few weeks of the program. During the first four weeks, I was doing the same run-walk intervals all three days of the week. Just take a look at Week 6.

Couch to 5k – Week 6

Day 1

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 8 min
  • Walk 3 min
  • Run 8 min
  • 5 min cool down

Day 2

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 10 min
  • Walk 3 min
  • Run 10 min
  • 5 min cool down

Day 3

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 20 min
  • 5 min cool down

Notice here that before Day 3 , the most I’ve run was ten minutes. Now you want me to double that time?” I thought.

But I didn’t care. IΒ  knew I could do it. I did it last time I followed the Couch to 5k program. I also knew it would be difficult. But you know what?

It makes the COOL DOWN walk home soooooo worth it. It was hard and I did feel like I was running out gas at certain parts during Day 2’s second ten-minute run and at the end of Day 3’s 20-minute run.

But, I can honestly say that those five minutes of the cool down are probably the best of my day. With endorphins pumping through me, everything in the world looks a little brighter. πŸ˜‰

Side note: On Day 2 this week, halfway through the run, I saw a fox. Or at least I thought it was a fox. A couple of years ago, I saw a red fox in our neighborhood about a block form our house. I was in my car and it was carrying a small animal in its mouth. It freaked me out because what if it came into our yard? Would it harm our dogs? Our yard is fenced in, but there are spaces between the gates where bunnies can creep in and out.

I did a google image search and found that it wasn’t a red fox I saw. I don’t know what it was. It didn’t see me and I didn’t see its face. It was running into the woods. It actually looked like Shamrock from behind with the long tail and the floppy ears! Maybe it was just a dog? But the way it pranced off into the distance, it looked more confident and wild. In any case, I turned around and went the other way!

You can read about my first weeks in this Couch to 5k experience here:

Now on to to the first “race” I’ve chosen.

It’s in quotes for a few reasons.

The Scott Carver County Humane Society is holding it’s Annual Walk Fur Love Fundraiser. I’ve never participated before because I didn’t know about the Scott Carver County HS until we adopted Shamrock. We learned about the event at the Dog Day 5k this year.

This will be the first year a 5k Run will be offered along with the walk! It’s a “non-credited” 5k {actually measures to be 3.21 miles} and I have no idea {guessing not} if it will be timed. I’m also guessing that since it’s the first 5k they are offering that there won’t be many runners. This means, with as slow as I am, it is quite likely that I’ll be last. And while this is always one of my biggest fears, I’m reminding myself that it’s for a good cause. And I’ll do it for Shamrock and any other pets out there in need of adoption!

Please join me by donating, running or walking with me or by adopting a rescue animal yourself. You can donate on my donation page here.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the pets! If you are in the Twin Cities metro, why don’t you join me?!

What charities do you support and why?


Couch to 5k – Week 5


Okay, so we’re picking up the pace this week!

During the first four weeks of my Couch to 5k program, I would follow the same run-walk intervals for all three days of the week. You can check those out here:

That was NOT the case this week. Each day of the week, my running time increased.

Couch to 5k – Week 5

Day 1 – Tuesday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 5 min
  • Walk 2 min
  • Run 4 min
  • Walk 2 min
  • Run 5 min
  • Walk 2 min
  • Run 4 min
  • 5 min cool down

Day 2 – Thursday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 6 min
  • Walk 1 min
  • Run 4 min
  • Walk 1 min
  • Run 6 min
  • 5 min cool down

Day 3 – Saturday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 7 min
  • Walk 2 min
  • Run 5 min
  • Walk 2 min
  • Run 7 min
  • 5 min cool down

Do you see what I mean?

The thing is, the running portions of these intervals were very difficult. But they also felt great. It’s just as hard for me as it was the first time around. But this past week felt different to me than it has felt the previous four weeks. Why?

During the first few weeks, I was still feeling like I was coming back from my back surgery, like I had to be careful. I felt stiff. Fragile. But now the difficulty feels normal. Does that make sense? I’m still slow… definitely slower than when I ran my first 5k. But it feels challenging in a way that is supposed to feel.

Does that make any sense at all?

What’s more? The weather has been so beautiful to run outside! I’m taking advantage of every summer day that I can.

In any case, I completed Week 5.

How you are making the most of your last few weeks of summer?


Couch to 5k – Week 4


Well, with this particular Couch to 5k program, finishing the 4th week marks the half-way point. Do I feel half-way there? Not really. Recently, I read this article in the Star Tribune titled “Zero to 5k in Twelve Weeks.”

Maybe I’d feel more ready if I gave myself 12 weeks. I didn’t do it in eight weeks the first time around. I started and stopped the program a few times and didn’t follow it religiously. Then, when I reached the 30 minutes of running and the next step was 45 minutes of running. I stopped. I was overwhelmed. Instead, I continued to run three days per week adding just one minute each time. Besides, it was the middle of winter and I wasn’t about to be running any races. Once I made it to sixty minutes, I still had some time before my first race in the spring, so I continued with an Advanced Beginner’s 5k Training program. I had at least a good five months of training.

Some parts of me say that I should take this slowly. I shouldn’t jump right back into things. Other parts of me say that I’ve done this before, so I shouldn’t have trouble jumping into this after eight weeks. But is there a race available that I’ll feel comfortable running as a newbie at that time?

I know I need to sign up for a race. That’s what’ll keep me going. That’s what’s kept me going in the past.

Couch to 5k – Week 4

You can read about previous weeks here:


Day 1 – Monday

  • 5 min warm-up
  • Run 4 min
  • Walk 2 min
  • Run 6 min
  • Walk 3 min
  • Run 4 min
  • 5 min cool-down

I really should go back to the journal entries because I can’t remember how I felt/did on Monday! Here’s the proof that I completed it. Pretty slow, huh? That is, if the GPS is correct. I don’t know what to think!



Day 2 – Wednesday

  • Same as Day 1

Look at these distance results:

C25KW42Pretty pathetic. So I mapped the route online and I actually covered 1.9 miles. Still not impressive. I took a look at the GPS map on the app and it makes it look like I cut through all of my neighbors’ yards. Also, when I go back to read my notes, it looks like I was having a bit of pain that day.


Day 3 – Saturday

  • Same as Day 1 & 2

I woke up with a kink in my back. Not in the area where I had my surgery, but the other side. I was having a lot of trouble just sitting on the couch. I ended up going back to bed and laying down for a while. I didn’t even know if I was going to make my run!

Finally, at about 2pm, I thought I should give it a try. I knew that if I didn’t make it running, at least I could walk. Walking is the best thing I can do to strengthen my back. So I should really be doing more of that, too. And yoga. I was going to add some yoga or pilates with my running this time around, but I haven’t. I really need to get a plan together.

The best part?

My back didn’t hurt AT ALL during the run!

I did take it a little slow. Cardiovascularly, I could have gone a little faster, but I wanted to take it easy on my body. The distance looks a little better, too, for a 29-minute run-walk compared to earlier in the week.


Week 4 Complete!

What kind of cross training do you do?