Tag Archives: race recap

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?


World Run Day – A “Race” Recap


Did you know that Sunday 11/11/12 was World Run Day?

I decided to participate!

World Run Day was established in 1999 to promote running around the world as well as charitable giving. Anyone can participate, anywhere, run any distance and donate to a charitable cause of their choice. Some cities have racing events set up specifically for World Run Day. Some people decide to run on World Run Day as part of a group. I decided to run the “race” as an individual, since I do like running alone.

I planned to cross running around Lake Calhoun off my list as part of World Run Day if it was a nice day. Otherwise, if time didn’t permit, I would just run a route around my neighborhood. In addition, due to the flexibility of running it on my own, I changed my race date to Saturday – 11/10/12. The drawback is that they didn’t have my race bib ready for download, but I did have my World Run Day t-shirt which I planned to wear!

My cause:

Homeward Bound Rescue

Homeward Bound is the non-profit organization through which I adopted my beloved Sophie Jean back in 2005. I actually went to the adoption to look at another dog, but upon seeing him didn’t think it was a good fit. I passed by two crates of puppies. One of the pooches turned her head and looked up and me with these darling eyes. It was love at first sight. I picked her up and couldn’t put her down. I went home with Sophie Jean that day. We are currently living happily ever after. πŸ˜‰

March 2005

The Week of the Race…

It was kind of a rough/busy week.

The previous week I actually had to take Sophie to the Emergency vet one night. Talk about scary!

Then, Monday turned out to be a binge day for me. I scarfed down cheese and crackers. I haven’t done that in a long time. I made a mental note of it, picked up and moved on.

Tuesday, I was still feeling a bit down. My husband encouraged me to run before dinner. Afterward, I felt much better!

Wednesday, we went downtown right after work to enjoy dinner and beers at the Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis. We walked across the street to attend a concert at the 400 Bar. Although it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to {check out Shovels & Rope here!}, we didn’t get home until about 1am.

Then after little sleep and working all day Thursday, I had a Wine Tasting Thursday night. It was such a fun group of women and I got to see some people I haven’t seen in a really long time!

Still, by Friday, I was feeling very run down. I woke up with a nasty cough. I don’t get sick that often, so I thought it was really strange that I was getting this cough not long after getting a over a cold.

Then I had an epiphany.

This is the cough I would get once or twice a year in college. It didn’t hinder me from going to class or parties or out with friends. It’s just an annoying cough that comes from deep within my lungs. It’s rough sounding, kind of like a smoker’s hack, only I’ve never smoked a day in my life.

After all these years, I’ve finallyΒ  learned that this is my sign that I need to slow down…

That Friday morning, I also got up early to take my little Jean in to have her comprehensive exam, dental cleaning and some dental x-rays ordered by the ER vet. The poor little girl had to have two teeth extracted.

Still… Did you notice that all week, I only worked out ONCE?!

The Night Before…

After picking up Sophie from the vet and watering down her food so she could chew, she settled in for a long nap. My friend Stacy and her daughter, Delaney, were in town. So we dined at one of our favorite places to share a cheese plate – Enjoy! We also split a flatbread. {That’s kinda Mediterranean, right?}

Poached Pear Flatbread
poached pears, prosciutto, arugula and gorgonzola

We skipped our usual bottle of wine and opted for alternative beverage.s We knew we’d be splitting a bottle back at my place anyway!

We stopped and picked up dessert, too. Delaney was asking for cheesecake! And once we popped the cork on that bottle of wine, I enjoyed one of the best raspberry chocolate bars along with it.

We sipped and chatted up until midnight. {Can I just say that when Stacy and I get together we could talk for so many hours that we never truly catchup entirely?!}

I’m sure I wasn’t taking this as seriously as I would a “normal” race. But with Stacy and her four-and-a-half-year-old daughter staying over, I just wanted to relax and enjoy the company. Our plans for the following day were to just go with the flow. Which meant that I didn’t have a normal early “race time” and could even sleep in, as far as race times go!

Race Day…

When I woke, it was chilly, rainy and just all-around dreary outside. Bummer. My hopes of running around Lake Calhoun on perhaps the last beautiful day of the year went down the tubes. Sure, I’ve run in rainy, chilly, cloudy weather before. However, there was no way I was going to make Stacy drag her wee one to sit outside in that while I ran around a lake for 40 minutes before going to lunch with them. Besides, the nice weather that had been predicted was still in the forecast… just not until 2pm.

We still went to Uptown and enjoyed some Punch Neapolitan Pizza and had coffee at the Rustica Bakery afterward, for more chatting, of course! A double espresso is just what I needed to pick me up from this “lovely” weather.

Rustica Double Espresso

My mother-in-law had mentioned this bakery a couple of years back having heard about it from a friend when she mentioned her son lived in the Twin Cities. I love this place and highly recommend it if you are ever in the area around Lake Calhoun!

After I said my good-byes to Stacy and Delaney, I drank what I realized was my first glass of water of the day. DOH! Then I laced up my shoes and got ready for my World Run Day 5k run around the neighborhood.

I felt a little wonky at first. After all, I’d only run/worked out once that week. But I slowly worked my way up to feeling good and running at a decent pace for me. I got a few side stitches early on, which doesn’t happen to me often. But knowing that they’d eventually go away, I tried to focus on something else.

But then came the horrible feeling in my stomach. Despite the fact that I had enjoyed (too much) Italian-style thin crust pizza over three hours earlier, it wasn’t doing me any favors. Blech. Again, I told myself that the feeling would eventually go away. Yes, I was very uncomfortable for much of that first mile, but it was my fault for overeating and I was willing to take responsibility.

That is when the mental battle began in my head.

Here’s somewhat how it went:

“This sucks! I just want to stop and walk.”

“But you’ve only worked out once this entire week! And you’ve been indulging in a few more goodies than usual. You just HAVE to get this run in.”

“Ugh! But this is so hard today. I just can’t do it! I want to walk!”

“Well, how ’bout once you get half-way, you can stop and walk?”

“Okay, I’ll keep going.”

“But really, you haven’t walked in a race yet. Why start now?”

“Hmm.. That’s true.”

Then I started thinking about the cause I was running for.

What if running this entire race meant ALL of the animals for Homeward Bound were adopted?

Then I wouldn’t quit.

What if Sophie’s life depended on me running this entire race?

Then I wouldn’t quit.

These thoughts kept going through my head that it was enough to keep my mind occupied for a while. At this point, I realized that my pace had been pretty decent. So if I really was struggling and wanted to walk, why not just slow up a bit instead? I gave myself that permission.

And I finished it, without stopping to walk.

That, in and of itself, is success to me!

My time:

HRM – 38:45

RunKeeper – 37:41

I have no idea which one I started first and for some reason had a little trouble stopping my HRM clock. I’ll just split the difference in order to record an “official” time:


I have one more race scheduled this calendar year. But don’t worry, I’m not hanging up my running shoes altogether! I’m working on some HIIT, strength training and getting ready for my spring 10k.

Don’t forget that I’d like you and anyone else you know to join me on April 21st, 2013 for the Challenge Obesity 5k!

Info here!

Here is a list of my 5k race results for my own personal comparison:

  1. 38:54
  2. 38:20
  3. 38:40
  4. 36:08
  5. 38:27
  6. 37:44
  7. 35:35
  8. 38:13
  • The Event: World Run Day 2012
  • The Location: Anywhere.
    • My location: Lake Calhoun Around my neighborhood.
  • The Date: November 11, 2012.
    • My Date: November 10, 2012 – 3pm
  • Night Before Dinner: Cheese plate and flatbread at Enjoy!
  • Pre-race Breakfast Lunch: Punch Pizza
  • My Time: 38:13
  • The Weather: High 60s in November!? Unheard of in Minnesota!
  • Attire: World Run Day T-shirt and long running pants – it was too hot for these!
  • General Feeling: Frustration, but pushed through.
  • Uniqueness: Anyone/Anytime/Anywhere. Supporting a cause that matters to me: Homeward Bound Rescue
  • Size: 2435 people worldwide. At the “race” – just me! I like to run alone. I’m alone with my thoughts!
  • The Goods: World Run Day T-shirt and bib#
  • The Grub: Not included. {But seriously, I already had my share of eats that day/week.}

What causes do you support and why?