Tag Archives: trail run

Getting LOST (And so can you.)


So yesterday I promised you a Wine Wednesday post… But it didn’t happen. First, I realized that I LOST my notes on the wines Jared and I tasted at our most recent wine dinner. 😦 {He has since promised to be my secretary from now on.} Then, after an extra long day {read: busy/hectic} at work, I spent the evening drinking the stuff with my friend Stacy who made last minute plans to come up and visit for the evening! Therefore, life trumps blog posting. I sure you all can understand. 😉

On Tuesday, I posted about a Walking Program I have put into place until I am cleared to run again after my back surgery. I needed something to keep me on a schedule and help show progress. And while this program provides the schedule of increasing the amount of time each week, it doesn’t really do anything to hold me accountable for how fast or how far I go.

That’s when I got LOST.

Thanks to Megan from I Run for Wine {Gotta love that!}, I learned about the Get LOST in Running virtual race series. It’s based on the TV series LOST! No Kidding! Do you know what a LOSTie I am?! I’ve been wanting to re-watch the series for ages!


I was intrigued by the race series because:

1) Each race is based and focused around a Dharma Initiative “Station” on the LOST island.

2) When you sign up for and complete each race, you receive a race medal with that station’s emblem!

3) Each race distance is based on Hurley’s winning lottery numbers that reoccur often in the series: 4 – 8 – 15 – 16 – 32 – 42.

4) Therefore the first race is 4k, the second is 8k, the third is 15k and so on…

5) As the distances get bigger, you can spread your “mileage” throughout the week.

6) There is no specific date to do the runs. You can sign up until spots are sold out!

7) They are meant to be beach and trail runs {I mean, they were on an island, duh!}, but you can do whatever you want.

8) There is a final medal for completing the entire series!

Despite the fact that I cannot currently run, I signed up anyway. I thought it would be a great way to increase my distances and track my progress. My current plan is to do one station per week. However, I am going to be flexible about that and listen to my body.

I even downloaded the soundtrack to Season 1 of LOST and listened to it on a few of my walks. It’s amazing how such music can just clear your head!

photo 2


Station 1 – Hydra 4k

At the end of the second week of my walking schedule, when I was just starting to do more than a walk around the block, I decided to do my first LOST Virtual Race – Station 1 – Hydra 4k. My mom was in town, so we completed it together, just walking around my neighborhood.

photo 1

I posted this to the Get LOST in Running! Facebook group and despite my slooooowww tpace for a running group, I got great support. I indicated that I would really love to run these, but I’m going to be walking to increase my back strength and show progress before I am cleared to run again. Joe, the series organizer, was highly encouraging. In fact, I’ve recently seen that he’s updated the informational part of the Get LOST in Running website:

As the distances get bigger, they can be split in any way you would like and then combined.  Please feel free to run, walk or even crawl if need be.​​

Love that! Thank you, Joe, for getting me out and moving and motivating me in a fun way. Thank you, Megan, for introducing me!

Station 2 – Arrow 8k

Last week, my walking schedule had me doing 25-minute walks with a long walk at the end of the week. I decided to make the long walk my Station 2 – Arrow 8k Virtual Race. I mapped out an 8k that included Lake Calhoun and a bit of Lake of the Isles – two lakeswhich comprise the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. {Hey, it’s the closest thing I’m going to get to a beach in Minneapolis!} I decided to go on a Sunday afternoon. Rob asked if he could join me! So, off we went.

Here’s the thing…

We actually got LOST!

I thought I had mapped out a good starting point. But with construction and crowds we ended up parking elsewhere. Then I couldn’t figure out where the trail that connected Lake Calhoun connected with Lake of the Isles. And Rob was fast. He kept me moving. As we neared the end, I decided we’d just do the 5k around the lake and I’d do the 8k another time.

But after a while, the crowds thinned, the lake seemed calmer… and we could no longer see across it. Something felt wrong. I checked my Google map on my phone. Somehow we got on the path and ended up on Lake of the Isles! We tried to follow the map to find a way back to Lake Calhoun and our original parking lot. We slowed down a bit. I was tired! This is the furthest I’ve walked in a long time. But we actually finished a full 8k just about a half mile shy of where we parked!


This week, I’m up to 30-minute walks during the week. We are also doing the Dog Day 5k again on Saturday! Of course, I won’t be running it this year, but we have another dog to walk anyway… 😉

The plan, right now, is to do the Station 3 – Swan 15k this Sunday, weather permitting. Rob said he wants to join me again. We mapped out doing three of the lakes in The Chain. It’ll be a long one… But now that I think about it, I’ve always wanted to measure how far I walk when I travel. I bet a 15k would be just about right for a day of sight-seeing.

The stations are still open, if you want to join me in the LOST Virtual Races!

Are you/were you a LOST fan?

If so, tell me about your favorite character, episode or something you liked about it!


My First 5-mile Race


What was I thinking?!

Running my first ever 5-mile race just one and a half weeks after coming back from a two-week vacation where I got no exercise whatsoever?

What’s more is I started to come down with a cold just a few days prior. Day one started with a sore throat. Day two was a stuffy head. Day three began the draining.

I did everything I could to rid myself of it.

I got lots of sleep.

I drank more fluids than I have in a long time.

I took zinc.

I sipped tea constantly {even more than I did in Ireland.}

I even tried Kat’s Therapy Tea and Katie’s tea concoction.

I slowly got better. And although I wasn’t 100% on race day, I still participated and finished. Here’s my recap for you.

The Night Before…

We hosted our monthly poker tournament on Friday. I knew it was going to be a later night, but also knew that the distraction the night before the race would be good. We met up for Happy Hour at the Burnsville Ale House and I devoured some Meatloaf Sliders. I know. They didn’t sound appealing to me either until a friend highly recommended them once. They are a flavorful world of heartiness. {That one’s for you, Rob!} I considered a beer, but with my cold and all, I decided to hold off.

It was a fun night of poker, friends and a lot of laughter. I had more peanut butter pretzel sandwich thingies than I’d care to admit. But that’s sort of the job of the host, right? We need to show appreciation for any dishes the guests brought.

The last people left right around midnight, which is about what I expected. I completed my usual night before race ritual with a hot shower and lavender oil application before bed.

Race Day…

I awoke on Race Day still feeling the effects of the cold, but not quite as bad as earlier in the week. I made myself my Magic Smoothie and got ready for the day.

Preparing the Magic Smoothie

I didn’t consume my usual breakfast because I was out of bread, but I thought a full-size smoothie {double the size of what I normally make here} would do the trick. I also sipped a cup of my all-time favorite tea:

Market Spice Tea from Pike Place Market, Seattle

We stopped for coffee on the way. We were anticipating a drive just under an hour. The race was at an apple orchard near White Bear Lake, MN. I would not only be doing my first 5-mile race, but also my first trail run! This was my opportunity to run through pumpkin patches, strawberry fields and apple orchards. When I was picking out races to run this fall, I sent a bunch of links to my husband. When he saw the Run for the Apples race, he responded back:

“Do this one! I want cider!”

Of course, I was a bit nervous. Not only was it my first ever 5-mile race. {I had only run five miles twice prior and they were very difficult runs}, but I was overcoming a cold. So instead of trying to push myself or be too hard on myself, I set some more realistic goals and expectations:

  • Finish the race.
  • Run the entire race. It doesn’t matter what pace, just don’t stop to walk.
  • Enjoy the scenery! You’re running through an apple orchard!

The Race…

It was a chilly morning, with lots of fog on our drive to the orchard. When we got out of the car, it was only 38 degrees. I was wearing a light jacket over my three-quarter sleeve shirt, but I hadn’t intended on wearing it during the race. When I saw what the other runners were wearing, I changed my mind and put my number on the outside of my jacket!

At the starting line, I had a really hard time hearing the announcements that I finally just put in my earbuds and waited for people to move. I’m not sure where the starting line actually began and how the chip timing was going to work. There was no real starting mark or mat of any kind that I could tell.

I ran a really easy, slow-going first mile. I kept telling myself it was a warm-up. I didn’t want to start out too fast or have trouble breathing because of my cold. I broke away from the crowd {or rather, the crowd broke away from me}, and I was basically alone. Alone in a tranquil setting, jogging along to jigs and reels on my Gaelic Storm station on Pandora Radio.

My eyes were probably busier than my feet. I wanted to look around at the precious scenery. Seeing those pumpkin patches made me realize I hadn’t been to one since I was a kid. The dried golden cornstalks seemed to be basking in the sunlight. However, I looked down often on the trail because I didn’t want to trip on any rock protruding from the uneven ground. I am very clumsy. Rob calls me his Nimble Princess.

But when I came to the first mile marker, there was a mat with a time clock.

It read 14:21.

What?! My average mile is 12:30 to 13 minutes. I knew I was running slowly, but really? And why was there a clock there? Is this where they decided to start recording the chip times? Or was it just for splits? When did they start the clock?

I will never know because my name is not on the race results.

I don’t know why.

Right after mile one, we came around a bend and Rob took a picture as I passed by:

After Mile One

Then we made it up a very steep hill. This was more of a hill than I’ve come across in a race. In fact, everyone I could see in front of me was walking up the hill.

But I still “ran” it.

It was an even slower run up the hill than what I was running previously, but I didn’t stop to walk. I was going to make my goal of running the entire thing!

Upon completion of Mile Two, I was starting to get really warm. I wanted to rid myself of my jacket, but I had pinned my number to the front. This wasn’t possible, so I just tried to forget about it. I occupied myself by taking in the scenery and counting the number of people I passed. I knew that this number didn’t really mean anything because the run-walkers would eventually pass me anyway, but it passed the time.

By Mile Three, I was feeling pretty good and by the 5k marker I looked at my watch and found that I was at least five minutes slower than my usual 5k. Yikes! I knew I could push it further. And not because of the time, but because of how I was feeling. I had been taking it easy. I picked up the pace a bit. It helped when a woman who was walking tried to pass me while I was running. That lit a little bit of a fire under me. I wasn’t about to let that happen!

By Mile Four, I gave myself a time I wanted to beat. I knew it wasn’t a good time for the race, but it would give me a goal for my last mile. I’m all about mind games when I’m running.

And you know what?

I felt really great when I finished!

Just before the finish line…

I ran the whole thing and I didn’t feel like it was “too hard” like I’ve been feeling with my past couple 5ks.

I think there are a few reasons for this:

  1. I didn’t put any pressure on myself on how fast I had to be or when I had to finish.
  2. I was conscious of my surroundings and encouraged myself in advance to just enjoy it.
  3. I ran much more slowly and didn’t push myself to the limit.

There is good and bad to this. It was my first race and I had a cold. I didn’t overdo it and it felt great. But on the other hand, I didn’t really push myself. Maybe I should be working a little harder. In the end, it doesn’t really matter for this race. The run felt great. My unofficial time was:

1 :09:48

{Unofficial from my hrm; my chip time was not recorded.}

Not good by any means, but it’s a place to start.

I ran for these apples: Haralson Apple and a cup of cider

After the race, we wandered into the garage to do a little shopping. We came home with these purchases:

Honey {I was getting low after all that tea!}, Caramel Apples {best ever!}, Old Fashioned Apple Cider, Apple Syrup {we have yet to try!}

  • The Event: 2012 Run for the Apples 5 mile
  • The Location:  Pine Tree Apple Orchard, White Bear Lake, MN
  • The Date: October 20, 2012
  • Night Before Dinner: Meatball Sliders at the Burnsville Ale House
  • Pre-race Breakfast: Magic Smoothie
  • My Time: 1:09:48
  • The Weather: Chilly. About 40 degrees when race time began.
  • General Feeling: Getting over a cold, had no expectations, just wanted to run the entire thing without walking and finish. I felt great at the finish!
  • Uniqueness: Running through an apple orchard!
  • Size: At least 534 people. However, they stopped listing chip times after 1:03:41.
  • The Goods: Long-sleeved Pine Tree Apple Orchard T-shirt
  • The Grub: Haralson apples, snickerdoodle cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies.

What are your tried and true cold remedies?