Category Archives: 5K

07222018 – Run

On tap this morning was a 2 x 5K with 10 minutes of rest in between.  It was a nice cool-ish morning.  Theodore Wirth Park was abuzz with activity getting ready for an Adventure Triathlon.  I decided that the 4-ish miles of new event trails would be a good place to run.  They were marked for the race, but I tried to be careful and not step on any of the flour markings!

The event trails are primarily mountain bike trails, but they will be good for running on as well. This was my first look at the Karate Monkey section of the trails and they were nice. This is the harder section of trail due to some tight turns.  There is one section called something Spaghetti and that is a few tight twisty turns. This will be a fun section to get out on and ride sometime soon.  I had ridden the Area 36 trails before and took the quick return route, today I took the longer route. It isn’t any harder, just longer and winds back in to the quick return.  My 10 minute break was in the Area 36 trails.  I walked about 5 minutes of it and jogged the last 5 minutes.

After the event trails, I still had a lot of miles left so I ran down and cross Hwy 55 and ran the prairie loop I usually skip just northwest of the lake. I was basically trying to get as close to home as possible but still giving myself some cool down time.  It ended up working out pretty well.

The two 5K times were: 30:03 (9:42) and 28:35 (9:13).  Total mileage was 8.38 in 1:26 (10:16).

This picture is on one of the event trails.

06172018 – Run

Exhausted from a late night movie and in some sweltering heat and humidity my 5K Time Trial was not all I was hoping for.  We got a chance to go see Solo.  I think it was good, it definitely doesn’t live up to the other Star Wars movies, but it wasn’t horrible like some have said.  We went to a late showing and got home after midnight – so technically I started Father’s Day off at a movie and Cub Foods!

It has been super muggy and hot with Excessive Heat Warnings and storms coming and going for a few days and this morning was no different.  I got out for a run in between 2 storms again and the humidity was pretty oppressive. The 5K loop from home around Wirth Lake was my plan.  But you know me and my watch have trouble sometimes.  I couldn’t get it to start a new lap.  I tried several times and was getting really frustrated and bitten by horse flies so I kept going and took a full mile warm-up.

I feel that I gave a good effort throughout and the few times I looked at my watch I was in the 7:00 minutes so I was a little surprised at the final times.  But it is what it is now.  5K in 26:51 or 8:39 pace which will come into play later in training.

The total mileage was 4.87 in 46:13.

Spartan Sprint, Here I Come!

I’m not 100% sure how it happened, but I’m “enlisted” for my first Spartan Sprint race this summer.  My sister has done a few different obstacle/mud races in the past few years. My secret Santa at school this year got me a copy of Mud & Obstacle Magazine. I think those two events and the fact that I’ve been doing Crossfit for awhile now made me think that I could enjoy doing an obstacle race.

So then it was more of a matter of finding one. So I found this helpful website: Mud Run Guide. According to the list there are 8 events this year, but last year’s calendar had 38 different events so I don’t think it is fully accurate.  So my sister and I reviewed the events and dates and chose to compete in the 1st Twin Cities based Spartan Sprint on June 27.

From the website:

Welcome to Welch Village.

Located less than an hour outside the Twin Cities, this mountain will have you running up, down, across, and around this 1,060 foot mountain in a 3+ mile Sprint. Who will be the first Spartan to conquer this new location? Looming hills, dense woods, and brutal barbed wire are just a few of the obstacles that will stand in your way. Will you reign supreme?

Distance: 3-5 miles
Obstacles: 20-23

Avg. Temperature: High 80, Low 59
Avg. rainfall: 4.21 in.
Elevation: 1,060 ft
Avg. finish time: 1.5 hours
Fastest finish time: 40 minutes
Special gear needed: Racers should plan to bring appropriate fuel for their needs. No fuel will be provided on course, only water. Hydration packs (or water containers of some variety) are strongly suggested for all racers.

Start Time: 7:30am

Waves of 250 athletes will be released every 15 minutes across 3 groups (Elite, Morning, Afternoon).


Did you see that? 3-5 mile race that takes 40 minutes for the winner, that’s because there will be 20+ obstacles and 1,ooo feet of elevation gain.  That should be fairly rough!

So, how does one train for this? The Elite’s do a pretty rugged regime that includes endurance and strength work combined with obstacle specific work. There are also places to go specifically to train for these type of events. But that isn’t really a good option.  Spartan offers a 30 day training plan and they have the Spartan Workout Tour which is a few hour boot camp. The Workout Tour is coming to Minneapolis and Rochester in May.

My plan? I’ll continue my training as normal – Crossfit, Running, and Biking each a few times a week.  I will incorporate more hill work and try to find some places that I can do some “obstacle” type things in the middle of my runs.  Or if all else fails do body weight work every mile or so on a run.  Pushing a stroller is tough work too right?

Recap: Turkey Day 5k


First I’d like to say that the idea of running a “turkey trot” with thousands of people wasn’t my first choice when I asked my sister if she wanted to run a 5k on Thanksgiving morning. I really wanted to do the trail race in St. Paul, but since we would be pushing the kids in the stroller that wasn’t even an option. So I looked at the lower key race around one of the lakes that had a nice kiddo race too.  Buried deep in the fine print it said, “no strollers”.  Fortunately, I saw it just before we registered!  So we signed up for the Lifetime Fitness Turkey Day 5k.

We got a discount for being REI members and some of the swag included a 20% off REI coupon!  Registration was pretty easy online and packet pick-up at REI went pretty smoothly.  They assigned our race number at pick-up so you could get them at a variety of stores around the metro and no chips.  The event included a race village and kid’s carnival with a race.  Unfortunately, due to the extreme cold we didn’t really get to partake in those activities.

CAM05920Waking up on race morning the temp was -1.  We probably should have bailed at that point.  But we paid a decent chunk of change to participate and dressed in multiple layers.  It took some time to get the kids dressed in multiple layers as well and we were finally out the door already sweating and running a little behind.  The plan had been to save a few bucks and park at the church lot and take the LRT down to the starting area which was less than a block away. As we were buckling the kids into the stroller my sister made a random comment about our shirts and I realized we had left the race numbers at home!! I ran home while she took the kids to the LRT, fortunately I made it home and back before the next train came.  We rode with a few other runners to the start and waited maybe 10 minutes for the proverbial gun to go off.

It was cold!! Even dressed in 2 layers it was cold.  My toes (mesh shoes) and fingers (Saucony Utili-Mitt gloves) were the coldest. Once we got moving they warmed up.  It did take almost a mile before I felt like we were really starting to warm up and feel like we were going at a decent pace.  They had 3 waves of runners and I figured with the stroller we’d line up at the back of the first wave in the 10 minute per mile range.  I’m glad we did, but man we passed a lot of people!  It was super congested for pretty much the whole race.  My sister and I didn’t necessarily run side-by-side, but trying to keep track of each other and the stroller meant we had to slow way down at times to get around into a clear spot to pass someone.  And I know this was a fun run and a family event more about the getting out and exercising together, but come on – if you are going to walk within the first half mile you need to line up farther back!  I can’t tell you how many people we passed or were walking down the middle of the street in the first half mile.  Ugh.  I did need to stop for a second in the first half mile, I can’t remember why now, but we made our way to the edge and stopped.

IMG_7169After the first turn I realized that we needed to be further out on the outside for turning.  We actually found some nice breathing room and was able to pick up the pace a little before getting super congested again.  At one point I needed to tie my shoe, so Meg pushed the kids and I got stopped.  Catching back up was easy as I could weave my way through the crowd. The course made a few turns downtown and ended up on the Riverfront from Gold Medal Park until 4th Ave.  The kids had done pretty well in the stroller until we made that turn.  Then Caleb began crying and shortly after Nadia started in.

IMG_7171So for the last 1/2 mile or so I got lots of judgmental looks. I thought, if these people’d just get out of my way I’d finish faster and we’d all get the chance to warm up! We did finish in 32:53.  With no chips my Strava report will be the closest we get to an official time.  Not very fast but considering the conditions and the congestion I’ll take it.  At some point in the last mile my sister stopped to tie her shoe.  I didn’t realize it and she wasn’t able to catch back up, oops.  As soon as I crossed the finish line and walked the requisite block that the announcer kept talking about I stopped and picked up Caleb.  As soon as I held him he calmed down.  Meg picked up Nadia and we all started walking towards Target Center so we could warm up.  Nadia’s feet were pretty cold.  Caleb couldn’t communicate and was just super fussy – pointing down but when I set him down he’d cry.  Then crying for a bit while I held him.  We decided to head back to the car, Nadia was cold enough that she didn’t want to find the kid’s carnival.

At this point I kind of regretted that we had parked so far away.  We re-bundled up and headed back out into the arctic air.  We swung through and got some Aspire and hot chocolate before getting on the LRT and heading home.  Once we got home we all cuddled under some blankets to warm up!  As we were boarding the LRT I saw a bunch of people with strollers coming through the finish area.  I felt a little vindicated in the fact that at least my kids weren’t out there as long as others!! Just that in the first part of the race there wasn’t any strollers.  I don’t think we could have done much more to keep the kids warm.  They were both wearing warms clothes and socks under their full winter gear, under a fleece blanket in the Chariot with the wind/rain shield zipped up and a hand warmer stuffed in there.  Before we started running they actually had fogged up the rain shield quite nicely!

All in all it was a good morning.  Way colder than it needed to be!  I probably wouldn’t PhotoGrid_1417372292358do it again just based on the congestion factor alone.










Here is my Strava data:

From my Instagram feed:


Polar Dash 5k

I’ve never done a Team Ortho event before today, even though I’ve driven the Team Ortho truck!   While I was sitting around the house over winter break I decided I should do a 5k on New Years Day to celebrate the new year and to jump start my training.  I’ve not been running much lately and a 5k is doable on little training. I did some research and Team Ortho’s Polar Dash came out ontop.  They offered a 13.1, 10k, and a 5k.  The 5k was going to be plenty far, especially with the projected temperatures.

Nadia and I went to the Team Ortho warehouse for packet pick-up and there were penguins everywhere!  It took her a little while to warm up to the stuffed penguin and the penguin hat but she eventually did.  I think Wayne got some better pics of her than mine, but they aren’t posted anywhere yet.  Overall, packet pickup went smoothly and relatively quickly.  Team Ortho was also letting you get your packet for the Get Lucky 7k in March and offering you a chance to sign up for their race series.  No pushing anything though which was nice!


Race morning was a little weird since the 5k didn’t start until 11:13.  The 10k and Half both started at 9am so when I arrived around 10:30 people were still finishing both races.  I was able to get a few pictures of random finishers.  The race village had a few warming tents, gear check, and a tent to buy gear.  I stayed out in the cold (when I finished my race my phone updated to +4f), wandered around, and let my feet go numb!

IMAG2271 IMAG2269 IMAG2268 IMAG2276 IMAG2275 IMAG2273


When the time came to start the race I checked my bag and wandered up to the start area.  There was a huge clump of people in the back and then in the front there was hardly anyone around – this was a little odd.  Odder still that several people who started in front of me were walking within the first 100 yards.  Given my lack of training and the cold, cold temps I had no expectations for today’s race.  I knew the 22:06 I ran in November wasn’t in the cards!

I went out at what felt like a comfortable pace, passing a few people.  It was interesting to see how others had dressed for the race.  One guy was only wearing shorts, gloves, and arm warmers (no shirt) while I lined up next to a woman wearing snow pants (she actually did fairly well 27:22).  And everything in between.  I was pretty comfortable in my tights and warm-up pants on bottom and my nice Mizuno long sleeve shirt under a fleecy sweatshirt.  I wore a baklava and hat and my Saucony running gloves.  My biggest clothing complaint were my toes and fingers.  I should have thrown the Smart Wool socks on over my compression socks and duct taped my shoes.  I also probably should have worn some actual winter gloves.  By the end of the race though everything was thawing out and felt ok.  I’ve had some experiences with running in cold temps before (-21 degrees and actually a good post about cold weather attire and when I ran the Frozen Half at -11) and should have gone back to them.  I’m the scary guy below in the gray baklava.


I felt fine until we hit one of the first sustained grades.  As we kept going up I could feel that my body wasn’t exactly ready for any real work.  I kept going and kept reminding myself to relax and not kill myself on the way out.   Seeing 8:39 didn’t seem to be out of place for my effort and I felt fine with that.  I didn’t think I’d be able to go much faster, but I knew there would be some downhills on the way back so the chance of an even split or negative split was in the realm of possibility!

After the Lake Street bridge we climbed up to the University of  St Thomas.  This hill is a little steeper and I was definitely feeling it.  About half way up the hill is when I saw the leaders coming back down the out and back course.  We crested the hill and stayed on the River Road heading down a little to the turn around point.  I hit the turn around at 13:34 and started back toward home!  I was definitely starting to feel the burn both in my lungs and legs – a combination of the cold and lack of fitness I’m sure.  I came through the second mile at 17:22  (8:43).

I knew I had slowed down a little bit and wanted to at least even split the 1.55 mile segments but I didn’t really have anything in the tank.  So I just held on! I wanted to fight and not let people pass me but I also didn’t want to do anything stupid and I had no other gear available.  I came through the 3rd mile at 26:13 (8:51) and tried to do a little bit of a pickup at the end.  I finished in 27:01 on my Garmin and 27:04 officially.  8:42 or 8:43 pace respectively.  I truly can’t complain!

course and elevation



I finished!  Got me some hot chocolate, my medal, chips, banana, water bottle and granola.  I picked up my bag loitered around a bit and walked back to my car.  IMAG2278

Did I mention that this race had some nice swag?  A full-zip fleece jacket and penguin hat (which most people raced in), 2013 glasses, and a nice stained glass finishers medal.



Did you race into the new year? How’d it go?


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