Race Recap: Run or Dye 5k St. Paul

Today the high for the day is 68 degrees (spring…are you back for good?) whereas yesterday, the high was 47. When we woke up, the air temp was 32 with it feeling like 27 – this spring run was going to be a winter run after all! I’m happy to report that the cold weather didn’t stop the Neato Nelsons from gearing up for Run or Dye and having a blast despite the less-than-ideal weather situation!! Along with Dan, we had my Aunt B and her son, my cousin, D, and my Uncle J and Aunt C. My cousin J and his girlfriend A were also running the race, but they had signed up with a group of friends so we didn’t catch up with them until after the race.

When we left the house, I decided I was going to have a great time no matter how cold or rainy it turned out to be. Luckily, it didn’t rain for the entire race or I think it would have been a huge mental challenge to stay positive!

image  Dan was feeling silly on the shuttle as we were making our way to the race! After seeing the picture Dan proclaimed, “apparently the duck face doesn’t work for everyone!” 😛

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We got a nice one in once we got to the race

We met up with the rest of the family and got in line for the start. The pre-race vamping and music was surprisingly entertaining – I thought they handled keeping up engaged and positive in crappy weather was phenomenal. They had decided to send out runners in waves roughly every five minutes or so, so we ended up having to wait about 25 minutes before getting to the start. The announcer had everyone count down from 10 for each wave – when it got to be our turn, the announcer asked us to fulfill a dream of his: after we got to zero, and since we’re Minnesotans, he wanted us to scream “you betcha!”. It was hilarious, because as he asked us to do this, the entire crowd responded with, “oh yah, yah betcha!” – so, he got to hear it twice! 😉

We ran the race with my cousin, D, and he’s a talker, so it made the race fly by. He was nice enough to go slower with Dan and I (he’s young and speedy by nature) and it was nice to have different company and a different person to talk to. There weren’t many color stops along the race (the Color Run throws color at you ever kilometer), and the colors were only yellow and green. That really is my only complaint of the entire race – it would have been nice to have more color stops along with more variety in colors.

Before we knew it, the race was over and we went over to the stage where they were having the “color throw” where everyone threw up the color in the packets they were provided with at once which resulted in a cloud of every color imaginable. there was so much color in the air that it got dark like during a bad storm. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Here are some post-race photos:

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I would absolutely recommend this fun run to anyone who is looking for a well-run, fun, and family-friendly race. I will absolutely we signing up next year.

After the race, we went to grab burgers at Burger Moe’s and the food was incredible and totally hit the spot. As we arrived, everyone commented how Dan looked like a zombie, but I saw something different – a bonus photo for you all as I present “Grumpy Dan”:

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TGIF??

Ugh…MORE snow. I can’t handle this; I just can’t do it much longer. I want to get out and run. I want to wear my new skirts and summer running clothes. I want to grill. I want to have drinks on the patio. I want to start my garden. I want to sleep with the windows open. I want Minnesota to act like it’s MAY!!

Ok…ranting over, and onto happy things:

  1. I ran my first mile UNDER 10 minutes! At Moms on the Run on Tuesday, we ran a timed mile so we can compare our progress over the course of the “summer” (sorry, I had to had the sarcastic quotes because it is SNOWING right now!!). I told Dan before I left home that I was aiming to run under 11 minutes, because I thought that was doable. Maybe Body Pump is starting to pay off?? Either way, my goal of running a 5k in 30 minutes or less seems way more feasible than it did a week ago!
  2. First two choir concerts went really well. If you’re in the Twin Cities metro-area, you must come to our last concert this Sunday at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Everything clicked for us and we’re having a fantastic season. Here’s a link to a YouTube recording of one of the songs we’ll be performing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS8ETIs8dQE. See if you can spot me! 😉
  3. Tomorrow we are running in a fun run: Run or Dye! We are running this one with part of the Nelson clan, so it should be a blast. It’s going to rain and it’s going to be cold, but I am DETERMINED to have a fabulous time!
  4. I’m officially down a jean size! I’ve been struggling with body image and weight since I can remember, so if I’m being honest, that’s why I started running and 50% of why I keep running. I am my own worst critic and can be so negative towards my body, BUT, I’ve found that with running, I have a hard time staying mad at myself for looking a certain way because I’m actively trying to better myself. Even though I acknowledge I have a long way to go on this journey of self-love and respect, I’m making progress by losing weight in a healthy manner.
  5. I had a great hair day yesterday: 
    Good hair day!

    Good hair day!

So that’s all I’ve got on this wintry, “spring” Friday.

Anyone else have a race planned for this weekend?

I’m Addicted to Races

Seriously – I had to cut myself off because I still find myself searching for more and more to sign up for. I need (see how I do that, start justifying this by using words like “need” instead of “want”?!) to sign up for a couple 10 milers this summer/fall to help get acclimated to running long distances prior to Disney, so I’ll have to lift the moratorium at some point. Smile

It’s going to be a really fun spring (if it ever arrives!!) and summer for sure – here’s what I am currently signed up for:

Run or Dye “Fun” Run 5k – May 4th

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Photo courtesy Run or Dye

I am VERY excited for this run, because the Nelson side of the family decided at Easter to make it a family event. I’m unsure how many of us ended up signing up, but it should be around 10 people. I am such a “family” girl, so the thought of sharing a race with my family is pretty incredible.

Rave Run “Fun” Run 5k – May 10th

This should be a fun run, too, because it’s a night race and I LOVE night races. The husband and I are running this one with a friend, so it should be a blast. Glow in the dark sticks, neon lights, and a promise of an after-party also have me psyched.

Grandma’s Half-Marathon – June 22nd

Image taken from Grandma’s Half website

I am SO excited to get to experience Grandma’s this year – we were luckily selected in the lottery (I’ve read the chances of being selected are roughly 50/50), so the ability to get to run this seems even more special. I’ve heard raves about Grandma’s for years (even before I cared about running), and am so excited to see what the hype is all about. I checked and there is a net-decrease in elevation, so I’m hoping a PR will be in store for me as well.

Warrior Dash 5k Mud Run – June 29th

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This will be my second year doing the Warrior Dash – it is held at one of Minnesota’s downhill skill areas (which apparently is laughable to those from mountainous states), so nearly the entire course is straight uphill. I’m hoping that the Body Pump and additional running will help with my endurance this year as I absolutely left room for improvement last year!

Color Run “Fun” Run – July 14th

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This will be my second year doing the Color Run. It was such a blast last year, I am excited for a repeat this year!

Twilight 5k – July 27th

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This will be my second year doing the Twilight 5k, but I’m looking forward to this race because it’s a night race (hence “twilight”), and I PR-ed here last year (before PR-ing again later in the season). I’m hoping for a repeat PR this year!

Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon – November 9th

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I am most excited about this race! Not only is it in my favorite place on Earth, but, this is what got me hooked on the blogging world! Dan and I had been planning to take a trip to Disney the week of November 9th, but soon discovered W&D Half was also that weekend, so we had to race it. We will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary, so it should be a pretty special trip in more ways than one!

As you can see, I’m looking a little empty from August through October, so I’ll need (there I go again with “need” Smile with tongue out) to find a race or two to fill them up.

Happy racing and running, everyone!

What are some of your upcoming races? Is there a race you’re really looking forward to? Why?

The “Usual Loop”

I haven’t been posting enough picture posts!! Problem, solved. Smile

I thought it would be fun to do a post on the route we run the most which has come to be called the “Usual Loop” in the Dahle-house. It’s 3.8 miles long and we run mostly on the North Cedar Lake Trail in St. Louis Park. It has a nice variety of hills and flat sections (along with slow inclines) so that I always feel quite accomplished, even though it’s not a terribly long loop.

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We went out last Saturday for a run because it was gorgeous outside – nothing makes me happier than wintry days in MN where there’s not a cloud in the sky. Everything seems to sparkle and the air smells so fresh – I wish I could capture the scent and share with everyone! I missed it tons when we lived in Ohio.

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It was nice enough I was able to take my new Saucony Virratas out for their first outdoor run, and they responded well (as I assumed they would). I’ll do a post on them later…but, in the meantime, if you’re in the market for more minimal shoes, check them out!

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The trails were still pretty icy, but the ice has melted down lots in the past week or two (believe it or not). I still walk like a penguin over the ice, as I’m too paranoid at this point in the season to let myself get injured RIGHT before nicer weather arrives!

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After running through the ice, we come upon a cute little park overlooking a small lake that is so pretty in the summer and fall. There are always kiddos playing at the park and it’s just a fun area to run through.

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After we cross into the park, we run up a big hill that I always force myself to run up (even when my legs feel like jelly). Something about that hill makes me not want to let it win, ever! Smile At the top of the hill, you can barely make out the Minneapolis skyline which is one of my favorite parts of the run (you can’t really see it in the picture below, but it’s right above the apartment building the sun is lighting).

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From this hill, we enter yet another park (have I mentioned that I live in St. Louis Park, right? Winking smile) and from this park, we are almost home. In this final park, the city puts Christmas lights on all of the trees so it’s a winter wonderland from November – February. I’ll have to remember to take a picture of it next year, because it’s SO PRETTY.

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The weather is expected to be in the 40s this weekend (woo-hoo!) so, hopefully all the snow in the pictures will be disappearing quickly!!

Happy running, everyone!

Do you have a “usual” route? If so, what do you love about it?

Running Playlist

Happy Spring (I think)!

Ironically, here in MN, we are experiencing wind chills of below-zero temps today…spring, will you ever arrive?? Last year on St. Patrick’s Day it was 80 degrees! It has to warm up eventually, right?!

In anticipation of warmer weather and ramping up the mileage, I’ve been reworking my running playlist and thought I’d share some of my favorite tunes that keep me motivated during my runs. I’ll skip the classical run playlist for now (anyone else out there enjoy listening to classical music during runs?) and focus on the “pop” songs. Here are my top five songs:

1. Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding

I love the beat of this song (plus I just love Ellie Goulding in general) – it’s upbeat, but slower so it helps me subconsciously remember to breathe. I also love the repetition of the lyrics, “anything could happen” – I use this to remind myself that it’s my choice on whether or not I’m going to give my run 100% of what I’ve got; I can decide to make it an okay run or a great run!

2. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield

This is such a “feel-good” song, right? Good beat, good pace, great message! This is especially good for me as I’m a person who fears the “what-ifs” WAY too much – it reminds me that nothing is set in stone, the future is yet unwritten and challenges me to make the most of it!

3. Dog Days are Over – Florence and the Machine

I love the slow-build of this song along with Florence’s voice – she’s so talented (and fantastic live)! Plus, the lyrics of “run fast for you mother, fast for your father, run for your children, for your sister and your brother” always gets me going!

4. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

This is my all-time favorite karaoke song (along with many other people, I’m sure), but what makes this one so special is at our wedding, this song came on during the reception and the entire room erupted in song and sang along – it was awesome!

5. Fighter – Christina Aguilera

I may or may not have blasted this 24/7 during a previous break-up…but, I love that this song has transformed its meaning for me. Initially, it was literal – using pain from a break-up to find that I’m better off, but now I focus on how much I’ve changed as a person and remember the person who used I be as inspiration for finding strength in the person I am now. I will run at a 10 min/mile pace someday!

So, going through these songs got me even more excited for spring weather and being able to run outside without dodging ice patches and wearing 10,000 layers! Here’s hoping warmer weather arrives sooner rather than later!

What are some of your favorite running songs?