Mankato Marathon 2013


It has been one week since I ran the Mankato marathon and I am now able to go up and down steps without my legs reminding me of the work they did one Sunday…I am sure it looked funny for a few days, but it was worth it.

I am super pumped to have completed my 5th full marathon, you can read about last years Mankato race here , I am actually ready to run the same race next year, I really do enjoy this course and the support along the way.

My day:

5:15 AM alarm goes off, hit snooze

5:25 AM stagger out of bed…take a nice warm shower, put on my running gear, complete with a nice layer of glide to prevent chaffing…wish me luck.

5:45 AM waiver on outfit, its is freezing outside, it has not been so cold yet this year, I do not want to spend the next 4+ hours cold, and wet.

5:55 AM wolf down egg, toast, banana and bring coffee and vitamin C charged water with me.

6:04 AM all 6 of us in the car on the road….getting a little nervous

6:45 AM I am dry heaving out the window of the only car on highway 14….might be the vitamin and ibuprofen I gulped down or my nerves, this has never happened before!!!

7:28 AM get to Mankato and head straight into the CVS for black garbage bags, rain on the forecast and maybe even snow!?!?! Gotta love Minnesota weather!

7:45 AM biffy business done….ready to run

7:56 AM Photo op with my favorite fans!  Another mom in the parking lot with kids crowded around her for warmth offered to take our picture, thank you!  (notice my socks, it is the only was you will recognize me in the end…brrrrrrrrr!)

Mankato Marathon

8:00 The gun goes off, like cattle we head through the start gate and listen to the beeping of our time chips activating and Garmin watches starting…here we go.  Mind  you I am wearing a huge Sherpa lined hoodie sweatshirt, have a garbage bag with head and neck holes wrapped around my hydration belt, 32 ounces of water in bottles and gu chomps…not feeling all the light, but ready to run.

~8:45 AM right around mile 5 I am warm enough to take off my hoodie and throw it in the ditch, just as the 4:15 pace group comes up behind me, I run with them for quite a few miles. I am feeling confident and ready to rock this race, (yes it took almost an hour to warm up and get my head in the race!)

~11:17 AM (all this and still not lunch time?…I know!!) about 20 miles in I am starting to hurt, I take the ibuprofen I brought with me, at this point it is like having a baby without an epidural…you either can or you cannot…you won’t remember all that you went through in the end but there will be a baby medal in your arms and an irreplaceable sense of accomplishment.

~12:32 PM (how as your lunch?) I cross the finish just seconds after seeing my family in the crowd cheering for me, I caught my hubby’s eye glimmering with pride.  I take off my hydration belt and my chest tightens I can hardly breathe, man pride is a crazy thing.  I walk and have a medal put around my neck.  (yes it is me…those socks won’t lie)

Mankato Marathon

Then I ask in a super small watery voice for one more, to give to Ana the Brave who I ran in honor of.  She has fought a battle with brain cancer that no one can train for..she needs some bling too!

Mankto Marathon

~1:15 PM Noodles for lunch, my favorite, it takes awhile and does not sit well but I need that calories.

~1:45 PM back on the road heading home to a hot shower and my bed.  Already planning on training better for next year! 🙂

Official chip time for 2013: 4:31:34, honestly my slowest, but I put the least amount of training into this race and felt great to accomplish it, so I am happy with that time.

Running a Legacy

I climbed the proverbial running ladder, if you will.

Climbed rung by rung, for real, from the ground up starting with week 1 day 1 on the Couch to 5K C25K program, after baby number 3.

I ran my first 5K race in March 2008.  I cried, thought my heart would burst; with pride, relief and thrill, and then went back to cheer for my hubby who was a few minutes behind me.

Next the 10K, ½ marathon, 20 miler and then the full….26.2 which seems insane but really it is always over by a bit in a race that is a Boston qualifying race to ensure it goes the distance.  I think my Garmin watch read 26.32 when I crossed the finish of my first full marathon in 2010.

But let’s back up a moment, I chose to run the Mankato Marathon, why? Because serendipitously the year of the first Mankato marathon was the same year that I had added running a full marathon to the years tasks.  Coincidence? I thought not.  So since 2010 I have run each year in the Mankato marathon, I even ran one other full marathon in 2011, but 2 in a year was too many.

My pact with myself was to keep running this marathon every year , “every year I’m shuffling” if I have to right?!  Well, this year my friend Kim that has run every year with me, is out with injury, and to be honest without the camaraderie I am not feeling it as much, plus as I posted in pickled, I am tapped out each day and have not run more than 10 miles since the Med City ½ marathon Memorial day weekend.  I was struggling trying to convince myself.

Then I get this email:

Good Morning Mankato Runner,

This is our official Mankato Marathon invite to welcome you back for 2013. We have exciting news as we have implemented a Legacy Program for those faithful marathoners who have been with us since our first Mankato Marathon race.

Starting in 2014, runners who have completed all five consecutive Mankato Marathons are eligible to be in the Mankato Marathon Legacy Runner program.  

Legacy Runners will receive a special, unique bib for the 2014 Mankato Marathon, have special acknowledgment in the 2014 Mankato Marathon Activities Guide and on the Mankato Marathon website, and acknowledgment at the 2014 Scheels and New Balance Sport and Health Expo. Runners will receive a unique clothing item as well.

To find out more information contact XXXXXXXX at or to register

See you in a month!

Mankato Marathon Staff


It’s like they read my mind….I want to run every year…this year I need motivation…unique clothing item…I might be easily persuaded.

I have been motivaed, legacy…I mean really who ignores an invite a legacy club??!!  Not this girl, so I am going to run this race…I am fiercely self competitive, it will be frustrating for me to not be what I would deem “fully trained” for this race, but I am hoping my body will surprise me by showing me that not over training can be successful as well.

So give me a little mental what’s up on October 20th as I run in the small legacy club without my friend and minimal training! It will feel so great to cross that finish line regardless of the time on the clock.   Pre race jitters are all ready setting in!!

Squirt Level Triathlon

Summer, how fast it flies, I love it, for real.
It seems like calendars are full of events, fairs, festivals, friends; endless opportunities.
We may have accidentally hit the ground running faster this summer than we sauntered into last school year, but there are such so many fun thing to participate in when the weather here in Minnesota is sunny and warm, we really do know how to pack a year of run into the summer.
There are so many things I would like to share, but these photos I had a chance to sit down and edit and it is so cool that Santanna has made family history by being the only one to complete a triathlon….and at the squirt level.
60 feet swimming
.9 mile bike ride
.4 mile run
I am so proud…I also hope that by involving all of our kids in these small races at young levels they will carry these skills throughout their lives as hobbies, emotional management time, a way to stay fit and/or a way to compete at their own level.



My first Duathalon, Cannon Falls

I need to give you all a weekend recap, the lineup was:

9 am Saturday morning, just me; Cannon FAlls Duathalon

2 pm Saturday afternoon the whole family; Colordash

9 am Sunday morning, just me: Spring Fling Diva Dash.


I have to tell you that I was so excited/nervous that I barely slept Friday night, plus Jon worked an overnight shift, which means that none of us slept very well, it is weird how the kids just sleep differently with him out of the house.

I had breakfast made, everyone organized, all my gear set out and we left on time…..and got 17 minutes away when i realized I did not have my helmet…*&$%….this is the one thing that I could NOT race without, my Garmin, fuelbelt, gu champs, all of those I would have been OK without, %&$*!

I RACED back home got my helmet, RACED to the start, which was in a town 45 minutes away, praying not to get pulled over, called my friend who was racing with me, she picked up my packet.

I got these pinned on my number, got body marked, parked my bike and just got the last satellite signal on my Garmin and we were off.

I was already racing at this point.

2 mile run:

2013 April 057 copy

14 mile bike….yep thats me on my old GT mountain bike, and skater girl helmet (yes I have a helmet!!!).

I came in from the first 2 mile run in about 16 minutes, so i was feeling pretty good, then I started getting passed by people pretty quickly, my bike is heavy, not really meant for racing, but I am not serious enough to invest in a road bike…yet.

One lady passed me and I turned and said “great job”…she said, “wow, you are doing really well on that kind of bike”….thanks!

2013 April 061 copy

3 more miles, this last transition was the hardest, my legs were a little wobbly and felt heavy, I kept going and actually kept up a solid pace.  I passed a few runners, HA, I might have a heavy bike, but I know how to run.

2013 April 067 copy

Finish time 1:40:XX, my goal was to come in under 2 hours, because I really had not idea how long the bike portion would take, with wind and hills, I guess I was a little off on my estimation.

Here I am in my Patchworkreality cover shoot 😉

2013 April 082 copy

This was such a fun experience, I love the challenge that I got in training for and participating in this event, as a runner, sometimes all I do is practice running, I noticed a difference in my pace and even shed a few pounds, but mostly toned up some new parts of this old bod.   I am already planning to participate in another Du in September, and am going to see about borrowing a road bike from someone to see if I can finish a little faster.

A huge thank you to all the volunteers and FInal stretch for putting on this event!

Not Back At It…today anyway

Here I sit on a lovely April Saturday morning, all be it, the temperature is still unseasonably cold here, even for Minnesota, but it is Saturday morning, a race morning and I am sitting out.

Thursday I rode 10 miles on the bike and did Kettlebells, I felt a little off when I was doing kettlebells and the stretch hurt a little at the end in my lower back, and I realized I hurt myself.  I think I strained it and jsut tweaked something and have hobble around for 2 days, slept on a heating pack and walked yesterday.  I tried to run, but it hurt.

Now I am 100% Pro activity in any form, but if you are a runner, you can totally understand that going for a walk, cannot be compared to going for a run.

TOday was supposed to be my first race this calendar year, so I am calling it the season, which usually includes a race most Saturday morning through October when I consider serious racing and training done after I run the Mankato Marathon.

SO I am really sad to be sitting out the local Fetzer 20K that is going on right now.

My back is feeling better so I am hoping to get in at least some biking today and maybe start running again on Monday.

Next week is my duathalon and all 6 of us are signed up for the color run.

Exercise Room

Still working on organizing the house, from my New Years resolution.

This pace used to be our office, we had 2 desks on each end, after the kids went to be Jon worked on his homework and I worked on Ebay/blogging.

Jon recently bought a laptop and can work wherever he likes  and I have moved my office into the unfinished, large, laundry/craft room.  I just have so much inventory it was not enough space and kept spilling into the living room.

Here is a picture from our living room:

raiven 022

Notice the exercise area behind the futon?  Well it is gone!  During my Fab Five February I sold the futon and the recumbent bike!!

This living room downstairs, serves as the TV room, a playroom, you can see the dress up on the middle left side of the picture, and until recently a workout room.

This space needed less responsibility!

So we moved all exercise related items into the old office and viola! No more exercising in the living room. (living room pic still to come)

Some before and after shots of the new workout room:

Notice there are glass french doors so I can close them if I need/want to.

Before.                                                                After

Ebay 552 (2)Ebay 565 (2)

Before                                                                  After

Ebay 554 (2)Ebay 567 (2)

Before.                                                             After

Ebay 555 (2)Ebay 569 (2)

Before.                                                            After…my 7 mile run at night…hence the lighting.

Ebay 558 (2)Ebay 572 (2)

I still have  a few things that I would like to do in this room:

  • Add some audio/visual maybe take down one shelf dn add a small TV, definitely something for music.
  • Take out the wireless modem..move it into the office.
  • Add some inspirational sayings? Wall art?
  • Relable the Ikea bins, since those no longer house shopping bags and mittens/hats 😉

It feels so good to have a clean space to exercise inside, so I can run while the littles nap, and since spring has yet to get here, I may need this space for a while.

We do have a gym membership to a fantastic club in town, but it is nice to have this option. In about 3 years will all 4 of our kids are in school full day I will probably sell the treadmill and run at the club or outside.  AS an avid runner this is still a vital piece of “home decor” for me.



Spring Break….Day one

5:43 AM….I hear a whimpering, Jon goes in to check on Santanna, she has thrown up all over 😦

6:03 Jon left for work Tanna is tucked in and has a “bowl”

6:40 I hear someone crying, I go into Avalon’s room…she is also throwing up.

Ahhh yeah, Spring break, Bring. It. On.!!!

The older kids had a blast the rest of the morning setting up a sick hospital upstairs, complete with patient cards with their diagnosis.  I just love seeing them care for each other when they are not feeling well.

We still managed to dye eggs, most of us anyway.

Yes at our house we use our hands 🙂

Egg dying 2013

Both hands.

Egg dying 2013

And sometimes skewers?!

Egg dying 2013

The 2 big kids and I went to the gym and the played while I ran 3 miles and bikes 10.  Still going strong on my training plans for my 1/2 Marathon in May and my Dualathon in April.

Then we went to the Public Library and stocked up for the rest of vacation. We listen to LOTS of books on cassette tape, I mean to the point that is Jim Dale came and ate supper at our house, the kids might not even notice, his voice is just like the paint on the walls.

This is just a small sample of the 36 library books/stories we checked out. The rest are already being poured over in other spaces.


We has spaghetti for supper that was lip smacking delish!!

2013 March 1009 copy

Every Friday night we have a “Friday night movie” Original name I know.  Jon and I are not strict about many things but screen time, or audio-visual time as we call it, is one thing that we really limit.  They get one hour a day and most days it just doesn’t fit into the schedule.  So each Friday night we kick off the weekend with a big bowl of hot buttery popcorn and a movie of one persons choosing.  We rotate through all 4 kids, we get a lot of repeat Pocahontas, Homeward Bound and Disney’s Hercules.

Tonight was Solomon’s choice and he chose Goonies….Love this choice!!!!


I did forget that there are some “scary” moments, dead guy in the freezer with ice cream??!! and a few bleep words, mostly the S— word but overall what a fun adventure movie for kids to watch!


HEEEEYYY YOU GUUUUUUUUYYYS!! Have a Happy Spring Break everyone!!

Du you want to join me?

A dear friend of mine that I really do not get to see very often, but is my tried and true running partner, just asked me last week to join her in a Dualathon. I have done this race before in a partnership, I ran and a guy rode the bike part. We took 4th, not bad!

This friend of mine is going to “du” the whole race herself, would I like to join her. Of course I would I love a challenge, mind you I am just starting week 2 of Intermediate 1/2 marathon training, however the folks at Final Stretch, who do a fantastic job on the races they put together, kindly laid out a training plan. Which actually will force provide me the opputunity to cross train on a two wheeler.

Here is the training plan for a dualathon that is a 2mile run, 14 mile bike, and 3 mile run. I think these are great lengths for a beginning duathaloner.


I really like to have a race planned for each month, sometimes if there are races locally that support a great cause as a family we will participate in more than one, but for now I am committed to:

April: Cannon Falls Duathalon

May: Med City 1/2 Marathon (and I will probably run the 5K the day before)

October: Mankato Full Marathon.

Looks like I need to find something for March still!



1/2 Marathon Training starts….now! (sub 2:00)

You all know I am a runner, it is like breathing for me, my system starts to shut down when I miss more than a day of running, well not entirely, but emotionally I drain without running.

It clears my mind, takes me away from life, I organize my thoughts, plus get a great caloric burn at the same time.

Last year I ran a PR 1/2 marathon twice. The first in May at the Med City and the second in Duluth at Grandmas 1/2. (1:58:01) 9:01 pace.

I did not get into grandmas 1/2 marathon through the lottery this year, so I am considering running the full 26.2 to join all my girls for the weekend….but that is a bit ahead of where this post is leading.

Below is the training plan, my life, for the next 12 weeks, this puts me right to race day for the Med City Marathon weekend.

This plan will hopefully bring me a new PR, you can see the plan trains beyond the 13.1 race distance, this is the intermediate 1/2 marathon training plan from

I love having a plan set for me…..hubby will back into the training routine as well:

Hubby: how many miles do you have to run tomorrow?

Me: (the mileage for the next day)…

He is very supportive, but I am trying to convince him to run with me this year, so instead he can ask “how many miles are WE running tomorrow?” He of course would start on the beginner plan.

My schedule:

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
1 Off 4M 6M 4M 6M 3M 8M
2 Off Fartlek (5M) 3M 5M 6M 3M 9M
3 Off 5-6 Hills 5K-10K pace 3M 6M 6M 3M 10M
4 Off Fartlek (5M) 3M 6M 6M 3M 8M
5 Off 4-5 Long Hills 5K-10K pace 4M 6M 6M 3M 11M
6 Off 6 x 880s 5K-10K pace 4M 7M 7M 4M 8M
7 Off 3 x Mile 5K-10K pace 4M 7M 7M 3M 12M
8 Off 6 x 880s 5K pace 5M 7M 7M 4M 9M
9 Off 4 x Mile 5K-10K pace 4M 7M 7M 4M 14M
10 Off 6 x 880s 5K pace 5M 8M 8M 5M 15M
11 Off 5M 5M 8M 7M 4M 8M
12 Off 4M 4M 6M 4M 3M RACE DAY

Running Shoes….Mizuno’s Run Narrow?!

True I am a bit behind on some of my posts, the wee one had to have surgery so while she was healing I have not had much time for blogging.

In the midst of training for my marathons and other races this year, it has come time to replace the old pair of trusty duds for a new pair. I have worn many a shoe through my running days. For quite some time I was very happy with my Nike shoes with the Nike+ iPod setup. After I purchased my Garmin watch I realized that I could buy any running shoe on the market, I was no longer tied done with the sensor for my Nikes. (I could have bought a shoe pouch but was too cheap).

So I branched out and bought a pair of Saucony’s, a running partner wore them and had previously worn Nike’s she thought that Saucony shoes were much better.

I have had some luck with these shoes, but lost a few toenails, and am thinking they might be just a bit to narrow. Especially after pounding pavement in the July heat and my feet swelling.

When I wore Nike shoes I was buying them in a wide, and just was at the local sports store yesterday looking for my old friend size 9 Wide and they were MIA.

I had gone for a quick purchase at Old Navy for their Give and Get 30% sale and realized I could get shoes from the Pipelimes site so I ordered these bad girls:

Mizuno Wave Rider 7

These came in a wide, and after Free Shipping and my reward codes I scored them for $20!! I am hoping these will eliminate any toenail damage, they seem to have good reviews and I will have plenty of training miles on them before the first big day!!

It seems that I have a history of trial and error with running shoes, this can be expensive and frustrating.

One thing that helps is to know a little about your feet.

What is your arch type? High? Low? Neutral?

Are you running long distance? You may need a 1/2 size bigger than normal especially if running in the heat.

Do you have wide/narrow feet? If you have wider feet to begin with a wide shoe may help if running long distance?

Do you over/under pronate?

Answer to the above questions can lead you in the direction of a best fit shoe for your feet.

What shoes have you had the best luck with? How did you decide on this shoe?