Tips for 5k Races & Brian Kraft 5k Recap

Monday of Memorial Day USATF puts on a super competitive 5k in Minnesota called “Brian Kraft 5k” every year. My husband has done this race 6 times. This was my 3rd time running the course. It is super flat & “fast” running around lake Nakomis in south Minneapolis. The worst part about this race is the humidity and the risk of getting sucked out too fast!


 the day before I started my first “big girl job” & invited my older brother to come run this as his first ever road race

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2014- did not run

I ran my first 50k 2 days before, so I did not run the 5k. I did show up and support my friends running! 

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I had ran a half marathon 2 days before, and I decided to sign up 30 min before the race started to support the LifeTime Race Team

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Coming off a 61 mile week, I did race day registation again running a 19:40. I promised to pace my friend Adrian to his first sub 20! He ended up running a 19:51!! YAY! We ran a 6:20 first mile (3:12/3:08 split). I thought I could maintain that 6:15 pace, but I was slighly wrong-o 🙂 

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Tips for 5k Racing

1- Do some speed workouts leading up to the race

Many long distance runners like to get “comfortable” with the easy runs and the longer tempos. Racing short distance is very different than racing a marathon. I like to do shorter interval work before a 5k-10k to wake up my legs and “remember” how to push myself running fast.

5 days before Brian Kraft I ran 6 x 800 on the road (.5 miles) at about 6:18 average. This is a really good workout to see what kind of 5k-10k shape you are in. I did 1-3 min rest/jog between.

There are a ton of more specific 5k workouts you can find online with a quick google search 🙂

2- Get in the right mindset

This is going to hurt. A LOT. Especially the last 1.6 miles. If you are used to running longer distance races, you are used to being comfortable for a good part of your “race”. A 5k requires stretching out of your comfort zone within the first few min of the race. You will need to prepare yourself for this mentally.

3- Don’t go out too fast

The reverse of #2 is being careful. There is NOT  a lot of room for error if you go out too fast in a 5k. I recommend doing a workout (as mentioned in #1) and coming up with a game plan for pacing in your 5k based on how your workout goes. Make sure you do not run the first 800 too fast especially in a big race if you get “sucked out” it’s hard to slow down with a lot of people around you 🙂 I like to place myself pretty far back in the line so I can pick off runners as I go.

4- Warm up & cool down

Since these races are short & require you to go fast right out of the gate, it is important to get your body warmed up for the action. If you are running 35+ miles per week 1-2 miles is a good warm up. Don’t over do it on the warm up. Keep the pace easy. Maybe do a few “strides” or a pickup at the end of the run. Save most of it for the race 🙂 Don’t sit around after the warm up- stay lose and walking around!

5- Have Fun

Last but not least- don’t take yourself so seriously. It’s hard to run! It should be challenging, but it should also be rewarding and kinda fun! Enjoy the race atmosphere and use it to push you 🙂 !


5 Tips for Racing in Heat/Humidity

As we approach the end of May, the heat and humidity are picking up. You may feel your runs are getting harder. You might notice you are not hitting paces you used to. Don’t worry!

The two major marathons I’ve done in 2016 have been rather unfavorable with 70+ degrees & sunny. Weather plays a big factor in races. The longer the race distance, the bigger the effect it will have.

Here are some pictures from Boston 2016 & LA 2016.

Boston 2016- 3:26:07 (1:40/1:46)

LA 2016- 3:23:23 (1:39/1:43)

My marathon PR is 3:14. I believe that I was in 3:15-3:20 shape for both of these races, but the conditions on race day played a factor.

My Tips

  1. 1. Hydrate Early & Often

The week before the race or big run, you should focus on getting in lots of electrolights & water! Your pee should be clear or very very light yellow. Drink BEFORE you are thirsty.

The morning of the race, drink as soon as you wake up!

During the race: take water and/or poweraid at EVERY stop. You don’t need to drink all of it. Just get some in your month and swallow

2. Adjust your goals

If the temps will be above 60 & humidity above 50% & sunny, I would highly recommend adjusting your race goals. I know it sucks, but there will be other races. 

You might be in shape to run a 4:00 marathon in 40 degrees, but on a 70 degree day, you might be lucky to run a 4:10. Keep this in mind early in the race.

Stick to your new plan. You cannot control the weather on race day. Going out too fast on a hot day can be brutal for the second half of the race when you are going to be running in likely even worse conditions as the sun peaks and the temperatures rise.

3. Dress Smart

Consider a sports bra, tank top, singlets & shorts. Be conscious of the colors you are wearing. Black absorbs sunlight and gets hot.  I would recommend wearing light colors on hot/sunny days. Wear light/cool fabrics. Avoid cotton.

Visors and headbands can be useful for soaking up sweat on your head- again stick to lighter colors

4. Protect yourself

WEAR SUNSCREEN & SUNGLASSES. If it is sunny, I would highly recommend getting sunglasses. No one wants to squint for hours while running in the sun 🙂

Sunscreen is always smart to protect your skin from the rays

5. Consider water dumping

When you are running, your body temperature rises. To cool down, I like to dump water over my head or on my chest during races. It feels good & helps you cool off.

When going through a water stop, if you ever have any leftover water in your cup- dump it on your head before you toss it 🙂


No time or motivation? News flash- ME EITHER!


As someone who wakes up at 5:30am every day to exercise for 40-75 min, I am baffled by how many people tell me that I am “lucky” that I have “some much time” to run. They are usually followed by, “I wish I had time to run”

You wish you “had time”

I have a full time career (40+ hours a week), I own my own business (additional 30+ hours a week). I am a homeowner, wife, dog owner, aunt, daughter, friend, sister, etc.

I don’t have time; I make time.

You need to re-prioritized how you are spending your time.  It’s not always fun, but it’s a requirement to be successful. 

This is how America spend’s free time: 

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Maybe it’s time you make a pie chart of what YOU are doing all day. Is every waking hour of every single day jam packed? Doubtful. You are reading this aren’t you? 😉

Here is a piechart of my time in one week:

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“I wish I was as motivated as you”

I am the LEAST motivated person I know. Can someone please tell me what reason I have to be motivated?

I don’t have any weight to lose, I’ve ran 14 marathons the past 3 years...

I have EVERY reason to kick back and relax!

Motivation is B.S. It’s temporary. I would never exercise if I only did it when I was “motivated”. 

You need to be dedicated & disciplined. That is all.

Next time you think you are not motivated & you don’t have time…instead try saying:

I am not dedicated and disciplined, and I am not making this a priority.

Thats is the reality of the situation 🙂


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