As proclaimed in my post, A new Approach for me – New Year Goals, one of my health goals for this year is to achieve a PR for my ½ marathon time. Whether a PR is an actual “health goal”, versus a “personal goal”, is just details to me. I run to keep both mentally and physically – although more mentally because I can get pretty crabby without it – healthy and that is why I filed it into the “health goal” category. You can take it how you please.

Now, when I say a PR for my ½ marathon time, I would love to PR my overall best time, which is 1:56:and some change for a ½ (and 1:24:and some change for a 10 mile – let’s be honest, I would love to PR that as well), but what I really mean is that I want to PR for the Mankato ½ marathon in October.

The Mankato Race Series has been a tradition with myself, Dustin (the boyfriend), and my family since the inaugural race in 2010 where my sister-in-law and I ran the full marathon (both our one and only), and Dustin and my brother ran the 10k. The following two years I ran the 10k with Dustin (he wasn’t convinced at that time that going more than 6.2 miles is actually thrilling), and last year a large group of us (Dustin, sister, sister-in-law, and 5+ friends) all ran the ½ marathon.

Although not my first ½, it was my first year running the Mankato ½, along with everyone else in our group as well. Coming back from an injury that needed physical therapy and no-running time,  and at the end of a 3-race-in-30-days streak, I was pumped and ready to go.

In true MN fashion, the weather was awful. It was quite cold (you can’t use the words “unseasonably” and “cold” in the same sentence if you are from or live in MN), windy and rainy. I layered up and told myself I would ditch my jacket at the 6-7 mile mark when I was to see my friends who were watching the race.

By the time I was approaching the 6-7 mile mark I was feeling pretty good and well on pace to PR. Even though the weather hadn’t gotten any better, I had it in my mind that I was going to be giving my friends my jacket and took the time to fumble with taking my watch off, it was placed over the sleeve of my jacket, and even more time trying to fumble it back on. My pace slowed and the air appeared to have actually gotten colder (duh Ashley – you just let all your body heat out) and everything went downhill from there.

To make a boringly detailed story shorter, I had to make a pit stop in the woods (and by woods I mean the biggest tree I could find in Sibley Park- yes it was clear as day to everyone running by), and then continued to shuffle my way to the finish line cursing both myself for my stupidity of bothering to remove my jacket, and the route for having a stupid number of hills and turns at the end of a race (I couldn’t tell you if I hated them more then or at the end of the marathon). I managed to run myself in under 2 hours as I shouted to Dustin (he rocked it in 1:37:and some change) and our friends about my detour to the tree – all with a plastered smile for the camera.

Kato race 2013Dustin and I Kato Race

Needless to say, I have a bone to pick with this ½ and I’m not only coming to course PR, but to overall PR. And so it begins, the training that ramps up to race training.

Mind you it is 1⁰ in MN today and the wind sounds like you are smack dab in the middle of the tornado from the Wizard of Oz…I guess it’s the weights and treadmills until future notice…

MN hill training

a.wise approach: Don’t just pick a goal to have a goal; have a reason to ignite the fire that will make it burn.



The Mankato Race Series early bird special is going on right now and races are 40% off for the rest of the month! Hope to see you there!