Valentine’s Day TC 5k Recap + Run For Sherry

February 11th, 2012 | Ann

Multiple choice: why did today totally rock?
A. I ran a Valentines-themed 5k with my awesome husband.
B. I ran in honor of a sister-runner who lost her life.
C. I didn’t get frostbite.
D. All of the above

The answer? D. All of the above.

Today was the Twin Cities in Motion Valentine’s Day TC 5k. It was the 1st race in the Twin Cities in Motion 2012 series. I was really looking forward to this race – between the Run Streak in November & December and the half-marathon training, I’ve been logging the miles.

Race swag, love it!

Earlier in the week, I started seeing the weather forecast for Saturday get cold… and colder… and even colder. On Friday night, Jay and I started digging out the winter clothes – hats, scarves, mittens.

Trying on winter clothes.

By Saturday morning, it was between 2 and 4 degrees. We bundled up and got ready for the race.

Jay - fully protected; Me - mostly protected.

Not only because it was the 1st race of 2012, today was significant because it was the virtual Run for Sherry event. If you haven’t already, click over to Beth’s blog and read Sherry’s story. It’s an incredibly heartbreaking story…. and as soon as I read about it, I knew i had to participate.

Today, I dedicated my Valentine’s Day TC 5k to the family, friends and memory of Sherry.

Run for Sherry bib. And "Taken".

Twin Cities in Motion passed out green “single” yellow “it’s complicated” and red” taken” bibs to race participants. I took the “taken” bib, obvi.


We got to Lake Harriet early enough to pick up a friend’s race bib, shirt and mug (she was sick and couldn’t make it), and then went back to the car to warm up. Thanks to my “nervous bladder”, I also had to use the porta-potties, twice.


There was probably at least a thousand, if not more, racers at the event. The event was run really well – tons of helpful volunteers, good set-up, and well-managed. I really enjoyed racing with the other runners. In fact, as the gun went off, I turned to Jay and said, “I forgot how much I liked racing!”

Valentines Day TC 5k - Racers

It was pretty cold, you guys. I mean…. I warmed up a little bit, but the run itself was rough. My lungs weren’t reacting well to the cold air. I couldn’t find a good pace or rhythm. My hips were SO tight and stiff. And, by 1/2 mile, my heart-rate was at my anerobic threshold (AT). I knew my body was working hard just to maintain what I thought was a “comfortable” pace.

Since most of my training runs were indoors, I knew my “comfortable” pace – the pace that kept my heart-rate more in fat-burning zone. I knew I could push it and run atleast 1:00/mile faster. Today’s race? I couldn’t push the pace. To run my “comfortable training pace” during a race felt like a let-down. I knew I could run faster and it felt like my body was fighting me the entire time.

But we finished. And in the true spirit of Valentine’s Day, Jay and I finished the race holding hands….

Please, a collective “awwwww.”

It was a fun race. Despite my disatisfaction about the pace. I thought of my running friends during the race. I thought of how far I’ve come in the past 2 years of running. And I thought of Sherry and running for someone who can’t.


I was so happy to see some familiar faces at the finish – a college friend, and both Erin and Sara ran the race today and I LOVED seeing them!

Hay girl, haaayyy.

I missed seeing Carissa at the race, but I definitely talked to some OTHER girl who I thought was her. Embarrassing, right? Ummm, right.

The race was hard. But totally worth it. I loved it – despite the struggles and challenges. In fact, having a hard run just makes those easy runs THAT much better, right? It’s helping build character and strength for the ultimate goal – the TC Marathon in October.

I loved running for Sherry today and making the earth move. What an important reminder to run, if you can. Move, if you can. And appreciate everything and everyone in your life.

Twin Cities in Motion has agreed to provide my race entry fees in return for documenting my experiences training, running and preparing for the marathon on both my site and the Twin Cities in Motion site. They have made resources available to me, and in return, I will fully disclose any products or services provided. All of the opinions expressed on this site or the Twin Cities in Motion site are my own and I will speak honestly and truthfully about the experience training for, preparing and running my first marathon.

11 Responses to “Valentine’s Day TC 5k Recap + Run For Sherry”

  1. Manda says:

    You have such a great attitude about your endeavors; I love your positivity! I am so sad I missed out today, but I felt even worse when I woke up this morning so it was for the better that I stayed home and slept in. And if you were talkin’ ’bout me up above, thanks thanks THANKS!!!

  2. Tammy says:

    LOL LOL “its complicated” thats awesome. Great running for a wonderful reason. Glad that you endured the cold for it! :)

  3. Shelia says:

    Sounds like you had alot if fun!!! Some if my co-workers ran, unfourtunatly I had to work!!! It would have been to cold for me anyway! I do not like the cold!!! I admire people who live in Mn and run year round!!! Great job!!

  4. lisa J says:

    the taken, single, its complicated idea is soooo cute. I think its awesome that you and your hubby are able and wanting to do a race together :)

    I did a half mary yesterday when it was 20 degrees- I thought of you while running thinking “how can she run in this weather all winter”- IMPRESSIVE

  5. Hannah says:

    Aw, that is such a rom-com movie ending of a race!
    I don’t think I’d like that race though, because I see an awful lot of “taken” tags. Seems very couple-y.
    I didn’t print a tag (my printer is out of ink), but I ran 7 miles today in honor of Sherry.

  6. Ann, I just wanted you to know that you inspire me and make me want to run again… Soon! I just need it to warm up a little first.

  7. Kat says:


    I always forget how much I love racing until it’s happening. And then I’m like Wow! I should really try to do this more. You would think that at some point that message would really sink in. But I suppose we’re still getting there.

    On the bright side, I think I’m officially over my start corral anxiety. I made it to the marathon start line and God did not strike me down and nothing horrifyingly embarrassing happened.

  8. Great recap Ann! Sad I missed you out there too!!

  9. Erin says:

    Ok, I love everything about this.

    1) Doing it in honor of a fallen sister-runner – and oh man how tragic and sad. My heart goes out to that family.

    2) Your pace or mine. HAHA. HAHAHHAHA. Seriously, couldn’t stop laughing

    3) Color coded tags to show if you’re taken or available…hysterical. That’d be awesome if they did something like that around here so I could easily spot all of the available men.

  10. […] I’ve done since starting the half-marathon training, I’ve improved my overall pace. The Valentine’s Day 5k was an average pace of 13:17. One month later, the 100% Irish for a Day 5k was an average pace of […]

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