First Race Complete!

Hooray it’s Saturday!! I was up late last night changing my flight and travel information for my work trip and getting some stuff done around the apartment. It feels good to finally say it’s the weekend.

Kevin and I got up bright and early this morning to participate in the 2012 Des Moines Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure!

It was SO fun!

I was worried that it was going to be way too cold to run. I’m a wimp and can’t stand to run when I’m cold – I’d much more prefer running in 100+ degrees in the middle of July. But, we bundled up, wore lots of layers and ended up staying very comfortable for the entire race.

It was only a 5K, but for me, that’s a good start. You know I’m not the running type – I prefer other forms or exercise way more – but I just started running a little bit every day about six weeks ago until I could run 45 minutes at a good pace without stopping or feeling like dying.

Kevin, however, played Division I soccer in college and is a natural runner. When we signed up together, I just assumed he’d want to run at his pace while I ran at mine. He ended up staying with me the whole time and we had a blast running it together! We thoroughly enjoyed people-watching (one guy was wearing jeans!) and chatted most of the time, which made the race go by pretty fast.

We got up at 6:30 a.m. and made pancakes before getting dressed for running in 30 degree temps.

We got downtown, parked and hurried to find our timing chip for our shoes.

I wore: long johns, leggings, soccer socks, tennis shoes, Nike breathable sports bra, short-sleeve Under Armour top, North Face light-weight fleece, long-sleeve race shirt, gloves and a headband (I’m so mad I lost my pretty white Under Armour headband! I’m asking for this one for Christmas).

Kevin wore: Under Armour pants, socks, tennis shoes, t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, Under Armour light-weight jacket, long-sleeve race shirt, gloves and a hat.

Layers, layers, layers!

We got to the starting line, stretched a bit and we were off!

The route started off all downhill at first, and went across Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and over the River and back. The race really did fly by – it didn’t seem like we were out there for a long time at all. I could have ran a lot faster at the beginning, but I didn’t want to be pooped at the end so we ran at a 9-min/mile pace for the first mile.

I started to get a little tired crossing the River for the second time so we slowed down a bit, right around mile marker 2.5, but after slowing down our pace for a 1/4 mile, I was able to pick it up for the last .6 miles until the finish.

Poor Kevin, he could have ran this so much faster than I did…

The race course had us go up two HUGE hills the last .2 miles…NOT cool! The hill looked like a giant obstacle but I just put my head down and watched Kevin’s feet the whole time until we turned to finish into a sprint.

It was so fun running across the finish and seeing 31 minutes as we passed the line!

The finish line was right in front of the Capitol Building. Pink was everywhere!

There were people lined up along the streets throughout different parts of the race cheering us on. One lady, in a survivor shirt, was yelling, “thank you! thank you!” at us. I thought that was so cool – it’s easy to forget the point of the race but that was a really nice reminder of why we were there!

We finished in 31 minutes, which I don’t think was too bad for it being my first race (and not a good runner)!

After the race, we headed to the farmers market downtown to walk around for a bit before coming home for a nap.

And as soon as we got home, I looked up more 5Ks in Louisville for next month! Do I have a racing fever?

Me? No……….. 😉

I think a 5K is the perfect distance – it’s not incredibly hard by any means, but challenging enough for me, and the perfect length of exercise for a day.

Tonight Kevin and I are headed to Latin King, a local Italian restaurant. I have a gift card that I want to use before we leave and tonight is one of our only nights that we’re able to go.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share this salad I made for dinner and lunch last week. It was inspired by our recent trip to Centro and I can’t wait to share it!

Arugula Salad with Almonds, Cranberries, Feta and a Lemon Balsamic Dressing
Recipe adapted from our Centro salad 


  • Arugula lettuce
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup Feta crumbles
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic dressing
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste (Does anyone else like pepper on their salads? Just me? Okay.)
  • Wash and dry lettuce (I used my OXO Salad Spinner!)
  • Add almonds
  • Add cranberries
  • Add feta
  • Mix balsamic and lemon juice
  • Add pepper to taste
  • Mix with tongs until everything is combined

Kevin says he doesn’t like Feta cheese, cranberries, nuts or “weird” dressings (anything other than Ranch or Italian), yet he absolutely LOVED the salad similar to this at Centro.

That’s why you should try everything once – you never know!

The crunch of the almonds mixed with the tang of the cranberries is such a great combination.

And the Feta crumbles add a rich, creamy flavor to all of it.

And the lemon mixed with the balsamic gives the whole salad a slight sweetness which I really loved.

It was so good that I made it again for lunch the next day!

I absolutely loved this salad, but it wasn’t really filling as a stand-alone dinner. Next time I make it, I’m going to grill up some shrimp in a lemon butter sauce and add it in. Delish!

I’m off to get some organization/cleaning done. Seems like that’s all I’ve been doing this week!

(PS I can’t believe in one week from today we’ll be living in Louisville. So weird to think about.)



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