Monday, February 18, 2013

Glad Tidings Wounded Warrior 5K

Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed a great weekend!

We were blessed with beautiful weather and a weekend filled with many fun adventures!

For starters, my sister in law (Kayla) and I met at Orange Leaf on Friday night for my typical pre-race “secret weapon”!


Oh yes, FroYo! I could eat it every meal, no lie. I love this stuff!

After arriving home, I began my OCD preparation for the 5K race I was running the following day!


Knowing it would be a cold one, I decided on an outfit I could wear the entire race. It had been SO long since I ran a 5K (especially a cold one at that), I almost felt like a first timer!


Race morning, I woke up bright and early – not only was I a runner in the 5K, I was also a race volunteer. 

This event was the first of its kind for my church, so I was incredibly excited to help out and be a part!


Photo Courtesy of Capture Photography

Despite the early hours and cold temps, we had a good sized group of volunteers! Along with our church volunteers, the National Guard also gave of their time in honor of the Wounded Warriors.


My sister in law Kayla and running buddy Heather came out for the race, too!


Prior to the race, most of the runners huddled up in the Glass Foyer to stay warm. (We haven’t had temperatures this cold in a long while.) As I was talking to my friends, someone tapped me on the shoulder and told me to go find our Media Pastor. She was with a local news station and wanted me for a news interview.



I found the TV crew and they were in the middle of interviewing Ken Andrews of the Biggest Loser Season 11. Oh yea, I forgot to mention – Ken and his son Austin were with us the entire weekend! (More on that later…)

I had to laugh after I saw this video air. I was asked several interview questions and all they used was a 3 second clip of me saying how cold it was. I am incredibly excited and grateful I was asked to do this interview so I’m not complaining, I just think its funny! (And NO, I do not laugh like a moron. Just sayin.)

Heather, Kayla, and I ran a warm up lap around the church prior to getting in the start line. We probably should have run a little bit longer, because my toes were still blocks of ice after our “warm up” lap. Oh well.


After our lap, we lined up with the other 300 + runners/walkers for the start of the race. For a change, we made our way to the FRONT of the race start instead of the middle/back. I was ready!


Austin and his dad said a few words of welcome/good luck and before long, we were off!


This course was perfectly planned as an out and back course without a lot of turns/twists. Throughout the course, several National Guard/race volunteers were lined to cheer the runners/walkers on!

Heather and I began the race at a pretty comfortable pace. I didn’t realize that we were at an 8:35 pace until we reached the first water stop at 1/2 mile (the turn around for the 1 mile fun run). We passed up the first water stop and kept our pace until we reached the turn around point. After grabbing a cup of water, we took a few seconds to sip a little water, then we started running again. Running back was fun because I saw lots of people I knew and I was able to cheer them on (and vice versa)! Cheering and waving to other runners distracted me and I realized that our pace had slowed down.  I knew that wouldn’t do, so I tried to push the pace back up a bit. Prior to this race, my 5K PR was 26:45. After the second mile of Saturday’s 5K, I realized I would be close to a new PR, and I knew if I kept up my pace I could do it!

Heather and I kept pushing and before long, we reached our destination! 3.1 miles – in 26:25!! A new PR!

(Unfortunately, my race photographer had to work, so there are no photos of me at the finish line.) :0)

However, I did get to see Kayla at the finish!


She did great for not having run in a really long time! Way to go, Kayla!


I was also able to cheer on my friend Melissa! She ran her very first 5K and I was SO proud of her! Yay Melissa!


I was very excited to have so many of my friends participating in the race!  Yay fitness!


My dad took his time and walked the 5K and when he crossed the finish line, he joked about how the time clock was no longer up and running. Someone told him that they removed the clock and put up the calendar! Hah hah.


Austin walked the 5K and Ken cheered runners/walkers on. Ken wasn’t able to participate because he is still recovering from a horrible case of pneumonia. It was great having Ken and Austin out there – they were both great encouragements!


After the race, we went to Starbucks for coffee (and hoped to warm up our cold bodies), then we returned to church for a Health and Wellness Seminar given by Ken and Austin. (More on that, later!)


Overall, I had an awesome day. The weather was gorgeous (despite the cold), I was interviewed for the local news station (even if I only made it on air for all of three seconds), AND I had a 5K PR! I’ll take it!!  (It also left me with the urge to run more 5K’s….guess that means I’ll have to check out the local race calendar for upcoming races!)

This was a great race and very well planned out! With over 350 registered, I wasn’t sure how chaotic the registration would be, but everything went very smooth! You could tell the planners of the 5K put a lot of thought and consideration into the event overall. I will definitely run this one again next year!

This upcoming weekend is Rock and Roll New Orleans! I’m running the Full Marathon and I’ll be busy with race preparations all week! I cannot wait….I’m hoping for good weather and an awesome race!

What’s the next race/challenge on your calendar?


  1. Way to go Karen on your new PR...looked like a fun race and for a very worthy cause.

  2. yay Karen! So cool they came to your church, what a great idea and fun thing to do around the country!

    1. I agree! Their focus is awesome and they have a very powerful message! Loved it all!

  3. Sounds like an awesome race!!! Congrats on your PR! That's amazing! Fingers crossed we get to meet in Nola this weekend! And I'm hoping the weather gets better than the prediction right now. Rain go away!

    1. Yes!! I'll tweet you when I get to the expo and maybe we can meet up somewhere!

  4. Congrats on your PR! I kind of wish I were running RnR next weekend, but I'll be out there cheering probably around mile 14-15. I'll look for you!

    1. Thank you!! I'll be in a purple top and paisley running skirt! Hoping for no rain!

  5. Awesome job Karen!!! How fun for Ken and Austin to be there! I don't have a race until April - so I'm living vicariously through all of you :)

  6. Congrats on your PR! Anything that aids vets is something that's very near and dear to my heart; I can't imagine a better 5k to PR at! I'm running RnR NOLA (the full) this weekend, too. :) Good luck!!

    1. Thank you so much! I agree, the cause was a great one!! YAY for NOLA!! Best of luck to you!

  7. Way to go! Sounds like a lot of fun. I love when I get a bunch of friends together to race. Makes it so much better!

    1. Thanks Mindy! I's always more fun to run races with friends! :0)


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