It makes me feel like a bit of a badass

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life108 Comments


Yesterday I ran my second 5K at Women Run the Cities. I shaved almost 5 minutes off my previous time set back in July when I ran my very first race

Yep, almost five minutes.

And that, gentle blog readers, made me feel like a bit of a badass.


It didn't hurt that I was decked out in black from head to toe. (Literally, as I completed a fresh dye job on the old mop top just days before the race.)

I also chose to both shower and put hair products in my hair, opting to ditch my beloved running cap. I'm all for sporty, but heck, what's wrong with a wee bit of Aveda to help complete the look?

Me and my running partner/neighbor/friend Angela, a fellow 44-year-old newish running devotee toed the line together, running more or less neck and neck until she kicked it into a much higher gear and blew past me like the wind in the last 1/4 mile. 

My time? 27:50. Average per mile pace? 8:58. I was thrilled.


I was secretly just hoping to a) beat my original time from July, and then if I was really getting crazy, b) run under 30 minutes. I made a really zippy running mix and I swear it got me off to the start I needed.


Seriously, if Jónsi's Animal Arithmetic doesn't set your toe a tappin', then maybe you don't really fancy Icelandic pop music. It makes me want to just go!

I'm not the most competitive person in town, but there is definitely something that starts to happen in your brain when you're competing against your own time. You want to be better than last time. 

In this race, I took off at a pace I never really run at, and kept it up for most of the race. An unexpected side stitch at about the 2 mile mark said, "You aren't breathing very well, missy." I actually said to myself at that point, "Pain is temporary," and kept on truckin'.

Pain is temporary? Seriously? I can't imagine any former version of me that would ever think that for any conceivable reason.


But that's the nutty thing about running. It's putting a far more adventurous me out there in the world. 

It's making life a little less safe and predictable. 

And trust me: my therapist says that's exactly what I need.


(Thanks Angela, for being my running partner/neighbor/friend and encouraging me to sign up for this! We are SO on the 10-mile event next year. And thanks to Beth, fellow 5Ker, for the pic of the time sheet!)

Cathy ZielskeIt makes me feel like a bit of a badass

108 Comments on “It makes me feel like a bit of a badass”

  1. #3

    Congratulations Cathy, you are amazing. So happy for you and beating your old time and UNDER 30minutes. You are one cool badass who had a great hair day. I agree no pain no gain, so good for you for not letting it slow you down. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  2. #4

    Oh, you don’t know HOW happy this makes me! 😀

    I just signed up for a 5K. It’s a midweek, at-work event. Yikes! I ran into an old acquaintance on the weekend – turns out he’s the event organizer, and he pressured me into saying yes. Now I just have to do it, even though I haven’t run more than once a week for months and months now. Geez, can I even call myself a runner any longer?! lol

    Seriously though, your results are inspiring. I’ll be thinking of you as I try to squeeze some training sessions in between now and October 7th.

  3. #12

    Perhaps you feel like a bit of a badass because you are! I’ve never shaved FIVE MINUTES off my time from race to race! Rock on girl!

  4. #14
    Amy L

    Oh wow, how fantastic! I am struggling right now with being very s.l.o.w. And love that Owl City song, a great addition to my playlist.

  5. #15

    Super excited for you. When I saw you tweet your numbers I thought it was an awesome time. See you should of signed up for the +75. You have 75 easy. Me on the other hand is struggling this month. Unknown health issues are causing a low hematocrit number. Hmmm. And yes your bag is just the bomb with the rest of your outfit. Good thing you got them to print your number on your fav chartruese – wink.

  6. #18

    JILL! You were the Follow This Mother and I was all excited because you are crafty too! SO cool.

    I will definitely go read this. That is so awesome! : )

  7. #20

    Amy, im usually very slow. 11 minute miles, you know? Owl City is great for running! But seriously, the Jónsi? the BEST!

  8. #24

    Congrats, Cathy. Thanks for the continuing inspiration as I struggle to establish a running habit.

  9. #25

    ok Cathy really? 27:50!!! That is an amazing time!!! Seriously, really amazing!!! You rock, and inspire. I think it is SO cool that you are running now.

    My first half marathon is this Sunday and I have to say, I am a bit nervous. I really irritated my IT band a few weeks ago and have been in lots of pain when I run. I am going to go for it though and run through the pain (which BTW feels second only to labor). I have been doing physical therapy to help. But I have to tell you now–stretch your IT band big time with a foam roller! You do not want to be like me.

  10. #27

    Congrats Cathy! I always love beating a previous time, it’s a great feeling! One of my goals this winter is to get our “Running Scrapbook” up to date. We are always so busy training that it has gotten way behind!

  11. #28

    oh Theresa, ill be sending you some healing vibes. I do know the pleasures of the foam roller, but its mostly for my glutes. So far, IT band isnt my issue. PF? Yep. But IT band, thankfully, no.


  12. #30

    Hi again Cathy,

    I just posted earlier this morning before my walk/jog but have something sweet to share with you. I walk at our high school track since my street is not fit for a bignner runner like me. Anyhow when I got there today the high school gym class was coming off the track and some of the girls said hello to me and that it was great how I came everyday and how good I’m doing and that it’s cool I come on their track. Isn’t that sweet, usually they come out when I’m just about done so they’ve never talked to me before. I told them thanks for the support and that I love using their track and that I’m enjoying it. Then they wished me good luck and to have a good day. So today I ran longer then I have before and really worked it and it felt great. A little support goes a long way, just had to share it with you.

  13. #32
    Stéphanie B.

    Congrats!!! GREAT TIME ….can you believe where you are at rigth now, after “only” 9 months of moving? You’ve been doing it the right way, building it little by little but hey! what a reward at the end, isn’t it? Also, it’s like discovering yourself or waking up after a long sleep, like “yes! I’m able to do that” and a little bit of “where does it come from?”….I’m so happy for you, and look forward to get back to running when baby is here….still few months to wait though. Don’t forget, this kind of success calls for a little treat, more than a pat on the back. (don’t tell , but sometimes, it also helps for motivation).
    Thanks for sharing, and again, very good time, congrats!

  14. #33

    Hi Jill,

    I just visited your blog and read your amazing victory!! Big CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!! I love the way you wrote about it, you and Cathy really know how to put the perfect words in about this running thing we have going on. I loved your pictures also so sweet with your kids. I enjoyed the rest of your blog too and plan on coming back. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep up the good work.

  15. #34

    Big congrats, Cathy! Five minutes is enormous! Not just shaved but HACKED! 😉 I like to race in black, too. It makes me feel tougher somehow, which is probably dumb but there you have it! My new favorite running song: Kids by MGMT. But I am listening to Animal Arithmatic right now!

  16. #35

    Not bad Cathy Zielske. How about with a half marathon next year? That’s my goal for the next year. I’m began running just 4 weeks ago and I feel so much better with every mile I’m able to run.
    Thank you for your fidelity about your former body (realize myself) and your inspiration!

    Greetings from oversea, Germany

  17. #36

    Great job! Wish I would have continued running after my first 5K…. now I signed up for a 8K and haven’t been training just running slow and steady one time a week to build up. This race time will be about finishing.

  18. #37
    Angie Lucas

    YES!!! Everlong is also on my most recent running mix. I knew I was cool. And I have NEVER run with a pace that fast, my friend. My fastest pace ever was 9:03. WAY to go!

  19. #39

    Isnt that totally cool? I absolutely LOVE when runners give some support to other runners, ESPECIALLY to newer runners. I know that whenever someone passes me and says good morning, or the one time I was out for a run and a group passed me and my running partner (and we were both in run skirts) and the leader of the other group nods and says, Mornin skirts, I just love the cameraderie. It made me smile and want to keep on running.

    GO YOU!

  20. #43

    Robyn, you should do it! I did my first one out of sheer fear (and I figured if anything, it would make entertaining blog fodder.) This last one? For sheer fun, and to see if I could better my time. I loved it! Go for it.

  21. #44

    Yeah, but Angie, didnt you run that one on your 10K? Seriously girl.

    I really didnt have much left. It was weird. Side stitch? Like, where did that come from? I seriously wasnt breathing all that great. Next time, oh yes, next time….

    Oh, and you are ALWAYS cool in my book.

  22. #45

    Congrats Cathy–Badass that you are! Wow! For the record, I am still in the “thinking about running” category, but your tales inspire me. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the glow….

  23. #48
    cstaff (carol)

    Wow Cathy… sub 9’s… that’s fantastic. 5k’s are so hard because you feel all out the whole time. You are looking great and all your hard work shows… inside and out… just fantastic… get’s addictive huh??!!

  24. #49
    Lori Hudson

    Go Cathy! My niece runs cross country for her school. To qualify for the team, you must be able to run a 5k in less than 30 min. You know what that means??? You can run with the high school kids, woman!!!

  25. #52

    Awesome work Cathy. Kickin’ a and taking names as my hubby would say 🙂 5 minutes off your 1st 5K and sub9’s–thumbs up. Heidi

  26. #57

    Fabulous! All I have right now is distance, but I still hope to get some speed one of these days. You really need to do a 10K now, and then a half!

  27. #59

    Way to go – great time!
    I ran my first 10K last Sunday with a goal of finishing it – and I did pretty good with a time of 1:05 – slow, but I did it, ran the whole way and haven’t been so proud of myself in a long time.
    Now I need to work on improving my time and want to run a half marathon next.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  28. #61

    I dont think thats a slow time at ALL for 6.2 miles. Seriously. That is not leisurely at all! Congrats!
    : )

    My goal would be to be right around there for a 10K!

  29. #62
    Denise K.

    You inspire me, lady! 🙂

    Just started the couch-to-5K program to get myself moving…did brisk walking/running intervals this morning and it felt good. I hope to run in a 5K one day!

  30. #64
    Jude Dettmann

    You’re such an inspiration!! I want to do this by next year! I’m going to be 55 this year and, even though I’ve lost a bunch of weight I still have a long way to go. In no way can I call what I do ‘running’ (I’m mistress of the 30 minute mile!) – but it’s a start – at least it’s more than I’ve done for a very long time.

    You go girl – keep on running!!!

  31. #65
    Beth Sutton

    You are a rocking bad ass! Thanks for all the inspiration and sharing the playlist. About 10 years ago I ran the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta (seems like forever ago. I’d never even run a 10K in practice, much less a race that takes you up what is fondly called Cardiac Hill. Before I started running I saw a man with a shirt that said “Pain is temporary, Pride is Forever” and so my mantra during the race was “Pride Forever”; it was simple to say in my head and kept me running the whole 10 K.

  32. #66
    Denise K.

    PS. I wanted to mention how happy and great you look and how you’ve inspired me to take pics in the mirror of the ‘current me’, to compare with future months. I hope to be much healthier and less bulgy-er! Thanks again!

  33. #69
    Margaret McGarry

    This is just amazing all around. Breaking the 30 minutes, averaging under 9 min/mile, shaving off 5 mins, looking like a hot mama with your Aveda’ed hair… seriously. I am SO HAPPY for you and so grateful that you share all these moments with us. I can’t wait to hear about your future races!

  34. #70

    Thanks for sharing your sweet ass-kicking run with us this morning! I’m starting my week in 100 degree weather, and I really needed the butt kick to get on the tread today!

  35. #75

    Thank you for the motivation,I ran my first 5K earlier this year in May at MOA (Susan G Komen)and after that I signed up for a smaller race, I didn’t train well, had no buddy and barely managed to finish the race. I almost gave up running after that race… Reading your post about running against your own time is the motivation I was looking for… 31 Oct would be my next race…
    thanks again…

  36. #78

    that is crazy cool, cathy! 🙂 super duper excited for you. i’m stuck in a natural 10 minute pace these days, so i’ve upped my running/week. all our moving (3 homes in 5 months) got me major off track and this past week i hopped back on my comfort runs and joined a local gym. $30/year. a little nervous about me getting bored, but i’m still so so excited! (now, not to get pregnant too soon… hmmm)

  37. #79


    AWESOME TIME GIRL! I am an 11 minute/mile girl right now. I have been able to get the distance further, but I havent increased my time. Someday I hope to be under a 9 minute mile on a run, we’ll see. CONGRATS!! You should get yourself a ROCKSTAR bracelet from Silver Maple. I got one for myself for my 10K and half marathon. She customized it for me and I wear it with pride. It is motivating. Next year I hope to shave off my time at the same two races.

  38. #80

    Well, keep in mind, this was 3.1 miles of sub 9. My average runs are 11 minutes, a little higher than that! : )

    I should get a new piece of jewelry though, huh?

  39. #83
    kerri Macdonald

    Cathy, Congrats on finishing and the great time! Under 30 minutes look at you go! Somewhere over on BPS I have a layout of a picture of you and I at CKU-A Atlanta and my title says Scrap Design Hero, I think I need a new one hmm… maybe Badass Running Hero (not snazzy enough…I’ll have to give this one some thought)! You go girl! Thanks for the inspiration!

  40. #85
    Nancy M

    Who-hoo, great job, congratulations! Boy I’m jealous {me with my 11:30 mile}… but I will keep plugging along. Please keep posting these updates, so inspiring!

  41. #90

    Congrats! And yes that Animal Arithmitic makes my heart beat a little faster just by listening to it….think I burned any calories from that? HMMM…

  42. #91

    5 minutes is awesome. Congrats. You make me want to run – or at least take a walk – and your music would get me moving too. Way to Go

  43. #92
    Alison Shearer

    You feel like a bad ass (or a bad arse as we would say here in Australia) because you are one! That’s a really great time improvement…you should be seriously proud of yourself. XXX

  44. #93

    Wow Cathy, I only wish I had your secret for determination and desire! Congratulations. I clicked to listen to that song and it brought back memories how in 1982 I was into biking and the sound track to Flash Dance was my “play list” on my Walkman circa 1981. Maniac is right up there with Jónsi’s Animal Arithmetic in making you want to hussle. Close your eyes and think of Mulkilteo Blvd through Forest Park and me powering it up the hills ;o) Oh, how to be 18 again!

  45. #95

    Oh man, I used to swim at Forest Park! In high school, Cascade High didnt have a pool, so we worked out at Forest Park!


    We even had our Senior all night lock in party at the pool. Weird that i am remembering that.

  46. #97

    Congratulations! I have an “operations” question…

    Do you wear contacts for running? Put a strap on your glasses? I’m having issues w/ that part.


  47. #98
    Sarah Jane

    I just found your blog via Life…As I see it. Always great of find a Twin Cities blogger/ runner. I have a few friends that ran the Women Run the Cities. What a beautiful day. Congrats!

  48. #99

    I wear no glasses, which is okay, unless I have to read something, like my iPod!

    I wear prescription sunglasses to bike, but I run without glasses. My glasses are mostly for reading and mid distance, so to run without them isnt a problem!
    : )

  49. #102
    stacie jo

    Not only did you finish the race, but you REALLY did look like a Bad-Ass!!! Way to go. You should be very proud!!

  50. #103

    Just signed up for a 1/2 on November 21st. I’ll take your 50mile challenge and I think you should get some white Oakleys to run in. Distinct and fun!

  51. #107
    Courtney Walsh

    i realize this is an older post, but i’m catching up. I started adding running to my walks when we moved to Colorado (because people are so darn active here and I hate to not fit in)…had a little lapse and started up again this morning.

    I’m so discouraged because my back is now completely out. 🙁 I sooo want to do this, but I’m really frustrated my body isn’t cooperating. 🙁 grrrr.

    Your blogs are so inspiring, hot stuff! 🙂

  52. #108

    hang in there Courtney, but dont push anything that might result in an injury! seriously. just listen to what your body is telling you. im posting about running and injuries tomorrow… just sharing what ive been working with!

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