The Learning Curve

I’ll admit that prior to becoming a runner I knew nothing of the sport, besides that it took a heck of a lot of endurance and stamina. If you’re in shape running shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Just put on a pair of shoes and go….yup was I totally wrong. It wasn’t until I decided to run my first 10K that I realized there is so much more to running than just putting on a pair of shoes and going for a run. There is a learning curve to running that I’m still on, since this is my first major long distance run I had to do research into what I should be or shouldn’t be doing to prepare myself for a half marathon. Some things I knew from training for my first 10K, such as breaking in a pair of running shoes before going a long distance with them, but there was a lot that I wasn’t aware of until I made the commitment to run a half marathon and really had to commit to getting myself both mentally and physically ready for what I am about to do on May 17th.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far, and am still learning:

  1. Find a training schedule that works for you. Whether it’s the schedule like the one that Cellcom Green Bay Marathon sponsor Prevea provides online for both half and full marathon participants, an app on your phone, or a schedule you found in a fitness magazine you have to find one that works for you. I’m a visual person so I have mine on my fridge so I can reference it at any time, as well as cross off workouts I’ve completed (because nothing feels better than crossing of a workout session).
  2. Accept that training will not be perfect: Not every run will be fantastic, some will be less than fantastic or downright ugly. You might even miss a run or two because of injury or a crazy work schedule. It’s okay, life happens. So you miss one, just make the effort to get the next workout in. And do your best to never miss a long run session.
  3. Pay attention to how you run, can you improve your posture or how your foot hits the pavement? Look forward and not down (this is a struggle for me at times). Holding your core tight and relax your arms and hands, to help your posture. Keep your breathing easy as well. Also have a few pairs of running shoes that you can rotate between while training, instead of just one that might be a little too worn down by race day.
  4. Use your training runs to try new things out, so you can figure out what will work best for the big day. Are you going to us energy gels or chews? This is something that I’m still learning; I’ve been trying out energy gels and chews on my last few long runs to see if they are something that I may use on race day. So far I’m leaning towards the gels as my preferred source of a little energy before a run.
  5. Nutrition and hydration: Learning what to eat even a day or two before a long run is something I’m still figuring out. At the being of my training I wasn’t paying attention to what I was eating much, but as the distances increased I realized how important it is to put the right kind of fuel in my body. Food is fuel, and for everyone what type food works for you will be different than the next. And making sure to properly fuel your body after is key too, and again this is different for everyone. Also keep hydrated! I drink half my body weight in ounces of water a day just to keep my muscles hydrated. I can tell when I’ve haven’t drank enough in a day, even if it is a rest day. Our bodies are beautiful machines; we have to do everything to take care of them.
  6. Be mentally prepared as well as physically. Running is not only physically demanding, but it is mentally demanding. I’ve learned no matter what distance I’m running I have to learn to silence my mind from distraction and to remind myself that my mind will give up long before my body will. Listen to your body, it will tell you if that side cramp is something you can run through or if you need to walk it out a bit.
  7. Find what motivates you. Is it upbeat music? Are you going to dedicate your miles to loved ones? Are you looking forward to celebrating with a drink at the finish line? Whatever it is that motivates you, use it to your advantage. I love listening to a variety of upbeat music, and I actually will sing along. This helps my breathing and distracts me from how far I’ve run. Treadmill runs are hard for me because I always want to check how far I’ve ran, but I’ll count songs instead and check my distance only after so many songs.
  8. Have fun and live in the moment. Some days I’m so excited for race day, other days it’s my nerves that get the best of me. I know that come the day of the race I will have butterflies in my stomach, and adrenaline pumping through my veins. Once I cross the start line and settle in I will enjoy every step of the race. This has been a long journey, and on race day it’s all about living in the moment and enjoying the atmosphere around me and supporting my fellow runners.

This first timer is still absorbing all the advice and information she can get and is still learning as she goes, but I cannot wait to run through Lambeau and complete my first half marathon. I’m also looking forward to celebrating with a drink and raising my glass to say cheers and a job well done by us all!
Happy running!
Jenny Leiterman
The First Timer

The Invisible Runner: How I Make My Training Work For Our Family

For parents of young children, free time is a commodity more precious than gold. The chance to let your freak flag fly and indulge in the passions that make you who you are, without being interrupted by crying and snot. My husband works long hours at a demanding job, and he deserves some down time to relax with his books and video games. His wife burst through the door with running shoes on her feet two years ago, shaking up the family dynamic. As of this writing, I’m knee-deep in training for my third marathon at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, and I have managed to find a way to get my miles in that works for both of us. If you are struggling to balance your half or full-marathon training with your family life, hopefully you will be able to glean some wisdom from this post.

As I made clear in my introductory post for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon’s Leader of the Pack program, I was not a runner when my husband met me, nor when I became a mother for the first, second or third time. My husband and I were not strangers to the delicate “making time for hobbies while raising a young family” dance, however.  We have always had some interests separate from each other, and prior to running, I was an avid scrapbooker. You know the scrapbooking type; armed with acid-free tape, a paper cutter, and boxes full of photos of their precious children, they gather for nights out with their girlfriends at scrapbooking gatherings called “crops.” I negotiated for these much-needed nights out many weeks in advance, and I averaged one night out every other month.

When I started exercising on my basement treadmill, the effect on my family was still minimal. I was still physically present in the house for missing-toy emergencies or sibling-fight-refereeing. Even when I started running outside, it was during the spring months, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to wake up a bit earlier and get a few miles in on nearby roads before my husband left for work.

However, once I set my sights on half-marathons, and later, marathons, a “few miles” was not going to work for some of my weekday runs. For a while, I attempted to wake up and lace up at an ungodly hour, but my late-afternoon grumpiness due to lack of sleep annoyed even myself. Besides, my husband threw a wrench in more than a few planned workouts due to an unexpected meeting or conference call that required an early departure. The weekends were no better; the miles demanded to be run, but the children also needed to be driven to activities and (gasp!) played with on occasion. My husband knew how much my new fitness lifestyle meant to me and tried to be supportive, but the tension in our home was slowly growing.

Enter the schedule that still stands to this day, that I deem “The Invisible Runner.” Here’s how it shakes out:

Weekday Runs (School Year, Non-Holiday): On the days only two of my kids have school, my workout needs to be completed by 7:30 a.m. in order to get them ready for the bus. I complete my workout on the treadmill on those days, waking up as early as needed. Usually those runs are just recovery runs, so the wakeup call isn’t too bad (an added incentive to train: my wakeup time gets later if my recovery-run pace gets faster!). I try to schedule workouts like intervals, tempo runs and medium-long runs for the days all three of my kids have school in the morning (last year this was two days per week, now it is three days per week). On those days, I can wake up at the luxuriously late hour of 7:20, and run outside after I drop my son off at preschool. Unless the weather is horrible, in which case I hit the ‘mill.

Weekday Runs (School Holidays or Summer): Last summer, I tried to get outside in the early morning hours as much as possible. If that was impossible for whatever reason (weather, my husband’s schedule, excessive tiredness), the ‘mill was a necessary evil. Braving the treadmill means a later wakeup time (assuming we don’t have to get up for a camp or other activity), so I often choose that option unless I believe my workout for that day would be better done on the roads.

Weekend Long Runs and Races: This part of my training is the most visible, but I try to make it as invisible as possible.  My middle child has dance class on Saturday mornings, and sometimes one of the other children has an activity, as well.  I am off on my long run before the family wakes up, and I try my darndest to be home to pick her up from class at noon. Since my training has been invisible during the rest of the week, my husband is more than happy to be Super Dad for a few hours. He has even morphed into the expert ballet bun-maker of the family!

If I have a race, I am often not home by noon, but since I only do a few races per training cycle, my husband is fine with that. Some of my running friends have spouses or children who are either runners themselves, or serve as cheerleaders at their races. To date, I have only had my family at one finish line (my first marathon), and I prefer it that way. My kids’ current interest level isn’t high enough to make them stand at the side of the road  just to see me one or two times. The very important exception to this rule will be the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon: My husband, kids, and parents are making the pilgrimage to Green Bay, and are psyched about being able to hang out at Lambeau during the expo and the race.

This schedule is not for everyone. Perhaps you have a running spouse, or a spouse with an equally time-consuming hobby. Perhaps you don’t have access to a treadmill, or you need more hours of sleep in order to function like a human, or you have to balance your outside-the-home work schedule alongside your spouse’s schedule. However you choose to fit in your training, my advice would be to make it a definite priority, but be willing to compromise when needed. Running is important to me, but my family is my world, and I don’t like being apart from them any more than I have to.  My “invisible runner” schedule makes me a marathoner, but also a very visible mother and wife. That, for me, is the best of both worlds.

The Mom On The Run,

Sara Roach

Goal Setting

Today I got the First Timers newsletter email from the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. In the newsletter they talked about pre race anxiety and dealing with it. I for sure am one of those people that gets anxious before a race, and especially a race that is a new distance (like the half marathon for me). One of the things that helps me deal with the anxiety of an upcoming race is to set a goal.

By now I am sure that most people have a goal for their race. Most people sign up with at least some kind of goal in mind. For some people it is to complete the marathon in under 4:00:00. It could be to complete the half marathon in under 1:45:00. It could be to just finish the race or finish the race with no walking breaks. Whatever your goal, it is good to have one. If you don’t have one in mind (or even if you do) you may want to consider a different look on goal setting.

For me, I don’t set a goal. By that I mean I don’t set one goal. Every race or event I set at least 3 goals. I always have an A, B and C goal in mind at the start and during the training of each race. Let me explain.

My A goal is always a goal that is probably just out of reach. A goal that if I could achieve it, would be AMAZING, but if I don’t not a big deal. It was designed to be just out of reach. For me, this is usually a goal time that is just faster than I think I could or have ever done a race. For the half marathon, my A goal is a time of 1:53:00 or under.

Now the B goal is the realistic time goal. A goal that is what I am 99% sure that I can get. The time that I am targeting in my training. For me in the half marathon, I am going for a time of 2:00:00 or under. Two hours is the time that I am training for with my training program (the Runners World Half Marathon Under 2 hours program). It is a time I should be able to get based on past 5K races as well as training times I have had.

The C goal is your if nothing else, at least I have this goal. My C goal is always to complete the race/event. If something happens during the race or it is just a really bad/off day, I can always rely on my C goal. I always want to just complete the event. So for the half marathon, my C goal is just to cross the finish line. Doesn’t matter the time, just get across that finish line.

By setting 3 goals for each event, it gives me something to really push for, something that I am sure I can achieve and as a last resort a default goal so that I don’t feel like I achieved nothing if the A and B just are not possible. In doing so, it makes me a little less nervous about not hitting a goal.

So, what are your goals for the upcoming event?

Adam Marin
Leader of the Pack

Leaders of the Pack: Alyssa Buchner

I’ve always been a mover but haven’t always been a runner. I excelled at the running portions of the many sports I played, but I was always focused on becoming a better player. Track was my off-season sport, which I did more to stay in shape than as a life-long passion. Unbeknownst to me, a simple cross-training run after basketball tryouts my sophomore year would change that dramatically.

Roughly two miles into my run on an otherwise beautiful fall day, I suddenly felt terrible pain in my right foot. Pain and terror engulfed me in a blinding flash. Eventually, I realized that my foot had been crushed underneath a car. Bystanders called EMS. I became unsettled by the fact that I would not be completing my run. That thought particularly troubled me: I always finish what I start, but this was one time where completion was not in my control.

The resulting injuries forced me to end my college basketball career prematurely. On top of my physical injury, I was diagnosed with PTSD from the trauma of being hit from behind while running. I was both physically and mentally incapable of running for a period of time after the incident. But sometimes the only way out of a mess is through the mess. Because running was the trigger, I knew I would have to run again to heal. I began logging miles on the treadmill slowly but surely. Eventually, I was able to venture outside and enjoy a change of scenery. Each run made me realize that I was choosing empowerment over defeat. The more I ran, the more alive and free I felt. No matter what, I was going to get back on my course and finish my race.

With my new focus on running, I wanted to test my endurance in training for a marathon. I selected the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon due to its size, location, and how well-organized it was, according to my aunt and uncle who had ran it previously. The fact that I would be able to finish on the field where my favorite sports champions play just sweetened the deal. I trained through a harsh Minnesota winter using a combination of library books and online articles to tailor my workouts. By the time race day had arrived, I knew I was ready.

I approached the starting line with the only expectation of working hard and staying focused throughout the race. Immediately after the starting gun fired, I was enveloped by the camaraderie of Title Town. Each mile passed quicker than I had anticipated thanks to the friendly support of all the spectators. Running by the Fox River was a scenic distraction from any race fatigue. Nearing mile 20, I was starting to hit a wall. Luckily, running in Green Bay, there is never an opportunity to get discouraged. Volunteers from the race were right where I needed them to keep on running strong: young children ran along side me to offer water and encouragement, servicewomen and men of the United States Armed Forces handed out much-needed fuel, neighborhood spectators held up humorous and motivational signs, and a random hand that held out a blue freeze pop that provided the last bit of glucose my muscles demanded to finish the race. The closer the other runners and I got to Lambeau, the more the excitement built. The powerful energy from the community pulled me towards the finish line. I finished the race in 3:25 (qualifying for Boston)! Promptly after the race, I reunited with my personal cheerleaders and relished in my success while savoring my very first beer at Lambeau Field. Finishing the marathon was one of my happiest moments in my life.

CGBM is a celebration of all the participants. No matter the size, shape, or ability, each runner comes to the event with a personal reason that the entire community wants to support. The event creates an atmosphere of positivity and encouragement that allows for success no matter what a runner’s goal. Spectators want participants to succeed and fellow runners radiate encouragement. CGBM is more than a race: it is a memorable experience of inclusion, celebration, and reward in the form of a beer and bratwurst.

Alyssa Buchner

Leader of the Pack: Sara Roach

Let’s take a trip in the wayback machine, back to my childhood in southeastern Wisconsin, where rooting for the Green Bay Packers was as common as breathing. Settle in while I summarize my athletic accomplishments prior to 2013:



You might say that I was a bookish girl who couldn’t decide whether she wanted to be a hardcore band geek or a drama-club geek, so she dabbled in both. But athletics were not part of the equation. At all. Marching with the band in a parade was the extent of my physical movement in high school, unless you count working out to “Hooked on Aerobics” on PBS in the comfort of my bedroom (which I don’t).

Watching out for measure splits, not mile splits.

Watching out for measure splits, not mile splits.

In college, I majored in journalism and minored in late-night pizza runs, so there was no athletic activity there, either, although I did hit the StairMaster or the occasional aerobics class just for weight-loss purposes. It was the same story in law school, as well as in my mid-20s career-building phase; I would hit the gym for brief periods if my clothes started to get a little tight or I wanted to look good in my wedding dress. But a fitness lifestyle? Fuhgeddaboudit.

My early 30’s were a blur of pregnancy and motherhood in the Chicago suburbs, working a full-time job and trying to remain upright due to sleep deprivation. There was also a period of depression and anxiety while I was pregnant with my second child. I should have been running during this period, but I wasn’t.

I did make a pilgrimage with my Dad to Lambeau Field in 2007, in honor of Brett Favre's final season as a Packer. I look forward to my return trip for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon!

I did make a pilgrimage with my Dad to Lambeau Field in 2007, in honor of Brett Favre’s final season as a Packer. I look forward to my return trip for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon!

Fast-forward to May 2012. I had gained weight with my third pregnancy in 2009, as one does, but I had added on substantially to that poundage total following my son’s birth. I was now a stay-at-home mom and I was doing the supermom thing extremely well, but my physical health was taking a back seat and I did not feel comfortable with my body. After seeing pictures of myself with my children on Mother’s Day, I decided to step on a scale for the first time in years. I weighed 197 pounds on my 5’3″ frame. It was like someone flipped a switch.

One of the Mother's Day photos that sparked a running journey.

One of the Mother’s Day photos that sparked a running journey.

A few days later, after the kids went to bed, I announced that I was going to go downstairs and walk on our basement treadmill.  I hadn’t done that in a while, but my husband said “Okay” and didn’t think much of it. I went back downstairs the next night, and the next. I started going further and faster, and began to mix in little sprints while holding onto the handrails. By early 2013, I had lost about 60 pounds through exercise and cleaning up my diet, and my self-esteem had increased exponentially. I was mostly running rather than walking on the treadmill by this time, as I realized I could spend less time exercising for the same calorie burn (brilliant deduction, eh?). But when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred in April 2013, I was saddened, but it did not affect me like it did most runners; I didn’t yet consider myself a part of that world.

And then my treadmill broke. Cue the panic! I didn’t want to let my newfound fitness slip away, so I knew I had to do something. I had seen people post on Facebook using MapMyRun, so I downloaded that app onto my phone, scrounged up a pair of headphones and hit up my neighborhood trail. Down in my basement, I wasn’t sure how far I was running, since my old treadmill did not reliably keep track of those things. But on the trail that spring day, I did 5 miles and felt like I could have done more.  Lo and behold, another switch was flipped.

My Facebook status update from May 5, 2013.

My Facebook status update from May 5, 2013.

I finished my first 5K in 29:30 on May 19, 2013 — just over a year after I began walking for fitness. I remember thinking that 3.1 miles was too short. A 10K followed a few weeks later, and I quickly signed up for my first half-marathon. I trained all summer long for the Chicago Half Marathon, and finished in 2:06:46. Pre-dawn workouts and weekend long runs became part of the domestic fabric. My running was the “new normal,” and my family adjusted to this with a mixture of admiration and incredulousness.

6 sara

Finishing the 2013 Chicago Half Marathon — one of the top five proudest moments of my life.

My new favorite pastime became setting audacious (for me) running goals and meeting them: Go sub-2-hours in the half marathon (I did that a few weeks after my first half). Set another PR in the half marathon (I did that two months later). Train for and finish my first marathon (I finished the Wisconsin Marathon in May 2014 in 4:02:57). And finally, the granddaddy of them all: Qualify for the Boston Marathon (done at the 2014 Chicago Marathon in 3:38:09).

Photos from my 2014 year in running.

Photos from my 2014 year in running.

Is the next step an ultra? Maybe someday, but for now, the marathon is my jam. I still have tons to learn about the distance, and many more races on my bucket list. I am knocking one of those races — the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon — off my list in just a few short weeks. I’m still trying to chip away at my race-distance PRs, but my focus has shifted from a laser-focus on the clock to embracing the running culture. Through my social media outlets, I have been able to connect with many runners whose friendships I treasure, and I love meeting more people whenever and however I can. I sincerely hope that my experience as a “Leader of the Pack” will allow me to add many new folks to my tribe. You don’t even have to be from Wisconsin to win my friendship (although it does help…); you just have to love making forward progress. I came to this running party later in life, but I’m here to stay!

The Mom on the Run,
Sara Roach

Leaders of the Pack: Adam Marin

Some people run for pure enjoyment. Some people run as a mood enhancer. Some people run to be able to eat cookies. And some of us run to lose weight and get in shape. I fall under the last category, or at least I used to.

Just over 1 year ago, I weighed 320 (or more, I stopped getting on a scale) pounds. The picture below is me on March 8, 2014. To say I was overweight, was to put it mildly. I grew up always being on the heavy side. I always wore husky pants and was always heavier than most all of my friends. It bothered me at times, and at times I was more alright with it (probably more than I should have been).

adam marin before

It was after the picture above was taken and I looked at it, I realized how disgusted I was with myself and decided I needed to make a change and get really serious about losing weight.

In the past I had tried all kinds of weight loss programs. I did Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach and tried just going to the gym random times and not really doing any kind of program. As you can guess, they all failed miserably! Weight Watchers worked a couple times for a bit, but as soons as I stopped I would gain back twice what I lost. I ended up giving up after a month or two each time because it was just not working for me. I vowed to myself, that this time would need to be different.

I looked around at my options and most were too expensive or not structured enough. I really needed something that told me what to eat, how much of it and when. I found a book by Ian K. Smith called Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks, 20 Pounds, Lose It Faster! I used the book for two cycles of 4 weeks each to kick start my weight loss and to help me figure out how to eat a bit better and when and what to eat. The book also had a bit of a workout schedule such as do 40 minutes of cardio today. That is the part that may have changed my life.

At first, being as big as I was, I really took to the elliptical machine. It was good low impact cardio workout that would burn a lot of calories and I didn’t mind doing it. As I started to lose weight and started feeling like my cardio was getting better, I found that I needed something else to really take my workouts to the next level and give me a little variety.

Now my wife and I started this process at the same time and she had been doing some treadmill running and kept telling me I should try it. I have never been a runner. I played soccer from age 5 up through high school, but was not interested or good at any kind of distance running. I resisted her attempts to get me to run, but finally gave in one day. It was TOUGH!

I literally could not run for much more than 30 seconds at a time. I struggled, but kept with it. As my weight kept going down and my cardio improved, the running got easier. It wasn’t long before I was running, doing the elliptical and the stair climber plus some weight lifting every workout. The weight started coming off even faster, and I became more and more interested in the running part of my workouts.

I was so excited one day when I actually ran the whole distance of a 5K with no walking breaks. It took me just under 44 minutes to complete it, but I think from that moment on, I was hooked. Was the time great? No. A little slower and I would be walking, but that didn’t matter. I had done something I never thought possible. I kept running and doing my other workouts and my times started to improve.

It was also around this time that my wife finally talked me into running outside. Being heavy, I was very self conscious about running where people might see me in public. Now that my weight was down and I could run more consistently, I was alright with running outside…early in the morning…when less people were around. We ran outside a few times and I told her that if I could get my 5K time down under 33 minutes, I would consider doing a 5K event.

A few weeks later, I was running near my house, and my 5K time was 32:58. My first thought was, “Crap, I am going to have to actually do a 5K event.” I decided to look at it as an opportunity to prove to myself that all my hard work was paying off and I was bettering myself. I completed my first 5K (The Scheels Paperfest 5K in July 2014) in 32:12. I was hooked! I had just run a PR (personal record) and on a tough hilly course. I was no where near the top of the results but it didn’t matter. I had run faster than I ever did before. It was at this point that my running turned from just a way to eat more calories, to a competition with myself. I knew I would never be an elite runner. I doubt I will ever even be a great runner, but I can try and be better than the runner I was yesterday. And for me that is enough. I thrive on competition and running is one of those things where you can compete with yourself to be the best you can be.

I kept running and using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track my calorie intake. One year to the day, on March 8, 2015, I weighed in at 185 pounds. I had lost 135 pounds over the course of one year through a lot of exercise (mostly running) and counting calories. Below is a picture my wife took on that morning.

adam marin now

So why do I run? Well, these days it isn’t about just getting in shape. It is about competing with myself and trying to be the best I can be. Will I win the half marathon? No way! Does it matter? No way! I am running for me. I am running for my wife (who I really owe for getting me to do it in the first place). I am running to be able to live long enough to see my kids get married and have kids of their own. Whatever reason you are running, and whatever speed you run at, good for you! Good for you for putting it out there and challenging yourself to complete something. Whether it is the 5K, half marathon, full marathon, or relay event, good for you! Good for all of us!

Leaders of the Pack: Jenny Leiterman

If you would have asked me four years ago if I would ever in my life consider participating in a half marathon I would have thrown my head back and laughed hysterically. A half marathon? What are you nuts?? I’m lucky if I can run five consecutive minutes, you want me to run 13.1 miles. You have a strange sense of humor. It took me about another year before I looked in the mirror one day and realized that if I didn’t do something to take care of me, I wasn’t gonna be around. Heart disease is prevalent on both sides of my family, and I knew that if I didn’t stop making excuses and start making an effort to get into shape and make better choices I was going to be in big trouble.

So I started slowly making changes to my diet and incorporating a fitness routine into my schedule. As I lost weight I was game to start trying new things, and the one thing I always wanted to do was to be a runner. I had always wanted to participate in a race, but was extremely self conscious because I was by no means any where close to being a runner. But I set a goal for myself to complete a 5k, and not just complete it but run the entire race. I had done some training for it and as my stamina increased so did my confidence. Race day finally came and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but let me tell you this…it was AWESOME! Yes I was able to run the entire race, and faster than I expected but I was addicted to the atmosphere. Everyone is cheering you on no matter how fast your pace is or if they even know you. Seeing all different ages and levels participate together was the neatest thing for me, because I was no longer self conscious about how fast I was going, or how well I did because you just enjoyed the moment and the camaraderie.

After I finished my first 5k, I was ready to set my sights higher… up a 10k! Double or nothing as I double my distance and realize this is going to take some planning and an actual training schedule. The beginning of training was great, I can tackle these walk/run intervals no problem, but as the running increased and walking decreased I really had to focus on pacing myself and not letting the distance get to me. The first time I ran 5 miles without a break was the day that it really sunk in for me…I am a runner! The day of the 10k was hectic to say the least. I arrived just as they were getting ready to start the race….oh no…I’m late, I’m late, I’m late….I kept thinking to myself. I ran as fast as I could to get to my starting corral which was slowly moving towards the starting line and was mildly freaking out on the inside…how did I not give myself enough time to get here….way to go Jenny…smooth move……

Well I got a good 5 minute warm up run in before I made it to the start line haha. By the time I finished my first 10k I was beat from the “minor” freak out I had as I arrived, and from all of the built up nerves and adrenaline of completing my first 10k, but even though I was tired I was excited to sign up for another one. I couldn’t wait to continue to run more races.

So at the beginning of this year after running more 5 and 10K races I decided to do a half marathon. I thought I can run 6.2 miles, running 13.1 can’t be that bad right? Always the optimist lol. After I made the decision to run, it was time to pick the race I was going to complete this fete at. As someone who has grown up in the area the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon has always intrigued me, because I’ve known others who have participated and I thought it was the coolest thing that we had a marathon race in Green Bay. And now that I live fairly close to the marathon course I thought it was neat to see the runners going through. So that’s all it took for me to decide that this first timer was going to make her debut at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon! And the fact that I get to finish by running through Lambeau is pretty darn sweet too! (Big Packer Fan Over Here)

So that’s my running story… was a pretty condensed version but you get it, right? I am so excited to be able to participate in my first half marathon, and who knows I may become inspired to attempt a full marathon next year :)

Happy Training to my fellow runners!

The First Timer,

Jenny :)

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