Archive for February, 2013

Live, Love, Run

I’m a lifelong runner whose memory stretches back to my first race when I was five.  As the youngest of three brothers I got drug along and entered in a lot of races.  Thirty years later, I am still at it.    It has provided me sanity after college, through marriage, two pregnancies, and presently.  It is like an old familiar friend that I can always count on to pick me up.

Recently, running has taken a bigger focus and I am doing more and more.  I have met so many wonderful people through running, and feel so lucky to have crossed paths of so many amazing people who are passionate about what they do, no matter their speed.  Last year I was fortunate to be able to pace for two races, it was a great opportunity to share my love for the sport with others trying to reach their goal. The races I feared have become familiar and I am working on meeting new challenges and facing new fears in 2013.

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon and half marathon is no stranger to me.  I did the half a few years back and then the half back to back in 2011 and 2012.  In 2011 we faced crazy wind gusts that practically picked me up off the ground, and 2012 faced heat that practically had me falling on the ground.  This year I signed up for the half, and then changed my mind and upgraded to the full.  This course has challenged me with the weather; I want to challenge the course with the distance.

If all goes as planned this will be my third marathon for 2013, one already under my belt.  I hope this one will be the fastest of the three.  I look forward to the ups and downs of training for this and hope you enjoy the ride with me.

Ready to touch the Tundra!

Amy Zembroski

http://running4fromlife.blogspot.com/

First timer…Again

When people hear that I’m training for the Cellcom Green Bay marathon this May, inevitably they ask: “Is this your first marathon?”

To which, I reply: “No. I mean, yes. Well, sort of…”

 

Back in June of 1999, I completed Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn. I was 22 years old and had just received my journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh – at which I was fortunate enough to run four years of track and cross country for legendary coach Deb Vercauteren. I finished Grandma’s in 3:34.09 that year, when I was arguably in the best shape of my life. It was a picture-perfect day on an incredibly scenic lakeshore course, and I felt invincible – at the top of my game. I had 8 years of competitive training behind me, and experienced marathoners (namely, my dad Steve Kaste and my uncle Dave Eitrheim) beside me. I swore it would be a once-in-a-lifetime perfect marathon experience. And it was … until now.

 

My distance training has gone in ebbs and flows since I graduated. I took time off right after college, and I gave myself extremely generous maternity leaves when I was pregnant with each of my two daughters. But I’ve been increasing my mileage and my race participation in each of the last three years – especially last year, when I completed four half-marathons (in Oshkosh, Green Bay, Duluth and North Carolina). And just about the time I was searching for a new challenge, I was lucky enough to watch my brother complete an Ironman triathlon in Madison last September. It was just the push I needed to bite the bullet and register (gulp) for the full Green Bay marathon this year.

 

Is this my first marathon? No. Am I the same person, in the same body I was back in 1999? Well, that was 14 years and two babies ago! I’m older now, but wiser – more experienced in running longer distances and more knowledgeable about marathon training. I feel, sometimes, like I’m preparing to race against a phantom – a ghost memory of myself at 22. A thinner, younger, faster version of myself who set a time standard I just might not attain this time around.

 

Then again, she had her moment – her one shot. Me? I’ve got this chance to take my ol’ legs around the course for 26.2 and see what they can do. She can’t do anything to improve her performance. I’ve got four months to train … and see whether I can leave her in the dust.

 

 

Laura (Kaste) Broullire is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mother of two daughters and one teenage stepson. She and her husband, Tony, and their family live in De Pere.

Yes! Green Bay

My first half-marathon took place about a year and a half ago.   I had just recovered from a neck injury and was not sure what my abilities were.  Words can’t express how unreasonably nervous I was about that first race.  I worried I would be run over.  I worried I would hurt myself.  I worried I would get lost on the course.  I worried people would laugh at me.  I worried I wouldn’t be able to finish.  I worried.

Instead, I finished!   I didn’t get lost, laughed at, or run over.   I did experience a few aches and pains, but I definitely did not hurt myself.    I am an athlete who completed the race.  Not just that time, but five times, including the Cellcom Green Bay race in 2012.

My advice is train as best you can and then do your best.  Whether you finish first or 6,323rd, you will feel wonderful.  Actually, I always thought that I would congratulate myself if I finished last.  What a good deed to do for the person finishing second to last.

A lot of my friends don’t understand why an Iowa girl (forty-something is still a girl, right?) would want to travel to Green Bay for the privilege of running that far.  I’ve already explained why I run – the exhilaration of accomplishing something that few ever do.   In truth, something most people, including me, thought I could never do.

Why Green Bay?  Because the residents are out in force with sprinklers, water, snacks, and most importantly, encouragement for all.  Green Bay is a race that the spectators enjoy as much as the runners.  And, there’s the obvious.  Green Bay is home of the Packers.  All participants get to run through Lambeau Field.  On that day, we are athletes like Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, and Aaron Rodgers.  What could possibly be better?

 

Christine Brandenburg

Finding Joy in Running

Running is perhaps the most paradoxical addiction one can develop.  It is about finding a balance between patience and speed, between pleasure and pain, and between love and hate.  Yet, despite all of this, running makes me deliriously joyful.

Running has been a therapeutic ritual for me for the past fifteen years of my life.  It began when I was twelve and I ran off the energy of my youth.  At 5’5″ tall- which, I will have you know, is still my current height- I was also one of the tallest and quickest girls on my cross country and track teams.  As my peers began passing me up in height and stride, I discovered that the joy of running was not in competing with others but in competing with myself.  I continued running on my own into high school, where I used it as a tool for emotional release. Running continued to be an important part of my life through college and when I moved out to rural northeast Iowa  for my first professional job.  Out there, I learned the struggles of running the hills of the Oneota Valley, where I trained for my first half-marathon, the 2009 Cellcom.  It was also there that I ran my first three miler. And six miler. And ten miler. And twelve miler.  It was there that I finally considered myself a runner.

Since my first race, I have run numerous half-marathons, 5Ks, and 10Ks.  I have learned how to (and how not to) train for a race.  I have also endured several frustrating running-related injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, hip flexor injuries, knee pain, bunions, and chafing. Oh, the chafing!  Though I have moved between Appleton, Wisconsin, Decorah, Iowa, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Peoria, Illinois, where I currently live, running has always stayed with me.

I don’t run for speed as goodness knows I am never going to win a race.  I run for me.  I don’t care whether I do an 8-minute-mile or a 12-minute-mile.  What matters to me is I am running and I am enjoying myself.  I encourage you all to do the same.  Don’t become discouraged and overwhelmed by your training.  Enjoy your running. Do it for yourself.  Do it because you and the road happen to be in the same place at the same time and you make such beautiful music together.

Melanie Heindl

Prevea On the Move – Core Strengthening with TRX

During long distance runs, do you experience back pain? Do you find your form getting worse? Back pain and faltering form could mean you need to strengthen your core muscles. Developing core strength is crucial to a training routine and will help prevent injury and improve overall running form.

When training for a half or full marathon, it is important to remember that you need to train more than just your legs. Having a well functioning core protects important muscles and bones in the spine, hips, knees and ankles creating a fluent, efficient movement helping to prevent injury. The core is more than your abdominal muscles—it’s the bridge between the upper and lower body, left and right side.

This week’s Prevea On the Move demonstrates TRX – a newer form of engaging your core. It’s a tool utilizing suspension training to strengthen core muscles while exercising other parts of the body. TRX training sets are available for home use or classes at many local fitness centers.

Hooked & hoping to BQ!

Hey fellow runners out there! My name is Katie Jo from Minneapolis MN and the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon will be my 12th ever marathon. I ran my first full marathon in Las Vegas, Neveda in 2008 and within six months I found myself at the starting line of my second marathon, then I just kept going from there! The main reason I ran my first marathon was to see if I could even handle the distance to decide if I did in fact want to attempt the Ironman Triathlon. I am happy to say I was successful in completing the Ironman in Madison Wisconsin in both 2010 and 2012. So with Ironman out of the way, for now, it’s time to put the focus back on my running!

A little bit more about my history as a runner; it has been a part of my life since I was 13. I joined the track team in 7th grade and then the cross country team in 8th grade. My big accomplishment as a runner during the summer between 8th and 9th grade, I ran a total of 112 miles! I had a two mile route and a one mile route and can still remember it being a big deal to go out and run them!

Now that I’m a bit older and have grown as a runner, I am running a few more miles per day than I did back then. I am also setting bigger goals. The big goal this year being to run my best ever marathon at Green Bay and finally qualify for the Boston Marathon!

Over the next 17 weeks I will be sharing my journey to my B.Q. with you!

Thanks for reading and happy running!

Katie Jo 🙂

From the Race Director’s Desk: Charity Fundraising – the Backdoor to Sold Out Events

The Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon sold out last week in nearly record time.

Whenever this happens, the staff and I are inundated with phone calls and emails from people.  Many of them inquire if the headline “HALF MARATHON SOLD OUT” on the front of the event website really means that we have reached capacity (ahem).  All of them inquire as to whether there is another way to get in.

We always point out that there are two ways to get into the event even after it is sold out.  First, they can find another registrant who is undertrained, injured or schedule-conflicted to sell them their entry.  I’m a strong believer that in this age of the Internet and high registration fees, participants should have the ability to resell their entries.  For this reason, we have an automated online system that accommodates transfers through April 30th.

The second, and preferred, option for getting into the event after it sells out is for the individual to join “Run for a Reason,” our charity fundraising program.  This program allows them to quickly and easily set up an online fundraising page that can be sent via email to friends, family and co-workers.  Participants in the program have the option of selecting one of the marathon’s three official charities or simply raising money equally for all three of them (Big Brothers-Big Sisters of NE Wisconsin, Junior Achievement and Unity).  Fundraisers have until May 12th at midnight to raise $300 or more in funds.  Upon doing so, they receive a congratulatory email from Jeff Poppele, our Fundraising Director, letting them know that they can participate free of charge in any individual event.  This INCLUDES sold out events like the half marathon.

The sell out of our distance events in recent years has been a boon for the fundraising program.  The number of runners participating in the fundraising program has jumped from only a couple dozen to the limit of 200 in two out of the past three years.  I wish more runners had a genuine interest in joining our fundraising program but I’m also a realist.  Adding the training required to run a distance event into an already busy work and family schedule is difficult and doesn’t leave much free time for fundraising.

Still, the option is there and I wish more people would embrace it.  Our fundraisers don’t have to worry about the event selling out; don’t have to reach into their own pocket; are able to rally friends, family and co-workers around a common cause that draws on their participation; and cross the finish line knowing that their accomplishment has impacted our local charity partners approximately 5-6 times moreso than the average participant who just pays face value for an entry.  That’s what I call a win-win for everybody involved!


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