Tundra Trailblazer Jill: Training Right

Training Right With My BFF “Gym”

Hello, Everyone! 

So if you don’t live in Wisconsin, we have had some AMAZING weather this week. I’m pretty sure my car told me it was 66 degrees at one point AND I was outside running in a tank top.

Yeah! 66 in February and a tank top! 
Welcome to Wisconsin!

While part of me felt bad for my weird, sadistic friends who enjoy snow and cold weather, I also feel like maybe someone upstairs was listening to all my whining about, “It’s cold….blah, blah…” and decided to do me a kindness..or shut me up for bit.

Either way, I took it and literally RAN with it. 

It was a GREAT week to get out and get in those training miles; be it for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, another event coming up, or just because you wanted to feel the sun on your face.

However, in true Wisconsin winter fashion, this morning we wake up to 3″ of snow, 35mph winds, and more snow to come. So today’s 12 mile training run was done indoors.
Fun. Back to waiting for Spring! 


Since blogging last, I had a great time at the Seroogy’s Valentine Day 5k/15k. (Shhh…don’t tell, but I secretly stashed a few Meltaway Bars from the finish line refreshments table in my pocket to take home to the kids…and by the kids I mean to eat while watching Fixer Upper in my sweatpants.)

My Trophy…I Love My Littles…

I planned to go out and run the 15k at my goal marathon pace; around a 9:30 min/mile. However, with minimal winds, temps in the 30s, and having trained properly for it (patting myself on the back for that one), I felt AMAZING and went out and ran my best 15k yet. My PR time was just over 1 hour, 13 minutes – or a 7:51 min/mile. A sub-8 was NOT something I thought I could maintain comfortably anymore over a 10k distance, so this was both a surprise, and a proud moment for me. Oh, and did I mention I came home to a homemade Lego trophy too!?!


I did hit my usual “wall” around mile 7.5-8. But, as I continue my training and start to extend my long runs each week, I’m focused on being able to overcome this milestone….


So how will I do this? Well, as I mentioned in the 15k, I did well because I “did it right”. But, I was not just referring to my training runs or running in general. As any fitness/running magazine will tell you, the work you do outside of your mileage is as much if not more important than getting in those varied endurance and speed runs each week.

And in trying to fit in core and strength, cross-training and and stretching, what’s better than going to a place with the people, the equipment, and the classes that will get you there!?! This is where my best friend comes in:


I am an avid fan of group fitness, fitness facilities, and well…

 using other people’s enthusiasm to try to gain some of my own on hard days.
Why I enjoy the gym as much as I do
I give you the Bradley Cooper of Packers

There’s nothing like having someone to ask you how things are going or talk about their own goals and/or accomplishments to get you motivated. There’s also nothing like having some super fit, handsome man running on the treadmill next to you to get you to up that incline/speed, and push it just a bit more.

(NOTE: I was talking about my husband here…and that time I saw former Packer Aaron Kampman at the Y. But that’s another story…that I still dream about every night…..)

I’ve belonged to or worked at a gym for the last 20 years and am a 5 day/week-er pretty religiously. Be it the college campus gym or one public facility or another, every where I have moved to, I’ve joined a gym within days of getting there. While years ago (pre-kid time) it was mainly for fitness, now as a work-from-home parent, I really rely on the social and structural component a group facility has to offer.

If you’re living in Northeast Wisconsin, we have a plethora of fitness facilities to try out that offer these things and more. Sure some awesome and some…..well, not so much. (Having belonged to 4 of the larger facilities in the area, and if you’re looking for a supportive atmosphere with lots of great classes, AND childcare, I would recommend Western Racquet or our local YMCAs. I won’t bore you with all the AMAZING reasons these two rock…just yet… 🙂 )

But you know the #1 reason I choose a gym? (#2 is cleanliness….if I can’t shower there, it’s a problem…and trust me, this has been a problem…)

My kids can go too.

As a parent, and for me a work-from-home parent, it can be extremely difficult to find time for a fitness regimen. In going from working full-time out of the house to now in the past 2 years strictly running a business from home, I remember thinking, “I’m going to have so much time for working out, I’ll be on American Ninja Warrior within the year”.

It’s the simple things that I love…

Yeah…not so much….

If you’re like me, you can always find something else around the house to do. (And let’s face it, with a toddler in the house, she essentially makes 5 more things for me to do for everyone 1 I complete.)

So leaving the house and scheduling my time to train is how I get things done. Signing up for group fitness classes, I get my cross-training and core/strength work.

And, best of all, I have friends again! 

Like adult friends who I don’t have to talk to about the latest episode of Paw Patrol, or which TMNT is my favorite. (It’s Mikey, cause he’s frickin’ hilarious…)

Maybe this will motivate me to be a Yogi

But while these are all ways that my BFF Gym is good to me, I want to touch one way that the group concept can go wrong as well.

I recently saw a post on a friend’s Facebook page about her renewal of a fitness regimen. She was getting back to daily workouts at the gym, and with that, using the treadmill for cardio. In asking an innocent question, and clearly stating that she was ENJOYING her time on the treadmill, a friend of hers, who states they are an advocate of clean living and personal wellness (over and over and over again on their Facebook page) and thus who would be looked to as someone who knows what they’re talking about, responded with, “I know how to fix your issue. Stop using the treadmill.”

Essentially, in more words or less, he was telling her, the person who was feeling great about being back at it after not working out, that she was doing it wrong; she was trying wrong. She wasn’t going to see results because her choices were “ineffective”.

Let’s just say in reading this post and their subsequent conversation, it took everything in me to not respond with a bunch of not nice words that I can summarize by just saying,

“Here’s your spaghetti. You are very rude.”  
(That’s a Dane Cook comedy skit reference, in case you’re wondering…and since I’m on a roll posting photos of good looking men…well, here’s another one.)
The Dane Cook

Now here’s why this bothered me in regards to using a gym:

I’m a runner of nearly 20 years, and in the last 6 a “mother runner”. In these last 6 years, I have relied often on the treadmill so I do not have to hear my “darling angels” in the jogging stroller ask, “Are we done? I have to go to the bathroom. She touched me! He hit me! I need a snack. How fast are you going? Can you go faster?!? I don’t want to run anymore,” over and over until I give up…after 5 minutes.


I run on the treadmill many times during training because if I didn’t…I wouldn’t run at all. 
Now, what’s better? Doing SOMETHING or doing NOTHING? I think that kind of answers itself.
And ANY trainer, fitness coach, or person who supposedly supports a healthy lifestyle would (or should in this case) agree….
NEVER tell someone their TRY isn’t as good as yours, because they aren’t TRYING to be YOU.
When you go out in public with your fitness regimen, you WILL run into these people. You’ll run into those that have an opinion on how you can be “better” or what will get you “results”.
I myself have had a similar conversation to the one above with a trainer at a not so great gym 8 weeks after having my daughter. Evidently, using the treadmill was “stupid” and “not going to get me back in shape”. Because clearly he knew what “shape” I should be after having my second child, and he also was going to watch my 8 week old while I went outside and got in some “real runs” as he put it. Little did he know it was those “real” runs I was ACHING to do, but my personal life, work schedule, and overall physical fitness just wasn’t ready to allow it yet.
Had I not been a runner for so long, had I been new to the sport or to working out, or even new to using a gym, it’s quite possible that I would’ve taken his “advice” and never come back. Further, I might have thought I really DIDN’T know what I was doing and wasn’t capable of getting myself where I wanted to be fitness-wise, so why try?
But knowing the true benefits of group fitness facilities, I urge you…
Don’t let this stop you! 
In the words of Taylor Swift…. 
I’m not sure how one “shakes it off”, but I rely on a lot of butt wiggling personally….
The gym is an awesome place, but only if you set your own personal goals and focus on achieving what you want to from your fitness routine. Plus, if you go with either my recommendations for a gym mentioned above, I know you’ll find people that are more than happy to help you attain your goals in a way that fits your lifestyle.
Now, to sum up this kind of random blog today, I offer the following:
1. Train right – mileage is one thing, but not everything in distance training
2. Avoid the spaghetti – Just because something works for you and your routine, doesn’t mean it’s the best way for everyone.
3. Go the gym and reap the benefits of a social, scheduled, and structured place where other people are doing exactly what you are!
4. Reading a blog is way more fun when there are pictures of hot guys throughout it. So for no further reason, here is a picture of Ryan Reynolds….
You’re Welcome.
Make today the best day yet! 
(I’m now off to go see an awesome 80s-90s rock band in a pair of American Flag Lularoe leggings with my sister. Pretty sure it’s guaranteed that I’m making this happen. Boom.)

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