Archive for the '2016' Category

Tundra Trailblazers: Train smart

Hello fellow runners!

How is everyone feeling after our third training run?? Is anyone experiencing major emotions? Excitement, nervousness? Maybe thoughts like, “What am I getting myself into?” Well, I’ve been there for sure! My advice is to just focus week by week and not look at the big picture. Those longer miles can sound defeating. That’s why we train smart and take care of our bodies along the way. When we get to that start line on race day, we will be focused and prepared for anything because we have experienced it all along the way while training. Race day is nothing compared to the last 4 months of training!

In this blog, I want to touch base on the importance of cross training with your running. I have trained both ways and having some other activities in my program helped me get stronger. Cross training can be anything from biking, swimming, aerobic classes, yoga, CrossFit, weights and many more functional movements. We want to train our bodies to move in all planes of motion. Not just moving forward,  like running! Try adding one or two days of cross training to your schedule. Now might be easier with the miles still pretty low.

I would love to get your feedback and thoughts about cross training. You can find me on Facebook or email me at
Until next time, my friends!

Ashley King

2016 Tundra Trailblazer



Tundra Trailblazers: Set up for Success

As I’ve gotten my introduction out of the way, it’s on to the fun stuff! Some people might say I am OCD (or rather CDO per alphabetical order) – so having free reign to write whatever/however stressed me out “a little”. Don’t judge. I created a format for my blogs – more for myself than for you readers 🙂

Reason for Running: Running is not only good for your soul, but is also good for your health – shocker!  Most of us already know that studies have shown that running can help prevent a host of unpleasant conditions (obesity, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc).  However, for me, the biggest change has been in how I have slowly kicked some not-so-good-for-me habits (soda, smarter/healthier food choices, portion control – well, sometimes) as I have realized how much they affected me not only energy wise, but also in my performance. Like they say: you are what you eat!

Current Celebration/Accomplishment: I have *almost* successfully completed round 2 of the 4 week training cycle I am following (next week is recovery – a piece of cake compared to the last 3 weeks!). I usually allow myself one workout within each 4 week cycle that if it doesn’t go as planned or am just not “feelin it”, I don’t beat myself up about (hey, life happens!) – but this round I haven’t had to use up that freebie. GO ME!

Current Challenge/Fear: Blisters! I already have a few, and know I should expect more – but this week the appearance and location surprised me. Normally I can feel “the burn” as they come on, but I didn’t feel the HUGE one that showed up after this weeks longest run right at the web between my big/second toe. Those of you who know me, know how much I LOVE feet (100% sarcasm), so if I just have to tend to some blisters and get to keep all my toenails throughout this journey – I’ll take it!

Strategy Shared with me for Success: “Take it in small chunks – don’t think of it as 26.2 miles. That would be like running from Green Bay to Appleton. Increments of 2 or 5 miles are a lot less daunting.”

Focus/Goal for next week: Keep next week as a true recovery week – don’t push myself to do more than I should. Soak the easy week up!

If you have any tips/hints/tricks to dealing with blisters and/or strategies for success, please share!


Runnin’ for Recovery,


2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazer: It’s personal, but not lonely

Hello Runners!  I hope the start of your training is going as well as mine. I seem to have been welcomed into the running world with open arms. Friends are telling of their experiences, memories of their first half marathons, tips and tricks that they have learned on the way, even product suggestions. Several people have offered to run with me which is amazingly comforting. I am learning so much!  I’m not afraid to ask questions but don’t always know what I don’t know or what to ask. It didn’t occur to me until a couple of days ago that I would have to EAT during my longer training runs and the race. This coming from a lady whose husband replies, “Shocker!” in the most sarcastic of tones when she expresses her hunger. I’m pretty sure the term “hangry” was invented because of me.

Running on a treadmill is becoming tolerable, and with the right music or Netflix show, is enjoyable.  Winter and icy sidewalks do not agree with me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m behind in my distances, but I just keep reminding myself (with the help of my husband and friends) that I am new and shouldn’t be too hard on myself.  Progress not Perfection, right? As long as I stick to my Runcoach plan, I will be fine. I have also been reminded that I will have to let some things go in order to focus on training. I have fallen in love with several group fitness classes, but to keep from overtraining, some things will have to give way. I plan to keep my TRX and yoga for sure as people have made it very clear that cross training is an important part.  Also, the foam roller is my new best friend. I’ve been asked if it “hurts so good” and I reply, “No, it just hurts.” Overall, my recovery is quicker, and my joints feel better.

The biggest issue right now is already my schedule. I work 12-hour night shifts as a Labor and Delivery nurse. Those of you in this type of work know that the shifts are not the same week to week and include weekend obligations. Sleep is irregular, at best. I have to plan my week ahead and put my runs in my calendar around my rest and work. I stand by my statement that, “It’s personal but not lonely.” Everyone has their schedules and obligations. I’m not the first one to have to figure this out. One of my night shift coworkers has been through this process, and I understand it is only going to get more complicated as the training progresses. I’m a planner but will have to learn some flexibility. For now, I am trying to follow Runcoach as much as possible to attempt to establish some good habits.

Until the next entry, keep on keeping on, and keep posting #cgbm16 so I can follow your progress as well!  Happy training!!!


2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazers: Meet Ashley

I can still remember that dreadful day in middle school when our gym teacher said, “today is the one mile run!” Ughhhhhh!!!! I hated running!! I hated everything about it. I don’t want to do it! I’m going to be all sweaty for next hours class. Why does anyone think this is fun and why do we have to do this in gym class???!! Pretty sure I walked most of that mile.

Now, let’s fast forward about 20 some years…I LOVE RUNNING!!!! I love to sweat! I love to push myself out of my comfort zone. I might be able to convince someone who doesn’t like running that it can actually be fun! Right!?!?! We wouldn’t be training if it wasn’t something we enjoyed doing.

Running has seriously changed me from the inside out. From my physical appearance, to my mental awareness. I run to clear my mind and to hear the PEACEFULNESS dancing through my head. I run for the JOURNEY from the time my legs start moving to the time they stop. I run to be a healthy role model for my two children. Most importantly, I run to experience the FINISH LINE! No one can put into words what crossing that line feels like! Sometimes it’s good feelings, sometimes not so good.  You must experience it for yourself.

I started off by running the Bellin. That was my first big race. Six miles- wow! That was the craziest thing ever! (But now I’m running 20+ more than that! Why is running so addicting?!?!) Then I started to dabble with half marathons and triathlons. Which then turned into marathons and half ironmans. (Once again, ADDICTING!!!) Triathlons are a whole other subject which I will eventually blog about too!

This years Cellcom Marathon is all about trying to qualify for Boston 2017. Last year I didn’t quite make the qualifying time. Every race that I have ran since, has provided me with more experience and knowledge for reaching this high goal of mine. I’m hoping this year will be the year.

I am so honored to be able to share this wild and crazy journey with you. We will all experience many ups and downs along the way, but there will always be our dedication and determination to power us through.

Now let’s all go run and be happy. #itspersonal
Ashley King

2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazer: Meet Brad

IT’S PERSONAL- Wow, It sure is!!  Where do I start?  I am 39 years old, married, I have 3 amazing children and a very loving and understanding wife.  I live in Watertown, WI.

Here’s a quick background on my active life. Growing up I played all kinds of sports, basketball football baseball, hockey. I was always active outdoors with hunting and fishing. Then I grew up, got married, the weight came on, became less active, and before I knew it I was 296lbs. I knew I had to do something…..

Long story short, I decided to change my life, become more active, change eating habits, and be an inspiration to others. Since that time I have ran multiple half marathons, 2 full marathons (and 15 miles of the 2012 full before the heat shut it down), I am a triathlete, duathlete, a cyclist, and I instruct spin class at the Watertown Area YMCA. I am also currently working towards getting certified to Instruct Les Mills CX-WORX Core workout class.  I am part of a couple run groups in Watertown and helped train participants for the Watertown Riverfest Half Marathon and 5K training program the YMCA offered.  I am a Run Streaker (Day 777 as of today). I help set up races in the Milwaukee area.  For me, it’s about paying it forward and helping others – I know what they are going thru and if I can share my tips with them, to help them, it makes it more fun of a journey for all of us!

So over the next 5 months I will be sharing my training for the 2016 Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon and my story with you from the beginning (of what I remember).

So far for 2016 I have been continuing my run streak (I run 1 mile or more per day, I also modified mine for the run to be outside, yes I said outside). I love running as the snow is falling, there’s just something so peaceful and relaxing about it. Monday night as I was running my mile, it brought me back to thinking of why I started in the first place….which was for a better me for my family, in the long run.  Just like the slogan says “It’s Personal”!!

The next entry I’ll reflect on the early days of my running and how I got started!

Bradly Ratzow
2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazer: Meet Lauren

As this year’s theme is “It’s Personal”, I figured a little background history of myself would be a good introduction. But first, I just want to say if you were at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Kickoff Party, my story has nothing on Colleen Kelly Alexander’s story – that woman is a true inspiration!

Growing up, I competed in gymnastics and played basketball – neither sport required much endurance for distance so I always struggled through the famous “mile runs” during gym. I always considered myself more of a sprinter. After high school, I didn’t do much physical activity other than an occasional bike ride or rollerblading with friends. I tried to get into running randomly, but never stayed with it long enough to see any major results.

In September of 2012, I ended up getting injured playing basketball while on a field trip with my students (I have been a teacher for the Green Bay Public Schools for the past 5 years). I was taken to the ER and was sent home with my leg in a brace to keep it straight – initial assessment was “probably” just a sprain. I was told to go to an Orthopedic Doctor if it wasn’t showing any improvements over the next week. I waited that week out, but it wasn’t getting any better – at that point I was unable to bend my knee at all and it was still pretty swollen. I went to see the Orthopedic Doctor who, within 5 minutes, sent me straight to the MRI machine. By the end of the day I had learned my fate – a torn ACL. That was the best and worst day of my life.

I was told that before I could get ACL reconstruction surgery, I needed to get my knee to 80-90% normal range of motion. I attended pre-hab for a little over a month and a half before I was “OK-ed” for surgery. Because my recovery was not going as quick as my Dr. had hoped, they decided to do an allograft (aka ACL from a cadaver) instead of the more common patellar tendon graft. I had surgery in mid November and thereafter started my journey of recovery.

If you have ever torn your ACL, you know recovery is not fun – not that any type of recovery is. I was on a strict restriction from any movement outside of walking and biking during therapy. I wasn’t on crutches for long, but my leg was locked in a brace for months. During therapy over the next 6 months, I slowly but surely started to regain the normal range of motion and rebuild the muscles that I had lost through atrophy – however, I just couldn’t get rid of the pain.

It was weird how much I wanted to jump and twist and turn even though I had no reason to – other than the fact that those motions were taken away from me for so long. I couldn’t wait to get back to “normal”. The day I finally got clearance to start jogging, I laced up my shoes and headed out. I remember that jog like it was yesterday. It was BRUTAL. I only made it .72 miles (I don’t remember the pace except that it was REAL slow) and felt like I was going to pass out. I made a commitment to try and see if jogging would help rebuild the muscles in my legs faster (since I was discharged from therapy at this point) and reduce the pain. I have been running since – it is the only thing that keeps the pain away even to this day.

I ran with no specific goals in mind for a long time – I had considered doing races here and there but either nerves got the best of me or I had random injuries that would creep up and scare me from entering anything official. I finally worked up the courage to enter the Bellin last June and ran it just for fun. I was hooked into the whole idea and process of races at packet pick-up. I am a “newbie” to the running community and have only ran in a few races (Bellin 10k, Bellin Women’s Half Marathon, and Noodilini). The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon will be my first marathon – and I am super excited to be able to share my journey with everyone!

Runnin’ for Recovery,


2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazer: Meet Becky

Well, HELLO runners!  Officially, I am Becky, but many know me as Beppa. I am a wife, pet-mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, nurse, and a newbie to this running and fitness world.

It all started for me in February 2015 when my friend, Michelle, convinced me to join Western Racquet. I very quickly got hooked and wanted to keep moving. I had never run…on purpose… for fitness… voluntarily… in my life. Gym class was horrifying for me. I did ballet, not basketball. I decided one day that I would try going for a short run. In the past, I thought I hated running, but I had only tried it on the treadmill. People kept telling me to try running outside. I didn’t want anyone to see me, but being a little bit older (not that old), I realized that NO ONE CARES! I don’t judge anyone running while I’m driving past, so they probably aren’t judging me. I got the GPS app, the music playlist, the armband for my phone, my dog, and went for a run outside. It was fun and nothing like running on a treadmill!  I ran almost 2 miles my first time out without even trying. I could do this! I could actually do this! Before I knew it, my friends and co-workers were telling me that I could do a 5K without any problems. I signed up for the Cellcom 5K and the Bellin 10K and trained my little heart out.

I kept telling people that I’m not an athlete, not a runner, but after completing my first ever races, I finally convinced myself that I am an athlete and a runner. This is all simply because I run. Don’t get me wrong… I’m still a newbie/beginner/novice, but I look forward to learning from the Tundra Trailblazers and others who have been in my running shoes. Please support us on our good days and bad days, and we will return the favor.  It’s personal, but not lonely.  Let’s do this together, runners!

2016 Tundra Trailblazer

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