Archive for the 'Training' Category

Tundra Trailblazers: A bad run

Hello runners!  WARNING:  Negativity ahead.

I have a headband that says “I love running. I hate running. I love running. I hate running.” Today… I hate running. What am I doing?  My hips hurt. My knees hurt. My feet hurt. I’ve got calluses on my calluses. I’m sick of talking to myself. I don’t want to listen to any music. There’s nothing good on Netflix. I’m tired. I’m hungry… always hungry. I don’t wanna. How do people this? Why do people do this? To say they did it? Is that really enough? The runner’s high is not enough today. There is not enough wine and whiskey and Epsom salt baths and ibuprofen in the world to make me like running right now.  GRRRRRR!!!!!!!

I’ve been told a lot of inspirational things to get me through times like this. It’s about progress, not perfection. The little voice telling you to quit may win some days, and that’s okay, but it can’t win tomorrow. If you are hurting, focus on what doesn’t hurt. Most days, it gets me through.  I don’t let the voice win. I tolerate the pains. I enjoy the process. I’m a happy little newbie runner. Today, though… I just can’t make myself push through. I have nothing left to give this treadmill. I quit.

Ok… I wrote that over a week ago after a bad run. It was a BAD run, a bad day. I was not well recovered from my Saturday run and let my fatigue win that day.  And it was ok. It did NOT win during my next run. It didn’t even show up. I was rested and determined to get back on track. There was some fear that I was doing something wrong in my training or that my body wasn’t cut out to run this far. I focused on my run preparation, hydration and recovery for the next long run, and guess what??? I didn’t hate my Monday run!!!

I am fully aware that I am not the first one to have that moment. Everyone has experienced this whether it is while training for a race, going back to school, work, parenting, or any other life experience. Take a deep breath, a moment or a day off and refocus. Why are you doing this? What is the ultimate goal? Why did you start and what will make this all worthwhile in the end? Find someone to vent to and get it out of your system. Once you have exercised the “demons,” you can move on and start over.

I am refreshed and ready to keep knocking out those miles.  Happy training!!!


Tundra Trailblazers: Keep the focus

I can’t believe that race day is just about 2 months away. Time is flying. Training is going pretty great for me. Weather has been favorable and so far, injury free…and lets hope it stays that way. I really look forward to the Prevea runs to gather with all my running buddies.

During our last Saturday run, I got to meet “THE PACER” I have been trying to hunt down. No not really, I just wanted to put a face to the name. My girlfriend, Lindsay and I were in the middle of a conversation about pace, Boston, GU…and all of a sudden we ran into Adam. He gave us some great tips for training to get to Boston and tons more motivation to work harder for our goal. Thanks Adam!

As the miles get longer, my appetite grows bigger 🙂 Anyone else have that problem! We run for food, right?!?! Or wine/beer!!!! 🙂 I still make sure I keep my diet in check, but consume a few more calories during the longer run weeks.

I am still a strong believer in cross training during my marathon training, so I still continue teaching fitness classes, cycle classes, CrossFit, swimming, yoga, TRX—you name it! I like to stay fit! Or maybe get a break from my kids. Just kidding 🙂 We do need time for ourselves though. It’s ok to be a bit selfish when it comes to your health.

I am looking forward to this weekend’s run in the warmer temps. Keep the focus in check and run along my friends!




Ashley King


Tundra Trailblazers: What an adventure

So far the training for the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon has been an adventure for me! I have a run plan, I am a run streaker, I have lots of friends that are training for either a half, a full, or a 50k. So what does this actually mean? Honestly, it’s almost confusing! I go to set up for running on the weekend, and there are like 3-4 different run groups that I have to choose to run with. The problem is that I want to run with ALL of them.  They are my friends. They are going thru the same running issues that I am. They are experiencing the same set packs or plateau breaks that I am. They get it. So my runs have been all over the place, with lots of different people, and actually different places. Which makes this training an adventure, I like IT!!

Two weeks ago now I was able to go on a “RUNNING FIELD TRIP” to attend the Prevea Training Run that started from the Green Bay Distillery. The half distance that was on the schedule was 6mi, so I ran with the group, met some more people, had a fun time. Afterwards I ventured over to The Western Racquet and Fitness Club and attended the TRX 101 class, then had it set up to go into the arctic way subzero temps in the Cryo Chamber, followed be an hour in the NormaTech boots for recovery. My mileage was sky high in February, I had 210 for the month, so these boots and cryo treatment came at the perfect time, and I walked out of there feeling like a million bucks, definitely worth the time!

I’m currently at Run Streak Day 833, Last Friday I ventured out at 3am for an 8 miler, it was a nice 8deg, so I actually had my first ice beard in a couple yrs. (We’re remodeling our bathroom, and currently don’t have a bathroom sink, so I haven’t been able to shave).  That was a fun experience, it was peaceful, no one around, just me God and the road!

I also received my CX WORX Certification as an Instructor, I’ve been working on this for a while, and was a huge load off my shoulders, I started leading two boot camp classes, and still have two spin classes that I lead as well, it’s been a very busy spring, strength, conditioning, and running is almost at its peak right now, and now with the 55-60 degree days coming up, my bike will be out soon!  Besides this half, I am also training for a half Ironman in June. The goals are set, the training is in action, and gains are being made.

Bradly Ratzow

Tundra Trailblazers: I like to move it, move it

Hello Runners! Well, I think I am finding my groove. I am getting my runs in, learning when to sleep, cross train, eat and rest. Gu isn’t terrible. The chocolate is like frosting (who doesn’t like frosting???). I have a nice 3 mile loop that I can take past my house so I don’t have to carry water with me. A quick stop, and off I go. I do not enjoy my interval runs. They are easier to do on the treadmill for consistency and control, but I like my nice easy pace. I’m not fast. I will never be fast. And I am officially, totally okay with that. That being said, I have taken about 6 minutes off my 10k time from when I did the Bellin last year. Recovery is getting ritualistic: cool down, stretch, foam roller, stretch a little more and eat. (Yes, I am still hyper-focused on food if you have been paying attention.)  After a run, I could live in half pigeon pose. I’m afraid people think I fell asleep some days.

It is funny for me when someone asks, “How many miles today?”  I reply, “Only 3 to 4.”  Only 3 miles. I’m just going to run “an easy” 5k today. No problem. Who am I?

I am to the point in my training when I get to start saying, “I’ve never run this far before.”  It is such a cool feeling! I was told to really enjoy this part because I will never hit these miles for the FIRST time ever again. In trainings to come, it will just be another 7 miles or 8 miles, but right now, it’s my FIRST 7 miles and my FIRST 8 miles. For the FIRST time in this process, I feel like I can actually do this!!! I can run 13.1 miles. I know that I am not the first one to do this, and millions of people have gone before me (2,046,600 in 2014 to be exact… Thanks Larry!)  But this is MY FIRST, and I get to be proud of what I am doing. That’s not selfish or bragging. That’s goal setting and accomplishment. Yes, I post a lot of pictures about it, but it’s either fitness pictures or cat/dog pictures. J  I am determined to enjoy the entire process along the way as this has been an amazing ride so far. #theyearofbeppa

Music has been my major motivator/distraction. Science says that the sense of smell triggers strong memories. For me, music does this. I’ve been collecting music for my long run play list. It ranges from Pitbull, Beyonce and Lady Gaga to Foofighters , Primus and Fat Boy Slim. Throw some Queen in there to round things out. I don’t want to get sick of my music too soon so I listen to a lot of Pandora for now. I get variety and ideas for other songs to get. Certain songs make me think of certain people or events (Dan’s favorite jam is Usher Yeah, Peggy’s Zumba songs, college house parties with Krissy, Meghan and Sara, sending videos to friends EVERY time Shut Up and Dance came on the radio). Other songs just find that deep, visceral beat and the feet pounding just flows. I get a new burst of energy. My back is straighter. My arms are lighter. Then, I get the notification that another mile has been conquered. Boom!

Find what moves YOU! (Enter “I like to move it move it” song here.)  Happy training!!!


2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazers: It’s a (really great) journey

Hello Runners!!!  Well, I did it.  I ran outside!  Oh the SUN! And FRESH AIR! It felt incredible to breathe real air, not air that’s been cycled through my furnace a thousand times. However, I do find it amazing how you can be so cold and so warm all at the same time. Some body parts you don’t realize are cold until you get back inside and start to warm up. I still have my limits on ice. This past week, I only made it to my neighbor’s house before I slipped a little on an icy patch, didn’t hit the ground, but it was enough for me to call it off.  I may be a wuss but I’m in one piece. The only thing I like better about the treadmill is that I can control my pace so much easier. Outside, I let my mind wander, lose focus, and have to remind myself to pick it up. I get my music going and zone out. A friend told me recently that it’s not about running fast.  It’s about being fearless. (Thanks Dan!)  This whole thing scares me, to be honest, but it’s a really great journey.

Recovery has been another focus lately. I’m still figuring out what works for me and getting a routine down. I have a strong love/hate relationship with my foam roller, but I found that I have to do it right away while my muscles are still warm. Also, I’ve been trying the full body cryotherapy at Western Racquet. Imagine the coldest you’ve ever been and then increase that to about -200⁰F and remove most of your clothes and stand there for 3 minutes. I’m not gonna lie… it is REALLY cold, but Emily talks to me and distracts me while I dance in a circle to ignore the cold. I know I just talked about being cold while running outside but this is a whole different level. You freeze and then when you get out you feel all the blood rushing back to your extremities. I am a nurse. I like my scientific research. I will be the first to say that there aren’t a lot of studies to show more than anecdotal positive results from cryotherapy, but so far it is working for me (more anecdotal evidence) to reduce soreness, inflammation and pain.  I will try anything at least once, and I now know that I can do anything for 3 minutes.

My poor husband has to deal with my insatiable hunger. I want to eat all the time. I’m working on getting more protein but how much can one person eat in a day???  He’s even made chicken jerky for me. My coworkers just know that I’m aways hungry. Always. As I started to write this, I had a snack. I’m already wondering what I’m going to eat next. I’m told it only gets worse as my miles increase. I’m going have to start getting creative so I don’t just buy McDonalds and Papa Murphy’s (I don’t mean meals… I mean the whole building and its contents). Or move into Festival’s deli department. Luckily, I get a lot of suggestions from friends, but I’m going to need a second job to support my grocery bill.

Happy training and eating!!!

2016 Tundra Trailblazer


My Running Buddies Who Do All The Talking: Favorite Podcasts To Pass The Miles

As a running mom, my training often takes place at odd times and locations. The crack of dawn on my basement treadmill. Mid-morning on my neighborhood streets. Late afternoon near my parents’ home. Even the long run, an often-predictable part of a runner’s weekend, switches days and start times based on what the schedule holds. As a result, I roam the mean streets alone when I train.

But don’t feel too bad for me; I actually have several running buddies who help make the miles pass quickly (or at least more quickly). They are the folks who host my favorite running podcasts, and together they have formed my training posse through the years. If any of you train alone and are in need of distraction and motivation, any of these podcasts will fit the bill. Below are the top five podcasts who have had my back on every long run, in no particular order:

  1. Another Mother Runner. Actually, I lied — the rest of the list is in no particular order, but this podcast is definitively on top. Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea have written three running books geared toward “mother runners,” and also have a very successful blog, Facebook page and apparel store. They even held a running retreat last month. The podcast is my favorite part of their brand, however. Even if that week’s topic isn’t 100% on point for my current running focus, I always tune in to hear Dimity and Sarah chat about their respective family foibles and most recent runs. It is like having two girlfriends chatting it up next to me, and I am more than happy to just be a fly on the wall and listen in.
  2. Embrace Running. If I can’t have Dimity and Sarah with me on a run (and really, their podcasts are only so long, so this happens often), I will gladly take Mark and Elena.  This couple lives in northern California, and they run a lot of races so they are always training for something. They talk about their training, news in the running world, race recaps, and sometimes a hot training or racing topic such as hydration or goal setting. They often banter and chat like Dimity and Sarah, and their vibe is light and low-key.  Elena recently ran Boston, so I am looking forward to listening to her recap on the next episode!
  3. Marathon Training Academy. Angie and Trevor are another running couple who love to recap their races and banter back and forth. I’m sensing a theme here…but don’t those types of people make the best long run pals?? Their focus is often guest-based, and they have interviewed many inspirational runners. They also provide valuable training information through the episode’s “Quick Tip,” and Angie sometimes devotes episodes to training advice (the couple also run a marathon training program through their website). Angie also recently ran Boston, so when that recap hits I will be all over it!
  4. House of Run. This podcast is a relatively new find for me; probably because I have become a bigger fan of the sport as my running has progressed. Kevin and Jason focus on predicting and recapping elite running events on both the road and track, so if you don’t follow the front of the pack much, this podcast may not be for you. But if you know your Desi from your Shalane, your Simpson from your Rowbury and your Kimetto from your Kipsang, these guys are on top of their game and also give me at least one laugh-out-loud moment per podcast. Luckily, the routes I usually run are not stuffed with runners, so I can chuckle without embarrassment!
  5. Marathon Journey. There are so many podcasts in my feed that could take this last slot, but I went with one of my oldest and dearest long run buddies, Derek Ralston. This guy makes the relatively-chilled-out Mark and Elena sound like they have ADHD.  He is a former police officer turned photographer, Galloway-method run-walker and runDisney race fan. On paper, he seems like my polar opposite, as I have never run-walked nor run a Disney race, but his opinions on the running, training and racing worlds keep me entertained enough to keep coming back for more!

I haven’t even scratched the surface of the running podcasts in my listening queue, nor have I mentioned the triathlon podcasts! I encourage everyone who runs with headphones (use with caution — safety first!) to put away the music every so often and search iTunes for one of these podcasts, or another one that floats your boat. You may find your very own running tribe; and the best part is, we can share the same one!

The Mom on the Run,

Sara Roach

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

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