Posts Tagged 'Cellcom Green Bay Marathon'

Tundra Trailblazers: Sunday is going to be so awesome!

Reason for Running: I absolutely love the freedom. There is no better feeling than heading out on a run with miles of pavement in front of you, fresh air in your lungs, and music in your ears. Although I am still in my first year of racing, I can also tell you I am addicted to that feeling in the air at the start of a race and crossing that finish line. Sunday is going to be so awesome!

Current Celebration/Accomplishment: I CANNOT wait to be able to say I finished a marathon – I know no matter what I will cross that finish line. Mentally and physically I have prepared myself the best I can with what I have – no regrets! Although I have a goal finish time in mind, no matter what I will be honored to have been a part of the experience.

Current Challenge/Fear: I have been able to run the last couple of weeks all outside – I am ready for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at me on Sunday – although I’m hoping she brings sunshine and warm-ish weather. Having never run this far (in general or outside), I am going to trust my training and stick with the pacers to get me across that finish line.

Strategy for Success: I will not let defeat get to me. Physically I have prepared myself, it’s all a mental game now. There will be nothing but positive thoughts all week. I can’t wait to cheer everyone else on too!

Focus/Goal for next week: CELEBRATE!! … and recover of course.

Can’t wait to see everyone at the start AND finish line! Let’s celebrate all of our hard work and accomplishments!




Tundra Trailblazers: Listen to your body


Well, we’re down to 3 weeks until race day, So far this year I am at 522 mi running, I have over 1400 combined running and cycling miles, today marks my Run streak day 884, and besides a tender knee, I am feeling great! I have been getting my long runs in on an old fashioned out and back country rod that has 4 ginormous hills on it, I have added running at The Nordic Ski trails (Also very hilly), and have been running with friends like crazy!  This has been one of the best trainings I’ve had for the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon that I can remember! The self confidence is up, (besides the tender knee that has me a little worried), but it’s all good. I will be coming into the race with confidence and have one of the best times of my life!

It’s very easy to get caught up in the training of the race, and forget to or neglect to listen to what your body is telling you. Last November I had a short (2 month) bout with plantar fasciitis, I backed down, let it heal and BOOM was back at it in February. I have added cycling in since it has gotten nice outside to my training, and that has been nice, also still doing 3 other cross training classes per week to help with strength, I’m honestly feeling like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for this event, I have an 11 mile long run on the schedule for Sunday. We’ll see if my knee allows it, or if I have to wait for it, but I will listen to what it tells me, to avoid injury!
The kids have been working hard at their 5K training also, they are scared and excited, I will be doing this with them the day before the half.  My wife, well she says she is going to be the paparazzi with the camera.  We are making a family weekend out of it and enjoying the great city of Green Bay!  Below are some of the training pics from the last couple of weeks!

Clockwise from top left:

  • After a run and bike brick completed with my son!
  • One of the Hills at Nordic
  • One of the trails at Nordic
  • An awesome sunrise while out on a run
  • Having a blast on the trails


2016 Tundra Trailblazer,



Tundra Trailblazers: Embracing the last month

Reason for Running: Running builds my self-efficacy and self-confidence. I have set small goals and achieved them – proving to myself if I set my mind to accomplish something, I can. I have also learned sometimes you have to look big picture – I used to beat myself up if I had to end a run early or didn’t get the time I was hoping for. It’s okay to listen to your body and take care of it – I have suffered the consequences of not doing that once or twice and learned the hard way.

Current Celebration/Accomplishment: We are under the 30 day mark! My training will be slowly vamping down until race day – so I guess I can celebrate that I have pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible. I created a training plan and stuck with it through the good and the bad! Not every run was awesome, some were downright miserable – there were days I wanted to quit (and did), days where I doubted I would be able to make it all 26.2, days where I can’t believe I actually made the commitment to the full. However, I honestly feel I have trained to the best of my knowledge and ability and hope my training has prepared me both mentally and physically to get me across the finish line.

Current Challenge/Fear: Staying healthy and injury free as the days count down.

Strategy for Success: WATER! I have been watching my weight pre and post run to make sure I am consuming enough water. It is crazy how much and how fast your body can sweat out water weight. I have been reading up on the dangers and signs of dehydration in hopes I can keep myself hydrated and fueled up on race day.

Focus/Goal for next week: Embrace the last month of training; in less than 30 days I will be able to switch from saying “I am training for a marathon” to “I RAN A MARATHON”. I am unbelievably excited!

Runnin’ for Recovery,


Tundra Trailblazers: An injury set back

Hello runners! I love the brief periods of spring-ish weather. I’ve not been outside without my long leggings and sleeves yet but we are getting close. I can feel it!  I’m sure you are watching the weather reports and trying to plan your training to the minute just like me.  UGH WISCONSIN!!!  Knock it off already!  Better weather is coming!!!

I have met my mortal moment. When I talk with friends and other runners, everyone has that moment of pain or injury that sets them back. For some, it completely removes them from a race, and others are taken out of training for a bit and able to get back on track.  Everyone has a reason (I wasn’t stretching, I didn’t listen to my body, I needed new shoes, etc), and everyone knows what fixed them.

My calves have become my Achilles heel (pun intended). The left is worse than the right.  When I think about it, the tightness started a few weeks ago but it wasn’t bothersome.  Then I pulled something in my foot during yoga (I know… yoga injury = first world problems), but when thinking back, it came back to the calves. Then after my first 10 mile run, my calves tightened up. I did my stretches, compression therapy, foam roller, but the pain continued. I rested Sunday, ran Monday, yoga Tuesday, and when it came to running again on Wednesday, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I started to PANIC!  What do I do???  It seems so silly. It’s not the worst pain I’ve ever felt, but it was enough to make me question everything I was doing. Is my body ready for this? Am I over training? Am I undertraining? Is this normal? Is this soreness or a real injury? What is the best way to handle the pain? Do I need to make an appointment?

I contacted my guru, Alissa. She talked me down and helped me come up with a recovery game plan. She’s been there. She’s smart and supportive. She convinced me that this is not the end. If I am diligent on my roller, stretching, massaging and icing, I can come back with no problems. I am doing the training right. I am putting in the miles, the cross training, the rest. There is enough time to heal and get on track again.

So I’ve been doing my miles on the elliptical, and brought my roller and massage stick thingy (that’s the technical term) to work so I could take care of myself on breaks. I took a couple of days off from the training schedule. If you know anything about me, the hardest part was not following my plan. This is frustrating to say the least. My brain says go, but my body says stop it, no, not happening. I WANT to run! I have come so far in the training already. 10 miles. I’m so close but so far. It’s hard to slow down and step back when all this time has been go, go, go.

I did my long “run” on the elliptical, still put in the miles without the impact and it felt great! Good to sweat and breathe and get the heart going. It’s only been a couple of days but I missed it. Tomorrow, I want to try running again. I’m hoping for 3 miles. That’s it.  Just a test. I’m learning to read my body and its signals. It’s important to pay attention to the difference between sore muscles and pain. What can be pushed through and what needs to be addressed more immediately. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own tricks, body mechanics, previous injuries, new injuries. How does YOUR body move?  What does YOUR body need to stay in one piece?

Take care of yourselves!  Happy training!!!

2016 Tundra Trailblazer

Tundra Trailblazers: Step back a little and enjoy the run


IMG_3612aWell, life has gotten SUPER busy now!  TRAINING IS IN FULL SWING!  I have been able to maintain my training runs, my run streak (day 862 as of today), Swim training, CX Worx, Help train my 3 kids for the 5k the day before the Cellcom Green Bay full and half, running with friends, helping them train for their goals also, instruct cycling and boot camps at Watertown Area YMCA, take on some Trail Running, I have now added Bike run bricks into my workouts for the Inaugural Milkman Half Ironman coming June 19th (My Father’s day present, and approximately one month after The Awesome Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon!  So a long story short, I have not watched much TV, I get home at night, pretty much eat and go to sleep, get up about 4am, run, go to class, then go to work, get done with work, run, class, eat sleep repeat again!

The thing that I need to remember and am working very hard at it is balance, between life, work and play.  It is by no means easy at all, I call all this multitask training, when training for more than one type of event, but it’s what helps challenge myself and drive me to be who I need to be, both for myself and my family and friends, they don’t always see it that way, and sometimes send me a reminder, sometimes I remember on my own, it’s easy to get engulfed in the training, but that’s where family and friends help you out to remember what’s important!

For instance this last weekend there happened to be a local Daddy-Daughter dance, I know my two girls are not going to stay 7 and 13 forever, so I made it a priority to take them, no questions asked, we had a blast and made some great memories that night, something that I know they need!  I have a weekly date night that I make a priority with my wife on Thursdays after Spin class, we go to a nice little Mexican place down the road, and catch up, my 11 yr. old son has started taking spin class with me on Thursdays, and we’ve been running a mile afterJ, this really makes me happy that he enjoys this, and I realize he is watching me and is taking a liking to an activity to help keep him healthy.

That’s pretty much it for now, so keep moving forward and keep rolling along, but don’t forget to step back a little and enjoy the run!

Brad Ratzow
Tundra Trailblazer 2016


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: I am a runner

Reason for Running: The time to just think. Some consider working out as “me” time, but I don’t consider it that because each workout is mentally and physically challenging. However, the time I do spend running allows me to think about/process my day, problem solve, prepare for tomorrow, envision accomplishing my goals, let my mind wander, etc. My mind is constantly bouncing between what I am feeling physically and anything/everything else. I haven’t solved the world’s problems just yet, but maybe something will come to me soon!

Current Celebration/Accomplishment: Over the last couple of weeks, I have finally started to consider myself an athlete. I am a runner. I am surprising myself each week at what I truly can do. I am not sure what has “broke” – but I have been able to push myself more than ever and love being able to the improvements in time/distance/pace.

Current Challenge/Fear: I can’t run outside during the winter due to Raynaud’s disease, so I have been completing all my workouts on the treadmill. I have loved being able to include intervals so easily and see the progress from cycle to cycle. However, I worry about transitioning to the outdoors and having to battle with Mother Nature and the terrain.

Strategy for Success: This is one I think about often as I fear knee problems during most runs and have had some pain lately – found this tip online in the Rock N Roll Marathon Blog “Ensure the correct running form. You’ll want to land as lightly as possible, keep your feet directly under you when they strike the ground, and push off the moment your feet touch down. Try to feel as light as possible.”

Focus/Goal for next week: Feel the fresh air by completing some of my Zone 1 runs outside as Mother Nature permits.


Runnin’ for Recovery,



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