Winter Running

Last October I thought it would be absolutely brilliant to sign up for the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon up in Duluth Minnesota.

aerial lift bridge sunrise2

Aerial lift bridge in Duluth Minnesota, photo curtesy of A Lake Superior Fishing Charter

Of course, now that winter has come full on fierce, full on Minnesota style with 8 inches of fresh snow dropped on us and I actually need to start practicing for this race I find myself realizing… I need to do winter running.


Truth be told. I’ve been a HUGE baby in this. Up until last week I did not run outside once since the temps dropped and the flakes started flying back in the beginning December! The run went okay, but it was cold, and though I was well dressed…. I kind of [gasp] missed the treadmill.

I am such a fair weathered runner, which is why I’ve been mostly sticking to my plan of running on the treadmill, which has mostly paid off.

In fact – this past Sunday I ran 5 miles on the treadmill and it went wonderfully. There are a large set of treadmills at Life Time Fitness where you can choose your location be it, Southern or Northern New Zealand, Germany, California, or the Grand Canyon Basin and area.

Its a virtual experience which really kind of makes you believe you are running outdoors. Never once did I think I’d ever love running on a treadmill, but here I am, running 4 times per week on one!

In the past I’ve absolutely despised running on the treadmill. Just running 0.5 miles was like pure torture. I tried putting a magazine up, watching the TVs, or putting a towel over the display to keep my mind away from every tenth mile passing by, but since I’ve discovered the virtual run treadmills I’ve been absolutely hooked!

I’ve been following my plan which is :

January (1-2 Miles, four times per week)
February (3-4 Miles, on the weekend, with two miles mid-week)
March (5-6 Miles, on the weekend with two-three miles mid-week)
April (7-8 Miles, on the weekend with three-four miles mid-week)
May (8-9 Miles, on the weekend with three-four miles mid-week)
June 10-12 Miles, on the weekend, with four – five miles mid-week)

So I’m all ready ahead of schedule. Perhaps it was the excitement, or the fun of my virtual experience, or reaching my daily steps by 10am, but once I reached my three mile mark, I kind of just kept going. I was exploring Germany and loving it.

So – what are your tricks to running in the winter months? Do you like running outside, or on the treadmill? If you run outside – what are your ways to cope? If you run on the treadmill – how do you cope?


Minnesota – Week 13


Its finally April, yet it does still look like late February up here in Minnesota, and its going to get worse before it gets better.

After I’ve realized I am NOT getting to the gym like I used to, I invested in a set of Kettlebells. I found a few videos I like online from Pinterest, and its been going alright. (Okay I’ll be honest.. I’ve used them three times.)

I’ve also just started “running” again which I’ll use that term loosely, because usually I am such a fair weather runner kind of girl. For the most part all of the conditions have to be just right, or this girl aint gettin’ on her running shoes! Sometimes I like to run in wild weather, but mostly I’m picky… and full of excuses. Really I’m an excuse factory.

After a long sabbatical from running completely I’m ready to start again. This time focusing on shorter distances, since I feel this is where my sweet spot really lies. My PR is a 23:00 5K and this year I want to beat it. (I said it, and now I’m scared. I want to take it back, that was 11 years ago….What if I fail?)  I have completely started over doing a couch to 5K program basically, because sadly that’s where I’m at. I think I could run for 3-4 miles straight, but it would be ugly, and my body would feel betrayed for days. So instead I’m taking it slow, and steady, and after I’ve been reconditioned I will really start training!

In addition to the 5Ks, I may possibly do a Sprint Triathlon or two since I absolutely love Tris… but nothing has been set in stone as of now,which is quite fine by me. In order to practice the swimming discipline that would involve going to the gym, and we’ve already covered that. I haven’t signed up for anything yet, and I like the lack of pressure that not being signed up for races brings.

In the past I would sign up for races and say to others that I sign up so, “I will run” and then feel overly pressured into training and agonize over missed runs, and eventually feel like a failure. So I’m not signing up for anything yet. I want to run because I like it, not because I have to for training.

When I need motivation, I usually turn to Pinterest to look at all of the inspirational quotes and pictures. Here are a few of my favorites:

So tell me… how do you stay motivated to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement? Please drop a line below, and share a thought or two 🙂

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Here’s to lacing up!

Peace and Solitude

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The peaceful solitude is perhaps what ultimately drives me to love Cross Country Skiing so much. That, and I’m borderline obsessed with winter! The fresh smell of crisp winter air, and the crunching of snow puts a smile on my face. Maybe its because I was born in the winter time?

We’ve been fortunate this winter to receive an abundance of snow fall to get out and enjoy the trails. The only downfall is that its been very cold so far! Temps have been flirting generally between zero and 15 degrees, but this past Friday and yesterday we were blessed with highs in the 30s and low 40s, so I took advantage!

Friday afternoon I secured my MN Ski pass for the season and headed out with my mom to some nearby trails. Going on a tight downhill we both took a small spill, but other than that we stayed sure footed, and went about 3 or so miles. The temps were in the high 30s so we had minimal layers on. It was so wonderful to catch up and spend time with my mom.

Saturday I woke up and headed to the local trails solo. Despite the gorgeous 38 degree weather, the trails were not very crowded (as indicated in the photo above). In the more open areas I worked on diagonal stride technique and double polling with a kick. I’m not ready for the Birkibener Classic anytime soon, but its a nice activity that gets me outside, out of the gym, and out of the house (most importantly). Once I got to the back wooded area I put on some of my favorite christian music and drank in all of Gods abundant beauty.

Being able to be in full peace and solitude in the woods was much needed especially this time of year.  Time away from the hustle and bustle of the season, the endless to do lists, and the re-organizing of the house. It was more than a great chance to clear my mind and become re-calibrated. I ended up going 5.5 miles and woke up today barely able to walk! (It “hurts” so good though!)

If it wasn’t for the sub zero temperatures today (20 below wind-chill) I probably would have been out there again today, but it looks like I probably won’t ski until next Saturday – especially since I go back to work on Thursday.

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(the next 5 hours)

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(the next 7 days)

Other than that – as you can tell I have a brand new blog! Its finally a collaboration between my 3 or 4 separate blogs all into one!

(Yay to me for finally getting E-organized. I was becoming an e-horder – eek)

Check under Categories on the right side menu to look up a certain topic. Enjoy!

Three Thought Thursday

1.) Grandmas Half Marathon – In just as little as three weeks from now I’ll be toeing the line at the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon. Ten co-workers and I are all going up for either the expo, or to run or both! All seven of us from the “west wing” in the office are running. The “full time” staff is running the half marathon, and all three interns are running in the marathon. We’ve even created a corporate team to compete against other small businesses. I’m not sure we’re going to win any awards for speed, but its going to be super fun running with my co-workers and hanging out afterwards!

2.) Eli – With the news of Tyler aging and getting sick, Jason wanted to get our new dog in before Tyelr goes out. I struggled with the idea at first. Three dogs, and the thought of “replacing” Tyler before he was even gone was a little overwhelming .Until I met the new puppy! We’re going to name him Eli, and he is a Cane Corso – Italian Mastiff. You can read all about the breed here. We get to bring him home next Friday 6/7.

3.) Neighbors – I can say with ease and confidence I have such great neighbors! Yesterday one of our neighbors 2.5 year old went missing, and at least 20 neighbors were instantly combing the neighborhood looking for him! He was found five minutes later completely safe chasing after another neighbors dog! 🙂  and neighbors were continuing to support making sure he was found and physically relieved when they found out he was…. While we mainly socialize with about 8 of them, its so nice to know that we can all come together. I cherish my neighbors that I’m close with, and i hope that we continue to foster our relationships over the years. Cheers to summer and bonfires with the neighbors.

Happy Mother’s Day

I had such a Happy Mother’s Day!

K woke me up with kisses, and peered at me bright eyed and bushy tailed exclaiming, “Happy Mothers Day” in her sing-song-silly voice! Gosh I just love that girl! I can’t ever get enough of her. Since it was Mothers Day, she thought it best to awaken me at 7:30 a.m. So I finally moseyed out of bed around 8:00 a.m. and we had a delightful breakfast of Lucky Charms (aka mom doesn’t have to do much breakfast). Then we went off to our new church at 9:30 service.

We then ran a few errands to Caribou Coffee & Cub foods, and then headed to “The Lakes” to go running 2.3 miles! I pushed K in the jogger, which is a challenge now that she weighs 40lbs, but I took it as an added workout, and figured that the equivalent time, “mom graded time” which is much like “age graded time” would be more like 4 miles!

We then came home to enjoy some relaxation time before heading out to dinner with the extended family. (My parents, brother & his family, and sister & her family). We enjoyed things like burgers & tacos and shared family stories. After dinner K and I headed to my sisters house to play with her cousins.

Finally, we were back home again. I put little miss to bed, and then watched some Nashville on Hulu, and headed to bed myself.

Happy Mothers Day!

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Lottery Acceptance

Dear Lindsey, 
Congratulations! Your registration was selected in the lottery and you are now officially registered for the 23rd annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon on June 22, 2013. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Duluth, and providing you with a world-class race.
We want your experience to be enjoyable and memorable. Please read the following important information:

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon starts at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2013
CLICK HERE for a course map and course information.
CLICK HERE for starting line bus information.

Woo hooo!!!! Every year since I’ve worked at TCM-  I’ve gone to some other Marathon Expo! Its one of the fun perks of working with TCM.

2007 – Grandma’s Marathon

2008 – ING Atlanta Georgia Marathon

2009- Grandma’s Marathon

2010 – Marine Corps Marathon (In Washington DC)

2011 – Phoenix Rock & Roll

2012 – Fargo Marathon

2013 – Grandma’s Marathon

– I registered for Grandma’s 1/2 marathon in 2007 but then discovered I was pregnant with K, and in 2009 I wasn’t up to running a half marathon yet. 

I’m super excited to enjoy the last half of Grandma’s marathon this time around (since I ran the full in 2006 and was very untrained for it… the last 10 miles sucked very bad…), and I’m excited to finally run in the half marathon. I have tentative plans for K & Jason to come up and watch me, and then take a little vacation time, and maybe go up to Gooseberry Falls and spend some time on the North Shore with them!

Moms on the Run!

Well tonight was my first meeting with Moms on the Run, and boy was it COLD out there! We all survived though with hats, mittens,multiple layers and first day energy! We did 1:3 x 7 which means one minute running,and 3 minutes walking seven times.  All the ladies did GREAT!

After MOTR I went home for some homemade chicken lasagna which was super yummy and then I headed back to the gym for a little GT (Gym Tanning). I faked baked for 15 minutes, which was a tad too long, because I am now a certified lobster, but I’m hopeful it’l turn into nice tan soon! Then I hit up the treadmill for a fast 2 mile run. I went up to 7.5 mph again which felt great! But ran most of the time at 6.5 or so.

Well I’m off to DVR the Royal Wedding so I don’t forget! (Yup… I’m going to hop on that bandwagon!)


7.5 ~ staying alive!

So I went to the gym tonight to run on the treadmill since the weather was iffy, and discovered that I could push myself even further than I have been out on the road!The treadmill doesn’t lie. (Well unless its some weird tech error, but really… doesn’t lie)….

When I very first started going back to the gym this year I was running/walking a half mile at only 5mph. When I got to 5.5 I thought I was going to die… but something slowly changed. I focused less on increasing my mileage too high, too fast, and focused more on consistency and speed work. The results over the past months of really kicking it into high gear has paid off! Here’s what went down tonight.

2 mile speed workout on the treadmill.
mph (Miles per hour obviously everyone knows that one)
mpm (minutes per mile)

Mile 1
Warmed up at 6mph (10 minute miles) for 5 minutes,and then kicked it up to 6.5 mph (9:14 mpm) for the rest of the mile,until nearly the end of mile 1 when I kicked it up to 6.8 (8:49) Woot!

Mile 1 to mile 1.5
Kicked it up to 7.0 mph (8:34mpm) and held it. I just focused on something and held on! It actually felt good and not impossible to maintain.

Mile 1.5 to 2 miles
Kicked it into high gear and went to 7.2 mph,and with two minutes to go I went up to 7.5 mph (8:00mpm) I was ecstatic!

Never in a million years did I think I could run that fast again!  I knew it was possible, but I had a hundred excuses why I LINDSEY couldn’t do it anymore! Back in February when I was running 5mph, and “crazily” up to 5.5 mph I only dreamed I could run 6mph – a 10 minute mile this year…but I proved myself wrong,and  ran 8-9 minute miles!

Sorry to go on and on about this, but its something I’m so proud of myself for. I love pushing myself, and seeing what I’m really made of! I can’t wait to see what this season will bring and how I will grow as a runner!

800’s ’till I puke….

There is a great quote about doing interval training, called “800’s ’till you puke”… The premise being you run 800 meters [Half Mile] as fast as you can (so fast you want to puke). 800’s is a great way to gauge your fitness as well as test out pace. Meaning… the amount of time it takes you to run an 800 is the pace approximately that you’ll run a marathon! E.g. you run a 4:20 minute 800m you’ll run a 4:20 hour marathon.

Well I didn’t puke, but I did get an awful side ache. I’m not sure if I didn’t wait long enough after eating dinner, if I was still tired from my “3 miler” on Sunday, or just not warmed up enough with the cooler temps… I planned to do 800×6 for three miles, but I only made it 800×4 for 2 miles, and the side ache was so strong I wanted to cry. Also during the day I got a “butt pain” which flared up during my run.

Here is how my workout panned out… not super crazy awful… but not highly desirable either. I know there is room for improvement, but it wasn’t a bad gig just going out there and getting after it.

800 #1     4:16:05 (Went out fast and hard, and tried to maintain. Did high knees during run)

800 #2     4:24:06 (Went out fast again,but half way through I was feeling like rubber legs, and my butt/leg pain (saitic nerve type) flared up)

800 #3     4:30:06 (Tried reverse approach in going out slower,and speeding up…near the end I just   wanted to quit anyways. The last 50 meters or so I developed an awful side stitch)

800 #4     4:42:09 (Went out fast and hard. Figured it worked on the first leg. About 25 meters in my leg/butt was hurting! Sucked it up. Side stich became practically unbearable by 200m. Sucked it up. Theory being faster I run,faster I can quit)

As you can see, I just got progressively slower and slower. Maybe I didn’t rest enough in between… Not too sure. I plan to do this workout every Tuesday however, so I can see how I improve!

Weekend Re-Cap

Saturday we were going to go to the MN Zoo,but we woke up to 30 degrees, and a dusting of snow on the ground. We also slept in and snuggled for quite a while, so we didn’t get off to an early start.

After breakfast, and watching Ponyo again (Kirra watches it about twice a day or so)… I decided to take Kirra to the Children’s Museum for a little fun! We had a blast, and it really wasn’t too busy!

Once we left the Children’s museum, Kirra and I went to church, and then headed home for supper, which was  a homemade pizza! We all had fun making it and it tasted DELICIOUS! Finished off with an ice cream cone, and watched Ponyo again! (Yes.. we did!)
Today [Sunday] we woke up early and went to the MN Zoo. It was really fantastic!  Since we’ve only been to Como since Kirra was born, this was a real treat! We got to see all of the animals, and even got to see a cow being milked. Kirra’s favorite animals were the MN Otters, the goats, and the dolphin.
Jason’s were the wolf,and the Bald Eagle. I think my favorites were the MN Grey Wolf, goats,because you got to go right in there and pet them, and the Tigers, which came so close to the glass I stared in his/her eyes for a second or two. I always knew that Tigers were big… but when you can see it from ground to 14 foot glass, and you’re sitting there hands to the glass, tiger nose to the glass you relize how small you really are! Magnificent!

We came home and watched Ponyo again,and took a nap on the couch. I went on a 3.33 mile run after dinner,and smashed all of my old records since 2004! (AWESOME!)

Time to quiet this soul. We all have a busy morning, and we all had a busy day!