Today I was a racer and a coach!

I wasn’t expecting much at the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon today since Ironman Boulder was just last Saturday. But my legs felt surprisingly good so I was disappointed when I had to make, not one, but TWO potty stops during the race. My run time was 2:02:44, but with the standing in line and potty business, I finished in 2:06:12. Ouch! That took me from a 9:18 pace to a 9:34 pace. 

I swear, if someone has an answer to this scourge on runners, pass it along. Sometimes I race several times in a row with no issues but then some races it’s just miserable. I’ve tried Immodium but am open to other suggestions.

Isn’t it nice that we are runners so that we know we can talk about anything?! TMI!!

After the half, we waited a good 45 minutes for the leaders of the marathon to come through. I had about 20 marathoners on the course and it was a blast watching them come in. It was wet but cool so everyone did extremely well. It was a long day, though, as my runners run the full gamut of paces. Each one had a smile, though, and everyone met their goals which was great.

I love both coaching and racing- fun to have a day with both!


A soggy 1:41:04 and price gouging at Grandmas half and full marathon

The Grandmas Marathon in Duluth, MN features a flat, fast course and the weather is generally cool so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for a late spring BQ attempt.  

The entire town supports the race and by supporting the race, I mean screwing the running tourists.  The hotels lead the way by requiring 2 or 3 night minimum reservations and then doubling their rates.  Many athletes chose to camp or get a dorm room at the local university instead.  All of the name brand hotels were booked by the time Beth and I committed to race so we stayed at the Edgewater.

The big sign on the street says, Edgewater Resort and Waterpark.  The Edgewater is a resort in the same way that a truck stop is a restaurant - technically the description may be accurate, but it’s hardly what you’re expecting, especially for $300/nt for a street level room facing the parking lot..

You may be thinking that I’m a corporate travel snob and I’m being too critical of this hard-working independent hotel and waterpark.  If you live in Duluth and you’ve got cabin fever with 3 little kids in the middle of February and you need a diversion, then the Edgewater would be an oasis - but not for more than $125/nt.

Grandmas marathon used to sell out every year within a few days/weeks of opening registration, but that doesn’t happen anymore because there other spring marathon options in Fargo and Minneapolis.  I’m glad.

I can understand this is the tourist season for Duluth and if the hotels can screw people and get away with it, then why shouldn’t they?  That’s fine, I’ll just never go back.

The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon: June 16th, 2012.

You’ve all been patiently waiting to hear how my race went, right? Well… Let’s start from the beginning.

Brady and I drove up to Duluth and met his dad, Ryan, at the DECC to grab our race packets. We were hoping to arrive around 8, unfortunately we rolled in much closer to 9:45. Regardless, we made it before the 11:00 close. Thank goodness. 

30 minutes later we had arrived at our campsite and were setting up our tent. By 11 I was “sleeping”. The stress of the upcoming race was definitely interfering with my ability to sleep. Not to mention the whole sleeping pad/sleeping bag ordeal.

Note to self: Always plan for a bed the night before a race. 

Anyway, around 4:30 Ryan graciously woke me up. He was heating his oatmeal before his 26.2 while I ate cheerios and almonds before my 13.1

I safely made it to the start line an hour before the gun went off. I walked up and down the start area for a while before deciding to sit down and collect my thoughts:

The sun was bright, and there were people EVERYwhere. It took a solid 15 minutes for me to get my bearings… This is a shot behind me, but it seriously looked exactly the same in front of me as well:

Finally, seriously finally, I found the 2:15 pacer group and sank in to wait. An hour has never felt so long. 

The gun went off and people started getting antsy. I started off and felt GREAT. Check out this little smile around mile 3:

Holy smokes there were people every where. Everything from bagpipes to trolls to wine and beer… It was just absolutely nuts. I felt amazing until about mile 9. I knew heather was waiting for me just past mile 10, so I kept the wheels moving. 

Thank god she was there. I waved a whole 100 yards before I got to her. I handed her my sunglasses, which had been sliding down my sweaty ass nose, proclaimed my love for her, and ran on. I was getting a little bit of a side ache, but seeing her face made me forget all about it.

I made it to the end of mile 10 as fast as I could and got tired. Seriously tired. 

The Watelands were somewhere in mile 11 and while it was nice to see them, I wasn’t expecting it, and without the anticipation it seemed much less climactic than seeing Heather earlier. I wish I’d have known where they were so I could have said thank you or run right by them, but instead I saw them from the middle of the pack and kept on moving.

My only regret from this race, aside from getting to Duluth so late, was not looking at the course map. Since mile 10 people had been saying “You’re almost there” and the DECC was close, and I was thinking, “Hell yeah! Sprint it out! I’m almost there” unfortunately, 3+ miles is not a sprint distance for me.

Thank goodness there were people everywhere. I might have stopped to walk if there hadn’t been people screaming at me that last mile. 

I crossed the finish line and was proud. 

I got my medal, from Mr. Medal Giver. I asked for a picture with him, and he chuckled and obliged :)

Soon after I was all like, OMG I GOTTA POO.

I made my way to the bathroom line, and crossed my legs to hold it all in. ;)

Surprisingly, after leaving the Biffy I ran into Ms. Fitandfoodiaries and we just had to get a picture:

This lady finished in 2:07, what a beast!

The beautiful Ms. Weins and the entire Wateland clan were waiting for me by bag pick-up. I smiled with each of them, but really just wanted ice cream:

I don’t really remember the next two hours or so, except that I kept wishing I was still running. I wished I was about to finish 26.2. I kept day dreaming about crossing the finish line, and how awesome it would be to be twice as tired. To be twice as beastly. I kept thinking about ultras and 24 hour races and marathons and ‘the goofy’. I could not get racing off the mind. 

We chilled in Duluth for a while, got DQ, visited the potty, called my parents (while horizontal):

 and then waited for Brady’s dad to cross the finish line. 

Watching the marathoners, in all their glory, was stunning. 

Ryan finished just over four hours. He gave us all high-fives and I knew, watching him run toward the finish line, that I would run a marathon.

I will kick 26.2 miles of ass. 

Watch me, world. Just watch me.


Just a couple more pictures from Boulder 70.3.

A long time ago, I thought it would be fun to run the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (the half that goes with Grandma’s Marathon) the weekend after Boulder. I have 25 runners that I’m coaching that are racing and I figured I would run the half and then go back on the course to cheer for them. 

The cheering part still sounds fun, but running a half marathon so close to my 70.3 is a bit intimidating. I ran today for the first time since last weekend’s race and everything seems to be in working order, so I’m hopeful that I’ll have a decent run.

As far as pacing, I’ll just take it easy and try to enjoy the race despite the predicted rain. I’ve never run Grandma’s so it will be fun to see what it’s all about. 

Here's how my day went!

First of all, I didn’t really intend on actually going to the 5k I had signed up for that was today because it was in Duluth (2 hrs away, where I go to school) and neither my mother or my father could go. I was afraid to go myself because it was the first 5k I’ve participated in, but this morning my dad woke me up and told me he convinced my brother to go with me. First off, if you know my brother, this was a shock in and of itself. SECONDLY, since I had not planned on going, I ran hard at the gym yesterday. Had I known I was actually going to follow through with participating in this 5k, I would have taken a rest day yesterday.

That being said, I have no regrets about going. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had in a long while, and the adrenaline pumping through my body was a fantastic wake-up call. Now, my time ended up being 30:24, which breaks it down to a 9:47 mile. I know it’s clearly not the best time ever, but it’s a lot better than I had expected for my first race, factoring in the circumstances of me driving for 3 hours, not having eaten for 7 (traffic, and no time to drive anywhere to eat), a hard gym workout the night before, and having little to no experience with running outside in extreme humidity.

I had highly considered running with no earbuds in and simply taking the course and the entire experience in, but for my first run, I had decided that a little musical motivation from my ipod couldn’t hurt. It was such a rewarding experience to be around people who enjoy running as much as I do (even if it’s only a couple of miles at a time). Every time I felt the need to give up and begin walking (which I admittedly gave into a couple of times for a few seconds), there was always someone on my tail, or a sign from a spectator that stated “dear EVERYONE, you can do it!”

Overall, I finish this night with sore feet and a motivated heart. No regrets, and I give you my word…this may be the first 5k I’ve run, but it will most certainly not be the last.




Took them like 5 hours, but you know what? they did it, they finished it, before my dad could turn 60, he did it! And even better is that these two did it TOGETHER because they love each other and just LOOK AT MY PARENTS! I’m so proud of them, and I’m happy I got to get photos of them finishing the last mile together~

So what happened was...

I ran Grandma’s (half) marathon in June. It was my first half and it was AMAZING! Unfortunately, I did’t train quite as much as I should have and ended up getting a stress fracture in my foot D8 
*~basically~* I’ve just been working and focusing on letting my foot heal (also I don’t have internet at my new place yet which is why I’ve been pretty non-existant in here) 


I get to start running again in about 10 days!!! I’m going to take it painfully slow, because I dont want to risk the pain of another fracture and having to wait longer to run… but I am so pumped to start back up! and i’m thiiiinking I might make Grandma’s (FULL) marathon my goal for the next 10 months!

And that’s what I’ve been up to … Miss you all! Getting Internet this week, so i won’t have to miss you all for so long!

The decision to DNS a marathon - entirely amelia
I haven’t really posted about it here yet, but my training for Grandma’s Marathon has completely fallen apart. I don’t know exactly what caused it, but it’s gotten really bad. When I say bad, I mean I’ve been heavily considering… Continue Reading →

Typing this really, really bummed me out. Sucks to put in all the work for a few months and then not have anything to show for it.


Everyone… two days ago on June 18, 2016.. I RAN MY FIRST EVER HALF MARATHON!!!

It was such a phenomenal experience and I’m so happy I did it!

I didn’t train nearly as much or as hard as I should have, and as a result I am going to the doctor today to see if my foot is fractured or not… But it was still such a great thing to be a part of, and… I might have limped the last two miles, BUT I CROSSED THAT FINISH LINE ALL ON MY OWN!

I’m already planning on beginning real training soon and will be doing the half marathon again next year (assuming I win the lottery)!

My friend, who convinced me to sign up for the half in the first place, ran the full Marathon and it was her first AND SHE DID AMAZING!!! I am so so so proud of her! She had been training like crazy for the past year and .. omg.. it was just such a great experience and I’m so happy I was able to see her cross the finish line!

So that was my weekend and I wouldn’t have had it any other way… here’s to the rest of this summer!


Tube doors on the Jeep!

Let’s ignore the fact that I had to cut this morning’s run short because it turns out my glute is still injured.  I turned around at mile two and had to walk the last mile.  But that’s OK because it meant I still had enough energy to finish last night’s project - assembling and installing the tube doors on the Jeep.

The Jeep is Beth’s car (but she lets me drive it) and I wanted to surprise her when she got back from cheering at Grandma’s Marathon. The doors are made by Smittybilt and are quite heavy.  After some assembly they were ready to go.  Removing and installing the doors is a relatively quick one-person job, but I needed help hoisting the front doors onto the storage racks. 

We took them for a test drive tonight and they were great!  I liked the open air feel but would be nervous without any side impact protection.  I wouldn’t recommend them for long distance highway travel, but they’re perfect for cruising around town.