20 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!
Remember last month when we told you that we were signing up to run the Brewers Mini-Marathon in September?
Well, we’re signed up, we’ve started raising money for the MACC Fund, the early-bird registration deadline has come and gone, and now, with just 20 weeks to go, it’s time to get serious about training!
So, we decided to sit down with one of the best runners we know, Trenni Kusnierek, current sports anchor on 620 WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Afternoon News and co-host of Sports Central. Besides being one of the Brewers great partners, WTMJ is also a proud supporter of the Brewers Mini as well!
I like to think I am in pretty good shape right now, but definitely not the kind of shape you need to be in to run a half-marathon. I work out around five times a week and occasionally play other sports when I can. I’m ready for the challenge of training and participating in this race.
I ran Cross Country at Marquette High School. I wasn’t very good, but I learned a lot from my coach, James Kearney. He put us in the mindset not only to train to be physically strong, but also mentally strong. I still use a lot of those methods today when working out. I really enjoyed running and look forward to getting back into it and to accomplish the goal of finishing this race.
Another part of this that is special to me is the tie in with the MACC Fund. The MAAC Fund has been something that I have been pretty much been supporting one way or another my entire life. The organization means a lot to me and to my family. I’m very excited for what the training process will bring, we have a lot of great things planned for the blog that I think will be beneficial to everyone.
As I mentioned in my first post about the Brewers Mini-Marathon, I did not run in high school (I played golf instead), but I have completed a few 5K’s and one half-marathon since then. I like to challenge myself by setting new fitness goals, like climbing Camelback Mountain when we’re down at Spring Training, participating in a 60-mile walk for breast cancer, etc. I keep active by trying lots of different workouts (like Insanity, P90X) and regularly practicing yoga, but I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore runner. In fact, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: right now, I find running boring. Yes, that’s right. I said it. Most of my previous running has been done indoors, on a treadmill at a speed where I can still vaguely read a fashion magazine. When I admitted this to Trenni, I could tell this did not sit well with her, but she’s really nice and encouraging, so she politely challenged me to run outside. I promised her I would, but I’m having trouble getting started. The rainy weather hasn’t exactly helped either. I know I need to get going if I want to do well in this race, so any words of encouragement or advice from our readers is much appreciated. I’m looking forward to getting some new gear and training alongside John and Trenni this summer as I think they’ll provide the motivation I need to finally start to like running!
[Note: I just shared this draft with Trenni and she already responded with some tips for me, so I thought I'd share them with you as well!
Trenni: Here's my advice for running outdoors. Do it first thing in the morning. Put your clothes out the night before as a reminder/motivator. I'm not a big fan of music, but I think an upbeat playlist will help. At the very least, if you make a new mix, you'll be excited about listening to some new music! Find a route you know will be pretty--maybe the Menomonee River Parkway, or through a cute neighborhood. Start small and shoot for 20 minutes-10 minutes out and 10 minutes back. By breaking it up into two, 10 minute segments, this should help as well. It's a good way to trick your mind! Now...if it's REALLY hard to get outside, I then challenge you to begin by tossing aside the magazines and books and cranking up the speed on the treadmill. Start small, and set the speed at 5.2 or 5.3 if you were at 5.0 before. If you are running at 6.0, you are pacing at a ten minute mile, which I believe is VERY achievable for you!]
I am three weeks post Boston Marathon and my body is still rejecting the idea of running. It has been unbelievably frustrating to head out the door only to have my legs feel as if someone cut them open and poured sand into my quads.
Running is as much a part of my daily life as breathing. It has gotten to the point where easy runs feel natural, comfortable and even *gasp* enjoyable! But for some reason it is taking my body longer to recover after my most recent 26.2.
I’m not alone. I recently had dinner with my training “crew”-Bart and Stephanie- and we have all been feeling the same. Despite our high fitness level, we are slow and groggy when we hit the pavement these days, but the desire to get back out there is hard to ignore!
Unlike John and Cait, the September Brewers Mini-marathon will not be my only big race this summer, so I feel a little pressure to get back on the training track. My next race, the Summerfest Rock N’ Sole half marathon is just seven weeks away on Saturday, June 23rd. However, unlike past races, I’m approaching half-marathon number one A LOT differently than every other race in the past. I will not be wearing a watch. Yes, you read that correctly. No time keeping piece on my wrist allowing me to manage my splits every single mile. My hope is that by running my first race of the summer season “naked” I get a better idea of what my body is really capable of in terms of speed and endurance. It will also be a mental test to see if I can still run fast and control my pace, based on knowing my body rather than counting on numbers.
My long-term goals are still being formed. If my body and weather permits, I would really like to set a PR (personal record) on the half-marathon course in September. Right now I’ve been pretty consistent at crossing the finish line around 1:40, but I feel pretty confident I can get my time down around 1:35.
I’m also entertaining the idea of running a late fall marathon. Prior to Boston I said I was going to take a summer off from training, but I feel as though I’m at a point in my running career where I’m capable of racing my fastest. I’m playing with the idea of upping my mileage into the upper 50’s/low 60’s per week (in the past I’ve peaked at 45 miles per week) and paying more attention to speed work and strength training.
Right now, I’m in rest mode. I am restricted to just yoga and easy cycling until next Tuesday-one whole week without running. I’m cautiously optimistic the next time I check in, I’ll be up and running like normal!
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)