19 weeks to go until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!
This week, we visited Performance Running Outfitters in Brookfield, to get geared up so we can officially begin training.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, Performance Running Outfitters is a store that specializes in high quality performance shoes, fitness apparel, and accessories. Besides Brookfield, there are two additional locations–one in Shorewood and another in Oconomowoc. The company, which will have been open 6 years this July, is locally owned by Trae and Jessica Hoepner, who together have over 20 years of coaching and 30 years of running expertise.
Performance Running is also the official training partner of the Brewers Mini. They will be providing the pace team for the race and they have developed an official training program for the it! Beginning on Saturday, July 7 and going for 12 weeks leading up the race, participants can meet at the store in Brookfield for training runs. [For more information on the program, or to register, click here.]
When we arrived today, Jessica and Trae took great care of us to properly fit us with the best shoes and apparel for our individual running styles. Read below for individual descriptions of our experiences and check out our photo gallery!
We are also pleased to announce that Performance Running has teamed up with us to offer a special savings to John and Cait…Plus 9 readers! The first 50 people to come to Performance Running and mention the coupon code “Brewers Mini” will receive 20% off their purchase. (This offer is only valid once per customer.)
We had a great visit to the store and now we’re ready to start our workout. We highly encourage you to start shopping for your gear and to visit Jess and Trae….And tell ‘em John and Cait sent you!
It was quite a treat to be properly fitted for my new running shoes today. Trae Hoepner helped me learn about how my feet were built and what needs I have for the proper fit. This is a very important part to running and training–especially when you are doing long distance like a half-marathon. He started me in a “neutral” shoe and from that he was able to tell the pronation of my foot from watching a video he determined I was an “overpronator” especially in my left foot.
I tried a couple different shoes all of which had a stronger “post” to keep my leg and foot straighter. Getting back on the treadmill was great because I could instantly feel a difference. I tried three different pairs of shoes and finally settled on a pair of Nike’s.
The customer service was outstanding. Trae and his wife Jessica are not only extremely knowledgeable about running, but they also cared about making sure your shoe had the right fit (they even made sure they had the right color!). The whole experience from start to finish was first class. I can’t wait until their new store in Shorewood opens, sounds like they are very excited about it as well.
As John mentioned, the customer service at Performance Running was simply amazing. While Trae was working with John, Jessica helped me pick out the best shoes for my gait. I was very impressed by the level of detail and care she took in making sure I had the most comfortable shoes. She started by measuring my feet and then, as Trae did with John, she started me in a “neutral” shoe and got me actually running on the treadmill that they have in the store. She videotaped me and from that, she was able to show me that I tend to “supinate,” but overall, I have good form, landing on my forefoot.
She then took me outside to try the shoes on the pavement. From there, I tried on several different styles and brands (including a cool pink pair of Newtons that had special lugs in them) until I settled on a pair of purple and blue Brooks, which was actually the first pair Jessica had me try on (she’s obviously good at what she does–nailed it on the first try!).
While I was at the store, I also purchased some Nike running capris and Jess threw in a pair of her favorite socks that she wants me to try.
She also introduced me to the world of running belts, power gels and foam rollers–foreign territory to me as a fairly novice runner. I’m not quite ready for those things yet, but I know where I will be shopping for them when I am!
It may be accurate to call me a shopaholic. So, when I discovered the next step in getting ready for the Brewers Mini-Marathon was to get “geared up,” I was all in, despite the fact I own a closet full of running gear and am not due for new shoes until at least late June!
Here’s a little motivation secret, something as small as a new t-shirt or even a new pair of socks may get you out the door when the urge to run has reached a low point.
I took seven whole days off from running last week. My legs did not feel like they were recovered after Boston and the frustration and discomfort was a sign I needed to slow down. I hit the pavement this week, with the weather helping push me out the door.
Until I hit up Performance Running Outfitters this afternoon.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m dying (no rhyme intended!) to get out in my new gear. Not only is it nice to look halfway decent while sweating up a storm on the east side streets, it is important to have the right stuff. Yes, it is perfectly OK to run in any pair of tennis shoes, t-shirt and shorts, but it can lead to problems. If you’re shorts don’t fit quite right, the chafing can not only cause some pain, the raw skin can be pretty unsightly. If you are wearing a plain, old cotton t-shirt as the weather gets warmer, your body can’t properly sweat and breathe, which causes you to dehydrate and tire out much faster.
But if there is one piece of “equipment” that matters the most, it is without a doubt your running shoes. Caitlin emailed me earlier this week complaining of some knee discomfort and my immediate response was in regards to her shoes. Caitlin had been running in the same sneakers for a year, which is far too long to keep a pair or running shoes. When the soles and structure deteriorate, your feet have to make up the difference. Your body begins to make adjustments to compromise and the next thing you know, you are on the couch instead of the treadmill.
I’m sure you’re next thought is, “how do I know which shoe is best for me?” Great question! The best thing to do is visit a running specific store like Performance Running Outfitters and give a number of pairs a try. I have been buying my shoes from Performance for more than a year for one, main reason–the staff is knowledgeable and will not rush you through the process. When I was having issues with my previous style of shoe, the folks at Performance spent nearly an hour with me as I tried on NINE different brands and styles on the treadmill.
I run in two different shoes during my training seasons–a long distance and speed shoe–alternating days to keep my legs fresh and different muscles working. If you are a more recreational/novice runner, this certainly isn’t necessary, but something to think about as you progress!
So, I left Performance today with a new pair of shorts, two new tanks, and some great advice from Jessica about how to gradually ease into a minimalist shoe I bought this winter. The clothes cost a few bucks, but the advice and post-purchase running glow were free!
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)
Well, it was quite the eventful morning here at Miller Park!
If you haven’t heard by now, the fifth Klement’s Famous Racing Sausage, Chorizo, went missing this past Sunday, which first became apparent when he didn’t show up for the Sausage Race during the game.
— Bernie Brewer (@Bernie_Brewer) May 13, 2012
Well, this morning, we finally found out what he was up to! In preparation for Spring Madness, Chorizo had been hard at work. Not only had he gone missing from Miller Park the last two days, but, similar to Bernie’s effort last year, Chorizo spent the hours mapping and planting over 2,000 Chorizo lawn ornaments in the grass areas surrounding Miller Park and its parking lots.
Each lawn ornament was affixed with a pouch that included game tickets for a Spring Madness game, set for May 21 through May 23 at Miller Park. The Brewers will host the San Francisco Giants during Spring Madness, and Brewers fans can save 50% on most all tickets $38 or less. In addition, Klement’s hot dogs and small Pepsi products are just $1 each for all three games.
Plus, there were also three “Grand Prize” ornaments containing the following prizes:
1.) breakfast with Hall-of-Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers
2.) an opportunity for four to watch batting practice from the field with one person tossing a ceremonial first pitch; and
3.) a home visit from the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages for a tailgate party with supplies provided by Pepsi, Klement’s and Miller
If you weren’t able to make it down to Miller Park this morning, or if you missed out on the lawn ornaments, don’t fret!
First, we are told the Brewers Team Store by Majestic will have a limited quantity in stock. We suggest you call the store at (414- 902-4750) to check availability first.
Second, there will be an online dutch auction at brewers.com, beginning on Thursday, May 17 and ending on Thursday, May 31 at 5 p.m., in which fans can bid on five Chorizo lawn ornaments.
Finally, everyone’s a “wiener” with this special ticket offer!
To celebrate Chorizo being found, we’re offering fans Field Outfield tickets for just $30 or Terrace Reserved tickets for just $10 for the upcoming Friday night or Sunday afternoon Marquee games against the Minnesota Twins (Friday, May 18 or Sunday, May 20). That’s a 50% savings or more off of Marquee prices for this Interleague rivalry! Like the Chorizo, you’ll want to act fast! Visit brewers.com/whereschorizo to purchase!
We hope you had as much fun as we did today! And of course, we hope to see you out at Miller Park for the Twins Series this weekend then Spring Madness, May 21-23!
-John & Cait
Today, while in New York, Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy visited the MLB Fan Cave. Check out some images & b-roll below and then make sure to check out mlbfancave.com in the coming days to see some video from the visit!
Mark Newman of MLB.com had this story about Lucroy’s visit.
Entering its second year, the redesigned MLB Fan Cave hosts fan events, concerts, MLB player and celebrity appearances, as well as the nine Cave Dwellers who are attempting to watch every game of the 2012 MLB season while chronicling their experiences online through videos, blogs and social media. Along the way, they are competing with one another in a series of challenges, with fans online helping decide who gets to stay in the MLB Fan Cave and who gets eliminated, with one eventual winner crowned before the end of the World Series. Fans can follow all of the activity on Facebook and Twitter (@MLBFanCave) and vote for their favorite Cave Dweller here.
-John & Cait
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!)
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”
-John & Cait
This week in What John and Cait Ate:
During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare and review it here, for you.
Here in Wisconsin, we should be very proud because our state fair: The Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular–is indeed a great state fair (and the only state fair around)! It is one of the best in the country, well-known for the excellent entertainment, competitions, and probably most of all, the amazing array of delicious–and oftentimes, unique–food.
Each year, people across the state and even those outside of the state, flock to West Allis to take in the Fair and it’s fare. Well, now you can satisfy some of your cravings just a little bit earlier than August because Sportservice, which also provides a lot of the food service for the fair, has opened a State Fair-inspired food stand at Miller Park.
We’re really excited because, here at the Brewers, we have a wonderful relationship with the Wisconsin State Fair. In fact, our $13 Fair Fridays ticket package [a Terrace ticket to a Friday home game, plus a general admission ticket to the Wisconsin State Fair, good any day of the Fair, August 2-12--for just $13] is among the top sellers year in and year out. Thus, now when fans purchase this package, they’ll get to enjoy Wisconsin State Fair treats at least twice this year!
So, this week, Chef John invited us to sample the variety of deep-fried items (plus margaritas!) from the new 1st Base Fry Bar, in the right-field corner on Field Level.
Read on for a description, photos and reviews!
Gourmet Corn Brat-$6.00
This is just what it sounds like–a corn dog, but instead of a hot dog, Chef John’s crew has deep fried another Wisconsin favorite: a Klement’s brat!
John: Nothing says State Fair like food on a stick! This is definitely not a full meal, but a pretty good snack. Try it with the Secret Stadium Sauce. The corn dogs and corn brats are dipped fresh with batter right at the stand, they are never frozen.
Cait: I cannot remember the last time I had a corn dog, but this corn brat brought back memories of grade school lunches. The brat added a new, unexpected dimension to the flavor and hey, who doesn’t love food on a stick?!
(out of 5)
Deep Fried Cheesecake- $7.50
John: I really didn’t know what to expect with this one, but I thought it was pretty good. Not to go all gourmet on everyone, but it tasted like a strawberry blintz or a strawberry crepe. I would share this with a friend, it was perfectly sized for two.
Cait: This dessert was definitely rich, to say the least! The cheesecake was warm and melted in my mouth. The effect kind of reminded me of a cannoli, or a crepe as John said. As with most of these items, I’m also going to recommend you share with friends–too rich for for me to eat the entire thing on my own! Chef John tells us they are going to experiment with this treat, trying a deep-friend bananas foster type treat, so stay tuned!
(out of 5)
Funnel Fries- $4
John: I can’t visit State Fair without a Funnel Cake, but I always find them messy. You are picking them apart and tearing pieces off here and there. It was almost like eating french toast sticks that I remember as a kid. This made the Funnel Cake experience cleaner and easier to eat. A delicious sweet treat.
Cait: These funnel fries were very sweet and, like the cheesecake, melted in my mouth.
(out of 5)
BBQ or Buffalo Boneless Chicken Wings- $9.50
State Fair style boneless chicken wings, served with BBQ or Buffalo sauce, and a side of french fries.
John: You could put Buffalo sauce on pretty much anything and I would enjoy it. At the same time, the BBQ flavored wings were also excellent. These were easy to eat–since they are boneless, you can just use a fork. This could serve as a full meal for one as the order contained plenty of the boneless wings. In addition, the fresh-cut fries completed the plate.
Cait: These wings were probably my favorite item at the stand. Both the BBQ and Buffalo style were very good. The portion sizes were very generous and I think this would make a good meal, or again, a good snack to share with friends.
(out of 5)
Deep Fried Bacon Strips- $7.50
The name says it all. Deep. Fried. Bacon Strips.
John: Pretty hard to describe these. If you are in for something unique, try this snack. I don’t think I would eat an entire serving of these all by myself, but it would be fun to share as a group. Although, it is pretty hard to stop snacking on these.
Cait: “Those are addicting,” Chef John warned us, as we dove into the basket of bacon strips. Yes, I can see what he means. It’s got the salty bacon-y taste, wrapped in a soft deep-fried outer shell. And the portion size here is also very generous, so once again, a good item to get with a group of friends, just to try something new.
(out of 5)
Where To Satisfy Your Craving: All of these items can be found at 1st Base Fry Bar, located in the right-field corner on the Field Level (near the Associated Bank Kids Zone). This stand also features a couple of the speciality french fries we featured last year, The Montreal and the Garlic Fries, as well as a variety of beverages. Note: If fried foods aren’t your thing, ham, turkey and veggie deli wraps are also available for just $6.50 at this stand as well!
Chef John also wanted us to try the Frozen Cocktails at the adjacent stand. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it! Plus, all that deep fried fare was making us thirsty…
Frozen Cocktails -$9.50
Strawberry, Blue Raspberry and Regular are the margarita flavors offered at the Frozen Cocktails stand, along with a special flavor that will change throughout the season. Today’s flavor was mango (pictured above, left).
John: I’m really not a huge fan of the sugary frozen drinks, but these cocktails were both pretty refreshing–perfect for washing down some salty fried food. They both tasted like fruit smoothies, which could get a little dangerous. Drink responsibly! (Side note: I love the souvenir mug with the Barrel Man logo!)
Cait: Forget 5 o’clock. It’s game time and these frozen cocktails are delicious! They’ll instantly make you feel like you’re on vacation somewhere tropical. Very refreshing and a great choice during a hot summer day game!
(out of 5)
Where To Satisfy Your Craving: All of these items can be found at the Frozen Cocktails stand next to the 1st Base Fry Bar, located in the right-field corner on the Field Level. This stand also features wine and slushies.
What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? Want to dispute our reviews? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!
We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate during the next homestand and until then, stay cool and…Bon Appetit!