Author: Heather Wagner

Merna ASE

Cold temperatures for 2016, but seasonal for any other year, mild winds and greatly appreciated sunshine greeted the 2016 Merna ASE (Another Stupid Event) crew. Following the run, folks enjoyed cold beverages, good food, great cookies and the 2016 version of the infamous ASE mixed drink. Great regrets for those who missed this annual tradition. Look for another chance to enjoy the ASE experience in February.

2016-merna-ase-2

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

If You Can’t Run It, Then Walk It

By Peggy Stark

There are many times we have endured the injuries or other mishaps that tend to get in the way of our goals and ambitions in life. For many of us here, our main love is to run for our own enjoyment or to train to toe up to the starting line of our local circuit races.

Currently I’m off – no running due to unforeseeable back/spine issues and on-going knee issues of bone on bone. If you’re wondering, yes, I saw several doctors; an orthopedic sports doc, a pain doc and a neurological surgical specialist doc. Finally diagnosed as spinal stenosis with bone spur, pushing in on my spinal column causing the main problem of leg, hip and sacrum pain/weakness; plus, a synovial cyst on the spine.

I’m not sure when I will or if I will be able to run again. But surgery to correct my spine is in the near future, plus one for a knee replacement surgery in 2015.

My decision to see a doctor was because the running I was doing was getting frustrating. I was getting slower instead of faster and the running was aggravating my lower back, hips and legs. During my longer runs, between 8-10 miles, my legs and hips would get so painful and weak, that I could barely walk home after my training runs. Frankly it wasn’t getting better, no matter how much cross training, strength training, flexibility and physical therapy I did…nothing was helping. I was facing the choice to give up running completely, which the thoughts of quitting running became very agonizing, frustrating and depressing. I didn’t want to, but had to. Facing up to it, just deal with it, get over it and move on…

I still wanted something that I know I could still do to continue my fitness with a bit of competitiveness that I enjoy!

That is “walking”. Yes, right, I said it! Some may call it power walking or speed walking, which most people do. But if you want to keep the competitiveness to your walking, then it is rightly known as “race walking”. The good news – I noticed right away that is does not bother my back/spine issues or knee issues. So, I can pretty much pick up where my running left off. No, you won’t find me slowly just strolling, nor will you find me walking those ½ miler or 1 to 3 miler non-competitive walk-a-bouts. I will be right out there with the rest of the runners. Taking it up a few notches; doing it faster! Yes, it’s still low impact. One leg is always on the ground; it’s cardio, it’s healthy and yes, you can burn a “boat load” of calories too!

But if you’re thinking, huh? Seriously? Walking is also a competitive sport? Yes, it has a lot of rules and regulations. But note: we have no technical officials out there tagging for violations – that I know of. All of the 5Ks, 10Ks, Lake Run 4.37 miler, 7.4 miler, maybe even a 1/2 marathon can be great training to perfect your form, pace and speed. And you can still have some fun with it too.

I will be doing the so called “race walking” during some of the races for a while. No, don’t worry, I won’t be toeing up with starting line runners. I can’t walk that fast, well, not that fast yet – LOL!

So take your walking to a higher level, challenge yourself, inspire and encourage others. Just learn to do it faster and further. If runners can run it, yes, you can walk it. Seriously.

Peg Stark

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Adventures Benefiting Children Run #90, for Heartland Head Start

by Merlin Anderson

A great morning for running greeted the 46 participants that showed up on October 6 at the Sugar Grove Nature Center to support the Heartland Head Start program with total contributions of $619.

ABC90a
ABC90bMany thanks to Angela Funk for allowing us to use the facility.  Thanks also to our co-hosts, Sharon Cochran, a member of the Friends of Heartland Head Start, and Karen Bruning, the director of Heartland Head Start.  Angela and Sharon and Karen did a great job of hosting us and we really enjoyed the food & drink.  The menu included Panera bagels and Starbucks iced coffee (from Karen Bruning), bananas and bread (from Sharon Cochran), coffee cake (from Meg Anderson), banana cake (from Stacie Sheridan),  chocolate chip cookies (from Kevin Fahling), assorted treats (Angela Funk), and much more (my apologies to all those that I missed).

This is the sixth time we have done a run for Heartland Head Start.  The funds raised by all six ABC Runs add up to a tidy sum of $3,429.   Thanks so much to every participant for your fellowship, sharing food, and generous financial support.  Karen Bruning sent me a nice email including some thanks to pass along.  Karen wrote “On behalf of Heartland Head Start, I would like to sincerely thank all of you for coming out to support our organization!  It was great to meet you all and please know your dollars will assist our program greatly!”

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , | Comments closed

ABC Run/Pool Party #89, for St. Jude

By Merlin Anderson and Julie Sibley

ABC Run #89 was hosted by Julie Sibley at her home on September 8 to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Unfortunately her husband, Brian Sibley, was out of town for work but didn’t mind having 38 people over to their house in his absence.  He was more than happy to get out of clean-up duties!

ABC1

Julie is in the St. Jude Heroes Program, planning to run the Chicago Marathon.  As an extra incentive, Julie promised to match all ABC2donations.  With the matching included, the amount raised for St. Jude was an awesome $1,736!  Thanks so much to all the contributors.

The venue was great, especially the deck and backyard pool.  The temperature was perfect for either swimming or just lounging after  the run.  Kids of all ages had a blast in the pool.  One of the comical moments of the morning was watching 10 adults try to realign the screen door that had fallen out of its tracks – such teamwork.

The course was great, a country adventure including a gravel road and a water stop at the 2.5 mile mark manned by Dan Anderson who also took photos and demonstrated the environmentally ABC3friendly hydration system that was used at the We Care races.

The menu was great, including a great variety of healthy and tasty choices.  A few highlights include Robyn Walter’s made-from-scratch protein bars, Laurel Schumacher’s homemade apple butter, Meg Anderson’s coffee cake, Kevin Fahling’s cookies, and Julie’s mystery dish (an egg, hash brown and turkey sausage casserole).  Thanks to all who provided the food.  As usual, there was more than enough for all.

The experience of hosting was great according to Julie’s post on Facebook: “I am so touched by the generosity of the people in this club and this community.  A few people made some very, very ABC4generous donations and others sent checks even though they were out of town.  Wow.  I highly recommend participating in, contribution towards, or even hosting an ABC run – your heart will be filled.”

We have now held a total of eleven ABC runs for St. Jude, totaling $11,104.  The total of all 89 ABC runs is $61,441.

Thanks so much to everyone for all of your support!

ABC Run #90, to benefit Heartland Head Start will be held at the Sugar Grove Nature Center onABC5 October 6 at 8:00 a.m. (doors open at 7:30).

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Profile on Dan Anderson

LRC RUNNER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Feature article on Dan Anderson
Interviewed by Karen Dudek

Karen: How many years have you been running?
Dan: 5

Karen: Why did you start running?
Dan: It’s my wife’s fault!  I met her on a bike ride, and we did almost everything together after that. She ran with a group of runners who ran (and still do!) at Tipton Trails on Tuesday/Thursday at 5:30am, so I started running with them also, to share in her life.

Karen: Who inspired you?
Dan: Wow! Long list! My wife, Wendy, and Pam Walden early on, Rich Beal inspired me to wear crazy costumes. Julie Sibley and Tim Rood later on as I started running with others. And I didn’t even mention Merlin, who inspires everyone.

Karen: Why did you join the Lake Run Club?
Dan: My wife…it’s all her fault!

Karen: Tell me about your first race.
Dan: I think my first race was Race The Dead! I ran as a volcano.

Karen: What makes your favorite race your favorite?
Dan: Ha! in 2012 it had to be Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, because I qualified for Boston. But I think the Park to Park has to be one of my favorites. maybe because it’s fun. It’s fourth of July and people are out there to have a good time. Some of the crazy people wear costumes, but it’s really a holiday mindset.

Karen: What race really sticks in your mind for one reason or another?
Dan: The Kauai marathon was beautiful (though some of it was lost on me after mile 15!). What keeps coming back to me is the Park to Park.  I generally run it in a costume. In 2011 I ran it as an 10 foot tall Uncle Sam Hat.  Throughout the race there was a group I kept seeing, I would catch up and then they would take off. One of the times I heard a guy groan and say “Darn, we have to go again”. Next time I got near him, I asked about it.  He replied, “Yeah, we decided that we have to stay ahead of the hat!” I love that! Fun is one of the things I try and put into running. Wearing crazy tights and big costumes is part of that. Running does not have to be all serious!  I probably wouldn’t still be running if it was.  (BTW, I sprinted past that group of runners at the finish! – and afterward they called me over to have my picture taken with them.  They were lifeguards and had all decided to run together.)

Karen: Do you have a favorite route that you run?
Dan: I really like the stretch of the trail from the triangle to Towanda Barnes and back.

Karen: If you could run any race in the world, which would you pick, and why?
Dan: On my bucket list is to run a 100 mile race…any 100 miler.  I’ve done a 50, but 100 just is beyond the scope of reality; so I’d like to try it.  Fifty used to be beyond my reality.

Karen: Which race do you think is the most fun to volunteer at and why?
Dan: I really enjoy leading in Catch the Wave, which culminates at the Lake Run.  The satisfaction of having new runners achieve something they have never done (or never thought they would) is immense!

Karen: What are you training for right now?
Dan: Nothing.  I’m coming off an injury and then will train for Boston Marathon 2014.
 
Karen: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you go through before a big race?
Dan: No.. pretty boring.

Karen: What’s the coolest piece of running gear you own? (T-shirt, sox, etc.).
Dan: My lightning tights!

Karen: Who have you been running with lately?
Dan: Ray Sevier, Sarah Kelch, Kevin Lee, and the Thursday night group at the lake (what little I have been running).

Karen: What makes you stay with it and keep running?
Dan: I feel better when I am running regularly, but the people I run with make it special.  Even now when I’m not really running, on Saturday mornings I’ll ride my bike down to the triangle to join the Marathon training group, and talk to them as I ride along side.  And I’ll run with most anyone.

Dan running Park to Park in costume.

Dan running Park to Park in costume.

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Profile on Caitlin Harrison

LRC RUNNER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Feature article on Caitlin Harrison
Interviewed by Karen Dudek

Karen: How many years have you been running?
Caitlin: Going on 3, but I’ve technically only been serious about it for 9 months now.

Karen: Why did you start running?
Caitlin: A friend of mine asked me to do Catch The Wave (CTW) with her in 2011! I’ve participated the past 3 seasons.

Karen: Who inspired you?
Caitlin: At first, the incredibly welcoming and helpful leaders of CTW. After running my first Lake Run it was every other person who ran that race. It was so inspiring to be a part of the event that I knew I wanted to participate in more races.

Karen: Why did you join the Lake Run Club?
Caitlin: It was included in my CTW fee!

Karen: Tell me about your first race.
Caitlin: It was the inner loop at the Lake Run in May of 2011. I was 9 weeks pregnant and the course made me very nervous because I hadn’t prepared as well as I probably should have. I only made it as far as the first water stop before I took a walking break. I continued running intervals until I finished somewhere around 1:03. My family and friends were there cheering for me and some other friends who ran the race. I think I took a 2 hour nap that afternoon!

Karen: What makes your favorite race your favorite?
Caitlin: As of today, the Lake Evergreen 5K has been my favorite because it has been my best timed race yet. I started out this year running a 13 minute mile and finished last Saturday’s 3.1 miles with an average 10:11 minute mile pace. I loved the fact that it was the finishing race for Heat Wave and that I got to run alongside many of the women I have spent all summer getting to know.

Karen: What race really sticks in your mind for one reason or another?
Caitlin: This past Lake Run because it was really the first time I felt 100% confident in my running abilities. In previous Lake Runs, I had slacked and thought I could get away with the minimum effort. This year I really tried to kick my own butt and run farther and more often which lead to cutting 10 whole minutes off my previous Lake Run time. It was also the first race I did with HMP (Hot Mom Project) and I will never forget the camaraderie I felt congratulating each other on a race well done, knowing we had trained hard together.

Karen: Do you have a favorite route that you run?
Caitlin: Everywhere! I’m really feeling the runs around Lake Bloomington lately though!

Karen: If you could run any race in the world, which would you pick, and why?
Caitlin: I REALLY want to run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon! A family member turned me onto this race when I first started running and it has just been a goal of mine since the beginning. Plus, during the race you get to run ON the Indianapolis 500 track!

Karen: Do you have a “you’ll never believe what happened on my run today” story?
Caitlin: I had a woman once stop me and tell me that if I was running to lose weight I was wasting my time (unprompted, I did not know this woman nor did I ask for any weight loss or running advice). All you had to do was cut out every single carb in your diet and you’d drop 20 pounds in no time! Exercise not needed.

Karen: If Chilly Chili isn’t the most unusual race you’ve ever taken part in, what race is?
Caitlin: Not a timed race, but I did partake in the Color Run in Chicago this summer. It was a total party and pretty cool to experience such a large event (I want to say it was 10,000+ people).

Karen: Which race do you think is the most fun to volunteer at and why?
Caitlin: I have yet to volunteer for a race! I am hoping to help out with the Race for the Cure next month and hopefully many more after that!

Karen: What are you training for right now?
Caitlin: The We Care Half Marathon! I am very excited for my first half marathon!

Karen: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you go through before a big race?
Caitlin: I tend to get up way too early on a race day and get to the race much earlier than I have to. I have fear of not having enough time to prep myself!

Karen: What’s the coolest piece of running gear you own?
Caitlin: My Baby Jogger running stroller! It’s blue, and has giant tires, and carries my toddler (and water, snacks, etc.) for miles and miles!

Karen: Who have you been running with lately?
Caitlin: Hot Moms and Single Ladies! We started out as a mom’s with strollers group and have evolved to much, much more. We run together multiple times a week. I ran all summer with Heat Wave, did my first Monday night Fun Run, as well as my first Thursday night out at the Lake this week.

Karen: Who motivates you as a runner?
Caitlin: The women who are constantly motivating me to run farther and faster and every friendly face I meet within the Lake Run Club who pushes me that much more. But most of all, my going on 2 year old, Harper. Being able to keep up with her and show her how important it is to have a healthy hobby keeps me motivated. I really want her to grow up in an active lifestyle that not only benefits her health, but motivates her to step outside her comfort zone sometimes.

Karen: What makes you stay with it and keep running?
Caitlin: I have never played a sport outside of gym class in my adult life. Running was slow for me in the beginning, but I absolutely loved how I felt afterwards. Meeting so many new people and making the connections I have has made my journey that much more rewarding, pushing me to keep running. My family and friends have literally asked what has gotten into me. I was the girl in high school complaining weeks before we had to run the 1 mile in gym class, now I’m training for a half marathon. The gratification I feel from accomplishing what I never thought I ever would do is greater than the nagging feeling that my toes hurt after 7 or 8 miles.

Caitlin

Caitlin and her boyfriend after Park 2 Park 2013

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Adventures Benefiting Children #88, for Seedling Theatre

by Merlin Anderson

ABC Run #88, benefiting the Seedling Theatre program, was hosted by Laurel and Larry SchumacherDonna Anhalt, director of the Seedling Theatre, explained the program and gave her heartfelt thanks for our efforts to help the Seedling Theatre financially.  Our efforts were substantial in that we raised a hefty total of $744, thanks to generous contributions from the 49 ABC run participants and a couple others that were not able to attend but sent a contribution.  Thanks so much to everyone for helping support this wonderful theatrical program which provides rich growth experiences for children and young adults with disabilities, as well as their able bodied peers.

ABC 88 (1)

After assembling for the group photo, we took off running or walking the four-mile route which runs from the Schumacher house on the Tipton Trail to the Russian Gardens and back.  Many of the runners ran past the two-mile turnaround point and turned this into a longer adventure.  Raymond Sevier and Sarah Kelch did over 18 miles.  Ed Matesevac ran with me to the 2-mile turnaround point, took a drink, and kept going.  I never did see him again.  If he didn’t stop, he is probably in the middle of Iowa now as I am typing this report.

ABC 88 (2)                         ABC 88 (3)

Waiting at the Schumacher’s was a feast for us to enjoy while sitting on their patio overlooking Tipton pond.  The fare included biscuits & sausage gravy from Laurel Schumacher, coffee cake and scones from Meg Anderson, french toast casserole from Robyn Walter, watermelon from Sharrie Pelarske, peaches from Pat and Stacy Sheridan, chocolate chip cookies from Kevin Fahling, and more!  Larry and Laurel even provided a Bloody Mary bar!

Thanks again to everyone for your generous support of this event and all of the ABC runs.  The grand total for all 88 ABC runs has reached $59,735 and the total of the four ABC runs done for the Seedling Theatre is $2,656!

The next ABC Run, to benefit St. Jude, will be Sunday, Sept. 8, at the home of Julie and Brian Sibley.  The doors will open at 8:00 a.m. and the run will start at 8:30.

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , | Comments closed

ABC Run #87, for St. Jude, 7-21-13

by Merlin Anderson

ABC Run #87 was held at Tipton Park on July 21 and raised a nice sum of $675 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, thanks to generous contributions from 46 participants.  The funds raised from this event will help Jeff Simpson and Kristen Dixon meet their fund-raising goals for the St. Jude run.

ABC 87 (1)

We have now held a total of ten ABC runs for St. Jude and the total of all tens runs is $9,368, the most of any of the 26 charities supported by ABC runs.  The total of all 87 ABC run is $58,836.

ABC 87 (2)                         ABC 87 (3)
We got a break from the recent hot weather so the running conditions were very good.  The food was awesome as usual.  Jeff Simpson served as host and provided Panera bagels, cream cheese, bananas, chocolate milk and Gatorade.  Meg Anderson provided home-made scones as well as her famous coffee cake.  Laurel Schumacher provided a variety of tasty treats from Great Harvest.

ABC 87 (4)                         ABC 87 (5)

Danny Thomas founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 1962.  St. Jude’s mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.  About 7,800 patients visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital every year.  St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance.  No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.

ABC 87 (6)                         ABC 87 (7)
Thanks so much to everyone for your generous donations and for your sharing of food and friendship!

ABC Run #88 to benefit The Seedling Theater will be on August 11 at 7:30 (doors open at 7:00).  Laurel and Larry Schumacher will host this run at their home (2004 Ebo Lane in Bloomington).

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Profile on Rachelle Leuty

LRC RUNNER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Feature article on Rachelle Leuty
Interviewed by Karen Dudek

Karen: How many years have you been running?
Rachelle: I have been running for 4 years.

Karen: Why did you start running?
Rachelle: It was a dare.

Karen: Who inspired you?
Rachelle: No one really.  It was more of a curiosity to see if I could run a 5k.

Karen: Why did you join the Lake Run Club?
Rachelle: Membership was included in my Catch the Wave fee, so I guess Bill Hahm tricked me into it.

Karen: Tell me about your first race.
Rachelle: It was the 2010 Miller Park Zoo Stampede.  Such a great experience!  My then-fiancé and 2 of my friends ran with me.  I had friends and family cheer me on at the finish line.  They made a big deal out of it and my fiancé threw me a race party afterwards.

Karen: What makes your favorite race your favorite?
Rachelle: The Champaign 2011 Half-marathon.  The crowd was great!!  13.1 miles of encouragement!  I remember thinking, “I can’t believe I’m doing this!”  I smiled the whole time.

Karen: What race really sticks in your mind for one reason or another?
Rachelle: The 2011 Lexington 5k.  Before that race, I thought I had the gait of an Olympic runner.  My fiancé took footage of me at the finish line and I couldn’t wait to see it.  I was shocked as I watched the video!  I ran with my elbows swinging from side to side with my toes pointing sideways as well.  I spent more time moving side to side than forward!  The race sticks in my mind because it showed me that I was not a pretty runner!  A few weeks later, I saw Jack Capodice and screamed, “Why didn’t you tell me I run like a complete dork?!?”

Karen: Do you have a favorite route that you run?
Rachelle: The one I’m running on.

Karen: If you could run any race in the world, which would you pick, and why?
Rachelle: I would love to do any of the Disney runs.  Sounds like so much fun and I would love a princess medal!

Karen: Do you have a “You’ll never believe what happened on my run today” story?
Rachelle: Last week, I was running during my lunch hour and this very attractive guy was running towards me.  He was so attractive that I thought, “This has gotta be a Candid Camera segment!”  I imagined a voice over saying, “Let’s see what happens when we throw a piece of eye candy in the middle of Constitution Trail.”  When he ran by me, I waved “Hi”, lost my footing and fell off the trail.  So embarrassing!

Karen: If Chilly Chili isn’t the most unusual race you’ve ever taken part in, what race is?
Rachelle: I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never participated in this race because I’m a total wuss about running in the cold.  My curiosity has been piqued!

Karen: Which race do you think is the most fun to volunteer at and why?
Rachelle: The Kids Run for Fun.  Just love seeing the smiles on those little faces.  Those kids look like they’re having so much fun.  I can’t wait for my little guy to do that.

Karen: What are you training for right now?
Rachelle: The We Care Twin Cities Half Marathon

Karen: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you go through before a big race?
Rachelle: Yes.  I need to have a big cup of coffee and I need to listen to On Bended Knee by Boys II Men.  Don’t judge!  They don’t make songs like that anymore!

Karen: What’s the coolest piece of running gear you own?
Rachelle: My Baby Jogger!

Karen: Who have you been running with lately?
Rachelle: The Hot Moms Project and our babies

Karen: Who motivates you as a runner?
Rachelle: My son, Ross

Karen: What makes you stay with it and keep running?
Rachelle: Ross deserves the best mom ever and running makes me a better mom.  Truth be told, running helped me overcome postpartum depression.  Getting out on the trail was a part of pulling me out of that.  In my heart, I knew mopping 4 times a day and seriously doubting my abilities as a mom were not doing me or my baby any good.  As soon as I was cleared for exercise, I started walking and I was running before my maternity leave was over.  In a few weeks, I was happy and healthy.  Ross and I both slept better.  Most importantly, I was smiling just as much as he was.

Rachelle and family at the Lake Run.

Rachelle and family at the Lake Run.

Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Grandma’s Marathon – Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon *June 22, 2013* Duluth, MN

6626 finishers

552 Stacie Rood 1:39:07 PR!
Posted in Lake Runner Blog | Tagged , , , | Comments closed