Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


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Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Training: Week Eight

Monday: Rest (strength training)

I dug my hand weights and yoga ball out of the basement (I’m still traumatized from the hours I spent bouncing Calvin on the yoga ball when he was little) and did a little strength training circuit. It felt SO good to lift again. I finished up with some stretching and foam rolling.

Tuesday: 4.5 miles (9:42 pace)

Weekly run with Andrea and Kate. This week, I made sure to fuel properly before heading out. Normally, since we run after Calvin’s bedtime, I wait to eat dinner until afterwards, so I’m pretty hungry throughout the run, which is why I think I usually struggle so much. This week, I had a couple of hard boiled eggs late in the afternoon and a Picky Bar an hour before we ran. I could definitely tell a difference — felt great the entire time!

Wednesday: Rest (strength training)

More strength training and stretching.

Thursday: 3 miles (9:05 pace)

I took the day off from work to get some things done around the house and get my hair cut! To start the day on the right note, I headed out for a three-miler and pushed a pace a little bit. It felt great and was sunny and warm and delightful!

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After running some errands, I headed to my salon to get a much (much)-needed haircut before meeting up with my co-workers for a fun evening at Ad Fed’s 32 Under 32 Awards where my colleague was nominated (and WON).

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Friday: Rest (2.11 mile walk)

Another BEAUTIFUL day. We walked to daycare to pick up Calvin in the stroller and I met up with Kate and Andrea for an awesome meal at Handsome Hog where we dined al fresco.

pulled pork goodness

pulled pork goodness

Saturday: Rest (2.51 mile walk)

We decided to take advantage of yet another picture-perfect day by taking a walk with Calvin and the pup around Lake Nokomis. My legs felt a little tired by the time we were done and I felt just a little anxiety about my long run the next day.

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Sunday: 10 miles (9:40 pace)

DOUBLE DIGITS! My last double-digit run was September 22, 2013! Calvin woke me up at 4:30 a.m. to eat, and I drifted in and out of sleep until around 5:30 when I decided just to get up. I had made a breakfast cookie the night before and tried out some Generation UCAN to fuel my run.

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Andrea met me at my house at 7:30 because we wanted to beat the heat. Even though it wasn’t super warm yet, the sun was out, so I’m glad I decided on distance shorts and tank for this one:

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We took one of my favorite running routes that eventually takes us around Lake Nokomis. Minneapolis doesn’t have all of its water fountains turned on yet and I had (at the last minute) decided against bringing my water with me, so I was definitely thirsty once we found one working water fountain.

The ten miles flew by (thanks to good company), and we treated ourselves to pastries at Turtle Bread after we finished.

One bummer: My knee, hip and foot bothered me for about half of the run. I’m keeping an eye on it and hoping whatever is going on will resolve itself.

The rest of the day was great — we got some things done around the house, spent some time with the little guy outside and went out for burgers and beer that evening.

How did you enjoy the nice weather in the Twin Cities this weekend?


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Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Training: Week Seven

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 5 miles

Andrea had a 3 and a 5 on her training plan for the week and Kate and I had 4.5, so we went with 5

Wednesday: Rest

As I was getting ready for work on Wednesday morning, I saw a tweet from the Book of Mormon Twitter account that said they were giving away tickets to that night’s show — just had to RT to enter. I didn’t think anything of it — retweeted it and got on with my day! I was quite surprised later that afternoon when I got a DM from Book of Mormon that I had won two tickets to the show! So after work, I got ready quickly and headed downtown to laugh my a** off (that was sitting in pretty sweet seats) for a couple of hours. Even the third time around, this show doesn’t disappoint.

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Thursday: TC 1 Mile (7:21)

I spent all day Thursday basically walking around like a zombie. Due to getting home late from Book of Mormon and Calvin having a rough night — I barely got any sleep the night before. I picked up Calvin from daycare and grabbed Noodles and Company for dinner (Jesse randomly won free Noodles and Co for a year at a fundraising event we went to) and then rushed back home to eat, get Calvin in bed and get ready for the race.

Jesse and I left the house around 6:40 and headed downtown. We were pleasantly surprised to find easy parking close to the start/finish. The course route was new this year, due to construction where the race usually is held. We met up with the Oiselle ladies at their cheer station and then headed to the start so I could use the bathroom and get warmed up.

Before I knew it, we were off! My nervousness never went away and my legs felt shaky the entire time. Just like when I ran this race three years ago, I realized I had NO strategy whatsoever and that when I reached the ‘200 m to go’ sign, I should have kicked it in because 200 meters is really short! Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line and I definitely felt like I had stuff left in the tank.

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Oh well — I’m still pretty happy with my time — I haven’t been doing much speed work this training cycle and most importantly — I had a BLAST running the race. Oh, and the women and men’s championship races were SO EXCITING! They’re amazing.

Friday: Rest

Iced the knee and got some good stretching in.

Saturday: 9 miles (9:30 pace)

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One of my favorite things about running is exploring my city in a new way. So Andrea and I decided to check out the Mill City Running assisted long run they host on the second Saturday of every month. They had set 12, 16 and 20-mile route loops but you could do an out-and-back for any distance shorter than 12 miles.

We arrived at the store at 8 a.m. and stashed our stuff in a locker before heading out. It was only 35 degrees with a little wind, so it was back to dressing in tights, a long sleeve shirt AND a jacket. Not to mention gloves and a hat. Sigh.

Even though my knee has been bothering me, it felt fine on the run. I just noticed my hamstrings (probably from Thursday’s race) and a little twinge in my inner shin that eventually went away. Andrea and I kept a pace I was super happy with and got bagels and coffee after!

Sunday: Rest

I had every intention of getting out for a walk, but our major baby proofing undertaking ate up most of the day and a trip to the grocery store and J needing to get out for his ten-miler ate up the rest.

My knee is already feeling better, so hoping that two days off will do the trick and I’ll be good to go for next week!

What’s your favorite running route in the Twin Cities?


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Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Training: Week Six

Monday: Official rest day

Tuesday: 4 miles

Had a busy event day at work, coordinating media for the Girls on the Run Twin Cities luncheon. Kathrine Switzer was the keynote speaker and Carrie Tollefson was the event emcee! Talk about a lot of woman power!

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I ran into some Oiselle teammates, which was super fun! Also, Andrea and Jessie were there (great to finally meet Jessie in person)!

After work, I met Andrea and Kate for four miles, and BLEGH. Still sick for this one. I never felt like I was getting enough oxygen and the first mile felt like it took forever to get through.

Wednesday-Friday: Rest

Saturday: 8 miles (9:40 pace)

This run wasn’t great, I was still congested and I felt sluggish, but I’m happy with the pace I was able to maintain. Noticed my foot giving me some issues again, but nothing too distracting.

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Mmm, tried this Generation UCAN after my long run. I think I prefer the GU Recovery Brew slightly more, but this was tasty. I hardly had time to change clothes before it was time to take the little guy to swimming lessons! After some errands and his morning nap, we headed to Calvin’s first baseball game to watch Minnesota take on Indiana!

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It was the PERFECT day for baseball.

Sunday: 3 miles pace (8:50 average page. Splits – 9:26, 8:44, 8:24)

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This run went surprisingly well! I was still dealing with fun congestion issues, but even the day after a long run, my legs had no problem turning over.

So I’ve noticed some nagging hip discomfort that came and went after my last two runs. It feels very similar to what brought me into Orthology the last time. Keeping a close eye on it, and I might head back to Orthology for a tune up if it starts getting worse.

Did you get out to enjoy the nice weather this past weekend?

What kind of headphones do you use? I hardly ever run with music, but my yurbuds stopped working and the cheap replacement pair I bought fell out of my ears.


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Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Training: Week Five

Monday: REST

Monday was an official rest day, but it was a busy one! I headed downtown for an afternoon meeting and then just stayed downtown for the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST Forum event that evening. It was a fabulous and inspiring event with so many incredible women in attendance, including Cindy Kent who was the keynote speaker!

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Tuesday: 4 miles (9:18 pace)

Tired legs plagued this run again and my foot bothered me for the first half a mile or so. It started to bug me during Sunday’s seven miler, so will need to keep an eye on it.

Wednesday -Friday: REST

Just like last week, the busy-ness of the week got the best of me and the bad weather made it an easy excuse to skip runs.

My parents got into town on Friday and we went to Hi-Lo Diner for an early dinner before bedtime. I had a burger and a beer because it seemed like a good pre-race meal.

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Saturday: Get in Gear 10K – unofficial time 56:17 

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I woke up for the day with a sore throat at 6:45 a.m. after a bad night’s sleep. Calvin got me up twice during the night and I was coughing in between those wake ups. It looked like it would be between 45-50 degrees with winds around 12 mph throughout the race and mostly cloudy, so I decided on shorts, Oiselle singlet, arm warmers, compression socks and a headband. I stepped outside to leave and headed back into the house to re-think my outfit. J reassured me I’d be happy with my outfit once I started running, so I grabbed a sweatshirt for after the race and headed back out the door. Race start was at 9 a.m. and I finally left my house around 8:15 a.m. Having done this race quite a few years in a row now, I know not to even try to park close, so I parked a few blocks away and got a warm up run in.

Once I reached the starting area I did some dynamic stretching and got in line for the bathroom. (Shout out to Get in Gear for an abundance of porta potties!) Most people I saw had a lot more clothing on than I did, but I really wasn’t feeling cold standing there.

Around 8:50 a.m., I headed over to the start line and remembered the barriers they have set up require you to enter the “chute” from the back. Since I didn’t feel like pushing through the crowd, I ended up behind the 12:00 minute mile pacers to start.

Eventually we took off and it stayed pretty crowded until mile 3. I spent the first entire mile starting and stopping and weaving. The first mile clocked in at 9:51 and I could tell I wasted a decent amount of energy during that mile.

The first and only water stop for the 10K-ers was right around this point and I drank a cup, but my throat was still on fire. I spent most of the race thinking about how badly my throat hurt. Since the GIG course is one I run often, I knew where the hills were, and I felt strong on all of them. Mile 4-5 was a little rough, I had to back off the pace a couple of times to catch my breath, but seeing Angie and Andrea during this mile gave me a nice boost!

As soon as I had less than one mile left, I focused on sticking with the group of runners I had pretty much been by during the entire race, and eventually overtook them going up the last hill. As I neared the finish chute, I saw my parents (they surprised me!) and dug deep to cross the finish line. I didn’t notice what the clock said and I didn’t look at my watch until an hour or so after I got home. Even though the race went relatively well, I was happy to be done and not feeling the greatest. I grabbed some post-race food and we walked back to my car.

This was my fifth year doing the GIG 10K and my second best time. Glad to have gotten this race in before the half as I’m feeling a little rusty when it comes to racing.

As for the rest of the day, I took a power nap and we headed to Sovereign Grounds for a little outing so Calvin could play.

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I noticed while sitting at the coffee shop that I felt really warm, but didn’t think too much of it, even though my parents and J said they didn’t think it was warm in there. I went to bed early that night and woke up with the chills in the middle of the night.

Sunday: Sick

Luckily, my parents were in town, so they tag teamed with J to watch Calvin most of the day. I rested as much as possible and when the Tylenol kicked in, we took a walk at the dog park.

This week, my focus is going to be getting healthy again, making sure to fit in a speed work session and nailing my long run on Sunday! Excited for the weather we’re supposed to have.

Have you been sick this spring?

What’s your 10K racing/pacing strategy?