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Posts from the ‘Motivation’ Category

The Runner’s Life

“Thank you Mrs. Incredible for taking a picture with me!”

“Are you kidding? You’re the one running this half marathon! You are the real Mrs. Incredible!”

Jenny and Mrs. IncredibleMeet Jenny! She’s our Mrs. Incredible of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Jeff Galloway Training  Group. What makes her so incredible? Well, Jenny began running just a year ago and she’s already completed her first half marathon–the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013. Anyone who can start running and cross the finish line of a half marathon in less than a year is incredible in my book.

But wait! There’s more. Jenny did it all as a military spouse and a new mom! When her husband returned from an overseas deployment as a runner, and her son was only 9 months old, Jenny decided to give running a try as well. After months of being in survival mode as a new mom, in a new job, living in a new city, Jenny said to herself, “Okay. So, I’m going to start this. I’m going to do this for myself.” Making healthy lifestyle changes became a priority.

Jenny runs because she enjoys it. Jenny says, “It’s stress relief therapy because I can do it and not have to think about anything. Plus there’s variety in running like getting to be outdoors, completing races in different places, and trying different running courses.”

Jenny first joined a running group for mothers as a beginner using interval training similar to a couch to 5k program. Incredibly, she completed her first 5k within two months of becoming a runner and keeps running to get better and to accomplish longer distances.

Because Jeff Galloway is the official RunDisney training consultant, Jenny began training using the Jeff Galloway Run/Walk/Run™ method to train for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

 It’s more conservative than other training programs. And the body gets a chance to re-energize and the long runs don’t seem quite so long.

Jenny doesn’t like training alone because the long runs can be boring, especially during Minnesota winters when indoor running becomes a requirement. She once had to complete 100 laps around an indoor track for a training run! Not fun. During her half marathon training season, Jenny kept looking on the website for a local Twin Cities training group to join.

Although the Twin Cities Jeff Galloway Training Group kicked off its first season after Jenny’s first half marathon, she joined the group anyway. “It’s like you’re family. Everyone is so welcoming and encouraging,” Jenny says about the group. “There’s a variety of running experience, and the men bring a different perspective because they make it more competitive.”

Although she’s in her twenties, Jenny is accomplishing goals most people spend their lives dreaming about. Like slashing 4 minutes off her 10k personal best time. And she plans to complete her first marathon by January 2014. Go Jenny! I’ve never met a runner like Jenny who starts running for the first time in her life and within a year makes completing a marathon a reachable goal.

I appreciate Jenny so much because since the Jeff Galloway group first kicked off in the Twin Cities she has always been present to help and always has positive suggestions. She didn’t hesitate when I asked her to become a Pace Group Leader to support and encourage our other group members. And just last week after having to stop during one of her weekend races to help a fallen stranger get emergency help and attention, Jenny suggested we have a brief clinic on the importance of carrying ID during all runs and races.

 Jenny is the type of person you want running in your group. She’s young, ready to run, and full of drive. With the goal of accomplishing a marathon, I want to be with her every step of the way.

Although Jenny’s husband is not shown in the picture above with Mrs. Incredible, he did run the Disney Princess Half Marathon with her. She says, “it was living hell for him, but he is really supportive and ran every race with me last year.” Cheers to Jenny and her incredible journey!

We’re looking for new members to train with us! Do you have a goal of finishing a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or marathon? The Minneapolis/St. Paul Jeff Galloway Training Groups kick off new training groups this June! We’ll get you safely across any finish line including the Disney Marathon and Half Marathon in January 2014!

Jeff Galloway, Minneapolis Registration page

Join us for a FREE run and informational session on Saturday, June 1 at the Minneapolis Washburn High School track at 9:00 a.m. One lucky participant will win a FREE 12 week training session. For more information about Jeff Galloway visit his website


What 8,000 People Can Teach You About Resilience

Although the Minneapolis Get in Gear races were almost 2 weeks ago, it was such a great event that I’m still replaying the highlights in my mind. I’ve been meaning to write all about it, but have been so afraid of not getting the right words out. Afraid that in the midst of the Boston Marathon tragedy, I wouldn’t sound authentic. Afraid that anything I write would never capture how it all felt in the moment. But then I decided to just write the same way I run the middle miles of a race. One foot and one word in front of the other.

The Minneapolis Get in Gear is called the “annual rite of spring,” which was so appropriate this year because it really did feel like the first day of spring to us Minnesotans. With winter dragging on and way overstaying its welcome, it was great feeling the sunshine and being able to chuck the winter running gear (even if all of we Minnesotans had to bring out the hat and mittens a few days later). I honestly couldn’t wait for that feeling of sweat evaporating off my skin instead of it wicking away into one of my long sleeved winter shirts.

Get in Gear has 3 race distances – the 5k, 10k and half marathon and draws an awesome crowd. Minutes before the 10k and half marathon started, the voice over the speaker system announced 8,000 registered runners.

It was such a treat being among 8,000 since this was the race debut for the new Jeff Galloway Twin Cities Group. Can’t you just imagine how huge the crowd was? So many runners all in one place. It was so elbow-to-elbow packed, that our Jeff Galloway group of runners quickly dissolved into the crowd. We still felt connected though with our Jeff Galloway shirts and interval timers.

Some of our Jeff Galloway group members posed for a pre-race pic.

Some of our Jeff Galloway group members posing for a pre-race pic.

Every pre-race morning, I’m usually struggling with anxiety complete with dry heaves and emergency restroom stops. Not this time. At first, I thought it was weird that I wasn’t nervous for this race. Then it dawned on me that – oh yeah – I get to run this race with my group. It’ll be like any other Saturday group run among friends and supporters.

With the Boston Marathon tragedy still 2 weeks fresh and on everyone’s minds, race organizers planned a moment of silence right before the start of the race. But with so many jittery runners ready for the race to start, all I heard was the same buzz I hear before every race. Small conversations laced with nervousness and runners doing last minute checks of their tech devices.

Even without the literal moment of silence, or printed “Run for Boston” shirts scattered throughout the crowd, this race so soon after the Boston Marathon showed me that every person can honor the tragedy by banding together to run.  Without words, it’s a way to honor the resilient heart of runners.

What I still can’t get over is that for the first time it felt like I belonged in the running community. It struck me near the mid-point of the race when I took a moment to feel my place among the mass of runners. I looked ahead and kept looking until I grasped that I was part of a moving current of 8,000 runners stretched along the Mississippi River. Whenever I’m in need of running motivation, I’ll always have that vision to remind me that I belong here, linked to my fellow runners.

The very best part of every race is the finish line. The finish line of the Get in Gear, though, was more than taking those last steps toward that victorious line. The last steps of the race across the finish line really represented the first of many finish lines for the New Minneapolis/St. Paul Jeff Galloway group, including all of the stories that go along.

Don’t you love a good finish line story? Like our 68-year-old Jeff Galloway group member who dedicated 8 weeks of training to be able to cross the finish line of the 5k. And the group member who shaved 4 minutes from her best 10k time.

Yes, the Minneapolis Get in Gear was full of proud moments for me remembering the hard work and miles put in to get this Minneapolis/St. Paul Jeff Galloway Training Group started, running, and crossing our first finish line.

Are you interested in training for a marathon or half marathon? Maybe you have a desire to run and just don’t know where to start. Well, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Jeff Galloway Training Groups offer 5k, half marathon, and marathon training to all abilities. New training programs begin in June! For more information, visit the Jeff Galloway Training Groups website.

It’s Not Too Late For You

Give yourself a moment to imagine this.

Run in Freezing Rain

Image Credit: Tome213, Stock.xchng

It’s Saturday morning; the whole day and all of its possibilities lay ahead of you. You don’t want to get out of bed because as predicted, the weather is awful – cold and freezing rain.

But on this cold wet Saturday morning you have a commitment to meet your Jeff Galloway 5k running group at 8:00am for the first run of the season. You’re following through on the promise made to become a runner.

You’ve scrambled the night before to get all of your warmest cold weather clothing together in one place. At 7:30am, your alarm sings for the third time, and you know you can’t stay in bed a minute longer. You practically fall down the stairs in search of coffee, but one look outside says you need more than coffee to survive this cold Minnesota morning. It’s raining like an April shower, yet there’s snow and ice covering the ground outside your door and along the sidewalk. Running in the cold wet air with treacherous ground beneath you is the last thing you want to do.

But when you arrive at Lake Nokomis, Pace Group Leader, Erich turns the entire morning around. Erich, who estimates he’s logged the most Jeff Galloway miles in Minnesota with a whopping 5,000 miles. You meet your Minneapolis running group in the parking lot, warm up, and find a safe running path. Erich leads your group by observing and dishing out valuable run/walk/run advice. He’s more coach than leader.

“Keep your eyes toward the horizon during your walk breaks because your walking posture will help you to finish a race strong,” Erich advises.  You and your group simultaneously nod your heads at the Aha! moment.

Thirty seconds of running followed by thirty seconds of walking look so easy coming from you and the other runners.  Within five minutes of running, your group decides this was well worth waking up for. You’re all moving and energizing together on a Saturday morning; suddenly the cold terrain feels more peaceful. You realize how fortunate you are. You are not running alone.  You’re running in a Jeff Galloway group, on a Saturday, and your leader has invaluable knowledge that more than matches his 5,000 miles worth of experience. Because Erich’s expertness, support, and humor are the exact ingredients that will drive you forward.

open sky with snow

Image Credit: Raichinger, Stock.xchng

It’s not too late for you.

With 7 weeks still remaining until the Minneapolis Get in Gear 5k race, you can still join the Minneapolis/St. Paul Jeff Galloway 5k Training Group and learn Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk/Run method from the person with the most Galloway miles in the state of Minnesota.

Thinking of a longer distance? Well, our Half Marathon Training Group starts this Saturday, March 16. Train for the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon with us!

Jeff Galloway, Minneapolis Registration page

With group runs every Saturday morning, we promise that by the time you get to race day, you will be a runner.

image credit: Stock.xchng

Empower Your Journey!

Running a race

Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself. – John Bingham

image credit: stock.xchng