Garry Bjorklund Half Training – Week 9

The long Memorial Day weekend got me a bit off schedule, so this post is coming a little late.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 5.01 miles (9:40/mile pace)

Group run! It was warm, even at 7 p.m. I could feel that I was a bit sluggish for most of the run. Meh.

Wednesday – 3.13 miles (9:16/mile pace)

I apparently had some energy to burn with this run. No idea why I was running so fast (for me), but I went with it and cranked out a 5K in 29 minutes.


Thursday – 40 minute walk

I was planning to run on Friday, but it was a beautiful day, so I took a nice walk to do something outside.

Friday – 4. 01 miles (9:30/mile pace)

Hyedi and I went to Mill City Running at 6:30 a.m. to check out their Flapjack Friday. Basically, you run and then they give you pancakes — not a bad deal!


They have a few different route options depending on how far you want to go. We did an out and back route for 4 miles. It was really fun and we got done eating our pancakes outside just before the rain started – win.

Saturday – rest

It was a rest day, but it was a jam packed day! I wasn’t expecting to have much going on for the long weekend, but the chance to go to two shows came up within about 24 hours, and I jumped at both.

First was the matinee of Book of Mormon. I won a contest on Twitter to be able to buy 2 tickets for $25 each! Thanks to Hyedi for being my “companion” for the show!


After the show, I stayed downtown to meet up with another friend for my next event. We saw Zac Brown Band at Target Field!



They put on a great show. I had honestly forgotten about some of there songs, so I knew more than I thought I was going to. The rain stayed away again, which was really nice for an outdoor show.

Sunday – 9.59 miles (9:32/mile pace)

After getting home late the night before, I let myself sleep in a little before getting up for my long run. I headed out about 9:30 a.m. The air was still pretty cool and there were some clouds. It was a pretty comfortable temperature for running.

I had a 15K race on the plan (9.3ish miles), so I just rounded up and planed to do about 9.5. My legs were tired for the first couple of miles, but they eventually warmed up and I had a solid run (even on my hillier route).

How was your Memorial Day weekend?


Garry Bjorklund Half Training – Week 8

It was a busy week with lots of eating out, but that also meant some fun meals with friends. Luckily, I had another good week of training to help burn off some of those calories. Balance, right?

Before I get into the past week, don’t forget to enter to win a free race entry for the Girls on the Run 5K on June 4! Check out this post for how to enter (deadline is midnight on 5/24). It’s going to be a great time, and you don’t want to miss it!

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4.55 miles (9:38/mile)

Run with the girls. Kind of hard to believe we’re about 4 weeks out from the half already. I’ve heard such good things about this race that I’m getting excited for it to be here.

Wednesday – 1.44 mile walk

I had plans after work, so I knew I wasn’t going to be running, but I had time to take a walk over lunch with a colleague. It was a beautiful day and felt good to get outside for a little bit. I have a bad habit of just sitting at my desk for lunch and I need to do a better job of just taking even a 10 minute walk to get away for a little bit.

After work I met friends for a happy hour. We snagged a table in the patio area and ordered a beer and some food.


Book club ended up being the this same night, so I told them I would be late. After a long day I considered skipping it when I was leaving happy hour, but I ended up going and I’m glad I did. I hadn’t seen some of those ladies in awhile and it was nice to catch up!

Thursday – 3.11 miles (9:20/mile)

It was one of those days where I just didn’t have much energy all day, but I made myself go out for a run right after work. For having low energy I was surprised that my legs were wanting to keep a pretty fast pace.

After my run, I got cleaned up and headed out to meet a friend for dinner. We ate up some scratch-made pasta and delicious dessert!


Friday – 3.08 miles (9:48/mile)

I met Kate and Hyedi for lunch and got in a 15 minute walk to and from the restaurant. We feasted on some yummy pig (a.k.a. pork). I also had to try their hush puppies. Not as good as my South Carolina hush puppies, but not bad.


Since I skipped running on Wednesday, I went out for a few miles after work. My legs were definitely tired after such a hard run the day before.

Saturday – rest

I got up early and met Hyedi to volunteer at the Hope Walks & Rolls event for Faith’s Lodge. We helped with some set up and then worked the registration table. It was great to see about 500 people come out for the event and support this great cause.


Sunday – 10.01 miles (9:39/mile)

Hyedi and I planned to do this long run together. It was supposed to be a warm day, so we started at 7:30 a.m. to try and beat some of the heat. The air was cool, especially in the shade, but we could definitely feel the warmer temps even a couple miles in. My body got used to the heat fairly quickly.

I had a Gu with me, but I was feeling pretty good through 6 miles when I normally would’ve taken it, so I skipped it. By mile 8 I was regretting that decision. I was still keeping an ok pace, but I could feel my energy depleting. I felt great during my 9 mile run and didn’t need Gu, but I think the heat and slightly longer distance called for it. I’ll do the rest of my long runs with some fuel to be ready for race day.

After our run, we grabbed a sweet treat and a cold drink!


Do you use Gu (or other fuel) during long runs? What’s the best restaurant you’ve been to recently?

Girls on the Run 5K Race Entry Giveaway!

I’ve talked about Girls on the Run before, and I really can’t say enough good things about it.

Photo from GOTR
Photo from GOTR

You might remember that I attended the Limitless Potential Luncheon a couple of weeks ago to support GOTR and got to hear Kathrine Switzer speak. I also ran their fall 5K last November as a running buddy and had an incredible time!

Fall 5K

In case you’re not familiar with them, here’s a quick overview:

Girls on the Run is a youth development program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade. The program aims to strengthen girls’ physical, mental, social and emotional competencies to positively navigate life experiences. Coaches follow a curriculum to teach life skills through interactive lessons and running games. The program ends with the girls being ready to complete a celebratory 5K.

If you liked what you read, take advantage of this chance to win a free entry to the Girls on the Run Twin Cities spring 5K! It’s happening Saturday, June 4 at Normandale Community College.

Running Buddy 1
Photo from GOTR

The energy of the girls before, during and after the race is infectious. You can’t help but get excited to run when you see them getting their faces painted, dancing to music and laughing with their friends. It really is a reminder of the joy, fun and confidence running can bring you.

I know I can get caught up in looking at my watch to hit a certain pace and following a training plan to prepare for a race, but the truth is I simply love to run. This race and the whole Girls on the Run program really focuses on highlighting the good things about running. I love that these girls get to experience that at a young age and I truly appreciate the reminder for me to sit back and enjoy the run.

Photo from GOTR

Entering to win the race entry is simple: Just leave a comment below telling me why you love running! Submit your comment by midnight Tuesday, May 24. I’ll announce the winner on May 25. Good luck!

Garry Bjorklund Half Training – Week 7

Another week down! It was a good week. My Achilles has still be giving me some trouble on and off when I run. I’m keeping an eye on it and might add in something more low-impact or take an extra rest day if needed.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 5 miles (9:27/mile)

I met Kate and Hyedi for our weekly run. I had a 5 mile run on my plan for the week and they joined me for the whole thing even though their plan only called for 4.5 miles. Thanks, ladies! We kept a good pace. I felt like I was dragging for a lot of the run, but I made it.

Wednesday 3 miles (10:00/mile)

It was kind of a rainy day, so I decided to just hit the treadmill for 3 easy miles.

Thursday – 3.03 miles (9:35/mile)

Friday – rest

It was a rest day, but it was a night packed with fun. I met a couple of friends for dinner at Butcher and the Boar. We were able to snag a table in the beer garden–which is thankfully enclosed to guard from the windy, cool day. I tried the cheddarwurst and we shared the red hot brussel sprouts (not pictured). Both were delicious!


After that, we headed down to Brave New Workshop. The show was hilarious! My cheeks were hurting from laughing so much.


Saturday – 9.01 miles (9:24/mile)

Hyedi and I headed over to Mill City Running in the morning for their monthly assisted long run. They have routes of varying distances and provide aid stations. We needed to do 9 miles, so we did an out and back route.


We left from the store and headed across the Stone Arch Bridge. Then we made our way into downtown and under Target Field along the Cedar Lake Trail. It was nice to explore a new route. I would definitely run it again and I’d definitely do another one of their assisted long runs.


I felt a little tired and sluggish in the first couple of miles, but then my legs warmed up and I felt great the rest of the run. We kept a pretty good pace, too!


Sunday – 2.5 mile run and 25 minute walk

I got up and headed to the farmer’s market. There’s not a ton of variety out yet, but I knew asparagus was in season, so I picked some up to roast for dinner. It was a beautiful, cool morning to sip on some coffee and wander around the market for a little bit.

In the afternoon I headed out for some cross training. I felt like doing a little running, so I did 2.5 miles at about a 10:00/mile pace. Then I did a 25 minute walk to finish up.

Now I’m looking forward to kicking back the rest of the night before a new week begins.

Garry Bjorklund Half Training – Week 6

I don’t know how it happened, but I’m halfway through this training cycle already! The spring seems to be flying by, and while I’m anxious for summer to officially be here, I don’t want the spring to go away too fast.

This past week provided some beautiful weather for training.

Monday – rest

I had a long day at work getting back into the swing of things after being on vacation. By late afternoon I was content with just going home and crashing. I stepped outside after work and felt the sun on my face and got a second wind. Good thing because on a last minute decision, I decided to head to Mill City Running’s ladies night event.


Tuesday – 4.1 miles (9:31/mile)

I attended the Limitless Potential Luncheon for Girls on the Run. GOTR is a great organization. I had the opportunity to be a running buddy at their 2015 fall 5K and had a great time!


I sat at a table and met Jessie (The Right Fits) and her friend Lindsey. We chatted about upcoming races and found that we’ll be in Duluth running races during Grandma’s Marathon weekend. Hopefully I run into them again!

We settled in for lunch and soon the program started. The keynote speaker was Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to register and run the Boston Marathon, and was emceed by U.S. Olympian Carrie Tollefson. So cool to be in the same room with these women.

Carrie Tollefson

Kathrine was a fantastic speaker! It was incredibly motivating to hear her talk about overcoming all of the misconceptions put on her because she was a woman. Being told so many times that she couldn’t run long distances (like a marathon) just fueled her and pushed her forward. She broke through a wall that showed girls and woman everywhere that you can do anything you put your mind to. Perfect, because that’s what Girls on the Run is all about!

Kathrine Switzer

So honored to meet this running inspiration and awesome female athlete!


Tuesday night was my weekly run with Hyedi and Kate. We got in a 4 mile run on a beautiful night.

Wednesday – 3.2 miles (9:27/mile)

This was my pace run this week. I was shooting for a 9:30 pace again. It was technically supposed to be a 4 mile run, but my Achilles started bugging me a little the day before and I was feeling it on and off during this run, so I cut it off when I hit 30 minutes. I had run a little further on Tuesday than what was on my training plan anyway. This Achilles thing started when I was marathon training, but it has been so good since then! Bummed it’s back.


Thursday – 3 miles (10:39/mile)

It was another gorgeous spring day. I met my friend Leah for a run. She needed to do 6 miles, so I met her halfway through to finish the run with her. It was good to do 3 easy miles and catch up with her!

Friday – rest

I headed back home to Wisconsin with my sister after work, so a natural rest day. It was in the mid to upper 80s during the day and a nice little summer storm rolled through in the evening. I couldn’t resist stepping out on our deck to watch the lightning roll in. (I love thunderstorms!)


Saturday – 1.66 mile walk

My family and I got up early to head to the Stroll in the Park for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin. We volunteer and participate in the walk every year. My sister and I manned the coffee and donuts station. Not a bad place to be!


The beautiful weather brought out over 600 people to the walk. We had a great time and it’s always nice to support this good cause!


Sunday – 6.24 miles (9:39/mile)

I had a 10K on my training plan for this week, so I set out to run for an hour while my family took a walk. My legs were feeling a bit tired in the beginning, but by mile 2 I was feeling warmed up and the hour actually went by pretty fast. I met back up with the fam and we headed home to continue celebrating Mother’s Day with brunch, gifts and some time outside on the patio (after moving all of the patio furniture back outside after the winter).

My training for this half has felt really good (with the exception of the Achilles acting up). It feels like June will be here before I know it, but I think I’ll be ready to go for a PR on race day!

Have you met an inspirational runner?

Garry Bjorklund Half Training – Week 5

Vacation continued–with a few rules that I followed closely…


But, I did a good job of sticking to my training plan even while out of town.

Monday – 4.02 mile walk

My mom and I got up and headed out for a long walk on the beach. The weather was nice, so we didn’t get too hot. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and then headed out for dinner at a restaurant on a pier and took a ride in a ferris wheel.


Tuesday – 3.07 miles (9:50/mile)

I got in an easy 3 mile run on the beach and cooled off by dipping my toes in the water after.


Wednesday – 4.56 miles (9:43/mile)

I set out to do a 4 mile run. It was pretty warm and humid even at 9 a.m., so I carried my water bottle with me and ran on the streets instead of the sand to have a little more shade. I got 2 miles out and was a little bit away from my planned turn around spot, so I kept going a little further. Then I decided to take a short detour to the water fountain close by. When my watch beeped that I had reached 4 miles, I was still a ways away from home. Whoops. I decided to just keep going and log the extra half mile.

Thursday – 3.05 miles (9:51/mile)

I started my run on the streets for 2 miles and then headed to the beach for the last mile.

Friday – 2.32 mile walk

Took an easy beach walk with my parents before taking some time to enjoy the ocean for a few more hours before I had to head to the airport.


Saturday – rest

I got up and headed to the Get in Gear race to cheer on a couple of friends who were running the 10K. Then ran some errands and spent some time getting settled back into reality.

Sunday – 8.10 miles (9:39/mile)

My long run for the week was 8 miles. I debated heading to one of the lakes to do it, but didn’t feel like getting in the car to drive somewhere, so I just ran near home. The temps were much cooler than at the beach, which was actually ok. It was a pretty uneventful run and I felt good the whole time. I was happy to see that the water fountains have been turned on for spring/summer so I didn’t have to carry water with me.

I miss being on vacation already, but it does feel good to be home!