Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Race Report

A good friend of mine introduced me to the brilliant quote:

“If you’re gonna be dumb, ya gotta be tough”

This gem of advice came in handy this past Saturday when I ran a half marathon without training. When I say no training, I mean zero preparation and zero running (which I not recommend). I am proud to say I finished and survived but I was in a lot of pain. Every muscle was on fire and I have never been so stiff in my life. Meanwhile I had to pretend like I was perfectly fine to avoid the “I told you so” lecture from my husband. He knows all too well that this is not the first time I have I have done this.

Someone asked how I am able to do a distance race with no training. I joked, that I was following the Barney Stinson training plan and had a strict diet of pizza and beer. This is not far from the truth this year. The kids’ schedules and the brutal Minnesota winter killed my motivation to lace up my running shoes. I showed up to the race because I din’t want to forfeit the entry fee and I finished because I am too stubborn not to do it.

I am not downplaying how hard it is to cover 13.1 miles nor am I downplaying the need to train. My are intentions are always good when I sign up. It is usually 9 months in advance and it always follows with a meticulous training plan. When my friends find out what I am up to, their standard reaction is to roll their eyes and laugh because they know I am a broken record and the text book case of insanity. They hear my excitement about the race turn into complete terror as the date approaches.

I honestly had no idea what was going to happen on race day this year. I went in with only one expectation and that was to finish alive. There were so many variables of the outcome and I did want death NOT to be one of them. Dropping out of the race never crossed my mind even though I was far from prepared. I just had to deal with the consequences and understand that it was going to HURT.

I was armed with a plan of doing run/walk intervals. I set my Garmin to 1:00 running/2 minutes of walking. For most of the race, I kept that pattern going almost the entire time. If I felt good, I swapped and reversed the run with the walk. I had to keep reminding my self to stick to the plan, run my own race, and have some fun.

To be honest the first 6 miles were great. It was a nice day, cool and sunny which for this race was amazing. Normally it is rainy and cold. I wore my special shirt that said “If you are behind me, you didn’t train either” and that played well to my inner attention whore because I got lots of laughs and high fives.

Mile 6, I saw my daughter and my friends. I stopped to take selfies with them and chatted for a minute. About a quarter mile from there I stopped and took a shot of beer (or two). The crowd was awesome. Lots of cheering, music, and energy.

Miles 7-10 were kind of a blur. I made it up Lemon Drop Hill with no issues felt pretty good heading into downtown Duluth. I upped my running because there was a lot of down hill through this stretch. I as amazed that I was not in pain and I was still feeling pretty strong.

The last 3 miles took a bit of grit and determination to get through especially mile 12. I was tired and I was sick of being on the course. I extended my walk breaks that last mile and then pushed it to the finish. I was VERY happy to be done!

Final time: 3:08:10 (Surprisingly, not my worst time)

Post race refreshments!

The Dark Side of Summer Vacation

Summer is FINALLY here. In Minnesota, we do not take nice weather for granted. After the hell winter we had, I am ready for sunshine and sandals! The kids just finished school and I am excited to do all the things we love to in summer, outside sports, ice cream, lakes, bonfires, 4th of July, Birthday Mania (all 3 of my kids are born in August)…I could go on and on. In short WE LOVE SUMMER and try to make the most of it before the white stuff falls again.

As much as I love summer, I am already ready to ship my little darlings back to school. For the record, we just finished the first week of vacation and they are already driving me bonkers. At the risk of getting my house egged, I believe school should be year-round!! I don’t say that to punish teachers, in fact I think they deserve every bit of time off they get especially the awesome people that get to have my kids in class. But having these kids home during the day, everyday, for 3 months is incredibly challenging on the nerves and EXPENSIVE. There is definitely a dark side to summer vacation…

The Groceries

Lord in Heaven these kids can eat! My grocery bill goes up exponentially anytime they are home for more than a couple of days!! A box of 72 granola bars that should last over a month is gone in less than a week. Frozen pizzas are gobbled down in a fraction of the time it takes to make them. They eat a dozen eggs in a single meal, they eat mixing bowls of cereal, and tacos now require several pounds of meat. People warned my about teenage boys and how they have hollow legs, well I am here to tell you that my daughter isn’t much better. She keeps up with her brothers. I am going to need a second job just to keep these kids fed!


In January I received all sorts of communication about summer programming that would keep my children busy and out of trouble during the summer. The money was flying out the door and I justified it as a necessary expenses so they wouldn’t be in front of the TV or video games all day. Fast forward to present time, I need a color-code flow chart to keep things straight to determine who is going where and to what activity. We arranged our work schedules to be home most of the time and we leaned on our village to help with transportation. I am grateful that my husband and I both have somewhat flexible jobs to be able to work from home when needed and I my even more grateful for the teams of other parents that help us out.

Even with days of activities that keep my kids on their feet for hour which should exhaust them, they still claim they are BORED! They don’t seem to be amused when I pull out the additional list of chores that need to be done like weeding or organizing closets. They also don’t believe me that the “experts” say that kids should experience a little boredom. Since I am out of ideas and money to keep them occupied, I am OK with the TV and video games. Funny how things come full circle.

My House

As mentioned above, my kids have chores and suggested chores if they breathe the word “bored”. It is a constant battle to keep the house in some semblance of order. My standards and their standards seem to be at odds. When I would like the kitchen clean, I expect the syrup to be scrubbed of the counter or the floor to be swept. Removing dirty towels from the bathroom does not equal clean. I lost my shit when they loaded the dirty dishes into the dishwasher that had clean dishes in it because they thought they would get out of doing it. I may have had an out of body experience. I pulled out every single dish I could find and made all of them hand wash, dry, and neatly put away the dishes. Three hours later, I thought I was the smartest woman in the world that I had one of the biggest parenting wins ever. Two days later, they did it again.

And the garbage????? Why can the children not find a trash can. I find wrappers and containers on the floor, stuffed in couch cushions, and in their pockets. I even when as far as collecting the trash and putting it in their beds. It did not phase them. At all. We have been in our house for 3 years and I have yet to meet any of the neighbors. I think they realize I am a bit crazy because I am sure they have heard me lose it. I can’t wait for them to be adults with their own houses because I am going do the same to them.

Texts and Phone Calls

I find it kind of funny that when I am home, my children barely want to converse with me but the SECOND I get into a meeting, my phone starts blowing up. “Mom, can I go…” “Mom, can I eat…” “When will you be home?” then there is the tattling. I get photo texts from my daughter, showing that her brother is not wearing his retainer or is not doing the chores laid out for them. My colleagues now understand and do not judge when I answer my phone “WHAT NOW??!!”.

In short, TEACHERS, I appreciate you! Enjoy the summer! You certainly earned it! See you in September!

A Return to Weight Watchers

The first order of business I need to tackle in the summer of 2019 is getting the scale to start moving south. I discovered that I am the heaviest I have ever been (even topping pregnancy)! I have a million and one reasons excuses how I got here but the truth is I am lazy. I am FAR from a lazy person, but I am too lazy to plan meals, too lazy to cook, and too lazy to get off my fat ass and move. Add a little Prednisone and my wicked addiction to donuts and you have a weight gain title wave. The natural consequence, is that all of my summer clothes don’t fit and I sweat walking up a flight a stairs.

I am ready to fight the good fight. I joined Weight Watchers because I need a little help getting me on the right path. This is not my first go around with WW and I have had some success in the past. I really like the meetings. I need the accountability especially when I feel like I am back at square one as I am currently. The leader of my group is a very tall man whose personality is taller. He wears a kilt, hugs everyone as they come in, and simply puts a smile on my face.

What I don’t like about WW is their points program. They have a lot of zero point foods that encourage healthy eating by not having to count them. There is a good variety of foods to choose from but I am a freak of nature and I am allergic to many of the items that are on the list. Poultry, fish, fruit, and dairy…just to name a few. When I do count point for things my daily allotment is used up with one meal. For this go around, I am less concerned about staying within my allotment than I am changing my bad habits around meal planning, portion size, sugar consumption, and intentional exercise.

After I joined, the leader pulled me aside and asked me WHY I wanted to shed some weight. I gave him the slow blink and pointed to my mid-section that resembled that a woman about to give birth. DUH! I proceeded to tell him that I was an emotional eater and I wanted to be healthier. Both are true but quite canned answers. I didn’t want to share my real “WHYS” because they are a bit superficial. Of course I want to be healthy and I want more energy but here are my immediate WHYS:

  1. Vanity- I don’t want to look pregnant anymore and I just want to be smaller.
  2. My Clothes- None of my clothes “spark joy” (thanks Marie Kondo) and I hate the size I am wearing these days.
  3. Running-This is something I would like to start doing again but need to drop a few lbs so I don’t blow my knees.
  4. Work Trip-I am stepping out of my comfort zone and I will be speaking at a conference on a panel. I am not going to be this heavy on stage!

I will be sharing my journey on this blog. Be prepared for some whining as I go through sugar withdrawal!

A side note: WW is NOT sponsoring me and it is not my intent to give them free advertising.

Welcome to Running on Ice

Welcome to my born again blog…Running on Ice.

I started this blog a few years ago and could never nail down the purpose. I struggled with what I wanted to write about so the content ended up being very sporadic and random. I could not decide if this blog was about being a hockey family or if it was going to document my weight loss journey. Needless to say, I got frustrated and never posted. With some renewed ideas, I decided that I didn’t need to fit into one genre.

This is a blog about ME and my perspective of life. I am a 40 something gal and the ringmaster of this chaos. I am a married with 3 kids (teenagers!!). I have job that I love and I am pushing to excel in my career. I am a C.R.A.Z.Y. sports parent. Our lives revolve around hockey, lacrosse, hockey, soccer, and HOCKEY! I have weight to lose and fitness goal I want to achieve. I am a fierce advocate for finding cures for ALS and Cancer, two horrible diseases that hit close to home. I hate cooking and love my family (I also love cocktails!). Running on Ice is the perfect description of my life. There is never a dull moment and there is always a funny story!

Thank you for stopping by Running on Ice!