Meet Amy Omann
I.Love.To.Run. I have been a runner since I was 12 years old. That’s 24 years of running! Over the years, I’ve had ups and downs, and good races and bad. But, there is nothing like being out on a run with the sound of the wind in my ears, my breath steady, legs pumping, and the feeling of freedom I experience.
It is that experience that I hope to replicate on Sunday as I go for my Personal Record of 2:59 in the Chicago Marathon.
I went out for the varsity team in 8th grade and quickly discovered this gift for running. Running became a part of many aspects of my life and still is today – how I eat, exercise, organize my day, sleeping, friendships, personal reflection, and on and on. After competing through high school and college, I took some time off only to discover that the habits I formed still reflected the runner in me. I started running for fun and set a target of running my first Twin Cities Marathon in 2002. I trained with my dad and we completed not only the 2002 TCM, but also the 2003, 2004, and 2005 together. Another habit formed…I have completed 10 TCMs only taking off 2007, 2009, 2011 for the birth of my three children. Throw in a couple Bostons, a Grandmas, and Mankato, and now I’m staring down my 15th marathon this coming weekend in Chicago!
Running is a balance of having fun but also challenging my limits. When I started working with Coach Ron, I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want to throw off that balance. However, I’m not getting any younger and my marathon PR of 3:04 is so dang close to sub 3:00! I wanted to go for it and needed some help to bump me to that level. Over the past 6 months I’ve been working with Coach Ron and am ready to go for a PR of 2:59 on Sunday in Chicago. The pace will be challenging my limits, but I’ll also be reflecting on the fun I’ve had along the way to get there. Coach Ron has prepared me well and just as importantly I’ve met some great people with a similar love for running through the weekly workouts.
Let’s do this!
Meet Danielle Rivera
I am not a runner...or so I thought!
Just a bit of a background on my running experience: I ran my first 10K about 4 years ago, ran the same one the following year. In fall and winter of 2013, I had bunion surgery on both of my feet. Although successful, it took many months of rehab and staying off of my feet. In 2014 I needed a goal to get fit and decided to run my first half marathon. One turned into three, all while training on my own. I thought, there would be no way that I can run another 13.1 miles after running the first, but here I am.
I hired Ron in April of 2015 as he was a reference from a good friend. I have to say that without his help, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that I am ready to run 26.2 miles, and I am! He put together a series of long and short runs and condition running regimes that have gotten me to where I am today. I started this journey with the goal of finishing in 4:20, and am right there. I ran a couple of half marathons this year as well, came in under 2 hours for one of them, a personal best!
I didn't expect this to be as mentally challenging as it is physically, but I have persevered. Having this great city to run in has helped tremendously as well has having a few friends running it too. I visited the new 606 Bloomingdale Trail and the new Northerly Island Park for some of my runs...I also made it to the most northern and southern parts of the lakefront trail, something I had never done on my own 2 feet before.
I am running to raise awareness for Diabetes as well, a disease that has affected my family personally. I am inspired by those who have helped me raise over $2,000 for a great cause.
All in all I feel that at this point, I'll run the marathon and am confident I'll hit my goal. I'll contribute my success to Ron's training program, my dedication, and the encouragement from family and friends.
Good morning everyone.
Our MTM runners had a great weekend of results at the Twin Cities In Motion Races. Here are our results:
Jerusha Cascione - 24:38
Neal Buethe - 1:19:19
Kandace Konstantinides - 1:14:28 4:00 PR
Beth Carlson Frauenshuh - 1:20:07
Jenny Roach - 1:22:32 (2nd fastest 10 mile)
Linnea Steffens Burman - 1:26:54
Samyuktha R Appaji - 1:27:31 PR
Susan Larish Otto - 1:27:34 PR
AnnDee Bashyal - 1:55:51
Carrie Gordon - 3:07:03 4th AG 20:00 + PR
Brian Wallenfelt- 3:17:21 1st marathon
Joel Theisen - 3:26:09 1 marathon
Gerard Cramer - 3:42:01
Matt Eliason - 4:04:26 1st marathon
Chuck Maas - 4:11:04 34:00 PR
Paige Lenoch - 4:59:01 - 17:00+ PR
Sean Donley- 5:23:23 - 1st marathon.
I hope I didn't miss anyone? Soooo how did your race go?
See you on the roads
Meet Katie Oberg
My running journey started 20 years ago at the ripe age of 13. Growing up in South Dakota, I needed something to occupy Sent from my iPhone cars (not that either of these actually happened). On a whim, I tried out for the high school track team but comically thought I was going to be a thrower. At the first try out, I was laughed off the field, then the running coach asked me to come over to the sprinters’ try outs. It was a much better fit, and my forte ended up being the 800 m with an occasional 400 m thrown in for good measure. I also joined the cross country team to stay fit in the off-season, but I really hated the long distances associated with it. I took time off in college only to pick up true long distance running in grad school. I started with mostly 5ks and 10ks but ran my first half marathon in 2007 and then tried a full marathon later that year. They must have spiked the Gatorade with something because I became hooked and have completed 8 full marathons since then plus countless half marathons, 10ks and 5ks.
I’m currently training for the Chicago Marathon, my first full since having my daughter 2.5 years ago. I noticed about 1 month into training that I was hitting PRs and running faster than I had ever run during training. A runner friend suggested trying to qualify for Boston, a life goal of mine, but one I was never entirely sure I could pull off.
I reached out to Ron to ask questions, explain my goal and determine a plan of action. I officially signed up with Mile to Marathon in mid-July and have been so pleased with the results. I’m running faster, stronger and smarter than I ever have. Ron’s coaching and training plan, combined with biweekly barre workouts, have completely changed my body and running efficiency. Working full time, being a mom and training for a marathon has had me questioning my sanity at times, but it’s been worth every hour, every step and every 4:30 a.m. alarm clock.
I am toeing the line in 9 days, trusting my training and ready to rock Chicago!
Meet Brian Wallenfelt
I’m running the Twin Cities Marathon this weekend. It will be my first marathon. Though I sort of signed up on a whim, I’m really excited to be running it.
I’d never really been much of a runner before. In my early twenties, I’d run enough to complete triathlons I’d sign up for. But I didn’t particularly enjoy running and I wasn’t very fast. As my life got busier with work and family, I stopped running and doing triathlons.
About a year ago, I started running occasionally and I realized that I had a lot more fun when I was trying to run fast. I wasn’t very fast, but I was starting to get hooked. And I knew I wanted to get faster.
I decided to run more and to keep an eye out for a running coach. At the beginning of 2015, I set a goal of running at least 100 miles a month for the entire year. I also set a goal of breaking twenty minutes in a 5K.
In April, I learned that Coach Ron was starting a run club at the IDS. I leapt at the opportunity to have a running coach and quickly signed up. Ron would take the club out for running workouts twice a week. I really enjoyed the comraderie of the group and the variety of workouts he’d have us do. We often did intervals, hills, drills, and all sorts of stuff that I’d never do on my own.
I was also running outside of the club with friends quite a bit. I’d managed to work my way up to running as far as a half marathon, and I was having more fun running than I’d ever had before. So in May, I signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon figuring that I better sign up now while I was enjoying running or I might miss my opportunity. I has no idea how to get ready for a marathon or if I even had enough time to do so.
So I decided to talk to Ron. We got together to discuss a training plan and to set a goal time for the marathon. First, I warned Ron that regardless of his training plan, I would need to run at least one hundred miles a month. He assured me that would not be a problem. And, of course, it hasn’t been. In fact, in August I ran 270 miles. We also needed to set a goal time. We came up with 3:20 based on my pace for during long training runs. Looking back, this seems like an ambitious goal as I had just managed to break 1:45 in the half at the time. But now I’m pretty confident that I can make that goal.
Throughout the Spring and Summer, I followed Ron’s workouts as diligently as I could. His workout schedule kept me honest and the workout variety kept me interested. Each week had a variety of different types of workouts and as the weeks progressed the workouts increased in intensity. Often, I’d look at the workout Ron had setup for me and think that there was no way I could complete it. But most of the time, I was able to complete the workouts at the paces Ron assigned. He seems to have a knack for pushing me to go a little faster (or further) than I had previously thought was possible. As I completed these workouts, my confidence really started to increase.
Ron also encouraged me to start running with his Mile to Marathon running team. I usually joined the team for track workouts on Tuesday nights. I’d never run on a track before, so I was intimidated at first to be doing these workouts with a running team. I figured that the other runners would be way faster than me and it’d would be obvious to everyone that I didn’t know what I was doing. Both were true. The first night, I lined up facing the wrong direction. But it was no big deal – Ron quickly got me turned around and taught me the basics of track running. And there were runners who were much faster than me. But I found it exhilarating and motivating to run with them even when I couldn’t keep up. There were also runners of all abilities, however. The whole team was a lot of fun. I was motivated by
everyone’s focus on improvement.
Throughout the training season, Ron answered my questions and helped me figure out how to adjust my workouts as various work and family obligations came up or minor injuries occurred. He also helped get into the right shoes and we’ve made progress on my running form (even if there is still plenty of room for improvement).
Ron has had me do a number of races this summer including a 15K, a 5K, and a half-marathon. I broke 20 minutes in the 5K (19:46 to be exact) and I shocked myself by finishing the half-marathon in under 7:00/mile pace.
I feel totally ready for the marathon this weekend. I couldn’t be happier with the training I’ve done and Ron’s coaching.
Meet Kandace Konstantinides
Where to start!?
I don’t have a running background, I never ran in high-school, college or any organized group until I ran my first marathon in 2009 with a friend I met during undergrad – from then on I was hooked! At first, running was a means to living healthier and losing weight; today it is my social hour, stress relief, and a way to compete with myself.
Flash forward a bit….this past summer I finished my 12th marathon at Grandma’s Marathon and sufficient to say…I didn’t meet my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I had PR’d at the Twin Cities Marathon in 2014 with a 3:42 and really set my goals high for qualifying, so my heart was broken when I finished Grandma’s a bit slower than my PR. Similar to some other “bad races” I thought the marathon just wasn’t for me….or I needed to find another approach, so I googled “running coaches” in Minneapolis and wala! I found Coach Ron
I started training with Coach Ron at the beginning of July and since then – I have never looked back! I have tried many new things and learned to take one workout at a time - not focusing on the future race or goal pace. I never stepped on a track for a workout until mid-July and now…that is by far my favorite workout! Something about the freedom of running fast for a specific, set amount of time and then you are done In addition, I had never done “speed work”, had never consistently ran with a group, or really “raced” without music…actually raced in general. “Learning” to race has been a lesson in itself and now I think I actually prefer “racing” a 5k, where in the past I would have never even signed up for a 5k. I had always signed up for 10 milers, half-marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons.
This summer of running has taught me a lot of lessons, created an amazing amount of friendships, and resulted in plenty of successes! I recently PR’ed in the 5k by ~4 minutes. I think previous to joining Mile to Marathon my 5k was ~25:15 and last weekend I PR’d at the ALARC Legends 5k & 10k Races with a 21:22 – not to mention won the race for women (first win ever!) and the 10 mile by I PR’d by ~ 2 minutes at the White Bear Lake 10 mile& 20 mile races with a 1:18. The best part of this story is I know I can run faster, more efficient and meet by long-term goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Not only do I know I can meet this goal and beyond but also having the support of Coach Ron and the team makes it THAT much better!
I am most definitely looking forward to running the Twin Cities 10 mile race this coming weekend- not only for a PR, but I LOVE this course, the people, and the energy! In addition, my running friends are like my second family – everyone understands each other and no matter what, runners connect to runners, we can talk about anything and everything during a run – that’s what makes running in a group/team fabulous! I can’t thank Coach Ron and the Mile to Marathon team enough!!
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!!
Meet Susan Otto
In July of this year, I was getting nervous. I had landed a spot in the TC 10-mile. But with only weeks to go before the race, I didn’t seem to be able to make it more than about 6 miles on my own. And I seemed to be running reeeeaaaalllly slowly. I just wanted to finish the TC 10-mile. Preferably under 10:00/mile. I can’t explain why finishing the TC 10-mile had become such a big deal to me. But it had.
That’s when I found Coach Ron. Ron developed a plan that was just for me. It was so different than the one I’d been following. He had me run more. Run different kinds of workouts. And it changed week-to-week, depending on how I was doing and what I needed to work on, both physically and mentally. He helped me get the right shoes. He got me to a performance specialist to help with my balance. He made me run races and do time trials.
Ron also suggested I start working out with the Mile to Marathon team. I’ll admit that even though I had secretly been hoping to find a group to run with, I was not looking forward to team workouts. Visions of sprinting gazelles past me danced through my head. But the team couldn’t have been more welcoming. There was a great mix of speed, distance, age, interest. And while everyone takes their workouts and their goals seriously, there is a lot of laughter. And competition (in the best way). And support. It’s hard to say enough good things about this group.
I also want to mention that my husband Darril has been another important part of my training. Because I had such a clear plan from Coach Ron on what I am supposed to do every day, Darril has been able to help me train. For long runs, when I can’t run with the team, Darril paces me on his bike and hands me water. On race mornings, Darril gets up extra-early and makes me coffee, and he and our dog Walter come to all of the races and cheer on the Mile to Marathon team. Look for Darril and Walter at the TC 10-mile this weekend!
So, results so far? To date, Ron has had me do four races as time trials: a 15K, a 10K, a 10-mile, and a 5K. In every race, I didn’t just get a personal record. I ran faster than I’d ever imagined I would. Remember, on a very good day, I run a 10:00 mile pace. I ran the Victory 10K in an 8:35 mile pace. 8:35!!! For someone whose fastest mile EVER, at any distance, was about 9:30, that was a really, really big deal. In the 5K, I was the 4th female finisher. Oh, yeah, and remember how my goal was to finish the TC 10-mile in under a 10:00 mile? Yeah, I just finished the White Bear Lake 10-mile run in an 8:54 mile. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a little taste of success to make me get a little bit competitive and saucy.
So here we are, the week before the TC 10-mile. I am feeling confident, enthusiastic, excited. No aches or pains. No concerns that maybe I missed doing something I should have. I feel like I’ve done everything that I could do to have a great run and to stay healthy. And I am really excited about running the TC 10-mile, but I’m just as excited to keep running through the winter and into the coming years. I’ve already registered for races in 2016, and I already have a new set of goals. Thanks, Coach Ron! And Thanks, Mile to Marathon team!
Meet Matt Eliason
My road to the marathon started at the doctor’s office last year. It was my annual physical, and my doctor listed the problems that just kept getting worse. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and I finally crossed the line into clinical obesity. It was time to “get religion.”
I committed to eating better food during the work day, and workout each day I was in the office. My workout of preference was the treadmill, I found it the easiest to get a good sweat going.
The plan worked, the pounds started to come off. But the big surprise was I started to like running. Actually, I loved it. I started to imagine myself crossing the finish line at the marathon when I was struggling to meet my daily goal. Then one day the thought came, could I actually finish a marathon? Everyone starts somewhere, why not me? The question became an obsession until I realized there was only one way to definitively answer it.
I signed up to train with Ron in April and decided I would train as hard as I could for 6 months, to be as strong a runner as I could be to finish the Twin Cities Marathon. The training has been long, at times painful but I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve ran through all kinds of weather, at all hours of the day, on vacation, at work and at home. It’s been exhausting, time consuming, at times hard on my family, but I’m ready.
So game on, Twin Cities Marathon. Take your best shot.
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