Melanie Week 11
Register for the Heartland Here

Have you looked at the Forecast for next weekend!? ……40% chance of thunderstorms! YUCK! IT CANNOT RAIN NEXT SATURDAY MORNING!! I trained WAY too hard to fight my way through 13.1 miles of rain! A lot can change in 8 days….that rain chance better GO AWAY! Ugh….

I say it every week, but I can’t believe this is almost over. I think I’m actually going to miss the routine! Does this mean I need to keep training and find another half marathon this fall!? Believe it or not, I think I just may! We’ll see how next Saturday goes and I’ll make my decision from there.

Follow us next week. We’ll be on Facebook live picking up our packets and telling you about important race day details.


Justin Week 11

We are just a week and one day away from the Heartland Half-Marathon!!  That's (counting fingers) EIGHT DAYS AWAY!!  I'm VERY nervous!!  I've been training, trying to eat right, but still am nervous about a lot of things.  Too many to get into here.  But now it's time to focus on race prep.  Proper nutrition, hydration, rest, preventative care, and so on.  This time next week, Melanie and I will be picking up our race day packets.  It's almost here.  Let'!!
Until next time


Melanie Week 10

Register for the Heartland Here

There’s only two weeks left in training.  TWO WEEKS! I can’t believe we’ve been going this long. It’s flown by!

We went out the other day and drove the course.  Thankfully, I’ve trained on some of the course already, so at least I have a small idea of what to expect.  The challenge for me will be not to feel too confident and push harder early on in the flat areas, only to gas out when I reach St. Charles St. Not going to lie -- I am very nervous about that hill on St Charles & Hwy 56, and “the hill” on St Charles after Schuetter Rd.

In running group last Sunday, I ran 11 miles in 1:58.  Not to shabby for my first real attempt at half marathon training! I’m not going out for speed (obviously), but afterwards, I felt like I could have pushed it a little bit harder and finished a little bit faster.  We’ll see how the actual race goes.

So, my To Do list the next two weeks involves taking extra care of my body. I am NOT going to get injured or do something stupid right before this race! Eating right, extra stretching, plenty of rest….it’s going to sneak up on me fast! I also need to change up my Running Playlist. I need to find something to help keep me going…any suggestions?


Justin Week 10 

"Let's kick things up a notch!!"

We are just about TWO weeks away from the Heartland Half-Marathon, and after a tour of the course with Jamie at Downtown Fitness and Running (video now available on our Facebook page) I've realized that if I'm going to make it the 13.1 miles, I'm gonna need to kick training up a notch.  Not just physically, but MENTALLY.  As we took the tour, I really started to doubt myself and kinda panicked.  This has been quite the journey.  I've gotten out and done more physically then I have in years.  I completed my first 5K.  I HAVE to complete this race!!  HAVE TO!!  What do you do to keep calm?  What do you do to un-psych yourself out of doing something that you know is going to be a challenge, but the reward will be worth it in the end?  Let me know!!  Email me your suggestions at [email protected]

Until next time!!


Justin Week 9

"A Thousand Miles"

Making my way downtown...just kidding!!  You thought I was gonna start singing didn't you?!  Nooooooo...I wouldn't put you through that, but it REALLY feels like I ran/walked a thousand miles this week.  It started with a 5-mile run/walk with our friends at Downtown Fitness and Running, on Sunday.  Later that day, I walked another 3 miles, or so, during the Strassenfest Parade.  I...was...exhausted!!  I took a couple of days off to recover and picked back up on Thursday with a 2 mile walk, a planned 3 mile run/walk today (Friday), and I will end the week participating in the "Race for the Curl" 5k run/walk with our friends at the Original Westside Dairy Queen and Orange Julius at the Y in Jasper!  So that puts me at 16 miles for the week!  My legs and feet HATE me right now!  Haha!
Until next time.

Melanie Week 9

Register for the Heartland Here

Are we really only three weeks away! WOW time is going fast!

First, let me say that I HATE that the humidity has returned! It makes it so much harder to get good runs in. Strassenfest wasn’t much help either ;).Since “calories don’t count at the Strassenfest”, I definitely over indulged in all of those delicious treats that you can only get at the Strassenfest. I won’t tell you just how much food I ate, but if you watched our Taste of Strassenfest video, you’ll get a pretty accurate idea….

All of that delicious fried, fattening food did absolutely nothing for my stamina on the pavement over the weekend. I opted out of group run on Sunday for 7:30am Mass and a long run through the hills of rural Holland (I have the stats on my watch to prove it!!). The hot, sweaty, middle of the day parade after that was enough to push anyone to their limits!

To combat the humidity this week, I’ve been getting up super early and getting my miles in before work.

If you read my earlier blogs, you know I haven't entered 5Ks, or local races. Partly due to the SVB&T Community Remotes I do every Saturday morning throughout the county. Tomorrow morning, I get to do my remote from and participate in the 5K to benefit Riley Hospital at Jaycee Park. Be watching Facebook….Justin and I will let you know how we did, and how well prepared we think we are for the Heartland!

Melanie Week 8

Register for the Heartland Here

It’s the most, wonderful time of the year! It’s Strassenfest!!!

I told myself that I was going to run 10 miles last Sunday in running group. The course was an “out and back”, and the it was a nice, cool morning. I made a wrong turn and ended up going around a half mile out of the way. Once I got back on track, I decided I was going to finish most of the course. Somehow, I made it 11.24 miles!!! I was shocked! I felt pretty good afterwards, and surprisingly wasn’t sore on Monday!

I’ve been asked if I’m still glad I signed up for this, and how I feel with only a few weeks left.

  • Yes, I’m still glad I committed to running the Heartland. I’ve met a lot of new people, I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and I’ve proven to myself I can do something I wasn’t sure I could.
  • Other than my knee, I’m feeling pretty good! I’ve got tightness and stiffness in my knee. I've been focusing on stretching and foam rolling my leg really good, and it’s seeming to hold up. Fingers crossed!

As far as my diet and nutrition plan for the week……Strassenfest doesn’t count right?! There’s no fat or calories in a tenderloin, cobbler, Saint Chip, etc……right?!

One more week down…I can do this! Get out there, go for a run/walk, support the Strassenfest and BE SAFE this weekend! :)

Justin Week 8

"Personal Best and Strassenfest"

6.5 MILES!!  This past Sunday I ran/walked my personal best of 6.5 miles!!  It took a looooooong time, but it was awesome!!  This week, I walked an extra two miles on Tuesday and now with Strassenfest, I'll be walking in the parade along with the WITZ crew and who knows how many miles during my first Strassenfest!!  My diet is now shot, but I can restart next week!!
Until next time.

Melanie Week 7

Register for the Heartland Here

Toe Yoga?? Yes, that's right - we learned Toe Yoga at running group on Sunday.  I'll admit I've NEVER heard of Toe Yoga before, but the big toe plays such a big role in running, that I better start making it a daily part of my routine. Adam Gilbert came to running group last Sunday and showed us the benefits of Toe Yoga, foam rolling, and what points to specifically target.  I have a foam roller at home, but admit have not been using it much, or properly…that all changed this week! My legs don’t feel so much like lead weights anymore…but they’re still fighting me every time I hit the pavement. There’s OBVIOUSLY a big difference between 3-4 miles here and there, to actually training to run 13.1 miles. My longest run is still stuck at 9 miles...I feel like that's when I hit a wall. I need to find a way to push through and get just a little bit further with each long run I do. 

Running group is on Sunday, so we’ll see how far I get before I have to go home and celebrate a newly 7-year-old!  

A lot of you are asking me if I’m regretting my decision yet….and NO! I’m still just as determined as I was when I started.I may not finish with a time to write home about, but the point of this is pushing myself and FINISHING!

Justin Week 7

"Insert Creative Blog Title Here...Yeah...It's Been That Kind of Week"

This week's post will be pretty short, mainly because I am still recovering from Fair Week and preparing for my first ever Strassenfest, so let's get to what happened this week!  Mileage for this week is at 6.5 miles, with the potential for another 2 today.  Sunday, after running group, I had the opportunity to speak with Adam Gilbert, a PT with Memorial Hospital and an assistant track coach at JHS, about the importance of stretching, injury prevention, and foam rolling.  You can find that video on our Facebook page.  We are getting closer to the Heartland Half Marathon, and it's time to kick things into a higher gear!!  We want to see you there!!  Register TODAY at!!

Until next time

Melanie Week 6

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Have I really been doing this for six weeks?! Maybe that’s why I’m so sore! HA!

This week my muscles seem like they’re in revolt! I’ve had to push extra hard to get my miles and workouts in…it wasn’t pretty, but I did it. I’ve discovered that humidity HATES me, so the days it’s been too humid for me to get outside, I’ve been logging miles on a treadmill. It’s been a real challenge to find something to get my mind off of the monotony of a treadmill...hopefully the humidity stays at bay and I can keep going outside!

This Sunday it’s back to running group. I’m really looking forward to it because we’ll have a Physical Therapist there to show us how to take care of ourselves before and after runs. My tired and sore muscles need this!

And, I just realized, we’re over half way through this training! EEK! Time to get serious on these long miles and start thinking about a goal time…it’s getting real! 

Justin Week 6

"Fair Week Fail"

This will be a short post for two reasons:

1.  It was Fair Week and I didn't properly plan for training in my schedule.

2.  I had to take a few days off per my doctor.

After my last group run, my knees and ankles hurt for days longer than they should have.  Not soreness or stiffness...PAIN.  I finally called my doctor.  Did you know there's a thing called "Runner's Knee"?  I did not.  I've rested up, stretched, did yoga, and I'm going to try again with running group this Sunday and see what happens.  We are at the midpoint before the Heartland.  I REALLY need to kick things into gear!

Until next time.

- J -

Melanie Week 5

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8.75!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s right!!! 8.75 miles on Sunday during running group! I was shocked that I made it that far! The route called for eight and even that made me REALLY nervous, but I got distracted in the Parklands and missed a turn! If you haven’t been yet, the Parklands are beautiful, and the running/walking paths are fantastic! I’ll definitely be back to log more miles out there!

The rest of the week has been focused on strength, endurance, and stretching. When I committed to running the Heartland, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get away from “life” and put in the time to go run.Now, it’s becoming part of my daily routine.If I don’t get some kind of training in, I feel like I don’t focus as well, I get antsy, and generally don’t feel as good. I can’t believe how much different I already feel! It’s great!

Today over lunch, I’m headed to Downtown Fitness and Running for the lunchtime P90X workout.This weekend, we’re taking a quick trip to St. Louis (I have a *slight* obsession with the Cardinals!), and I’m excited to check out the new running paths around the Arch, along with the new museum that just opened up last week.

This is getting more and more real!

 Justin Week 5

"Running the Parklands"

Well, this week I did much better than expected!  On Sunday, our running group with Downtown Fitness and Running, ran through the Parklands and I ran 4.6 miles!  Well, technically, I walked half and ran half but it was more than I expected!  Mentally, it felt great!  Physically, not so much.  I was SO SORE!  (I still am)  On Tuesday, Melanie and I went back to the Parklands to film a video tour.  You can watch that video on our Facebook page.  Not sure how many miles we walked, but we spent some time at the cross training pods, and ended our time at the splash pad.  Much needed on a hot day!  This weekend, I will be resting.  Don't judge me!  It's my birthday weekend!  It's my birthday gift to myself!  Your assignment for this weekend, spend time at the Parklands!  You will thank me later.

Until next time!

- J -

                                                                  Melanie Week 4

Register for the Heartland Here

I MADE IT THROUGH RUNNING GROUP! I had such a good time and enjoyed listening to Jenna Dilger, a nutritionist, give us tips and information on what to eat (and not eat) during training.  While I was by far not the fastest one there, I put in 6 hilly miles and never once felt out of place.  Each person who passed me (and there were quite a few! HA!), told me “good job!”, or “keep it up!”, or “you’re doing great!”.  It was so refreshing to know that everyone was cheering for each other and keeping each other motivated to finish.  It didn't matter how fast (or slow!) I was, but that I was out there. I’ll definitely be back! And, if you’ve been thinking about going but are intimidated, GO ANYWAY! The energy is contagious and you won’t regret it. 

The rest of the week was about beating the heat.  It was WAY too hot for me to be outside and risk doing something stupid, so I did a lot of my workouts indoors. I stayed on the treadmill and elliptical all week. I even made it through a surprise workout with KJ at Downtown Fitness & Running! If you want to watch me look like a fool, we've posted it here…it was an interesting lunch break for sure!

Yoga and stretching have also proved to be working and keeping me feeling good during all of this running.  I’ll be the first to admit I underestimated the benefits of long stretching and Yoga workouts.  The heat is supposed to break tonight, and I'll be the first one to do a happy dance!!!!  I’m shooting for more miles this Sunday.  The longest I’ve gone so far has been 6 miles….how far can I go…7, 8…9...2?! We’ll find out on Sunday!

                                               Justin Week 4

"Snap, Crackle, Pop, and Anxiety" was YOUR week?  Mine was "interesting", for lack of a better word.  First things first, I got a total of 4 miles in this week.  I feel like I should be doing better, more on that later.  Sunday, I ran with a group also training for the Heartland Half-Marathon at Downtown Fitness and Running.  This is where the title of this week's blog post comes into play.  I was already anxious about running in a group, even though the group was comprised of people at all levels of running.  From beginners like me, to those who run marathons regularly.  I felt going in that I was going to embarrass myself, and I let the anxiety effect my run.  The humidity didn't help either.  I ran ONE mile and walked the second.  I could've done better.  I SHOULD'VE done better!!  On top of all of that, while warming up I heard popping from my knees, my back, my hips, and I thought to myself "My body has turned into Human Bubble Wrap!!"  That didn't help the anxiety.  Fast forward to Tuesday.  KJ, with Downtown Fitness and Running, surprised Melanie and I with a special lunch break P90X workout.  I found out, in my case, the P stands for "Popping."  The sounds of human bubble wrap rang through the WITZ lobby as we warmed up.  I'm not going to go into the details of the workout, you can find the video on our Facebook page.  By the way, my arm is still a bit sore.  When you watch the video, you'll know what I mean.  The kicker to all of this was Wednesday.  I walked two miles in the morning, and it was HOT!!  But as I was walking, I was listening to a message from Dr. David Jeremiah and a quote he read from Bobby Knight really caught my attention:

"Discipline is knowing what to do. Knowing when to do it. Doing it to the best of your abilities. Doing it that way every single time."

That's when the light switch flipped on!!  My biggest problem, besides the anxiety, is a lack of DISCIPLINE!!  Instead of getting up early and training, whether indoors or outdoors, I'd rather sleep in.  Instead of walking, or running, when it's warm out, I'd rather take a "Rest Day."  Instead of eating healthy, I'd rather hit the drive-thru.  (Check out our Facebook page for the Nutrition video)  I need to develop better discipline!  I need to work on blocking out the anxiety!  I need to start eating better!  If I am going to succeed, I need to make the conscious effort to DO THE WORK!!  Will it be hard?  YES!!  Will it be worth it in the end?  DOUBLE YES!!  Will my blog post be shorter next week?  Yeah, probably.

Until next time!!

- J -

Melanie Week 3

Register for the Heartland Here

Well, it’s week three and I’m still kicking! I said last week that I was going to run 6 miles over the weekend.  I went out Saturday evening determined to run 6, and I made it! It was tough, especially at the end of a long day, but I refused to quit.  Sunday, I took the almost 7-year-old to Holiday World (don’t tell me that’s not a workout!). Monday, I did 3.5 miles on the treadmill over lunch, and then went home and tested out my brand spankin’ new shoes, thanks to Downtown Fitness and Running! I LOVE my new shoes! They seem to help make sure I’m running properly, and because of that, I learned that I have muscles I didn’t know I had! I was SORE!  I stretched extra-long, since I knew I was going to feel it the next day,

Tuesday, I grabbed a running buddy and logged 4 miles on the Riverwalk before the rain came, then I went home and finished another 1.5 on the treadmill.  Wednesday was all about speed...but it was HOT! Jackson got on his bike, and I chased him for about a mile after work.  We stopped on a flat stretch of never traveled county road and did sprints.  Give a kid a phone, tell him to put the countdown timer to :30 seconds...instant trainer! The heavy air was brutal, so we cut the workout short. Still sore, I went home and did more stretching.  Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day, but when I looked at the forecast, I knew there was no way I was going to get anywhere outside today (Friday).  So, I got up early yesterday and did five miles before work.  I’ll turn today into my meditation/rest day and then Saturday it’s more Yoga.

Sunday, I’m meeting the Downtown Fitness & Running running group at 7am for a long run…. not going to lie…a little nervous about this one! I’m not a serious runner and have always ran by myself, or with a group that’s about the same pace as I am.  But, this challenge is all about getting out of my comfort zone and pushing myself so here I go.  We may update you on Facebook Live Sunday morning...Stay tuned!

Justin Week 3

Today's post is titled "New Shoes and Sore Muscles".  

This week was an improvement, but not without challenges.  It all started with a fitting for my first ever pair of running shoes!!  (Shout out to our friends at Downtown Fitness and Running, in Jasper.  Also, check the video of the fitting on the WITZ Facebook page!)  These shoes feel AWESOME!!  I wore them right out of the store!!  

Tuesday, after the lovely series of storms that passed through, I decided to get out and run.  I didn't get in the miles I wanted and honestly I was hard on myself for it.  Two miles.  TWO!!  I can do better.  I was pretty upset about that, but realized that I'm still a beginner and should not be putting so much pressure on myself.  Two miles for me is a definite improvement from ZERO miles!!  Also, I tried this INSANE workout that Jamie, from Downtown Fitness and Running, posted on their Facebook page.  That is where the sore muscles come in!!  This doesn't look intimidating, but once you start it...rear...end...KICKED!!  WOW WAS I SORE!!  But being the genius I am, I did it again the next day.  (Insert Facepalm Here).  But if I'm going to get serious about this, it has to be done.  

Don't worry!  I've planned a rest day before joining the Sunday running group at Downtown Fitness this Sunday morning!  This has me kinda worried, honestly.  I'll be running with a larger group.  People of all training levels.  I feel like I'm going to embarrass myself.  We'll see what happens.  And you may just see that on Facebook Live.  Maybe.  Possibly.  Knowing will.  Get ready to laugh...or feel sorry for me.  Your choice.Until next time!

Melanie Week 2

June 22nd, 2018 --

Of course, I chose the hottest week of the year to kick my training into gear! Remembering this isn’t a sprint, but a HALF MARATHON helped me *try* to ignore speed and focus on distance.  Knowing I needed a good baseline, I set out on Sunday to run 5 miles.  I was not prepared for the heat and humidity...AT ALL.  I brought a bottle of water with me, but felt like guzzling it before I was through with mile three…of course it didn’t help that I picked a very hilly route with little shade! I made it in a little under an hour, which I considered a victory.

Monday, I stayed inside (because I have a very fond relationship with my A/C!), and trained on the elliptical.  Tuesday, I ventured back outside for an easy two miles at the park, then went home and finished on the elliptical.  Wednesday, I gave myself a “break” with yoga…I quickly realized that was no break! I was SORE after that! Thursday, I used as a rest day and did a short walk, along with deep stretching.  This morning (Friday), I was out before the rain and got 4.5 miles in before work, thanks to some super awesome friends and amazing popcorn waiting for me as motivation! ;) 

Tomorrow will be another rest day, and Sunday I’m aiming for 6 miles….wish me luck!

Things I’ve learned so far:
1. Carry water with me
3. Focus on distance, not speed
4. Don’t run makes you mean and you say things people shouldn't hear you say out loud!! 
5. I just may be able to do this! :)

Justin Week 2

June 22nd, 2018 --

I start today's blog with four letters: F-O-YO.  Translation:“Fear...of...YOGA”!!  That's right!!  I had always heard about the positive benefits of yoga, but I was too nervous to try it out in a public setting.  Well, thanks to technology and a recommendation from Melanie, I found an app that I could use to do yoga in the privacy of my home and spare myself any embarrassment.  Well...I tried it yesterday, and just thank your lucky stars that there were no cameras filming!!I Won't get into the details, but I am sure the more I try it, the easier it will get.

Now, as far as training for the week, Melanie and I went out and got 2 miles in on Tuesday, after we officially signed the paperwork for the Heartland Half, and after my yoga adventure yesterday, I got in a jog.  I didn't keep track of mileage, but was out for about an hour.  I am definitely feeling it today!!  But again, the more I do it, the easier it will get.  Until next time!

Melanie Week 1

13.1  miles.  Let’s put this into perspective…that’s basically me running from the WITZ Studios to Celestine (give or take a tenth of a mile).  That’s a LONG way.  The craziest part – I agreed to run this, and let you follow me while I’m training! So, let’s get started.

The big question – “Why am I doing this?! Am I crazy!?”.  It’s true I may be just a LITTLE crazy, and a TAD bit stubborn, but I really think running the heartland is doable! I’m by no means a serious runner… I like to keep myself in half way decent shape and that’s it.  I can count on one hand the number of 5K’s I’ve entered in my life. That being said, I’ve always been the person who does what people say I can’t.  Tell me I can’t do something, and I’ll rise to the challenge and prove you wrong.   I’ve had an extremely rough few years, and it’s time to reclaim my life and shift my focus to something positive.

This isn’t going to be easy, but if I can do it SO CAN YOU! I challenge you to do the Heartland Half Marathon too! If 13.1 is too much, try the 5K or the team challenge.  Run/walk for you heart, your health, and your general well-being.  This is going to change my life, and I can’t wait to see the results. 

Check back on this page for updates on our journey.  We’ve partnered with Dubois County Tourism and Downtown Fitness and Running on a training plan, race tips, and everything we need to be successful.  Best of all, the training is free to you too! Join KJ & Jamie at Downtown Fitness and Running on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings for Heartland Training. They meet at the store and take off from there.  For more information click here.

Heartland registration is open all the way to race day on September 1st. Go to for more information on the course and to sign up.

So, here I go! Wish me luck!

Justin Week 1

WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I mean...HI!! As you may know, I have decided to participate in my first half-marathon ever...EVER!! I know what you are thinking, and no I am not crazy!! My decision to participate in the Heartland Half-Marathon was a pretty easy decision, really. You see, I'm not the most athletic guy in the world. Truth be told, I spend most of my free time on the couch binge watching Netflix, or playing Mario Kart with friends from around the world. I NEED TO GET OUT AND BE MORE ACTIVE!! Plain and simple!! 

Also, when I thought about it, this would be a great opportunity to show others like me that it IS possible to go from couch to half-marathon!! Knowing I will have great help from the folks at Downtown Fitness & Running, and a support/accountability system with my WITZ family also puts me at ease that I can do this. This will be a very intense, intimidating, and interesting process, but if it encourages you to get up, get out, and do the same thing, it will be all worth it. 

I'm pleased to have you along in this journey! Stay tuned...things are gonna get “Physical...Physical!!” And now that you have Olivia Newton-John stuck in your job here is done!