Melanie Week 5

Register for the Heartland Here

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!