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Run Wisconsin

Running a race

I moved to Wisconsin the the summer of 2020. While many have blocked that entire year out of their minds... you might remember that as the year of Covid. I moved to Wisconsin and knew no one. I struggled the first couple of months... maybe even the first year. It was hard to meet people. Everything was shut down. There were no festivals or community events. My husband worked an hour and a half away and stayed over night most nights during the winter to avoid driving in the snow. I felt so alone. The last time I remembered being in a happy place was when I was running. So, at the end of 2021, I laced up my shoes and went for a run. I wish I could say it was a life changing run that snapped me out of my funk - but that run made me feel even worse. I was a runner in North Carolina but I had hip surgery and had taken some time off of running that when I went on that run... I felt completely and utterly defeated.

After I gave myself a pity party and took another 3 months off of running (which didn't help) I found a running group that had finally picked back up since "the quarantine" and I decided to give it a try. I didn't know anyone. But it was better than sitting at home feeling depressed about my situation. After that one run - I went online and signed up for a half marathon. I needed something to train for. I knew if I paid for a run I would see it through and the last thing I wanted to do was to waste money or look like a fool so I had started a training regimen. It gave me something to look forward to. But then I got a little ambitious and started signing up for race after race after race. And I hadn't even ran a single race yet! So now I was filled with nothing but ambition and knew I needed to put my money where my mouth was. Well, I guess 'put my feet where my money was' would be more fitting. But remember, I had just moved to Wisconsin. I was still so new to the midwest. And because of covid, I didn't get to see or do anything for the first 2 years. That's when I dubbed it, 'Anne Runs Wisconsin' and used the summer of 2022 as a way to get to know my new state. It was simply the best - I was running all the time, traveling all over Wisconsin and enjoying my stays at Airbnb's. But the one thing I did notice is that my time's weren't like they once were. After beating myself up about it and training harder and harder I figured it was just simply because I was getting older and I had accepted that I was never going to be as fast as I once was.


April 23 Brew City 10k: 58:25 (Milwaukee)

April 30 4imprint Oshkosh Half Marathon: 2:21:11 (Oshkosh)

May 15 Cellcom 5k: 27:37 (Green Bay)

May 27 Trout Springs Wine Run 5k: 29:28 (Greenleaf)

June 1 Global Running Day 5k: 27:38 (Kaukauna)

June 11 Harborview 8k: 45:42 (Port Washington)

July 4 Firecracker 5k: 28:27 (Kaukauna)

July 9 Dances with Dirt Half Marathon: 2:56:02 (Devil's Lake)

July 16 Adrenaline 10k: 57:26 (West Bend)

July 24 Cliff Runner 10k: 1:20:29 (Sherwood)

August 6 Square and Compass 5k: 27:48 (Winneconne)

August 20 Bridge 2 Bridge 5 Miler: 45:52 (Wisconsin Rapids)

September 4 Lake Country Challenge 8 Miler: 1:23:42 (Oconomowoc)

September 17 Community First Fox Cities Half Marathon: 2:20:09 (Menasha/Neenah)

September 24 Peshtigo Fire Tower 10k: 56:05 (Peshtigo)

October 10 Oshkosh Lumberjack 5k: 27:33 (Oshkosh)

October 29 YMCA Freaky 5k: 27:24 (Appleton)

Well, being I live in Wisconsin now I learned very quickly that winter running was not a good idea if I wanted to keep my toes and fingers. Luckily, I have a YMCA membership and occasionally used the treadmill to keep my training up. I even bought a few running books with exercises and stretches because I intended on doing everything right this time. There's a first for everything right? I noticed I was losing motivation so I did what I did last time.. I started signing up for races so I had something to train for. I ended up backing out of a lot of them. The summer of 2023 was just incredibly busy for me - personally and professionally. So I did my best to run what I was able to, training when I could but I put running on the back burner. I gave myself an A for effort.


April 23 Sturgeon Shuffle 5k: 27:46 (New London)

July 4 Firecracker 5k: 33:01 (Kaukauna)

July 23 Cliff Runner 10k: 1:28:36 (Sherwood)

August 12 Kickin' It With The Cows 5k: 29:18 (Wrightstown)

September 9 Wounded Warrior 5k: (Nashville, TN)

September 17 Community First Fox Cities Half Marathon: 2:18:54 (Menasha/Neenah)

October 28 YMCA Freaky 5k: 29:41 (Appleton)

November 23 Festival Foods Turkey Trot 5 Miler: 1:02:24 (Appleton)

The winter of 2023 I started taking better care of myself especially with my diet. Note: I did not say I went on a diet. I started making healthier choices and I started drinking FITTEAM FIT and I was also turning 40 years old. I was having a hard enough time with getting older that the only thing I could control was my diet because I was going to turn 40 whether I liked it or not. I started seeing amazing results in my fitness, my physique, my overall health and I was losing weight and inches in my waist. This was so motivating that I got certified as a group fitness instructor (again after a 10 year hiatus) and became a brand partner team with my husband for FITTEAM. I went ahead a signed up for a few runs but wasn't doing any running. As a matter of fact, before my first race of the year I ran for the first time the week beforehand to make sure I could at least run a 5k and not embarrass myself. On race day, I went out there and ran an incredible time without really trying. Then the next race day was here and I hadn't ran since the previous race. And I did better than the first race. My pace has continued to get better each race - and I have NOT trained a single bit this year. All the little changes I have made in my diet and routine are what's giving me the incredible power and energy for these races. And I am not killing myself running all the miles for a training program. But if I'm being completely honest - I know my daily FIT has given me the energy to take care of myself everyday. I am no longer tired and sluggish. And I am actually drinking water. DAILY even. (If you know me you know I use to only get my water through my coffee). But now I crave my FIT every day and it's improved my mood and my energy level. I will never go without it.

It's not even summer yet but I've killed my times in my races so far and still have plenty left to run this summer. But I can assure you - you will not catch me training for any of these runs. But I will be out there ready to pound the pavement and see what else this 40 year old body can achieve.

So I invite you to Run Wisconsin with me. You'll notice I included the links to register below. You don't have to be fast. You just have to decide you are going to give it a try. And have fun doing it! Give yourself something to work towards like I did. You'll be amazed at how taking the first step can lead to amazing health and wellness benefits.


April 6 De Pere Think Spring 5k: 26:54 (De Pere)

April 27 4imprint Oshkosh 5k: 26:39 (Oshkosh)

May 4 Fox Heritage 8k: 44:16 (Kaukauna)

May 11 Sole Burner 5k: 26:24 (Kaukauna)

May 12 pdsF.U.S.I.O.N. Mother's Day 5k: 35:10 (Oshkosh)*

-> May 19 Cellcom 5k: TBD (Green Bay)

-> May 26 Maifest Lake to Lake 10k: TBD (Jacksonport)

-> May 27 Operation Guardian Angel 5k: TBD (Hobart)

-> June 1 Yellow Brick Road 5k: TBD (Oconomowoc)

-> June 8 Headbanger 10k: TBD (Menomonee Falls)

-> July 4 Firecracker 5k: TBD (Kaukauna)

-> August 10 Kickin' It With The Cows 5k: TBD (Wrightstown)

-> August 16 Mike Ariens 5k: TBD (Brillion)

-> September 28 Otto Grunski Runski 5k: TDB (Menasha)

*Ran with a friend at her pace to support her in her first 5k


Coffee Break

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

There is no telling what we'll blog about next.  Whatever it is, I can assure you we will be giving you genuine Van Family anecdotes on life, marriage, fitness, raising kids, hobby farming and more.  We don't claim to be experts in any of the topics... but we do hope you get to know us, see that we have faults, make mistakes and disagree.  But we also have fun, try new things, come up with wild ideas and eat sushi 3x a week.  

Grab your favorite beverage and join us in our adventures as you read along. 

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