“I AM AN IRONMAN” or “The Life Lesson I Learned That Took 140.6 Miles to Learn”

As of Saturday September 7th, 2014 at 10:32 PM I became an Ironman Triathlete in Madison, WI. Being an Ironman means I swam for 2.4 miles, rode my bike 112 miles, then completed a full marathon under 17 hours.It has been a year journey. Scratch that, It has been a nine year journey.My official training started in the last week of December 2013 but I’ve been training since my first marathon way back in 2005.

My girlfriend Emily and I taking selfie right before I start my swim.

My girlfriend Emily and I taking a selfie right before I start my swim.

I’m gonna break down the day. The weather was beautiful and I had my wonderful girlfriend by my side until I jumped in the water at 6:30 am. Emily and I were taking selfies, saying prayers, setting up, and just going over the race day. Emily was a trooper. But more on that later.

2.4 Mile Swim.

2.4 Mile Ironman 2014 Swim in Lake Monona. Photo by Debbie Lample.

The official race started at 7:00 AM but you can swim out to the start 30 minutes early and tread water. So I missed an important detail, The Ironman Wisconsin is a 3,000 athlete mass start in Lake Monona. Not an age group wave start, a 3,000 athlete mass start. You are  a trout swimming upstream with other 2,999 trout. The entire time after start gun goes off, I was kicked, punched, swam over, and swam under. At one point I thought my arms were going to fall off. But I kept telling my self to stay calm, keeping eyeing for the buoys, and focus on my swimming form. I’m sure other athletes heard me say out loud, “Stay calm, Bobby. Stay calm” when my goggles were knocked off my face at the second turn. My goal for the 2.4 mile swim was 80 minutes. I finished in 79 minutes. When I got out of the water I waved my arms around in the air joyfully screamed, “I’m alive!” Just at the edge of the gate I saw Emily. I touched her hand and went to a wet suit peeler to help me get my wet suit off. Later I learned from Emily I waked a security guard on my way out of the water in my excitement. (Sorry Mr. Security Guard)

After the wet suit was peeled I ran up the parking road helix to the second floor of Monona Terrace where I could change into my bike gear. There were people screaming the entire way up. The volunteers had that place running smoothly. Before I go further, Monona Terrace is Madison’s Expo center. Monona Terrace’s ballrooms were converted into transition/ changing rooms for all the triathletes. I exited the changing ballroom and went to a volunteer just out side the bike racks who were lathering athletes up in bullfrog sunscreen. After I was lathered up, I went to where my bike was stationed. A volunteer handed my bike to me and I then got on my bike. I rode down the opposite end of Monona Terrace where I started the 112 mile cycling portion.

Going uphill at Mile 90 on cycle portion.

Going uphill at Mile 90 on cycle portion. I’m still smiling. Photo by Clint Moyers.

On the bike I had two goals in mind besides just finishing. One – maintain a speed of 14 to 17 mph and conserve as much energy for the marathon, Two – Eat, Eat, Eat, Drink, Eat, Drink. The weather was getting hotter and the road was hilly. I was letting people pass me who wanted to get by. My goal was to finish not to race people today. I just focused on my goals and staying safe. As I rode I thought, “this course is pretty but really hilly”. I don’t like going downhills cause I’m afraid of losing control so many cyclists were passing me up on down hills. Funny thing was I was a monster going uphill so I passed them up on uphills. The uphills were easier on me thanks to my third little ring on my bike which I don’t think many people utilized all their rings on the up hills. At mile 12 I started getting a sinus head ache. To relive my head pain I blew my nose all over my bike glove cause I didn’t have any kleenex. That kept happening for the first 40 miles. At mile 50 I started seeing my friends. I really surprised them. First I saw my friends Debbie and Donna W. They said oh my is that Bobby so I replied “YES it’s me” as I focused on the uphill. Little more up the road I saw fellow Team In Training Coaches Marie, Chris, Donna K., & Toby. Same reaction as before. They said is that Bobby. I yelled out, “Yup”. On the second loop (just passed 90 miles) Toby got a video of me. I yelled out “My butt really hurts.” That time I was thinking I’ll need to invest in a new seat for next time and put portable anti-chaffing creme in my emergency bag.

At mile 53 I saw my family just after I refilled my water bottles. At times I asked other cyclists, “Who’s hungry for pizza?” For what ever reason the second cycle loop felt shorter then the first. Towards the end of the bike my stomach was starting to get full. Nothing big but I can feel it coming on. As I rode back into Monona Terrace I saw my family cheering for me. Now I was on to my strongest event, the marathon. I maintained a slow and steady pace on the bike of an average of 14.82 mph  for a total time of 7 hours and 33 minutes.

NOTE I’m about to give out more personal information then you might need to know. It’s all PG but just wanted to give you a heads up. 

Here I am keeping up an Athletic Walk just past mile 13. I'm forcing a smile.

Here I am keeping up an Athletic Walk just past mile 13. I’m forcing a smile. Photo by Chris Kind.

After I got out of my cycle clothes and into my running clothes I started my 5 minute run and 1 minute walk. Thanks to Marie, she let me borrow her Ironman Timex watch.  The GPS was not working but I really needed it to look over my intervals. I saw Emily at the capital and I gave her a kiss. Then I saw my Team In Training friends (Marie, Chris, Donna, & Toby) just a few feet later. I was feeling strong and confident. Up to mile 5 I maintained my 5:1 interval with a 11 minute per mile pace (My goal). Then I stared getting a sloshy stomach and getting tired. I moved to a 1 minute run and 5 minute walk interval. Soon I was only athletic walking. Then I was hitting a porta potty every other mile. I maintained a good walking athletic form the entire time but I was aching and my muscles were tighting up. My body did not want to eat any more. I was starting to feel dizzy and my stomach did not want to take any more fluids. Worst of all I entered the “bite me zone”. If you don’t know what the bite me zone is, the bite me zone is a time when you’re so tired you get irritable at everyone and everything. Yes me the happy go lucky, loud, happiness is a choice guy was not so happy. I was just focused on getting to the next point and my stomach.

The marathon course consisted of two loops of 13.1 miles each. I just finished a 13 mile loop. I was thinking after I made the turn for the second loop:

  • Could I do it all over again?
  • All my long distance training went well, why didn’t I do more long distance bike and run trainings in the same day?
  • I need to go poop and my body won’t let me.
  • I almost thew up in the bathroom cause of the smell alone. Am I done?
  • Do I need to see a medic?
  • Did I stop sweating?
  • Am I dehydrated?
  • I don’t want to quit. Should I?
Mile 13.1 and I'm in pain.

Mile 13.1 and I’m in pain.

I kept going. I got to my special needs running bag and grabbed a sprite. I couldn’t stomach anything else. A few feet ahead I saw Emily and my Team In Training friends. I knew I could stretch and vent to them. When I  reached them I got into a fetal position to stretch my legs and give my stomach a rest.  “You’re doing great. You have six more hours to finish the course,” Chris told me. I was scarred and to the point I wanted to cry. Everyone encouraged me. Emily rubs my back and tells me that she’s been updating my family and friends via my phone on my status. Marie encouraged me to get some warm Chicken Broth at the next water stop to help fuel electrolytes and fluid. Then Chris reminded me that happiness is a choice not matter the distance. Marie then interjected by jokingly and lovingly saying, “Bobby payback is a bitch huh?” It made me laugh. It’s usually the opposite. I’m positive helping others in pain. The tables are turned.

Team In Training Cheer Section

Team In Training Cheer Section with Marie, Chris, Donna K. and Donna W.

So I kept going. I was quoting Pete the Cat in my head. Pete the Cat is a character from a popular children’s book series. I kept thinking like Pete, Just keep walking along and singing your song cause it’s all good. At this point my mood is starting to change. I keep pushing. My athletic walk is faster then every other athletes’ walk. I kept chugging along.

Right before I finish.

Right before I finish.

I’m at mile 25 and there are few crowds left. Everyone is back at the finishing line. I then see Emily cheering for me with her self made Bobby Head on a stick fan. She wanted to make sure I was okay. (I told you she’s awesome). She’s impressed how I’ve picked up my pace. She can’t keep up with me. I tell her to get to the finish line so she can see me finish. I slow down just a bit to stall.

I get to the finishing chute. I hear the cheering. I see the lights. I hear the music. I try to soak it in. I try to cherish the moment because It’s not often you’re a first timer. I pick up the pace to a slow run. I start giving everyone I can a high five. I see the finish. I see the lights. I swear the lights got brighter Then I hear the announcer say it. The one quote I’ve been training to hear for nine whole months…

“Robert Dobroski…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”

Robert Dobroski...YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

Robert Dobroski…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

My dad, My mom, and my girlfriend at the end of the Ironman.

My dad, My mom, and my girlfriend at the end of the Ironman.

I did it I’m an Ironman. I had enough in the tank for a giant leap of relief and celebration. It took me 15 hours and 32 minutes but I did it. All of my friends and family were at the finish. Emily handed my iPhone to me and I was amazed and felt so much love when I saw the wave of text messages and Facebook status updates with screenshots of my finish.

As I had 15 hours to think, I summarized my experience into a powerful lesson. The road of life is tough with ups and downs. There will be times with high and lows. There will be times you’ll see the end but it will seem impossible to get to. Sometimes you may fall, stumble, and get sick to your stomach. Everything will seem impossible. There will be times you’ll want to quit…DON’T. Get back up and get support from the people that love you. Keep looking forward and break up the challenge into smaller parts. Get to the small goals and keep moving. THE challenge is tough but the reward is AMAZING!

I couldn’t have done this race without the support of so many people. There were times this past year I didn’t think I would cross that finish line.


  • To my parents Bob and Natalie: I’ve been having financial difficulty this year. My parents helped me by sending me food and helping me finance my trip to WI.
  • To my girlfriend Emily: Who has also been feeding me well but has also put up with modified date nights and early morning texts about my workouts.
  • To my friend Mike: Who helped give me extra Energy chomps and help me set my pace for the marathon.
  • To my friend Clint: Who accompanied me on the long Saturday bike rides.
  • To my friend Marie: Who gave me my training schedule, loaned me her Ironman Timex Watch, Introduced me to Emily, and cheered for me on race day even though she’s going through her own personal endurance event.
  • To all of my friends: You cheered for me at Wisconsin or at home. You believed me when at time I couldn’t believe in myself.
  • To all the race organizers and volunteers: Amazing job at the race. There would be no race without you.

My goal now is to focus on general health and future endeavors. I’ll do an Ironman again but not yet. So I’ll sign off by saying my favorite quote. If anyone ever asks you “how’s it going?” say “forward” that way you’re never lying. Keep moving along and singing your song.


Team in Training Coach Update: Week of May 27 – Training In Heat

“You accomplish victory step by step, not by leaps and bounds.”  –Lyn St. James, Indy race car driver

“Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.” –Unknown

Mother nature is about to flip the switch to summer. We really emphasize hydration on TEAM!  That’s because proper hydration is key to your safety AND your performance. Remember that you must carry a hydration system when training with TEAM and we recommend you carry it with you whenever you train.  Read the coaches tip below for important information. Also read the very importantattachment on training in the heat!  You must make adjustments to your training when the heat and humidity increase.  Click Here to read up our attachment on training in heat.

Group Trainings

Midweek Training

Wednesday, May 29, 6:30 PM
Location;  Palatine Park District Track
Click here for directions
Please check the status update of training on our Team in Training Hotline 312-651-7356 x 7761.

Long Distance

Saturday, June 1, 7:00 am
Location:  Half Day Woods
Click Here For Directions
Length of Trainings:
Full Marathons:  6 Miles
Half Marathons:  4 Miles

Coaching Tip of the Week

Most endurance athletes (serious and casual alike) know the important role hydration plays in health and athletic performance. But what you don’t know can hurt you – drinking too little or too much during intense exercise can be dangerous.

 Dehydration: Too Little of a Good Thing

Keeping the body properly hydrated with the right fluids is essential to safety and performance in an endurance event. The fiercest competitor an endurance athlete faces is dehydration.

The first obvious sign of dehydration is thirst, but things can quickly get worse. Dehydration not only hampers performance but also increases the risk of heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or potentially deadly heat stroke. The good news is that dehydration and heat illness can be prevented and performance improved simply by following the right fluid-replacement plan.

Signs of dehydration and heat illness can include:

• Headache    • Fatigue     • Dizziness     • Nausea     • Muscle cramps     • Weakness

• Irritability     • Vomiting     • Heat flush     • Abnormal chills

 Hyponatremia: Too Much of a Good Thing

While it’s important to drink enough to remain hydrated, overhydrating by drinking too much can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, which is serious and sometimes deadly.

What is Hyponatremia?

Hyponatremia is a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in the blood drops below:

135 mEq/L (138-142 is normal).* Symptoms of hyponatremia usually begin at blood sodium values below 130, with values less than 120 resulting in a serious medical emergency. Exercise-related hyponatremia is thought to be caused by overdrinking. Although rare, hyponatremia can result in seizure, coma, and death, so it is vital that athletes learn about the condition and how to prevent it.

 Who’s at Risk for Hyponatremia?

Anyone who drinks too much and does not adequately replace the sodium that is lost in sweat risks hyponatremia, but certain people should be especially careful:

  • Endurance athletes – those exercising more than four hours
  • Athletes on low sodium diets
  • Beginning marathoners who tend to be slower and are hyper-vigilant about hydration
  • Athletes who overhydrate before, during, and after exercise
  • Salty sweaters – those athletes whose skin and clothes are caked with white residue after exercise 

Symptoms of Hyponatremia

Watch for a combination of these symptoms, especially if you or somebody you know is at a high risk for the condition.

Signs of hyponatremia can include:

  • Rapid weight gain    
  • Swollen hands and feet     
  • Confusion    
  •  Dizziness     
  • Nausea 
  • Throbbing headache     
  • Apathy    
  • Severe Fatigue    
  • Cramping     
  • Bloated stomach
  • Wheezy breathing    
  • Seizure

Seek emergency care for hyponatremia victims. In most cases, they will be treated with:

  • An intravenous solution of a concentrated sodium solution,
  • A diuretic medication to speed water loss, and
  • An anti-convulsive medication in the case of seizure

The Winning Hydration Plan

The best way to prevent both dehydration and hyponatremia is to learn the right way to hydrate.Use the following tips to create your own hydration game plan:

Drink to Stay Hydrated, Don’t Over drink

Your fluid-replacement plan should be designed to minimize loss of body weight so that you avoid dehydration during exercise but prevent weight gain from excess hydration during training or races. A good way to gauge your hourly sweat rate is to figure out the difference in body weight plus your drink volume. For example, if you lost 11/2 pounds (24 oz) during the training, and drank 12 ounces, you should try to drink 36 oz (24 + 12) each hour during similar-intensity training and racing. In this example, drinking 9 ounces every 15 minutes would do it. Over drinking dramatically increases the risk of hyponatremia. It is vital not to over drink before a race, because doing so can lower blood sodium even before the race begins. Also, don’t overdrink during or after the race!

 Maintain a Salty Diet

To make certain you replace all of the salt lost during training. During a long race (e.g. more than four hours), consider eating salty snacks such as pretzels, especially if you are a salty sweater.

Favor Sports Drinks 

During long distance or intense training and competition drink sports drinks to help keep your Body hydrated, fueled and salted. The flavor of a sports drink will encourage you to drink enough to stay hydrated, the carbohydrate energy will fuel your active muscles, and the electrolytes will help replace some of what is lost in sweat. But remember don’t over drink any fluid!

Recognize Warning Signs of both heat illness and hyponatremia and learn to distinguish between the two. When in doubt, stop exercise, stop drinking and seek medical help fast.

Thank you for a being a part of Team in Training!

“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”  –John Quincy Adams

Team in Training Coach Update: Week of May 20th – Injuries & Rice

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”

–Harvey Fierstein

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat other runners.  Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”
-–George Sheehan

Hello Team,

I hope everyone is ready for Memorial Day weekend.

If you haven’t noticed the weather is starting to heat up!  Some key points to training in the heat. 1) Replace fluids ands electrolytes including sodium before, during and after your training 2) Adjust your pace.  Always train according to your level of perceived exertion.  Your heart rate will increase more quickly in the heat! So… DON’T FORGET TO BRING HYDRATION to Wednesdays and Saturdays!

Group Trainings

Midweek Training – STARTS THIS WEEK!!!!!

Come and join us for our first midweek training star next week!  These trainings are for EVERYONE regardless of your experience or pace.  At midweeks we will be working on your running and/or walking form, pacing, strength, power, flexibility, speed and more!!!! 

After track we will be going out for drinks and food at either Durty Nellies or Portillos. So come join the fun and gain some calories back after you burned them all.

THIS Wednesday, May 22 6:30 pm
Location;  Palatine Park District Track
250 E Wood St Palatine, IL 60067
Click Here to see directions on Google Maps.

Saturday, May 25

TRAIN ON YOUR OWN…Have A Happy Memorial Day Weekend
Full Marathoners:  60 Minutes
All Half Marathoners: 50 Minutes

Coaching Tip of the Week

Identifying Injuries and RICE

It's important to identify injuries early.

It’s important to identify injuries early.

At the injury prevention clinic you learned about some common running and athletic walking injuries and how to prevent them.  Following is a review of some of the most common running and athletic walking injuries.  If it seems like you are beginning to experience any of these symptoms, talk to your coaches immediately!

Most of the following injuries are easy to address when caught early.

For all of the following and most all injuries the first course of action is RICE (see below) followed by stretching, strengthening and massage of certain muscles.  Your coaches and Athletico therapists can help you with a program appropriate for you.

Following are some of the most common running and athletic walking injuries.  If it seems like you are beginning to experience any of these symptoms, talk to your coaches immediately.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is heel pain caused by inflammation or a tear in the tissue on the bottom of the foot. You get plantar fasciitis from over-pronating (rolling your foot too far inward), from tight muscles and tendons in the feet and from overly tight calves (the muscles on the back of the lower legs). A sure sign of plantar fasciitis is extreme pain in the arch when you first step out of bed.

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is the thick cord just behind the heel and ankle. When you run, it undergoes a lot of stress and can become irritated and painful. If your Achilles hurts when squeezed, take action pronto.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are indicated by a tenderness or pain on the front or inside edge of the shinbone/. This nagging condition often strikes when you begin a training program or change your regimen by adding more running.

Runner’s Knee

If you experience inflammation and pain on the front of the knee, you may have developed runner’s knee. It’s caused by an imbalance of strength in your various leg muscles. As a result your kneecap fails to track correctly when the knee is flexed and extended. Instead of gliding in its groove, it sways to one side (usually the outside) and rubs against the bone.

IT Band Syndrome

Another common knee injury occurs on the outside of the knee. It’s called iliotibial or IT band syndrome. The IT band extends from the hip to the outside of the knee and provides major lateral support for the leg. Because it runs across, and can rub against, the outside of the knee, it can become irritated during running. IT Band Syndrome is caused by training on slanted roads, wearing worn-out shoes, under-pronation or bowed legs.


RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If you suffer an injury, or experience the pain or tenderness that tells you an injury is on the way, apply RICE immediately!

  • Rest

    • Modify your training program to allow the injured tissue to heal. Take an extra day off. If the pain persists, take two! Don’t keep pushing and make the situation worse. Your coaches can help you to modify your training program as needed.

  • Ice

    • Ice helps decrease inflammation, allowing healthy nutrients to reach the injured site and begin the rebuilding process. You can apply ice in a variety of ways. Try ice cubes or crushed ice in a plastic baggy, or a bag of frozen peas or corn covered with a damp towel.  Or you can give yourself an ice massage.  Fill small paper cups with water, then place them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, peel away the paper and apply the ice as a soothing ice massage. In any case, apply your ice of choice to the tender area for 10-15 minutes at least twice a day. Always ice an injured area after running or walking.

  • Compression

    • Inflammation and swelling are nature’s way of immobilizing an injured limb. To reduce swelling, apply compression to the injured area immediately. Elastic bandages are the way to go. Always apply on a diagonal and pull snuggly but not too tigh.

  • Elevation

    • As mentioned above, the goal is to get the healing nutrients to the injured area. Elevating the injured body part to the level of your heart, or slightly higher, encourages the flow of blood to and from the inflamed area.

Thank you for a being a part of Team in Training!

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands”
–Robert M. Pirsig

MEME MONDAY…KEEP CALM and Donate to LLS…Someday is Today

It’s Meme Monday! Today we’re memeing the “Keep Calm”

KEEP CALM and Donate to LLS. Someday is today we'll find a cure for blood cancer.

Keep Calm and Donate to LLS. Someday is today we’ll find a cure for blood cancer.

My goal is to raise $6,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) by December 2013 in all honor of all my friends and family who have been affected by cancer.  Please consider making a donation on my fundraising page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/wdw14/rdobroski.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. To date, LLS has invested more than $875 million in research aimed at helping all blood cancer patients live better, longer lives.

Generous donors have helped LLS support research that has already benefited blood cancer patients and many others. Advances include:

  •  Multi-drug therapies that are more effective than treatments with single anti-cancer agents,
  •  Bone marrow / stem cell transplantation and supportive care treatments for patients who relapse despite the best available therapy,
  •  Tests that distinguish specific characteristics of particular blood cancers for accurate diagnosis of cancer subtypes, and for “risk stratification” to select an optimal therapy.

Please donate at least $1 at http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/wdw14/rdobroski. We’re close to the finish line to finding a cure for cancer.

Team in Training Coach Update: Week of May 13th – Form

“Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”  –Unknown

“The person who starts a marathon and the person who finishes a marathon is not the same person.”  –Unknown

Hello North Team,

Thanks to everyone that made it out to Busse Woods last Saturday. We started taking photos and I posted them on our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TNTILNorthTeam/. After the workout for this upcoming Saturday, The Mentors will be passing around fundraiser ideas for you to use.  There will be some good ideas passed out that you can use, so show up to get a head start on your Fundraising. Remember, It’s better to be done with your Fundraising early so you are not worrying about it when you get into the higher miles.

Group  Training

  • Saturday, May 18 7:00 AM
  • Location: Dam Woods No 1 In Wheeling
  •  Distance
    • Full Marathoners:  4 Miles
    • All Half Marathoners: 3 Miles 

Midweek Training

Come and join us for our first midweek training star next week!  These trainings are for EVERYONE regardless of your experience or pace.  At midweeks we will be working on your running and/or walking form, pacing, strength, power, flexibility, speed and more!!!!

Trainings will alternate between The Palatine Park District Track and Nikol Knoll Park every Wednesday at 6:30 PM. This week we will be meeting at the outdoor track at the Palatine Park District just behind the Police Station. Remember to look out for Bobby’s bright Yellow Car!

After track we will be going out for drinks and food at either Durty Nellies or Portillos. So come join the fun and gain some calories back after you burned them all.

Coaching Tip of the Week

Running and Athletic Walking Form

Proper Running Form

By using proper form for walking you can become more efficient in your stride and confident in your ability to achieve your goals.  The technique will help you safely cover more ground in less time, with less effort, and with greater consistency.

 When you practice your technique, break each component down to an individual motion and focus on one at a time.  Eventually it will all come together.  Be patient.  It takes time and practice to have this new form come naturally.

 Heads Up!

Your head should be level, eyes looking forward, and the chin parallel to the ground.  A protruding chin or tilting the head down to look at the ground is a common mistake.  If your head is allowed to tilt forward, excess strain is put on the neck and shoulders and will lead to undue fatigue.  Focus on looking forward to about 12-20 feet in front of you.  If you need to look closer to where you are stepping, lower your eyes, not your whole head.

 Arm Swing

Your shoulders should be relaxed, not drawn up towards your ears.  Arms should swing naturally with each step, and should be bent at the elbow at a 90 degree angle.  This is important.  Straight arms during long walks and runs wastes energy and can lead to problems with swelling, tingling, and numbness of the fingers or hands.

Your arms should swing comfortably and naturally at about waist level.  When you are running focus a little more on the front part of the swing.  When you are walking focus on the back swing.  Do not pump your arms, but allow them to swing like a pendulum.  Your hands should be relaxed and loosely closed.  Any excess tension in the arms or hands should be avoided — it wastes energy.  The elbows should be close to the torso, with the hands going no higher than the center of the chest on the forward swing, or past the back of the hip on the back swing.


Think about having a nice, straight body position (as opposed to being hunched over) with a slight forward lean. Imagine having a rope tied to your chest pulling you forward and up. Keep your chest out, your head up, and your vision scanning the path approximately 15-20 feet in front of you. The straight body position will keep your muscles relaxed and in balance while opening your lungs for maximum oxygen intake. Remember to keep the slight forward lean as this will help with your foot turnover and allow you to move down the path lightly and efficiently.


Turnover is how quickly you step.  Most people, when they try to go faster increase the length of their strides.  This is inefficient, and will waste energy.  It will also set you up for injury as it increases the impact of every stride. We will get more into turnover rate later, but for now practice shortening your stride and taking very quick steps, whether you are walking or running.  Pretend you are walking or running over hot coals and want to get your feet off the ground as quickly as possible.

Thank you for a being a part of Team in Training!

“Have the courage and the wisdom and the vision to raise a definite standard that will appeal to the best that is in man, and then strive mightily toward that goal.” — Harold E. Stassen

MEME MONDAY…Featuring the Most Interesting Man In The World

I made another meme about Team In Training. This time it features the Dos Equis Guy.

Dos Eques Guy MEME


I don’t always run marathons, but when I do, I make sure I wear my Team In Training Jersey.

For a $5 donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society  I’ll make a meme for you! Or just donate $5 to the LLS at http://bit.ly/12quBaS. Your secure, online tax-deductible donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) helps fund lifesaving research and provides information and support to patients throughout their cancer journey. Give today and make a difference in the life of someone who has blood cancer.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the largest voluntary cancer research agency specifically focused on finding cures and better treatments for blood cancer patients. With the scope and scale to fund many projects at the same time, LLS supports hundreds of cancer scientists around the world.

Team in Training Coach Update: Week of May 6, 2013 – Pacing

“You accomplish victory step by step, not by leaps and bounds.”
–Lyn St. James, Indy race car driver

“Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.”

It was great seeing everyone on Saturday. If you didn’t make it don’t worry! You can download the Getting Started handout here. The most important thing is getting fitted in the right type of shoe at a running store (Fleet feet, Running Away, Running Unlimited) where they can fit you for your foot type and walk.

After our training this Saturday, Mariane, Ross and I will be having an injury prevention clinic. Make sure you stick around for that.

Remember rain or shine, warm or cold…we’ll have training still (except in extreme weather conditions). You don’t know what race day will be like and you have to be prepared.  If your unsure of the status of training, check out theTeam in Training Hotline 312-651-7356 x 7761 or https://www.facebook.com/groups/TNTILNorthTeam/.

Midweek Training

Come and join us for our first midweek training on May 22!  These trainings are for EVERYONE regardless of your experience or pace.  At midweeks we will be working on your running and/or walking form, pacing, strength, power, flexibility, speed and more!!!!

Trainings will alternate between The Palatine Park District Track and Nikol Knoll Park in Arlington Heights every Wednesday at 6:30 PM. May 22 we will be meeting at the outdoor track at the Palatine Park District just behind the Police Station. Remember to look out for Bobby’s bright Yellow Car!

After track we will be going out for drinks and food at either Durty Nellies or Portillos. So come join the fun and gain some calories back after you burned them all.

Group Training

Saturday, May 11  7:00 am

Location:  Busse Woods at the 0 mile marker

The entrance is just east of Route 53/290 on the South side of Higgins Road in Schaumburg. Follow the road all the way to the south lake.

Click Here to see Directions on Google Maps

Remember to look out for Bobby’s bright Yellow Car!

Length of Trainings:

  • Ful Marathons:  40 minutes
  • Half Marathons: 40 minutes


The injury prevention clinic will be held immediately following training.  Make sure to come and learn great information on how to get you safely to the start line of your event.

Coaching Tip of the Week


Learning how to pace yourself is one of the most important things that you can learn.  Finding the correct pace that you should be running or walking for your long trainings will allow you to complete your trainings and give you confidence. Many people, especially when they are first starting out go too fast.  This causes them to have to slow down or not be able to complete the workout the way they planned leading to frustration and discouragement.

For your long trainings you should be training at a conversational pace.  You should not feel like you are sitting on a couch or walking through a mall.  You should feel like you are working but not working so hard that you have to gasp for breath or be unable to talk.  You should be able to have a conversation while you are athletic walking or running.  You should feel that from a breathing or heart rate perspective you can go on forever. If you are panting for breath or cannot talk YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST, no matter how slow you may think you are going you need to bring it down until you can breathe easier!!!

On the perceived exertion scale (CLICK HERE TO READ) this level is about a 6.   If you are familiar with heart rate training zones this level is between 65% and 80% of your maximum heart rate.  If you are having difficulty find your pace, the use of a heart rate monitor can help you to keep your training within the proper zone.  Soon you will know what this zone feels like and be able to train in that zone automatically.  If you would like help to determine your target heart rate and/or use a heart rate monitor to help you with your training ask your coach.

If you are worried that you aren’t going fast enough, don’t.  The focus right now should be on finding this pace.  If you are worried you will never get faster training at this pace, don’t.  There are times during this season where we will be getting your heart rate up and you will be training at a higher intensity where you have difficulty catching your breath.  There is a time and a purpose to this type of training but your long trainings are not it!!!  We will bring this type of training in at the appropriate time.

Also, remember that this is all about YOU!!!!  Your pace is your pace.  You do not have to keep up with anyone else in the group.  If you are training with a friend you might not both be at the same fitness level or pace right now. You may need to split up for training and meet at the end to talk about how great you both did!

We are here to help you to find your appropriate training and event paces.  Talk to us if you are having difficulty “getting in the zone”!

Thank you for a being a part of Team in Training!

“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”
–John Quincy Adams

Join Team and Fundraise for LLS or Make A Donation to LLS?

I thought I should make a Futurama Fry Meme one of these days so…


If you can’t join Team In Training you can always make a donation at http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/wdw14/rdobroski. Why donate to the LLS? LLS funds hundreds of promising researchers at leading cancer centers and universities worldwide. And since LLS has no campus or laboratories to maintain, your investment funds more research and less overhead than a donation made elsewhere.

Feeling not silly…little Goofy… Defiantly DOPEY!!!

So I promised myself the next time I fundraise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through the Team In Training it will be would be a big deal. It would be special! When I joined TEAM back in February of 2006, I joined to in honor of my dad (My dad being a Lung Cancer Survivor), to learn how to run a better marathon, and to make new friends. Jump forward to 2013, I’ve ran 11 successful marathons (raced in a number of triathlons and rode in a number of century bike rides too), made so many new friends from across the country, and still enjoy a home cooked meal from my dad.

Me with my good friends, Mike and Stacey playing around on a 16 mile run.

Me with my good friends, Mike and Stacey playing around on a 16 mile run.

In 2013, I just don’t run for my dad I run for my friends. I run for my friends Mike and Stacey. Mike and Stacey are survivors themselves and without the research of the LLS I would have some very lonely Sunday runs. These days I run for all of my friends who have lost someone to cancer. I run for those who can’t. Since I have so much love to go around I’ve decided to do something crazy. No, crazy isn’t the right word. How about…I feel like doing something Dopey!

That’s right this January I’ll be running the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge with Team In Training in honor of my friends, my friends‘ friends, and the silver anniversary of the Team In Training Program! The Dopey Challenge is 48.6 mile challenge over 4 days throughout Walt Disney World. In 4 days I will run the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon. The most challenging part won’t be the running it will be the fundraising. 

Feeling Dopey!My goal is to raise $6,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by December 1st. I’ll be selling classic Team In Training Water Bottles, I’ll throw some crazy Fundraisers at Fox and Hound, maybe I throw in a karaoke contest or two. There will be more to come. Follow me on every social media outlet, some fun things are coming out soon from there.

Please donate a $1 or $100, or $1000. CLICK HERE TO DONATE. Your donations help much needed cancer cure research initiatives. Learn more about the research your dollars will contribute to at http://www.lls.org/#/aboutlls/researchsuccesses/ 

I decided on

Team in Training Fall Season Coach Update: Week of April 28 – Shoes & Hydration

“By working together, pooling our resources and building on our strengths, we can accomplish great things.”  –Ronald Reagan


Are you excited to hit the road this Saturday and meet everyone? Everyone should have received the training schedule and started to train on their own. If you have not gotten the schedule download it here! FYI: On Wednesday, May 22 we will start our Midweek Workouts at 6:30 PM. More info to come next week on it. If you’re on Facebook don’t forget to join our group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TNTILNorthTeam/. After training we’re going to get some breakfast and go over the Getting Started Clinic For those who missed it. Bring some clothes to change into and your wallet so you can get to know your fellow participants.

Read on below to see the details of this week’s training site and Coach’s Tip on shoes and hydration gear.

Group Training

When: Saturday, May 4, 7:00 am
Location:  Half Day Forest Preserve Shelter A
Half Day Woods is across the street from Lifetime Fitness on Milwaukee Road in Vernon Hills.
Click Here for a link on Google Maps.
FYI Look out for a bright Yellow Chevrolet Colblat with the Plate SDESHOW. It’s Mine.

Length of Trainings:

  • Chicago Marathon:  30 minutes
  • Chicago Half Marathon:   30 minutes 
  • Nike Marathon – 30 min
  • Nike Half Marathon – 30 min
  • Michigan Wine Half – 30 min

Nervous about getting started?  Don’t worry about “doing it wrong” or not being able to walk or run for 30 minutes.  That’s what we’re here for. Come out this Saturday.  We can help you to get off on the right foot. You veterans and alumni we can’t wait to have you get started on your next event.


This week we’re going redo our Getting Started Clinic immediately following training for those who missed it at Kick Off.  We will be going over everything you need to know at the clinic.  If you can’t make it we would be happy to go over information with you over the phone or at the next training.  The coaches tip below will go over two of the most important things you will need to begin your training.

Coaching Tip of the Week

This week’s coaching tip is about the most important gear you will own this training season.  YOUR SHOES and YOUR HYDRATION SYSTEM!


There’s a lot of advice out there…here’s what really matters.


  1. Whether you are a runner or a walker you need to purchase excellent running shoes

  2. The best shoe for you cannot be decided on by its color or even brand.  It may sound silly, but we guarantee you that buying a shoe for looks is a common mistake that new runners and athletic walkers make.  We promise you, you will not care what color shoes  you are wearing at mile 13 and beyond at your event!

  3. What works for your cousin Bill won’t necessarily work for you.  There are hundreds of Different types of shoes out there…because there are many different types of feet and running/walking styles.  Make sure you get what’s best for you even if your best friend insists that his shoes are the best!

  4.  Forget about the “flash” and “gadgetry” in shoes.  Buy shoes based upon proven technology that is meant for longer distances, not because they are “cool”.

  5. Go to a running store to get your shoes. (Walkers, this means you, too!)  Your “Friends of Team in Training” list has running shoe stores in your area that will not only help you to get the right kind of shoe for you, but will also give you a discount!  They all have trained staff that will talk to you about your needs, measure your feet, watch you walk or run and recommend the best shoes.  Most of them also have a policy which allows you to return shoes within a certain amount of time if they don’t work for you.

Hydration System

Carrying a hydration system (even if it is just a water bottle) is MANDATORY for Team in Training athletes!!!!

Staying hydrated is one of the most important aspects of safe and effective training.  Your coaches make every effort to provide you supplemental fluids, however we cannot guarantee that you will have fluids when you want and need them.

More and more trails will not allow us to leave fluids unattended and often we cannot man multiple water stops.  Additionally, coolers have been stolen, emptied or used by other athletes, leaving our athletes without hydration.

The attached handout reviews several of the most popular types of hydration systems. You will have an opportunity to see many of these devices at the getting started clinic.

Click Here to Download a PDF on various Hydration Systems.

Thank you for a being a part of Team in Training!