The Mary Sellke Year of Fun 2013…

April 14th, 2013

Yeah, what the hell does that mean?

For the past three years I have taken to spending much of my extra time (and money) training for Ironman and or marathons (those however seem to be more of a bi-product of Ironman training than actual ability to be a solid marathoner). Those years took a tremendous amount of dedication, time, focus and energy.  At certain points in training, it took me away from my family, eight hours on a bike in Wisconsin can do that. It also took a great deal of support from my family, to which I am so grateful, I could not have done it without them.

All that said, I would not change anything about those three years, with the exception of I wish I had been fast enough to make it to the World Championships in Kona but you can’t have everything, right? Or maybe let’s just say, that fight might not be over yet.  But, it is for this year.

This year is all about encompassing adventures I like, have wanted to do in the past, training that doesn’t take up too much time and most importantly these events must be done with my friends. Events and races are great but sharing them with friends is so much more satisfying.

Yesterday started off  the year of fun with the Fred Kurz 10 mile run.









It is a small little race out in Wayzata that fit perfectly into training for a half marathon in a few weeks. The only problem, our spring has left us with snow. The Luce Line ended up being a single track snow compacted trail run. It was hard, kinda horrible and absolutely great to be out there with Becca and Di.











The hardest thing about this year, I have no idea how to put it all together into a solid training plan. It’s diverse to say the least. Here’s the schedule so far:

Year of Fun:

Minnetonka 1/2 Marathon

Lake Minnetonka Sprint Tri

Tough Mudder


If you wanna join in a piece of that, I would love to have you. If you have an additional race you wanna do, let me know, I might be game.


Deliciously Untethered

April 16th, 2011

Adam and I flew into Boston last night and had a wonderful dinner with Anne Marie to kick off our Boston weekend.

Today has consisted of watching TV, eating breakfast at 12:30pm, walking through the Public Garden, picking up my race packet and then taking a nap.

I have not done so little with a day and been so happy about doing so little with a day, in years.

As I lay in bed typing I wonder, how long does it take for bed sores to set in?


Boston Bound!

April 15th, 2011

If you want to check in on how the race is progressing:


Live local coverage on WBZ-TV, or

Live national coverage on Universal Sports Television Network

Live online streaming on

Live web coverage on

My lucky bib # is 16101.

It will be written

April 15th, 2011

In good trashy fashion, I prefer to write my race strategy on my arm before races.  Why not?  It gives me something to do and once I start running, I REALLY can’t do math, so if I have it written down where I can’t lose it, that is perfect.

The photo link above was the pacing it took to get to Boston.

Here is what Welle has teed up for Boston (goal time 3:30)

Miles 1-5: Pace 8:05

Miles 6-10: Pace 7:55

Miles 11-16: 7:45

Miles 17-21: 8:05 (we get to catch a break with Heartbreak Hill at mile 19)

Miles 22-26.2: 7:45

Let it be so!




One week to go

April 11th, 2011

I have always loved “last of the last” sort of things.  Those are the what are you going to do the last day before school gets out or what are you going to do the last week of summer vacation, types of things.  It’s a strange way of eking every last second out of what is left.

This is my last week of training before Boston, which falls right in line with my “last of the last” thinking.  It is pretty unconventional with all the biking, but really, we are already behind on all that business (no need to worry about that until next Tuesday morning) so why not tie it into a taper?


  • 10-20 mile bike, mostly flat. Yes, you can do the greenway if you want to stay in your comfort zone.
  • 30 minute clearance run afterwards


  • Track work. Likely about 10-15 x 120 on the turf with full recoveries and some dynamic stretching.
  • Easy clearance swim.


  • 10-20 mile bike, mostly flat.
  • Good day for yoga or a massage.


  • 5 mile EASY Foundation run with 8 strides at the end. Also any form running drills you want. Stretch WELL.
  • Easy clearance swim.


  • 30 minute clearance run. Optional strides at the end. No more than 4 strides.


  • OFF. Drink a ton of water and keep your feet up, as much as possible.


  • 20 minute clearance run, a few form running drills. Do strides until you feel loose and fast.


  • 26.2 miles. I’d like you to choose a fairly hill course, preferably somewhere in the northeast. I’ve heard Boston is nice this time of year.


Downhill from here

March 22nd, 2011

As far as Boston marathon training goes, we have just left the hardest training week in our wake.  That last week was a mighty tough one for me.  Finding myself with little desire to run on two of the five days is never a good sign and my body felt like it was breaking down under all of it.

If you find an extra hamstring laying around, I will gladly take it and find someone to replace my left one.

As a little pep me up, my coach shifted my interval workout from today to Thursday to help with my aged legs, that I am asking a lot of, and then told us that we really only have about 5 key workouts left, so stay the course!

We have 3 interval runs and 2 progression runs.  Which sounds nice.  Right?  The interval runs this week are 10 x 800s, next week 12 x 800s and the following 14 x 800s all at 6:20 to 6:30 pace with 1:40 rest between each one.  Since I am basically speed sensored, stride legnth senored and cadence sensored to my coach, there is no way of getting around these workouts, only going through them.

These are the kind of workouts that can make you crumple into a heap and cry, they can make you wonder what the fuck you got a coach for, they make all the negative things you ever thought about your abilities well up right before your eyes, they make your mind numb and then they allow you to evaluate how much time you can actually tolerate in your pain cave.

At this point, on the way down the hill, it’s all about keeping your shit together, all the way through to the bitter end.

Urban training

February 20th, 2011

Boston marathon training has kicked off in full force these past couple weeks.  Our long run this past weekend was 17 miles.

I find 17 miles to be that point in which your body starts screaming at you, it begs you to stop and then you suddenly remember why you told yourself you would never do it again at mile 21 of the race.

Di and I are running Boston together.  I guess I didn’t realize until yesterday that she ran ONE marathon.  ONE…and made it to Boston. Pretty cool.

Needless to say, we have been doing a lot of running in the city.  We have been doing a modified hill workout in parking ramps downtown.  If you want to feel hardcore…try sprinting up a ramp at 6:00 am then do it again and again and again.  That will do it.

What has been great is our long runs.  Not that I didn’t know this before, but we live in such an amazing city.  Our runs have started off by the lakes, meander though beautiful hilly neighborhoods, straight through the heart of the city and then we run along the river.  What else could you ask for?

OK, besides warm weather.


November 24th, 2010

I have been fighting a bit of knee trouble these days, so I decided to take some time off of running, thinking that would solve my problems.  Since it has not, I starting seeing a Chiropractor, her name is Dr.Thuy Katzenberger and she is the fiercest little woman who inflicts the most amount of pain, I have ever met.

I always love it when you go in and try to get one thing fixed, full well knowing (or maybe not) it is stemming from something else all together.  Here is the email I sent my coach of the rehash (from my perspective of what Thuy (pronounced Twee) said to me.

What is wrong:
1.  My pelvis is the biggest issue.  I actually stand with my pelvis tilted way forward which causes a whole host of alignment problems. Also in the position that I am in all the time, it does not allow for my hamstrings to be used to their full potential.  Instead they sit there contracted and shorted up because they are not allowed to be in their normal state.  This pelvic tilt also has my lower back in a constant contracted state, which is no good.  All of this pelvis stuff is causing my gate to be funky.

PLAN:  I have to retrain my pelvis to live in a different position.  I basically have to stand shoulders back, butt out, then breath and try to relax those muscles.

2.  My feet.  She was appalled at the state of my feet, their wear pattern, how crocked my toes are and the callouses I get.  I have some very strong muscles in my feet and then I have some that have atrophied.  She wants them all in play and wants my foot to strike differently.  Which supposedly it will once the pelvis is fixed.

PLAN:  Straighten my toes out (I’m not exactly sure what kind of Chinese voo doo can help with this, but let me tell you it hurts) and she wants me to walk around in Vibrum 5 fingers 30 minutes a day to get all the muscles in my feet working.  She feels that walking around in these is better than any exercises she could give me.

3.  The knee.  Again an alignment/weakness issue.  I’m asking muscles to do things they should not be doing because the others are not up to the task and I just keep burning through to the next stabilizer muscle.

Thuy said that my pain progression from IT band to other side of the knee is exactly what happens right before you tear your lateral meniscus, which usually happens suddenly due to something stupid like tripping over a sidewalk or rolling over a stone.  The constant ache in the back of the knee is all my muscles just trying to keep their shit together.

PLAN:  Get in alignment, strengthen hamstrings.

4.  Weaknesses:  hamstrings and glute medius.  My glute medius is like jello…I am hoping for a better ass in 2011.

PLAN:  I have hamstring exercises to work on and glute work will come later.

5.  Balance:  I forgot what she said about this besides the fact that when asked to balance on one foot for 10 seconds I begin to shake, which someone in my physical condition should be able to stand there for a good minute before this happens.

PLAN:  Go back to bed and wake up in a different body.

This is what I get for asking my 40 year old body to race hard.  Better get on it, the start of marathon training is just around the corner.

A marathon, a sherpa, a gun, a hit-n-run, TACO the dead dog and off to Boston we go!

October 10th, 2010

What a day, what a race, what a way to end the season!

3:40:31 and 1st in my age group!

The late TACO, my race inspiration.

The finish line.

Here are the rest of the photos.

Thanks to Adam for all the support you ALWAYS give me, to Erika for being there all the way to the finish line, to Welle for helping me turn the wheels over yet again, to all my friends, team mates and family who have cheered me on ALL season long.

Couldn’t do it without all the love!

Alright…let’s do this

October 8th, 2010

I am off to Ashland, WI to face the demons.  Or maybe we should spin that a little differently…crush them!

Armed with my new compressions socks (which make me feel like a very naughty Catholic school girl when worn with a running skirt), Welle’s pacing (which will be written all over my arms) and my ladybird Erika (seriously, who doesn’t want her around?) for ground support, this should be one heck of a ride.

Totally ready for the challenge…bring it on!

If I can actually follow the pacing, here is how it should go:

Miles 1-8: 8:45min/miles

Miles 8-13: 8:15min/miles

Miles 13-20: 8:00min/miles

Miles 20-23: 8:15min/miles

Miles 23-26.2: How much heart do you have????


10k: 54:30, 8 mile: 1:10:00, 13.1 mile: 1:52:30, 20 mile: 2:48:30, 23 mile: 3:13:45

I’ll keep you posted and have photos on my return.

Good luck to Vicki, Scott (and Scott’s brother) who are running Chicago this weekend and to jMatt who is racing KONA!