Member Monday: Ellie Thermansen


WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?

I played competitive club and high school soccer until college. The plan was to play collegiately but a week before I started I realized that I was totally uninterested and burned out. I joined the women's crew to stay involved with a team sport but to do something new after eleven years of full-time soccer. I started distance running while living in NYC after graduation at the suggestion of a co-worker, and we ran the Chicago marathon together in 2007. I kept running and transitioned to trail running and trail endurance events after moving to Michigan and fell in love with the experience of spending all day in the woods. I continued to run and race endurance trail events in MI and after moving to MN until a tendon injury a week before the Superior 50k last year effectively ended distance running for me. My husband is a cyclist and he encouraged me to get on a bike as soon as I was able, and after I finished grieving the end of running for me, I realized that cycling was enormously fun and fulfilling for me as well.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

I rode and trained mostly by myself last fall and after spending way too many hours alone in the basement riding on the trainer this winter I was bored and had clearly plateaued in my training. I thought I might be interested in road racing and in meeting other female cyclists so I did some Strava/googling/internet stalking related to the women's race scene in Minneapolis, and found Kingfield that way. It was incredibly lucky! I had done absolutely no strength training since rowing in college and was thrilled to find an opportunity get back into it with the guidance and support of knowledgable coaches.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

Community, knowledge, and experience. There are so many extremely talented and committed athletes who train at Kingfield and I love hearing about everyone's adventures and victories, whether large or small. There is a great energy in the gym during every workout, and without exception every person there is genuinely excited and glad to support and encourage one another.

The variety of workouts is also really important to me. Left to my own devices I would still just be riding the same four loops over and over on my bike but each session has Kingfield has been brand new. It keeps training interesting, which is huge for me in terms of maintaining motivation.

I joined the women's race team in April and am coming to the end of my first competitive road cycling season and it has been an incredible couple of months of pushing myself, trying new things, traveling, and opening up new friendships.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

The effect was immediate and dramatic. Within weeks I was seeing tremendous changes in both power and endurance abilities while on my bike. The improvements in core and overall strength also have been critical in giving me better control of my body on my bike, which is huge from a safety standpoint during races or at higher speed.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? “Be joyful.”

I am prone to obsessing and being overly critical of my own performance, which historically has sent me into mental spirals when things are going perfectly during races or training. It seems overly simplistic but when I notice myself starting to panic or use negative self-talk it brings me out of it. Racing is challenging, but it should also be fun! I am so fortunate for the ability and opportunity to challenge myself with a healthy body and that’s absolutely something to celebrate.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT?

“Favorite” is a generous term….but I could barely do a set of single knees-on-the-ground pushups in March and so they’re the most effective way for me to see how my strength has improved over the past few months, so that’s satisfying!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? If it's a carb I'm probably eating it right now.

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Bluegrass for trail running, any early 90s Smashing Pumpkins or Nirvana on the trainer.

Member Monday: Becky Phelps

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?

I love going fast on my bike. I have learned to find enjoyment in suffering and pushing myself beyond my limits.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
 
Lisa Martens. I met Lisa last summer on my first group ride. After a few more rides I told her I was interested in racing and well...here I am! I'm glad Lisa saw a spark in me and vouched for me!

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

What everybody else says..I love the coaches and the people who work out at Kingfield. I've never done well with regular gyms because I need lots of instruction and guidance as to what I should be doing for workouts.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

I can't thank Anna and Lea enough for making me so much stronger! Anna has taught me how to suffer on and off my bike by reminding me to think of my strugglefest as short efforts, to not get overwhelmed when I feel like I'm dying.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? Only 10 more seconds.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? Box jumps? Rowing? Back squats? Anything but burpees really.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?

Watermelon sour patch candy and a long list of other junk foods.

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG?

First song that came to mind was Fitz and the Tantrums - HandClap. That song has helped me pedal through a couple FTP tests and some killer workouts.

Member Monday: Rowdy Larson

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?
 
I race bikes for my sanity (I’m only half joking). I’m a very competitive person by nature and like to push myself and test my limits. It gives me a routine, tangible results and access to a group of really cool friends that I otherwise normally wouldn’t have. I transitioned to cycling from longtrack speedskating this past year, where I learned I liked training, travelling and racing for endurance events. However, the community in skating left some things to be desired and when I discovered the high school cycling league, I fell in love with riding and the cycling community.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

I’d had success in speedskating following a strength program in the off-season and time leading up to competitions and knew I wanted something similar when committing to cycling. My coach and friend, Bruce Martens, had been recommending Kingfield for quite some time, so I finally decided to try it out once I finished my season of skating.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
 
It really is the community. I get to train with other endurance athletes in a great atmosphere. The people I ride and race with train here, and even without them the other athletes here are all friendly and share the goal of self-improvement.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

The CrossFit training has helped me tremendously. I can now activate and increase the strength of muscles I didn’t use prior, something I was struggling with before. The Workout of the Day specifically has also really helped, as tough as it can be. It provides exercises that challenge my whole body, not only my legs, in a setting that I’m already comfortable with (a cardio-type one).

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?
 
I don’t have a motto. If I can get through the first set/lap of a race, I can usually get “comfortable” with being uncomfortable and do what needs to be done. I just try to focus on what I can to make that first one flow more easily.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? Front or back squats.



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Breakfast tacos, for sure.



WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Probably Pump The Brakes by Refused currently…

Member Monday: Janet Hausken

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?

I have a competitive nature and I like to challenge myself. I used to run road races quite frequently, and a friend suggested that I try a trail 8K. I had never run on a trail that was not paved, and actually was not aware that there were clubs and groups of so called trail runners. I went with my friend to Lake Elmo to run and train on the trails and was instantly won over to the trail. Bonus for me.....I enjoyed the trails so much that I moved on to ultra marathons. (The vast majority of ultra marathons are run on trails. Not the paved or gravel trails but the hilly, rooted and rocky trails.)

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

I had competed in powerlifting and bodybuilding in the past and had also worked with a personal trainer. About 2 years ago I went to an ultra running weekend in Idyllwild, California and there was a discussion on various strength and conditioning options that were being used by the runners. One of the runners said she belonged to a CrossFit Endurance gym. I had never heard of CrossFit Endurance. When I got home I asked my trainer if he was familiar with CrossFit Endurance. He had done some training at a CrossFit gym and had heard of the endurance aspect, so he attempted to model my training sessions to CFE. Unfortunately we were very limited with space and equipment and I quickly got frustrated and resorted back to just going through the motions. Shortly after, my trainer got a promotion and moved on to another gym. I don't consider myself an exceptional athlete by any means, but the group training that was being offered at my gym was mostly geared to weight loss and functional lifting. I contacted my previous trainer and friend and asked him if he knew of any CrossFit Endurance gyms. He immediately got back to me and recommended Kingfield.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

Definitely the coaches and the other members. I really enjoy the community feeling at Kingfield that I have never experienced at any of the gyms or clubs that I have belonged to in the past.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

I don't even have to think twice about that....I am definitely a much more confident athlete! (I never would have dreamed of attempting box jumps before Kingfield. Now I actually enjoy the challenge.)

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?

I don't like to finish a race or workout and wonder if I could have done better or given more, so I constantly tell myself to always give everything I've got. That way I know I won't have regrets.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? Anything that works my legs, especially my glutes and hams, and my core. In ultras I love to climb and strong legs are a plus.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza....I love pizza! My go to pre-race meal.....pizza and beer! Who wouldn't want to take up ultra marathoning with a pre-race meal like that?

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG?

Anything that isn't too heavy but that has a beat. (My husband tells me all of the time that I am too old to be listening to what I do listen to.)

 

Member Monday: Jon Emerson-Kramer

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?
This will be my first year racing (shout out to Wreckhouse Racing!) but I fell in love with biking in my early 20s when a neighbor gave me an old road bike that needed some work. I got it fixed up, put some flashy yellow bar tape on it, and never looked back.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? 
My wife Kirsten started racing for Kingfield last year and I got to know Lea, Anna and the race team members. Everyone was super cool and it made sense for our schedules if Kirsten and I started working out at the same time.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
The community! I feel like everyone says that but it's so true. I am constantly inspired by the athletes I have the privilege of working out with and everyone is so supportive. It keeps me coming back week after week.

HOW HAS THE CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE? The CrossFit training has definitely made me stronger physically but what I've really noticed is how it's impacted my mental game. I feel like I can always dig a little bit deeper when the ride gets really hard and I think that's directly from the CrossFit workouts.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?
I have an outlook that influences my workouts and a mantra for during the workout.

My dad was an avid cyclist and incredibly active person before he was diagnosed with ALS, which changed his physical abilities very quickly. So, before every workout I remind myself to be grateful for the chance to sweat, hurt and persevere because everything can change in an instant. It really helps me keep everything in perspective and centered.

During workouts I'm constantly telling myself "just one more," especially when the movement has a lot of reps. If I can keep it to what's right in front of me, I know I can do it.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT?  
Back squats. I don't know why, they're just really satisfying.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?
I love noodle soups. I'm never happier than when I have a bowl of ramen or pho in front of me.

WHAT'S YOUR POWER SONG?
Warp 1.9 by Steve Aoki & Bloody Beetroots. This song makes me feel like I can run through a brick wall like the Kool-Aid Man.

Member Monday: Jordan Skophammer

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS? I race to challenge myself. I have always been into bikes and cycling since I was a little kid. This year I decided to take it to the next level, and train to compete in races.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? A few years ago, I broke my ankle pretty severely, and during my recovery I would constantly use my injury as a excuse to not workout. Finally in January 2017, I felt like I needed to do something to get back into shape. When doing research on gyms in the area I came across Kingfield Endurance. I was very interested in doing solely Crossfit, and there is many different gyms to choose from. Once I found out that Kingfield Endurance offered both Crossfit and a cycling program, I was sold.

 

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
I love the variety to the workouts. Whether it is a change in movements, volume, or intensity; my body is constantly adapting from each workout. Also the coaches and other athletes training are a great support group. I feel committed to push myself because of the encouragement from the coaches, and knowing others are working hard along side me.

HOW HAS THE CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE  SPORTS PERFORMANCE? I feel like my overall strength is the best it has been in years, especially my lower body strength. In the past, I neglected to do any kind of strength training for my legs. I have learned how important it is for cycling.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? SOMETHING YOU TELL YOURSELF WHEN YOU'RE FIGHTING THROUGH A WORKOUT?  "Shut up, and do it!" It is so easy to start making excuses to not get out of bed at 5am or to take it easy on your last round of burpees. So when that little voice in my head starts to tell me "I can't", I say "Shut up and do it!" Every time I tell myself that, bear down and push a little harder, I feel so much better than taking the easy way out.

 

 

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT OR WORKOUT?
I have recently become fond of sumo deadlifts. Also, I really like kcal rows.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? 
Egg Rolls and Chicken Pad Thai from Kihndo

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Currently....Crimewave by H.E.A.L.T.H.

Member Monday: Lindsey Levorson

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?
I started running 5k's six years ago in memory of my mother. She passed away from lung cancer and a local non-for-profit runs a fundraising 5k every August to raise money for lung cancer research. I never thought I'd actually become a runner! It's been a long slow road, but I've come to love running as a way to stay healthy and enjoy the great outdoors.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? 
Kirsten and Jon! I was looking at a new goal for running and I was lacking motivation to do the training on my own. They sung Kingfield's praises every time we hung out. I was convinced I wouldn't be able to keep up or even complete a workout (never in my life have I been described as athletic). They reassured me no matter what my ability, I'd be supported at Kingfield. They were correct!

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? 
The people! Everyone has been so nice and the environment is great. The coaches do an amazing job of working us hard and helping us push ourselves without the pressure of a competitive environment. Growing up I wasn't in sports, I've never really been on a team and I definitely shy away from competition. Kingfield has helped me realize the benefits of working out in a supportive environment!

HOW HAS THE CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE? I know I'm stronger so I push myself to run faster. There are workouts I've completed at Kingfield that I never thought I'd be able to do. That helps my mental game when I run, I can push myself to go a little farther or a little faster.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? SOMETHING YOU TELL YOURSELF WHEN YOUR'RE FIGHTING THROUGH A WORKOUT? When you're done, you can have a donut!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? 
I've come to enjoy box jumps. I was so terrified of them at first. Anna and Lea helped me get over that fear and now I get excited because I can actually do them!

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Donuts.

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Anything Michael Jackson.

Member Monday: Abby Sampsel

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?
I've just recently started biking. I wanted a new challenge athletically and I consider it a plus that biking can be a lifelong sport.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
I had been a member of a big box gym for years. When I was going it was great but when I fell off the wagon - I really fell off. I was looking for a smaller gym that kept me accountable and found Kingfield!

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
Plain and simple - the people. I don't think I could have found a gym with better coaches or better athletes. We all push one another and cheer everyone on!

HOW HAS THE CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE? 
I play soccer on a coed team every summer and fall. I could tell last fall that I was faster and stronger than I had been at the beginning of summer season. I can't wait to see what this next summer season has in store!

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?
Just Keep Moving. I'll never be the fastest person at any of the WOD's in class but it doesn't matter the pace as long as I finish the workout.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT?
ANYTHING with a barbell makes me happy but especially back squats and deadlifts. Who knew it could be so much fun to throw around that much weight?

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?
How about favorite meal? Steak, garlic mashed potatoes, and my family makes this yummy spinach salad with a hot mushroom and bacon vinaigrette dressing.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG?
This one is a toss up - Either Rolling Stone's 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' (it has a great build up) or AC/DC's 'You Shook Me All Night Long’

Member Monday: Dee Gulis

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS? I was not born an endurance athlete. Not even close. But as I started to transition into a real adult, it checked a lot of boxes for me. I'm naturally competitive, goal-oriented, and like to push myself in new ways. I also love that it gets me outside and exploring new places all the time.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?  I understood the importance of strength training as an endurance athlete, but never found a way to consistently include it in my training. I was looking for a way to make that happen. Then Lea appeared while I was running around Lake Calhoun one day and the rest, as they say, is history.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? Kingfield is a community in every sense of the word. I truly look forward to heading to the gym and gutting it out together. It's an eclectic group and both the coaches and athletes alike bring something to the table. Whether I just want to hangout and have fun for an hour or get my butt kicked by a workout, Kingfield's got it. Bonus points because most days it's both!

HOW HAS THE CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE?  I can already tell that CrossFit workouts in the off-season have helped me better maintain a base level of speed and fitness. Usually around this time a year, I am dragging myself through runs and rides. I'm really looking forward to ramping up my training, keeping CrossFit in the mix, and seeing how it translates to results while racing this summer.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? During CrossFit workouts, I'll find myself saying "you can do anything for _____ more minutes (or seconds, or rounds, or reps)." That's the beauty of the short and sweet workout. I've started to learn how to translate that mentality to longer workouts, especially in the CT studio.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? I have a love/hate relationship with rowing... love that its both a killer strength and cardio workout, hate that it makes me feel like my lungs are bleeding. I also love Deadlifts, because all those plates make me feel like a B.A!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Avocados! Anytime, on anything.

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Anna would probably guess 90's hip-hop, but anything by P!nk will really get me jazzed up.

Member Monday: Marietta Ryba

WHY DO YOU RACE? I used to play soccer until my knees and ankles started to creak. I joined a Masters Rowing Club and appreciated the low impact nature of the sport.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
I moved to Minneapolis just last summer and the first thing I did was look for a crossfit gym near my home. I started on the other side of the gym with a masters group that meets in the mornings. Once I started working, this time no longer fit into my schedule. I joined the evening class to nurture my shoulder injury and everyone has been very helpful and supportive as well as sensitive to my specific needs. I was a rower in Kansas before I moved here, but find it does not fit into my schedule here.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? 
I love the people and the dedication they possess for each member. They make sure you perform each movement correctly and take the time to make you feel a part of the group. My past experience with crossfit gyms has been very positive. It is a family environment and that makes me want to keep coming back.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE? 
I have been doing Crossfit for 5 years. I started with my rowing teammates and it helped me become a stronger rower and maintain my stamina in everyday life. I also want to prevent osteoporosis and the weight-training is an important part of maintaining bone density.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? Slow and steady is my motto. I am not the fastest person and don't win any races. But I have the willpower to make myself do things if I believe it is good for me. When I start something new, I do the best I can and try to have patience with my body. Being in a class is so helpful because you see others going through the same thing and get the postive encouragement from the instructor that is so motivating.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? I love erging just because we did workouts on rowing machines during the winter months. But I find it is best when combined with a weight- lifting exercise like deadlifts.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? European pastries- anything with a cream filling is my weakness!!

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Aretha Franklin RESPECT