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I never did a post following the 5K in Duluth on June 21. Sorry about that.

I finished the 5K and did pretty well. I am harder on myself, I suppose, than I should be but I had to walk some of the time. Still over all, I completed my first 5K and I haven’t stopped running!

As a matter of fact, we got home from Duluth on that Sunday afternoon and I started looking on line for my next 5K. That will be next week on July 17th in Minneapolis. I will be running the Torchlight 5K.

I have enjoyed my initial training program to work myself up to the 5K. My goal is to maintain what I have been doing and continue to improve on my time and distance. The added health benefits are something I really appreciate and enjoy.

I love being able to tell people about the healthy aspects of adding more pork to their diets as well. With my job and going to the many different events I am able to let many people know about pork and it’s nutritional value.


Wow, it is hard to believe that when I jokingly stated maybe I should run the 5K in Duluth, I would actually end up doing it. I started back in April with training and on Friday, June 21 I will finally be running my first 5K.

Yes, I said my “first” 5K. I like the feeling I get from being able to run like I have been. I am not fast but I have been feeling very good when I get done.

I find myself making healthier eating choices as well. It truly does all tie together.

I worked an Oink Outing at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market this past weekend.  There was a woman and her sister that stopped to ask a couple questions about eating pork. Their initial question was “Is it true that pork causes high blood pressure?” This is a question that I am sure a lot of people have had. My answer….No. It does depend on what cut of pork you are talking about; if you mean ham, bacon or sausage – very possible due to the curing processes that are used, however, if you mean fresh pork – no, not from what I know about pork. Fresh pork chops, loin roasts and tenderloins are not high in sodium as there is no extra processing done to them other than being cut and packaged. If you add sauces, marinades and some seasoning blends you can add high sodium contents. I am a firm believer in knowing what you are adding to items that increase fat, sodium and cholesterol contents.

I love to cook my pork bare bones, give me garlic, pepper and a little salt. That just brings out the flavor of pork and that is all I need. Watching the internal temperature of the pork is the most important thing in the world. If it gets over done is it dry with no flavor. Cook it to 145 degrees internal temp, pull off the heat and let sit for about 5 minutes before cutting and its always juicy and tender.

So there is my key to wanting to keep running. It has made me more conscious of my health and how I want to improve my eating habits. Of course that includes cooking and eating more PORK!

I will post next week to let you know how I did in my first 5K. 🙂

This one has me pretty excited – for the first time I ran for 25 minutes straight! No walk break, just 5 minute warm up, 25 minute run, 5 minute cool down. That’s pretty amazing coming from this woman!!

I think what surprised me the most is that I didn’t feel like I was gasping for breath, I thought I would be panting from all that running. My calves really stung but my lungs were fine.

I have 3 weeks of training left. This is going to work out great since on June 21 is the 5K I have entered. I am already thinking beyond this 5K to when is the next one I will run.

I think my daughters and I will sign up for a color run somewhere this fall. They just sound like a lot of fun.

I just need to remember, the William A. Irvin 5K has not happened yet so I need to get through that one before planning for the next one. Here’s to hoping for nice weather for the rest of the week!

I am sorry but I am going to whine a little here!

The rain needs to stop for about a week or so. I know many farmers that do not have all their crop planted and the later the crop gets in, the more likely they will be harvesting in the snow. That does not work very well.

Plus all this rain is preventing me from keeping up with my training program. I do not have a treadmill in my house and I don’t have gym membership so I rely on being able to run outside. I woke up this morning at 5:30 hoping to get out to run, looked outside and it was wet and dreary so I decided not to take the chance. Good idea as 5 minutes later it was pouring rain.

On Sunday morning, I took the chance and ended my run in the rain plus shortened my training by 5 minutes.

I have to admit, I am surprising myself. I actually miss it when I can’t run. Truly never thought I would say those words. I feel better, I sleep better and overall get a kick out of the training that I have been doing. I am proud of myself for not giving up already and keeping up with the program I am using. Every time I reach a milestone it makes me even more determined to complete it.

Ok, so I am done now with my whining 🙂

I hope that overall everyone had a great Memorial Day Weekend! I will continue to work on my training program and keep the updates coming.

Time really flies! Here I thought I would be right on top of things and posting here on the blog weekly with my training progress…well that didn’t quite work out at all the way I wanted it to.

I have been training though, got a little behind schedule, but have started my 4th week of training. The intervals for today (and 2 more times this week) include 5 minutes of running – twice! I have to admit, I did not make the entire 5 minutes the first interval this morning but pushed myself on the second 5 minute run and did it. I think if anyone would have seen me they would have thought I had lost my mind. I cannot explain how good it felt to be able to push my way through to the end of 5 minutes.

I know, I know for some 5 minutes isn’t long at all but for me that is a milestone. I am really enjoying the training and getting outside to do this. I guess that is the thing I want to stress, I never thought I would be able to run for 5 minutes….and I did it!!

I have been trying to watch what I am eating as well. I have found over the years that carbs and I have a love/hate relationship so I have not cut them out entirely but I am trying to eat more vegetables and fruit plus protein. I love my protein. (PORK of course!)

So to wrap things, I have made it to 4 weeks of training for the 5K in June. I will just keep pushing and when I look ahead – by the time the program I am following is done, I will be running for 25 minutes straight….that just seems like a long way off!



Me talking about pork, I really do love my job!!

Hi, my name is Pam Voelkel, I work for Minnesota Pork Board and my job is to promote pork. My title is Director of Events, so I organize and find the different events that we participate in throughout the year.

Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth was our first marathon where we had a booth to talk with runners about adding pork into their healthy lifestyle. I think the runners have actually started to wear off on me!!

This year, my goal is to run the William A. Irvin 5K on Friday before the Grandma’s Marathon. This is a daunting task right now and I am beginning to wonder if I have bitten off more than I can chew….

I have tried to start with some pilates exercises, so far it is going pretty well. My 15 year old daughter has now decided she will begin walking/running with me. We are hoping the weather next week warms up enough for us to be able to get outside after school/work to start the training program.

Today was the official day to sign up for the 5K, I did it! Well, step one down, many more to go. I will try to do weekly updates so I will be able to track my progress and I am hoping with having this out on the blog will provide some extra push to complete the goal. 🙂


You can find the recipe for Spanish-Style Pork Tenderloin by clicking on the “Pork Loin” link listed here to the left side of the page. Nancy Grommersch has sampled this recipe at a couple different events and it has gotten rave reviews. Recipe calls for roasting in the oven but you could use the same instructions for seasoning the loin then put on the grill, using in-direct heat, and cooking until it reaches 155 degrees internal temperature.

Remember to use a meat thermometer to prevent over cooking. Over cooking is the number one reason that people end up with dry, tasteless pork. A little pink on the inside ensures a flavorful, moist and tender piece of protein on your plate.

The Schafer and Stevermer families have also shared their favorite recipes. Be sure to check them out as well: Ribs and Ground Pork. They all sound fantastic and are on my grocery list!

The photo above is of the Spanish-Style Pork Tenderloin and is part of a new recipe brochure produced by National Pork Board. This brochure includes recipes that are nutritious and healthy for your family. You can order the brochure at it is called “Eat Lean For Less With Pork”