Skip to Content
August 9, 2019


First-Time Runner is Training to Run the Fox Cities 5K in September

August 9, 2019


First-Time Runner is Training to Run the Fox Cities 5K in September

APPLETON, Wis. – Nicki Martin had never been a runner. That changed after her bariatric surgery, when she started feeling well enough to try.

Martin, a polysomnographic technician at ThedaCare Sleep Lab, had put off having the surgery for years. Her issues with acid reflux finally convinced her to proceed. She had been taking daily medication to keep her acid under control and felt miserable.

“I just had enough one day,” she said. “That’s the day I decided to have the surgery.”

Martin spoke with her doctor and together they determined surgery was a good option. On Oct. 2, 2018, Martin underwent traditional bariatric surgery, which decreases hunger and increases fullness after meals by altering the stomach hormones and bypassing a portion of the stomach and small intestine.

“I’ve been thankful ever since,” Martin said. “I have had no acid reflux at all, I’m losing weight, and I feel great. I didn’t realize how traumatic acid reflux was on my body every day, it just wore me down.”

During her recovery, Martin began with protein drinks and she slowly introduced solid foods back into her diet. Now she is eating a regular healthy diet, high in protein with smaller portions.

“My diabetes is under control, and don’t have to take any medication whatsoever,” Martin said. “I don’t have any acid reflux. With the food I’m eating and healthy choices I’m making, I don’t have to supplement as much.”

Additionally, Martin has lost about 75 pounds since the surgery, with hopes for more, and has undergone strength training to help build up muscle. Now, she has her sights set on a new challenge.   

“I had plateaued for a while and the bariatric department staff suggested I increase my physical activity by joining the center’s weekly fitness classes or 5K training program,” she said. “When they asked me if I’d like to do the 5K portion of the Community First Fox Cities Marathon Presented by Miron Construction, I was a little hesitant. I had never run in my entire life.”

Martin decided she would walk the race, but quickly changed her mind and made running a goal.

“I’ve been training, and it’s going great,” she said. “It’s actually very stress-relieving and my joints feel so much better.”

Martin has been training with a health coach in her own department as well as an exercise physiologist at the bariatric center. For her first run, she was excited to make it around the block and now has reached three miles, or about the same distance as the 5K she will run on September 21.

When patients go through the bariatric weight loss journey at ThedaCare, they will discuss the most effective program for each individual, combining nutrition, diet and exercise with education and counseling.

ThedaCare is a proud sponsor of the Community First Fox Cities Half Marathon Presented by Miron Construction. Race weekend is set for September 20-22, with the half marathon taking place on Sunday, Sept. 22. Races start at the UW Oshkosh–Fox Valley campus on Midway Road in Menasha and ends at Riverside Park in Neenah. For more information, visit

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to a community of more than 600,000 residents in 14 counties and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals. ThedaCare has 180 locations including seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.