Thursday, May 31, 2007

Same Thing, Different Day

I did another TM run at the health club. Nothing special, I had to cut the run short because of the holes I felt being burned in my back from people waiting to use the treadmills. If you have been a health club you know what I mean regarding time limits on the machines.
Totals: 35:00+ 5 miles

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kobe is a Baby...

I decided to run on the treadmills at the health club and it turned out to be a good decision on my part. Early this morning I had talked to a couple of people who ran outside and said it was "ok" but a lot of cross traffic. On the treadmill I could be brainless and just put one foot in front of the other and not worry about traffic. I did have to contend with Kobe being played over and over on ESPN's sports center crying about the need for him to be traded. I feel sorry for any team that has to deal with his cry-baby attitude. For the record I give the guy a shitload of credit for being good basketball player, he's just complains too much. Back on the running topic, I felt pretty good considering I sat around most of yesterday. My legs have seemed to recovery for the most part from Sunday's long effort. A good day for a treadmill run.

Totals: 8.8 miles around an hour with W/U and W/D. (I did a few miles at 6:15 pace to test the legs and all went well.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day Off for Travel

The title is self explanatory...12 hour day traveling to New Orleans for ACSM conference. No running today
Totals: 0

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Bit of Recovery

A nice day for an easy recovery run in Rock Hill trails. I waited until the afternoon to allow as much time off my legs for recovery and the run felt really well. Since the trails are wood chip they make for an excellent place for recovery runs. I run slow and really take the hills nice and easy and keep short fast strides as I go up. Off to New Orleans tomorrow A.M. It should be interesting as far as running goes.
Totals: about 35 minutes 4.5 miles

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Weeks Review

This week went pretty well after running the pace 1/2 marathon pace run. The whole week my quads felt a bit beat up, but I was able to run everyday. I was a bit nervous going into my long effort but it turned out pretty good given the conditions for the day.
Weeks Totals: 72 miles
Years Totals: 1099 miles

One Last Test Down the Shore

This run needed to get into the schedule but I wasn't planning on doing it until next weekend. The problem with that weekend was getting too close to the race date. I did the longer pace run last weekend at the 1/2 marathon so I was curious how my legs would feel. I did this same workout last year a week earlier in the schedule and had a near perfect day. Today would not be repeated as "near perfect". I got all my gear ready and started to drive "up the shore" ie: the marathon course. I couldn't believe it! Yesterday's prevailing wind was out of the NE, and this morning it was out of the S/SE. Just about the worst conditions for Grandma's course. I am stubborn and didn't want to change the running direction so I continued and dropped two bottles with gel and drove to the two mile mark. After a quick stretch I started for downtown Duluth and my first mile was 6:25. A bit quick but after repeating this several times I decided to stay relaxed and run 6:30's. My fluids and gels went down well, had a few bad miles with the wind gusts, and had a few good one's, but in the end I ran 24 miles! I reviewed last years journal and found I had ran today's workout 6.5 minutes quicker. My right Achilles was a bit sore from time to time but no real discomforts to make me stop. My quads were not as fluid as I had hoped but given the two hard weekends in a row I will assume they will recover this week. As long as I can keep things loose over the next three weeks I think my chances of a decent race are pretty good. Today's run helped boost my confidence but as many of you know, nothing is guaranteed in the marathon.
Totals: 2:35:39 24 miles (closed with 6:15, 6:12, 6:15)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Muddy Day

I ran my easy run in Hartley trails this morning and had to deal with a little mud issue. It wouldn't be a problem but the mountain bikes don't respect the trails and ride them when they are wet. Lots of ruts. I did the perimeter trails and some inside SHT trails to make up my hour. My legs feel better than yesterday but my Achilles are still pretty rough.
Totals: about and Hour, ~ 7.5 miles

Friday, May 25, 2007

Legs of Lead

It was a beautiful morning in Duluth but a bit chilly (40F). My legs never got loose and felt heavy and not fluid. I tried to do some easy striders to maybe help loosen them up but that didn't work. My highlight of the run was the second-hand reefer smoke someone blew towards me as I was running up Chester Bowl trails. (mind you this is at 6:30 am).
Totals: 1:12:37 ~11 miles

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shorts and Tee

A rarity for Duluth this morning. I ran in a tee and shorts as it was 60F when starting my run, but it was horribly humid.(it felt like 80F) It sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not, as I enjoy the simplicity of just putting on shoes, shorts, tee and out the door you go! Today I planned on getting an easy hour as a general aerobic run. I got a massage on my left calf last night, it helped tons, and I hope to get my right worked on tonight. The run took me out to Martin road, Elk street, and Vermilion to the house. Legs felt Good.
Totals: 1:00:28, 9 miles

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Beat the Bed Demons

When my alarm clock went off this morning I was almost certain that today was going to be an unscheduled day off. I was lying there pissed off, sick of having sore Achilles and calves and really didn't want to deal with limping down the stairs. For some reason, I sat up and peeked out the window and it looked like a decent morning. My hobble downstairs wasn't as bad as past mornings but still noticeable. A quick change and out the door I went...SLOWLY. After five minutes all seemed OK and I decided at that moment I would do a 20, 20 , 20 workout. Twenty minute warm up, twenty minutes LT pace, and at least twenty minutes warm down. My legs felt pretty fresh, but my wind was a bit "lacking" on the LT segment. Looking back it has been quite some time since I did a true LT workout. Out and back on West skyline, 60F, no wind, and Humid.
Totals: 1:06:13 ~10+ miles

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Make That Two in a Row

I decided to take another day of easy recovery running and get my legs feeling better before running longer again. Most everything loosened up after one mile but now my left Achilles and calf are abit sore. (this is getting real old!) Easy Piggly Wiggly (yes, Duluth still has one) loop and back to the house. No rain, hooray!
Totals: 46:28 6.5 miles

Monday, May 21, 2007

Who Likes Monday Anyway?

My alarm clock went off this morning and all I could hear was thunder and rain pelting the window. Not the motivation someone needs after a weekend of long runs and feeling tight and sore in bed. I got up anyway and headed for the basement to get ready for my easy 5 miler that awaited me. The rain slowed to a drizzle but I couldn't manage the strength to go out the door and get wet, after all it was 38 F. I made a cup of coffee and read the sections of Sunday's paper I didn't read yesterday. Kari, Lucas and I did manage to run after work and had a decent run. My left calf/Achilles was a bit tight, but felt much better after the run. I am having a difficult time finding a massage therapist that doesn't have a full schedule. My legs feel pretty good going into tomorrow, I just need to stretch my calves and get them loose.
Totals: 30+ minutes 4 miles

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weeks Review

Another consistent week in the books. I feel like I am simply running out of time for the marathon. I know I have two and half weeks of beneficial training left but that isn't enough when you lost seven weeks in a building phase of marathon training. Having said that, I do feel like I have done pretty well with the time I have had to work with. I will do one more long run and several medium distance runs and a few lactate workouts. After sleeping on yesterdays workout, I do believe I got a lot out of it. I was able to run on Sunday and not feel too beat up and I got a sense of running when the conditions were not ideal, as they may be on June 16th. Overall, I am pretty happy with my fitness level thus far. I will do what I can on June 16th, hopefully not get injured in the process, recover, and have one hell of a fun summer and fall racing some shorter distances!

Weeks Total: 68.5 miles in six days.
Years Total: 1027 miles

We Had Snow This Morning!

I'm pretty sure that for me, today was the latest in the year that I actually saw snow coming down. Big flakes too, not just the little specs of styrofoam snow. Good thing nothing accumulated on the ground. Today's run was not "planned", I was just going to do what my legs would let me after a harder workout yesterday. One thing for sure, it was going to be slow and in the woods on trails. I picked up a running buddy that lives on the other side of Hartley and off we went on some trails along SHT, Amity, Hawks, SHT and eventually through Hartley and home. I started feeling much better after one hour of easy running. The only true source of discomfort was the left low calf that was cramping in the later miles of yesterday's workout. Since I was not planning on running this long I didn't carry any fluids and may have gotten slightly dehydrated. I made up for it when I got home. Overall, a pretty good run.
Totals: 1:46:21 ~13.5 miles

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Humble Pie was Served This Morning

Today was calling for a longer effort with at least 12 miles at marathon goal pace. The half marathon seemed like a perfect fit for the schedule. The Jim McIntire 1/2 marathon was this morning and was not an easy effort by any means. The temperature was near perfect but there was a pretty good wind coming out of the North/Northeast which made for some tough miles. I started just a bit quick with a 5:43 first mile, but soon set into the pace I wanted.(5:55-6:00) The wind was at the 9.5 mile mark and made for the 10th and 11th miles to be slow. I closed in 5:53 and 5:50. This wasn't a race for me, but I was a bit surprised how difficult 6:00's felt. I needed them to feel like walking in the park smelling roses. Not the case. The conditions were far from perfect, the course is hilly, and I ate somewhat questionable pasta last night. These are the excuses I am grasping with all my might, and hoping that June 16th will be on my side, as I have a lot of work to do and only 3 beneficial weeks left to the big race. On an up note, my Achilles felt great, but my left calf had a bit of cramping in the late miles.

Totals: 1:18:31, 13.1 miles (3rd overall, 1st in age) Miles for the day: 16.5 miles.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nice and Easy

This morning I did a easy relaxed trail run in Harley Park. A lot of small loops to and from the Nature Center. My legs felt pretty good, my Achilles felt pretty good, and I had the chance to do some really good stretches along the run. I am feeling pretty good going into tomorrows run, providing the rain can wait for a few hours in the morning and let us run.
Totals: 32:21 4.5 miles on trails.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What's that Beeping?

I managed to snooze my alarm this morning for almost half and hour. The alarm wasn't doing its job until then. Once I was awake my body felt alright. My right Achilles is more sore than my left these days so I took a few extra minutes and stretched lightly before setting off on my run. Today's schedule called for 13 to 15 with a step down pace at the end. The morning was excellent for running but once I got going I didn't feel too energetic. My legs didn't feel very good, quite heavy, and not very fluid. The other bad thing was I started the run hungry. As I approached an hour I had a few good miles and I was able to mark off a mile.(6:19) I had ran a few miles at this pace and finished the run about the same pace. Today at work I loaded the carbs and will continue to do so tomorrow as well. New shoes today...Brooks Racer ST 2. I think that they will be a good shoe for the marathon. I will get the chance to use them on Saturday.
Totals: 1:27:21, 13 miles

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

We Need the Rain, But....

I don't like starting a run in the rain, but sometimes you have to. As I was heading out the door most of the rain stopped and just a mist was coming down on and off through my run. Ran up through Kenwood, Arlington, Orange street, and Skyline home. Most body parts felt good. I ended up running a pretty quick pace. Striders are feeling better too. Still some discomfort in the right Achilles at the start of my run.
Totals: 1:10:54 ~11 miles

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grey Morning...

This morning was a bit more grey than most of the past few weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to feel my legs were very rested given the day off yesterday. Most of my runs this weeks are going to be of medium distance at best. My longer run will be incorporated into the 1/2 marathon on Saturday. As for this morning, I did one of my east routes with hills, and some added striders towards the end. A good run!
On a side note, our PC is "shitting the bed" aka. going to crash! It made a horrific noise of humming and actually felt like it was vibrating last night. I am in the process of backing up all our important files, music, photo's etc... If I don't post some day I will be back as soon as we have computer access.

Totals: 1:05:40 ~10 miles

Monday, May 14, 2007


I wasn't planning a day off, but this morning was one of those days where I just couldn't get my carcass out of bed. I wanted to do a light run this afternoon but had to deal with the golf-ball sized hail that pummeled my car.
Totals: 0 miles

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Weeks Review

This was a pretty good week for the most part. I had some Achilles issues in the early week but ended the week feeling much better. My massage on Friday helped tons! Next weeks schedule will not include such a long run, but I will try to do more medium distance runs with a marathon simulation workout/ 1/2 marathon race on Saturday morning.

Weeks Totals: 69 miles running (six days) 30 minutes of pool-work.

Loops, Loops, and More Loops

You can tell by the title that today I did loop courses from our house. I wanted to make sure I got decent fluids and gels on this run, but I didn't want to go on the course again since I did that last week. I started with the idea that I would do 3 loops of the same course but I needed something fresh to warm up. My first loop was on roads and on a downhill section of the SHT to Hawks Ridge. My first segment was almost an hour loop, good for a solid 8 miles. I then decided to keep to the original plan and do two exact loops to see how my legs would respond and if I was able to run faster the last bit of the run. My legs tired around two hours but ironically they felt better as I picked up the pace.(close to 6:15's the last half of the final loop) The course I chose today was much hillier than the marathon course so overall I was satisfied with this run, as it allowed me to simulate the feeling of fatigue in your quads during the last 8k of a marathon and still keep pace.
Totals: 2:24:55, ~21 miles. step-down pace at end.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Hartley Run

I am getting in the habit of running trails on Saturday's. The whole state needs rain but boy are the Hartley trails in good shape. I did one continuous loop from the house and ran just about 3/4 of a mile on asphalt with the rest on trails. After the massage on my lower legs yesterday I was curious how things would go. I started off much the same, but after 5 or 10 minutes my Achilles felt really good. Time to fuel up and get ready for tomorrows long run.
Totals: 59:14 8.5 miles

Friday, May 11, 2007

There's Smoke in the Air

As I headed out for my run this morning I immediately smelled smoke, and as I got near the lake it was very apparent over the water. The hazy skies from the disastrous fires in the BWCA filled the horizon and obstructed what would have been a picture perfect sunrise. I sure hope we can get some rain to assist those fire fighters. As for my run, I planned on a medium distance workout, but I didn't quite make the distance part but had a good run despite the lack of mileage. After running for near an hour, 6:20-6:30 pace, I had to climb up from the lake to my house near UMD. A few streets took my to the base trail of Chester Bowl and I headed up from there for about 12 minutes or so. The last 10 minutes were flat again, allowing me to shake out the legs after the climb. The feet felt OK after the warm up. I got a massage on my legs focusing on the calves and it felt great. I will try to get one massage a week leading up to the marathon.
Totals: 1:13:58, 11 miles with short segment of hill climb.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another Morning for the Books

Such a beautiful morning today. They say the temperatures lately have be upwards of 20 degrees of normal. I'll take it, as it is an amazing mood lifter. Today was an easy general aerobic day on the schedule. I love these days, as it allows me to go run on the trails and forget about the pace, watch, time, Everything! This is why I love to run. Most body parts felt ok on the run and I really hope to get healed soon. I tried to do some easy strider's but my right achilles wasn't willing to play the game. I was able to stride, but my foot felt awkward and felt as though it wasn't ready to go through the full range of motion. I did 4-5 X 100 meters easy. A wonderful run and I am eager to run my medium distance tomorrow morning.
Totals: 48:18 easy 6.5 miles plus 100 meter striders

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Is it the Shoes?...Mars Blackmon

Mars Blackmon kept at Michael Jordon back in the 80's and 90's, "is it the shoes Michael?" Nah, it's not the shoes... But I wonder. Last night I returned those Nike zoom elites and picked up a pair of the Hayward's. After contemplating and several visual comparisons to the old DS Trainers, I decided that this was probably my only choice. I ran this morning, and despite a little tenderness in the right Achilles for the first 10 minutes or so, the run went very well. I did my Wednesday skyline out and back and had a most beautiful morning to do so. I made it to the turn-around past 28th ave. west, made my turn and headed into the sunrise over Lake Superior. I was waiting for the Achilles to become sore and they never did! I am keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of the week.
Totals: 1:27:56 13.5-14 miles, 44:51 at the turn, 43:05 back to the house.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

No 2 Day Lag Here.

I felt quite good 48 hours post long run. My quads have recovered very well, and I need my achilles to follow. The first two miles this morning were slow, but after warming up I dropped into a comfortable training pace. I was supposed to do Tempo work today but the achilles said no way! Woodland, Arnold, Martin, and Vermilion loop to house.
Totals: 58:00 8.5 miles.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Pool Day

I kind of had that feeling last night when I went to bed that there was a high probability that my morning workout would have nothing to do with running on solid ground. I was right. Woke up with pretty tight achilles and decided to make my recovery run a pool workout. Monday mornings are tight on time so I only had a half an hour to get my workout in. I did 15 minutes of aqua jogging and 15 minutes of swimming and kick-boarding. A good workout for the amount of time I had and my achilles felt so much better after the workout. I was going to run after work but decided the risks outweighed the benefits.
Totals: 30 min's pool workout.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Weeks Review

Overall this week was decent. I wish I could get rid of the aches and pains in my feet and achilles. By the end of the week my quads are now starting to feel much better. I am hoping the achilles will get better this week. I ended the week with a pretty good long run of 20 miles with the second half much quicker. Maybe the momentum of this weekend will be carried into next week.
Totals: 6 days of running= 62 miles. (no swimming)

The Great Tailwinds of May

Why can't the day of Grandma's marathon ever be like the weekends during May? Year after year, us locals can take just about any Saturday or Sunday and have that magical long run down the shore. Today was another one of those days. I decided to do an out and back from Fitgers (24 mile mark). My buddy Kooks joined me for the first 4 miles out as he needed to turn around because he is coming back from injury. On the way out there was a terrible headwind and my splits after dropping off Kooks were 6:40's. I ran to the 14 mile mark and turned around downed my Power Gel and a sip of Gu2O and got ready to hang on! Without changing much effort my first mile heading to town was 6:26. For the next 9 miles my slowest mile would be 6:12. Most everything felt pretty good except those damn achilles. They didn't get any worse than the way they felt after 6 or 8 miles, but still, I don't like it! More ice bath and stretching tonight. Even with the bum achilles this is the best long run of my training thus far.
Totals: 2:12:55 20 miles (first 10 1:11:18 second 10 1:01:32)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Life Doesn't Get any Better Than This...

I don't mean Old Milwaukee beer either! We took Lucas to grandma's house for a couple of hours this morning and then headed out for a trail run. The rain had stopped ensuring that this would be a muddy trail run. The course took us through Rock Hill and SHT to the Hartley trail system. Most of the trail was decent with just a few mud holes to cross. Kari was feeling pretty good and I let her take the lead through most of the trails. My feet felt pretty good. It is funny that my achilles are taking alternate days as to which one is going to give me a little discomfort. Today it was the left. I bought some ice from the beer store (bought some beer too) to ice my feet in an ice bath tonight in preparation for tomorrow's long run attempt.

Totals: 1:08:58 trails with Kari 8+ miles.

Friday, May 4, 2007

"What part of 'normal' can you relate to...?"

I was watching channel 6 news this morning prior to my run and Edward Moody was giving Ken Beuler the berries about being normal. That Edward! After having a cup of joe and doing some light stretches I headed out the door and had a pretty good run. My achilles were just a bit tender, much better than on Wednesday's run. I ran through the cemetery and did a 2 mile section of the SHT to hawks ridge and back to the house via an extended loop past campus. It was so nice not to have too many aches and pains. I also decided to run in a newer pair of speedstars (asics). A nice way to start my Friday.
Totals: 59:43 9 miles.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

No Go

My best bet today was a day off of running. I should have gotten up and swam/jog at UMD but once I realized I wasn't going to go for a run, I took advantage of an extra 45 minutes in bed. I attempted to find some shoes today and actually bought a pair of Nike Zoom Elites but will return them tomorrow. I jogged for a bit on the TM and immediately realized they were not the shoe for me. On a high note, Kari, Lucas and I ate at Hacienda tonight. Some of the best, if not the best, Mexican food Duluth has to offer.
Totals: 0 running, extra 45 minutes of rest this am.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It Seems a bit Busier...

Wednesday's are my medium distance runs along with Friday's. I headed west on Skyline to do an out and back route. Doing this kind of route is nice as it gives me markers I can use to ensure I run the proper pace. The first thing I noticed (after my achilles) was the amount of traffic. I have been running early morning runs all winter and some workouts I don't see anybody! On this route today I saw several runners and bikers, and an overall increase in motorists. It is amazing what nice weather does to the soul.
My run was "average" at best. My right achilles was sore the entire run, and my trip back after the turn around wasn't as strong as I would have liked. I managed to negative split, but not by much. I had to cut the time a little short but at least I got the run in. I really am hoping for the best with this achilles. Most of these aches and pains seem to be from the rapid increase in mileage since I started up last week. As long as things don't get worse this week, I believe things will improve next week.
Totals: 1:09:43 10.5 miles (neg. split 1 min back to house)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

"I Walk the Line...A thin Line"

Now that my ankle feels mostly healed, at least from a running standpoint, my achilles are achy. I know that this is something not to be taken lightly. I feel like I could be walking a thin line of injury here. I have been stretching my calves as much as I can during the day, I don't have much opportunity to ice until I get home from work, but they continue to be sore. Tomorrow will be a day to evaluate if a few days off of running and a few more in the pool are warranted. As for today I did a run out to Woodland/Arnold/Martin and home. I did about three miles warm up then I did 10 X 30 seconds on 30 seconds off, followed by a 4 minute and 5:45 minute cruise interval. It felt really good to do faster running. During my warm down my quads felt a bit beat up again, and also I felt the right achilles.
On a high note for the night, the American Idol's had to sing Bon Jovi! YES!

Total: 1:04:00, 10 miles with cruise intervals.