Saturday, June 30, 2007


Another day of no running. I am hoping that taking it easy and stretching will assist the achilles in healing quicker. I did manage to drink a little beer at the Fam get together.

Friday, June 29, 2007

No. 101 !

I just noticed that this is my 101st post. Milestones... As I mentioned yesterday, today is a travel day and I will not be running. I woke up two hours later than usual today and that would have been my running time. No big deal since my achilles doesn't feel well. Maybe Kari and I will make it out for a trail run tomorrow.
Totals: 0 miles

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bitter Sweet

I had the day off of work, originally to take advantage of the day and head over to my parents house for a long weekend, but my son needed to have his ear tubes replaced today. This is number one priority because without the ear tubes working, ear infections are a royal pain for all the family!
The day in Duluth was cool but clear. I did a loop on the trails in Hartley and was indifferent with the results. My quads and overall energy is great, but my right achilles is quite sore and I am afraid some serious time away from running is what it is going to take to heal this bugger. The only other time I had achilles tendinitis was 16 years ago and that took 6 weeks off of running to cure. I need this to heal NOW! My summer/fall was planned to have many new running experiences but now who knows???
Tomorrow is travel day. Maybe I'll run when I get up and do a short road loop.?
Totals: 47:32 6.5 miles

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Not Gonna Do it"

The alarm went off somewhere close to half an hour....I finally shut it off and went downstairs to make a huge pot of french roast. After the first cup life was much better. No running this morning because I didn't want to, and that's my story.
On a high note, this is my Friday and I don't have to report back to the hospital until Monday!
Totals: 0

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Easy Day

I did 2 loops in Rock Hill trails and back to the house. Had to stop 4 minutes into the run and stretch the heck out of my right achilles. After that, all systems go. A good easy run and other than the achilles looking forward to running faster stuff.

Totals: 31:11 4 miles

Monday, June 25, 2007

Easy Morning Miles

I did my run as early as I could haul my butt out of bed. The heat we experienced yesterday sounds like it is hanging around for a bit. The early morning run was perfect. 65 degrees and a light breeze. I just did the short cemetery loop to get a feel how my calves and achilles were doing. They didn't feel too bad, I had a chance to stretch a bit prior to starting off.
Nothing exciting...
Totals: 28:47 4.5 miles

Sunday, June 24, 2007

End of Rest Week

One last rest day before getting back into it. I need to get that right achilles healed before starting any hard sessions. My legs feel good, and my mind is already thinking of the next race. Today was one of our hotter days this summer, 88 degrees and sunny, minimal winds.
Totals: 4.5 miles for the week.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Cows are Sore!

I ran for the first time since the marathon today. I wanted to run easy, slow, and run for time. My left calf and right achilles were a bit sore at the start. My calf continued to be tight on and off for most of the run. I was pleased with how my legs felt overall sore quads and hamstrings.
I did an easy loop using the SHT and Hartley trail system. I need to stretch like crazy and maybe a massage this next week.

Good luck to my buddy Erik #241, and Kim Holak #F7, who are out at Western States 100
giving it their best shot.

Totals: 34:42 ~4.5 miles

Friday, June 22, 2007

Growlers are Good!

Kari and I went to the Brewhouse and got a ESB growler to go and got a couple of pizza's for a good Friday at the homestead. This is my week to have a little "fun" and not care about food intake, beer, wine, sweets, and no running. I will however, start doing a little running come Sunday. I really wanted to go run the Solstice 5k in 2 hours (midnite run) but given the beers I consumed tonight it might not be that good of an idea. I did a little run up to the car after work and immediately felt my right achilles get tight. I need to do a little stretching work on that and get it in good shape for the shorter, faster stuff to come.

Congrats to all the Minnesota folk who ran well at nationals last nite.

Totals: 0 miles!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Healthy isn't Necessary Better

This past winter I switched electrolyte drinks in an attempt to be more "health-conscious". The Gu2O that I have been using has very little sugar in it. Gatorade has quite abit more. I figured if I can eliminate a little sugar from the drink than this should be good. Well, I did a little discussion with one of the docs I work with and he mentioned that for maximum absorption of sodium (which Gu2O has more than reg. Gatorade, plus I add more salt) you need to have glucose present aka, sugars! I don't have the proof, but it is very interesting that I had a super race at Grandma's 2006, in which I used Gatorade, and this year I used Gu2O and had not so good of a race. Now this could be just a coincidence, or the sugar really makes a difference in my body. I think you can guess, but I sure as hell will be using Gatorade in my next marathon unless someone can put the "bull shit" stamp on this whole topic. All this is so frustrating because a lot of my competitors just use the water tables and a little ultima and feel just fine. I just seem to rid my body of sodium easier then the next guy. There will be some research into this whole topic, but the basics is true: you need glucose to absorb sodium.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

WILCO will be in Duluth Late Summer

I forgot the exact was in the Duluth News Tribune today, but Wilco will be at the Bayfront Park late this summer. Good news for Wilco fans!!

Quick Update

My legs feel much better today, as well as my achilles. My nose on the other hand is very sore...Lucas broke it yesterday with one hell of a head-butt. He didn't know I was behind him on the bed and we were wrestling, and bam! It looks nice! Sorry no photos, but the swelling is going down this morning.

I don't know if I can wait a whole week not to run? I am already thinking of the possibility of Houston in Jan. Maybe I will give it a few days and the energy will wear off.

To those who care: go to grandma's marathon site, click on "other info.." click on photos or just go to: and scroll down to grandma's 2007 and fill in the information on the runner you are looking up. My number on saturday was 1178. last name robertson.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Week of Rest

Now that the dust has settled I am ready for a week of rest. I was reading one of my training plan books and they talked to Kristy Johnston after a marathon. She said she looked forward to the time off, good marathon or bad, and took three weeks completely off of running and drank beer. Sounds good, but I will only take one week off. My lateral quads are a bit sore, and of course my right achilles. I'm going to see the sports medicine doctor on friday, just to make sure nothing is wrecked too bad down there.

My thanks goes out to my family who support my running, and to many friends who cheered me on that hot grandma's day. I got a lot of congrats at work and it really makes you realize sometimes how lucky you are just to get to the finish line. I like to say, the marathon is a total "crap shoot".

Sunday, June 17, 2007

OUCH! Another Painful Grandma's

Discussing this race is easy to do, I just don't know where to start. Yesterday I had mixed emotions and I knew sleeping on it for one night would change my perspective greatly. Just a quick recap of the day before I start to share my Grandma's experience. The and local news channels said a storm front would go through our area over the night hours and leave the race morning with overcast cool (55 degree) and a N/NE wind of 6-8 mph. I held on to this information and was still hoping to see it as the gun went off. It was sunny, 65 degrees and no wind to speak of at the start. A great day for spectating. Race temps at the 3:00 mark at the finish were 80+ degrees. That is the technical data. What follows is my experience and the events that unfolded at Grandma's 2007.

Standing near the start of the race I told my wife Kari, "I get concerned when I am standing at the start of Grandma's in shorts and a tee." In years past when racing has been good, you usually have pants, long sleeves, gloves, and possibly a winter hat. That hasn't been the case for a couple of years now. I was still optimistic of this weather change that was supposed to happen, with the tailwind and all. Last years conditions were very similar but a bit more humid and I raced quite well using my fluids, gels, and electrolyte tabs so I had a lot of confidence that if I repeated the routine I would finish well. Once I got into the starting corral I had a sense of feeling like a packed sardine out in the sun. Looking around I noticed a large number of seeded runners who were in town chasing the Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier. Not me though, I was looking for a solid race that would get me to the finish around 2:36 or so. The gun went off and for the first 200 meters all I did was concentrate on not tripping myself or others as we all settled into our perspective paces. The first mile felt easy and relaxed but was a bit quick, a 5:38. It took me four miles to settle into the prerace pace I had planned and all was going well. I took fluid at every aid station and carried a 20 oz. bottle of Gu2O mixed with a little extra salt. At the 5th mile I got a 16 oz. bottle mixed with the same and drank it over the next 1/2 mile. I had this urge to pee and it wasn't going away so I took care of my business during the 9th mile and managed a 6:12. The only concern I had up to this point was my right Achilles. It was sore starting at the 6th mile but wasn't hindering my stride. At this point it was noticeable but not concerning yet. I did notice on my quicker miles that it hurt much less so maybe I should have run faster!? As I went through the half way mark (1:18:14) I knew I could repeat that effort and possibly pick up the pace after 22 miles and get the goal time. A pattern exists in the marathon where you settle into a pace during the first half and little changes in regards to your overall place. Once in a while a person drops out, or you might get passed during a water station, but what happens after the 1/2 way point is almost story book. At 15 miles, I started passing people hand over fist. Between 15 and 19 I bet I passed 10 or 15 runners and got passed by one. Starting at 21 I started to get the familiar feeling that something wasn't quite right. My legs felt tired but the kind of tired where you know you can push and keep the pace going. What wasn't right was my stomach. I could feel and hear my stomach "slooshing" and my gel at 19.5 didn't make it down. (I spit it out of my mouth) I pushed on and kept trying to sip my bottle but each time I did, I had the urge to puke! I thought, "if I can keep this pace and not drink, maybe, just maybe I can salvage a decent race." My last bottle pick up was at 23 miles. This was another 16 oz. throw bottle with the same Gu2O mixture. I opened the bottle and gave it my best effort to get some down, only to yak it up on the yellow line on London Road. Feeling like absolute shit, I was doing this and maintaining 6:30-6:40 mile pace. The finish line was the only thing on my mind. I took water at 24, 25 and poured it over my head and attempting to sip a little as well. Even the sips made me wretch and gag. I slowed quite a bit over last three miles but I wanted to finish and call it a day. Plus, this was the quickest way to the med tent. I have needed IV fluids in the past and didn't get them, so I knew where I was headed after the finish line mat. I crossed the line (2:45:36) and made my way to the med tent and asked for an IV. After some interview questions, vitals: pulse 60, BP 94/48, and a sodium level of 130, an IV line was attempted. It took four attempts to get a line and then I received one liter of fluid. I had 40 oz. of water after that, 16 oz. of tomato juice, a bag of sour cream onion chips, three or four nacho chips and I was still feeling ill. We decided to go home and I took in several palm-filled licks of salt and a couple glassed of water and finally I was feeling better. Some 4 1/2 hours after I finished life was finally getting better.

The end result I am not happy with, but I am happy I finished and didn't injure anything trying. Without the dehydration issues, something I have always battled in a marathon, I would have PR'd and finished near 2:38-2:39 even with the slowing miles at the end. The 24 weeks leading up to this race have been challenging and fun. No more marathons for 2007. I may consider a winter marathon, possibly Houston, and then evaluate next year for my quest for the 2:29 marathon. For now it is time to recover, and change gears and do shorter faster events all summer and early fall.

That's my 2007 Grandma's Marathon experience. Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 5:38
" 2: 5:49
" 3: 5:52
" 4: 6:03
" 5: 6:03
" 6: 6:03
" 7: -
" 8: 12:04
" 9: 6:12 (pee break)
" 10 5:45 (downhill)
" 11: 6:04
" 12: 5:55
" 13: 6:05
" 14: 5:56
" 15: 6:04
" 16: 6:01
" 17: 6:01
" 18: 6:01
" 19: 5:58
" 20: 6:08
" 21: 6:12
" 22: 6:18
" 23: 6:45 (oh shit!)
" 24: 7:45
" 25: 7:56
" 26: 9:19 (walked a bit)
1:32 last .2
finish 2:45:36

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Day for Nausea

I have the feeling the next 23 hours are going to be associated with frequent nauseated moments. Each time I start talking with people about the race or I think of my splits, water bottle pick up's, gels, etc... I get nauseous. It's a good thing though. Having prepped as well as I could have for this race, and now getting a decent weather report going into race morning, it is normal to be nervous because you realize you have only one chance on that day to make it happen. There are no do-overs! My run this morning has been just like the rest this week. I did a run to Chester Bowl and back and stopped at the track and hammered out some 800's. NO I DIDN'T!!! I did two laps on the track and ran the 100's as strider's easy. A good morning heading into the big dance. Talk a lot more tomorrow and Sunday.
Totals: 22:18 3+ miles with strider's

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Run Fasta, Eat Pasta

I can't say that is an original line, I think I saw it at a race in Michigan somewhere. Eating pasta is good and all, but I probably wont eat too much of it the weeks following the race. Going into work today I already know the schedule and wow is it busy. I guess that is a good thing?? Tonight after work we will go pick up our race numbers and visit the expo. This mornings run was simple and easy. The cemetery loop with striders at the end. It sure is nice when striders feel so loose and fluid. At times during the training cycle striders can feel so awkward and tight. Well, I must sign off, got to be to work in thirty minutes.
Totals: 28:00 4.5 miles with 4 striders.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Repeat Wednesday

I did this exact workout last Wednesday on the exact same course. I felt tons better! My Achilles are beginning to warm up very soon into the warm up and my quads feel good too. I did the 20 minute warm up and then 2 miles at MP(marathon pace) then a warm down. My MP miles were on the course 20-22 markers. Splits were 5:58, and 5:51, feeling easy and listening to the birds. Pasta, will be my staple meal for the next three days. Then, a lot of wide-mouth beers at the tents after the race.
Totals : 56:16 ~8.5 miles smiling

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Jugs are Ready

Since I dislike the drink of choice that Grandma's marathon uses I must find some "outside" help with obtaining my electrolyte jugs, ie: water bottles. I found some people that will be scattered along the course and this should workout fine. Something you probably don't see very often in a road marathon, I carry my bottle with me using an "ultimate" holder that keeps the bottle horizontal along the lower back/hips. I used this method last year and had a wonderful race despite terribly humid conditions. In the past I realized I didn't get enough fluid using the water tables. Since I am not fast enough to get dedicated bottle drop, I must improvise. As for my run this morning, much the same. Felt good, and had a shitload of energy for a 5 miler. I did a few striders just to turn the legs over. If there is anybody out there that can do some weather voodoo, work on Saturday the 16th of June and allow for a 10 mph N/Ne wind, it would be much appreciated by about 16,000 people. Thank you.
Totals: 33:44 ~5 miles

Monday, June 11, 2007

Skyline in the Morning

Today called for an easy 6 miler. I have followed the Pfitzinger taper in the past and have had pretty good luck getting to the starting line feeling fresh. If the day comes where I am running bigger miles I will adjust the mileage. I think this taper works for me because I am not dropping my overall mileage by a huge percentage. I run in the 70's mile/week and cut to the 50's the last few weeks. Food for thought. My run this morning was real easy and fast! I have to do a better job of slowing down on the next day or so. Legs feel good, and the future looks bright!
Totals: 36:16 ~5.5+ miles

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weeks Review

This week started off with some soreness in the quads but gradually got better by Thursday. I had a good weekend of running and had a really good massage on Sunday. Looking forward to the last week before the race.

Weeks Totals: 57.5 miles
Years Totals: 1210.5 miles

No I-Pods!...What Will I Do?

The front page of the Sunday sports section had a big article on the "no i-pod" rule that grandma's marathon will be attempting to enforce this year. It is USATF's rule that is being enforced. It pissed off a lot of people. I can see their point...if you are used to training with a certain stimulus, and then on race day that is taken away one might be effected. I can't relate though, I don't use them. Just an FYI, if you planned on carrying a DVD player, they are banned as well according to the rule.
My run today called for 90 minutes easy with up tempo for the last 4 miles. I had a time conflict with my massage appointment this morning and couldn't get out the door by 6 so I cut the run short by one mile. (I was going to run for 13 miles, not 90 min's.) Most of my body parts felt pretty good and I felt very energetic. I am looking forward to next Saturday. I feel sorry for Kari, as this next week I am sure to be a freak with all the stored up energy.

Totals: 1:21:11 12 miles.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Final Countdown

One week from today I will be lining up for the 26.2 mile jaunt down the north shore to downtown Duluth. This past week I didn't feel so hot running. Until today. I woke up and had some extra time to stretch and warm up before heading out the door. That extra time must have been the difference because my achilles didn't bother me much at all. My quads felt much better and I had to do all I could to keep the pace down. The SHT down to Hawks ridge was dry but a little soft and from there I took the roads home. On the last bit of roads I did a couple of 100 meter strider's again. Tomorrow will be 13 miles at the usual medium distance workout plan. I am looking forward to a week of crazy energy!
Totals: 47:33 7 miles with strides

Friday, June 8, 2007

One Week to Go

This mornings run was a bit better than all of my runs earlier in the week. My achilles are a bit better and I am looking forward to my massages. I didn't do anything structured today, just miles with a few striders. This weekend will be the end of any amount of distance runs.
Totals: 52:54 7.5 miles

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Trails and Roads

This mornings run consisted of running a few loops in the Rock Hill trails (3000 meter loop) and then heading out to the roads for some strider's and easy flat miles. I actually felt better today and I think my legs are "waking up". I have some planned massages and will try using a subtle heel lift in my shoes as recommended by a fellow runner/blogger loomdog. As I mentioned in an earlier weeks post, this is marathon season...I saw many runners out this morning getting in their last two weeks of running before the big day. I can't wait. These last two weeks suck, too much pent up energy! I have to remember to take it easy on Sundays 13 miler.
Totals: 47:44 ~7 miles

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Back to Pants and Gloves

I woke up this morning and it was 38 F outside. The sun was on its way up but still too cold for shorts. I had to do an hour with two miles at MP this morning. I wished I had waited until after work to do this kind of workout because in the morning my Achilles were tight. After 20 minutes of warm up I decided to get going with the MP miles. Using the 20-22 mile marks of the course I was able to get a measured distance for this workout. My legs felt dead, and my Achilles hurt...not what you want to feel during this type of run. It was the mental not physical aspect that bothered me the most. I know I am fit enough to get through this marathon, but having your legs feel like crap on an easy run is not good for the mind. After looking back, I think I took it too easy last week and had a unplanned taper (down from 72 miles to 52 in one week.) Not that that was high mileage to begin with, but the change may have been to drastic. At any rate I know my legs will come around and I have two opportunities to get massage and make the best of these last two weeks.
Totals: 56:00 ~8.5 miles (MP miles 6:03, 5:53)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It's Marathon Season!!

This morning was proof that G-Ma's is right around the corner. I saw many runners getting in their morning miles prior to reporting to work. I did one of my loops that sends me out to Arnold, Martin, Vermilion, Elk and home. It has been a while since I did this exact loop and forgot the time it took. I was planning on 58 min's or so and ended up with an extra mile. My legs didn't feel super good but after doing a few 100 meter striders during the run they started to respond a bit better at the end. Overall a good run. I need a massage soon!
Total: 1:06:12 10 miles with strides.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday Morning Stroll

Today was an easy recovery run after yesterdays longer effort. I did out and back along skyline as I watched the morning sun rise for a change. Amazing what a little sun does for the soul. I took it real easy and got a nice recovery run.
Totals: 39:20 5.5 miles

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Weeks Review

This week was an easy recovery week for me. I did it primarily to recover from my long workout last Sunday, but it also worked out since I was out of town in unfamiliar territory with limited time to workout. My legs feel good and should have a good week to come.

Totals: week- 54 miles
Years totals: 1153 miles

One Last Time

Today was the last longer workout of this marathon preparation. Next weekend will call for 13 mile medium long and then it's marathon time. I had a good day with my legs feeling quite fresh for most of the run. I still manage to have a fair amount of pain in my right Achilles during the warm up miles but then it goes away. I did 3 loops from the house to insure I get my fluids and gels. I call those loops the Piggly Wiggly loops and Cemetery loop. Two weeks to go.
Totals: 1:55:00 ~17.5 miles

Saturday, June 2, 2007

"Push" the Hills...Flats Too

Kari, and I ran an afternoon loop today while I pushed Lucas in the jogger. We did this loop I often do for easy recovery runs. The one detail I forgot is the number of small steep climbs during this loop. I was able to keep things moving pretty well until one last hill near South street in the Kenwood neighborhood. This required a little brisk walk time. My legs feel pretty good going into tomorrow's longer workout. Just a side note to mention, it is two weeks out from the marathon and the prevailing winds are still out of the North/NE. Can they last for two more weeks???
Totals: 55:00 7.5 miles

Friday, June 1, 2007

"I need NOS..."

The ACSM Gisolfi 5k was this morning at New Orleans City Park, the location for the Crescent City Classic I believe? It was a humid morning, surprise heh, but I went into this race very concerned regarding my "no fitness" at 5k race pace. All things said, I was pretty happy with the way things unfolded up until 2 miles. I went 5:15, 5:12 for the first two miles then I got lightheaded, dizzy, and short of breath. I know what you are thinking,"it's a 5k race man, you are supposed to get winded." Well, that's right, but you have to realize that I am at a sports medicine conference and on Tuesday I had sat and listened to a cardiologist talk about exercising and syncope (fainting) and I didn't want to become one of his patients. I slowed for the third mile (~5:30) and finished 16:33. On my warm down I realized I have been running 16:30 5k's for nearly 20 years!!! I am not sure how long I will be able to keep that in my book, but I am hoping for some time yet. Back to Duluth today, I can't wait, I miss my little boy and wife and want to run on some trails.
Totals: ~6.5 miles 5k race 16:33