Monday, December 31, 2007

Final Workout

I managed to get out nice and early this morning for my final workout of 2007. My wife had to work at 7:00, and I have the day with our son, so I needed to get out early and finish by 6:30. I did one of my easy loops that doesn't require much thinking. I used a pair of "get a grips" and they seemed to help a bit. My legs are just a bit fatigued from yesterday's snowshoe. It is amazing how much of a workout that is. Nothing special for today's run, just another cemetery/extended UMD loop. I actually saw 11 other runners this morning on my loop.

Totals: 46:40 6.5 miles

YEARS TOTAL: 1840.5 miles

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Finishing Strong on Snowshoes

The week of training started off very brutal as I missed M,T,and W. The rest of the week I got out and did some form of decent training, however it is quite far off where I need to be, I'll take it.

I didn't run today until the afternoon. I woke up with a stiff back and hungry, so Kari, Lucas, and I headed for Luce' for a wake up breakfast. Yummy! By the time I decided to run I was feeling much better and headed to Hartley for a snowshoe. The trails are incredible right now! I did the same loop as Thursday's run plus more milage in 10 minutes less time. Amazing what packed trails will do for you. My legs and groin/psoas are doing quite well. I hope to carry the energy of this weekend into next week and get a solid week of training.

Totals: 1:12:00 ~8.5 miles
Weeks Totals: 28 miles
Years Totals: 1834 miles

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hawks Ridge Snowmobile Trail

My buddy Erik and I decided it was a day to attempt to run on the snowmobile tails this morning. For those of you who have never done this before, there is an ideal temperature to have this work. Today was not the day. We both wanted an easy recovery type day and that is what we did. The footing was quite soft but very manageable. Overall a decent day.

Totals: 45:00 5.5 miles?

Friday, December 28, 2007


I was definately feeling the snowshoe run from yesterday as my legs were a bit heavy this morning. To add to the fatigue, the footing was terrible. I did an easy loop that had mostly crappy footing and just a bit of decent footing. I did the extended cemetery/UMD loop with daylight just starting to break.

Totals: 45:00 6 miles

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Guardrail Loop in Hartley

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday no running.

I woke up this morning and after getting about 4-5 inches of snow yesterday and last night I figured the roads would be brutal. I was right, as I ran to the trailhead of Hartley the roads were messy. I put on my snowshoes at the trail head and figured I had enough time to do a longer loop, often referred to as the "guardrail loop". I was the second snowshoer for most of the upper loop. This made for tough going but a really great heart rate workout. As I worked my way down the trial I noticed increased traffic and the footing was much better. My psoas was tight but it warmed up and felt pretty decent most of the way.

Overall a good workout that will leave me a bit tired this morning at work. That's what a good cup of coffee is for!

Totals: 1:20:00 (run/snowshoe ~7.5 miles)

Sunday, December 23, 2007


OK. Yesterday I thought we were getting snow. Wrong. Today we got snow. On top of having a major storm, I got a major head-cold brewing and will not be exercising at all today. By the end of today we will have over 10 inches of snow to deal with. I think I will take some day's off until I feel better and can put forth a good effort. I should help my groin too.

Totals: 0 miles sick and snowy
weeks total: 28 miles
years total: 1806 miles

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Snow Again

We are heading into another snow-type weekend and I will more than likely have difficulty getting the miles in. I got out a bit late today and paid the price. The streets were covered with 2-3 inches of fresh snow and that made for some slippery strides. Since I am running low milage anyway, I didn't want to pull and hammy's or groins and cut the run short. I did feel pretty good for the time I was out there.

Totals: 42:00 6 miles

Friday, December 21, 2007


Hard to believe it is December when the morning temps are near 40 degrees. Our house had mid 30's but down on the harbor it was 39 when I left for my run this morning. Weird! The nice thing this morning was that most of the roads are now clear of snow which make for decent footing. It looks like this may last one more day at the most as we are to get up to 5" of snow late tonight and tomorrow.

The run went well. I'd have to say near one of the best since I restarted my training cycle. I believe this is a result of two things. One, I went to the chiropractor (CHC) and got a really good adjustment as well as some pressure point work done on the psoas. Secondly, I think that the treadmill run on Wednesday was very beneficial as it allowed my tempo to pick up a bit and stretch out the legs. Today's pace felt easy and smooth. I did the extended Pig's loop out to Martin road and Elk back to the house via Vermilion. I hope the coming snow doesn't mess with me too bad, as I would really like to get a couple nice runs in this weekend. (last week Wed. this run was 5 min. slower)

Totals: 1:00:00 9 miles

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Woke up with a sore throat after sleeping for 9 hours. No running this morning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Just Say No to Slippage

I wanted to run on solid ground. Not possible outside in December in Duluth Minnesota. This is where the treadmill comes in handy. My wife and I bought a nice treadmill (Pacemaster Gold Elite) a couple of years ago just for mornings like today. Having my groin a bit flared up I didn't want to slip and aggravate it any more. Once I had my warmup mile of 8:00 I dialed the speed to 7 min. pace and held it there until 5 miles. I did the 6th mile in 6:40 and the 7th in 6:27 followed by one cool down mile.(all at 2% grade) It was nice to step down and feel pretty good. As I stated, the most beneficial aspect was the footing. I think I will continue to do this run once a week over the next month and twice a week once the program gets under way. I will also be focusing on building this run to 14 miles. A good day for a treadmill workout.

Totals: 1:00:00 8.5 miles

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Easy Miles

After taking yesterday off I really needed to get out the door and run some mileage. Heading out the door I had some slow miles but ended up with an easy cemetery/UMD loop. The roads are terrible with the warmer weather but I slowed down to make it runnable. Overall, my legs feel better and I should be able to jump back into the running schedule.

Totals: 37:00 ~5 miles

Monday, December 17, 2007

Poor Decisions

Why would 37 year old skinny runner guy decide to start playing hockey? I haven't actually skated since about age twelve. A group of friends, all endurance athletes, none of which play hockey, decided it would be nice to pass the winter by playing some pick up hockey. We went to our first skate Sunday night. It took me half an hour or so to get the skating memory back but in the end I was feeling much better. Too good actually. I ended the night with two bruised ankles and one pulled/aggravated right groin muscle. Just what a person needs when they are attempting to get back at marathon training. Stupid! All this nonsense resulted in me taking Monday off of running. Much to sore.

Totals: 0
Sunday's skate 2+ hours.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Enger Loop

Today's run consisted of running west on skyline to Enger Tower and back. I will have to map this out but I believe this is just under ten from our house. I added a nice loop as I made my way back to the house in order to call it ten. My legs felt ok and I was a bit tired. I think all of this is just from getting more "regular" running in again. My goal is to get two more weeks of consistent milage in and then start working on the long run and hill work.

Totals: 1:11:21 10 miles
Weeks Totals: 45 miles
Years Totals: 1778 miles

Saturday, December 15, 2007

AHHH, Running in Daylight

What a mood lifter. Running under the daylight sun. Better not get used to it though, come Monday I go back to the darkness. I had a wonderful run on roads and trails. There is a very nice spur trail of the SHT. Click here to see this beautiful trail as it meanders the "northern" Minnesota woods. Over the last year it has made it's way through the inner woods of Duluth. I love to run this spur trail as it is nice connector for some great running loops. Anyway, the trail was packed and the footing was as good or better than summer running. I didn't see another runner for the entire loop, although I did manage to see my share of pissed off Christmas shoppers. If it makes you so mad, why do you do it? People look at me like I am the bad guy just for running along the edge of the road. Oh well, I guess that will never end, as there will always be those insecure people.

A great run!

Totals: 50:00+ 7 miles

Friday, December 14, 2007


Ever sleep so deep it hurts getting up? I have an almost three year old, so that feeling hasn't hit me in some time. Since I started getting up early more consistently I seem to be sleeping deeply. I guess that is a good thing.

I knew that once I was going this morning I would have made my goal of running every day this week. The temps were once again in the negatives. The wind wasn't all that strong, but when it gusted it sure had bite! I did another variation of my cemetery loop and added some distance on the west side of UMD. It makes for a nice add on and getting me home closer to forty five minutes. The legs were feeling ok. I am a bit worried of the tight calves and overall sore lower legs. I know it is from all the slipping and uneven surfaces, I just hope I can adjust, keep loose, and avoid injury.

Totals: 43:00 ~6miles

Thursday, December 13, 2007

There's Money to be Made

This morning I decided to run on the packed single track trails in Hartley. These trails are great running in the winter because they get a ton of traffic from snowshoes as well as winter mountain bikers. I decided to wear a pair of racing flats (Brooks) and also add the "get a grip" slip on grip system. The get-a-grips work pretty well but they still have flaws, much like all the rest of the traction systems out there. Yak traks just don't seem to be effective ever. The get a grips seem to slip to one side or the other as you meander through the snow. Ice Bugs suck, unless you are one of the few that fits the shoe. I had a pair and used them on and off for a few seasons but always have sore feet and/or blisters when I am done. (they do work for traction though) So, I am telling some creative minds out there, there is money to make in the "winter running shoe traction" arena.

The run was pretty good, although I am getting tight calves after running for a few days in a row now on the winter streets. I must pay attention to stretching the legs to keep things loose and hopefully not have a return of the Achilles tendinitis.
No new snow yet this morning, but I guess there is some on the way.

Totals: ~ 5 miles 35+ minutes

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I took a look at the temperature before I got dressed this morning and it appeared like a comfortable morning. I didn't wear my cold weather jacket and I didn't wear my buff (aka. face warmer). The early miles are always a bit brisk until you warm up, but this morning I had a few hills early and then some flats for a while and man was I chilled. My arms and hands, despite wearing "choppers" got cold. ( i am learning that choppers are not all they were built up to be as I was growing up, I need to buy some decent mitts that will keep my hands warm) I ran the last thirty minutes actually running cold and attempting to pick up the pace just to warm up. My hamstrings were a bit tight from all the slipping, so my up tempo wasn't all that "up". I was happy that I finally cracked an hour for a morning run and will hope to build on it.

Totals: 1:05:00 9 miles

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Right Direction

I made it past the two hardest days of the week and managed to get out of bed and get in a run. My goal for the week was to attempt to run all seven days this week and get my ass going in order to make this a habit not a goal. This weekends goal is to get a decent medium distance run in. (10-12 miles will do)

This morning I really had to get up at the crack because of a mandatory work meeting at 7:00. That made for a bit of a shorter run than I wanted but none the less a good run. I did the out and back on west skyline. A good thing this was at 5:00 am because the streets were slick with snow as the temps rose to the mid 20's this morning causing me to literally run in the middle of the road. (i only saw 3 cars on my run) I must have had a decent pace going, as I hit the turn in less than 19:00, and I was thinking it would be close to 20:00. Legs felt fresh and hopefully I will carry this momentum towards the rest of the week.

Totals: 38:00 ~5.5 miles

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two Beeps

I managed to snooze my alarm only twice this morning and made it out for an easy loop. Another cold morning, the mercury read no better than 0.

I did the old standbye route of cemetery and extended to UMD. Nothing special except I finally made it out of bed on a Monday morning.

Totals: 5 miles 34:00

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's The Holiday's

Our family fetched our "Holiday" tree last night and got all the glitter and glam on it today. The photo attached is my son goofing around and trying not to grab the balls and stuff and pitch the across the room.

The run was another cool one today. I have read a lot of other blogs and most people at one point have mentioned they have to "acclimate" to the cold weather as of late. I believe this, as my face wasn't covered on today's run and it was a balmy 2+ degrees F. I did a short loop down from our house and up 4th street past East High school and up Chester Bowl river trails. Overall, an easy run that met my goal of "time on my feet". My legs and groin felt pretty good today. The goal going into next week is to run all seven days.

Totals: 45:00 6.5 miles
Totals Week: 33 miles
Totals Year: 1733 miles

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Today is my fathers birthday. His first birthday as a retiree. Have a Happy birthday dad and many more to come.

The run today was delayed until the temps rose to 0. That's right, 0! A couple buddies, Dave S. and Kooks, met me at the Hartley trailhead and we decided to attempt to run the single track and see how far in the park we could make it. The first mile or two were in pretty good shape but from there the trail had some decent snowshoe traffic but not enough to run with just running shoes. After a few small loops we headed out to the roads and finished the hour. Overall a good run for me. No major pains, but just tightness in the groin. I gave it a good stretch once I got home and that seemed to help.

Totals: 1:00:00 trails and roads. ~7.5 miles

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ending The Workweek

Getting out for a Friday morning run is a wonderful feeling. After work you can get home and kick off the shoes, put on the sweat pants and have a beer if you like. This mornings run was another cool one that required my face mask. I didn't have to pull it up over my nose but at times I covered the lower part of my face. The footing sure is good when it is this cold, I guess that is one benefit when running on the streets in sub zero weather.

My route was the extended Pig's loop that brings me out to Martin road and home via the Vermilion road. A nice loop that offers a few decent climbs. My groin/lower right abdomen remains to be sore from time to time and I am going to give it the weekend and then possibly see someone next week and get it checked out. (i sure hope it is just a tight/pulled muscle.)

Totals: 57:00 7.5+ miles

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Make That Two!

Time to celebrate...made it two days in a row out the door. I do feel this new energy since I have a semi-plan heading into the new year. I have to say, I am a bit excited to see what kind of times I will run if all goes well.

This morning was another cold one...just a bit over 0 and little to no wind. I managed a nice easy loop through the cemetery and umd back to the house. My right groin continues to get tight and give me a little grief once in awhile but I seem to keep it at bay with stretching.

Totals: 5 miles ~36:00

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's Cold But It's Nice to be Running

Monday= no running, no work, had a virus that gave me terrible "butt pee"

Tuesday= no running, feel better but still agitated stomach

That brings me to today. I woke up and had all the best motivation to get out the door and get a decent run in. I looked at the temp and seeing the big 0 was not of help. I looked outside and saw the smoke from the neighbors roof moving horizontal off the roof, that makes for a decent headwind. I have been doing a lot of reading lately and included in the latest TrailRunner issue are several quotes and words of wisdom from the top ultra/trail runners. I like Eric Blakes the best. Titled "No Excuses" he is quoted as saying, "there's always time to run. if you don't think so, just get up earlier. stop feeling sorry for yourself, and just get out the door." This is exactly what I needed. I thought, "quit being such a puss and go run". I will keep reading this issue until I get into my routine if I have to. The other motivation is all the other blogger out there. Eric in Fargo particularly was of motivation with his good running lately. Keep up the good work Eric!

I wrote up a basic plan for myself by the month. I didn't get too specific for the individual weeks, but I have an idea what each month will focus on from now until the month of June, aka. Grandma's Marathon. The biggest change for me will be the addition of at least one ultra trail run. Looking at the "local" spring schedule I am thinking of the Trial Mix 50k, and possibly the Ice Age 50k. I have some more research to do before making my final decisions but both of those runs will fit into the 2008 schedule very well. (it is interesting how I go from not running to thinking of Ultra's...)

The nice thing I have going is the change in weather. It is now true winter. Not technically by date, but where I live, it is winter. I know my "winter routes" and snowshoe running is now in full force.

Getting back to this morning, I made it out the door and headed into the wind and finally making the turn at 25 minutes or so. It sure was nice to be running with the wind. I did a version of my Pig's Loop and the footing was wonderful. I didn't wear a watch and don't plan to much this month, as time on my feet will be this months focus.

Totals: 6.5 miles+ ~50:00

Sunday, December 2, 2007

24 Hours of Enthusiasm

Yesterday I blogged about "getting a new start" and being all hyped-up on starting my base phase. Today was just another day of downers and "who cares" attitudes. I guess I am glad this is December and not April, otherwise I might be going to see my doctor tomorrow. I think most of this funk, if that's what you want to call it, has to do with all the change this time of the season. First off, the darkness. It is dark when I run in the morning, and dark when I get home from work. Second, the uncertainty of the weather. Just because I go to bed and it is clear and calm doesn't mean it will be like that in the morning. Now that true winter has set in, I think it will be easier to have the mindset of winter training. I will be on the roads, and on the trails with snowshoes starting next week and when I can, I will be skiing (skiing is my least favorite thing to do of all the cross training but I will do it occasionally) as soon as tracks are set.

There is 29 weeks until Grandma's Marathon 2008. It is sad that this is what motivates me, but I can't help it. It is my hometown marathon and I have so much unfinished business to do in the marathon that I don't really care what lies before then. Once I get some milage under my belt maybe I will be fired up to do something sooner, but right now, I just need base.

Totals: 18 miles Week
Totals: Year 1700 miles

Saturday, December 1, 2007

New Start...TM Style

I didn't run Friday. 0 miles AGAIN!

We are getting snow like mad. By the time I decided I would go out and run there was complete blizzard conditions and hitting the roads with a fragile groin was not in my plans. Good thing we have a nice TM to hop on. I didn't quite know what I would feel like but I managed to get a decent run while listening to some good tunes on the I-Pod. I continue to have groin soreness and low back pain all on the same side. I hope this disappears soon, I don't need another reason to stay in bed when my alarm goes off next week.
Since it is the first of the month, I am going to try to "start over" with the motivation and hope I can get a weeks worth of running straight.
Totals: 47:39 6.6 miles