Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of Year!

I will attempt to do a brief summary of the year... maybe tomorrow. Not much to report since it was another downer of a year as far as performances went.

Today was my last run of 2008 and I had to do it on the treadmill. Not exactly what I would have wished for but it was a good run anyway. Once I warmed up I set the speed at 8 mph and didn't touch it until I was done. Even at this easy pace I could tell the HR was at it's upper limits for aerobic conditioning but I didn't wear the monitor so I wasn't quite sure thus went on RPE. Legs felt pretty good and no pains to report. I was starting to get a tight right hip flexor but stretched it out quite a bit yesterday and felt wonderful today.

Totals:  1:00:00  8 miles (on treadmill  2% grade/ 8 mph <7:30>)

YEARS TOTALS: 2072 miles

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hartley Loops

I got word that the trails in Hartley were runnable without the use of snowshoes. This morning I would investigate this and see how the footing was and if the Yaktraks were compatible with the surface. The trails were decent, some rough spots, but for the most part very runnable for an easy run. The Yak's worked super for this terrain and I will most likely wear them throughout the season as they offer the extra confidence in stepping on what could be some slick, icy spots.
I ran all the single track trails with the exception of the guardrail loop and made my way home. A enjoyable run, but this run reminded me that it will be necessary to get moving on some stretching and strength training program again, as all the ups and downs left me a bit stiff.

Totals: 47:34  5.5 miles  (8:38 pace)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Vermilion Miles

Having the temperatures warm up last weekend made for some slippery roads this morning. I wasn't sure how the side roads would be so I took a chance on them and wore the Yaktraks. A wonderful combination which made for a super run. Excellent grip, no traffic and comfortable temps, (a balmy 22F at the tundra house), made the loop just fly bye. This loop may become a staple to the weekly volume because of the near perfect winter running conditions.
Just as I was finishing the weather pattern switched and the temps dropped near 8 degrees and the wind picked up quite a bit. 

Totals: 59:41   7.7 miles  (7:41 pace)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wrap Up

I had a decent week of running going and then the weekend produced back to back zero's. My side of the family celebrated a belated Christmas Saturday and I was lazy on Sunday. No excuses. Lazy.

Weeks Totals: ~ 22 miles (4 runs/ 2 snowshoe)
Years Totals: 2051 miles

Friday, December 26, 2008

Yaktraks for Traction

I received a pair of the Yaktraks Pro for Christmas from my wife. What a fabulous present. Over the years I have come to realize that with each type of running terrain there are several different types of traction devices.

 I own a pair of "get a grips" that slip over your shoe and have little spikes to grasp the ice. These are good for spring running when there is little snow but lots of black ice on the roadways. I also own a pair of gortex Ice-Bugs. Not sure if they are still being sold on the market but these shoes were made in Canada, I believe, and though they were a good idea, the shoe didn't fit all feet and they were HEAVY. (the next year, Asics attempted to match the idea and not sure of their success) This type of shoe is very similar to get a grips by helping in icy conditions, but offer little help with more than two inches of snow. I'm not too sure why it took me so long to acquire a pair of Yaktraks but for condition like this morning, I have yet to enjoy running in what I call "sugar snow". Granted the roads had been plowed two days ago, with the warmer temperatures they soften and cause quite the slip to the ordinary shoe. Yaktraks offer a little more "bite" then other devices and that made all the difference in this mornings run. For conditions with more snow, get off the roads and hit the trails with a pair of running snowshoes. Running on snowshoes works many, small muscles that road running misses, because it forces you to change form just a bit, and also creates more leg lift with deeper snow conditions. If this isn't your "bag", hit the tracked trails of your local Nordic ski center. Just my take on the opportunities that you all have the day after Christmas. I'm off to work!

Totals: 38:30  4.9 miles

Thursday, December 25, 2008

'Overdressed' for Christmas

Merry Christmas to all bloggers and readers!

Prior to heading out for my run I glanced at the mercury and it read a solid zero. There didn't appear to be much wind but I figured I should be prepared for a little breeze. In these conditions it is best to err on the cautious side. Having sunny skies must have made the difference because I put too many layers on and paid the price while climbing for the first 2.5 miles. I must say though, my 'boys' were quite happy in their new, warm underwear that my honey got me as a present.

The course brought me up Woodland to Martin and home via Vermilion. Slow and easy was the goal for the day and I accomplished that.

Totals: 57:30  7.5 miles

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This morning I followed my tracks from yesterday. Duluth got about 5" of fresh powder yesterday so some of my paths were covered quite well. Legs feel pretty good with snowshoeing. My quads felt a bit heavy this morning but once I got on the road for the return trip from the trailhead they felt light and snappy. Overall a good morning of running.

Totals: 55:00  (hartley snowshoe)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Today is a New Day" -chicken little

Take advantage of the season that surrounds you. That was exactly what I did this morning. With temps above zero and a steady snowfall already started I immediately made my way to the Hartley trails for an hour of snowshoe. The trails are getting in great shape and I had to break fresh trail only on the gasline. Snowshoeing is a different beast of running. You use the hip flexors a lot more and one needs to allow time for these muscles to adjust or you can drive yourself into the ground real fast. It was snowing at such a rate that once I made my way out of the woods some 50 minutes later, my initial tracks were covered up.

Totals: 58:00  (snowshoe to the gasline)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Feeling Lost

Reading marathon training plans can be a bit confusing. It may be the day or it has finally happened. I am sick of thinking of training. I just want to do it without doing the "thinking". Maybe I am grasping at any possibility to improve in my late 30's. Ok, I'll say it, almost 40! I want to train for 16-20 weeks and have that killer race for what seems everyone has had except ME!  Maybe I am looking for someone else to shoulder my pain and sorrow for when that race day comes and the race just doesn't unfold the way it was planned. (this is often the case)

I have an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science and a certification through the American College of Sports Medicine as a "Clinical Exercise Specialist", but I am just too fried at researching for ideas that might give me the extra edge. Would it be Pfitzinger, J. Daniels, Lydiard, HADD -training to get me to the next level of competition?  I'm exhausted and I want someone else to do the research. I'll do the running....
Any takers?  
As Chicken Little says, "tomorrow is a new day."  Maybe I will find some energy to read some new training books or articles online.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Good

Here is a total for the last two weeks of running.
Dec. 8-14th = 26.4 miles
Dec. 15-21st = 30 miles

I am a bit bummed with the lack of running going on. I have the mental motivation to get going and start getting to some serious base work again, but the weather just won't cooperate. I guess I am thankful there are no plans to do a Jan. or Feb. marathon like I had once entertained the thought of. 
I guess the good news is I broke 2K for the year.

Totals for Year = 2029 miles

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Singletrack Snowshoe

We got a ton of new snow. Near 8" of fresh, light powder. I knew the trails in Hartley would be calling my name and I needed to investigate their condition. After a slow 5 minute jog to the trail head I made my way to the singletrack and proceeded to make a loop. A loop that would include all but the "guardrail" loop. The legs felt good, but I could tell new muscles were getting a workout and I should take it easy. A  wonderful workout and I am looking forward to many more of these.

Totals: 55:00 ~6.5 miles  (HR Ave= 147)

Friday, December 19, 2008


I had to hit the roads early and cut the run a bit short today because of heading into work early. That was alright because the streets are once again becoming snow covered with fresh snow of what meteorologists are calling our second major snow fall. 
After slipping and sliding on the "sugar" snow I made my way through a half hour loop without any falls.

Totals: 32:40  4+ miles

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Frigid again

Similar conditions like yesterday. Cold, crisp, with a slight breeze, the kind of breeze when temperatures are in the negatives that make it feel like gale force winds. I managed to stick to the roads because Hartley trails are shitty right now. Out to Martin road and back via Vermillion

Totals: 8 miles

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Almost a Missed Opportunity

This morning was close to another zero for running. I snoozed the alarm a few times before my feet hit the floor and made my way to the basement. As I do most mornings, I stop at the sliding door to the porch and check on the wind conditions. This morning was relatively calm. The temps were much "better", meaning close to zero. By this time I was about thirty minutes late for getting out the door, but still had time to run a quick 5 miler.
As soon as I was running I knew it was going to be a good run. My legs felt fresh, because they are from all the down mileage weeks, and the grip from the crunchy snow made striding almost effortless. A quick loop through the cemetery, and some Hunters Park neighborhood streets and I was on my way back to the house. I am so glad I didn't skip this one!

Totals: 37:40 5 miles 7:35 pace

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

-26F Air Temp = No Running

The title says it all. With air temps in the -30 F below, that is where I call it off. Maybe a little treadmill running later tonight.

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Winter Blizzard

No running yesterday with the start of the winters first major blizzard.
Here is a link of what we were dealing with.

This morning the storm was over as far as accumulation, but the wind and frigid temperatures persisted. I ran an easy 45 minutes on the treadmill because of the temps and watching my son as his preschool was closed.

Totals: 44:38  6 miles   (1.5% grade/ 8.5 mph)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Two More For The Trails

Friday= The coldest day of the winter yet! At our house, the "house in the tundra", had a temperature of -20F. The TV station on top of the hill had -13F, and down by the lake had -3F. No matter what, it was cold!
I made my way to the trails once again to stay protected from any wind that might have blown but the conditions were quite still. A full moon was glowing like no other, which gave me added light, as my headlamp faded quick with the cold temps and fragile batteries. The added bonus of running in conditions like that would be the traction one has. I wore my newest pair of NB 790's and the trails were crisp and clean. Feeling great, I ran the loop quicker than my past "winter" training times as of late. Overall, a great morning of running.

Totals: 46:00  5.6 miles  8:15 pace (trails)

Saturday=  the temperatures have risen and the footing has become terrible. I mean the kind of terrible where you wish you would have stayed in bed terrible. Slipping on the roads, I made my way to the same trails hoping to find better footing. It was a bit better but still miserable. I decided to take the pace very easy in hopes of keeping the slippage to a minimum. The trails were covered with an inch or two of fresh powder and I was the first to make fresh tracks, other than the rabbits, fox, squirrels, and deer that had beat me to the punch. After a complete guardrail loop and extra by the nature center I made my way home and called it a morning.

Totals: 1:04:34   7.2 miles  8:59 pace (trails and slippage)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tundra In The Dark

I missed running on Monday, just call it a lazy morning.
Tuesday I ran to the trails at Hartley and made my way through the singletrack and eventually ran into my "winter" running partner Chris Gardner. I say winter because we often cross paths during the winter months while we are base training. Our running  paths/ plans usually go different ways come spring and we don't end up running together all that much. With that said, it sure is nice to bump into a fellow runner in the early morning and have someone to talk with. 

Tuesday's Total:  1:01:00  6.8 miles

I got screwed out of a run on Wednesday because of an early morning meeting.
no miles recorded.

This morning I had the same plans as Tuesday and surprisingly ran into Chris again very early into the run. I was at six minutes and I could see his lamp shining my way. We ran a  nice loop, including the guardrail loop, and after making our way back to the pond I called it a morning and made the return trip home. A nice hour run in the cold tundra of the North. Temps were well below zero with the windchill.

 Wednesday's Totals:  1:01:00  6.8 miles

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Waterfront Hour

I made my way out to Jeremy's house to join him and Jay Lee for an easy hour along the western waterfront trail. With the added snow it was a bit slick in spots but not bad. Just for the sake of being safe regarding the "cold" I didn't want to run too long this weekend so I capped the day off at just over an hour. Good run, and looking forward to progressing next week.

Totals: 1:06:11  ~8.5 miles  (forgot the Garmin, no other data)

Weeks Totals: 19 miles (three runs)
Years Totals: 1973 miles

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Trails

Today was another cold, crisp  winter day. The temps hovered near 0F and less wind. I headed to the trails to make my mark on the fresh two or three inches of snow that fell last night. The trails had one fresh track of a dog and two runners ahead of me. I am constantly amazed at the pace that is often run on the single track. I was putting forth a decent effort and could average "only" 8:27 pace. It's amazing, as once I hit the road to connect our house from the trails I was running similar effort at sub 7:00 pace.
Overall, a really good day with less residual from the virus last week.

Totals: 48:17   5.7 miles   8:27 pace

Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome Back to the Tundra

This morning marked the first day of running in a week. The virus I had last week really took some time to kick and taking time off of running was a necessity. So, as I returned this morning I was greeted by minus degree temps along with a pretty stiff wind. I quickly made my way to the trails and ran an easy loop protected from the wind. That makes such a difference. I am now hoping the bugs are behind me and I can return to some steady mileage and get prepared for marathon build-up.

Totals: 38:19  4.6 miles  HR(135)  8:15 pace (trails)
temps: -6 F air temp with a stiff wind.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Make That Seven-- MN Music

The virus kicked my ass and allowed me to take a week, yes seven days off. Nothing. Zeros across the board. I should be able to get moving again tomorrow. Wow, hope nothing like that comes my way anytime soon.

A shout out to Kurt for doing a Minnesota Music review the last few postings. I have been waiting for him to reflect on one of my favorite bands that used to hit the bars in Duluth towards the end of their "days". I didn't find too much on the web but this should allow some decent memories for those that had a chance to dance and enjoy their entertainment. 
Sorry Kurt, no intentions to steal your posting idea but I had to share with yah. 
You can find it HERE.
(don't know how to post You Tube Video)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Once Again Virus, You Win

I would have never known it but on Wednesday I was doomed. Doomed for yet another virus running uncontrollably through the house. Upon returning home from work Wed. I was starting to feel the effects. Burning nose, tight throat, head pressure, and ringing in the ears. Yep, just another virus that would cause me week of training to be kicked in the balls. I woke for the Gobble Gallop and knew I wouldn't be running. What's the use? The all out effort might drive the cold-bug into my system more and cause me to miss more training. Then it started to snow. It snowed hard for an hour leaving about 1+ inches of powder snow on the streets. "Nope, not racing in this" I thought. Ordinarily I would love to take on this added element of surprise, but not today. That would be the last nail in the coffin. Good thing. Friday wasn't much better and Saturday morning was worse, and finally today I started feeling better, but sounded much worse. My son and I made our way to the pond near our house and played a little boot hockey between ourselves which was a blast.
Tomorrow I may attempt to get a short run in the morning if I can get all the phlegm out of my sinuses by then. A good "burner" in the early, cool morning should do the body good.

Totals: Week=  20 miles
               Year=   1954 miles

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gallop 5k

Here are the winners for the 2008 Gobble Gallop 5K.
Despite a quick squall that left the streets of Duluth covered in an inch of fresh snow, the turnout was great!

Men's Winner: Gregory Hexum 16:45
Women's Winner:  Rochelle Wirth  19:37

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Speed

Today I ran upper Woodland and ran the "short" loop back to the house. In the past I have referred to this loop as the "Pig's" loop. Nothing special, as I wanted this to be relatively easy with some striders to prepare for tomorrows Gobble Gallop. I have no speed in the legs to speak of, but I do have a pretty consistent running base. In the past I have not raced well on this easy base mileage, so I expect the same result tomorrow. The legs felt good and finally starting to feel some snap back in the striders.

Totals: 49:34  6.6 miles  7:31 pace

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Protect the Pearls

I did the out and back on west Skyline Blvd. this morning. The temps were in the low single digits along with a slight breeze. This run reminded me that I need to purchase additional wind briefs. I have two pair and they were both in the wash so I had to risk it today. Not a risk I want to take. Any men out there freeze their junk in the past? Not good.
I didn't wear the HR monitor this morning and ran on my "effort". Just by looking at the final numbers I am assuming I was running at the higher HR's as of late. I felt good and am looking forward to the rest of the week.

Totals: 57:30  8 miles   7:06 pace

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pleasant Surprise

After running back to back longer runs this weekend I figured this mornings run would be a bit sore. Not the case. Even the muscles that were sore all last week felt good today. Interesting to say the least. I managed to keep the HR pretty low, the average looks a bit higher than I think it was because of the poor readings for the first ten minutes or so. Nice to see the HR low and the pace pretty decent. Followed todays run with some lower leg exercises.

Totals:  41:59   5.4 miles  (HR 131)  7:43 pace

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week Review Video

Here is the first, and maybe last, video of the Weeks Summary. If I get the handle of this type of thing, I will attempt to do a review of the weeks running related topics as well as my own. Time will tell.

OK, it didn't work. I am not sure... anybody out there have a clue. I am using a MAC and for some reason Blogger is giving me an error code. The video file I was going to post was .4MB and was a QuickTime vid. ? not sure what to do.

Back to Back

Something I haven't done in some time is the weekend back to back longer runs. After yesterday's ninety minutes I decided to make it an effort to go for two hours. I a complete loop in Hartley and some SHT spur trails. Everything felt super until 100 minutes into the run. I ran out of energy and was starting to tank. I had taken a gel fifty minutes into the run and had one bottle of water with, but this wasn't quite enough. Kind of sick that I found that feeling enjoyable for a little bit. It seems like this would be the point where one is creating those capillary beds deep in the muscles, but most likely not. In order to do that one needs to be fueled and if you are bonking like that the fuel stores are on fumes. Fun!
I was planning to link a video, pod, of the weeks summary. We'll see if I have time later.

Totals: 1:56:30   13 miles  (HR 133)  8:55 pace

Weeks Totals: 50 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1934 miles

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Group Trail Run

I met a few people out at the Chester Bowl trail head for their long run. I had plans of running a medium-long run and doing so with a group would be great. For those of you that are not familiar with the Chester Bowl trail system, they are trails that only the gnarly skiers ski, and many people of all groups walk, jog, sleep on the lower river trails. They are very hilly and slow moving on the way back up the river. At any rate, they are super trails and I attempt to make them a  weekly occurrence in my training. From Chester we made our way to the UMD, Rock Hill trail system. After a complete loop, we made out way via the SHT to Hartley trails. I made my way out with the boys to the "gasline" and made my way back home. For the most part, the trails are in super shape. Most of the trails are ice-free and offer pretty decent running surfaces. The technical single track and hills, like most trails, slow the pace down. It's nice to wear a HR monitor because even with the pace down, the HR was up where I needed it to be.
Super run!

Totals: 1:31:00  10.7 miles  (HR 138)  8:41 pace

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hard to believe the temperatures lately. These types don't usually occur until Jan. or Feb. I was a bit shocked to see the temps in the negatives this morning. -2F with clear skies. Yuk! After digging out the cold winter clothes I was off to do an easy hour loop. 

The cold temperatures must have made me run a bit quicker because I ran the loop about two minutes faster than the last time running. Most things are feeling well, I just need to add the strength exercises three to four times a week over the winter months.

I am having a bit of trouble with the HR monitor in the early miles. Because of the cold and little to no sweat on my body until twenty minutes or so, it has been reading really high and irregular. (No it is not my actual HR, I checked.) Once I get a sweat on, the contacts improve and my HR drops about thirty beats. Maybe I need to start using some type of gel for better contacts.

Totals: 55:36  7.6 miles  (HR 144 ? accuracy)  7:17 pace

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wind Chill

I had to deal with an actual "wind chill" this morning. It was under 10F at our house with a pretty stiff wind blowing. Good thing it was time for an easy day of running at super low HR. My GPS/ HR may need a new strap battery because it wasn't recording like it usually does in the early miles. Or, maybe I had to warm up the layer of ice on my body to make good contact?
I hit the Rock Hill trails nice and slow in the NB 790's. Felt good.

Totals: 48:49  5.7 miles  (HR 134)  8:31 pace

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Skyline Blvd.

Out and back on Skyline Blvd. this morning offered me some easy, more flat running than my other courses. Right from the door I knew I would be running at my higher HR's so I let it happen. For some reason, I have let my leg "exercises" slip a bit and my right hip is letting me know. I get a tight right hip flexor and glutes anytime I shy away from any routine. Now is the time to get strong in hopes to raise my game to the PR level this spring/summer.

Totals: 57:14  8 miles   (HR 139)  7:05 pace

Monday, November 17, 2008

Refocus, Start Building

After having several months of easy base-building and taking most of last week off, I am ready to start building the mileage and work my way into marathon specific training. For me it takes an actual race goal to get the ship going. As I stated last week, I don't want to limit myself to one race, rather get in shape and see what will be available come that time. With a little luck, Grandma's Marathon will be one of those races.
This mornings run was one just to get out the door and dust off the "cob webs". Easy running and some stretching.

Totals: 38:16   5.1 miles  (HR 133)  7:28 pace

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Week That Wasn't

Thursday through Sunday was a stretch of zero's. No running at all. That was a good break both physically and mentally and now I am looking forward to settling in on marathon training. I hate to pick a race and train for it. I realize that's how most people train and stay motivated but I am thinking of trying something different. I want to spend some the rest of the year, through December, on building the base mileage up to 80+ miles per week on singles. After that point I will evaluate how I feel and start looking forward at all the marathons and half marathons in the spring. I may try to squeeze in a late winter 1/2 marathon just to break up the training cycles. Like I mentioned, no "plans", but I will be eyeing up several events and pick the one's that hit my fitness and training cycles. Let's hope it works.

Weeks Totals: 13 miles
Years Totals: 1884 miles

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Roller Coaster Illness

I've had this happen in the past and had it play out different. That's the beauty of the virus. They are all different. I ran on Monday and Tuesday didn't feel well again. This morning was a test and for the most part felt OK, just nothing special. I may end up taking more time off this week, as I am heading to my home town to take in some deer hunting festivities. I don't hunt, but I do love the food and beer that the "game" has to offer. Looking at my fall schedule and looking at where I am heading, it would be a good week to take off and have one more block of rest before I start the climb to marathon madness in the spring. Sounds good to me.

Totals: 38:21   5.1 miles  (HR 129)  7:31 pace

Monday, November 10, 2008

Upper Limits

Heading out the door this morning I found temperatures in the upper teens and just a bit of a headwind while running up Woodland Ave.  After a mile or so I decided it would be a day to run in the "upper" HR limits. Woodland hill is always a challenge for the HR then it levels off until climbing Vermilion hill. Redline!!! The good news at that point in the run was the wind was now at my back which is always fun.
The only complaint this morning was my right foot was sore. The foot bones that is. I did use a massage ball on my arches last night while watching TV, but I did it for less than five minutes. I doubt it was that,  but you never know. I will attempt to get some decent stretches in today.

Totals: 57:10  8 miles   (HR 139)   7:10 pace

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Frozen Tundra

After the initial adjustments I really like this time of year and the running it offers. The temps were right around 20F which allowed the trails to "firm up". Today was an easy recovery day. Running on the trails offered my legs the rest they needed and also offered me the opportunity to run easy and slow. I am quite happy with the way my legs recovered from yesterday. No pains or fatigue at all. Looking forward to the next week.

Totals: 50:10   6 miles  (HR 128)  8:31 pace

Weeks Totals: 53 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1871 miles

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Snow

This morning marks the first official accumulated snow. We didn't get much, a trace at best, but enough to notice. The temps hovered around 30F with a little breeze. My buddy Hex whom I haven't ran with in months, possibly a year, came to the "city" because of the deer opener. We did a nice out and back through some trails in town. I noticed the HR for me was a bit high many points in the run but the overall "average" was alright. The other factor I experimented with was fluid intake. Usually if I am going to run for two hours I take a bottle of fluid with me. More in the summer months. Today I tried to fuel up in the hours prior to running but didn't take any fluid on the run. I had difficulty in the last twenty minutes with my quads fatiguing. I don't like doing that and will take fluids from now on. It makes it much easier to wash down the gels as well.

Totals: 1:55:17   15 miles   (HR 135)  7:42 pace (trails/roads)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Shorts. The Final Countdown

As I looked out the kitchen window to catch a glimpse at the temperature I was a bit shocked. 44F! The weather channel had much higher "down by the lake".  The decision was an easy one. I must wear shorts one more time. 
I did an easy run up Woodland and made my way home via the short loops. No issues to discuss, just a bit tired is all.
Totals: 50:51   6.6 miles (HR 126)  7:41 pace

Once again the temperatures were much higher than usual for this time of year. With the forecast of potential snow this weekend I had to run one more time in shorts. Again, very comfortable, but today there were wind gusts to keep things interesting. Today I was able to up the HR just a bit more than yesterday and go a bit longer. I felt wonderful. The kind of run where you sure are happy you didn't skip a day. My HR versus effort was much lower than yesterday and the loop times show. After the run I managed to get a short set of lower leg exercises in before heading off to work.
Totals: 54:11   7.4 miles  (HR 132)  7:11 pace

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock The Vote!

I had a good nights sleep going until 0330. I heard the dog shaking and rolling on his back, then I knew it would be about one hour and the alarm would be giving me a call. The next thing I knew it was 0430 and I was up heading for the basement. Crazy heh?

 I got an early start to my Tuesday "work-day" that will eventually be 12-14 milers. I am still building these days up and today it was a ten miler. The course for these types of run is usually west Skyline as it offers little to no traffic. Besides running, I managed to see two deer that would make a trophy deer hunter cream his jeans. Sorry for the analogy, but it's true. The first deer I saw was a mere twenty FEET away and was an eight-pointer. The return trip was going great and I stumbled upon what I believe was a ten pointer if not more. (that's hunter jargon for the number of "horns"  on each side of the male deers head)

The run went great and I am looking forward to getting out of this base-phase, but that is a bit away yet. I would like to get the mileage up to 80-85 and adjust before making any serious attempts at "workouts". Besides, it is way too early to start that. My season would be done by March if I started now.

I rocked the vote and took my son with me. He asked on the way to the voting precinct if "morok obama" was going to be there. I told him no, but we would cast our vote and see him later on TV.

Totals: 1:12:10  10.1 miles  HR 136   7:08 pace 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fog Morning

Ran an easy run up to Martin road in the dense fog this morning. Wearing a headlamp on a morning like this is not very beneficial except for being visible. It is quite annoying to wear because of the reflection back in your eyes. Kept the pace easy though on the dark roads. It should burn off and have a wonderful day if the forecast is correct. Just another easy recovery run. 

Totals: 58:35   7.6 miles  (HR 130)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Down Week

Managed to acquire my first virus of the season over the week. Had  a couple bad days and then tapered off rather quickly. Towards the end of the week I was feeling quite well on my runs and will carry the momentum into this week. Now is the time as well to start improving on strength training three times a week. If I can keep consistent with that program the spring should be a decent season for me.

Totals: 33 miles (4 runs)
Years Totals: 1818 miles


Just a quick entry for the medium distance run today. I kept to the trails as they are starting to dry up quite well. Rock Hill is in super shape as well as the SHT, but Hartley has a little more drying out yet. It would be nice to have them dry before we get a freeze and/or snow.
The pace on trails is significantly slower than my road miles but that really isn't the point of training right now. I need to stay aerobic and build over the next month or so. The hills felt really good today and I may finally getting some strength built up. 

Totals: 1:35:18   11.5 miles   (HR 137) 8:20 pace

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chili Champ

Friday= no running. more rest needed.  0 miles

Yesterday at work the gang decided to have a Chili Cook-Off. I had just made chili last weekend and managed to make a good batch. So, Thursday night I whipped up another fresh batch and had to trust my instincts that it tasted alright because of this cold I'm currently fighting has my taste buds all messed up. It must have been decent because I won the contest. Out of six wonderful entries I managed to get the blue ribbon.

This morning I made my way out the door nice and early and had a wonderful loop planned. The trails of Hartley and SHT were calling my name. Most of the "wet" spots were actually frozen which made for easy maneuvering around the mud. The one thing I forgot was the potential hunter zones. Not sure if there is a city hunt going on or not. That's the one thing that sucks in November. A good run to get going again.

Totals: 54:00   7.5 miles   (HR 136)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

You Suck Virus!

Tis the season for those nasty viruses. I knew something wasn't right on Sunday's run as I was hacking up some serious goop not knowing where it was all coming from. Monday was OK but nothing too special. Monday night I had a terrible sore throat which lead into Tuesday. Wednesday was a day of living in a fog. My sinuses were plugged and the headaches from hell. Today wasn't much better but the headaches are gone and I released one hell of a mucous plug on the bus going to work. Good thing I had a bunch of tissue with me, it would have been a long way to hold a lugge in the mouth.

This brings me to such a question. Someone once told me that if your "illness" is above your neck line, continue to exercise. If it is below, don't run. Not too sure of this old fable, but I haven't ran and don't think I would have liked to. Anybody out there with any slant on this topic?

I will run in the morning if the head isn't too stuffed up. I'm just  a bit bummed out because I was just on the way up,up,up in mileage. Oh, well, what's another week?
Here's to better running. Cheers!

Totals: 0 running  (one hell of a mucous plug release)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mind Games

Tuesday: Had plans to meet up with Adam after work. That didn't work out. Went home and ordered pizza.   0 miles

This morning I still had a bit of a sore throat and clogged sinuses. I just wanted to get out and do something. After warming up I made my way through the cemetery. It must be the time of the year, as Halloween approaches, but running through a cemetery with a head lamp on can be a bit spooky. I kept seeing things off to my side and when I turned my head nothing was there. I finally figured out it was the lights reflection off the headstones... oooooo.
Nothing special from a running standpoint. I did feel better once I got home. The run offered a good chance to clear the head.

Totals: 5 miles  (HR 132)  7:15 pace

Monday, October 27, 2008

Raccoon Snarls and Falling Stars

The run this morning was the first of the fall where it let me know that winter is coming. We had temps of 22F at our house with a pretty stiff wind. I was about three or four minutes into the run and I took an alley to get off the road and I spooked up a raccoon rummaging through some garbage. As I spooked him, he snarled and and scared the hell out of me, as I thought he was coming for the ankles. YOW!!! High stepping it for a few strides...
As I made my way out to Martin road the city lights became less and less, allowing the clear, star-filled skies appear. It was just then I saw a pretty low falling star scream right across the ski in front of me, pretty cool.
My legs felt fresh and once I made my way back to our house I had a little tail wind to help make the effort seem easy. It was nice to have the legs feel light and fresh.

Totals:  1:02:01  8.6 miles  (HR 134)  7:15 pace

Sunday, October 26, 2008


That was the mood for this afternoons run. I wanted to get out to the trails and run easy for at least an hour. Check. Having a running partner for that time would be great. Check. I finally connected with Chris G. and we made the best out of a very wet Hartley sinlge track loop. It sure would be nice if the whole loop was pine needle single track, like we get for a short 100-200 meters in the middle of the park.
My legs felt really good and I managed to keep the HR under control for the majority of the loop. The run left me in good position to up the ante on the mileage next week and begin a slow build up. My mind changes every day, but I think the best approach for me from this point is to keep running easy, mileage and creep up the volume. One more race on Thanksgiving day will round out any racing that is left for the year.

Totals: 1:16:36  8.1 miles  (HR 128)  9:25 pace/trails

Weeks totals: 60.3 miles (6 runs)
Years totals: 1785 miles

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beat The Weather

It sure wasn't in the plans to run longer this morning but when I heard the potential weather heading our way tomorrow it forced me to make some quick adjustments for the weekend. (i hate to say it, but it's rain, wind, and SNOW)

Temps were comfortable around 40F and just a little wind from the SW. My course took me out to some country roads near Lakewood and returning via east Skyline, aka. Hawks Ridge. Once I made it near my house I was a bit shy on time and added a quick loop in Rock Hill trails. The first forty minutes of this run were very miserable. High HR, legs dead and breathing way to high for the pace running. It was then I took a Power Gel and washed it down with some water. Within ten minutes I was feeling much better and finished the run without any troubles. Weird.

Totals: 1:53:37   15 miles   (HR 136)  7:38 pace

Friday, October 24, 2008

Easy Rain

The goal of this mornings run was to keep it really easy and get in 75 minutes. I managed to accomplish this but it was difficult being patient enough to hold back on the pace. I went west on Skyline Blvd. and circled Enger Tower before making my return trip. No frills except the rain and the two bastards that tried running me off the road with their cars. What the hell is the big deal? Is it that hard to move over, or hey, here's an idea... slow your shit down!!! I'll be on the lookout for those asses next trip and be ready to hit the ditch. By the way, I wear a Petzel headlamp, so yes they could see me.

Totals: 1:14:51   9.8 miles  (HR 131)  7:39 pace

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Equivocal HADD Test

no running. mental break. 
0 miles

That's the best way I could describe this mornings Hadd test I did. Back on September 12th I performed my first test without knowing my actual Max HR. The example I was following was for a person with a much higher max HR which made me run a bit over what I should have done for that exercise. I will post both tests below but I don't think there will be much to "compare". The data is quite different and today's data will be a lot more useful for the next test. The one thing I can say with certainty would be the overall effort was WAY easier today. By having my effort too high last test I overshot the HR zones at every level. This morning I was a bit under.
 I call this test equivocal because I think one would think after six weeks of steady running one's times would improve. But, this type of training is HR based not pace based. But, one's paces should and will improve after one gets a decent base built. The one thing I have done differently is my overall mileage volume. Compared to the training plan, my mileage has been quite low. Over the next four weeks it is my goal to up the mileage to the 80 mile per week range and see how the efforts and times go. If I can do that I will attempt to repeat the test in four weeks.
Here are the two tests compared:

HR's:    120        130        140          150         160

9/12          -              -        9:19          8:33        8:00
                                          (143)        (153)       (162) 
                                          6.13          5.43         5.20 
10/23    11:43      11:45    10:44        9:45         8:44
              (123)      (129)      (137)       (148)      (157) 
              7.50        7.51        7.12         6.32       5.52  
*parentheses are my HR, below is pace.

as I stated earlier, I ran this test with ease. i overshot the HR's last time and running the 160 range was very difficult. as you can see my HR at the 150 and 160 range is five beats lower than the last test, thus the drastic change in pace. believe me, five beats is a lot!! this morning the 150 and 160 range was easy and just two weekends ago I ran a 1/2 marathon at HR ave. 160.
 After digesting this for a bit, I believe that this is decent progress over a short time at relatively low mileage.

Totals: 11.1 miles with warm up and test.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feeling Fresh

First day since the 1/2 marathon I've felt decent. The course went out and back on west Skyline around Enger Tower. The cooler temps forced me to wear a winter hat for the second morning in row.

Time on the way out to the four mile mark was 29:20. This felt like a decent warm up and once I was on the return trip I would bring the HR up a notch. I tried not to keep looking at my watch and run on effort. This is where I felt really good. Even the subtle climbs felt effortless. Once I got home I measured the last/first four miles again and found my time 28:25. The HR was a bit higher than I thought it would have been at the given effort, so I am not sure what to think of that detail. Not all that much faster but felt good doing it. This is what I have been waiting for since the 1/2 and now I can look forward. My legs and achilles have turned for the better and hopefully will allow me to build my mileage.

Totals: 1:09:33  9.8 miles  (HR 138 ave. , 128 out/ 149 back) 7:13/7:03 paces

Monday, October 20, 2008

Half Moon

It may not be official but there appeared to be a 1/2 moon this morning that was giving off a tremendous glow. Clear skies and stars everywhere. That made up for getting out there early and having fatigued legs from yesterday's long run. I did a short loop through the cemetery, Vermilion, out to Snively, Wallace, 6th street, Kent road, and home via UMD. I like doing this loop as an easy recovery type run as the terrain is quite mellow for Duluth standards.

Totals: 49:13  6.5 miles  (HR 128)  7:39 pace

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Redbull Rocks

Here is a look how the week went. I haven't had a chance to enter my day's. After a couple of rest day's early in the week the rest of the week went pretty well. I am struggling with the remainder of the fall season and how or what to train for. Most people are done training and resting before starting their winter base phase. I may attempt to run steady from this point and just gradually build up the mileage over the winter. Running a winter marathon is just to risky by gambling on the weather and not getting much of an opportunity to train outside. A lot of money to gamble on a marathon when I can wait for an early summer marathon a lot closer to home. Here is how the week rounded out.

I really was at a loss for my running route and waited for the last minute to get out the door and make up my mind. I meandered my way down to the Lakewalk extension and decided to measure the Harvest 5K course with my watch. It was much shorter than the race director thought it would be and he had to make some adjustments. The run was just OK. I was having a bit of a struggle with the pace vs. HR. Maybe just recovery from the half marathon?
Totals: 1:06:30  8.5 miles (HR 135)  7:49 pace

Much of the same for the entire week. Not really feeling good running and wishing things were getting easier. Just putting in the time with hopes the legs will return this weekend. Out and back on skyline.
Totals: 52:59  7 miles (HR 132)  7:36 pace

Volunteered at the Harvest Run 5K. Ended up running near three miles while setting up the course. I was going to run after the festivities but decided on yard work instead. I could use the extra mental break right now.
Totals: 3 miles

Not looking forward to running long by myself and I wasn't able to connect with any runners prior to heading out. I finally drank a Red Bull at noon and waited a bit before heading out under grey skies. I made my way to the Rock Hill trails and proceeded to loop three times before making my way via SHT to Hartley to observe the NMTC Hartley 10k. I did the course ahead of the runners and managed to hook up with a couple of people along the way. The Garmin shut off prior to getting home and the last reading I have was 12 miles into the run. I may have had another mile or so after that point. I felt super and stretched the legs really good after. I may be making the turn and hope to have a good week of training.
Totals: ~ 2:00 trails ~ 13 miles  (HR 133)  9:00 pace

Weeks Totals: 39 miles (4.5 runs)
Years Totals: 1725 miles

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tight Spots

Monday: 0 miles rest, massage
Tuesday: 0 miles

I'm referring to muscles. I have a bit of a tight right IT band and a tight left lower calf muscle. I managed to squeeze in a massage Monday night after work and wow did that help. It hurt like hell when I was getting it done, but the benefits were huge!

Today I headed out to do an easy hour and see how things would feel. The IT band feels pretty good, but the left calf is still a bit stiff. I should be able to work those kinks out by the weeks end. I ran under a beautiful near full moon with temps hovering near 40F. A decent run to get things going again.

During my run I got thinking about the 1/2 marathon. I am pleased with my overall performance, and it would always be nice to run faster, but I really forgot to think of the progression I have made in the last five weeks. When I started the HADD training I was about two months into training. Prior to the 1/2 I had about one month of additional HADD training. The last mini-test my HR at 160 (520 pace) was very difficult to maintain. It got me thinking, that I just ran for 1:15 at a HR of 160!! Granted the pace was a bit slower (542's) but I am progressing through the training quite well. It makes me excited to see where this will bring me by the years end.

Totals: 58:03  7.6 miles (HR 129) 7:39 pace

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Trail Work

I wasn't planning doing any activity today but after being on my legs for a couple of hours and getting some much needed nutrition I changed my mind and decided to go walk the Hartley trails and do a little trail work. I parked at the nature center and started on the old Hartley road trail. I brought a pair of hand clippers and started clipping the low hanging branches that will soon be in our way once the snow accumulates on them. After a short section I started running and it actually felt pretty good. I was running a very easy pace, approx. 10+ minute pace, and soon I found myself in a nice rhythm and hated to stop as I found more branches. I skipped some, and clipped some but mostly took it easy when there was steep climbs or long sections of mud. Lots of mud!!! A good way to end the week.

Totals: 1:27:00 walking, hiking and jogging  ~6.5 + miles

Weeks Totals: 56 miles
Years Totals: 1686 miles

Saturday, October 11, 2008


2008 Whistle Stop 1/2 Marathon:   2nd place  time: 1:14:53

As much as I didn't think I was aware of my body and pacing, I was pretty close. Unfortunately I was on the slow side of my estimations. It would have been nice to be quicker but isn't that always the case. I went away from the event pretty happy but know there is a ton of work to do over the next few months and also through the winter.

The day was near perfect with clear, sunny skies and temps in the low 50'sF. It had rained the previous days making the limestone corridor as packed as I have seen it. *I attempted the full marathon in 2003 and the gravel was so loose it was like running on beach sand. As the gun went off I knew the leaders from previous racing encounters and expected there to be more. For the first mile I went out pretty easy while talking with John Lindberg from Lake Nebag's and after seeing my fist mile split of 5:49, even though it was early in the race, I couldn't afford to settle at that pace and allow too much time gap between me and the two runner in front. Scott Chapin, a multi-sport athlete from Hayward WI. went out to an early lead in 5:20ish, while claiming he had only ran (4) one hour runs since June. I put the bull shit stamp on that immediately an called him on it. Running second was Adam Swank from Duluth, whom I had many run-ins with during local road races and the famous NMTC fall trail running series. It would take me five miles to settle and get past Adam to claim 2nd place before looking ahead and attempting to make my "run" at Scott some 50 seconds ahead. Miles six-eight were run in 5:35, 5:35, 5:34 and I was making ground very slowly. Mile nine and ten I had a rough patch and that sealed the victory for Scott. I had made up some ground and he put it right back on me up to the 11th mile. Finishing in Ashland was great and there was surprising many people out to cheer on the runners. I crossed the line 58 seconds back of the victory and I believe he put that time on me in the first three miles. Sometimes you gamble and let people go and catch them in the closing miles and sometimes you never catch them. I wouldn't change my strategy at all if I had to run it again. For some reason, I needed those early miles to "warm up" so I used them and it cost me some serious time. At any rate, it was fun to be racing again and to have control over the race and not let the race control me. Now I just need to be patient and get the miles and workouts in to ready myself for the next phase of training.

Totals: 14 miles 

Friday, October 10, 2008


For the first time I am completely at a loss for pacing in tomorrows 1/2 marathon. I haven't mentioned in past posts but I am going to give the Whistle Stop 1/2 Marathon a try tomorrow morning. I was second in this race six or seven years ago, so it will be interesting to see how things go. Since all of my training has been HR related I am unaware of pacing and clueless as to my "pacing fitness" right now. Usually I have a decent guess of pace based on "threshold" workouts at a given pace. I haven't been doing those types of workouts so I have no clue.
So here it is... I am "guessing" my time to be near the 1:14:00 (+/- 1 min.) Anything in that range would be OK, anything much faster or slower would be a party/ bummer.
This mornings run was just an easy half hour to get the kinks out and be read for tomorrow. Cemetery loop in the dark. No striders, as I may do a short run tonight with some striders at the end.

Totals: 30:45  4 miles

Thursday, October 9, 2008


A quick note this morning. Ran down to 60th ave east and return via London Rd. I felt good most of the way, even into a pretty stiff headwind on the return trip.  I didn't average the HR but I was in the upper limits a lot of the time.

Totals: 1:08:10  9.2 miles (HR 134) 

*I know it is early, but here is a picture of my son "dash" incredible.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Healthy Heart

So far the EKG and Echocardiogram I had yesterday looked quite good. I was assuming this would be the case but you just never know. The tachycardia I experienced was either a fluke, but hard to say that since I have felt that way running years ago, which lead me to think I have had this in past, just no way of detecting it since I never wore a HR monitor before, or it will be an issue that is bound to come up again and I will have to deal with it. Once every four or five years is manageable. 
The run this morning was easy and slow. I attempted to keep the HR under 130 as much as possible. It gets tough on the hills but I just concentrate on easing up the pace. I am looking forward to tomorrows run as I get to run at the upper HR limits again!

Totals: 58:12  7.7 miles (HR 127)  7:37 pace

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Change of Seasons

Not only are we seeing major changes in the fall colors but the weather is now turning for the worse as well. Sunday the marathon was complete rain. This morning the water was pelting the window in our room I was wondering if it was sleet or snow. It was just plain water hitting the glass with a strong wind behind it. I just couldn't stand the thought of starting a run in the rain after spending a couple of hours soaked yesterday. I hit the treadmill for the first run since last spring and made an easy run out of it. Good tunes and some easy miles and the miles just clicked bye.

Totals: 50:30  6.6 miles (HR ~130-135)

No rain this morning and the temps were quite nice, about 48F. Out to one of my standard hour loops to Arnold, Martin and home via Vermilion. I tried to keep the HR in the upper zone of 135 for most of the distance. Legs really are coming around and feeling good on most runs. I wore a new pair of Nike RS shoes this morning. Not too bad of a shoe, I will have to give them a final score after a couple times out on them.

Totals: 58:45  8.3 miles (HR 134)  7:03 miles

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mid-Late Week Recap

The day of tachycardia. (super fast inadvertent heart rate) I set off for my run and felt really good and the plan was to run upper HR limits for 8-10 miles. After about twenty minutes of running I just didn't feel right and was quite dizzy. I looked at my monitor and could barely see the reading because of a hazy, white spot in the middle of my visual field. It was about then I started to walk and finally focused on my watch to see a HR of 187! (my max is 169) Having seen a lot of different heart rhythms in my line of work I figured I had one type of fast HR and usually it goes away by itself. I gave a couple of quick coughs and tried running again and zoom up the HR went again. I finally walked for about a minute or two and then it dropped and stayed at 135. It's a good thing I don't have this happen often or it could lead to a visit to an Electrophysiologist. Not Me!!!
Totals: 56:28  8 miles (HR 136)  7:03 pace

Thursday: off  (my float day and I took it!)

Out on the Woodland loops to Arnold and Martin roads to Vermilion home via UMD. I felt really good after Weds. fiasco so that was assuring. Legs felt super!
Totals: 1:05:18  9 miles (HR 134)  7:13 pace

Trail running with buddy Rod. A beautiful sunny fall day that couldn't have been better for running. A bit of a "harder" run than I have been doing but overall very good. I didn't take any fluids and I think I paid the price by taking most of the day to recoup my liquid and energy stores. *my watch ran out of batteries at 49:00.
Totals: 1:45:00  7:50 pace HR 137+ ~ 13 miles

no running, but about 10-11 miles of mountain biking at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Lot's of rain. Downpour! Sorry for the runners as the conditions were far from ideal. Congrats to all that ran and completed this difficult race.
Totals: cross train on bike.

Weeks Totals: 44.5 miles (5 runs)
Years Totals: 1630 miles

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Martin Road

Just easy mileage after yesterday's long run. Kept the HR nice and low and actually felt pretty good. Wore new shoes (speedstar 3's) and what a difference that makes. Did extra Kenillworth loop.

Totals: 52:59  6.9 miles (HR 121)  7:42 pace 

More easy mileage, out to Martin Rd., as the legs really feeling Sunday's longer run. I've noticed over the last few years that it has been taking me two days of recovery after long runs to get the legs to freshen up. Maybe it's because I haven't been doing many long runs but I took the extra day just to be safe. Finished the run with 4 X 100 meter striders and legs felt much better after that. Should be able to "work" tomorrow.
*cool morning 38F

Totals: 55:54  7.6 miles (HR 130) 7:23 pace

Sunday, September 28, 2008

To The Point

The goal for this mornings longer run was to log two hours. I didn't want this run to have a lot of hills so I drove and parked at the Ordean Middle School and ran the new section of Lakewalk extension in route to Canal Park and eventually make my way out to Park Point. 

The morning was perfect for running. Cool, overcast, with little to no wind. My goal for the run was to keep my HR near 135-140. I decided to run the "middle" hour at 140 bpm to see how my body would respond. I started to have quad fatigue at about eighty minutes into the run and near the end of the 140 hour zone. After ninety minutes I just ran to keep the HR under 140 and monitor the paces associated with my body fatiguing. What I did like about this run was amount of 'energy' I had the entire time even at times when the quads were fatiguing. In the past I think I would have picked up the pace and effort and the legs would have been much better, but I am trusting that by forcing the HR to remain stable regardless of pace that this will benefit me in the future. Time will tell. *very happy with this run.

Totals: 1st hr. turn around: 59:44 (HR 136) 6:56 pace
               1 hour to 87 minutes: (HR 140) 6:59 pace
               last 34 minute minutes: (HR 138)  7:20 pace 

               2:00:41  17.1 miles (HR 137)  7:04 pace 

Weeks Totals: 61 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1585 miles

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lightening Show

Last night there was quite the lightening presentation as a few different storms passed through the northland. There was a point in the early evening that no more than two or three seconds would pass and another lightening strike would occur. There was little thunder associated which I thought was a bit odd. After all the rain we received I figured the trail systems would be flooded, but I opted for off road running anyway.

I left the house and made my two plus minute jog to the Rock Hill trail head and proceeded to make four revolutions prior to jumping on the SHT and heading over to Hartley to run an outer loop of the ski trails. I was feeling quite well and controlled my HR the best I could on the uphills. My legs are coming around and having much less fatigue. I am excited for next week and would like to think that I have made an adjustment for the better which will make my next phase of running even more productive in the weeks to come.

Totals: 1:20:46  9.8 miles (HR 132) 8:16 pace
*hilly off road trails

Friday, September 26, 2008

Easy As It Should Be

Approximately two weeks after starting the 'Hadd' system my easy, low HR runs are starting to feel better. I was talking last night that I had some frustrations with these runs as they usually start good and end with my legs feeling heavy and fatigued. Not so much this morning. 
I started the morning like most others with the exception of taking a Power Gel and a glass of water just prior to setting out to the darkness. It is only 110 calories but I was hoping it would be better than nothing at all. It either helped or I had one of those good running days. My legs felt real loose and fluid and I had no problem keeping the HR down AND feeling good doing it. I finished with doing a couple of laps on the UMD track just to gauge the HR/pace effort and once I got home I did 4 X 100 meter striders.

Totals:  53:18  7 miles  (HR 125) 7:41 pace
*felt super!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Skyline Sunrise

Wednesday: No running this morning as I felt the mental need to take a day off and just hang in the morning and drink coffee. I must admit it felt good until I was on the bus to work and saw runners on the sidewalks. I had wished I ran. Not really but the desire was there. 
0 miles

This morning I decided to go a bit longer than usual and keep the HR near 135. I felt really great for the first thirty minutes or so and then I started to get fatigued and heavy legged. Still not sure, but I have to believe it falls under the reasoning of "the Hadd way". The good was I had an amazing sunrise to stare at as I headed home eastward on Skyline. Good times! I messed up the watch at the beginning of the run so I put my run into splits on the way home. 

Out in 32:02 4.5 miles (HR 131) 7:10 pace
Back in 31:19 4.5 miles (HR 138) 7:02 pace
Last/First segments 6:12 (HR 140 at end) 7:11 pace 
*not able to hold pace at HR

Totals: 1:15:44  10.6 miles 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Much of the Same

I was planning on an easy run this morning and once I made my way to the kitchen I noticed the schedule called for an hour in the "middle" zones. Off I went and I couldn't help but think of the overall soreness I have been experiencing. This may be what Hadd mentioned in his article about not having the slow muscle fibers "in shape" because of running over and above that specific zone. Or it's a bunch of shit and I am just adjusting to consistent training. Regardless, I felt just 'ok' this morning.

58:45  7.5 miles (HR 126) 7:46 pace

This morning (tues.) I was to run seventy minutes at the upper limits. These are the runs I look forward to all week because I usually feel good doing them. Today was no different. Down to superior street and out to Lester and returning via London Rd. After a fresh rain last night the roads were still full of puddles making for some added fun. I broke the run into two segments as the last mile and a half or so would be up hill climbing from the bottom of lemon drop hill up to UMD area where we live. I often found myself holding back due to jamming up the HR at sub 6:30 pace. Overall, a good run!
Here are the splits:

flat split: 52:11  7.5 miles (HR 132) 6:58 pace
uphill : 15:41  1.9 miles (HR 142) 8:20 pace

Totals:  1:07:53  9.4 miles (HR 134)  7:15 pace

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Another solo longer run as most people are doing their own thing on the weekends. A lot of people do long runs on Saturday and that keeps me running solo. I wanted to stick to the roads as much as I could so I headed west on Skyline to the "twin ponds" near Enger Tower where I decided to take the short section of SHT down the hill to Superior Street before heading east on the lake walk. When I hit the roads at the bottom of the trail to head east I encountered a decent northeast wind that made the HR jump up quite a bit at the pace I was running. I never got comfortable on this run and I just chalked it up to increase in overall volume this week. I should feel better after this upcoming week.

Totals: 1:37:39   12.4 miles (HR 131) 7:53 pace

Weeks Totals: 60 miles
Years Totals: 1524 miles

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rock Loops

With family in town for the weekend I made it my personal mission to get up early and run so I wouldn't interfere with any plans for the day. Today I had the pleasure of running with Chris, whom I worked with during the Superior 100 a couple of weeks ago, as he had to get his run in rather early too. My plan was to run easy mileage for up to an hour and I wanted to get off the pavement and run some of Duluth's more gentle trails. Off to Rock Hill trails where we did a series of loops and headed back home. Nothing special when you are doing easy HR mileage. Good conversation and the hour was up very quickly.

Totals: 1:03:54  7.3 miles (HR 122) 8:48 pace

Friday, September 19, 2008

Upper End

This morning was another "work" day where I get to explore the upper "limits" of my current training zones. I usually look forward to these days and today was no different. The one problem I had was I never got comfortable. It wasn't that the effort was hard. More of just having difficulty with the legs becoming fluid. I then remembered that this week was an overall increase in volume for me and I have been doing a bit more leg exercises, thus the heavy leg feeling. I am still happy with the run and the splits looked like this:

Totals: 1:12:30  10.5 miles (HR 136) 6:55 pace

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Easy (hard) Hour

The schedule called for one hour at my current "middle" HR, which turned out to be near 130 bpm. It was quite comfortable in the early miles and I had a difficult time staying at the prescribed HR but after some time it became a bit easier. The hills always make it a bit difficult to maintain HR but I just concentrate on overall effort. Finished with a couple of sets of leg exercises.

Totals: 57:23  7.6 miles (HR 128) 7:36 pace

It Can't Be Right!

But it is. My HR Max that is. This morning was the chosen day since I woke up without the help of my alarm and I knew to see that as a sign. The morning was absolute perfect. A little moon light, no wind, cool and the track was clear. 

After warming up for a bit over two miles I was instructed to treat this test just I would a race. So I did. Complete set of stretches, striders, shoes tied tight, more striders, (I was really attempting to put the start off since I knew of the pain ahead) and finally a quick shed of the shirt and made sure my cap was on tight. After my last strider I knew I was ready.

The plan was as follows. Run a 800 meter all out and record the HR. Give myself a two minute rest (active) and then run an all out 400 meter. The HR at the end of the 400 would prove to be my Max. The numbers I would see shocked me as I figured them to be much higher. I don't know why I let myself believe this because I did an attempt at my HR max approximately ten years ago and I remember the HR being near ten beats higher than this morning. (it is said you loose your top end HR every year, thus the 220-age formula as an ESTIMATE) I gave it my all. My quads were burning, breaths at two or three per step. Yep, a real ball-buster. Here's the results:

800 meter HR 168 (2:19)
2 minutes of rest. boy did that time fly
400 meter HR 169 (no time recorded, forgot to hit the split)

I thought I would be in the upper 170's but I then remembered the HR test ten years ago showing my max near 180-181. So, I guess it makes sense. So does the "mini-test" I did last week and having me struggle with running the 160 and 170 HR zones. DUH! That actually made me feel much better about the test last week and will really open my eyes to upper HR limits of weekly training. I am a bit excited because if this HR training does work, and if I make the progress that a lot of runners make then the end result will really satisfy me. (those details of what the 'end result' mean will come later)
Man have I been over-training in years past. Amazing. The test wasn't fun. It hurt a bunch, but will be well worth it. 

Totals: 6 miles+ with warm up/ warm down and all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Work" Day

Monday: easy running to get the kinks out from yesterday's longer effort. Felt good but the temps were a bit cool. Had 32F at 0530 at our house. This was the second time for me to wear pants in the morning. Let's hope for warmer temps. Finished with 4X100 meter striders
Totals: 46:07  6+ miles

Today was was termed a "work" day on the schedule. Not really a true tempo effort but an effort that was a bit harder than the usual aerobic effort. I am still guessing on the HR's since I don't have my true HR Max yet. I want to have fresh legs and a good nights sleep prior to attempting the test. For now it looks like it may be tomorrow or Thursday. So in the meantime I would use 140-145 as my work zone for today. I was surprised how hard the effort felt, as far as my leg muscles, but it may have been some left over fatigue from Sunday's longer run. Once I got home and had a good stretch and a set of leg exercises I felt much better. As far as my breathing the effort felt really good and I wasn't challenged too bad. The morning temps were much better and having a full moon as my morning light was absolutely wonderful. A good run. Training is starting to make sense and I can start to see a little progress.

Totals: 1:04:16  9.7 miles (HR 140) 6:38 pace 

Sunday, September 14, 2008


The title holds two purposes. One, today marks my wife Kari and my sixth anniversary. I love you babe! It also says the way I felt after today's run, which is the purpose of this blog.

I've been following my heart rate closely since I started training again on July 1st. I didn't have specific "zones" but I knew how and at what HR to stay at when doing easy days. What I didn't know would be the fact I was running my hard efforts too hard for this point in my training. Now, for the past two weeks I have been a bit more aware and starting to focus in on specific HR "zones" and will have a better focus after my HR Max test this up coming week. As I mentioned earlier this week, this theory would  come from the "Hadd-training" link I was exposed to. It's either a complete coincidence or it really works. I would love to think the later.

Today I was to get at least ninety minutes and start inching my Sunday long runs closer to two hours. I was excited to get this run under way and couldn't catch anybody to join me so off I went. Like I mentioned, I don't know my true HR max yet so today's intensity was a close "guess" and I would make the decision to focus my HR at 145 bpm and no more. The course I chose would offer some of the best runnable trails Duluth has to offer as well as some road sections to keep the distance honest. I had a decent amount of time running 'down' as I live higher than the lake and that was where I was headed. Once I hit Superior street at the bottom of Lester ski trails I would be running in complete down pour smiling like my three year old son as he splashes in the puddles. One of those runs where you know things are improving and you become excited about the future. One day, week at a time.

Totals: 1:40:06  13.3 miles  (HR 135)  7:33 pace.

Weeks Totals: 52 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1464 miles

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Spandex Zone

This morning the Inline Skating Marathon was occurring. In years past Kari and I have gone to watch the finish as it has great opportunities for crashes! The announcer at the finish line likes to call the packs of skaters, in biking it would be called the pelleton, "the spandex zone". Weird... Anyway, I was running towards London Road and then realized that the race was this morning. As I made my way down the course there were several "zones" that went bye me with the crowd using cow bells to cheer them along the course.

As for my run I was using HR and made a decision not to run above 145 for an hour or so. Once I was down on London Rd. there would be only one option to get home. Up hill. I used the Chester Bowl trails and ran easy until I crested the trail at Skyline Blvd. There were a few times when I had to back off pace to  keep the rate below 145, but I managed to accomplish this pretty easy. I felt good after as well and that is what I have been liking about my current phase of training. I never feel beat up and recover well. It's going to take some time, but I have faith in this HR training.

Totals: 1:02:42   8 miles HR: 135 (7:48 pace)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mini-Test Gone Wrong?

Thursday: 0 miles. I consider this my "float" day. IF I am going to take a day off it is for days like this. I woke no problem but found myself mentally shot. No will to run. So I didn't force it. One good pot of coffee and taking in some morning news prior to work. I will feel better tomorrow.

Hadd Mini-Test:

This morning I really wanted to get this test out of the way. My legs felt fresh from yesterday's absence of activity and I was willing to give a good effort and head to the track. After warming up for fifteen minutes or so I got busy. The track was covered with small sections of portable bleachers from last nights UMD Bulldog football game but I didn't let that deter me in any way. I had my Garmin on which provided me proper distance and HR. The test is  as follows: all interval distances are 2400 meters. The first at 140HR, then 150, 160, 170, 180. I started out and had a difficult time keeping my HR under 140 and may have overshot a bit. This is what Hadd said not to do. Here was my layout of the test, my actual HR in parenthesis: 

HR 140 (143) 9:19 (6:13 pace)
HR 150 (153) 8:33 (5:43 pace)
HR 160 (162) 8:00 (5:20 pace)
HR 170 (159) 3:25 (5:14 pace)
* I couldn't run this last interval. I couldn't get the HR up and I was side-stitching like no other. My breaths were three to one step and I felt miserable. I'm a bit confused by this. Maybe an off day? I know I can get my HR over 170 as I have seen it in training before. I will be doing my Max HR test early next week and hopefully this will make sense. The most likely I can think of would be I am like Hadd mentioned. My LT and aerobic base is way low and that is what I will be working on over the next 15 weeks or so. 

I have to do a bit more reading yet and will be working more closely with HR training and hopefully seeing an improvement in efforts soon. I am looking forward to it.

Totals: 1:07:56  9.2 miles

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Martin Road

Took it easy running Woodland to Martin road and cruising it home via Vermilion Rd. Nothing special but just easy mileage as I do a bit more research into the "Hadd" training system. It's basis is Lydiard in the way it has you do easy mileage building on the "aerobic" system. I have been running easy for many weeks and so far it has worked for me as I feel I am getting more fit week by week. Just have to build on the speed later in the fall.

Totals: 56:00  7.7 miles HR: 128 (7:15 pace)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Intro to Hadd

With temps in the mid 30's this morning I chose to use a light pair of pants for the run. The plan wasn't calling for me to run "hard" so I figured the extra layer would keep my legs warm. I've started reading some training theory from an individual that refers to him/her self as Hadd. Erik mentioned this to me over the weekend and I found a document with the basis of his theories which is entirely based on heart rates. So far it seems interesting and I would like to get his "fitness" test in this week. Maybe Thursday?

This mornings run was an out and back on west Skyline Blvd. I wanted to "experiment" from what I read last night, so I attempted to keep my HR at 140, regardless of pace. I have to go back in my journal a month or more and see what this HR/pace was for me. I am assuming the pace was much slower than today. Here is what today looked like.

Out in 28:06  4 miles (HR 138, pace 6:55)
Return 26:53 4 miles (HR 144, pace 6:45)

Total: 54:59  8 miles (HR 140 ave., pace 6:50)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dark and Easy

Just getting out of bed was the major goal of the morning. Any extra running was a bonus. I must have been caught up on sleep because I felt great this morning. I did an easy Cemetery/UMD loop that is often a staple in the winter months. Just easy mileage with a few striders to stretch out the legs. A good run.

Totals: 37:30  5.6 miles

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Espresso and Running

I usually use are espresso machine at times of desperate need. Today was one of those days. We woke up this morning and drove downtown to watch the Duluth Minnesota Mile. The weather conditions were terrible with rain, cool winds and slippery brick streets. It still looked like fun and my mile race will be put on hold for yet another year.

I slept near twelve hours last night and remained tired. After the mile I just slept on the couch watching TV and my son ripping around the living room. My wife went for a run and I was to be next. That's when the espresso machine made its way out of storage and into operation. Ironically the sun decided to show itself and Lucas and I walked around the yard while waiting the arrival of mom. Suddenly I was beginning to feel better. The espresso worked!

Once Kari was home I put on my clothes and head to the trails. I couldn't handle the thought of running open roads. One half loop into Rock Hill and I ran into Jarrow, fresh off of the Burrito Union 10 hour endurance event, looking to get some easy miles in. We hooked up and ended getting a decent run in the trails of Rock Hill and Hartley. As the run progressed I started to feel better. I am most satisfied with my legs becoming a lot more fresh most days. (I haven't felt that for years) In the end I ran for ninety minutes. A good series of stretches and leg exercises would complete my day.

Totals: 1:29:39  ~ 11 miles

Saturday: 7 miles with Chris

Weeks Totals: 43 miles (5 runs)
Years Totals: 1412 miles

Superior 100 Part II, A Crew's Perspective

*sorry Chris only shot I could get

A little over a month ago I received a phone call from fellow "early morning" runner Chris Gardner. He was calling to see if I would be "interested" in with what he called, "not your average favor" which was crewing for the Superior Trail 100 miler. He didn't have the complete sentence out of his mouth and I already knew my answer. I just didn't let him know that, (sorry Chris), but I let him sit on the offer for a few days while I figured out if I was the right person for the job. Many thoughts went through my head. Could I stay up? What if I was too soft and couldn't be "mean" enough in the dark hours when he needed me most? After all, I didn't have any personal experience in ultra's. I've watched many, talked to many who have done them, read hundreds of articles, blogs and stories from others, but haven't been directly connected to anybody doing one. I said yes and he was thankful for the "favor". Below is my story of the night. It was fun Chris and I'm so happy I witnessed one of the most determined, goal-oriented, talented, "ballsy" running I've ever seen.

Chris had his wonderful wife and precious fourteen month old daughter doing major crewing efforts in the morning hours as I had to put in a partial day of work. I called Erik, Chris's pacer for the night, earlier than planned and we left Duluth around 1300. We were off to an early start and were thinking it would be a huge load off of both Chris and Christy's shoulders to see us early and relieve her of her duties. We made it early and caught Chris at county road 6 (mile 42.8). As we approached the aid station Christy and Ella greeted us with smiles and we found out Chris was out to an early lead and looking good. "He looked a bit dazed", we heard. Someone else mentioned, "he was slurring his words a bit, check him out and see what you think when he gets here." Chris showed up and was smiling and looking quite well. Not much chit chat, just a quick exchange of water bottles, Gu's, and one glass of coke. A quick wave goodbye and into the woods he went high stepping over the roots and rocks. "He looks pretty good" Erik said under a soft voice. Everyone who had seen him previously mentioned he "looked much better now". What the hell, a guy has to have a few bad patches when running 100 miles. This was also the low point for one unfortunate runner limping across the road to observe a bit himself. It was fellow blogger Adam Harmer. Hampered by a bum Achilles tendon it would not be his day. Sorry Adam. A neat guy as he and his crew member stayed up all night going point to point following runners. Off to Finland.

Finland 50.5 miles
Super aid station! These gals had it all. Camper, lights, canopies, and all to food to make a tired, growly ultra runner a bit less edgy. Chris made his appearance the same he did at the previous one. Smiling and bouncy. A quick change of shirt was in order as well as the same water, Gu, coke combination. Less than three minutes later a quick kiss to the wife and child, since this would be the last he would see of them until the finish line, and he was off bounding into the woods. This was the point Erik and myself would be assisting Chris to the finish. We spent some time visiting others as we waited for the next runners to arrive. First into the aid station was a not-so-happy Wynn Davis. He took one hell of a spill, jamming his big toe in the process. It would not be his day either. This was his finish line for the day. Sorry Wynn. Next to arrive would be Joe Ziegenfuss and Duke Rembleski (sp?) looking pretty good. Joe can eat like no other at aid stations!! Off they went back to the woods and Erik and I made our way to Crosby-Manitou.

Crosby-Manitou (62.2 miles)
Super Aid station. More lights, music and a disco ball!! Sweet jesus! Good job guys.
From the gun this was where Chris wanted to be prior to nightfall. He made his goal. This was also the starting point for pacer Erik Kaitala. I can't think of anybody else I would want to have by my side running in the middle of the night. He's a great person and has a long resume of running experiences to know how to get the job done. You did great Erik, good job! After the same check-in routine and donning headlamps, and taking in some ibuprofen for a twisted ankle, Chris and Erik were off to the next aid station.

Sugarloaf (71.6 miles)
After sitting at Crosby to see where Joe and Duke were I hit the gravel and made my way to Sugarloaf. I was getting a bit nervous and thought I didn't give myself adequate time to make the drive and many times thought I missed a turn while listening to satellite radio techno-dance music, slamming red bulls and pounding mini peanut butter cups. I didn't put Erik's Honda Element in the bush and soon found my way to the lights. Wynn's parents host this aid station and this was another not to let anybody down. Great Job! I will have to ask Chris but I think this was his "low" point of the race. He was a bit off pace and I was getting worried. Amazingly when they showed up Chris had that same grin on his face and was looking as good as any other. Erik mentioned it was a "good" section but I was thinking otherwise. A quick swap of bottles, a denied request for more ibuprofen ( I gave him more at the next station), and off they went. I visited for quite some time with Wynn, Adam, Eve and many others whose names I forgot and decided to make my way to Cramer Road. (We were told that nobody was there and the aid wasn't out yet, so I figured I better make sure I have some lights ready)

Cramer Road (77.2 miles)
As I pulled into the aid station there wasn't much for light but they were there in the early stages of setting up. A huge truck unloading gear took off as soon as I showed up and all the food and extras were soon ready. I had time to chat with probably the two youngest Ham Radio personnel in the state. The guy setting up the aid station said, "you are the only Ham radio people I know under the age of 60." They mentioned they had done "coms" (communication) in the service and continue to do it as civilians. It wasn't long and Chris and Erik showed up as fresh as any other stop. Chris looked at me with a bit of smile and wanted to know how he was doing. I said, "great Chris, you look good." As if he didn't know, but he was inquiring how the guys were doing behind him. Up to this point, Chris didn't know, or want to know, any time gap he had on the next racers. He was asking. I left the previous aid station early and didn't know how long the time gap was but I heard over the radio that Joe had left Sugarloaf about fifty minutes ago. "Are you sure." No I wasn't. "Can you stay and find out before heading to the next aid station?" Sure, not a problem. That's my job. Joe's light came through the woods 43:00 later. He spent near five minutes eating soup and anything else he could jam down the esophagus. "Shit, the leads down to fifty minutes" I thought. What do I tell Chris at the next stop. The truth I guess.

Temperance (84.3 miles)
Another great aid station. The bar was set pretty high for quality aid stations. I set up my gear boxes right away, grabbed some food from the truck along with another Red Bull and set up my bag chair by the hosts fire. Wow did that feel good. It wasn't too long and the boys made there way to the stop. As I looked at my watch it still seemed like the splits were off from predictions. Chris wanted to know the time gap right away. "Joe had a good section" I said. "What is it?" I didn't want to tell him. "You are running a solid pace, keep it up". That wasn't good enough. I had to tell him. "Around 48 minutes" I said. All they had to do was run a decent section and I would see them in under ninety minutes. "Let's go! Kaitala Chris said." Chris took off and I ran up to Erik and said, "push him on this section, even if you guys are power walking, push him a bit." Well, Erik didn't have to. Hearing after the fact, Chris hit the trial, said to Erik, "I want my ten minutes back" and that is all what was said for 5.7 miles.

Sawbill (90 miles)
I waited at the last aid station for 55:00 and no Joe. He must have had a bit of a "low". As I drove into the aid station I thought I might have my directions wrong. No lights, no people. Just one tent and one pop-up camper. I was so tired as I thought, "damn campers... this isn't a camp site. They will be sorry they camped here when all the runners decide to come running through." Little did I know, that was all the aid crew sleeping. One guy knocked on my window and I went out to say hi. He said, "hey, are you crewing for  somebody?" "Yup, the guy that is going to be here in twenty-five minutes." He was a bit surprised as he was told they had more than an hour before the first runner would come through. Not the case. I was planning for a ninety minute section and I soon saw two headlamps at eighty minutes! I had just sat in my bag chair with my sleeping bag munching on graham crackers. Wow! They had a super section. "How are you feeling?" Chris looked at me stated, "Good, what's the gap?" I told them I had waited fifty five minutes and no Joe yet. "Really, you didn't see him?" "Nope, you guys are jamming." It was at this time when I realized Erik was stretching like no other trying to get a tight psoas to loosen up. "Gregg, you better get ready to run at Oberg, I don't think I can make it." We're at ninety miles and Chris has the mind to ask if I was sure I wanted to run the last section. (he knows I've been on a build up since my achilles snafu this spring) Without a doubt, I stated to Chris, "you're not running the last section by yourself, I'll see you guys at Oberg." I jogged with the guys to the trail head and told Chris to empy the water bottles and take in the Gu's. Joe was going to run out of real estate on the chase and they just needed to have a good section to hold position. Got to go get ready to run.

Oberg (95.5 miles)
I blasted to the Oberg station slamming yet another Red Bull and got Chris's gear boxes ready. A quick change into running gear, filled up my bottle, made sure my headlamp had fresh batteries and I was ready to tackle the last 7.1 miles. Chris and Erik showed up in yet another quick section just about 80 minutes. I had to relay all messages to Erik about waking up Christy, making sure he had the keys and off we went. I was talking to Erik and Chris was half way down the parking lot. "I better catch up now, because I will never catch him on the trails." We chatted a bit and I wanted to find out what he and Erik were doing as far as conversation, pacing, etc... Chris mentioned he was front running and not doing a lot of talking. That's OK with me I thought. I really just wanted to be present for Chris and not screw up his race in the last 7.1 miles. Wow, would that suck! What I would witness in the next one hour and forty eight minutes will stick with me for the rest of my life. For those that know the terrain, Chris ran up Oberg! Yup, 95 miles into a race and he ran up it. To have the spring and agility he had to the finish was amazing. We chatted a bit but mostly I gave him quiet times and added some words of encouragement from time to time. Stuff that a beat up runner needs to hear at that point. It was true and he had an amazing pace going even when he was power walking the hills. "Chris you are keeping a really good pace up the hills. You are not slowing at all." He muttered, "good, it sure doesn't feel like it." We rounded a point in the trail where you can see the Lutsen Resorts lights and it seemed like that was a huge lift. The pace picked up and there was little walking after that. He nailed the downhills and soon we were off the trail. What a wonderful feeling it must have been for him. "How does that feel I asked?" "Pretty amazing, I can't believe I did it." We hit the gravel road, a little less than a mile away and I looked at my watch. I was attempting to do some easy math and realized that a sub twenty-two hour was definitely within reach. "Do you think you can make there under ten minutes?" I asked. Nothing was said, but the footfalls quickened and soon we were running 7:00 pace. I run this pace often and I know we were running 7:00's, no B.S. A quick dash around the pool at Caribou and it was all over. "Wow, he did it", I thought. The finish time was 21:57:53. Amazing.

So, that is my report from a crew, mini-pace personnel. One of those experiences that is cemented in my mind and will share stories for years to come. Thank you for all the memories, to all crew members, aid station members, and mostly to Chris, Christy, Ella and Erik.

Superior Trial 100 Mile 2008.