Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sore Feet... Dead Legs

I have mentioned in past posts about the difficulty I am having with sore feet. Most recently I have been having sore ankles and sore lateral aspects of my right foot and sore medial calcaneous soreness. I had the chiropractor do some adjustments and all seems to be jivin'. 

When I woke up Tuesday I knew that running was going to be a major "chore". I watched the news for thirty minutes and decided to put on my gear and head for UMD and go for a swim. I was glad I did as swimming hits some major muscle groups that I need to be working. I also did a bit of aqua jogging to make up the time.
Tuesday's Totals: 36:30 of swim and aqua jogging.

As for this mornings workout, I needed to get my mid-week medium distance run. Not going to happen this morning, outside at least. The treadmill is oh so nice on days like this. After a warm up of two miles I set the speed at 8.5 mph and never got comfortable. I had a constant feeling of "lead legs" that never got fluid.  I wanted to make the distance but bailed out at 8.5 miles. The thing about treadmill running is when things are going bad it is too easy to bail out. Had I committed to a mid-distance loop I would have had to complete the run to get home. Now being on a treadmill I didn't "have" to finish the distance so jumping off at an hour was easy to do. ( maybe I'm just a puss, but you get the point)

Totals: 1:00:54  8.5 miles

Monday, January 28, 2008

Easy Monday

Legs felt quite good compared to past mornings as I think the stretching is paying off. I plan to see the chiropractor  this week and attempt to get a massage as well at some point. If all goes well I should have an up mileage week. This mornings run was a no-frills run... just easy running through the cemetery and UMD.

Totals: 45:00  6 miles

Sunday, January 27, 2008


First pair of Nike Pegasus I ever owned and right out of the box I ran today's run without problems. I noticed how stiff and clunky the Nike's tend to get compared to some other shoes I have worn in the past. (I also run in the Haywards) As the temps warmed up I could tell the shoes cushioning was a bit better as well.

Kooks and I did a flat course from his house down the lakewalk to Park Point and ran to the airport and back. For the most part I felt pretty decent but overall was just a bit low on energy and my legs remain a bit flat. The left hamstring gave me no problems and I will continue to stretch and push up the mileage as my body will allow. Today was a good day to end a very up and down week.

Totals: 1:38:40  ~13 miles

Weeks Totals: 54 miles
Years Totals: 215.5 miles

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Off Again, On Again

The nagging hamstring returned for Friday's run leaving me with a measly 41/2 miles. I have had this hamstring trouble in the past and it goes away without any reason, almost as quick as it shows up. I believe it is from my calves since a week ago I did the run in Hartley and had a lot of uneven surface with major slippage. I wasn't in any mood to run for an hour with nagging hamstring pulling. Friday= 4.5 miles

I woke up this morning not feeling much better and was wondering what cross training I would be doing. I thought of skiing, swimming, using the bike on the trainer but in the end and after some stretching I opted for the treadmill. After a conservative first mile I gradually eased up the speed and ended running most of the miles at 8.3 mph (7:19 pace) HR was 146-148 bpm. At the end of the run I threw in some thirty second striders at 6 min pace just to introduce some up tempo stuff and stretch out the legs. In the end I had run ten miles and was pleasantly surprised how the legs felt.
Bought new Pegasus today... will try them on tomorrows run. No more Haywards, and the new Skylons are not the same like they say they are.

Totals: 1:12:20  10miles

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One More Morning of Ice

This seems to be the last real cold morning for a while according to the weather professionals. I didn't expect what I woke up to this morning, -16F (little wind), but I had made a mental commitment to running outside. I put on the layers and got ready to hit the road. As for my hamstring I was still unsure of what was to come.  Within first half mile I almost turned around and went home three different times. I just kept reminding myself that once I warm up all would feel well. For once I was right. After about ten minutes of running I could tell all systems "go", including the hamstring. The stretching and exercises I did for the ham plus the day off yesterday must have made the difference because I didn't feel any pulling!

As for the run, I did a short version of out and back on West Skyline with the wind on my back for the trip home. I don't think I would have liked to be out there over an hour because my face mask was complete ice and near the end of it's life for the day. They can handle only so much spit! Lovely...

Totals: 59:00  8 miles 

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No-Good Hamstring

Yesterday, and on previous posts, I mentioned the left hamstring being troublesome. I really felt the tightness yesterday and this morning I was to do a medium distance run. The option of not running was in my head, but I compromised and attempted a run on the treadmill. I'm glad I didn't commit to running a loop outside because I probably would have run farther than I should. I had to cut the run quite short and will do some serious calf and glute stretches today. I think it is referred pain from extremely tight calves and/or glutes... maybe I will be able to run some this evening?

AM totals: 3.6 miles on treadmill (left ham never loosened up)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The run this morning started off quite well. It may have been that fact that it was a full moon (lots of light) and /or the fact it wasn't -20F! I was running strong and feeling good for near half the run. Then I fell apart. My left hamstring tightened, and both feet got sore. My toes, ankles, achilles, calves... all parts that could get sore did. I struggled for a couple miles and soon was on the last stretch home. I finished into the wind and called it a day. Temps were at 0 when I started. The wind was minimal, but when it did blow it was reported at -20F. (quite a bit better than the weekend)

Totals: 1:04:00  9 miles (woodland,martin,elk,vermlion)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Time on Feet

All I can say of today's run is it was time on my feet. Had I ran on the treadmill I may have quit after a mile or so. I felt flat, legs tired, and quite frankly didn't want to run in the cold. I did my usual Monday morning  cemetery/UMD loop and ran slow! Here's to better day's ahead. Cheers!

Totals: ~6 miles (no watch, near 45 minutes)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Warm Choice

Wake up Temperature= -20F air temp with 5-10mph winds= Run Inside.

I couldn't stand the thought of layering all the clothes and hope I could stay warm for my medium distance run today. Without the wind it is possible, but there is gusty wind most days and today it was just too much to think about. I put on a pair of shorts, shoes, headband, IPod and got my gels and fluids ready for a mental workout on the treadmill.

I did a bit of a warm up and eased the speed up to 8.5 mph for most of the run. HR=141-144. (i found it amazing that taking fluids or gels made my HR up 5 beats) As indicated by my heart rate this was quite comfortable. (i don't have a high max. upper 170's maybe) When I got to 11th mile I slowly increased the speed to 9.1 mph (6:35 pace) and ran the last 3 miles at this pace with a HR=151-153. I felt OK, but I also knew this wasn't a pace yet for me to run all 14 miles. For a treadmill workout this was more than satisfactory at this point in my training. I am just glad I didn't have to worry about poor footing or the air temps.
Tomorrow is back outside for an easy recovery day.

Totals: 1:36:30  14 miles

Weeks Totals: 55.5 miles
Years Totals: 161.5 miles

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Frosty Hartley

Wake up Temperature= -16, -20 F, depending on the location in town. Winds near 5-10 mph, not that big of a deal unless the air temp is -20!(recorded wind temps -44F) It will be interesting to see what Eric was dealing with today.

I met Chris, and Erik at Hartley Nature Center at 6:40 as Chris was running a 50 minute loop x3 to get his long run in for the weekend. The trails are the best place to run on a morning like this. It takes me about 4-5 minutes to get to the trailhead and that stretch of road was colder than the entire hour on the trails. With the proper layering it wasn't that bad! I am still searching for the best shoes for these trails... I have tried grip systems and today just wore regular road shoes. I didn't have the confidence that my shoes would offer the proper grip on some of the down hills (still scared as hell of falling since last March) I'm hoping the INOV8's will fit my feet as they look like a nice low profile trail shoe. (hate the bulky one's)

Totals: 1:10:00 ~8 miles

Friday, January 18, 2008


My goal for this morning was to get at least an hour of running in. I just made that time cut as my loop took me just that. I had all the intentions of adding a small loop but the wind had froze my "buff" and quite honestly I'd had enough. Adjusting to the cold takes a day or so. It wasn't all that cold this morning but the wind had temps -10 or worse. My legs felt OK and the right achilles appreciated the day off yesterday. As far as the head-cold I am feeling much better today.

Totals: ~1:00:00 (no watch) 8 miles

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Older, Wiser

Last night after work I noticed my energy level was super low. My son has had a runny nose lately and I could feel the "cold-like" symptoms approaching. I took an Airborne slammed some fluids and by the end of the evening I was feeling a bit better. When I woke up this morning I knew I wouldn't be running. My feet were sore, my achilles was just a bit tight, but I could feel the cold still brewing. The next best thing I thought would be to get forty five minutes in the pool and have a decent recovery day. The pool was closed when I got there because UMD isn't back in session and the hours have changed. I walked back home, brewed a strong pot of coffee and proceeded to make breakfast and enjoy a day off. I am hoping the achilles appreciates this and tomorrow I have a decent day. Mentally this day off felt really good!

Totals: 0 miles/ Good Recovery!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

West Skyline

By the looks at the weather forecast this may be the last "warmer" morning for some time. It looks like -25 on Friday morning is a strong possibility! Yuk!  I got a decent run on west Skyline this morning heading out to 24th Ave. W. and back. My right Achilles continues to be in the nagging stage and needs immediate attention. I don't need a repeat of last year. I am hoping it is from the jump in mileage (30-60 in three weeks) and will level off if I take good care of it. I will see how feels tomorrow morning and may opt for a biking workout and a swim.

Totals: 1:21:25  ~11.5 miles

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Today I did an easy loop out past the cemetery, Vermilion, Elk and back via Vermilion. This is usually a staple in my weekly mileage as it offers little traffic and decent footing. No major happenings, just basic mileage. (note to self... right achilles continues to be on edge, need to keep stretching and exercises)

Totals: 58:00   8 miles

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cooler Temps Coming

This mornings run was a just a preview of the cold temps to come later this week. At least I have a few days to get acclimated. I did an easy morning recovery run and enjoyed every step. The temps were OK, but like I said, cold is coming. My feet and legs felt pretty good and I am looking forward to another building week.

Totals: 43:00  6 miles

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lakewalk Ninety

This mornings run took me to London road, which was an icy disaster, leading onto the Lakewalk, behind the DECC, superior street, up chester and home via UMD. The early miles were easy, due to the ice, and once I hit the pavement my pace was steady. For some reason I chose to wear my I-Pod, still disgusted by the ear buds, and had some new tunes on it which made the time pass a bit better. Even though my right foot was sore from yesterday's run, it was OK today. (i had rolled it several times on the trails yesterday, plus wearing an OLD pair of racing flats was a big mistake) Not much else to say other than it was nice to approach the ninety minute mark again.

Totals: 1:26:18  12 miles

Weeks Totals: 60 miles
Years Totals: 106 miles

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hartley Loops

Recovery day on the trails. Amazing, the trails are at their best of the year! I did a series of loops in Hartley and felt quite good. I actually had to keep myself slow and keep reminded that this was a recovery run, not speed/hill workout. I wore an old pair of Adidas Concerto's along with get-a-grips and that offered decent traction. Another good day on the build-up of mileage.

Totals: 1:02:18   8 miles

Friday, January 11, 2008

Running Tired

The run today was supposed to be another medium distance run. I headed out and for the first two miles I was taking it easy making sure not to slip on ice and also to give me some time to get the Achilles warmed up. Once I crested the Woodland Ave. hill I hit the pavement and started to push the pace a bit. For the remainder of the loop I was able to run mostly on pavement. I was either running a bit too fast or my legs are still adjusting to the increase in volume. (probably a bit of both) I had a good nights sleep and thought I was rested up for this run. It was one of those runs where you think you have the amount of time completed. (it felt like I had ran for 1:10-1:-15) I didn't want to look at my watch and it was a good thing I didn't. When I got back to the house I stopped and was shocked to see the numbers. I hadn't ran quite as far in terms of time, but I felt like I had enough. I look at this as a good workout, even though the distance wasn't what I was looking for. I forgot to add a small loop that would have made this loop the time I needed. No big deal.

Totals: 1:01:07  9 miles

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hartley Singletrack

Today's schedule called for an easy recovery day. I wanted to get off of the roads and Hartley was calling my name. My wife ran there yesterday and mentioned the trails were in good running shape. I wore a pair of Brooks flats and added a pair of "get-a-grips" and that seemed to work quite well. My legs felt pretty decent. My right achilles was a bit tight at first, just a reminder how fragile that old injury is and how I need to monitor it day by day. My path actually crossed with fellow DRC teammate and Duluth trail/ultra stud Chris. (he won the Superior Trail 50 and was runner-up at the Voyageur 50 in 2007) It is quite rare to meet another person in this trail cluster, especially at 0545. We chatted a bit and continued on our own agenda for the morning. In the end I covered about 45 minutes and was happy how I felt. Possibly more snow today or tonight.

Totals: 45:00 ~ 6 miles

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Damn Nickleback

Most runners have had this happen. A song gets stuck in your head and you most likely don't like the song all that much. Santana and Chad Kroeger (Into the Night) have that song and it kept going on in my head! I guess it could be worse.

I finally made it out for an entry mid-distance run this morning. My legs felt a bit fatigued, I am guessing from all the slippage lately, but they worked into it and ended pretty decent. I did the west Skyline out and back to the Enger golf clubhouse and back. I went out in 38:46/back in 38:24. Happy to get this run in as it looks like more slick roads are coming with the potential snow tonight.

Totals: 1:17:11  11 miles 

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Slick and Soupy

The decision between running outside or on the treadmill wasn't an easy one this morning. I ultimately made the decision to run outside and take my chances. When the roads offered some packed snow the footing was excellent. Most of the roads didn't have snow cover so the bare roads had a lot of black ice. This made for a relatively easy pace once again. The fog was thick as well, so thick I'm not too sure how effective my headlamp was at certain points. My legs felt the ice... all the muscles firing at one time to stabilize my body from falling. At the end I had pretty fatigued hamstrings but for the most part all is well.

Totals: 59:00 ~ 8 miles

Monday, January 7, 2008

Good Thing It's Recovery

Monday's are recovery days. I don't have a lot to "recover" from the prior week but it is nice to take it easy on Monday mornings. It's probably best, as the roads were quite slick with ice... my worst nightmare. I took it easy on the corners, and for the most part, I had decent footing on the course I chose. I did the cemetery/UMD loop in the usual time and was happy with this run.

Totals: 43:00 6 miles

Sunday, January 6, 2008

W.P. Fitness Center... It's the Shizzle!

I had an opportunity to use a new fitness center in my home town by accompanying my dad. A brand new facility with all state of the art machines...LANDICE treadmills! I don't think I have ever been as content running on a treadmill, but the Landice is one smooth, quiet machine. (Near 5 Grand for a model like this as well)

As for my workout, I had the opportunity to share conversation with my father for near forty minutes as he worked out on an elliptical machine while I ran. The run was better than average for a treadmill workout, probably due to the newness, but I had no pains to complain about and my stride felt fluid. I didn't want to push too much but managed close to an hour at 7:03 pace. A decent workout nonetheless.

Totals: 57:30 8 miles
Weeks Totals: 52.5 miles
Years Totals: 46 miles

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Michigan Run with Kari

Kari, Lucas and I made a trip to Michigan for the weekend to celebrate Lucas's 3rd birthday. Kari and I got to run together while grandma watched Lucas for us.

Our run was an easy run down the road from my parents to Lake Superior in Silver City. We added a short distance from there to get approximately 7.5 for the morning. I am wishing to snowshoe this evening as well. My legs are feeling much better than they did earlier in the week...hopefully a sign of improvement.

Totals: 53:37 7.5 miles

Friday, January 4, 2008

Black Ice

Since we have not received much snow lately the roads are beginning to clear. Not all of them, as there seems to be a lot of black ice and when you run at O-dark thirty you can't tell what is good and what is ice. The good news is I didn't fall today, just seemed like the opportunity was waiting.

I did the extended Pig's loop out to Martin road and back via Vermilion road. My legs are beginning to adjust to the daily running and if all goes as planned I will have a decent "jump" week in mileage. Easy running with not much thinking.

Totals: 58:00 ~8 miles

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Clomping in the AM

I wore a pair of Saucony Sinisters this morning and wow were they stiff. At times when I would hit the occasional patch of pavement it sounded like horse hooves hitting the road. Not the ideal shoe for winter running. (Grade=D)

My course took me down the Tischer creek trail to London Road and the Lake walk to 14th ave. After running by the DRC, I hit the Chester creek trails and made my way up to Skyline, then home via UMD. This is a nice loop that offers plenty of variety and for the most part, free of traffic. My hamstrings are screaming the last couple of days, hopefully some good stretches will help calm them down.

Totals: 1:03:00 8.5 miles

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Not Today!...

I woke up a bit late this morning. As I stumbled down the stairs and into the dining room I stood by our sliding glass door staring at the smoke from the neighbors chimney's. I didn't actually have to see the smoke, I could hear the wind. (I actually stood at the window for close to ten minutes before making the decision to just go get it done.) That was enough proof the run outside would be one of the " I'm tougher than you" type runs.

Well, thanks to our purchase three years ago I didn't have to go outside. I put on a pair of shorts, shoes, and tee shirt and put on the I-pod and hit the treadmill for a yet to be determined run. I kind of made it up as time passed. After two miles of warm up I decided to play with the incline a bit. I decided that two minutes of hill would be a good stressor and something I could repeat more than once. For everyday running I add a 2% hill, just to make up for the loss of wind resistance. My hills were at 8% with the same running speed. Intervals of 2 minutes with 90 seconds of rest in between X 4 repeats. After the repeats I added two miles of easy running to get in my total for the morning.

My only other challenge is the I-Pod ear buds. They don't fit, and keep falling out after I get a sweat on. Does anybody know if the "rubber-tip" type ear buds work any better???

Totals: 44:22 6 miles with 4X hill repeats at 8% grade. 8.2 mph.

*Lucas picture at bath... wanted a beard like Santa.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007 Wrap Up

I should be able to wrap up 2007 within a couple of statements. It started off very exciting by being in decent shape in January because of the lack of snow. I had ran several 2 hour runs in December and was looking to bump up the mileage and get some decent workouts in Feb./March. Just as things were looking up, I had quite a fall on some ice and basically that is where my season and ultimately my year fell apart. The injury I sustained from the ice accident was a long one to rehab and as I was returning to longer runs I developed Achilles tendinitis in the opposite foot. July through October was waiting to get back to training without pain. November was a bit better, and December allowed me to run pain free. Going into the new year I am trying to be patient and get the mileage up as safe as possible. I will attempt to up the mileage to 80-90 miles a week and see how I adjust. I have some exciting new adventures planned for the new year and day by day will be my focus.

Crisp First Day

The temps fell last night making the first run of the new year quite crisp. We ran when the temps were right at 0 degrees. As I said before, this makes for pretty good footing. Kooks and I did my loop out to Martin road and home via the Vermilion road. My legs didn't feel fresh at all, and my left hamstring was pulling a bit. Nothing too major, just annoying. Overall, a good way to start the new year.

Totals: ~8miles