Friday, February 29, 2008

One Little Inch of Snow

We received the one inch of snow they (the meteorologists) were calling for. Just enough to make the footing on the trails poor. I expected this but was still bummed out to have to deal with it. I added the get-a-grips to my 790's and out the door I went.

I did a series of small loops and was having a bit of trouble getting the motivation to make it past ninety minutes. I was headed to the house when I saw Chris up the trail just starting his run. Once I got his attention we started chatting and I decided to add another loop and suddenly things were feeling pretty good. Just what I needed, thanks Chris!

I made a visit to the Chiropractor yesterday and had a wonderful adjustment as well as my feet adjusted. Yup, you can adjust them too. One of my tarsal bones was way out of alignment and needed a fixin'. It immediately felt much better once in place. On the run today my feet felt pretty good and just a bit of calf tightness because of all the slippage. 

Totals: 1:39:30 ~12.5 miles

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Easy in the Sun

I woke up at the usual time this morning but decided to roll up in the sleeping bag on the futon, turn on the fireplace, and watch the morning news. Finally, after the sun came up, I decided to make my way out for an easy "recovery" run. I like to do the mindless, no-watch, relaxed runs in between my longer efforts during the week. This morning was no different, as I hit the trails for an abbreviated loop in the daylight which allowed me to notice some ice starting to build up on certain stretches. (mental note for the mornings to come running in the dark.) Tomorrow might be a challenge on the trails depending on how much snow actually accumulates. If it is too much, it will be my first run on the roads in over a week.

Totals: 35:00  ~4.5 miles

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cool Again

This morning was a surprise to see single digit temps with negative wind chills again. After putting on an extra layer I headed for the trails and started my loops. I did feel a bit fatigued for the first half an hour or so but slowly worked into the run and actually felt the best the last half and hour. I got to witness the sun rise and chase a few deer out of their beds. A great run once again. 
* need to monitor the right lateral calf... just a bit tight after the run.

Totals: 1:30:34  ~11.5 miles

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Moonlight Skies and Scary Eyes

Another beautiful morning on the Hartley trails. As I headed out, the two-thirds moon was peaking through the minute cloud cover. Mid way through the run the unobstructed moon's glow was gleaming through the trees and lighting up the trails. 

Hartley is a 660+ acre park that has rolling terrain consisting of swamps, alder, hardwoods, and Northern pine plantations. As you could guess, it is the darkest when clipping through the pines. It is here where your imagination will play with you if you let it. Not today. It was real. The eyes... the eyes of a couple curious deer. Probably wondering what that creature was with the glowing light on it's head running through the woods. They didn't stare long, and off they went on their own mission for morning eats.

The run was another good day with minimal to no discomforts. Scary. Just last week I was willing to quit this sport and take up Banjo lessons. (something I will seriously do this year) I read a short article (Nov. 2007 issue) in Trail Runner on Chi Running last night and attempted to incorporate some of those drills into my run. I can see the benefits, but I can also see some of the critics points as well. To go for a run and totally concentrate on form then entire time turns a lot of people off. "It takes away from the fun of going out and relieving stress." I can see their point. At any rate, it has it's benefits just like a lot of little drills and exercises.

Totals: 1:05:05  ~8.5 miles

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another Great Trail Day

Much of the same for my run this morning. Out to the Hartley single track and loops with the headlamp. No pains to discuss. Feet feel real good, as well as the hamstrings and calves. Hopefully this can continue through the next four weeks. I plan to build rather quick over the next four weeks.

Totals: 46:00  ~6.5 miles (790's)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ending Strong

This week ended quite well with today's run. I decided since the trails are in the best shape of the year I will run the trails everyday until they are no longer feasible to run them. I am hoping for this next week to allow me running the majority of my miles on these trails.

Today I decided to try the 790's for a bit of a longer run. They worked! My legs and feet haven't felt this good for weeks. Coincidence? Maybe... I am just thankful.
I did a series of loops on the Hartley trails and SHT trails out to the gas line and back. A great day.

Totals: 1:31:28  ~11.5 miles

Weeks Totals: 38 miles
Years Totals: 302 miles

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Sun is Great!

I did a late morning/early afternoon run in Hartley on the single track wearing my new shoes: New Balance 790's, click here to see them. They felt great on the trails today. They are packed snow from mountain bikes, walkers, runners and anything else that used the trails to meander through the woods. One quick, shorter loop to test and all seems quite well. This has been three days of running and no achilles pain and no foot pain when I am actually running. (my foot pain/soreness is right away in the morning and is gone by the time I walk down the stairs?)

Congrats to all the locals who kicked ass at the Birkie!

Totals: 40:00   ~6 miles

Friday, February 22, 2008


This morning I did close to the same loop as yesterday with an added loop. I didn't have to work so I was able to leave an hour later and thus allowing me to run with daylight! As I mentioned yesterday the trails are in super shape with some added grip on the shoes. Two days in a row feeling pretty good.  The only problem today is the right foot, arch and metatarsals continue to be sore. The achilles has been decent the last two runs.

Totals: 1:00:00  ~8 miles

Thursday, February 21, 2008

An Attempt at Eclipse

Just a quick photo of last nights eclipse.  If you click on the photo, it does enlarge on your screen and has a bit better quality and details.

What the ??? Cold Choppers

After taking a few more days off of running I decided that this morning would be the day to test the feet. I failed to look at the forecast for the morning hours and was very surprised to see temps -10F (-20 F windchill). Shit! Another morning of suffering. Well, I had it in my head to run outside so I got ready and headed for the trails as this would probably offer me the best protection from the wind. The trails in Hartley are amazing right now. Great running!! After a bit of a warm up my feet and legs felt very good... too good, the kind of good like "what the hell, why have I been taking days off?" The loop was easy pace and rolling and offered the protection from the wind I needed, except for one thing. My hands were cold and I was wearing Choppers. Yes, choppers. The kind of old leather mitts your grandpa wore when he was blowing snow, hauling wood, or any other minus zero winter morning task in northern minnesota.( or michigan) I've been criticised for wearing my old choppers by many a runners, but they offer great warmth. Usually. Why were my hands cold? Maybe just another year of age and one more step closer to full blown Raynauds. 

Totals: 43:00  6 miles

Wednesday= 0 miles (lots of stretching, massage ball work)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Another bad morning with the windchills -20F! No running outside and quite honestly, I shouldn't be running... the achilles was very sore this morning. This sucks!

totals: 0 miles  

Monday, February 18, 2008

Just Gettin' Out

It was snowing again this morning making for less than ideal footing conditions but I managed to get out and do a short loop. I wanted an hour, but settled for my six mile loop. I noticed my right achilles acting up again and will need to monitor real close.

Totals: 44:00   6 miles

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A bit Sore

I did the Book Across the Bay 10K ski race last night and had a decent time. I haven't been on my skis for two years and took them down from the rafters in my garage yesterday, had a buddy throw some wax on them, and lined up for the race. The race conditions were a bit rough for the first two or three k's and then we turned and had the wind on our back until the end. My time was 35:45ish and 115th place overall. A good time and great food and beverage afterwards.

As for my run today, I was a bit sore and managed to get in a nice run out and back on West Skyline.  I hope this next week to have a decent return to consistent running.

Totals: 1:04:30  8.5 miles
Weeks Total: 30 miles
Years Total: 264.5 miles

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Daylight is Nice

To run with daylight sure is nice. Two days a week of running with natural light just isn't normal. The loop this morning took me down to London Road, lake walk, up Chester Creek trails and home via Skyline-UMD. I have run this loop many times in the past and the last twenty five minutes are all up a decent grade. Usually this leaves me feeling pretty wasted but not today. The hills actually felt better than the flats. Maybe a ski tonight at the Book Across the Bay 10k in Ashland/Washburn WI. Here is the link to the race.

Totals: 1:03:00  8 miles

Thurs.  0 miles
Friday  0 miles

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Short but Good

The nights sleep didn't go so well and as a result I remained in bed for an extra forty minutes this morning which ultimately resulted in a shorter run because I forgot my wife had to leave for work (doesn't usually work Wed.) at 0700. It ended up being a blessing in disguise. I did a short and quicker morning loop and felt really good. My legs are starting to get a bit more loose and fluid and with little soreness. Let's hope they hold up to tomorrows mid distance run.

Totals: 35:00  5 miles

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


It was nice to see the temps above zero this morning, but better seeing no wind blowing. I decided to run a easy loop to see how the legs were going to hold up. Right out the door I felt good and was hoping it would last more than a couple of miles. The morning treated me well as I did most of the run feeling well and minimal soreness or achy spots. To do it two or three days in a row will show me I am ready to resume base building. (I have a long way to go)  Woodland, Martin, Vermilion home via E. St. Marie.

Totals: 56:00  ~8 miles

Monday: 0 miles (still bad attitude with the wind chills -25F)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rest Week???

Let's just chalk up this past week to "rest". Be it mental, physical, or what ever the hell you want to call it, I took it off.

Friday: 0 miles (legs feel shitty)
Saturday: easy out and back on Skyline with Erik, legs felt terrible when done 1:03:00  8+ miles
Sunday: -41F wind chill, still bad attitude and no treadmill running. 0 miles

Weeks Mileage: 18 Whopping Miles
Years Mileage: 234.5 miles

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Test Run

I finally woke up and didn't have any discomforts to talk about. Nice! I got my gear on and headed out for and easy run and hoped to make it an hour or more. The first fifteen minutes felt really good but then my lower calf started to tighten. I stopped stretched it out and continued on my way. Once I got to the turn in the run that would make it an hour I decided to make my way home and tend to the calf muscle and hopefully snuff it out, not make it worse. In the end I had a decent run that was tons better than most runs last week, and more importantly, the left hamstring was not a factor.

Totals: 43:00  6 miles

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I could see this coming for over a week. Time off. As I posted last week, I am a bit surprised with the little mileage I have been running and having hamstring trouble to this degree. I also mentioned my feet giving me trouble, which is a bit better. The major trouble is the left hamstring and its constant tightness and pulling, even at night.
Monday: easy, slow (some walking) recovery  4+ miles (33:00)
Tuesday: same thing 0 miles

Wednesday: feeling better, but with the new snow why run and aggravate, so I headed to the pool and did 30 minutes swim. I may do some biking tonight?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

My Not So Long Run

Today was supposed to be a bump in time for my long run of the week. That didn't happen. What did happen was a serious increase in intensity. I did a group run that was a bit faster than my usual Sunday runs, at least in early February. Once I had a flavor of the pace I immediately changed my overall run time down a bit to adjust for the increase in intensity. I thought it would be counterproductive to run both farther and much faster in the same weekend. For the most part things felt good. I really got beat up on the downhills. My left hamstring was screaming but soon after the hills all felt good and the 6:30 miles were doable. Next week will be back to the basics, and I will focus on getting my two mid-distance runs and one good longer run next weekend. Thanks for an interesting run fellas.

Totals: 1:29:00  ~13 miles

Weeks Totals: 43.5 miles
Years Totals: 259 miles

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Throwin' an Old Dog a Bone

Once in a while, usually just after one does a decent amount of bichin' about something, somebody, or some type of power "throw's you a bone". That's what I call today's run. I didn't feel too much better this morning as my left hamstring continues to be tight, and my right foot (tarsals) seem to remain sore for some unknown reason. 

Instead of running right out of bed I decided to make today an afternoon workout, as much as I dislike PM workouts. Lucas and I headed out to watch the Frozen 5k at the Armory. There was just a little snowfall this morning, just enough to make you think of your foot placement. Mens Winner: Tony Meyers: 15:50ish and Women's Winner: Marlo Crosby-McGaver: 18:35ish. (complete results to be found at After the race, upon getting home, my wife just finished her distance run for the week and now it was my turn. I quickly decided that I should run on the treadmill just incase I had another run like yesterday.  I did my usual warmup for two miles in 15:00 and proceeded to run a little "up-tempo" workout. I use the term "up-tempo" because it isn't really true Tempo (LT) pace rather just a pace that makes me work a bit but not killin' me pace either. For today this pace ended up being 10mph or 6:00 min/mile pace. I did 5 X 2 minutes at the pace with one minute rest. This was just enough to make me feel a bit fatigued and also to introduce the legs into quicker paces that are soon to come. In the end, I had a decent workout that allowed my hamstrings and feet to participate. Like I said, someone threw me a bone. Thanks.

Totals: 43:00  6 miles

Friday, February 1, 2008


After this mornings run I am perplexed. I feel I have been taking it quite easy and attempting to ease into the mileage, do the proper stretches, exercises and take days off when things just don't feel right. Still no luck, I felt like shit today.

I took yesterday off, mainly because of a mental funk and I didn't want to run outside and fight the icy roads. The treadmill didn't seem any more appealing so I did some weights and ball/core exercises followed by some decent stretches. I felt quite good most of the day and my legs were appreciating the time off.

This mornings run started off very well, actually the best I have felt in some time. After thirty minutes of running everything changed. My legs slowly became heavy and lead-like, along with the pulling hamstrings. Both of them! I had to really ease off on the pace and "just finish" the run. I didn't make the time I wanted and had to cut the workout short by ten minutes. I find this quite frustrating, and quite honestly I am going to have a difficult time dragging my ass out of bed to go running and feel like complete garbage. I only hope this weekend things improve and I can gain some momentum going into next week. I need to have some good energy vibes, as the true marathon schedule starts in two weeks.

Totals: 1:12:54  ~10 miles