Monday, March 31, 2008


Today marked the first day of my focus plan. I sure was happy to take it easy and run by how I felt. I felt tired so I ran slow. My legs actually felt much better when I was done, and I did a complete set of stretches and achilles exercises just to get the legs/calves loose. 
The only other high, or low, in my run was the series of gun shots I heard at 5:40 am. Two pops followed shortly by three more. It was at this moment when I did a 180 turn and headed back to the house. (I don't need any strays to the calves, I have my own problems) That was a first!

Totals: 45:27  6 miles

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I wanted a long run that would make it easy for getting fluids without having to drive any place. The best option usually is loops from the house using the front porch as the "aide station". For some people this doesn't sound very appealing but it makes the distance go pretty quick and gives you very good opportunity to keep the fluids in. I must admit, there are days where doing loops just isn't in the books and the thought makes me even more tired.

The loop is of rolling terrain and offers a good opportunity to feel the quads pound on some downhill stretches. (I guess this would be beneficial if I were running Boston) I have attempted measuring it once or twice and have estimated it near 6.7 miles. (years before all these GPS gadgets)  The first loop felt OK and I figured the middle loops I would mentally suffer, which I didn't, and the last loop had my quads screaming on the downhill sections. Splits were quite even at: 46:49, 46:34, 47:03 

Next week as I mentioned earlier is starting my 12 week focus plan. (I think I have the weeks counted out accurately now) It will also be a week of "rest" for me as it will probably call for 65-70 miles. I'm looking forward to it!

Totals: 2:20:27  ~20 miles

Weeks Totals: 82.5 miles
Years Totals: 671.5 miles

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Open Season

I say "open season" on all crows. Why don't people shoot them? I'm not a big hunter or "gun person" but I say take them all out. How many of you have been woken up by a flock of crows (is it flock?) at 5 am just because they are fighting over the morning garbage? This mornings run started with a bunch up at the tree tops crowing away at me like they were waiting for me to drop dead just so they could eat.

My run was an "urban" run today. After meandering down Chester trails I made my way to Superior street and ran the early morning downtown streets. Surprisingly a lot of runners out this morning... spring fever. After rounding the canal I made my way home via the Lakewalk, London Road and up Tischer Creek trails. Overall a great run just to get the legs loose for tomorrows longer run. 
I am up to ~200 miles on the NB 790's and have no complaints. Great shoes!!!

Totals: 1:12:00  10 miles

Friday, March 28, 2008


I could see this coming as it is my 5th week in building base and for me the final prep week for my 12 week plan. I was trying to repeat last week but since Sunday's twenty I have not returned to feeling "peppy". I don't have any serious aches or pains to worry about but an overall feeling of flat.  I believe this to be appropriate for the volume I have done and next weeks running will look very similar to Pfitzinger's first marathon week in his 12 week plan which ultimately will be a "down/recovery" week for me and I am looking forward to it. 

This morning I headed out for another medium distance run but fell short a bit due to the feelings I described above. The route was out on country roads, moderately hilly with no wind to contend with, which was nice. (cool temps though 10F) For most of the loop I felt like I was well under 7:00 pace and in the past this loop was run closer to 6:20's which will be the goal pace in weeks to come.

Totals: 1:33:00  ~13.5 miles

Recovery run on the roads and trails. The trails are toast for now. They have too much uneven snow from the "day-walkers".  My legs felt much better after the run so I took Buddy out for a short loop once I got home. I am working on getting Buddy out for 3 or 4 runs a week and hope to have him with on some weekend runs this spring. 

Totals: 55:00  7 miles

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I have made reference to this in the past and once again this morning it hit me in the face. The importance of proper fueling. I ate like a horse after Sunday's run and Monday was much of the same. Yesterday after work my wife and I had an appointment and I didn't eat until 8:30 last night AND it was pizza! Complete shit when you are planning close to a 2 hour run the next morning. It may have been the lack of proper nutrition or it may be the extended lag of the twenty miler on Sunday but my legs were dead and heavy for most of the second half of the run. Having said that, I did negative splits by over a minute coming back. I did the same run as last Friday, which was out and back to 40th west.  

Totals: 1:44:32  15 miles

Another easy general aerobic run with some fartleks thrown in and a couple of harder hills as well. Legs felt great! Had a little snow to contend with. Overall, it feels like a good recovery from Sunday's run.

Totals: 1:02:30  9 miles

Monday, March 24, 2008

Chilly Recovery

Just a bit chilly this morning (8F) felt good for the recovery run. A no-frills run, still a bit tired and sore from yesterday's long run but all I did is take it easy and try not to worry about the pace. 

Totals: 1:00:00  8 miles

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Serves Me Right

Yesterday I was replying to Kurt about the snow he had received in St. Paul and I was responding, "glad it was you, not me". Dang, woke up to 4-5" of fluffy white powder snow this morning and didn't really expect it. I really wanted to get in the twenty-miler I had planned so the plotting began. (I should know better to trash-talk about the weather in March living in Duluth)

Today's run was all about motivation. I had a decent week of training going and really needed to run twenty miles today as part of my overall base building phase. (I had ran 18 milers a couple of times) I didn't know what to expect when I hit the road but my goal was to run as much as I could handle in the snow and finish on the treadmill. On the roads the snow was almost unnoticed. It actually gave me a good "cushion" with each step. The problem was to run on roads that hadn't been driven on much. With the tire tracks came slippage. So, off to the trails it was. I managed to run some yesterday and figured as long as the base was there, grip should be decent. The first lap was really good with minimal trouble spots as far as sinking or slipping goes. With each progressive lap the footing became worse and I was starting to wobble a bit with each step. So that's where I called it. Time to go to the treadmill. I had ran fifteen miles in Hartley trails, which I was stoked with, and all I had to do is finish on the treadmill. I got home, ran downstairs to change, tried to minimize the delay and hit the 'mill. It took me a bit but the quads finally relaxed and I settled into 7:13 pace. The last two miles the quads were yelling for me to stop but all else felt super! I finished my first twenty-miler of 2008. Very happy with this one as the first fifteen were a lot more challenging that I was giving them credit for. A good way to end the week. 

After having a decent build-up in January (55-60 mile weeks), and then the major cold weather and my "virus"(I'm not sure which one, but I am sure it was one of those little suckers) that took me out most of February, I am happy with the last four weeks. (66, 74.5, 60, 86 miles respectively) My mileage may stay in the 80 mile per week range but I have to adjust accordingly as the new schedule demands.

I still have to get the specifics but next week will start the twelve week plan for Grandma's Marathon. The basic format of the training will not change much, but the intensities and duration will. 

Totals: 2:37:50  20 miles (15 on snow trails)

Weeks Totals: 86 miles
Years Totals: 589 miles

Saturday, March 22, 2008

General Aerobic

Headed out for a "general aerobic" run this morning. I had plans of running roads and snowmobile trails. Once I hit a connector trail and saw what condition they were in I decided to stay on them for the majority of my run. My legs felt fresh right from the door. I was able to stride out on the flats and take it easy on the hills. I finished the run by doing 5 X 100 meter striders in the parking lot near our house. I feel ready for tomorrows long run. (I just need to eat well today)

Totals: 1:06:00  9 miles

Friday, March 21, 2008

In Your Face!

Woke up feeling a bit fatigued this morning and just didn't want to go outside and run. Morning coffee watching the tube and enjoying the morning hours with the paper sounded much better. Not to be though... I made it out the door and eased my way into a medium distance run. I noticed the wind at my back and actually zipped open my jacket a bit to get some extra air flow. My out and back course gave me the opportunity to turn at any moment but the further I went the more I wanted to go out. Turning at 40th ave West I realized what I had in store for the next 56 minutes or so... WIND! Great gusts that actually blew my skinny ass all over the place, literally! I was just happy there wasn't any snow or ice to contend with because my footing was what was keeping me up. In the end I had a decent run that ended up being a quicker pace than last Friday's run. Interesting how that happens. 

Totals: 1:45:07  15+miles

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SPRING! Recovery Day

The first day of spring. What a gorgeous day. It started when I was just ten minutes into my run and I noticed the huge full (or near) moon sitting almost on the ground. As I continued the loop the daylight was beginning to appear closer to 0630. That's good news for us "morning workout folk".

The run took me on side roads and then I ventured to the snowmobile trails for a bit. The trails would have been super except when it was warm yesterday some people were walking on them and left foot "holes" and now this morning they were frozen. Bummer. At the end of the run I added a small loop with Buddy (the family chocolate lab). I wish he could join me on all my runs but it is inevitable he would get himself or both of us in "big trouble".  Overall, a good recovery run that left me feeling much better than when I started the run.

Totals: 1:00:00  8.5 miles

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Just got word of the catastrophe in my sis' town. One of the best restaurants in the region burnt to the ground yesterday. Click here if you missed eating at this amazing place. Our thoughts are with you Rene, family and staff. We are deeply sorry.
Gregg, Kari and Lucas Robertson

Road Miles

With the snow yesterday as well as the warmer temps, it made an interesting morning to figure out which routes would offer the best footing for my run. I didn't think the trails would be worth the effort, so I hit the roads and decided to get out to the "country" roads. My gamble paid off, as these roads were much better than the streets in town. Mainly they are subject to sunlight all day and most of the snow/ice burned off yesterday.

My legs felt good right from the front door and once I got the early hills out of the way I settled into a comfortable pace that was much quicker than the pace I have been running on the trails. Towards the end my legs and hips were beginning to fatigue but tolerable. Another good medium distance run. 
No work for  me today... this is my GF holiday day off.

Totals: 1:34:42  14 miles

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wet Snow

I woke up to about 4" of fresh wet snow on the ground. I attempted to run on the trails again and for the most part they were decent. I just didn't have it in me today to do loops, so after one loop I headed out to the roads and finished. There really wasn't much difference between the trails and the roads this morning as the 4" of snow was the same soft landing everywhere. My legs felt good and hoping for good footing tomorrow as I have a medium distance scheduled. This is the last week of general aerobic base mileage and will turn to a focus 12 week schedule next week or so. I have some homework to do as I will be attempting to mix P. Pfitzinger and J. Daniels Formula along with my own mix as I see necessary. I know what gets me in good shape, but I want to be in GREAT shape come June 21st. I need to step up a notch and hope to stay injury-free. Here's to one more easy week!

Totals: 1:05:00  9 miles

Monday, March 17, 2008

One More Snow Storm

The weather report is for 5" of snow today/tonight. I wanted to have one more good trail run before the storm and also before the end of spring. After this storms comes and goes, more than likely the trails will be off limits until they dry.  This mornings run was just "general aerobic" along with getting out the kinks left over from the water slides all weekend. I did the lower loop twice and was pleasantly surprised in the trail conditions and also how I felt. A good way to start the week.

Totals: 1:17:00  10.5 miles

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Slacker Weekend

Had the family in town this weekend and decided to take it "easy" this weekend instead of beating myself up over when to get the long run worked into the crazy weekend schedule. I had a decent run Friday morning, took Saturday off (except the 25-30 trips up the stairs to the top of the water rides) and made an easy hour run this morning.
It is so easy to get down on yourself when you are in "marathon training mode" but sometimes you have to say "screw it". Maybe that is why I haven't run a faster marathon yet... hmmm. Looking forward to having a good week.

Totals: 1:00:09   9 miles

Weeks Totals: 60 miles (six runs)
Years Totals:  503 miles

Friday, March 14, 2008


The early morning hours make it difficult to distinguish the difference between pavement, ice or pavement that is dry but was wet yesterday. I headed out on West Skyline as this roadway is subject to the sun most hours of the day and I figured it would most likely be pavement. I was right for the most part. On the way out I was cautious and had little black ice to contend with. Once I hit the turn (just past 40th west) the sky was starting to brighten up and allow for better visualization of the ground which allowed me to settle in the pace and have a really good run back to the house. Legs felt good. A nice way to end the week.

Totals: 1:54:08  16 miles

*the rest of the weekend will be tough. the family is spending the entire time at the water park. should be fun.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


After noticing that my legs were still a bit fatigued yesterday I decided it would be best to take a real "recovery" type run. I woke up to 2-3" of fresh wet snow and decided the trails would not be the best option. I stuck to the roads and had a decent easy run through the early morning streets. At the end of the run, which I finished feeling quite well, I knew I had made the right decision. Sometimes you have to really back off and listen to the body.

Totals:  45:47  ~6 miles

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Medium Distance

I wasn't quite sure where the best footing for my run would be following the 50F temps yesterday. I decided to try the trails, added a loop of snowmobile trails along the Amity creek and Hawks Ridge and ran some roads back to the house. Overall I felt good. My quads still a bit affected by last Sunday's run? Not sure why this is? Maybe just an overall adjustment to the increased volume? Nothing is painful so that is good.

Totals: 1:32:20  12+miles

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Almost a Repeat

My 2007 running was written off secondary to a fall on March 20 2007. A left anterior ankle sprain ultimately resulted in right achilles tendonitis that plagued me the entire year in some fashion or another.  The reason I bring this up is I almost made the same mishap this morning only minutes from having my run complete.  I did another trail run in Hartley, bumped into Chris and ran a bit with him, and on the way home almost wiped-out on the ice once again. Just shy of the one year anniversary. I'm not looking forward to the next several weeks of running as any morning may offer plenty of black ice.

My run went well. The legs were a bit sore at the end, but I have made good progress over the last couple of days. Hopefully tomorrow the rain will hold off until after I run.

Totals: 1:12:44  10 miles

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mild Soreness

I must have worked the legs a bit harder than I gave credit for yesterday. I knew I had a rough run as far as energy goes but I did manage to give myself a case of the quad-pound. The good thing was that this mornings run was an easy recovery run of up to an hour. I hit the trails and concentrated on good form and no worries for the pace. Most everything felt OK, just sore. I managed to eat quite well yesterday and today. Tomorrow will be just over an hour with some harder efforts worked in someway.

Totals: 53:28  7 miles

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I Was Due

After having several days (near 16) of good to great running I finally had a bad day. A day I believe should be chalked up to poor nutrition on Saturday.  Breakfast was poor, lunch was OK followed by some deep fried apps. at a restaurant and supper ended the day at 2000 with a bowl of cream of wheat. Far from stellar. You really cannot afford to screw off like that when the following day is scheduled as twenty miler. I tried to do the best I could this morning by delaying the start of my run by over an hour and actually eating breakfast before I ran followed by a glass of gatorade. Too much too late.

I had a plan of running three 6.5 mile loops which would allow me to get in lots of drink and potential eats. I started the first loop and after fifteen minutes I realized a quick change of plans was in order. I added a extension to the first loop and made it almost sixty minutes, good for 8.5 miles. I carried a bottle and drank most of it, stopped at the house and slammed a gel and half of another bottle, made a quick change of clothing (I dressed too hot the first loop) and off I went in the other direction. By doing this I knew I could make my distance pretty easily I just needed to get myself out far enough on the route and all I would have to do is make it back to the house. That is where things started to get down right shitty. My legs/hips fatigued and my psoas muscle on the right side started to spasm. I did a quick mental check of form and relaxed and soon the spasm subsided enough to make it home. I didn't quite make the distance I wanted (20) but it was a run that was very important not to scrap. In the end I am glad I made it over two hours and hope to recover, rest, and have another decent week of base.

Totals: 2:10:00  18 miles

Weeks Totals: 74.5 miles
Years Totals: 443 miles

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cool But Warmer

I waited until the mercury hit above zero this morning and headed out for a combo road-trail run. I used my new Nike Haywards... great shoes for the roads. I managed to run some trails early on followed by a bit of streets and finishing with trails. My legs felt good and things should be in order for tomorrow's longer effort.

Totals: 1:11:34  9.5 miles

Friday, March 7, 2008

All Together Now....Say Bye, Bye!

I'm being optimistic here and after this mornings run I am saying "Bye for now, see you next year winter!" (the weather forecast for tomorrow is -4 in the early morning then warming up) When I was getting ready to roll out for the run it was -14F with a wind gusting at 10mph. Perfect for the woods. The first five minutes to the trail head actually hurt, a lot! I was determined to get  at least one decent loop then go home and finish on the treadmill. After my first loop (approx. 55 minutes) I felt decent and decided to head out for another loop and just get my time done outside. I can honestly say the worst part was my hands. They were cold. I had a pair of the "hand-warmer" packets and one of them blew open in my mitt and thus I had only one to use. I kept it in my dominant hand mitt, just incase I was to loose a hand I didn't want it to be the good one!  
At any rate, I had a good run again. I was looking to run closer to two hours but it just wasn't in the cards this morning. I am looking forward to the weekend long run and that should finish my week with yet another good building week.
*the picture is immediately after my run and I wanted to kiss this weather good bye and not deal with it until next Dec. or Jan.
Totals: 1:33:00  ~12 miles

Thursday, March 6, 2008


It's never good to assume. You know the line, " it makes an ass out of you and me". This morning I assumed the temps would be like most March mornings, nope. I assumed the I-Pod would be ready to go and finally after I threaded the ear buds and found a pocket to store it in I then realized the battery was dead. I assumed the trails would be the same day after day, after all why would they change? I had a branch tag me in the face that hasn't been there in previous mornings, damn. I also assumed that I could go to the Burrito Union and have a couple pints and a burrito and not have it affect me at 0600, Wrong!

I did have a decent easy run this morning despite all the wrong assumptions and I did guess correctly on the footing. No grips necessary. Legs feel awesome!

Total: 50:00 (no watch just estimate) ~7 miles

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Light Fluff

Woke up this morning to a layer of "light fluff" snow on the ground. Less than one inch but just enough to allow me to use the "get a grips" on my shoes. Hit the trail early to allow me time to get the medium distance in. It sure is nice to have daylight near 0600. Soon after the time shift it will be back to darkness in the early morning run time.
I did the same series of loops in Hartley... just more of them today. Saw Chris's tracks after my second loop, must have just missed you Chris! Had a good day and ate like a pig ate work after this effort.

Totals: 1:38:42  ~12.5 miles

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Extra Traction

Most of the ice on the streets is gone for now. I headed to the trails and brought my grips just in case I needed them. I ran one complete loop thinking that the footing was "fair". Since I had the grips in my back pocket I figured I would slip them on just to see if I felt any different. Wow, what a difference! To have the added traction gives you the added confidence in your steps and actually allows you to relax and ultimately run smoother and in my case, quicker the second lap. The trails are in such good shape that on most days the pace is much quicker than in the summer because of the lack of rocks, roots, etc... Another super day on the trails!!

Totals: 1:05:32  9 miles

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ice Coverage! Not on the Trails

After yesterday's warmer weather and a bit of rain late afternoon I figured the entire city to be covered in ice. The streets were down right treacherous but the Hartley trails were in great shape, especially with the added get-a-grips on my shoes. Today was an easy recovery-type workout. Legs felt just a bit tired but no soreness to report! I think all will be back on by tomorrow. Core-work tonight.

Totals: 48:24  ~6.5 miles

Sunday, March 2, 2008

No Snow-Mo's

Today we (Rod and I) decided to mix a little road miles with snowmobile trails. The trails were the wrong choice. At 26F they are a bit soft. We slowed and made those sections as easy as we could while getting a super leg workout. Other than the poor footing, the run was excellent and couldn't ask for better weather. The legs, feet, hams all felt good for the most part. Look forward to next weeks build up.

Total: 1:52:37  14miles

Weeks Total: 66 miles
Years Total: 368 miles

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Winter Spikes!

I'm sure that I'm not the first to test them out but today I used a pair of old Adidas cross spikes on the Hartley trails. What a wonderful surprise! There was just enough spike to make the difference in traction. My legs felt quite good so I did the complete loop including the "guardrail loop". The flat stretches allowed me to stride out a bit and do just a touch of up-tempo running today. * the right achilles remains to be an area of daily monitoring.

Totals: 1:02:38  8.5 miles