Monday, April 28, 2008

A Step in The Right Direction

I woke up early and warmed up the achilles/calves and headed out the door for an unknown distance. After a mile or so things felt pretty good. I noticed a huge difference in my calves when I could run on the gravel, grass, or just about anything but pavement. Almost no tightness being off pavement! I took it easy for my short loop then got the dog and headed into "Rock Hill" for a short loop. *It is still quite soft and wet on those trails.*  I will probably cross train in the pool tomorrow.
Totals: ~ 38:00  5 miles

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Major Down Time

Friday= Took the family and went to visit my parents in Michigan. I thought this would be a good opportunity to take some time away from running and see how the achilles responded. My dad and I did a brisk walk taking our chocolate lab Buddy as well. 
Totals: 3 mile walk

Saturday= another day off of running but Kari and I had a nice walk in the Porcupine Mountains for about an hour. We discovered a  new rental cabin the park had built near the lake. Spending time in the "Porkies" gives such a sense of peace for me. Over the years I have used the trails, shoreline, etc... as a place to put all life into perspective and to help answer some questions of "what to do?" I always leave the park feeling much better!
Total: 1:00:00 walking trails

Sunday= Travel day. Woke up this morning to snow! Why do we live up north? I have difficulty answering this question sometimes. 
The achilles is feeling much better and I may try running tomorrow.

Weeks Totals: 9 miles running, cross training...
Years Totals: 797 miles

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cross Train Rush

In the past I have shared many conversations with other runners about the "runners high". Many have said that other activities don't give them the high. I agreed up to today. Knowing that I need to attempt to keep cross training into my daily schedule until the achilles heals, I want a minimum of a hour of activity. This morning I did one of Pete Pfitzingers aqua jogging workouts. Five minute warm-up followed by 5X 1:30 hard, (30 sec. rest) 2 sets with five minute warm-down. A good workout. I followed this by doing 26 minutes of swimming laps. At the end I had "the high" and felt quite good. I believe this is the first time I felt that way after a pool workout. Good stuff!

Totals: 58:00 cross training in pool.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Down and Out

Monday: ran an easy loop just to monitor the achilles. Not good. I may be headed down the same track as last year, I must be patient. 
Totals: 45:00  6+ miles

Tuesday: Real easy short run. Achilles are in trouble.  
Totals:  ~ 3 miles

Today I did no running. I should have gotten up and swam/aqua jog but I didn't. Last night I did manage to get a decent "core" exercise session in. I need to be doing this 3-4 days a week. When I do the achilles exercises I have no pain. The pain appears when I am toeing off during the running stride. I may have got this early, I am hoping. The jury is still out.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another Down Week

I finished out the week with another less than ideal run. I had a decent medium distance run going and all of a sudden at about an hour my left low calf/achilles started to tighten. Instead of pushing home, I stopped at the DRC store and made a phone call to get picked up. A mature move on my part I must say.  I was hoping to get things going again but not the case. See how the morning goes.
Totals: 1:05:00  9 miles

Weeks Totals: 36 miles (4 days running/ 1 swimming)
Years Totals: 788 miles

Friday=  0 miles
Saturday=  0 miles

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Recovery Cross Train

I hit the pool this morning for some cross training to allow the legs to recover. After yesterday's fiasco I was quite happy not to be putting on running shoes! The pool was good. I did a little aqua jogging and 20+ minutes of swimming. It has been a bit since I was in the pool so I didn't want to do too much swimming and end up with a sore back and or shoulders. Overall a good day. Maybe another off day tomorrow and a couple massages very soon!

Totals: 32:00 cross training (aqua jog/swim)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Worst Day of the Year

When I walked down the stairs this morning to get to my running clothes I had a feeling that things might not go so well from a running standpoint. I was right. After attempting to warm up and do some stretches I headed out the door and hobbled through the first ten minutes, while at the same time talking myself to keep going as I wanted to turn home and call it quits. After ten minutes or so things got a little better but not much. I was over dressed, (temp. at 5am was 49F) and my calf, achilles, and much of my lower body ached! Not good when you had a fourteen miler planned. I decided to turn around at six miles and took my gel hoping for some extra power, and drank most of my Gatorade to keep the fluids in. The trip home was just as miserable. I will not run tomorrow morning, instead I will probably swim and aqua jog.

Totals: 1:22:00  11+ miles

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nice to Be Warm

Just another easy general aerobic run this morning with some strider's thrown in to help loosen up the legs. One problem... the left calf/achilles didn't loosen up the way it had the past few mornings and now I am a bit worried of having a full-blown achilles tendonitis again. Not going down that road again! I cut the run a bit short and called it for what it was worth.
On a side note, it sure was nice to be warm again. The weather is changing so fast.

Totals: 1:00:00  8 miles

Monday, April 14, 2008

Morning Excitement

Today's morning run had a little excitement to wake me up. I had heard on the newscast that there was an "explosion" on the west hillside. I had planned on doing an out and back on skyline as my recovery run so I thought there might be a chance to sneak in and see what was up. Go Here to see the coverage. Lucky the property was not occupied at the time.
The run was easy and slow. My legs were a bit sore and I had a tinge of right knee IT band symptoms towards the end. It is very apparent that I need a massage and some serious stretches for a couple of days. 

Totals: 1:00:00  8 miles

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I made it through a decent longer run this morning without too many issues. By "too many" I mean one major issue being my left lower calf. It was a bit stiff this morning but I was able to get it loose pretty easy with some gradual stretches.  The calf gave me hints that it was tighter than normal but never went into a full spasm. Here's hoping to have this "issue" behind me and I will be able to build the mileage again.

Since I wasn't too sure how the run would go this morning I made sure I didn't get too far from the house and decided to do loops. Check out the loop Here. I have mentioned before that I enjoy doing loops like this from time to time because it offers a lot of "benefits". As you can see by the course profile it offers plenty of hills and flats. It also offers me a wonderful opportunity to get the fluids and gels without having to carry them. (I do carry H2O on hot days) My splits for the two loop were 46:50, 45:35 then 27:32 for a shorter version to make up near 18 miles. As the splits indicate I picked up the pace quite a bit the last loop and the shorter loop was quicker yet. Ending a longer run like this keeps my motivation going as it always feels good to be running a faster pace when finishing up.

I couldn't fit the video I shot during the storm Saturday (file too big) but I will include a couple before and after photos in our yard. The snow doesn't look too impressive but the wind was crazy making white-out conditions for nearly 12-16 hours!

Totals: 2:00:00  18 miles

Weeks Totals: 42 miles (4 days)

Years Totals: 752 miles

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Storm is Over

The April storm of 2008 is over. It ended a bit quicker than the forecasters predicted. Last night after work the snow had already stopped and after snow blowing for about an hour the family packed up and headed to the Brewhouse for some good eats and a pint of yummy beer. I'll attempt to get some photos of the storm, or video soon.

As for my running, it has mostly been non-existent  for this week secondary to the pulled lower calf muscle last Saturday. It has slowly gotten better over the week but running seemed to aggravate it, so I didn't do much of that. Thursday I tried to run but only ran for two or three minutes then took Buddy out for  a nice walk in the park.
Friday was the worst of the storm and I didn't run. 

That leads me into today's run. I knew that Dave would have a run planned so I called on him for some motivation. Bam! He had a new ten miler mapped out and it was calling our names. After a test on our treadmill I determined I could indeed give it a go on the roads. North of Duluth offers a lot of "country-style" roads and it was a perfect fit since most of the city streets are sloppy and still in the process of getting cleared of all the slush and snow. I had twinges from time to time in the calf but nothing too major. It looks like with some proper care I should be able to ramp up the mileage again. (fingers crossed).
Totals: 1:10:24  10 miles

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Yet another morning of disappointment from my calf. Boy, I did a number on this and I just can't get it to release. This morning it didn't loosen much and caused me to cut the run really short. Obviously if things don't improve really quick the 50K is OUT for this weekend. This will be a hard decision for me because I have been looking forward to this all spring. I must be smart now if I am going to make it to the starting line of Grandma's in June.

Totals: 46:00  6+ miles

*side note... the weather looks like a "potential" snow storm on Friday. Up to 16-20" of snow!!! This may lock me in town despite the calf.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just OK

Monday: 0 miles (calf still bothersome) 

This morning I figured I had the kinks worked out of the calf and headed out on one of my usual loops of 8-10 miles depending on the turn-around point. I had to make it the shorter loop because the calf didn't loosen the way I had predicted. Damn! A couple of easier days now will hopefully benefit me in the future.

Totals: 1:00:00 +  8 miles

Sunday, April 6, 2008


The achilles/lower calf was still quite sore with running. I can stretch and it doesn't hurt at all. The achilles strength work doesn't hurt. I think it is a tight lower calf that is ultimately pulling on the achilles. 
No running, I did a short workout on the bike. Fast RPM with some intervals just to get the heart rate up.

Totals: 46 minutes biking
lots of stretching
This was supposed to be an "easy" down week of running and it turned out to be a week of almost no running. Here's hoping for better day's next week.

Weeks Totals: 39 miles
Years Totals: 710 miles

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Strive Scholorship

Amazing the difference a day can make. Yesterday I woke up feeling like I was on the verge of a major cold. During the day at work I slowly got better and by last evening I committed to running a 5k in WBL.  
After an early morning wake up, Erik and I headed south. I didn't know what to expect for pace, but I was hoping for a sub-17:00 effort! We did a warm-up and a short 3-4 min. "Jack pick-up" and soon it was time to line up. The field was rather small, but at least it was a field, and better than chasing Erik down "the shore" up in Duluth during a time trial. We opened in 5:19 into a slight head-wind. I felt like this was an effort that was sustainable for 2.1 more. After the turn, and with a slight tail-wind I expected to see 10:40-45 and was a bit stunned to see 11:00.?? I had a little tightness/pain starting in my left lower gastroc that was pulling on my achilles, but I didn't think it slowed us down that much. Erik was taking the lead at this point and pulling us to the finish. We passed 3 in 16:25 and he finished in 16:53 or so and me in 16:56. A 1-2 finish for DRC!

Totals: 7 miles (warm up, race, cool down)

Friday, April 4, 2008

No More Fight

After having my wife and child sick with some form of "bug" over the last month or so, my immunity finally gave in. I woke up extremely fatigued, sore, listless and in no mood to run. At this point, it is better to be cautious than bull-headed. I had all my running gear on but decided the futon, fireplace, and sleeping bag would be better. I woke up 90 minutes later and got ready for work.

Totals: 0 miles  (90 min. more sleep)

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I'm sure many of you can relate to this. Spring season means looking out for skunks. I was running my short recovery loop and got the wiff. The odor of the black and white cat. I never saw the critter but was on the cautious look out. My worst nightmare of getting sprayed just hours before having to go to work.
Did my cemetery-UMD loop with some added striders. Legs felt pretty good. I am fighting a little cold and hope this doesn't become one of those full-blown head colds.

Totals: 45:20  6 miles

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Snow

We didn't get as much snow as much of the region but we did manage to see about 2-3" of wet snow on Monday night. By the time I got home from work yesterday it was all gone. The bonus of Spring sunlight.  I managed to get out and do a short "medium-distance" run this morning. I wasn't sure if I was even going to be able to run after a little mishap last evening. I was carrying in groceries and when I opened out storm door I managed to throttle my knee right into the edge of the door. Pain to the point I got lightheaded. OUCH! (that's not what I wanted to scream but not much else I could do when our 3 year old was right next to me) 600 mg. Motrin and Ice packs, a beer, and a little rest and I was able to run pain-free this morning.  Out and back on west Skyline, ran into Tom and did my "back" with him.

Totals: 1:16:30  11.5 miles

General aerobic with 8X100 meter striders in the snow. Not the best footing but better than some runs in the recent past. Legs are feeling much better.

Totals: 58:00  8 miles