Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trail Trio

This morning I wasn't sure if I would make a true "long" run but I was willing to give it a go. After lacing up the NB 790's I made my way to the Rock Hill trails. This trail is in superior shape right now. After a half loop I decided to venture to Chester Bowl and do a complete set of upper and lower loops. My legs were feeling quite good at that time and I made my way back up from 4th street feeling pretty strong. Once I crested the top I made my way back to Rock Hill, completed the loop and did an out and back through Hartely using the SHT. 
This run made up for a lot of shitty runs the last few weeks and I finished very strong looking for more tomorrow. A quick circuit of lower leg/core work and the morning was turned to chores around the house.

Totals: 1:27:00  11+ miles

Friday, May 30, 2008

Morning Drizzle

To get two sunny mornings in a row in Duluth would be asking too much. Therefore this mornings run was in a steady drizzle/mist with temps around 50F. After the first mile or so, things loosened up quick and I settled into a decent pace (maybe just under 7:00's). I wanted to stick to the roads given the wet conditions and that also made for the quicker pace and the opportunity to stretch out a bit on some of the flats. No real troubles to discuss, just a little stiffness in the right psoas/hip flexor region. I have been stretching and doing the core work everyday this week and it seems to be getting better with each day.
Totals: 57:10  8+ miles 

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Deer and Hills

This mornings run took me to Rock Hill (aka Bagley Nature Trails) where I proceeded to complete 3 loops with each increasing the pace. By the end of the run I was starting to feel like my old self again. My stride was becoming loose and flowing with ease, something that I haven't felt for some time now. After the run I did a short version of the exercises, as I try to do some if not all everyday. Overall, I was happy with this run and actually getting excited to start some form of a program for 10K training.
The only problem I encountered on the trails was the deer. Damn! Get the eff out of the way... they are so tame in that park that they actually don't move and scare the shit out of you.
There still is some significant stiff lower legs and achilles when I wake up in the morning. After five or ten minutes of walking around and light stretches all things are usually ready to go.

Totals: 43:11 ~ 6 miles

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May Frost

I woke up to see the mercury at 32F. It's almost freekin' June! Oh well, it is the Northland. The nice thing of this time of the year is once the sun breaks the tree tops it heats up quick.
My run took me through the cemetery and down a short section of the SHT and roads back home. I started off really stiff and nearly two miles down the road I was feeling much better. The morning ended with a full two circuits of core/lower leg work. Once I got to work, I felt 200% better than when I woke up. A PM run entered my mind but I should take it easy for a week or two to get my legs back into form.

Totals: 50:10 ~7 miles

Tuesday: way tired...couldn't get out of bed. 0 miles

Monday, May 26, 2008


Maybe it was the lift of the mental stress of attempting to prepare for the race in four weeks. Maybe just a coincidence.  Whatever it was I knew it would happen. I felt good today. Yep, a good run. I didn't say "stellar", just good. I was planning on an 8 miler mostly on trails and I decided to see what my buddy Eric was planning for a run. He mentioned a "mostly road" with a little trial 12 miler. I decided to give it a try. We headed out on West Skyline and made our way to 10th and headed down the hill to work our way to the lake walk. The weather was mixed with sun, clouds, fog, mist, rain, and of course, a cool wind off the lake. I felt really good except some tightness in the right hip flexor, an area that has been giving me trouble since the 25K. No achilles trouble, and not foot discomfort until after the run. Still not sure what the hell that is all about. In the end, we made it just over eleven miles. Very happy with this run.

Totals: 1:27:00  11.2 miles (gps)

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Saturday= 0 miles

Today was the last nail in the coffin. I am out of Grandma's Marathon! I did an easy afternoon run on the roads and felt like death warmed over. Why? I can't answer that but I do need the mental break from the stress of getting ready for Grandma's. The sooner I realized that I wouldn't be running the sooner I can settle down and get training for the rest of the summer and fall. It sure is a hard decision to make but a necessary one if I will be racing the rest of the year. Having a race of this caliber in your home town and sitting on the sidelines just plain ol' sucks. (my wonderful wife can relate) Reading reports like Eric's doesn't help. A big congratulations to him, what an effort and super exciting race report.
So there it is... I am not running Grandma's Marathon this year. (i needed to write that again)
Here's to getting healthy and ready to kick some ass later this year.

Total: 49:15  7 miles
Weeks Totals: 18 miles
Years Totals: 915 miles

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wow That's Heavy!

Thursday= 0 miles (biked to and from work)

I had to get out this morning and give running a shot. My legs the last time I ran were still affected by the 25K race last weekend. I didn't feel too much discomfort in the achilles but my legs were heavy and dead. The trails near UMD were in excellent shape and gave me just what I wanted which was easy, slow, cushioned running. The weekend ahead will be interesting to see how my body reacts and what kind of milage I can run.

totals: 4.5 miles

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ankle Issues

After licking my wounds Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I thought it might work to go for a run again. My left ankle, the one I rolled over four times, remains to be swollen despite the icing and rest. The range of motion is a bit limited but not much pain.
I did the Piggly Wiggly loop and the ankle did OK, it was my overall legs, hips, and low back that was fatigued and sore. Damn trail runs...

Totals: 47:15  6.5 miles (6.7)

Monday= o miles
Tuesday= 0 miles

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another Half-Ass Week

After yesterday's race I wasn't in any condition to run. Something I knew might happen after a race like that, but still not happy with time off one month prior to Grandma's Marathon. I know, I shouldn't have ran the 25K if I was thinking of G-Ma's but I did it anyway. Grandma's might and probably shouldn't happen but I am not counting myself out yet.
I need to rehab my ankle quick and get back on the roads for the next four weeks and see what kind of shape I can get myself into.

Totals: Week: 37 miles (5 days)
               Years: 897 miles

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Poor Decisions and Bad Luck

So I made the trip up to Lutsen for the spring Superior trail races. I decided late last night that I would be able to run the 25K in hopes that it wouldn't beat me up. The Superior Hiking Trail can be in rough shape this time of year and parts of it would leave a lot of the front runners on their bellies. More on that later.
 My main concern was my achilles. I knew that running on the trails near home were going well but I still had some concerns about the difficult terrain to be dealt with during the race. I warmed up adequately in the NB 790's and then I did a loop in my Nike Haywards.  With their soft uppers and thicker midsole, this would be my major "error in judgement" of the morning. I chose the Nike Haywards. 
The day was beautiful. Mid 50's at the start with sunny skies and a bit of a head wind for the first 0.6 miles until we hit the single track. The front runner for the day, Greg Hexum, took off from the gun and that would be the last anybody would see of him until the turn around of the out and back course. That would leave a big chase group consisting of five to seven runners that consisted of veteran SHT runners Andy Holak and Dave Phipo. My first sign of trouble was just after the single track started I rolled my left ankle and Dave actually caught my left arm as he was striding bye. It caused me a bit of pain for a couple of minutes but I was still moving and striding relatively well. (I would roll the left three more times as well as rolling the right ankle once) Just as we were starting another climb I wiped my brow with my golves and I swiped too low and wiped my right contact lens out of vision. Ten minutes of hoping it would correct itself and loosing two positions I finally stepped off to the side and dug my contact out of the back of my eye. I popped it back in and back on the trails. I lost five positions in the process but after five or so minutes I gained three back and got into pace with Dave Schunemen. We had a nice run going and just as we were getting to climb up Oberg we saw Hexum heading back to the finish. As it would be at this point he had an eight minute lead on me. I wanted to get out and see the others and get accurate checks of their respective lead and just as I was heading down to the parking lot where the turn and aid station was I saw 2nd-5th place all within 30 seconds of each other, and about three minutes up on me. After taking a gel, washing it down with water, eating a fist full of strawberries, and grasping a fist full of gummy bears I had my bottle filled and I was heading back to the finish. I had all the confidence that I would be catching someone up ahead. That never happened. All four in front were running strong and not to be caught. After sharing stories, I would find out that all but one runner in front of me would fall or crash at some point. I ended my pursuit of catching someone after my fourth and final left ankle roll. I just wanted to get to the finish without breaking anything. I crossed the line in 2:00:20, approximately two and  half or three minutes from the action of 2-5th place.
I can't say I am excited to run this race again, as I have some serious strength work to do. Trail running sure brings out a persons weaknesses. In the end I had fun but could have done without the ankle turns and contact "issue".
Splits 1:00:04, and 1:00:16. Not too bad on that course.
Race 2:00:20 6th place

Totals: 16 miles with warm up 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Much Better

I woke up this morning and almost forgot I had an early meeting at work as I headed out the door for the run. I ran to the trails and did a short loop and returned home to get out the door for work by 0630. Amazing the difference a person can feel 24 hours later. I had a lot more energy and little to no achilles issues. It looks like I will make tomorrow's trip up to Lutsen.
Totals: 3 miles in Rock Hill

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Could be just a bad day. Not quite sure, but this mornings run was an absolute waddle around the cemetery and home. I walked twice just wondering what the hell I was doing. My achilles ached today more than any day this past week, but for the most part I had no energy. Do I press on tomorrow and see if it was a bad day or do I stop and rest? I don't think I need rest. I am out of shape from resting most of last three weeks. Maybe a good nights sleep will change things a bit.

Totals: 4.5 miles

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Scraggly Deer

Tuesday= 0 miles (a good rest day)

Tis the season for scraggly deer out looking for early morning eats. Their coats are changing color and I presume loss of hair, so it makes them look like they have some form of the plague. 
My run took me to the Rock Hill, Chester Bowl trails and returning home. My legs felt a bit tired on the up hills but quite good on the flats. No pains to report. I tried to push the hills a bit today to add some strength work into the mix. I will probably take it easy tomorrow and Friday in preparation for Saturday's hilly 25K.

Totals: 58:00  7.5 miles

Monday, May 12, 2008


Today is the first day of pre-school for our 3 year old son. He had been in an in-home daycare that needed to close abruptly so it took us a couple of weeks to find somewhere that had the same goals for our son as we did. I didn't sleep well last night because of this. People say it is always harder on the parents than the children... I believe it!

I managed to get out of bed rather easily and hit the roads by 5:15. I had plenty of time to do a longer loop but decided to play it cool and keep progressing slowly. My achilles felt a bit tight at the start but took just  a few minutes to warm up and then they felt good. I did the Piggly loop and called it a morning. Overall I am happy with how things are going, I need to remain cautious with the achilles.

Totals: 46:49  6.5 miles

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I may regret writing this but it is hard not to. I am pain free today! No soreness, burn, pain whatsoever. It feels great. What I do have to deal with is being out of "aerobic" shape. I lost a lot from where I was back in early April. Stay tuned because this is going to be a wild six weeks. The plan is to be smart, not crazy and in a state of panic. Grandma's Marathon is six weeks from yesterday and I may not be able to get myself in PR shape, but I should be able to get relatively fit by then. There are a lot of races left in '08 and I don't want to ruin my year trying to play "catch up".
Today was an easy run on the treadmill with one up tempo mile to test the waters.

Totals: 36:13  5 miles (mile 3 to 4 in 6:00)

Weeks Totals: 39 miles
Years Totals: 860 miles

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Urban Trails

That's right, there are many trails right in the middle of Duluth. A lot of visitors are surprised to see the trails clusters that twist through the center of our city. Dave and I took advantage of those trails this morning and hit the dirt for 98% of our run right out of my front door. It takes about two minutes to hit the trail head from my house and most of the trail clusters are connected or have minimal sidewalk to get to one another. We started by running Rock hill, and making our way over to Chester Bowl for one complete loop of upper and lower creek trails, followed up by returning to Rock Hill, and making our way through Hartley via the SHT. No rain to speak of and near perfect running conditions. I can say I was feeling about 95%... most of the achilles issues have settled for now. My legs/hips fatigued towards the end since I am not used to all the climbs we had. I wish one of us were wearing a garmin to get the read out of elevation changes... would have been neat to see.

Totals: 1:44:30  ~13 miles

Friday, May 9, 2008

Back on the Trail

Thursday= 0 miles, took a little recovery day.

This morning was a beautiful morning to hit the off-road trails. I am attempting to hit the trails as much as I can while the feet/achilles heal up. Such a difference! My route usually takes me to Rock Hill, SHT, into Hartley and out past the visitors center, do a 180 and repeat home. Lot's of short, steep climbs combined with flats to allow some striding. Overall, a super run! (left achilles a bit tender)

Totals: 49:45  6.5 miles

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Little Rough

The legs felt a bit fatigued this morning but the achilles were about the same. If things are the same tomorrow morning I may do a short run followed by a pool workout. I still haven't ran a training run in shorts yet this year!

Totals: 56:43  8 miles

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Such a beautiful morning today and it seemed like a good day for a run. I warmed up with a few stretches and used "the stick" on my calves and legs prior to heading out the door. This seemed to help as the first mile was decent and it got better from there. I did the "Piggly Wiggly" loop with no major set backs. It should be an interesting next 6 weeks leading up to Grandma's. (if I make it...)

Totals: 47:00  6.5+ miles (6.7)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Early Morning Swim

Made it to the early morning swim at UMD. Even though the run yesterday was decent I wanted to take an off day of running and swim this morning then do the strength exercises tonight. Back to the trails tomorrow morning.

Totals: 35-40 minutes of swimming

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spring Trails

Today was the first "spring" run on the SHT for me. I really wanted to stay off the roads and pavement for the majority of the run. There was a bit of mud but for the most part the footing was pretty good. I wore the 790's and felt pretty good except when the trail cambered down causing my left heel to overpronate which caused me some discomfort in the left achilles. On the flats I had little to no discomfort.
During this run it made me realize that serious competition is getting closer to being an event of the past. Having foot and achilles trouble for the last two marathon build-ups has me questioning "how much do I have left?" I would love to answer Lots, but I have my doubts. Today's run had me thinking that it is OK just to go out and have the ability to run easy and just enjoy the surroundings... after all, this is why I have chosen running as my exercise passion, as I just Love it.
Totals: 1:27:10  ~11 miles

Weeks Totals: 24 miles
Years Totals: 821 miles

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Starting Over

Three weeks of next to zero running makes one "out of it". I ran slowly this morning down some trails and up others. I really took it easy to make sure little stress was on the calves/achilles. The wind was howling but the temps were quite nice albeit below normal for this time of year. I really wanted to do another loop in the evening but decided against it in hopes to have a nice run tomorrow.

Totals: 38:30  5 miles

Friday, May 2, 2008

Test Run

I haven't ran a step since Monday. Each morning my lower legs felt terrible. The foot bones, achilles, calves all sore and tight.
This morning was a bit better so I decided to get moving and head out for a short loop with the dog and run some if I felt good. What's nice now is the trails are opening up and drying some so any mileage in the woods is better than on the pavement. Buddy and I headed to the woodchip trails near UMD and ran a loop, along with a short loop through campus. As time passed (5 or more minutes) my legs loosened up and actually felt pretty good. Tomorrow I will "test the waters" a bit more and see if I can start ramping up the mileage again. Let's hope, Grandma's is seven weeks away and I haven't written it off quite yet.
Totals: 3 miles with the dog.