Thursday, July 31, 2008

Early and Easy

Last night we took Lucas to the Grandma's Marathon "Wednesday Night at the Races". He is in the four and under age division and runs 200 meters. They were supposed to run 400's but there are so many kids showing up that they had to shorten the race and do multiple heats. He loves racing and it truly shows the roots of sport and the enthusiasm that adults tend to loose over the years. As part of the night, I volunteered to "lead" some of the other age groups through the course. I led ages five/six through the course four times and the same for seven and eight year olds. We then split up leading the nine, ten, eleven, and twelve year olds. Those older kids are tough to hold off the first 100 meters or so!! Overall, a nice evening of easy, low key "intervals".

For this mornings run I took it easy at 5am as I needed to get to work for a 7am meeting. Nothing too great from a running standpoint. Much of the same with striders added.

Totals: 38:04  5.2 miles  HR: 130 (recovery 99)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stale Legs

The run started pretty good but soon turned into one of those runs where you will be "putting in your time" and not much else. I don't know what to contribute it to as it could be just one of those off days. I managed to run down to London Rd. and use the Lakewalk for a short distance before heading back up the hill via the Chester Creek trails. A beautiful morning for running!!

Totals: 57:56  7.8 miles HR: 135 (recovery 102)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rain Drops Falling on My Head

I woke up to heavy thunder and lightening followed by heavy rains this morning. I immediately thought, "I have one option and one only... the treadmill." As I made my way to the basement to change, the rain persisted but the lightening and thunder had stopped. Perfect! My chance to hit the roads. In the end I had a wonderful run in the drizzle and my legs felt great. No Garmin today as I didn't know of the water resistance yet, so I wore out Polar HR monitor and gathered most of the information. I did extension loops to one of my older five milers. 4 X 100M pick-ups.

Totals: 43:37  6+miles, HR: 139 (recovery 103)

Monday, July 28, 2008


Yesterday's day off was well worth it. I am a bit miffed that I missed a true "longer" run last week but in the end that's OK. We went out for dinner last night and I drank near 40 fluid ounces of lemonade. I guess I was a bit behind on the fluid consumption yesterday morn. Oops!
My run this morning was very solid and my legs and Achilles are really starting to near 100%. The right side is trailing in rehab just a bit, but tons better than one month ago. Nothing special of this mornings run. I did the Pig's loop and saw an abundant variety of wildlife. Deer, rabbits, possibly a fox, tons of birds including the ever so annoying crows! A great way to start the week!

Totals: 45:34  6.5 miles   HR:135 (recovery 103)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

End Of Week

If there was a day to take off from running this was it. Last night I was up WAY past my bedtime and had a few extra 7/7's to make taking today off an easy decision. I'm OK with it but just don't want to get into the habit. The week was a good week of training and I am looking forward to build on it and make this next week better. I won't be adding too much to my training over the next two weeks other than a few more day's of strider's and just a small bump in overall mileage.

Totals: 0 for the day

Weeks Totals: 41 miles (6 days)
Years Totals: 1137 miles

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One More For the Warriors

Kari and I made our way back to my hometown of White Pine, MI. for my 20th high school reunion. The school was build in 1960 and was closed in the late 1990's. There is talk about the school being demolished in the next year to come so I decided to make my way to the old school grounds and run one more mile on the track before it no longer exists. It's kinda sad because our school once had the track for our area. It was resurfaced and painted for my senior year. The track is now near cinders and the lines are barely visible.
The temps were excellent and just a little wind to keep any lingering deer flies off your back. Our town is small so I made my way to the city limits and ran all of the outlining streets before making my way to the track. Once there I decided to run on effort and see if I could run "one more mile" and see if it would be under six minutes. Not looking at my watch the entire way and just running on perceived effort I ran a 6:01. Just shy of the 5's I was looking for but decent anyway for just throwing in a track mile in the middle of a run. I then made my way back to the homestead to finish up. In the end I had a run that probably was a bit harder than it should have been but all is good.

Totals: 56:34 8.7 miles (6:32 pace) HR: 149 (recovery 113)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wet with Sweat

Tis' the season for sweating. Earlier this week it was down right chilly in the morning, with  one morn in the low 40 degree's. This morning was quite the opposite. After changing in the cool basement, I headed out the door and walked outside with what felt like a sauna. (sowoona!, not sawwna) The dew point was near 68 degree! I'm not complaining as we don't get weather like this for long, so I am living it up!
My run took me to the same "warm-up" trails to the nature center at Hartley then I ran out to Vermilion and took the gravel pit trail to Jean Duluth Rd. and looped back home. The legs and feet felt good and once I hit the pavement I was running 6:40's quite comfortably. I still need to take it easy for a couple of weeks and need to persist with all the lower leg/core exercises.

Totals: 46:07  6.4 miles HR: 140 (recovery 103)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Near Zero

As I laid in bed this morning listening to the alarm clock I was attempting to talk myself into a day off. I figured it would be OK to have "one day off this week". I finally got my feet on the floor and that was all I needed.
I did a short loop through Hartley and Vermilion back to the house. A nice recovery-type run with additional striders to stretch out the legs. I am glad I didn't listen to myself and stay in bed. That is often the case where you will feel much better than anticipated. 

Totals: 36:20  5 miles  HR: 133 (recovery 108)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Yup, that's what the temperature was at our house this morning. I started out wearing a long sleeve shirt and light gloves only to loose the gloves at two miles and the shirt at four miles. On the return trip home I had the fresh sun keeping me warm. Out and back on skyline to 10 Ave. West. For years I had a good feeling this was a good point to call four miles for an out and back of eight. Today I wore the Garmin and the turn was measured at 4.02!
I ran slight negative splits on the return trip for a decent 8 miler.

Totals: 55:54  8 miles (6:59 pace) HR: 139 (recovery 104)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Extended Pig's Loop

I am adding just a bit to my loops of last week and feeling quite good. Today's addition was about a mile to my "normal" Pig's loop. My heart rate is settling down quite a bit on the hills, as well as my overall exercising HR.
Nothing to great to report other than another building run with negative splits.

Totals: 52:30  7.6 miles (6:57 pace)  HR: 134(recovery 103)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Easy Miles

Nice and easy this morning through some of the wet trails and then a few road miles to get in a recovery type run. My goal was to run easy and I did. Managed an overall exercising HR of 128 at 7:29 pace. Nothing else to report other than feeling good.

Totals: 38:20  5.2 miles  HR: 128 (recovery 101)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Three Is Proven

Over the years I have said it a thousand times. It takes about three to four weeks of consistent training to get to the point where it feels like habit and things start becoming easier. I'm at that point and boy does it feel good. I'm not ready to crush any records or anything but I am running comfortably and most importantly pain-free. The next three weeks will be inching up the mileage until I am comfortable at 60-65 miles. I may do a little more from time to time but that is where my mileage will be for some time while I attempt to get some speed back.

Today's run was a bit of an experiment. I wasn't supposed to run longer miles until next week but I knew I was ready. I drove down to the marathon course and parked in front of the Portland Malt shop (24 mile mark). The goal was 12 miles, so off I headed "up the shore" making my way to the 18 mile mark. The miles cruised by as I hit the turn in 42:13. I had to fight the urge to pick up the pace on the way back and made it to the ten mile point before picking it up a bit. I closed the last two miles at 6:29 pace with a HR: 148. Very happy with today's effort.

Totals: 1:22:44  12.2 miles  (6:46 pace) HR: 141

Weeks Totals: 50 miles
Years Totals: 1096 miles

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Easy Trails & Comfy Pick-Up's

Each day it is getting harder and harder to hold back. The one way I knew it would be rather easy to stay slow and controlled would be to hit a short segment of trails. After warming up for two miles on the roads I hit a short (16 minutes) section of the SHT. This brought me to Hawks Ridge and from there I ran the roads home. My Achilles are feeling great and my stride is becoming much more fluid. I "cruised" the last mile in 6:00. My HR was up a bit but I think it was related to the humidity being upwards of 75%. Overall a good run.

Totals: 48:23  6.6 miles HR: 141  (6:00 last mile HR: 158)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Progression Run

I managed to get a decent "flexibility/strength" session in last night. I woke up feeling more flexible and ready to get out the door. I've been fighting the urge to increase my mileage, but Jack D. says not to change much the first three weeks back into a program. This is the end of my third week back and things are coming around just fine. Over the next few months I will be mixing Jack's and Pfitzingers plans and seeing if I can get some speed back in the legs.
This mornings run took me through the Piggly Wiggly loop. Felt decent, but still lacking strength on the hills, and finished strong with a 6:11 last mile.

Totals: 45:46  6.5 miles HR: 139  Last mile: 6:11 (151 HR)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


As I keep up with the boring base-building phase I go through good days and not so good days and anywhere in between. Today was in the middle of all of  it. My hip (?piriformis) tightness went away. Just like I said it would. It comes and goes when ever it pleases. I have been doing quite a few lower leg and hip exercises lately and backed off a bit the last two or three days and things seem to feel pretty good. Tomorrow will be another day. Modified the cemetery loop this morning and added a few extra extentions.

Totals: 43:00+   6 miles HR: 140 (recovery 103)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Out and back on skyline this morning offered me a wonderful sunrise and a reason for living in Duluth. I never get sick of seeing it. 
The only new thing from a running standpoint is the return of an old nagging muscle in my right hip/upper glute that tightens and causes a little discomfort down my leg. I've had this before and it disappears just a fast as it showed up. Not sure what is the cause but it seems like once I get to a certain level of activity and stretch along with getting a Chiropractor adjustment, all things get better. It doesn't cause me to stop, just another thing to deal with.
Totals: 49:11  7 miles  HR: 139 (recovery 109)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Roundhouse Kick

With the thunder and lightening storms coming through last night it was just a matter of time until our 3 year old son joined us in bed. He saw it "flashing" outside and was scared. Mid way through the night I remembered getting a roundhouse kick to the head and seeing Lucas laying with his head down by our knees. Kinda funny now.
The run was much of the same. Boring base-building. Important, but boring. I did a few striders in the middle of the run and the legs seem to be loosening a bit and starting to get a hint of turnover once again. Good run.

Totals: 47:29  6.6 miles (7:14pace) HR: 142 (recovery 111)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wet Grass & Spider Webs

The temps were a bit cool this morning. (47F) The morning dew was quite thick as the longer grass and weeds lay over the trail in certain places offering my lower legs a little wake up call. The other annoying trail occurrence early in the morning are spider webs. When hitting a narrow patch of trail you are expected to get a face full of webs from time to time. Fun!
Even if I have been absent from the long run or high miles I used this morning as an easy "recovery day". I like to do that on Monday's. Surprising that doing a little over an hour yesterday left me feeling like I had done a long run as my quads were a bit heavy. It could have been the 3 sets of lower body exercises I did after yesterday's run as well.
Totals: 37:49  5.2 miles   HR: 137 (recovery 101)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good Days

Some time back, approximately a year or so, I talked about having good days and the importance of never giving up the ship, and to keep "chasing the carrot". I needed one of those days and today I got it! Nothing special. Just a solid run that left me satisfied.
I wanted to run a solid hour to see how things would feel. My right achilles was just a bit sore this morning and it warmed up well with the early miles of running. Getting "into the groove" was easy after the early mile hills were tackled. I was running with the wind for some distance and I was surprised to be running sub-6:30 pace! Something I haven't seen for awhile. HR and recovery were a bit up today having an overall increase in volume and pace.
To summarize: solid legs, solid breathing, solid run= Happy!

Totals: 1:07:06  9.6 miles (6:57 pace) HR:149 (117 recovery)

Weeks Totals: 38 miles
Years Totals: 1046 miles

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Golfing Buddy

Putt-Putt with Lucas.


Lester River, Duluth MN.


That sums up this mornings run. I wanted to add a bit to the distance this morning but it will have to wait until tomorrow. I didn't really feel bad, just flat. I tried to do a few striders and it made matters worse. My nutrition was pretty bad yesterday so that may have played a part in it. Achilles are feeling pretty decent.

Totals: 37:10  5.2 miles HR: 145 (recovery 117)

Friday, July 11, 2008


Yes, I wore gloves this morning. My threshold is usually around 50F. This morning it was 47F and foggy along with a little wind.
I did the "Piggly Wiggly" loop and was pleasantly surprised to see it unfold as well as it did. I am still struggling with any amount of hill as my HR spikes into the 160's quite easily. My recovery from those hills is improving quite well along with having an overall lower exercising HR. 
I had measured this course on the USATF "map my run" and today using the GPS it was the exact same measurement. These Garmins are really cool.

Totals: 45:40  6.5 miles (6:59 pace) HR:145 (recovery 112) 

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Just to change it up a bit this morning I ran west on Skyline out and back. Initially I was going to run for an hour but decided to cut it short a bit and save the longer runs for this weekend. I have been feeling pretty good this week and beginning to feel like things are making a turn for the better. I still remain a long way off from racing, but I do like the progress.

Here's today's numbers.
Totals: 45:15  6.4 miles (7:01 pace)  HR ave: 145 (recovery 111) 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Crisp Air

It's nice to be running in the early morning hours once again. Temperature's are cool and crisp, and today had low humidity. I did the same loop as the past 4 or 5 days and things are improving slowly. I did a few striders during the loop just to get the legs aware of the faster paces. I couldn't figure out why my adductors were tight until after my run. I have been adding about ten walking lunges after each run and I think I am feeling the effect of those. As soon as I started to do them today I could feel all those fatigued muscles begin to fire.
My "fitness" numbers are improving ever so slowly. Today's looked like this:

Totals: 36:51   5.2 miles  7:06 pace  HR: 140 ave. (recovery 109)

Monday, July 7, 2008


This morning it was quite a bit cooler than what I was running in this past weekend. What a difference the temperature makes when you are out of shape. The heat must multiply the "out of shapeness" on a body. 
This morning my resting HR was 47. My overall average was near 20 beats lower! I did the same loop along with some striders x4. A good way to start the week.

Totals: 37:56  5.3 miles  HR: 138 (recovery 103)
*i was still at 130 yesterday for the same recovery period.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

3rd Duluth Duathlon

Here are the winners of the 3rd Duluth Duathlon.

First Overall Male: Jonathan Balabuck, Thunder Bay, ON

First Overall Women: Marlo McGaver, Duluth, MN

Event Web Site HERE.

Heat Training

On Woodland Ave. a Bank thermometer read 98F. It tends to read warm, even in the winter time. Most other places I checked read near 85F. For us folks up north either one of those readings are a bit too warm for any major running.
I headed out for the same five miler loop to see how I would adjust to the heat. Just as I figured it to be... not that good. No major problems except just being wasted from the heat.

Totals: 38:40  5.2 miles HR: 153

Weeks Totals: 23 miles
Years Totals: 1008 miles

Saturday, July 5, 2008

24 Hours Later

Yesterday's run was, as I wrote, a bit mysterious. High heart rate at rest and while running. I didn't feel the best but, just confused with the numbers.

Today was, I guess you could say, the other side of the coin. 
I left the house with my resting HR nearly 20 beats lower than yesterday's. During the early miles I seemed to exhibit the same HR  pattern as yesterday but with less energy. (I did the same loop as yesterday with the exception of one block.) The one thing I noticed was the humidity may have been a bit lower from yesterday as well as an earlier hour of running. The main point being, without the numbers, one's body can differ so greatly form one day to the next and you wouldn't even know it. You often hear people saying, "I just didn't have it today... " or "I don't know what was wrong with me today...". Interesting...

The other side note for me would be that I haven't wore a HR monitor in the past when I was trying to get back into shape. I just used it when I was in shape and performing threshold workouts. It will be fun to see my heart rate come down as I get in better shape.

Totals: 36:16  5 miles  Ave HR: 151

Friday, July 4, 2008

Too Much of A Good Thing

With a fresh start of running on Tuesday and the addition of consistent eccentric exercises I may have overdone it for a few days. On Thursday I could hardly walk down the stairs, thus no running that morning. I took the morning off from the exercises as well, but did one set in the evening. I woke up feeling much better this morning and after a couple of hours of being up and taking a short walk with the dog I was ready for a run.

The first data I thought was off was my resting heart rate. It wasn't a true resting heart rate as I had been up and moving for a bit but sitting just prior to starting the run my heart rate was 63. (usually low 40's- upper 30's) As I was running and attempting to get into a rhythm I couldn't help but notice my rate's in the upper 150's and 160's with any amount of incline.(threshold HR has been 164 in past)  I wasn't feeling dyspnic to the degree I should when my heart rates have been that high in the past. Weird.

I did a nice slower loop and my legs were dead, but my Achilles felt very good. NO Pain!

Totals: 36:55  5 miles  Ave. HR: 147

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


For the past six months Kari and myself have been thinking of purchasing a Garmin GPS watch. Well, we did it last night. A fresh Garmin 405 was all charged up and waiting for me as I got ready for the short run this morning.  After the quick set up pages I headed out on one of my regular short morning loops. (I will be doing this loop for the next four or five days) In the past I have thought of it as a "solid" 4 miles and maybe just a bit more. Today's measurement GPS-style was 3.98 miles.
It's a good thing that I had a new toy to occupy my mind, as my legs felt horrible but my breathing was better than yesterday. The neat thing of the new gadget was noting the fact that yesterday I was running a lot faster than I thought. Maybe that is why I felt so tired?
More data tomorrow.
Totals: 28:58  4 miles!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fresh Start

I wanted to go out and test the Achilles this morning with an easy 1/2 hour. Most of the reading I have been doing mentioned that it would be ok to run for 1/2 hour if one is pain free. I am happy to say I am pain free. The eccentric exercises have done wonders and hopefully will hold up to running activity. 
I am completely out of shape. The little run I did this morning at 8:00 pace just about killed me. Wow, I wished I had crossed trained now...
I am sure it will come back quick after some weeks of suffering.

Totals: 29:15  4+ miles