Sunday, August 31, 2008


The title says it all. I should have known this was going to be one of those "get the mileage in and don't worry" kind of runs. When I woke up this morning I felt OK but not peppy and ready to tackle a longer run. The plan was to run 14-15 but the cards just didn't play out right. I thought running loops would be a good idea and allow me to get good fluids but all it did was mess up my mind. Had I done one big loop I would have been "forced" into completing the loop and thus I would have done the mileage. By doing a shorter loop twice I knew that there was a quick way home and I chose that route. Besides having low energy, my left, lower, outer calf muscle never loosened the whole run. I was waiting for it to ease off and it never did. We are heading to the lake later and will be doing some soaking.
The week was quite good, other than missing a day while attending the state fair, but this was a week to build on and have fun next weekend. (pulling an all nighter crewing for my buddy Chris Gardner as he goes for his first 100 miler on the Superior 100.

Totals: 1:32:44  13.2 miles 7:01 pace HR: 139
               1st loop: 46:52
               2nd loop: 45:52

Weeks Totals: (6 runs) 52 miles
Years Totals: 1369 miles

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lakeside Threshold

After yesterday's easy mileage and no significant stress since Tuesday I figured it would be a good day to add some threshold work to the week. I woke up and felt good right from the start. After warming up for 2.5 miles at 7:30 pace I worked into the workout and it looked like this:

2.5 miles warm up 19:00
2 miles LT pace (currently 5:45) 11:34/ 5:46 pace HR: 161
4 minutes easy 
2 miles LT pace  11:35/ 5:47 pace HR: 159
2.6 miles warm down

*interesting how HR eased off a bit the second repeat. I found the pace easy to hold so maybe just needed to work into it a bit. (Workout in lakeside to hwy 61 and london rd.)

Totals: 1:07:20  9.7 miles  

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Nooner

A run that is. I dislike running past 0900 on most days. My body is up and ready way before that. After a morning pot of coffee Kari decided to head out the door and get her run complete. That led Lucas and I out the back door to mix some cement and fix the curb at the base of the drive. Since we moved in three years ago a piece of the curb the size of a soccer ball was loose and every time somebody used our drive to turn around they clipped it and drug the piece down the street. (there has to be some very damaged under carriages on cars out there)

The run was about average. Nothing special, but nothing bad either. Kooks and I managed to head out West on Skyline around Enger Tower and back to Chester Bowl. After the run I did a short sequence of exercises just to stretch out the legs a bit.

Totals: 57:14  7.7 miles  (7:28 pace)  HR: 129

Thursday, August 28, 2008

State Fair Fun!

Wednesday: 0 miles running  ~5 hours of walking at State Fair

We spent yesterday taking on the festivities at the State Fair. It's been 15 years since my last visit to the fair. We had a blast and will be returning for many years to follow. I have attached a few pictures. Our return trip went through Hayward where we visited the fish museum and the wilderness walk. That's Lucas and dad with their mean snears on.

I woke up this morning and ran a loop on the Hayward area roadways. The calf was still a bit tight and when I returned back to the hotel I hit the shower and did a complete set of stretches in the hot water. I figure my calf issues are stemming from tight glutes and low back. The next few days will focus on loosening and performing strength exercises for those muscle groups.

Totals: 48:30  7.3 miles 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Out of Place at The Track

It's been quite some time since my last "formal" track workout. In years past I have incorporated speed into my distance loops and have used time as an interval. There is nothing wrong with that method but I wanted to get back on the track to gauge my efforts to see where I compared to years ago when I was doing regular track work.

 Amazing how hard the efforts felt compared to seeing them on paper. The plan was to do 10 X 400 with 400 rest and to do them in 73 seconds. After the second repeat I noticed my left calf starting to tighten. It never got much worse than "tight" but by not loosening up I decided to alter the workout and finish with some 200's. I guess I am happy I didn't blow anything major, but I wished I had left the track on a better note. As long as the calf loosens up next week should be better. 
Here is a breakdown:
400M: 75 sec. (trying to figure out pace)
"    "    : 74 sec.
"   "     : 72 sec.
"   "     : 72 sec.
"   "     : 73 sec.
"   "     : 71 sec.
200M: 35 sec.
"   "     : 36 sec
"    "    : 36 sec.
"   "     : 36 sec.
Not much of a cool down, maybe 1.5 miles as the calf was tightening more. After I did a long period of stretches and things settled down quite a bit. Hope tomorrow is better.

Totals: 7.5 miles (track work)

Monday, August 25, 2008


Yes, I changed the blog template again. I wanted to get a title picture up and the old blog template wouldn't allow any of my pictures to fit properly. A panoramic would have been perfect. Oh, well I like the change so far. Maybe some tweaking in the future. Enjoy!

By the way, incase anyone didn't know, the Aerial  Lift Bridge in Canal Park, Duluth MN. is my title picture. This was taken the morning of Grandma's Marathon 2008.

Learning From Don

From the Blog list on my page one should check out Don's blog. A good read and often very good food pictures. From what I can tell he eats everything organic and has a wonderful way of putting meals together. (I should say he and his sweetheart)

Here's one for you Don. My wife Kari prepared the meal and I have to take the credit for presentation. Hope I made you proud!

Organic greens, tomato's, peppers, onions, avocado, organic tofu with Shanghai marinade along with some organic strawberries and of course organic Dark chocolate. I washed it down with some water as I had the mid afternoon Summit Pale Ale. (after all I am on vacation until Sept. 2)

790's Are Back

This mornings run was one for easy recovery. I wanted to give the trails another try and since I wasn't going to be running hard I chose the NB 790's since I haven't worn them on a run since May. It has been a slow transition to get the achilles and calves loose and strong once again to allow me to run in these shoes. A good thing as I love having the low minimal trail shoes as I feel like my feet are more responsive with the terrain.

The run went well. I didn't use the Garmin and ran entirely on effort. I am guessing I was near 8:00 pace for most of the run. My breathing was effortless and the legs recovered well from yesterday's triathlon. Not the usual triathlon but my own all day of activity. After yesterday's run I decided to seal the driveway. Our driveway is near 100 ft. and after four hours of back breaking squeegeeing (is that a word?) work I had to hit the shower and bike to the in-laws house for a birthday party. I ended doing about 35 minutes of biking. A good day for me!

Rock Hill trails, connected to Hartley trails and returned home via the same route. No pains to report. Super run!

Totals: 51:34  ~6.5 miles

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Croft Thirteen

I have ran this course numerous times in past marathon build-ups and term it a "medium-distance" loop. For the next few months I don't see myself running much longer than maybe 15-16 milers as I focus on the shorter distances. I think I can squeak out a 1/2 marathon using this method.

As for the run this morning, it was cool at the start which made for near perfect running conditions. I started out at my usual slow warm up pace and once over the initial hills found myself running 6:40 pace quite easily. I tried to back off to 7's but there comes a point where comfort zone is easier than forcing a slower pace. I managed to work the remaining hills pretty good before heading into the last three miles of the course. When I do these types of longer efforts I like to close in what would equate to marathon pace in the future. Today that effort was 6:00 pace for three miles before jogging the last three blocks upon returning home.

 I was very happy with this run for many reasons. My legs and feet felt great, even with a tight right hamstring prior to setting off this morning, the weather was near perfect, the fluids were settling well and the closing paces felt super. I need to be aware and cautious of this transition phase from base to strength phase not to run too hard early on. Just because one can run hard doesn't mean one should. Just like any phase of running, you have to progress through the phase. Should be fun!

Totals: 1:28:48  13.2 miles  (6:45 pace)  HR: 140
               last 3.2 miles (6:00 pace)

Weeks Totals: 57 miles
Years Totals: 1317 miles

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hilly Trails

I haven't devoted  an entire run to trails since coming back from the achilles injuries. I was a bit skeptical in doing it but as far as trails go it was quite even surfaces. Two minutes from out front door are the UMD Bagley Nature Center trails. They have them listed as 3000 meters if you do all the outer loops. I did this four times keeping the HR low on the climbs and managed to feel quite well for the entire run. After the run I managed to get a couple sets of exercises for the lower legs and glutes.

Totals: 7.5 miles  ?time

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sticky and Zapped

I had planned on running an hour loop with hill repeats but things just didn't go my way as the humidity got to me. I did a loop where the hills were spread too far apart, that's my fault for not planning better, but I just ran out of gas. The couple of hill repeats I did manage to squeeze in felt really good. Possibly some light trail running tomorrow.

Totals: 51:42  7.6 miles (6:48 pace) HR: 145 (recovery 113)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Silver, Bronze... Just Kidding

How do you like that? Martina and Spearmon in the men's 100 meter final had to deal with that emotional roller coaster yesterday. To step on the line is unfair? I can see being over the line and into the next lane, but on the line? Seriously, does that 1/2 inch make the difference? I'm not sure I would feel right taking the silver or bronze knowing that someone beat me outright. I guess they have to draw the line somewhere. (pun intended)

Nothing special for this mornings run. I had gut-rot from the Burrito Union I had last night. Taste good going down, not so good the next  morning. 

I did the Martin road, Vermilion loop and had a slow time warming up. Legs started to feel a bit better at the end.

Totals:  52:43  7.6 miles (6:55 pace) HR: 138 (recovery 111)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I felt decent when I woke up this morning and walking around the house felt close to the norm. The early miles felt good, I just didn't really loosen up until the end of the loop when I added three 100 meter striders. I always find the hip adductors very annoying when they are tight. After the striders they loosened up quite well. The second "speed work" for the week might be put on hold or the workout will be altered to stay comfortable. No need to tighten up any more...

Totals: 47:39  6.5 miles (pig's loop) 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The schedule called for some type of intro threshold running. I adjusted the workout in order to stay comfortable and not "red-line" at all. I recovered well between intervals and had a good routine of stretches once I returned home.

The total run looked like this:

1.5 mile warm up 11:05
1 mile LT 5:47
1 mile LT 5:46
1 mile LT 5:42
1 mile LT 5:44
1.6 mile warm down

I did 2.5-3 minutes of recovery in between miles. The last two repeats were into a slight headwind and the last finished up a decent hill which made it feel a lot harder than it was. Overall I am pleased with this intro workout. As long as I feel decent, I will do some shorter intervals later this week.

Totals: 55:20 8.4 miles

Monday, August 18, 2008

Shaking out the Kinks

A little rough getting out of bed this morning but I knew I had to do it. The plan for today was nothing special, just an easy recovery-type run but these runs are very important. Two days after a race I was a bit sore prior to heading out but felt much better once I was done. This is often the case. For some reason the GPS didn't start registering mileage until ten minutes into the run. Not sure what was going on there?

Totals: 46:00 6.5 miles  (2 striders)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Technology Advancements

It's amazing how much data is on the internet and how immediate it can be. When information doesn't show up when you would like it to the reaction is one of "pissed off". That is the case with the race I ran yesterday in Duluth. In it's inaugural year the 8K on The Bay went off without much trouble from a participants eye. There were a few things that I am sure the race crew will sharpen up for next year but for the most part a decent event. Up to this point I am less than impressed with the timing company they chose to use. (I linked them yesterday in hopes to find the results) The first detail I and many others noticed that tipped me off to think, "have they done this before?", was the narrow starting mat they used. We didn't have a huge event, I am guessing ~350 runners, but I am sure the mid-packers had a challenge waiting to get through the timing mat. It was as wide as one lane of traffic. The finish was the exact same. Interesting... But most importantly, how hard is it to get "chip timing" results up within 24 hours of an event? 

My run today happened after my wife was done which meant I headed out the door at 0915. I headed to the woods and did a series of loops in Rock Hill, followed Skyline to Kenwood Ave. and made my way to the woods of Hartley. On the Hartley trails I must have just missed a fresh skunk as I believe I ran over a pile of skunk piss/stink. When I got home I smelled like the skunk was at the base of our front steps. Yuk! Good thing I didn't wear the shoes inside. (can you say sleep in the garage?) Kari looked up some anti-skunk recipes on the net, and actually found them, and we treated the shoes and front steps. Much better!!

The run was slow and hot and I just wanted to get in some decent time to shake out the legs from yesterday. My legs and Achilles feel great and after running a "race" I feel like I can safely start upping the intensity of my weekly workouts. (I am keeping my fingers crossed)

Totals: 1:21:13  10 miles 

Weeks Totals: 45 miles
Years Totals: 1260 miles

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Good For Four

This morning I ran the inaugural 8K on the Bay. The results should be up soon and you can find them HERE by scrolling down to Aug. 16th. The race website should have linked as well HERE.

The race went about as well as expected with my time being just a bit slower than I wanted. (isn't that always the case?) It's amazing that an individual that has raced as long as I have, near 20 years, can usually get a close estimate on what their performance might be at a given distance. Having said that, I estimated that I could run 27:15-27:30. The results are not up yet but I think I ran near 27:40. I ran very comfortably for the first four miles then the wheels and everything that holds the wheels on fell off. I was rigging so bad I wanted to walk. The good thing was the person in front of me and the person in back of me were rigging just as bad. I managed to hold my position and finished 3rd overall and 1st in the 30-39 age group. Not bad for only seven weeks of easy running and some striders. I have a long way to go in the next eight weeks as I would like to run 1/2 marathon at the same pace I ran 8K today. Good luck, huh??

Overall a very good race to test the system and a very good race that I will probably schedule into my late summer racing plans in future years. It was a bit of a bummer to have the "rock bands" out of commish as the rain we got zapped their systems. Within the first kilo of the race I heard some major F-bombs coming from one of the band members because they lost power... better luck next year.

Totals: 20 minutes of warm up.
               8K race
               12 minutes of warm down.
               ~9 miles for the morning.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Easy Street

It was a good thing this mornings run was an easy day prior to my VDOT test run tomorrow. I am going to race the 8K on The Bay tomorrow the best I can in order to get an accurate VDOT for the rest of the seasons workouts. The morning should be a winner as there are no clouds in the sky for days. Click on the link above to get information and results.
This morning I didn't feel very good but I'm not bothered by that at this point. I know I have a lot of work to do the next two months and will have many good workouts ahead of me. Here's to better days and races.

Totals: 39:00  6 miles

Thursday, August 14, 2008

24 Hours Difference

Yesterday I got up like I usually do and made my way to the basement to change into my running gear and head out into the darkness. Like most day's I watched the morning news segment to see what the weather would bring the next few days. What was different than most days of feeling a bit "tired" at 0515 was the degree of tiredness. It hurt to keep my eyes open and my body was screaming like no other "just lay down!" I fought it and thought if I would make the effort then all would be OK. After ten or fifteen minutes of doing this I finally gave up and hit the futon and covered up with a blanket until 0700. There are times when you have to fight this urge and there are times when you have to listen to your body. Ten years ago I would have gone out that door and most likely had a shitty run. Yesterday I got some much needed rest and my body thanked me for it all day as I had tons of energy.

Turn the clock ahead twenty four hours and this morning was off without a hitch. I was splashing in the puddles by 0530 and made my way up Woodland Ave. to make an hour loop. All systems felt good and I actually had to hold myself back from running too hard. That's a good feeling! In the end I ran just under an hour and felt super doing it.

Totals: 57:40  8.3 miles

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I may have mentioned this last week or so, but the early morning hours are becoming dark once again, especially without a sunrise. We had cloud cover this morning and a pretty decent chance of rain later today.

I watched the news a bit too long this morning and got a late start to the run but made the best of it. I did what I call the "extended cemetery loop/UMD". If I am in a bind, this makes for a good run as it has flats and a few decent climbs to get the HR up. The one thing I am noticing is the hills are becoming easier to handle and it feels like I actually have a bit of power to get up and recover quickly on top. A good feeling!
During the run today I worked the hills and added four or five striders.

Totals: 36:20  5.4 miles 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fresh Start/ Wk. 1

This week is supposed to be week one of a Jack/Pete combined training phase for a mid- October half-marathon. I hope to get a few days of striders and start to phase in some easy tempo repeats. I have a "race", to take the term lightly, on Saturday which should serve as a decent gauge for my Vdot workouts.

It was cold on this mornings run... low 40's!!! Extended Pig's loop was a good wake up and all felt really good.

Totals: 45:11  6.5 miles

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Subpar Week

I managed to get out early on Friday for a loop through some trails and finishing strong on the roads. Time 44:09  6.2 miles 

My sister got married on Friday night and I had all the intentions of running on Saturday but failed... big time! I was a bit disappointed in myself but tried to put it behind me.

Sunday was much the same. Looking back I am a bit pissed about Sunday. I was up early and should have gone out, but instead I turned over and slept for another hour and a half. So, two days off in a row. Shitty!

Totals Week: 28 miles
Totals Year: 1215 miles

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tough Rise

I had a lot of difficulty getting out of bed this morning. Once I realized what was going on I jumped out of bed a little late and made my way to the basement. The plan was to run a hilly loop that offered some downhill grades later in the course to allow me to work the quads after being fatigued for a bit. I felt really strong on the uphills and cruised the downhills. The weather was near perfect with temps in the low 50's with the sun rising. A good run and course that I will probably add to the routine every third week or so.

Totals: 50:26  7.6miles (6:38 pace) HR: 139 (recovery 109)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Race Night

Lucas will have his third weekly race tonight at Central High School track. Last week we ran at Bayfront Park in the heat but tonight should be cooler. Lucas likes the track as it makes him feel fast.

The run this morning was pleasant and cool and I found my legs feeling quite good. No pains to report and I think they appreciated the rest on Monday. Tomorrow will be a bit longer, hilly loop I am putting together.

Totals: 46:02  6.3 miles (7:18 pace)  HR: 131 (recovery 99)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Last of Six

This week marks the last week of my intro "base phase" of a J. Daniels plan. I'm doing fairly low mileage but will be concentrating on getting some speed back in the legs this fall before doing more serious miles in the next season of base running come this winter.
The run this morning was beautiful with cool, crisp air. The dew point is lower but still near the upper 50's. Can't really complain. I did the extended Pig's loop and added 5 or 6 striders within the loop.

Totals: 52:20  7.6 miles (6:55 pace) HR:136 (recovery 103)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Body Says Rest

The alarm would repeat for forty five minutes. I would not get up. My body felt no pain just fatigue. After the mental decision of not running and making the wonderful decision of making coffee I made my way to the kitchen. As I was walking around I realized that a run would have definitely been possible. That's OK, rest is good from time to time. I had a wonderful conversation with my Sport Med Doc last night and it was recommended to up the work on my glutes and  ab/adductors. This should take my through the final steps of rehabbing these Achilles and getting prepared for the next phase of training.
Today the legs and Achilles felt great.

0 miles

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Never Happened

I think most runners have had this happen on a run. I set out and didn't feel the best and thought that eventually I would feel better and finish the run strong. Doing an out and back course on Skyline gave me the opportunity to gauge my pace and monitor specific points in my run. I had several patches where I thought I was running too hard and would look at the pace and see 6:20's... yup, too damn hard, slow down! I made it to the turn in 42:17. After taking a generous squirt of Gatorade from my bottle I headed home and was still waiting for that magical moment where I would feel good. To save you the drama, it never happen. I had a few good patches and a lot of no so good patches on the return trip for a split of 40:40. Happiness is finishing a run like this and knowing that the next time it should feel better. Glad to get a medium distance run in and looking forward to bumping it up. *side note of both achilles not feeling the best. 0530

Totals: 1:22:58  12.3 miles (6:46 pace) HR: 139 (recovery 103)

Weeks Totals: 50 miles
Years Totals: 1187 miles

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Next Race

August 16, 2008
Bring all of your friends and family. This is an event you won't want to miss!!!
Click on the link above.

Early Morn Heat

As I write this I realize that fellow blogger PR is or should be near ending his 100K quest around Lake Calhoun. I haven't heard yet but will make some calls when I am done posting.
The run for me this morning was a bit hotter than I am used to since I usually get most of my weekly runs in prior to the sun getting too high. I adjust well and had an opportunity to do a couple of short easy "repeats" in the middle of the run followed by a couple of strider's. My legs are definitely making a turn for the better and becoming more fluid with the faster stuff. I was running on a rolling course so the spits were quite a bit different but I had an effort at 5:15 (159) and 5:50 (156) respectively. Making my way home I was a bit hot and fatigued but felt pretty good about it.

Totals: 48:49  7.2 miles (pace 6:48),   HR: 146 (recovery 113)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Close Monitoring

After doing a run on some uphill trails two days ago, followed by doing some light intervals at the kids races while running in Nike "free's" I noticed the Achilles getting tight and needing a bit more attention the last couple of mornings. I did three sets of exercises after this mornings run and I am feeling really good. Just to be safe I did another light, shorter run along with some strides. I added a small section of trails in Rock Hill and connected that with the Hartley trails before making my way to the roads for the remainder. 

Totals:  39:59  5.4 miles HR: 132 (recovery 108)