Thursday, October 30, 2008

You Suck Virus!

Tis the season for those nasty viruses. I knew something wasn't right on Sunday's run as I was hacking up some serious goop not knowing where it was all coming from. Monday was OK but nothing too special. Monday night I had a terrible sore throat which lead into Tuesday. Wednesday was a day of living in a fog. My sinuses were plugged and the headaches from hell. Today wasn't much better but the headaches are gone and I released one hell of a mucous plug on the bus going to work. Good thing I had a bunch of tissue with me, it would have been a long way to hold a lugge in the mouth.

This brings me to such a question. Someone once told me that if your "illness" is above your neck line, continue to exercise. If it is below, don't run. Not too sure of this old fable, but I haven't ran and don't think I would have liked to. Anybody out there with any slant on this topic?

I will run in the morning if the head isn't too stuffed up. I'm just  a bit bummed out because I was just on the way up,up,up in mileage. Oh, well, what's another week?
Here's to better running. Cheers!

Totals: 0 running  (one hell of a mucous plug release)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mind Games

Tuesday: Had plans to meet up with Adam after work. That didn't work out. Went home and ordered pizza.   0 miles

This morning I still had a bit of a sore throat and clogged sinuses. I just wanted to get out and do something. After warming up I made my way through the cemetery. It must be the time of the year, as Halloween approaches, but running through a cemetery with a head lamp on can be a bit spooky. I kept seeing things off to my side and when I turned my head nothing was there. I finally figured out it was the lights reflection off the headstones... oooooo.
Nothing special from a running standpoint. I did feel better once I got home. The run offered a good chance to clear the head.

Totals: 5 miles  (HR 132)  7:15 pace

Monday, October 27, 2008

Raccoon Snarls and Falling Stars

The run this morning was the first of the fall where it let me know that winter is coming. We had temps of 22F at our house with a pretty stiff wind. I was about three or four minutes into the run and I took an alley to get off the road and I spooked up a raccoon rummaging through some garbage. As I spooked him, he snarled and and scared the hell out of me, as I thought he was coming for the ankles. YOW!!! High stepping it for a few strides...
As I made my way out to Martin road the city lights became less and less, allowing the clear, star-filled skies appear. It was just then I saw a pretty low falling star scream right across the ski in front of me, pretty cool.
My legs felt fresh and once I made my way back to our house I had a little tail wind to help make the effort seem easy. It was nice to have the legs feel light and fresh.

Totals:  1:02:01  8.6 miles  (HR 134)  7:15 pace

Sunday, October 26, 2008


That was the mood for this afternoons run. I wanted to get out to the trails and run easy for at least an hour. Check. Having a running partner for that time would be great. Check. I finally connected with Chris G. and we made the best out of a very wet Hartley sinlge track loop. It sure would be nice if the whole loop was pine needle single track, like we get for a short 100-200 meters in the middle of the park.
My legs felt really good and I managed to keep the HR under control for the majority of the loop. The run left me in good position to up the ante on the mileage next week and begin a slow build up. My mind changes every day, but I think the best approach for me from this point is to keep running easy, mileage and creep up the volume. One more race on Thanksgiving day will round out any racing that is left for the year.

Totals: 1:16:36  8.1 miles  (HR 128)  9:25 pace/trails

Weeks totals: 60.3 miles (6 runs)
Years totals: 1785 miles

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beat The Weather

It sure wasn't in the plans to run longer this morning but when I heard the potential weather heading our way tomorrow it forced me to make some quick adjustments for the weekend. (i hate to say it, but it's rain, wind, and SNOW)

Temps were comfortable around 40F and just a little wind from the SW. My course took me out to some country roads near Lakewood and returning via east Skyline, aka. Hawks Ridge. Once I made it near my house I was a bit shy on time and added a quick loop in Rock Hill trails. The first forty minutes of this run were very miserable. High HR, legs dead and breathing way to high for the pace running. It was then I took a Power Gel and washed it down with some water. Within ten minutes I was feeling much better and finished the run without any troubles. Weird.

Totals: 1:53:37   15 miles   (HR 136)  7:38 pace

Friday, October 24, 2008

Easy Rain

The goal of this mornings run was to keep it really easy and get in 75 minutes. I managed to accomplish this but it was difficult being patient enough to hold back on the pace. I went west on Skyline Blvd. and circled Enger Tower before making my return trip. No frills except the rain and the two bastards that tried running me off the road with their cars. What the hell is the big deal? Is it that hard to move over, or hey, here's an idea... slow your shit down!!! I'll be on the lookout for those asses next trip and be ready to hit the ditch. By the way, I wear a Petzel headlamp, so yes they could see me.

Totals: 1:14:51   9.8 miles  (HR 131)  7:39 pace

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Equivocal HADD Test

no running. mental break. 
0 miles

That's the best way I could describe this mornings Hadd test I did. Back on September 12th I performed my first test without knowing my actual Max HR. The example I was following was for a person with a much higher max HR which made me run a bit over what I should have done for that exercise. I will post both tests below but I don't think there will be much to "compare". The data is quite different and today's data will be a lot more useful for the next test. The one thing I can say with certainty would be the overall effort was WAY easier today. By having my effort too high last test I overshot the HR zones at every level. This morning I was a bit under.
 I call this test equivocal because I think one would think after six weeks of steady running one's times would improve. But, this type of training is HR based not pace based. But, one's paces should and will improve after one gets a decent base built. The one thing I have done differently is my overall mileage volume. Compared to the training plan, my mileage has been quite low. Over the next four weeks it is my goal to up the mileage to the 80 mile per week range and see how the efforts and times go. If I can do that I will attempt to repeat the test in four weeks.
Here are the two tests compared:

HR's:    120        130        140          150         160

9/12          -              -        9:19          8:33        8:00
                                          (143)        (153)       (162) 
                                          6.13          5.43         5.20 
10/23    11:43      11:45    10:44        9:45         8:44
              (123)      (129)      (137)       (148)      (157) 
              7.50        7.51        7.12         6.32       5.52  
*parentheses are my HR, below is pace.

as I stated earlier, I ran this test with ease. i overshot the HR's last time and running the 160 range was very difficult. as you can see my HR at the 150 and 160 range is five beats lower than the last test, thus the drastic change in pace. believe me, five beats is a lot!! this morning the 150 and 160 range was easy and just two weekends ago I ran a 1/2 marathon at HR ave. 160.
 After digesting this for a bit, I believe that this is decent progress over a short time at relatively low mileage.

Totals: 11.1 miles with warm up and test.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feeling Fresh

First day since the 1/2 marathon I've felt decent. The course went out and back on west Skyline around Enger Tower. The cooler temps forced me to wear a winter hat for the second morning in row.

Time on the way out to the four mile mark was 29:20. This felt like a decent warm up and once I was on the return trip I would bring the HR up a notch. I tried not to keep looking at my watch and run on effort. This is where I felt really good. Even the subtle climbs felt effortless. Once I got home I measured the last/first four miles again and found my time 28:25. The HR was a bit higher than I thought it would have been at the given effort, so I am not sure what to think of that detail. Not all that much faster but felt good doing it. This is what I have been waiting for since the 1/2 and now I can look forward. My legs and achilles have turned for the better and hopefully will allow me to build my mileage.

Totals: 1:09:33  9.8 miles  (HR 138 ave. , 128 out/ 149 back) 7:13/7:03 paces

Monday, October 20, 2008

Half Moon

It may not be official but there appeared to be a 1/2 moon this morning that was giving off a tremendous glow. Clear skies and stars everywhere. That made up for getting out there early and having fatigued legs from yesterday's long run. I did a short loop through the cemetery, Vermilion, out to Snively, Wallace, 6th street, Kent road, and home via UMD. I like doing this loop as an easy recovery type run as the terrain is quite mellow for Duluth standards.

Totals: 49:13  6.5 miles  (HR 128)  7:39 pace

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Redbull Rocks

Here is a look how the week went. I haven't had a chance to enter my day's. After a couple of rest day's early in the week the rest of the week went pretty well. I am struggling with the remainder of the fall season and how or what to train for. Most people are done training and resting before starting their winter base phase. I may attempt to run steady from this point and just gradually build up the mileage over the winter. Running a winter marathon is just to risky by gambling on the weather and not getting much of an opportunity to train outside. A lot of money to gamble on a marathon when I can wait for an early summer marathon a lot closer to home. Here is how the week rounded out.

I really was at a loss for my running route and waited for the last minute to get out the door and make up my mind. I meandered my way down to the Lakewalk extension and decided to measure the Harvest 5K course with my watch. It was much shorter than the race director thought it would be and he had to make some adjustments. The run was just OK. I was having a bit of a struggle with the pace vs. HR. Maybe just recovery from the half marathon?
Totals: 1:06:30  8.5 miles (HR 135)  7:49 pace

Much of the same for the entire week. Not really feeling good running and wishing things were getting easier. Just putting in the time with hopes the legs will return this weekend. Out and back on skyline.
Totals: 52:59  7 miles (HR 132)  7:36 pace

Volunteered at the Harvest Run 5K. Ended up running near three miles while setting up the course. I was going to run after the festivities but decided on yard work instead. I could use the extra mental break right now.
Totals: 3 miles

Not looking forward to running long by myself and I wasn't able to connect with any runners prior to heading out. I finally drank a Red Bull at noon and waited a bit before heading out under grey skies. I made my way to the Rock Hill trails and proceeded to loop three times before making my way via SHT to Hartley to observe the NMTC Hartley 10k. I did the course ahead of the runners and managed to hook up with a couple of people along the way. The Garmin shut off prior to getting home and the last reading I have was 12 miles into the run. I may have had another mile or so after that point. I felt super and stretched the legs really good after. I may be making the turn and hope to have a good week of training.
Totals: ~ 2:00 trails ~ 13 miles  (HR 133)  9:00 pace

Weeks Totals: 39 miles (4.5 runs)
Years Totals: 1725 miles

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tight Spots

Monday: 0 miles rest, massage
Tuesday: 0 miles

I'm referring to muscles. I have a bit of a tight right IT band and a tight left lower calf muscle. I managed to squeeze in a massage Monday night after work and wow did that help. It hurt like hell when I was getting it done, but the benefits were huge!

Today I headed out to do an easy hour and see how things would feel. The IT band feels pretty good, but the left calf is still a bit stiff. I should be able to work those kinks out by the weeks end. I ran under a beautiful near full moon with temps hovering near 40F. A decent run to get things going again.

During my run I got thinking about the 1/2 marathon. I am pleased with my overall performance, and it would always be nice to run faster, but I really forgot to think of the progression I have made in the last five weeks. When I started the HADD training I was about two months into training. Prior to the 1/2 I had about one month of additional HADD training. The last mini-test my HR at 160 (520 pace) was very difficult to maintain. It got me thinking, that I just ran for 1:15 at a HR of 160!! Granted the pace was a bit slower (542's) but I am progressing through the training quite well. It makes me excited to see where this will bring me by the years end.

Totals: 58:03  7.6 miles (HR 129) 7:39 pace

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Trail Work

I wasn't planning doing any activity today but after being on my legs for a couple of hours and getting some much needed nutrition I changed my mind and decided to go walk the Hartley trails and do a little trail work. I parked at the nature center and started on the old Hartley road trail. I brought a pair of hand clippers and started clipping the low hanging branches that will soon be in our way once the snow accumulates on them. After a short section I started running and it actually felt pretty good. I was running a very easy pace, approx. 10+ minute pace, and soon I found myself in a nice rhythm and hated to stop as I found more branches. I skipped some, and clipped some but mostly took it easy when there was steep climbs or long sections of mud. Lots of mud!!! A good way to end the week.

Totals: 1:27:00 walking, hiking and jogging  ~6.5 + miles

Weeks Totals: 56 miles
Years Totals: 1686 miles

Saturday, October 11, 2008


2008 Whistle Stop 1/2 Marathon:   2nd place  time: 1:14:53

As much as I didn't think I was aware of my body and pacing, I was pretty close. Unfortunately I was on the slow side of my estimations. It would have been nice to be quicker but isn't that always the case. I went away from the event pretty happy but know there is a ton of work to do over the next few months and also through the winter.

The day was near perfect with clear, sunny skies and temps in the low 50'sF. It had rained the previous days making the limestone corridor as packed as I have seen it. *I attempted the full marathon in 2003 and the gravel was so loose it was like running on beach sand. As the gun went off I knew the leaders from previous racing encounters and expected there to be more. For the first mile I went out pretty easy while talking with John Lindberg from Lake Nebag's and after seeing my fist mile split of 5:49, even though it was early in the race, I couldn't afford to settle at that pace and allow too much time gap between me and the two runner in front. Scott Chapin, a multi-sport athlete from Hayward WI. went out to an early lead in 5:20ish, while claiming he had only ran (4) one hour runs since June. I put the bull shit stamp on that immediately an called him on it. Running second was Adam Swank from Duluth, whom I had many run-ins with during local road races and the famous NMTC fall trail running series. It would take me five miles to settle and get past Adam to claim 2nd place before looking ahead and attempting to make my "run" at Scott some 50 seconds ahead. Miles six-eight were run in 5:35, 5:35, 5:34 and I was making ground very slowly. Mile nine and ten I had a rough patch and that sealed the victory for Scott. I had made up some ground and he put it right back on me up to the 11th mile. Finishing in Ashland was great and there was surprising many people out to cheer on the runners. I crossed the line 58 seconds back of the victory and I believe he put that time on me in the first three miles. Sometimes you gamble and let people go and catch them in the closing miles and sometimes you never catch them. I wouldn't change my strategy at all if I had to run it again. For some reason, I needed those early miles to "warm up" so I used them and it cost me some serious time. At any rate, it was fun to be racing again and to have control over the race and not let the race control me. Now I just need to be patient and get the miles and workouts in to ready myself for the next phase of training.

Totals: 14 miles 

Friday, October 10, 2008


For the first time I am completely at a loss for pacing in tomorrows 1/2 marathon. I haven't mentioned in past posts but I am going to give the Whistle Stop 1/2 Marathon a try tomorrow morning. I was second in this race six or seven years ago, so it will be interesting to see how things go. Since all of my training has been HR related I am unaware of pacing and clueless as to my "pacing fitness" right now. Usually I have a decent guess of pace based on "threshold" workouts at a given pace. I haven't been doing those types of workouts so I have no clue.
So here it is... I am "guessing" my time to be near the 1:14:00 (+/- 1 min.) Anything in that range would be OK, anything much faster or slower would be a party/ bummer.
This mornings run was just an easy half hour to get the kinks out and be read for tomorrow. Cemetery loop in the dark. No striders, as I may do a short run tonight with some striders at the end.

Totals: 30:45  4 miles

Thursday, October 9, 2008


A quick note this morning. Ran down to 60th ave east and return via London Rd. I felt good most of the way, even into a pretty stiff headwind on the return trip.  I didn't average the HR but I was in the upper limits a lot of the time.

Totals: 1:08:10  9.2 miles (HR 134) 

*I know it is early, but here is a picture of my son "dash" incredible.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Healthy Heart

So far the EKG and Echocardiogram I had yesterday looked quite good. I was assuming this would be the case but you just never know. The tachycardia I experienced was either a fluke, but hard to say that since I have felt that way running years ago, which lead me to think I have had this in past, just no way of detecting it since I never wore a HR monitor before, or it will be an issue that is bound to come up again and I will have to deal with it. Once every four or five years is manageable. 
The run this morning was easy and slow. I attempted to keep the HR under 130 as much as possible. It gets tough on the hills but I just concentrate on easing up the pace. I am looking forward to tomorrows run as I get to run at the upper HR limits again!

Totals: 58:12  7.7 miles (HR 127)  7:37 pace

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Change of Seasons

Not only are we seeing major changes in the fall colors but the weather is now turning for the worse as well. Sunday the marathon was complete rain. This morning the water was pelting the window in our room I was wondering if it was sleet or snow. It was just plain water hitting the glass with a strong wind behind it. I just couldn't stand the thought of starting a run in the rain after spending a couple of hours soaked yesterday. I hit the treadmill for the first run since last spring and made an easy run out of it. Good tunes and some easy miles and the miles just clicked bye.

Totals: 50:30  6.6 miles (HR ~130-135)

No rain this morning and the temps were quite nice, about 48F. Out to one of my standard hour loops to Arnold, Martin and home via Vermilion. I tried to keep the HR in the upper zone of 135 for most of the distance. Legs really are coming around and feeling good on most runs. I wore a new pair of Nike RS shoes this morning. Not too bad of a shoe, I will have to give them a final score after a couple times out on them.

Totals: 58:45  8.3 miles (HR 134)  7:03 miles

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mid-Late Week Recap

The day of tachycardia. (super fast inadvertent heart rate) I set off for my run and felt really good and the plan was to run upper HR limits for 8-10 miles. After about twenty minutes of running I just didn't feel right and was quite dizzy. I looked at my monitor and could barely see the reading because of a hazy, white spot in the middle of my visual field. It was about then I started to walk and finally focused on my watch to see a HR of 187! (my max is 169) Having seen a lot of different heart rhythms in my line of work I figured I had one type of fast HR and usually it goes away by itself. I gave a couple of quick coughs and tried running again and zoom up the HR went again. I finally walked for about a minute or two and then it dropped and stayed at 135. It's a good thing I don't have this happen often or it could lead to a visit to an Electrophysiologist. Not Me!!!
Totals: 56:28  8 miles (HR 136)  7:03 pace

Thursday: off  (my float day and I took it!)

Out on the Woodland loops to Arnold and Martin roads to Vermilion home via UMD. I felt really good after Weds. fiasco so that was assuring. Legs felt super!
Totals: 1:05:18  9 miles (HR 134)  7:13 pace

Trail running with buddy Rod. A beautiful sunny fall day that couldn't have been better for running. A bit of a "harder" run than I have been doing but overall very good. I didn't take any fluids and I think I paid the price by taking most of the day to recoup my liquid and energy stores. *my watch ran out of batteries at 49:00.
Totals: 1:45:00  7:50 pace HR 137+ ~ 13 miles

no running, but about 10-11 miles of mountain biking at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Lot's of rain. Downpour! Sorry for the runners as the conditions were far from ideal. Congrats to all that ran and completed this difficult race.
Totals: cross train on bike.

Weeks Totals: 44.5 miles (5 runs)
Years Totals: 1630 miles