Sunday, November 30, 2008

Once Again Virus, You Win

I would have never known it but on Wednesday I was doomed. Doomed for yet another virus running uncontrollably through the house. Upon returning home from work Wed. I was starting to feel the effects. Burning nose, tight throat, head pressure, and ringing in the ears. Yep, just another virus that would cause me week of training to be kicked in the balls. I woke for the Gobble Gallop and knew I wouldn't be running. What's the use? The all out effort might drive the cold-bug into my system more and cause me to miss more training. Then it started to snow. It snowed hard for an hour leaving about 1+ inches of powder snow on the streets. "Nope, not racing in this" I thought. Ordinarily I would love to take on this added element of surprise, but not today. That would be the last nail in the coffin. Good thing. Friday wasn't much better and Saturday morning was worse, and finally today I started feeling better, but sounded much worse. My son and I made our way to the pond near our house and played a little boot hockey between ourselves which was a blast.
Tomorrow I may attempt to get a short run in the morning if I can get all the phlegm out of my sinuses by then. A good "burner" in the early, cool morning should do the body good.

Totals: Week=  20 miles
               Year=   1954 miles

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gallop 5k

Here are the winners for the 2008 Gobble Gallop 5K.
Despite a quick squall that left the streets of Duluth covered in an inch of fresh snow, the turnout was great!

Men's Winner: Gregory Hexum 16:45
Women's Winner:  Rochelle Wirth  19:37

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Speed

Today I ran upper Woodland and ran the "short" loop back to the house. In the past I have referred to this loop as the "Pig's" loop. Nothing special, as I wanted this to be relatively easy with some striders to prepare for tomorrows Gobble Gallop. I have no speed in the legs to speak of, but I do have a pretty consistent running base. In the past I have not raced well on this easy base mileage, so I expect the same result tomorrow. The legs felt good and finally starting to feel some snap back in the striders.

Totals: 49:34  6.6 miles  7:31 pace

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Protect the Pearls

I did the out and back on west Skyline Blvd. this morning. The temps were in the low single digits along with a slight breeze. This run reminded me that I need to purchase additional wind briefs. I have two pair and they were both in the wash so I had to risk it today. Not a risk I want to take. Any men out there freeze their junk in the past? Not good.
I didn't wear the HR monitor this morning and ran on my "effort". Just by looking at the final numbers I am assuming I was running at the higher HR's as of late. I felt good and am looking forward to the rest of the week.

Totals: 57:30  8 miles   7:06 pace

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pleasant Surprise

After running back to back longer runs this weekend I figured this mornings run would be a bit sore. Not the case. Even the muscles that were sore all last week felt good today. Interesting to say the least. I managed to keep the HR pretty low, the average looks a bit higher than I think it was because of the poor readings for the first ten minutes or so. Nice to see the HR low and the pace pretty decent. Followed todays run with some lower leg exercises.

Totals:  41:59   5.4 miles  (HR 131)  7:43 pace

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week Review Video

Here is the first, and maybe last, video of the Weeks Summary. If I get the handle of this type of thing, I will attempt to do a review of the weeks running related topics as well as my own. Time will tell.

OK, it didn't work. I am not sure... anybody out there have a clue. I am using a MAC and for some reason Blogger is giving me an error code. The video file I was going to post was .4MB and was a QuickTime vid. ? not sure what to do.

Back to Back

Something I haven't done in some time is the weekend back to back longer runs. After yesterday's ninety minutes I decided to make it an effort to go for two hours. I a complete loop in Hartley and some SHT spur trails. Everything felt super until 100 minutes into the run. I ran out of energy and was starting to tank. I had taken a gel fifty minutes into the run and had one bottle of water with, but this wasn't quite enough. Kind of sick that I found that feeling enjoyable for a little bit. It seems like this would be the point where one is creating those capillary beds deep in the muscles, but most likely not. In order to do that one needs to be fueled and if you are bonking like that the fuel stores are on fumes. Fun!
I was planning to link a video, pod, of the weeks summary. We'll see if I have time later.

Totals: 1:56:30   13 miles  (HR 133)  8:55 pace

Weeks Totals: 50 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1934 miles

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Group Trail Run

I met a few people out at the Chester Bowl trail head for their long run. I had plans of running a medium-long run and doing so with a group would be great. For those of you that are not familiar with the Chester Bowl trail system, they are trails that only the gnarly skiers ski, and many people of all groups walk, jog, sleep on the lower river trails. They are very hilly and slow moving on the way back up the river. At any rate, they are super trails and I attempt to make them a  weekly occurrence in my training. From Chester we made our way to the UMD, Rock Hill trail system. After a complete loop, we made out way via the SHT to Hartley trails. I made my way out with the boys to the "gasline" and made my way back home. For the most part, the trails are in super shape. Most of the trails are ice-free and offer pretty decent running surfaces. The technical single track and hills, like most trails, slow the pace down. It's nice to wear a HR monitor because even with the pace down, the HR was up where I needed it to be.
Super run!

Totals: 1:31:00  10.7 miles  (HR 138)  8:41 pace

Friday, November 21, 2008


Hard to believe the temperatures lately. These types don't usually occur until Jan. or Feb. I was a bit shocked to see the temps in the negatives this morning. -2F with clear skies. Yuk! After digging out the cold winter clothes I was off to do an easy hour loop. 

The cold temperatures must have made me run a bit quicker because I ran the loop about two minutes faster than the last time running. Most things are feeling well, I just need to add the strength exercises three to four times a week over the winter months.

I am having a bit of trouble with the HR monitor in the early miles. Because of the cold and little to no sweat on my body until twenty minutes or so, it has been reading really high and irregular. (No it is not my actual HR, I checked.) Once I get a sweat on, the contacts improve and my HR drops about thirty beats. Maybe I need to start using some type of gel for better contacts.

Totals: 55:36  7.6 miles  (HR 144 ? accuracy)  7:17 pace

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wind Chill

I had to deal with an actual "wind chill" this morning. It was under 10F at our house with a pretty stiff wind blowing. Good thing it was time for an easy day of running at super low HR. My GPS/ HR may need a new strap battery because it wasn't recording like it usually does in the early miles. Or, maybe I had to warm up the layer of ice on my body to make good contact?
I hit the Rock Hill trails nice and slow in the NB 790's. Felt good.

Totals: 48:49  5.7 miles  (HR 134)  8:31 pace

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Skyline Blvd.

Out and back on Skyline Blvd. this morning offered me some easy, more flat running than my other courses. Right from the door I knew I would be running at my higher HR's so I let it happen. For some reason, I have let my leg "exercises" slip a bit and my right hip is letting me know. I get a tight right hip flexor and glutes anytime I shy away from any routine. Now is the time to get strong in hopes to raise my game to the PR level this spring/summer.

Totals: 57:14  8 miles   (HR 139)  7:05 pace

Monday, November 17, 2008

Refocus, Start Building

After having several months of easy base-building and taking most of last week off, I am ready to start building the mileage and work my way into marathon specific training. For me it takes an actual race goal to get the ship going. As I stated last week, I don't want to limit myself to one race, rather get in shape and see what will be available come that time. With a little luck, Grandma's Marathon will be one of those races.
This mornings run was one just to get out the door and dust off the "cob webs". Easy running and some stretching.

Totals: 38:16   5.1 miles  (HR 133)  7:28 pace

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Week That Wasn't

Thursday through Sunday was a stretch of zero's. No running at all. That was a good break both physically and mentally and now I am looking forward to settling in on marathon training. I hate to pick a race and train for it. I realize that's how most people train and stay motivated but I am thinking of trying something different. I want to spend some the rest of the year, through December, on building the base mileage up to 80+ miles per week on singles. After that point I will evaluate how I feel and start looking forward at all the marathons and half marathons in the spring. I may try to squeeze in a late winter 1/2 marathon just to break up the training cycles. Like I mentioned, no "plans", but I will be eyeing up several events and pick the one's that hit my fitness and training cycles. Let's hope it works.

Weeks Totals: 13 miles
Years Totals: 1884 miles

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Roller Coaster Illness

I've had this happen in the past and had it play out different. That's the beauty of the virus. They are all different. I ran on Monday and Tuesday didn't feel well again. This morning was a test and for the most part felt OK, just nothing special. I may end up taking more time off this week, as I am heading to my home town to take in some deer hunting festivities. I don't hunt, but I do love the food and beer that the "game" has to offer. Looking at my fall schedule and looking at where I am heading, it would be a good week to take off and have one more block of rest before I start the climb to marathon madness in the spring. Sounds good to me.

Totals: 38:21   5.1 miles  (HR 129)  7:31 pace

Monday, November 10, 2008

Upper Limits

Heading out the door this morning I found temperatures in the upper teens and just a bit of a headwind while running up Woodland Ave.  After a mile or so I decided it would be a day to run in the "upper" HR limits. Woodland hill is always a challenge for the HR then it levels off until climbing Vermilion hill. Redline!!! The good news at that point in the run was the wind was now at my back which is always fun.
The only complaint this morning was my right foot was sore. The foot bones that is. I did use a massage ball on my arches last night while watching TV, but I did it for less than five minutes. I doubt it was that,  but you never know. I will attempt to get some decent stretches in today.

Totals: 57:10  8 miles   (HR 139)   7:10 pace

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Frozen Tundra

After the initial adjustments I really like this time of year and the running it offers. The temps were right around 20F which allowed the trails to "firm up". Today was an easy recovery day. Running on the trails offered my legs the rest they needed and also offered me the opportunity to run easy and slow. I am quite happy with the way my legs recovered from yesterday. No pains or fatigue at all. Looking forward to the next week.

Totals: 50:10   6 miles  (HR 128)  8:31 pace

Weeks Totals: 53 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1871 miles

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Snow

This morning marks the first official accumulated snow. We didn't get much, a trace at best, but enough to notice. The temps hovered around 30F with a little breeze. My buddy Hex whom I haven't ran with in months, possibly a year, came to the "city" because of the deer opener. We did a nice out and back through some trails in town. I noticed the HR for me was a bit high many points in the run but the overall "average" was alright. The other factor I experimented with was fluid intake. Usually if I am going to run for two hours I take a bottle of fluid with me. More in the summer months. Today I tried to fuel up in the hours prior to running but didn't take any fluid on the run. I had difficulty in the last twenty minutes with my quads fatiguing. I don't like doing that and will take fluids from now on. It makes it much easier to wash down the gels as well.

Totals: 1:55:17   15 miles   (HR 135)  7:42 pace (trails/roads)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Shorts. The Final Countdown

As I looked out the kitchen window to catch a glimpse at the temperature I was a bit shocked. 44F! The weather channel had much higher "down by the lake".  The decision was an easy one. I must wear shorts one more time. 
I did an easy run up Woodland and made my way home via the short loops. No issues to discuss, just a bit tired is all.
Totals: 50:51   6.6 miles (HR 126)  7:41 pace

Once again the temperatures were much higher than usual for this time of year. With the forecast of potential snow this weekend I had to run one more time in shorts. Again, very comfortable, but today there were wind gusts to keep things interesting. Today I was able to up the HR just a bit more than yesterday and go a bit longer. I felt wonderful. The kind of run where you sure are happy you didn't skip a day. My HR versus effort was much lower than yesterday and the loop times show. After the run I managed to get a short set of lower leg exercises in before heading off to work.
Totals: 54:11   7.4 miles  (HR 132)  7:11 pace

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock The Vote!

I had a good nights sleep going until 0330. I heard the dog shaking and rolling on his back, then I knew it would be about one hour and the alarm would be giving me a call. The next thing I knew it was 0430 and I was up heading for the basement. Crazy heh?

 I got an early start to my Tuesday "work-day" that will eventually be 12-14 milers. I am still building these days up and today it was a ten miler. The course for these types of run is usually west Skyline as it offers little to no traffic. Besides running, I managed to see two deer that would make a trophy deer hunter cream his jeans. Sorry for the analogy, but it's true. The first deer I saw was a mere twenty FEET away and was an eight-pointer. The return trip was going great and I stumbled upon what I believe was a ten pointer if not more. (that's hunter jargon for the number of "horns"  on each side of the male deers head)

The run went great and I am looking forward to getting out of this base-phase, but that is a bit away yet. I would like to get the mileage up to 80-85 and adjust before making any serious attempts at "workouts". Besides, it is way too early to start that. My season would be done by March if I started now.

I rocked the vote and took my son with me. He asked on the way to the voting precinct if "morok obama" was going to be there. I told him no, but we would cast our vote and see him later on TV.

Totals: 1:12:10  10.1 miles  HR 136   7:08 pace 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fog Morning

Ran an easy run up to Martin road in the dense fog this morning. Wearing a headlamp on a morning like this is not very beneficial except for being visible. It is quite annoying to wear because of the reflection back in your eyes. Kept the pace easy though on the dark roads. It should burn off and have a wonderful day if the forecast is correct. Just another easy recovery run. 

Totals: 58:35   7.6 miles  (HR 130)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Down Week

Managed to acquire my first virus of the season over the week. Had  a couple bad days and then tapered off rather quickly. Towards the end of the week I was feeling quite well on my runs and will carry the momentum into this week. Now is the time as well to start improving on strength training three times a week. If I can keep consistent with that program the spring should be a decent season for me.

Totals: 33 miles (4 runs)
Years Totals: 1818 miles


Just a quick entry for the medium distance run today. I kept to the trails as they are starting to dry up quite well. Rock Hill is in super shape as well as the SHT, but Hartley has a little more drying out yet. It would be nice to have them dry before we get a freeze and/or snow.
The pace on trails is significantly slower than my road miles but that really isn't the point of training right now. I need to stay aerobic and build over the next month or so. The hills felt really good today and I may finally getting some strength built up. 

Totals: 1:35:18   11.5 miles   (HR 137) 8:20 pace

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chili Champ

Friday= no running. more rest needed.  0 miles

Yesterday at work the gang decided to have a Chili Cook-Off. I had just made chili last weekend and managed to make a good batch. So, Thursday night I whipped up another fresh batch and had to trust my instincts that it tasted alright because of this cold I'm currently fighting has my taste buds all messed up. It must have been decent because I won the contest. Out of six wonderful entries I managed to get the blue ribbon.

This morning I made my way out the door nice and early and had a wonderful loop planned. The trails of Hartley and SHT were calling my name. Most of the "wet" spots were actually frozen which made for easy maneuvering around the mud. The one thing I forgot was the potential hunter zones. Not sure if there is a city hunt going on or not. That's the one thing that sucks in November. A good run to get going again.

Totals: 54:00   7.5 miles   (HR 136)