Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Treadmill Booster Run

The usual easy Monday run as yesterday's progression run took a little more out of my legs than I was giving it credit for. I really felt it on the hills, and had to concentrate on keeping an easy pace and form. The closer to an hour I got the better things felt and I was happy to have such good conditions to run in.

Totals: 59:39   7.6 miles  (HR 128   7:49 pace)

This would be the second 'booster' run I had scheduled since starting the new program. The first was a disaster, because I don't think I fully understood the workout along with expecting to be in better shape than I actually was. I had it in my head that this morning I would not repeat the same pattern of downward spiral.
After working slowly through the thirty minute warm up it was planned to run six miles at roughly 1/2 marathon to 30k race pace. By using the estimator tables on McMillans site I came up with 5:55 pace as goal pace. My heart rate during the half marathon I ran last fall had me at 156-160 bpm. (This would also be closely monitored during the faster segment and I would adjust the pace accordingly). I managed to make it through the workout. As Greg said in his description of the workout, it wouldn't be the pace of the workout, but the length of the workout that I would find difficult. Maintaining concentration would be key.  He was right. Several times I was ready to pull the plug and I had to ask myself, "why stop now, what is the reason for stopping?" As I monitored my HR, legs, and breathing everything felt just a good as the first mile. So I kept going. I did have to adjust the last mile just a bit but not by much and I was happy to get that workout under my belt. I finished with a 1.5 mile cool down, a little short, but I had to get moving and make my way to work.

Here is a breakdown of the workout:
30:00 warmup   4 miles
mile 1=  6:12  (eased into it, not to redline)
mile 2=  5:55   HR 157
mile 3=  5:56
mile 4=  5:56
mile 5=  5:55   HR 158
mile 6=  6:01
13:49 cool down

Totals: 1:19:01    11.7 miles

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thirds Progression

To finish off the 'rest' week I was scheduled to run a "thirds" progression run. The first to be easy warm up pace, the middle was to be usual aerobic training pace and the last third was to be near marathon pace. 
Once I started the warm up phase I soon realized that increasing the HR by approximately ten beats each phase I would be very close on all the efforts and paces. It was made very clear that the last segment was NOT to be "all out" and to make sure I had plenty of reserve in the legs.
I ran from our house out to Superior street and used old highway 61 to get most of the middle time and returned for the last segment to Ordean Middle School. I felt super and my breathing was feeling much better than my legs. I was feeling a bit tight at certain times but for the most part once I really focused on relaxation my legs became more fluid to the end.
Here is a breakdown of the workout:

warm up phase:30:03   3.9 miles  (HR 124 7:38 pace)
middle phase: 28:17  4 miles (HR 139  7:01 pace)
                                1:40  .3 mi. (HR 142   6:27 pace )
finish phase: 30:06  4.9 mile (HR 149,   6:12 pace)
                             1:55 .23 mile jog to car

Total: 1:32:02   13.3 miles    (HR 137  6:55 pace)

Weeks Total: 60.5 miles
Years Total: 560.8 miles

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Maintain and Enjoy

An easy morning of running after yesterday's hill bursts. I realized this morning that I have really been lacking good hill workouts in recent past years. I'm glad to have them back on the schedule. For the recovery run I made my way along Skyline out and back then picked up Buddy and made a short loop through some icy trails before ending the run at an hour. Legs recovered well.

Totals: 1:00:21  7.5 miles  (HR 122  8:06 pace)
               out: 20:02, back: 19:19, with dog 21:00 (9:50 pace)

Another day for general aerobic training. Erik and I were on the same schedule so we hooked up for a nice ten miler on Park Point. I was looking forward to running on some new terrain and seeing some new scenery. Perfect for a Saturday morning run as there was minimal traffic, little breeze, and good footing. Overall a super run.

Totals: 1:13:51  10.1 miles  (HR 130,  7:19 pace)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hill Repeats

Pretty much the same workout as last weeks hills but I added some length to the hill and attempted to up the intensity just a bit. If I continue to do hill workouts in the weeks to come I may find a new hill as Vermilion gets just a bit too steep on top and it becomes hard to maintain speed and the effort increases greatly. 
The warm up and warm down were shorter than last week in an effort to keep the weekly volume down to complete my 'rest' week.

Summary: 23:09 warm up
                   ~20:00 hill repeats
                      21:47 warm down
Total: 1:05:51   8.4 miles

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No Ice Yet

I made it out the door this morning before the temperatures dropped below freezing. I actually had a very nice 'recovery' run and kept it pretty short.

Looped through the cemetery and ran Vermilion to the west end of Campus and back home. Legs feeling really snappy and fresh. Once I got home I did a couple of circuits of strength exercises for the core and lower legs. 

Totals: 42:15   5.6 miles   (HR 124   7:36 pace)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


If for no other reason, I have to do one of these workouts just so I can say Fart lick.

Overall, this is a down week in volume for me but the workouts are still coming into play. Today's workout was a nice way to introduce some paces I have not ran in quite some time. I think I nailed the workout as I began to have a hint of a stitch on the last two repeats. 

Here is a summary: 
25:00 warm up  
23:21 of 1 min. at ~ 5k pace followed by 1 min. easy running
my first 4 were at 11 mph just to work into it, then the last 8 were at 11.2 mph.
I'm not too sure what exact 5k pace is right now, but this felt very good.
intervals HR: approaching 158-159 on pace, recovery at 142
24:00 warm down.

1:09:30   9.6 miles   

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ice Storm

I woke up to ice pellets pounding the window and that solidified my decision to run on the treadmill. I don't mind doing recovery-type runs on the treadmill since it often helps you keep the pace down. It looks like I may have quite a few TM runs this weeks as the weather looks terrible. I guess we don't have it too bad, Fargo, ND is in big trouble with the Red River cresting this weekend to come... best of luck, I hope the predictors are way off.

Totals: 47:34  6 miles treadmill  (HR 128-130)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Less Than Ideal

We woke up to howling winds. My immediate thought was, "shit, the long run is going to be tough." It was. I checked the weather reports just before leaving and they all reported winds 20 mph with gusts of 35 mph out of the E/NE. Of Course!! For those that don't already know, Duluth will have several days during the months to come where we will have crazy winds out of the NE. A NE wind is what us "marathoners" dream for come Grandma's Marathon. That would mean a tailwind for twenty-five miles. Of course what usually happens is a week or two prior to Grandma's the winds switch and they become westerly. Not good, that becomes a headwind. I'm keeping good vibes to the weather gods and hoping for a NE year.

The run this morning, as you know, was windy so I decided to stay 'local' and run a series of loops. After thinking of the winds and my possible loop options I chose to head up Woodland to Martin RD and home via Vermilion. This gave me equal winds along with a series of hills that worked several muscles groups instead of pounding out the legs on a flat course.  HERE is a link to the course and profile. (you may need to click on the box at the bottom to get the profile)

Splits are as follows:
first loop: 54:51    7.6 mi. (HR 136  7:11)
second loop: 53:40  7.6  (HR 138   7:04)
add on loop:  6:43  .95  (HR 142  7:05)

Total: 1:55:15   16.2  (HR 137  7:07)

Weeks Total: 70 miles
Years Total: 500.3 miles

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Slushfest

I did a nice and easy tour of Kenwood neighborhoods and a short section of Rice Lake Rd. before making my way down to Skyline and heading home. I like doing this loop from time to time because it gives me an opportunity of running some downhill miles without getting beat up too bad. Overall a good run. Legs are feeling really good.

Totals: 57:32   7.7 miles  (7:30 pace)

Yesterday while at work the north land received about 1-2 inches of snow and made the commute home a little white knuckled for some. The snow managed to stick while the overnight temps continued to rise. Once I woke up I decided to lay low for the morning and play with Lucas. He likes to wreskle. (ie: wrestle)
Once I made up my mind to get going the temps were just under 40F and lots of slush! I did a Lakeside out and back and returned via London Rd. and up to the Tischer Creek trails back to the house. Everything felt really good, I just tried to relax on the snowy parts and keep the HR down. I managed to do that pretty well and slowed quite a bit on the return hills just to keep aerobic. Fueled up and readied myself for the long run tomorrow.

Totals: 1:17:30   10.3 miles  (HR 134, 7:32 pace/ 7:15's for 9 miles)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vermilion Hills

Easy recovery miles out and back on Vermilion and Hunters Park tour. Legs felt really good after twenty minutes and no issues to talk about. A very enjoyable "rest" day.
Totals: 50:25   6.5 miles   (HR: 123, 7:48 pace)

This morning was a scheduled hill repeat day. The biggest problem I had was finding a 'proper' hill that wasn't covered in ice. Once I made up my mind I did a warm up of thirty plus minutes and settled on the hill on Vermilion near the cemeteries. I was to do 8-10 repeats of at least one minute duration. It felt moderately-hard on the last repeat I did, which was the eighth, so I ended the workout there. Being my first real hill workout in some time I didn't want to over do it and end of too sore to run tomorrow. I finished with a cool down. Felt really good with this workout. 

Totals: 4 mile warmup 
               2.5 miles of hills (up/down)
               4 mile cool down
               ~ 1:20:00 running   10.5 miles total

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Intro to Fatigue

It seemed that I recovered quite well from the weekends running and today was scheduled for up to ninety minutes with 10-12 striders at 5k pace. 
I ran out west on Skyline, this seems to be my tuesday route, and this morning I stretched it out to 25th ave. west before making the turn. Once I got on the flats stretches I started my striders that were followed by one minute of full recovery. By the last two I was starting to feel the heavy leg feeling. I stopped at ten feeling just a bit tired. 
The weather was beautiful, in the mid to upper 30's, with just a few icy patches to slide over.

Totals: 1:27:37   12 miles   (HR: 137 ave. 7:16 pace)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Black Ice Season

With the daytime temperatures reaching 50F, there was a great deal of running water on the streets. At 0530 the temps were under 30F and plenty of black ice to make the morning "easy" run just a bit challenging. Legs felt fair with the exception of a tight right lower calf muscle. I think it all it needs is some good massage and stretching and it should be alright.

Totals:  52:20    6.7 miles   (HR 139) *just a bit high

Sunday, March 15, 2009

West Skyline Sunshine

We did the same out and back up to west Skyline, over to about 8th ave. West and return. Legs felt pretty decent for this effort. I overdressed a bit, as this is often the case for this time of year. Overall, a good easy long effort.
Splits were as follows: out in 64:20
Return plus extra loop: 74:10

Total: 2:18:31   17.5 miles  (HR 132  pace 7:56)

Weeks Totals: 57.4 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 430.4 miles

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunny Recovery

Beautiful day up north. Temps in the mid 30'sF when I started the run and approaching 40F by the time I was done. 
My legs felt a bit achy after yesterday's run/workout and I think it was a good idea to cut the recovery down a bit. I was going to go for up to 85 minutes but I think that would begin to take away from the workouts purpose and having a bit of a "cold bug" still running in me I thought it would be wise. I bumped into Chris with Ella in the Chariot and managed to run a bit with them. Hope the virus runs out by tomorrow so the long run doesn't get to altered.

Totals:  1:05:21   8.25 miles   (7:56 pace)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Questionable Disaster

Thursday: no running. feeling sick with cold-like symptoms. in the past when i have ignored them the sickness got worse. a day off in March will not affect me too bad come June.

 Yesterday I was supposed to do my first "steady state" workout. I have studied all the zones for HR and estimated paces. It didn't seem right when I looked at it but didn't question it. Once I completed the warm up I zipped up the speed to what I 'estimated' the pace would be. After a couple of minutes I realized quickly that the set speed was too much to continue. I shifted from pace to HR and was going to attempt to keep it at 155 bpm. At this point I didn't have a reason for that number, just a HR that felt comfortable for up to 30 minutes. The splits show that I fell apart rather quickly. 
There are three factors that could play into this small disaster. One, I'm sick. I feel a bit better than yesterday, but not a lot. Second, this workout was on the treadmill and our house was at 65F and once you warmed up I had the feeling it was 80! Lastly, I may have not had the correct pace/HR figured in advance. That is my job to get the zones in order prior to workout based on my estimated fitness level. 
Tomorrow is an easy day and will be just letting the legs turn and flush out.

Splits: 3 mile warm up 23:36
Steady miles: 1st mile: 6:09  HR:155
                           2nd mile: 6:12 HR:157
                          3rd mile: 6:17  HR: 158
                          4th mile: 6:19  HR: 159 (stitch)
*my HR max is 170
Cool down: 3 miles 24:00

Totals: 1:12:48  10 miles

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Easy Running

My first run on the treadmill for some time. Kept the pace easy, 7:40's and managed to feel really good. I had snow on the mind, as we got nailed with a bit of a storm last night. After the run I went out and shoveled the drive for 20 minutes.

Totals: 38:00   5 miles

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A New Purpose

Most runners that have run a marathon have figured this out on their own. Either by crash and burn, soreness, success or some other way of measurement. When you are training for such an event each day has a purpose. Rest day, easy day, track work, long runs are all examples of daily 'purpose'. The routine of attempting to figure this out correctly is what I found tiring. I don't have to worry any more.

This mornings schedule called for ~75 minutes of easy running with 10-12 strides at 5k pace. I did  this run on the west Skyline route and had a bit of a head wind on the return trip. I'm glad I beat the storm that is brewing. Tomorrow may be a treadmill day.

Totals: 1:17:53   10.7 miles  (HR 136, 7:16 pace)
                                out: 39:51, return: 38:02

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recovery- New Beginning

I put on the HR monitor, took off for the country Vermilion loop and kept the rates under 130 for my recovery run this morning. Legs felt quite well, and very little staleness from yesterday's longer effort. A good recovery run.
A while back I mentioned I was sick of the "thinking" part of running. I have studied for years the different approaches to long distance training, and quite honestly, I didn't want to put in the mental effort this time around. I have taken care of that and paid for coaching services that provided me with the next fifteen weeks of training which takes me up and through Grandma's Marathon. I am very excited to embark on this venture. 

Totals: 47:53   5.9 miles   (HR 128  8:10 pace) 

Sunday, March 8, 2009

West, Windy and Long

I was looking to redeem myself from last weeks long run and have a good one. It started kind of rocky as we climbed up from Jeremy's house for nearly three miles to Skyline Blvd. After getting leveled out at the top my legs and breathing settled and things improved fast. By forty minutes I was ready to rock and roll but I knew better and held back. After making our turn, we had the wind at our backs and the urge to push the pace. My running partner for the morning and I decided it was best to fight the urge and hold effort as the pace would drop just by having the winds assistance. We were right, as we negative splitted the out and back by nearly two minutes.
Legs felt pretty good, and the drastic downhills on the return made it a bit difficult, but on the flats I was very happy with the results.

Totals: 2:00:57   15.6 miles   (HR 133,  7:43 pace) 

Weeks Totals: 62 miles
Years Totals: 373 miles

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Feels Like Spring

I was just getting ready to make my way out for a run when Chris gave me a call for a Hartley report. I didn't have much to report as Wednesday was my last day on the trails and that could mean a huge difference. We decided to give them a try since it was an easy 8-10 today.
The early trails were in very respectable shape but the upper guardrail loop was nothing to talk about. Pretty shitty for the most part. We made the best of it and ran easy as the conversation made the time and distance cruise past rather quickly. We made our way out to the roads and finished up our distances and called it a day.
The weather almost fooled us into thinking spring was here, but living in Duluth, we know better... far off.

Totals: 1:17:08   9.1 miles  (8:29 pace)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Queasy = Day Off

Still had a few remnants from yesterday's 'episode' so no running this morning. Legs are feeling very good, so no worries.

Totals: 0 miles 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Running Headaches

I'm a bit perplexed. Early this past winter I was doing a lot of running in the Hartely trails which required wearing a headlamp. At one point I had the strap too tight and it would give me a slight headache. I figured that out quickly and problem solved. Until this morning.

I made my way out for the medium distance run and was feeling decent up to seven miles or so. Then I noticed a headache starting across my forehead and temples. My headlamp strap was loose so I didn't quite know what to chalk it up to. Once I got home the headache got much worse so I figured I would drink some fluids, I took 20 oz. water during the run, and take some tylenol to make things improve. They didn't. Then I got nauseated. For me, this seems like a case of the 'dehydration' demons coming out.  I chugged poweraide, water, airborne in water, salt. Nothing to improve the symptoms. * it was at this point I decided not to go to work as one of my wives work partners had the exact same symptoms and he took  a two day leave. Shit, "now I'm sick and will miss a few days of running." The jury is still out. Not sure if it is a bug, or dehydration. I took a LONG hot shower and things improved, but far from normal. What ever my 'normal' is...

The run went quite well given all the information above. I ran a new route and was guessing on the distance and I guessed a bit short as I did about an extra half mile or so. I took one Powergel at seven miles, maybe that's the headache culprit, and my legs felt very good to the end. I ran on HR only. My goal was not to run over 140 bpm and I achieved that. Hopefully I will get some extra rest and and calories and be back on game tomorrow.

Totals: 1:29:06   12.4 miles  (HR 137, 7:13 pace ave.) 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pleasant Surprise... Not Quite!

The official start of spring isn't for a few weeks yet but this morning was a decent start. The temps were just under 20F and clear skies. 
For some reason I chose to hit the Hartley trails just to see how the footing was and I was surprised to find them in really good shape. I did a short loop through the swamp and made my way to the nature center before noticing the horrid odor of skunk! That is one downfall of spring. I never saw the critter but the odor was one of recent release...
After I made my way to the roads I did a 'Hunters Park' tour before making my way home. In the end I had a wonderful morning of easy HR running. Felt Super!!

Totals: 56:45   7.1 miles   (HR 127, 8:00 pace)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Today was the start of stretching out the medium distance runs just a bit. My original plan was to run twelve but I didn't manage to get out the door early enough. Probably good though, as I can recover tomorrow and make it Thursday. I heard there might be rain forecasted for then so that may be a treadmill morning. 
Out west on Skyline almost to Piedmont and returned for my run this morning. Such a pleasant surprise to see so much daylight after 0600!! Only to loose it next week with daylight savings...
Out in 40:34 7:23 pace (HR134)
Return 40:06 7:16 pace (HR 139)

Totals: 1:20:41   11 miles  (HR 136, pace 7:19)

Monday, March 2, 2009


There may be many things to "countdown" but none so important as the cold temperatures. I have to believe there are limited days left of the bitter cold. I left this morning and the temp was -12F with a slight wind. The return trip from upper Woodland was better with the wind at my back, but still bitter!!
My legs felt pretty decent for such a disaster run yesterday. I'll follow up with a couple sets of legs and back exercises tonight.

Totals:  52:00   6.6 miles

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This morning I made my way out to Jeremy's house and joined the crew for two hours. I had thought the day would go alright but I was wrong. I never got comfortable and with all the slipping I had some sore and tight calves, hams and lower back to deal with for most of the run. The last half hour was mostly miserable. Sounds fun heh
Here's to a better week to come.

Totals: 2:07:00   15.6 miles

Weeks Totals: 46.2 miles
Years Totals: 311.2 miles