Thursday, April 30, 2009


This was the first time I had done the workout and didn't really know what to expect from my legs or what the fatigue level would feel like. Well now I know. I managed to complete the workout and was quite pleased. HERE is an article to explain the workout. This is considered a "marathon predictor" workout. IF one can complete the intervals relatively consistent than the average time would be close to your marathon finishing time in hours/minutes.

My energy was good and legs felt pretty fresh. The breakdown looked like this:

3 mile warm up
10 X 800 meters with equal TIME of repeat for recovery.
2.5 mile recovery

Total: 13 miles

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Change of Plan

The run was a no frills easy loop up to Kenwood Avenue and loop out a bit and return via Rice Lake Rd. Legs felt good and all systems should be a go for tomorrows prediction run. I am undecided if I will actually stay on the track or do on the roads. The roads will definitely add some challenge as I would like to have consistent surface and flats. More on that tomorrow.

I have made some changes in racing plans. I was going to do a half marathon at the end of May at the Stillwater Half Marathon. After talking with some 'locals' I decided against it because of its terrain. Very hilly and slow. The goal of that race will be to test the paces and do as a marathon "race rehearsal". If I have a drastically different course and the paces are way off, what's the use, plus the recovery from a hilly course might be a lot longer then I am looking for. I just decided on Fargo because of the course and it has a quick reputation, (only five years running), for a very well organized, and fun event. I am looking forward to that trip on May 9th.

Totals: 56:40   7.7 miles   HR 133

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easy Out and Back

The scheduled called for an 'easy' ninety minutes or so. I like running these types of runs on Skyline because of the fair terrain and this time of the year you can't beat the sunrises!
Legs remained a bit heavy from the weekend but much better than yesterday.
Overall a very good run.
1st 30:00: 7:27 pace  HR 131
      15:00:  6:56 pace  HR 132
      15:00:  6:52 pace  HR 135
      28:00   6:49 pace  HR 136

Total: 1:28:10   12.5 miles  (HR 133 ave)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu, Bye Bye Pontiac

These are two of the major headlines this morning on the news. The way our family was acting last week we were wondering if we had a case of the Swine. We don't. Today was the first morning in over a week where I didn't have to make several trips to the bathroom before my run, and my appetite is back!!
The other headline that is kinda sad is the loss of General Motors 'Pontiac' brand. They will shut down production of all Pontiac's. It's sad, BUT, the greedy executives shot themselves in the feet. As history takes place, we can thank a select few for eff'in up one of America's iconic automobile. Let's hope others don't have to follow their path.

This mornings run was another easy hour through the hills of upper Woodland and Vermilion. Legs were fatigued at the start and finished very strong. No more rain this morning either.

Totals: 57:13  7.7 miles  (HR 132  7:29 pace)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Last of The Thirties

I have made another trip around the sun. Today marks the 39th trip and I will savor this year. I am looking forward to many events and especially finishing the age group up with hopefully some strong performances.

Late this morning I decided to take an easy loop of the trails and keep the intensity super low. Running the trails this time of year can guarantee you some mud. Wet, muddy, slick, roots, and rocky was the common foot fall surface. The winds were blowing and it started to mist and drizzle for the entire time I would be out. Legs finally started to wake up around forty minutes and the ninety was very comfortable.

*i was supposed to do a mini taper this week, but not like the flu forced me too. time to hop back on the train this next week and get some decent miles in.

Totals:  1:31:57  10 miles  (9:07 pace, trails)

Weeks Total (5 runs): 48.6 miles
Years Totals: 815.7 miles

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Took A Chance

Last evening I made the decision to make an effort to drive and run the Get in Gear 10K this morning. I wasn't sure this was the best decision as I was still taking many trips a day to the crapper for  a little drizzle-fest. I was thinking on the drive down of when my last major "meal" was and it was too long to remember. All week I was eating "snacks" and attempting to find food that would keep the stomach rumbling to a minimum. I also consumed more 7-up in the last week than I have taken in the last seven years.

I woke up at Tony's, who was kind enough to allow me to pull up a piece of couch at his place, and was not feeling very race-ready. I did my best to take in the fluids but had no solid food up to the race. I was a bit worried of being dehydrated but it was only a 10K and I shouldn't have to worry too much. By the time the gun went off I was feeling pretty good and the legs felt ready to give it a try. Being in the "B" heat I had plenty of runners to keep me company for the first two miles or so and then I started to go to work. I managed to run my first mile as my slowest and string together a few solid, consistent miles to the tape. Not my fastest 10K, but I was pleased and it looks like I am headed in the right direction for June 20th. During my cool down I noticed the quads were a bit sore and I think that was a result of being a bit depleted and pushing the envelope a bit. I will concentrate on getting in some serious calories the next 24-48 hours and see how that helps.

Here is a breakdown of my race:
5:28, 5:25, 5:28, (16:56 5K), 5:27, 5:22, 5:21, 1:04 
*always feels good when you can neg. split a race.
16:56, 16:41 - 33:37  33rd overall, 2nd age grp.

Totals: 30 min warm up
               33:37 race
               30+ warm down
            ~10 miles 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Brutal Week

I had to take another day off on Thursday because of the lingering 'GI' upset issues and just an overall feeling of "off". I didn't know what Wednesday's workout would do to me, I don't think I am much worse off, just not much better.
Wednesday: 0 miles

This morning I ran an easy loop just to test the legs and see if I should take off for the Cities tonight after work to run Saturday's Get in Gear 10K. I will be a last minute decision.

Totals: 43:00  5.7 miles

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Error in Judgement?

The early week 'workout' was supposed to be Tuesday with the option of moving it during the week to allow maximum recovery from the weekend. I was a little busy with the house sickness on Monday so I adjusted and ran easy on Tuesday and did the workout this morning. I woke up early because I knew it would be 90-100 minutes for the entire workout. It took me near an hour to get out the door secondary to GI issues. I hit the crapper two times before 5 am. When I left I didn't feel great but not all that bad either. After a warm up I started the workout and was ready to bail out at any moment and make my way home. I actually felt really good for most of the workout and had a little GI issue on the warm down but for the most part running was the best part of my day. I was left with about an hour to get ready for work and my stomach was churning like gale force winds were in effect. I tried to drink, eat, and take in extra salt and no help was provided. Once I got to work, a glass of 7-up and a little more breakfast helped a bit more. After work I felt queasy and warm. Shit! Maybe I am sick! Tomorrow is questionable and I'll have to sleep on it and see where I sit in the am.

The workout looked like this: 4-5 X 8 minutes med-hard, with 3 min's. recovery.
followed by 3X 40 seconds hard.

warm up:  22:02
repeat 1:  8:00  5:46 pace  HR 157
repeat 2:  8:00  5:37 pace  HR 158
repeat 3: 8:00  5:48 pace  HR 157
repeat 4:  8:00 5:46 pace  HR 158
repeat 5-7:   :40  sprints 4:38 pace
warm down:  22:10

Total: 1:31:31   12.8 miles

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

House of Virus

Last Thursday my four year old son had what seemed to be a case of the flu. Late in that night and the next morning I joined him with the exception of no vomit or other. (he did) Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and my wife gets hit with it. Many trips to empty her stomach over the next twenty four hours would leave me feeling quite vulnerable. Yesterday I had to take a zero just to keep Lucas out of her way and keep him occupied after work. It bummed me out initially but a day of rest can be good as well.

This morning I decided to take a day of easy running and focus on the 'workout' tomorrow. Out on windy Skyline around Enger tower and back to the house would give me a good ten miler. One small problem arose at the end of Sunday's long run and I will have to closely monitor it as it returned this morning as well. My right lower calf is tightening up at the end of the runs. I did a good set of stretches and will focus some more on it today and after work.

Totals: 1:12:45   10.1 miles  

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cool and Wet

Just to make sure we didn't get spoiled here in Duluth, the weather made a near 40 degree shift from Friday and gave us a taste of real spring weather. Winds out of the north east and drizzle rain made the run a little less than desirable. Joining a group on days like this sure make the difference. Out at Jeremy's we would have a group of five make the easterly jaunt to the lake walk and return with the wind on our backs. I was scheduled to run about 100 minutes but things were feeling very good so I just rounded up and made it a two hour effort. No frills and/or interesting sites. Just plain ol' running. A nice way to finish out a near disastrous week after avoiding the full-blown flu.

Totals: 2:00:55   16.4 miles  (HR 131  7:23 pace)

Weeks Totals: 60.2 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 767.1 miles

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rust Buster

First running race of 2009 is history. This morning I ran the Fitgers 5K in what I call a decent result. Given the type of work I have put in at this point in the marathon build up I can be happy with 16:37. As much as I want to deny it, I am sure I am loosing my short speed in the legs. I would like to think I can make it under 16:00 again this fall  but hard to say. The focus is marathon training and thus I cannot expect to have fast legs right now. 
The race itself was a blast and we had quite pleasant running conditions for this time of the year. The front pack was very quick out of the gate and I used my Garmin 405 to keep my pace under control. I usually wouldn't wear the Garmin in that type of race but it was to my advantage not to go out too hard and hurt even worse the last 3/4 mile. Funny thing, I would have won the race last year with  the time I ran and this year ended up 6th overall and second in my age group. Nice to get the rust off and prepare for the 10k next Saturday in Minneapolis.

Totals: 9 miles with warm up, warm down and race.

Friday, April 17, 2009

First in A Month

I was forced to take a day of rest this morning. I should have known something was up on Wednesday when the recovery run felt so awful. Lucas woke us up vomiting in his room and only to jump in our bed and vomit there an hour or two later. Great fun! It's so hard watching your little one puke. I got worse as the night went on and had to report to work as my partner had a vacation day. As the day progressed I got a bit better and in the evening I started to feel pretty close to normal. Having said all that, I am a bit apprehensive to race tomorrow, but if I don't feel any worse I probably will report to the starting line. I need to race and I have been looking forward to it all winter. Let's hope the nights sleep is a better one.

Click HERE for 5k results in the later morning.

Totals: 0 miles
* first day off in over a month. I guess I got my rest week a little early.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back to Back 8's

The plan called for another easy, general aerobic run in preparation for Saturday's 5k. It's a good thing too as my legs felt terrible. I think my body is trying to kick some virus. I hacked up quite the dark 'loogie' this morning and I have had a dull headache for two or three days now. I will plan to go through a full set of leg stretches and ball work tonight.

Total: 58:12 8.2 miles (HR 133 7:07 pace)

Easy run out to Martin road and returning on Vermilion. For some strange reason I have seen a woodpecker on Vermilion pecking on an aluminum sign two days in a row. Stange! Legs felt fair.

Total: 57:40 7.7 miles

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Longer Fartlek

I didn't want to bother trying to make my way on to a local track at 5:30 in the morning so I had the option to make this day a longer fartlek workout with a bit increase intensity. After a 25 minute warm up I worked into 6 X 4 min. on with 90 sec rest. I also ended with 2 X 30 second sprints of 95% effort.
4:00  HR= 153  5:35 pace
4:00  HR= 154  5:52 pace (uphill)
4:00  HR= 155  5:38 pace
4:00  HR=  151  5:23 pace
4:00  HR= 148  5:24 pace 
4:00  HR= 153  5:26 pace
  :30 , :30  sprints at 95% effort

Totals: 1:27:47   12.3 miles

Monday, April 13, 2009

Need for Easy Day

I ran my longer run yesterday a bit faster than the most  since the terrain was relatively flat and thus the need for a real, easy recovery day. Upper Woodland loop home. Legs were tired, and for some reason there was a small muscle in the front of my low shin that tightened. I did manage to get it to loosen up later in the day with some stretches.

Total: 51:43   6.6 miles  (HR 122   7:50 pace) 

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Being long distance runners we are often faced with training solo. It's the nature of the sport. I wasn't too excited about running for over two hours on rural highways by myself, but you got to do what it takes to get the workouts in. Enter my father. He didn't run with me but he did haul out his bike and made his first peddle of the season along side of me during the long run. Great help and appreciated!
We left the house, ran for seven miles on a downhill grade to the shores of Lake Superior before making our way up the shoreline to the Porcupine Mountain Ski area. Once there I turned back and ran the highway until the total milage was met. Beautiful weather, near perfect, and having my dad close bye for conversation made this long run the best it could have been.
Legs felt good as with the lungs and heart. Much better than yesterday.

Totals: 2:05:28 18.1 miles (HR 134 6:57 pace)

Weeks Totals: 75.2 miles
Years Totals: 706.9 miles

Saturday, April 11, 2009


It can be difficult getting in miles at my old home town. During this time of the year the trails are closed and the roads, well, let's just say the scenery is limited. I ran to town and did a complete outer loop and had to make a loop on the old high school track before making my way back out to the house. I didn't feel all that great today. No pep. My HR seemed to be up and I didn't feel very fluid. Tomorrow's long run will be a bit of an effort just to get the miles in solo. I guess you can call it my mental workout for the month.

Total: 1:11:41 10 miles (HR 139 7:10 pace)

In order to attempt to get out of town early after work to head to my parents I worked the early shift which made the morning a little rushed. All I had to do was squeeze in an easy hour and get some stretches done to call it 'recovery'. Accomplished. Ran up to Kenwood and did a loop out to Rice Lake and finished via Skyline Blvd.

Totals: 57:07 7.7 miles (HR 130 7:26 pace)

Thursday, April 9, 2009


This mornings workout was either hills or longer fartlek intervals. I chose the intervals and made my way out to some quieter roads just north of the house. After a twenty five minute warm up I was ready to start my first interval. As I started my first split I realized I didn't look up the workout to get the correct intensity. Damn! How stupid! I took my best shot a decent effort and kept it near 1/2 marathon pace. Not entirely off, but once I got home I read they should have been closer to 10k pace. (different energy systems) So, I did 4 X 5 min. at 1/2 marathon pace with 2 min. recovery. I finished with a good warm down and called it a morning.  

Here is the breakdown:
warm up  25:04  (HR 126)
interval 1=   4:58  HR=148  6 min pace
interval 2=   5:03  HR= 152  5:41 pace
interval 3=   5:15  HR= 143   5:32 pace *mostly downhill
interval 4=  4:55  HR= 152   5:43 pace
warm down  28:00  (HR 132)
looking back, now I see why this workout felt too good. i ran too easy. Oh well, no loss still a good workout, just not what was intended.

Totals:  1:19:00  11.2 miles

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Repeat Monday

Nothing special about recovery days unless you see something exciting. None of that for me. Seems like cougars are in the news lately. I got an email showing three cougars in Michigan's Upper Peninsula  in the woods that had taken down a deer and were having a feast. Then in the news yesterday, the cougar siting in Spooner, WI seems to be causing quite the discussion. I remember three or four years ago there was a cougar siting near UMD in one of the parks. Soon after on one of my runs in Hartley I came upon something that quickly disappeared into the brush making next to no noise and all I did see was a flash of light brown and a tail. I believe that was my cougar siting, albeit not a very good one but I would bet the farm on it.
This mornings run would take me out to Martin Rd. and return on Vermilion. Legs were a bit tired on the climbs but once I got home and did a good series of stretches they felt loose and recovered. That's a good feeling!

Totals: 57:34   7.7 miles   (HR 133   7:33 pace)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Winter Temps

The plan called for ninety minutes with fartleks of one minute at 5k pace with one minute of full rest. I did that same workout a couple of weeks ago and I remember how challenging I found it to keep the pace and finish without being completely tatored. Amazing what a couple weeks worth of running, hills, and up tempo running will do as this morning I felt quite well and found the intervals to feel easy and my legs turning over with ease. (kind of a nice feeling...)
Out west on Skyline with the wind and returning into a headwind. I found my twig and berries to be quite cold and couldn't figure out why since I was wearing the same wind briefs as usual for the temps I was running in. When I got home I had discovered the crotch was 'blown out' and the boys were hanging a little low  and in the wind. (kind of a not so good feeling...)

Totals: 1:30:26   12.9 miles  (HR 138 ave. 7:02)
                12 X 1 min. fartleks
                intervals between 5:10 and 5:25 pace depending on the terrain.


Taking my recovery run is often something I look forward to. No thinking. Just putting one foot in front of each other and keeping the effort low. That's pretty much what I did today. I was surprised to have my legs feel as good as they did since both Saturday and Sunday they were a bit flat. I ran up Woodland to Martin and home via Vermilion. Temperatures were in the middle to low twenties with clear skies.

Totals: 58:13  7.6 miles  (HR 130  7:38 pace)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Solid Weekend

First sunny day I was able to run in quite a long time. I could feel the vitamin D soaking in! I wanted to run an easy 75 minutes and not run any terrain I do Mon-Fri. Making my way out to upper Glenwood Avenue I ran easy until upper Lakeside and meandered my way to 58th avenue east to make my way to London road and Lake Walk before heading up the hills home. My legs never quite joined me this run as I felt a bit heavy the entire way. Just one of those days to say you were happy just to log the time.

Total: 1:18:36   10.6 miles  ( 7:24 pace)
*HR monitor messed up. will change the battery in the strap.

I was to log near 16-18 miles for the morning at a relatively easy pace. Accomplished. After joining the group out at Jeremy's house we ran the western waterfront trail for just a bit before running RR tracks to Morgan Park. From there we made our way through Gary and ran just about to the Oliver bridge before turning and tracing our steps back to the house and adding a small loop to get our time. I felt much better than yesterday and the pace was very comfortable. The sun was out and it was  a wonderful way to end the week.

Total: 2:10:00   17.2 miles  (HR 133  ~7:35 pace)

Weeks Totals: 71 miles
Years Totals: 631.7 miles

Friday, April 3, 2009

Close Call

I was in bed this morning and I had a feeling I might be taking the day off. Tired! After making my way to the basement to get ready, I just sat on the couch watching the news and contemplating if I should run or take a zero/rest day. I finally got up and did a few stretches and talked myself into a short loop. Running easy through the Hunters Park neighborhood was much better than taking a day off and my legs will thank me later today. I was a bit surprised how tired I was as I got good rest last night but maybe yesterday's workout took more out of me than I thought.

Total:  44:20    5.7 miles

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Needles and Running

We went to bed thinking that another 5" of snow would greet us in the morning. Not the case. Lake Superior saved us again. The lake can be our friend or enemy... this morning it would serve as our friend. As I stepped out the door it was calm with a fresh inch to two inches of snow along with temps in the upper twenties, small snow flakes falling and a subtle bank of fog. I tried to hit the quiet streets and made my way out to Vermilion and completed a small loop to Pleasant View, (where is the pleasant view?) before making my return trip. I felt super and the legs have recovered from yesterday's work.

Totals: 54:40   6.6 miles  (HR 125   8:14 pace)

To reflect on the blog title I have to say I was lucky this morning as I started my run and I thought I had a small piece of wood stuck in my sock that was picking my big toe. I finally stopped after twenty minutes of running and realized it wasn't a piece of wood. Somehow a small sewing needle made its way into my shoe and was stuck in the insole of my shoe and was poking up and into my big toe! Wow, that could have been a disaster. Luck was on my side.

Today I chose the 'stamina' workout over the strength workout, (hills) primarily because of the road conditions I was faced with and I didn't want to run on the treadmill again. That was OK with me as I was looking forward to the workout. I ran west on Skyline to Piedmont and returned home. I found myself running pretty hard at times and had to calm myself down to keep within the workout and not hit it too hard. I guess that is a good problem to have rather than slugging just to keep pace. Very happy with the effort and more importantly how I felt after the workout. My legs recovered well and I am looking forward to the easy recovery run tomorrow morning. The workout was warm up, 8-10 repeats of 2 min. at ~5k pace with 1 min. recovery, followed by a cool down home.

 Here is a breakdown of the workout:
warm up 27:43  3.6 miles
repeat 1=  2:03  HR 147  5:39 pace
repeat 2=  2:03 HR 152  5:29 pace
repeat 3=  1:57  HR 153  5:24 pace
repeat 4=  2:02  HR 150 5:34 pace
repeat 5=  2:04  HR 148 5:24 pace
repeat 6=  1:55  HR 153  5:39 pace
repeat 7=  2:01  HR 149  5:27 pace
repeat 8= 2:05  HR 155  5:28 pace
repeat 9=  2:01  HR 151  5:19 pace
*course was mostly flat, but some minor hills on some of the slower splits. The HR's are an 'average' for the two minutes and I saw mid 160's several times at the end of each interval.
warm down 28:02  HR 133  3.9 miles

Total: 1:22:14   11.6 miles