Sunday, August 30, 2009


I finished the week with an easy hour after yesterday's trails. We are heading out of town to camp for four days. Depending on the mood and local running routes I may just take a a few day's off to recoup.

Totals: 59:51 8 miles

Weeks Totals: 58 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1809.7 miles

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Love Hate

That's how I relate to the trails in Hartley Park. When they are in good shape, as with me, there is no better place in Duluth to trail run. When they are in poor shape it separates the true trail runners from the wannabees. That's where I fall. Literally. I love trail running but my recent years of road running/racing have left my trails skills a little, shall I say, sketchy. I don't even own a pair of "real trail shoes" and this morning that might have been nice.

My buddy Chris Gardner, who may be participating in a certain race in the near future, and I chatted last night and he was planning on one more key long trail run. I didn't have any solid long run planned other than "easy aerobic 14-18 miles" which pretty much left the door wide open for me to join him. We met at the park at 0530, yes that's a.m., and had a near hour of headlamp running before getting back to the car aid-station. (i must mention that it was a whopping 3-4 minutes into the run and I made my first kiss with the mud. my toe caught a rock and down I went) The second loop was going well, but my hip flexors were getting tight and I just concentrated on short solid strides on the uphills to help alleviate some of the stress on the muscles. It was 1:14:00 into the run and bam! Down I went faster than I could imagine. My foot slid out from under me on a muddy corner and I fell to my right hip and just lay there stunned. I haven't fallen on a run in close to two years and now I fall twice in one hour. WTF??? No harm done, except I may be visiting the chiropractor after we return from out camping excursion which starts tomorrow. I finished that lap with Chris and headed out for a third before turning around to make my finish an even 2:30:00. Good for 15 miles on pretty technical trails. I'll take it. Great run. Thanks Chris for the laughs, it was a nice "change" to be hitting the trails for my long run.

Totals: 2:30:00 15.1 miles

I woke up to heavy rain, thunder and lightening. Not ideal conditions for a ninety minute run with steady-state miles mixed in. I took the morning off in hopes to get the workout in after work. Not to be. At first I was a little pissed but sometimes life isn't fair. I will survive.

Totals: 0 miles

Thursday, August 27, 2009

POM Wonderful

It's been about a month since I was contacted by Janny from POM Wonderful juices and she was inquiring if I would taste test their juice. I'm pretty certain I had tried it before but I was willing to give it another try. I had an 8 oz. bottle tonight after my supper. I like that their product doesn't add any sugars or artificial additives.
HERE is their website so you can read all the details. Give it a try. I love this stuff!

Judgement Call

This is usually the morning for steady state running, but I made a judgement call and opted for another recovery day and hit the Martin Road loop for an easy hour. By the end of the loop I was feeling pretty good, and extremely happy I made the call to put off the workout for another day. That may have been just what I needed, besides I am concentrating on some decent calories over the last forty eight hours and that may have helped as well.

Totals: 59:00 8 miles

Easy running on the Rice Lake Road loop. My legs felt like total shit. Not sure what to do? I am not running anything major, just trying to step up the volume and not able to.
I have been sleeping over seven hours a night and feel like I am major tired in the morning. Hopefully this will pass soon.

Totals: 1:00:02 8.1 miles

My legs were not feeling the best but I figured I would give the speed work session a try. After the first couple of repeats I was feeling a bit better.
I did 10 repeats of 1 min. at 5:00 pace followed by 1 min. of jogging.

Totals: 1:24:00 12.2 miles

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lead in My Legs

I think I was dehydrated and under nourished this morning on my run, not to mention sleep deprived. My legs remained to feel like shit blocks and I really didn't want to be running. The good of the morning was I finished an easy run and had an opportunity to stretch and take in some huge fluids at work today, along with some decent calories.
I hope it worked because tomorrow I am to going to do some faster stuff.

Totals: 49:02 6.6 miles

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weeks Review

Long runs in the 'Pines usually mean one of two runs. Down a long highway to the Porkies, which I did last weekend, or super long an boring highway that reminds me of certain coverage I have seen from Badwater Ultramarathon. The one bonus is both courses are a net drop and that can be good and bad. I really didn't want to run as fast as I was on Sunday but mid-run I changed the workout to have subtle negative splits with the last fifteen minutes or so at marathon pace. Accomplished, but my legs still feel the damage from squatting all day building the garage roof. I got it done though.

Totals: 1:32:38 14 miles (ave: 6:38 with last fifteen Min. at 5:55)

Weeks Totals: 68 miles (six runs)
Years Totals: 1751.7 miles

Back to the parents again to assist in the building project. In order to get my workout in I got up early and hit the roads. I drove to the park and ran trails and ski hill access roads before making my way back to the car. In the end my legs were thrashed from all the hill climbing.
Totals: 1:00:00 7.5 miles

For some reason the virus lasted just about twenty four hours and I was back on track. This morning I was to do the usual Thursday workout of six miles at steady state. I managed to get up early and hit the road while still dark and had the first couple of splits run on effort as I couldn't see the GPS to gauge pace.
The workout rounded out as follows:
2.5 mile warm up
6 miles steady state with splits of:
5:35, 5:36, 5:28, 5:37, 5:29, 5:32
2.5 mile warm down

This workout unfolded much better than past weeks an maybe I am making a jump in fitness or it was just the weather making the difference. I guess I will see in weeks to come.

Totals: 1:13:42 11 miles

Damn virus got the best of me and forced me a day off. I had subtle sore throat last night associated with the chills and headache. This morning left me feeling slightly better and I think I managed to sleep close to 11 hours last night.

Totals: 0

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mid-Week 100's

As I made my way out the door the dark skies reminded that headlamp season is just around the corner. I usually wear a LCD headlamp during fall, winter and spring seasons on my morning runs just so cars can see me. I am not worried about seeing where I am going, it's just an attempt to wake up the morning commuters.

After an easy warm up I made my way to the UMD track to complete twelve laps with the straights at/or faster than 5K pace. I must be gaining some speed in my legs as I notice the paces have gotten much quicker, even if it's only 100 meters, I am cruising at a much faster pace for the short distance than when I first started these workouts. I hope it equates into a decent race later this fall.

Totals: warm up, track, warm down: 10.5 miles

I made sure the pace was easy this morning and I cut the loop by a mile. Yesterday's long run felt good and I wanted to make sure my legs would recover adequately. By the end of the loop I was beginning to feel pretty loose. Mission accomplished.

Total: 51:00 6.6 miles

Monday, August 17, 2009

"I Would Have Won..."

I missed my long run yesterday. I was going to take my losses and just start a new week, but instead, my wife suggested doing my long run today and just adjust the rest of the week. Thank you honey. The way I felt running today, I would have won the race. I don't know which race, but I would have won, that's how good I felt. (we've all had those rare days)

I grew up ten miles from Michigans largest state park, The Porcupine Mountains, and I have always wanted to say that I have run from my parents house to the top of Lake of the Clouds, which is the parks second highest point. After doing some quick math in my head and realizing that this could be a great day for the attempt I readied myself and down the highway I went until the trailhead appeared some thirteen miles and three miles into the park system. It's at this point where the trail takes a serious climb to the first peak, just a quick .7 miles up the trail. In years past I have guaged my fitness level with this climb, but never being thirteen miles into a run. The crest of the peak soon appeared with me breathing at a three to one ratio, and with me wondering if my lack of breakfast would soon be causing me to slow to a walk for the distance remaining. Not the case, as I quickly gained my breath back and the rest of the trail would greet me with sunshine peaks and shaded, hardwood valley's.

At the end I found my dad waiting at the end trailhead and I finally accomplished one small goal that has been collecting dust. Thirty nine years, and that just shows to never let the those childhood thoughts go too far in the memory bank.

Totals: 2:19:40 17.9 miles
(last 4 miles at 10:30 pace on escarpment trail)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Old Routes

Supposed to be a two hour run but turned into a Zero. Two back to back ten hour days in the sun lifting and torquing my body like I am not used to made this an easy decision.
Totals: 0 miles

Weeks Totals: 55 miles (six runs)
Years Totals: 1684.1 miles

I packed up the car and took the family back to the old stompin' grounds of White Pine. My father is putting up a storage building, aka. "pole barn", and I needed to lend a hand.
I wanted to get up early and get the run in before we had to start work so up at my usual time and I made my way through the outer streets of town, and completed one mile on the old high school track, that is near death, and made my way back to the homestead. The temperatures were high and humid so the effort took a toll on me. (I had plenty of 6:30's during the loop)

Totals: 1:02:49 9+ miles

The usual loop out on Woodland and home via Vermilion road. Nothing too important to discuss, just easy mileage. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it sure is getting dark in the morning, and the headlamp will be shining soon.

Total: 56:55 7.6 miles

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Advantage: Humidity

Once again the plan called for six miles at 'steady-state' with the total mileage near 10 or 11. Just like last week and the weeks prior I made my way to the quiet streets of Lakeside and hit my paces as best as I could. Steady state is an interesting level of stress. It's not quite "tempo" or "lactate" pace but damn near. For me the difference is about 15 seconds per mile.
With no complaining coming from my mouth, the humidity got the best of my efforts today. The last two miles of the up tempo segment are always a little slow because of the grade of the road and today's ending splits were quite a bit off, but no worries as I did manage to keep the HR up and at times I was pushing a bit too much based on effort. Even with the slow down at the end I am optimistic that the workout was successful.
Here is a breakdown:
2.5 mile warm up
6 miles 'steady-state' 5:34, 5:38, 5:41, 5:38, 5:53, 5:54
2 mile warm down (crawl)
HR's for steady state: 156-158 bpm

1:11:00 10.5 miles

I can now call this my staple mid-week recovery run. I have run the course several weeks now and I really like adding this loop to my week.
No special sightings or events, just easy running.

Total: 57:42 8 miles

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wascly Wabbits Everywhere

A beautiful sunrise over Lake Superior as I headed west on Skyline kept the skies glowing as I did my warm up prior to the fartlek intervals.
The plan was to do 10 X 1 min at 5K pace or just a bit faster. Accomplished, but leaving my legs a bit flat during the warm down. It may be the two day lag after the sixteen I did on Sunday, but it doesn't matter as long as I get some good recovery over the next twenty four hours.

Totals: 1:20:13 12 miles (1 min. fartleks)

Easy run up Woodland and home via Vermilion. Tons of rabbits at about a rate of one per quarter mile. Crazy... bring back the Owls!

Totals: 56:44 7.6 miles

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One Good Day

Boy was I glad I waited to run long until this morning. The sun was out, and the temps were up! I woke up, fueled up, laced up, and made my way for some roads.
Just before I left the house I threw a couple of dollars in the pocket of my shorts and that would prove to be a smart move on my part. As I neared seven miles into the run I was working quite the sweat and though I was feeling great, I was heading to the country roads and I knew I should plan ahead and get some fluids in me. I stopped at a small gas station and purchased a 20 oz. bottle of water and drank/carried it with me until it was empty, which was near the 8 + mile mark.
As I meandered through the country roads I slowly made my way towards our house and nailed a course for sixteen miles on the button! I felt great and the energy stores were barely tapped. That's a good feeling. I'm glad we had one good day this weekend, and I'm happy with the way this week fell in place.

Totals: 1:54:27 16 miles

Weeks Totals: 69.6 miles
Years Totals: 1629.4 miles

The weekend weather forecast was looking pretty bad, rain most days, but I was determined to get in a couple of nice runs for Sat and Sun.
I called around and most of the usual running partners had plans that they were implementing. I didn't know if I would be running long today but I made my way out to the trails of UMD and Chester Bowl and soon I knew that the long run would have to wait another day.
I did enjoy the trails but my legs just didn't have the fire I needed them to have in order to hit the 120 on the trails. (2 hours)
After a series of loops I made my way home and had no major excitement to report. No animals. Nothing.

Totals: 1:15:57 9.2 miles

It's beginning to look a lot like fall running. The mornings are getting dark again and if there is overcast the darkness remains until a little after 5:00. This morning was a mix of those conditions but I didn't care because it was Friday and an easy hour was on the plate. I'm to the point where I can get out of bed and sleep-run through one of these types of runs. (not really but they are becoming effortless and I like that)

Totals: 56:53 7.6 miles easy

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Keepin' It Steady

For the last three weeks I have been doing this steady state workout and adding an extra mile each week. This week was warm up, then add six miles of steady state in the middle and warm down.
I like to do this workout in Lakeside as it offers pretty even terrain and good surfaces to run on. The first mile was done on effort and I was on the slower side of the paces I like/need to run having hit a 5:45. The next two I would get warm up and hit splits of 5:39 and 5:31 respectively. I missed the mile split on the next I found the two mile split to be 11:21, and closed with a 5:42. For the last two miles or so I focused on HR not pace, as I don't want to go Red-Line just to hit a pace. If I maintain HR, within reason, I know the effort will be there and I will not give myself a negative effect with the workout. I kept HR 155-157 for the steady state miles.
Overall, I am satisfied with the way I felt and now can have a rest day tomorrow and prepare for the longer effort this weekend.

Totals: 1:12:56 11 miles

The early hills of my Wednesday loop make it easy to wake up. I have a steady grind for over a mile then it becomes flat for some time. As I mentioned last week, I am really liking this mid week loop as it offers some good ups and downhill running.
Nothing special, as my legs felt pretty decent and provided I get the rest I need I should be good for tomorrow's steady state workout.

Totals: 58:17 8 miles

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fresh Mornings

After a cemetery loop warm up I made my way to the UMD track and proceeded to do twelve laps with the 100 meter straights at 5K down to mile paces. (last week I screwed up this workout and did ten repeats, not ten laps) I am slowly beginning to believe that I will have some quickness in my legs some day soon as these workouts are starting to feel pretty good. No pains to report.
4 mile warm up, 3 miles repeats, 3 mile warm down.

Totals: 1:11:30 10.2 miles

After running yesterday evening I was wondering how the legs would feel this morning with less than twelve hours of time between. Both runs were easy and the morning miles went very well as I stuck to the roads and did my longer Vermilion road loop. Towards the end I saw one of these cross my path. This was a first for me during my morning runs. I saw them a lot living back in Michigan but I haven't seen many as of late.
My legs feel ready for tomorrow's quicker repeats.

Totals: 56:43 7.6 miles

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Low Volume, Good Quality

This was a close to a zero day as I could have. We packed up the Pod and made our way home just past mid day and arrived hungry. After unpacking the van and camper we made our way to the Duluth Grill, where I polished off a plate of hot roast beef sandwich with red mashed potato's. After that meal it was almost nap time and I had to give myself a good three hours before heading out the door. I mostly repeated what I did on Friday with a couple of small loops added. Trails were wet and muddy and I had a little rain squall keep me moist. Legs felt super again!

Totals: 52:52 6.2 miles

Weeks Totals: 52 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 1559.8 miles

I was supposed to run a "thirds progression" run on Sunday. We were heading out of town to go camping with the new R-Pod so I knew I had to get this run in before leaving or it most likely wouldn't happen. So up I rose at 5:00 am and hit the roads by 5:45 out on West Skyline.
The plan was to run the first thirty minutes easy as warm up phase, followed by an increase of just under 30 seconds per mile quicker, and finally the last third was at marathon pace. For me the paces were: 7:17, 6:37, 6:04 for the entire ninety minutes.
I was planning on running the last segment in 5:50's and many times I was, but with some of the crazy winds and hills kept the pace slower a bit. No worries as the effort was there and I didn't beat myself up.

Totals: 1:31:09 13.7 miles

Easy run in the woods after yesterday's steady state run. My legs are feeling really good and I am staying optimistic that some speed will return soon. As for this morning I ran in Rock Hill, Hartley (where I saw another skunk), and home via SHT.

Totals: 51:16 6 miles