Sunday, February 28, 2010

Miles In The Park

I made the trip out to Jeremy's house and we proceeded to pick up Chris and run a loop through Morgan Park and return on some side streets through the Norton Park neighborhood. Once we dropped Chris off at his house we made a loop through West Duluth to make up the total time.
Another great morning for weather. Clear skies and no wind. The morning started off in the mid-teens and warmed up to 34F by the time I got in my car. Weather like this makes you think spring is right around the corner but we know better than to think that way in northern Minnesota. We have at least one more dumping of snow if we have our 'typical' spring weather patterns.

I didn't feel the best this morning on the run but I managed to complete the time without any bonking or such. My energy was a bit low and my legs fatigued a bit more than I expected. A great way to wrap up a decent week.

Totals: 2:02:38 16.2 miles

Weeks Total: 58 miles (6 runs)
Years Total: 387.3 miles

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Swift In The Woods

It's the weekend I have missed a few days of postings. Here is the scoop on the rest of the week.

On Wednesday I made my way to the single track trails and looped for an hour or so. It gave me a chance to escape the winds and minus 0 temperatures. I forgot I had to work early so I made the loops a bit shorter and rounded out the morning just under an hour.

On Thursday I had to hit the treadmill since we received an inch of fresh snow last night and I had to do steady state running. After a warm up on the treadmill I started to work into the pace and I was feeling like garbage. At least my mind was telling me that. Once I evaluated how my legs and breathing were actually doing I realized I could complete the workout if I just let my mind go numb. That's what I did. "Free your mind, and the rest will follow..." I ended up having a super workout and totaled 11 miles for the morning.

Friday was one of my last scheduled days of rest. Oh how I love to get that extra hour of sleep! Soon I won't miss it and will be ramping up the volume.

This morning my lovely wife had her group run at 8 am and I ran after she got home. I hit the trails, of course, and will remain to do so until they are mush. An absolutely wonderful morning of single track trail running for 70 minutes. Lot's of dogs off leash. Keep them on the leash people!!

Wednesday: 50:00 6.3 miles

Thursday: 1:13:03 11 miles
2 mile warm up
7 Miles at steady state
2 mile warm down

Friday: 0 miles

Saturday: 1:10:10 8.7 miles (easy aerobic pace)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I've made reference to this in the past, but I am beginning to feel my fitness level jumping up a notch. Yesterday I felt like complete ass after Sunday's progression run but the recovery day did exactly what it was supposed to do. Recover.

This morning upon awakening I didn't know what to expect from my legs. Once I made the walk down to the basement I realized quickly that I would indeed be able to perform this mornings workout and not have to add another day of recovery. I looked outside and saw the windy conditions so that made my decision to run on the treadmill an easy one. After a 2.5 mile warm up I got into the workout. I did 10 X 400 meters at 5k pace followed by 200 meter rest and finished with 3 X 200 meters and a warm down. This workout was relatively easy as it was at 5k pace and not all out Vo2 pace. At this point it was a good feeling and my legs didn't take too bad of a beating. Tomorrow will be another nice easy day.

Totals: 1:03:30 ~ 8.5
10 X 400 meters at 5K (~5:18 pace)
3 X 200 meters at 5K pace

Monday, February 22, 2010

Easy Is Hard

I ran the single track in Hartley as my easy, recovery day and I felt every step. One of those days where you just never get to the point of comfort. I guess yesterday's run took a bit more out of me than expected. My legs were quite heavy and sore. It's a good thing the single track is fairly flat. One section of small, rolling climbs but the rest is easy running.
I kept the HR under 130 and the pace matched for trail running.
I'm glad I kept at it, and stretched a bunch after the run making things feel much better.

Totals: 59:49 7.1 miles
HR 127 8:23 pace trails

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Making The Most Of Superb Weather

The weather has been amazing in the northland compared to most February's of years past. We have had little sub-zero mornings as of late, we had a few early in the month, and most of the streets are beginning to have good running surfaces. I ran on the single-track in Hartley for my Saturday miles and that was amazing.

Friday was a day off. I am really enjoying these 'rest' days and they will only last for another week or two then it's back to seven days of running again. I was on my way home from work and my brother in law called me to see if I was going to the WILCO concert and I mentioned that I wasn't planning on it. A few phone calls later and I was making my way down to the auditorium for a fun-filled night. If you ever get the chance, go see them!!

Saturday I woke up and enjoyed the extra hours of sleep after last nights later than usual Friday night. Once Kari got home from her run I made my way out to the trails of Hartley and looped for just over an hour. I couldn't have asked for better running. Just amazing!!
The afternoon was occupied with taking pictures of some coworkers partaking in the Polar Bear Plunge to help benefit the Special Olympics. What a great time and just a little crazy...
To put an end to a great Saturday, Kari and I joined my work department with a night out at the Comedy Club for two comedians on tour. I love to laugh that hard and we are going to try to make it to more shows. If you are ever in Duluth, check out Dubh Linn's Pub on Superior Street.

Sunday I had my first longer effort that took a little thinking. I had to do my run as a "Thirds" breakdown run. The first thirty minutes is very casual conversation pace, then the middle thirty minutes is a bit quicker, still able to chat some, and the last thirty minutes is at or near marathon pace. Doing these early in the build-up is always a bit difficult as my "marathon pace" now doesn't match my pace I wish to use in June. I just increased the effort so I knew I could handle it for thirty minutes and yet have it hammer out the body a bit. I wasn't totally comfortable so I knew I wasn't going too easy. The weather was perfect once again, and I managed to hit a pretty decent workout to finish out the week.

Friday: 0 miles (rest day)

Saturday: 1:12:28 8.9 miles
single track Hartley

Sunday: 1:30:00 13.6 miles (step-down pace run)
30:00 7:25 pace
30:00 6:49 pace
30:00 6:03 pace

Weeks Totals: 54.2 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 329.5 miles

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Increase Temperature

I'm not speaking of the outside temps. I am referring to the difference of running indoors on the treadmill. I made reference to this last week after my treadmill outings and I continue to be amazed in the difference of running on the treadmill at a temperature of 66F. I need to get a fan and that may help keep me a little cooler.

Wednesday I made my way on to the trails in Hartley. After the snow we received on Sunday and Monday I figured that there would be a fair amount of foot traffic to help firm it up. I was correct on that assumption as the trails were decent but far from the condition pre-snow on Saturday. I looped a total of two times and felt super doing it.

This morning was my second "steady-state" style run and I continue to struggle in finding the right pace/rhythm. I figured I had it this morning but a little GI distress ruined my 3rd and part of my 4th mile. I managed to salvage a decent run and with the warm up and warm down had good morning of running. In one weeks time that style of workout went so much better I can only remain optimistic about future workouts of that style. Tomorrow I get a rest day and I think I will take it. My legs were a bit tired today at work and I am looking forward to the extra hour of sleep.

Wednesday: 1:00:00 7.2 miles

Thursday: 1:09:00 10 miles
5 mile steady state in middle
5:58, 5:53, 5:55, 5:56, 5:58

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Take On The Elements

Living in the northland can provide many opportunities for outdoor fitness enthusiasts. The trouble is, I am a runner first, then I begin to dabble in many other activities but none provide the "burn" I desire. On Monday I had the opportunity to go out and snowshoe in some fresh "pow", as the ski bums call it, but I laced up the running shoes, attached my Yak Traks and made my way out on the snowy streets.

Monday's run felt decent despite the weather and streets terrible conditions. I attempted to run away from town on a rural roadway but it offered no better traction. Too much for the Yak's. I would have hated to try without them. Into the headwind for twenty-five minutes and back made my Monday's run. I fell a bit short on running time but at that point I was just happy to get a run logged.

This morning I was going to hit the treadmill for my hour plus run with some added short 'uptempo' segments added but the way I was feeling I just didn't have it in me to lace up and hit the treadmill. That and fully knowing that there was clear pavement on Skyline made the decision an easy one. What I wasn't prepared for and found out as soon as I gazed out the back window was the horrific winds! I am not sure what the gusts were but they were enough to put a thought into your head of not wanting to run outside. It was a good thing my wife woke up and hit the treadmill before I could change my mind and that made my decision an easy one.

It wasn't as bad as it looked and in the end I am very happy I hit the roads. I found a nice flat, dry section of roadway to do my 6 X 300 meter repeats. I followed them with 100 meter recovery and ran at an effort of around 5k pace. (5:15-5:20 pace for now) These types of runs are really starting to feel good when I do them. (I like that they are progressing in the right fashion) Again, I fell a bit short on total time, but with the wind conditions I had all I could do just to get home and warm up. So far a great start to the new week. Tomorrow is hump day!!

Monday: 50:30 6 miles easy in snow

Tuesday: 1:02:00 8.5 miles
6 X 300 meters at 5K pace, 100 meter rest

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Long and Sweet

After having a few horrible weeks of long efforts I finally had a good one today. After yesterday's run I was a bit worried about having two good days in a row. Well, I managed to do that and made the 2 hour effort worth while.
Our group 5 strong ran out from Jeremy's to Gary-Duluth and over the Oliver bridge to WI and made the turn at one hour. It was nice to have pavement for most of the duration and the lower pace showed the advantage. It's always nice when you can make it two hours and have to hold back from running too hard. Sweet Jesus!! A super way to end the week.
We got more snow today so the trails will be shit again for a few days. I may venture in a little tomorrow morning just to check them out.

Totals: 2:00:00 16 miles

Weeks Totals: 56 miles (6 runs)
Years Totals: 275.3 miles

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Trails Worth Mentioning

Today's run was amazing. Everything was working for me. Good energy, muscles, mindset, and overall Chi. The run took me to the single track of Hartley and they didn't disappoint. Since our last light snowfall the traffic has been heavy and the trails are now packed tight. I managed to loop some shorter segments for 70 minutes without missing a beat. NB 790's with Yaktrak's were my equipment of choice. I can't say it enough, what a gorgeous day!!

Yesterday was a scheduled day off and I took advantage of it by gaining an extra hour + of sleep. That along with some rested legs probably contributed to today's overall positive vibe. The day of rest was welcomed.

Thursday I hit the treadmill early for my 'uptempo' workout. These types of workouts are not killers at any stretch, but they offer a good break in the monotony of base phase and start to introduce your legs to the quicker stuff yet to come. After a 2.5 mile warm up I did 4 miles at 5:52-5:56 pace and finished with another 2.5 miles of warm down. My easy miles are no faster than 8 mph. For now that is the rule, no mater how good I feel. (one positive of the treadmill)
The treadmill run was good, but I did feel the effects of running indoors at a much warmer temp than I am used to. (66-68 F)

Thursday: 1:02:10 9 miles
2.5 mile warm up
5:53, 5:50, 5:56, 5:59 miles
2.5 mile warm down

Friday: 0 miles (great rest)

Saturday: 1:10:20 8.5 miles
(easy running on single track)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mix of Trails

After the snow we received early this week I was a bit apprehensive to hit the trails but I did anyway. They were fair at best. Once I got to the other end of the park I exited and ran roads the rest of the loop home. The easy pace was nothing special and I feel like my legs are making the next jump in fitness.
Cold temperatures again as the mercury struggled to stay in the positive side. (+1F)

Total: 56:00 ~6.5 miles

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Take A Break

Monday was a very easy day as I was still a bit tired from the long effort on Saturday. One problem I had was choosing the wrong grip mechanism. ( only people in the north could understand that statement) I wore a pair of Get A Grips and they were useless with the amount of snow on the back roads of Woodland.

This morning I took a break from the snow and ran on the treadmill. Oh what a feeling! I can't believe how good a that felt to have grip and to be able to stride out without the fear of ripping a hip flexor.
I did a four mile warm up and then proceeded to work into the 8 X 200 meter at 5K pace workout. At this point in the training cycle it feels very good to do some easy up-tempo work and it allows for my legs to break the monotony of the easy runs. Overall a very good run. I ended with a three mile warm down.

Monday: 53:30 6.6 miles

Tuesday: 1:05:00 9 miles ( 8 X 200 meters, 200 meter jog)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Finish Strong

After the brief virus that took a chunk out of my week I returned Friday and had a decent weekend of running.

Sunday's are usually reserved for my long run but when I got a text from an old running partner that has since moved out of Duluth (we were a mere 5 minute jog from one another before) I had to make an exception and go join him for what sounded like very appealing running terrain. The loop was excellent but the footing was less than ideal. We both had Yaktraks on and I managed to end the run feeling quite sore in the hamstrings and glutes. The pace was just a bit faster than my past three weeks of running long and that probably had come into play as well. The good news was I made the loop and really had no pains to report, just plain ol' tired. I'm ok with that.

I had entertained the idea of doubling back this morning and doing another two hours but after waking up reality set in and I knew I would be happy with the usual post-long run easy day. The trails of Hartley were calling my name and I was thankful they were in decent shape. Yaks suited the trails nicely and I just ran slow for a hour. A really great way to get the legs moving after a longer effort. This made for the closing miles of the week which, like I stated earlier I was very pleased with.

Saturday: 2:08:00 17.2 miles (7:29 pace)

Sunday: 59:58 ?~7 miles

Weeks Totals: 46 miles (5 runs)
Years Totals: 219.7 miles

Friday, February 5, 2010

Slip Sliding Away

This mornings temperatures were just at that point where it makes running a tad annoying. We were getting a light dusting of snow, along with temps near 30F, that made striding out near impossible. There were a few rare patches that didn't have any traffic yet and those stretches were decent. Oh well, I just kept the pace easy and made sure I didn't pull any major muscles and was happy with the upper Woodland loop.

No running yesterday morning as the stomach was still feeling a bit queezed from the virus I had on Wednesday. Two days off this week. Damn.

Thursday: 0 miles

Friday: 52:16 6.5 miles easy running

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beargrease Results

*Nathan at the start heading North.

Congratulations to Nathan Schroeder on his Victory!
Second place: Jason Barron
Third place: Denis Tremblay

Down For The Count

I was so excited to get this week under way and I managed to get some good rest going into Monday mornings recovery run, which is always a bonus. I felt quite well and had to ease off the pace several times to keep things at a snail pace. (the purpose of the run) I wore a new pair of Get a Grips and that helped a ton for the extra traction on the ice paths.

Tuesday I woke up a bit tired and eased into the run with three miles of 7:45 pace running. After that I did a series of "bursts" that looked like this. Twenty seconds on at or near 5k pace followed by forty seconds easy running. I repeated that sequence 16 times and was really feeling good at the end. I always enjoy this type of workout in the middle miles as it leaves my legs feeling fresh and frisky.

It sure has been cold again. Both Monday and Tuesday had the mercury in the negatives, without the windchill! The one bonus of temperatures in that range is the footing is usually very good as long as there is snow to grab.

Yesterday at work, just after lunch, I got this terrible abdominal cramping that never let go. I hammered four or five Tums with no relief. Once I got home I broke into shivers and I'm sure I was running a high fever. Two pair of pants, wool socks, North Face slippers, one long sleeve shirt under a hoodie, a winter hat and tucked under a comforter was the scene that lasted near 7:00 pm then the fever broke. YUK! My stomach continued and remains to be queezed. No work today, and no running today. What a bummer to be less than one week into a program and I am forced to take time off. I guess it's better now then in May or June. Here's to a better night.

Monday: 56:30 ~7 miles

Tuesday: 1:03:00 ~9 miles (16 X 20 seconds at 5k pace)

Wednesday: 0 miles