Thursday, April 29, 2010


Wednesday: A very brisk morning with temps in the upper 20's. I had to dig out the old winter jacket again since I would be running easy and slower than usual. The Kenwood, Skyline route would get the job done as my legs just felt like lead. Not too sure why. One of those days I guess. Once I got back home I released the dog and ran with him for a mile just get him out and exercise.

1:06:00 8.4 miles

The plan was to do 8-10 repeats in an effort to get the YASSO workout completed. This workout has me psyched out. It is not an easy workout by any means. Very mental. You have to talk yourself into the fact that you can indeed run the redline. Things were going very well until I felt an upper hamstring/lower glute muscle give a pull. I attempted two more repeats then called it a morning at 7 repeats. The wind was gusting as it always seems to do on track mornings but I was happy to do what I did.

26:16 warm up
7X800 meters
20:27 warm down trails

Total: 1:19:20 ~11 miles

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Great To Be 40!

My birthday morning run went super. I really don't feel any different and it was just another great Monday morning run. My legs felt fresh from the easy weekend of running and extra time off last week. This week to come will be a difficult one and rest will be key.
My lovely wife and I made our way to Tofte to eat at the Coho Cafe and found it closed for a couple of days for remodeling or something? We just jumped over to the Grille at Bluefin and had a wonderful lunch and dessert and made our way back to Duluth while hitting some campgrounds and scouting out our spots for the summer season. I can't wait for those weekends. The beauty of camping on the North Shore is the Superior Hiking Trail is literally steps from the camping sites. I will be a great summer!

Totals: 1:00:40 8 miles

This morning I ran out west on Skyline and proceeded to warm up and warm down for thirty minutes along with a middle section of 20 X 20 seconds at sub-5K pace. Many of them were at 4:50 pace and they felt wonderful. It is beginning to feel like I am getting a little snap back in the legs. Lets hope.
I love this time of year. The sunrise over Lake Superior this morning was one for the record books. Hard to believe this is right out my front door. Life is grand.

Total: 1:19:00 11.4 miles
20 X 20 seconds repeats
30 min warm up/down

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rest Times Two

I managed to get in one hell of a trail run on Saturday. The trails of Rock Hill and Hartley were calling my name and I ran every step within those two parks. It sure was one of those memorable days in the woods that could have gone on for hours. Kind of scary trail conditions. They are completely dry! It's not May yet. These trails are often still wet come June. I hope some rain shows up soon or a lot of people that depend on waterways for their season may be in trouble.
Total: 1:30:00 10 miles

No running. I was LAZY. No other excuses. I stayed up super late partying like a 'pretend' rock star and paid the price. Sometimes you got to do what you got to do. I guess I will chalk it up to a super good rest week. Here's to a better week and put all the energy towards the next six weeks.
0 miles

*2 days off this week

Weeks Total: 47 miles
Years Totals: 885.1 miles

Friday, April 23, 2010

No GIG For Me

Yesterday I woke as usual and made the plop on the futon downstairs. I watched about 1 minute of TV at 4:45 am and made the quick and safe decision to turn off the lights and go back to bed. The overall 'mental' fatigue I was feeling was not worth the fight. My legs felt fine, and in fact I was thinking I was going to be able to have a good workout given how peppy they felt. The trouble was, I really needed to sleep. This past week I had my share of personal mental stress and it was wearing on me. Fine! Back to sleep I went and woke up some 90 minutes later. After a quick shower I was feeling so refreshed and amazing that I knew I made the smart decision to stay off the streets.
Total: 0 miles (extra 90 min. sleep)

This morning I went out to Woodland and home via Vermilion before clicking off 6 X 100 meter striders at 4:50 pace on UMD's track. After the first few I was really starting to feel fluid. That's a good thing. With that said, I decided last night that I will NOT make the trip to the 2010 Get In Gear 10K. I am bummed as I really like that race. Probably one of my favorites I have EVER run. It's that good. Well, I am not going to beat myself up about it and will try to get as sharp as possible for my Masters debut at the TC 1 mile in a few weeks. I won't be all that fast, but I am hoping for a solid placement.

Total: 1:04:00 9 miles
6 X 100 meter striders at 4:50 pace

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wind Shifts

The old saying, "cooler by the lake" are holding true. On Tuesday the temps crashed from 70's to upper 40's in less than an hour after the winds shifted and blew off the lake. The run this morning was very familiar to those of February.

Monday I managed to feel pretty good and did the usual hour loop up Woodland. No frills and no pains to really worry about. Legs felt fair.

Total: 1:00:26 8 miles

Tuesday I did my repeats as another Fartlek just to avoid the track. I am not too sure it was the track that flared up the Achilles a couple of weeks ago, but it is feeling decent now and don't want to mess it up again. So, the workout consisted of 8 minutes repeats at Med-Hard effort. I usually equate that to near 1/2 marathon pace or a bit slower. The workout ended with 3 X 30 bursts to get some extra leg turnover after being fatigued by the longer repeats. I felt really good and I continue to be amazed that the quicker I run the better I feel. (I do realize I can't do that every day, but it feels good to "feel good".

Total: 25 min warm up
#1: 8:00 min at 5:39/mi pace
#2: 8:00 min at 5:40/mi pace
#3: 8:00 min at 5:31/mi pace
3x30 seconds burst at 4:30 pace
29 min warm down

1:23:35 12.5 miles

This morning was a cold one. Low 30's with a pretty decent wind chill. I did the Kenwood/Rice Lake Road loop. Felt really good and managed to keep a pretty decent pace a very low HR. I like the looks of that.

Total: 59:18 8.1 miles
HR: 130 7:20 pace

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Bong

No, not in the weed sense. The Bong Bridge. That was the chosen course for our long run this morning under yet another beautiful sunny morning. A quick trip to Superior and a loop through Billings Park and back made up most of our mileage before adding a little time on the western waterfront trail.

My legs felt very good until about 100 minutes into the run then yesterday's 5K muscles took a beating once again. It sure was nice to get in the mileage. I am looking forward to my easy Monday morning jaunt up to Martin road.

Total: 2:00:00 16 miles

Weeks Total: 69 miles
Years Total: 838.6 miles

Saturday, April 17, 2010

True Sign Of Spring

We have all seen it. The weather has been nothing less from amazing. In Duluth, there were 'trace' amounts of snow during the month of March. That's the lowest on record. April has produced nothing and it will NOT. Spring is here people and today was living proof that better days are ahead.

Yesterday I ran a shorter loop under hellacious winds. Gusts over 35 mph. Good thing I didn't have to perform any serious workouts, it sure would have been frustrating. The morning called for easy mileage and that is what I did.

Total: 41:00 5.5 miles

This morning was Fitgers 5K. What a day. One of the best I have ever witnessed. Upon awakening the winds were calm. Near nothing. By race time they picked up and were mostly a cross wind. Funny though, with the buildings downtown it swirls and seems to be a headwind every year on the return trip to the finish at the Pickwick.

I didn't know what to expect and had all the intentions to wear my Garmin for pace control but once I was getting out of my vehicle I realized I left it home. No big deal, I would fall in the pack and try not to go out too hard. (the first mile of Fitgers is down hill and fast!) The first two runners took it out and that left myself and three or four others to chase. We hit the mile in 5:03! Oops, there goes the conservative pace. Funny thing was I felt super and immediately changed mindset and told myself it was a good thing to go out fast and bank a little time as the return trip would be challenging. Mile two was passed in 10:23. Still not too bad and I was looking to maintain pace into the uphill, windy mile to come. Not to be. I stitched at 2.25 miles and had to work that out before loading up my gusto for the last half mile push. I finished strong and managed to get the old bones over the finish line in 3rd overall and first in the 'near' old man age-group. Finish time: 16:28. A person always wants faster times and I was looking for something under 16:20. I was close and will not complain. Off to Minneapolis next weekend for the Get in Gear 10K.

Totals: ~ 10 miles total for the morning.
16:28 5K (9 seconds faster than last year)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Foggy Morn

Yesterday I managed to feel very good after the windy run on Tuesday morning. I added a little mileage to the loop by making my way out to Rice Lake Rd. I have avoided that part of the loop since they repainted the lanes and messed up the pedestrian lane. It's actually very dangerous to run on that section since the cars don't really watch out for runners, but I managed to skip my way down the road without incident. I finished the last three miles with Jen Houck who is off to run her second marathon in Boston on Monday. She looks and feels confident about her race. Good luck!

Total: 1:01:00 8.2 miles

This morning was foggy and warm. I didn't have a real workout planned for today, just mileage with a few striders to wake up the legs. Out and back on West Skyline was the route of choice and man did my legs feel like shit! Not too sure why. Maybe just one of those days? For the rest of the day I will concentrate on fluids and getting in some good nutrition and see if that helps.
Skunks are out at full force, as the entire out and back had odors of skunk stink. Yuk!

Total: 1:13:20 10.5 miles
8 X 30 second stiders at 5K

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Workout By Effort

Upon awakening this morning I could hear the howl of the winds. I never saw an official wind gust report but they were blowing. If today would have been Grandma's marathon the course records would have been long gone. I've mentioned this for years and the pattern of the winds stay the same. Strong winds out of the NE, ie: tailwind on Grandma's point to point course, then sometime in early June they begin to shift out of the West. It's just not right!

Once I got moving on my warm up I realized that the track would be frustrating as I'm sure the splits would be way off, so I hit the roads and turned the workout into an effort-based fartlek. I didn't look at my watch at all during the repeats and only monitored for time of interval. I managed to run 2 1/2 repeats into the wind and the remainder with the tailwind. My legs felt great and any doubts I had yesterday of running hard were out the window. Overall with the tough conditions I was very pleased with the results.

Here is a breakdown of the morning:
warm up for 3 miles
5 X 4 minutes with 90 sec. rest
4:00 5:42 pace into wind
4:00 5:45 pace into wind
4:00 5:30 pace 1/2 of each
4:00 5:20 pace with wind
4:00 5:22 pace with wind
warm down ~30 minutes

Total: 1:18:00 11 miles

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ready To Rock? Maybe

After yesterday's progression run I was thinking I would be fresh and frisky and ready to run a bit longer this morning. Wrong. First off, it was a Monday. Second, that type of run takes a bit more out of a body than I gave it credit for. I stuck to the easy hour loop through the Woodland streets and home via Vermilion road. My legs did freshen up a bit by the end of the run but it lead me to think that this weekends 5K will come at a cost. Do I just train right up to the race and be forced to run on heavy, dead legs or do I run smart and take a mini taper with Thursday and Friday's mileage. Since I wont really gain anything from tapering, maybe a few seconds, I have decided to train up and give er hell come Saturday morning. I would like to say I am a bit ahead of myself from last year at this time but who knows. 1 K repeats tomorrow morning.

Total: 1:01:37 8 miles

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ripple in Training. All is Good.

A quick recap of the rest of the week.

Wednesday was the usual easy mileage up Kenwood and Skyline. Felt good. No issues to complain of except a little twinge in the left achilles. What up?
Total: 59:07 8 miles

Thursday I woke up with the left achilles a bit tight and I had hill repeats on the schedule. Not the best workout to perform with a bum achilles. Best to rest. My plan was to do an hour of easy mileage but that busted and I took a zero for the morning. Probably good to let the achilles rest some anyway.
Off to Bon Jovi tonight!!
Total: 0

Friday I woke up after being up for near 22 hours yesterday and I took our son to preschool and then hit the roads for my run. I did this on measly 4 hours of sleep. Out and back on Skyline. I actually felt really good.
Totals: 1:32:30 13 miles

Saturday was a trail run with my wife in the Porkies back at my parents house. A nice easy run. Sure was great to run with Kari.
Total: 1:05:00 7 miles

Sunday was my progression run. I ran 30, 30, 30 with cut-down pace. Felt really good.
Paces: 30 minutes: 7:39 pace
30 minutes: 6:49 pace
30 minutes: 5:56 pace
Total:1:31:45 13.6 miles

Weeks Total: 60 miles
Years Total: 769.4 miles

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

5K Pace Work

Monday was the usual easy mileage up Woodland and home via Vermilion road. I felt very content running my 8:00's throughout the whole loop. Once I get into that pace things just click and I feel the "recovery" happening as the miles go by.
Another beautiful morning in Duluth.

Total: 1:05:00 8 miles

This morning was back to UMD's track to get in some 5K pace work. The workout was 8-10 400's at 5K pace and 3 X 200 meter to finish it out.
I did 9 X 400 meters. Average: 76 seconds
Ended with 2 X 200 at 33 seconds
Warm and warm down completed the day.
I was surprised to have me legs feel as fluid as they did. There were a couple of repeats where I had to hold back to keep the pace down. (that's always a good feeling!)
My 'gerd' got the best of me on the warm up and I almost had to scrap the entire morning, but magically it settled down after the first repeat. Interesting.

Total: 10 miles

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Partnership Is Nice

The daily grind of running takes me out the door in the early morning hours during the weekdays. I can't (and don't blame) coerce any other runners to join me for some reason. (It's only 5am!) So, to have some running partners on my Sat and Sun runs sure is a nice change. I had the pleasure of having a running companion two days in a row with Tony S. joining me for a bit over 15 miles this morning. I made the attempt to run some prior to him joining me and thus only had to add a mere 1.5 miles at the end to get my mileage.

We did a rolling hills outer Woodland, rural route that took us out to West Tischer and returning to the city limits via Hawks Ridge. We both were feeling decent and the time went bye without too many hitches. I was happy to get in another good long weekend of running. Next weekend will be the progression run of shorter distance.

Totals: 2:31:24 20 miles (7:34 average)

Weeks Total: 74 miles
Years Total: 709.4 miles

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mix Terrain

Yesterday morning was a tough one for me. I had sat on the futon downstairs approaching 45 minutes before I decided to drag my carcass outside to run a bit. I was just plain ol' tired. No reals aches or pains. Just tired. I managed to get in the loop out to Martin road and back via a small loop on UMD. Glad I made it out.

1:00:40 8 miles

This morning I was joined by Erik K and that was a nice surprise to have him around the area again. We ran from his house and linked some trail systems before making the return trip via asphalt. Some of the trails are decent and others are still a mess. My legs felt good and this little nagging right, medial knee discomfort was mostly gone today. I self massaged it yesterday and caused it to let go of some tension it was causing me. I'll have to closely monitor that one.

1:22:00 9.7 miles

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Denny Dr

Under near full moon light I ran my mid week easy run after Tuesday's uptempo workout. The miles clicked bye and my legs felt very good. I overdressed a few layers as I failed to see the morning temperatures at 50F! Oops.

1:00:00 8.2 miles

This morning I had the pleasure of hitting some hills that were steep! After a decent warm up I settled on running Denny Dr. I am so terrible at estimating inclines but this hill is steep. This is my third week of hill repeats and I am starting to feel some strength being built. The repeats felt as good as hill repeats can feel. You know the feeling of burning quads, lungs and a heartbeat that feels like it is going to beat right out of your chest! Yep, that was how I felt. The repeats were 7 X 40 seconds uphill and a jog down, then repeat.
I finished with a nice warm down in the Hunters Park neighborhood.

1:11:15 9.4 miles