Monday, October 31, 2011

Two Week Recap- Running By Time

It's been over two weeks since the WhistleStop 1/2 Marathon and I have recovered much better than I thought I would. I took most of the week following the race off but resumed some easy running the next week and have been running by time only. I really like this time of year and base phase for the most part by running solely by time. It's really easy to get caught up in mileage and really, after all the years I have been at this running gig, I do know how much mileage I am running by a very good educated guess. What's most important at this point in the year is to get in some consistent miles and enjoy them. I can say I have been allowing myself to perform those qualities in my training and will soon follow a more structured plan.

Not a lot has happened in the last two weeks but the highlight of the time gap had to have been my run last Sunday. I couldn't hook up with any partners so I took after that one solo. I would decide on a trail that I had dabbled on a while back and was very fortunate to nail a remarkable day! The run would start at the Parking lot west of Ely's Peak and I would work my way in a southwesterly direction back towards Jay Cooke. The trail was dry, and slightly covered with leaves. I was a bit worried in regards to the trails coverage but it really wasn't an issue as I didn't twist any ankles or take any falls for the 80 minutes of running I did.

Here is the catch up for the two weeks. I plan to run 6-7 times a week and eventually work my way up to 10-11 runs a week with one mid week longer run and one weekend long effort. If the weather cooperates this may happen by early December. If not that will definitely be the goal heading into the new year.

Week 17th-23rd:
Monday: 0 miles
Tues: 31:00   ~4 miles
Wed: 0 miles
Thurs: 0 miles
Friday: 32:00  ~4 miles
Saturday: 0 miles
Sunday: 54:00  ~6.5 miles
*~ 15 miles running (recovery post 1/2 marathon)

Week 24th-30th
Mon: 43:42  ~5.5 miles
Tues: 0 miles
Wed: 52:55 ~7 miles
Thurs: 53:10  ~7 miles
Fri:  55:00  ~7 miles
Sat: 53:35  ~6.5 miles
Sun: 1:18:52  SHT  ~9 miles
*~42 miles

Weeks Total: 57 miles (2 weeks)
Years Total: 1842.6 miles

Monday, October 17, 2011

WhistleStop 1/2 Marathon.

So I did some calculating and I was ready for the WS 1/2 marathon. I had been asked several times during the week "how fast you gonna run?". To them I responded, "not too sure, just want to run a solid run." I'd have to be honest and say I really wanted to run well and have a shot at the win. My buddy Dave H was the clear favorite in my eyes and I was willing to give him company right to the wire if I could.  Long story short, it wasn't his day and we had a "spoiler" enter the race at the last moment.

Ben Cogger, a super athlete from Washburn had won the race last year and I couldn't scratch up any running results on him since. So, I figured he would be a no-show, thus giving Dave and I a good shot at the win! Not the case.

As the gun sounded we made our way out to the mile mark right smack into a headwind. That would be covered just under 6 minutes and I was quite happy with the slow pace as I used it as a nice warm up. It was at this point where Ben would make move number one and press miles 2  and 3. He set up a nice lead but well in sight. I fully had the confidence that I or Dave would eventually reel him in and have a race for the last 5K or so. It wasn't long after this point where Dave had some issues and I decided to make a press for a few miles to see if I could chip away at the lead. I would run about 5 consecutive negative split miles in chase but narrowed the lead by a mear 10 seconds, to be trailing by 20 or so.

I so wanted to throw in a couple of 5:10  miles and just catch up but it wasn't in my legs. It was in my head but not a reality this time...

I managed to chip some time I had lost in the 10 th mile during the last two miles but not enough to make a difference. I closed the last mile as my second fastest of the day and I was happy with that.

I ended the morning with a second place finish overall with a time of 1:14:48, thirty-two seconds behind the victory!

Here are my splits for those that like that kind of stuff:
5:53,5:49,5:42,5:43,5:37,5:36,5:34,5:38,5:37,5:42,5:48,5:43,5:35, 0:49

I am happy with how things panned out. Looking back I ran a lot of 45ish mile weeks building up to this and most of it was quality work. Just shows what you can do on very little volume with some quality and smart thinking. I really listened to my body over the last 5 or 6 weeks and let things happen the way I felt. I know I can run much faster but with what I had to work with I am content.

Now it's time to rest a bit then hit up the miles for winter base-phase.

Weeks Total: 35.5 miles
Years Total: 1785.6 miles

Friday, October 14, 2011

Race Week

Last weeks training went quite well and I had good feelings heading into this final week of preparation. I wasn't planning any type of taper and fully planned to run right up to race day. The week started with a nice recovery style run up Woodland to Martin road and home via the Vermilion road and UMD. I remember feeling really good. Legs light and flowing.

Tuesday I hit the trails for some easy miles then hit the walkways of UMD for some "pickups" to stretch out the legs and hips. That too felt good. My achilles was now near pain-free. What the heck? How did that happen?

Wednesday I ran out Skyline and decided on some "race-pace" type running just so my legs wouldn't get stale. The morning moonlight was great and I settled in a 3 X 4min at 5:50 pace for the pick ups. Decent but not stellar. My legs and achilles remained intact and that is all I needed.

Thursday and Friday turned into 0 days as I just made the decision to give it a try.

Week thus Far:

Monday: 1:01:58   8.1 miles

Tuesday: 45:49  5.5 miles

Wednesday:  1:00:59   8.8 miles 3 X 4 minutes at 5:50 pace

Thurs/Friday: 0 miles

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tardy Postings

First off, I need to play catch up with some running over the last week and a half.
The last I wrote I was heading into the weekend prior to race week and then I was going to see how things felt and tweak for the final days before the WhistleStop 1/2 half marathon.

I took off Thursday and chalked it up to a rest day.

On Friday the 7th I ran up Woodland and did a quick adjustment and decided to run a 4 X 4 minute at 10K pace, or just about 10k pace. It looked like this: 5:23, 5:32, 5:21, 5:18 paces respectively. I then ended with 2 X 1 min at 4:46 and 4:37 paces. I ended feeling really good and the feet/legs were really responding that morning.

Saturday the 8th I woke up early to get in my medium long run before my wife and before we hit the road for the Bayfield Applefest. I ran trails down to Lakeside and roads back home. I didn't feel spectacular but it was a decent run.

Sunday was another rest day so I took it off and walked a lot at the Apple fest.

Here is how the week ended with volume.

o miles

1:03:00  9.6 miles 4 X 4 min, 2 x 1 min.

1:34:24    12.2 miles

0 miles

Weeks Total: 46.4 miles   (5 days)
Years Total: 1750.1 miles

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Recovery Week and Move On

The extra "faster" running from last weekend left me a bit fatigued and I used the early days this week to make sure I was recovered. Monday was just that as I did an easy road loop. Tuesday was my trail run/umd sidewalk fartlek run. Wednesday was a  nice out and back on Skyline and I was going to attempt to run some faster miles but it just wasn't in the cards.

1:01:50   8 miles

45:43   5.7 miles (trails/striders on roads)

1:12:09   10.4 miles (skyline)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Adding Workouts

To end this past week I added a workout, or two, and finally began to see a dim light at the end of a very long tunnel. I am referring to finally getting to the point in training where I can feel myself making a little progress towards some fitness. For some reason this return to everyday training has taken me through some rather long "rough patches". I'm glad things are starting to improve, albeit slightly, but I will take it.

On Friday morning I woke and had it in my head I as going to do some faster intervals during my route of unknown. I quickly decided on running up Woodland for the warm up and slowly work into a series of 3 minute intervals. After the 2.5 mile warm up I ended up doing 6 X 3 minutes at ~525-5:30 pace. I actually felt really good during this farlek workout and was pleased with the effort.

Saturday came and I had made plans to run with Dave H. He and I met at the Rose Garden and ran to Park Point where we slowly decided to work into an "uptempo" of unknown effort. Neither one of us felt that zippy to start but slowly worked into the run and ended up  finishing at 5:35 pace. I felt good, but remained concerned about the possibility of "racing" a half marathon in two weeks. The last thing I want to do is go do that race and have it destroy all the work I have done in the last month or so. So... it remains to be a last minute decision.

Sunday was another gorgeous day in Duluth. I hit the trails from our house and ended up running for just over an hour really easy. A super run. (wore he Universe and achilles felt great!)

Here are the details:

Woodland Fartleks
6 X 3 min  *5:33, 5:32, 5:18, 5:23, 5:36, 5:36
Total: 1:02:07   9.1 miles

Park Point progression run with dave
middle 6 miles: 6:15, 5:56, 5:51, 5:38, 5:42, 5:40
Total: 1:19:31   11.7 miles

Hartley trails in Universe.
Total: 1:01:45   7 miles

Weeks Total: 42 miles
Years Total: 1703.7 miles

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Week- Progress

I have been posting about some persistent aches and pains that have ailed me since July. The main issue to keep at bay is a little tendonopathy in the achilles. It seems to wax and wane but for the most part I can run without any discomfort. In the process of all this I am working my way down to more minimal shoes, as I have been running in the Brooks Launch for a couple of years now I think I may be on my last pair. Mostly because I'm not too sure if they are going to make them anymore and more importantly I am looking forward to the Brooks Pure Connect. I'm not too sure how they feel and I am hopeful they will be a match for my feet. I also enjoy the Saucony Kinvara and they will definitely work if the Brooks fail.

With the change to a lesser shoe my form and stride have shifted a bit and that has been working some new muscles a bit more than in the past. I hope this transition remains to go smoothly so I can ramp up the volume and get ready for a strong base phase later this fall and winter.

This week has been one of small progress but progress none-the-less. I did't get out on Monday morning because I forgot to set my alarm and woke up 45 minutes too late. I chalked it as a great day of rest. The rest of the week has been going well and I hope to carry the momentum into the weekend and have a decent longer effort on Sunday.

Here is how the week has gone thus far:

0 miles  *no alarm clock

out and back on Skyline
10 miles with 5 miles at steady state 1:07:00

Kenwood loop to UMD
53:28  7.4 miles

Windy as hell and hit the woods with double headlamps
44:54  5.6 miles

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Persistent Aches

I managed to get out the door most days this week and even had the opportunity to run an evening run on Friday with my lovely wife. I really struggled to get up on Friday morning so it was a pleasant surprise to get out in the evening and hit some single track with her.

Waking up on Saturday had me in a spin. Literally! I woke up and was going to hit the trails and roadways for an easy hour before my wife and Lucas woke up. I worked my way downstairs only to find myself spinning in me head. I was so dizzy I had to lay back down and close my eyes on the couch just to keep things at bay. It wasn't too much longer and my son was trying to show me his loose tooth and when I looked up at him I saw three of him so I decided it was best just to stay where I was for a bit. I ended sleeping/resting on the couch in darkness for near two hours before working on getting vertical. I finally made it up and about but going for a run, especially on the trails, just wasn't in the cards.

I continue to have a series of aches and pains involving the achilles and right psoas muscles. Doing the stretches keeps things at bay but I am not really progressing with the volume and workouts like I had planned. I hope to nail down (2) workouts this week. Keeping the fingers crossed...

Here is how the week unfolded.

Out to Woodland, Martin road and home via Vermillion/Umd.
1:01:40   8 miles

A mix of trails and UMD sidewalks at end for some uptempo running.
46:19   5.9 miles (6 X 100 meter striders)

Too sleepy in a.m. Ran with Kari after work for a nice loop in Hartley.
55:00   6 miles/trails

NO running 0 miles

Out west with the boys. A series of loops to get in the time.
1:46:30   13.6 miles easy running

Weeks Total: 45.8 miles (6 runs)
Years Total: 1662 miles

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Step It Up

I planned to step up the volume this week and start working on some faster running in hopes to get myself in respectable shape to do one more race this fall. I have a couple of half-marathons on my radar but nothing for sure. If I can make some progress in the next week or two I think I have a shot at racing and being content with the results.

This week I started off a bit weak but I really struggled just to get out of bed. I was happy I did and made the best of it with the time I had. Nothing special, just an ordinary shake-out run to the cemetery and back.
Total: 31:42   4.2 miles

This morning I made the choice to do some faster running in the form of steady-state/slow LT pace running. I may have been a bit quick for steady-state but not quite fast enough for LT but by the way I was feeling I may have nailed the perfect pace for such a workout. After a warm up along Skyline I worked myself into a 4 mile section  at 5:45 pace. I was a bit surprised to see the first mile slow but I quickly adjusted the pace and finished out the miles. Wow! That seemed way hard and just a few months ago I ran 13.1 at 5:29/mi pace. Hopefully today's run was a good jump start to fresh running!
Total: 53:12  8.1 miles
          4 miles at 5:45 pace

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mixin' Trails and Such

I managed to finish off the week quite strong. I am really not making any great strides in my fitness and each run seems to be going well, so I may need to look at adjusting the volume next week and adding some up tempo workouts to the plan.

On Friday I managed to do another double headlamp (one around my waist and one on my head) run in Rock Hill and finish the run by doing some quicker miles on the campus roads. I felt great after one warm up loop and the achilles are progressing nicely.
Total: 43:03  5.3 miles

Saturday I did my medium long run solo and hit trails down to Lester before making my way to the Lakewalk and doing some quicker miles on my route to the DRC. I had to resort  to taking a gel along the way as I could feel a nice bonk heading my way and I was not willing to take part in a bonk-fest! The gel didn't make me feel any better, but I didn't get any worse so that tells me it was a wise decision to take it and I was able to maintain effort to the store where Kari and Lucas were waiting my arrival.
Total: 1:40:00   13.6 miles

On Sunday my wife did her long run and soon after she was done I made my way out with Dave. He and I did all the trails of Rock Hill and Chester Bowl before I let him go on his way home for his long effort. My legs felt decent but remained a bit fatigued from Saturday's longer run. I really didn't do too good of a job with nutrition after Saturday's run so I must play catch up now.
Total: 1:07:26  7.6 miles

Weeks Total: 48 miles
Years Total: 1616.2 miles

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Motivation

Over the weekend I managed to get my motivation fired up again. I had the opportunity to crew for my friend Tony as he ran the Superior Trail 100 miler. I have done this in the past and this year was one to remember. We met at Gooseberry State Park, the start of the race, where I had the pleasure to see all participants take off on a very, long run. I kept my focus one aid station at a time and I'm sure Tony did as well. It's really amazing, for me, how fast the day and night went by. When you are constantly thinking of your runner and how they are feeling, looking and what extra supplement they might need or want, the hours just fly by. I managed to get a little tired in the wee hours of the night but as soon as the sky broke for sunrise I was immediately energized and made the push to be on my best attentive behavior. The day hours were full of sun and heat, good for the crew, bad for the runners, but we made the best of it and Tony nailed a great race. During the race I was joined by Dave,Clint,Andrea,Deb,Chris and Dave S whom all shared the pacing duties after 50 miles and through the night. Dave Shuney stayed throughout the night and next day and paced quite a few miles himself. I can't speak for Tony, but I'm sure Dave, and all the pacers, did a marvelous job and having the extra company is truly amazing.

 Tony is one tough sun of a bitch. He always looked so content in what he was doing. Sure, he may have had his ups and downs, but there was very little complaining on his part. A sign of a true champion, and a sign of a prepared runner. It goes without saying, I am very proud to have been part of Tony's experience. Thank you!

The race or Tony ended at 6:34 pm on Saturday evening and like a bunch of whooped horses he, DAVE and I showered and attempted to eat before crashing for the night. There were many stories shared over the next 24 hours and there will be many more memories shared in years to come.

So, with such an amazing running experience from Tony, my motivation has been kicked in once again and I am making a push for one more race for the season. I may be running the Whistle Stop 1/2 Marathon on October 15th if all goes well. I need a few serious runs to go well and if they do, I will toe the line.

So Far this Week:

48:10  6.3 miles
sluggish, but a good start

51:39   7.2 miles

0 miles

1:02:13  8.4 miles
felt great the last 2.5 miles or so. i hope this is a sign that things are going to improve quickly. I need that to happen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Build Up

I used this week to build back up a bit. The goal was to run most days in Ronin's and maintain the lower leg/glute exercises. I knew I would get little to no exercise during the weekend so I made the most of my week runs. Nothing special, just good ol running on roads and trails as I wished.

Here is how the rest of the week unrolled.

43:07   6 miles

50:00 ~7 miles

45:00  ~6 miles (trials and roads)

0 miles
*crew for Tony during the Superior Trail 100 miler

Weeks Total: 23.3 miles
Years Total: 1567.8 miles

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Trail Run

I didn't run a trail race. Just another run on the trails by our house. We woke up to cool temperatures today (43F) and it forced me to put on a long sleeve shirt to keep the chill to a minimum.
I hit the trails of Hartley for a planned short loop and I felt super! No tenderness in the achilles and after running for an hour in my Universe I am pleased. The Hartley trails are in great shape even with the added rain we received lately. I ended the run with 3 x 100 meter striders at 5:15 pace. Legs are making a turn in fitness and I may actually toe the line in a race before years end...
33:44  4.3 miles trails

Solid Rebuilding Week

I am very happy with the progress I made this past week. The tendonopathy in my left achilles is slowly subsiding and gives me very little trouble right now. Having said that I need to remain diligent with the rehab process and moving forward with some new strength building exercises as I progress through the fall season. I hope to find myself in decent shape soon in order to take advantage of fall fitness and enter a race somewhere.

Here is the remainder of last weeks runs.

I decided to add a few minutes to the run this morning and proceeded to run the "extended Pig's loop". Out to Vermilion and back provided a nice a.m. loop.
50:31  6.7 miles

Making a conscious effort to step back a bit this morning I did just over a half hour to allow more time for adjustment to the minimal shoes. I don't really see myself needing a ton of time to adjust since I have been fairly "minimal" for a few years now, I am just making it full-time now and throwing out the trainers. The Ronin's are feeling great and I even see myself spending a bit of time on the trails in my Universe fairly soon.
32:38  4.5 miles

I did a short version of my Kenwood loop and was feeling great. My legs are making further adjustments to the new shoes and stride. I found myself really cruising at times and had to slow things down.
40:11  5.4 miles

I hit the trails for my medium long run and had a super run! Leaving my house I hit the Rock Hill trails at UMD. After a short loop I made my way to Hartley via SHT and ran through to the Cemetery and once again hit the SHT to Amity creek trails where I proceeded to move to the Lester Park single-track trails for a half-loop before finishing on the Lester Park Ski trails for a loop until my time was up. My legs (quads) took a beating and were fatigued quite a bit but the rest of the body felt great. Another run in the Ronin's.
1:37:52  11.8 miles

I was planning a day off but got in contact with an old running pal from Esko and made the trek out to his place for an absolutely wonderful trail run in Jay Cooke State Park. I following on a new loop that had us just giddy. The trails out there are truly a hidden gem to most.
57:00  7 miles or so

Weeks Total: 44 miles
Years Total: 1544.5 miles

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clean Slate

The week following Ragnar I took a big fat 0 on all days! That's right. No running at all and a lot of sleep. I slept up to 2 extra hours a night for nearly a week. Yes, it felt great. I also allowed my left achilles some needed rest and I am now in the process of rebuilding an aerobic base and doing some much needed rehab. It's funny how a person lets their body go as long as it's performing well and quickly forgets all the extra strength oriented work that goes along with keeping the body healthy. I am now back at square one and will not slack on those exercises and continue to improve my overall strength this fall and winter and 2012 will be a new Masters record year for me. I'm pissed off with all the minor setbacks and now it's time to kick ass! This year was headed in that direction and since my 1/2 marathon in June I've been stuck in a rut of destruction. NO MORE.

So far this week I have run two easy days and performed my lower leg exercises along with some overall stretching of the legs, abdomen and upper torso. I plan to obtain some kettle-bells and possibly an old Bow Flex, as I used one today at Dunhams and I think it will provide all the necessary strength exercises I need. More research on that over the next few days.

Out and back through the cemetery and exercises.
32:00 4+ miles

on treadmill for 4.2 miles at 7:40 pace

*both runs were in Mizuno Ronins. I may try to adapt to the racing flat system, aka minimal-trainers, with a some caution looking ahead. I like the look of the new Brooks coming out this fall and those may be just what I need in a trainer. No more heels!

Monday, August 22, 2011


As I mentioned in my previous post, I was very fortunate to be a member of a men's Masters team that was sponsored by Revel Sports/Marshfield Clinic that won the 2011 Ragnar/Great River Relay this past weekend. This same team, with the exception of two runners won the event in 2010 as well. Last year after we won there was talk of doing it again but those discussions really never surfaced until late this spring. Some guys were skeptical of doing it again because of the experience being so great in 2010, how could we possibly top that? With the crew we assembled we made that possible and had one hell of a time!

The picture above shows the six members of the starting van. We departed from Winona at 4:00 pm on Friday. For such a huge event, 300+ teams of 12 members, the start is very anti-climactic. The 4 pm slot had just 8 teams start. It felt like a club practice. We managed to get out and run in third place for most of the first round of running and had a decent battle already brewing. When we handed off to the second van of six runners it was getting dark and we had to put on the required reflective gear for the rest of the night and until the clock ticked past 0700!

For me going through the challenges of the race segments pays off when you hand off to the next runner and then see how the 11 other team members are putting out their 100% effort. In times of doubt all you have to do is think of the others hurting and to just keep pushing on the best you can. We all are hurting and as the night progresses EVERYONE is tired. You just have to dig a little deeper to find that extra piece that maybe the other teams are not quite able to focus on. All 11 of us did that and it resulted in another year with a super victory.

Briefly, I was runner number 5. I had segments of 8, 6.2, and 7 miles for my three legs. The 8 miler was .2 short and I appreciated every step of it! The 6.2 mile segment was in the farm lands just off the river valley's so it incorporated a lot of bluff climbing on gravel roads. I had about 1.5 miles of gradual warm up then I had 4.5 miles of uphill grind. The grade was more than the challenge I wanted at 0130 but I had to keep pressing on and get to the exchange zone to pass the hurt to my team member Mark. All in all, I finished that segment a bit disappointed but managed a 6:04 average pace for those climbs. My last segment was another hilly 7 miler that started in the corn/farm lands just outside of Woodbury and finished in the suburbia mecca of east Woodbury. Those rolling hills were enough to make scream, but I remember the look on my friend Steve's face as he ran the exact segment in 2010, and I just couldn't give up as he put in 110% that year and I didn't want to let my guys down. I still felt like I did, and part of it was injury, and the other part was not fueled up enough, but I managed to get it done and remain to average 6:03 miles for the last dirty bugger.

Once our van completed our last bit of running we handed off and grabbed a quick breakfast as Denny's and made contact with our team members in Van 2 only to find out they ate up the 9+ minutes we were behind all night long and actually were in the lead. As we made our way to the river paths of Minneapolis we found our runners in the lead and looking great. As our last runner took off for the final leg and the push to the finish he had a 5+ minute lead and gave it his all. With a lot of encouragement and a stellar running performance we managed to get the win with a 3 minute cushion.

The excitement was unbelievable. We had repeated the win and we now could celebrate. With a bit of help from some new friends we managed to make "a few" beers disappear and had eventually made our way to the motel for a little hot tub and dinner.

Thank you guys again for such a wonderful experience. I said this last year and I will say it again. I don't think we can top that performance but I am willing to try in 2012! Thanks much!!

Total for Ragnar: 195 miles 19:59:52 average pace: 6:10 per mile

44:36 7.8 miles

Saturday: 37:05 6.2 miles
42:05 7 miles

Sunday: 0 miles rest

Weeks Total: 43 miles
Years Total: 1500.9 miles

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ragnar Week

Team Revel Sports/Marshfield Clinic, a Masters division team, won for the second year in a row, the Ragnar Relay-Great River Relay from Winona to Minneapolis MN!!

I had the pleasure of joining these gentleman on last years victory and we decided to give it a try again and damn if we didn't repeat. There is a good story to the victory and I will get to that later but first I have to share the week building up to the race and how my runs went.

I started last week by giving myself a little break and running easy on Monday after a medium distance run on Sunday. I felt good and allowed myself a nice, easy recovery-type run and enjoyed it. Because I was feeling a bit behind in training I wanted to get a feel for "steady-state" pacing and decided to run a bit of loop out on Lakeside and turn up the volume a bit and run up to 5 miles at steady-state pace. Right now that pace seems to hit right about 5:50 pace. I started off and things were feeling great. I knocked off the first mile right on pace and soon found myself running closer to Lactate pace of 5:35 and didn't like that so I slowed down back to the 5:50's that I wanted. During the second mile I felt a pull on my posterior right knee that kept getting worse with each stride. Very concerning, so I backed off after 3 1/2 miles and jogged it home. That night I got a massage and the therapist couldn't find any trigger and all things felt fine. Very weird... On Wednesday I met up with Nic and we ran an hour very easy and things felt very good and I felt very little pulling on the knee. I took Thursday off and traveled Friday to the Ragnar.

The Ragnar report deserves it's own entry and I will post that very soon.

Here is the week:

50:09 7.6 miles

59:09 8.3 miles
3.5 miles at 5:50 pace

57:55 7.4 miles easy

0 miles rest

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Decent Week

I finished the week pretty strong with some decent runs and more importantly runs that felt good from an injury standpoint.

On Friday I managed to almost oversleep and had to shorten my run. I made up for it by hammering all the hills/inclines I came up to and ended running a decent fartlek workout.

On Saturday my wife and I managed to get out for a run together. That doesn't happen very often and we loved every minute of it. I showed her the single track trails in Lester Park. We had a wonderful day for running the trails and stood in the river after soaking our legs.

This morning I made my way out for a medium distance run and really didn't know what or where I was going to get my mileage. I decided on some trails in Rock Hill and Chester (upper) before making my way down to Skyline Blvd and out West to 8th Avenue before making a dip to see my friend Krysta. A quick chat and I was off to find the SHT and make my down to the Bayfront where the Bluesfest was setting up for their final day. I managed to catch up with some other friends and hammer a Bloody Mary down before making my chug home for the last 30 minutes of the run that took me along the Lakefront on the Lakewalk and finally the push up the single track on Chester Creek and home via UMD. What a fun run! The bloody actually helped me as the salt kept me going in the heat of the early morning. I did manage to hit the creek for a quick dip on my way up.

Friday: 43:00 6.5 miles (fartleks)

Saturday: 55:00 5.5 miles single track trails with wife in Lester

Sunday: 1:33:00 12.5 miles Loop down to Bayfront.

Weeks Total: 53 miles
Years Total: 1456.6 miles

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Game On!

Things are going very good this week. I continue to 'up' my miles and intensity but remain to be far off of where I thought I would be at this point in the year. Still, I have a lot of racing season left and just have to refocus and do some new races this fall.

First on the list is the Ragnar in one week. I will once again have the opportunity to run with some real nice folks and talent. It will be fun, guaranteed!

Here is a quick recap of the week thus far.

Martin road loop and home via Vermilion road.
1:00:00 8 miles

Out and back on Skyline with 3 miles at steady-state pace just to test the achilles.
Felt slooooowwwww. Achilles decent.
55:30 8 miles

short loop through cemetery and UMD.
40:00 5.3 miles

Kenwood loop. Tried to stay slow but managed a decent pace.
53:00 7.5 miles

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moving On

When I last wrote I was discussing how I may have found the source of my left achilles discomfort. I believe I was/am right and I continue to perform some deep calf stretches and lower leg exercises. The achilles discomfort is near gone but just a bit of stiffness on some mornings. This is something I need to monitor daily and stay diligent about exercises to keep things loose.

I managed to get out and run most days last week and took a double-day off on Saturday/Sunday after a most excellent party weekend in Washburn/Bayfield/Madeline Island with my wife, brother-in-law, wife and friends. There are times when you have to go have fun and forget about running and that was the weekend for me. Looking back I am very certain it also gave me some added rest to the achilles and that may be why I am feeling well this week. I continue to progress and will attempt to keep hammering towards my focus race the first Sunday in October.

Here is the remainder of last week and the early part of this week.

31:33 Morley Park area/UMD. 4.3 miles

55:17 8 miles Skyline 6 X 1min repeats at 5K

54:38 7.5 miles Kenwood/Chester loop

38:56 5.2 miles trails and roads

0 miles

Weeks Total: 32 miles
Years Total: 1403.3 miles

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Source

I believe during the course of the weekend I found the source of my achilles tenderness. I believe it's coming from very tight, upper calf muscles pulling my achilles and thus thinking it was a tendonitis. I hope I'm right on this one. I've been stretching and things are improving. I figure it wouldn't hurt to keep at the lower leg exercises and thus will maintain all the extra work in addition to the running.

I got out under a beautiful sunrise sky and did an extended loop to Pleasant View and home via Vermillion. I had a bit of stiffness in the last two miles but stopped to stretch and most of the discomforts disappeared. Man, I'm ready to start hammering some serious miles! I just have to be patient the rest of this week, then if all is good start dialing up the intensity and volume ever so slowly.

50:47 6.6 miles

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Maintain But No Progress

The last week was one with minimal gains and maybe a bit more loss. I have been able to maintain fitness but I am not getting any faster by the training I'm doing. I managed to get a Chiro adjustment and do some self massaging with the Stick and my right calf seems to be at ease. In the meantime I have woken up some old left Achilles tendonitis which I am very aggressively treating. (been down that road and wish to never get as bad as I was in 2007-2008!) Once I get the green light on the Achilles I may just find myself in decent shape this fall. I always like racing in the fall season so I guess that is a good thing. I remain to swear off all marathons this year but I got the bug to train for one now. Maybe 2012 will be a marathon year for me. Now I'm getting too far ahead of myself, but for now I need to get healthy and be ready to help my Ragnar Relay team in three weeks.

Here is a brief summary of the last week.

Monday: I ran an easy road loop up past old Pig's and home via Vermillion. Legs are feeling decent. No calf issues.
52:00 6.5 miles
Tuesday: Out and back on Skyline. Feeling much better and had to keep things under control.
1:00:00 8.3 miles
Wednesday: no go. i was tired and took the 8+ hours of sleep
0 miles
Thursday: Kenwood and UMD area. left achilles minor twinge.
55:37 7.7 miles
Friday: Out and back via Cemetery loop. Left achilles has me concerned. I don't want to go down this path of 2007-2008 agian.
30:57 4 miles (exercises and ice achilles)
Saturday: Achilles felt better but I hiked a bunch of miles at the Voyageur 50 Miler taking pictures in the backwoods. Felt good.
3-4 miles hiking
Sunday: I managed to get out in the hottest part of the day. 86F when I ran and I felt great! I managed to stay in the woods on trails by UMD and Chester Bowl and take a little dip in Chester Creek mid run. Both calf and Achilles felt fair and no major pulls to be concerned with. Just need to keep rehabing and exercises.
1:01:04 7.3 miles trails

Weeks Total: 34 miles *5 runs + one hike and one rest day
Years Total: 1371.7 miles

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fickle Calf

I have had my share of ups and downs with this calf issue. I know I didn't strain it. The damn thing decides to tighten when ever it wants out of the blue and very quickly. I have a feeling it is related to tight IT Band in the hip or possibly a lower back/SI alignment. I will see the Chiro this week and keep at my stretches and massage. My hopes are that this is behind me, but I felt like that last week and it came back very quickly. So, I hope to have a nice stretch of running this week and hopefully soon get back to some workouts.

I was able to run through last weekend and Monday and Tuesday of last week, then my calf gave me shit on Tuesday and required me to jog home. After taking Wednesday and Thursday off I ran a light run on Friday but a bit of tightness remained. I took off Saturday and ran this afternoon and had a wonderful run. PLEASE let this be behind me!

1:00:00 trails

Monday: easy, slow 4.5 miles 35:00

Tuesday: 7 miles with calf tightening.

Wed/Thur: 0 miles

Friday: 5 miles easy (slight tightening)

Saturday: 0 miles

Sunday: 50:00 5+ miles on singletrack trails in Lester with Tony.
Felt great!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Purple Donuts

I managed to get a quick appointment and sign up for a hour massage with my usual therapist. Yeah! To start the session she always asks me, "why are you here today?" I like that about her. She always is interested and ready to tackle whatever issue I may have going. I told her about my calf and the fact I was a bit stumped as to why it reared its ugly head in the first place. She had some ideas and we got underway.

To save you the boredom of the whole hour, let me tell you she found "the spot" within 10 minutes and really focused on "breaking up the adhesions". Just let me tell you one thing. If a therapist ever utters those words, get ready for the hurt-locker. It's what needs to be done and very crucial, AND a good therapist knows when to back off during the session. We have that kind of relationship and it works wonders. I was at that point when the adhesions were being "torn off" that I did all I could to stay relaxed and breathe easy. Not so easy to do, but an essential part of a massage. I had my eyes closed and I was doing all I could not to kick my leg and then I saw one. Then two. Then many more to follow. No kidding. I had my eyes closed and I saw little purple donuts floating through my visual field. At first I thought I was crazy, but I opened and closed my eyes again and they were still there. Wow! I asked her. "Is it normal to see purple donuts with my eyes closed?" She laughed a bit and got back to work.

I said many "mama-mea's" and made it through the hour. What a great hour of work it was. I got my $ worth that's for sure.

This morning I hooked up with the two Dave's, Grant and a new couple to the area. We showed them the trails at Rock Hill and Hartely and had a wonderful easy trail run. I was a bit concerned of the calf but it warmed nicely and stayed loose the entire loop. I almost added to run 90 minutes but opted out. Probably the smart thing to do at this point. It's nice to be back and I am loving every minute of it. To make matters so much better my lovely wife has been back at the miles and seems to be making progress. Something she hasn't been able to say for quite some time.

Total: 1:07:30 ~8 miles

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Forced Break

Last week I had some stellar training underway. I felt like I had made the recovery from the GB-Half and I had the green light to start the push for my next race. I had planned a week of strength work and light speed secession with the usual long effort on the weekend. The week went great and on Saturday I ran my long run with Nic again and we started nice and early so we could tend to our own responsibilities after. The last half hour of the long run I had my right lateral calf muscle begin to tighten. With a mile and half to get home I had to stop and attempt to stretch my calf. I managed to run a bit more but quickly realized I could do some serious damage if I kept running on it so I stopped once again and made the rest of the journey a walk home. I am not too sure yet what the root of the problem is but I have my own theory. On my Thursday workout on the track I felt my lower leg get a little fatigued and at the end of my last interval it was a bit tight. My low back was tight as well. I never gave it much thought as that seems to be quite normal. The following easy day I was very fatigued but no soreness or pain to deal with. Then the Saturday long run came and the rest is history.

It is now the following Thursday and I have not run but once since last Saturday. I tried to jog on Tuesday and lasted a little over a mile and I was reduced to a walk again. It is feeling better and I can stretch it out a bit from my hip stretches I do. That is why I think it is referred pain from tight hips/glutes/low back. I am a bit taken back with this, since I don't truly know what the hell is going on and I hope to have it licked by the weekend. I'm just a bit worried about starting too soon and being back at square one. I have pushed all racing thoughts out of my mind until the Ragnar Relay in mid/late August. If things improve sooner I may jump in a local 5 or 10K just to test the waters. So that is my last two weeks. Here are the details.

Week 4th-10th

Monday: another easy hour just to shake things out a bit.
56:40 8 miles

Tuesday: Hills, 4 x hills at UMD with 30 second strider on top
56:56 7.8 miles

Wednesday: Easy loop through Kenwood area and Skyline.
54:21 7.4 miles

Thursday: Track session at UMD 4 X 1000 meters
3:14, 3:12, 3:08, 3:12
56:08 8.1 miles

Friday: Morley Park neighborhood run. Snively home
44:33 6.1 miles

Saturday: Started in downpour rain, out to Stebner, Morris Thomas, Piedmont, Skyline home.
2:00:25 16.5 miles (0.5 mile walk)

Sunday: OFF *calf issue

Weeks Total: 54 miles
Years Total: 1301.4 miles

So far this week I have attempted to jog a bit on Tuesday with failure. I felt decent to start and after the one mile mark I could feel the calf tightening very quickly so I immediately turned the jog into a walk and made my way home.

I have been doing a series of stretches and things are improving but I am still quite apprehensive to try running as I can still feel some tightness when walking stairs. I hope to get back at it by next week but right now it's day by day.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Time To Restart The Engines- Progress

I woke up and really had a difficult time getting motivated to run, much less a run with some sort of intervals. I really came close to staying in bed but something told me to get up and at least give it a try.
As I hit the road and started making my way to Chester Bowl I really was doubting my legs. At 2.5 miles I threw in a strider and realized I was that far off and indeed my legs would turn over if I asked them to. So I decided on "near" tempo run pace for three minute intervals.
The first felt fair and the rest felt great! I was clicking off 5:25 pace like nothing. The last interval was up a slight incline so that one didn't feel the best but I finished very satisfied.

Total: 57:29. 8.4 miles 5 x 3 min at 5:25 pace

I ran an easy loop out to the SHT and ran it doe to Hawks Ridge before making my way home via Sively.
A decent run and finally nailed a great morning run as far as weather goes.

Total: 54:55. 7 miles

Feeling fatigue and just not willing to listen to the alarm this moening. I stayed in bed a bit and then got up and went to work early.

Total: o miles rest day.

I finally connected with Nic again and we made our way out to Park Point and back for our early morning long run. The morning was already approaching 70F and we had plenty of sunlight as company. I was surprised how good I felt as this was my first longer effort since late May. My legs really didn't get too fatigued and the energy was there at the end. A nice surprise.

Total: 1:59:06. 15.8 miles

After my wife ran her long run I took to the woods of Hartley and did a loop before doing a small loop in Rock Hill. I am always bummed out in the summer after attempting to run in Hartley. The mud, rocks, and roots are ever so apparent as compared to the smooth surface of winter running. There are times when I enjoy the slow slog, not that often, and today wasn't one of them. I tripped and fell the last time I ran in there and I guess I was still tasting sour apples because I kept the pace very pedestrian and eventually made the loop.

Hartley is such an interesting place. I love the fact that it is 4 minutes from our house but the terrain is just blah. My take on it is it's good for recovery but that is about it. There are a lot of hard working individuals that work to maintain the trail but I believe its work that is appreciated by a small group of users. There have been more re-routes in the last three or four years and I can see many more in the near future. The re-routes get hammered by the bikers who dont respect the wet trails and soon the new path is beat to shit and now more re-routes are needed. I guess I will bid my time and wait til the leaves fall and once again they will be covered in snow. But let's hope that is FAR to the future.

Total: 1:06:30. 7.4 miles easy

Weeks Total: 54 miles
Years Total: 1247.5miles

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back In The Groove

I had the day off of work yesterday since we had our annual family get together and it was a late night or two. I'm so glad I did. I slept in a bit and managed to get out for a nice trail run in the mid-morning. My legs felt fair and I had a bit of some residual calf soreness/tightness. I managed to finish the run without any further damage and I am looking forward to getting in some consistent training this month.

Total: 1:04:00 7.5 miles

This morning I was back to the early morning training and I had a wonderful run. I stuck to the roads of Woodland and Vermilion and struggled with overall fatigue but mostly heavy leg syndrome. I can tell I am low in carbs and will focus on increasing my intake of such food items along with adequate fluids. If all goes well I may find myself cranking out some good miles within the week.

Total: 57:00 7.6 miles

Monday, June 27, 2011

End Of Rest Week

I may have exercised my right to take off a few days this week being post half marathon but I am ready to get back at it. I was torn between taking time off and just running easy. I hope to benefit from the days off, as I feel very rested and ready to tackle the second part of the year. I am still unsure of what the big goal race might be, rather the second half of the year may be filled with shorter races with the goal to run fast at the TCM 10 Miler in October. Between now and then I will have a couple 5K's, one mile, and the Great River Ragnar Relay.

I hope all of you out there are having healthy, enjoyable running days. I hope to see many of you at the races to come.

Here's to the second half of 2011!

Weeks Total: 10 miles
Years Total: 1193.8 miles

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The week after a major event I like to take a physical and more importantly, a mental break. My buildup for GB Half started in January and some six months later a minor break was warranted. Had I ran the full marathon I might take a longer break but really, I am itching to get back at it and run some additional races this summer and fall.

Sunday last week I rested and enjoyed the day with family.

I set off to walk the trails at UMD and found myself running the entire time. I ran easy but one complete loop of Rock Hill felt great.

Total: 25:36. 3 miles


Off/rest, too much rain! Enough already.

I did the modified Kenwood loop and I felt decent energy wise but both low calves were very tight.
Total: 50:30 6.7 miles

Sunday, June 19, 2011


The 35th Grandmas Marathon and 21st Annual Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon were blessed with weather conditions that once made this event popular. I'm talking about the Northeast winds that can blow directly down the race course that gives the runners a tailwind.

This years events would have such a day, one that has been long overdue, and I was blessed with the opportunity to take part in the Half-Marathon. I had a plan, stuck to it and ran very respectable. The race plan did not unfold the way I had visioned but pretty damn close! One major move by one of my competitors would make the difference but like I said, I wouldn't change a thing if I had to race again tomorrow.

I woke up and got our son to Kid Connection before I returned and broke out for a short 4 miler just to shake out the legs. I knew during that run that good things could happen on Saturday. I didn't announce it to anybody but I had been waiting all week to have a run like that. Tapering, the little bit I did, play more mind games than anything and I was not feeling so well early in the week. Friday I managed to run the short loop and without thinking I was running 6:30-6:40 pace and it felt like 8:00 pace, always a good indicator ones ready to put in a good performance. I sure am happy that happened, because I sure was doubting myself earlier in the week.

Total: 4 miles with 3 striders.

Race morning came quick, as it does in the GB half, and I was so ready to get going. I quickly made my way to the computer room to check the doppler radar to see how long the rain was going to last. When I jumped in the shower it was raining quite hard and the doppler looked like it was going to pass and be over by 0630-0700. For once the weather held true and by the time our race was starting most of the rain had quit. I didn't get the warm up I wanted, so that's when I decided to use the first mile or so to warm up. That didn't quite happen but with the tailwind, it sure felt like a warm up.

The GB Half has gotten very popular since the introduction of money prizes to the top ten a few years ago. Back in the day I finished in a PR that landed me in 4th place overall, a time now that wouldn't crack the top 20! That was then, this is now. As the horn sounded the field took off like no other. The huge pack of open elite quickly made their mark and I settled into pace just to stay out of the way. I would run the first two miles quicker than I planned but remained under control. (5:22, 5:31) At the two mile mark I shed my long sleeve shirt I had on and got to business. My main goal going into the race was to run under 1:12:00 and with hopes that would place me high in the Masters Division. I kept in mind the wind that was at our backs so I really didn't panic when I saw the quicker splits on my GPS. The course is one I have run literally dozens of times and I knew where every small incline was just to make sure I didn't push too hard in a section that didn't need pushing. The next five miles would all read under 5:30/mile pace and I was feeling great. It was at that point on London Road where my main competitor would make his move and I made the decision NOT to cover it. He pushed the 8th and 9th mile and I let him go thinking I would real him in on the slightly downhill 10th mile and exciting 11th-12th miles. That never happened. I would run 5:25, 5:24, 5:25 in chase and I gained only minor ground. (I later talked with Pat an he told me he broke away with a 5:17 9th mile!) As we made our way through the downtown streets the rain-soaked crowds were amazing! They always are in downtown and Saturday would be no different. For some reason as we passed the 12th mile I started thinking too much and got behind two runners as we head into the wind behind the DECC and I let them dictate the pace. My second big mistake. They slowed down and I stayed behind slowing as well. It's amazing how one lapse in concentration can cost you 10 seconds. I had enough energy to push pretty hard down the final stretch (4:56 pace) with another runner and we broke the line just one second apart. My final time would be 1:11:43. A time I knew would be possible but I didn't really know if it would happen. I can thank the wind a lot but I did play out my race plan as best as I could have. What a feeling!!

1:11:43, 48th overall, 5th Master, 3rd in 40-44 age group

Here are my splits for you running geeks like me:
5:22, 5:31, 5:29, 5:26, 5:29, 5:25, 5:30, 5:34, 5:31, 5:25, 5:24, 5:25, 5:34, :32

Total miles: 15 miles

Weeks Total: 38 miles (taper, 5 days)
Years Total: 1184.1 miles

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some Assistance

I woke up feeling much the same. Not too bad, but not much better. I would contact my doctor during the day and start antibiotics and start using an inhaler as well. The run went ok. I am always surprised how tired these virus's make you feel. I hope this works.

Total: 49:01. 6.6 miles

Too early to tell if the antibiotics were working but I managed to get out and do a short warmup and do some light uptempo work on the track. I did 6 laps of 100 meter pick-ups with the curves as recovery. The first few laps were horrible. I felt like it was my first day on the track in months! Once I blew off the rust I finished the intvals feeling fluid but the whole workout was just another shot to my confidence.

Total: 40:07. 5.7 miles with 12 x 100 meters @5:00/mi pace

Mid day at work yesterday I felt like things were changing. I suddenly felt like I was breathing better and less congested in the nasal cavities. I woke up with next to no phlegm and made my way out the door for a short, easy run. I did a loop out to Pleasant View road and returned via Vermilion. My legs felt decent but I didn't push the pace at all. I may want to do some striders on Friday just to get the legs loose one more time.

Total: 47:27. 6.6 miles

I decided to take a rest day today and hope this freshens up the legs a bit. I have the day off of work tomorrow and will get a short run in the morning just to loosen up some. 48 more hours of antibiotics to work before the race, so I hope things improve. I felt like I was stuffing up again last night but I didn't wake up coughing at all, so that is a bonus. Super foggy and cool this morning. About the norm two days prior to Grandmas, as years past had this similar pattern.

Total: O miles

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Struggle Continues

I woke up late and was going to take a zero then I figured I would venture out for a short run just to clear the head. The morning was glorious and I am glad I did make it out for a short jaunt but my sinus's remain to be clogged. I am coughing less and the phlegm I do cough up is minimal but I still feel zapped overall. What the hell did that virus do to me?

Total: 34:00 4.6 miles

I slept in until near 8:00. That is a record for me for a LONG time. I felt whipped last night and I really took advantage of the weekend and gained some extra sleep. It sure felt good. When I did manage to get out for a run I decided on a trail run just to pass the time. I made my way to the trails of Hartley and ventured out on a "guard-rail" loop. I usually don't run those trails prior to Grandma's weekend because I don't want to risk injury. I was going to be running really easy so I figured I was safe. Wrong! I was almost 40 minutes into the run and I was coming up on a corner on the single track and I entered a stretch that was shaded by the trees and that's where my toe grabbed a whole of a root and sent my flying forward. Fully knowing I was about to eat dirt, I tried to soften the blow with my hand/elbows and take the fall into a full body roll to keep impact a minimum. When I finally stopped I was staring up into the sky and let out a big $^^#()!!!! I hate falling. It always leaves my back in a mess. I really feel old, and I am NOT, when I fall and that is what I was most pissed off about. My right low back went into a subtle spasm while I wobbled for a few minutes but by the time I got home I had kept my pains to a minimum. A hot shower would help most aches but I was worried about my back. I did a few extra stretches later in the day and night and it must have helped because I went to bed mostly pain-free. (It may have been the beers I had that aided in that too.)

Total: 1:03:00 7.7 miles

Other than feeling a bit "dry" I woke up mostly pain-free and was eager to get my run completed under the early morning sunny skies. I had planned on running up to ten miles and run the latter miles in a negative split fashion just to keep the legs from getting too bored with all the easy running lately.
That is where I had some difficulties. I started picking up the pace after the three mile mark and I soon realized how hard I was working to maintain what I call "steady-state" pace. This pace should be relatively easy at this point in my training. The pace I was running felt way too hard and I shut things down after four miles. The splits were: 6:13, 5:51, 5:46, 5:39.
I'm not too sure what is going on, but I felt like my lungs were not expanding enough and I struggled to get air. Kind of how I felt like the 5K at altitude last week. I hope things improve quickly otherwise the race on Saturday is going to be a wash...
Other than the run, Kari, Lucas and I went to Brighton Beach and skipped rocks for an hour or so then we made our way to the Duluth Huskies game to watch them kick butt!! What an amazing day we had! Finally, one good one on a day free of work!

Total: 1:11:00 10.3 miles
middle miles as above.

Weeks Total: 49 miles
Years Total: 1146.2 miles

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Down From Mile High/ One Week To Go

I made the trip back form Denver and have made the transition back to normal hours and no altitude. I really didn't feel the altitude in everyday training per say but I did manage to get my ass kicked by ~5300 ft in the conference 5K on Friday

Friday I woke up hacking the same mucous. I was indifferent about the 5k but I really wanted to get in a hard effort no matter what the outcome would turn out to be. I took the bus ride to the start and did a warm up. The race was about as hard as I expected with the altitude and my virus I was fighting. The opening mile was tough and it got more difficult by the minute. I did get my "hard effort" but as far as a race goes it was a disaster. I ran 17:26 or so, which is the slowest I have run since age 16 or 17.

Total: 7.6 miles
2 mile warm up
5k race
2.5 mile warm down

Saturday was a travel day and I took a day off
0 miles

Sunday I joined the boys out at Jeremy's house and did a little step-down run. The early pace was very manageable and I decided to run the last 5 miles or so at steady-state pace. The last 4.6 miles were run at 5:50 pace and it felt fair. I am still not breathing right and I can't wait until all the bugs are out of me.
Total: 1:32:32. 13 miles with step-down miles.

Total week: 54 miles
Total Year: 1097.4 miles

Monday was the typical easy recovery run. No frills.

Total: 55:47. 7.6 miles

Tuesday I ran an out and back on west Skyline with negative splits at steady-state pace miles. I was feeling much better and hit some decent splits at an effort less than Sunday's. Just maybe I can salvage a decent race come June 18th.

Total: 57:05. 9 miles with 5 miles near 5:35 pace

Wednesday I woke up after a stellar nights sleep and decided to take an off day and add another hour of sleep to the night. For some reason I was fighting the virus I thought I lost and now was stuffing up and hacking some green mucous again. By mid-day at work I was feeling better but I am still monitoring the possibility of some antibiotics before next weeks race.

Total: 0 miles

This morning I ran an easy warm up and made my way to the UMD track to do one of Pfitzinger's workouts two weeks out. I did a 3 X 2000 meters with 3 minutes rest between. The pace was very manageable but still it left me doubting my goals for the half-marathon next weekend. I still don't feel like I am exchanging air properly and luck would have it I ran into my primary physician on my warm down so he and I spoke of the possibility of antibiotics and I will make that call by this Friday night. I want to make sure there is no doubt I can breathe properly one week from now as I am going to need all the air I can get!

Here is how the workout went:
3 mile warm up
2000 meters at 5:20 pace
2000 meters at 5:21 pace
2000 meters at 5:18 pace
2.4 mile warm down

Total: 1:07:20 9.6 miles

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Virus Remains/ Feeling Some Heat

I just want tot start by saying that I hope I don't get another virus in the sinus for quite some time. Every day, including this morning, I have hacked up some incredible lung cookies! How does our body produce such a thing? I continue to get better in small increments each day and I hope by weeks end I will be ready to crack some good workouts.

Monday I ran an easy hour and time would allow me to hook up with my old running partner Kooks! I picked him up and we ran out and back on Skyline. It was nice to reconnect with him as we have ran many miles together back in the day. I felt good and the miles rolled out like they should on a recovery run.
Total: 1:02:00 7.6 miles easy

Tuesday I was flying out to Denver for a conference so I had to get up ultra early and hit some miles. With this I felt like spending some miles running a bit faster so I made my way to the UMD track and ran 12 laps with the the straights at sub-5k pace. The fog was so thick I couldn't see across the track. I think I was the only one out there but on my last lap I ran down two men doing some laps. Legs felt great.
Total: 50:38 7+ miles

I didn't sleep worth a shit on my first night in Denver so I took full advantage and gained a couple extra hours of sleep. The day allowed me to sneak out at lunch and run the creek paths just blocks from the hotel. I felt great and the time just flew bye. I had to work to keep the pace controlled and I like that feeling.
Total: 1:00:30. 8.4 miles

This morning I felt more rested and made my way out nice and early and hit the creek paths for a bit longer. The weather was wonderful and I haven't felt heat like that in some time. Duluth hasn't been this warm since last summer! I managed to have a good run and add a few extra miles to the morning. The lung cookies are becoming much less and I can't wait for all this to be gone.
Tomorrow I will run the 5k that the conference puts on and I plan to go as I feel. I would love to hammer out the race but I am not too sure all systems are ready for that. We'll see but I may run LT pace to ensure a great workout, but then again, once the competitive juices start flowing I'm not too sure I can hold back. Report to follow.
Total: 1:11:14. 10 miles

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Catching Up With Dismal Week

I didn't think that I could have got any worse in health but then I woke up. I new in an instant why I took 48 hours to recover from a trail run that Would usually just take a day. I was getting sick and now it was full-on! I did report to work but it lasted to noon then I went home. A quick trip to the Urgent Care was justified to ensure I didn't have Step. (I didn't). I made it home and slept for 3 hours. That felt great!
0 miles for the day.

Thursday I woke up feeling rested so I hit the roads for a quick run. I didn't want to do too much so an easy loop to shake out the legs was perfect. My legs were feeling better but now I had to deal with a brewing head cold and mucho snot from my head. The feeling I was having felt like it could linger for a bit. I just finished having a three weaker in early May and I was not looking forward to repeating the whole thing all over.
Total: 42:45. 6 miles

When I woke up on Friday I knew I was in trouble. I hacked up some gnarly lung cookies and made my way out the door. My goal was to get in 7 miles and that was all I could mentally consider. Once I went through the mile I surprised myself and was feeling a bit frisky so I quickly made up a workout based on what I felt like I could handle physically and what would actually help me come June 18th. The plan was to do 2X 2 miles at true LT pace. I worked into the first mile then proceeded to manage 5:20 pace for the two repeats separated by three minutes. My legs were better and I actually was breathing just fine after clearing out the lungs.
Total: 48:05. 7.4 miles

Saturday I woke up with much congestion and really didn't want to run. The weather sucked and I just didn't want to head out. I finally did and hit the trails of Rock Hill and Chester. Again, once the lungs were clear I felt decent so an hour was in store. Easy hour.
Total: 55:49. 6.5 miles on trails

I felt like my run on Sunday needed to be at least 13 miles. I did that and actually ran a negative split run. I love doing these workouts as you gain much confidence when they go good. I had to hold back on the way out and once I had the green light I hit some 5:45-5:50's for close to 4 miles. I would have liked to hit more faster miles but it felt like way too much work for that pace and I just chalked it up to the virus is was fighting. Not the best run but I knew it wasn't a true reflection of my fitness.
Total: 1:25:44. 13 miles with 4 @ steady state pace.

Weeks Total: 45.3. Miles
Years Total: 1043.7 miles

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The Sunday trail run shattered my legs. I finished the run and went to bed Sunday night very happy. As I woke up Monday I had the usual drowsiness and didn't really want to hit the pavement but I pushed on and quickly realized how sore I was. No energy. No spring in my stride. Just plain 'ol fashioned fatigue! I took every step with caution and quickly made a decision to cut it short. Two days recovery may be in order...

Total: 37:02 4.8 miles
*very low energy

This morning was worse yet. I couldn't believe how trashed my legs were and frankly I was shocked! Three miles in and it felt like I just took my first step off our driveway. The loop took me out to Martin and Vermilion roads and that was enough. Each step hurt. My hamstrings were a mess. Tight is just a word that begins to describe how awful I felt. When I got home I hit the fitness ball and did some abdomen work. I also stretched the hips and low back. I did manage to feel a bit better but feeling like this concerns me. I have some key workouts to do this week and I hope tomorrow morning will allow me to nail a good one!

Total: 58:13 7.6 miles easy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finished In The Mud

Wednesday was a lazy morning that turned into a big fat "0" for the morning. I woke up tired and really just didn't want to run. I will give myself one day a week at the most to do that. A person knows when they are being lazy and when you really need a day off. I was somewhere in the middle of all that and when it lands on a recovery run morning I am less likely to fight it. In the end, more times than not, your legs thank you for the rest.
Total: 0 miles

Thursday was back to a more structured workout of sorts. I decided on 1k repeats but as I jogged past the track something told me to avoid it. I am still a bit leary of all the turns a track workout can dish out. My achilles has been so good, I don't want to blow it on some workout I can mimic on the roads. That is what I did. I did 5 x 3 minutes at 5:10-5:15 pace with 90 seconds rest between intervals. West Skyline has fairly tame terrain so that was my stomping grounds.
Here is how the workout unfolded.
3.4 mile warm up
3:00 at 5:16 pace
3:00 at 5:04 pace
3:00 at 5:16 pace
3:00 at 5:17 pace
3:00 at 5:17 pace
200 meter, 400 meter sprint
3.5 mile warm down

Total: 11 miles

Friday I woke up to sunlight and decided to run a new route and mix in some trails. I ran through Woodland neighborhoods and worked my way to Hartley before making a final loop to Rock Hill. Legs felt great and the trails were in great shape.

Total: 1:05:30 8.4 miles

Saturday we went camping on the North Shore to Temperance State Park. The morning was great and we took in the action at the Superior Trail Races. There was a 50K and 25K that had a maximum field of 250 runners. The runners were blessed with no rain and mostly dry trails. As we were leaving the race, the rain started and never let up until the next morning. My plan was to run 90 minutes on the trail near Temperance but that never materialized so I took another "0". I cant remember when I last took more than one day off in a week. Again, I tried not to beat myself up over it and enjoyed the weekend.
Total: 0 miles

Sunday was another rainy day and we made it back to Duluth rather early. After a little snack I decided to hit the trails for some loops and ended up hitting Rock Hill, Hartley, Amity Creek, Lester and returned home. I misjudged the Lester loop and ended up running a bit longer than planned but all was good. One gel got me through the ordeal and for the most part my legs were happy.
Total: 2:21:21 18.1 miles (trails)

Weeks Total: 56 miles
Years Total: 998.4 miles

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crisp Air

The first two days of this week have been a bit chilly but I will not complain a bit because I have run under sunny skies. By the time I am heading out at 0515 the sun is near breaking the horizon and the morning air is crisp. The birds are chirping and all I could hear was the pitter patter of my feet hitting the asphalt.

Monday I found myself a bit more fatigued than planned. I felt so good yesterday after my long run that I figured I would jump out of bed and just pound out the miles. Wrong! I had sore and tight hamstrings along with general fatigue. That may have been a good thing as it kept the pace very controlled. I did my usual loop out to Martin road and home via Vermilion and UMD. By then end of the run I was looking for some food and tea and ready to start a fresh week.

This morning I managed to get out and do some uptempo running. For the next three or four weeks one of my weekly workouts will be steady-state running. This morning I did 4 miles and at the end of four weeks I will run a 10 miler at pace. The pace is NOT the same as LT (lactate threshold) pace, rather it is a pace just a bit slower, or, just a bit faster than marathon pace. At this point in my training I used 5:40 as my pace. I didn't really feel all that peppy this morning but I managed to hold pace rather easily. It's really important not to push too hard on these workouts and running under the prescribed pace is counterproductive. I'm not too sure what I will do the rest of this training for my second workout of the week but I am thinking I will dabble with 1000 meter repeats. In the past I have gained a lot of strength from the 1k's and I hope that is the true this time around.

Monday: 1:02:00 8.2 miles recovery

Tuesday: 1:10:00 10+ miles
(garmin died 32 minutes into run)
4 miles at 5:40 pace in middle

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another Cold Week- Lucky For A PR!

The run on the SHT left me feeling a bit invigorated. Having run for two hours on that trail and having little to no soreness after makes one feel like their "fitness" has made a proper adjustment. Once those trails dry up I plan to make them a regular addition to the weekend running routes. For the morning run I ran an easy loop up Woodland and home via Vermilion. Typical recovery style run.
Total: 57:27 7.6 miles easy

Tuesday was my last workout prior to the one mile race on Thursday night. I managed to do a nice warm up to the UMD track, quickly changed my shoes the the Mizuno Universals before working myself into some laps of alternating the straights and corners of easy/hard. The straights were at mile pace and I jogged the corners. In total I made it 8 or 9 laps before heading home. I was really liking how I was feeling after the first 3 or 4 repeats and had a really good workout. I think if things go right, a new mile PR could be in the works. But let's not get too far ahead of myself...
Total: 1:00:35 8.3 miles
Wednesday was another easy Kenwood loop. The rain has managed to stay away for my runs this week but the cool temperatures sure have not. I need some heat!!
Total: 57:03 7.6 miles

Thursday was all about the TC 1 Mile. I woke up and proceeded to run about 4 miles easy to Vermilion Rd and back. I did a few striders and got myself home to ready myself for work.
Once we, Dave S. and I, got to Minneapolis we picked up our packets under grey skies and temperatures just 2 degree's warmer than we had in Duluth. The mist/rain would fall off/on throughout the night and keep things rather cool. I figured this to be the case as all my races this year have been under grey skies and some form of precipitation.
We got in a nice warm up and covered the course a time or two before getting on the racing flats to ready ourselves for the gun start. Once we were off I tried to settle in a pace that would keep me under control the first 800 meters but that would not happen. I felt a constant urge to adjust the pace and never really got comfortable. Lot's of jockeying for position and I soon was getting passed by a light grey-haired gentleman that had me worried about the masters title. He passed with authority and I had a very hard time trying to go with him. Once we got past the 3/4th's mile mark I decided it was time to start to get to work and try to make a last push, but the legs really had no other gear than I was currently running. Over the last 200 meters I felt like had just a bit left in the tank and passed a few runners but not the man I targeted. That's OK because I managed to run 3 seconds faster than last year and run myself to a new mile Pr of 4:34. I'm happy with that. After the race Dave and I hooked up with some old teammates of mine and had a nice burger and pint before heading home for the late night commute.
Totals: 30:00 4 miles in AM
35 minute warm up prior to the race
1 mile race then 1 mile warm down.
11 miles total for day

Friday I had off from work and packed my morning full appointments and the afternoon was full of rain. Being pissed and sick of all this, I opted for a day off and enjoyed myself.
Total: 0 miles

Saturday I made my way to the SHT to Hawks Ridge and ran roads home. I found myself at the base of Glenwood hill and pushed at 7:15 pace up and continued the effort the rest of the way home. An impromptu tempo if you will. Legs felt great to go faster again and I feel like some nice workouts are right around the corner.
Total: 1:00:21 8.1 miles with last 20 minutes tempo.

Sunday I found myself out at Jeremy's as he is starting to get back into running after an injury that had left him down and out for a month or so. We ran the Western Waterfront trail out and back then three of us added another ATV trail loop to get our long effort for the day. Good for just over 2 hours. Legs felt great with no soreness after. Yeah!!
Total: 2:03:19 15.5 miles

Weeks Total: 58 miles
Years Total: 942.7 miles

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kickin' Viruses

Tuesday: I woke up with continued and actually increased head-stuffiness and I wasn't sure what the source was. My initial thought was another virus, I had just finished a three week bout of a head cold and I wasn't looking forward to another one. I was then reminded that the pollen counts were at an extremely high level and it could be allergies kicking in high. At at rate I was waking up very congested and having to hack up many goobers along the first few miles of my runs.

The schedule called for some up tempo work and I decided to do longer fartleks. Once I got a decent warm up I worked myself into 5 X 4 min's at LT pace with 2 minutes of rest between. I was very pleased with how this workout unfolded and considering the terrain was fair, with the exception of the strong uphill 4th interval, I felt very strong and excited to hit the splits that was given to me that morning. I hit splits of 5:40, 5:35, 5:40, 6:08, 5:33 for the "on" segments. Finishing with a nice 4+ mile warm down kept me loose for the day.
Total: 1:24:42 12.3 miles

Wednesday I woke up with continued congestion and I really didn't want to head out. I got my arse out of bed a bit late and proceeded to make a short loop just to clear the head if nothing else. My legs appreciated the effort and became much looser with the short mileage. One of those mornings where I was happy just to get out a bit.
Total: 30:07 4 miles

Thursday was uptempo day #2 for the week and I decided on shorter intervals at a much higher workload. After a decent warm up I worked myself into a workout that consisted of 15 X 1 min on/0ff at ~4:50 pace. It felt great to get my legs to turn over a bit quicker and I really was feeling good at the end of the workout. Lot's of head junk still coming out in the early miles.
Total: 1:00:08 8.6 miles

Friday was my usual Wednesday loop of easy miles in the Kenwood area. I like this loop as an easy run and having a beautiful morning was a bonus. My legs were a bit tired at the start but I worked into the run and finished feeling very fresh.
Total: 54:55 7.4 miles

Saturday was a run in Cloquet as a group of us at work were running a 5K to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer. Save Our Hooterz 5K didn't disappoint and over 200 walkers and runners participated on a wonderful, sunny morning.
I tried to get to Cloquet early to run some miles prior to the fun run but I didn't get there as early as I wanted since I was functioning on 5 hours of sleep post Sir Elton John conert Friday night at the Amsoil Arena in Duluth. What a spectacular show!! Anyway, in total I ran just under 5 miles prior to the fun run then the race. Good enough for a sleep deprived morning. Maybe some photo's of this event will follow. I just have to find someone that had a camera that morn.
Total: 8 miles

Sunday I ran a wonderful trail run with Tony out west on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). We ran from the Magney Snivley parking lot out past Ely's Peak toward Fon du Lac and back. The pace on that trail makes one humble but the experience and strength one gains is priceless! What a run, and one that left me hungry for more. I even started talking about running a 100 Miler some day! Must have been the low blood sugar.
Total: 2:05:00 12 miles

Weeks Total: 62 miles
Years Total: 884.6 miles

Monday, May 2, 2011

Get in Gear race data.

Untitled by greggor722 at Garmin Connect - Details

A New/Old Toy

I just started playing with the Garmin Connect site and downloaded a few runs I have completed last week and this morning. It's really neat. I don't know how to post them to the blog yet but will. For those of you on FB, I will post one up soon.

This morning I did an easy loop out Woodland and UMD before getting the dog and completing the morning. It was cool. The kind of cool that reminds me of November running, not MAY!

My left upper hamstring and both glutes were very tight but got much better with the run. No other pains to report and I hope I will be ready for some harder running tomorrow morning.

Total: 1:11:39 9.2 miles

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Weeks Worth

I got my Garmin fixed!! Wow, what a relief. Product support came through big for me and I was able to fix the bug at home with the assistance of Garmin. All it took was to borrow Tony's USB ANT (garmin chatter) and I did a "hard reset" of the unit back to factory settings and then download the most recent software version for my device and I was back and running!

Tuesday I ran out to Woodland and did an easy recovery "jog" and enjoyed every minute of it. Legs were feeling the uptempo from Monday and I was happy not to think on this run.

Wednesday I just made it out of bed and immediately decided on another easy loop and I was so happy I made it out. Sometimes you have to just enjoy the moment and stop thinking about goals, plans, races and everything else. That morning was all about having the opportunity to get out and run some miles. I'm being patient but the weather better change quickly!

Thursday was another uptempo day on West Skyline. I love doing these workouts this time of year on Skyline because I get to see some amazing sunrises over the big Gitch. This morning would not disappoint, yet another great sunrise. I did a series of fartlek intervals of 20/40's. Seventeen to be exact and I felt really good. My pace for the 20 seconds on was averaging 4:45's.

Friday I decided to take it really easy and ran out and back on Vermilion and home through UMD. I just wanted to shake out the legs and do a few strides in preparation for the big race tomorrow.

Saturday was a big day. I woke up at 0400 and hit the road by 0440 to pick up my buddy Chris and make our way to the 34th Get In Gear 10K. The weather was horrible and the temps were marginal. It rained the entire way to the Twin Cities and rained during our warm ups. The race was fairly rain-free but the rest of the morning consisted of rain and clouds. I felt rather pleased and ran a decent race despite the conditions. It's good to be on the right track.

Sunday was truly a day of rest. I partied with my buddy Dave as it was his birthday a day before mine and I managed to stay up way too late and get very little sleep. I rested, tried to fly a kite with my boy, and picked my honey up at the Lester Park after her medium distance run of the weekend. I really didn't want anything to do with running that day. No biggy.

Tuesday: 58:46 7.7 miles
Wednesday: 54:35 7.3 miles
Thursday: 1:12:50 10.4 miles
Friday: 34:00 4.2 miles
Saturday: 90 minutes 13.5 miles
Sunday: 0 miles

Weeks Total: 54.6 miles
Years Total: 823.1 miles