Monday, April 25, 2011

One Last 40 Workout

This morning I made my way to the Lakewalk and Scenic 61 to do a series of fartlek intervals at an estimated pace just under 10K. (still no Garmin)
The workout went like this. 18 minute warmup then 5 X 5 minutes at ~10K pace with 3 minutes recovery. I was toast after the last interval. I seemed to max out the energy for the morning and had what I call a very good workout.

This was my last workout at age 40. Yep, another trip around the sun come tomorrow!

1:20:00 11.5 miles with intervals

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hilly Weekend

With the Holiday weekend and our family having travel plans I opted for an early morning long run on Saturday. Luck would have it that one of my running buddy's from Jeremy's group texted Friday night to see if I was running long and I told him he was more than welcome to join in but I was leaving my house at 0530. He was in! Sweet. It sure is nice to have a partner for a long run, especially one at 0530. We hit a rural Woodland loop that consisted of some decent, long climbs along West Tischer and Hawks Ridge before making it back to my house at just over 2 hours. Perfect!

My legs felt pretty decent and fatigued only in the last ten minutes or so. I was happy with how I recovered the rest of the day and had plenty of foods and bevies to make it worth while.

Total: 2:03:20 16 miles

This morning I waited for the sun to make an appearance and hit the trials for a hour. I managed to hit all the trails in Rock Hill and Chester Bowl trails before getting home. For me, this was the best "weather day" I have run under yet this year. Temperatures once home were approaching 60F! I ran nice and slow and allowed my legs to rid the crap in them and I managed to keep the HR ultra low. A very good recovery run.

Total: 1:03:00 8 miles

Weeks Total: 73 miles
Years Total: 768.5 miles

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Energy

After having two sub-par weeks, (58, 50 miles) I decided to ramp it up just a bit and hit two quality week-day workouts prior to the Holiday weekend. I woke up on Monday and felt great and the easy miles just flowed. Tuesday was my first quality workout of the week and I had to resort to "feeling" as the Garmin shit the bed and will be in the shop for a fixin'. I did a nice little fartlek that looked like this: 3 mile warm up, then 4 X 4 minutes at ~10K pace (~5:25) with 2 minutes of recovery followed with 4 miles of warm down. This workout went about as well as I could have asked and left me with a little upper hamstring/glute soreness that I'm getting used to, but really wish it would go away! Wednesday I did my Kenwood easy loop. Nothing special and it felt good to go slow. Thursday was my second quality workout and I did longer repeats at steady state. (steady state is a zone slightly faster than marathon pace, but slower than half marathon pace. Again, it would have been really nice to have the Garmin on this one just to make sure I didn't over-do-it.) I did 2 X 15 minutes at ~5:40 pace with 4 minutes recovery in between repeats. I had a bit of a headwind to deal with on the second repeat and I timed a London road mile at 5:44, not bad for inner-body GPS. The workout left me hungry to get faster and stonger. I feel like time is going by too fast for June 18th, but then again, I have seen my fitness really sharpen over a very short time. I hope! This morning I ran an easy loop with no frills. Having the past two days off of work really helps and I am getting in a few extra hours of sleep that allows me that much more recovery. Going into this weekend I will get my long run complete early tomorrow am, as it will not conflict with travel plans. Sunday will be a bit over an hour easy.

Monday: 1:13:10 9.5 miles
Tuesday: 1:14:00 11 miles
Wednesday: 1:05:00 8.5 miles
Thursday: 1:20:00 11.5 miles
Friday: 1:02:36 8.5 miles

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ending Flat

Fitgers 5K left me feeling a bit flat on Sunday and having a lot of the snow still lingering didn't help matters. We had a small group that planned to loop in Rock Hill and possibly Chester Bowl. I wore road shoes, mainly because that is all I have, and they were giving all that I could handle on the wet trails of Rock Hill. My legs had very little pep and after 75 minutes of looping I called it a day. Had I ran roads I have a feeling I would have felt much better because the five minutes I ran on dry pavement after the trails my legs felt much better. I guess I will call the week one of REST.

Total: 1:20:00 9+ miles

Weeks Total: 50 miles
Years Total: 695.5 miles

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Timers

The past week sure has been interesting to say the least. The weather has gone from being nice and warm to having myself pull out the winter apparel once again. The brutal winds have blessed us with some additional "training stimuli" along with some rainy mornings and now the weekend had ~3 inches of snow.

The 22nd Annual Fitgers 5k was this morning and it was reported that in the history of the event no snow had been part of the festivities. Until this year. At first I was kind of mad when I heard the news yesterday but I quickly made an attitude adjustment and decided to have some fun with it and welcome what ever weather conditions nature could dish out. (like I had a choice anyway...)

As the gun sounded it was as close to a winter storm as any. I sure hope to have some pictures to post soon but we had one heck of a snow squall that thankfully diminished very quickly into the early mile or so. It was very good that some traffic made their way through downtown superior street because that was the only path to follow on the way out. Canal park was a bit less traveled and the corners were slick! A bunch of us were talking and we all wondered how much the slippery conditions really slow a runner down. It really doesn't matter because it was a race on effort and as long as you were giving it your all you were going to do as good as anybody.

I was surprised how good my legs and breathing felt going through the conservative opening mile in 5:15. I felt like I could manage to push that kind of effort the entire race and was feeling very good. As we ran past the Sports Garden we were greeted with the usual wind howling down the avenue. Once we were striding down Railroad street I was third in a line of three and we slowed some. I felt too comfortable but yet I didn't want to pass and lead into a wind while others took advantage. I stayed there until the 180 turn by the DECC and soon after made the gap up to the first guy who was trying to make a move out. As I fell in behind him I took a minute or so to catch my breath and then made a move past him to allow him to draft me. We pushed under the viaduct and then I gapped him a bit and decided to keep pushing up and over the final bridge and make my way to the dreaded trip back up Superior street. My legs were beginning to feel heavy but I still felt like I had decent turnover. Once I crested the climb I knew it was time to push all out as I didn't shake the runner behind me and he was making a move of his own. In the end I held him off and I didn't like what I saw. I know the conditions were crap, but I saw the clock tick past 17:00. That was a time I was trying to stay ahead of for many more years. My time would be 17:03, good for 3rd place overall and first over age 40. The last time I ran over 17 for 5K was in high school. I'm still happy with how I ran and how I felt as I think I am finding myself in pretty decent shape for April. I am now just starting to hit some true specific uptempo workouts and for me that is a good sign.

The other great news of the morning was my sister. She decided to join us nuts in this running venture last fall and ran her first race of adulthood in the Duluth Mile. Soon after she signed up for the Fitgers 5k and ran this morning. I had the pleasure of looping back and running the last quarter mile with her and she was just cruising. I also got to witness her endure a wonderful side stitch. You know, the kind that just makes you want to stop and sit down. I could tell that was on her mind but with a little encouragement she pressed on and broke the line in a very respectable 32:58. What's most important is she managed to run the same pace she ran her mile race last fall for the entire 5k! I wish I could do that! That also shows the room for progress and I get to enjoy watching all the PR's to come as she enters each race. Good job Carole!

Here is the early part of the week leading up to the snowy race weekend.

My first uptempo work of the week. A fartlek that went like this. 12 X 20 seconds under 5k pace (4:50-5:00) with 40 seconds rest. I call it the "20/40" workout.
My legs felt super and I was surprised at the pace as I was just feeling very fluid in my strides.
Total: 1:10:56 9.5 miles

Easy recovery style running. Kenwood.
Total: 1:06 8.6 miles

A bit longer repeats this time. 6 x 2 minutes at 5:15 pace with 90 seconds recovery.
Again, I was surprised how easy the intervals went. I felt like I could push a bit more but didn't. I have plenty of time to get speed in and this felt like a very good intro workout. No pains, and that is nice.
Total: 56:32 8.2 miles

I woke up to the alarm and slammed it. I was so tired and fatigued I just couldn't imagine running. Didn't sleep well the last few nights as my head cold is lingering and I am up much of the night coughing. A day off is often better than stumbling through a recovery run just to say you did it.
0 miles

Easy miles up Woodland. No problems except trying to keep the pace down. Nice!
Total: 1:05:40 8.5 miles

Race: Fitgers 5K
17:03 3rd place overall and first Master runner.
brutal weather, but still fun.
Total miles: 6+ miles

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rural Miles

Both runs this weekend consisted of a lot of rural miles. On Saturday Nic and I ran up Woodland and made our way out to West Tischer by means of Howard Gnesen and Nelson roads. Running W. Tischer past Jean Duluth all the way to Maxwell provided some decent rolling miles. We finished by taking Hawks Ridge over to Glenwood and Snively before looping at UMD and making our way home. The run felt really good and I had a bit of leg fatigue in the latter minutes of the run but nothing outstanding. An ice-bath afterwards and some recovery fluids and eats made life very enjoyable. The only residual soreness I had was the insertion of the hammies at the ischial tuberosities. I have battled with this pain in the past and Saturday afternoon was no different. By evening things were much better.

2:13:00 18 miles

Some Quick Shots of Sunday's Crew and Lester River

This morning was back out to Lester Park to meet with the guys for some gravel running. We did quite a bit more asphalt than weeks past but none the less a decent loop. My energy was excellent and legs were feeling fine with the exception of a right lower IT Band strain. I first noticed this soreness after a harder effort earlier in the week. It was hinting a bit yesterday and this mornings run it was definitely making a presence. I am looking forward to this upcoming week and hitting all my workouts to go into the weekends 5K with a bit of early, spring confidence. I am relatively fit, but not 5K fit so the weather will be my biggest enemy or friend.

Total: 1:18:42 10.2 miles

Weeks Total: 57.4 miles (5 runs)
Years Total: 645.7 miles

Friday, April 8, 2011

Systems Check! Welcome The Weekend

The head cold took another crack at me last night and allowed me to see every hour of the night with the exception of 2am. I slept through that hour. After a dose of meds I returned to the bed and slept to my alarm clock. Correction. Lucas made his way to our bed coughing and restless so I made my way to his bed and slept until my alarm clock!

Nic and I had made arrangements to meet at UMD at 0500 and run an easy hour. Once we hooked up I mentioned the loop out to Martin road and back via Vermilion but I forgot to add on the time it took Nic to run from his house to UMD and back and thus the run was a bit over a hour. No big deal for me but he needed to be to work by 0700 and it was now 0610. He didn't seem to mind but I felt bad none the less. After two miles things really loosened up and I was feeling great. We chatted the whole run and time went bye like nothing. With that run I gave myself the green light heading into this weekend and will do my usual long run and recovery style runs.

1:12:40 9.4 miles

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I managed to get decent runs in Monday and Tuesday with the latter being an out and back on Skyline with 10 X 1 minute at 5K pace with one minute recovery. I had a bit of soreness after the run and by the time I got home from work on Tuesday I realized I was getting sick. Nothing major but just the type of bug that keeps you down and really stuffed up head/sinuses.

Both Wednesday and Thursday were days of zero. The way I felt in the early morning hours kept me in bed and I just couldn't muster up the strength to get out and run. More than likely it would have been counterproductive anyway. I will try to hit some road miles in the morning. Test time.

1:04:00 8.3 miles

1:22:00 11.5 miles
10 X 1 minute fartleks at 5:15 pace.

0 miles sick

0 miles sick

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Running

It's really turning into Spring season in the north. I had my doubts early in the week when temps were still in the teens for the morning runs. By late in the week I had to adjust the apparel I chose in order to avoid over heating. The week went about as well as I would have liked with the exception of some nagging, sore muscle/tendon on the top/inside part of my right foot. It makes my foot feel like I have shoe laces too tight but at home I wear Crocs or Birkie shoes so that isn't the case. The feeling reminded me of a minor stress fracture I had in 1995. The odd thing I find is I have no pain when I run. Only a bit of discomfort walking around the house and that itself is fickle. The best I can do right now is stretch the lower leg muscles a bunch and ice the foot. Keeping tabs on this will be primary concerns this week.

It is now time to switch gears a bit and start introducing some faster and hillier running into the weeks mix. I look forward to this phase as a lot of work gets done and you can see progression rather fast if all comes together as planned. I will race twice this month and will really see how I am setting myself up for June 18th, as that is the primary goal for getting out of bed each day.

Here is the weeks review.

One more easy recovery style run after Saturday's two hour jaunt. I didn't really need recovery but it always feels great to take two days of recovery, so what the hell I did.
1:05:15 8.2 miles HR= 125

I ran what I call the "Heights" run. Once I made my way over to Arlington I ran some hilly portions with a bit of a fartlek style and managed to run some decent climbs during the loop. A great run for early am!
1:13:28 10.1 miles HR=135

I wanted to run a long, low HR run just to get a decent aerobic effort on the books for the week and really not stress to much about pacing. I felt great and looped down to Lakeside and ran the entire lake walk back to Blackwoods where I found myself running uphill for the last 17 minutes of the run. Felt super once again.
1:32:56 12 miles HR=128

The Woodland, Martin road loop served very well for this run as I did some impromptu fartleks of 30 seconds in the middle. I did 10 X 30 seconds at 4:55 pace with once minute of recovery. I really felt good on those repeats and think that some faster running is going to feel good next week.
1:03:49 8.5 miles

I didn't like how tired I was feeling and decided on an unplanned day off. I always beat myself up for taking a day off but sometimes those day are a blessing in disguise. This time off will hopefully assist me in the near future and get that foot under control.
0 miles/rest day

The foot continued to pull as I walked around the house but I knew I could run once I got my arse out the door. I didn't leave until noon and had what I might call the best run of 2011! I really just ran on perceived effort and really pushed the hills I came to. Sometimes I love making up workouts as the run unfolds. This was no different and hammering the hills made my confidence in running so easy for 12 weeks is going to really lay the foundation for me to really build upon over the next 10 weeks. It's time to get excited!!
1:14: 28 10.7 miles Farlek on Hills

I met up with Dave, Tony, and Clint out at Lester and ran some decent snowy/gravel roads for 90 minutes. Clint and I tacked on an extra 20 minutes at the bottom of our loop and I felt very fresh for the day. I had some quad tightness but that is par for the course with all the hills I ran in the last 48 hours. A really decent back to back effort for me.
1:52:00 13.7 miles

Weeks Total: 63 miles
Years Total: 588.3 miles