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