Monday, December 31, 2012

Ramp-Up Failure (More of a Delay)

Even though my milage had been low the last couple of weeks I felt I was turning the corner to better fitness and really getting ready to start the ramp-up of base milage. Last week, following my Sunday longer effort and easy Monday jog, I was feeling great and my energy was ready to tackle some bigger weekly miles. Then, half way through my work shift on Monday, my lateral side of my right foot which radiated to my lateral heel started to give me some serious pains. Pain to the point where I couldn't put weight on it. The bugger waxed and waned for the remainder of the day and two more to follow.
I finally made my way to the chiropractor and he found this massive ball of spasmed muscle in my lateral hip/glute. After some serious work on his part and some serious clenching of my teeth the wussy worm finally released. For the rest of the day I kept at stretching and woke up the next morning ready to tackle a run. And so I did, a modest 100 minute run would find me ready to resume my training. Hopefully I am good to go now.

We received some snow and that has helped the single track trails a bunch but another three or so inches of snow would help. I like to run those trails as easy days and it makes it really effortless to get in the allotted time.

Here is the week of:

December 24th-30th

M: 41:00/5 miles easy w/ 3 X 1 min hills (weights)
T: 0 foot ailment?
W: 0 same
TH: 0 foot better/ exercises help!
F: 0 Chiro/Massage/exercises--Feeling better!
SA: 1:38:00/ 12.5 mi  Lakewalk miles
SU: 38:00 Hartley single track
~23 miles

*not the week I wanted but sometimes you don't get what you want.
press on!

YEARS TOTAL: 1966 miles
(first time in 5 years of being under 2000 miles. i had a decent year but not running a marathon kept my milage down a bit. all is well, need health going into '13)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

National CC Champs and Fitness Plan

The week of National Cross Country Championships had me giddy and ready to go race against a field I didn't realize would be as tightly packed as it turned our being. Then again, it's cross country and that's how it usually is, I just haven't raced CC in approximately a dozen years or so. One main lesson learned was one cannot be "kind of in shape" to run cross country. Any weakness will quickly be shown. That was my case. I planned on going out fairly quick to gain good position and try to settle in a decent pace as the first three quarters of a mile after the initial hill were fairly flat. That didn't matter because the first two series of hills set me up for what was going to be a long day of racing. I had it in my mind that I would be able to cruise the downhills and maintain position and pass some more men on the uphills. That didn't happen. I did manage to pass runners on all the uphills only to be passed by a few more on the downhills. Hmmm. My method to racing this race was failing big time! By 5K I was in the same position as my final placing. A side-stitch at 2.5 miles stayed with me and faded as I faded but returned as soon as I pushed the pace, so I found the threshold and that was how I would finish. My teammates would race to a great day and we finished up 3rd Masters team! What a great time had by all. I want to thank Kelly and Team Run and Fun for allowing me to race and have yet another racing experience I will never forget. Matt W. you can thank me later...

As for my training since, it has been focused on gaining some overall volume (I need to focus a bit more, its taking a bit longer than I had hoped) and also to keep one run a week a bit quicker and build on that. It's a much slower process now compared to when I was 20 or 30 but if I take it easy and slowly build I should be sitting in pretty decent shape come April 15th 2013. The next week or so may be a bit of a low week but as soon as the first of the year hits its all business!

Here is a quick look at the last three weeks:

December 3rd-9th
M: 40:00 easy
T: 32:00 easy with strides
W: 40:00 with 6 X 1 min at 5:25 pace
Th: 0
Fri: 40:00 preview course
Sa: USATF CC CHAMPS  35:59, 46th place, team 3rd Masters
Su: 0 travel
~30 miles

December 10th-16th
M: 0 recovery/stretch
T: 34:00 treadmill easy
W: 0 lazy
Th: 37:00 trails/road
Fr: 1:00:00 Skyline
Sa: 1:30:00 trails/ rain!
Su: 45:00 easy roads
~33 miles

December 17th-23rd
M: 45:00 treadmill easy
T: 0
W: 55:00 Kenwood
Th: 1:01:00  treadmill 3X1 mile at SState 6:10-5:50
Fr: 32:00
Sa: 1:00:00 woodland country roads
Su: 1:43:00 skyline
~47 miles

Years Total: 1943 miles

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Race Week for CC Nationals

I feel like a college kid again. Excited yet nervous. On Saturday I will be running the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Lexington KY as a member of a mens Master team. Running in a Masters division may not have all perks and glam, as little is there is in USA distance running, but the competition remains stiff regardless what's waiting at the finish line. I plan to put myself out there and compete to the best of my ability and see how I rank among the field. The team Kelly has assembled looks to be very tough and just being a part of it is a true honor. I will post results as soon as I can once I get back but the quickest links will be off the USATF site or my Twitter or Facebook page.

Building up to this race the last two weeks has been enjoyable and I really haven't done any mind blowing workouts, and rather, I just wanted to make it to the start line healthy and fit, and I figured I would be able to hold my own. Lets hope it works! Most of my nagging injuries I had this fall have cleared up and it seems like I have settled into a nice training phase, a phase the should help me transition into base-phase for marathon training once I get back from this weekends race.

Here is a brief summary of the past two weeks:

Nov. 19th-25th
M: 32:40 easy running
Tu: 52:30 10 X 1 min. at 5:40/mi pace
We: 0 *patellar pain, do exercises
Th: 0 *same as yesterday
Fr: 40:00 7:30 pace plus 2 weight circuits
Sa: 54:00 snow, 5 X Baldy Hill in Hartley
Su: 1:35:00 skyline on slippery snow. Low back took a hit!
~36 miles

Nov. 26th-Dec. 2nd
M: 47:00 trails in Lester, sore from slipping yesterday
Tu: 0, exercises plus trip to Chiropractor
We: 57:00, Snap! treadmill workout 4 x .25@LT, .25@5K, .25 recovery
Th: 53:00 Hartley, last 20min. at LT
Fr: 37:00, tested spikes in Hartley, 5 X 100 meter pick ups
Sa: 59:00 Martin, Jean Duluth, 4 X 4 min @ 5:25-5:30 pace (windy)
Su: 1:28:00, neg split out and back by 2 minutes
~49 miles

Years Total: 1833 miles

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spike Search

I have to find a new pair of cross spikes and get them on my feet a couple of times before December 8th. I have an idea which ones I'm looking for so hopefully I can accomplish the task by weekends end. (I lost my old pair to the flood in June...)

My training is going well and really nothing too crazy. I just started adding some light, faster work to my week in hopes it get's me fit enough to crank out some decent splits on the course in KY. I have felt myself taking a leap in fitness so it must be working. Volume is on the low side but I plan to progress a bit this next week as long as my hamstring wants to play along nicely. Thursday is the Gobble Gallop 5k and I may sit this one out. I have a bad feeling about cranking out a fast 5k on a cool, slippery morning. Now, if its balmy like last year and no ice, I may toe the line...

Training for the last two weeks:

Nov. 5-11th
Mon- 58:00, trails in Hartley
Tue-59:00 (90,2 min,3 min,4 min, 90w/hill)
Wed-41:00 easy
Thr- 58:45 4 X 2:00 hills Rock-Hill)
Fri- 0 miles
Sat. 1:05:00 2x2 miles (11:30,11:27)
Sun- off, family sick

Nov 12-18th
Mon- 1:08:00 Hartley
Tues- 1:00:00 SNAP, (hills 90 sec at 6%, 1 min @ 7%, MP X 4)
Wed- 35:00 easy
Thr- 55:00 SNAP 7:30's easy
Fri- 44:30 w/ 11 X 100 meters @less than 5k pace
Sat. 0
Sun- 56:30, Skyline (2 min. neg split on return)

Total for YEAR: 1748 miles

Monday, November 5, 2012

Catch Up and New Energy

It's been near two months since my last posting. Blog entries certainly took a hit this year as well as my overall racing. I hope to freshen up things going into the last two months of the year as I prepare for a winter marathon training season in preparation for the 2013 Boston Marathon.

To get myself amped up I have committed to the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Lexington, KY on December 8th. I am part of a Masters team that hopes to do well. I really am looking forward to this small build up and race as it will provide me some much needed motivation and some good, hard workouts heading into the last month of 2012.

I haven't done a ton of training this fall but I did manage to sneak into a Half Marathon at Whistlestop 1/2 and get caught up in a good pack of runners that ran together right to the tape. I finished 5th overall and 1st Master in 1:16:07.

Here is a very brief summary of the last two months.

Sept 10-16:
tend to injured hamstring.
massage and chiro

Sept 17-23rd:
M- 45:00
W-F: 0
Sat- 53:00
Sun- 1:10:00

Sept 24-30
M- 34:00
T-55:00 2 x 1000 meters
Thr- 56:00
Fri- 36:00
Sat- 1:01:00
Sun- Duathlon, canoe, run, canoe

Oct 1-7
M- 58:35
T- 1:00:00
W- 1:08:00 2 mi at 5:45 pace
Th- 0
Fri- 33:10
Sat- 1:04:00 2 X 2 mile at 5:50 LT
Sun- 1:06:00 trails

Oct 8-14
M- 1:01:00 SHT w/Kari
T- 1:14:00 2 X 3 mile at 5:55
Th- 45:00
Sat- 1/2 Marathon 1:16:07
Sun- 0

Oct 15-21
M-T- 0
W- 33:00
Th- 1:00:00
Fr- 44:00
Sa/Su- 0

Oct 22-29
M- 52:34
T- 54:00 (2,3,3,2 min intervals)
Thr- 32:00
Fri- 40:00
Sat- 0
Sun- 1:30:00

Oct 30-Nov 5
M- 49:00
T- 0
W- 33:0
Th- 48:00
Fr- 52:23 4 X 2-3 min @10K effort
Sat- 1:04:20  4 X 400 @ 4:55 pace
Sun- 1:40:00

Years Total:  1667 miles

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grandma's Minnesota Mile Bummer

The day was gorgeous. Winds were a cross-wind, so in a city where there usually is a predominant wind off the lake, which would be perfect for this race as a tailwind, they were not in our faces. It was sunny and cool and the competitions was stiff. The hamstring tightness I was experiencing earlier in the week from Monday's last workout was just about nonexistent. I figured with a nice long warmup and some decent stretches I would be ready to go. As I continued my warm up and some striders the tightness was all so slightly present. Would it let me go rip out a mile and just be a little sore or would it tighten and go into a full-on spasm right int the middle of Superior street. Well, I was handed the later and I had to make the only safe decision really. The first quarter was covered in a quick 62 seconds and although it was a little too fast I realized I had a nice downhill quarter ahead of me and I could relax, slow and gain some breathe and still run a 65 to be ahead of my pace before focusing on the last 800 meters. I didn't make it the next quarter and jumped the curb at 700 meters. My race was done.  I could have slowed and hobbled in for the pathetic, "old-man" shuffle applause but really there was no point to that. I had only one decision and that was to stop and walk back to the start. DNF!

These last 5 or 6 weeks have been wonderful and I know I will use the speed I build up to my benefit later this fall. Anytime you can spend that many weeks on the track a person is going to be quicker because of it. The plan now is to recover, and switch gears and start running some medium-distance runs along with a decent dash of LT workouts and see where and what half-marathon I can get into. If I can nail one more race this fall that would be great. It's been a weird year for me and one that has had little racing. I guess that is a nice change, after all, the training that goes into all these races is often the best part!

Sept. 6-9th

Thurs:  50:00  6-8 striders at full effort
                           ham tight but no spasm.
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 0 miles *up all night crewing for 100 mile race
Sunday: warm up 35:00
             race 700 meters  DNF

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pure Lactic Acid

The quicker I can put myself at ease by the taste of blood and the burn in my lungs, and the lead in my legs, the sooner I will be mentally prepared to run the Grandma's MN Mile this Sunday. I have returned to the track for the first time in many years in preparation for this event. For the most part I am very happy where my fitness has gone in such little time. Having said that, I am a bit concerned about my fitness after the 800 meter of a mile race. Good thing the course is net downhill for the first 800 meters or so and I hope to make it my advantage.

First in line for the weekend is spending another weekend at the Superior 100 mile Trail race for some crewing duties of fellow team member Dave Shuneman. He is gonna rock that race and I can't wait for all the festivities to begin.

Here is the quick look at the last week and a half:

August 22nd-September 2

Monday: 1:00 early morning headlamp trail run with Shune
                              very easy paced run. felt great.
Tuesday: Track work. 800, 400, 200 X 2 sets. (2:20,2:23) (70,69) (33,34)
Wednesday: 45:00 easy
Thursday: 59:00
Friday: 1:05:00  3 X 1000 meters @ 5:10 pace
                         4 X 200 meters
Saturday: 0 off
Sunday: 35:00 around Centerville lake MN

September 3-5

Monday: track work, 800 (2:23) 1 min rest 400 x 2 with 30 sec rest. (70, 71)
              *right hamstring trouble, a bit mentally beat with this workout!
Tuesday: 0 off for rest/recovery
Wednesday: 37:00 leg feels a bit better, still concerning though for the race???

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vast Improvement

The last I wrote I made reference to finding that "next gear" in my legs. I am beginning to find it and with some additional workouts I hope to be able to feel it fully on September 9th. The weeks are going well and the workouts, albeit simple, seem to be working. It's amazing how quick your body responds when you stress it in a smart way. I take my recovery, and I take it well. Many of my easy days are 8:30 pace and I like it. When I have to run hard, I do. Let's hope this grand master plan unfolds like I wish and maybe, just maybe there is a PR in these legs just one more time.

Here is the last two weeks:

August 13-19th:

Monday: 57:50 headlamp run with Shune
Tuesday: Trackwork, 200,200,400 X 4 sets (35, 71sec.)
Wednesday: 40:00 easy
Thursday: 0 miles rest morning
Friday: 58:00, ladder workout: 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 min LT or faster paces
Saturday: 1:05:00 easy
Sunday: 1:35:00 easy

August 20-26th:

Monday: 1:02:00 headlamp run with Shune
Tuesday: 1:06:00 5 X 200 meters, 2 sets  (32-34 sec.)
Wednesday: 36:00 easy
Thursday: 41:00, cut-down run. last two miles 6:30, 6:00
Friday: 1:00:00  6 x 1 min at mile pace X 2 sets (4:40 down to 4:20 pace)
                         *course rolled so the faster paces were net downhill
Saturday: 1:11:00
Sunday: off 15 hour day at SuperiorMan Tri

Monday, August 13, 2012

Need More Zip

In two shorts weeks I feel amazingly better but still have a long way to go. My legs are definitely feeling more fresh but have another gear yet to be uncovered. (at least I hope there is a gear in there somewhere)

I have made it to the track twice and performed some LT work on the roads two times. To test the waters I made my way out to Esko to run the Kristin Burkholder 5K. The race was organized well from packet pickup to awards. For a small town race, this is a must do! I didn't really know what to expect out of my legs and lungs but once the gun goes off I have one thing on my mind. Get to the finish as fast as I can. For me that meant opening the race with a first mile of 5:19. It felt decent but I was breathing a bit too hard for my liking. The plan was to slow a bit the second mile but when I did it was followed by a burst of energy that told me to stride out and push a bit more. After pushing my way through a second mile in 5:19 (i didn't know this until after the race) I just ran on effort and pushed as hard as I could without going into oxygen debt. So, that resulted in a last mile of 5:20. Pretty consistent I must say myself. Final time: 16:32.  I left that race feeling satisfied with my overall effort and where I am with my training. *my training partner and good friend Dave Hypo ran a very solid race and finished 5th in 17:25. Speed play works!!

So, last week got me very motivated and ready to tackle the rest of the fall. I think with a few more weeks of speed then sharpening I should be able to crank out a decent mile come September 9th. After that, I plan to add some medium distance running and more LT work in preparation for a fall Half-Marathon.

Here is the remainder of the weeks training:

Saturday 4th: 9+ miles with Dave w/ 2 miles at 5:30 pace in middle.
Sunday 5th: 1:05 downtown run and hills

Weeks: 54 miles

August 6-12th:

Monday: recovery 45:48  ~6.5 miles
Tuesday: 1:15:00  200, 200, 800, X 3  (32, 2:27)
Wednesday: 40:00 easy miles
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 55:00 Kenwood miles
Saturday: 5K Race 16:32, 1:05:00 total running
Sunday: 1:04:00  Park Point

Weeks Total: ~47 miles
Years Total: 1251.6 miles

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Oval

I wrote last week that I was hoping the week and weekend would help springboard me into a fresh week and give me some momentum. It did not happen. Our family went camping and if I don't get out early to run it will not happen. Too many distractions. So, I decided to press on to this week and make good things happen. They have.

I managed to run every day this week and getting up to the sound of a 0440 alarm clock is becoming easier. (not much of a nightlife but oh well) The week consisted of mostly 50:00+ runs and two workouts. My first workout found me meeting fellow DRC runner Dave HYPO at the Central High track where we performed some short and fast repeats. They felt awful, as expected, but I know things will improve with each week.(I have not performed a true track session in years!)  On Thursday I did what should have been a LT workout but it turned out to be a much harder workout and I didn't like how it felt. AGAIN, they will become smoother with each week.

The weeks are flying bye and I have roughly a month to my first goal race of the late summer/fall racing season. I will be trying to set a personal best at the Grandma's Marathon Mile in September. I need a sub 4:34. I WANT a sub 4:30. If my workouts go as planned I will give myself a real possibility of accomplishing my goals.

This weekend will consist of a little faster paced running tomorrow and easy stuff both Sunday and next Monday.

Here's to setting a new PR!!

Thus far this week:

Monday: 52:00 easy miles
Tuesday: 55:00 *200,400,200 X 2 , plus 200, 100
                          :34's, 73's
Wednesday: 50:15 easy miles
Thursday: 57:00 w/ 15 minutes at 5:33 pace *way too tired for LT effort
Friday: 45:00 easy trail running. *Tischer Creek path is ravaged!

Friday, July 27, 2012


The last blog post was in mid June. I had grand plans for recovering from the marathon I had ran the beginning of the month and press on to bigger and better things. That didn't happen. I have many reasons for the lack of running and blogging but mostly "life" just got in the way and I needed to take a break. Not that many people even read this blog but I often use it as a way to keep motivated and see what I have been doing and where I am heading. That brings up the main reason for me falling off the training path. I didn't, and really don't, have a goal race for the fall. I usually do. My main race fell through ( I was going to run the TC 10 Mile but didn't get in) so I now don't really have a plan. Even before I knew I didn't get into the 10 miler I was way off in left field. I mean, I need a goal to get out of bed in the morning and not having one most of July showed when I look back at the month. I would love to say I am motivated to get out of bed and crush some major training days but I guess the next week or two will tell. I'm trying to take a laid back approach to this fall but sometimes that doesn't work either.

Other than no goal our house was one that took on some serious water during the Great Flood of 2012. I was heading to the basement that morning to head out for a run and take some pictures as I knew the rivers would be rushing greatly. As I placed my foot on the landing of the basement stairs I felt and heard a big SPLUSH! I ran up the stairs and turned on the lights and damn if our basement wasn't flooded! SHOOOT! I had to call off the run and tend to some more serious manners. Indeed the whole city had to that day, and that took some major gusto out of my mental mojo so that is reason number two I haven't been training much. Many back breaking hours were spent hauling all the shit out of our basement and that took a toll on my back. Things are slowly getting repaired and soon we will be back on our feet and have a complete house once again. ***For the record, we didn't have it as bad as many residents of Duluth and surrounding areas and I feel very fortunate for that. We still have a place we can call home and live in. Many don't!***

So I sit here on a day I have off of work and plan great things. My legs and body are ready to make a run for some great performance but what that will be still remains to be a mystery. There are many local events to take part in and I have to pick one as my goal race. My main goal is to enter the late fall/early winter healthy and very fit. Whatever weather we get for the winter I plan to tackle the elements and push for great fitness for April. I'm not 100% yet but I may be making my first trip out to Boson Marathon. We will see.

In summary, since June 14th, I have been running 5-6 days per week at 45 minutes per day and long runs of 90 minutes on the weekend. I ran Park Point 5 miler and label it as the "Worst running experience of my adult life". Seriously. I don't know what went on that night, but I don't want to experience that again any time soon. Other than that debacle, I do feel fairly fit. I need to increase my overall volume and work on some longer threshold intervals. Mixing in some easy speed sessions will help and soon I hope to be running strong again.

This week I have taken Monday and Wednesday off, but ran 55:00 both Tuesday and Thursday. I added 7 X 30 second hills yesterday just to mix it up. If I can push through the weekend with some good running maybe that will be my jump start to the next level of training. (fingers crossed...)

Years Total to date: 1150.6 miles

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Runnin' With My Gal

Our son spent the early part of the week at my parents since his summer program didn't start until Thursday of this week. That gave my wife and I an uncommon ability to run together. We never get to run together. So, Monday-Wednesday we ran loops before work. I love running with her and cherished the moments even though it was just a few days worth.
My legs feel recovered and it is time to bump up the intensity to test them out. So far this  week I have just continued to do easy, general aerobic running. I feel great doing that but want to do some light repeats to really see how my legs respond.
The body didn't want to get out this morning so I didn't. This is the last slouch week and then back to the grind. I have some serious goals for the rest of the summer and I need to get to work!

Thus far this week:

*all easy paced running
Monday: 45:00 roads
Tuesday: 37:00 roads
Wednesday: 58:00 roads
Thursday: ?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ready to Go

I spent most of last week ensuring my legs and sore spots were rested and gave myself a little test over the weekend. As I mentioned, Monday thru Wednesday were off days.
I ran an easy run on Thursday night and again on Friday night. Both night runs were a nice change since I usually run at 5:00 a.m. On Saturday I joined Dave for a medium distance run. I really didn't know what to expect and the pace was moderate so I adjusted well. The one concern I had was a little residual soreness over my left knee cap. I cut the run a few miles short and actually didn't have any knee pain in the closing miles or since then. Weird discomfort, as I have never felt that kind of sensation before.  Sunday I took a day off just to make sure the knee, and everything else had a rest day.

The week looked like this:

Monday: 0 rest
Tuesday: 0 rest
Wednesday: 0 rest
Thursday: 46:30 trails
Friday: 57:00 trails
Saturday: 1:30:00 roads
Sunday: 0 miles

Weeks Total: ~26 miles

Years Total: 951.6 miles

Friday, June 8, 2012

Rust Buster

Just a quick note of my weeks progress thus far following the 2012 Minneapolis Marathon.

My legs are feeling very good. I was wondering how long the recovery period would be since I ran the marathon with minimal milage in my legs. I took Monday thru Wednesday off and last night did my first true running test.  I ran with a Doc from work and showed him some trails near our house. After completing a loop in Rock Hill (Bagley) we ventured over to Hartley where I showed him where to park if he wanted to drive to the nature center and do a few loops himself someday. I was shocked how well I felt. I plan on running a short jaunt later today and I may up the mileage slowly this weekend. With a little luck, next week I will be back at it and press on to the path of getting fast!!

As for last night. The total time was 49:30.  Probably good for about 6 miles or little less.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Minneapolis Marathon 2012

The End Result:
5th overall, 2nd age-group

Going into this race I had very humble expectations. I wanted to get a Boston Qualifier (BQ) 20 minutes faster than my age-group minimum. That would allow me to sign up under their new rules for 2013 on the first day of Boston sign up. For me, that time was 2:54:59. A pace I am unfamiliar with. I went as far as printing off a wrist band with splits to ensure I didn't fall off or go out too fast. *the latter was blown after mile two!

I had a few promising long runs and a couple decent steady-state medium distance runs but not any really long "quality" sessions I am used to doing week after week. To say I was nervous of my outcome would be an understatement.

Race morning was started at 0430. I fired up the coffee pot and made small cup of shitty coffee. The motel I was staying at didn't really plan, or care for, the fact there was a marathon the next morning so there was no early breakfast. I had a banana, two granola bars, and half a bag of sport beans and a bottle of poweraide before hitting a shower. Yes, I take a shower before my marathons. It makes me feel good. It loosens up any tight spots and really gets me limber.

Soon I was heading out the door for the ~1 mile jog to the start. I used this as my warm up as I got to the start, did my bag drop, hit the porta pot and the gun would go off some 15 minutes later. Good timing on my part.

The race started without a hitch and I found myself running way too fast. The first three or four miles were near 6:15 pace! I had a devil of a time slowing down and as my splits show I just couldn't settle in 6:30's. So, I did what felt good. I ran a whole bunch of 6:20 miles and managed to hold pace for most of the race, with the exception of a monster hill coming out of Fort Snelling and one mile with  a pit stop. This was an interesting marathon for me in terms of how time went bye. The usual low points near the 15 mile mark didn't last but a mile or two. Once we climbed out of Fort Snelling my legs got a little life and I ran a couple of quick miles once again. The major bummer of this race was on the return trip when we caught the half-marathon group. The race management could have done a better job at the timing of the events or at least trying to keep an open lane for the marathon runners. It really wasn't too bad of a deal but just a bit annoying when you are at 22 miles of a marathon and you have to do a bunch of extra weaving in and out of people. I did my best of keeping my head and had a wonderful last 4 miles despite a crabby right calf muscle that really didn't want to play anymore. I asked nicely, and the course took an awesome downhill for the last two miles or so, which gave my calf a much needed break and I cruised in for the finish.

For the most part my legs feel really good for just running a marathon. I think I ran just about as hard as I needed to and ran a very smart race. I could have been out hammering with the leaders for 16 miles then fall off and really jog the last 10 miles but I held back and ran my race. I'm very happy with that commitment.

I will Load my Garmin RESULTS HERE!

Thanks for reading and cheering from your humble abodes.

Weeks Total: 48 miles

Years Total: 925.6 miles

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Race Week

It didn't feel like a race week. I had a decent run on Sunday and I really wanted to keep pressing on for more workouts. My mind told me otherwise. I knew I wasn't going to get any fitter for the marathon and in fact, I could show up very fatigued and possibly injured if I kept pressing the envelope all week. So, I did a taper from the minimal mileage I was running and kept up a little intensity for a couple days. Most of the week I felt fresh but on Thursday I was feeling sluggish and heavy legged. Very normal for a "taper week". Friday I took advantage of a little extra sleep in the morning and Saturday was a quick spin to test the shoes ( I was still undecided as to what shoes I would be wearing come Sunday morning!) and I had a little snap back in my stride. Nice!!

So I managed to get down to the Cities without any difficulty and settle in my motel room. Most of my day consisted of alternating water and poweraide as my beverages of choice. I had a decent meal, an excellent IPA at the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery and soon I was off to sleep for the night. 

As for the race it deserves its own entry so here is the week leading up to today:

Monday: 37:00, wet run in Rock Hill very slow and relaxed. Nice recovery run.
Tuesday: 40:00, feeling better up Woodland
Wednesday: 30:00, to skyline and did 4 X 3 minutes medium hard effort
Thursday: 30:00, to track and did 4 X 100 meters 
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 20:00, easy loop with striders.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

One Final Push

Heading into last weekend I was feeling pretty good and I figured I could afford one more distance run and hope to reap some benefit from a little marathon pace running. On Friday I did the Martin Road loop and attempted to throw in some one minute pick-ups and my legs just didn't want to participate at all. So I didn't force the issue and I made my way home just shy of an hour and 8 miles.  Saturday we had more rain and I was too crabby to get wet so off to the treadmill I went and pounded out what I termed "the best treadmill run I've had in many years. It really wasn't anything too special, rather, just a run that felt solid and very fluid. I set the pace and made an early commitment not to run anything faster then 7:20 pace. I kept to that and managed to sprinkle in some hill repeats. I did 4 X 4 minutes at 5% at 8 miles per hour. That effort felt really maintainable and I was happy to break up the monotony of treadmill running with some strength work.  Sunday found myself and buddy Erik using an open window of no rain but high winds to do the long run. I made the early decision to run 18 miles and much at the "marathon" pace of 6:30. I'm not too sure that will be my pace on Sunday but it seems attainable.  One week to go and I will be done with the marathon. I am both excited and very apprehensive. The feeling of fitness is definitely there but not strength fitness like I would like.  Oh, well, time will tell.

Here is the rest of the week:

Friday: 57:00 Woodland loop 8 miles
Saturday: 1:00:00  8.1 miles treadmill 4 X 4 min at 5% at 8mph.
Sunday: 2:00:00  18 miles  much at 6:30 min mile pace.

Weeks Total: 58 miles

Years Total:  877.9 miles

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soggy Feet

Since Sunday, I have run in the rain 3 out of 4 mornings. I have no dry shoes to wear (that's not true but it sounds good) and I fired up the fireplace tonight to dry a few pair plus my running hats.
My Sunday "long" run left me feeling quite good but I took Monday off just to be sure. Tuesday I got out for a nice easy run and found myself running kind of fast for a recovery run. I managed to slow it down a bit so I guess that's promising I feel that good I have to force to slow. Wednesday was my "uptempo" run out on west Skyline. I added a mile to my LT run and picked up the pace ~5 or so seconds per mile. The run started out sluggish but really worked out well and I finished very strong. This morning was a nice recovery run and once again had to force myself to slow in order to keep it a true "recovery" run.

Thus far this week:

Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 50:00 *short on time, slept too late
Wednesday: 1:11:00  6 miles LT @ 5:54 pace
Thursday: 54:00 Kenwood loop

*feeling really good this week and I really wish I had about 5 more weeks to race but I guess I will be able to hold my own on June 3rd. It's going to be hard not to have fast goals when I am feeling fast but not quite ready to "race" a marathon. You never know...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pace Work Needed

I needed a nice rest after the long effort on Sunday so Monday turned into a complete rest day except for stretches and leg exercises. I managed to get in a decent recovery run Tuesday and Wednesday I jumped right in to a medium long effort with 5 miles at near LT pace. Friday I made my way out to Martin road and along my loop did 6 X 2 minutes at 5:30 pace. Our weekend was filled with camping and on Saturday I got out on the SHT north of Temperence river for a bit over an hour. What a section! My Sunday long effort was shot right from the get-go. It was raining and it managed to rain for the entire 2 hours. A good test for wet socks just incase marathon day is a wet one. I realized I will not wear the socks I had on. One killer blister on the small, pinky toe cost me a few minutes at the end and I needed to finish the run a bit too soon.

Here is the week:

Monday: 0 miles rest + walk in trails with buddy
Tuesday: 59:00 easy loop
Wednesday: 1:21:00  skyline west with 5 miles at 6:00/mi pace
Thursday: 45:00 plus exercises
Friday: 58:20  6X 2 minutes of pick ups
Saturday: 1:02:00  trails at Temperence
Sunday: 1:54:00 wet road run

Weeks Total: ~56 miles

Years Total: 819.8 miles

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Progression Long Run

I spent most of the week gearing up and finally getting a little "work" done and some better  up tempo days worked into the schedule. Mid week I did a nice 11 miler with 3 X 10 minutes at 5:50 pace to simulate a little threshold session. At the moment I am not sure what my true LT is but that workout felt pretty close. The rest of the week was getting my legs under me and preparing for what was the longest run of my buildup as well as the year. Sunday we had a nice group that did a mild progression run from Two Harbors to Duluth. The only problem, and a big one it was, was the direct headwind we faced for all 22 miles. At times it was gusting to 15 mph! A bit of a challenge to say the least. In the end I managed to step down the pace nicely and worked plenty hard for it!

Here is the week:

Monday: 0 rest
Tuesday: 50:00 easy
Wednesday: 1:13:00 w/ 3 X 10 minutes at 5:50 pace
Thursday: 50:00 easy
Friday: 52:00 with 8 X 100 meters at 5:00 pace
Saturday: 1:20:00 easy trails in Hartley
Sunday: 2:32:00 north shore progression run
             average 6:55/ last three: 6:31, 6:28, 6:21

Weeks Total: ~64 miles

Years Total: 763.5 miles

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Virus Magnet

I seem to have been a magnet for different viruses lately and have been hit with a common "head cold" virus and this past week the damn GI "virus" that leaves you with ass-stomach for two or three days.
Right now I feel quite good and hope to have kicked all of the bad bugs out of my system and now on to better training and daily living.

This past week really rolled out well for me and I would have been very satisfied except for the zero I had to take yesterday because of the stomach thingy.

Today I managed to join a wonderful group and run a bit over two hours on the Voyageur course from the Zoo parking lot. I do love this section and I have never ran the 50 miler so I have no bad taste from the ugly uphill climbing out from the Zoo. Lot's of smiles today and I am ready to have a killer 4 weeks until my potential race. *I know I  can make it to the start...

Weeks Summary:

Monday: 36:00 slow in Rock Hill
Tuesday: 47:00 easy
Wednesday: 1:00:00 treadmill 4 miles @ 6:22 pace
Thursday: 46:00 easy
Friday: 50:00 *feels sluggish
Saturday: 0 *sick
Sunday: 2:13:00 trails/nice run

Weeks Total: ~46 miles

Years Total: 699.5 miles

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bump, Bump, Bump It Up!

I'm referring to training volume and intensity. This past week was another great "test week" that went about as well I could have hoped. The weeks mileage passed without any difficulties or soreness to speak of. My Sunday long effort went well but did manage to leave me with a bit of a sore low back and minimal tightness in the hamstring. I did some stretches after and that seemed to lick it. Part of me thinks that now that I have had the injured hamstring I am over sensed to that area and any twinge or tightness makes me very aware, as compared to months ago it may have gone unnoticed. That may be a good thing, I prefer to think, or that may be something I just need to press a bit to see how things are going to progress. I will mix a bit of those two thoughts as I press forward in my training and see how things iron out. On paper I am scheduled for some light repetitions this week as well as a 20 miler on Sunday! My first of the year!

Here is the weeks summary:

Monday: 32:00 easy jog
Tuesday: 52:30 w/ 7 X 30 sec @ 5K pace
Wednesday: 0 miles
Thursday: 55:00
Friday: 37:00
Saturday: 51:30 *harder pace run sub 7:00's
Sunday: 2:03:00  17 miler rather hilly route.

Weeks Total: ~ 49 miles

Years Total: 653.5 miles

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Week of Progress = Smiles!!

The past week has been wonderful to me. I continue to bump up my runs by time  and soon hope to be back on track to fitness.  It's really hard holding back as I continue this venture and progress is great, but I really just want to start hitting the miles and doing some up tempo work. In due time...

I took last Monday off to give myself the extra rest and then have run six days in a row with runs varying from 30-50 minutes with weekly long effort of 90 minutes this morning. The therapists have really got me in line. Near weekly chiro visits, deep tissue massage, acupuncture along with my strength program at home has been my recipe and I can't remember the last time I felt so fresh while running. I mean, wow, no hamstring pain, no hip pain, no back pain, no achilles pain, NOTHING! Is this how you should feel when you run/train for a marathon? I hope so, and I hope I can keep the ailments to a minimum as I continue to crank up the volume over the next month.

Here is a brief summary of the week:

Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 50:00
Wednesday: 39:00
Thursday: 29:00 with 8X100 meters pick ups
Friday: 45:00
Saturday: 56:00
Sunday: 1:30:00
*most weekly runs @7:30/mile pace

Total: ~41 miles

Years Total: 604.5 miles

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 80th Mile and Mad Treatment

The past week was a good indicator that all the treatment I have been getting on my hamstring has me going in the right direction. I haven't run over a hour yet but at this point it really isn't about going out and seeing how much I can do, rather doing what I can do in the proper amount and stay injury-free and continue to progress back to overall fitness!

The early part of the week had me running in the evening at the local YMCA on a treadmill next to ultra runner Chris Gardiner in efforts to keep him company, albeit a short run for me, as he continued on his quest to run 16 hours straight in efforts to raise money and awareness for the Strong Kid's Campaign. At the end of a long day Chris raised over $7000.00 and a lot of eyebrows as people walked in and out of the lobby. Together we rolled the 80th mile and he finished with a little over 95 miles for the 16 hour jaunt. Job well done Chris!

The rest of the week I sprinkled half hour runs in between my many treatment appointments. I did a Chiro/deep tissue appointment on Monday. Acupuncture and massage on Tuesday allowed me to focus on stretches and strength work for the remainder of the week. By the time the weekend rolled around I was feeling like a caged animal. I did an hour run on Saturday under beautiful sunny skies along with my lovely wife and my buddy Dave. What a great run. It's crazy to get so excited about a hour run but it's been so long since running with no pain in that leg, I have to go back to January to remember. Too long...

This week will actually look much the same in efforts to ensure I am on the right track and to keep those hamstring demons well behind me. It's exciting and exhilarating to think that in 12 months I will be the one getting nervous and preparing for Boston Marathon. Tomorrow will be excitement for 25,000 runners and I wish you all the very best!

Here is how the week looked:

Monday: 30:00
Tuesday: 0 miles. leg sore from all the work.
Wednesday: 34:00
Thursday: 37:23
Friday: 36:16
Saturday: 58:08
Sunday: 32:20
*all runs completely pain-free!!

Weeks Total: ~28 miles
Years Total: 563.5 miles

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Creepin' Back

I spent the week off of running and doing only lower leg exercises. I was all fired up to get a fluid-trainer and put my bike on it, then I was going to buy a new "gravel bike", then I was just going try some road biking this weekend and see where it takes me...  I just ended up taking the week off and running two really easy jogs Saturday and Sunday.

I want to be able to run a good marathon by the end of the summer and if I take it easy now that will happen. The races I had planned are now a distant memory and I need to take one day at a time and make sure I am healed and going to be stronger for future build-ups.

As far as the biking thing goes, I'm still going to look for a decent gravel-bike and a fluid trainer and start supplementing with some bike efforts. It would be good for my hips and legs to have that type of work included in my weekly routine. I just need time...

Monday-Friday: 0 miles running
Saturday: 24:00 trails, no pain
Sunday: 32:00 trails, no pain

I hope I am on the right track.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Game of Frustration

I guess it's time to call a spade a spade. I am injured and it's keeping me from running. I can't run, so I will stop trying. There, I said it. Now I have to act on it.

I had so many plans for this spring and summer racing coupled with an unbelievable winter of training and loads of running buddies to rack up the miles with I just didn't want to see all the work go to waste. There doesn't seem to be a day that goes by without having to answer the question, "when is your next race?" I can now answer that without hesitation and just say, "i don't know, i'm not training right now."

So, I may be a bit edgy for a few days and I plan to fully cross train as much as I can just to keep some form of fitness, but let me tell you, I am a runner. I will always be and I will fight, once again, to get back to the sport I do love, even if it's full of frustration right now.

My week looked like this:

Monday: 24:00, walk home
Tuesday: 0, Chiro work done
Wednesday: 0
Thursday: 8 minutes, walk home, massage after work
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 19:00 all running, oh, so sad...
Sunday: 24 minutes, walk home

*Game Over for now...

Friday, March 30, 2012

That's a Pisser

The "tightness" I was feeling in my hamstring was exactly that, and worse. On Monday I attempted to head out for a super easy shake out run with my plan of being near the 30 minute mark for a total. I made it a grand total of 24 minutes and I was once again reduced to a walk the remainder of the distance home. Lots of explicits to vent, good thing it was 5:30 in the morning as there are very few soles out there stomping the pavement.

I have taken the remainder of the week off of running and had one Chiro treatment  as well as one hour massage, along with plenty of stretches to go with the week!

The most frustrating part of all this is I am being smart and not overdoing it in any way. I have listened to my body and really been in tune with whats going on. My leg has been great and bam! in one or two runs I am out of commish again. Once again I am reduced to running as much as I can slowly... I only hope this all ends soon.

On a side note, I think someone pissed on my tires...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hammies Hurtin'

This week has been a nice progression. I gave myself one rest day and continued to run near an hour a day and a bit more on the weekend days. I plan to move up to get my two medium distance runs and longer efforts on the weekend within a months time. The main hurdle for this to happen seems to be a nagging hamstring that just will not let me progress to decent mileage. There seems to be some underlying problem that has yet to be discovered and now, more than ever, I need to figure it out!

Both runs this weekend had a little bit of hamstring tightness and keeping me from cranking up the pace too much.

Here is how the week looked:

Monday: 47:00  6.1 miles
              easy jogging to stretch out the legs

Tuesday: 1:02:00  8.2 miles

Wednesday: 51:45  7.1 miles

Thursday: 0 miles rest day

Friday: 1:01:00 8.1 miles *last mile at 6:00 pace
            super foggy out!

Saturday: 1:45:00  10.5 miles  *Jay Cooke Trails

Sunday: 2:20:00  18.2 miles roads

Weeks Total: 58.2 miles (6 days)
Years Total: 520.5 miles

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tee Shirts and Sunshine

Friday morning I made my way out and did a short out and back on Skyline. Nothing special about it. Just recovery miles.

This weekend was two marvelous days of running. Saturday a small group hit some very wet snowmobile trails that turned out to be a swamp run but none-the-less we had many laughs and much fun! Thanks to Dave, Dodgeball, and the Deb. For most of the run I actually ran without a shirt on and nearly caused many car accidents because of it.

This morning I had a group of five come to our house in order to hit some consistent road miles and get aide at the half-way point. We did a two loop course and once again, running in shorts and a tee in March just isn't right. My legs felt fair and towards the end of the run I had my right thigh start crying for mercy and to stop. I made it a total of 2 hours and near 16 miles. I have some more work to do on the leg but soon I hope to be jamming the miles and finally getting fit! Thanks to Eric, Tony, Dave and Dave. Great run!

Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 9 miles
Sunday: 16 miles

Weeks Total: 54 miles
Years Total: 462.3 miles

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dear Right Leg, I'm Gonna Win!!

I managed to have some decent miles last weekend and I rewarded my quad with a day of rest on Monday. I really had no choice as I was quite sore and very tired from the lack of sleep all weekend. I still got up and did a few subtle stretches then did a long ICE session on my quad, then a hot shower. I woke up Tuesday feeling refreshed and ready to rip it. The daily running has remained quite simple as of late and will remain the same until there is vast improvement in the range of motion in my quad. (still a bit limiting and very bruised) Until then, daily mileage is key and I will do my best to be ready to pound some pavement come June 3rd in Minneapolis.

Here is how my week has progressed thus far:

Mon: 0 miles (rest and rehab)
Tues: 55:50  7.2 miles
Wed: 47:35   6.2 miles   (icy roads)
Thurs: 1:10:33   9.7 miles

Monday, March 12, 2012

Snow Today...Gone Tomorrow

Not literally but pretty darn close. Last Saturday we received close to 15" of fresh powder on top of the 12" we had received a few days prior to that. That would be the entire "winter" to date. I realize it's still March, but I'm going out on a limb and saying we will not get any more storms like that!

On my last post I mentioned the long, backcountry snowshoe I did with the boys in the Lester/Amity Valley. We had tons of fun. Too much for me! What I failed to mention in my last post was the fact that I almost tore my right quad off! I launched off a ten foot cliff into some fresh POW and when I landed it threw me forward and I had to tumble a bit. In the process I hit a fallen tree buried under the snow. (a major risk of jumping blindly into fresh powder, even though the previous three launches left me in hysterics and joy! This jump would initially leave me a bit stunned but no means in the condition I would find myself in come Monday morning. Damn!!!!! My right quad was so bruised and sore I could barely lift for a simple flight of stairs. Ice, Ice and more Ice was the treatment of choice. Lesson learned for now.

This past week things slowly improved and by the weekend I was able to hobble myself to a few runs and ended Sunday with a pretty decent effort and some swill to cap off the evening.

Sunday was the 2nd Annual Shamrock Pub Shuffle. We had a blast and many laughs were had by all. I had ran 2 hours in the morning so the evening three miler was doable. So, here is a quick summary of the week. I hope this week I can get back to some consistent training as I am lagging big time!

Mon: 0 miles
Tues: 0 miles
Wed: 0 miles
Thurs:  38:00   5 miles
Fri:  32:00  4.5 miles
Sat:  48:00 slow trails, very sore yet  5 miles
Sun: 1:55:00   14.2 miles (a great improvement)
          30:00      3 miles  (eve. pub shuffle)

Total:  ~32 miles

Years Total: 408.3 miles

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Two Week Rap...Totally!

Two weeks have passed since my last entry. One reason for this is just laziness and not high on the daily priority list but mostly I haven't been doing much except resting. I have run a bit over the last two weeks but I had some minor setbacks to say the least.

Here is a brief summary of the week following my last entry.

Early in the week I was running well. I did a series of runs in Hartley as well as roads and was getting consistent runs with the hamstring tolerating them fair. (still some pull)  On Thursday of that week I saw Adam, a sports Chiro, and he worked the snot out of my hamstring.  I have been doing some strength exercises and he liked what I was doing and added a bunch of stability work to my regimen. After his appointment our family took a short trip to the Twin Cities for a few days. I ran on the treadmill for a short run and did my exercises on Friday. Saturday I was off and Sunday I ran with Hypo from the Canal into gale-force winds! Then an hour after our run I came down with the Flu!

My week looked like this:
M: 51:17  7 miles
T: 55:28  7 miles
W: 52:01  5.7 miles (trails)
Thr. off
F: 4 miles treadmill
S: off
Sun: 1:36:00  12 miles

Total:  35.7 miles

Since I came down with the flu I had a tough time getting back on track and then Thursday I turned the corner and things improved rapidly since. So happy with that! I managed to see Adam again this week and he is happy with the progress on the hamstring.  I took of most of the week and had a wonderful late week of running. It looked something like this:

M-Thursday: 0 miles sick!
Fri: 43:46  5+ miles roads
Sat: 58:00  7.4 miles
Sun:  2:15:00  snowshoe with the boys! crazy fun in Lester Park.

Total: 21+ miles
Years Total: 376.3 miles

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tampa To Tulsa

Off of Rainy Day Music, the title song is one of all time favorites. Not too sure why. Maybe just the simplistic idea of the song.
I'm a bit bummed out because the Jayhawks played last night at the State Theater and I missed them. Maybe, just maybe I will see them in the future if at all possible. So, this is the last of my Jayhawk song/blog titles for the week. For some of you, I hope I gave you some new music to add to your library.

For the weekends running I managed to get out both days and continue to be baffled by the hamstring issue i'm dealing with. Lot's of What the !?? throughout the weekend.

Saturday I hit the trails of Hartley and I was just going to do the main trail and exit on the other side and run some Woodland area roads before making my way back home. Well, instead I managed to stay on all trails and do a short loop past the gasline and return home. I felt really good and only had a hint of tightness in the ham. I DID realize though I couldn't have strided out and ran fast as I felt my limit with the shorter trail strides I use.

Total: 44:18  5.3 miles  trails

Today I decided to venture out and hit some new terrain. I really wanted to run a new section of SHT and I decided, on what I will call the Fox Farm Road Section. I really didn't know what to expect from my hammy so I kept my options "open". I started out by running the trail east (up the trail) and soon found a few reasons to turn back for the truck.

 There are very few times in my past when I felt unsafe while running. For some reason I never feel like I am vulnerable as a runner. That may be a bad thing, but I chalk it up to being very "comfortable" while I run and if harm finds my way while I am on a run than I guess it was my number and I get to depart this world while doing the one activity I love the most out of life. I mean, I have run in inner cities while attending work conferences and never really feel threatened. Maybe because I usually run at 0600 and there is little harm awake at that hour. But the feeling I had today out on the SHT was completely unexpected and I was taken back a bit by it. I was running under complete sunny skies and still air. As I was out only 10 or so minutes from the lot I began seeing small tracks on the trail, as there was fresh snow from a day or two ago and not a single walker had made their way up the trail in that particular direction.  Soon after seeing what I would expect to be coyote tracks, they stopped, and soon a much larger track appeared and I soon knew what I was involved with. Soon one track led to two, and three, and get the idea. I was following fairly fresh Wolf tracks and I expected to see a pair of eyes staring at me on my next climb. The feeling of "being watched" never left me but soon I was very comfortable with actually seeing a Wolf. I had a camera and was ready to take my best shot of the bugger if he/she would show up. The trail soon began to offer a bit too much snow, I know really, but I just couldn't settle in any rhythm and I was forced to make my turn back to the lot. I was 27:00 out from the lot and after dashing back through the wolf pack I was soon at the truck and making my way down the trail in a westerly direction. This section was packed from a lot of walkers and I was able to maintain good form and run a decent section. I soon had to call it quits as the hamstring was calling my name and I didn't want to go into a full spasm. The run ended up being fairly successful from a hamstring point and really eye-opening in regards to Wolf and how close they are to us! Wow!

Total: 1:15:00  ~8 miles trails

Weeks Total: 37 miles
Years Total: 319.6 miles

Pics of the day:

  Trailhead FF Road

 Trail flooded by stream

 Wolf track compared to my hand. drrrr. right?
 Trail going east (up)
 Trail westerly (down)
More proof the wolves are here. Hairy poop!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Say Your Prayers

This song is labeled as a "demo" and is off a double album with this specifically titled More Rain.

After running for a few days with minimal ham issues I was slapped in the face on Thursday morning with a good ol' fashion ham spasm that reduced me to walking home yet again. Frustrating to say the least. When I am injured I tend to A) Get Crabby and B) Focus all my energy on the injury and want to get better. Well I accomplished (A) quite well and failed at (B). I thought I was working hard at stretching and strength work but to no avail on the injury at hand. Just when I think I have the source of my issues it comes up empty. I thought it was my calves and I have them very loose and still the ham problem.

So, for now I am just going to keep doing my strength work and try to sneak back to running and see where it takes me. I have a marathon on my mind for late April but that is slowly becoming doubtful. At this point I guess it's what they call "one day at a time".

Total: 47:00   5 miles
          (4 running/ 1 slow mile walk home)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stick In The Mud

Sound of Lies, 1997, was the first album after the departure of co-founder Mark Olson and the blog title track was a good one. I felt like I was a Stick in The Mud this morning as I had a repeat run of yesterday.

My run started off much like yesterday and I had a wonderful 4 miles. At about the 5th mile I started to feel the hammy tightening and I stopped right away to stretch the calf muscle to see if I could keep things at bay. It helped a bit but soon I was feeling quite a pull and I stopped a second time for a good stretch. After this one I began to stride out and soon I was running symptom-free. What the? Towards the end I was running sub 7:00 pace and feeling well. So....I don't really know what to say. I am still baffled and trying to find the source of this menace. I'll keep you posted.

Total:  1:13:37   10 miles  Enger and back

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stumbling Through The Dark

Jayhawks album- Rainy Day Music produced the blog title hit listed. I really enjoyed Rainy Day, could be one of my favorites of all. That is too difficult to say as I love all their music but you know what I mean...

I didn't run yesterday as I focused on some really deep stretches and exercises in preparation for my evening visit at Muggymoose. A local studio that didn't disappoint. I was not too sure what to expect, as my exposure to Yoga, and Thai Yoga Massage was limited to zero. Since my weaknesses in my running have surfaced yet again in the form of a bum hamstring I figured it was/is time to really focus on stretching and strength work as a staple and not as a fix. I want this to be part of my daily routine. Yes, it adds time to what I do, but so what. If I have to give up one sitcom a night to accomplish this I will. I need to take care of my body or I will not be able to partake in the training and running I enjoy so much. Anyhoo, the massage session was very beneficial and I will be going back at some point for another session.

This morning I "stubbled through the dark" on an easy hour run. I had the best feeling for 4 miles then I could feel my hamstring getting ready to get ugly. I did my best to relax and adjust my stride and soon I was running pain free again. That made me realize I have something triggering my hamstring to tighten. I knew this but was trying all options. I didn't figure it was my calf but I sure may be. They are tight and I need to focus some days on them. Too many things to think of...

Total: 1:03:47   ~8.7 miles

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Trap's Been Set

Although not a true Jayhawks song, the song title listed is off of Mark Olson and Gary Louis album titled Ready for the Flood. A nice mellow album put together in early 2009, the music is a bit slower than past albums yet still has the Jayhawks feel and powerful lyrics that I can relate to.

Now this song may not be related to my run in any way, I liked the title and can make a connection thru it.  I feel like my "trap" has been set for the next year or so. My wife and I have decided to make the effort to run Boston 2013, which is a two year project to get there and now I am "trapped" into training marathon-style. Not that that is a bad thing, I tend to get into really good shape, as most would, but it's a different life style than just "training for the next 10k". Don't get me wrong, I love it, but at the same time we are all trapped into the lifestyle if we are gonna meet our goals. Right now I would not have it any other way, as I am super pumped to run the 26.2 on April 28th in Brainerd.

As for my hamstring, things are better but still bothersome. I feel like for right now all I can do is dawdle and run easy paced runs. If I were to crank up the intensity I feel like the hammy would get cranky and just spasm and thus piss me off! I have a massage tomorrow and I am hoping for a little bit of a miracle. I realize that one hour will not change the world dramatically but the end result of what will come out of it, I remain hopeful.

Today's run was another successful hour plus without a spasm and allowed me to muster up a nice 9 miler. No frills, just mileage at 7:30 pace or thereabouts.

Total: 1:06:33   ~ 9 miles

Weeks Total: 17 miles
Years Total: 282.6 miles

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Waiting For The Sun

I have been in a Jayhawks mood lately. A Minnesota born band that always seems to make me smile. The are touring again and possibly making a showing in the Twin Cities very soon. Hopefully I can attend. They don't tour too often and it's one not to miss. In their honor I will title each blog post this weekend and next week with a song of my choice. Hopefully my run or events of the day will in some way reflect the title.

As for this morning I woke up to temperatures in the negative digits. That wasn't all that bad but the windchill made it close to -30F and I wasn't willing to go for a short "chance run" to test the hamstring on what might end up a walk home. So, I made the decision to run on the treadmill. I started off easy, paying close attention to my ailing leg and soon was up to a respectable pace. As I was warming up I quickly realized I had the shades closed so I ripped them open only to see a blinding sun come shining in. As this month passes and the next one arrives I will be Waiting For The Sun to shine once again on my morning runs  as for now it's still the moon and stars.

The treadmill treated me well and I ran for an hour at 7:30 pace with minimal hamstring issues. I had some tightness but no real pains to speak of. Thank You!!! I only hope to back that run up with another just like it tomorrow.

1:00:00  8 miles (treadmill)

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Since I managed to get out or a little over an hour yesterday I figured I could do for 90 minutes and see how the hamstring would handle the load. I made it 3 miles then I was walking again! I did the walk/jog program back to the house and that was it.

A bit disappointed to say the least, I decided it was time to really focus on a weeks worth of strength exercises and stretches in order to get the hamstring under control. A week now will not make a shits worth of difference come late April and this summer when I want to be crankin' out some race performances.

I do realize this is something I need to focus on and stay in tune with. I plan on seeing a massage therapist soon and see what kind of ugly "woosie worms" (aka: tight muscles that hurt like a bitch when worked on)we unfold in my legs and hips.

45:00    ~5 miles

Weeks Total: ~42 miles
Years Total: 265.6 miles

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Looking goooodddd....YEOW!

On Monday I posted that I was feeling my Sunday's long effort and I may need an additional day of recovery before heading into more up pace efforts. I did that. I knew I would thank myself and give my legs another 24 to reap the benefits of easy aerobic exercise in the form of soft, snow-covered trails in Hartley.  I headed that way Tuesday morning and proceeded to do one complete loop along with some other short loops and a short section in Rock Hill. That felt great.
On Wednesday I woke up plenty early to hit my 90-100 minutes with some steady state running in the middle. The weather was rather warm at 25F and the roads/paths I chose were very clear of any debris. After my usual 3 mile warm up I started to work into the steady state miles. At first it was a bit more difficult than I wanted the pace to be. I ran this pace so easily last week and this week it was actually beginning to feel like work. I decided to stop looking at my gps and really focus on body effort and breathing. Coincidentally that was about the time I started to feel better. To ensure I would have a decent run I took my Powergel in hopes to make the last half hour of this SS period go smoothly. Not long after my "good" mile I started to feel my right hamstring tighten and get that "heavy" feeling. I did few short and long strider-style moves in effort to relax the bombing muscle. No luck. At the end of the next mile I was stopped and stretched over a guardrail at the Lester River some 5 miles from my warm house. I had to walk for a few minutes and then slowly worked into a very subtle shuffle in hopes to keep me from freezing and get home. My leg allowed this shuffle until the hills of Tischer Creek. I walked up to the streets and then ran the rest of the way home.

The next two days and today I have been focusing on keeping my low back, piriformis and hamstrings loose and it seems to be working. I have a Chiropractor appointment on Tuesday and I hope to keep some form of respectable running until then. My hope is that this is just a minor bump in the road and a reminder to vary my running terrain. I have been putting in quite a lot of miles on the single track this January and I think my back finally said, "enough". Once things loosen up I may return to the awesomeness of those trails but by then they might be a big pile of mud.

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday's running:

Another easy, recovery style run in the wonderful single track trails of Hartley Park. No complaints and many more miles to do there. Legs did appreciate another easy day and I hope all systems go for tomorrow.
1:16:13   8.1 miles (trails)

Out to Lakeside on the bike paths for some up tempo running. I did close to a 3 mile warm up then worked into my steady state. The plan was to run 50 minutes at 600-605 pace. As I started the session I felt a bit flat and soon ran on effort and didn't look at my gps for pacing. I then started to feel better and took a gel soon after only to have my right upper hamstring tighten up on me and force me to a walk. A slow hobble home and I had self-prescribed a couple days off of running. Lot's of stretching and strength work for the low back and hips.
Total: 1:33:45   12.4 miles

Thursday and Friday:
off, no running. just stretching and strength work.

Hammy Test

In brief, I had a minor set-back this week and ended up taking off two days to let a ailing hamstring heal. It's source, I believe, is my low back and piriformis causing my hamstring to howl a bit.

I ran a slow out and back with Dave this morning and things were just "OK".

I will recap the week soon and possibly run a medium long effort tomorrow.

1:12:30   9+ miles easy pace

Monday, January 30, 2012

It's A Whiteout!

When I ran this morning I couldn't believe the snow falling. I made my way up Woodland and by the time I crossed Martin Road it was blowing and snowing like a real winter blizzard. I had a half-mile stretch where the wind was biting me right in the face but other than that I had a cross wind which was tolerable.

I was pleasantly surprised how good I felt. My legs turned over nicely but I could feel a bit of tightness in the IT bands and that made me realize the importance of proper stretching. I may be able to do my medium long SS run tomorrow but it will be a last minute decision. I want to make sure I am recovered properly and ready to hit the faster pace once again.

Total: 1:06:00    8.1 miles

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Steady Out East

With the little snow we received I was in search of good footing so I could do a steady-state run outside. I realize I will be performing these workouts on the treadmill very soon but until I absolutely have to I will squeak them out on the streets. The weather was cool but relatively calm so I made my way out to Lakeside and used the dry lakewalk and HWY 61 to get in some quicker miles.

After my usual warm up I eased into pace and tried not to stare at the gps and just run on effort. I want to become familiar with pace based on how I feel and hopefully will not have to rely on gps splits. I guess I managed to do pretty well as my splits, even with the subtle ups and downs didn't vary all that much. I will list them below with the workout details.

Saturday I was feeling a bit fatigued and ran with Dave and Ryan on the trails for an easy hour. It's always good to run with someone on the easy days. For me, those days can often be the hardest to get out and roll the miles out. I'm glad it worked out for all.

Sunday was a long run and I managed to run the trails for most miles. I did a short out and back on Skyline before hitting the single track and then ran some with Dave and then some with Tony as our meeting point for the day didn't quite work out. I felt really good on the trails and managed the entire run just about 8 oz's of water. I had an emergency gel with me but I didn't take it until I got home. It's good to burn the legs a bit in training as long as there are no signs of injury looming. Not to be had for me. All systems a go!

Here are the run details:

Out and back thru lakeside to mile 17 of gmas course and back. 45 minutes of steady state, good for a little over 7 miles. Splits:6:07,6:05,6:05,6:07,6:02,6:12,6:00
1:31:00  13.4 miles

easy trail run for recovery.
1:02:07   ~6.1 miles

long run on roads for 4 miles then trails.
2:33:42   17.5 miles  (single track trails)

Weeks Total: ~73.4 miles  (9.9 hours)
Years Total: 223.6 miles

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ramping Up

This week will be a first of three consecutive weeks of volume building. I plan to to do a pattern of three up and one down (rest). I have about three or four more weeks of base-phase training and then switch to some longer threshold workouts and continue to work on the long runs.

So far the week has gone about as well as it could. The snowshoeing the past weekend left me a bit more sore than expected on Monday and Tuesday but by Wednesday I was ready for a medium long effort with steady-state. I woke up to about a half inch of fresh snow on the roads which made for very poor footing. Instead of risking any pulled muscles I just ran the time and pushed some sections a bit more than usual. In the end I had a great run. I feel a bit tired today but I will be able catch up and gain some extra hours come this weekend.

Here is the week thus far.

Up Woodland out to Arnold roads before making my way home via Vermilion and UMD. I really took it easy on this run in hopes to ready myself for the medium distance run.
Total: 1:10:00   9.1 miles

I woke up still a bit sore and fatigued so I made a quick decision to stick to a slow, easy run. Since things were looking decent I made my way to the trails of Hartley and proceeded to loop around. Felt great and the trails were very good.
Total: 1:08:43   ~7.6 miles (easy)

Out and back on West Skyline to 28th Ave W. I managed to push a few miles near 6:40 pace but too slick to do any quality work. The run was still a very productive effort. I will be pounding out this course many times in the next 13 weeks!
Total: 1:31:00  12.7 miles

This morning I made my way to the trails of Hartley again. A bit slick but still very runnable. One complete loop and I returned home to fuel up. Looking forward to the second medium long run tomorrow morning.
Total: 1:02:11   7 miles

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January Freeze and Winter Bliss

Kari and I heading out for Saturdays snowshoe.

Lucas doing some tricks on his snowshoes.

The cold temperatures finally made their showing in Duluth this past week. We had a run of three or four days with temperatures in the negative digits. The put me running with some crazy, cool temps but manageable for the most part.

I gave myself a rest from the long run in order to rest my legs for what I hope a build-up in mileage over the next three weeks. Even with the break from a true "long run" I got in some decent "time" for the week. I am feeling very well and eager to crank up the volume and see what happens. I am ready for some tired legs and will need to remind myself of the fatigue and really keep getting my arse out of bed each morning. That is what is going to make this build up a success!

Here is the week in review:

Following a really good weekend of running I was ready for an easy road loop and that is what I did. Out to Martin and back via Vermilion. Doing great!
Total: 1:02:00   ~8 miles

Very cool morning. It was below zero without the windchill and I got lucky with the wind direction on my out and back from Brighton Beach. The wind was at my shoulder the entire run and that made it tolerable. A headwind would have been sub 20F below zero! I added some uptempo time that was a "steady state" effort but my pace was off because of the cold and blustery wind. The effort was there and I was happy with bumping this workout to 40 minutes. Another 10 minutes will be added this week plus another shorter effort later in the week.
Total: 1:24:11    12 miles
          40 minutes at SS at ~6:15 pace

Recovery style run in Morley Park area and UMD. Decent run but cold once again.
Total: 52:00  ~7 miles

Too cold. The wind chill outside was -40F!! No way. I hit the treadmill and did a nice warm up of 30 minutes and then proceeded to add 2 minutes hill segments at 6% grade each mile just to break up the monotony. I felt really good and will more than likely be running the treadmill more often for specific workouts.
Total: 1:20:00  ~11 miles
          6 X 2 minute Hills at 6% each mile

0 rest day

No real long run so to speak rather a long effort on snowshoes. There was some running and some real hard ass walking in powder up past my knees for a few miles. The goal of this workout was to keep the heart rate up and keep moving for over 90 minutes. I accomplished this very well. After the effort I was surprised how wiped out I was.
Total: 1:45:00  time on snowshoes

I ran the entire time and got in some strength work. The legs felt good after yesterdays long hike/jog. The temperature was a bit higher today and my feet had no problem staying warm. Overall a really good day and weekend of snowshoeing.
Total: 53:00

Weeks Total: 38 miles running  (7.4 hours total)
Years Total: 150.2+ miles

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Great American Running!

I was as pumped for this past Saturday as I was for Christmas. The running of the USA Olympic Marathon Trials were in Houston TX. The USATF really effed up big time and didn't have any LIVE TV or Internet coverage of the event. NBC did their usual shitty job at attempting to do a 2 hour "recap" much like they do of the NYC Marathon. I'm sure its all red-tape bullshit but really, the Olympic Trials? They could have done better.

Anyway, my running has been going great and I am popping into shape nicely. I have a long way to go before April 28th but the way I have been progressing over the last three weeks I can only believe I will be ready to toe the line in Brainerd.

Thursday I allowed myself an easy trail run of up to an hour. Right now the only safe trails are in Hartley or snowmobile trails in Lester. I looped in Hartley and made my way home after finishing a loop of ski trails. A really decent run for recovery style and no aches or pains to deal with right now. Let's keep it that way!

Total: 55:56 6.2 miles *slow trail pace

Friday I hit the roads since my hip flexors were a bit tight and that seemed to help. After the run I didn't really notice much tightness. It has been much cooler than recent these last two mornings and with the wind it's been in the negative figures. Brrrr.
Roads up Woodland and home via Vermilion.

Total: 51:16  ~7 miles

Saturday I hit the trails of Rock Hill, Chester (don't bother running here) and then an entire loop in Hartley. I made it home to see Twitter updates of the last few miles of the men's and woman's races. Wow, excitement! We are sending two amazing teams to London and I can't wait to see how they perform on the world scene. For me,

Total: 2:15:00   15 miles+

Sunday was another easy trail jog in Lester with the boys. A beautiful sunny morning/afternoon greeted us and the trails were manageable. Don't run 7-Bridges Road!! Ice, Ice Baby!  Another general mileage run and loving the feeling of getting fit.

Total: 1:12:00  ~8 miles

Weeks Total: ~62.2 miles (8.6 hours)
Years Total:  112.2 miles

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Change Is A Coming

These last few mornings of running have been right on par with amazing. All three days of this week thus far have been in the mid 30's when I head out for the early morning jaunt. This morning it was 35F and no wind. The roadways of West Skyline were perfect for my steady-state workout and I didn't forget that all too soon the near perfect footing will be gone and hidden under a layer of ice and snow. I can't really complain, it's January in Duluth after all!

Monday I made my way out to the trails of Hartley and did a loop out to the guard rail loop but cut it short on the "inner loop" before making my way back to the ski trails and did a loop before making my way back to the house. My legs felt a bit heavy from the weekend running but more than anything my low back and hip flexors were very tight! The kind of tight that made me realize I had to avoid trails for a few days just to give them a rest.

Total: 58:20  trails ~6.3 miles

Tuesday I stuck to the roads since my low back and psoas muscles were calling for a break. I decided on one of my staple hour loops and made myself run slow for yet another day. I had to remind myself that this was a "slow day" and not to over run it. By the end of the loop my legs were feeling great. Low back, not so much. Good thing I had a Chiropractor appointment to follow.

Total: 1:02:52   8.1 miles

Wednesday was the chosen day for my steady-state work. I knew the roads of West Skyline would be in good shape since they get a lot of sun exposure. I wasn't wrong in my choice. After a 20+ minute warm up I worked my way into a 30 minute steady-state session, up 10 minutes from last week, and I found the pace much more comfortable today. The plan is to keep adding 10 minutes per week, along with adding a second day of this type of work to the schedule as my volume increases throughout the base phase.  I finished with a 30 minute warm down.
The chiro must have worked because my low back felt so much better today and my psoas have settled as well. I guess I can't run trails 7 days a week and expect to stay loose. A nice variety will be the recipe for the rest of the plan.

Total: 1:20:01   11.6 miles
          HERE is the garmin data

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Snowless Running

It's a topic all over the news and blogs across the country. This is NOT typical January weather. We had very good snow cover on some of the single-track in Hartley and some of it has vanished and some has turned to ice, while the rest has been minimized to a dusting. I can't remember the last time the winter running was like this. For me, probably, the last I ran in conditions like this was the winter I lived 12 hours south of Duluth in Kalamazoo MI. That was a great year of winter running and the next season was filled with PR's. Now I am not going to suggest that I am ready for new PR's, much too old for many, but I would bet that there is a marathon PR in me yet. Let's keep the fingers crossed for a few more weeks first and see what weather I have to deal with for the remainder of this month and February.

As for the rest of this week I am pleased with how my legs progressed. It didn't take long to break my so-called streak. I ended up taking Friday off because of a barking Achilles. Like I said in a recent post, I am not one to push myself out the door just to keep a streak alive. I listen to my body and take rest when it needs it. As a result I had a wonderful weekend of running.

Thursday I made my out and ran an easy loop out to Hartley. The trails were still in good condition and I made an easy loop out to the gas line and back then out to Rock Hill for a short loop before returning home.

Total: 53:06  ~6.1 miles

Friday= 0 miles, rest Achilles

Saturday out on the trails of Hartley once again. Very runnable with the exception of some small patches of ice. Overall a very nice run.

Total: 1:28:03   ~9.1 miles

Sunday I ran out west and did a out and back by myself before picking up the rest of the gang. I ran the Voyageur course back to Skyline and returned for close to an hour. Spirit Mountain Ski area is just kickin' and the ricky racers were out doing hot laps as I ran across the trails. I had to keep a close eye so I didn't get taken out! Once I picked up the rest of the runners we ran the western waterfront trail out and back and that was my two hours. Easy miles and once again, no complaints and legs feel rockin'.

Total: 2:01:00  ~14.5 miles

Weeks Total: ~50 miles
Years Total: 50.3 miles

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Steady State Heart Rates

This morning I had the on of getting in an early base phase steady state run. Today would be my second of this type. I have been reading some training plans and one misconception on the Aurther Lydiard system in the north American continents was the base phase. Specifically the 100 mile week idea. Yes, the system calls for one to reach at least 100 mile weeks but those weeks are not just repeated at slow shuffles. The plan calls for one or two runs a week at a pace that coach Greg McMillan refers to as "steady state". This pace is roughly 15 seconds per mile slower than 1/2 marathon pace. I have taken my marathon pace and subtracted 10-15 seconds and that is usually close. I am starting to add one of these runs per week to my medium distance runs and hope to have it worked in twice a week at the end of the month. The time is started at 20 minutes and then 10 minutes is added each week. I have done these workouts in years past and they really work well. Greg McMilan wrote an article in reference to this topic but I have forgotten where I found it. Sould be on the WWW someplace. So, my overal time was near a hour with 20 minutes at 6:10 pace. This early in the build up I am content with this pace and will adjust over the next week or so. Soon, these runs should be near 5:45 pace, as I hope to run my marathon in April at 6:00 pace. I am not ready for that pace today as the quicker pace would take away from the purpose. I've always said, "just because you can run faster in training doesn't mean you should."

 Totals: 59:00 8.5 miles 20 minutes at ~6:10 pace

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crisp Loop

Once again I made my way to the single-track of Hartley Park and did one big loop. The trails remain to be in great shape and getting in the woods, away from the cool, crisp air was a wonderful idea.

The time clicked bye very quickly and I was making my return trip down Dunedin Ave home.

Total: 1:00:38  ~7 miles

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Fire Has Been Lit

It's amazing that putting a plan down on paper can ease the mind and do wonders for the soul. Even if that plan foils at some point, for the moment I am content and ready to tackle yet another marathon build-up and ready myself for the personal challenge of the 26.2 mile beast.

I'm not one for running streaks, aka: long stretches of daily runs with out a break, but I may give this a shot for the remainder of the winter. I like to consider myself a "smart" runner/trainer and not head out for a run when I am sick or injured just to keep the streak alive. But, I am using this time to push myself out the door and if it turns into a streak so be it. For now, I plan to run every day until my marathon on April 28th. Hang on for the ride!

This morning was the first real chilly day in quite some time. I ran out the door with temperatures reading 15 degree's and a hell of a wind smacked me in the face. After the quick 4-5 minute jog to the trail head I managed to tuck in the single-track of Hartley and do a short loop before heading back home. I used today as another "shake-out" run and make sure the legs and achilles are ready "Roll em Out".  The trails in Hartley are beginning to set up nicely and with a few more inches of snow they will once again be labeled "stellar".

47:08   ~5 miles, easy jogging.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

OOPS and Update For Year End 2011

For some reason I was on my Iphone looking at my blog and within a few seconds and much to my surprise I had deleted 6 weeks of running blog entries. I had consolidated them  in two posts but I had to scramble out to the recycle bin to find my scratch paper I write my running times on after each run. (i am supposed to then transfer them to this blog but I have gotten pretty bad at doing that.

So, here is a very brief update of the last two months of the training year for me.  For the very few of you that may check in with me from time to time I had written that I was considering doing a winter marathon someplace. I really wanted to and I am now finding myself in decent shape and I really think I could be in great shape in 8-10 weeks but I decided against traveling this winter "just to run a marathon". Instead, I plan to fall back into base phase for a bit more, hopefully bank as much mileage as I can, and then do a early spring marathon close to home just to keep it simple. After all the purpose of the next marathon is solely to get me a solid Boston Qualifier. I hope to find a race that will allow me to run fast but really I just want to get one done and not have it set me back too much as far as recovery time goes. I would really like another crack at a fast Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon this year and that is goal number one for 2012. Along that path I hope to be competitive in my age group and possibly chase my old PR's in certain distances. (I feel I can do that at certain races despite turning 42 this spring.)

I have had a wonderful late fall training phase. Nothing too spectacular but I continue to run 5 or 6 days a week and currently have ramped up my long run to 2 hours most weekends and I have been feeling very good with those. My mileage is very low, 40-45 miles per week, and that is the first goal looking into the new year. I need to ramp up the volume and now that some form of "winter" is upon us I will focus on 'time' for the next 6 weeks or so. I guess I will look at about 10 hours of training per week and see how I manage with that. (12 hours would be great if possible)

Here is the months of Nov and Dec in summary.

October 31-Nov 6th:
ran 5 days with two 1:25:00 back to back on the weekend
feeling decent.
mileage: ~40 miles

Nov 7-13:
ran 5 days with 1:22:00 and 2:30:00 runs on weekend.
mileage: ~48 miles

Nov 14-20:
ran only 4 days this week, all trails, no weekend running with travel to UP for the great hunt! (drank lots of beer, didn't hunt a bit)
mileage: ~25 miles

Nov 21-27:
ran 6 days with the Gobble Gallop 5K on Thurs.
managed to run 16:41 5K, happy with the effort.
mileage: ~40 miles

Nov 28-Dec 4:
ran 4 days with no long effort
mileage: ~31 miles

Dec 5-11:
ran 5 days with two decent weekend runs of 1:32:00 and 1:16:00 trails.
mileage: ~48 miles *4 days over 1:10:00 runs

Dec 12-18:
ran 5 days. starting some med. distance mid week on roads
1:40:00 long effort on weekend.
mileage: ~42 miles

Dec 19-25:
ran 5 days with mid week run of 1:20:00 and 4 miles of SS in middle.
Long run of 2:22:00
*a nice week of progression
mileage: ~50 miles

Dec 26-Jan1:
ran 6 days, some of which were short. working on treadmill and maybe need a rehaul.
mileage: ~35 miles   *2 hour long run

Years Total: 2201 miles