Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I had my fantasy football draft last night. I’m the commissioner of the league and volunteered to have the draft at my house. Since my girls would be in bed, I had the draft in the basement. There’s only one problem, my computer is on the main level. That meant I had to run back and forth after every 2-3 picks in order to load them into the website because I had 3 people drafting online. So 5 trips per round, times 16 rounds equals 80 flights of stair repeats. Luckily I could sit about halfway up, so I only had about 10 stairs to climb. But still, 80 x 10 = 800 stairs after doing 6 x 800s in the morning makes for a long day.

I thought I drafted an awesome team, especially since I was 10th in a 10-team league. I have a Super Secret website that’s better than any magazine you can buy. Of course, the “good stuff” on the Super Secret website is by subscription, but it’s worth it.

With 2 races coming up this weekend (Buckshot (college alumni) 5 miler on Saturday and Victory 10k on Monday and with yesterday’s workouts, I thought today would be a good day to take off. That means I closed out August with a “whopping” 181 miles. In the last 22 months, I’ve only been below that total 3 times. 2 of those were due to marathon tapers/recoveries and the other was after a long summer of racing last year. More disturbing may be the 9 days off I took off.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I did it!!! I made it to the track this morning and completed the workout I had planned, 6 x 800 with 800 jog. I believe the first time I did this workout last year; I averaged just over 3:00 for the 800s. By the end of the season I was averaging in the low 2:50s for 8 repeats – with 2-3 other runners on a synthetic track. Since this morning’s workout was a solo effort on the dirt track at the Minnetonka Junior High, I thought averaging 2:55 would be a very solid workout.

I followed the new strategy of not looking at my watch during the workout. It’s a good thing too, because had I looked, I may have stopped after 2 repeats; 3:08 and 3:01. Maybe it just took me awhile to get going because after that I ran 2:57, 2:54, 2:55, 2:52. So I averaged 2:58 for all 6 and 2:55 for the last 4. My average rest was just under 4:30.

I’m pretty happy with that workout – it gives me something to build off of. Last year I did this workout 3-4 times before bumping it to 8 repeats. This year I’m going to be more aggressive, since my race season is shorter than last year. I think the next time I do a track workout; I’ll add some strides to my warm-up. That should help make the first two reps quicker.

Monday, August 29, 2005


It was cool enough this morning that I decided to try and get back into the habit of taking Bailey for a mile run in the morning. If it’s too hot or muggy I just take her for a quick walk. But she loves to eat, so she needs more exercise then she typically gets in the summer. She definitely has to be the biggest scaredy-cat in the world. While we were running I got a bug in my mouth and spit it out. The sounds of me spitting made her take off like the start of a 100 meter dash. After dropping her off at home I managed another 5 miles at a leisurely pace.

If you have a blog, Will had a good post recently regarding things that all bloggers probably think about; who’s reading my blog, is my mom or wife reading, how much traffic am I getting, etc. I particularly like the statements regarding apologizing for not posting.

To apologize for not posting often enough is to say to one's readers, "Ohhhhhh, you've missed me, haven't you? Aren't I important? How could you make it those three days without me?"

If I remember correctly, I almost apologized once. Actually I just said I’d try to do a better job of posting daily – more for me, than for my “vast” readership.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I forgot to mention yesterday that I felt really good during yesterday’s run, even pushing my kids. I felt strong, even after 100 minutes, and could easily have kept going. Today I felt it in my legs a little, but mentally I was in a good mood about running. Maybe it was due to another day of glorious weather – very similar to yesterday.

Looking back at last year’s log, I noticed that I did a lot of fartleks. Since I haven’t done any this year I thought it’d be a great way to get in some speed (even on tired legs) and still recover in time for a hard Tuesday run. I can’t remember where I got this workout from, maybe it was from one of Joe Rubio’s online post somewhere. Anyway, after warming up I did 4 x 1:00 with 4:00 rest, 4 x :30 with 2:30 rest, 4 x :15 with :45 rest. The entire workout portion lasts 36 minutes, of which 7 minutes are hard. It makes for a great 8 mile day, but I did this as part of a 10 mile loop.

Yesterday’s run gave me 47 miles for the week. I’ve been all over the board, mileage-wise, in the last month (62, 38, 49, 22, 47). As Lydiard would say, once anaerobic workouts begin, training stops. The problem is that I haven’t really been doing many anaerobic workouts. That’s gotta change if I hope to get in some decent races in the next 2 months.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I suppose I could have called this post Part 3 of my latest “series” but I’ll add a little variety instead. One of my P2 teammates had a party at his house last night. Since he lives about 4 miles away I couldn’t not go, right? The last P2 party I went to lasted until 1 AM. At 8 I joked that we only had 5 hours to go – thinking there was no way I’d make it that long – having gotten up before 5 and possible having to get up at 6 the next day if I wanted to race.

Well, we didn’t make it till 1 AM, but midnight was close enough. Nothing really exciting happened. After the early birds went home, a group of 10 went inside and, as Jim would say, "jawboned". Of course by this time there was no way I’d be getting up at 6 AM (even though I only had 2 beers). That’s alright. If you factor in the entry fee ($20) and gas ($15) it would have been a $35 5K.

Instead of racing I decided to get in a “long” run. My girls wanted to come along in the stroller which was alright with me. I pumped up the tires to decrease the roll resistance (one of those triathlon/biking terms) I pushed Kinsey for an hour before taking Katie out for 40 minutes. Based on effort, rather than pace, I called it 12 miles.

It was a beautiful day, probably 65-70 degrees, low humidity and sunny with a fairly strong breeze. When we got back I left the stroller outside. Later that afternoon, all 3 tires were flat. I went to pump them up and discovered that there as a 4 inch gash in each tube. The recommended pressure is 40-65 psi and I pumped the tires to 60 psi. It wasn’t that hot in the sun, so I’m not sure what caused them ALL to explode like that.

Jim emailed later to say he ran 1:26:49 (including a stop to tie his shoe). Even just reading his email I could tell he was really excited about his race. I believe his goal was 1:27. That’s 4 weekends of racing in a row for him (10k, 15k, 10k, half) yet it doesn’t seem to phase him.

Friday, August 26, 2005


Like I mentioned yesterday, I pulled myself away from Spidy halfway through the movie (even though I wasn’t that tired) so I could get 7.5 hours of sleep. Yes, I was up at 4:45 and ready to run. I got up, got dressed, got my things ready to go. All that was left was to take Bailey for a quick walk. I get outside and it’s UGLY. Even though it’s still dark out, the skies are DARK – except for the constant lightning. No rain (yet) so I decide to drive across town (into the storm) and see what happens.

Halfway there it starts POURING. Even though the roads aren’t really busy yet, it’s all white-knuckle driving. It takes all my concentration to focus on the car lights in front of me and hope he doesn’t go off the road. After 5 minutes it lets up and I’m able to turn my wipers from super-high to high. Call me a wimp, but there’s no way I’m running in this crap. Give me a snow storm any day.

Basically getting up at 4:45 allowed me to sit and drink coffee for an hour, prep for my fantasy football draft next Tuesday and browse the new Triathlete magazine. I don’t do tris now, but I still like to read the magazine (more than I like Runner’s World). I hate all the gadgets associated with the sport, but man, there are some really fit triathletes.

Anyway, on to Plan B. Why do speed work Friday when you can race Saturday? There’s a 5K in Rochester, MN tomorrow morning that I think I’m going to run. It’s a little further (70 miles) than I’d like to drive, but Jim’s doing the half marathon, so I can cheer him on when I’m done. Besides, Amy is going to a wedding at noon, so I’ll have the girls the rest of the day. I’d better get my “alone time” in before she leaves.

Finally, I had a great 5 mile run over lunch. My legs felt awesome and it made me wish I had done a speed workout. Plus my lungs felt great. You know those runs where you never seem to get tired? Each time you think you're going to start breathing hard, you take a deeper breath and you feel the oxygen throughout your whole body. That's how I felt today.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


As I mentioned yesterday, tonight I was planning on hitting the track for my first set of 800s this year. By the time the girls were put to bed, it was 7:45. Given that the sun is no longer out till 9:15, I figured there’s no way I’d get my workout in without running in the dark. I have no problem running in the dark (although I’d rather do it in the AM rather than the PM) if it’s just a “normal” run, but I’m not sure if I’d like doing speed work in the dark. I can remember finishing track workouts as the sun sets, but I can’t remember doing any in the dark. As you can guess, I bagged the workout. I made myself feel a little better by promising myself I’d do the workout tomorrow morning.

I had thoughts of just going out for an easy run but I convinced myself to take the day off since I had to get up early (4:45) tomorrow. So instead of running, my wife and I watch Spiderman 2. Actually, I only watched half of it then went to bed at 9:00.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I stayed up way too late (10:45) last night watching that awesome Twins’ game, setting up my fantasy football league and figuring out how to post those farmer’s market photos. I tried to sleep-in this morning, however I was awake at 5:20 and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I decided to get up and get in my 5 mile run before work.

About 5 minutes into the run, a guy merged onto the trail about 15 seconds in front of me. He looked like he was moving pretty well and had a nice stride. Now, I really don’t care how “fast” I look when I run, especially in training, but it was nice to run a fairly easy pace while maintaining that 15 second gap. I figured maybe I don’t look as slow as I feel most days.

I ran the first half in exactly 20 minutes. During the second half I threw in five 20-second strides. I was a little surprised to see I ran the second half in 18:30. Granted the pace is much quicker for those 5 strides, but I also slow down a little after in order to recover. I guess the main thing is that I’ve been feeling really good lately. Tomorrow night I’m going to hit the track for my first set of 800s this season.

I have a question for other bloggers. Do you get these “Spam Comments” on your site? For example; “I just love your site, check out mine on [insert totally unrelated topic here].” I’m in the junk mail industry, so I know direct marketing. Response rates are already low for people that WANT our catalogs. What are the response rates for unwanted e-mails, telemarketing and “spam comments”?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


“Double” is in town on business again this week. This time his hotel is about 5 miles from my office, so tonight we decided to meet right after work. I picked him up and we drove 5 minutes to Bryant Lake Park. I’ve never run there, but I’ve been meaning to check out. While it turned out to be a nice park, it wasn’t my favorite for running, mainly because 95% of the trails were paved. After about 15 minutes in the park we came to a road that leads to one of the paths that I run every morning. We decided just to hop on that and run 45 minutes out and then turn around.

My legs felt pretty good and the 90 minutes flew by. If they all flew by like that, I’d probably have more than 3 or 4 90-minute runs since Grandma’s. Weather was great, low 70s with a dew point around 50.

Double and I “met” about 4 years ago through the forum. A few months later we met (along with some other guys from the forum) at a race in Madison, before meeting again at the 2002 Boston Marathon. Anyway, during tonight’s run, we were kicking around the idea of having a 5-year hillrunner reunion. Since most of “the gang” is from Wisconsin, Minnesota or Illinois, I thought this 80 mile relay would be perfect. The 2006 race will be in May, the Sunday before Memorial Day. That should give us enough time to work out the logistics.

After the run, I was home in time to help put my girls to bed. After that, I watch the best baseball game I’ve seen in a long time, Twins vs. White Sox, Santana vs. Garcia, 3-hitter vs. 1-hitter. Luckily for the Twins, the 1 hit was a home run in the 8th inning and they won 1-0. Great pitching, great defense (including 3 different outfielders crashing into the fence while making catches), great victory – for Twins fans.

Monday, August 22, 2005


In Self-Made Olympian, Daws talks about Ron Clarke (or was it Ron Hill?) training with two other guys under Lydiard. During the base phase they went out for a run at 7:00 pace. After they got in better shape, Ron picked up the pace while the other two guys stayed at 7:00 pace. They all improved, but Ron went on to set a bunch of World Records. The moral: listen to your body. When you get more fit, you pace should naturally come down.

With that said, I pushed the pace a little more than “normal” during my nice 5 mile run over lunch. It wasn’t a tempo run, but rather one of the “comfortably exhausting” workouts. One of the things I have to work on is getting my head around the fact that while the pace feels fast, I’m really not working any harder than when I wasn’t as fit. I have to turn off the “I’m going too fast” switch in my head.

Jim sent me a rebuttal email regarding my Letter to the Blogger post.

JIM: You know, I think runners sometimes confuse standings and statistics as values rather than symbols: symbols are supposed to represent achievement of the values we hold dear; the down side is that symbols are ephemeral and corruptible. I am a satisfied and successful runner, not because of standings, but because of the values that were important getting into this activity and what it has done for me personally: physical conditioning and athleticism, challenging myself to reach higher, opening myself to make friends, peace of mind, getting out of doors, genuine affirmation/validation, etc.

ME: You couldn’t be more right about what running has brought to my life as a whole. And if my blog was about all the benefits I’ve received, people I’ve met (especially the last 2 years), experiences I’ve enjoyed, then it'd be nothing but positives. But I try to focus my blog on the competitive side and obviously that’s not all positive. Maybe the “other stuff” would be a good post for next week – just to remind me and my readers that there’s more to running than the competitive side.

My Guidant race report got so long that I decided not to mention what we did afterwards. My friend Eric was playing with his band at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. My family and I met Jim there. Eric's wife took a group picture of us, as well as this cute one of Katie (if I do say so myself).

Other photos can be found here. Eric is the bass player and fiddler who’s wearing the Nike Frees.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Guidant photos can be found here. Does anyone look more pissed off than Sylvia Mosqueda (#7)?

Congrats to coach Matt who completed the Double (half marathon accent on Saturday, full marathon, accent and decent, on Sunday) at Pikes Peak Marathon. Matt was 37th in the half, 46th in the marathon and 6th overall in the Double (the first non-Colorado runner).

I did a little post-race analysis today. I ran a 5k on Memorial Day last year on the same course as Saturday’s race. That day I ran 18:39 (5:54, 6:04, 6:02, :39) compared to yesterday’s 18:48 (5:55, 6:02, 6:10, :41). You can see the difference is all in the last 1.1 miles. 8 weeks from last year’s race I had one of my best races of the summer 23:22 for 4 miles. Looking at the calendar, I see there are about 10 good weekends of racing before the season winds down. I came up with a list of three 5Ks, three 10Ks and a 5 miler that I’d like to run. I sent an email to Matt, we’ll see what he thinks once he gets back from Colorado.

We had beautiful weather today. Even in the “heat of the day” it was 70 degrees and sunny with a little breeze. In the afternoon I went out for a nice 8 mile trail run. My legs were a little heavy, but everything felt in-tact.

My wife got groceries today. The milk she bought has an expiration date of September 7th. I thought it was really weird seeing “September” written on the carton.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


After jogging around and watching the women’s 10K this morning (more on that below), my injuries were feeling okay and decided to hop in the 5K. Since the men’s 10K was run as a separate race, I had plenty of time to warm-up. As I was heading back to change into my racing flats, I saw my friend Scott up ahead. Scott and I went to college together and ran very similar times during our 4 years together. In the past we’d get together about once a week and run together. Just over a year ago Scott’s wife had a baby and I haven’t run with him since. He said he’s been running 3-4 days a week and asked what I was shooting for. I said sub-19 or around 6:10 pace. I’d like to break 6:00 pace, but after my recent races, I don’t want to set the bar too high.

Standing on the start line, it’s apparent that “no one” is in the 5k. I see a few guys that look fast, but not more than 5. One of Scott’s co-workers lines up next to us and says he’s going to stay with us as long as possible. My comment was something like “that’s ONE strategy. I don’t know if it’s the BEST strategy.” I hope it didn’t sound cocky. I was just trying to point out sticking with two guys (who you don’t even know how fast they are) might not be the smartest race plan.

Anyway, the gun goes off and 4-5 guys and a couple of gals take off and Scott runs along side me. I should mention that it’s fairly nice weather. While the sunny skies are warming temps up by the 9 AM start time, it’s still probably around 65 degrees with no wind (and a pancake flat course). Scott and I go through the mile in 5:55. Just after a mile, Amy and the girls are cheering. They rarely come and watch me race, so that was a treat. A few seconds after saying “hi” I hear Scott say “hi” too, so I know he’s dropping back a little. It’s also around this point that a guy about 50 meters in front of me steps off the course. I’m still feeling okay after a 2nd mile in 6:02. There’s a guy probably 100 meters ahead of me and he seems to be coming back, but about a quarter mile later I feel myself start to slow down. Now instead of trying to catch him, I’m trying to not get caught by the lead woman (who I passed about half mile into the race) or Scott. Right around the 3 mile mark (6:10) the gal passes me and I have no response. I look back to make sure I have Scott beat and I cross the line in 18:48. My “out of shape” friend crosses about 10 seconds later. I haven’t seen results posted (I’m not even sure if they kept results) but I’d guess I was 5th overall.

Believe it or not, I feel pretty good about this race. And it’s not just because of my “new” positive attitude. Yes, it’s about 15 seconds per mile slower than my best time last year. However, I feel like now I know where I stand. I think I’ve accepted that this is the shape I’m in RIGHT NOW. Even though I ran 37:40 for 10K in APRIL, I’m a 39 10Ker at best RIGHT NOW. I think I was in denial before. What step is “acceptance”?

Alright, enough about me. The main event of the day was the women’s 10K with names like McGregor, DeReuck, Tollefson, Wells, etc. With the 7:30 start time and the course (2 loops around the lake), I was able to jog around and take photos at 4 locations (start, 2M, 4M and finish). Katie McGregor left little doubt as she already had a 50 meter lead by 2 miles. She went on to win in 32:17, beating the Minnesota record (I believe held by Janis Klecker) by 35 seconds and beating Colleen DeReuck by 36 seconds. Other Team Minnesota runners included Jenelle Deatherage 5th, Carrie Tollefson 6th, Sara Wells 8th and Dana Coons 10th. Training partner, Jenna ran a solid race, coming in 13th in 35:31. Complete results can be found here. I should also mention that Jim ran 39-flat in the men’s race.

One last comment; Carrie Tollefson is awesome – not just as a runner, but as a roll model to other runners in her home state. She was cooling down by herself as the men’s leaders were going through their first lap. At the same time, women were finishing the 10K in about an hour. Who do you think Carrie was cheering for? The woman. I just thought that was kind of cool

Friday, August 19, 2005


My friend Jim sent me an email regarding my recent entries. He (along with others like Double, Evan and Peter) had a lot of great insights into the current state of my running. Many of these things I've touched upon recently just I thought his email and my responses would be a great way to put everything in one spot.

JIM: Chad, if I may be so bold as to offer a candid, but probably not so insightful observation, your recent writings have a sort of not-so-positive tone, which I think is notably uncharacteristic of you.

ME: Yeah, it’s easy to be positive when you’re running strong – like I was last summer. Throw in some bad races and it gets tougher to be positive. Add an analytical personality on top of that and it gets worse yet.

JIM: It really sounds like this blah summer has taken its toll, because there is NOTHING wrong with your running, save your injury.

ME: I think it’s the combination of Grandma’s and a hot summer that have given me the blahs. Not having a firm goal for the fall doesn’t help matters either. I wouldn’t say there’s nothing wrong with my running. You don’t miss your marathon goal by 15 minutes or go from running 37:40 to 39:40 for 10k in 3 months without something being wrong.

JIM: You are such a disciplined and controlled runner. Your pace is always strong and measured. Earlier I observed to Eric, that I wondered how you managed not to have those irrational, exuberant moments of poor decision-making that I always seem to have in running.

ME: Well, I’ve been running for nearly 26 years. I’m sure I’ve made a lot of poor decisions during that time.

JIM: My running reveals so much of the “me-of-the-moment”; I reflect my mental attitude upfront--that's how Jared and Norm (Jim’s two arch-nemesis) can know that they will beat me--both are more disciplined.

ME: Now to me, that’s negative. Norm hasn’t beaten you this year and Jared’s only beaten you 2-3 times. Yet you write like they continuously beat you. I bet if I were able to speak to them candidly, they say they were “scared” of you every time they lined up against you.

JIM: You have that uncanny control…is it possible that you sublimate that "go-for-it" compulsion?

ME: Yes, it’s very much possible. It’s probably gets back to my analytical personality. Usually based on my training on my last few races, I “know” what my pace should be and what my finish time should be. So in a race, if I see my splits where they’re supposed to be, am I content to maintain that pace rather than run as hard as possible? I don’t know. I’d like to think I’m going all-out.

JIM: You never seem particularly spent or exhausted at the end of your race; maybe you could afford to run more crazy/emotional/joyful?

ME: I noticed other blogs where the writer is spent after a hard workout. That does seem like something that’s missing from my training and racing. Maybe I need to focus more on running hard as possible rather than focusing on splits. I tried to do that at H-L. I didn’t even take my splits. However, this year they had someone reading them out at every mile marker. Even without paying close attention, I could figure out we were running 6:20+ pace and I let it affect me mentally.

JIM: I also think you generously stay to help me along: Grandma's, H-L, etc.

ME: I wouldn’t say I stayed to help on purpose. Heck, I didn’t even see you at Gma’s till mile 13. Late in the race I thought it’d be easier for both of us to work together. After Lemon Drop I thought I’d seen the last of you. If I were trying to stay with you at H-L I would not have “let” you get 5-10 seconds on me on the hill at mile 4.

JIM: THIS SEASON IS JUST GETTING TO THE FUN PART. There is a lot of Chad yet to be revealed this season.

ME: Again, I agree with you. I think I just need to figure out what my goals are for the next 2 months. There’s no way I’m running a fall marathon. I need to tell coach that so he can adjust my schedule towards 5-10Ks not marathons. Running 7 miles @ 80% on Thursday’s is not going to get it done.

So in summary; 1) I'm going to try and regain my positive outlook, 2) I'm not going to give up on this season - instead I'm going to pick some fall races I want to focus on and 3) I'm going to speak to my coach about gearing the rest of the season towards 5-10Ks rather than a marathon.


Taking the last 2 days off seems to have done “wonders” for my body. I went out for 5 miles over lunch and the only time I felt my pulled muscle was after stopping for a bathroom break. It was a little tender once I started running again, but quickly loosened up. My arch continues to improve. I could feel it a little, but had I not had any prior pain, I wouldn’t even be mentioning it.

Before I forget to mention it for the third time, the worst thing about taking those 3 days off while I was on vacation is that the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Early morning runs WOULD HAVE been run in temps around 55-60 degrees. So after spending all summer complaining about the weather, I failed to take advantage of the best weather yet.

A few months ago the Twin Cities Marathon committee got their asses chewed out for announcing they were going to offer American-only prize money. Due to the pressure, they’ve since back-pedaled from that decision. How then, is it okay for Minneapolis race to offer $31,000 in prize money, of which $27,850 goes to women? As you can guess, there’s going to be some competition for that money. The weather for the 7:30 AM race looks to be ideal too, 60 degrees and overcast. I’m planning on going to watch. If I feel up to it I may run the 5k at 9:00.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Like anyone else, I have my favorite blogs that I like to read – of course they’re bookmarked. I’ll admit that I’ve bookmarked sites only to remove them later because the blogger failed to update their blog on a regular basis. That’s one of the reasons I try to update my blog daily (okay, at least Monday thru Friday). Anyway, I have not been doing a very good job lately. Part of it’s due to my lack of motivation, my injuries (more on them below), my vacation and the fact that I’ve actually been busy at work since returning from my vacation. Go figure. Enough excuses. I plan on getting back on track.

Tuesday night I met my team for a workout. We had been doing hills followed by mile repeats. However, the last 2 weeks have been hills followed by a tempo run. I continued to struggle on the hills while Aaron and Jim where way ahead of me. Instead I hung back with Sue and Roger. Roger is new to the group and looks like he’ll fit in nicely. He’s 29 and trying to get back in shape after running for our coach, while he was in college. He looked okay on the hills, but I gradually pulled away from him and Sue during the 20 minute tempo run.

About 5 minutes into the tempo run the skies opened up and rain poured down for about 5 minutes. It also caused the temperature to drop. When I drove to practice it was 82, on the way home it was 67. About 18 minutes into the tempo I pulled “something” that’s below my hamstring and above the back of my knee. I immediately had to stop and walk. I’m not sure if it was caused by running “fast” downhill on concrete, the change in temp, taking 3 days off then doing a hard workout or what. After walking up the hill I just came down I was able to jog very slowly for 12 minutes.

I ended up taking Wednesday and Thursday off to rest my pulled muscle as well as my arch, which seems to be gradually getting better. I’ll try running again tomorrow and see if I can finish in one piece.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Friday: Evan, Debbie and I met around 6:45 AM to explore the trails along the Minnesota River. I drive over the bridge everyday and it finally occurred to me that there are probably trails down there. Leave it to the foreigner (Evan) to know more about Minnesota than the guy “from” Minnesota.

Anyway, the trails were great. At one point we saw 3 bucks about 50 feet from us. We did have to run along Interstate 494 for about a mile, but it wasn’t a big deal. Debbie was feeling great and nearly ran me into the ground. With the quick pace, it was a good thing we decided to run only 90 minutes instead of 2 hours like I had originally planned.

I could still feel some pain in my arch, but it felt a lot better than yesterday.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday: My freshman year of college I went to Mexico on spring break and I can remember taking along a bunch of text books. Of course, I never opened them. This vacation was a lot like that. I brought along my running clothes, but never used them. Yep, 3 days off in a row for no good reason. Sure I can use my arch as an excuse, but I probably could have run if I felt like it.

Is it possible to be unmotivated and motivated at the same time? I’m pretty much unmotivated for the rest of this season. Basically, I want to make it till Labor Day weekend (my alumni meet is September 3rd) and then re-evaluate where I’m at. The biggest running related events during my vacation included reading a biography on Arthur Lydiard (which Evan loaned to me) as well as reading Ron Daws’ Self-Made Olympian. Those 2 books have already got me fired up about next year.


Just dropped by to say that I've been on vacation and haven't thought about updating my blog - mainly because there's not much to say. I should be back tomorrow with a "complete" recap of the weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

4,000 ACHES

Nothing too exciting happened during yesterday’s 5 mile easy run, so I thought I’d just make one entry. Today was another easy 5 miles. Normally this would be a 10-11 mile day with some pace work, however I thought I’d take 2 easy days in a row to help recover from Sunday's race and Tuesday's hills. Besides, we going to be out of town this weekend, so there’s no way I’m going to get in 18 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. Instead, I’m taking tomorrow off from work too, so I can get in a longer run.

Today’s run took about 43 minutes and I figure I average close to 90 steps (per foot) per minute, so that equals nearly 4,000 aches in my left arch. About 2 minutes into the run I had thoughts of turning around. But you know us runners, “I have to get my miles in.” I’ve never had plantar fasciitis and I’m not sure if that’s what I have or if it’s just a bruise. I’ve had success using The Sock in the past for Achilles tendonitis. I may have to strap it on tonight to see if it helps.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


It should not come as any surprise that I felt totally flat during tonight’s hill workout. I guess I’m getting old and one easy day after a 10k in the heat is not enough time to recover. We did have some thunderstorms pass through during the day which dropped the temps from 80 to 70 (the weather forecast a high of 92). However, it was still very muggy during our run.

Tonight’s run consisted of a 2 mile warm-up, 5 times Davern Hill, 20 minutes steady and a 2 mile cool-down. Davern Hill is probably the top 1-2 toughest hills we run. It’s about a quarter mile long with the first 300 meters being really steep, before leveling off the last 100 meters.

Despite feeling like dog crap, a gal driving up the hill yelled something like “you guys are awesome.” That made me feel good for about a second or two.

The more I run hills the more I think I’m a definite flatlander. I got absolutely destroyed by Jim and Aaron on this workout. There was even one little hill during the 20 minute steady portion of the workout where Jim put a HUGE gap on me. Then again, I couldn’t even hang with him and Aaron during the cool-down.

I just read that this is the hottest, driest summer since 1988. That doesn’t sound that long ago, but it is 17 years.


Normally I try to post how other friends or people from my training group are doing in their races too. That way you don’t get bored with just reading about me. Anyway, I totally forgot to do this for Sunday’s race. Jenna won the women’s race by 1 second in 35:39. It sounds like she lead the whole way and held off a hard charging gal at the line. Jim, I believe I mentioned was just ahead of me at the line. Mary, who also trains with the group I’m in, ran 48:13. Complete results can be found here.

I did a little analysis comparing our average mile times from Tuesday’s workout to our average pace per mile for the race. Jenna, Mary and I were 12-18 seconds slower per mile during the race. Jim ran the exact same pace. I’m not exactly sure what that means. Maybe I shouldn’t be so “upset” with ending up near Jim given that his pacing didn’t drop off.

As Evan pointed out in the comment section, you can find some photos from the race here. Scroll down a little until you see Hennepin-Lake Classic Coverage, then find the “10k Race – 151 photos”.

To put some faces to the names above, Jenna (bib 5) is in photos 29-30 and 125-127. Jim’s (bib 245) in #52 and I’m (bib 75) in #53 and #54.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Not much to report regarding today’s run. I tried to sleep in again, but was awake and decided to get in 6 easy miles before work. Once I was up I was glad I didn’t have to run later today, when the temps where 95 with a dew point in the 70s.

My legs actually felt pretty good today, considering I raced yesterday. That makes me a little leery of how my legs are going to feel Tuesday. If they weren’t tired today, they probably will be tomorrow and tomorrow we’re supposed to do hill repeats.

My left arch was a little sore today. I attribute that to doing Thursday night’s workout in a pair of adidas RATS Racers, which are either a heavy flat or a light-weight trainer (I’d lean towards the former). In addition, yesterday I raced in a pair of adidas Cubatos which are extremely light. Usually I try to ease into using them since they tend to trash my calves. However, with yesterday’s “nice” weather and the thoughts of a “fast time” dancing in my head, I decided to break out these “secret weapons”. The good news is my calves feel fine.

I’ve had thoughts of getting a pair of Nike Frees lately. Combining the tenderness in my arch with the $75 gift certificate that was burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to run out over lunch and buy a pair – I even got $2 back. Maybe they work or maybe it’s just marketing hype. I guess I’ll find out. If nothing else, they’re very comfy.

I bought these at the new Run ‘n Fun store in Eden Prairie. Run ‘n Fun’s other store is a little hole in the wall in St. Paul and it has a great atmosphere. However, it’s very popular and it’s hard to get help during their busy times. I can remember being in the store along with a bus load of high school or college runners. The Eden Prairie location doesn’t have the same vibe, at least not yet. But I was the only customer and I had a nice conversation with the (only) guy working. I asked if he raced yesterday and he said no because he’s out of shape. He ran the Lumberjack Days 10 miler and got beat by all his teammates, so he wasn’t racing again until he was in shape. When I got back to the office I did a little digging and found out he ran 56:29. Man, I’d like to be that out of shape.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


The good news is I ran much better than two weeks ago at the Lumberjack Days 10 miler. I was within “striking distance” of people who beat me my 2-3 minutes two weeks ago. The bad news is that’s not saying much. I went through the mile in 6:04 and thought that was right on pace. I didn't take any other splits, but they were reading them off at every mile marker. I was shocked to hear my splits were 6:20-6:30s. I ended up running 19:37/20:02 for 39:39. That's a minute slower than last year and two minutes slower than Get in Gear in April.

I guess more “good news” is that a lot of people ran 45-75 seconds slower than Get in Gear. Granted, it was hot and humid (probably around 70 and sunny at the start – not sure what the dew point was) but I thought it was worse last year.

About the only positive thing I can think of is pushing it during the last quarter mile. Usually if I'm running poorly I don't care where I finish – I just want to be done. But yesterday I was able to pick it up and pass a few people – including Jim. However, he wouldn't let me beat him and he came sprinting back to beat me to the line. At least I had a quicker chip time, since I started a couple of seconds behind him. :)

I’m not really sure what to take away from this race. Am I bummed? Yeah. Part of me wants to throw in the towel for the rest of the season and start over from scratch with some base-building. Part of me wants to do some shorter track stuff over the next few weeks and see if I can’t salvage a good race or two in the fall. The way I’ve run in cooler temps recently has given me some hope that I can run well this fall, so I don’t want to give up just yet.

Under the heading of Pushy Parent: One of the top local masters runner has a 15 year old son who runs a lot of races. Usually, dad will finish his race and then he’ll head back on the course to find his son. He’ll then run along side till the finish and shout words of “encouragement.” It’s a little irritating, especially if you’re running near his son, but I can live with it. Well yesterday dad took it to another level. After my race I cooled down while watching the 5k. I happened to be standing at the water stop as dad and son run by. Dad, who keep in mind has not registered for this race or the 10k, is running stride for stride with his kid, grabs 2 cups of water and dumps them on his head. Then he shouts more “encouragement.” It really made me upset, but I’m not sure what to do about it. It’s interesting, dad runs like 32 minute 10Ks, mom runs like 38 minute 10Ks and their son “only” manages 18-19 minute 5Ks. With those genes it seems like he’d be faster.

Friday, August 05, 2005


I slept in till 6 this morning since I figured, with the cooler temps, I could get in my easy run during lunch. Like I said before, I only take “30 minutes” for lunch, so I hate to make this a habit. But it sure is nice to get outside during the day when it’s 70-75 and sunny. If I averaged 8:30s yesterday during my morning run, I averaged closer to 8:50s today. I know I was taking it easy, but 44 minutes for 5 miles makes me question the accuracy of my route.

Sunday’s 10k is a fairly popular race in the Twin Cities. Last year there were nearly 700 finishers and my 38:39 placed me 92nd overall. Yesterday my coach sent these keys to my 10k:

1. Your warm-up must end RIGHT before the start of the race. Do not 'cool-down' after your warm-up.

2. START SMART...even pace...and FIND A GROUP that you can draft with.

3. EXPECT TO BE MENTALLY STRONG on MILES 4 & 5...the toughest part of a 10K.

4. UNLEASH A DRIVING LAST MILE…show your passion and desire.

5. KEEP YOUR FEET FAST for 6.2 miles

It seems like good advice. I especially like #3 and #4. Last year I went out too fast, but recovered and found myself with a nice pack of women who were in the top-10. I passed the 5k in 19:00 and decided to pick up the pace. That lasted for about a half mile before the humidity caught up to me. I ended up struggling the last 2 miles and I was unable to “unleash a driving last mile.”

I haven’t really set any time goals. I guess it depends on the weather. If it’s hot and humid again, I’d like to break last year’s time. If the weather isn’t too bad, I’d like to break 37:42, which is my time from a 10k in April. I’m mainly concerned with running a smart race and focusing more on how I feel rather than my splits and the results.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Thunderstorms passed through last night. I’ll take a little tossing and turning if it means decreased temps and humidity. When I went out for my morning run at 11 AM it was a pleasant 70 degrees with a dew point of 55. I managed an easy 5 miles at roughly 8:30 pace.

This evening it was 78 degrees with a dew point of 50 – very nice. The workout called for 8-9 miles with 4 miles @ 75-80% effort. I find this “75-80%” to be rather vague. I know I want to run at least marathon pace on these days and would not mind running closer to half marathon pace. Anyway, I decided to run to the local high school, do 16 laps on the track and then run home. That’d give me 10 miles.

Given last week’s 3 x 3200 meter (13:07, 12:53, and 12:57) workout I thought 6:30-6:40 pace was likely. My first lap showed I was running 6:32 pace, so I just kept running without looking at any splits. Afterwards I was pleasantly surprised to see I ended up running 25:32 with splits of 6:27, 6:26, 6:23 and 6:16. I felt controlled the whole time and thought I could run that pace for a half marathon (1:24).

Looking at the forecast, it looks like the high temps will remain below 90 for the next few days. I’m hoping the humidity remains low too, especially for Sunday’s race.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I was right. Staying up till 11 last night and getting up at 6 this morning made me really tired. I decided to take the day off because of it and a couple of other reasons;

Today is supposed to be the last hot/humid day for awhile.
I want to make tomorrow’s hard day, hard.
My workouts tend to go well when I run an easy AM run that same day.
So instead of running 5 today and 8-10 tomorrow, I thought I’d take today off and double up tomorrow.

So that’s my reasoning.

My neighbor is a workaholic. He thinks about work more than I think about running. He just took a new job because he wouldn’t have to be on call during the weekends and he’d be on more of a “standard” schedule. I was a little surprised when Amy told me his wife’s upset with him for working too many hours. She said one night he didn’t get home till 9:30 and then he woke up at 3:30 to go back to the office. I guess I don’t feel so bad about spending “so much” time running now. Compared to Todd, I look good.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I have wanted to get a copy of Ron Daws’ Self-Made Olympian for awhile now, however it’s out of print and could only find it for about $75. When I ran with Double a couple of weeks I go I mentioned this to him. He told me how much he enjoyed the book, so I decided to splurge and get a copy for my birthday. I was able to get it through the used section of Amazon for $60. The book arrived today, but it may be awhile before I get around to reading it. Right now I’m working on No Bugles, No Drums about Peter Snell.

I wasn’t really looking forward to today’s workout because of the heat (85-90 with a heat index in the mid-90s). We were supposed to do a similar workout to the last two Tuesdays; 20 minutes of hills followed by mile repeats. Two weeks ago we did 2 x 1 mile, last week we did 3 x 1 mile. Today was supposed to be 4 x 1 mile, but due to the heat and this weekend’s 10k, our coach said we’d only do 3.

I know I prefer running on the flats as opposed to the hills, but it was really apparent today. Of course, Jenna lead the way on the hills, but Sue and Jim were also WAY stronger than me on the hills. However, on the track I averaged 6:06 while Jim (6:23) and Sue (6:40) were a ways back. Maybe I’m saving too much during the hills or maybe I’m just a poor hill runner. Overall, I was happy with the workout as I ran each mile repeat faster than the previous; 6:10, 6:06, 6:02.

After practice about 8 of us headed to a bar to grab a bite to eat and watch the last few innings of the Twins. While it was a lot of fun (despite the Twins poor performance – losing their 6th in a row), I didn’t get to bed until 11 PM. I’m going to pay for that tomorrow.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Yep, I turned 36 today. I’m not big into birthdays (other than my kids), but it is my blog – so happy birthday to me! I wish I had other exciting info to write about, but I really don’t. No big plans. I think we’re going to go out to eat tonight. We had planned on Culver’s, but I think I’m going to suggest Noodles & Company since we just had burgers for Katie’s party. Then maybe we’ll swing by Culver’s for some custard.

Yesterday’s day off must have done the trick because I felt really good this morning. I managed 8 miles with a few strides – nothing fancy because I hope to save some of that freshness for tomorrow night’s workout. The heat is back, so it could be brutal. However, it looks like the heat is going to break after that, so maybe it’ll be cool(er) for this Sunday’s 10k. Last year this race was on my birthday. I could only muster a 38:40 on a muggy day. I’d like to be at least a minute quicker this year.

During the end of my run today I thought about running my age in kilometers or miles on my future birthdays. Hmm, 36K is about 22 miles – that doesn’t really seem worth it. 36 miles is “too far.” Okay, so much for that idea. How about if I try to run my age for a 10k each year for the rest of my life?