Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I’ve just been focusing on recovering from Saturday’s half marathon. Sunday I ran an easy 5 miles. Monday and Tuesday I ran 6 miles in the morning and 5 miles in the evening. That allows me to get in some “high” miles, yet still recover. This morning, I was back to double-digit runs; 11 miles with 2 sets of 3 hill repeats.

So January is in the books with a “measly” 284 miles, which is down from last year’s 364 miles. Damn, that’s a lot. But like I posted earlier in the month, I’ve been listening to my body and I haven’t been afraid to cut some of the fluff from my schedule. The good news is that I feel good about my fitness. However, I’d still like February to be a high mileage month for me.

In a recent comment, Mike asked if I’d share Erin’s secrets that took her from 3:04 to 2:53.

1. I increased my weekly mileage to a high of 80 miles, which I hit three times this summer. Otherwise I probably averaged about 70 per week. My average in the past was 50-60, so this was a big increase for me.

2. In addition to my weekly long run of 18-22 miles, I also did a mid-week 14-16 mile run at close to goal marathon pace.

3. Once a week I did mile repeats, usually six, at close to 10K race pace with two minutes recovery between repeats.

4. Very early in the season I did some hill workouts and some 1000s and 1200s on the track, but I wasn't good about doing these later in the summer. Nevertheless, I do think track workouts at under 5K race pace are beneficial.

5. I also race quite frequently, and, depending on the distance, this race replaces one of the workouts.

6. On the day of the marathon I got up at 4 a.m. (instead of 5:30) and had a good-sized breakfast. Being up for several hours before the race gives the body much more time to “wake up”, and also gives the breakfast a chance to digest.

7. Finally, I was given an elite number this year, which allowed me to prepare my liquids the day before and have them waiting in water bottles on separate tables during the race. This allowed me to a) drink much more than I have in the past, because I could carry the bottle with me and not slosh it all over myself and up my nose, and b) mix in some GUs with the Gatorade to take in more calories. I haven't actually heard of anyone doing this mix before, so this was a bit of an experiment for me, but it seemed to work! I took in so much liquid and GU during the race that I felt full the whole time, a strange feeling for a race. I am convinced that the proper hydration and caloric intake were the biggest factors in my good race.

Finally, if you have any interest in running history and the pioneers of the sport, check out my latest interview. Just be forewarned that it’s loooooong.

Quote of the day;

“These runs were not pleasant, but I think they were invaluable.” – Erin Ward, talking about adding mid-week 14-16 mile runs at close to goal marathon pace

Monday, January 29, 2007


As I mentioned Friday, I could pretty much pencil in a 1:24 for this race. Now just add an oh-six to the end and you’re there; 1:24:06, course record (for me), 39 seconds faster than last year, 19th overall (out of 1,300 people), 9th out of 233 in the 30-39 age group. Complete results can be found here.

I think I could have run about a minute faster if the conditions were a little nicer. It was probably 15-20 degrees, which isn’t bad, but the winds were pretty stiff and gusty. It was hard to get a read on it too. This is an out-and-back course and I thought the entire second half would be a tailwind. However, there was quite a bit of crosswind to deal with during that stretch.

Overall, I’m really happy with my race. By about 2-3 miles I had hooked up with the women’s leader and another guy. We went through the halfway point in 42:25, which means I “blazed” a 41:41 second half. The three of us worked together until about mile 10. At that point there’s a pretty good climb and those guys gapped me. The guy must have been feeling good, because he kept extending his lead the rest of the race. Meanwhile, I was able to keep Melissa, and a few other guys that were coming back to me, in my sights.

Awhile ago I wrote about common excuses that I find myself using, like getting content towards the end of races. Normally, I’d get to mile 11 or 12 and I’d just want to be finished. I wouldn’t care about catching people in front of me or holding anyone off. Saturday was a different story. With about 2 miles to go, someone cheering said I was in 23rd place. I wouldn’t say I had a “killer instinct,” but I just kept working and was able to pick off 4 more people during that stretch. I think I passed about 10 people in the second half of the race. Not bad when you’re moving from top-30 to top-20.

Anyway, now I know where I stand with my base training. I’m happy with the results of this race, but I need to get back to focusing on mileage a little more. January will be below 290 miles and my next race is still like 7 weeks away.

Hmm, if I doubled my time from this race, I’d barely beat my latest interview. I have lots of work to do.

Quote of the day;

“I was doing my best to stay with the 2:47 pace group—I knew that if I dropped behind, it would be too easy to slow down, so I just forced myself to keep up for as long as I could.” - Erin Ward

Thursday, January 25, 2007


About this time of year, winter starts to drag, base-training starts to drag, work starts to drag (wait, that’s year-round)...anyway, you get the picture. That’s one of the reasons I always look forward to the Winter Carnival Half Marathon. It’s a week earlier than normal this year, but it’ll still provide a nice benchmark as to the level of my current fitness. As you can tell from past results, I can almost pencil in a 1:24 and change.

2/4/06 1:24:45
2/5/05 1:24:27
1/31/04 41:40 – shortened due to weather
2/1/03 1:27:59 – different (tougher) course due to construction
2/2/02 1:24:55
2/5/00 1:32:03

However, in reality I’m not so sure what I can run. Training has been going rather well, with 7 of the last 10 weeks being between 76 and 90 miles. However, last year at this time, I was busy stringing together 95 and 97 mile weeks.

Comparing last December/January and this December/January, one thing jumps out at me; I’ve done a ton more tempo runs this time around – everything from 3 miles at 6:20 pace to 8 miles at 7:10 pace. For that reason, I won’t be surprised if I run a minute (or two?) faster. As with any race, a lot depends on the weather – especially since we’re talking about 13.1 miles in January in Minnesota.

In any case, this race should give me some feedback as to whether I need more mileage or if “low” miles with tempos is working.

Quote of the day;

“My whole feeling in terms of racing is that you have to be very bold. You sometimes have to be aggressive and gamble.” – Bill Rodgers

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I really try not to let work get in the way of blogging – especially two days in-a-row. But I’m out of luck. Lots going on – a half marathon coming up, met a new runner through my blog, got a new “hickie” – but no time to report on any of it.

A quick training update; an easy 6 miles on Monday, 11 yesterday and 7 this morning.

A short blog entry leaves more time for you to check out my recent interview.

Quote of the day;

“I had two voices in my head; one telling me to hold back and the other telling me to go.” - Jenna Boren

Monday, January 22, 2007


Since my last post talked about being interviewed for this article on winter running, I thought I’d start by posting the story. I think the author did a really good job of tying things together – even though one of the interviewees is a self-described “fair-weather runner” in the winter. Sorry HKM, I couldn’t resist.

One of the guys said that you can’t overheat in the winter. I beg to differ. Saturday the weather channel said it was -7, so I got all bundled up. On the way to my group run the radio said it was 3 above. Plus I forgot to into account the pace that this group runs, which can really heat a person up. Anyway, I was so overdressed it was nearly unbearable.

I’m not sure if it was because I was overdressed or what, but 11 miles into this 16 mile (rounding up from 15.5) run, I was done. I fell off the pace and the last 5 miles were a miserable slog. I guess that’s what you get when you run with people who all have marathon PRs that are 20 minutes faster than your own.

Throw in a 10 mile run on Friday and I ended up with 78 miles for the week.

Sunday, I literally spent 3 hours straight, ice skating. When I was a kid, I went ice skating nearly every night I loved it so much. This is really the first year my oldest daughter has tried it and she absolutely loves it too. She would go into the warming house for a drink of water, but she never took a break – other than sitting in the snow bank to eat snow.

I got in an easy 5 miles Sunday night and frankly I’m surprised I got in any miles, since I was so tried from skating.

There’s another guy in town who runs and does triathlons. I usually bump into him at a few races during the year. Yesterday I actually bumped into him at the rink. Of course we talked running/tris. He’s always wondering if I’m training for another Ironman – even though I tell him I haven’t swum in since 2003.

He’s also always curious about my running mileage. When I told him I was running about 75 mpw he said something like, “Why? You’re not training [for Grandma’s] yet are you?” I never know how to respond to this. Am I supposed to sit around and do nothing until something like 12 or 16 weeks out from the marathon? We’re runners, that’s what we do – run!

I mentioned something about winter being the ideal time to build my base. Again I got, “Why?” These questions are coming from someone who’s teaching beginning running classes and marathon training classes at a local health club.

I’ll end with an updated journal entry from my favorite (male) runner.

Quote of the day;

“The problem with big kickers is they often lose to other big kickers.” – Harry Groves, Penn State coach

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Quick training update; yesterday I ran an easy 6 miles in the morning. I've also been trying include some type of tempo run during the week. I'm been trying to mix it up a little by varying the distance (anywhere from 3 to 8 miles) and the speed (anywhere from 6:20 - 7:10 pace). Last night I ran 10 miles on the treadmill, including 2 x 3 miles (6:30 and 6:20 pace). This morning I had thoughts of sleeping in, but I was wide awake so I went out for a very easy 6 mile run.

The other day I was volunteered to answer some question for an article on winter running, by the Gear Junkie. I figured the Q&A might make for an interesting blog entry. If you're local, be sure to check out this Sunday's Star Tribune for the complete article.

1. How do your running habits change once the snow falls and the air gets cold?

Since the racing season is over, I use winter for my prime base-building season. I tend to slow down and just focus on mileage. My best months during the year, mileage-wise, are usually December-February.

2. How many miles do you run each week in the winter? What's your
average loop to run? Do you run on sidewalks, trails, or where?

This winter I've been averaging about 75 miles per week. Not all of it is outside. I have a treadmill at home too. I use that more for a second easy run on some days or tempo runs. The treadmill allows me to get in some quality without worrying about slipping. I'd say my average loop is 10 miles, but some days are 5 mile recovery days and some days are 18+ mile long runs.

I mainly run wherever I can find a clear path. Prior to this latest snowfall I was doing a lot of my running on the paved paths in Hyland Park (Bloomington). However, I don't think they get plowed, so I've just been running on plowed sidewalks. It's pitch black out, so it doesn't really matter (scenery-wise) where I run.

3. Do you enjoy wintertime running? More than other seasons? Why or why not?

I guess I enjoy it, but I wouldn't say I love it. It can be very frustrating at times, like when it's 20-below for days on-end or if we get a bunch of new snow and the paths aren't plowed yet. I'll take 10-below over, 90 with a dew point of 70, any day. And 30 and flurries is way better than 35 and rain.

A lot of it comes down to race results. The base training I do in the winter will pay off the rest of the year. So, I'd rather struggle through a few tough winter days and race well, than sit inside because it's "too cold" and end up racing poorly.

4. Do you race in the winter months? Where?

Not really, I mainly just work on base-building. I do usually run the Winter Carnival Half Marathon - more as a benchmark to see where I'm at.

5. What kind of equipment do you need to run in winter (special shoes, clothing, etc.)?

I don't think you need anything special, just lots of it. Obviously, wicking shirts for your base-layer. Every running store is going to sell "technical" clothing. I have 2-3 jackets and 2-3 pants that vary in thickness. I just choose what to wear based on the temp/windchill.

For me, the main thing is keeping my hands warm. I'll splurge on a nice pair of gloves/mitts because if my hands get cold, I'm done for the day.

For my face, I grow a beard in the winter and if it gets around 0 or below, I'll rub Vaseline on too.

I bought some Yaktrax last year and they're great for trail running. It helps if the trail has been packed down.

I always tell people that the key is to continue running as the temperature drops, then just add another layer for every 10 degree drop or so. You can't run a fall marathon in 50 degrees and then wait till it's 10 degrees for your next run. Of course, that's going to feel cold. But if yesterday was 20 and today it's 10, that's not so bad.

6. What are the advantages/disadvantages to running in winter?

I think the key advantage is that it "forces" us (Minnesotans) to slow down and focus on base-building. We get off the track, stop doing hard workouts and racing every weekend. Plus it makes us mentally tough. Sure yesterday's hill workout was tough when it was -10, but races are tough too.

A disadvantage would be that our winters are 6 months long. Base-building is great, but by about mid-February I'm ready for it to be over.

7. Are there popular running groups that meet in the winter to run?
Who? Where/when do they meet?

Check out the river road or the lakes on any Saturday morning and you'll see groups of people out running. Obviously if it's 20-below you might not see as many. Matt Haugen's P2 group runs all winter, usually meeting in St. Paul. There's a group of "Old Timers" that meets every Saturday at 7:30 at various locations for a 2+ hour run. I'm sure MDRA, Lifetime Fitness, Minnesota Reds, etc. all have groups that meet throughout the winter.

8. Is winter running a rising or sinking trend in your experience?
It seems like the number of runners, in general, is on the rise, so I would guess that the number of winter runners is on the rise.

Quote of the day (Editor’s note: “poor guy”);

“I don’t drink. I don’t kiss girls. These things do an athlete in.” – Suleiman Nyambui

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


It’s kind of hard to explain, but I feel as if I have a better sense of my training this winter. I’m not following a schedule, per se, but I am trying fit in a tempo run, hill run, strides and a long run every week to 10 days. Mileage-wise, I’m content to take what my body and Mother Nature will give me.

So when I woke up to 4-6” of new (unplowed) snow yesterday, I had no problem shutting it down, after struggling through 2 miles in 22 minutes. I figure it’s better to sit around and drink coffee than to worry about getting in 2-3 more miles. In the evening I jumped on the treadmill for an easy 5 mile recovery run.

Being content with my body and Mother Nature doesn’t mean being lazy. Even though it was -10 degrees this morning, I managed a 90 minute run, including 5 hill repeats. Luckily the winds were calm. While I could probably go a little colder, I’m getting near my limit – mainly due to my hands. I just can’t keep them warm. I could probably buy some warmer mitts for $30-40, but since I’d only need them a handful (pun not intended) of times during the year, I can’t justify buying them.

I took a slightly new approach for my latest interview, by interviewing a husband and wife who both run. That makes it kind of long, but still interesting. I have a bunch of other cool interviews that I’m currently working on too.

Quote of the day;

“Yeah, I'm obviously very pleased with how the race went. In hindsight, I wish I would've got out a little faster in the first half, but I wanted to play it a little conservative.”Michael Reneau, who ran negative splits (1:09:16/1:08:30) at Houston on Sunday.

Monday, January 15, 2007


After Saturday's run I had a blog entry in my head - talking about how fit I am. But it's really hard to talk about myself after what happened in Houston on Sunday. Most impressive, Ryan Hall ran 59:43 for the half marathon, beating the old American Record by 1:12. Team USA Minnesota runners ran well too, including Andrew Carlson and Jason Lehmkuhle who both PR'd with sub-1:03 performances to finish 4th and 5th, respectively. Another Minnesotan in the race, Kevin won the 45-49 age-group by 3:20 with a 1:13:25.

In the marathon, Michael lowered his PR by nearly 3 minutes to 2:17:46. Jason missed the 2:22 Olympic Trials qualifying standard with his 2:24:14.

On the women's side, Minnesota runners dominated the 30-34 age-group, claiming the top-3 spots. Most impressive from that group was Erin's 2:48:18. While she missed the 2:47 Olympic Trials qualifying standard, she ran nearly a 5-minute PR.

Finally, because she's THAT good, she gets her own paragraph. Jenna was the 5th woman (1st American), lowering her PR by 3:12 to 2:42:39. How's this for splits; 1:23:01/1:19:38? If it's easier for you to understand "pace," she ran 6:20 pace for the first half and then dropped down to 6:05 pace for the second half. Sweet!!!

While we've had a very mild winter so far, usually this is the time of year when winter really starts to drag. I haven't raced for 3 months, the "real" racing season is still 2-3 months away, it's the coldest part of the year, it's dark, the holidays are behind us, etc. etc. Motivation can really start to suffer. Seeing yesterday's results were definitely a shot in the arm.

Alright, that's enough ass-kissing for today.

As I started to mention at the beginning of my post, I'm feeling fit. Not 59:43 half marathon-fit. Probably not even sub-3 fit. But definitely mid-January fit.

This sense of fitness hit me Saturday as I ran a solo 19 miler at 7:45 pace in 10 degree weather. This run gave me 76 for the week on 8 runs.

Sunday (after reading the Houston results) I headed out for a nice 12 mile trail run. I felt really good, especially for running 19 miles the day before, and had to keep reigning myself in.

Right at the end of this run it started snowing. This morning I woke up to about 6” of new snow. It’s about time we get the brown grass covered up. Let’s hope they’re out plowing the paths today.

Quote of the day;

“I certainly don't read much or have any scientific basis on my training...I just like to run.” – Jenna

Friday, January 12, 2007


To listen to the local weather forecasters, you’d think we were in the middle of an ice age. Sure the temperatures “plummeted” overnight. However, when temps are 35-40 degrees in mid-January, dropping 30 degrees shouldn’t come as a shock. Sure it sucks, but we were still above zero (4 degrees) this morning – and we’re supposed to get up to 14 degrees today. So what’s all the hype about? Yes, the wind chill is about 10 below, but even that’s not too bad. I think we’re just getting soft.

I won’t lie. The first 5-6 minutes of this morning's run – into the wind – were a bitch. My forehead was cold and it kind of felt like a brain-freeze from eating ice cream too fast. (Which reminds me, I just read somewhere that when that happens, you’re supposed to press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.) But within a mile, I was feeling toasty warm. About that point into the run I decided to throw in some hill repeats. Last week I did 3, today I managed 4. These aren’t bust-a-gut repeats. They’re just controlled repeats designed to get my body ready for future bust-a-gut repeats. After the hills, I continued on and got in 10 miles.

I’m happy to report that my knee is feeling pretty good. There was a comment from “Getwell” yesterday regarding being “careful of how you rate your injury.” Yes, that’s good advice. Right now, I wouldn’t call this an injury. It’s more of a nuisance. If I ran to the doctor every time something like this flared up – like some articles suggest – I’d be better off being a doctor or at least being married to one. Since that’s not going to happen, I’ll just make due the best I can - through trial-and-error – like everyone else.

On a “National” note, the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon, which serves as the U.S. Championship, are this weekend. There are quite a few local runners participating, including some of the people I’ve interviewed recently. Here’s wishing they all have great races.
Eric sent me another New York Times article. It’s not really running related. It’s about “happiness” and running makes me happy – so there you go. It’s kind of long (6 pages) and I’ve only read the first page so far, but it’s interesting.

Finally, since some of my readers are triathletes, I’ll throw this new blog out there. I think it’s safe to say that Curt is a very good local triathlete. Stop by and encourage him to post more often.

Quote of the day;

“I don’t want to plead that it’s the life of a monk, but I can’t think of a sport – with the possible exception of swimming – where people train as hard.” – Sebastian Coe on distance running

Thursday, January 11, 2007


As I build my mileage, I gradually add in more-and-more miles as I adapt. I can do this a number of ways; add a little mileage to some of my runs, double-up my easy days, double-up my hard days, increase my long runs, etc. With my knee acting up a little, I’ve decided to eliminate some of the “fluff” from my training.

So yesterday, rather than running 5 easy miles in the morning and 10 miles in the evening, I cut the 5 mile run from my schedule. I still managed 10 miles, including 6 at 6:48 pace. Again, the knee felt “fine.”

I’ll cut a little more “fluff” today. I figured running an easy 5 miles just 9 hours after finishing last night’s run might not be a good idea. So I slept in. I’ll get that run in tonight.

These changes won’t make a huge dent in my weekly mileage, but I’ll probably be closer to 70-75 miles, instead of 80-85.

Speaking of injuries, here’s an interesting article. Thanks to my friend Eric for sending it. Since I know the New York Times requires registration, here are some highlights;

The usual advice in treating injuries is to rest until the pain goes away. But a number of leading sports medicine specialists say that is outdated and counterproductive. Unless it’s something as serious as a broken bone or a ripped ligament or muscle, stopping altogether may be the worst thing to do.

“We want to keep you moving,” said Dr. William Roberts. “Injured tissue heals better if it’s under some sort of stress.”

“The easy way out is to say, ‘Don’t exercise,’ ” said Dr. Richard Steadman. That advice, he added, “is safe and you probably will have healing over time. But, if the injury is not severe, resting it will probably prolong recovery.”

I don’t want to post too much of the article, but it goes on to talk about some new ideas regarding icing and taking ibuprofen for treating injuries.

Finally, I just posted another interview. It’s kind of a new twist on things.

Quote of the day;

“You are here to learn to be an adult and I want you to grow at all levels. I want you to grow from being a scared 18 year old freshman into being a self reliant, confident, strong young woman who can go out into the world and make a difference professionally and personally.”Gary Wilson

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I haven’t run yet today, but I wanted to write a short post based on an article I read the other night. Back in my dark day – when I was doing triathlons – I had a coach. He’s since moved to Colorado, but he still writes training articles for a local bi-monthly publication. His latest article talks about the benefits of low intensity training – an effort that feels just a bit more intense than a strong walk (i.e. 2 hour runs and 5 hour bike rides with heart rates around 120-125).

Sounds “fun.” Of course, heart rates vary between individuals, so what does he really want us to accomplish?

Well, we’re trying to workout at the fastest pace we can maintain while still burning fat.

Ah. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t know when I switch from fat-burning to carb-burning.

No worries. The best way to find the “correct” effort is through a fuel test in a lab.

That sounds “fun” too.

Luckily, there’s another way. We can also use perceived exertion. He suggests using the effort at which you can no longer comfortably breathe through your nostrils while exercising.

Here’s my favorite part. If you’re an oral breather then you can;

Find this optimal fat burning threshold by evaluating the moment you notice a significant increase in breathing rate at a training level that is well below the threshold you would begin to feel the burning of lactate accumulation.

I’m glad he cleared that up

Quote of the day;

“In general, any form of exercise, if pursued continuously, will help to train us in perseverance. Long-distance running is particularly good.” – Mao Tse-Tung

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


As Sara pointed out in a comment, describing my knee as “fine” doesn’t really convey lots of meaning. The good news is that it doesn’t hurt. It just feels “funny”. There’s a “spot” on the outside of my right knee that’s not on the outside of my left knee. Of course, it’s possible that it’s been like that for 37 years and that I’ve just never noticed. Now that I’ve had some soreness, I’m going into over-analysis. I can’t really justify backing off, since it doesn’t hurt. So, I’ll just keep cranking until it gets worse (or better).

Mondays are recovery days and yesterday was no different; 6 easy miles in the morning and 5 very easy miles in the evening. During my evening run I watched as Ohio State laid an egg. At least there was no point in staying up for the second half of the game. I still don’t understand how the teams can put up 48 points in the first half and then only 7 in the second half. I know strategies and game plans change, but still…

This morning I ran 11 miles and included some strides. It turns out my normal running route (which I didn’t run on, during my cutback week) isn’t as clear of snow and ice as I thought it was. There were 3-4 stretches that were very icy and slippery. That makes me wonder if they’ll even plow that path if we ever get any more snow.

I’m sure most readers are sick of hearing about the Minnesota running scene. If you’re not, check out the new blog that’s being written by a couple guys from USATF Minnesota. This group also puts out a bi-monthly magazine and they’ve contacted me about including excerpts from my interviews in future magazines. So make sure your answers are witty and interesting.

Quote of the day;

“The marathon is a contest between your will and your resources.” – Jeff Galloway

Monday, January 08, 2007


On Friday, I figured; “What good is a cutback week without a day off?” So I took the day off.

Saturday was a nice 14 mile group run from Ft. Snelling to downtown St. Paul and back. That means I finished my cutback week with 50 miles on 6 runs.

Funny story of the run; we stopped at a hotel to use the rest rooms. One of the guys flushed the toilet and dropped his keys at the same time. Luckily he’s a better runner than basketball player and the keys bounced off the rim and landed harmlessly on the floor.

It was also during Saturday’s run when I got to meet one of my boyhood idols, Todd. When I was 13 or 14 I lived in northern Wisconsin. Given that there weren’t that many road races to choose from, we’d basically run everything within an hours drive. Todd lived about an hour from my hometown and he would often show up to the local races and just stomp everyone. At the time, it seemed like he was running 28-minute 10Ks. I don’t remember his exact times, but given that he was a 2:17 marathoner, I’d guess he was running 30-minute 10Ks.

Anyway, it was nice to be able to run with him a little on Saturday. I told Doug, who was running with me and Todd about my hero worshiping and he said it reminded him of a Jack Nicholas story; Jack said, “Everyone used to wish they could golf like me. Now they can.” While I might be able to run with Todd, at least a little bit, it’s not because I’m now running 30-minute 10Ks too.

Sunday I ran 11 miles including 4 miles at 7:10 pace. During that 4-mile stretch I just tried to keep things controlled and comfortably hard.

The knee is “fine.” It’s not hurting at the moment, but it sure sounds like a bowl of Rice Crispies with all the snap, crackle and popping going on every time I stand up. The only thing I can think of – other than running 80+ mpw – is that I started taking Glucosamine about two weeks ago. I don’t know if that’s the cause or not, but I’m going to cut out the Glucosamine and see what happens.

Quote of the day;

“Your body, no matter how you train it, is only capable of standing so much stress, then you have to let it rest.” – Frank Shorter

Friday, January 05, 2007


I either have writer’s block or I’m just unmotivated to blog. I guess that means I’m sticking to the first half of my New Year’s resolution to blog less. Now I just have to interview more runners in order to fulfill the second half of my resolution. I’m finding that it's a lot like running – if I don’t get it done in the morning, when I have all the great ideas floating around in my head, it doesn’t seem to get done. I have four people I’m trying to write questions for, but I’m struggling to come up with questions that are unique and interesting.

Part of the “problem” is that I received some old (1972-1975) newsletters from the local publication I’ve been writing for, and I can't put them down. I was going to write a “scathing” article comparing and contrasting Runner’s World from 1977 to 2007. However, I think I’m going to take that concept and apply it to this publication. Here are some things that jump out at me;

The 1 hour race used to be popular.
They seemed to race odd distances, such as 1.3, 4.3 and 6.6 miles.
There were only about 50 runners per race, but 75% of them ran sub-6 pace.
They’d run a 6 mile race but also have a 2 mile women’s race.
Prediction runs were a lot more popular.
While guys like Steve Hoag and Ron Daws were studs, they didn’t totally dominate the local racing scene – like I would’ve thought.
It’s fun to see the names people (or relatives) that are still racing 35 years later.
Finally, we’re spoiled and we take for granted things as simple as up-to-date race schedules, the number of races available, certified courses, race directors, etc.
After some unexpected expenses, my wife told me to watch my spending. So yesterday I went out and bought some new running shoes. Hey, they were 30% off. Besides, I’ll cut back on a lot of things, but I’m not going to cut back on running shoes – especially with my knee acting up. I figure $63 is better than visiting the doctor.

Speaking of cutting back, this is now officially a cutback week. Wednesday I ran an easy 6 miles. I’ve been meaning to add in a hill workout during the week, so I decided to ease into that yesterday. I ran 7 miles and included 3 hill repeats, which were about four-tenths of a mile each. Nothing fancy, just trying to make that “smooth transition” while adding something new to the training mix.

Quote of the day;

“For me, more does not equal better. I try to focus on good quality miles so I can run as little as possible throughout the season.” – Emily Brown, University of Minnesota All-American

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I’m not sure to expect this week – running-wise. My right knee has been feeling weird, off-and-on, lately. After Sunday night’s 13 mile run w/ 8 at MP, it was sore.

Yesterday my knee felt better as I ran on the treadmill. I was thinking I could get in an easy 10 miles. However, I stopped to use the bathroom just after 5 miles and when I got back on the ‘mill, my knee was sore. So rather than be a slave to the logbook, I pulled the plugged and called it a day.

This morning, a number of reasons made me just run another easy 5 miles; 1) my knee, 2) back to work, so I already had to get up an hour earlier than I had been, 3) I didn’t know what shape the trails would be in with the resent snow, and 4) my knee.

During the first half of the run I was cursing the city of Bloomington for not plowing their paths. I was literally off the path for 10 minutes before returning to find them ploughed. Pretty weird.

The good news is that my knee felt fine. However, the recent flare ups have me wondering if I can’t handle 90 mpw AND tempo runs at the same time. I keep thinking back to a recent interview where the guy could handle 150 mpw, but “only” ran 120 mpw if he was doing quality.

My New Year’s resolution is to blog less and interview more. I posted another interview yesterday. After reading her responses, Julie thought that she should have provided more in-depth answers. However, I think she does a great job of showing that you don’t have to worry about running 24/7, memorize all your PRs and splits or follow the “perfect plan” to be successful.

Quote of the day;

“In the ‘70s, I was a schoolteacher and I trained at 5 AM and 5 PM. During the wintertime, I never saw the sun.” – Tom Fleming

Monday, January 01, 2007


I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, er, I mean white New Year. We finally got some snow yesterday afternoon - just in time for a bunch of drunks to be on the slick roads. Makes me glad I have kids and just stayed home. I almost made it to 11 PM - even with a nap in the afternoon.

Back to work tomorrow, so blogging may get back to "normal." For now I'll recap my training, the month of December and 2006.

Friday afternoon I squeezed in another easy 5 mile run in the afternoon.

My wife made plans to go to the zoo with some friends at 9:30 on Saturday morning. That meant getting up at 5:30 in order to get in 18 miles before we left. The first 10 miles were in the dark. Sure it sucked, but it was nice to have it over with by 8:30 AM. This run gave me 90 miles for the week.

It's kind of interesting, for the first week of 2006 I ran 88 miles and wrote in my logbook, "Great week. Highest week ever - previous high was 84 miles." I'm sure that was a big deal at the time. Now I'm running 80-90 mpw and don't really think much of it. Alright, I do think about 90 - but next year I won't.

Last night I ended the month and year with a 13 mile run on the treadmill, including 8 miles at 6:52 pace. I would have run outside, but in the morning it was my least favorite weather; about 35 degrees and rain. Instead, I elected to watch Favre's last game (?) and get in some quality.

Last year I had mileage PRs for December (316) and for a year (2,793). I sort of shattered those this year with 350 in December and 3,205 for the year. We'll see what 2007 brings...hopefully fast race times

Quote of the day;

"Happy New Year" - Dick Clark