Tuesday, January 29, 2008


It seems like once every 3 or 4 weeks I have a night where I wake up (or am woken up) and can’t get back to sleep for 60-90 minutes. Last night was that night. Katie woke us up because she couldn’t find a stuffed animal and then I couldn’t get back to sleep. One second I couldn’t get comfortable, then there was a draft, then my underwear was all bunched up, then it felt like I was drooling, etc. I basically tossed and turned before eventually falling back to sleep.

When I finally did wake up, I was greeted by howling winds and single digit temps. Given the missed sleep and the weather, I really wanted to crawl back into bed. However, I know tomorrow’s weather is only going to be worse. I bartered with myself, saying, if I ran today, I may be able to take tomorrow off since I haven’t had a complete day off in over two weeks. So I ventured out for an hour-long run that included 6 big hill repeats.

One of my goals for the year was to run 1,000 miles during a 3-month stretch this winter. As one of my former co-workers would say, I “kind of, sort of” accomplished that two weeks ago. I say “kind of, sort of” because I needed to convert my x-c skiing time into running mileage to make it happen. I got as close as 980 running miles before my recent string of skiing brought my running totals down. Anyway, I basically converted 9-10 minutes of skiing to 1 mile of running, so 45 minutes of skiing would equal 5 miles and an hour of skiing would equal 6 miles. Doing this and adding it to my running mileage, put me at 1,000 miles on January 13th.

The significance of 1,000 miles within 3 months, dates back to college and I originally wrote about it here, roughly two years ago when I first achieved it.

Finally, awhile ago I mentioned a Running Times article on Team USA Minnesota. At the time it was just in print. Well now I see they have it online too. So if you didn’t pick up a copy, be sure to check out the website.

Quote of the day;

“The first workout Carrie [Tollefson] and Katie [McGregor] did together they absolutely killed each other. It was more intense than a race. When they were done, I told them, 'OK, now take a couple days to recover, and when you come back, we'll try to work at a level you can maintain an entire season.” – Dennis Barker

Monday, January 28, 2008


Thursday night I ran 10 miles on the treadmill in 71 minutes, including 5 miles at 6:40 pace. Friday I snuck out of work early and got in an hour long ski.

Saturday I made my best decision in a long time and decided to skip the Winter Carnival Half Marathon. I’ve probably run this race the last 5 years and always seem to run between 1:24-1:26. Instead I opted for a group run where I basically felt like crap for 15 miles. Had I run the race, I doubt I could have run 7-minute pace. While the overall results weren’t as fast as usual, there were about 20 guys in that 1:22–1:25 range, including The Rock, Evan, and Nathan. I doubt Evan and Nathan realized they were one second apart. Also, frequent commentor, Joseph, ran in the low 1:20s. Nice job guys. While I didn’t miss being there, I missed getting another coffee mug. Oh well…

I ended the week with only 45 miles on 4 runs, but I also included 4:30 of x-c skiing.

My last post I talked about not being a slave to my running log book and therefore being okay with running less as long as I mix in x-c skiing. That’s all fine and dandy as long as my runs don’t get to the point where they all suck. Saturday’s crappy run left me wondering 1) whether I was tired from the hills on Tuesday and marathon-paced workout on Thursday, 2) whether my aerobic base is suffering from cutting my mileage or 3) whether I just had an off day. I don’t know the answer, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

As I was getting dress to go skiing on Sunday morning, I reminded myself of what I’m really training for – Boston, which is only 12 weeks away. So, I threw on my running shoes and headed out for a nice 20 miler. I did another Boston simulator – running north on Pilot Knob for 70 minutes and then turned around for home. After 17 miles, I added the 3 biggest hills to the run.

Sunday was a beautiful day for running – perfect for being able to tell which runners haven’t been running outside during the winter. They’re the ones that are wearing facemasks when it’s 25 degrees out.

Alright, I’ll try to make this the last skiing quote of the day;

“A lot of elite runners in the state found skiing more enjoyable than trying to battle the winter elements.” – Bob Kempainen

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I think the hardest part about adding cross-training into the mix is getting over writing a zero in the log book. Seriously, for an analytical, numbers-oriented type guy – right, wrong or otherwise – there’s a lot of satisfaction derived from adding numbers into my log book. And with the addition of skiing, I went from averaging about 1 day off of running per month to about 2 days off per week. Maybe I need to develop some type of cross-reference tool that converts time spent skiing into running “mileage”.

Or maybe I should stop worrying about my log book.

Yesterday I had the entire freshly groomed golf course near my house all to myself and I skied for an hour.

This morning I woke up, turned on the TV, saw -12 degrees, and went back to bed. I was hoping to get in another hill workout, but I’ll opt for the treadmill tonight. The good news is that this is supposed to be the last of this cold stretch.

I still haven’t decided whether or not I’ll run the Winter Carnival Half Marathon this weekend. I’ve probably run this race in each of the last 5 years. It’s always a nice benchmark for where my base training has taken me. Again, for an analytical, numbers-oriented guy, that can be a catch-22. While it’s nice to run some of the same races every year, it can also affect the confidence level if this year’s results are up to snuff compared to previous year’s results. Looks like it might be a “game day” decision.

Finally, it looks like someone lit a fire under the Team US Minnesota in order to get them to update their journals. It looks like four or five of them have been updated, so I won’t bother to list them individually.

Quote of the day;

“Every year after I’d been skiing, I’d come into the spring with so much strength work, I’d usually be ahead of the game by May. But the great thing is I wouldn’t get tired the way I think you would if you put in all those hours on the roads.” – Bob Kempainen

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Isn’t it great to be a blogger? We get to lay out all our training, goals, philosophies, strategies, hopes, desires, doubts, etc. out there for everyone to see. And then, on occasion, we get to have people we don’t know tell us what we did wrong.

It’s understandable.

Heck, I know I’m better at understanding other people’s training and desires than my own.

I bring this up partially because Mike got raked over the coals pretty good last week after “only” running 2:37 at his last marathon. I guess that’s the price for having a popular blog and not quite meeting your stated goal.

I also bring this up because after beating the high mileage horse into the ground here, I suddenly find myself x-c skiing at every opportunity. I guess my reasons are that;

1) it’s fun and I enjoy it
2) learning the technique involved provides a new challenge
3) we have snow this year, so I want to take advantage of it
4) skiing in zero degree temps doesn’t seem as bad as running in zero degree temps
5) while I might not run as well at Boston, hopefully, mixing in some skiing will allow me to maintain my motivation throughout the summer and lead to a PR at TCM
6) I won’t find out if #5 is true unless I try it
7) it helps that I already have four 20-24 milers under my belt already.

Here’s a quick training update. Thursday evening I ran 10 miles on the treadmill. Friday I ran 8 miles on the treadmill along with 3 miles at 6:24 pace. Saturday I skied for an hour. That gave me 58 miles on 5 runs and an additional 2 hours of skiing for the week. Sunday I skied for 90 minutes in the morning and ran 10 miles on the treadmill while watching the Packers choke. Monday I skied for 55 minutes. I would have loved to have skied this morning on our fresh snow, but I wanted to move into my hill phase. So ran 10 miles with 6 hill repeats.

Saturday was also the MDRA’s annual party. It was a regular who’s who of bloggers with Mike, Nathan, Kirk, Don, Ardis, and, of course, the MDRA’s own Colin all in attendance. Thanks to Wayne for the photo of me and Katie.

Quote of the day;

“When your mileage is 100-plus miles a week, some of those miles are not that tough. Sometimes I was just about jogging. When I reached that point, I did some of the miles on skis and enjoyed them more.” – Grete Waitz

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Lots of talk about trying to improve, doing something different, setting goals, finding your limits, etc. lately. But what I’d really like is to be able to turn “it” off – at least once in awhile. “It” being constantly thinking about running. It seems to be the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. Driving the car…thinking about running. Sitting in meetings…thinking about running. Getting “lucky”…okay, even I’m not lame enough to be thinking about running at that point, but you get the idea. There should be some type of mechanism where I can still train, without the thought of running consuming every waking moment.

Maybe I need another hobby, like skiing...

That's what I did this morning for 45 minutes. It seems like I’m getting a better hang of the technique, however, two different guys flew by me. I think they were literally going twice as fast as me – and they make it look so freaking easy. When do I get to that point? The times where I felt like I had good technique, I got going so fast that I was scared. On the negative side of things, my right knee seems to hurt after each ski workout.

Tonight I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to run on the treadmill. Having the Gophers/Hoosiers basketball game on TV will help make that happen.

Quote of the day;

“The fewer the voices on the side of truth, the more distinct and strong must be your own.” – William Ellery Channing

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I’m not sure what the equivalent of the dog days of summer are during this time of year, but whatever they are, they’re here. It seems like once a winter I hit a stretch where I’m unmotivated and I just want winter to be done – funny how that tends to coincide with traditionally the coldest stretch of the year.

This was supposed to be the last week of a three-week building period where my mileage would be in the low 80 mpw range. Well, that’s not going to happen.

Monday I tried to cross-train by skiing in the morning. I made it 12 minutes before my cold hands made me call it quits. Later that day I realized that the wind chill was -15 degrees. I guess that explains it. Even with about four different layers, I couldn’t keep my hands warm. It might be time for me to search for some type of hand warming device. Luckily I have a little better luck keeping them warm while running.

That evening I never made it on the treadmill, so that’s my second zero in the span of four days. I guess if I’m going to take a zero, the day after an 18 mile run with a 10K tempo in the middle, is the time to do it.

Tuesday I ran an easy 8 miles. I stayed on the treadmill because the weather-terrorist have led me to believe that bitter cold now occurs around 0 degrees.

This morning I took advantage of the heat wave (18 degrees) and ran 14 miles, including three hill repeats. For some reason, I really like that 15-20 degree temperature range. Too bad that’s all supposed to end abruptly. Tomorrow morning is supposed to be around 5 and then the bottom drops out after that. I’ll do the best I can, but a long run could be a challenge this weekend.

So basically, I’m just trying to stay positive and remind myself of all the hard work I’ve done so far this winter and how winter will be over in another 6-8 weeks. Actually, if I can make another four weeks, I’ll be happy.

It seems like this quote of the day can be applied to all the training talk lately;

“True freedom lies in the realization and calm acceptance of the fact that there may very well be no perfect answer.” – Allen Reid McGinnis

Monday, January 14, 2008


The end of last week I was really dragging, so I ended up sleeping in on Friday. As I’ve mentioned before, if I don’t run in the morning, chances of me running at all are drastically reduce. Needless to say I ended up taking a zero on Friday.

Saturday morning I woke up to a new dusting of snow and a strong desire to go skiing on the golf course near my house. This is becoming my new golf course – especially since I only golf about once every two years. This place holds cross country meets in the fall and they groom about 7K for x-country skiing in the winter. What more do you want from a golf course? Plus I only have to drive about 2 minutes to get there and it’s free. Anyway, I ended up skiing for 45 minutes.

In the afternoon I ran an easy 10 miles on the treadmill while watching the Packers. I think Hasselback was a “little” frustrated. I believe he asked for a pass interference penalty on the Packers on every single passing play. That gave me 62 miles for the week on 6 runs, plus another 90 minutes of x-c skiing.

Sunday I joined Evan for our first race of the year. The idea was to run the Frigid 10K at around half marathon pace (6:20ish) in the middle of a 20 mile run. After a 6 mile warm-up, it felt like we sprinted the first mile at about 6:20 pace only to look down and see 6:40. Things got a little easier after that, as that would turn out to be our slowest mile. I think we ran 5K splits of something like 20:16/20:24 to tie for 6th place in 40:40. Complete results can be found here.

On the way home, thoughts of a 20 mile day evaporated with our remaining energy supplies and we called it a day after 18 miles.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about some of my recent posts and the comments I’ve received – along with how much I’ve been enjoying x-c skiing lately. And when I think about how I ran the second half of last year and just how miserable I felt, it makes me wonder how much was tied to last winter’s base building – even though I started to back off in January. All that rolled together makes me want to continue to try and mix in more cross country skiing the rest of the winter. I’m talking about skiing on my easy days, like skiing and running 5 miles instead of just running 10 miles. I think my body would appreciate the change of pace and give me a better chance of having a better fall marathon. There’s only one way to find out.

Quote of the day;

“Our real problem is not our strength today; it is the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, January 11, 2008


Hopefully yesterday’s post was a little thought provoking. I got a few comments that I thought I would respond to here.

I think Andrew hit the nail on the head and did a better job explaining the topic when he said that you have to do something in order to improve. I tend to think that most people don’t run enough, so I focus on increasing mileage in order to improve. Others probably think I run too much and should mix in some speed.

Kirk mentioned only running about 20 mpw throughout the winter in order to avoid burnout. Maybe I should apply his approach one of these years – especially since 80% of my racing last year occurred in the first half of the year. I’m just concerned that if I drop to 20 mpw, I’ll like it too much and I’ll never build back up. I’ve seen too many people “take a break” – only to have it be a permanent break from exercise. And as Andrew stated, it’s taken him 12 weeks just to get back to where he was. I guess I prefer to be a little closer to racing fit than that.

Kel’s “simple” solution is the standard “find what works for you.” That sounds great, but with all the various combinations of speed, distance, long runs, hills, HR zones – not to mention flexibility, nutrition, strength, etc. – it may take me forever to find what works for me. Besides, I think part of finding what works for you is seeing what other people are doing. In high school I thought 20-25 mpw was a lot because that’s what everyone around me was doing. However, if someone had mentioned that the runners at so-and-so high school were running 40 mpw (or whatever number you want), maybe it would have opened my eyes a little more.

Anonymous brought up cross training and it made me wonder how many runners out there actually do it. I can’t think of any runners that I run with that do it unless they’re injured – and I’m not talking about the triathletes I train with. They cross train because they’re triathletes.

I’ll close the week with links to new journal entries by Kristen, Chris, and Andrew.

Quote of the day;

“In the past I have found it to be a desperate battle to find my limits, while at the same time trying to believe that I don’t have any. I am to the point now where I don’t think about limits anymore.” – Andrew Carlson

Thursday, January 10, 2008


After feeling a little tired during my last two runs, I decided not to go for another medium-long run today. Instead I got to sleep until 4:50 and “just” go 10 miles. After waking up to temps in the teens yesterday, I was expecting more of the same today. So I was a little surprised when I saw 30 degrees. Combine that with no wind and a nice illumination between the sky and snow pack and it made for a great morning. Had I known this, I may have tried harder to get in 15 miles.

During this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to change, goal setting, resolutions, etc. As I sit here “stuck” around 80 mpw, I often wonder if I should continue moving my mileage upwards. However, when I talk with people regarding my mileage, they seem amazed. I’m not really sure why. I mean, if the goal is to run better than last year – and I presume we all want to do that – then how do other runners plan on making that happen? Do they ramp up their mileage too, but just at a later date? Do they plan on doing it by running harder speed workouts? Do they keep things the same and hope for faster times? Will the cumulative effect of running for another year be enough to make them improve? How do other runners plan on running faster in 2008?

Also, it seems like we need to adjust our ideas regarding the definition of high mileage. I know this is relative for each runner, individually. However, when we’re talking as a whole, 80 mpw is not high mileage. I doubt you could find a top runner in your region that’s running less than 80 mpw. And Running Times just had an article on how the Japanese run up to 175 mpw – that’s more than double what I’m doing.

Anyway, speaking of goal setting, Kel did a nice job explaining SMART goals here. While I don’t have every workout planned between now and Boston, I do have a general outline in mind for the different phases. I’ll worry about the specific workouts once I get to those phases.

Quote of the day;

“Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible” - Shakespeare

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Believe it or not, I don’t have much to say today. I ran an easy 10 miles this morning with some strides thrown in. My hill phase is only 1.5 weeks away, so I did a couple of hill repeats on one of the hills I plan on using. Since I’ve been on the treadmill a lot more lately, I want to make sure that my body is somewhat accustomed to the strain of hills.

Thanks to Kim for forwarding this article on Carrie Tollefson. It includes two of my favorite photos – and no, the first one is not one of them. The article mentions that Tollefson led the 1500 Olympic trials from start to finish, but if I remember correctly, Jen Toomey passed her in the homestretch and then Tollefson battled back to win.

Quote of the day;

“Athens I loved it, even though I was in pain. I was almost taking it in as if I were a spectator. I was looking at these athletes forgetting I was one of them. Now, it's time to go back and dig deep and see what I'm made up.” – Carrie Tollefson

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


In the morning, running on the treadmill in the evening always seems like a good idea. However, once evening rolls around, it’s very difficult to make it happen. I did manage to run an easy 5 miles last night. I was hoping to get in a few more miles, but I also wanted to make it a recovery day – given my back to back stronger paced runs over the weekend. Plus, I figured skiing for 45 minutes in the morning was a nice supplement to my routine. Finally, I wanted to get up early this morning for a medium-long run, so I figured I’d better get at least 7 hours of sleep.

When 4:20 rolled around this morning, I really wanted to reset my alarm. However, with last night’s 5 miles I didn’t want to slack off another day. So I dragged my ass out of bed for a 15 mile run. I was kind of dragging towards the end of this run. After I finished, it occurred to me that it could have had something to do with the 5 miles I’d run just 8 hours before.

While I try to run my mid-week medium-long run on Wednesday, I moved it to today in order to take advantage of the nice warm weather. Plus, I’m thinking about adding in another similar run this Thursday.

I think my friend Eric is turning into my conscience. A month or so ago we went for a run together and he asked about my core training. I hadn’t been doing any at the time, but have since added it to my routine. Last week he emailed me asking what I was doing to improve my mental toughness during races. I’ve written a lot on this topic in the past, as it’s something I find very intriguing – even though it’s hard to document, quantify, track, analyze, etc.

I told Eric that right now I’m just basically worrying about my fitness. To me, the mental side of the sport is sort of like the chicken and the egg; am I running well because I’m mentally strong or am I mentally strong because I’m running well? Personally, I need to get in the fitness and start seeing some results and then the confidence seems to grow from that. If training is lackluster and I’m unmotivated, it doesn’t seem to make sense to worry about the mental side of the sport. Maybe others would argue that that’s the perfect time to worry about it.

Then Eric asked if I could work on mental toughness while getting fit? For example, mind focusing techniques, visualization techniques, inspirational techniques, relaxation techniques, etc. While I totally agree with that, there are only so many hours in the day. Mental training is like strength training, nutrition, stretching, and any other ancillary activity - I have to pick and choose how I incorporate them into my overall training.

Quote of the day;

“The wonderful thing about athletic achievement is that it is finite. There is no ambiguity. You did it and no one can ever take that away from you.” – Sara Mae Berman

Monday, January 07, 2008


Duration or distance? That’s the question after Saturday’s group run. One person’s GPS said 16 miles, while my watch said 2:06. Given the poor footing, I know the effort was not 7:50 pace. I figure it was a sub-7:30 effort, so I logged 17 miles instead. That gave me 83 miles for the week on 7 runs.

Yesterday was beautiful with temps in the 40s, yet for some reason I decided to run on the treadmill. Actually, I know why. I wanted to run a stronger paced run and not have to worry about all the melting snow and ice. Plus, I was able to watch the NFL playoffs during the run, which helps make a treadmill run a little more tolerable. I ended up with 12 miles at 7:15 pace.

While temps above 40 degrees are great, temps falling below freezing overnight can make for some treacherous conditions. Therefore, I opted for 45 minutes of x-c skiing this morning. Even the icy conditions while skiing can be difficult as the course was scary fast. I came away with a greater appreciation for downhill skiers. I fell hard on my tailbone once – and that was enough to make me not do that again. Anyway, tonight I’ll get in an easy run during the NCAA championship game.

My latest interview is for all the triathletes out there.

Quote of the day;

“Standing on the starting line, we are all cowards.” – Alberto Salazar

Friday, January 04, 2008


Maybe it’s just me but October, November, and December seemed like they flew by. If the next three months go by as quickly, tapering for Boston will be here before I know it.

The hardest part with the holidays being over is getting back into the routine of waking up at 5 or earlier. The last two nights I’ve been exhausted at 8:30 and in bed 15 minutes later. This morning I ran another 10 miles. The paved paths in Hyland Park were clear, so I was able to include some strides during the run.

One thing I forgot to mention about the goals from yesterday is that mentally I feel like they’re achieveable. Sometimes I’ll have a goal and then go to the McMillan calculator to see how this goal compares to other distances. Usually, that leads to a reaction like, “Oh crap, that’s the equivalent of a 36-minute 10K. I haven’t run that fast in a long time.” However, yesterday when I punched in 2:50 and saw times like 17:26, 28:44, and 36:13 for 5, 8 and 10K, I thought, “Those are doable.” I guess that's half the battle.

Maybe I’m overly optimistic or maybe having not raced in like four months has made my mind forget how hard it is for me to run that fast. I guess if it keeps me going during the winter months, I’m all for it.

As I was looking for something interesting to write about, I came across this interesting article. It has a lot of great quotes, including today’s quote of the day.

Quote of the day;

“People criticize me for the way that I live, but it’s my life and I alone bear the consequences.” – Brian Pope

Thursday, January 03, 2008


The good news is that it warmed up to 13 degrees this morning. The bad news is that the wind picked up. Right now it says it’s 17 mph with gust up to 26 mph. There’s talk of temps in the mid-30s to 40 this weekend. That’ll be nice. Hopefully it’ll be enough to clear the snow off all the paths.

Anyway, I managed an easy 10 miles this morning. My left hip is still sore to the touch, but okay to run. I think it has more to do with falling while skiing, rather than skiing itself.

I haven’t seen a lot of New Year’s resolutions in blog-land – maybe runners tend to avoid that stuff and just go with the goal setting instead. I haven’t set any resolutions either, however, I’m going to try and cutback on eating my way through all the crap in the office. Hopefully, now that the holidays are over, that’ll be a lot easier just by not having as much around.

As for goals, I’ve mentioned a few here and there. I suppose I put a little more thought into them and write them all down in one place. Here’s what comes to mind;

Mileage Goals:
3,500 miles for the year
1,000 miles during a 3-month stretch this winter (i.e. November – January or December – February)
1,000 miles during a 3-month stretch this summer (i.e. May – July or June – August)

Time Goals:
Sub-17:30 5K
Sub-29:00 8K
Sub-36:30 10K
6:00 pace for 15K
Sub-1:21 half
Sub-2:50 marathon

Other Goals:
Sub-3 at Boston and TCM would mean I’ve run sub-3 on every marathon course I’ve run.
Run the Pavvo Nurmi Marathon for “fun”.
Run a 50K for “fun”.

I’m sure there are more, but that’s a good start. Now that I look at the list, it’s kind of daunting. My highest yearly mileage is 3,204, I’ve only had one 3-month stretch of 1,000 miles in my life, and I haven’t run any of the times for 5K – half since my college days. However, if I can run the mileage goals, I think the time goals will come. Probably the safest goals are the last two.

Quote of the day;

“It’s a practice in not quitting.” – Pat Williams, Orlando Magic coach on why he runs marathons

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I knew it wouldn’t last. After yesterday’s run, I was on-pace for 8,784 miles in 2008. An easy 5 mile recovery run this morning means I’m now only on-pace for 5,307 miles. Of course that’s not going to happen either, but I would like be around 3,500 in 2008. One of the things I’m going to shoot for is having another base-building effort – similar to this winter – during June, July, and August. Running Boston in April, as opposed to Grandma’s in June, should help make this possible.

While I enjoyed the holidays and cashing in on some vacation, running-wise, it’ll be nice to get back into a routine. Normally, I like to do similar types of training on the same days from week to week. Well with the holidays, that went out the window. You can see the results by looking at my latest 7-day rolling graph – the last three weeks or so look like a saw blade.

Just as I plan on getting back into a running routine, I hope to get back into a blogging routine. Simply posting updates regarding my training is kind of boring. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of doing some interviews too, as I’ve been slacking in that department lately.

Quote of the day;

“The Boston Marathon is a race that is not competed against other athletes but raced against a supreme being. The Boston Marathon is bigger than life. It’s a feeling like no other.” – Jim Knaub, five-time wheelchair champion

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Here's a quick recap of my recent training. Saturday I had a great 1:56 group run. Distance-wise it was 15 miles, but effort-wise with the crappy footing, it was probably over 16 miles. That gave me 60 miles for my cutback week.

Sunday I didn't want to mess with more crappy footing, so I just ran on the treadmill for 12 miles while watching the Vikings get eliminated from the playoffs. I'm trying to make the most of my treadmill runs by making sure they're strong aerobic efforts. After starting out easy, I worked my way down to 7:03 pace.

Given my back to back harder runs, I settled on an easy 5 mile run on Monday. In the afternoon I met a buddy from work for some one-on-one ski lessons. He gave me some pointers during our 10K of skiing.

As a result, I closed out the month with 331 miles on 30 days of running and 31 runs - plus 2 hours of skiing. It also means I finished 2007 with 3,062 miles. While those numbers are down from last year's 350 and 3,204, I feel very comfortable with where I'm at. I think I've done a very good job of balancing the building of my mileage in three-week segments, followed by a cutback week. I'm also happy with the number of mid-week 14-16 mile runs I've run lately, as well as already getting in three long runs of 20 or more miles.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Joan Benoit Samuelson ran her long runs every 10 days. She thought every 7 days was too close and every 14 days was too far apart. Of course, that kind of schedule is a little easier for someone who's not working Monday-Friday. With the help of the holidays and vacation, I've been able to get close to Joan's schedule. On 12/9 I ran 20 miles, 12 days later I ran 22 miles, and 11 days later - today - I ran 24 miles. If all works out, I should be able to get in another long run in 11 or 12 days.

I didn't really know what to expect with today's long run. My right hip was sore from skiing, but it only seemed to bother me when I moved laterally. Also, with temps around 0 and the windchill of -15, I wasn't sure how much of this run would be outside. I was prepared to stay close to home and finish on the treadmill at any point. Somehow I made it 18 miles before getting tired of freezing into the wind and then overheating with the wind. With the last 6 miles on the treadmill, I'd almost say this run was easier than my 22 mile run which included a bunch of hills near the end.

Quote of the day;

"For us [Japanese], distance and time are both important. I would do up to 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) per month in my main training, whether at sea level or at altitude. I always liked to feel I was doing training that nobody else could do." - Yuko Arimori