Thursday, May 28, 2009


I’m sure I’ll have more to write about on “The Summer of Chad” – like excruciating details regarding past training and race results – but I have to get through Grandma’s first.

I just wanted to mention a couple of things regarding my other blog. First, I posted a new interview last night. Second, I started a Facebook group for this site. I figure it might be a good way to discuss things like who to interview and what questions to ask, as well as, another venue for giving exposure to people that are running well.

Oh, and speaking of exposure – since you may know I have a love/hate relationship with triathlons and triathletes – here’s a blog that I just heard about that does a great job covering the Minnesota tri scene.

Quote of the Day;

“Right now, I am inoperable, which is different than most cancer patients. Why did I have to be so different? I guess it is because I am so strong and because there is a plan. Now, I need to find and follow the plan.” - Cynthia Brochman

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I ran my last mid-week 15 miler this morning. Two hours alone on the trails of Hyland Park gave me lots of time to think. Too bad I can't remember all those great blog topics I had floating through my head. I'll try my best.

I probably shouldn't be too upset about my 5K results. I think they're pretty much in line with what I ran at the Get in Gear 10K. Plus, I'm beating (or at least a lot closer to) people that were beating me in March. It's just a little frustrating that I've added speed since then, but it didn't translate to my 5K. And I know all about the "you don't need speed for a marathon" comments. That may be true, but there's no denying the numbers. For example, 2 years ago I ran 17:52 at the same 5K and then managed to PR at Grandma's in 2:57:30 (McMillan predicted 2:54). This year's 18:58 ("chip time" - i.e. "my watch") calculates to 3:05. I'm guessing that this year's marathon training program isn't any better than what I did in 2007.

I was thinking if this is what growing old is going to be like, I'm going to have to find a better way to deal with getting slower. Maybe I'll have to start focusing more on competing with the runners around me, rather than running certain times. Or maybe I should start working on new age group PRs this summer. Of course, it doesn't hurt to keep Joey Keillor's advice in mind when he said, "I’ve come to believe that the majority of your satisfaction should come from your present circumstances, and a lesser amount should be reserved for what you hope to be."

I spent a lot of today's run thinking about what I want to do after Grandma's. I know I mentioned focusing on speed, but now I'm leaning towards mileage. Again, there's no denying the numbers. For me, I've run my best when I've run my most miles.

You've probably heard of The Summer of George and maybe even The Summer of Malmo. Well, this is going to be The Summer of Chad. Simply put, that means running as many miles as I can from July - September and seeing what comes out the other side. It could be twisted steel or it could be hamburger. I'll probably be cranky. I might even get injured. I may blog less and possibly even forget my facebook password. I may loss my sex drive. Heck, maybe my wife will even be begging me for some action for a change. Those are all things I'm willing to experience during The Summer of Chad. What better to ring in my 40th year on this planet? I may not end up setting PRs, but it should be memorable.

Quote of the day;

"If you think that life has passed you by, or, even worse, that you are living someone else's life, you can still prove the experts wrong." - Dr. George Sheehan

Monday, May 25, 2009


A couple of months ago I wrote that I'd never again say that I'm "just" running xyz mileage. At the time I think I was running about 40 miles per week and it felt like a lot.

Well, I lied.

Saturday, I "just" ran 18 miles. Sure that's a lot. But seriously, when your previous week's long run was 22 and you're used to running 15 miles in the middle of the week, 18 on the weekend feels like a piece of cake. I was happy to make my way to Terrace Oaks park in Burnsville for 6 of those miles. I've skied this park a lot, but I've never run there. It was fun to see the trails in a different light. I ended the week with 64 miles.

As I've been transitioning to speedwork lately, I've been a little discouraged that I haven't been able to get down to my 5K pace - estimated at 6:00 pace. Well, today's 5K helped explain why - because that's not my 5K pace! One lap around Lake Nokomis and all I could muster was 6:07 pace. While a 19:01 would place pretty high at most local 5K races, this was the USATF team circuit 5K and I was the 105th male and 123rd overall. Complete results can be found HERE.

If there would have been chip timing, I'd have been under 19, but that's little consolation for a race I ran sub-18 at just 2 years ago. I just need to keep reminding myself that I'm training for a marathon, not a 5K. I basically have no turnover. The entire first mile (6:10) it felt like I was running a tempo run. Just after the first mile I finally started to settle into a rhythm. Although the 2nd mile was only 6:11, it was into the wind and I was able to move up on a few people. I felt strong during the last mile, passed a few more people by dropping down to 6:02 before closing in :38.

It's days like this that make me want to stick to the longer races. It's not that I ran poorly, but everyone else is so much faster. Seriously, I could possibly place 123rd out of 7,000 runners at Grandma's - last year 123rd ran 3:01. Yet in the 5K I'm 123rd out of 506 runners.

Something is out of whack.

Quote of the day;

"Fitness is my life; it is indispensable. I have no alternative, no choice, but to act out this inner drive that seems entirely right for me." - Dr. George Sheehan

Thursday, May 21, 2009


First off, enough already with the…




Man, the last 2 days have been ridiculous. I guess that’s what happens when it goes from 65 degrees to 95 degrees. I’m sure the people running the Stillwater Marathon this weekend are watching the weather closely.

I had a title (1 MONTH) for yesterday, but nothing to say, which kind of makes for a boring post. Grandma’s Marathon is now less than 1 month away.

Things continue to click right along, yesterday I ran an easy 6 miles and this morning Scott and I ran a strong 8. I am getting a little concerned that I’m not getting enough sleep. It has a little to do with staying up a little too late – hard to go to bed at 9 PM when it’s beautiful out and the days are getting long – but has more to do with being wide awake 30-60 minutes before my alarm is supposed to go off. Maybe trying to wake up at 4:15 one day and then 5:30 the next isn’t conducive to getting into a good sleeping pattern. It’s a little weird because I don’t feel overly tired, but I have been doing my highest mileage and now I’m adding speed, so I just want to be cognizant of the little things.

Speaking of Grandma’s, if anyone is looking for a room, let me know. I’ve reserved a 4-bedroom dorm/apt at the College of St. Scholastica and we only have 3 rooms occupied. With an additional person the rooms would be about $125 for the ENTIRE weekend – none of this $200 a night crap.

Quote of the Day;

“My theme is mostly the idea of play. Of bringing back your body, or becoming yourself, a total man. When I write, I tell who I am, what I'm like, what I've discovered running. I'm not embarrassed to expose myself. I don't care what I write as long as it's true.” – Dr. George Sheehan

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The other day I was thinking about my apprehension regarding transitioning from skiing to running and signing up for a spring marathon. Again, based on everything I heard, training for a spring marathon after skiing all winter would be rather difficult. The body needs time to get used to pounding the pavement again. Plus there's the urge to ramp up mileage quickly due to the limited number of weeks to train. Of course, those things increase the chance of injury.

Well, it's interesting how 8 weeks of solid training will make all those worries disappear. While my speed might not be exactly where I'd like it yet, I've been feeling really good lately. Just walking around the office, the legs are feeling good. My 2-hour mid-week runs are becoming routine. I'm nearly at my "fighting weight". Lots of signs pointing in the right direction.

After a day off on Sunday to recover, this week started with 9 miles on Monday, including 5 x 600 meters on the track. Again, I wasn't quite able to get down to my 5K pace, but I was a lot closer than my pathetic first track workout last week. Then this morning I was up early for a nice 15 mile run - half which was run with Rick.

Quote of the day;

"My design is thin and linear. I am a nervous, shy noncombatant who has no feeling for people. I do not hunger and thirst after justice. I find no happiness in carnival, no joy in community. I am one with the writers on The New Yorker whom Brendan Gill described. They touched each other only by accident, were secretive about everything, and never introduced anyone properly." - Dr. George Sheehan

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I just wrapped up my third week at 67 miles. Nothing special about that number - Pfitz scheduled weeks of 68, 70, 68, 70, but I've added a mile here and there and subtracted a couple of PM runs of 4 miles.

Last week's highlights were a 15 mile run on Tuesday, 12 with 7 @ LT on Thursday and 22 miles yesterday.

After gradually getting faster and running longer during my first 3 tempo runs, Thursday's run was a step back - at least regarding the pace. With blustery conditions, all I could manage was 7 miles at 6:50 pace. Given that my first such workout 5 weeks ago was 4 miles at the same pace, it's hard to be too critical.

It was pretty blustery for yesterday's long run too. It's the middle of May and I still wore pants and gloves. Most of the run was spent around Pike Island and Ft. Snelling in an effort to avoid the wind. I ended up running for 2:57 and felt pretty strong through about 19.

5 weeks to go and I'm feeling good.

Finally, here's my latest interview.

Quote of the day;
"Running is a long evolutionary process. The runner I was 11 years ago when I first started is nowhere close to the runner I am now. The process has taken a lot of work, dedication and patience." - Meghan Armstrong

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


If you're a long-time reader of my blog, you probably realize I like to read running books and often include the passages that I find most interesting within my posts. I've included a lot of Dr. George Sheehan's thoughts along the way. For me, his writings cover a wide spectum and usually lead to one of two reactions; 1) I'm throughly engrossed and I end up reading sections over and over - trying to soak it all in or 2) I'm bored out of my mind and barely able to keep my eyes open - because he's way over my head. Anyway, I cracked open his book, Running & Being, again and thought I would share some of those statements, paragraphs, pages, etc. that I found myself reading over and over.

I am a runner. Years ago that statement would have meant little more to me than an accidental choice of sport. A leisure-time activity selected for reasons as superficial as the activity itself.

Now I know better. The runner does not run because he is too slight for football or hasn't the ability to put a ball through a hoop or can't hit a curve ball. He runs because he has to. Because in being a runner, in moving through pain and fatigue and suffering, in imposing stress upon stress, in eliminating all but the necessities of life, he is fulfilling himself and becoming the person he is.

I have given up many things in this becoming process. None was a sacrifice. When something clearly became nonessential, there was no problem in doing without. And when something clearly became essential, there was no problem accepting it and whatever went with it.

From the outside, this runner's world looks unnatural. The body punished, the appetities denied, the satisfactions delayed, the motivations that drive most men ignored. The truth is that the runner is not made for the things and people and institutions that surround him. To use Aldous Huxley's expression, his small guts and feeble muscles do not permit him to eat or fight his way through the ordinary rough-and-tumble.

That he is not made for the workaday world, that is essential nature and the law of his being are different from the ordinary and usual is difficult for everyone, including the runner, to comprehend. But once it is understood, the runner can surrender to his self, this law. And become, in the Puritan sense, the "free man," the man who is attached only to the good.

In this surrender, the runner does not deny his body. He accepts it. He does not subdue it, or subjugate it, or mortify it. He perfects it, maximizes it, magnifies it. He does not suppress his instincts; he heeds them. And goes beyond this animal in him toward what Ortega called his veracity, his own truth.

The finished product is therefore a lifetime work. This giving up, this letting go, the detachment from attachments, is an uneven process. You should give up only what no longer has any attraction to you, or interferes with something greatly desired. That was Gandhi's rule. He advised people to keep doing whatever gave them inner help and comfort.

I have learned that also. Whatever I give up, whatever innocent indulgences, ordinary pleasures or extraordinary vices, I do so from inner compulsion, not in a mood of self-sacrifice or from sense of duty. I am simply doing what comes naturally.

For the runner, less is better. The life that is his work of art is understated. His needs and wants are few, he can be captured in a few strokes. One friend, a few clothes, a meal now and then, some change in his pockets, and, for enjoyment, his thoughts and the elements.

And though he's on the run, he's in no hurry. Concerned at times with tenths of a second, he actually responds to the season, moving through cycle and cycle, toward less and less until body and mind and soul fuse, and all is one.

I see this simplicity as my perfection. In the eyes of observers, however, it appears completely different. My success in removing myself from things and people, from ordinary ambition and desires, is seen as lack of caring, proof of uninvolvement, and failure to contribute.

So be it. A larger view of the world might include the possibility that such people are necessary. That the runner who is burning with a tiny flame on some lonely road does somehow contribute. And while a world composed solely of runners would be unworkable, a world without them would be unlivable.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I figured the chances of my entry form getting to New Prague in a day were slim, so I decided not to use that race as a marathon paced training run. Instead, I was able to convince Jenna to run with me for 2 hours on Thursday night before watching the TC-1 mile. I don’t think we quite got down to my marathon pace, but we were definitely in the ball park. Besides, it was 70-75 degrees, windy and sunny – conditions I’m not used to seeing when I normally run at 6 AM.

I came back 2 days later with another 16 miler at 7:30 pace. That gave me 67 miles for the week. Best of all, I’m still feeling good. This is the point prior to my last marathon where I screwed up my calf. It was during a 22 miler, 5+ weeks out. I basically missed 2 weeks of training, not to mention what it did to my psyche. Well, with a 22 miler on tap for this weekend, my goal is to avoid getting hurt and to keep my psyche in check. I gotta get through another mid-week medium-long run and my last LT run first though.

Less than 6 weeks to go...

Quote of the Day;

“Today’s work does not make us the persons we can be. Work is simply the price to be paid. Having earned our daily bread, we can turn to our daily play. Having paid our dues for survival, we can pay attention to the more serious business of living. Having taken care of our bank accounts, we are now ready to take care of our bodies and the minds that go with them.” – Dr. George Sheehan

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Now that I think about it, I am in the thick of Pfitz’s program for the next 3-4 weeks. I should be tired.

It turns out I need to do a better job of registering for the races I plan on running. The half marathon I’m thinking about running on Saturday jumps from a preregistered fee of $30 to $50 on race day.


Maybe I can still get it to them by Friday. If not, I may have to recruit some fast friends for a MP workout.

I finally got around to posting another interview.

Quote of the Day;

“I’m going to take the easy way out and just say I consider myself a runner. I have the versatility to move up or down.” - Josh Moen, when asked whether he's a 5k/10k runner or a marathoner

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


One thing I think Pfitz does well with his program is gradually ramp up mileage and tempo runs. It makes me wonder why he doesn’t do that with his VO2 workouts. Today was the first such workout for me and it consisted of 5 x 1200 meters. My next VO2 workout two weeks from now is 5 x 600 meters. Is it just me or are those in the wrong order?

Given my recent 10K pace of 6:18, I was planning on running these around 6:00 pace – or 4:30 per 1200.

Well, I wasn’t even close.

I’m talking 25 – 30 seconds SLOWER than I planned. Not only that, but the 4:55-5:00 times I was running are basically equivalent to the pace I’ve been running for my tempo runs.


Of course, I have a ton of alibis regarding why I was slow, but I’ll just keep them to myself.

In college I probably had the speed to run low 2:40s (for the marathon), but not the strength. Now I’m a lot stronger, but I don’t have any speed. That may be my “project” for the summer.

Quote of the Day;

“A runner must run with dreams in his heart, not money in his pocket.” – Emil Zatopek

Monday, May 04, 2009


Thanks to Eric for sending me this comic – it’s for all the bikers and triathletes out there. I’ve never heard of the strip before, but it’s called F-minus. That may be the best name for a comic ever.

It seems like the marathon season is in full swing now as the inaugural Eau Claire and LaCrosse Marathons were held over the weekend, along with Flying Pig and Eugene. Locally, Green Bay and Fargo are coming up quickly along with more inaugural races in Minneapolis and Stillwater. Still 7 weeks 'til Grandma's.

I’d love to hear from anyone that ran either EC or LaX, especially EC since that’s where I went to college. Leave a comment or shoot me an email. Congrats to Nathan on his 2:51 PR and 3rd place finish in LaX. I know facebook is cooler than blogging now, but maybe he’ll share a race report with us.

I finished out last week with an 8 miler on Friday with Scott and a 20 miler with my Saturday group. 18 of those miles were on the trails at Lebanon Hills, so it felt like I ran more like 22 miles. I closed out the week with 67 miles. A little shy of Pfitz’s 70 miles, but I’ll take it. “Cross-training” yesterday turned into hauling 5 yards of mulch in a wheelbarrow.

I don’t remember mentioning it, but I finished April with 249 miles. That my most since last August – which also happens to be the last time I ran 67 miles in a week.

Quote of the Day;

“I realized I don’t have to race, but I do have to run.” – Don, who’s been battling injuries, during Saturday’s long run