Friday, March 31, 2006


I re-read Daws’ section on the hill phase and I am indeed springing. Bounding involves exaggerated knee lift AND stride length. I haven’t done any of that type of hill workout yet and I don’t know if I will. I need to go back and re-read Mike’s blog regarding his hill phase.

Speaking of Daws, Evan posted this bio on Daws the other day. Evan will also be running the Ron Daws Memorial 25K tomorrow morning. I’d call it a “race” but it’s unlike most (any) races around here. It cost a whopping $3.50 to run and it is limited to 160 runners. Hmm, sounds a lot like a 1970s race. Directly from their registration info;

This race commemorates 1968 Olympic marathoner Ron Daws. Daws, a '60's/'70's Minnesota running icon, trained over this same course. The race was renamed as a memorial to Daws the year after his death, in 1992.

The course runs over hilly terrain to the south and west of Hopkins. The race, begun in 1979, and now in its fourth decade, has proved to be a stiff challenge at a middle distance for those training for Boston or other spring marathons or who are otherwise looking for a testing workout.

Come prepared to run!!

The course is now measured in kilometers.

Faxed copies of the entry form will not be accepted. This was created to be a low key event-please keep it that way!

Today’s run was the same as last Friday’s; 1 mile with Bailey and 8 miles with Scott around Lake Calhoun. Just seeing an increase in walkers and runners is enough to know that warmer temps have arrived. It was 45-50 at 6 AM. Definitely warm enough for shorts, yet most runners (including us) wore pants. It’s like we know it’s warm enough, but we just don’t trust the weather yet.

This run means I finished March with 365 miles, a new all-time high – one more mile than January. I ran every day and had 7 doubles, all in the first 2 weeks of the month. None of my weeks were super high (92 miles), but none were super low (74 miles) either. I’m happy to report that I’ve gotten back into the routine of lifting and doing some ab work too, including 4 of the last 8 days.

Hills will continue for the first 2 weeks of April – sandwiching a 20k race on April 8th. I’m thinking about doing a 25k trail run for “fun” on the 22nd and then racing Minnesota’s largest 10k on the 29th.

Keeping with the Daws theme, here is today’s quote of the day. Actually, I’ve separated this paragraph into three separate quotes - each one awesome enough to be its own QOD, yet even better when you put them all together. If you haven't read any of Daws' writing, this gives you a good taste. I almost find myself mesmerized as I re-read paragraphs over and over.

“When you reach the 20-mile mark of a marathon feeling utterly spent, but finish somehow, you suspect you can conquer other seemingly unbearable events in life. After you discover you can set tough goals and prevail, you realize you can accomplish almost anything you put your mind to.”

“You don't have to look to the marvels of the Benoits, the Coes, the world-class to find your heroes; look inward to your own struggle and discover yourself. What you find may startle you, it may expose you to a whole gamut of emotions, but it will never bore you.”

“And, as Theodore Roosevelt promised, your place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
- Ron Daws, from Running Your Best, Epilogue

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Awake at 4:30 AM. $0
12 miles of hills and strides. $0
Done for the day by 6:30 AM. Priceless

Man, it feels so good to get done with a run, especially a hard workout, right away in the morning. Afterwards, sitting in traffic in the rain didn’t even bother me.

This morning I did a similar workout to Tuesday’s hills and strides. The only difference was that I added in another stride during each circuit. I thought I was ‘bounding,’ but I re-read an article that Mike sent me and it sounds like I’m ‘springing.’ I don’t know if it matters. I do know that it’s work.

During my cool-down I was calculating how much of this run was actually “hard.” Of the 96 minutes, only 12 minutes were spent on the hill and 8 minutes spent doing strides. Only 20 minutes of work, but it sure feels like more. The last two times I started this workout, I felt really good. By the time the cool-down rolled around, my ass was dragging. I could barely make up little hills in my neighborhood.

I need to keep this in mind when I look at my mileage graphs. What used to be 90-100 mile weeks are now 70-80 mile weeks. 31-day rolling totals that were 380-400 miles are now 340-360 miles. Fewer miles but more, harder miles.

This quote of the day probably should have gone with yesterday’s

“Don't let a few minutes of discomfort lay to waste hours and hours of training.” Eric

Here's Eric trying to hold off Jim at the Human Race.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


First off, congrats to Jim for winning his age-group last weekend at the U.S. National Snowshoe Championship in Bolten Valley, VT. It turns out he got “lost” the day before the race and ended up running 14 miles. Results can be found here.

I had a great 10-mile recovery run this morning. It really felt like my form had improved – overnight. My legs felt strong. I felt like I have “perfect” biomechanics. Every time I took a deep breath, it felt like my lungs would keep expanding as long as I wanted them to. Can the hill work and strides “kick in” that quickly? I don’t know, but if it’s a sign of things to come, I like it.

Things have pretty much just been about training around here lately. Kinda boring, even if I do say so myself. I thought I’d try to get a little more philosophical using a statement my friend Eric made to me a couple of months ago, after a year of kicking my ass in every race we entered;

Regardless of fitness, successful racing requires experiencing a fair amount of pain. You have to be willing to suffer. You have to, in a sense, embrace the suffering. My own opinion is that you're too analytical during the races. You're willing to run the race at a non-maximal suffering level. You need to learn to suffer. You need to be more like a football player, and less like a pool player.

While I don’t disagree with Eric, I wonder how much we can really “change our spots.” The last race we ran together, I beat Eric by 40 seconds. Does that now mean that he’s not suffering enough in a race? Does it mean I’m suffering more than last year?

I would venture a guess that we both suffered the same amount as we have in our previous races. After 25+ years of racing, I doubt someone is really going to change their approach to racing. Sure we may try different tactics, like going out hard, running even splits, surging, etc. But in the end, our thought process and the amount we’re really willing to suffer is probably already set.

If I just look at my last race, I don’t think I suffered any more than “normal” for a race. However, I’ve been more willing to suffer in practice this winter. No, not every day I step out the door. It’s more like a continuum of ever-so-slightly increasing the suffering; daily then weekly and then monthly - backing off where need-be.

Could I race better if I increased my ability to suffer during a race? Probably, but it’s easier said than done. However, there’s no substitute for fitness.

Quote of the day:

“So we're all together here, as usual, standing on the broad shoulders of those who have gone before.” Kenny Moore

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I managed a very easy 6 miles yesterday morning. I had time for 8, but not the desire. My legs were as tired as they’ve been in a long time. It’s really no surprise given my last 4 days of training; 11 miles of hills, 9 strong miles, 14 miles of hills and 18 miles. I did manage to go to bed at 8:15 on Sunday night and 8:45 on Monday night, so that helped in the sleep department.

Even though my training group is running hills tonight, I decided to go by myself this morning. During this 3-4 week hill phase, I want to focus on bounding/springing up the hills, not just getting to the top. In addition, I’m adding in some 200 meter strides – something the training group doesn’t do.

It’s amazing what a very easy day will do. My legs bounced back nicely for this morning’s workout. I did decide to run from my house because there’s a great hill nearby. It’s in a park with a loop that’s nearly a mile long. The first part of the loop is about a 3-minute steep uphill, followed by a 5-minute gradual downhill. The hardest part of the hill took about 1:45 to bound up, then it leveled off a little, but I kept bounding for another 1:15. After running fairly hard down the hill, I did two 40-second strides. These were done on a gradual downhill – free speed – to help boost leg turnover. I managed 4 complete circuits for 11 miles in 88 minutes.

During my cool-down I was thinking about how I have things bass-ackwards. While I was in college (during my running prime), I was busy studying and trying to prepare for a career. Now that I’m working, I’m more focused on my running. Who knows what would have happened if I’d focused on running while in college and working afterwards?

Quote of the day:
“I was out training one black night when I heard a noise. I turned around and saw a leopard. I threw some stones at him and he went away, so I went on my way.” Filbert Bayi, on training in Tanzania

Monday, March 27, 2006


I had a solid weekend of training, starting with a group hill workout on Saturday morning. We started out on the aptly named, James J. Hill library, stairs. After 20 minutes we ran on this other hill that is right near the stairs. It starts out gradual, levels off, then gets steeper near the end. Finally, we ended on Ramsey hill which basically goes from the Interstate up to Summit Avenue. I’d guess it’s a good 3 minute climb.

During the cooldown, I was trying to think of a harder group workout from last year and I couldn’t come up with any. The thing with this workout is that there’s no rest between the hills since they’re all so close together. Usually we run on a hill for awhile and then jog on the flats for awhile as we head to the next hill. All told, I ran 1:45 and called it 14 miles for the day and 74 for the week.

That evening our coach had a party at his new training facility in St. Paul. Jenna brought some friends including Dave, who ran at the U of MN in the mid-70s with guys like Garry Bjorklund and Steve Plasencia. A quick google search turns up this gem on Plasencia by Scott Douglas. The only problem with the party is that there aren’t any chairs – just bikes. So I ended up spending about 4 hours on my feet. That’s not ideal after a hill workout and before a long run. Neither was only getting 6 hours of sleep.

On Sunday there was this big yellow ball in the sky. It was bright, it was warm and I liked it. I hope it comes back again some day – soon. I was planning on a 20 mile run, but made the mistake of stopping by my house after about 18 miles. It was a little windier than I expected and I was a little underdressed, so I thought I’d run my last 20 minutes on the treadmill. Somewhere on my way to the treadmill I started to eat a snack, then I was in the shower and finally I was napping in front of the TV.

I wasn’t too heartbroken about cutting this run short. The adage says to finish the run feeling like you could have done more. Given the hills and lack of sleep, I don’t think I could have gone much longer. The fact that I needed a nap is usually a pretty good indicator to me that I’ve done enough.

Quote of the day:
“Hills: You entered a marathon with hills? You idiot.” Don Kardong

Friday, March 24, 2006


Thursday = hill workout. I went to a different neighborhood that had a shorter (75 seconds versus 90 seconds) but steeper hill than Tuesday’s workout. To make up for the shorter hill, I ran two repeats during each circuit. After the two repeats, I ran to the bottom and did 2 x 40 second strides. I did that circuit 4 times for a total of 8 hills and 8 strides. The total workout ended up being a 30 minute warm-up, 42 minutes on the hill and an 18 minute cool-down for 11 miles.

Again, these hill repeats are a bounding motion rather than just “normal” hill repeats where you try to hammer up as fast as possible. I focused on driving my knees up, pushing off with my toes and moving vertical, not horizontal.

I still think I need to find a bigger hill. Adding a second repeat helped, but with the rest in between, it’s not quite the same as a long repetition. There’s a perfect hill near my house. I think I’ll try that next week and then just sit in traffic if I have to.

Friday = strong run with Scott. I had a nice run around Lake Calhoun with Scott this morning. Spring must be in the air because there were a lot of runners and walkers out this morning. I just wish it’d warm up a little. We’ve been stuck in this pattern of 25 degree mornings and 30-35 degree afternoons. It’s March 24th already – LET’S GO!

I’ve probably mentioned this numerous times, but I like running with Scott because he keeps the pace honest. It’s not so fast that it counts as a workout or so fast that I can’t handle the pace the day after a hill workout. But it is faster than I’d go by myself. Had I been alone, I’d probably just run 8:00-8:15 pace and call it a day. Instead, we got in 8 miles (plus 1 with the dog), probably around 7:15 pace.

Quote of the day:
“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


All those cold, dark mornings - waking up before 5 AM to get in mile-after-mile, hour-after-hour, day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month - for what? 8 measly seconds per mile faster than my time from last year.

And do you know what? I’ll take it. 8 measly seconds per mile faster has me excited.

I’m not sure how do you do a cost-benefit analysis that includes the euphoria after a good race, the good-spirited emails the following week, the anticipation of what the season might bring, etc?

But I do know that all that time spent training was worth it.

Just based on those 29 minutes and 15 seconds, I can safely say this “experiment” has been a success.

As you can imagine, it was hard for me to control myself during this morning’s run. But I had to. The way my schedule works, Mondays and Wednesdays must be easy recovery days. Today that meant running 10 miles at about 8:15 pace, even though I wanted to open up the pace a little. However, with a hill workout tomorrow, a run with Scott on Friday, hills with my training group on Saturday and a long run Sunday, I needed to hold back.

One of the nice things about the hill phase is I get to cut my mileage back a little. So rather than shooting for 90-100 miles, I’ll try to get in 80-85 miles. I figure the best way to do this is to just eliminate my doubles. It also means that I’ll have to get back into the habit of getting up at 4:40 every day.

Quote of the day:

“The introduction of resistance in form of sand and hill is too important to be ignored.” Percy Cerutty

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I keep forgetting to link to the race results. Click the “results” button, make sure you have 2006 and 8k selected and then hit “display results.” This is one of the more competitive races around; 10 guys under 5:00 pace, 54 under 5:30 pace, 128 under 6:00 pace, etc. I finished 110th out of 1,168 overall and 11th out of 81 in the 35-39 age group.

So I ran one good race. Now what? I spent a winter of base-building. Races are starting to pop up left and right. It must be time to hit the track. Right? Actually it’s time to go vertical with a hill phase.

I’ve been doing some hills once a week with my training group and they’ve helped. But I view those sessions as mainly transitioning from base work to hill work; making that smooth transition that I keep repeating. Besides, the group hill sessions are mainly about getting up the hills quickly. The hill phase I’m referring to has more to do with bounding and building strength, along with including strides; making that transition into the anaerobic phase.

Today I took my first crack at a hill workout and it went okay. Last week’s snowfall allowed me to explore some of the neighborhoods near my office and find some hills. The hill I ran today probably wasn’t big enough, as it only took me 90 seconds to bound up. But I figure it was good enough for my first hill workout, 2 days after a race.

After bounding up the hill I jogged around for about 30 seconds at the top before running down fairly quickly. I tried to take the brakes off, but that’s going to take some practice. At the bottom I included 2 x 200 meter (I used 40 seconds) strides, with a similar jog in between. I did a total of 4 of these circuits. I’m going to try to include 2-3 of these a week for either 3 or 4 weeks.

Two weeks ago I was in a little funk. Having a nice race definitely helps in that category. Now I’m “oozing” (as Seebo would say) excitement and anticipation for the season. It’s hard not to. That freaking McMillan calculator, puts my 8K time at 2:53 flat. Granted, these calculators haven’t really worked for my longer races in the past. However, with the added mileage, this is the year. Heck, even if I fall short and run 2:55 or 2:56, it’s still a PR.

But I need to temper this enthusiasm. I still have 3 months of training. Some of the things I really need to work on (again) are core strength training and diet. I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing core exercises and I need to get going again. As for my diet, if I could just snack better when I’m at home, it’d be a huge improvement. Right now when I get home from work I grab a cookie or a handful of candy. What do you guys do when you just grab a snack? Any suggestions?

Finally, here's one of the reasons I still like triathlons.

You guys are welcome. Heck, even the women get a cheek to look at.

Quote of the day:
“The best way to get something done is to do it.” Jim’s mom

Monday, March 20, 2006


My coach sent an email prior to the race with some tips (green for St. Patty's Day). I thought I’d share a few that I thought were really good;

Look forward to the challenge; it IS a blessing to be able to push yourself in a fitness event.

Save-up some passion & spirit to UNLEASH on race day.

Get to KNOW the course and visualize yourself running well. Before the race, use success imagery to 'see' yourself attaining your goals.

Plan to run EVEN PACE (Do not go out too fast! It is UPHILL for parts of mile 1) the entire race, @ 85%+ effort, and finish the last 1/2 mile with an extra push to the line. Listen to your breathing and 'discomfort' in your mind & muscles, to know that you are pushing evenly and persisting for 100% of the race distance. Do not listen to splits (as course terrain & wind & measurement effects them) as much as to your internal cues. Rely on your 'race management skills' that you learn in challenging P2 sessions. It helps to get into a pack that flows the first half of this out-and-back race, then look ahead and see how many people you can catch and pass on the returning 2.5 miles. The course is HARDER on the return, with more uphills, and more fatigue. EXPECT to be mentally strong.

When the race is over:

FIRST look within yourself and ask, "Did I push as hard as I could? Am I satisfied with my effort?"
THEN look at the results for place, time, division place. REMEMBER, it is the PLACE that matters more than the time, as times change with environmental conditions. HAVE FUN RACING FOR PLACE.

Lots of good advice that I tried to follow as closely as possible. One thing that really stood out to me is just like everything else (hills, form, breathing, etc), visualization is easier during the first few miles. As the race progresses, it gets harder. Therefore, going forward I need to really focus my mental strategies and practice on the 2nd half of the race.

Here’s a quick recap of my recent training. Saturday I ran an easy 6 miles. After the race I joined Jenna and some of her friends for a 6 mile cooldown. While that’s longer than normal, my legs felt great during this morning’s 6 miles. Granted they were tired, but there was no soreness. That’s a little surprising since Sunday was the first time I’ve strapped on racing flats in 5 months. Usually my calves are beat up pretty good after that.

Speaking of flats, I made a decision on marathon shoes. After trying on a pair of adidas (Supernova Comp – I think) and Asics Gel-DS Racer VII, I settled on the Mizuno Idaten. I have a pair of cushion inserts that I’ll throw in them, as well. I was tempted by all the good things I’ve heard about Brooks recently, but no one carries them locally.

Quote of the day:

“Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble.” John Treacy’s four principles of training prior to Los Angeles 1984


I need to add an asterisk next to yesterday’s post. I looked at my old logs and it turns out I ran 29:02 on this 8k course 10 YEARS AGO. At the time I was a senior in college, between the indoor and outdoor track season. I also looked back at my 2002 log to see what I was doing when I ran 29:20. That year, Boston was only a month away and I had been doing more hills, speed and strides, so I was rounding in to peak shape. That makes me feel even better about running 29:15 (chip) off of base and hills.

The weather was really nice, about 35 degrees, partly sunny and (most importantly) fairly calm winds. A little warmer would have been nice, but the lack of wind was great. Before the race I spoke with Eric and we decided to shoot for a 6:00 first mile. After about a 15-minute warmup I changed into my racing clothes and flats and headed to the start for some strides. This race is a little unique because it starts on Summit Avenue which is actually a boulevard. The top men and women start on separate sides of the road. After about a kilometer everyone merges into 1 pack. Since I’m usually near the front of the women, I like to start with them. Plus I can get closer to the timing mat on that side of the street. And, of course, the scenery is better over there.

Here’s a brief description of this mainly out-and-back course; the first mile is mostly a gradual uphill. Mile 2 is a gradual downhill. The 3rd mile includes four 90 degree turns, the only turns on the course and then has some gradual uphill. Early in mile 4 there’s some gradual uphill too. The last “mile” is gradually downhill, especially the first 100+ meters. This is one of the rare races where splits are read at every mile marker. I took my splits too, but didn’t look at them till afterwards. The splits I mention below are what I heard being read, so they’d be gun splits not chip.

My first mile felt really controlled, just like I wanted. Eric was right with me as we went through in 6:00. Soon after that we hooked up with a pack of 4-5 runners. About a minute later, I realized Jim was leading the charge. We stayed together for close to a mile. One of the guys I was following seemed to be rolling along better than anyone, so I just stayed with him. That second mile felt really comfortable, so I was surprised when I heard 11:45. Afterwards there was some talk that it might have been a little short. Again, mile 3 has four turns and we run on some side streets that don’t have the best footing. Nonetheless, I stick with “my guy” as we head back on Summit.

We are a little over halfway through the race. I’m hoping to pick up the pace and reel in some people, including my training partner Joyce who’s about 10 seconds in front. We pass a couple of runners including one of the top local gals, Bonnie, who I can’t remember ever beating. At 3 miles and I hear 17:30-something and quickly calculate that that was a sub-6 mile. I figure that two more 6:00 miles will get me to my goal of 29:30. This little lapse in concentration is enough to create a gap between me and “my guy.” I re-group and don’t let the 2-3 second gap get any larger (yet).

We’re still moving well, yet we’re not really reeling anyone in. I’m focusing on quick strides and driving off my toes. Just before mile four we crest the “hill” and now Joyce is about 2-3 seconds in front of me. I hear 23:30 and know sub-29:20 is possible. As usual, I don’t have any closing speed. Besides, I’m not going to sprint during the first race of the year. A couple of guys pass me and I make no real effort to go with them. When the clock comes into view I see it turning from 28 to 29 minutes. I cross in 29:17 and feel great. I’m not hacking up a lung or crawling around on the ground dry heaving.

My splits looked like this;

5:58 5:58
5:45 11:42 (short?)
5:57 17:39 (long?)
5:49 23:28
5:47 29:15

Joyce pulled away a little to beat me by 7 seconds. “My guy” had a great last mile or two of the race. I’m not positive of his time, but his jersey is a group of master runners and the next master in front of me ran 28:59. I did hold off Bonnie by 6 seconds. In addition, Jenna ran 27:37 and was the 2nd woman to Kristen Nicolini. Jim and Eric both finished in 29:55. I spoke with Evan briefly afterwards and he wasn’t happy with his 28:53. He probably ran 120 miles last week, so I’m not too worried. He’ll have plenty of great races this summer.

Given that my last short race was a 39:02 (6:16 pace) 10k, it's safe to say that running 5:53 pace off of base and hills has me fired up. And while I’m really pumped about my 41 second improvement over last year, I’m even more pumped for my teammates. Jenna’s time was 57 seconds faster than last year. Jim (keep in mind he’s 61 years old) ran 40 seconds faster than last year. Joyce didn’t run last year, but if you look at her 1:29:56 at the Winter Carnival half marathon just 6 weeks ago, her improvement may be the most impressive.

A couple of weeks ago there was some discussion in the comments about how someone running higher mileage would feel. I told Yvonne that they’d probably feel stronger, not faster. That’s exactly how I felt. I didn’t feel like I was moving any faster than “normal” but I felt really strong. Best of all I feel like I can really build on this performance and that I’m no where near my peak.

Quote of the day:

“Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. Racing is where I get mine.” John Trautmann

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Just a quick update to say I ran my best time for this course; 29:14. Felt great. Nice day. More to come later - gotta go sliding with my girls.

Thanks for all the good luck wishes too.

Friday, March 17, 2006


With an 8k race two days away, I really have no idea what to expect, especially with this drastic change in mileage. My guess is that I could be anywhere from 28-31 minutes. Like a bell-shaped curve, the chances of running 28 or 31 are pretty slim while the chances of running around 29:30 are probably pretty good. I’d be happy with that time. I’ve run this race a lot, so I have a decent history;

2005 29:56
2004 30:44
2002 29:20
2001 29:52
2000 30:09
1999 34:19
1997 32:14

I just averaged those times from 2000-2005 and it comes to exactly 30-flat. I guess I’m nothing, if not consistent. Sunday looks to be a little chilly; 10 degrees in the morning with a high of 32. Since we start at 1:20, I assume we’ll be closer to 32 than 10.

I agreed to run with Scott this morning, but only if we kept the pace easy. We’ll it was probably a little easier than last Friday, but not much. We ran for 66 minutes which was probably closer to 9 miles than to 8. Throw in another mile with Bailey and I had close to 10 miles for the day. So much for a mini-taper. That puts me at 72 miles for the week and I will probably end with 77-80 miles.

I’ve been trying to find some decent light weight trainers which could possibly be used for marathons. I like the New Balance 833, but they’re being replaced soon and you never know what you’ll get with a new model. I have a couple pairs of Nike Skylon’s too, but they’re being replaced too. Maybe that’s just a name change. I like the Asics Speedstar that I tried, but after 250 miles I was through the tread and down to the white section. I just bought a pair of Mizuno Precision. They’re pretty nice, similar to the Skylon. I’d like to find something a little lighter though. The Brooks Burn are on my list, but I haven’t pulled the trigger and bought a pair yet. Any other ideas?

Quote of the day:
“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” Patti Sue Plumer

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Yesterday I decided to sleep in, so last night I ran an easy 8 miles on the treadmill. I knew more snow was expected over night, so I was “forced” to get up early and beat the traffic. Since I had a stronger aerobic run planned, I decided to just run on the treadmill at work. I woke up to 4 more inches of snow with another 2-4 inches expected before noon. Getting to work took about 10 minutes more than normal. That’s not bad, considering when I turned on the TV, I saw how backed up the roads that I was just on were. My legs were a little tried from Tuesday’s hills, but I still managed 11 miles. I spent the first 6 miles dropping from 9:00 to 7:00 pace and the next 4 miles dropping to 6:30 pace before cooling down for a mile.

There was a comment on Mike’s blog the other day about marathon pace never feeling easy until race day. That’s how I feel. And it’s why I get frustrated when I see someone running 7:30 pace everyday, but running their marathon at 8:00 pace. Something seems out of whack there. Anyway, the 4 miles of 6:30 to 7:00 pace weren’t too bad today. I definitely feel better when I gradually ease into the pace. Then again, I only ran 4 miles near MP, not 8 or 9 like I had been running on Thursdays.

I’ve kind of gotten away from writing about the mental aspects of running. There’s only so much you can write about relaxation exercises. After relaxation, the next step is adding visualization. With a race coming up on Sunday, I’ve been trying to visualize that. The only problem is that relaxing usually puts me to sleep. I tend to do a better job of visualizing while I’m actually out running. I have come up with a couple of more affirmations for the race;

“I’m in a position to strike and get what I like.”
“Expect success, I’m one of the best.”
“Centered and strong, I run right along.”

I particularly like the first one since I tend to run my best when I go out controlled and track people down in the second half. An out-and-back course, like the one on Sunday, is perfect for this strategy.

If you enjoy reading articles on “every day” runners, here’s a good one on a local studette, Kelly Keeler. If only we all could improve so rapidly.

Speaking of Grandma’s marathon, I have a spare bedroom in the apartment I’m staying at on the College of St. Scholastica. So if anyone needs a room or knows of someone that needs a room, let me know.

Quote of the day:
“I also enjoy satirizing the folks that spend money or throw money at running, thinking that the good old American way of paying for things will make you better at a sport that just requires repeating the same thing over and over again.” Duncan Larkin

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I go through these stretches where I don’t have much to write about, then all the sudden I have a bunch of topics and they usually don’t intertwine. I’ll pick a couple today and save the others (or spare you entirely). I mentioned in a comment that this weather isn’t terrible, but the timing sucks. Spring was here. The snow was gone. Warmer temps should be coming. Then all the sudden the snow and cold are back.

This morning I managed an easy 6 miles. My trail wasn’t plowed yet, so I just ran through various neighborhoods to pass the time. Wind chills in the single digits in March suck. This evening I joined my training group for a hill workout in downtown St. Paul. Most of the run was spent focusing on dodging glare ice, rather than worrying about running. I managed another 84 minutes which I called 11 miles.

Running these hills got me wondering if I’m pushing hard enough during my group training sessions. There were 4 people ahead of me, 3 of which I could probably beat in a race. Based on the effort I’m putting out, I feel like I’m where I should be. However, maybe I’m not putting out enough of an effort. I think, “What sort of effort are those other people putting out?” I feel strong. I don’t feel totally spent after a hill workout or long run. I guess I can justify the slower pace because of the higher mileage. The one day I was rested for a hill workout, I ran awesome. I just need to keep telling myself that.

I found an interesting comment on Tri Mike’s blog for a week ago or so. I believe the comment was from a triathlete who has a runner friend that does high mileage. He mentioned that said runner only beat him by 3 minutes in a 10k and 15 minutes in a marathon. I don’t know what other people’s standards are, but 30 seconds per mile is A LOT, especially if you’re talking about someone running Boston Qualifying times or faster. You don’t just bump you mileage for a while or hit the track for some speed and shave off that kind of time – unless you weren’t very fit to begin with.

Granted, comparing runners and triathletes is like comparing apples and oranges. Even if the triathlete just focused on running, there’s no guarantee that he could catch his friend. Or maybe he’d smoke his ass. In the end, we can only try to maximize our own potential. Whether it involves one discipline, two or three doesn’t really matter.

Quote of the day:
“Hills are speedwork in disguise.” Frank Shorter

Monday, March 13, 2006


16 hours after a nice long run in great conditions I woke up to at least 8 inches of snow (with more still falling) and 20 mpw winds. Luckily I got out of bed early enough that I was able to beat the traffic. There were reports throughout the day of people needing 5 hours to drive 20 miles in western Wisconsin.

This has to rank right up near the top of my all-time worst runs. Of course the trails weren’t plowed, so I was blazing my own path. That got old in a hurry, so I tried the roads. They weren’t plowed well either and I didn’t want to dodge cars in those conditions. Worst of all was the snow being pelted in my face by the strong winds. When I was running northwest, I had to basically run with my eyes closed. You know how you have your eyes open and you blink? I was doing the opposite. I had my eyes shut and I’d open them for a fraction of a second to make sure I was in the middle of the path. After about 20 minutes of this shit I realized I could run back-and-forth under the awning of a strip mall. The sidewalk was clear of snow and the building blocked the wind. It was probably about a 200 meter stretch that I ran over and over for another 12 minutes before calling it a day after 4 “miles.”

I had shoveled the driveway before work, but since it snowed throughout the day it needed to be shoveled after work too. My wonderful wife was just finishing when I got home. Of course, the snow plow can by soon after that, so I had to shovel the end of the driveway again. I haven’t seen the numbers, but I’d guess we got close to a foot of snow. I told my daughter that it’s hard to believe we didn’t have any snow yesterday.

I thought about running again tonight, but with the long run yesterday, shoveling, a workout tomorrow and a race this Sunday, I decided to skip it and make this my easy recovery day.

Quote of the day:
“Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not.” Dr. George Sheehan

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Before someone adds my mileage and tells me I only had 86 miles last week, let me say I forgot to mention that I ran 6 miles on the treadmill Friday night.

My only goal for today’s long run was to get in 3 hours. I didn’t care about the pace, how far I went or picking up the pace towards the end. I just wanted to be on my feet for 3 hours. Within the first 3 steps, I knew it was going to be a good run. My legs felt great and the weather was perfect – 35-40 degrees and fairly calm. Plus enough snow had melted recently that I was finally able to make the local golf course useful again. I ran on it for about 70 minutes before heading to my favorite trails. They weren’t in as poor shape as the ones we tried to run on yesterday, but they weren’t much better either. I’m still trying to figure out if slipping in the mud is better or worse than slipping on the ice.

After about 70 more minutes I headed back to the golf course to finish my run. Earlier in my run there was a hole that had a bunch of golf balls in the fairway, even though no one was around. I thought nothing of it and kept running. As I was nearing the end of my run I decided to pick them up. Luckily I had on a vest that had lot of pocket space for the 47 BALLS I picked up!!! I almost felt guilty, but hey, if you’re lazy enough not to pick up the balls after practicing your “sport,” it’s not my fault.

The only problem now was that I still had 25 minutes left to run and 47 balls weigh a lot. I decided to take my vest off and just run laps around one of the fairways for 15 minutes and then run home. The good news is I felt great for the 15 minutes without the vest. That’s especially good since that was from 2:37 to 2:52 of the run. The remainder of the run home was tough, but I just considered it a new form of resistance training. When I finished, I’d run 3:03 and called it 22 miles.

Quote of the day:
“I don’t train. I just run my 3-15 miles a day.” Jack Foster

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Yesterday I mentioned the possibility of running with a bloggerland legend today. Raise your hand if you started your blog because of Alison. I did. Luckily she was in town for the D3 National Indoor meet and things worked out where we were able to meet for a run. Whether she brought along Nelson and Melissa because they wanted to get a run in too or because she was afraid of my psycho killer tendencies, I’m not sure. I can see how some people would be apprehensive about meeting someone that they only know from the internet. However, when you’ve been reading each others blogs for over a year, I’d say you have a pretty good sense of their personality. Besides, if Chelle and Evan survived meeting me, Alison had a good chance too.

Anyway, we had a nice 77-minute run together. We found some trails that would have been awesome, had they not been covered with ice. After slip-sliding for awhile we decided to turn around and finish on the roads. The three of them mentioned something about the local accents, but I’m not sure what they were talking about.

Later in the afternoon I jumped on the treadmill for another 5 miles. My timing turned out to be perfect as the Xterra triathlon championship race was starting just as I turned on the TV. Now that’s something I think I’d love to try. This particular race was at Lake Tahoe and the scenery was incredible. Not sure I’d like competing at 8,000+ feet about sea level, but it sure was cool to watch.

After complaining about missing runs on Wednesday and Thursday, I still finished the week with 92 miles. Given the stairs and marathon paced run during the week, I’ll take it.

Quote of the day:
“Training is principally an act of faith.” Franz Stamfl

Friday, March 10, 2006


I admit I’ve been in a little funk this week. Not sure if it’s the mileage catching up with me, the addition of hills and stronger runs or just the rainy/cloudy weather. I have this tendency to work on something till it’s about 90% done, then I start looking for the next project. Granted this current project isn’t 90% done, but my base-building is pretty close. After next week I’m going to move into a hill phase. I just have to be careful that I don’t slack off this upcoming week. I can see talking myself into using the week as a taper for my race on the 19th.

I was hoping to get another run in last night, but again, things didn’t go as planned. Last night was the first night of Lambies for Katie. That’s basically a 45 minute class through the church for 2-3 year olds. It’s designed to teach the kids how to sit and listen to stories, do crafts and spend time with a parent. Katie wanted me to take her and I didn’t have a problem with that. We were home early enough (7:30) where I could have jumped on the treadmill for another run. But I didn’t. I laid on the couch and watched CSI.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m going to end the week with 25 miles and lose fitness. I should still be around 80-90 miles (depending on whether I skip any more runs or not). It’s just that setting a mileage goal for the week and then skipping a couple of runs can be a real bummer.

This morning I had a nice 7 mile run with Scott. I’m guessing we were running 7:30 pace. So it was more of a moderate paced run the day after a strong aerobic run. If things don’t change in the next 15 hours, I’ll be running a bloggerland “legend.” I don’t want to jinx it by giving away her name, so stay tuned for my next entry.

One follow-up note regarding the heart rate I saw on Wednesday’s recovery run. I got down to 8:06 pace on a treadmill while keeping my HR under 145 bpm. About 2 years ago I performed Hadd’s 2400 meter test on a track. If you’re curious who Hadd is, go to’s message board and search for Hadd. For this test you run 2400 meters at heart rates that are 10 bpm apart with a minute rest between reps. Looking back, I ran;

bpm pace
145 9:20
155 8:27
165 7:38
175 6:53
185 6:08

While I’d love to believe I went from 9:20 pace to 8:06 pace at 145 bpm, I’m skeptical. I wore my HRM again for yesterday’s strong effort and was around 175 while running 6:50s. That’s not very different than the data above. So HRM experts does this seem likely? What does it mean if 9:20 to 8:06 is correct, yet my pace at 175 hasn’t changed? Intuitively, I’d say it means I need to work on bumping up my LT by running more tempo and strong aerobic runs. Probably means I need to put the HRM back in the sock drawer too.

Quote of the day:
“If someone says, ‘Hey, I ran 100 miles this week. How far did you run?’ ignore him! What the hell difference does it make?...The magic is in the man, not the 100 miles.” Bill Bowerman

Thursday, March 09, 2006


I’d like to think that skipping last night’s run allowed me to be wide awake and ready to go at 4:25 this morning – 5 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. I woke up to temps in the mid-30s and practically no wind.

Today I was either going to do a progression run or a marathon pace (MP) workout, depending on how I felt. If I was tired I’d just gradually drop my pace and take whatever came to me. If I felt good, I’d drop my pace quicker and try to hold MP longer.

After a 2 mile warmup I was feeling pretty good, so I started to pick up the pace. It always takes me that first mile to get going, as you can see by my splits;


I didn’t look at my watch until the 4th mile. That was probably a mistake because when I turned around after the 5th mile I thought I could drop down to 6:40 pace, which is sub-2:55 pace. I ran a decent mile finishing in 6:45, but being off my just 5 seconds messed with my head. I slowed a little the next mile and then regrouped a little for the mile after that. But by the last 2 miles my mind was all over the place. Honestly, I’m surprised I ran 7:08 and 7:09. It felt like I was going 7:30 pace.

Anyway, here’s what I (re)learned today;

Start slower – 14 miles is a long way, there’s plenty of time to pick up the pace. Besides, I’d rather finish feeling strong and build confidence.

Focus on the process not the results – enjoy the act of running “fast” and don’t worry what the watch says. In fact, don’t look at the splits till afterwards.

My mental training has a long way to go – if I can’t pull things together after seeing 6:45 instead of 6:40, I’m in big trouble.

Remember Daws’ comments on marathon effort versus marathon pace – training shoes, bulky clothes, not being tapered, etc. will affect pacing (i.e. 6:40 pace in March doesn’t equal 6:40 pace in June).

With all that said, Grandma’s is still 14 weeks away. Don’t freak out just yet.

Quote of the day:
“Any idiot can train himself into the ground; the trick is working in training to get gradually stronger.” Keith Brantly

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


That sound you hear is me kicking myself for only running 5 easy miles today. I had every intension of running another easy 5-7 miles this evening, but it didn’t happen. Amy went out with some friends tonight. Not a big deal, but she happened to drive away with the only toy that Katie likes to sleep with – a stuffed Winnie the Pooh. As a result, Katie had a tough time falling asleep. She’s usually sound asleep by 7:30, but tonight she fussed till just after 8. I didn’t want to jump on the treadmill in case I had to run back to her room. By the time 8 o’clock came and went I had already talked myself out of running a second time. Getting up at 4:30 would be hard enough without another run.

As I was talking myself out of running, I was thinking about what Joe Rubio says; “Make your hard days hard and your easy days easy.” Since yesterday was hard and tomorrow will be hard, I shouldn’t beat myself up too much about missing this run. It does reinforce that I need to get up early (even on Wednesdays) and get as much of my running in before work as possible.

Believe it or not I dusted off my heart rate monitor for my easy run today. I was curious to see how fast I could run and still keep my HR under 145. I’ll have to check my old log books but I think I used to run around 8:30-8:40 pace while at 145 bpm. Today I got down to 8:06 pace, so that’s promising.

Quote of the day:
“All the top athletes wake up in the morning feeling tired and go to bed feeling very tired.” Brendan Foster

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Just in case this got lost in the comments, I wanted to thank “gh” for finding the link to Pfitz’s plan. I thought his 55 mpw plan was online, but it looks like it’s his 70 mpw plan. I also wanted to make it clear that I didn’t think it’d be a piece of cake for someone running 40 mpw to jump into this plan. It’s doable, but it will require some work. I just wanted to make sure that people are aware that his plan doesn’t call for 18 straight weeks at 55 miles.

I did manage an easy 5 miles over lunch today. This evening I met my training group, as well as the Macalester College men’s team, for a session of stairs. After warming up we ran for 15 minutes on the tower stairs and then ran 15 minutes on the Wabasha Bridge stairs. We were supposed to run another 15-minute set on the Science Museum stairs, but they were blocked off (darn), so we ran a couple of hills. I don’t know why, but I like hills a lot more than stairs. Maybe it’s because you can get into more of a rhythm and you can lift your feet as little as you’d like on a hill. I definitely felt more of a burn on the stairs.

Afterwards we had a pizza party at “The Pit,” which is a room in St. Paul that our coach recently rented. It’ll mainly be for spinning sessions, a place to meet before workouts and wild, crazy drunken parties – at the end of the season, of course.

On the training side of things, I’m getting my miles in. All those places that tend to hurt on runners (knees, Achilles, plantar, ITB, etc) are feeling fine. My main concern is getting enough rest. The one thing that really screws things up is these Tuesday night runs. For a guy that runs the majority of his mileage in the morning, these workouts really make getting up on Wednesdays tough. The Tuesday night runs are also probably the most productive from a training standpoint, so I don’t want to give them up.

On the mental side, I’ve just been practicing my relaxation before bed each night. One of the books says it takes 21 days for it to “kick in.” That’ll be right around my next race. If the relaxation drills don’t put me to sleep I try to visualize me running this race. I was thinking the other day; when I’m doing my relaxation exercises, I think about running, but when I’m running, I’m thinking about relaxing.

Quote of the day:
“There was not a lot to do, and sitting around waiting for your red blood cells to multiply is not the most fascinating of pastimes.” Brendan Foster on summer altitude training at St. Moritz, Switzerland

2006 GOALS

I haven’t run yet today. I plan on getting in 5 over lunch and then 10-12 with hills/stairs this evening. I just had lots on my mind, so I wanted to write this post.

With all the race reports yesterday, somehow I missed Bart’s awesome report from Napa. There’s nothing like a 24-minute PR in tough conditions. Up next: sub-3.

I recently mentioned my friend Casey and his 1,000-mile summer while in college. Well, I had lunch with Casey yesterday. Even though we work a suburb apart, it was the first time I’ve seen him in probably 2 years. And guess what brought us together? I question he had on heart rate monitors. Go figure. After a hiatus from running he started back up on January 1st and has even signed up for Grandma’s. He wanted to know which HRM to buy and I told him he could have one of my old ones – he’d just have to replace the battery. It turns out my new office will be very close to Casey’s house, so maybe we’ll be able to hook up for some training runs in the near future.

Elizabeth recently spelled out her goals for the upcoming season and that’s something I’ve been meaning to do too. Here’s a list of 2006 goals that I’ve come up with so far;

1) PR at Grandma’s.
2) Sub-2:55 at Grandma’s.
3) Focus on high mileage over the summer, rather than racing.
4) Meet one of the Minnesota age-group standards.*
5) Top 2 in my age-group at my alumni race.
6) PR at Chicago.

*Minnesota has a data center that ranks runners in 5-year increments, based on their times at different distances. To be eligible, you have to run a qualifying time. These times have been set, based on how many people historically achieve them. So the more popular distances, like 5k, 8k, 10k and half, will have harder standards, relatively speaking, compared to distances that aren’t raced as frequently, like 12k (only 1 in the whole state), 20k, 25k and 30k. For example, the 35-39 age-group standard for the half is 1:17:45 (5:56 pace) yet the standard for the 20K is only 1:17:00 (6:12 pace).

For my age-group the easiest standards to achieve would be;

30k 2:00:30 (6:28 pace)
20k 1:17:00 (6:12 pace)
15k 56:00 (6:00 pace)
12k 43:40 (5:51 pace)
25k 1:36:15 (6:12 pace)
Marathon 2:48 (6:25 pace)

The hardest would be;

8k 26:55 (5:25 pace)
10k 34:00 (5:28 pace)
5k 16:30 (5:19 pace)

30k, 20k and maybe even 15k seem doable to me – but, again, there are only a handful of races of those distances during the year.

I’m not sure what kind of coverage Kirby Puckett’s death is getting nationally, but in Minnesota it’s a HUGE story. I was still in Wisconsin when he led them to their first championship and in the Navy during the second championship, so I wasn’t around during his prime. From everything I’ve read or heard; he was the most beloved athlete around - by fans, teammates and even opponents. He had a bunch of family members die at a young age and apparently he knew he wouldn’t make it passed 50. He died at the age of 45 after suffering a massive stroke. Even if you’re not a baseball fan and have no idea who Kirby Puckett is, the article I linked above is still worth the time to read.

Quote of the day:
“A goal unwritten is a wish.” Unknown

Monday, March 06, 2006


Am I the only blogger that didn’t race this weekend? Congrats to everyone that did race over the weekend. I won’t link to all their blogs, but they include Duncan, Seebo, Chelle, Alison, Elizabeth, Curly Su, DaiseyDuc, and Drew. In addition, training partner Jenna made the trek to warmer climes and ran the Sarasota Half Marathon in 1:20:30 to finish 5th OVERALL. She was the first woman by over 7 minutes.

As for my own running, my legs felt really good this morning. I guess keeping the pace easy for two-and-a-half hours yesterday didn’t take a lot out of them. Now did I give up some level of fitness by going “too slow?” Who knows? Sometimes time on your feet is all that matters. Anyway, I managed 10 miles this morning, with the last half at just under 8:00 pace.

On another running note, used to have a link to Pfitz’s 18-week, 55 mpw program. It looks like they redesigned their site and I can’t find the program any more. That’s probably a good idea since you didn’t really need to buy Pfitz’s book if you had access to that article. Anyway, I was going to post the article to show Ryan (and others) how “easy” the program is. While it says it’s 55 mpw program, that represents the maximum mileage that you top out at. I don’t know off the top of my head, but you probably only reach that amount of miles 2-3 times during the program.

Hmm, it seems like I should have more to write about, but I don’t. Go read some race reports from the weekend.

Quote of the day:
“If you want some thing you’ve never had before – you need to do some things you’ve never done before.” Unknown

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I haven’t posted in awhile, so I’ll just start with a quick training update.

Friday morning I ran an easy 6 miles. Towards the end of the run I added 4 easy strides. That’s the first time I’ve done strides all winter. That evening I met Mary for another easy 7 around Lake Harriet and down the Minnehaha Parkway.

Saturday Evan and Scott were kind enough to drive to my house at 7:30 AM. After a 2.5 mile warmup we ran a “Zeke certified” 8 mile loop. The idea was to start out at 7:10s and drop to 6:50s. The only problem with this approach is that this is a very hilly loop so it’s hard to compare mile splits. We went through the first (less hilly) half in 28:08 and came back with a 28:28 second half. Not bad considering my legs were fairly flat. A 2.5 mile cooldown gave us 13 for the run.

While that gave me “only” 81 miles for the week, the first 3 days were rather light (only 26 miles). So after Tuesday of this upcoming week, I should be back up around 100 miles for the previous 7 days.

Sunday I ran by myself for 30 minutes before joining my training group for a long run. During the solo section I knew it would be a very easy day, pace-wise, as my legs were really tired. Luckily all the fast runners didn’t show up, so I had no inclination to run fast. I ran with the group and just enjoyed the company. That means I was able to get in the duration I wanted (2:30), but it also means I didn’t get in a lot of distance (17 miles.)

Quote of the day:
“Dead tired. Dog tired. Sore as hell…” Entries from Laura Mykytok’s training diary

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Well, it’s been a year since I started this blog. If you haven’t poked around my blog (other than reading my current posts) you’ll find a welcome post as well as some of my history under the “more about me” section off to the right. That’s were you’ll find stuff like how I started running, and what my PRs are, as well as 100 odd things about me – just in case you don’t “know” me well enough yet.

I mentioned that my next race will be an 8K on March 19th. Here’s my report from last year’s race. I thought a lot about this upcoming race during this morning’s workout. I ran 8 x 1 mile with 1 minute rest. During the first 5 miles I imagined that they were miles from the race and I thought about each of the affirmations I mentioned yesterday. On the last 3 reps, I worked on the last 3 affirmations again.

One thing I added to the “when I act ‘as if’ I get a lift” affirmation is the ‘as if’ part. Some books say to act as if you’re winning the race or leading the Olympics, etc. Sometimes I’ll act as if I’m out on a training run with Jenna and we’re cruising along. I’ve even acted as if I were a woman and battling for one of the top-5 or 10 spots overall, rather than being the 100th man. Anyway, this year I’m going to act as if I’m Mark. I don’t Mark personally, only from getting passed by him 3 TIMES last year in 3 separate races.

Mark starts out slow and picks up the pace as the race progresses. Last year he passed me during the 2nd half of this 8K and went on to beat me by 36 seconds. 6 weeks later he beat passed me around the halfway point of a 10K and ended up beating me by 52 seconds. A week later he passed me about 25k into a 30k race and beat me by 1:35. From there he went on to set a huge PR at Grandma’s with a 2:50:35 and then PR’d again at Twin Cities in 2:49:07. This year I plan on acting as if I’m Mark.

Back to my 8 x 1 mile repeats. They were a little slower than I would have liked; starting at 7:15 and working down to 6:45, but not bad. I felt a lot like Mike describes in his post today. The downside about feeling awesome on Tuesday’s hills and having a great workout is that it takes awhile to recover. I want every workout to feel that awesome, but I don’t want to be rested for every workout. With that said, I don’t put too much stock in my times for these workouts. I’m just trying to put in a harder effort and boost my fitness.

Today’s quote probably has little meaning to anyone other than me. One day a few years ago I was doing a tempo run through a residential area, probably running around 6:30 pace. A little boy, maybe 6-8 years old, was playing in his front yard as I ran by and he said this out loud. I still think about it often when I need a pick-me-up.
Quote of the day:
“He’s flying.”

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


First off, Happy 5th Birthday to my oldest daughter, Kinsey. It’s very hard to believe she’s 5 already. That’s about the age of my oldest memories, so I better watch what I say and do a little more closely from now on.

Today was an easy recovery day. I ended up running twice, 6 miles each time. During the first run I spent a lot of time thinking of various affirmations I want to think about during an 8K I’m running on the 19th. For shorter races I like to have one for each mile, so I came up with 5 for this race;

Mile 1 – “Relax to achieve the max.”
Mile 2 – “Calm and confident, I run great.” (remember from yesterday, “calm” is my cue word)
Mile 3 – “When I act ‘as if,’ I get a lift.” (‘as if’ would be something like acting as if I’m winning the race)
Mile 4 – “I love hills.” (since there’s a gradual uphill during this mile).
Mile 5 – “I’m a well-oiled machine.”

I’m sure all of these will come to mind at various stages during the race. The reason I like to have a new one for each mile is just in case my mind is wondering all over the place, they help re-focus me. I figure if I have positive statements that are pre-planned, it’s harder for negative thoughts to enter and stick around.

I got some good news at work today. We are moving into a new office building that is closer to my house. So, instead of driving 24 miles to work, I’ll drive 18. The new office will have a shower, but no workout facility. Not a big deal, but it was nice having a treadmill at home and at work. I guess that means I’ll have to come up with a bunch of new running routes. Either that or I’ll just run from home since my commute won’t be as long. Probably the biggest bummer is that we won’t have a cafeteria like we have now. Right now we have subsidized lunches. I can eat an entrĂ©e with veggies, a side-salad, and usually fruit and cottage cheese for $3.50. I won’t be bringing all that food myself. Overall, the move will be good for me. I was worried they were going to move further away, so I can’t complain.

Quote of the Day:
“I think there’s only one sensible place for a person to be at 5:30 in the morning. That’s in bed. And what am I doing? I’m out running. And I completely hate this.” Derek Clayton, first sub-2:09 marathoner