Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Oh yeah, I had an appointment with my family doctor last Friday. He took an x-ray of my leg. Of course, nothing showed up. If something had shown up, I wouldn’t have waited 5 days to post about it. He referred me to an orthopedic clinic. When I called to set up an appointment, I couldn’t get in until June 7th. And although the clinic is right across from my doctor’s office, I can’t meet the doctor there. I have to travel 15 miles out of my way to a hospital. WTF?

In addition, I have a phone book-size list of orthopedic doctors that are “in-network,” yet I get referred to one doctor. Maybe I never go to the doctor because it’s such a hassle – not because I’m stubborn – and I don’t understand this whole process. I called my doctor’s office and they said it all depends on my plan. Some plans require a referral, others don’t. If I need to get in earlier than the 7th I can call my doctor back and talk to him.

Hell, if I don’t run until the 7th, I’ll probably feel fine when my appointment rolls around. Then the visit will go something like this;

Dr.: What’s up?
Me: My leg hurts, er, I mean used to hurt.

Dr.: When did it start?
Me: 7 weeks ago.

Dr.: What were you doing?
Me: Running – lots; including lots of downhills.

Dr.: What are you doing now?
Me: Nothing, really. Well, a little gardening and some wood work. I’m still trying to blog too, but it’s hard. I’m running out of material – fast!

Dr.: Okay, let’s examine you. Does this hurt (as he bends my knee)?
Me: No.

Dr.: Does this hurt (as he flexes my ankle)?
Me: No.

Dr.: Does this hurt (as he applies pressure to my shin)?
Me: No.

Dr.: Well your time off must be helping. Keep it up.
Me: Hmm, okay. Is that it?

Dr.: Almost. That’ll be $500.

Dr.: (on my way out the door) Good luck!

No, I’m not bitter – really. I am trying to figure out the over-under on me actually making it to that June 7th appointment.

Last Friday’s quote of the day was also a link to this Pfitz article. I had not read the entire article until yesterday. I think it’s an interesting article that corresponds with what this blog is about. I didn’t want the link to get lost within the quote, so I’m re-posting the link.

Quote of the day:
“There’s no such thing as a bad carbohydrate.” – Don Kardong

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Since Susan are my gardening photos. Here's a little garden I whipped up over the weekend. Actually it's a conservatory at the Como Zoo.

Here are the Spirea that I hacked the crap out of. Prior to getting my hands on my pruning shears, you couldn't see any rocks.

I also ripped out 3 very small Spirea that weren't getting enough sun and replaced them with 4 Hydrangas.

The A.C. was surrounded by this ugly evergreen on both sides. I ripped one side out and replaced it with 2 Cherry bushes. If I like how they look, I'll probably replace the remaining evergreen with more Cherry bushes.

This 7' x 8' plot was filled with more of the ugly everygreen in the photo above. Actually it was worse because it had more brown mixed in it.


I had a nice 3-day weekend and didn’t even think about running or cross-training. Since it was 97 and 94 degrees (102 heat index) the last two days, I didn’t miss it at all. Unfortunately, the Rochester, MN and Madison, WI marathons were last Sunday. I feel for anyone that signed up for either of those races.

I am happy to report that I was able to pry the x-box controller out of my fingers and actually start working on my list of things to do. I spent most of the weekend honing my gardening/plant identifying skills. I ripped out some EVER green bushes that were no longer green. Go figure. I now have a nice 7’ x 8’ patch of dirt that I have to figure out what to do with.

In addition to my green thumb, I started re-finishing our kitchen chairs. For the last year, our table has been mahogany, while the chairs have remained brown. The thought of removing varnish/stain from 6 chairs – with lots of rungs and tight places – is not appealing, but I can’t put it off any longer.

Since this is a running blog, I’ll share a rule that I came up recently that deals with how long to wait after a race, before doing another hard workout. I’ve heard of the day for every mile in the race, but that seems like over-kill to me. My “rule” is to take the number of kilometers that you raced and divide that in half. Don't do any hard workouts for that length of time; for a marathon 42/2 = 21 days. I think it works for any race distance.

Quote of the day:
“The music is played in smoky bars at 11:30 or midnight. It would be easier if I were into symphonies.” – Bob Kempainen on his liking for postpunk, alternative music

Friday, May 26, 2006


Okay. Now what the heck do I blog about?

Is it just me or do others find it disturbing when 35 year old men have a conversation about American Idol? Come on, I’m trying to work here. I don’t need to listen to your conversation about who should make the finals or how such-and-such a song fits so-and-so’s style. I know Minnesota sports suck lately, but can’t you think of something better to discuss?

Speaking of discussions, why do slower runners always feel that they need to preface each conversation with, “I’m not as fast as you guys, but…”? Heck, I’ve probably done it too. But really, it’s about passion, not speed. Are you passionate about running and fitness? If so, then we can send emails until our in-boxes are full – and we start getting those annoying system administrator messages telling us so.

The other day I mentioned that my friend Eric is injured too. He’s been rollerblading and he came up with two top-10 lists that I thought I’d share;

Why skating is better than running:
1) You get to go really fast.
2) You can carry your water without it bouncing around.
3) It doesn't hurt your knees as much.
4) Skates last longer than running shoes.
5) You can do it in blue jeans.
6) You get to see a lot more scenery.
7) Drafting is more effective.
8) You can coast.
9) You can use the bike path without feeling like a criminal.
10) You get to go really fast.

Why running is better than skating:
1) You rarely crash when running.
2) You don't need to wear protective gear to run.
3) You don't need to drive somewhere to run.
4) You never have to say "on your left".
5) Running shoes are more comfortable than skates.
6) Bumpy pavement is just as fast as smooth pavement.
7) Crossing streets is easy.
8) A downhill with a cross street at the bottom does not strike fear into your heart.
9) There are more races to choose from.
10) You get to read Runner's World.

Before running out and buying some rollerblades to see if he’s right, I’m going to borrow some from a co-worker next week. I want to see how that movement affects my leg. Since they say x-c skiing is the best cross-training for runners, rollerblading can’t be far behind.

With all this free time I tried to come up with a list of things I want to do – just don’t mention this list to my wife because she’ll think it means I’m actually going to do all of them;

Re-finish the kitchen chairs
Rip out bushes and plant a flower garden
Cook dinner more often
Learn how to use the programs on our new computer – like burning a CD and making movies
Transfer photos from the old computer to the new computer
Dispose of the old computer
Read all the books I’ve bought – only to stick them on a shelf

I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a start.

Quote of the day:
“I suspect that we have been systematically overemphasizing the risks and underestimating the rewards. I suspect that we run the risk of ingrained mediocrity due to a systemic bias against risk.” – Pete Pfitzinger

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Last night's run felt terrible – right from the start. We were supposed to do mile repeats at 15-30 seconds per mile faster than MP. My first was in 6:48. It's not terrible, but then I see Joyce – a gal I have be next to all winter long - running a minute faster than that. That’s where I should be. More importantly, I'm just not enjoying it and I'm not comfortable. Every stride is a struggle.

Let’s see, Grandma's would be at least 180 minutes of running at 90 strides a minute. That's over 16 thousand strides - half of which would hurt.

Screw that. I’m pulling the plug. I’ve been battling this leg-thing for 5 weeks and it’s not getting any better. “Hanging on” for another 3 weeks, only to run what would surely be a painful marathon, doesn’t make any sense to me.

After making that decision, here’s the first email I saw this morning;

"I've come to the conclusion that it matters little what the diagnosis is. Whether it's plantar fasciitis, chondromalacia, stress fractures, runner's knee, runner's toe, tendonitis or iliotibal band syndrome, the endless Latin phrases are, effectively, immaterial. But the cure is the same: stop running. A layoff of four to six weeks has remarkable curative powers. Eight weeks off will make you feel like a kid again."

Eric sent that to me from a recent article he read. A few weeks ago he pulled the plug on Grandma’s too, due to sore knees. Later this morning, Jim sent me this quote from the same article;

"Some runners turn to a health care provider the instant they feel that something is not quite right, but they are the exception. Most runners soldier on longer than they should, hoping against all logic that things will get better.

Sooner or later, though, even the most dedicated denier has to admit the truth and head for the dreaded doctor's appointment. We don't fear the needles or the cold, sterile instruments. We fear those fatal words: stop running."

So that’s where I’m at – taking time off without any pre-determined startup date set. Plus I scheduled an appointment with my family doctor for Friday. I’ll see what he has to say and then hopefully I’ll be pointed in the right direction.

Quote of the day:
“Fuck this shit.” – me, last night

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Hmmm, just looking at my log book and I’ve gotten to the point where I run hard or I don’t run at all. I ran hills last Tuesday, 2-mile repeats Thursday and long on Sunday. That sounds like some program straight out of the latest Runner’s World magazine; “How to PR on just 3 days per week.” I think I’ve subconsciously convinced myself that the painful warm-up period just isn’t worth the effort during an easy recovery day.

Sunday’s long run was interesting. I ran the first hour solo and basically thought about my leg the whole way. Then I ran with Jenna for another 90 minutes. Again, the pace was quicker than my solo effort, so I felt pretty good. It helped having someone to run with, so my only focus wasn’t on my leg. The last 15-20 minutes of this run I was running on fumes and just happy to roll down hill and make it back. Jenna was kind enough to stay with me even though I’m sure we were going much slower than she’s used to. It must be my charming personality that kept her around.

I saw my chiropractor last night and got an adjustment. It's too early to tell if it worked. I was planning on waking up today feeling like a million bucks, but that didn’t happen. This gal is a little "out there" – in a naturalistic sort of way. For example, she told my wife if she would juice with green veggies her rheumatoid arthritis would go away. She apparently thinks VERY highly of the kidneys too. She mentioned that my right kidney was stronger than my left - because my left leg is sore. WTF? She was asking if I was hydrated and told me to drink red and/or blue fruit juices. Anyway, I'll try cutting back on coffee and drinking more cranberry juice. We'll see...

Oh, she also said "good luck" as I was heading out the door. All I could think was, "Luck is not what I need right now."

Right now part of me wants to run Grandma's and then get this thing figured out - even if it means taking 3 months off and missing Chicago. Another part of me would rather watch Grandma's and cheer on people I know and then hopefully be ready to run Chicago. I’m still planning on running a 30k this Saturday. After those results are in, I’m going to have to make up my mind. I'm hoping to at least be able to hold 7:00 pace. Anything slower and I might as well not even run Grandma's.

Quote of the day:
“My definition of a great distance running coach would be this: someone who helps you improve but leaves something “in the bank,” and also instills love of the sport as you move on. Plus, one hopes, someone who teaches you something about life in the process.” - Mark Will-Weber from The Quotable Runner

Friday, May 19, 2006


The first few minutes of last night’s run were miserable. I came ‘this close’ to turning around and heading home. But I didn’t and my leg did loosen up or go numb – one of the two. I decided to head to the track for a marathon paced workout; 3 x 2 miles with an 800 meter jog in between.

I started off easy, not knowing what to expect. Since I have in my mind that there’s really no point in running Grandma’s unless I can take a crack at sub-3, I started out at 7:00 pace. The pain in my leg actually felt better once I picked up the pace. Maybe that has something to do with being more efficient at a faster pace. There was still a dull ache with each stride, but I found that if I focused on something else, like my breathing, the pain was manageable. As long as I know that I won’t do further damage, I should be able to handle the pain. I ended up running 13:39, 13:44 and 13:42 for the repeats, which is right around 3:00 pace. So that's small victory. Aerobically I felt fine – probably since I should be running about 15-20 seconds faster per mile.

I made an appointment for Monday with the chiropractor who’s been giving me adjustment for the last 6 months. I have a dream that I have a pinched nerve and with an adjustment, everything will be fine; I’ll be back to running “normal” just in time for Grandma’s. I’ll PR by 3 minutes and then look back and laugh at this whole process. I might as well win the lottery too while I’m at it.

I’ll end with another Bob Kennedy quote from the interview I posted yesterday.

Quote of the day:
“Another thing was identifying athletes and groups of athletes better than me and seeking them out as people to train with and learn from. One of the things I learned was levels of intensity. Our minds--we sometimes subconsciously set barriers in our mind about what is hard and what’s not hard, and I found very quickly that what I thought was hard was actually a whole other level than what I was capable of doing. That’s a personal thing, meaning that you have to find your own barriers and your own limitations, and that’s what I think all of this is all about: honestly seeking out what your limitations are.” – Bob Kennedy

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I took yesterday off, since I was feeling a little beat up from the hills. I still feel stiff in the mornings, but once I loosened up this morning, I felt better. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any pain when I try to run tonight, but hopefully it’ll mean less pain.

Right now I’m planning on running a 30k on May 27th. Being 3 weeks prior to Grandma’s, that “race” will determine whether or not I decide to toe the line on June 17th.

Thanks to “The Bear” for emailing me this great Bob Kennedy interview. He talks about his perfect races, what he did to take it to the "next level," what the U.S. needs to do to be more competitive, etc. It’s a good read. Today’s quote of the day will give you a sneak-peek of the interview.

Under the category of “I’m famous” check out the correction.

That’s it for today. Hopefully the Kennedy interview will give you something to do at work today.

Quote of the day:
“It really is more than a full time job. I’ve described it to people in the past and you know it really is a 24 hour a day job, 7 days a week, 12 months a year. Everything that you do (or don’t do) has some effect, positive or negative, on your training and as a result your competition. It is not just showing up to practice in high school or college or to your training sessions after that and doing the work out and then being done. There’s food; there’s sleep; there’s massage, ice baths; there’s core strength and flexibility. All that, and that’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Saturday, Sunday…it never ends. It is a huge, huge commitment if you are going to train at that highest level.” – Bob Kennedy

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Last night I figured out how to feel better about my injury. I just need to run with someone who’s in worse shape than me. I met my training group at Macalester College for a session of hill repeats. I held back on my effort and tried to make sure the down hills didn’t pound too much. Two weeks ago I felt good during a hill session then ended up taking the next 6 days off. Hopefully that won’t be the case this time around.

One of the guys in the group has been battling a foot problem. He says he can make it about 40 minutes before the pain arrives. No wonder he looked good early in the workout, but was dragging at the end. I felt so bad for him that I almost forgot about my leg.

After about 25 minutes of hill repeats I headed to the flats by myself and picked up the pace. I felt okay as I only thought about my leg about 90% of the time. I’m still concerned that I’m treating the symptoms and not the cause and that that will lead to me to missing Chicago.

Anyway, I managed 10 miles. It's interesting that that gives me 60 miles over the last 7 days and it feels like I'm not even training. Just a few years ago, I'd have been elated to get in a 60 mile week before a marathon. I guess my expectations have shifted.

Just to wrap up the Dick Beardsley topic, I got an email from his website saying “Thanks. We’re on it.”

Okay, as promised, here’s more from Running with the Buffaloes;

But Goucher is improving, and Wetmore attributes his gains to changes he has made in every aspect of his training. Wetmore told him he was fat, he objected, and then lost the weight. Wetmore told him he had to run 100 a week, he grumbled, and now he is doing it.

If Wetmore has a fault, in Reese’s eyes, it is that he does not encourage them to take a leap of faith in their own ability come Nationals. Wetmore’s faith is based in fact. He just wants his athletes to do what the data tells them they can do.

Wetmore knows the training can get monotonous, so he spices things up by taking his runners to cool places to get in the miles.

“Damn, I felt fucking good. I’ve gone through this a million times in my mind: thinking about this race, what I’m going to do. Turns, tangents, I knew it, perfectly, without even thinking I was doing it.” – Ronald Roybal after improving his performance from last year by over a minute

It is bitterly cold on Mags this morning. The bitterness of the cold is exacerbated by the knowledge that it is a beautiful sunny morning down in Boulder. Wetmore, however, is not about to change their plan to make life more comfortable.

He has the desire not necessarily to win, but to better himself. To be better than he ever has in his last year of competition. – Lear describing senior Jay Johnson who is coming off a disappointing track season.

Quote of the day:
“I like running because it’s a challenge. If you run hard, there’s the pain – and you’ve got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is ‘Don’t overdo it’ and ‘Don’t push yourself.’ Well, I think that’s a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond.” – Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager and NHL Hall of Famer

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Last night was another hard night to get my body loosened up. Figuring it was just a recovery day, I stopped after 4 miles. Normally, I’d run at least 5 or 6 on a recovery day, but right now things still aren’t “normal.”

As for my trivia, if you haven’t read the comments, they listed Beardsley’s time incorrectly. As Duncan pointed out, it’s even wrong on I sent an email to his website as well as the publisher and editor of the publication, which went something like this;

I enjoy your publication, but can't let you "get away" with your latest cover of Dick Beardsley. It's a great photo, but you may want to re-check the time you listed as the course record.


I just got this nice response.

Dear Chad,

Thank you, on both counts -- the compliment and the correction. As you might imagine, your note created some waves around here this morning. Nothing will freeze a person's innards like finding out they've printed something wrong ­­ and done it big, to boot.

I am completely responsible for printing the error. Unfortunately, I relied on Dick Beardsley's website and took it as the consummate source, without cross-checking at Grandma's site. The error on Dick's site is no doubt a typographical error.

This mistake hurts quite a lot, but I am very grateful to you for taking your time to contact us. I haven't yet fully decided how to handle publishing a correction, but will be posting something today on our website, and will consider how to handle it in the next issue. Do I have your permission to publish your name/letter, or would you prefer your correspondence to remain private?

Finally: I've always thought it mildly cheesy when a company sends out samples of its product in response to a complaint -- but all I have to offer you is a complimentary mail subscription. If you'd like that, please send me your mailing address and shirt size.


Trudy M.

This is a complimentary publication that you can pick up at the local running stores, so getting a free subscription is not a huge deal, but it’s a very nice gesture. Frankly, I’m surprised the no one else pointed it out to them.

Okay, I’ve gotten away with writing snippets from Running with the Buffaloes, but I haven’t forgotten. I’ll try to get back on track tomorrow.

Quote of the day:
“My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.” – John Bryant, deputy editor of the London Times

Monday, May 15, 2006


I found this regional running publication at one of the most popular local running stores over the weekend. It took me about 2 seconds to spot the error. Can you tell me what's wrong with this photo?


I’m happy to report that I’m feeling a lot better. My new diagnosis after all this B.S. is that I have some VERY tight muscles – especially quads and calves – that are pulling “things” out of whack and causing knee pain and what I thought were shin splits. I took Evans advice and bought The Stick over the weekend and have been going to town on my legs.

Friday night (before buying the stick) I had a really hard time getting loose. I had to walk and jog before stopping to stretch, before finally walking, jogging and running. I managed a very slow 5 miles. Saturday I had a nice 12 mile run. 10 of those miles were on trails and I only saw 2 people that whole time. With Mother’s Day, I didn’t get my run in during the day. Instead I waited till Survivor was on and I hopped on the treadmill for 14 miles – nearly 2 hours.

Last Tuesday I was sure there was no way I’d be running Grandma’s. Now I know I can cover the distance. I just don’t know how fast. It seems like I missed a ton of training, as my last 4 weeks have been 32-36 miles. However, I did cross train quit a bit, so maybe I’m not in that bad of shape. Part of me wants to run as many miles as possible in the next 4 weeks before taking a week-long taper. With this recent cut in training, I can’t really see taking more than 7-10 days to taper. I haven’t really figured out what kind of speed workouts, if any, to include during the next month. Right now I’m just happy to be running again. I’m trying to get consistent and get into a groove.

My last post mentioned that Jim and Jenna were racing over the weekend. Jim ran 1:28 for his half marathon and was a little disappointed with that performance. Jenna was the 14th woman at the U.S. 25K Championships with a time of 1:34 – that’s 6:04 pace. That’s a very solid performance, but I’m not sure if she’s happy with it or not. A gal she beat by 10 seconds in a 10k two weeks ago, beat her by nearly 3 minutes.

Now that we’re getting into the race season and people are posting reports, I thought I’d (re)post my “stance” on commenting. Yes, I know we all want to get along and be positive and supportive. There’s nothing wrong with that, I just think there’s a better way to do it. When someone just mentions that they didn’t reach their goal, they’re not happy with their performance, etc. it doesn’t seem to make sense to say “great job” in a comment. Heck, someone shouldn’t have to say their disappointed either. If they run a 5k and each mile is 30 seconds slower than the last – they’re probably not happy with their performance.

I’ll use Andrew as an example since he knows how I feel. He was shooting for a sub-3 marathon but ended up running 10 minutes slower than that. If someone misses their half goal by 5 minutes, their 10k goal by 2:30 or their 5k by 1:15, is it still a terrific time? Those are basically the equivalent to missing a marathon by 10 minutes. If I miss a 5k goal by 1:15 it better be due to heat, wind, up hills AND a long course.

I’ve been trying to figure some of these comments out a little bit by applying math. Let’s say the average marathon time is 4:20 or roughly 10:00 pace. Missing a goal by “only” 10 minutes is about 20-25 seconds/mile. So maybe running 10:00 pace instead of 9:35-9:40 pace isn’t that big of a deal because you have more room to work with – meaning you have lots of opportunity to go faster. However, when you’re running low 7:00 miles, shaving those same 20-25 seconds per mile becomes a lot harder. This would be amplified even further for an elite runner finishing in 2:18 instead of 2:08. I doubt that runner would be happy with their outstanding performance.

Quote of the day:
“The ‘talk test’ was the greatest news I’d heard since I found out it was okay to eat pasta: If you’re out of breath, slow down. What a great deal?” – George Wendt, Norm from ‘Cheers’

Friday, May 12, 2006


Well the girls had a sleep-over at Grandma’s last night and my wife stayed at a friends’ house because they’re doing a garage sale together. So I had the entire night to myself last night. First stop on the way home - the liquor store. Woo-hoo!!! I was pleasantly surprised to see that my favorite beer manufacturer has added a new Sunset Wheat beer to their lineup. Yummy!!! Those of you in Minnesota and Wisconsin should be able to find it fairly easily, but I’m not sure about the rest of the country.

Besides drinking beer I was able to read, watch TV, run AND play x-box. What a night!? It was a nice change of pace, but of course I couldn’t handle that every night. I’d miss my family too much. Actually, now that I think about it, it wasn’t really a change of pace; I just got to do a few more things than normal.

My run consisted of 8 miles on the treadmill at 8:30 pace. I felt pretty similar to Wednesday night’s run, but I didn’t need the pre-run massage or walking to get loosened up. And I didn’t need to stop after 15 minutes to stretch. This was a solid 68 minute run – except for the pee breaks due to the beer.

I normally don’t read many of the articles that I get from However, with my recent injury, I thought this article on inflammation was pretty good. Thanks to Jim for sending that to me.

I just wanted to wish good luck to Jenna this weekend as she’s racing in the U.S. 25K Championships Sunday in Michigan. Good luck to Jim too, who’s running a local half marathon on Saturday. It’s a race I had been planning on running too. Looks like it’ll be about 50 degrees, rainy and windy. Darn, too bad I’m going to miss it.

Quote of the day:
“The difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank.” – Dr. George Sheehan

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Well the good news is that I’m able to run. The bad news is that I can’t just roll out of bed and go for a run. Last night’s run required a lot of warming up, stretching and massaging – before, during and after – to make it happen. After taking the dog for a walk I stretched and massaged my legs. Later in the evening I walked at a 3% incline on the treadmill for 10 minutes - gradually picking up the speed. Then I jogged for 15 minutes. My knee either loosened up or just went numb – I’m not sure. My calf was a little tight. So after the 15 minutes I stretched and massaged my quad and calf. Then I jumped back on the treadmill for another 5 miles and felt pretty good. I could have kept going, but thought better of it. Afterwards I stretched and then iced.

I think we can pretty much rule out a stress fracture. I guess I just need to keep treating it aggressively. I need to try and run through it rather than just sitting on my butt and expecting it to go away on its own.

I'll be interested to see how I bounce back tonight. I'm a little sore this morning, but that could be just from stretching and massaging more than I’m used to. Typically I feel better in the evenings than in the mornings. Now if I can just get Grandma’s race director to switch the race to a 5 PM start, I’ll be okay. Seriously, Tuesday I thought there'd be no way I'd run Grandma's. Now I'm thinking it's a possibility. I’d definitely have to adjust my goal. Maybe I could take a crack at sub-3, along with Eric, Jim and Scott. That’d be a nice little group to run with. We’ll see.

Quote of the day:
“Running is the classical road to self-consciousness, self-awareness and self-reliance. Independence is the outstanding characteristic of the runner. He learns the harsh reality of his physical and mental limitations when he runs. He learns that personal commitment, sacrifice and determination are his only means to betterment. Runners only get promoted through self-conquest.” – Noel Carroll

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


A couple a weeks ago, after biking for 3 hours, I mentioned how great the Twin Cities are, especially for outdoor enthusiast. Last night’s bike re-affirmed this too. While my training group was running hills, I followed the bike trail through Harriet Island and beyond for 8 miles before turning around and heading back. I believe there were 2 stops signs during that 8 mile stretch. It’s hard to beat that. And looking at downtown St. Paul from Harriet Island on a gorgeous night was breathtaking.

With that said, does anyone know why it’s called an Island? Evan? You probably know. Anyway, it looked like a perfect place for a Twins stadium to me, but that will never happen.

Jenna gave me the once over last night and my leg feels better. She seems to think the down hills caused tightness in my quads which is pulling things out of whack - including my knee. Gotta get back to icing, stretching, massaging and taking drugs religiously.

One minute I think there's no way I'll run Grandma's and then the next I think it's possible. Who knows?

I did get my confirmation number in the mail yesterday for the Chicago marathon. It's hard to be too fired up about it - being on the IR and all. But it is a reminder that there are other races out there.

Here’s a story and video of the first sub-4 mile on Wisconsin soil.

Quote of the day:
“Running is real and relatively simple – but it ain’t easy. It’s a challenge. It takes work. It takes commitment. You have to get out of bed, get out the door, down the street. You have to risk getting cold, wet, or too hot. Maybe whack some over-zealous hound on the snout – or “Hot Rod Harry” on the hood – every now and again. And, of course, you have to take your very first run.” – Mark Will-Weber from The Quotable Runner

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


It’s “funny.” Each morning I wake up with ideas of staying in the best shape possible floating in my head. I could bike, swim, lift, really watch what I eat, etc. Heck, I even thought about buying some roller skis and skiing all summer. Then in February I could ski the Birkie, like I always say I’m going to do. However, by the time I get home from work all I want to do is play x-box and drink beer. Luckily (or unluckily) there’s no beer in the house.

My biggest fear is that I’ll be productive with all this free time and actually start to like not running. I’ll wake up one day and my kids will be busy with their activities, so I’ll be carting them all over the place. Besides, there are always projects that never seem to get done because I’m too busy running. Last year I re-finished our dining room table, but I never did the chairs. I suppose I could use my free time on that project.

No x-ray last night, so nothing to report on that front. The pain now seems to be just below my knee. I guess as long as I have running books to quote, my blog will be semi-readable.

More from RWTB:

“Scar’s our number-one man now.” Wetmore to the team after Oscar Ponce ran 25:27 at the CSU invite and was 6th overall and the first CU runner. Two years ago when he entered CU, Wetmore told Ponce, “We have a pack of lions. And every day a different lion roars. If you want to be part of this team, be patient, and work hard. I’m looking for an investment from you. You won’t see changes for two years. You’ll be sore for two years.”

“Don’t get greedy. Bad things happen when you get greedy.” – Wetmore addressing the team before a workout.

Here are a couple of lines from when Wetmore addresses the entire team for the first time during the season;

“Everyone in Boulder wants to be you. The dilettantes, the posers, the dreamers, the schemers; they all want to be you.

The Wally Rutherfords [walk-ons] of this team, you’re the envy of them. Being the real deal is the price of this team.

We’re interested in doing it. We’re here to run races. I run the time trial to scare off people who think this is the camera club. Races are scary. You could vomit.

We’re here to run races. This is leading up to the caveat emptor. Because we’re not the jogging club, I have to pay attention to the first nine athletes first. There are 54 people on this team. I need fourteen. Seven men and seven women go to conference, districts, and Nationals.

If we go four days without talking, understand: our number-one priority is to beat people.

Remember it takes 100 days to impress me. No one day impresses me.

We have a good, good year coming. I don’t like to give a lot of rah-rah talk.

I don’t need to build you up. I don’t want you to leave here smashing your head against the wall. Be businesslike, patient, and methodical. Do a little head smashing every day for one hundred days.

Not just everyone in Boulder wants to be like you. Everyone in this university wants to be like you. You’re the top-ranked team in the school.

We live in a city on a hill. When your alarm goes off and you’re tired, think, they all want to be you. No one knows that Heather or Jen are one minute ahead of last year. No one knows I have six freshmen women who one month from now will be among the top ten freshmen in the country. I like it that way.

Rules. I have only one rule: that you be a young man or young woman of character. You follow that rule, and I’ll take care of the rest.

Quote of the day:
“I was hurting, and once I heard that, I was like, ‘Fuck, I’m a little bitch.’ I didn’t even feel my pain anymore, I was like, ‘Fuck, I’m feeling sorry for him!’” – Oscar Ponce during a 20 mile run after talking with a local Kenyan that is doing 40. He later learned he meant 40K, not 40 miles.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Not much new to report. I didn’t do anything on Friday or Saturday – partially because my parents were in town. Sunday I was able to get in a 70-minute mountain bike ride. Some of the best trails in the Twin Cities are about 3 miles from my house. It was a lot of fun, but I’m not sure how much of a workout I got. Most of the trail was single-track with lots of twist and turns and rocks and trees. It wasn’t like I was zipping all over the place. I was just trying to avoid trees and stay upright – which I managed to accomplish.

I’m hoping to get my leg x-rayed tonight. I want to rule out a stress fracture. Even if x-rays aren’t 100% conclusive, I’ll start there. The doctor I saw last year for my foot is also a runner so maybe he’ll have some advice.

You’d think with all the miles I ran over the winter and being on the cusp of the racing season, I’d be really pissed about this injury. However, I’m probably more at peace than I’ve been with other injuries. I think part of the reason is because my last 2 races provided a glimpse of what I’m capable of with my new training program. I know once I get healthy and build back up I’ll run more great times. Sure it’ll be a lot of work, but I know the results will be there. Besides, the people that are important to me wouldn’t care whether I ran 2:05 or 3:05 or 4:05.

Here’s some more stuff from RWTB:

“Yeah, he’s a strange bird, isn’t he? He’s hard to communicate with, but that’s OK, the best ones are.” - Wetmore to Goucher regarding freshman Steve Slattery

Batliner skipped all his classes today to tend to his sore calf, spending the entire day alternately massaging it, icing it, and stretching it. (Hmm, maybe I should try that.)

Hills are the only strength workout that the men are assigned. “The men are doing 85 to 95 miles a week. Trying to do circuits (of weights) would be borrowing Peter to pay Paul. That’d be taking away energy from their running. I leave it up to them if they want to pursue it.” – Wetmore

“Putting in the miles, that’s all it is. That’s Wetmore’s system. Running as many miles as you can for as long as you can. Put in all the miles you can possible handle.” – Berkshire after running 25:50 (1:30 faster than 2 years earlier)

“That guy used to kill me. He used to run laps around me and give me the business for sure. I love that [beating him]. That’s the coolest thing ever.” The interminable hundred-mile weeks now seem worthwhile. – Berkshire, looking at the results of him beating CSU’s Sven Severin

Quote of the day:
“The watch is useless for this workout; there’s no sense in using a watch. I’ll be somewhere on the hill using ridicule and sarcasm.” – Wetmore before a neuromuscular workout.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Crappy running = crappy blogging – writing and reading. I ended up taking Wednesday off. I talked myself out of running that evening, more because I was lazy than because of my leg. I took the evening off with the condition that I’d get up early today and run before work. As much as I’d like to run afterwards, for the reasons I mentioned the other day, I just can’t get into an evening routine. I’m a morning runner.

I’m happy to report that I did get up early today. I took Bailey for a mile jog and was in pain. After dropping her off I tried to run some more but shut it down after 2 minutes and walked home. No sense slogging along on a bum wheel.

This evening I took a different approach. I warmed up on my bike for 20 minutes and then jumped on the treadmill. Same result: pain. I dusted off a knee strap but it didn’t help at all. Fuck it - back on the bike for another hour.

The nice thing about the bike is that I was able to watch the Twins (lose) and read a book by this author at the same time. You may recognize his last name. Right now I’m reading The Lazarus Vendetta and it’s really good so far. Sure he’s a good writer, but is his marathon PR?

My friend Eric is struggling with a knee injury right now too and he had some good comments lately. “I wouldn't say running is less of a priority for me, just that I need to rest the ol' bod for a while. The required rest is dictated by the fact that running IS a high priority for me.”

Right now I’m struggling with shutting things down which would basically eliminate any chance of racing Grandma’s. I may be able to get healthy enough to complete the marathon, but I definitely wouldn’t be racing. If I do shut things down, I think I’d still have time to recovery and build-up for Chicago.

The problem is that some days I feel okay and am able to run fine, like Sunday’s 20 and Tuesday’s hills. I just don’t want to make the mistake of struggling along and missing both Grandma’s and Chicago – or worse yet, running shitty at both races.

It’s a freaking rollercoaster and it sounds like I’m not alone as Eric writes this; “Although it is pretty pathetic that I'd let a minor detail like this injury have such a major impact on my life. I have good days when I think I can still go sub 3:00, then I have days when I want to pull the plug. The good thing for us is that there's ALWAYS another race, so if we have a less than optimal Grandma's, it isn't the end of the world.”

Quote of the day:
“He forgot all our strategies because he was feeling good. I think he learned a lot from that race. He learned more from that than any race he has ever won. He learned about using your head as much as your body.” - Goucher’s high school coach after he finished a disappointing 15th at Kinney (now Foot Locker) Nationals

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Monday was my first day at our new office. Now I need to work on developing all new routines. And if that includes running from work in the mornings, I need to find all new running routes. I will no longer have access to all my soft, flat trails. This could be especially difficult in the winter when I’ll be running in the pitch black. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Right now I plan on running in the evenings, mainly because 1) that allows me to stay close to home in case my leg acts up, 2) I can cross-train if my leg acts up and 3) I can ice right after running.

Monday I tried something new – icing BEFORE my run. In retrospect, this was a huge mistake. My lower left leg was in pain during the entire 5 mile run. I was on the treadmill and probably should have stopped, but I “had to get my miles in” so I pressed on.

Before joining my training group tonight, I took Bailey for a walk and tested my leg a little. I was surprised by how well I felt, considering last night’s run. Our training group ran 2 x 15 minutes of hills in St. Paul. Aerobically I feel fine, but I do feel as if I’ve lost some strength. Either that or Sunday’s long run left my legs flat. Anyway, I managed 85 minutes of relatively pain free running.

Alright, enough about my boring running. What’s going on with Running with the Buffaloes?

Some of them (underclassmen) are feeling exhausted already, so Wetmore reassures them this is how they should be feeling.

The men have been training together for three weeks. Everything is going smoothly, yet Wetmore is concerned. “There are a lot of neuroses today.” Wetmore also refers to this as “seasonal affective disorder” or “three-week syndrome.” These are terms that describe what happens after the initial feeling-out period is over and the density of the training starts to catch up with the athletes. It occurs to them that all the hard work that has been completed is but a prelude for the more strenuous workouts that have yet to commence. For those that are already overextending themselves, it is a painful realization.

“I’d rather see them go five seconds slower and see ‘em all together, vibing each other.” – Wetmore describing an early season workout

Berkshire runs 90 seconds faster than last year. “Great. Perfect. You can’t underestimate 1000 miles in ten weeks. It’s unfashionable now and it’s not popular, but he said I’m going to risk everything, and he made it.” - Wetmore on Berkshire

Friedberg and Ponce have both run huge PR’s for Mags (CU’s hilly long Sunday run). Friedberg has slashed two minutes off his previous best, while Ponce runs an astonishing ten minutes faster than he ever has. The 100-mile weeks have strengthened him.

Quote of the day:
“There’s only one thing you’re out there to do on Sunday, and that’s to better yourself by running as fast as you can. That’s it. Dude, you don’t wait for anyone.” – Jason Robbie describing the “racing” that takes place during their Sunday runs up Mags