Monday, July 31, 2006


I started a long post that described everything that went wrong on Saturday, but it sounded too much like pissing and moaning, so I deleted it. Let’s just say I was hoping to get in about 15 miles, but only managed 6. I was also hoping to get 70-75 miles for the week, but this slip means I only ran 62 miles. It also means there’s no way I’ll reach 300 for the month now. Oh well...

Rather than worry about the training I missed, I chalked it up as an easy day. And what’s better after 2 easy days than “hammering?” I didn’t dare venture outside on Sunday as the heat index reached 108. Instead, I jumped on the treadmill just as the Twins were taking on the Tigers. I spent the first 9 miles progressing from 8:50 to 6:40 pace and then I backed off for a mile before dropping back to 6:40 pace for 3 more miles. A 2-mile cool-down gave me 15 for the day.

Believe it or not, I even strapped on a HRM for this workout. I wanted to see what kind of pace I could run with my heart rate in the 170-175 range. I was able to run 6:40 pace while keeping my HR around 172-173.

Hmm, when you eliminate all the pissing and moaning, this turns into a rather short post. I better think of some other stuff.

How’d you like to be Bernard Legat? You train your ass off, for what? To PR in the 5,000 by .07 seconds. Anyway, congrats on his 12:59.22 victory over Kenenisa Bekele. I won't get into the whole 'is he an American' or 'is he juiced' debates. There's enough of that on

Congrats to Minnesotan Carrie Tollefson for setting an 8 second PR in the 3,000 with an 8:44.63. Also, congrats to my teammates who braved Sunday’s heat, humidity and wind during a local half iron-distance event. While I was curled up in the fetal position around our AC, these guys were swimming, biking and running for over 5 hours. Seriously, it makes runners who bitch (and I'm at the top of the list) about 70 degrees seem like a bunch of pansies.

Finally, don’t forget to take the survey I posted on Friday.

Quote of the day;
“Just remember this: No one ever won the olive wreath with an impressive training diary.” – Marty Liquori

Friday, July 28, 2006


Awhile ago I mentioned that I had this desire to stand at the finish line of a race and give the runners a quick survey. The idea being that there’s a correlation between mileage and where people finish in the pack. Obviously, there are other factors involved. Heck, even with “mileage,” am I talking about life-to-date mileage, last year’s mileage, last 3 months mileage, average mileage, peak mileage, etc.?

While I’m not going to perform this survey at a race, I thought I’d try to perform it on the web. I want to try to get as many comments or emails from you guys that answer a few easy questions surrounding your PRs;
Average Mileage*
Peak Mileage

*How many miles per week did you average during the heart of your training, excluding the taper? In my examples below I used 12 weeks.

Ideally I’m interested in the marathon, but I realize not everyone has run a marathon. That’s fine, send me what you have. It doesn’t matter if you run 20 mpw or 120 mpw, or if your PR is 2:05 or 6:05. The wider the variety, the more interesting the results will be.


Being a terrible hot weather runner is one of the reasons I was so intrigued by glycerin loading which was discussed in the New York Times article that I posted yesterday. The author received some questions on the article and his answers are posted here. Thanks to Eric for pointing this out. Some further (confusing) discussion of glycerin loading can be found here.

Obviously there’s been lots of focus on Floyd Landis during the last 24 hours. I don’t pretend to understand it all, but I agree with Eric’s comments; 1) why are they leaking results of tests before they are conclusive and 2) there are better drugs out there than testosterone.

Speaking of performance enhancing drugs, have you ever wondered what effect they’d have on you? Well now you can find out (sort of) in this very interesting article from Outside magazine in 2003. It’s rather long, but it’s Friday and your boss is gone – so go ahead and check it out.

Yesterday I ran to the local running store over lunch. I was just going to pick up the regional running magazines, which they give away. Damn if I didn’t leave with another pair of shoes. I already have a pair sitting in my closet that I have worn yet. But these news shoes are one of my favorites (this is my 4th pair), the New Balance 833. They’ve been discontinue and I was able to get them for $59. I couldn’t pass that up.

In the spirit of making my hard days, hard and my easy days, easy, I jumped on the treadmill last night for 5 more very easy miles. That gave me 19 for the day. I knew I’d be tired this morning, so I didn’t bother setting my alarm. That means I’ll have to get my run in tonight. I hate having that “looming” over me, but sleep is good.

Quote of the day;
“A teacher is never to smart to learn from his pupils. But while runners differ, basic principles never change. So it’s a matter of fitting your current practices to fit the event and the individual. See, what’s good for you might not be worth a darn for the next guy.” – Bill Bowerman

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Last night I ran a very easy 5 miles. During the run I came up on a gal running while her husband was riding his bike. This guy and I start talking and it turns out we “know” each other. We’ve never met, but we exchanged emails about 3 years ago. He was in charge of a south-metro running club and I was looking for people to run with. Most of his group was 3:30 marathoners and I was shooting for sub-3, so we never hooked up. Anyway, he said he trains with a bunch of 3-hour guys on Thursdays and that he’d add my name to their email list. I got an email from them this morning and I was a little confused by the workout;

SPEED: 8-10 miles including 2 x 2 mile tempos on soft surface to promote VO2 max.
Is it just me or is the use of “tempos” and “VO2 max” contradictory?

Speaking of contradictory, anyone get this article regarding “the best running workout you’ve never done?” While Lydiard probably never referred to vVO2max, I believe his 30/30 workout is very similar to the “highly unorthodox” workout described in this article.

As I was heading to my car after this morning’s workout I noticed the vanity plates on the car next to mine; UNDRPAR. Obviously, the car belongs to a golfer. I thought, runners use the term “sub” all the time; sub-3, sub-18, sub-40, etc. How come golfers don’t? Then I realized UNDRPAR would become SUBPAR, which probably isn’t the message this guy/gal wanted to send. When it comes to golf, it’d be more like UNDRDBLBGY (under double boogey) for me.

Anyway, I had a “sub-par” workout this morning, but in the good way. It consisted of a 2 mile warm-up, 3 x 3 miles at marathon pace (MP) w/ ½ mile jog in-between, and a 2 mile cool-down. I ended up running the 3 repeats in 20:43, 21:03 and 20:44. I lost concentration a little on the second rep. While I don’t need laser-like focus to run MP, I do need to remind myself to pick the pace back up, after heading up a hill.

While I hope to run Chicago about 20 seconds per mile faster than today’s pace, I’ll take this workout because;

1) This was my first MP workout in along time.
2) Chicago is not today and I try to run these workouts based on the shape I’m in now, not where I want to be in 3 months.
3) I don’t think it’ll be 72 degrees with a dew point of 68 at Chicago.
4) Chicago doesn’t start at 5:45 AM.
5) This was my 3rd hard workout in 6 days.

All told, I ran 14 miles in about 1:45 and was done by 7:15 AM. Sweet.

Dang, this is getting to be a long post, but after giving a shout out to Tegenkamp’s 5k, it’s only right to praise the U.S. women who ran the 10k at Helsinki. Below are the results of the meet, followed by the U.S. all-time list. Congrats to Kara Goucher, who, yes, is a Minnesota native. While Katie McGregor did not PR (missing by 11 seconds), she appears to be running A LOT better than she was earlier this spring. Being the president of her fan club (in addition to Elizabeth Yetzer’s), that’s nice to see. Hmm, maybe the Kara Goucher fan club needs a president too.

Helsinki 10,000 METERS
1 2 Kayoko Fukushi Japan 31:00.64
2 1 Benita Johnson Australia 31:14.80
3 15 Kara Goucher USA 31:17.12 ****PR
4 7 Jen Rhines USA 31:24.16 ****PR
5 6 Katie McGregor USA 31:32.17
6 11 Sylvia Kibet Kenya 31:39.34
7 4 Lucy Wangui Kenya 31:48.68
8 10 Sara Slattery USA 31:57.94 ***** PR
9 13 Victoria Jackson USA 32:59.32
10 12 Samia Akbar USA 33:30.84

All-time U.S. 10,000 METERS
30:50.32 DeenaDrossin 2002
31.17.12 Kara Goucher 2006 *****
31:18.96 Amy Rudolph 2005
31:19.89 Lynn Jennings 1992
31:21.20 Katie McGregor 2005
31:21.92 Elva Dryer 2005
31.24.16 Jen Rhines 2006****
31:28.92 Francie Larrieu Smith 1991
31:30.89 Annette Peters 1997
31:34.37 Kate O'Neill 2004
31:35.25 Blake Russell 2005
31:35.3 Mary Slaney 1982
31:37.26 Anne Marie Lauck 1993
31:38.04 Judi St. Hilaire 1992
31:41.33 Libbie Hickman 1999

Quote of the day;

“I don’t know about psychology; I’m a runner.” – Steve Jones, when asked about his thought process after breaking the world record in the marathon in 1984.


Damn, lots going on today. I’m going to have to publish two posts today. This one contains a bunch of interesting articles and a couple of videos. Later today I’ll post my “sub-par” workout for this morning.

I just finished posting a comment, in response to Thomas, that I thought all elite athletes were probably dirty, when I got an email telling me Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone. Thanks for the heads-up, Dale.

Bear forwarded me another interesting New York Times article. I know a lot of times you have to register to read their stuff. Here’s a sample from the article;

…runners should not use lotions, including sun block, because they add a barrier to the evaporation of sweat. He said that while it seemed logical to drink as much water as possible before the race — and runners try it — “it doesn’t work.” The reason, he explained, is that drinking a lot of water increases blood volume and the body responds by getting rid of it, in urine.

“What you need to do is to increase your total body fluids another way,” Dr. Martin said.

Check out the article to learn more.

Yesterday Bob posted an article and video on Dick and Rick Hoyt. Whenever I hear their names, I think back to the triathlete who gave a motivational speech at our wellness week last year. Click on the video at this site to hear how the Hoyt’s inspired Tony Schiller.

Ever been injured and/or in a relationship? If so, check out Mario's take on how injuries are like relationships.

Finally, Scott sent me this video that’ll get you fired up for the Chicago Marathon or any other race.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


First off, she’s not reading this but I want to wish Katie a happy 3rd birthday!!! Of course I love both my girls to death, but there’s something about Katie that resonates with me. It seems like her personality is more similar to mine than Kinsey’s. Maybe it’s because we’re both 2nd born.

I’m torn. I grew up in Wisconsin and now live in Minnesota. Being bordering states, there can be quite a rivalry at times; Packers/Vikings, Badgers/Gophers, Leinie’s/Grain Belt, etc.

While I try to stick with my current Minnesotan roots, sometimes it’s hard not to cheer for both sides. So when former Badger Matt Tegenkamp ran 13:04.90 for 5K yesterday, I couldn’t help but get excited. When you’re already running 13:25 and you’re able to drop your PR by 21 seconds over the course of the season, it’s pretty amazing. Tegenkamp’s post-race thoughts can be found here.

Yesterday’s race moves him into 4th on the all-time U.S. list;
12:58.21 Bob Kennedy 1996
12:59.29 Bernard Lagat 2005
13:01.15 Sydney Maree 1985
13:04.90 Matt Tegenkamp 2006
13:10.00 Adam Goucher 2006
13:10.86 Alan Webb 2005
13:11.77 Tim Broe 2005
13:11.77 Meb Keflezighi 2000
13:11.93 Alberto Salazar 1982
13:12.91 Matt Centrowitz 1982
13:13.32 Abdi Abdirahman 2005
13:13.49 Bruce Bickford 1985
13:14.80 Bill McChesney 1982
13:15.06 Marty Liquori 1977
13:15.33 Ian Dobson 2005
13:15.44 Doug Padilla 1985
13:16.02 Dan Browne 2004
13:16.03 Ryan Hall 2005
13:16.61 Dathan Ritzenhein 2006
13:18.50 Nick Rogers 2000

Teg’s run must have inspired me because I had a great group workout last night. It was fairly similar to last week’s workout; 25 minutes of hill repeats and 3 x 1 “mile” repeats. We did change the hill portion up a little, so instead of doing 3 hills in 25 minutes, we ran 2 longer hills.

I will admit I took it a little easier on the hills this week, but not much. Last week my “mile” repeats averaged 6:07. This week’s weather was warmer, yet I still ran 6:04, 5:59, 5:59. Again, I felt controlled the whole time. I kept telling myself to back-off and just run relaxed and I still kept hitting 90 seconds per lap. It was, by far, the best I’ve felt since before my injury.

Speaking of which, I gave a quick update in a comment the other day, but I thought I’d post something here too. My leg is feeling fine. It’s not bothering me at all. I’ve put that injury behind me and am on to my next one. It’s amazing how much time slows down when you’re injured and you think you’re never going to get healthy. But you do eventually heal and before you know it you’re training as if nothing ever happened.

Quote of the day;
“I realized that I didn't come here to puss out and not give a real effort, so I made the decision that no matter what the pace was, I was not letting the lead pace get away from me.” – Matt Tegenkamp

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Yesterday was an easy day between workout days. I took advantage of not “having” to run in the morning and biked around Hyland Park. I used my odometer and spray painted an “X” every half mile. From now on, any time I run in the park I’ll be able to blog about every half-mile split, down to the 100th of a second. Stay tuned…

In the evening I jumped on the treadmill for an easy 5 miles at 8:30 pace. Actually, I started around 9:30 pace and dropped down to 8:00 pace at the end. Meanwhile, I was watching the Twins play long-ball against the hated White Sox. We’re still hot and have moved to within 2 games of the Wild Card spot. I know you’re all curious about Joe Mauer, since I mentioned him recently. He’s cooled off a little lately and is “only” hitting .380.

Alright, I’ve been tagged by Run Faster Master and I thought I’d play along.

4 Jobs I have had
* Janitor at a nursing home
* Stock boy at a grocery store – 10 PM to 6 AM
* Like Running Rabbit, one summer I was a “nanny” for 3 boys – taking them to the pool, the country club, their practices, and playing video games with them. I was supposed to have them study a little bit every day. Yeah, like that happened.
* Between getting out of the navy and college starting, I was on unemployment. One of the conditions was you had to be actively looking for work. Another was you had to accept the work that came along. I spent 1 week digging an 18” hole around existing telephone poles and wrapping them with a chemically treated paper to help them from rotting. It was hot, sticky, buggy, manual labor through thick forest at times. I remember the foreman telling me I could be a foreman too some day. I guess I never lived up to my potential.

4 Movies I watch over and over
* Good Will Hunting
* The Usual Suspects
* Tombstone
* Beautiful Mind

4 Places I have lived
* Turkey
* Japan
* Joliet, IL
* Ashland, WI

4 Television Shows I watch
* CSI – the original
* Survivor
* Criminal Minds
* How I Met Your Mother

4 Places I have been on vacation
* Portland, OR (Mt. St. Helens, Astoria, Coos Bay, Eugene-loop)
* Seattle
* New York City
* Door County, WI

4 Websites I visit everyday
* Google Reader (my bloglines)
* Simon Says…Run
* Race results (like,, etc)

4 Favorite Foods
* Pasta, pasta, pasta
* Pizza
* Cereal
* Sandwiches

4 Favorite Bands/Music
* Neil Young
* Wilco
* Led Zeppelin
* Minnesota Bands (Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, Gear Daddies, Replacements, Tina and the B-sides, Twin City Playboys, etc.)

I’ll tag Duncan, Kevin Beck, Scott Douglas and Kilgore (insert big-tooth-eyes-closed-laughing emoticon here).

Quote of the day – Poor Lasse, I assume he didn’t have an iPod, GPS, HRM, email, x-box, etc. either;

“No TV, no radio, no newspapers, not even a decent road; but I do not need any of them. Electic light we got here only last year.” – Lasse Viren on his training cabin in Lapland

Monday, July 24, 2006



I just realized that I never mentioned my training in Friday’s post. I ran a moderately paced 6 miles before work. Saturday I met Evan at the trails near my house for a nice, relatively bug-free, 2 hour run. Those 15 miles gave me 64 for the week. I plan on extended my cutback “week” through Tuesday or Wednesday, probably dropping into the 50-55 mile range before ramping back up.

Meanwhile, other members of my training group were running Lumberjack Days. Jenna won the women’s 10-mile in 58:44. Jim won the 60-64 age-group in 66:03. Joyce was the second woman in the 5k in 18:09.

Since those guys raced on Saturday, it meant Sunday’s practice was rather lonely. It ended up being me and a bunch of triathletes, who were doing a slightly different workout. Oh well, you can’t always rely on others during a race - gotta be able to push the pace yourself. So I ended up running 3 x 2 “miles” by myself in 12:53, 12:51, 12:51. If I’m not fast, I’m at least consistent.

Hmm, I barely mentioned the Nude Mile and now I’m getting a bunch of requests for more information. Who knew nudity on the web would be so popular? It may come as no surprise that alcohol was involved before partaking in said event. It occurred the evening after the first home track meet – usually in April.

Historically, there’d be a party until around midnight, then people would get naked and haul ass down Water Street, which has about 12 bars in a 2-block stretch. People would run down the street once and then off into the “sunset.” Of course, there were spectators, but mainly just those who happened to be walking from bar to bar.

Somewhere along the way things change in 1993, the first year I ran the race. Word got out that the Nude Mile was going to take place at midnight. So of course, the streets were packed with spectators; think of a mountain stage of the Tour de France or of Wellesley, along the Boston course and you’ll have an idea of what the street looked like. And of course we didn’t just run by once and call it a night. We ran back-and-forth like 4-6 times. Remember this is mid-April. In Wisconsin. At midnight. I don’t remember the temperature, but I remember it being cold.

That night is still one of the top-3 rushes I’ve ever experienced from running. Plus the t-shirts were cool. In addition to the one pictured below, there’s one with a caricature of the 2 old guys from Bartels and James, running naked. There privates are covered by the finish banner.

Ahhh, to be in college again…

Note: the photo will have to wait, as blogger is sucking right now.

Of course congratulations go out to Floyd Landis (I almost typed Lloyd Flandis) for his tour victory. It’ll be interesting to see what happens after his hip surgery. Today’s quote of the day is for Floyd (or Lloyd);

“It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.” – Emil Zatopek

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Just so you don't think this is all about running, here are some photos of my girls.

Kinsey and Katie (and me in the background - digging through their candy) watching a 4th of July parade.

Katie and Kinsey at the Minnesota Zoo.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Well I’m glad I stayed off the message boards yesterday. What an incredible stage by Landis!!! Mario said it as well as I can.

I’m making a slight change of plans to my training. I was planning to increase my mileage yet again this week, however, now I’m going to make it a cutback week. “Life” got in the way yesterday. What I thought was going to be a quick ice cream social for my daughter’s week-long church camp turned into a concert/ice cream social. I’m sure my wife mentioned the concert part, but I have selective hearing. Anyway, we didn’t get home till 8 and it was 8:30 by the time the girls got to bed. So instead of running, I grabbed a beer and watched Landis’ epic stage win.

Although I have run the Nude Mile a couple of times, I’m not much of a streaker. Running 8,000 days in-a-row doesn’t mean anything to me unless it makes me faster. So I didn’t give a second thought to ending my current streak at 27 days. Also, I don’t believe the body knows or cares what a “week” is or whether your log book goes from Sunday to Saturday, Monday to Sunday, Wednesday to Tueday, etc. Therefore, this cutback “week” could be anywhere from 3-10 days – depending on how I feel.

Growing up, my town had an annual festival every July and it included a 10k and a 2-mile fun run. It’s a fairly small town, only about 9,000 people. Yet I remember there being a couple of hundred runners in each race. Heck, it seemed like every kid in town ran the 2 mile. Well I just checked the results from this year’s race; 39 people ran the 10k and 11 people ran the 2 mile. 11 freaking people!!! WTF!? And we wonder why American distance running has dropped off or why obesity is on the rise.

I was in a meeting the other day with our Chief Marketing Officer and he was talking about how he loves to shop. He even keeps folders for things like watches, clothes, each room in his house, etc. Then when he sees an ad or article he likes, he rips it out and puts it in a folder. All this time I’m thinking; “What a fruitcake?!” Later that evening it hit me. I do the exact same thing when it comes to running and fitness. I have folders with my favorite articles on training, nutrition, race results, etc. I guess I’m a fruitcake too, just with a different passion than our CMO.

Today’s quote of the day is more of a paraphrase of the day;

“I don’t care about that. I’ve said all along, I’m here to win the tour…If someone wants to win the tour, they’re going to have to earn it.” – Floyd Landis when asked what he thought of winning his first stage ever in the Tour de France

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Tuesday night I met my training group for what would be my first (semi-hard) workout in over 2 months – or what felt like forever. After a 2 mile warm-up, we ran 25 minutes of the Twin Cities Marathon hill – at least the hardest part from the Lake Street Bridge to the U of St. Thomas.

Prior to doing the hills someone said they were able to get in 2 reps the previous week. So I started the workout thinking we were going to do 2 hill repeats. As I crest the hill of the 2nd rep, I see that only 16 minutes have passed. Shit. Now I have to go from thinking I’m done with the hills to turning around and doing another rep. Apparently they did a slightly different hill last week.

Oh well…I felt good on the hills. I think that was partially due to being fresh – as in not having a lot of weekly miles on my legs. And partially due to taking more of a hard/easy approach. Prior to hill workouts in the winter, I’d still get in 10-12 miles the day before. This week I just ran an easy 6 miles the day before.

After the hills we headed to the track for “mile” repeats. I ran 3 and was fairly consistent; 6:06, 6:07, 6:08 – consistently slowing down, I guess. I was pretty controlled, so there’s hope for me yet.

This training group finally has a runner that can kick Jenna’s ass. The x-c champion from the local D3 conference has joined the group. He’s also doing tris now, so hopefully that won’t stunt his sub-26 minute 8K speed. And maybe some of that will rub off on me.

Yes the weather has turned pretty nice here lately, so what have I done. I’ve hopped on the treadmill. Actually, that’s mainly due to the Tour de France. I stayed up passed 10 after Tuesday’s workout and there was no way I was waking up at 5. So last night I jumped on the mill for a very easy 5 miles while watching the tour. Again, it lasted past 10, so I decided to run tonight’s harder effort on the mill too – while watching the TDF. It’s a vicious cycle.

Speaking of the tour, yesterday I was purposely avoiding any results because they’re in the mountains now and I knew it’d be more fun to watch if I didn’t know the outcome. Well, I went to the message board at lunch and the first thread I saw said, “Floyd Landis is now 9:25 down on the leaders today!” Thanks a lot for posting that, asswipe!

So today I’m blogging rather than surfing message boards.

Quote of the day;
“During the hard training phase never be afraid to take a day off. If your legs are feeling unduly stiff and sroe, rest; if you are at all sluggish, rest; in fact, if in doubt, rest.” – Bruce Fordyce

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


It’s amazing how much the weather can change in 24 hours. Yesterday’s weather was very similar to Sunday’s; 80-85 degrees with a dew point over 70. Today is was 60-65 with a dew point of 50. I was almost cold out there – even with a t-shirt on.

Yesterday I managed a very easy 5 miles. I had thoughts of running another easy 5 miles in the evening but I decided to “make my easy days easy and my hard days hard.” Instead, I added another 5 easy miles this morning and I’ll follow that up with a hard hill/track workout tonight.
That’s it. That’s all I have today; weather and 2 easy 5 mile runs to report.

While I was injured I was posting passages that I like from Running with the Buffaloes. I kind of got away from that as I got healthy. Rather than going off on GPS, HRM, iPODs, etc, I’ll get back to the book.

“If you can get to four miles feeling good, then people will be doing the skeleton dance there. Go by sensory data. It’s never wrong. Respiration tells you everything.” – Wetmore to Tessman

Tessman already understands the beauty of Wetmore’s system. It is designed to make you run well at a specific time. It is a system built on faith, because you cannot panic if you are not racing as fast as you can during the season. – Lear

Talking about how talented a cyclist Chris Severy was in high school…He raced the Mt. Evans Hill Climb, a ride that starts at over 7000 feet and finishes at over 14,000 feet, clad in a T-shirt and shorts. He was and still is “anti-gear,” and he loved “how all the other cyclists would be pissed when some kid in a T-shirt and shorts beat them.” He was there, he said, “to race, not to win a fashion contest.” He went on to win the amateur portion of the race, beating legendary triathlete Mark Allen by two minutes, and his time would have placed him 20th among the pros.

As with seemingly every cross-training regimen, his ambition to get after it cycling or swimming has faded with each subsequent day. – Lear on Batliner’s injury

Like the others, his training is what gives him confidence, or as he puts it, “my training and fitness govern my mind. My mind is completely reactive to my physical strength and my fitness.” – Batliner

Wetmore never counts on his athletes running out of their heads. He was and is preparing them to approach NCAA’s as just another race. After all, “How many people go to the National Championships and run better than they have all year? Ten percent? I don’t want to go in having to run better than ever. I want them to think business as usual. If five of us run business as usual, we’ll be alright.” For this reason there will be no fire and brimstone speeches. Wetmore believes “the more cranked up you are on rhetoric, the less likely you are to run well. You go out hard the first mile, mile and a half, and run worse than you would have.”

Quote of the day;
“Every day I'm training I'm at least thinking about racing.” – Double

Monday, July 17, 2006


Being in the Midwest (and not being in Chicago) means that I don’t have access to lots of cool races and professional endurance athletes. So when the Lifetime Fitness triathlon is in town, I like to go down and watch. While I thought conditions were a little better than last year, that’s not saying much. At 8 AM it was already approaching 80 degrees with dew points in the low 60s and bright blue skies. Highs for the day were forecasted at 97.

Given that nearly ¼ of the field is new to the sport and that some of these athletes wouldn’t be starting till 10:30, the organizers shortened the Olympic distance race for age-group athletes by 6 miles – 3 on the bike and 3 on the run.

In the pro “equalizer” race the woman were given just under a 10 minute head start. It wasn’t enough as Hunter Kemper passed Emma Snowsill about halfway through the run. Hunter would hang on to win while 6 other men also passed Emma before she finished.

In the past, NBC would broadcast the race in the afternoon. However, it appears they want to put a little more time into their production, as they are waiting 2 weeks before airing the race.

A little off-topic, but I’d like to thank the sport of triathlon for having their athletes write their age on their calf. What a great way to figure out how old all the hotties are!

While watching the race, I got in an easy 9 miles. It was even easier than “normal” due to all the stopping, standing, cheering, and starting again. Probably not the best way to get in my miles, but it’s not like I do that every day.

That run gave me 74 miles for the week on 8 runs. While I normally take a cutback week every 3 weeks, I haven’t done that this time around – yet. I think I have one more week in me before needing to cut back.

Saturday I surprised Evan by telling him I would join him on Sunday at 5 AM for a long run. Actually, after working out the details, I didn’t have to meet him till 5:40. Yes, getting up at 4:50 on a Sunday does suck – especially when it’s already 82 degrees with a dew point of 72. However, getting in 17 miles by 8 AM feels great.

During the run we were trying to determine if this weather is worse than the last time we ran together, when it was 38 degrees and rainy for the whole 20 miles. I don’t think we came to a consensus.

Quote of the day;
“The only tactics that I admire are do-or-die.” – Herb Elliott

Friday, July 14, 2006


I’ve been blogging about a year-and-a-half now and this morning I thought “Did I have similar thoughts prior to blogging or does blogging bring them out?” I don’t know but nearly all of today’s 8 mile run was spent thinking about this post. I didn’t plan that, it just sort of happened. This is meant to be a motivational post and it’s aimed as much at me, as you.

The great thing about running is the harder you work the better you get. The same can’t always be said for team sports where your teammates also play a role or sports like golf and swimming where technique is so important or even triathlons where you can simply buy speed.

For the most part, hammer away at running and you will run faster. If you’re unmotivated couch-potato with a poor work ethic, “competitive” running is probably not for you.

If you’re waiting for that quick-fix pill, recovery drink, or shoe that’s going to make you faster, you’re going to be waiting for a long time. Heck, even with EPO (I assume) you have to bust your ass. You can’t just sit around playing x-box and develop into an awesome runner.

There are lots of bloggers out there with goals; goals of qualifying for Boston, breaking 4 hours, being “average”, etc. Are they all busting their ass? I don’t know, but I’d venture a guess that whatever they’re doing, they could do more.

I told Susan she should take her highest mileage ever and add 50% to that and then build up to that number over the next 6 weeks. Sure it may sound absurd to go from 55 mpw to 80 mpw, but why not? Okay, how about 70 mpw? Don’t feel like going higher? How about building back to 55 but this time hold that mileage longer than before?

Maybe you only run 4 days a week. How about trying for 5 and then 6 and then 7…? What about throwing in a month of hills or finding a group of people to push the pace or following a plan that’s a little more difficult than you’d like…a little out of your comfort zone?

As the saying goes, “If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do the things you’ve never done before.” Sure the “status quo” may work for awhile, especially if you’re new to running. But at some time you’re going to reach a plateau or a point of diminishing returns and you may need to shake up your program.

I’ve seen guys go from being unable to break 6:00-pace for 3200 meters in high school to running 2:28 (sub-5:40 pace) 10 years later. Don’t want to wait that long? I’ve seen guys run 30-minute 8K one year and 26 minutes the next. But these guys worked hard, very hard, to achieve those results.

Ever notice that when we tell kids to try something we say “It won’t hurt you” but when we tell adults to try something we say “It won’t kill you”? Hmm, should we assume then that it will hurt us?


Sure, doing the things listed above may lead to injury or they may lead to PRs across the board – or both. There’s only one way to find. If you do happen to get injured, it’s okay. The body does heal and we’re able to ratchet our training up again – faster than if we’d never been at those levels before.

I’ve posted this article by Beck (no, not the singer) numerous times, but it seems like I have some new readers, so I’m posting it again. It’s one of my favorites, especially the second half. He does a much better job of expressing these thoughts than me.

Quote of the day;
"The prevailing training philosophy in 1977 was 'more is better', and weekly mileage was the stuff of competition. If Derek Clayton was quoted as running 160 miles per week, then someone else would try 175 miles per week... This approach to training may sound harsh - and it was - but it reaped rewards. Distance running in the U.S. improved markedly, and although there were a few casualties along the way, pure hard work generally paid dividends." - Pete Pfitzinger

Thursday, July 13, 2006


As I continue to think about strength training, stretching, nutrition and the other ancillary details that could help my running – but never seem to get done – I came up with this realization; I don’t have to treat these things with the same “all-or-nothing” approach that I take with my running. I don’t have the time (there’s that excuse again), energy or mental fortitude to approach those topics with the same vigor that I do running.

So what happens? After a few days or weeks of including these activities, they eventually fall to the wayside. I think a better approach would be not to focus on following any sort of plan. If I get the urge to lift, then I should go lift. If I’m sitting in front of the TV doing nothing, I should lie on the ground and do some stretching or crunches. The key is to remove that added pressure of “having” to do those things regularly.

Another thing I find with these types of activities is that as I get fitter, they become more of my routine. If I run a good race I’ll be like “Wow, what if I cut out all that junk food and threw in some core work? I’d run even faster.”

I thought I’d give an update regarding my advertisement. Now I like the message board as much as the next person. If you sift through all the threads on hotness, music, soccer, Lance, etc. you might even find a nugget or two on running. The problem is that these other threads are so numerous that running-related threads can get pushed off the front page very quickly. So basically I’m saying I didn’t get any bites off of that message board. I did get 2 responses off one the coolrunning message boards. In addition, I got 10 responses from an email I sent out to runners I know. Now the hard part is going to be finding a day, time and place where people can meet.

Thanks to “Bear” for sending me this NY Times article regarding aging star athletes. Here’s a sample paragraph from the article;

The dirty secret among former high school and college jocks is that many don't remain active as adults. In their glory days they were the fittest among their peers. But as adults many are overtaken by nonjocks who embrace fitness as a commitment to health, forget the varsity letter.

Hmm, my 20 year high school reunion is only a year away. It’ll be interesting to see what all the jocks look like.

Oh, before I forget, I ran 7 easy recovery miles this morning. After work I'm meeting my friend Mary for another 5-7 easy miles. It's supposed to be 92 with a dew point in the upper 60s - not fun.

On a non-running related note…for all you women who’ve ever wanted to change your man, here’s another NY Times article that’s pretty interesting and funny. Thanks to Eric for sending it to me.

Since I didn’t have a quote of the day yesterday, I'll throw in a bonus quote today; one from each of the NY Times articles.

“When you run at such a competitive level and come back to do it at a recreational level, that is a hard transition to make. With no goal, I find it hard to get out there. There's nothing to shoot for." - Howie Zebersky, 32, who raced for the State University at Albany

“I felt as if I should throw him a mackerel.” – Amy Sutherland, after using techniques she learned from dolphin trainers to ‘train’ her husband

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


So the girls are spending the night at Grandma's. It's just my wife and I at home. And I'm sitting here blogging. Afterwards I'll probably go and play a killer game of baseball on x-box and then watch the TdF. It's a wild and crazy life - I know.

Yesterday's post talked about wanting to get buffed and ripped, but not wanting to put in the effort. In a comment I wrote that I just don't have the time. Later I was thinking that this really isn't true. After putting the girls to bed I have about 75-90 minutes before I have to hit the hay. Sure I could lift and do crunches during that times (and sometimes I do), but sometimes a guy just wants to have some chips, drink a beer and watch TV.

The same goes for stretching. How many people have been injured and swear that "once they're healthy" they'll continue doing all the stretching, strength training, etc. that their doctor recommends. But once they are healthy, they go right back to their old ways. When the ART doctor gave me to active release stretches, I swore I'd do them no matter what. Well that lasted for about a week. It didn't help that my calves actually felt better the days after I didn't stretch. Oh well, I'm all talk.

This morning's run may have been my last before the heatwave strikes. It was a comfortable 65 degrees. "Luckily", we haven't had any rain in about 2 months, so the humidity has been low. I set my alarm to 4:50, which allowed me to get in 11 miles. I didn't push as hard as yesterday, but it wasn't an easy run either.

Unlike these people that record each mile (yes, you know who you are), I just develop a few efforts for my miles. For example, yesterday's harder run is somewhere in the 7:30-7:45 range. Today's moderate run was closer to 8:00. Easy recovery days are 8:30. Then I just run for X minutes and divide by the pace that corresponds to the effort and tada...that's how many miles I ran that day. No, it's not exact, but my body isn't going to know the difference whether I log today's 90 minutes at 10 miles, 11 miles or 12 miles. No matter what I put in my log, the work has already been done.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Alright, I made a couple of tweaks to my ad and posted it on a couple of message boards. I may have to also send an email to running friends to help get the ball rolling.

Writing this ad as well as creating a new post on letsrun must have zapped all my mental strength, as I can barely come up with a blog topic for the day. So I’m going to piggyback on other bloggers.

Andrew had a nice post yesterday regarding mileage and race results. I’ve always wanted to stand at the finish line of a race and give each runner a quick survey. Something like this;

How many life-to-date miles have you run?
How many miles did you run last year?
How many miles per week have you averaged over the last 3 months?

That’s it. Just something simple enough to see there’s a correlation between mileage (ever, last year and recently) and finishing place.

Awhile ago Susan posted this entry regarding balancing goals with actual motivation and dedication. That got me thinking about being fast vs. being fit – as in overall fitness, not scrawny-runner-fit. I have these dreams of being fit – ripped muscles, 6-pack abs, stud-triathlete-fit. I even lift once in awhile and do some crunches. But the program never really lasts because when it comes right down to it, I’d rather be scrawny and fast, than fit and slow. So for the most part I just stick with running.

I don’t know if it’s these thoughts or because I’ve been watching the Tour de France, but lately I’ve had a desire to go for a bike ride. I think it started after watching the individual time trial the other day. Anyway, I dusted off my tri bike last night and went out for an easy 40 minute ride. I suppose that’s equal to about a 2 mile run.

I have to be to work at the same time everyday. So if I want to get in more miles, my alarm as to be set earlier and earlier. Today this meant 5 AM in order to get in 10 miles. I felt really good after holding the pace back yesterday. It’s nice that my legs are able to bounce back after 1 easy day. This run pushed me over a little milestone; 70 miles for the last 7 days.

Quote of the day;
“It's painful. Running is totally different from cycling - the impact on the body. "Those guys (marathon runners) train hard, watch what they eat and go to bed early - things I don't want to do anymore. I'm over that. I like to have a bit of fun.” – Lance Armstrong

Monday, July 10, 2006


I'm seriously considering posting this on a bunch of message boards. What would you think if you saw it? Assume you met the "standard," would it pique your interest? Would you sign up? Any changes?

WANTED: 2:50-3:05 (1:20-1:28 half) marathon runners in the Twin Cities. Looking to form a new training group that’s interesting in pushing the pace 1-2 times a week.

No sign-up fee. No monthly fee. No uniforms to buy. No fancy website. No monthly newsletter. No cool logo. You will not receive a discount to local running stores or a training plan to follow.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re following Pfitz, Daniels, Lydiard, Galloway, etc. It doesn’t matter whether you call these runs steady state, progression, strong aerobic or marathon pace. It’s about meeting for a 10-15 mile run with some quicker miles thrown in.

I won’t check and verify your PRs to see if you meet the “standards” or not. If you’re faster and want to join us for an easy day, that’s great. If you’re slower and want to be pushed, that’s great too.

Night of the week, time and place are all TBD, based on response. If you’re interested, or know someone that might be, please send me an email and we’ll see if we can make this work.

As for my training over the weekend, Saturday I pushed Katie for 2 miles before continuing on for another 6 very easy recovery miles. That gave me 64 miles for the week.

Sunday I woke up and felt like I needed a change of scenery. I drove to Lake Nokomis* to start my run. I ran around the lake, down Minnehaha Parkway, around Lake Harriet and back down the Parkway. That took 1:57 and I called it 15 miles – my longest run in 8 weeks.

This morning I had one of my most boring runs ever. I just wanted an easy 7 mile recovery day, so I thought I’d check out things north of interstate 494. Other than seeing a 1.5 million dollar house for sale, I ended up running through another industrial area. Again, most of it didn’t have a sidewalk, so I was dodging cars. No surprise, my legs were tired after yesterday’s “long” run.

*Some of you may recognize Lake Nokomis as it’s the starting point of the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon. Since the race is next Saturday, there were lots of triathletes there checking things out. Note: if anyone is coming to town for this race be aware that the forecast is calling for 96 and sunny. Have fun!

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 ‘84

Friday, July 07, 2006


Based on yesterday’s post and Mike's comments, I thought I’d briefly recap my training from last winter for the throngs of new readers, those of you that read so many blogs you can’t remember one from the next, and most of all, just to jog my own memory.

Starting last November I made a concerted effort to follow the principles outlined in Ron Daws’ book; Running Your Best. Daws is an advocate of Lydiard’s training. During the initial stages of base building, Daws recommends evenly distributing your effort over the course of the week. For example; if you were running 70 mpw, you’d run 10 miles each day. At this point you forget all about hard/easy days and long runs. Once you reach the maximum mileage you’d like to maintain, hold it there for a week or two to make sure you can handle it – again, evenly distributing your effort. After you’ve done that, you can begin mixing in some hard/easy days, adding a long run, etc.

This worked great for me as I ran more miles than ever for the months of December – March, including taking my weekly all-time high from 85 to 100. This led to two of my fastest races in the last 10 years; a 29:15 8k in March and a 1:17:57 20K in April. These times were run off of just easy base miles and hills. By comparison, I spent the previous summer doing lots of speed work (and not many miles) and closed my season by running 39:02 for 10K. Following Daws’ program, less than 6 months later I’d hold that same pace for 20k.

Naturally, when I mentioned running faster during my training runs in yesterday’s post, Mike was all over it. I didn’t take the time to mention that I still plan on building my mileage back up prior to Chicago. Miles are still king. However, coming off of an injury, I need to be a little cautious. I won’t be following the 10% “rule” or anything like that, but I won’t be going from 32 to 100 in four weeks either.

My main reason for deciding to drop the pace is because, unlike last November, I don’t have the luxury of 8 months till my next marathon. Chicago is just over 3 months away – and approaching quickly.

You can call these runs whatever you want; easy, general aerobic, getting-the-miles-in, etc. I did a little math to see if my training paces are in-line with other runners. Say I currently do these runs at 8:00-8:15 pace. If I drop them to 7:30-7:45, it’d be (based on percentages) like a 2:40 marathoner running 6:40-6:55 or a 4:00 marathoner running 10:05-10:25. Heck, McMillan says a 3:00 marathoner should be running 7:23-7:53 for their easy days, so my times don’t seem out-of-whack.

I had one goal for last night and that was to be in bed by 9 PM. I missed, but only by about 10 minutes. It’s tough going to bed that early when your neighbors are out riding their bike, washing their car, walking the dog, etc. However, if I’m going to build my mileage back up it means getting up by at least 5 AM – and 7 hours of sleep is not going to cut it. Last night I got about 30-45 minutes more sleep than I had been getting and it felt great. This morning I ran 3.5 miles out/up in 27:30 and 3.5 miles back/down in 25:55. Throw in a mile with the dog for a total of 8. That gives me 56 for the week with 1 day left.

Today’s quote of the day is not from our Duncan, but I can see him saying it.

Someone once came up to Duncan MacDonald and said: “I saw you on television and read about you in the newspapers. How do you do it?” MacDonald answered: “I don’t watch television and I don’t read the papers.”

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Alright, let’s start with the good stuff. I know who Dave Wottle is, but I was 3 in 1972, so I never got to see this race. Keep your eye on the guy with the white hat on – especially with about 250 meters to go.

I don’t know if it was the Landis interview or what, but I’ve been thinking about what’s missing from my training. In my mind I still think I have a shot at running times similar to what I ran in college. But I’ve had those thoughts for over 10 years now. Earlier this spring I was probably within a minute of my 5K time and two minutes of my 10k time. That’s still a fairly long ways a way.

While I’d like to “blame” it on age, this WAVA age-grading calculator says I should only be running 25 seconds slower for a 10K. And my mileage last winter was, by far, higher than ever. So I can’t “blame” that either.

The one thing that jumps out is intensity. Running with a team nearly every day is a lot different than running solo every day. I can remember running hard workouts on Tuesdays and recovery runs on Wednesdays at 7:15 pace. Granted, I skipped a lot of days, either due to being tired or being injured. And granted, I probably violated every Runner’s World “rule.” But the results do speak for themselves, as all my PRs from the half marathon and down are from my college days.

With that said, I’m going to try and push the pace a little more during some of my runs. I may not get down to 7:15 pace on my easy days, but I think I’ve proven that running 8:00 pace or slower isn’t going to get the job done. Heck, even if I run 7:30 pace, I’ll still be roughly 40-60 seconds/mile over my marathon pace. Maybe doing six runs a week at 8:00-8:30 pace and then trying to drop to 6:40 pace is too much. That large a jump may be too difficult physically and mentally.

These thoughts lead to an 8 mile run last night at 7:30 pace. It felt really good - comfortably hard. Really this run was no different than the last two Tuesday night group runs. The main difference is that I was by myself.

This morning I was tired but forced myself to get out of bed and lace my shoes up again – only 8.5 hours since my last run ended. I was surprised that I felt as good as I did, once I got going. I managed 9 miles around 8:00 pace.

Quote of the day;
“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’” – Peter Maher, Irish –Canadian Olympian and sub-2:12 marathoner


Glad you guys liked the quotes from Landis. Here's the link to the article.

BTW, why am I paying for the magazine when I can read the articles online?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


First off, being an official member of Elizabeth Yetzer’s unofficial fan club I need to post this article (thanks to Eric for the heads up). It’s about Yetzer running 10:12 in the Nike Outdoor Nationals 2-mile and placing second to fellow Minnesotan, Bria Wetsch who ran 10:10. Mike Torchia who’s also been mentioned here before came in 4th in the boys’ race with a time of 8:50.

Since what follows is rather long, I just give the quick update on my training. I managed 8 miles yesterday – pushing Katie for 22 minutes and Kinsey for 44 minutes. When I push the girls my mileage is based on effort. It’s not like I was running 8:15 pace, but it felt like it.

This morning I ran a very easy 5 miles. I was planning on 7-8 but the bathroom was calling. I decided that’d I just call it an easy morning run and then (hopefully) double-up tonight. I wasn't planning on adding doubles for awhile, but the article below fired me up.

Yesterday I was reading an article in Outside on Floyd Landis and he had some really interesting things to say. The first is one of my pet peeves.

On giving more than 100%...
“Why not 112%? Why not 500% or 1300% or 38 billion percent? I mean, if he can crank it up beyond 100%, why not? What’s stopping him, exactly?”

On excuses…
“Everybody wants to say, ‘I couldn’t win because of this or that.’ To my way of thinking, it doesn’t matter if your goddamn head fell off or your legs exploded. If you didn’t make it, you didn’t make it. One excuse is as good as another.”

On training…
“There’s only one rule: The guy who trains the hardest, the most, wins. Period. Because you won’t die. Even though you feel like you’ll die, you don’t actually die. Like when you’re training, you can always do one more. Always. As tired as you might think you are, you can always do one more.”

Then his roommate says, “I hope some 16-year-old doesn’t read this and then go kill himself on the bike.”

To which Landis says, “That was what I did. I read something like that, and I trained like that, and, yeah, I was pretty damn depressed for a while. Then it got better.”

On overtraining…
Interviewer: “So there’s no such thing as overtraining?”
Landis: “If you overtrained, it means you didn’t train hard enough to handle that level of training. So you weren’t overtrained; you were actually undertrained to begin with. So there’s the rule again: The guy who trains the hardest, the most, wins.”

On sharing his training log…
“I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s just a number I produced on a certain day. What matters is what happens on the road.”

On Lance…
“I saw firsthand what Lance did, and it was superhuman. I saw how his system worked. It’s not necessary for me to be like Lance in every way. But there are some things that I want to take from that and use. Like his boldness at taking charge of things. His willingness to say, ‘This is what I want, and I’m going to take it.’ It’s very hard to compete against that.”

“Everything with Lance was so big. He was able to mange it all somehow. For me, that would be stupid. I train hard, I race my bike – that’s it. All the rest, that’s not me. I would be an idiot to try.”

Today’s quote of the day also comes from the Landis article regarding thoughts that he might be peaking too early for the Tour de France;

“Peaking too early? What is that, Chinese? Let me translate: Blah-blah-fucking-blah.” – Floyd Landis

Monday, July 03, 2006


Here are 3 charts that I use to keep track of my 7-day, 31-day and 92-day rolling mileage. Can you tell when I got hurt? It's painful just to look at them. Time to start re-building.


Wow, I didn’t know the Vita trail would receive so much attention.

Nice to see our sport get a little press locally as Elizabeth Yetzer was named female high school athlete of the year by the St. Paul paper.

Here’s an update on my recent training. Saturday I pushed Katie for 20 minutes and then headed out for another 37 minutes. I called it 7 miles – giving me 51 for the week. So my last 3 weeks have been 32, 40 and 51. I’m going in the right direction and should be in the low 60s this week.

Sunday I headed to the local trails for an easy “long” run. Knowing the black flies are in-season I decided to spray on some OFF before heading out. I’m happy to report that it worked. While the flies were still swarming around my head at times, they never bit me. I passed one other runner and all he said was “Man, these black flies…” Even though I never got bit, the swarming is enough to drive someone crazy. Every time they came around I dropped the pace. When you think about it, it doesn’t really make much sense to speed up since the flies don’t seem to notice the difference between 8:00 pace and 7:30 pace. I guess getting out of the wood 1-2 minutes sooner will have to do. I ended up with 90 minutes and called it 11 miles – my longest run in 7 weeks.

This morning was an easy 7 miles; 1 with the dog from home and then 6 on the trails near my office. I finally managed to get off the pavement and onto the woodchip trails. The trails are awesome but it takes me 2 miles to get to them. I know there’s another way into the park that’s only about a mile from where I park. I’ll have to try that later on – now that I know OFF works.

I’m usually turned-off immediately when athletes start giving thanks to God. You know;
Interviewer: “How’d the race go?”

Athlete: “(pant, pant) I want to (pant, pant) give all thanks (pant, pant) to God.”

That’s great, but that’s not what the interviewer asked you. Do that on your own time. With that said, today’s quote of the day comes from the article I linked above.

“It's a great feeling to know you've pushed yourself to your fullest potential, especially on race days. If I don't do my best, it's pointless. I don't feel proud. It violates the reason I run: to go all out to glorify God. I try not to make that happen. I try to push myself to my fullest potential, but you never know what you have in you.” – Elizabeth Yetzer