Friday, December 29, 2006


After keeping my mileage in the low-80s for 4 of the last 5 weeks, I decided to squeeze in another 5-mile run last night. That run will (hopefully) allow me to reach 90 miles this week.

With this morning's 5-mile run, I entered the 21st century. Apparently my wife found a great deal on an iPod Shuffle. She gave it to me for Christmas and today was the first time I used it. I wouldn't say it was good or bad, it was just different. I can't see myself downloading new songs that pump me up for workouts, but I can see using it to keep me company on dark, cold mornings. While the 512MB don't compare to the 80GB that "everyone" else has - it was enough for me. Besides, remember I only listen to one CD anyway - at least lately.

Alright, that's all I have. I don't even have a 'quote of the day' handy, so how about 'lyrics of the day' from a song I listened to with my iPod;

Climbing up the ladder
Breaking my shin the the very first rung
Waking up the neighbors
It's alright
They understand
They're just as dumb
- Uncle Tupelo

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Alright, I finally made it through Sport Illustrated’s top-20 list, so I thought I’d better get back to blogging. I’m off from work this week, which makes for good running, but terrible blogging. Here’s an update on my training since my last post;

Friday afternoon I ran an easy 5 miles.

Saturday morning was a nice 18-mile group run. That’s my longest run since Chicago and it gave me 83 miles for the week, on 8 runs.

Sunday was an easy 12 miles on the local golf course and trails. We got just enough freezing rain and snow to make things fairly slick. Even the fairways were icy.

Monday was a recovery day, consisting of two easy 5-mile runs.

Tuesday I thought I’d mix in a little tempo. So after 6 miles at 8:00 pace I threw in a 3-mile tempo around 6:20-6:25 pace, followed by a mile cool-down.

Wednesday I headed back to the golf course. I was bored after 50 minutes to I hit some trails at Lebanon Hills that I’d never been on before. I kept thinking, “Is it really December 27th?” I shouldn’t be able to run on these trails – at least not without snow covering them. I ended up running for 2:04 and called it 15 miles.

This morning I met Evan for a nice 10 mile run in the Minnesota Wildlife Refuge along the Minnesota River.

Just when I think my training is going really well, I end up running with someone, like Evan or Jenna, who puts my training to shame. Maybe I need to start training with people that are slower than me.

Finally, even with the holidays, I was able to get another interview posted.

Quote of the day;

“I have a full plate so my schedule doesn't really match up to anyone else’s. I have a full time job and a part time job. My wife is a nurse so her schedule isn't always the same. My two sons are very active as well. We make things work but running can sometimes interfere. I sneak runs in when I can.” - Pete Gilman

Friday, December 22, 2006


Hopefully this post won’t get “lost” due to the holidays. This just in: Carrie Tollefson is attractive. I know, I know, it shocked the hell out of me too. I’m glad the Independent of Marshall, MN was able to get a quote from Carrie. Thanks to Kim for forwarding me the story.

Kim suggested I come up with my own list, but I think I’ll stay away from that one.

I’m editing this post to add the actual SI link to their top-20. Okay, I may not create my own list, but Marion Jones at #14? And no Natalie Gulbis or Jenny Finch?

In case you’re wondering, I bowled a 116 and a 117 yesterday. I’m nothing, if not consistent. I figured if I had played another 80 games or so, I’d approach 200.

As for my running, I’d rather feel like crap during a recovery day than a workout day. So I guess I should be happy that I felt good yesterday and terrible today. I slogged through 4 miles at 9:10 pace this morning. We did get a little snow yesterday, which made it slippery and a little slower than normal. However, the slow pace is more an indication of tired legs. I guess that means I actually did a little work the last few days. I’m planning on getting in another 4-6 miles sometime this afternoon.

Quote of the day;

“You have to be a little bored to be doing really good training.” – Marty Liquori

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I don’t really have anything exciting to talk about today. I was thinking a little bit more about my excuse list and how it compares to Brent’s. I think it’s interesting that Brent, who’s relatively new to running, has a list that’s mainly made up of excuses that keep him from training, while my excuses are more about racing. I don’t have a lot of trouble getting out the door and training, but there are definitely things I can work on to race better.

I had another nice run this morning; 11 miles with 8 of them at 7:10 pace. If you want to get exact, the 2 mile splits were 14:45, 14:03, 14:26 and 14:18.

I’ve been trying to include one of these up-tempo runs each week. The last couple have been on the treadmill, between 7:00 and 7:10 pace, so it was nice to see I could reproduce the same pace while running outside – and hold it for 8 miles.

During the last 2 mile stretch, I tried to imagine racing the last 5K of a half marathon I’m running on January 27th. I tend to justify my satisfaction with my races – before I’m finished – rather than pushing all the way to the end. How's that for an excuse? So I figure if I visualize pushing the last 5K in practice, it’ll help on race day.

That’s all I’ve got. Off to bowling…

Quote of the day;

“It’s the effort that matters on the hard days.” – Steve Jones

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Today’s run turned out to be a confidence booster. A couple of weeks ago, I took Lydiard’s standard schedule and converted the mileage to duration – based on how quickly I thought his athletes might be training. For example, Lydiard’s guys were probably running their 18 mile weekday run between 1:50 and 2 hours. At 8:00 pace, that means I should cover 14-15 miles for this run.

While that distance, by itself, isn’t daunting. It is, when you consider it’s run during the workweek, which means a very early wakeup call. To be honest, I thought 12-13 might be my weekday limit. Anyway...

Alarm set for 4:30.

Out of bed at 4:28.

First thoughts in my head; “What the hell am I doing getting up so early to go for a run? It’s the middle of December. It’s cold and dark….”

Luckily those thoughts were out of my head by the time I hit the stairs. Once I got out the door, it turned into a nice run. It was one of those days when I’d look up every 2-3 miles and be surprised by where I was at already. The miles just seemed to fly by – even though I was just running my ‘everyday’ pace, which is right around 8:00s.

I ended up getting in 14 miles in 1:53. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, er, I mean a broken MP3 player, but 37 degrees, calm, and clear paths definitely made this run more manageable than it should be at this time of year.

I think my mind wandered more than ‘normal,’ which helped the miles go by quickly. I was thinking of people I want to interview and the questions I’d ask them. I was also thinking about Brent’s recent post regarding excuses. His post basically said we should list our top-10 excuses and then think about how we can turn them into positives. Here’s the list I’ve come up with so far;

1. It’s too hot.
2. It’s too early in the season to run hard.
3. So-and-so beats me in practice; they should be ahead of me in a race.
4. I’m not competitive. I tend to do my own thing in a race, rather than compete.
5. I’m not a strong hill runner.
6. I’m too conservative (this covers a lot of things like, bumping mileage, going out hard in a race, racing frequently, etc).
7. I need the calories (regarding eating crap).
8. I’d rather spend my time and energy running more (regarding adding strength training).
9. I feel better when I don’t stretch.
10. It’s too hot.
With a new year around the corner, I’ll see if I can work on some of these excuses. I guess it’s no surprise that most of them revolve around mental toughness. I do need to work on that in 2007, along with some of the other more easily correctable excuses.

Quote of the day;

“Sometimes it’s an incredible drag. Just yesterday I went out and ran 23 miles and I was swearing and hitting mailboxes. I didn’t want to be out there but I knew I had to. I’d say most runners half-like and half-dislike running.” – Bill Rodgers

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I felt much better during this morning’s 11 mile run. My calves are still sore, but at least they loosened up. I was hoping to make it another mile, but my hands were freezing. It wasn’t like they were cold for the last 10 minutes – it was more like the last 4 miles. And I’m not really sure why. It was a nice morning with temps in the mid-20s and little-to-no wind. So the lesson is; always carry another pair of thin gloves with me.

With each passing day, the weather is becoming more-and-more of the story around here. It’s December 19th and we don’t have a single flake of snow on the ground. I should say; non-manmade snow. While I love snow, I also love the fact that I haven’t had to worry about footing when I run. As an added bonus, the temps have been very mild lately. Best of all, the days start getting longer at the end of this week.

I have two random things on my mind that I keep forgetting to post.

First, in my perfect world, caffeine would promote hydration. While I’m at it, coffee would make your breath fresh and turn your teeth white.

Second, is there anyone else that doesn’t like to wear the shirts they get from their "big" races? For example, I rarely wear my marathon shirts. I don’t know why. It’s not like I care if they get worn out or something. I just tend not to wear those shirts.

Finally, I’m not much of a music critic, but I figure if a CDs been in my stereo (sorry, I don't have an MP3 player, iPOD, or whatever else is hip) for 2 months straight (not really, but you get the idea), it’s worth mentioning. If you like groups like Wilco, Son Volt, Jayhawks – sort of that alt-country music – check out Uncle Tupelo. Before there was Wilco and Son Volt, there was Uncle Tupelo. They may be hard to find in stores, so you may need to shop online. I’ve been listening to 89/93: An Anthology, which contains 21 songs that I can’t stop listening to.

Quote of the day;

“From that experience, I learned that hard training isn't always fun, but competing should always be fun or you may want to consider doing something else.” - Michael Reneau, on wrestling in college

Monday, December 18, 2006


What better way to start the week off than with a new interview? Of course, I’ve enjoyed all the interviews, but this one is pretty sweet.

Isn’t the mind a wonderful thing? I had a list of reasons why I should limit Saturday’s run to 12 miles. Stuff like;

It’s the last day of my cutback week; I can ramp up next week.
It’ll give me 54 for the week – right where I want to be.
I could squeeze in a nap before company arrives for an early Christmas.
Then I started thinking about all the reasons to run 15 or 16 miles;

Even with a cutback week, I should keep in my “long” run.
The weather is awesome (35 degrees and no snow on the ground) for December 16th.
Great companions to make the miles go by faster.
Faster companions to make me work harder.
The rest of the family is busy, so they won’t miss me.
In the end, I met Kim and Jenna for a nice 15 mile run along the Mississippi (I think that’s still the only word that I have to consciously spell out in my head as I type it) River. I’m not sure if it’s my new shoes, which happen to be a new model for me, but my calves have been sore ever since. Anyway, this run gave me 57 miles for my cutback week.

During Sunday’s 12 miler, I was either on the golf course or running through Lebanon Hills Park. I didn’t feel that great, but running in my two favorite places, near my house, definitely helped. After the run I took a shower and was nice and squeaky clean – only to discover I had dog shit on one of my running shoes. Crap – literally!

You know how some days it feels like you have the best form in the world and everything seems so smooth and easy? Well, take the opposite of that and it describes my 8 mile run this morning. Damn, I’m ready for another cutback week.

Quote of the day;

“It's just impossible to ignore the results guys like Dick Beardsley were getting from putting in a ton of miles. There may be guys out there with the talent to run great marathon times off of 80-90 mile weeks, but I definitely don't have that talent. The beauty of the marathon though is that you can close the gap on the guys with great talent by working harder and logging more miles, which is what I intend to do.” - Michael Reneau

Friday, December 15, 2006


Hmm, things seem slow in blogland lately. I don’t have too much substance to report either, just a bunch of odds and ends.

Filed under “It’s a small world” category, one of my high school buddies emailed me this morning saying he bumped into another runner who knew me. It turns out it was Matt Gabrielson. That’s pretty weird.

I’m sure everyone has heard someone bitch about how bad Runner’s World is now versus 25-30 years ago. One of the writers from the 30th anniversary issue of Running Times did a nice job writing about the changes to the running community and having to “respond to the needs of all runners, not just those at the top of the sport.”

Walking through Barnes and Noble lately, it seems like authors and publishers are realizing this too. Here are the titles I spotted recently; Marathoning for Mortals, No Need for Speed, Non-Runner’s Marathon Training, Teach Yourself How to Run a Marathon (Are you really teaching yourself if you have to buy a book?), and my personal favorite, Treadmill Training for Runners. And seeing the cover of this book always makes me smile because I went to college with the guy in the white tank top.

Training-wise, I ran an easy 5 miles yesterday morning. Last night I ran 8 miles on the treadmill, including 6 miles at 7:00 pace. This morning was another easy 5 miles. Since this is a cutback week, I’ve been planning on getting in 50-55 miles. It’s weird because I keep adding up my mileage over-and-over. For some reason, I think I’m going to be short. Today I was like, “Do I really only have to run 5 miles?” I guess it’s weird because in college that would be my peak mileage week – now it’s a cutback week.

Team USA Minnesota athletes continue to update their journals. Check out Andrew Carlson’s and Brad Lowery’s updates. Also, a few of the California athletes have updated entries.

Kind of slow at work, so I was able to check out for the first time in awhile. As a result, I found the best description of Lydiard’s program yet. It makes the quote of the day;

“It's not a fast-food formula. You can't expect to go through a drive-through and expect to have the entire meal handed to you in minutes.”Nobby

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Every once in awhile I come across an article that’s written specifically for me – or so it seems. This weekend I got out my copy of Run Strong because I wanted to review one of its chapters. If you’re not familiar with this book, it’s different than most running books because it contains 12 chapters, each written by a different author. Names such as Pete Pfitzinger, Mark & Gwen Coogan, John Kellogg, Scott Douglas, Greg McMillan and Joe Rubio, to name a few, comprise the list of authors. If you’re a runner the chances are you’ve at least heard some of those names before.

The chapter that I wanted to re-read is Joe Rubio’s chapter on “Devising an Efficient Training Plan.” I can’t remember when or where I first became aware of Joe Rubio. I imagine it was on a message board, most likely Beck’s Donnybrook or Merv, both which happen to be defunct now. In any case, Rubio was always very unselfish when it came to sharing his knowledge. In addition to posting his thoughts on message boards, he also took time to answer my personal emails, even though he was busy coaching much better runners, including 4 of the top 22 women at the 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon.

As I mentioned, it seems like Rubio’s chapter was written specifically for me. It starts out;

If you consider yourself a competitive distance runner, chances are that much of the enjoyment you derive from running depends on racing your best…If this describes your running purpose, then you have probably played around with your training schedule in an attempt to improve your race performances, and maybe you’ve had mixed results…Unfortunately for many runners, attempts at varying their own training menu rarely produce significantly better race results. Thus, the question arises after several seasons of trial and error: Is there a consistent training program that I can use to achieve success, or is this really as fast as I can run?

I won’t list them here, but Rubio goes on to list 6 key specific elements that must be included in your training routine consistently, as well as how to apply them in order to enjoy success. One thing I wasn’t clear on when I first read the chapter is whether or not Rubio incorporates these 6 elements all year long or only after a base has been built. So I emailed him for some clarification. He said it depends on if you like a traditional build up or if you’d rather not be too far from race-fit during the year. Since I don’t race seriously during the winter here were his base-building suggestions for me;

Higher volume of weekly mileage.

Weekly or consistent tempos, which should be longer and less intense. For example, instead of 4 miles at 6:00, try 6 at 6:15 or 8 at 6:30.

If available, add a hilly run per week; 12-15% of weekly mileage.


Ancillary stuff like strengthening core, hamstrings, upper body, flexibility, diet, etc.

Once you do this for 2-3 months, start the multi-paced training that’s mentioned in the book.

Here are a couple other passages from Joe’s chapter that I like;

Many distance runners try to make training infinitely more complex than it needs to be. However, successful training is surprisingly similar across the spectrum of distances from 1,500 meters to the marathon.

I cannot name one individual heroic workout that will take someone to the next level, but there are a few workouts that, when done consistently and repetitively as part of a training schedule, can lead to substantial progress for the majority of runners.

As for my own training, the cutback week continued with an easy 7 mile run this morning. After 0, 5, and 7 miles the last 3 days, I'm feeling refreshed and ready to go.

Finally, if you like the elite runner’s journals I’ve been linking, check out Carrie Tollefson’s and Kristin Nicolini’s recent updates.

Quote of the day;

“Physical training takes place at the level of the cell. That’s why nothing in training is more important than patience.” – John Jerome, The Elements of Effort

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Dang, lots to get to today, but not a lot of time. First off, all signs are pointing to making this a cutback week. Those signs include;

Mileage: After taking 5 days off after Chicago, my weekly mileage has been 40, 57, 66, 80, 81, and 82.

Lack of sleep 2 nights in-a-row: Saturday night I partied like a rock star. Okay, not really but I was up till 1 AM. I did get to “sleep in” ‘till 6:30. So let me publicly thank my kids and dog. Sunday night my daughter Katie got up a few times due to monsters in her room. As a result, I was tossing and turning for an hour or two.

Sore calf: Nothing major, but my left calf has bothered me a little during the last two runs.

Cold season: ‘Tis the season and while I don’t have a cold, there have been a few mornings where I’ve felt some symptoms.

So while I give him all the credit in the world, these are the feelings I’m trying to avoid. I’m not to the “jump in the water (i.e. 100 mpw training) is fine” point – yet.

Usually, the thing I hate most about cutback weeks or days off is that they always seem to occur when the weather is perfect for running. While this morning’s 38 and rain may not sound perfect, it sure is unseasonably warm. Anyway, I took yesterday off and ran an easy 5 miles this morning.

The time off allowed me to post this interview. I love the photo that goes with the interview. It's cool how the kids are craning their necks to watch for as long as possible before he fades out of site. After checking it out, be sure to read Jason Lehmkule’s journal entry where he talks about his performance at TCM. It’s a great read. Finally, if you’re interested in a local ultra-marathoner who’s 67 years old, check out this article.

Finally, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to Dean Karnazes. Runners seem to either love him or hate him. Frankly, I’m not a big fan, but it has more to do with the marketing machine that surrounds him. All the hype surrounding the 50-50-50 and he wasn’t even the first person to accomplish it – this year – let alone ever. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because of the latest cover of Outside magazine. It has a photo of Dean along with the phrase; “America’s Greatest Runner.” Can they use a broader brush stroke? I guess I’d rather place my vote on the fastest runner in the U.S. – or at the very least, with Sam Thompson.

Quote of the day;

“I just want to be recognized as a great runner. What I like about the marathon is the old school training and racing mentality one must possess to conquer it. I love the age of Beardsley, Hodge, Rodgers, Meyer, Bjorklund, et al. Going out and pounding out 140 mile weeks and just trying to hammer yourself into the ground then getting up the next day and doing it all over again is an awesome feeling.” - Matt Gabrielson

Monday, December 11, 2006


I ended up not doubling up on Friday night. I figured cramming 45 miles into my last 3 days of the week was probably not the best way to get into the mid-80s. As a result, Saturday’s 16 miler “only” gave me 82 for the week. And if Friday’s 15 degrees felt balmy, Saturday’s 40 felt damn near tropical. I ran 15 of the 16 miles on a golf course near my house. Although the course was closed, one guy was actually out playing. He said it was the latest he’d ever played in the year.

Sunday I met Evan for a nice trail run that wasn’t quite 12 miles – or as Evan, who’s from New Zealand, would say 19K. He almost has me converted to recording everything in kilometers starting in 2007 – almost.

I’ve been trying to figure out how I want to incorporate this blog and the articles I’m working on. I thought about just waiting until they’re published before posting them. But now I’m leaning towards using this space as more of a sounding board. I’ll post the unfinished article here in an effort to see what people think. Am I on the right track, is there something I could add to make it better, should I scrap the whole project all-together, etc. With that said, after today’s quote of the day, you’ll find an article I’ve been working on lately.

Quote of the day;

“In our business, son, we have a saying: ‘You can’t put in what God left out!’” – Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire


Recently, I was talking with a couple of people who had taken a class on marathoning while at UW-Madison. A year or two ago, Dick Beardsley began teaching an online marathoning course through the College of St. Scholastica that culminates with the running of Grandma’s Marathon. Hearing about these classes got me thinking about all the “useless” knowledge I’ve acquired during my 27 years of running. I thought it’d be fun to break it down by college topics. Instead of counting as just one class though, what follows is enough to make up an entire running degree. Dare I say a B.S.?

ECONOMICS: The first principle they teach you in Econ 101 is supply and demand. If you’re a marathoner, you know we’re truly blessed to live in Minnesota, which is home of two of the best marathons in the country. The good news is that these are popular races and they seem to fill up in record time each year. The bad news is that these are popular races and they seem to fill up in record time each year. If you plan on running either Grandma’s or Twin Cities, mail in your entry form right away because demand definitely exceeds supply.

FINANCE: Speaking of Grandma’s Marathon, have you ever tried to get a room in Duluth that weekend? It’s nearly impossible. Two words; station wagon. I’ve never done it before running the marathon, but on two separate occasions I have slept in my car prior to running the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. Of course, I’ve received some strange looks, as I rolled out of my car to brush my teeth, but you can’t beat the price or the convenience of staying in the convention center parking lot.

INVESTMENTS: When it comes to running well, especially marathons, you need both short term and long term investments. You can’t run a good marathon on just 4 to 6 months (short term) training and you can’t run well by just relying on years (long term) of experience. The best results occur when you combine years of experience with 4 to 6 months of solid training leading up to your race. Of course, good weather on race day doesn’t hurt either.

PYSICS: As coach Lydiard would say, “Strength equals speed.” No matter what distance we choose to race, most of us have the speed necessary to reach our goals. What we’re lacking is the strength to hold that speed for the entire distance of the race. So before worrying about what track workout we should be doing, we should ask ourselves what workouts we can do to develop our strength.

ENTOMOLOGY: I love to run on trails, absolutely love it. However, during the summer months black flies can make it nearly impossible. During one run this summer I saw another runner and all he could say was, “Damn black flies…” before his voice trailed off. In the past I would secretly hope “my” flies would decide to follow the other people I passed along the way. Over the years I’ve learned that a better option is to use a little bug spray prior to hitting the trails. Keep in mind that bug spray won’t prevent the swallowing of bugs.

RELIGION: If you’ve run the Twin Cities Marathon the chances are you’ve had a conversation that’s similar to this, “Dear God just let me make it to the top of Summit Avenue. I promise I’ll train better next year. I’ll increase my miles. I’ll do hill repeats. I’ll start my training sooner. I’ll run more 20 milers. Please God just let me make it up this hill.” As we’re all aware, these conversations are by no means limited to TCM.

ANATOMY: Luckily I’ve been fairly healthy during my running career. But lately I’ve learned that the shinbone is indeed connected to the anklebone. By that I mean if you’re experiencing some pain, you may be feeling the symptom, not the cause. Maybe that sore knee is being caused by a tight quad muscle. Sore calves? Maybe you’re sciatic nerve is to blame. Whatever the ache or pain, always try to figure out what’s causing the problem, rather than treating the symptoms. Of course, if pain persists, go see a doctor.

HISTORY: I may not be a history buff when it comes to wars, politics or religions, but I love to read about running history. I’m sure other states can boast of Olympians, as well as World and American Record holders, but I think Minnesota holds its own with names like; Buddy Edelen, Ron Daws, Steve Hoag, Mark Nenow, Garry Bjorklund, Dick Beardsley, Janice Ettle, Barney and Janice Klecker, Steve Plasencia, Bob Kempenien, Steve Holman and Carrie Tollefson. And while Tollefson’s Team USA Minnesota teammates might not be native Minnesotans, there’s no denying that they’re an integral part of our state’s strong running tradition.

ASTRONOMY: While a “little” thing called life may fit nicely into things like days and weeks, it doesn’t mean that running should be regulated by such constraints. Should I let the rise and fall of the sun determine how frequently I should run? If I truly want to be the best runner I can be, sometimes I’m going to need to run more than once a day. Besides, if running is something that I truly love to do, why should I limit the frequency with which I do it, by the number of hours in a day? Finally, runners like to talk in terms of weeks, especially the number of miles run per week. However, I realize that my body doesn’t really know what a week is, when it comes to running. As a result, I often struggle with organizing my training into an arbitrary man made seven day cycle.

CHEMISTY: Some people talk about genetics or “natural talent,” others talk about hard work. Lately, with the doping scandals surrounding such endurance sports as running, biking, and triathlon, I’ve become more and more cynical. I’m now to the point that I just assume that anyone who’s faster than me is “on drugs.” Of course that’s not true, but hey, it helps me cope. In any case, the secret (legal) pill that we’re all looking for does not exist. Hard work is still the key to running well, no matter how much “natural talent” you have.

I’m sure there are other topics I could come up with, but let’s face it, I’m pretty sure that no credible institute of higher education will give me any credit, let alone a degree, based on the above “coursework.” I think the best I can hope for is a degree from the school of hard knocks.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I didn’t post yesterday because I was busy buying new shoes and working on questions for some exciting interviews. The guys at the store mentioned this site, which is basically MySpace for athletes. I haven’t checked it out yet. But I figure if you guys aren’t spending enough time on the internet, I’d help you out.

And thanks to Tracy for letting me know that Katie updated her journal yesterday. Let me just say that Team Minnesota is kicking ass on the Mammoth Lakes group when it comes to blogging.

I was looking for some photos from some local races and I came across these shots from Chicago.

I’m still contemplating my training. What’s new? I think I will try to get back to doing as much of my mileage in singles as possible. Ideally, I think I can handle 75-80 mpw in singles. Then I’d like to add in 2-3 more runs on top of that.

Of course, this depends on the weather a little. Yesterday it was 0 with a wind chill of minus 10-15. I didn’t see getting in a 13-14 miles in one run, so I broke it into a very easy (9:00 pace) 7 miles in the morning and a quicker (7:30 pace) 8 miles on the treadmill in the evening. One thing I like about splitting up the workouts is that I can run quicker on the treadmill than I can outside.

The nice thing about yesterday’s 0 degrees is that it made this morning’s 15 degrees feel balmy. We still don’t have any snow, which kind of sucks. If it’s going to be this cold, the brown grass might as well be covered up. Anyway, I made it 10 miles this morning at 8:20 pace. I may throw in 4 miles tonight for the soul purpose of bumping my weekly mileage to the mid-80s. We’ll see.

Quote of the day;

“During the winter, you head out into the darkness for a run. When spring comes, and the first crocus pokes up its know it was worthwhile.” – Nina Kuscsik, First woman’s winner of the Boston Marathon

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


One thing I’ve been neglecting lately is updating the links on my other blog. As a result, I missed a journal update by my new favorite runner. Alright, my new favorite male runner.

Reading Matt’s account of the NYC Marathon makes me realize these guys are just like us – only much, much faster. He talks about drinking black & tans, the emotions surrounding his marathon debut, being more impressed with being around some of the best marathoners in the world/U.S. than Lance, watching what other athletes are eating and how they’re warming up, being scared of the abyss, 2:12, and best of all, chasing his dreams.

As for my favorite female runner, here’s a nice article, mainly on her NYC Marathon experience. I haven’t figured out why the author didn’t break it into paragraphs. It’s really annoying, but worth the read.

Keeping with the Minnesota theme, if you haven’t seen the January issue of Running Times, which celebrated their 30th anniversary, you may want to check it out. Carrie Tollefson is on the cover along with a nice 3-page interview. This should not to be confused with Runner’s World where she appears on only the cover. I looked for an article on her, but didn’t see one so I didn’t buy it.

Also in Running Times, Katie is named the top female road racer in the U.S. and is featured in the high school scrapbook section. Finally, Gloria is featured as this month’s Age Group Ace.

If the Minnesota theme isn’t enough for you, check out Pfitz’s article on what we’ve learned over the last 30 years, as well as 30 years of carbo loading and 30 years of marathon training.

Nothing exciting to report, training-wise, today. I just ran 7 miles at 8:15 pace. That’ll be my recovery day for the week.

Quote of the day;

“I sincerely hope that everyone who has ever accomplished or failed to accomplish their goals, at one time or another, can find something they are passionate about and pursue it to the best of their abilities. I really think that one of the most unique things a person can do is throw all caution to the wind and chase a dream no matter the opinion of anyone else. Even if that dream eludes you at least you can look back on the hunt and know you gave something you care about very much a fair shot. I definitely owe this to myself and so do you. I truly believe that.” – Matt Gabrielson

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


It’s no surprise that Andrew’s comment about following Lydiard’s standard schedule got me thinking. It would probably be possible, but I’d have to shift my whole day an hour earlier – getting up at 4 and going to bed at 8. There’d be little else going on in my life; no interview blog, no articles, no reading of blogs, no TV, etc. I don’t even think I could do any more group runs because I couldn’t justify doing a 3 hour run every week, along with an hour of drive time.

Maybe I just don't want to find out my limits bad enough.

But I was thinking; if duration is more important than distance, shouldn’t I be comparing how long it took Lydiard’s athletes to complete his standard schedule, not how many miles they ran? If those guys were running 6:00 pace, they’d be running 10 miles an hour. Therefore, they’d be running 10 hours per week – not including any supplemental training they added on top of the standard schedule.

If that’s the case, I'm there, as my last two weeks have been closer to 11 hours of running. Maybe I should stick to 80 mpw, but work on cutting the doubles from my program. Then if I want to increase my mileage, I’d just need to add some doubles back in.

Based on time, Lydiard’s standard schedule would look like this for me;

M 11-12
T 8
W 11-12
Th 9-10
F 13-14
Sa 8
Su 16-18
Total 76-81

I can see doing that in singles.

Last night I jumped on the treadmill for 6 miles. I was feeling pretty good, so I ran 3 at MP. This morning was an easy 10 miles.

Quote of the day;

“Be aware to challenge your fear of learning.” – Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Monday, December 04, 2006


Work’s getting in the way, so I’ll keep this short today. Saturday I met Jenna and Kim at Lake Harriet. I tagged along for 15 of their 20 miles, which gave me 81 miles for the week. I’ve talked with Kim a few times, but this was the first time we’ve run together.

The Reindeer 5k was taking place during the end of our run, so we got to watch that. We were all amazed how many people were running, especially since it was only about 10 degrees out with a nice stiff wind. Prior to the race it was hyped that the Team USA Minnesota runners would be doing the race. Technically they were there, but I wouldn’t call 21 minutes “racing” for those guys - although Jenelle Deatherage did break 17.

Yesterday I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by jumping on the treadmill while watching some football. I ended up running 12 miles at 8:30 pace. Today will be two easy 6 mile runs.

Many of my thoughts lately have been about my weekly mileage. Right now I’m planning on hanging out around 80-85 for awhile and seeing what happens. Part of me thinks about last winter when I had five weeks between 92 and 100 mile during January through March. While that’s solid mileage, it was only for 5 of the 13 weeks. If I dig a little deeper, I see that I “only” averaged 82 mpw during those 3 months.

So the question becomes, is it better to stay at 80-85 and be consistent or increase to 90-100 with the help of cutback weeks? I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that it’s only December 4th. There’s plenty of time to hang out at 80-85 before increasing to 90-100 later in the winter.

Quote of the day;

“The more you frame the marathon as a stressful experience, the more negative messages you’ll receive. But it’s just as easy to frame it as a positively challenging journey.” – Jeff Galloway

Friday, December 01, 2006


I have a desk calendar at work and at the beginning of each month I do a quick calculation and set a mileage goal for the month. At the start of November, I think I wrote down something like 225 or 230. I quickly realized that was too low, so I erased it and wrote in 250. It turns out that was too low also, as last night’s 8 mile progession run gave me 290 miles for the month – my highest November ever, by 16 miles. I ran every day, including 5 doubles.

I started December off with an easy 10 miles this morning. It was kind of tough getting out of bed after running till 9 PM last night, but I was glad I got out the door (rather than having to double-up today). I was dreading the first 2-3 steps of my run. That’s all it usually takes to tell if I’m going to feel sore or not. No need to worry though, as I was actually surprised by how good my legs felt this morning.

Here’s a story of a local University of Minnesota physician who had someone run TCM for him so he could qualify for Boston. He mentioned wanting to run Boston in order to raise money for a charity. What gets me is that the BAA would probably let him run if they knew that. I also like the photo of the guy who ran for him. If you’re going to cheat for someone, wouldn’t you try to avoid cameras?

Quote of the day;

“If it hurts, make it hurt more.” – Percy Cerutty