Thursday, August 09, 2007


Another quick update; yesterday I ran two easy 5 mile recovery runs. This morning I did another hill workout; 10 miles, including 2 sets of 4 repeats.

Here’s my latest interview.

Since that’s all I have time for, here’s the latest article I wrote regarding the series of runners I’ve been following this year.

Reality Runners by Chad Austin

This is part three in a four part series where we’ve been following seven local runners. Each issue we feature one or two of the runners and give brief updates on the others. In this issue we’re featuring Angie Voight as she sets her sites on qualifying for the Olympic Trials Marathon and Kerry Rosane who discovering what it’s like to compete again after giving birth to her first child.

When we first met Angie Voight, she had just run a 2:58 marathon PR and was setting her sites on the women’s Olympic Trials standard of 2:47. With the women’s race scheduled for next April in Boston; that meant she basically had one year to drop 11 minutes. Last we heard from Angie, she was preparing to run Grandma’s Marathon after setting a bunch of PRs at shorter distances during the spring.

When asked about her Grandma’s Marathon performance, she said, “I thought it went okay. Not great, but okay.” On a day where temperatures were 65 at the start, under bright blue skies, it’s no surprise that many runners struggled. Angie was smart enough to realize early on that she wouldn’t be able to run as fast as she wanted to. Instead of forcing things, she focused on staying relaxed and running even splits. She was rewarded with a PR of 2:54:54.

Angie’s long-term plan has been to slowly chip away at the Olympic Trials standard. And while she’s happy to have done that during her last two marathons, she realizes that she needs something more, saying “I’m chipping away at a slower rate than I would like. I have to have a breakthrough performance if I’m going to be at the trials.” To help get that breakthrough, she’s been focusing on the workouts that have been the hardest for her in the past; long workouts at tempo and marathon pace. Luckily, Angie is able to train with other runners that are also shooting for the Olympic Trials, which helps her train harder than she could by herself.

Next on Angie’s schedule is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, followed by a winter marathon on “a fast course.” In order to continue her improvement, she’ll have to figure out the transition from medical school to residency, as she graduated in May and started her “real job” two days after Grandma’s Marathon. Currently, being on overnight call seems to be Angie’s biggest challenge. As she puts it, “I like my sleep. I like my own bed.” Originally, she thought she could just not run the days after she was on-call. However, she realized, that alone would mean 70 days of missed training during the year.
Instead, she says, “I’ve decided that this year I’ll run when I can, sleep when I can, eat when I can and see what happens.”

Part of Angie’s motivation comes from Carrie Tollefson’s Running Camp, where she was a camp counselor earlier this year. The theme of the camp was “get after it” and that’s become Angie’s theme for the year too. She says, “I'm going to get after it in my training, no matter how hard it is or how tired I feel after a long night of being on call. My goal is to do everything I possibly can to see if I can make it to the Olympic Trials in April.”
In our final installment, we’ll check back in with Angie to see how close she is to achieving her goal.

The day Kerry Rosane found out she pregnant she bought The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik because it contained a chapter dedicated to running during pregnancy. With advice from this book, along with the okay from her doctor, Kerry ran through her entire pregnancy. While pregnant, she also made a promise to herself to keep running as a priority after her son, Jamison, was born.

Kerry has been able to keep that promise by being flexible, planning ahead, and continuously looking for new ways to make it work. Knowing how important running is to Kerry, her mom bought her a Baby Jogger. This particular model had a car-seat bar, which allows for younger babies to ride along. So within a couple of weeks of giving birth, Kerry had already returned to walking and jogging a couple of miles at a time.

As temperatures cooled down, Kerry and Jamison moved inside. At first Jamison was satisfied with sitting in his swing and watching Kerry run on the treadmill. However, as Jamison aged, Kerry had to become even more flexible and creative with her workouts since he was becoming more active, still not napping for long stretches, and still did not have a very predictable schedule. They added an exersaucer, bouncer, and playpen into the mix. In addition, childcare services at the Rochester Athletic Club allowed Kerry to cross train by spinning and swimming and also allowed Jamison to get used to other caregivers.

When spring arrived, Kerry’s biggest challenge became finding time to bike outside. Kerry’s husband, James, is also a triathlete and they were able to bike together a few times, when we had childcare for Jamison. Otherwise, they had to take turns. Whatever she was doing seemed to be working. She said, “I knew my training was going well because I had set PRs in the 10K and half-marathon and had a decent showing at my first ever bike time trial.”

While those results were reassuring, Kerry’s first ever half Ironman was fast approaching, and to be honest, she found the distance to be a little intimidating. Even with a solid base of aerobic activity, Kerry’s longest ride was 50 miles, without running afterwards. For her race, she’d have to bike 56 miles and run a half marathon afterwards – not to mention the 1.2-mile swim prior to the bike ride. She told people her goal was just to finish, but secretly she wanted to break 6 hours.

The night before the race was her first night away from her son. While that was hard, Kerry actually found it very relaxing and it made the logistics of the race much easier. As you can probably imagine, with a race last 6 hours, things don’t always go as planned. During the swim a buoy broke loose causing Kerry to swim a little further than she planned. The bike course was windy and full of rolling hills. However, Kerry felt strong, so strong that at mile 45, she found her herself passing her husband, even though he started five minutes before her.

Unlike running races, which start in the early morning hours, long-course triathletes tend to start the run portion of their race in the heat of the day. Kerry started her run around noon and temperatures were already in the low 80s. To make matters more challenging, the run course also covered hilly terrain. Like most runners, Kerry hates to walk during any race, but her outlook quickly changed. “My goal became to run between each water station and then walk through those. This strategy lasted until about mile 10 when I remember having the thought that I would rather be going through labor again than finish the race because I was so fatigued! I started walking every couple of minutes,” she said.

Despite the walking, Kerry held on for 10th overall female and first in her age group, as she smashed her goal by 31 minutes and finished in 5:29. Oh yeah, she also beat her husband by 35 minutes, which she “only occasionally rubs in.”

In our last issue, we featured Marc Windahl who shed more than 90 pounds while training for his first marathon. Finishing the Fargo Marathon was definitely the highlight of his first year of running. However, running has been a struggle since then. In addition to the normal soreness following such an event, Marc has had to deal with allergy and hive issues on his feet and ankles. The raw and broken skin associated with these issues caused him to miss some training time. The missed training time led to decreased fitness, which left Marc frustrated with his inability to run similar distances and paces as prior to the marathon.

What better way to break out of those post-marathon blues than by setting a goal to run another marathon? Marc now plans to run the Outterbanks Marathon in November. Although he had to adjust the early part of his training schedule, he’s confident his fitness and motivation will soon turn around.

Following Amanda Bowman for this project has been like riding a roller coaster. I had no sooner finished the last article stating that she would not be running Grandma’s Marathon due to injuries, when she told me she was feeling better and going to give the race a shot. With a lot of bike riding under her belt and a month of running leading up to the race, Amanda was able to finish in 4:05. “I'm so happy with my achievements and how well my legs have recovered. Since May, I've been able to run without pain and my confidence has gone through the roof,” she said.

More importantly, for the first time in a long time, she no longer spends her runs thinking about where the pain is going to come from first. Instead she focuses on her "to do" list and how great it feels to be outside. And even though her running has improved, she’s very careful not to over-train, saying “I still like to hop on my bike two or three times a week and ride for 60-80 miles.” In addition, she continues to build strength in her core, glutes and hamstrings to help prevent re-injury.

Amanda has registered for the MDRA Fall Marathon Training program and has set her sites on the Twin Cities Marathon. “I feel really confident and strong. In fact, I’m going to try to beat my 3:49 PR,” she said.

While Karen Spandl says recovering from the Boston Marathon took longer than normal, it hasn’t seemed to affect her recent racing. After the marathon, she took two weeks off to help her recuperate. Two weeks after that, she PRd at the Fargo Half Marathon by running 1:46:23. June was a lighter training month for Karen. Then she decided to run her first 10K in over 20 years. While her 7:30 first mile felt “too fast”, Karen was able to hold the pace and finish in 46:25. She now has plans to run the Dick Beardsley Half Marathon in September and the Disney World Marathon in January.

It’s probably no surprise that someone training for an Ironman triathlon has to deal with some minor nagging injuries along the way. Luckily for Braden Beam, he’s been able to keep them manageable. It’s not surprising either when Braden says, “I’m constantly tired because all I do is train, eat and try to get enough sleep. Although it’s never enough sleep, I still somehow manage my job and my life.” And while he enjoys the training while he’s doing it, he resents the amount of time it has taken away from his life.

Braden has been in the thick of his racing season too, which has included a handful of sprint, Olympic distance and half Ironman triathlons, in addition to the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. The good news is that while he hasn’t tapered for any of these races, he finds himself finishing faster than last year.

Early in the year, Braden was geared up to run a fast fall marathon after completing his Ironman. Now he’s not so sure, saying, “When I'm done with this Ironman, I'm taking a few weeks off to figure out if I really want to run another hard marathon. I'm sort of burned out from all of the years of endurance events.”

In our final part of this series we’ll be featuring Braden, including a report on his Ironman race. In addition, we’ll check back in with our other runners, including Keenan Robbins, who has been AWOL since we featured him in our last issue.

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