Monday, March 30, 2009


Saturday’s 16 miler gave me 56 miles for the week on 5 days of running. It helps the weekly mileage category when you run long on Sunday and Saturday – the first and last days of the week. Yesterday was my “official” start of Pfitz’s 12-week, 70 mpw program. How can you not like a training program that starts with a day off or a day of cross-training?

I nailed it!!!

Now if I can just nail the next 83 workouts, I’ll be all set come June 20th.

Although Pfitz doesn’t have any hill specific workouts in his program, I included 6 hill repeats this morning, along with 6 strides. That’s 4 weeks in a row with at least 1 hill/strides workout. I’m also trying to be consistent with my strength/core training. Normally I’m pretty good for about 3 weeks, before totally forgetting about it. Maybe if I include it in my blog, I’ll be a little more motivated to keep it going.

I’m a coffee lover, but rarely drink it before I race. Thanks to Eric for sending this article. I may have to reconsider my pre-marathon ritual, since it sounds like a cup of java may help my performance more than the quart of Gatorade I’m used to chugging. I’ll have to take the pee factor into account though. When I used to run at lunchtime, a morning cup of coffee would lead to two stops during a 6-mile run and three stops during an 8-mile run.

No, I’m not kidding. You can ask Eric, since we used to run together.

Quote of the Day;

"The marathon destroys talent, doesn't create talent." - Greg Meyer

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I actually did go back and re-read all my Human Race reports since 2005. Last year I ended my report with this;
Anyway, normally I bust my ass all winter, have a great Human Race, and then slowly get worse throughout the year. This morning I was looking through my old logbooks and came across one instance where that didn’t happen. In 2003 I did triathlons. In 2004 I switched back to running and really struggled early on. I ran 30:44 at Human Race then ran 3:50 in the heat at Boston. While that was my worst marathon ever, I ended up having a great summer of road racing.
Well I don't have to worry about Boston this year. Since Grandma's is in June, I have an an extra 2 months that I didn't have in 2004. Of course after the marathon it means I have less time to recover.

Speaking of Grandma's, we're 12 weeks out as of yesterday. I finally sat down and laid out Pfitz's 12-week plan. I'm going to try and hit the 70 mpw program. I figure it starts with 55 mpw, which is where I'm at right now. I'll just have to adjust things as I go for the races I want to run.

I guess the good news is that I put storage wax on my skis and now I'm motivated and focused on running. I had a nice 16 miler yesterday - by far my longest sustained run since TCM.

Quote of the day;

"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." Joe Rubio, from Run Strong

Monday, March 23, 2009


I doubt there is another race around that I am more loyal to than the St. Patty’s Day Human Race in St. Paul. For me, it’s usually the first race of the spring and everyone is buzzing after not racing for 4-5 months. Looking back, I see that I’ve run this race 10 times in the last 12 years;

Race History Date Time Pace
Human Race 8k 3/16/1997 32:14 6:29
Human Race 8k 3/28/1999 34:19 6:54
Human Race 8k 3/19/2000 30:09 6:04
Human Race 8k 3/18/2001 29:52 6:01
Human Race 8k 3/24/2002 29:20 5:54
Human Race 8k 3/21/2004 30:44 6:11
Human Race 8k 3/20/2005 29:56 6:01 – 116th
Human Race 8k 3/19/2006 29:15 5:53 – 110th
Human Race 8k 3/18/2007 29:33 5:57 – 104th
Human Race 8k 3/16/2008 30:02 6:02 – 108th
Human Race 8k 3/22/2009 31:43 6:23 – 162nd
If it’s a slow Monday and you’re really bored, you can even go back and read my race reports from 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Or just keep reading for a recap of yesterday’s race.

I guess the big question going in to the race was; how is skiing going to affect my running? Just looking at the averages from 2004 – 2008, it looks like it “cost” me roughly 1:30 – 2:00 and about 50 places. Now the big question becomes; how does the rest of 2009 turn out? Normally, Human Race is one of best races of the year – often my times don’t improve much between now and September. This is the year to change all that. Hopefully, skiing has left me fresh, recharged and ready to attack the 2009 racing calendar.

As for blow-by-blow details, we had great weather - probably 50 degrees. There was some wind, but it was during the first half when we had more people to tuck behind. Then there was a nice tailwind during the second half of the race. As usual, my splits were very even with my first mile being my slowest and my last “mile” being my fastest; 6:31, 6:22, 6:21, 6:30 and 5:58. If I had to guess, I’d say mile 4 was a little long because it didn’t feel like I slowed down at all. And the last .96 might have been a little short because it didn’t feel like I sped up that much.

Training-wise, I’ve put together back-to-back 45 mile weeks, added hills and strides. And the long (7 mile) cool down – which I bitched about the whole time – gave me my longest day (14 miles) since TCM. It also means I’ve run 59 miles in the last 7 day. Now I just need A LOT more of that.

If you’re interested in the full results, you can check them out HERE.

Quote of the Day;

“People always blame the shoes, but a lot of time it's the training." - Kevin Paulk

Friday, March 20, 2009


The author of one of the blogs I follow recently pulled the plug, saying something about simplifying their life. I like the idea of simplifying things. But while I’m not ready to pull the plug completely on this thing, I have been gradually cutting back on the number of times I post a week. I figure after 4 years of blogging, I’ve probably spewed all the things I can think of – twice. I’ll continue to post links, race reports, articles and stuff that I think is blogworthy, but I’d like to cut out all the mundane writing that no one really cares about.

I’ve talked about not understanding why people I haven’t seen in 20 years want to be friends on facebook. We never talked in high school, why do you want to know anything about me now? However, the other day I became friends with a gal I used to run with in high school. We’ve been able to catch up through emails, which has been really cool. She’s run 35 marathons, 2 ultras and an Ironman. So “thanks” to facebook for re-connecting us.

A little while ago, I posted a link to a site that contained interviews with older runners. They even posted an interview with a guy who runs and skis. The guy also has a blog. I haven’t checked it out yet, but since Adam says he can’t find many ski blogs, I thought I’d throw the link out there.

Quote of the Day;

“It's hard to say if I'd be a better runner or skier if I focused solely on one or the other. But in a big way, that's not even the point… The truth is, I'm just as enthused about running during summer as I am about skiing in the winter.” – Roger Sayre

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Because he is too modest to say something himself, I’m going to post this Person of the Year link regarding my good friend Jim. I don’t know much about snowshoeing, but I’m sure they couldn’t come up with a more deserving person if it were the most popular sport in the world.

Here’s a recap of the National Championship race. Congrats to Kelly Mortenson for his 2nd place finish and to former Minnesotan, Brady Erholtz, for her victory. And if you like stunning photos of snow, mountains, trees, etc., check these out.

Quote of the Day;

"The faster I got, the faster I wanted to get. I was a greedy runner." - Claudette Groenendaal.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I can't promise that this will be the last thing I mention regarding skiing - at least for this ski season - but it has to be near the end. I came across this 3-minute video of the Birkie. It doesn't matter whether you ski or not, I think it's worth viewing. Just look at how smooth the leaders are and look at the incredible rolling wooded terrain. I'm tempted to drop $25 for the 2 DVD set.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Just look at this "flawless" form. Maybe if I got one of those fancy lycra ski suits, I could shave 2-3 minutes off my time.

I couldn't find the results on the race's website or the website of the company that did the timing. Good thing we have Apparently, the results that were posted in the chalet left off the top 11 finishers.

The results online make a lot more sense. They show that I finished 13th overall and 2nd in my age group. If anyone knows Jason Midgarden from Golden Valley, tell him I have his 1st place 30-39 medal. Out of 43 individuals, I was 26th in the ski, 17th in the bike and 8th in the run. I don't know if I should be surprised that I was so far back in the ski or so far up in the bike.

What's up with my helmet? Maybe it's off center because I never worn it with a winter hat underneath it.

Here I am heading out for the run. Yes, the day was as beautiful as this photos make it look; about 30 and sunny at the start. Later in the day it got up to 52 degrees - finally! A great day for my last ski and first bike ride of the year.

If you're local and wished you could have participated in this event, you have another opportunity next weekend with the trinNordique.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


It seems like year after year I end up doing a lot of the same races. Around here you've got your Human Race, Get in Gear, Hennepin Lakes, Victory, etc. Well so far this year I've completed 3 races and they've all been new to me.

This morning I became a triathlete (again) when I participated in the Pole Pedal Pant winter triathlon. While this was the 20th annual race, it's been held in 3 different locations. Today's event was held at the fabulous Elm Creek Park Reserve and was made up of a 10K x-c ski, 7K bike and 7K run. The bike and run were along the same "packed" snow trail. At least it was packed before a bunch of bikers and runners went over it. Just look at this transition area. Does it get any better? Seriously, replacing wetsuits with skis may be the best idea in the history of triathlons.

Overall, I had a great time racing. One of the things I love about skiing and these kinds of events is that I don't have any preconceived notions about how fast I should be going or who I should be in front of or behind. It's a race and I just listen to my body and go as hard as I can.

I continue to be amazed by how fast people are on skis. We skied four 2.5K loops and I was only about 8K in when the leaders were mounting their bikes. I'm not sure what place I was after the ski leg, but it sure felt like I was at the back of the pack - or at least in the middle of it.

The bike was really interesting due to the combination of rutted snow and stretches of ice. I couldn't take my eyes off the trail in front of me for fear of wiping out. Even though we were really spread out by now, it was still a little difficult getting around people at times because they were swerving all over due to the terrain. Somehow I managed to pass probably 10-15 people during the bike.

Coming out of T2 I was a little worried because the guy who was about 30 seconds in front of me didn't really look like a runner, but he was hauling ass. I finally caught him after about a half mile and then when we got to the first hill, he started to walk. Go figure. After that I settled in and focused on finding the best footing around. Before the race I wasn't sure if wearing my Yaktrax was legal or not. Then I saw some guy with medal studs in his bike tires and I figured anything goes. Besides it's no different than applying top of the line wax to your skis. I'm not sure how much they helped - definitely not as much as the 30 years of training - but I was able to pass another 10-15 people during the run.

After finishing in around 1:44 I walked out onto the course a little ways so I could talk with one of my all-time favorite runners, Dick Beardsley. I'm not sure if any of the skier and biker-types even knew who he was. That was great for me because I was able to speak with him for probably 15-20 minutes. He's super nice and super easy to talk to. He travels to races all over the place. If you ever get a chance to talk to him, I highly recommend it. And I recommend listening to his speeches at marathon expos. He's an awesome motivational speaker.

Looking at this photo, you can tell this was a pretty small race, but not as small as the results would have you believe. When I returned to the chalet I was SHOCKED to see that I finished 2nd overall (less than a minute out of first) and that only 2 relay teams beat me. To be honest, I don't believe the results. Given that they didn't use chip timing and that everything was being written down by hand, also makes me a little suspicious. Plus they only had like 23 individuals listed along with 9 relays. I'm telling you, there are more than 32 bikes in that photo. I know that I'm a decent runner, but I rarely ride a bike - and never on snow packed trails. I find it hard to believe that I caught up to the people that skied probably 6-8 minutes faster than me. It'll be interesting to see what gets posted online.

Finally, I have to give a shout out to my neighbor, Jason, for tuning my bike. If you like anything about bikes, especially mt. bikes, stop by and check out his blog. And if you happen to be in the market for a new bike, check out the bikes he makes at Salsa Cycles.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I’ve mentioned some of the emails I’ve received from time to time from companies wanting me to test their products and write a review. Well, it’s that time again and this time it’s ProWash activewear detergent. It looks like they’ve been busy collecting reviews from other bloggers too.

One thing you may notice with these reviews is that they’re nearly all written by women. Not that guys don’t do laundry, but possibly because guys don’t notice the difference between detergents. I wish I could come on here and rave that this detergent “thoroughly cleans without sacrificing the performance of a garment” but honestly I don’t pay that much attention. Do my dirty running clothes smell better after washing them with ProWash? Yes. Does ProWash “work better than ordinary detergent on my activewear garments”? I can’t say for sure.

I mean the high-tech clothing of today has come a long way since the early 80s. I remember the first lycra shirt that I ever owned. It was a blue, skintight long sleeved shirt that probably only smelled good when I first bought it. I think the more I washed it, the worse it smelled. Now if I could put that to the ProWash 100% guarantee, that’d be saying something.

If you’re interested in this product, but would like more in-depth reviews, check out and the 103 reviews for ProWash. Also on Amazon, you’ll see that you can get three 24-ounce pouches for $26.64. I have no idea how the price of this concentrated detergent compares to other products on the market.

If nothing else, hopefully this post makes you aware that there are products out there specifically designed for all our high-tech exercise clothing. You may want to check them out for yourself to see if you notice a difference.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Things seem to be coming around slowly for me. I’ve run 6 days in a row. Believe it or not, that’s a tie for the most since August. My lungs feel great, but the legs aren’t very strong. I’m thinking about adding in a hill workout once a week to help with that.

Yesterday I told the TCM that I wouldn’t be back this year. Last year I volunteered to write press releases and collect runner bios for them. While it was an interesting experience, I think the time and energy I use to cover the local running scene are better suited towards my interviews, helping out on DtB and writing articles for MDRA.

Speaking of interviews, I just posted a new one. And thanks to Tim for sending me a link to this site with lots of good stuff. I gave him a hard time that it was “cool, if you’re old.” We’ll I was either wrong or I’m old. Probably old because I liked the Greg Meyer interview, but I doubt that most runners know who he is. Anyway, if you’re into that kind of stuff, check it out. Oh, I just noticed a profile of Ed Whitlock. If you don’t know Ed, he ran a 2:54 marathon – AT AGE 73!

Finally, I got an email about a new documentary coming to town. It’s this Thursday and I can’t make it, but I thought I’d throw the info out there for others that are local and may be interested.

“Beyond the Epic Run”, which is a documentary about a man who runs around the world and his wife who follows behind him and films their entire journey.

We are hosting a screening at the University of Minneapolis on March 12. The screening is free, and please feel free to bring whom ever and as many people as you wish.

Here is some more information about the film:

In February, 2000, a couple left home in Switzerland to run around the world...alone. A small crowd of friends and family gathered in the morning hours in the shadows of the Matterhorn in Sion, Switzerland. They were there to send Serge and Nicole Roehteli off with great fanfare to begin what would be an epic journey. With Nicole as his sole crew support, following him on a motorcycle towing a small trailer, Serge was setting off to run over 25,000 miles, on six continents and through 37 countries. Here is the trailer.
If anyone does go, let me know what you think.

Quote of the Day;

“Even the things that are hard to learn are worth the experience of getting it wrong sometimes.” - Helen Lavin

Friday, March 06, 2009


After one visit to Jenna’s office and a couple of ski outings, I’m back to running. Things are very slow and I’ve stayed under 45 minutes – but at least I’m running. So I have a lot of work to do before this;

Thank you for submitting your entry for the June 20, 2009 Grandma's Marathon.
I’ve been really wishy-washy regarding whether or not I should run this race. Everything I’ve read and heard from other skiers basically says not to run a spring marathon. However, I just have to find out for myself. Maybe I’ll run another mediocre race like at Boston last year, maybe not. There’s only one way to find out. So I’m going to roll the dice and see what kind of shape I can get into during the next 3+ months.

For those of you that know Chris Lundberg or if you checked out his blog from my post last Friday, there’s good news surrounding his possible amputation(s) due to frostbite. You can read the updates HERE.

I just realized I missed my blog-iversary. March 2nd was the 4th anniversary of this blog. That’s hard to believe. Lots of blogs have come and gone in that time. Even my blog reading habits have changed significantly. I can’t remember the last really fun blog that I recommended. But lately I’ve been checking out Steve in a Speedo. Even though he’s a triathlete, I find his blog really entertaining. I have no idea where he gets all his images – or at least where he finds the time to find them – but they is always something to make me laugh.

Quote of the Day;

“The doc was unequivocal about the fact that there will be NO amputation with respect to my body.”Chris Lundberg

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


2009 skiing-related injuries: 0

2009 running-related injuries: 1

One week back and my right calf has already flared up. When our snow melted three weeks ago I was able to run 35 miles in the week along with a 10 miler. I had another 10 miler the following week. So I wouldn’t think 30 miles last week would be overkill. As I transition from skiing to running, it’s hard to get too worked up over this set back. However, it does make me leery of signing up for a spring marathon. And if I continue to get beat up, my “seasonal” sport may become my “new” sport.

Hmm, I wonder if my Saturday morning running group would mind if I roller skied next to them.

I guess the good news is that skiing doesn’t bother my calf and the trails are in fantastic shape. The bad news is that trail conditions can deteriorate in a hurry this time of year.

I finally got around to posting another interview. I would have done it sooner, but when my home computer crashed, I lost everything. I also lost a bunch of email addresses, so if you’re used to getting email updated of new postings, you’re out of luck. I figure with the new year, it’s time to break that chain – people can get a google reader account or something similar.

In other interview news, a week after I interviewed Scott Chapin he experienced heart problems while out training. Here’s an update on his story.

I guess that puts my calf injury in perspective.

Quote of the Day;

“Kempainen was someone I really admired, and still admire. I remember watching him place second in the New York Marathon in 1993. I was a high school runner then, and it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. Then they interviewed him, and I can’t remember what he said, but he was of course extremely humble.”Chris Lundstrom