Monday, November 30, 2009


Wow, has it really been 2 weeks since my last post? I've been super busy with work as we prepare for 2010. I'm also working on two other running-related projects that are time consuming. I haven't even skied in over two weeks, so you know it's been rough.

I've basically been keeping my mileage in the low 50 MPW range. After four weeks of that I cut back to 40 miles last week. Nothing fancy, but it was good enough to post 213 miles in November.

Trust me, I have a good post in my head - I just need to find time to type it up. In the meantime, I'll share a little more "F minus" that Eric sent to me. Since I don't have a QOD, this will have to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009


You may be able to tell from last week’s post that I’m leaning towards trying new things in 2010. But I was thinking, why wait until next year? With the USATF MN x-c championship less than a mile from my house, I decided to jump in. I did run x-c in high school and college, so this wasn’t a totally new experience for me. However, I think I’ve run one x-c race in the last 14 years and that was a 5K - I’ve never covered 10K in a x-c race.

As I warmed up for the race I only saw about 10 other runners. Goal #1 became not to come in last. With 71-year-old stud Thom Weddle in the field I was pretty sure that wouldn’t happen. I’ll “let” a 67-year-old beat me, but not someone who’s older than my dad – at least if their names not Ed Whitlock.

Then I heard we were running 4 x 2.5K laps. Goal #2 became not to get lapped. With former Gopher varsity runners in the field, I wasn’t too sure about achieving this goal.

I’m happy to announce that I achieved both goals – but just barely. I ended up beating 4 people (including Thom – but not the Gopher runners) and I avoided being lapped by about 40 seconds (by one of the said Gopher runners). Unfortunately, the women ran a separate 5K, so there weren’t even any 50-year-old women that I could feel good about beating. If you’re really bored, here are the results.

After I got home I spent a half hour in front of the mirror repeating; “You are a good runner… You are a good runner… You are a good runner…” over and over in an attempt to rebuild a little self-esteem. That didn’t work, so I sat down at the computer and looked up other results for the (few) people around me. Seeing that I was in the same general ballpark that I was during other races throughout the year made me feel a little better. Just a little.

On a side note; as I was looking at results from earlier this year I came across one that said; Chad Austin, 40, Apple Valley. Seeing “40” just looked really weird – like it was a mistake.

Anyway, I’d like to think that my performance helped inspire my alma mater during their National Qualifying performance at the Midwest Regional. The team placed fifth at the always tough WIAC (WSUC – aka W-suck for you old schoolers) conference meet. Then on Saturday they managed to beat two of those teams to finish fifth and earn an at-large bid to Nationals. So congrats to the Blugolds – and no, I didn’t forget the “e” in blue – who will be heading back to Nationals for the first time in 10 years.

Quote of the Day;

“He was too small for football and he got tired of sitting on the bench all the time.” – Ray Prefontaine, on how his son Steve got started in running

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Remember how I said that my cool neighbor takes awesome pictures? Well, here's proof.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Last night I was reading an article in Men’s Health, entitled Everything You Know About Muscle is Wrong. It talks about fascia, which is the connective tissue that runs throughout our body. I haven’t finished the entire article, so I won’t comment on it yet. However, I thought one section was interesting;

"Once it's formed into position, it'll stick there. You can contort all you want in search of that mythical ideal alignment, but the odds are against you. The pull of your fascia is so ingrained in your movements, your friends can recognize you instantly at a distance before they even see your face.”
The last bit of that paragraph came into play during this morning’s group trail run at Hyland. This was only my third time meeting this group, which has consisted of 10-15 runners every Friday. The runs start at 6 AM, so it’s still dark outside and it’s hard to tell who you’re running with. Then towards the end of the run it’s light enough to shut off your headlamp. Anyway, when I could finally see the person about 10 feet in front of me, I said that guys runs exactly like Chris Lundstrom. No one else said anything and we kept running as our conversations turned to other topics. 10 minutes later this guy really looks like Chris… because it is Chris. I guess I never expected a guy that just ran sub-2:19 at TCM to be out slogging the hills of Hyland at 8-minute pace.

And it’s a little eerie that I recognized him by his arm-carriage and stride. I mean it’s not like we’re life-long training partners. I’ve only seen him at a handful of races. Weird.

Quote of the Day;

“I didn’t realize I was in such good shape.” – Scott LaFrenz, 2:57 marathoner, after running with 2:18 marathoner, Chris Lundstrom this morning

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Let’s see if I can actually post something today that’s not basically a recap of my training. Instead let’s talk about where my training is going and some things I’ve been thinking about in 2010.

I mentioned how not having a running race on the horizon has removed a lot of pressure. No longer am I worried about specific workouts, paces, exact mileage, etc. I just lace them up and go out and run however I feel. I’ve been hitting the trails a lot more lately. During Friday’s group run we were talking about how strong the trails make you and how that strength just sort of creeps up without you even knowing it.

Obviously, I’ve added roller skiing into the mix too. At first I thought I’d try to gradually add more and more of it until the snow arrives. However, the other night I read that once a week is enough – at least neurologically speaking. And given my recent falls on Sunday, I really have no desire to roller ski much more than that anyway. Besides, the falls - and fear of falling - make me slow down, which probably compromises my fitness in the long run. I’m probably better off, aerobically, if I stick with running the vast majority of the time.

As for 2010, I don’t have a race schedule set or even penciled in at this point. Part of me wants to race a lot, part of me wants to try a bunch of new events, part of me wants to race on trails more, part of me would like to do some tris again, etc.

These won’t all happen in 2010, but here are some things I’d like to do;

Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim
Pikes Peak
Hood to Coast Relay
Paavo Nurmi Marathon
70.3 half IM
140.6 full IM

Probably the most likely to occur on this list next year are a 50K and Paavo. We’ll see what happens. As I was thinking about 2010, I got an email that included info on an upcoming Run, Bike, Ski Triathlon. Looks like I’d better hop on my bike a few more times in the next 5 weeks.

Quote of the Day;

“There are a lot of guys out there who were great marathoners, who people talk about all the time, who never broke 2:14. It opened my eyes a little bit and put some more realistic dreams in my mind.” - Nick Arciniaga after running 2:13:46 at NYC, a PR by nearly two-and-a-half minutes

Monday, November 09, 2009


Blogging has become little more than a recap of my weekly training. This post is really no different.

Here are last week’s workouts;

Sunday – 99-minute run on treadmill during Vikings/Packers game
Monday – 60 minutes of roller skiing
Tuesday – Day Off because Nate made me feel guilty
Wednesday – 77-minute run with 6 miles @ 7:09 pace on treadmill
Thursday – 51 minutes of very easy running
Friday – 80-minute group trail run in AM, 40 minutes of double-poling in PM
Saturday – 107-minute group trail run

Overall, a solid week; 6:54 (~51 miles) of running and an additional 1:40 of roller skiing. Over 8.5 hours total. Plus, I added a mile to my weekly MP run.

Last Friday I took the day off of work to take advantage of one of our last 60 degree days. It helps when it’s November and you still have 7 days of vacation to use. Anyway, I had a great group trail run in Hyland, put some time in on a project related to the Minnesota Runners of the Year, raked the leaves, and did a little skiing.

Yesterday, with the Vikings on a bye week and temps above 60, I decided to get in a nice long ski. I managed 90 minutes but in the process I fell very hard on my ass – TWICE! If I thought anyone cared, I’d take a photo and post it. But I’ll spare you. Needless to say I’m eager for the snow to arrive.

I’m trying to figure out what is more of a hot-button issue; runners with iPods or whether or not leaving courses open for 7-8 hours is “ruining” marathons. Steve had a post on the iPod debate a couple of weeks ago. A lot of people said they never wear them for racing because they want to be in-tune with their body. Sounds good to me. I was just wondering how many of those same people don’t have a problem talking/texting on their cell phone while driving. As for slower runners ruining marathons, the NYT had a couple or articles last week on the topic.

Quote of the Day;

“If it wasn’t for the run-walkers, you wouldn’t be finishing in front of anybody.” – Greg Meyer

Monday, November 02, 2009


With the addition of cross-training in my program, I’m paying more attention to duration of exercise. I’m trying to figure out if X hours running equals Y+Z hours of running and roller skiing. The secret formula is probably different if I throw biking into the mix too because I wouldn’t say an hour biking equals an hour running. But an hour roller skiing is probably pretty close to an hour running.

Anyway, here are last week’s workouts;

Sunday – 78-minute progression run
Monday – 45 minutes of double poling (that’s x-c ski lingo for you runners)
Tuesday – 60 minutes of easy trail running
Wednesday – 60 minutes of roller skiing and 60-minute run with 5 miles @ 7:08 pace on treadmill
Thursday – 45 minutes of very easy running
Friday – 68-minute trail run
Saturday – 100-minute group run
Overall, a solid week; 6:51 (~50 miles) of running and an additional 1:45 of roller skiing. Over 8.5 hours total. Plus, I dropped the pace of my workout from 7:13 to 7:08. I guess I’ll call that an MP workout, given that it’s around my Whistlestop pace. Ideally, I’d like to get that to be more of a tempo workout, but I’m easing into it right now.

Thanks to Jim for sending this interesting link.

Nice job at the ING New York City Marathon to Lehm who finished 10th in 2:14:39 and Reneau, who was 15th in 2:16:45. Unfortunately, it looks like Moen dropped out around mile 16. But he’s had a great season with PRs at 5K, 10K and 10M. He’ll be a force again next year for sure.

Quote of the Day;

“I guess I’m getting older. But, you know, I would liken it to people who need their coffee. I don’t need coffee in the morning; I like coffee in the morning. But I sort of need a run to get my day going.” – Joan Benoit Samuelson, who ran 2:49 at NYC yesterday.