Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, Monday

I had a decent run today, despite feeling a bit under the weather. I scooted out of work a bit early so I could get my run in before the Big Storm that's supposed to dump eighteen feet of snow on us. The weather held out while I was running, and it started to snow lightly when I got to my house. If I don't miss my run tomorrow because of the stomach flu I think I may be coming down with, I'll probably miss it because of snow removal duties. Bah.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eight in the Bag

Aside from the last 1.5 miles of my run today, everything went well.

The temperature was perfect, the sun was shining and again I was out early enough that I didn't encounter much traffic. I ran into the wind for the first one or so miles, which was really chilly, but once I hit Manninen Road the wind shifted behind me and I warmed up. My doggie friends from Denton Road came out to see me again but they weren't as enthralled with me as they were last week. The St. Bernard came over for a pat on the head, then he took off. Sheesh.

The last 1.5 miles were hard. My legs were burning, my breathing was all screwed up and I felt like I kept on getting slower and slower. I passed the 7-mile mark and thought about just giving up, but struggled for another half-mile then decided to turn around and end at the BP gas station again. As soon as I turned around, I figured out why I was struggling. I was running up a giant uphill stretch that kept on getting gradually steeper the longer I ran. I couldn't see this when I was running at all. When I run hills, I usually shorten my stride and drop my speed to conserve energy. Since I couldn't see the hill, I just kept on trying to keep my pace and stride up and I was slowly dying the longer I ran uphill. As soon as I turned around, everything fell back into place and I was able to finish strong in the last half-mile. That will teach me to pay more attention to what I'm doing rather than just zoning out.

This week's totals:
17 miles @ 3:09:33
Average pace 11:08 (5.4 mph)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I had a pretty speedy run tonight on my new shoes. I wasn't going to wear them until the roads dried up, but I decided that they were going to get dirty eventually, so it might as well be sooner than later. I like them. They're a bit different than my old ones. They have a wider toe-box and the heel seems to fit a bit more snug. The heel is also a lot firmer, and I thought that was going to be an issue, but it makes the shoe surprisingly responsive. I swear I could feel some sort of springing action on my toe-offs. That was really bizarre, but I ran 4.5 miles at a 10:51 pace (my fastest ever!) so maybe it is the shoes.

Anyway, done until Saturday. I hope the weather is as nice as it was last week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I had a decent run last night. I'm only grading it as "decent" because it started out like crap, then ended well so I figure that averages out to be "decent". My first two miles were uphill and into the wind. That sucked. Then, my right calf tightened up so much that my right leg felt like it had a board strapped to the back of it. There was very little flex in the ankle, which meant that my push offs were slow and weak and my landings were flat instead of flexed. I finally decided to stop and stretch at the 2-mile mark. My calf felt so much better after that and my running got lots better too. I ended up with a split in the 9-10 minute/mile range, which is pretty much unheard of for me. Still, I'm a bit apprehensive about this calf issue. This morning it was pretty tight and weak feeling, even after 5 minutes on the slant board. I'm not sure what's going on with that. I brought my ice packs in with me today and I'll see how it responds to some ice treatments.

Aside from the wind, the temperature was a balmy 43 degrees and I was able to head out with only two light layers instead of the usual three heavy layers. This morning I woke up to see around 3" of heavy, wet snow on the ground, which means that the roads will be wet and yukky for the rest of the week. Joy.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Seven on Saturday

I had a good run this morning. The sun was shining, temperature was perfect and I went out early enough that I encountered very little traffic. I did meet two very friendly dogs on Denton Road. One was a giant Saint Bernard and the other was a large mixed breed. They both thought I was there to play with them and were thrilled to see me. I stopped and petted them for a few minutes until their owner called them back. I'm sure they would have followed me down the road if their owner hadn't been around. My run ended at the BP gas station in Houghton and Josh gave me a ride back home.

I've been experiencing some soreness in my calf the past few runs so I replaced the insoles in my shoes. I don't know how many miles I had on the old ones - I think around 260. When I took the old ones out, they were hard as a rock. Running that many miles on them had completely compressed the foam and there was no longer any support left. Duh, no wonder why I'm having lower leg issues. I could feel the difference immediately with the new insoles and I didn't have any lower leg discomfort at all during my entire run. I've started tracking the miles on the insoles now to try to get an idea of how long they last.

My totals for this week:
15 miles @ 2:465:26
Average pace 11:06 (5.4 mph)

Not too shabby.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shoe Upgrade

I've been running in Mizuno Wave Creation 7s for a few years. I was fitted for them at the Fox Valley Running Company in Appleton and I love them. They fit well, they're comfortable and they don't aggravate my shin splints. I also love that I can put them on straight out of the box, run 5 miles and won't get so much as a slight rub on my foot. Anyway, it finally happened, Mizuno discontinued the 7s. I was fortunate that my running store had a pair in my size last summer so I was able to avoid having to switch shoes in the middle of running season last year. I was not as lucky this year, however, and I had to take the plunge and upgrade (I'm hoping not a downgrade) to the Wave Creation 8s. I should get them next week. I'll probably wait until next month when the roads dry up to start using them. I don't want to get them all dirty just yet.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I had another cold and windy run today. So sick of this weather.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Snow day

No running for me tonight, I had some heavy, wet snow to push around when I got home from work. It's not a big deal, my legs could use the break. I overdid (again) my leg workout on Sunday and they're pretty sore. It probably has something to do with the 10 lb. weights I'm using with my squats and lunges. I should probably lower the weights or lower the reps. The last thing I want to do is wind up with perpetually sore legs or an injury. I have about a month of solid running and weight lifting left before I start to taper. Geez, that means the half marathon is what, 6 weeks away? Yikes.

I also don't have any pictures to post, either, because the camera on my new cell phone sucks.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Four for St. Patrick's Day

Yay for St. Patrick's Day! This means the first day of Spring is only a few days away! Yes, I wore green on my run tonight. Now if I only had a Guinness.

I always carry my cell phone with me when I run, just in case something bad happens. I've never had to use it in an emergency situation, but it does come in handy for calling Josh when I need to make an emergency run to Arby's after my run. Anyway, I usually see one or two things during my runs that are interesting enough to snap a picture of, but I've never bothered to actually stop and do so until today. Remember in the movie A Christmas Story the dad wins a prize for completing a crossword puzzle and he waits and waits and finally his prize shows up and it turns out to be a raunchy leg lamp? He's in love with the lamp and the mom is mortified when he proudly displays it in their picture window? Too funny. Well, that same lamp is in the window of an apartment on Agate Street. It's an exact duplicate of the lamp in the movie. I snapped a few pictures, which I won't be able to upload until tomorrow at work. I hope they turn out. Also, I snapped a few pictures of the elusive Fur Hat Lady of Seventh Street. I'll post a story about her when I post the pictures tomorrow.

While I was stretching, I watched Paddy Whacked: The Irish Mob, a show about the legacy of the Irish Mob, on the History Channel. It was really interesting, I had no idea the Irish mob was so prevalent in New York. It probably had something to do with them being so ruthless and merciless. Seriously scary guys.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

6-mile Saturday


Damn you, Shopko hill, for causing my first mile to be absolutley dismal. I did made it about a quarter-mile farther up the hill than my past attempts, but I just couldn't hang on any farther. My legs were lungs were on fire and I was at point where I could walk it faster than I was running, so I just gave up and walked for a few minutes until my heart rate came back down and my legs felt better. I was able to run the remainder of the hill once I got that under control. The rest of my run was uneventful, despite the weather being cold, windy and snowy. Also, I should have eaten more than just a granola bar before I left, because it was burned off by the time I finished the first mile and the hill of doom and I spent the remaining 5 miles fantasizing about cheeseburgers and fries. Once I hit 6-miles and my run was over, I called Josh and he picked me up and we went directly to Arby's and I had....a salad. I just couldn't bring myself to blow the 600 calories I burned on a fast-food burger and fries. *sigh* Anyway, that's it for this week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday's Run

I slowed it down on Wednesday's run, but not as much as I hoped. My average pace was 11.18/mile - I was aiming for around 12.00/mile - but it just got too annoying to be constantly checking my watch to make sure my pace was where I wanted it to be. When I got home, I did 45 minutes of weight lifting and 15 minutes of stretching. Next up - a 6-miler on Saturday. My only concern is finding a decent route because my usual ones are covered in snow but I'm sure will find me a good one.

Here's the report

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hi Mom!


I promise I will update my blog at soon as I get home.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


It's true, I'm faster. Lots faster. I've been running miles in the 10-minute range here and there during my runs, but never ran all miles in my run in that range...until today. Two miles at an average of 10:52 minute/mile for each mile! Equal uphills and downhills so I can't say that my pace was due to a giant downhill section. YAY ME!

However. Last year, about the time when I was starting to see some improvements, I ended up with a hamstring pull and lost some serious ground. I have two more runs this week, 3.5 tomorrow and 6 on Saturday and so I am taking it easy for the rest of the week. I'm going to shoot for miles in the *gasp* 12 minutes range. So slow! Better safe than sorry.

Here's my fabulous report.

Monday, March 10, 2008

On the flats

I strained my hamstring last week, I think doing my hill repeats, so I took the weekend off to let it heal. I missed a scheduled 5-mile run on Saturday, but I'm not too concerned about that. I don't have any trouble running that distance and last week was a repeat week, anyway. My hamstring feels much better and I avoided most hills (not an easy thing to do in Houghton!) and ran my 4-miler with no problems.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


After yesterday's hill routine, my poor legs were feeling fairly fatigued today. I wasn't looking forward to my scheduled 3.5 mile run and considered skipping it, but I am way too stubborn to do that. So, off I went. My usual route takes me up Military Road, across on Jacker Ave and up Dodge Street. I head by the transfer station and come out across from Houghton HS. This first one-mile section of my run is completely uphill. It was probably not the best idea to be running hills after the beating I gave my legs yesterday, and about 1/4-mile into my run, I knew I was in trouble. My calves and quads were on fire. I kept on thinking that I should stop and walk to the top, but again, I'm too stubborn to give up and walk. I have scheduled walk breaks in my runs, and it was not time! Anyway, I gutted it out up the hill and my legs felt a little better once I was on the flat, but the majority of my run was spent thinking that I probably should have taken a rest day. In any event, I ran to campus and caught a ride home with Josh.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hill Repeats

I've been reading about the proper way to train to increase strength and stamina. One thing that was mentioned over and over again is the importance of doing hill repeats. A hill repeat is exactly as it sounds - find a hill, run fast up the hill. Walk or jog down the hill. Run up the hill again. Repeat until you puke your guts out or your legs give out, whichever comes first. I've been scouting around for a nice hill to do my repeats. The hill has to be about a block in length, and moderate in elevation. Something between flat and Agate Street, which I figure is just about as steep as you can get. I found the perfect hill down by the Super 8 Motel so I jogged the mile from my house to the Super 8 for a nice warm-up. The first three repeats were okay, then I started to get tired. I lost count after that, I think I did five. Maybe six. I just couldn't do any more, I was exhausted. I must say, that is a serious kick-ass leg work out. On the way back home, I decided to continue with the hill work out and ran up several one-block sections of steep streets in Houghton as I worked my way back home. Isle Royale Street (steep), Huron Street (really steep), Dodge Street (really, really steep). I was never so happy to see the perfectly flat Seventh Street in my life. At the end, my legs were spent. I basically wobbled home and collapsed on the floor.

Because I forgot to press the Lap key on my 205, my hill repeats aren't shown on the report. Oh well, I'll remember next time.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Another good run tonight. The temperature was fine but the wind chill was -9. I debated running on the dreadmill, but I decided that I just couldn't deal with that so outside I went. Aside from the nasty wind, all went well.


Catching Up

My 5-mile run on Saturday morning went very well. The only issue to speak of was my wet feet from the sloppy roads. That was a bummer, but it didn't cause any problems other than my feet looked like prunes when I was done. I was hoping to hit under an hour for my run, which I did by two whole seconds. I did lose a bit of time having to walk across the MTU ski trails. The snow was too soft to support me while running and I had to make my way across slowly so I didn't put giant holes in the trail. I didn't get impaled by a pole from an angry skier, so I guess I did okay.

Here's my report.