Currently I reside in the Twin Cities area however I grew up in Esko Minnesota. I will always be a country boy at heart.
I have run 8 marathons. Grandmas marathon 7 times and Hampton Bays Marathon which was on Long Island in New York. I ran my first marathon, Grandma's Marathon, in 1999, the 7th in 2009. In addition to the marathons I have run in several othe events from 5K's throguh 30K's. I enjoy running.
My quote for running events "I may not get my best time but it will be my best on that given day."
August 23, 2009: It's okay to talk to strangers
The Great River Ragnar Relay is an event that 12 people and 6 people teams ran from Winona, MN into Wisconsin and up to Boom Island in Minneapolis. One hundred ninety three miles. Yes 193 miles. Ran from morning to night to morning to afternoon. Sleep? Not too much if any at all. Fun? You bet it was fun.
My running started on Friday afternoon as the sixth runner of our group. It was an 8.3 mile leg of the 36 legs. I ran through the country side somewhere along the west side of WI ending in Medona, WI. The terrain was rolling hills amongst forest and farm fields. Other than a bit warm and humid it was a very enjoyable run.
My second run was from a little past midnight to a little past 1:00 am. This run was 7.5 miles. I can’t say much for the scenery because it was black. The terrain was not much different from the first, rolling hills. This was my best run. The air was cool and I was feeling very good. For those that run they understand that some runs you feel like you can just fly. I flew. This run ended in Prescott, WI.
My third and last run was a mere 3.9 miles. I was pretty much focused on getting to the exchange point standing up. I was a bit tired, a bit sore but I was smiling. I basically went through the motions as best I could and I didn’t too bad. I managed the pace within my anticipated pace. The highlight of this run was a sign I saw on the freeway that said “Are you going to heaven or hell?” I might have felt like I was going through hell but I knew I would feel like I was in heaven when I finished my last leg and even more the team crossed the finish line.
After I completed my run the group of 6 that I was with (Van 1) went and had breakfast. It was kind of a celebration meal together. We talked about the event and other things. We felt like we had really accomplished something. It wasn’t just the run it was 6 strangers coming together for a common goal and we reached that goal with 6 other strangers in another group of 6 (Van 2). I’ll never forget my feisty turtle comrades.
All that was left was to wait at the finish line for the final runner from Van 2, which was Mel. Van 2 gave us periodic updates with Mel’s progress and we had an idea of the time she would arrive. The other 5 runners from Van 2 had made there way to the finish line and we all peered down the trail waiting to get sight of Mel and two other team members who had walked up the trial to escort here to the finish chute. Cheers galore when we saw her getting near. We all ran as best we could the last 50 yards to the finish line. The Feisty Turtles ran 193 miles in 29 hours. We did it!
I look back at this event kind of like doing the impossible. To get together with 11 people whom I had never met before, complete an event of this magnitude was just nowhere on my radar screen. I believe 3 runners knew each other and a few others knew only 1. At least 4 of us had never met anyone on the team. The logistics and everything that needed to be done just fell into place and we, pardoned the pun, ran with it. Only one word can describe what we accomplished. PRICELESS!
July 26, 2009: It's not always fun
It’s tough to say running is not fun but sometimes it just isn’t. At the moment I am looking at my running kind of like a baseball player looking at his average after going 0 for about 20. I am just not swinging at the ball right. The mechanics seem to be a little off. I will keep going out there and it will come back.
All of the runs I had this week were basically a struggle for the most part. Legs felt a bit heavy. Just couldn’t seem to get the breathing right. A few little twinges here and there. A big knot appeared in the left hamstring. It was a battle.
Mileage wise I did get up to the range I wanted to be. The upper 30’s, 38.8 to be exact. My optimistic goal for the week was 40 so I am happy with the 38+. On two of the runs I pulled up a mile from the end because I was pretty much wiped out. Had things went just a bit different 40 would not have been a problem.
My pace was quite a bit off. The runs early in the week were not too bad. The long mid week run and today’s LSD were down significantly. Like I wrote above I think it’s just a slump and I’ll break out of it.
Now is a time for me to do a little analysis. Try and see what I might be doing differently than I was last May for example. Last May I was cruising along quite nicely. A few things come to mind. The one that I think might be the biggest issue is my mental attitude towards running is off. I think the hotter temps have a lot to do with that. Accepting the fact the heat is not going to end for a month or so would help. Then the little things seem to be annoying me more. The little aches and pains seem to be occupying my mind more than enjoying the scenery or the virtual running an event scenarios that I play out during a run. During these next couple of days, which I am not going to run, I am going to work on the mental attitude a bit.
It is going to be a step back week. That’s what the plan calls for and definitely needed.
July 19, 2009: Feeling the groove
The feeling of getting back into the groove is a very good feeling. For those few weeks after Grandmas Marathon I just did have the gumption to get out and run. I think I have gone through that scenario following all 8 marathons that I have completed. In these last two weeks I have returned to the joy of running.
The mileage in the last two weeks has been up where it needs to be. The week prior to this I was just under 28. This week I moved it up to just under 32. Next week I should come close to 40. I will be right on track according to the schedule that I think will prepare me for the Walker Marathon.
I added a new twist in running this week. I purchased a pair of Vibram Fivefingers foot wear. Wearing those is pretty close to barefoot. There is just enough protection to prevent the sharp pain of a rock or some other debris that may be encountered. I ran the first 3 miles of my 12 miler on Saturday wearing the new gear. I found them to be quite comfortable. I wanted to continue but based upon all that I have read I need to build up mileage slowly. So I will slowly put mileage on the new footwear and hopefully find myself doing some long distant runs at some point in the future.
The weather this past week was certainly runner friendly. Have to take advantage of that when we can. Have a good running week.
July 12, 2009: 2 pans in the oven
Trying to work on two running events is going to be occupying my time for the next 10 weeks or so. I believe I have an idea on how to bring it all together. One thing for sure is that I am going to enjoy preparing for both.
This weekend I thought maybe I would try to simulate running the Ragnar Realy event that I am running in August. I am looking at running 3 legs around 7 miles each. I began the simulation at 11:30 on Saturday. I ran 7.1 miles. On Saturday night at about 10:00 I headed out and completed 7.2 for the second leg. This morning I was running just prior to 7:30 and completed 7.4 miles. Certainly was something different from anything I have done in the past. I enjoyed the whole affair.
For the most part I am quite pleased by how it all went. The first two runs where pretty much normal. Pace was right where I wanted it to be. The second run seemed to go a bit smoother than the first. At the beginning of this morning’s run it was pretty much one that I just wanted it to be done. As I went along though I started to get more comfortable and cruised through to the end. I was a bit stiff and sore this morning hence the wanting to get it done. Other than that I had no problems.
For the next 3 weeks now I will be more in marathon training mode. That means I’ll run a few short runs, a middle distance run and the long runs at the end of the weeks. Pretty much routine stuff. I hope to get off the road and onto some trails for some of those runs.
I think having the two events will give me the opportunity to add some variety into my training. I will be throwing in another set of 3 runs in less than 24 hours a couple of weeks prior to the relay event. Once the relay event is over I’ll complete a couple of regular training weeks and then taper time. I am looking forward to training and completing both events.
July 7, 2009: Turning blue into green
The starting point of course is trying to figure out a training schedule. I completed that task yesterday. One obstacle or glitch is fitting in the fact that I am also running the Ragnar Relay in August. That needed to be worked into the schedule somehow too. I think I have all my bases covered. I did my first training run last night.
This event is primarily a trial run. Trail running is something that I have very little experience in. I have run two trail runs. I enjoyed both of the events quite a bit. Both were a number of years ago. I ran the Big Woods Half Marathon in Big Woods State Park located near Nerstrand Minnesota. I also ran a 9 miler in what is known as the Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove MN. The Walker Marathon should be a spectacular event for me as well.
One item that I am trying to determine is shoes. I ran the previous trail runs wearing my road running shoes. The distances were not that long so I think I was able to get by. Going over 20 miles on trials this time has me thinking that maybe I should invest in trail shoes. I’ll be seeking advice from others.
Going from blue to green and by the time the run comes up should be red, gold, orange and yellow..