Harry's Blog

Hello, I have been running for About 5 years now! I live up on the Iron Range and do the majority of my runs up here, though I do run in races all over. I have run 8 marathons, and a few Half Marathons! Lately my focus has been on getting in more Half Marathons, because after running my first one in June 2012, I decided I loved the distance! Running is a huge part of my life, and I plan on doing it for many years to come. I love participating in races, they are always such a fun time and you can meet many interesting people at each event. I have met several runners over the years and have heard many interesting stories about their runs, and places they have traveled! Running is a great hobby that I feel most people can do, for me it is about competing with myself, and staying healthy at the same time! 

July 15, 2013: Mid Season

2013 is already half gone, but the best half for running is coming in my opinion! I love running in the fall, the summer heat and humidity can make for some pretty rough running conditions!


So far this year I have been able to achieve my goal for running a half marathon under an hour and a half. The conditions during the Garry Bjorklund Half were perfect, and I was feeling good around the 10k mark so I made the push for under 90 minutes. Going into the race my plan was around 92 minutes. I am glad I pushed for it then, because I finished it at 1:29:27! That was one goal down and two to go for the season.


I came close to getting my 5k goal of under 19 minutes, but I cam up 2 seconds short at the midnight run, finishing in 19:02. So far I have hit all my 5k's just over 19 minutes, and it is really reminding me of when I tried to get under 20 and I had several just over 20 minutes. I am hoping to get this goal accomplished in Hoyt Lakes at the Fisherman's Point 5k on the 27th, during Water Carnival Weekend! Hoping for good health and weather conditions!


I recently tried to get my 10k goal of under 40 minutes during the Red Ore Run in Hibbing this past weekend, but I came up quite short on this one. I was fighting a cold going into the weekend, and the morning of the race it was 70 degrees and 90% humidity. I made peace with the fact that I was most likely not going to achieve this one that morning. I actually ran the race slower than my 10k split at the Garry Bjorklund half a couple weeks earlier. I ran a 42:50 which is 40 seconds faster than last year, but about 40 seconds slower than my 10k split from the half! Oh well guess I will have to wait until the next one, except with my schedule of races coming up, that might not be until next year!


Now I am going to start training for the Whistlestop Marathon in October, and hope to get back into some consistent speed work each week. I would really like to get under 3:30 for the Whistlestop, but I have yet to get under 4 hours after 4 try's. Last year was close though, 4:00:28 haha! I really struggle the last 8 miles on this course, so I am hoping to get in plenty of long runs over the next few months. Hopefully I stick to the training plan and I can end the season on a great note!

May 18, 2013: Speedwork

I really need to get into a blogging routine like I have with my running. I can just imagine how my running would be like if I only ran a couple times a year!

Fortunately I have been running much more than a couple times a year and I have been getting new PR's lately! After a few years of running roughly the same times at 5k's and other races, last summer I added a weekly speedwork session to my training. Up till this point I had only broke 20 minutes in a 5k a couple times, and it was during a summer where I ran quite a few of them. My best 5k was around 19:40.

After around 8 weeks of having done speedwork once a week I ran a 5k and it was a PR of 19:32, I was super happy with the results. I continued on and ran a 10K PR and a Half Marathon PR later last year. I finally ended the season with the Gobble Gallop, running a 19:10 for another PR! After hearing about it and not really getting into it, I was convinced speedworks outs such as repeats, tempos and hill repeats actually do work very well!

I kept running through the winter, without speed work, just to keep up a base mileage of ten or so miles a week, hoping to start spring with 5k's under 20 minutes. I started the season off with the Fitgers 5k and ran a PR of 19:08, and I was excited to see that my fitness held up over the treacherous winter! I ran 2 more 5ks over the next three weeks, and so far all were under 20!

I have started doing the weekly speedwork again with a new goal of breaking the 19 minute barrier as well as 40 for the 10k and 1:30 for the Half! I am looking forward to the challenges, and hoping that speedwork can do the trick! After these I can finally figure out a way to fix my Full Marathon Issues, for now I am starting with the shorter distances and working my way up!

September 21, 2012: Trail Series (Rolling Stone)

Well this past Wednesday I ran my first ever trail run, and it was quite an experience. Right away when Andy and I started our warm-up on the trail I knew it was going to be way different than road running.


As soon as we started I found it fun and challenging jumping rocks, holes, roots, and various other obstacles. I was really enjoying running through the woods, jumping and dodging as I went, it was like being a kid again. My enjoyment came to a sudden stop when I emerged from the woods and found a ski hill looking down at me, with pink ribbons suggesting to me that I was supposed to go up it. The worst part was is I did not see any ski lift around!


After climbing the mountain and getting running again I was moving slow for a bit, but as my legs recovered I was able to start moving faster again, then the downhills came. The last part was a lot of down hill running and it was intense and a nice break from the up-hill climb.


It is a lot tougher passing on the trails and I found my self sticking with small groups and passing where I could. I would wait for someone to start passing the group then try and follow them. Overall it was a great experience, I am hoping to do more of these trail runs, and really hoping they all do not all have hills like Rolling Stone did!

August 23, 2012: Bring on the Fall

Fall is coming and with it the best temps for running races, as well as the great outdoor scenary of the leaves changing! So far the season has been much better than last year, where I was dealing with different ailments through the year. I finally broke 20 minutes in the 5k a couple years ago, and then was not able to do it last season. The first half of this year was the same, not being able to get back under 20, and I was starting to think maybe I was getting too old and my body just wouldnt do it anymore.


I started doing speed work again this year after Grandmas, and after a couple weeks I was not getting any faster in my times. Then after about 6 weeks I ran a 10K and was excited to find it was a PR of 42:17, until my buddy showed my his Garmin and the course was .12 short. After doing the math with my pace I was pleased to find it would have still been a PR of a few seconds, around a 43:07. Sweet, first PR of the year, excluding my half marathon that was my first so automatically a PR. Then the following week I ran a 5k, and again another PR and I broke the 20 minute mark finally with a 19:32. I also wore my Garmin to verify it was a legit distance, and it was right on a 5k. Thats means I am not too old I think!


I recently read that speed work takes a while to affect running pace, about 6-8 weeks. Now that I feel it is starting to work I plan on continuing once a week with speed work, while I train for a couple halfs next month, and Whistlestop full in October. I am hoping for a couple more PR's later this year, and then figuring out a plan to continue running quality runs during winter. Ive decided that taking time off in the winter and basically starting over every spring too much work, now I am hoping to maintain my gains this year and carry them into next. We will see how this goes, and if I stick to my plan. 

June 20, 2012: Half and Full report

 I am breaking the cycle, and adding a blog much sooner than my normal 6 month waiting period. I just finished Grandmas a few days ago, and I am ok with how I did. I was hoping to finally break into the 3:30's time, but my plan changed sometime after mile 16. I was holding a decent pace till then, and thought I may pull it off, but then I started slowing somes, and then started having muscle spasms in my quads around mile 20, and then full on cramps in the quads around 21. The last five miles I spent walking/running to fight off the cramps, which my right Hamstring had also joined the party of cramping. My goal changed from 3:35 to beat last years time, to get under 4 hours. I jogged in the last .2 miles not walking even though the cramps were pretty bad then, out of pride and several thousand spectators on both sides. I finished at 3:55:14 which is right in the middle of my times, and not so bad compared to other Marathons where I cramped around the same point in the race. I am hoping to keep my training going strong and do a PR in Ashland for the Whistlestop in October.


I also ran the Minneapolis Half Marathon a couple weeks before Grandmas, and that race went much better. I found I really like halfs, and plan on doing many more. It was my first official half so it was a PR, and I aimed for a 1:38 time, and finished in 1:37:36 so I stayed right on goal. Right when I was getting to the point I wished it was over, it was! Halfs are great! It was interesting because they started the Full an hour before the half, which I thought was strange, but most likely due to the temp being in the 70's they wanted the runners to all be done earlier. This led to me seeing the top two runners of the full pass by me in the final mile, which led to extra cheers from the crowd! This was a great experience and I will definietely do more halfs.


 I am just about recovered from Grandmas, and may go for a light run today to make sure everything works. I feel good, and hope I can keep up the training and for the first time break 4 hours in Ashland!