Andy Littler's Blog

Hello, my name is Andy Littler.  I live in Gilbert on the Iron Range.  I am a middle of the pack runner with aspirations of a little more.  I am married to my beautiful bride, Michelle, and have 4 (currently) spunky, energetic, wonderful little kids.  Over the past few years I've gotten to know a few of you runners out there and love the culture and passion of the Northlandrunner community.  Here is my attempt to deepen my roots with a blog of own....Happy New Year!

May 2, 2013: Zumbro, Chippewa, NMTC and such:)

Just a quick update on my Spring events thus far.  I had the priviledge of pacing a lap (17 miles) at the Zumbro 100 a few weeks back.  This was a great opportunity to submerse myself in the heart of the ultra running community.  I spent the better part of the overnight hours journeying along the course with a new friend.  I experienced from my companion the rigors of such an event and the highs and lows that come with it.  My friend ended up dropping after 4 loops on the course but put in a valiant effort in difficult conditions.  I drove home in the morning with a growing fascination with ultra distance running.  


Fast forward two weekends and I'm at the start line of the Chippewa 50k, my first ultra.  I feel like spending time at Zumbro prepared me mentally for the conditions of the course (snow, ice, mud, icy runoff).  As I felt mentally prepared, physically I was not.   My longest training run was 17 miles, on pavement nonetheless.  I moved fairly well through the first half of the course in 3:10.  During half-time I changed shoes and socks and geared up for my return trip.  Physical fatigue set in and I trudged back in 4:24.  My finish time was 7:34:39 and I can now call myself an ultramarathoner:).  I broke no speed records but battled through to the end.  As run down as I felt at the end, I was back to the roads on Monday with nothing more than a little heaviness in the legs.


That heaviness didn't stick around long as I ran the Western Waterfront Run for first NMTC race of the year.  I was pleased with my 7:25 mile pace as I have done Zero speed work this year.  Last year was my first experience running trails in the NMTC Spring series and I have been eagerly awaiting them again.  I hope to run all Wednesday night runs, forgoing the Mother's Day run to set that day aside for the mother of my 4 little ones (#5 is scheduled for a December arrival).


June will bring the Grandma's half marathon and the Warrior Dash so I'm hoping to focus on some speed work and hills while continuing to keep getting some good distances in.  I think something might have bitten me in the woods at Chippewa...I wasted no time signing up for the Wild Duluth 100k in October.  With the new baby on the way, this might be my window of opportunity to tackle something like this for awhile.  No better time than now!  Good luck to all of you and maybe I'll run into you on the road or the trails.



March 17, 2013: New adventures:)

Just a quick post to share a couple of new adventure's on the horizon.  April 12th I will have the priviledge of pacing a complete stranger on his Zumbro 100 quest.  I will pace him from miles 50-68ish.  We are guestimating a start time for this lap between 9-10pm.  I have no idea what I'm really getting into but I'm going to give it my best shot to be a great pacer for those miles.  PLEASE share your experience, suggestions, tips that would be helpful:).  


The second "new" adventure will be the end of June.  For my friends bachelor party weekend we will be competing in the Warrior Dash in Afton.  This is the less intimidating of the two but should be a great time with some friends.  We will conclude with a Twins/Royals game the following day.  I love having things on the horizon to look forward to:)  


Here's to a great spring...(it IS coming right?). 

March 6, 2013: Weekly Wednesday- anticipating Spring:)

I know in light of our latest collection of snow and cold temps Spring doesn't feel like it is right around the corner, but my aniticipation is building.  I'm hopeful my first shorts run of the year is not too far off.  Besides the obvious upcoming 50k for me, I'm am extra excited for the NMTC trail series this spring.  I have somewhere between 6-10 co-workers who are likely going to participate in a number of the races.  I'm hopeful that when they get a taste of the great atmosphere and beauty of the trails, they will join the ranks and be runners for life.  


Do any of you have stories to share of how you were introduced to the great sport of running or how you introduced others?  


Until the next post.... 

February 27, 2013: Weekly Wednesday- Training

I'm going to try and throw just a short thought or topic out on a weekly basis.  Today's topic is training.  How is it going this new year so far?  I'm just over 8 weeks out from my first ultra and have logged a long run of just 13 miles.  That leaves me feeling slightly behind where I want to be.  On the plus side, I've run over 100 miles in February and mentally am feeling prepared to get in some good long runs and really enjoy this the process of training and anticipation of hours in the woods on the trail:).  I am also ready for the great snow eraser to come out and enlarge my running territory...I'm about done with the cold and icy runs:).  I will continue to focus on logging miles and getting a fair amount of hills in...slow and steady.  After the 50k I will transition and focus on some speed work to get ready for the Garry Bjorklund Half in June.  Until next week...



January 3, 2013: Greetings Northland Runner community:)

Happy New Year!  My name is Andy Littler and I live and and do most of my running on the Iron Range.  I have been an off and on runner for about the last 10 years.  Over the past few years I've seen my passion for running ignite and this blog seems like a great way to carry on and share that passion.  


2012 was a year of PR's for me in the 5k, 10k, and marathon distances and I'm hoping to continue to improve as this new year begins.  I was able to run 10 of the spring and fall NMTC trail races this year and a real love for the trails was born.  My first major goal of this year is to run the Chippewa Moraine 50K in April.  It seems like a daunting challenge but I am very excited.  I welcome the advice of you veteran trail runner's out there.  


I've been following many of you other Northland Runner bloggers and feel priviledged to join the ranks:).  I look forward to a great year and hope to see many of you out on the roads and trails.  A great resource that a few of us use to track our running and stay connected is DailyMile.  I invite you all to sign up at and send me a friend request.  Here's to a great 2013!  Make every day count!