Sunday, January 30, 2011

Low Mileage Week

This week started on a bit of a sour note. My morning run on Monday started well, but after only one mile the tendon behind my knee started hurting. I called it quites after two miles and iced it that evening after work. It was much better by Wednesday, so I set out for the scheduled five mile run. The pain started in after about four miles. I took some walk breaks and was able to finish all five miles. I figure I have been running differently because of the ice and snow everywhere. I think it changes my stride or causes me to run all tensed up.

I skipped this weeks group run because I wasn't confident I could last the seven miles. Instead I went to a local sports arena and ran around the track. I was able to complete four miles before deciding to stop. I hope to gradually bring my mileage back up without stressing my knee.   

Now for something positive. I have started using a foam roller regularly in order to speed recovery. During one of the training group's informational classes, the local trainer recommended using a roller both before and after workouts. He showed us the proper way to get the most out of it. While it can be a little painful whenever I roll over a knot in the muscles, it really has seemed to help.

This last weeks class was on nutrition and hydration before, during, and after the race. There was a lot of great information. My favorite part was when the nutritionist confirmed that chocolate milk is one of the best post-workout foods there is. So I've got that going for me. YEA Chocolate Milk!!!!!

I will try for three to five miles tomorrow morning. The weather is turning colder (somewhere around zero), but I still prefer to run outside. Hopefully this weeks mileage is a little higher.

Have a fantastic week.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Group Run

Today was the first official group run for our training class. The temperature was -20 with a wind chill of -40 and I ran in just shorts and a t-shirt. Whaaaat? We got to run in the Fargodome!!! It was a real treat to be inside and not on a "dreadmill". We had a large turnout of about forty runners. My thanks go out to Mark Knutson for arranging this. Mark is the main man at Go Far Events (they organize the marathon) and also Go Far Sports (a running store).

I will need to work on pacing at the start of these runs. Each lap equalled 1/3 of a mile, so at my normal long run pace of 12:00/mile I should have been running a 4 minute lap. Well, the group took off at a pace way too fast for me, but I seemed to get pulled along by them. I checked my watch after the first lap and my time was 3:10. Unbelievably it took me six miles (run in 59:31) to get down to my normal pace. By then I was really having to work. Thankfully Rick Wagar pulled up beside me and we chatted about his upcoming 135 mile race in International Falls ( It really made the last mile and a half go by quite painlessly.

After thinking about this morning's run, I believe that all of the running I've been doing in the snow has increased my speed a bit. That would explain why I didn't crash and burn after only a couple of miles this morning. That would make me very happy, although I'd rather start a lot slower and gradually increase my speed during a run.

This weeks mileage was pretty much zero except for today's run. I woke up Monday with a little touch of vertigo. I got plenty of rest, and I'm back in business.

Here are a couple of articles from Runners World magazine that include the Fargo Marathon. It's kind of neat having an event from our little town show up in the magazine.,7120,s6-239-281--13777-3-1X2X3X4-5,00.html,7120,s6-239-281--13416-3-1X2X3X4X5-6,00.html

Have a great week!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cool Running

Well it's Saturday and that means another long run. It was -2 degrees this morning with a wind chill of -25. I went out early and was hoping to go at least eight miles but came up a little short. My left leg was being somewhat uncooperative after about four and a half miles. My knee and hip were really stiff. I think it was from running through some thicker snow early in today's run. I called it quits for this morning after five and a half miles, but I'm planning on going out later today for another run.

We had our first training class "informational meeting" last Thusday night. The topic was clothing and how to choose the correct shoes. I akready knew much of this info, but some of it (like how different shoes are constructed) was new and very interesting. They also passed around samples of clothing made from different moisture wicking materials. It's still hard for me to wear synthetic socks. I guess my phys-ed teacher did a great job of stressing the importance of weraring cotton socks when exercising. Oh how times have changed.

Our class had a fun run this morning, but I had already made some plans and decided to wait until next Saturday's official long run to take part in the group activity. We received our training schedules for the next six weeks. I was a little shocked at the difference in weekly milage between the half marathon (12 to 15 miles per week) and the marathon (21 to 27 miles per week). I had a moment of doubt about my goal, but then realized that I was already putting in the close to the number of miles called for in the marathon schedule. I guess seeing it on paper was a bit startling. I need to remind myself that all I need to do is just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Marathon Training Class & Today's Long Run

I joined the marathon training class offered by Go Far Sports (see link to their website below). I'm excited to have instruction from experienced runners. I also look forward to the information from the weekly guests including doctors, nutritionists,  etc. At today's introductory meeting I visited with Rick Wagar (see link to his blog Ultra Life below) who runs ultramarathons and is one of the coaches.  I first met Rick after the YMCA Chase Race last summer, and I have bumped into him a couple of other times. I appreciate the advice and encouragement he has given me.

I have been doing my long runs on Sundays, but the training classes have long runs on Saturdays. I decided to do this weeks long run today in an effort to get used to the class schedule. One of the things Rick mentioned this morning was to concentrate more on the time spent running and less on the mileage. That's what I did today. My goal was to run for two hours. I made it, but there were some challenges along the way. Some of the sidewalks still had several inches of snow on them. They REALLY worked the legs. I ran through these snowy stretches at the beginning, but as my legs tired I walked through the deep stuff. I was afraid of injuring myself on the very uneven footing. It was a very pleasant run with the temperature at about seven degrees, no wind, and a bright blue sky.

I have also registered for the Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud on April 16th. It will be great training for the Fargo Marathon. It will give me a chance to get used to pacing during a longer race and navigating aid stations. It's also nice to have a smaller goal to work toward.

Until next time.