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05/21 - 05/27

Monday (May 21): off

Tuesday (May 22): AM 12+, altered SMR loop, 3 x 3 mile repeats @ 17:25, 17:50, 17:31. Splits were 5:52, 5:50, 5:43 -- mile off (7:20) -- 6:06, 5:54, 5:50 -- mile off (7:35) -- 5:51, 5:55, 5:45. Things went smoothly: (mostly) easy breathing, (mostly) loose legs, and quick miles. It felt good! PM 10 miles, 1hr:08, 6:51/mile, out-and-back along Monona Bay to the Arb. Some easy miles to keep the legs loose and increase mileage. The pace was brisker than expected, but unsurprisingly so, as the evening was pleasant and I was feeling good.

Wednesday (May 23): AM 10 miles, hill repeats in Olin Park and Turville Point, 1hr:15, 7:30/mile. The hill workout amounted to about 2.5 mills of hard uphill / downhill running. 10 x Olin Park sled hill (backside) and 10 x Turville Point hill. Solid workout.

Thursday (May 24): AM 10 miles, UW track, 5 x 800m @ 2:37, 2:41, 2:40, 2:40, 2:38. Rest: 200m jog after repeats 1, 2, 4; 400m jog after repeat 3. I was planning on six repeats but my legs were getting a bit tight and I don't want to be crazy sore for this weekend so I stopped after five. Lots of wind this morning, which made the effort a bit more taxing, but overall it went well.

Friday (May 25): AM 10 miles, 1hr:17, 7:45/mile, loops around the Arb. I felt a little sluggish the first few miles. I had a hard time getting into a rhythm but was feeling ok by the end of the run.  PM 10 miles, 1hr:02, 6:13/mile, out-and-back on Cap City Trail. What a run. This was very unexpected. I was planning to run around 6:35 per mile but was feeling great after the first mile (6:40) so I kept a strong pace and never tired too much. The latter miles were around 6:00/mile and I was really happy with the fact that my breathing was easy and my legs felt good.

Saturday (May 26): AM 22 miles, 2hrs:37, 7:10/mile, out-and-back from Riley on the Military Ridge Trail. Hank and I tried to run at 6am but, after seeing lightening within striking distance (literally), we called it off after a half mile. I went back out around 10am and had an excellent go. My gait felt smooth, my legs weren't terribly tired, and I clicked off the miles seemingly effortlessly on a humid morning / early afternoon. PM 4 miles, :30, 7:30/mile, out-and-back down State Street to the Lakefront Trail with Holden. Holden arrived and we jogged a few easy miles before the half marathon tomorrow.

Sunday (May 27): AM 12 miles, Madison Half-Marathon course, 2 mile warm-up, 10 miles in 67 minutes, 6:45/mile. The Madison Marathon was canceled due to heat related worries. So Holden and I decided to run the half marathon instead. After two easy miles we started the race at the capitol. It was evident after a few miles that Holden was going to have a tough day. We ran six or seven miles at around 6:30/mile pace and then slowed down for a few miles before stepping off the course around mile 9. I jogged another mile plus before grabbing a beer at the finish line. It was a fun morning!

Weekly Totals: 100 miles, ~11hrs:45. This was the best week of training that I've had this year and perhaps the best that I've ever had. I hope to have many more weeks of this kind in the next two months. Now that the heavy racing is past, I have one thing on my mind: the Voyageur 50.

No photos this week, as my phone was water damaged in a canoe turnover on Sunday...not pleased!


05/14 - 05/20

Monday (May 14): off

Tuesday (May 15): AM 12 miles, 1hr:26, 7:11/mile, out-and-back on Cap City Trail through the E-ways. It was a nice morning and I felt pretty good. The miles felt relaxed easy. PM 10 miles, 1hr:17, 7:38/mile, 5 x Turville sled hill (backside) and 5 x Woods hill. I'm going to start running hill repeats every week, and eventually multiple times a week, in preparation for the Voyageur. I plan to be much more prepared for that course this time around; hill repeats will be crucial in preparation.

Wednesday (May 16): AM 10 miles, 1 x mile and 3 x 800m. Mile in 5:25, 800s in 2:44, 2:37, 2:39. The plan was 4 x 1 mile. I felt dehydrated and tired and it was obvious in the first 800 that I was not going to complete the workout. I managed to do 2.5 miles of decent speedwork though. Later in the day I napped for six hours. I didn't realize how fatigued I was from the weekend getaway to St. Louis. Better to find out this morning than in the race this weekend. Time to rest up more.

Thursday (May 17): AM 12 miles, 1hr:38, 8:00/mile, Indian Lake Trails. I had planned to run 15 but my legs starting feeling tight around mile 9 so I finished early. The trails around Indian Lake are nice and rolly, with many of them protected from the sun in the woods. Great views!

Friday (May 18): AM 10 miles, 1hr:12, 7:14/mile, out-and-back on Military Ridge Trail from Mt. Horeb. Ran really comfortably on a sun-filled morning after twelve hours of sleep. I was trying to stay smooth and loosen up for tomorrow's race. I did a much better job of listening to my body this week and I think that this will pay off tomorrow since my legs are feeling good.

Saturday (May 19): AM 22 miles, Syttende Mai 20 Mile Run, 2nd place, 2:08:49, 6:27/mile. It's difficult to be disappointed with 2nd but, alas, it could have gone better. For what it's worth, the course was long this year--closer to 20.5 miles. See my Race Report: Syttende Mai 20 Mile Run for more.

Sunday (May 20): AM 19 miles, 2hrs:36, 8:15/mile, Ice Age Trail in Kettle Moraine Park. I joined Hank, his wife, and his daughter for a trip over to Kettle Moraine. We started running at 8am and it got really warm really fast. I did a nice job hydrating (70 oz water, 5 S!Caps) and, surprisingly, my legs felt amazing. I felt really comfortable throughout and especially during the second half of the run. Great way to finish the week.

Weekly Totals: 95 miles, ~12 hours. That's three 90+ mile weeks with three races to boot. My body seems to be responding well to the mileage, and the racing, which is great. I have one more race next weekend--the Madison Marathon--before focusing exclusively on training for the Voyageur 50.

Running a loop around Indian Lake on Thursday morning.

The sun rising over the bluffs.

A view from the bluff with Indian Lake below.

Race Report: Syttende Mai 20 Mile Run

As always, the result first: 2nd place in 2:08:29. Next, many thanks are in order: first, to the race director and organizers for putting on a first-class event; second, to the volunteers for their time; lastly, a big shout out to Kip for keeping me in the race (more on that to come).

It should first be noted that I was far from meeting my goal of two hours flat. It should next be noted that there was good reason for this. I based my goal time partially on my fitness level and partially on the times from the previous year. Of course, what I didn't know was that last year the conditions were ideal: cool, overcast, minimal wind. The conditions this year were quite the opposite: warm (over 80 degrees when I finished just after 9:30am), sunny, moderate wind (and a headwind at that). To give you an idea of the impact that these conditions had: the second place winner last year, who ran a handful of seconds over two hours, finished third this year in 2 hours and 12 minutes. Clearly, I should have curtailed my goal from the beginning.

The race began as expected. Half a dozen of us went through the first mile in just under six minutes with the leader 15 or so seconds ahead. The eventual winner broke off from this group just after the mile mark and myself and the eventual third place winner, Kyle, moved ahead of the remaining front runners. I ran with Kyle for the first five miles before moving into third place. The first five miles were covered in thirty minutes and change. Then the hills began and they wouldn't go away. I kept up the six minute mile pace for the next three hilly miles before Kip, a race volunteer, began to escort me by bike. He would stick with me for the last twelve miles. I made it through the half way mark in just over sixty minutes, that is, according to my Garmin 510. I crossed the halfway point, according to the course markers, in 1:01:30. As it turns out, the course was long this year (near 20.5 miles) and so the halfway point was, I think, also long. In any case, it was at the halfway point that the conditions previously mentioned began to take their toll. I felt tired and my legs were really giving me hell. But I was only 50 seconds behind the 2nd place runner. So I began to push the pace down the backside of the hills and, by mile 13, was probably 35 seconds or so back.

It was at mile 13 that I first thought of bowing out and it was at the same time that my pace slackened and I lost contact with the eventual winner (though he, too, had a much slower pace in the second half). Kip told me that I just needed to keep up a decent pace and that I'd finish third, since the fourth place runner was out of sight. Fine. I continued. The same story could be told at mile 15, when I again wanted to step out. I have to credit Kip with keeping me in the race again, as he assured me that I had a good advance on the fourth place runner. Kip probably would have told you that I looked great but I'm almost certain that he was feeding me lines all day to keep me going (and I thank him for that!). The short story, then, is that I maintained just under a seven minute mile pace for the last 10k or so--hardly the sort of pace that would ordinarily qualify you for a podium place in this race. But, alas, the conditions wore on everyone and on the lead runner more so. He dropped out with just 200 yards to go. Evidently he collapsed and couldn't even walk the final stretch. When I finally made it to the finish line, second place was mine.

I'll remember this race not as a physical battle but a mental one. As it turned out, my legs felt fine afterward. Winning a mental battle, though, can be as beneficial as anything. That's a wrap!

Presenting the hardware (thanks to Tim Yanacheck for the photo).



05/07 - 05/13

Monday (May 7): off.

Tuesday (May 8): AM 10 miles, loops around the Arb, 1hr:18, 7:50/mile. The first three or four miles were sluggish on a warm, humid morning. I had a good time exploring more of the South Arb. PM 10 miles, 8 x 60sec pick-ups, along Lake Monona to Turville Point (loops around Turville trails), 1hr:10, 7/mile. I felt much better this afternoon. I threw in a few pick-ups while on the trails and my legs responded well.

Wednesday (May 9): AM 10 miles, 3 mile float workout in 16:50 plus 2 x 200m. Nice morning. I finished three "float" miles then ended with Fran for two more 200s. 35 - 37secs for 200m "on", 45-48secs for 200m "off." PM 10 miles, 1hr:11, 7:09/mile, out-and-back around Monona Bay to the Arb. Easy miles on a cool evening.

Thursday (May 10): AM 25 miles, 3hr:30, 8:25/mile, trails around Devil's Lake. It was a beautiful day on some rugged trails. I had a few ankle rolls but nothing so severe that I was unable to keep running. I explored more of the trails around Devil's Lake and was rewarded will nice views, fun trails, and steep climbs.

Friday (May 11): AM 8 miles, :59, 7:25/mile, out-and-back on Cap City Trail. Trying to stay loose after yesterday's effort and before the 3 x 3mile workout tomorrow.

Saturday (May 12): AM 16 miles, 3 x 3mile repeats @ 18:18, 18:02, 17:57 around Forest Park. Girls On the Run 5k in downtown St. Louis. Awesome workout. Splits were thus: 6:19, 6:02, 5:57 -- mile off (7:05) -- 6:07, 5:58, 5:57 -- mile off (7:11) -- 5:49, 6:01, 6:07. It was great to be running in Forest Park again and the morning conditions were splendid. I felt really smooth and the pace was far from taxing. Later in the morning I joined my sister at Girls On The Run. I ran with two of the girls on the team -- Lily and Mary -- for a 5k in 29 minutes. Impressive for 4th and 5th graders!

Sunday (May 13): 10+ miles, 1hr:17, 7:40/mile, Lewis and Clark Trail. I love this trail out west of St. Louis along the bluffs. There are a bunch of steep climbs and some really technical terrain. It was a moderate effort on a warm afternoon.

Weekly Totals: 99+, 12hrs:30. Great week: a few strong workouts, long run, moderately high mileage. Also, my achilles seems to be 100% again. Bring on the training!

Overlooking Devil's Lake from the East Bluff after a muddy affair. 

Pines and sunshine on the Ice Age Trail near Devil's Lake.
My running partners. These girls rocked!


04/30 - 05/06

Monday (April 30): off

Tuesday (May 1): AM 10 miles, 20 x 200m @ 35 - 37 seconds at the University track. The effort was taxing through the middle repeats, but I kept a good rhythm going for 20 repeats. PM 10 miles, 1hr:14, 7:26/mile, along Lake Monona to Turville Point; loops around Turville Point. It was nice exploring the Turville Point trails with loops through the hilly, wooded area along Lake Monona.

Wednesday (May 2): PM 10 miles, 4 x 800m @ 2:37, 2:28, 2:34, 2:32 along Lakefront Trail. It was very warm during this workout around 2pm: around 80 degrees with lots of humidity. I tried to stay relaxed and efficient during the repeats with mixed results. My legs were beat up at the end.

Thursday (May 3): AM 20 miles, 2hrs:33, 7:40/mile, out-and-back on Military Ridge Trail from Mt. Horeb; a few miles of trails in Blue Mounds State Park. Hank and I found some wonderful trails in Blue Mounds State Park that we had not yet explored. The terrain was rolling and the trails were a mix of grass, mud, and rock. Excellent stuff for a training run. My legs were really sore during and after today's effort.

Friday (May 4): AM 8 miles, 1hr:02, 7:40/mile, along Lake Monona to Turville Point. My legs are still tight so I ran a few easy miles to try to loosen them up. They're feeling a little better but I'll definitely need to re-evaluate my race strategy for tomorrow. I should no longer expect a sub-76 minute finish, even though I'm in shape for it--my legs are just too beat up this week.

Saturday (May 5): AM 18 miles, Door County Half Marathon, 5th place, 1:19:30, 6:05/mile. On a bad day, I had a decent result. I'm really happy with several aspects of this race, even though the overall time was not as glamorize as I would have liked. See my Race Report: Door County Half Marathon for more.

Sunday (May 6): AM 10 miles, 1hr:18, 7:50/mile, loops around the Arb with Hank. I met up with Hank at 6am and we were able to get our miles in before a day full of thunderstorms. We explored some of the Arb that I hadn't seen before, which was nice. Legs felt good through eight miles, started to feel sore towards the end. PM 8 miles, :59, 7:25/mile, out-and-back on the Cap City Trail. I ran some easy miles in the post-thunderstorm evening to loosen up my legs; they were feeling better by the end of the run. Really pleasant conditions: low 60s, light breeze, and overcast.

Weekly Totals: 94 miles, 11hrs:30. Three speed workouts (including a race), a long run, and 94 miles on six days of running; all while recovering from an achilles injury. I am most pleased!

Hank, kicking up mud, on a trail in Blue Mounds State Park.
A spectacular view of Lake Michigan in Door County (thanks to Fran and Laura).

Peninsula State Park (to the left) and Horseshoe Island (center, distant)

A stop by historic Lambeau Field.

Race Report: Door County Half Marathon

On a day when my legs were incredibly sore, I was able to stay focused and turn around what could have been a very disappointing race. The race conditions were actually quite good: around 50 degrees, partly cloudy, light wind. The competition was fairly competitive: the top four runners all finished under 75 minutes; the winner in a few seconds over 69 minutes. My day was more about survival than anything but that I did well enough.

Warming up, my legs showed a glimmer of life and I was hopeful that I would be able to run hard. I wanted to go out conservative and then keep a consistent pace under 6 minutes per mile. I realized that such a plan was going to be nearly impossible after around two miles. So here's what actually happened (I'll start with the splits): 5:37, 5:45, 5:55, 5:55, 6:25, 6:03, 6:26, 6:41, 6:35, 5:53, 5:59, 5:45, 5:44. If I had been planning a "plateau" style pace, then my execution would have been flawless! A lead group of three was gone in the first 800 meters while a second group of four (myself and Fran included) followed. The group of four dwindled to two after the mile (Fran and the 4th place finisher sticking together), myself backing off, the fourth runner dropping. I felt ok through the first mile but, around mile two, my legs started to turn solid. If there was even a foot of incline, I was having a hard time, and was in a lot of pain, climbing. So, when the 200 foot incline from mile 4.5 to mile 5 came around, I felt like I was running in mud. In some respects, I was surprised that I had maintained a 6:25 mile when I reached mile 5 at the top of the hill. I sauntered (or so it felt) through the next two miles and, miraculously, caught Fran. He was feeling terribly sick and looked every bit of it. When he dropped at mile 8.5, I was finally feeling like I could start to make a move again. I went for it and, despite the relentless pain on the inclines (and even on the straightaways at this point), was rewarded with four strong final miles. To bounce back, after falling behind and feeling miserable, was a very promising result.

So, 5th place, 1:19:30, 6:05/mile. I'll have to remind myself NOT to run 20 miles two days before the Syttende Mai in two weeks.