Monthly Archives: August 2009

TCM Training Week 13

Getting closer…

Previous Posts

I ran the Bears of Blue River 10k for 3 years and actually won money all but one, it helped that there was a 5k going on at the same time! Last year I set a new half-marathon PR at the Rochester Half-Marathon.  The on-going genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan was the focus of my World Vision post. Foto Friday was from the Rochester race with a funny guy standing in front of Team MDRA.

Last Year’s Mileage

Run: 49.5 Miles
Bike: 32.5 Miles
Swim: 300 Yards

This Week’s Training

I’m just going to say from the outset that I was a little lazy this week on my non-running days. In part because work is starting back up and I’m not quite used to the routine of working out before work and getting up in time. I work at a school so I need to get back into that routine and figure out how much time it actually takes to go to the gym. The students come back on Sept 1, so that is exciting. My laptop’s power cord is broken too so I haven’t synced my Garmin for over a week either, so that’s why Running Ahead is showing a bunch of 0’s. Monday was our first staff meeting. Tuesday we did a progression run starting from the University of St Thomas. Basically we did 4 miles out at Marathon Pace and then 2 miles at half marathon pace followed by 2 miles at 10k pace (up some tough hills). My paces weren’t exactly where they should have been but it was a great workout. It was 80 and sunny. The first 4 miles were something like 7:45 pace then I dropped to 7:27 and 7:26 respectively. I’m not sure what my pace was before I hit the hills, but given where I’m at in training I think that was an excellent workout. Wednesday was a district wide staff meeting (aka snooze fest). Thursday morning I felt pretty lethargic still and ran 4.5 miles on my downtown loop. It was 60, humid, and sunny but a pretty nice day. In the evening was our annual open house at school. Friday I just lounged around the house, I told you I was feeling lazy!

Saturday made up for that. I ran 15.6 miles with the group on the marathon course. We started at the finish line and ran out 10 miles and then back (they did 20-22). I planned ahead and left a bike on the St Thomas campus (but didn’t actually check the mileage – I should have been closer to 14 than 16). Also, if I had really planned ahead I would have realized that it would have been just as easy to run home as it was to run to my bike and still got the distance. I hung with the group for at least 12 miles. We saw Meb Keflezighi running down West River Road – he was looking really smooth and said “hi” to me first. I actually didn’t recognize him. It was a perfect morning for a long run – 52 at the start and alternating between sunny and cloudy with a slight breeze. I ran it in 2:04:08 which is 7:55 pace.

Sunday was the Minnesota State Fair and lots of random items either deep fried or on a stick. With another couple we split 64oz of fresh cut French Fries and a large cone of delicious Sweet Martha’s Cookies. Also ate half a corn on the cob. Yummy!

This Week’s Mileage

Run: 28 miles

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100 Miles, 5 Days, 1 Goal

Would you willing run 5 20 milers in a row? That is what local runner Rob Donahue decided to do this week.  His purpose – to raise awareness about Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.  He has a more specific goal of inspiring 100 men to become “big brothers.”

100 Miles for 100 MENtors is focused on getting men to be more active in their communities, specifically by being mentors with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I can speak from experience that it is harder to find positive male role models for young boys and they often need it the most.  I won’t go into a long tangent, but the need for male role models is much greater than is currently being filled.  Many organizations offer opportunities for both men and women to get involved in the life of  a child.  Most of the time they are encouraging fun things like playing games, going to the park, or other experiential opportunities.  I would encourage you to look in your area for some type of youth mentoring program.

Another great organization in the Twin Cities is Bolder Options.  They specifically use running and biking as the foundation of the mentoring relationship.

Back to Rob and his challenge.  You can follow his journey at the 100 miles for 100 MENtors blog.  Here is a link a short clip from local TV station WCCO about the challenge.

[tags] Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Mentors, Mentoring [/tags]

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TCM Training Week 12

A beautiful week for running and a step-back week.

Previous Posts

While I was living in Indiana I ran the Pop Weaver 5k every year.  The best part was the free popcorn – which lasts forever! Did you know that Caffeine is illegal for Olympic competition? Well, at least large quantities.  During last year’s training I completed and reflected upon my farthest distance (at the time) ever – a 20 miler.  While in Ghana in 2004 I was only able to squeeze in a few runs, you’ll have to read the post to see why. Twitter is hugely popular, last year I tried to get the running community to coalesce around a single hashtag “runlog” to tweet about their daily run – some have adopted it. Foto Friday is from one of our trips to Gooseberry Falls.

Last Year’s Mileage

Run: 32.1 Miles
Bike: 53.4 Miles

This Week’s Training

On Monday I had scheduled a massage as part of my plan to get rid of plantar fasciitis.  So I went to the YWCA before hand and swam 500 meters, without too much of a break.  The Uptown YWCA pool is in meters and is shallower overall, but it seems easier to swim there than at the Midtown which is in yards and is much deeper. Anyone know how pool depth impacts swimming?  After the swim  I got one of the most painful massages ever.  She was pretty much using only her forearm to break up the knots in my legs.  Afterwards everything felt much looser and better.  She commented that she wasn’t able to break up all the knots in my quads and that my IT bands were still really tight.

Tuesday night’s group run was around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.  We were scheduled to do a marathon pace workout, but I was just planning to get the 8-10 miles in.  Our little tail-fin group formed again and we did the warm-up and then slowly picked up the pace during the first 2 mile segment.  The first 2.03 miles was in 15:07 – 7:27 pace.  After a short break we did the second 1.98 mile segment in 15:00 – 7:35 pace.  Another short break (I was starting to get tired) and we finished the last 1.94 mile segment in 14:23 – 7:26 pace.  We were pushing the pace at the end of the last one and then I struggled through the cooldown for a total workout of 8.5 miles in 1:05.  I was surprised at how good I felt for most of the run.

On Wednesday I went back to the pool – this time Midtown – and swam 300 yards at an easier pace. I had to share my lane and ended up having to deal with the waves the dude was shoving at me while we swam.

Thursday morning I went to the Sibley trail. I decided to check out the trails off to the north.  They were narrower and disappeared about 0.8 of a mile in.  On the way back I took a different trail which ended in the middle of the woods so I cut straight through towards the river.  With a nice warm-up I went out for another mile and a half or so doing a true fartlek along the way.  I picked points ahead of me and picked up the pace to them.  I probably did 7 or 8 pickups.  Again I felt pretty good out there.  It was 63 and humid and I did a total of 5 miles in 42:55 (including some of the bush whacking).

Friday I was a lazy bum.

Saturday‘s group run was to be an easy out and back along the marathon course from the Nokomis Community Center.  It was a nice run, using the torn up River Road trails but when we turned around at the Franklin bridge the pace started picking up.  Before the final water stop we were hitting 7 minute pace and my legs are quite used to that kind of pace for any distance and I just couldn’t hang on anymore.  I ran the last 3 miles by myself.  I worked on keeping my form as good as possible.  The total work out was 10 miles in 1:21 on a gorgeous – 53 degree morning.

On Sunday we helped a friend move out of her house, so that was a good weight lifting workout!

This Week’s Mileage

Run: 23.7 Miles
Swim: 846 Yards

Run: 32.1 Mi
Bike: 53.4 Mi

Free Group Training Runs – Lifetime Fitness

I get to run every Tuesday and Saturday morning with a training group from the MDRA.  However, if you don’t belong to a training group but are training for a fall marathon you might be interested in the below information from Lifetime Fitness. I received an e-mail from Lifetime Fitness Endurance, I’m guessing that TCM sold my e-mail address to them.

Dear Twin Cities Marathoners,

We hope you are running strong and building your fitness towards the Twin Cities Marathon on Oct. 4, 2009! It’s time for those longer endurance building runs and we’d like to invite you to join members of the Life Time Fitness Run Club for some upcoming long runs in the month of August! This if absolutely FREE!Aug 22 – Eagan LTF, 7 am Start (16 miler, Run Lead is John Schueller. RSVP: *Open to ALL Twin Cities Marathon Runners!

Aug 29 – St. Louis Park LTF,  7 am Start (20 miler, Run Lead is Rebekah Mayer. RSVP: *Open to ALL TCM Runners!

Please visit for directions to the run start location. Email your Run Lead with any questions and to RSVP so that we know how many people to expect to run that day.  Please arrive between 6:30-6:45 am as the runs will begin at 7 am sharp.  Each workout will be supported with fluids and food, but we recommend that you come with your own water bottles. After the workout, join fellow runners for 25% off smoothies in the Life Cafe! We hope you can join us and everyone is invited!

On behalf of every endurance athlete and coach on staff at Life Time Fitness, I’d like to wish you the very best of luck with your training and on race day.  And don’t forget to visit our new and improved running website by clicking HERE or visiting
Train smart and train safe,
Coach Troy Jacobson
National Director – Endurance Training

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Product Review: Strassburg Sock

If  you’ve been around for awhile you know that I’ve been suffering from Plantar Faciitis for a while now.  I’ve tried a lot of different things, but one in particular is The Strassburg Sock aka The Sock.

The website describes how the sock works, when worn properly:

This easy to use, inexpensive device is designed to keep tension on the tissue (plantar fascia) so it heals in a stretched position at night. In this way many users find a reduction of their morning pain, some have noticed a reduced recovery time and yet others have reduced the need for medications.

When worn as prescribed, it does not allow the plantar fascia to contract while in the prone or supine position. The device holds the ankle and forefoot joints in a position of slight dorsiflexion that prevents a position of plantarflexion, that is the plantar fascia is not allowed to contract.

In addition the involuntary stretching of the plantar fascia over a long period of time helps to strengthen the foot’s arch.

Or more simply, the sock pulls the toes upwards during the night which if nothing else reduces the pain of the first step in the morning. It does promote healing, according to my MD, the sock and other night splints reduce the tearing of the fascia that comes from walking and promotes healing.

The sock is basically a tighter fitting knee sock that comes in 2 sizes based on your calf size.  There is a strap that goes from your toes to a “D” loop right under your knee that holds your toes in place.  It utilizes Velcro for both the toe strap and the strap below the knee.  One comment about the Velcro is that it can damage your sheets while sleeping at night.

The sock is intended to be worn overnight for 6-8 hours.  I found that it took a little getting used to before I could comfortably sleep the night away while wearing.  It is a little odd to have your foot in such a position.  The first few nights I would wear it for a few hours.  Because the strap makes a hypotenose from your toes to your knee the easiest position to sleep in is on your back.  I did find that you can sleep easily on your side and your stomach if you bend your knee.  It does seem like it’d be easier to sleep with this sock than a hard foot brace.

Their advertising is very clever, because while they claim to cure heel pain they don’t claim to cure 100% of Plantar Fasciitis.  They do claim that most people only wear it for 8 weeks and that within the first few weeks most of the pain should go away.  They don’t say whether their research subjects continued working out or what else they were doing.  I was wearing the sock back when I took 3 weeks off with 0 running miles and saw no reduction in pain.  Now with a prescription of Ibuprofen and physical therapy I am making progress.

I stopped wearing the sock for a few days and saw a significant increase in the pain I felt during the first few steps.  So the sock does help reduce the pain felt first thing in the morning.  It was amazing how much  more pain I was in by not wearing the sock.   So if nothing else your $40 will help with that part of the recovery.

Their website provides a fair amount of research and data that shows why their night splint is better than everyone else, but I’ll let you go read it and see for yourself.

[tags] Plantar Fasciitis, The Sock, Strassburg Sock, Heel Pain [/tags]

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