Week in Review: a Little Speed and Some Camping

>> Monday, June 18, 2018

Here's what my training last week looked like:



I missed my swim on Friday because on Friday through Sunday, we were camping with my in-laws in Wisconsin. Here was a photo I posted last night:


Caption: Annual “jeez-I-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-go-hungry-while-camping-with-the-Linders” photo.

- MON: 200s in the pool.
- TUES: easy 5 mile run.
- WED: first hard tempo loop on the bike I posted about last week.
- THURS: long run of 8+ miles.
- FRI: nothing
- SAT: 2.5 mile tempo run in the middle of 6 total miles.
- SUN: long 32 mile ride just over 20 mph.

My run on Saturday was "interesting." First of all, it was hot as f*ck camping in WI this weekend: highs were in the 90s every day, it was super humid, and Saturday night it didn't cool down that much (so I hardly slept). We're in a part of WI with lots of little short hills. So I ran for 2 miles as a warm up, and then hit the hills as my 2.5 "HARD" miles in the middle. My first half mile of the HARD effort was 3:24 which was a bit slow for that effort. (Usually, in a short hard tempo run like this, my HARD effort is around 6:00 pace.) I felt I was climbing, but I wasn't really paying attention - I was just running hard. My next half mile was something I've never seen in during a tempo run: a half-mile split OVER 4:00! It was 4:01! I turned around there and used that hill pick up the pace. My next half-mile split down the hill that gave my my 4:01 split was 2:56. And then I finished the last mile with 3:04 and 2:49 splits. Simple, solid run.

My calves are tight. Gotta work on keeping them loose this week.

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Two Yearly “Firsts:” Tempo Ride and Running Intervals

>> Saturday, June 16, 2018

The last 2 weeks held 2 “firsts” for 2018.

First, I did 2x2 mile running intervals about 10 days ago. I’ve been talking about working on getting some speed back, and this workout is a good “gentle ease into intervals.” I did them at my normal spot along the river. I truly had no time goals, as I just wanted to run fast for a few miles.

Here are half-mile splits:

- 2:56, 3:05, 3:04, 2:58 = 12:04.85
- 3:00, 3:08, 3:07, 2:59 = 12:14.67

Last Spring, I (wasn’t trying and still) set a PR for this workout with a 11:38 and 11:24. WAY off that. Something to work towards. (For what it’s worth, that PR workout was on totally flat trail on the Greenway, and this most recent workout had a few hills along River Road: Lake/Marshall Bridge down past Shriners Hospital and back up for each 2 miles.)

Second, I did my “go to” 15.x mile hilly tempo ride through St. Paul a few days ago. It’s a loop I do that is River Road which curves and turns into Shepard Road which goes into downtown, then up Ramsey Hill, down Summit Ave, and back home. It was the first time I did this ride this year, which is SUPER late - last year by this time, I’d done it 4 times already. Here’s a post where I list previous PRs for this ride: I broke 20.0 mph in Sept of 2014, I broke 21.0 mph in April of 2017, and my lifetime PR is 21.9 in June of 2017 (which was the 4th time I broke 21.0 mph in those few months).

Really, my only thought going into this hard ride was “Try to break 20 mph? Maybe?” I had 22.2 mph at downtown before turning off the trail and heading up Ramsey Hill, but I hadn’t looked back at my “usual” splits to know if that was good or not by that point. I was happy to see I still had a 21.1 mph average once I climbed Ramsey, so I felt pretty good about myself! I dropped to 21.0, but then climbed up to a 21.2 mph average before home.

So comparing to last year, that puts me in mid-April 2017 shape in the middle of June 2018 (I rode 21.0 in early April 2017, and 21.3 later in April 2017). That’s actually not as bad as I had hoped. Last year, I was in great shape right away because of a “mild” winter, and this past winter SUCKED so I KNOW my bike fitness has suffered. (I didn’t train well on the trainer. Despite its name.)

Sidenote: as of a few days ago, we now have a 7-year-old in our house:



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Friday Funny 1453: Ridiculous Running Stock Photos

>> Friday, June 15, 2018

Here are 24 bad stock photos of runners as collected by Active.com:


Who taught you to run, an alien?


This cow is insanely happy to be running. I wish that were how I felt on every run.


I'm pretty sure that's not how fueling works.


In fact, we highly discourage drinking gas.


Is this supposed to scare or motivate us? Either way, it's strange.


It's really unfortunate that all four of these women's ponytail holders broke
seconds before they started their run. It's a miracle they're still smiling.


"Mommy, look."
"It's rude to point, Susie."


We're not even sure what to say about this one.


Isn't it amazing how they can run without breaking a sweat or smudging their perfect makeup?


There's probably a hidden wind machine at play here.


At least he color-coordinated.


There was no shortage of nerdy runner options, but is he running or jumping on a trampoline?


You're gonna regret that white T-shirt, dude.


At least he's comfortable enough with his masculinity to wear pink.


Does this remind anyone else of George Costanza?


It's nearly impossible to walk in ski boots, let alone run.


So that's how Santa stays fit in the off-season.


First rule of running shoes: Don't ever smell them.


We have so many questions: Why is a skeleton running? Why is he in the desert?
Why is he on a computer? Does the touchpad work if you don't have skin?


Actually, this one might not be that ridiculous. Some days,
it takes superhero powers just to get out the door.


She's catching some serious wind-resistance.


You're supposed to eat your fruits and veggies, not wear them.


Or maybe her running partner has some rank B.O.


Just a girl. On a treadmill. Outside.

Lots more funny things posted all week long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com. HAPPY WEEKEND!!

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Friday Funny 1452: Watering an Apple Tree with Apple Juice




More funny things on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 1451: Humans Are Adorable




Lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: Some Swim and Bike Links

>> Thursday, June 14, 2018

Here are 4 links worth a look:

• A “Back to Basics” set of drills in the pool from Sara McLarty. I’m not one for drills, but this workout (of 1600-3800 depending on how you do it) has very purposeful drills for triathletes.

3 ways to improve your cycling away from the bike. Two authors of a cycling book presented 3 things that “cyclists need to do away from the bike to improve their performance on the bike” during a webinar on training for long-distance cycling events. Read the article for the details, but the 3 points were strength training, core exercises, and flexibility.

5 “Beginner Basics” about the swim from Ironman.com. Some of these are very basic and for true beginners, but others I was able to glean a little wisdom from.

Improve your climbing withOUT any hills. If you’re training for a hilly race, this article offers some suggestions for training where you can’t find hills. Click the link for full details, but they offer using headwinds, assuming a climbing position, and using FTP workouts. It ends with a sample workout.

For more "Thirsty Thursday" posts that highlight workouts, body science, and all kinds of interesting information, CLICK HERE. As always, back with some "Friday Funnies" tomorrow.

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Slow-Ass Swims

>> Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I've been in swimming rut for about the last year. It sucks. But the good news is that I'm still putting in the time and not being SOOO disappointed that I'm not even going to the pool.

I noted in this post a week ago that I did some 50s to help break things up in the pool. Those were pleasantly fast. But my 3 swims since then have been too dang slow:

- I did my "go to" ladder swim of 100, 200, 300, 400, 300, 200, and 100, and only the 100s averaged faster than 1:30 pace. A few years ago, I could keep them all under 1:30 pace.

- Then I did a day of 100s, and I had my SLOWEST 100s ever as part of that workout: 2 were 1:29. At times (in the past), that's my warm-up pace. The rest were around 1:25 which was better, but those 2 slow ones were where I let my mind wander, and my splits showed that.

- Finally yesterday I did some 200s. They weren't great either. I only got under 3:00 for the last one. And then I did some kick drills to try to move my splits in the right direction in the near future.

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Busy Weekend

>> Monday, June 11, 2018

Just 2 quick pics from this past weekend:


The boys spent a few days at Grandma's house, and then we had their
4th and 7th birthday parties there! Here they are with all their cousins!


My wife with our newest nephew Kipp. She's his Godparent.

Back with more training updates soon.

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Award from the TC "Hot Dash" 5K

>> Saturday, June 09, 2018

Last month, I got a tiny little package in the mail from TC in Motion. I had no idea what it could have been. I opened it to find a cute little "trophy" for placing 2nd in my age group at the "Hot Dash" 5K back in March:


I had to move my son's Legos to take this photo. Cause I'm a Dad.

It's a little acrylic trophy that's just a bit shorter than a business card on end. It's a funny little reminder of one of my worst 5Ks in 10 years. (Well, THEE worst 5K in 10 years.) But by performing so poorly at that race, I actually learned a lot; it was a very insightful race.

If you missed it, click here for my Hot Dash 5K race report, click here for more race photos from TC in Motion on Facebook, and click here for comments on my race attire from my friends.

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Friday Funny 1450: Playing a New Game Called "Outside"

>> Friday, June 08, 2018




Lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com. Happy weekend!!

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Friday Funny 1449: People Who Thought the Onion Was True


























Lots more funny things posted 10x every day on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 1448: "Welcome to the Midwest"

OK, #9 is the only one that doesn't make complete sense to me. The others are a bit too "real" for this Minnesotan boy. ESPECIALLY #3 which I haven't heard discussed openly before! BUT IT'S A THING!



























Lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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