2012 Running

>> Monday, December 31, 2012

Well, I won't be going for a run today. So that means my 2012 totals look like this:

Four quick things:

- June and July were my smallest months because I was trying to be smart after my heel injury flared up a bit in late May.

- FOUR months of 100+ miles is a yearly PR! I had 3 months in 2010 (with 110.44 being my biggest month), and none in 2011.

- 1,027 total miles is over 100 more than any other year!! (I had 911.4 in 2010.) MASSIVE PR!!

- And I SWEAR that I didn't know that I needed to run exactly 10.62 miles last night with Henry to have my biggest month all year (to hit 107.82 miles to beat my 107.81 in April). But that's exactly what I ran!

(Sort of like I SWEAR that I had no idea that I ran 6 perfectly descending splits during my treadmill interval workout I posted about on Saturday until well after I'd posted that and REALLY looked at those numbers. Weird.)

I'll be back in the next day or 2 with the biggest things I've learned from all this running this year while winning the Grand Prix series! I picked up some good tips that I'd like to share.

In the meantime, here's a photo of a tree that I snapped yesterday. I always like seeing this massive tree in the middle of nowhere between 2 fields in Southern Minnesota along my drive to visit my parents. Yesterday morning, it was covered in frost in the 4 degree air:


Treadmill Intervals

>> Saturday, December 29, 2012

I wanted a quick, hard speed workout yesterday, but we got some snow recently, so the footing outdoors was not conducive to "speed work." (I think running hard on slippery surfaces tends to make my perennially injured heel hurt more.) So I hit the treadmill for 3 x 1 mile repeats with 2:00 jogging/walking rest between.

I did a little math ahead of time. I know that 10.0 mph = 6:00 / mile, but I wanted to know what speed to set the treadmill to.

- 10.5 mph = 5:43 / mile
- 11.0 mph = 5:27 / mile

I did a 1.5 mile warm up between 7.5 and 8.0 mph. At 1.48 miles, I cranked up the speed so I could hit my watch and start at 1.5 miles and be up to speed. (It takes less than 2 seconds to get up to speed from a complete stop on the track, but a treadmill speeds up SLOW slowly, that I figured it was best to get up to speed and THEN start the interval.)

It was GREAT to be able to set a speed and know e-x-a-c-t-l-y what pace I was running, but it was HORRIBLE to see the hundredths of a mile s-l-o-w-l-y go by.

I started at 10.5 mph and bumped it up for 10.7 with 1-2 minutes left. I learned what I always thought was the case: I slow up in the 3rd quarter of mile intervals. I did NOT slow the treadmill, but it was just after the 0.5 mile mark that I WANTED to (even though I was able to speed up at the end).

2:51, 2:50 = 5:41.

I started my 2nd interval much like the first: I got up to speed and hit my watch when I saw the treadmill click over to 2.72 miles (then I ran until 3.72.) I tarted at 10.6 mph, bumped it up to 10.8 around 0.3 - 0.4 left. I think I hit 10.9 for a bit.

2:49, 2:48 = 5:37.

I started my 3rd interval running at 10.7 mph, and I bumped it up around 0.5 to 10.9 (5:30 pace). I was hashed.

2:47, 2:46 = 5:33.

I snapped a photo during my 1 mile cool-down:

It's hard to tell, but my shirt is completely sweated through.

I counted my foot-strikes once during my warm-up and once during my 2nd interval. Nearly 2 years ago when I met with a PT about my heel, she showed me I was running around 165 foot-strikes / minute, with 180 being ideal. I've been working on "faster feet" ever since, and it's been helping my heel. I was at 176 during my warm-up, and I was at 181 during my interval! My PT noticed 2 years ago that I didn't heel-strike as much and my form was better the faster I went. (Which made sense to Pharmie and I because I always seemed to hurt something when I'd go on a slower, longer run with her.)

Here I am on the crapper post-workout trying to force a smile:

Oh hi there "vein of approval!"
And I'm still completely sweated through.

I never feel so good / dead as I do after just 22 minutes of intervals. Love it.


Friday Funny 452: Four Parenting Funnies

>> Friday, December 28, 2012

First, just a little Maternity Ward humor:

If we had this, we wouldn't have had to bring Henry with us for Christmas:

(I'm joking! I'm joking!....)

Finally, here's the first 15 things a New Dad learned:

Maybe his wife needs to talk to him about his EPSN obsession....


Friday Funny 451: One Tip to Survive the Apocalypse



Friday Funny 450: A New Place For Funnies

I post a lot of "Friday Funnies" around here, and I think a lot of people like them. I thought it'd be easier for me to simply post funny / interesting / amusing things to a separate site as I come across them.

So I started a tumblr page: http://steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.

Bookmark that site and/or follow my tumblr for lots of funny / awesome things (some athletic related, and some not). I have it set to post 3+ times a day, so stop by often.

I just posted this comic on my tumblr:

That'll be me talking with Henry someday...


Friday Funny 449: Christmas Mad-Libs

Great idea for a Christmas Card:


And KINDA related to that last one, here's not "Captain America," but "Captain 'Merica" -


1000+ Miles and 500+ with Henry!

>> Thursday, December 27, 2012

Well, I did it. I just hit my 2 goals for 2012: 1,000 miles of running, and 500 miles with Henry!

When we were staying at my parents place in Southern Minnesota, Pharmie and I both got out for a run while Henry was napping on Sunday. It was WINDY in the middle of wide-open Minnesota farm-country (I always forget about that wind). I did 6.5 miles, and the 3 into the wind were NIPPY on this 20 degree day.

But that nippy run put me at 1,004 total miles in 2012!! I finished my run and grabbed a photo of Pharmie running past on the Highway from my parents yard:

Wide open. Lots of wind.

Close-up of Pharmie on her 9+ mile run.

Then yesterday, I loaded Henry up when he needed a morning nap. It was only 8 degrees, and that was about 15 degrees colder than any run we did together last winter. I was NOT going to put his safety at risk just to fit in another run together. I was going to stick near home and "loop around" with Henry in his snowsuit:

Bundled up and ready to head out the door.

Outside... ready to run!

About 0.4 miles in, with HEAVY eyes.

A frozen view of the Mississippi River from the Franklin Ave Bridge.

Henry was PASSED OUT for the entire run, but I still only did 7 miles. I peeked at him often, but he was doing just fine in the carseat in the stroller. My water bottle (on the other hand) was frozen up - it's nipple would NOT give up the goods.

Henry still asleep after 7 miles in 8 degree weather.

Just a little ice on my hat and around my eyes.

Henry woke up as soon as we went in the house, and he was in a GREAT mood:

Awake and cheesy.

Trying to get out of his snowsuit!

(I feel partially inclined to note that Henry was in a good mood and WASN'T cold after our run in case anyone thinks otherwise. His cheeks were just a LITTLE chilly, but his hands were "normal," and his head and body were actually just a bit warm.)

So that run with Henry put our total at 500.5 miles together this year! It's been fun running with you, little guy!!


"The Night Before Christmas" for a Runner

>> Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I got this in an e-mail yesterday....

Twas the morn before Christmas, 5 miles to complete.
Not a neighbor was stirring as I ran down the street.
The decorations were placed on the front lawns with care,
Lighting my path as I ran by there.

My children were snoring, all warm in their beds,
While theme music from Rocky blasted in my head.
I in my Brooks and warm running cap,
had just turned the corner for my last tempo lap.

When out from the park there arose such a clatter,
I picked up my pace to see what was the matter.
Away to the park, I sprinted like a flash
Held onto my water bottle and little GU stash.

The warmth of the sunrise just starting to show
Gave a glimmer to dew drops on objects below
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
Not a miniature sleigh or eight tiny reindeer.

But a little old runner so lively and quick.
I knew in a moment, it must be "Run Nick!"
Running farther than Kenyans, marathoning his game.
He chuckled and shouted and called them by name.

"To Houston, to Boston, Honolulu and Disney
Marine Corps, Detroit, to Big Sur, and Glass City
Training in the winter, spring, summer and fall.
Going to run, going to run, going to run them all!!"

He was dressed all in gortex, water bottles strategically put
His arms were defined and a Road ID bounced on his foot.
A packet of GU he flung over his back
And he looked like an elite gliding around the track

His eyes, they were focused, his strides were quite merry
His cheeks were quite rosy, his nose like a cherry.
The tears on his face were frozen and aglow
which gave evidence that the temps were 20 below.

He was lean and fit a right sleek little elf
And I laughed and joined him in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye, and a nod of his head
Soon gave me to know I was way over my head.

He spoke not a word, just left me in the dust
Then turned on a dime and faced the wind gust.
He trotted back over and gave me a hand
Encouragement from him felt rather grand.

He headed out of the park, for it was getting late
And away he set off with a bounce in his gait.
But I heard him exclaim as he ran out of sight.


Merry Christmas from St. Paul!

>> Monday, December 24, 2012

Our Christmas Ham.


Some Cold Mile Repeats

>> Saturday, December 22, 2012

Yesterday morning, I had about a half hour of free time. So I crammed in my first set of mile repeats in a long time! I figure if I'm planning on racing the "Meet of the Miles" track meet on January 14th, I better start running faster!

On my early Wednesday morning run, I swung past the St. Thomas track. I was hoping the sun would have melted off all 10+ inches of snow, but it hadn't. It still looked like this:


So I figured I could run intervals on the sidewalks around the edge of campus. St. Thomas (like most schools) does a good job of clearing snow, so the sidewalks are usually in great shape. Sure enough, they were:

Around my 0.5 mile turn-around point along Summit.

Around the 0.25 / 0.75 mark along Cleveland.

I started at Cleveland and Selby, and I ran down to Summit Ave, and then nearly to Cretin (and then back). I used mapmyrun.com to find my 0.5 mile marker where I'd turn around:

Just past the entrance to the new building.

Being it was only 10 degrees (I was wearing a lot of layers and it's difficult to breathe cold air) and I hadn't done intervals in a while, I wasn't sure what I could do. I was HOPING to do a descend like 5:45, 5:40, and 5:3x. But I was a little slower than that.

3 x 1 mile starting every 8:00 (just over 2:00 rest between intervals).

During the first interval, I figured I'd never negative split an interval because it was mainly downhill on the way out...

... meaning it was mainly uphill on the way back. But I ran the first 0.5 mile too easy, so I negative split the heck out of my first one:

     • 2:58 + 2:52 = 5:50

I started the second one with "tired" but not "heavy" legs. I love that feeling.

     • 2:51 + 2:54 = 5:45

I was HOPING to descend a little more on the final one, but I couldn't. It was a good speed workout.

     • 2:53 + 2:53 = 5:46

I used to LOVE intervals! The feeling of getting such a solid workout completed in only a half hour was a big "turn on" to me. It felt like I had accomplished so much. But after spending much of the year doing LONGER and slightly EASIER runs, I've decided that I like doing that more than intervals.

I'm pretty surprised that I was able to run a decent pace for most of my races this year while doing MUCH LESS speedwork. Apparently, I've come to the (obvious) conclusion that if you plan on racing LONGER races, then put more emphasis on getting in MORE MILES and not SPEED WORKOUTS.

Duh Steve.  Duh.


Friday Funny 448: Treadmill Fails

>> Friday, December 21, 2012

Warning: there's a naughty word or 2. Not many. Just a few.


Umm... what is that woman doing at the 2:40 mark?

And is it bad that I want to try what the guy did at the 2:50 mark? (WithOUT the head wound?)

And 3:52 looks like a bad fake.

Here's one more video that is faster paced, and it has many of the same ones. But there are a few other ones in there too that are pretty fantastic. No naughty words in this one:



Friday Funny 447: Christmas Funnies

If you can match up the paper while wrapping presents, you win Christmas.

Finally, this one is only Christmas related because the guy is wearing an elf outfit, but I HAD to include this:


Friday Funny 446: Best Teacher Quotes (ver 2.0)

At the end of Spring semester last May, I posted a photo of some of my quotes that a student had written down throughout the semester.

Well, it happened again. I found these in the back of a student's Process Journal. Taylor told me I could show these and her name:

1. "We're all horrible people out of context." I don't remember how this came up. But it's true. We've all done something when we were alone and thought "I'm a horrible, horrible person."

2. "Well that was sassy of me." What can I say? I'm sassy sometimes.

3. "Apparently I get sassy after 5 p.m." See explanation for #2.

4. "Don't you hate it when you think you're psychic and then you walk outside and get hit by a bus?" I remember saying that. I don't remember why.

5. "The fact that this bigger form fits perfectly in this space gets me hot." Stuff like that DOES get me hot. But is should - I'm a passionate art and design professor! :)

6. "...Which can be an honest mistake... if you have AN I.Q. OF SIX!!" Something was obvious, and I was very sensitively pointing it out. (This wasn't directed at a student - it was a generalization.)

7. "Don't you hate it when you go to enlarge someone's profile picture and it's like 72 dpi and it gets smaller and you're just like FUCK YOU?" Ah yes. Talking about resolution and file size. This DOES annoy me. If you click on a profile picture on FB or where ever, it should get bigger. People that upload tiny, tiny pictures are horrible, horrible human beings.

8. "InDesign takes anything.... what a whore." First of all, I said "LIKE a whore." Secondly, InDesign DOES take everything - I was just trying to make a good point. PDFs, AIs, PSDs, JPEGs, PNGs, etc, etc. InDesign takes it all. Yeah baby.

BTW, here's the first set of "Steve Quotes" from last May.


Friday Funny 445: Laundry Day for Runners

Yep. That's about right.


My Wife Doesn't Know How to Use Aero Bars

>> Thursday, December 20, 2012

Earlier this week, I found my wife on the trainer riding like this:

She's using her forearm pads as elbow pads, and she's using her aero bars as an iPod rest. But since she's been checking out digital books from the St. Paul Public Library, she's been able to do a lot of 2+ hour trainer rides. Crazy!! (I can not sit on my trainer that long...)

Well, at least her aero bars don't look like this:



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