TC Kids Medals

>> Saturday, September 30, 2017

Twin Cities in Motion puts on some great kid's races, and we had a group down there this morning. I just posted this photo of the 5 kids with their medals post-race:

Bro-in-law Matt is doing the "Loony Challenge" that I've done twice in the past,
so he did the 10K and 5K this morning too! (Before the kid's races.)

We have a LOT of family coming over tonight for pre-race lasagna and pasta, and then 7 of us are doing the TC 10 Mile tomorrow, and my wife is doing her 17th TC Marathon!

Here's a link to Wednesday's post with my predictions for my race if you missed it. Keep an eye on my tweets and/or my Instagram pics for an update as to how the race went. Happy weekend!


Friday Funny 1335: Fighting Hurricane Irma With A Sense Of Humor

>> Friday, September 29, 2017

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Friday Funny 1334: Mario Has Nipples

Umm, regarding #3... Yoshi is from an egg and isn't a mammal. So no nips. It's biology.

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Friday Funny 1333: Marriage Tweets

Nothing like some cute marriage humor:

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TC 10 Mile Prediction

>> Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I’ve been giving it too much some thought, and here’s how this Sunday’s TC 10 Mile could possibly play out:

• PR of sub 59:05: 0.00000%. No chance. It won’t happen. There’s nothing in my training that tells me I could do this.

• Sub-60: 0.00001%. There’s the SLIGHTEST chance that I COULD go sub-60. But it’s not going to happen either. Heaven would have to open up, and I’d have to see Jesus hand-in-hand with my 2 dead Grandpas as the 3 of them skip down the street in front of me personally blessing each section of asphalt before I run across it. Can I rule that out? No, not COMPLETELY, so there’s a small outside chance that I could go sub-60. But let’s be clear: this is NOT even something in the back of my mind where I’m saying “There’s only a slight chance on paper, but I’m holding on to hope that I could possibly do this on a good day.” Nope. Not even saying that. Truly.

• Second fastest 10 mile time of sub-1:01:20: 10%. Right now, my “best possible day” is 6:10 pace, which is 1:01:40. So I COULD have a GREAT day and drop a few seconds off that.

• Third fastest 10 mile time of sub-1:02:19: 40%. This is the goal. I’m not sure if I can make this, but I expect to be around this time. It still seems pretty aggressive to me, but it’s still the goal.

• Non-personal worst time of sub-1:03:05: 40%. I feel like there’s an equal shot of being in this window. So I guess that means I’m saying there’s an 80% chance that I’ll be between 1:01:20 and 1:03:05. That’s a pretty small window to be pretty confident of, but that’s REALLY where I think I’ll be. (Four of my previous 10 mile times were in a 25 second window between 1:02:19 and 1:02:44, so my body apparently likes to run that pace.)

• Personal worst time of slower than 1:03:05: 10%. This feels like a decent possibility too - more so than the 10% chance of being sub-1:01:20. My percentages already equal 100.00001%, so I might as well call this a 15% chance and just make everything total 105.00001%. That makes a ton of sense, right?

Obviously there are a lot of “x-factors” that will play into this on Sunday morning. The biggest 5 that I can think of are (1) not having done much hard running in my training, (2) having done less running than usual leading up to this race but more cross training, (3) having not done a race longer than a 5-miler in the last 18 months, (4) not having done a 10 mile by itself (not part of the “Loony Challenge” where I raced a 10K and 5K the day before in 2014 and 2015) since 2011, (5) and not having a huge desire to suffer a ton. Regarding that last point: I’m racing on a team, but I will be the fastest or 2nd fastest on my team, so I have nothing to “prove.” (I can almost guarantee you that me dropping 2 minutes will NOT affect my team results at all.) I have no stake in my self-worth tied to the outcome of this race. I could finish in 1:06 and say “ehh, I guess it just didn’t happen today” and truly be OK with that (after being bummed for about 4 seconds post-race). In earlier years of racing, this was less of the case, so I really had the urge to go ALL OUT and not let myself down. Now, “myself” doesn’t care as much. Myself wants to enjoy myself a bit more.

So all that being said, there are 2 main ways this can go. If my ego takes hold at the start, I could churn out some decently fast miles but then start to suffer pretty quick. If I can hold on and suffer a bit, this would give me the best time, but with a fair amount of pain. Or, if my body takes hold at the start, I’ll start more conservatively being unsure of my training, enjoy the race a bit more while not suffering as much, and negative split the race in a good mood but with a slower overall time. (Obviously, there are extremes here too: I could go out WAY too hard and instead of posting a great time, I’d crash and burn around mile 7.) I feel like I’ll end up somewhere along this sliding scale of “XX% going out hard and XX% being a bit conservative.” We’ll see what my body does when the gun goes off.

Now it's time to pick out my race attire. Pink shorts, or tutti frutti shorts, or shorty yellow shorts? Let me go check the weather....


Final Hard Run: TC 10 Mile THIS WEEKEND!

>> Monday, September 25, 2017

Friday was my last hard run before the upcoming "TC 10 Mile" on Sunday! As I mentioned in last Monday's post, I did an old "Coach Jen" workout of repeats of 3 mins hard and 3 mins MODERATE with Charlie in the stroller. (It's a deceptively hard workout because the moderate runs are NOT recovery - it really drags on!) Here's what I posted on Instagram on Friday afternoon:


Did a version of a Coach Jen workout with Charlie on this sunny, humid, 85 degree afternoon: 5x(3 mins hard, 3 mins moderate). It's rougher than it sounds because there is no rest. "Hard" averaged 5:54 pace, and "mod" averaged 6:56. BRUTAL. But happy with times considering the stroller and being the hottest I've been this year. #TC10Mile next weekend!!

By the end of that workout, it was the hottest I'd been all summer. Seriously. It was gross. Here's a selfie dripping with sweat as I got home:

That's sweat at the bottom of my glasses, hanging off
my nose, and everywhere else for that matter.

After that run, Facebook had the gall to remind me that it was the first day of fall:


mn_runner on Instagram posted this. Perfect.

So that was my LAST HARD RUN. I have been in FULL TAPER MODE since that run on Friday: Saturday I had a short, easy spin; Sunday was an easy 5 mile run; today will be a swim; and tomorrow will be a moderate 60-90 min ride.

Oh, and between that easy Saturday ride and easy Sunday run, I took the family up north:

Us being dwarfed (and deafened) by Gooseberry Falls.

Back with more soon!


How Times Have Changed...

>> Saturday, September 23, 2017

I recently came across this gem on the City of Lakes Half Marathon website. Here's an advertisement for their race when it was a marathon back in 1979 (2 years before I was born):

It's interesting to note that "t-shirts will be given to all finishers under four hours," and that if you finish slower than 4 hours, your time won't be recorded! That would appear to show that running marathons has become less for the "hardcore" and more for the "average person" these days. (Which I whole heartedly approve of.)

Also, the entry fee was $4. FOR A MARATHON. According to US Inflation Calculator, that entry fee would still only be $13.53 in 2017.


Friday Funny 1332: Funny Exercise Shirts

>> Friday, September 22, 2017

From, here are some of the funniest fitness t-shirts:


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Friday Funny 1331: Beer Belly Fanny Pack

If you haven't seen this, allow me to introduce to you the "DadBag:"

Yes, it's a fanny pack that looks like a beer belly. Lovely.

You can follow The DadBag on Instagram where you can also purchase them.

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Friday Funny 1330: Weird Tattoos

Some of these... are... well... weird.

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Chatting with a Kenyan Runner

>> Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Two weeks ago, I posted this on Facebook:

So clearly, Stanley and I are basically the same person:

- He runs 2x a day. I've HAD the runs 2x a day.

- He runs for Nike. I run for the YWCA of Minneapolis (with much fewer perks, but also less child labor).

- He has no idea about his weekly mileage. I really don't care about my weekly mileage anymore. (I just "do what I can do" without getting injured, which might actually be how he trains too.)

- His "easy" pace for 8 miles or so is 5:30. My 5K PR pace from 7 years ago is 5:32.

- Stanley thinks people could run fast like him if they ran more. I think Stanley could run slow like me if he ran less.



>> Monday, September 18, 2017

Yesterday was my 11 mile run, and now it's under 2 weeks until the TC 10 Mile! Before that run, I had 2 thoughts for how the 11 miler could go and what I'd do later this week:

- It would feel good (proving my legs weren't too tired), and therefore I'd run 1 more longer run later this week. (I had mentioned doing a 12 mile this Friday as a possibility.)


- It would feel crappy (my legs would feel overworked from increasing miles over the last month), so I would just start taking it easy to be full rested/recovered for the race in 2 weeks.

But something else happened.

I did a version of a workout that Coach Jen gave me 2 weeks before my sub-60 TC 10 Mile in 2010. I warmed up for 2 miles, did 5 miles hard, and then cooled down for the rest. I figured I'd run around 6:20s or so for the hard miles, and I didn't shy away from the hills (in fact, I purposely planned my hard 5 miles to be on the hilliest sections of River Road). Well, I ran my first hard mile in 6:14 and felt pretty good. The 2nd hard mile had a big hill up under Franklin Ave, and I did that one in 6:08! I always felt pretty good, and my times were decently faster than I figured they'd be! (In fact, I had 4 half-mile splits sub-3:00!) I averaged under 6:06/mile for those hard 5 miles!

So I felt BETTER than I had hoped (which would lead me to want to run another longer run), but it's made me feel like I don't want to overdo it now, so I'll pull back and not do another long run in a few days.

I mentioned to my wife that I might do 10 miles on Friday with Charlie. (She never knew about my previous thoughts of running 12 - she hasn't been reading my blog lately.) She even thought 10 was too much. I looked back again to my training with Coach Jen in 2010, and she had me run "6 x (3 mins hard, 3 mins moderate)" on the Friday 9 days pre-race. That run (with warm up and cool down) was 9.5 miles. Maybe this Friday, I'll run 5 x (3 mins hard, 3 mins moderate) with 1.5 - 2 miles of warm up and cool down to equal around 8-9 miles total.

So, easy run WEDNESDAY, last harder run with Charlie on FRIDAY, and then 2 easy runs next week on WEDNESDAY and FRIDAY before racing on Oct 1st!

Unrelated: here are 2 pics from yesterday:

Ella getting cozy with Henry during some cartoon time.

Charlie went on a ride with me last night, and
he wanted to wear a flashing light on his back "like Mama."


A Few Decent Long Runs

>> Saturday, September 16, 2017

As I posted on Monday, my "rest week" was over and I've been working on increasing mileage again. Tomorrow (Sunday) is my next long run which should be over 11 miles.

Four weeks ago, I did a long run of 8.4 miles. I ran that entire run a bit "moderate" at 7:14 pace. (Remember, this was just a week after the Minnesota Triathlon, so I was still kind of recovering from that. Was happy that I didn't push it.)

Three weeks ago, my long run was 9.5 miles, and it felt GOOD. I wasn't planning on doing anything special, but at mile 2, I just kept upping the pace. I ended up running my middle 5.5 miles at 6:33 pace.

Two weeks ago, my long run hit 10 miles for the first time in over 18 months. It felt LONG. I'm not used to running that far. I descended the middle 5 miles: 6:58, 6:44, 6:38, 6:38, 6:23, and 6:25 for 6:45 average pace. (Notice I missed descending the final mile, but part of the blame there was a hill - I'm SOOO not hill trained.) It was a bit warm, and I sure didn't try to go "all out." Maybe it was that it was a bit warmer, but I think I felt a lot "rougher" because of the last few weeks of consistently building mileage - I think last week's rest week came at the right time.

So the plan hasn't changed: hit 11+ miles tomorrow, then MAYBE 12 miles next Friday if I'm feeling good, then 9 days of easier runs to rest up for the TC 10 Mile in 2 weeks from tomorrow! Still holding on to my 10 Mile goal of around 1:02. We'll see!


Friday Funny 1329: Unfortuate Events

>> Friday, September 15, 2017

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Friday Funny 1328: Dumb Adults

My first "Friday Funny" of the day was about dumb customers. This one is just about dumb things that someone had to explain to another adult. Enjoy:

I had a (cute but dumb) classmate from Illinois in middle school who told me there were
"3 Illinois:" Chicago, Illinois, and whatever town she was from. (And no, it wasn't some
statement on 3 different kinds of people - she was just that dense.)

Dear. God. In. Heaven.

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