Grandmas 2016 – Week 2

Rather uneventful week so I’ll keep most of the post short.

Monday – Strava link here

Nice and easy today after the race on Sunday. The best part about this run was the fact that Cory and I saw a cat squatting in a front yard…didn’t even move when we ran by it.

3.1 miles, 8:30 pace, 142 avg HR + 10min strength

Tuesday – Strava link here

5 miles, 8:29 pace, 151 avg HR, 392 feet of elevation

Wednesday – Strava link here

3 miles, 8:41 pace, 145 avg HR(monitor being goofy)
4x Hill sprint + 10 min strength

Thursday Strava link here

Tempo today was a little rough. Did 10 min up, 15 @ 6:29 pace, 5~ min down. We got a lot of wind on the first half of the tempo and it beat me up. HR monitor was goofy again, but from the good parts of it, seemed like my HR was where it needed to be, even though I felt terrible during the tempo portion.

Friday – Rest day, 10 min strength

Saturday – Strava link here

DRC Saturday! I was running a little behind like usual, but when I pulled in I was amazed to see how many people showed up!


I’m so proud of how far the Dubuque Running Club has come since Allison and I started this in 2012. We are rounding on four years come May and considering we had about 5 people(mostly family) that came, seeing this makes me happy!

The run was an easy 5(glad it wasn’t a marathon pace) and I felt a bit winded. Turns out the tree pollen is extremely high right now, which could be an indication of why I felt the way I did for the tempo Thursday.

5 miles, 8:11 pace, 166 avg HR(more likely around 155~)

Sunday – Strava link here

Sunday long run with Cory and Dennis. I’m route master for this time around, which is generally a good idea as I keep things interesting. We ended up hitting a lot of elevation and with the pollen, I was having issues breathing still.

We topped off at around 850 feet of elevation gain and I was wondering why I was so tired off this since I’ve done 22 milers with the same amount…and then I realized that 11 miles less stretch for that gain is a little more intense and closer together.

Regardless, its great to get out and get these long runs in again…and it was even 45-50 degrees on the run! Glad to have my Simple Hydration bottle with me!


Week 2 down, 16 to go!

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Grandmas 2016 – Week 2

Grandmas 2016 – Week 1

Week 1, Day 1 – Let the wild RUNpus start!


Day 1 was nice and easy 3 miles with 10 minutes of strength. Happy to get this started!

3 miles, 9:12 pace, 139 avg HR – Strava link here


Woke up early to get this one in with Cory. Easy 5 with a couple hills to get it started.

5 miles, 8:20 pace, 151 avg HR, 240 feet of elevation – Strava link here


Was going to get up and do this run in the morning but I went to bed with a killer headache and woke up with an even worse one. I started a sugar cut so I think this might have been the cause but I took some meds in the morning and felt good by the time I got off.

Did an easy 3 followed by 4x hill sprints at full effort for 10~ seconds followed by 10 min of strength.

3 miles, 8:40 pace, 145 avg HR – Strava link here


DRC Thursday! Met up with the club and was able guide some of them out to a local hill for our hill repeats. Like last cycle I did a .25 hill with a 5-7% incline and tried to keep it around marathon pace. The first one was a bit fast and had to slow it down for the next two. Out of all the workouts, this is my least favorite.

3 x .25 hill repeats – 1:33, 1:42, 1:42 – Strava link here


Rest day! Stuck with 10 minutes of strength only.


DRC Group run – We had a race on Sunday so Cory and I swapped out our long run to Saturday. 10 miles with some hills in them in beautiful weather! First of many long runs to come! Only problem I had for the day was that my Heart rate monitor seems to be acting a little off.

10 miles, 8:13 pace, 599 elevation gain – Strava link here


Sunday marked one of my favorite races in the winter time, the Chili Chase in Davenport. I technically had 5 at marathon pace scheduled so I originally was going to do this 4 mile run around that, but the race day adrenaline got the best of me!

Ended up cruising out pretty fast and hit some fast pacing for the race. This isn’t a flat course by any means and the last mile has a pretty good sized hill at the finish. The only good thing about the hill? You start down it too, so a quick fast mile is in order!

We had a couple of the DRC gang down there just spectating and Shannon ended up taking pictures. I ended up posing behind Cory at the start, which basically sums up our entire runs together.

Chili Chase 2016-16

I could tell I went out way too quick on the first mile and went into anaerobic pace right off the bat, which effected me towards the end of the race. Although I was shooting for 6:45~ that was soon out the window. 4 miles at 6:28 = 5 at 6:45 right? haha

I could hear some people behind me from mile 2.5 and on but I kept up my pacing so I wouldn’t get passed. I ended up picking it up on the last bit on the hill and they couldn’t keep up or pass me.

Chili Chase 2016-31

Ended up finishing 16th overall(1 second from 15th!) and felt pretty good with the race today. Again my HR monitor ended up messing up so unfortunately I can’t mine that data.

My splits ended up being 6:20, 6:18, 6:33, 6:41 – 6:28 avg with 158 elevation gain
Strava link here

Week 1 in the books! Excited to keep moving forward!

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Grandmas 2016 – Week 1

Old Man Winter

Again, I wasn’t going to really post much until training started back up again but couldn’t resist this one as a follow up from yesterday.


Old man winter says to keep hydrated even when it snows!

Was going out and taking it nice and easy to hit up my “fitness course”(8~ miles). Plan was to just keep it under 150 HR mostly and not go overboard. It was 10 degrees with 15mph and already snowing by the time I started.

I was being careful as there was ice under some of the snow and didn’t really have too many issues since I kept it slow.

The way out wasn’t too bad, the wind was at my back so I didn’t have much of an issue…but when I turned around to come home it got pretty bad. The ice pelting my face and freezing on my eyelashes had me more tired than normal since I just wanted to close my eyes.

My HR monitor slipped down the last two miles and I was too cold to care and didn’t bother pushing it back up. By the last mile I just started pushing it and almost cut to a minute faster than the rest of the miles.

With all the cold weather we have been having lately, the forecast of 30-50 this coming week will be a much needed change. Plus, marathon training STARTS TOMORROW!!!

8.3 miles, 8:51 pace, 150 avg HR(most likley off), 492 feet of elevation – Strava link here

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Old Man Winter

Frosty the Billman

Wasn’t going to really post but I couldn’t help posting this one. Nice and easy 5~ miles today to keep the legs moving. Negative with wind chill = Frosty the Billman!


5.4 miles, 8:18 pace, 154 avg HR(not sure if accurate), 399 feet of elevation – Strava link here

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Frosty the Billman

On racing


Feb 11th – four months since the Chicago Marathon. I haven’t run a
race since and won’t for a while. Not that there’s much opportunity in
the winter.

While I love to race, lately it seems I only gear up for a few per
year. In the tradeoff between more training and the thrill of
competition, I’ve often chosen the training. That’s great for my
ultimate goal race (and wallet), but removes some of the fun of why I
run so much.

Where is the balance? I know people enjoy running without racing. I
sometimes wonder if it’s the grind of training I enjoy more than the
outcome. Am I some kind of masochist? Afraid to race and fail? Too old
to risk injury?

The Shamrock Shuffle 8K is still a few weeks away. It’s big enough
and familiar enough for me to accept the break in training. It’s also a
celebration of spring. Emerging from the icy cocoon to soar through the
brisk air. Ok, now I’m getting excited.

What about you? Do you race every chance you get or prefer to focus on an important one?

Typically I try not to race too much if there are higher stakes on the line.

Last cycle worked out well for some of my races because it actually fell on a weekend of speedwork or the distance.

7 mile marathon pace? Sure this 10k will be great!

I think some people get really caught up in racing, including myself, but you really have to go full force if you have those long term goals.

On racing

One last easy week!

Monday will mark the start of my 18 week cycle for Grandma’s Marathon so I am just taking this week easy. After coming off the 5k cycle I took a week off to give myself the recovery needed.

I’m excited to start training again and really excited to help out and “coach” two people from the DRC. One is their first marathon and the other is to PR and get under 4 hours.

I’ve also created a facebook group “18 week accountabuddies” that I’m planning on having any of the DRC members join if they’d like advice, motivation and accountability throughout the 18 weeks.

If Allison and I had the resources that are available because of the club our first marathon would not have been a 4:46…our second wouldn’t have been a 4:35.

I’ve come a long way in so many regards of my life that my personal running is just one small bit of it. Overall running has been a big factor in my life for the past 8 years and as the DRC keeps growing, it is good to see so many lives changed because of something small that Allison and I started.

I hope to actually get certified as a coach from the Road Runner Club of America at some point, but the classes are always much too far from where I live and they sell out SO FAST. But I am keeping a steady eye on that because it really is something I am passionate about.

I’ll probably keep posts this week to a minimum as my runs don’t have much impact and are just keeping it nice and easy. Next week I’ll be in full swing though!

I have been posted more to instagram and twitter lately, so feel free to follow!

Happy running!

One last easy week!



I’m re-reading this book because I’m training three new coaches for our group. I told all three of them to read it and thought– I better re-read it, too. 

I think it’s one of the best running books out there because it addresses the biggest mistakes that runners make in training for races. They do their easy runs too hard and they do their hard runs too easy. They don’t know what pace is easy and what pace is hard. They spend most of their time at a moderately hard pace and they would get much, much better results if they actually trained easier and smarter. Smarter means 80% of training time at easy pace/effort and 20% at hard pace/effort.

The book also touches on the importance of running volume. Runners tend to run too hard but not enough mileage. I see this in my group all the time. They run too hard and then “listen to their body” and skip days. Their body is talking to them but they aren’t getting what it’s saying. They need to slow down, not cut miles. 

How easy is easy? Take your maximum heart rate x 79%. So my max is 182 x .79 = 144. So 80% of my run time should be spent at 144 or lower. I get heart rate data for many of the runners that I coach, and I often see heart rates on easy paced runs that are 155 and higher. That’s not easy paced.  When you run the right pace 80% of the time, then when you run 20% of the time at 91% of your max heart rate (166 for me), then you will actually be able to do it and you will get a lot more out of it

It’s so difficult to convince runners to slow down. If you need convincing, read this book. It will leave no doubt in your mind that if you aren’t training 80/20 then you are just plain doing it wrong.

Good stuff here.

I can’t stress this enough! I see people time after time running too hard which causes them to plateau or even get caught in an injury cycle. Heal up, run fast, injury and repeat.

Ill be the first to admit that some times I do run too hard on my easy days, but I’m aware of the benefits and catch myself.

I can say for certain I wouldn’t ever train workout a heart rate monitor.