Monday, February 27, 2006

Week In Review

Here it is already Monday morning..again. The weeks just fly by too quickly! Thankfully, I had the time to get in all of my workouts.

Strength training took a backseat with my increase in running.

Monday was a 5 mile run and 60 minutes of legs.
Tuesday was the 30:30 workout that no longer sucks. 30 seconds at 8.8 mph; 30 seconds at 4.8 mph for 30 minutes and a 1 mile warm up with a 1 mile cool down
Wednesday was Run Club 5 miles
Thursday was my tempo run (8 miles) +3 miles with Topaz on the trail
Friday was 3 on the treadmill in the AM + 5 in the PM with Topaz again
Saturday was the 50K around the Minneapolis Lakes in 6:00
Sunday was 10 miles on the trail with Topaz with back/chest for 60 minutes.

No swimming was done, no tris or bis.

Total Miles: 72 OOOHHH YEAHHHH!
Strength Training: 2 hours

Today I'm feeling good and strong. 72 miles is a high week for me. I'll run about 60 this week and hit 80+ the following where I have a 50 mile training run scheduled.

I ran 72 miles and I stayed the same on the scale. Better than gaining :)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Another Fine Training Run

Sometimes I just have a perfect training day. Nothing hurts, I don't get blisters, I'm not cold, I don't have a stomach ache and there are friends all around.

I had one of those today.

It began at 6 AM (I was able to sleep in!). I was dressed, breakfast had been eaten, I had a cup of Caribou French Roast from my fab French Press and I was off and driving to the Lake Harriet Bandshell; a 54 mile drive.

At 8 AM a group of old running friends, and new friends, were ready for a longer run. You know what? I met ALL of these people on-line. That's another long story that I will go through one of these days or posts.

I, Jeffrey, Scott, Bonnie, Marie, Amie, Joelle, Paul, Tom and Alicia were all set to run..most of us at different total distances.

It was chilly; the wind felt cold but after a few miles we were much warmer and feeling better.

I enjoy running the Minneapolis Lakes. There are many people out..even at 10F and a stiff wind..there are lots of dogs..all leashed and most very well behaved and there are POTTIES EVERY FEW MILES! I typically drink 24 oz an hour and use those potties at least twice an hour. It beats the woods. I found an unpleasant surprise in one of the toilets..someone missed the hole when pooping I guess..yuck. I was certain to never open that door on that port-a-let again.

32 miles later I was back in my car and heading on home to a turkey on the grill with sweet potatoes in foil. I had prepared everything this morning before I left with a note to Steve with full directions. He came through! Dinner was ready when I was out of the shower.

Now that's a great day :)

Tomorrow I'll run 10 miles on the trail near home with Topaz. He had to miss out on the fun today. He just wouldn't enjoy miles of pavement and having to be on leash.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Book Club

Tonight is Book Club night. I joined a book club, oh, 5 years ago I guess. We meet once a month at a restaurant, usually in the Maple Grove area, as some of us are in the Northern Suburbs are some in the Southern. Maple Grove is a nice middle of the road area with a ton of new restaurants!

Tonight we are meeting at Granite City to discuss the book, Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. We take turns picking out the books and restaurants each month.

I hope they have decent salads...


Last night was run club with a meeting directly after, which I attended in full frozen sweaty clothes. This morning was an 80 minute temp run. I love tempo runs! :)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Week In Review

It is Sunday again already. Man, the weeks fly by. On Monday morning I never wish for Friday, for it arrives too soon.

Well, let's see..what did I do workout wise this week?

Running: I ran a total of 54 miles.
Resistance Training: Trained for 3.1 hours
Swimming: Whopping two sessions for a TOTAL of 54 minutes. Kind of sad, hu?

Monday I lifted legs for 60 minutes. Hit a PB on the laying hamstring curl of 85 pounds. They are getting stronger. Swam for 25 minutes

Tuesday I ran the 30:30 workout, 30 seconds at 8.8 mph, 30 seconds at 4.8 mph, I held that up for 30 minutes and ran a 1 mile warm up, 2 mile cool down.

Wednesday I ran 3 in the neighborhood with Topaz and 5 with run club. Next week I begin running 10 at run club. McNaughton is only 8 weeks out and my highest mileage weeks are HERE!

Thursday was running the tempo run on the treadmill for 8.12 miles. I love that workout. Also lifted back/worked core.

Friday I ran 4 HIIT miles in the AM and headed to the gym in the PM. Lifted chest/tricep/bicep for 65 minutes and swam for 30 minutes.

Saturday I ran 10 miles on the slippery, icy, freezing trail for 10 miles with Topaz the happy pooch. Then came home and ran 10 miles on the treadmill.

Sunday I ran (no..really?) 10 more miles on the trail with happy pooch and the run was much more pleasant for me as it was 4F and hardly no wind.

And I lost two pounds this week.

As I mentioned, McNaughton is only 8 weeks out. This means my biggest mileage weeks are upon me. I'll be running 60, 70 and 80 mile weeks. I've never hit a 90. Just might try that, to see if I can.

Next week I will run a 50K at the Minneapolis Lakes. For those of you who read this and run the lakes, come on out! I'll be leaving the Lake Harriet Bandshell at 8 AM and will be running until..well, 2. Come for a mile or all 32.

2 weeks later I'll be at the Minneapolis Lakes again, this time for a 50 mile training run. The trails are just to icy and dicy for that mileage. I'll have to go into the city.

Tomorrow is President's Day and I have a day off. Today is my 2nd Saturday and that rocks. Tomorrow I'll be able to get in many good workouts :)

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Sheesh. This morning I crawled out of my warm comfy bed to Topaz wagging his tail and giving me the 'let's go for a run' look. He knows when it is Saturday, as I've slept in, I'm not off quickly to the shower..he knows it is a run morning with him.

I looked at the temperature outside. Oh man..-13F and the tree branches are doing a dance in the wind. Great.

The computer tells me it is -36F wind chill in Big Lake. Oh well, we'll head to the trail and at least be protected by the woods from the wind.

My hands were freezing the first 2 miles. I had on three layers over my hands! My Asics gloves-thin, my Smartwool Mittens-thick, then my Sugoi wind mittens over the top-thin. I couldn't believe how COLD my hands were. I pulled my wind jacket sleeves over the ball of fabric on my hands and then shoved the whole mess into my jacket pockets. I was thinking of turning back, but knew I couldn't be suffering from frost bite. Now with the huge appendiges of fabric on my hands.

2 miles later and my hands were warm. It was difficult running without arms though!

I and Topaz ran 10 on the trail-he was fine, no 'paw hopping' or anything. Just another day in the park for Topaz. I was tired of running with a snot frozen gaitor around my face and ice chunks on my eyelashes.

Back home, layers off, shorts on..the treadmill for 10 more miles. Not a bad way to start the day. Now both I and Topaz are happy.


We haven't visited the new Cabella's in Rogers. It's only 20 minutes from home but the store is always so packed when we have driven by we just haven't checked it out. Well, today we are on our way.

They must have some running apparel there, wouldn't they?? Steve's Dad gave us a $500 gift certificate for Christmas to Cabella's. We must shop.

Friday, February 17, 2006


My schedule keeps on changing this week. I think I know which workouts I am going to complete and when and bam! Everything changes. A meeting comes up, -30F windchill appears, or I find I have some free time to fill.

Today I ran 4 miles of High Intensity Interval Training on the treadmill at 4 AM with a plan of running an additional 6 with Topaz on the trail. Well, damn, it was -36F windchill today. Yeah, -36F. That is COLD. Crispy Cold.

On the way home from work I changed plans. The boys were occupied so I was heading for the gym.

I ended up lifting chest/bicep/tricep for 65 minutes and then donned my new swimsuit, goggles and cap. Well, the new items didn't make the swim any easier. I still reek at swimming. I was able to swim 75 yards w/o taking a rest, so did the 75x3 with a 25 recovery of breast stroke in there 10 times.

My arms are ready to fall off. I had a hard time putting clean sheets on my wonderful new king sized bed. But I managed.

Tommorrow 4 hours of running is on tap. Probably 1/2 on the treadmill and 1/2 on the trail with Topaz if this cold weather holds out.

Now Troy is bugging me to get off the computer. So off I go...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I love Valentine Day. It encompasses all of my favorite things: Pink and Red; Godiva Chocolate, Gold Gifts and Cards. I love it all. I love to give it and to receive it.

Troy had already eaten 8 Godiva Truffles before I left for work this morning. His oatmeal cereal was still sitting on the table-untouched. On Valentine Day I allow the boys to eat whatever they like. No, we don't usually have Godiva for breakfast, but, well, you know...Tyler hadn't consumed quite as much as Troy. He had the Govida Milk Chocolate assortment and had ONLY consumed 3 pieces.

Steve left the house at 4 AM; before my 430 wake up call so he didn't get his Godiva yet. Isn't Godiva the best!!

I received a very beautiful gold link chain with big huge heart pendant. Yum Yum.

Plus our king sized Select Comfort Sleep Number bed will be delivered and set up today. I should be receiving a call at any time to meet the installers at home.

Today: that wonky workout. Woofie increased my speed to 30 seconds at 8.8 mph; then 30 seconds at 4.8 mph. I completed 35 minutes after a mile warmup and then 2 miles cool down. Still not my favorite.

I've decided that Wednesday and Friday mornings will be my swim days. I bought a new suit, goggles and cap. All set to hit the pool tomorrow AM before work.

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Arrowhead 135

My friend, Pierre Oster, is the race director and participant in the Arrowhead 135. Yeah, 135 miles on snowmobile trails across the Great White North of Northern Minnesota. This race took place last Monday to Wednesday. You could travel via foot or bike. You had to pull a sled to carry your food/stove/water, etc. as there was minimal aid. CAN YOU IMAGINE?

Pierre is unbelievable. He has run the Grand Slam, Badwater, whatever is out there..he has done it. He not only directs the Arrowhead 135 with his wife, but he participates as well. This year was the 2nd Annual and he has finished both times. I think he is bionic.

He just rocks. And you should go to Be sure to click on the 'blog' so you can read the race reports.

In the meantime, I and Topaz are off for 2 hours at the rolling field trail. I hope it is as much fun as it was yesterday. When I get cold and tired I will think of John Storkamp (runner winner of Arrowhead and a really nice guy:) and Pierre doing the 135. Good Lord.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Topaz the Turbo Dog

With the additional 2" of snow received over the last few days I noticed that the roads were icy and snow covered yesterday. The trail that I like to snowshoe on is closed for cross country skiiers and with the new powder, I knew they would be hogging the trail.

That left the land near my home that the developer has allowed me to snowshoe upon this winter. It has gently rolling hills, mostly open field with oak and pine surrounding the fields which makes for a great wind block.

At 7 AM I strapped on the snowshoes and noticed that one of my lower claw thingies is missing. I must have lost in at the snowshoe marathon a few weeks ago. People were asking others if they had lost a crampon or campon or whatever the heck they are called, I call them claw thingies, but I never looked to see if it was I who lost one, I guess it was. That could account for the hard time I had getting up the hills and for the way I was sliding down hill at the marathon. Oh well.

I and Topaz headed out over the field, up the hills, down the hills, through the woods, through the fields. Oh my gosh, that dog! He was wide open, running fully extended, his front and back legs evenly extended with his back. He was crazy, like he couldn't get enough. He would run out in front of me, 1/2 mile out, then come back as fast as he could fly..and he was flying..back to me. He would lay in the snow until I caught back up, then off he'd go again. He was fully enjoying himself, as was I.

It's amazing to me how the running and herding is bred into the Border Collie. It is what they love to do and what they do so well. He is the perfect dog for me, the perfect training partner.

Coming up on three hours I decided I'd follow his tracks. What a riot. He was zig-zagging all over the fields, criss-crossing back and forth. We had a great time.

When I yelled "OK, all done Tope" he trotted back to the car and waited for me.

What a great day in the snow.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I Swam...I Sunk..I mean I stunk..

I woke up this morning at 4 AM; ready to meet two friends at the pool for a bit of swimming. Susan is triathlete woman; she wins her age group at many of the tri's here in MN and her strongest event..swimming. I, on the other hand, am all about running. I did a good amount of biking this summer, but my swimming could not even be close to good as I loaf about the beach or swim in my pool at home, never even swimming a full lap; mainly floating about upon a mattress. Kristen had completed a few triathlons and her swimming doesn't suck.

In the pool at 5, ah, it wasn't freezing as I was anticipating. It was about 85F; good for me. I swam two lengths of freestyle and was then holding onto the side of the pool gasping for air. OH MY GOSH, where have my lungs gone? Hello! It was tough. A few minutes of gab session and we are off again for two lengths. They are completing two lengths at a time for my sake, as it is quite apparent that I can not go any further at a time.

Wow. I definately have something to reach for. You know, 3 lengths of the pool. Gah! Tomorrow morning, I'll be hitting it again.

While I was swimming I was thinking about my tempo run tonight. Now that I don't suck at !

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wonky Workout

I've been getting through this week. It's been tough.

Ann's wake was on Sunday and her funeral was on Monday. It was very good to grieve with people that miss her as much as I. I have only been to one other funeral, and never a wake or burial, so this was all new territory. She had a full mass at her funeral which was just lovely.

So, for this wonky workout. I ran a 6 minute test-needed to see what distance I ran in 6 minutes. I had to travel 54 miles to an indoor track, as the High School track is covered in snow and ice. Well, I ran 1333 meters or so. So Coach figured out this workout for me related to V02 max. At 2% incline run 30 seconds on the treadmill at 8.3 mph; then 30 seconds at 4.3 mph for as long as I could. Well, he added a side note that most run for less than 20 minutes the first time.

I thought I must be completing this workout incorrectly because I could have run it forever and a day. I went for 45 minutes and was becoming bored and crabby. I was never able to really R U N. I would get up to 8.3, run hard..for 30 seconds and back down to 4.3 and that just sucked. After 5 miles I gave up on the back and forth business and just ran hard at 8.3 for another few miles. At least I felt like I accomplished something! I emailed him to see what exactly this workout was for and did I complete it correctly?

I had some spare time so I lifted shoulders/back as well.

Tonight is run club; I'm blessed with a great group of friends there, it will be good to run with them .

Tomorrow NEWS FLASH: My first swim. Yup, I'm entering my first triathlon on May 6 so I need to get into the pool. I'm meeting triathlete friend Susan at the gym at 5 AM. Yup. Then in the evening I'll be running my tempo.

Rock On.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Running is the best Medicine

On Wednesday morning I had a daunting task to perform. I needed to call everyone that I could reach from Run Club. I wanted to at least try to get a hold of the 'core' group before having to send an email or before meeting with them on Wednesday night.

I wasn't too successful with the phone calling. Most were working, or away, or just unreachable. I hated to leave messages on voice mail; it was so obvious though, here I am bawling and I'm saying 'this is the phone call I was hoping I wouldn't have to make' it was horrible. After a few calls I couldn't make any more.

I ended up sending an email stating the facts very plainly and simply, as I had been updating them with Ann's condition in the past. With a "See you at run club tonight".

Before run club I went to Ann's home to help pick out pictures for her memory board, etc. It was good to be among others who were grieving as I.

I drove up to the High School, sadness overwhelming me, wishing I didn't have to do this. I didn't want to talk to people in grief and I didn't feel like I wanted to discuss Ann. I wanted to keep this pain private.

I walked into the High School entry and the biggest group of runners in months turned out. There were 14 of us. All tear - eyed, and full of pain, I began to hug each and every one, around the circle of people I went. Smiling, crying, hugging. It was heart breaking. But it was healing.

We left for our run; 5 miles in the dark, around the lakes, down the highway, through the city of Big Lake. Ann's stomping grounds. The route we must have run 1000 times. Together.

When we were done we were full of smiles. We laughed, talked about Ann, laughed about Ann, told Ann stories. We all loved Ann very much.

It was where I needed to be. Our run was healing, as was our grieving together.

Thank You

Thank you so very much for all of the kind thoughts and words. I appreciate it very very much.

It's been tough. Real tough.

Tomorrow night is the Big Lake Booster Club Fundraiser: Putting On The Ritz. It's a night of dancing and dinner, comedian, etc. It's an event where we dress in our formals and have a blast. The whole run club attends.

Last year I, Ann and Debbie went together. We had a lot of fun; Ann and I were the last to leave.

This year I wasn't going to attend. Ann was sick and the thought of going without her made me sad.

Today Debbie called me and told me to rethink that decision. With Ann's wake/funeral on Sunday and Monday, I could use a lift. Ann would have loved that Debbie and I go to honor her memory.

I will be there.

Last year I shopped for the perfect floor length dress, the perfect shoes, etc. This year I have about one hour to shop tomorrow. If I can't find a dress, I will wear last years. I'm having a neighbor take it in now. Thank goodness she was able to. It's too big for me now.

It's funny because last year Ann said "Julie, you must have paid a fortune for that dress. You better wear it again." "Ann, there is no where else I'd ever wear it" "Then you'll wear it here again next year..and I'll wear the same one too".

If there is a heaven, that is where she is, and she'll laugh out loud when she sees me wearing the same dress to Putting On The Ritz.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I and Ann; Run Club 10/05 Posted by Picasa

TCM 10/05 Posted by Picasa

My Dear Friend Ann

Today is a dark day. It is one that I knew would probably come, eventually, but I was hoping against hope that it wouldn't. I was hoping and praying that someway, somehow Ann would be able to recover from Stage Four Lymphoma.

This morning, at 710 AM, Ann passed away ..

No more struggling, no more tiredness, none of that. Ann is in a better place.

I met Ann 6 years ago. She and her son were enrolled in an ECFE class with I and Troy. I had just run my first marathon-Grandmas Marathon of 1999-and was telling the class about it. Ann came up to me and told me that she used to run High School track and was interested in getting back into it.

At that point our friendship began.

I told her there was a Big Lake Run Club, but that I was a bit apprehensive in checking them out. I knew it was mainly men, and fast lean men, and I was afraid I wouldn't cut the mustard.

We began to meet weekly to run and to get her mileage up to five miles. Once she was at five miles we decided to meet the Big Lake Runners.

Thank goodness we did! They welcomed us with open arms and we have been attending the Wednesday night runs since.

A few years later I asked Ann if she'd like to run a marathon before turning 40. "Wouldn't that be awesome, Ann..a marathon.. before 40!" Impossible, she thought. I knew better. She was going to be running Grandmas with me the following year.

We began training and sure enough..we were at the start line in a few short months. I had just run FANS 24 Hour Run two weeks before Grandmas so the plan was to stay together as long as we could, then she should go out on her own, as I'd be tired. She thought I'd go out on my own. Not so. At mile 20 she kicked it up a notch and off she went!

It was an awesome day.

Since then I and Ann have shared many many hours together. Ann ran her first 2 50K's this last summer. I had the honor of running the 2nd with her. I watched her finish the first.

Just four short months ago we ran Twin Cities Marathon.

Everything can change in a minute.

Take care, my dear friend, Ann. I love you.