How Much Discomfort Can I Tolerate?!

Week starting Jan 11, 2009

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Member Since:

Nov 09, 2007



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

  • 5k PR - 18:48 (7/04/08)
  • 8K PR - 33:46 (5/19/07, on trails)
  • 10k PR - I have not run a competitive 10K yet.
  • 12K PR - 50:10 (8/09/08)
  • 15K PR - 1:04:52 (3/22/08)
  • Marathon - Have run 1 trail marathon, (Grand Island) 3:55 (July 2007)
  • Ultra Marathons -
  • Farmdale 33.5 miles, 10/08 - 6:08
  • Riddle Run 28 Miles, 01/09 - 5:35 (run in 2-3 inches of snow)
  • Devil's Lake 50k, 07/09 - 6:22
  • Howl at the Moon 8 hour, 08/09 - 39.98 miles
  • North Country Trail Run 50 miles, 09/09 - 9:44
  • Farmdale 32 miles, 10/09 - 5:45
  • McNotAgain 30 Miles, 10/09 - 5:50
  • Red Rock Canyon Half, Las Vegas, 06/12 - 2:15

Short-Term Running Goals:

Keep running in the winter - 1st year in Eugene - fun!

Long-Term Running Goals:

Keep on Keeping on..


Moved to Eugene in Autumn, 2012 - Track city USA!

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
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Weather - 29 degrees, cloudy, snowing, no wind.

Felt strong today, but I have lost my energy for writing a running blog entry. I will repeat here what I wrote on my photo blog :

I had to make up some work at the park district for missing Thursday and Friday so I went in this morning for a few hours.

As I walked home I recalled walking home from work when I lived in Chicago. One particular day remains vivid in my mind. I had a 1 mile walk from the elevated train station to my apartment on Broadway. As I walked in the late afternoon summer light, surrounded by hundreds of people and cars, I felt an energy kick up inside of me, and I could not wait to change into my running shoes and start my Lake Michigan 5 miler.

Today I felt similar, the energy high and the desire to use it for running hills and the South Farms loop.

A beautiful, gentle snow fell from the gray sky, and the wind was very light. I got snug into my gear and started the loop, feeling strong and ready to work.

I ran to Busey Woods, did my mini loop, turned back and went through town, got to the arboretum and ran 15 x 100m hills like it was nothing, kept going and hit the South Farms going at a pretty good clip. When I got to the corn fields I was still moving strong. This is usually where I start to feel some fatigue from the wind, but the wind was not there today!

When I got to MBK I stopped to gaze at the female statue looking out over the snow covered field.

MBK is usually the hardest part of the loop for me because I feel I am furthest from home, and halfway through the park I have to change direction and head south again, which makes it seem like I am going backwards.

But today I ran MBK like I was on a 5 mile run - legs fresh, moving easily, breathing freely.

I eventually returned to the arboretum and began another set of 15 x 100m hill repeats. 3 people were sledding on the east side of the hill, which did not interfere with my running. My legs started to get a bit fatigued at hills 13-15, but I finished those off without a problem, and the final mile I went at hard, sprinting the final 800m, for a total of 16 miles with 30 hills.

I am low on cash this week, so I sadly passed Jimmy John's without stopping in, but I had a smile on my face on my walk home. The sun had vanished, the light now dreary and covered in shadow, which made a nice contrast with the fresh snow at my feet.

I still can't comprehend how I am going to run 50 miles at McNaughton in April.....


When I got home I enjoyed a hot bath, ate some pasta, garlic bread, and veggies, followed by working on a photograph as I relaxed and listened to music.

Halfway to the Zendo

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Weather - 28 degrees, cloudy, bit of wind and snow.

My photo blog is beginning to include descriptions of my long runs, so I may as well just transfer here what I write there :

Finally had the nerve to try my new minimalist shoes today.

The Nike Waffle Racer is a shoe that is unlike the shoes I have been wearing since I began running. Instead of a cushioned heel and a shoe that takes control of my foot movements, I feel like I am running barefoot with a piece of rubber attached to the bottom of my foot. At first I kept looking down at my feet and thinking, "where's the shoe?".

I loved the "no heel" feel, and I had the odd sensation that I had more cushion on my actual heel than my old shoes did. Once I got to the grass trails I could feel the uneven ground shaping my foot and I thought, "where have these shoes been all my life?"

I ended up doing a full South Farms loop for 13 miles in what seemed to be my bare feet. I was going faster than usual because the shoes allowed me to stride more naturally with my midfoot.

The weather wasn't bad for mid-January : a light dusting of snow, a few patches of ice, a bit of wind, and some hard ground to traverse.

One day is not enough to judge these shoes, but right now I can't wait to get back into them and hit the trails.

When I got home I ordered another pair of shoes, this time the Puma H Streets. I may as well try different types of minimalist shoes and find what works for my feet and what doesn't.


I worked on a picture later in the afternoon of the railyard, exposed a few weeks ago.



White Oaks at the Railyard

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Weather - 12 degrees, clear, windy.

Was kind of fearing the cold today for my run, so I threw on 5 shirts, long underwear/sweats, 2 hats, mittens, face protector, and hoped for the best as I ran to Busey Woods.

I decided to wear my new cross country shoes for the first time (minus the spikes), they felt comfortable, and once I got into the woods I ran effortlessly around and around, feeling like a music chord lost in a Philip Glass composition.

Snow on the ground, bare, blackened trees rushing by, patches of washed out blue settling into the frozen trails. I found my flow, and ended up running 13 x 1 mile loops, for a total of 15 miles.

It felt good to soak in a hot tub when I finally got home, allowing myself to thaw as I focused on my feeling of health and strength which is so wonderful to experience.


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Weather - 25-5 degrees, clear, very windy.

The run started pleasant enough, with temperatures in the mid 20's. Being in town I did not feel the wind too much. Lot of snow on the ground, though, about 3-4 inches, which meant I was running at a slow pace for most of the way.

I started my run near noon, and stopped running at 4:45pm. I did 20 minutes of strength exercises at mile 1.5 mile, and after that it was all trudge and grind.

This run could be the one I need to give me confidence for my April ultras. Once I got out into the open on the South Farms I had to battle the frigid wind, and the temperature dropped quickly as the afternoon moved forward.

I had a few mental struggles, mainly with how cold I felt when I was in the open areas.When I left MBK I had to run backwards for 1/2 mile to avoid feeling the sting of the wind.

I finished the run with 4 x 1 mile loops in Busey Woods, and although it was now 5 degrees, I did not feel much wind and my hands were able to warm up. 

I wore my new Teva trail racing shoes today, I have no mercy on my new shoes! The shoes were awesome, I don't think they are waterproof, but my feet never felt wet, and even with the frigid temps they never got cold.

Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be very cold, so I will be happy to put in some short miles until Saturday.


Photo took out on the South Farms today (my hands were numb, but I managed to press the shutter button) :


Still a Long Way to Run


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Weather - -9, clear, windy.

With weather which reminds me of Ivan Denisovich, I was expecting to run only 1-2 miles and get indoors as quickly as possible. 

However, when I got outside, the weather felt the same as yesterday, so I decided to base my run on how I felt, rather than what the thermometer indicated.

I ran to the arboretum and stopped to do 3 sets of strength exercises. When I was on my last set a young couple with a 2-3 year old child walked to where I was, and they began to play on the monkey bars. This struck me as odd, because I have been doing strength exercises there all year, and have never seen anyone playing on the bars. But today, with a wind chill of about -35, they decide to bring their kid outside to play on the monkey bars - they are just as crazy as I am!

I was feeling good after doing my pull-ups and dips, I could feel the running energy flowing high, so I decided to run to Busey Woods to do some loops.

After running 3 x 1 mile loops I ran 1 more mile back to town, then walked home for 15 minutes.

After 4 consecutive days of mid-high mileage, capped by yesterday's 5 hour freeze fest, my legs somehow still felt fresh and strong. With only 2 weeks to the Riddle Run 28 miler, things are looking good.


Star Fruit 1 minute before being eaten today :


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Weather - 10 degrees, clear, windy.

Seemed pretty nice today compared to the last 2 days.

I was not sure how I was going to feel today because yesterday was an easy day, but I ran 8 miles, and I am not mentally accustomed to 8 miles being easy.

Fortunately my body believed 8 miles was easy, because I once again had high running energy, and my legs felt strong and fresh.

I decided to hang out in the woods, so I ran 2 miles to Busey and then ran loops for 2 hours and 13 minutes. I then ran 1 mile back to town.

Running the loops in the snow was slow going, but I felt great, and the run was over before it even seemed to start. I wanted to keep going for another hour, but I decided to show some restraint - no need to overdo it and stress my body for no good reason.

What a week of running - all energy and I loved running even in the arctic cold - can it get any better?


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Weather - 31 degrees, cloudy, windy.

Nice day, felt warm out there. Took a breather today because I am planning to do some hills either tomorrow or Monday. If Monday then tomorrow will be a short run. 

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. I left a message on her machine telling her I hope she had a good day. I also asked her if she would consider pacing me for the final 10 miles of my 50 mile race on April 11th.

I was thinking that by mile 40 I could really be struggling, so if I had a person to run with it could be the difference between finishing or not. I don't get a chance to do much with my sister, so I thought this would be a great way to spend a few hours together. I remember going to Chicago to see her finish the marathon a few years ago, I was really proud of her.

I received an email from her today, and she was excited about pacing me! That is great news, and she also said my parents want to come down to the race to watch me finish - wow! 

Then Rachel said since my parents are going, she will go to, so I will have a lot of people cheering for me on April 11 - what a day it is going to be....


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