January 31, 2009

Spring Tease

Well, I finally got my wimpy self outside for a run today - a 10 miler around Lakes Calhoun, Harriet, and Isles. The weather was positively spring like with sunny skies and the temp around 40! That's more than 60 degrees warmer than it was a couple of weeks ago.

The Lakes were busy with lots of activities: ice fishing, wind surfing on skis (not sure what it's really called), cross country skiing, hockey, ice skating, and mountain biking on ice. Oh, and lots of walkers/runners on the paths. The City of Lakes Loppet ski race was going on at Lake of the Isles as well as some type of mountain bike event out on the frozen lake.

It was a nice way to end January :)

Today's run was my longest since Surf the Murph on Nov 1 and my heels were a little sore after the run. Hopefully the bursitis won't rear it's ugly head again since I really need to get my mileage up and some hill work in for Chippewa, which is less than 3 months away. Yikes!

Good luck to all of the brave souls who will toe the line for the toughest race in Minnesota this Monday - the Arrowhead 135. You don't sign up for this race - you apply.

January 28, 2009


Seems like a lot of the MN trail runners are also on Facebook!

Who knew?

Feel free to look me up - I post cool exercises to try (that may or may not have anything to do with trail running) every once in awhile.

January 26, 2009

2009 Minnesota Trail Run Series

OK, Gang - it's official! Here's the list of races that are part of the 2009 MN Trail Run Series:

4/18 - Trail Mix 25K (50K, 7.5 mile) at Hyland Lake in Bloomington
5/2 - Runnin' in the Ruff 10K (2 mile) in Milaca. This is the 2009 MNTRS Championship Race!
5/16 - Superior Trail 25K (50K) in Lutsen
6/6 - Chester Woods 10 mile (5K) in Rochester
6/13 - Sour Grapes Half Marathon (10K) in Brainerd
7/4 - You have a choice between 2 races:
Tofte Trek 10K in Tofte OR
Afton 25K (50K) in Afton
8/1 - Fisherman's Picnic 5 mile in Grand Marais
8/15 - Days of Old Track & Trail 10K in Maple Lake
9/19 - Walker North Country Marathon (half, 10K) in Walker
9/26 - In Yan Teopa 10 mile in Frontenac
10/17 - Big Woods Half Marathon (10K, 5K) in Nerstrand
10/24 - Great Pumpkin Chase 5K (10K) in Lake Elmo

Distances in parentheses are alternate distances that still count for 25 points towards the series. If you want the most points (up to 100 per race), you need to run the advertised distance ;)

For those who want to shoot the moon, I think that this year is actually easier than last year. Last year, everyone HAD to run a marathon (Moose Mountain), this year the longest you need to go is 25K (Superior). And if you really want to run the fall Superior races (which aren't part of the series this year), you still can since doing the 10K at Walker the following week still counts towards the series.

Lace 'em up!

January 25, 2009

January Training

I really don't enjoy winter running or the hamster wheel, so January and February are mentally tough for me to get miles in. That being said, I finally had a relatively decent week of training! Keep in mind that I am a low mileage runner ;)

I credit my good week mostly to deciding upon my "flagship" races for the year and beginning to plan my running schedule. Also, the retrocalcaneal bursitis in my heel has been almost completely resolved, so I've been able to start building up a little mileage. The key will be to not try to catch up too fast and end up flaring things up again. Setbacks suck!

This past week:
Mon - off
Tues - 6 miles
Weds - strength training + 1 mile run (all in Vibram Five Fingers)
Thurs - off
Fri - strength training
Sat - 8 miles (longest since Surf the Murph on Nov 1)
Sun - strength training + 4 quarter mile repeats (all in Vibram Five Fingers). First "speed" workout in months - it felt harder than it should have for the pace I ran. Deconditioning is a bitch!

If you think people look at you funny when you run in Vibram Five Fingers, wait 'til you show up at the squat rack wearing them :)

January 19, 2009

2009 Race Calendar

I'm trying to firm up my race schedule so that I can get going on my planning. The 2009 races listed on the right side of my blog are tentative. Very tentative. It includes 2 ultras and possibly 2 marathons, which is a lot for a low mileage runner like moi.

I basically have 3 flagship races this year and have already registered for 2 of them:
Chippewa 50K
Grand Island Marathon
Wild Duluth 50K

The 2 50K races will count towards the Fab Five Fifties series; Grand Island doesn't "count" towards anything other than it's a race I've wanted to do for a long time. I lived in the U.P. for 4 years while going to college at Michigan Tech and drove past the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore I don't know how many times without ever bothering to visit. Funny how you don't appreciate what's in your own back yard until you move away. So, this July I'll hop on a ferry boat to get shuttled to Grand Island out in Lake Superior to run a marathon. Word is that it's a fairly non-technical course with plenty of bear sightings, a couple of beach sections, and a 6 hour time limit.

Since I also signed up for the MN Trail Run Series, I'd like to get at least 6 races in for that. My current schedule has 5, but if I volunteer at Trail Mix I should get points for both the Fab Fives and MN Trail Series.

There are also a few races that I'd like to do just because I like the races: Afton, Moose Mountain, and Surf the Murph come to mind. I've always been interested in Walker, although another marathon this year might put me over the edge. On the other hand, a mid-Sept marathon might be a great long training run for Wild Duluth. I may do either Moose or Walker, but definately not both!

Decisions, decisions....

January 18, 2009

So Many Races, So Little Time

I met with Kate and Lisa at Hyland today to discuss which races to include in the 2009 MN Trail Run Series. Boy, there sure were a lot to choose from! We finally came up with a tentative schedule, but I'm not going to post it yet since there are still some details to be worked out with various race directors. The schedule we came up with includes 8 races from last year as well as 4 "new" ones - and some of the repeats from last year probably aren't the ones that you think ;) The one race that is for sure is Runnin' in the Ruff 10K in Milaca on May 2 since it will be the championship race for the series this year. Hopefully Kate will have the final schedule posted on the UMTR website by the end of the month. And if you end up not liking the schedule, well....Kate has been asking for volunteers to help choose the races for the last couple of years - you had your chance :)

Our discussion revealed LOTS of MN trail races this year! Here are just a few that you can consider when planning your own schedules:

April 18 - Trail Mix 25K or 50K at Hyland Lake Park in Bloomington
April 19 - MDRA Mudball 4 mile at Wirth Park (Mpls)
May 2 - Runnin' in the Ruff 10K in Milaca
May 16 - Superior 25K or 50K in Lutsen
June 6 - Chester Woods 10 mile in Rochester
June 13 - Sour Grapes Half Marathon in Brainerd
June 20 - JJM Victory Run 5K in Spicer
July 4 - Afton 25K and 50K
July 4 - Tofte Trek 10K
July 11 - Lakewood Hills 5K in White Bear Lake
July 11 - Half Voyageur in Duluth
July 25 - Bay to Bay Road & Trail 10K in Silver Bay
July 25 - Voyageur 50 mile in Duluth
July ? - SMU Trail Scamper 5K or 4 mile?
August 1 - Fisherman's Picnic 5 mile in Grand Marais
August 1 - Granite City 5K - St. Cloud
August 15 - Days of Old Track & Trail 10K in Maple Lake
August 19 - Tartan Terrible 4 mile in Lake Elmo
Sept 11-12 - Sawtooth 100 mile
Sept 12 - Moose Mountain Marathon or Superior 50 mile in Lutsen
Sept 19 - Walker North Country Marathon in Walker
Sept 19 - Trees and Trails 5K in Mahtomedi
Sept 20 - Harmon Farms 10 mile in Inver Grove Heights
Sept 26 - In Yan Teopa 10 mile in Frontenac
Oct 17 - Big Woods Half Marathon in Nerstrand
Oct 17 - Wild Duluth 50K or 100K
Oct 25? - Great Pumpkin Chase 5K in Lake Elmo
Oct 25 - Spring Into Shape 5K in Duluth
Oct/Nov? - Surf the Murph 25K in Murphy Hanrehan (Savage)
Nov 7 - Arctic Commando 5K in Battle Creek Park (St. Paul)

There's going to be a trail running festival in Duluth from Sept 25-27 that sounds like a lot of fun too:
Friday Sept 25 - 1 mile (or there abouts) hill climb up Spirit Mountain starting at 5 pm.
Sat Sept 26 - half marathon (10-13 mile range - distance still to be determined) on the Superior Hiking Trail starting at 8 am.
Sun Sept 27 - 5K beach run at Park Point starting at 9:30 am.

So which ones am I running? I'll have to save that for a separate post.

January 11, 2009

A Little Progress

While my running goals aren't quite where I'd like them to be right now, I have made some minor progress. Today was my longest run since Surf the Murph 25K on Nov 1 - a whopping 6 miles on the hamster wheel. My heel was a little sore for the first mile, but then settled down. With Chippewa looming just a few months away, I'd like my mileage to be double what it is right now, but I really want to get this bursitis put to bed before the trail running season hits full swing.

Strength training continues to go well!

I paid my annual dues for membership in the Upper Midwest Trail Runners and signed up for both the MN Trail Run Series and the Fab Five Fifties Ultra Series. It seemed like a good idea at the time ;)

Steve has posted the 2009 Fab Five Fifties races (I believe the dates on his blog are correct unlike the dates on the UMTR website), and some of us will be meeting next weekend to choose the races for the 2009 MN Trail Run Series. Instead of the same races year after year, there will be a few new games in town this year! Stay tuned!