Three Weeks of Speed Work

>> Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My first "speed test" that I don't count as speed work came on Sunday, September 4th, when I ran 1.5 miles a bit faster in the middle of a 5 mile run.

My first REAL speed work since March was 10 days later: Wednesday, September 14. I ran under 5 miles total, but the middle 3 were done a bit faster. I didn't kill myself pushing SO hard to the finish, but I ran hard enough throughout that I needed to walk for nearly 2 minutes after the 3 hard miles to catch my breath. I had a decent little descend over those 3 miles as I ran 6:15, 6:11, and 6:00 for a total of 18:26 (6:08.7 pace).

My second real speed workout came a week later: Wednesday, September 21. I ran over 5 miles that morning, and I wanted to really build to some speed for that workout. I had 2 thoughts pre-run that foreshadowed the workout: first, I told myself I didn't need to perfectly descend each HALF mile (as my Garmin takes my half mile splits), but should be able to descend each MILE. And secondly, to give a sense of where I wanted to start this workout and how much time I wanted to drop, I told myself I hoped to run something like 6:30, 6:10, and 5:50.

Well, I nailed both of those thoughts. First, I had perfect descending half mile splits: 3:19, 3:15, 3:06, 3:04, 2:56, 2:55 = 18:37.63, which was 6:12.54 pace. (That was slower than the week before overall, but the goal was to get faster at the end of this run, not "suffer" the entire way through like the week before.) And second, my mile splits were 6:34, 6:11, and 5:51 - not far off my intended times.

My third speed workout in 3 weeks came earlier this morning: 2x2 mile intervals. I first did 2 mile intervals with Coach Jen 6 years ago as she was training me for a few weeks to my only sub-60 10 mile at the 2010 TC 10 Mile. It didn't take much for me to fall in love with 2 mile intervals. Here's what I like about them:

- There's only 2. Your either running your first or last interval. It's easy to gauge how much you should "have left in the tank."

- They're not as fast (and therefore not as taxing) on your body, but they're still a "speed" workout. 800s are killer for me. 1600s are good "fast" speed sessions. But 2 mile intervals are somewhere around 10K race pace, which isn't going to make my body explode. (In fact, I've even done 2 mile intervals while pushing a sleeping child in the stroller before. Three or 4 times.)

- You don't need a track. I really like to run my 800s or 1600s on a track (for the sake of consistency), but I've never done 2 mile intervals on a track. I just go back-and-forth along the River somewhere in Minneapolis or St. Paul.

Because I don't have a ton of miles on my legs currently, I couldn't do this 2 mile workout how I normally do it, which is with a 2 mile warm up and 2 mile cool down. That's usually a great way for me to hit 8 miles in a day, but right now, my "normal" runs have been around 5-5.5 miles, and my "long" runs are just a mile farther. So I planned on just having a 0.75 mile WU and CD to make it a 5.5 mile workout total.

I wasn't concerned AT ALL with keeping my splits consistent or descending or anything like that. I just wanted to run hard for 2 miles, take a 3 minute break, and then do it again. My half mile splits were:

- 3:07, 3:03, 3:02, 3:07 = 12:20.15 (6:10.08 pace)
- 3:04, 3:12, 3:05, 3:05 = 12:29.33 (6:14.67 pace)

It's 2.5 weeks to my first race since March (the 15K relay at Fort Snelling where each runner runs a 5K ), and this was my last "long, hard" workout. I'll do some shorter speed next week (10 days pre-race) just to keep the legs snappy, and then see what I can do down on Pike Island for the race!

p.s. I'm trying to do a bit of speed work NOT to get "super fast," but to make sure my legs survive racing. When I came up injured at the end of March, I'd had a winter of good miles on my legs (including a half marathon and a 25K), but then I had 2 shorter back-to-back race weekends (a 4-mile and a 5-mile). Maybe it was doing that hard fast racing that injured me. We still don't know. So now in my mind, speed work is less about making me fast, and more about making me survive racing.


6 Month Injury Update

>> Monday, September 26, 2016

I posted this big injury update on Facebook last week. I figured it'd be good to share here too:

I hope to do my 3rd speed workout in 3 weeks shortly. Back with an update about that (and about last week's PERFECT speed workout) shortly.


Run Study

>> Saturday, September 24, 2016

I had an interesting experience earlier this summer. I responded to a quick survey that Runner's World put out regarding a "run study" in the Minneapolis area. If picked to be part of this study, I'd have to spend an hour or 2 talking with some marketing people about "running stuff," and I would get a free pair of running shoes for my time.

Well, 2 weeks later, I learned I was picked to be one of the participants. I showed up at a fancy south metro hotel:

I EXPECTED maybe 1-2 dozen participants, and maybe 3-6 people asking questions.

But in REALITY, it was 5 participants being asked questions by 13 people. Whoa. A little intimidating at first.

There was a runner who started running to lose weight and now does marathons, a back-of-the-pack runner who runs for fun and fitness, a new Mom who runs for sanity (BEEN THERE), and a runner who considered himself more of a cyclist (he was the only other guy there with me).

This company (who I don't want mention, but they do lots of "outdoors" stuff including running and trail running shoes) flew in a lot of their marketing team from the western US and from France. So there were lots of sexy accents. They had a ton of random questions that were mainly first about how we perceived their brand, and then lots of questions about what sort of things we look for in different gear (like running shoes, technical shirts, running shorts, etc). And even questions like who we talk to or listen to for gear advice. It was all quite interesting (not what WE were saying, but looking at the questions THEY were asking and how that could help them).

Here's a pic as the run study wrapped up:

The only other guy was just to my right, and the 3 women were at the end of the
table with me to my left. We were stared down by a TABLE full of marking people!

After they met with us, they were headed to the east coast to host a similar focus group before they all went back home. Interesting time!

Back with some speed work updates next week.


Friday Funny 1158: Fake Trivia

>> Friday, September 23, 2016

This Reddit user has been pulling an awesome prank:

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Friday Funny 1157: Horrible Tattoos

These are amazingly horrible:

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Friday Funny 1156: Running With the iPhone 7

More funny reactions to the iPhone 7:

And if you haven't seen it, here's Conan O'Brien's spoof of Apple's old iPod commercials with the new AirPods for the iPhone 7:

Direct link:

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Friday Funny 1155: Facts About Men

Be honest men... how many of these have you done? (And wives, ask your hubbies.)

I have NOT done #6 (stop time) or #16 (romantic comedies). Truthfully. But "yes" to the others.

And I have a funny story about #20. In middle school, I was doing this in front of a friend (not into a toilet but into the down-to-the-floor old-school urinals). Then a 2nd friend came through the bathroom door fast as he was being pushed by a 3rd friend. The 2nd guy ended up getting accidentally pushed through my pee stream. (If you know my childhood friends, I'm pretty sure it was Joe Schultz that I was with in the bathroom, and that it was Brian Koziolek who pushed Andy Munch through my piss.)

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This is STARTING to Look Like ACTUAL Training!

>> Tuesday, September 20, 2016

These last 2 weeks had some decent looking numbers (compared to the last 6 injured months):

Here are some general thoughts (with some specific workout thoughts coming up after this):

• SWIM: My swimmer's shoulder (impingement) is getting better. I started swimming 7 weeks ago with it hurting, but I realized swimming a BIT helped it. It's not sore afterwards - just feels a bit tight. All my swims except for the last one were a little freestyle, then some kicking to break up using my shoulder, then a little more freestyle. All easy or easy/mod except for a bit of that last one. Shortly, I may try working up to a swim every 4 days instead of just weekly.

• BIKE: The only ride in this stretch was with the boys to the gym and back. I started teaching the day after that, and being on my feet more often while teaching along with walking Henry to school most mornings has caused my lower right leg to ache a bit more. So the biking took a bit of a back seat for a while. Yesterday, I biked 16+ miles with Charlie (not shown on the calendar above because it was the 19th).

• RUN: I'm stalling out with my "run easy every run and add 5 mins to each run every week" plan. I don't need to be going a whole lot further now (which I realized when my wife and I had a chat about that a few days ago), but I hope to do more "training" and not just "running." The achy leg is about the same, but PT said that was OK: if we increased distance and it didn't get worse, than it's considered a WIN.

Here are a couple more specifics I want to point out:

• Sunday, Sept 4: RUN: [not shown on the calendar] my first attempt at hard running in nearly 6 months. I posted about that here - it was an easy run with 1.5 miles in the middle at 6:30 pace.

• Tuesday, Sept 6: SWIM: a typical easy - easy/mod swim of 425 freestyle, 300 of kick drills, then 500 of freestyle (in 8:16 - 1:39.2/100 ave).

• Saturday, Sept 10: NOTHING: because I was at "Farming of Yesteryear" with my boys as seen in yesterday's post.

• All 3 runs the week of Sept 5 - Sept 11: this was my "40 min run" week, and they were all easy/moderate with averages of 7:41, 7:18, and 7:30. Nothing much to report (which is good). I took it a bit easy all week because of my "taste" of speed at the end of the prior week.

• Monday, Sept 12: SWIM: 500 freestyle, 300 of kick drills, 600 freestyle. FINALLY starting to feel like "actual" swimming. The first 500 of the 600 were done in 8:23 (1:40.6/100 ave). The FUN news with this swim was that I tried swimming hard for 100 near the middle just to test the shoulder, and I cranked out a 1:34 and didn't die.

• Wednesday, Sept 14: RUN: my first tempo run in 6 months! As I noted above, I stopped increasing my runs each week. Instead of this being a "45 min run" week (x3 for the week), I did less than 5 miles on Wednesday, but I did the middle 3 at tempo pace. It still felt a lot like a "test" and not totally like a "workout." But the test was successful. There were no issues with my broken body as I tried to run fast. (In fact, my strike rate is always better when I run faster - I don't heel strike and my form is better.) My half mile splits for those fast 3 miles had a nice descend: 3:08, 3:07, 3:06, 3:05, 2:57, 3:03 = 18:26 (6:08.67 pace). Mile splits of 6:15, 6:11, and 6:00. (There was a decent hill for that second-to-last half mile.)

• Friday and Sunday, Sept 16 and 18: EASY RUNS: nothing fancy here. And my legs and body felt fine after running hard on Wednesday. Win.

• Saturday, Sept 17: 2x500 SWIM: a common workout in the past for me is 3x500 with about a 60 second rest. So I thought I'd try a simple 2x500. When I started swimming again after my sprained ankle 2.5 years ago, my 3x500s were the slowest ever: averaging 8:15-8:20. I was hoping these 2 would be a bit faster than that. (And at my best, I averaged 7:26 for FOUR 500s last August before I stopped swimming.) When I started cranking out the 100s, I was happy with my times and my consistency. I swam:

- 1:32, 1:35, 1:35, 1:33, 1:33 = 7:49.54
- 1:30, 1:37, 1:36, 1:33, 1:31 = 7:48.65

(The 2nd one wasn't as consistent as I had my fastest and slowest 100s of the 1000 in that 500.) So yeah, that's still WAY off my sub-7:30 pace (for TWICE as many intervals), but I'm still happy with this startup back to swimming.

FOR THE FUTURE: I don't need to up my swim workout distances by much, but I want to try to work on the frequency (without hurting my shoulder or forearm) and the intensity. I still haven't been on my tri bike since April, but there's no hurry - I'll just keep hauling the boys around and hit the tri bike on the trainer in a month or 2. And I want to slowly transform my running into actual workouts: have a long run each week, and maybe a tempo run. And then an easy run between all those harder/longer runs. My hope of doing the 15K relay (3 guys doing a 5K each) in nearly 4 weeks shouldn't be a problem.

Speaking of hauling the boys around on the bike, here's an Instagram post from yesterday:

Caption: "Ran into and then biked with @rrweinzierl this morning,
and Charlie gave his booty a big 'thumbs up.'"

Then my wife ran into him as they were both biking home 8 hours later! We may have a stalker...


Weekend with the Boys

>> Monday, September 19, 2016

Mama was gone Friday evening though Saturday night. So the boys and I had some fun. We ran/scootered to Choo Choo Bob's train store on Friday night:

A goodnight selfie for Mama.

Then on Saturday morning, I woke up to see THIS on the baby monitor:

Posted on Instagram with the caption: "It was an abrupt start to the day an hour ago
when this was the scene on the baby monitor. Charlie celebrated Mama being gone
for the night by taking off his diaper sometime in the middle of the night.
#NoPoops #JustDampnessEverywhere #ItsAllInTheLaundryRightNow"

Posted on Instagram with the caption: "'Adventure' with the boys.
Charlie was deathly afraid of a dead fish, and Henry dug a 'tide pool.'
Fall color is showing up along the Mississippi."

The boys were very good for me at Sat. night mass and
for running errands, so we stopped at Arby's for supper.


Posted on Instagram with the caption: "Henry's had a loose tooth for a few weeks.
At lunch today, Mama told him that she used to pull out her own teeth.
So he reached into his mouth, grabbed his tooth, pulled it out, and said "got it!"
We sat around the table and laughed and laughed (left pic)."

Oh, and here are a few pics from a week ago Saturday. We went "back home" to go to "Farming of Yesteryear." It's a mini-fair with old tractors, animals, blacksmithing, food, threshing, etc. And my wife's Dad is the president of the group that puts it on. (I think.) Here are the boys having some fun:

Henry and donkeys.

Henry in the tractor parade.

Charlie and his cousin Will.

Some of the kiddos.

Charlie waving HI to the goats.

On a tractor ride with Uncle Mike.

My Dad showing Charlie how corn grows. We took a detour to my folk's house for nap time.

Cousins covered in corn dust.

My boys and I on a big engine.

Back home at the end of a big day.

Back tomorrow with some ACTUAL training updates!


My 2015 Duathlon and Triathlon Rank

>> Saturday, September 17, 2016

So I grabbed these screenshots back in January, and sort of forgot about them. Now that Ironman Wisconsin was last week, we can pretty much put the triathlon season to bed for 2016 in the midwest, and I can say that it's been my first year without a multisport race since 2005. My last triathlon was 13 months ago at the North Mankato Triathlon where I raced as an "elite" for the first time.

In 2015, I think I raced 2 dus and 2 tris that were "scored" but USAT (the Oakdale Du, Duathlon National Championships, Capital City Tri, and the Life Time Tri). Here was my 2015 age group ranking (30-34) according to USAT:


MIDWEST TRI RANKING: 50 out of 839: (this is page 3 of names)


MIDWEST DU RANKING: 8 out of 54:

I don't have anything to add to my triathlon ranking.

But there are 2 things I want to note with regards to my duathlon ranking. First, I know the 4 guys ahead of me in Minnesota, and I couldn't be happier to be outranked by just those 4. They're studs! Secondly, look at how awesome Minnesota is: I was 5th in MN, and once you figure in all 8 states in the "midwest region" for USAT, I only drop THREE more places. In the 7 other midwest states, only 3 people had a better du ranking than me! Rock on, Minnesota!

Here's to another good multisport season in 2017 after a break in 2016! :)


Friday Funny 1154: Best Sports Signs

>> Friday, September 16, 2016

An oldie but a goodie from Pleated Jeans:

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Friday Funny 1153: Super Frustrating Things

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