You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Training’ tag.

This one has me pretty excited – for the first time I ran for 25 minutes straight! No walk break, just 5 minute warm up, 25 minute run, 5 minute cool down. That’s pretty amazing coming from this woman!!

I think what surprised me the most is that I didn’t feel like I was gasping for breath, I thought I would be panting from all that running. My calves really stung but my lungs were fine.

I have 3 weeks of training left. This is going to work out great since on June 21 is the 5K I have entered. I am already thinking beyond this 5K to when is the next one I will run.

I think my daughters and I will sign up for a color run somewhere this fall. They just sound like a lot of fun.

I just need to remember, the William A. Irvin 5K has not happened yet so I need to get through that one before planning for the next one. Here’s to hoping for nice weather for the rest of the week!

Time really flies! Here I thought I would be right on top of things and posting here on the blog weekly with my training progress…well that didn’t quite work out at all the way I wanted it to.

I have been training though, got a little behind schedule, but have started my 4th week of training. The intervals for today (and 2 more times this week) include 5 minutes of running – twice! I have to admit, I did not make the entire 5 minutes the first interval this morning but pushed myself on the second 5 minute run and did it. I think if anyone would have seen me they would have thought I had lost my mind. I cannot explain how good it felt to be able to push my way through to the end of 5 minutes.

I know, I know for some 5 minutes isn’t long at all but for me that is a milestone. I am really enjoying the training and getting outside to do this. I guess that is the thing I want to stress, I never thought I would be able to run for 5 minutes….and I did it!!

I have been trying to watch what I am eating as well. I have found over the years that carbs and I have a love/hate relationship so I have not cut them out entirely but I am trying to eat more vegetables and fruit plus protein. I love my protein. (PORK of course!)

So to wrap things, I have made it to 4 weeks of training for the 5K in June. I will just keep pushing and when I look ahead – by the time the program I am following is done, I will be running for 25 minutes straight….that just seems like a long way off!

We broke ground yesterday on our sow expansion project.  There wasn’t a golden shovel to scoop the first dirt.  No press to capture the moment in photos.  All that was needed was a backhoe, a willing crew, and sunny weather. Thankfully, we had all three.

A farmer’s work day is always long, but now Brandon’s days will become extra-long.  Yesterday he started work at 6am, took a 10 minute lunch, snuck away to Maddie’s junior high concert from 7-8:30pm, went back to work and finished up around midnight.  Although the days are long, I think Brandon is really glad to be moving forward with the project finally.  Planning and doing all of the groundwork gets long and feels unproductive.

Training for a half marathon sometimes feels that way… it gets long and sometimes feels unproductive.  I’m trying a different approach to the training this year.  I’m only running 3-4 days a week in hopes of staying injury free.  We’ll see how this approach works and if my final time suffers because of it.  Seven weeks to go!

Last Monday night I had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural RunSMART program that is based in Mankato. This program is a 3-legged stool for runners based on physiology, psychology and nutrition for endurance athletes, and specifically, runners. It is the brainchild on Cindra Kamphoff, PhD at MSU-Mankato, and utilizes the talents of Bob Pettitt, PhD and April Graff, MS for the physiology and nutrition aspects, respectively.

Our first session involved learning strengthening exercises, plus a run-through of dynamic and static stretches. We also had a musculoskeletal screening process to identify weaknesses and imbalances in our body. This screening will be combined with next week’s video gait analysis that will appraise my running technique. I hope to end up with knowledge of what I need to focus on to enable me to run pain and injury-free for years to come.

We spent time discussing the psychology of running (50-90% of performance) with Cindra. There were 4 men in my group, 3 of us masters (1 a triathlete) and a younger guy that has gotten into ultramarathons recently. We seemed to be on the same page about what makes up a mentally tough runner, and shared some of our race experiences and some of our road blocks to better performance. One common theme was importance of family, and how to balance that with the admittedly selfish commitment required of endurance sports.

Next Monday, along with our video gait analysis, we will have our current nutritional intake analyzed and critiqued. We also will have a 3 minute “run to exhaustion” to help us determine training paces and race goals.

Overall, the RunSMART program wraps up the Mind, Body and Nutrition of sports into a neat package. I know that these 2 sessions will help me improve as a runner. I hope that we can create a follow-up session in a month or two to assess progress towards our goals.


Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein


I was walking the other morning with my good friend, exercise buddy, and therapist all rolled into one.  She’s great!  Her name is Lori.  I can talk to Lori about problems I’m having with my job, family, vehicle, pets, anything.  She is always supportive, but more than that she is always honest.  And if I’m out of line, she will let me know it.

Back to the other morning.  I was going on about how I couldn’t decide between running the 1/2 marathon and full marathon.  I’ve talked to her about this countless times this winter, and I think she finally got fed up with it. 

“Why can’t you just make a decision?  Decide on one race and deal with it.  If you make the wrong decision, too bad,” was Lori’s exasperated response.

It was just what I needed.  I did one final weighing of my reasons for doing the race.  Camaraderie was at the top of my list.  I definitely wanted someone to train with and share the experience with, so my decision became simple.  I have a fellow pork producer friend, Teresa, who will be running the 1/2 marathon, so I too will be running the 1/2 marathon.  The time spent training for a 1/2 marathon outweighs the race about 30 to 1 (of course this depends on your particular training schedule).  Anyway, point being, I don’t want to spend all that training time alone.

So, my decision is made.  On with the training.  Everyone needs a friend like Lori to give them a kick in the backside once in a while.  Thanks, Lori!

As I turn the calendar to 2011, I close the books on 2010. Some of  the financial stuff has yet to be done, mostly because I have spent a lot of time watching basketball games. Adam & Beth have a combined schedule of 10 basketball events over the first 2 weeks of 2011, some with multiple games.

There are a few things that I learned while running those 1500.5 miles last year.

First, there are some really neat clothes for runners on the market now. I am not a real clothes horse, but winter running requires protection. I am constantly amazed at the protection from cold that some of these newer materials offer. Thanks Goretex for the Windstop technology. I also picked up some YakTrax to eliminate the poor road condition excuse I used this last December.

Second, a middle-aged guy can learn how to run with a new stride technique. Last January and February I surfed the internet enough to pick up on the barefoot / minimalist running trend and eventually read Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run. A very good story to read. With the new stride technique came the chance to try new shoe styles. While I still have fewer shoes than Monica, I know I closed the gap considerably in 2010

Third, a middle-aged guy can learn to run fast again. I followed a race training plan by Matt Fitzgerald and found speed again. Even though I was disappointed with my 3:30:29 Grandma’s Marathon finish based on training results, I was pleased with it from a perspective of a low mileage base leading up to last January. I also clocked 2 sub-1:32:00 half marathons last year, finishing 4th in my age group both times.

Fourth, due to those half-marathon finishes, I learned that I should start closer to the starting line to fully capitalize on my chances to bring hardware home:) After the Big Woods run, the race director told me that chip timing was used for finish times and placings, not for net times.

Fifth, running is a great way for me to relax. A couple stressful moments happened in the past year that long runs, and the ensuing endorphin rush, helped me get through. I am thankful that I am now in good enough shape to be active that long.

2010, and the miles I put in, transformed me into a runner again. I enjoy training, I enjoy racing, and I enjoy reading about the feats of fellow runners. For my part, I will try to best last year’s mileage and put more of my thoughts on this site.

I am sitting in Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport waiting for the final flight back to Minneapolis /St Paul. While here we got news that Brett Favre decided to retire (??) Time will be the final judge on that decision, but it was good for some meal time discussions. That was far less important than some of the time I was out and about the last 5 days.

We traveled to Washington DC to spend some leisure time and soak up a lot of the nation’s history. We were able to see a lot of important sites and sights, and put in a lot of walking miles. One of the best things I did, though, was go for a run every morning (except Sunday). Far from making me more tired, the runs warmed me up and got my day started right. Even though we would be on our feet for 10 hours or so, walking used different muscles and actions than running, so both were compatible. It was also great to see the National Mall with far fewer people around than later in the day.

During 2 of these runs, I had company. Monday morning’s run was with Brett and Adam, complaining about the early wakeup time (6:30), but willing to put in 5+ miles at an “old-man’s pace.” I felt proud that my sons were willing participants in the sport that I enjoy. This morning Lori and I let the kids sleep in while we put in an easy 2 miles to start the day.

All in all it was a great vacation. We live in a great nation and should honor those that helped shaped our country and also those that currently serve our country in various capacities.

Wow, what a great weekend at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth! This turned out to be a truly memorable time for all of us. Brett, Adam and I ran the 5K Friday evening. We were nervous and a big crowd and warm weather, held us back a bit, so we didn’t have any record breaking times, but we still ran good strong races. My two favorite memories were lining up at the starting line with my sons and coming around the last turn and having the Pork Power team cheer me on. Monica, Maddie and Teresa will tell you more about their ½ Marathon run and Dale will tell you about his marathon, but let me be the first to say I’m proud of them all.

Another highlight of the weekend was working in the pork booth and promoting pork. These runners and athletes were a new audience to us and the response was great. People really love the taste of pork and were asking how it was prepared and what type of seasoning was used. Just remember, don’t overcook pork! Use a meat thermometer and take it off the grill before it reaches 160 degrees and let it rest a bit under some tin foil. It will continue to cook and you’ll have moist delicious pork.

So much of our blog has been about running and pork, but it has also been about making new friends. As Brandon and Monica, Joe and Teresa and Dale and I along with all our kids hung out together this weekend, new friendships were forged. It took the kids a little while to get over their shyness, but Saturday afternoon we must have spent about 45 minutes on the shores of Lake Superior just hanging out. The kids were skipping rocks and wadding in the water. When we weren’t running or working in the pork booth, the kids wanted to swim together in the pool. I thought about how as farm families, we must share similar values because we all fit in so well together.

This blog started because of the MN Pork Board being a sponsor of Grandma’s Marathon and our opportunity to share our experiences as parents and pork producers and our interests in exercise and nutrition. While the races are over and we close one chapter, we’ve discussed continuing our Pork Power blog so that you can see how we balance work, exercise, kid’s activities and producing food for others. Life is challenging, but it’s also fun.

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

– Diane Ackerman

We’re only two days before Grandma’s Marathon and our races and everyone is getting excited. Part of the reason is that we’re looking forward to some vacation time. The other reason of course is that the race we’ve been training for is finally here and while we’re trying not to focus on how well we run, we can’t help but feel some pressure to do well.

There have been so many people wishing us good luck and cheering for us, that it’s hard not to want to run you absolute best, so you feel you haven’t let them down. Yet our success will go beyond what type of times we run. To me, our success can be defined by 3 things. First, by each one of us runners setting a goal and having the determination and resilience to keep working to reach that goal. If you’ve read our blogs you know that especially in the last few weeks we’ve had small injuries and activities that have taken away from our training. But each one of us will line up at the start and will give it our best shot.

Second, as pork producers, we’ve shared our families and farms with you and hopefully helped you learn a little more about us. We care about nutrition and eating well, that’s why we chose a lean protein like pork for our diets. We care about our animals and our environment, it’s why we operate our farms is a safe, responsible manner. But most importantly, we care about our family and friends.

Finally, I think our pork power team is a success because we took on a new challenge. Everyone involved, from the staff at the MN Pork Board office, to the volunteers and the runners decided to do something different, to promote pork to a new segment, the athlete. Pork Power isn’t just a catchy slogan. It’s the power of a nutrition protein like pork and it’s the power of a team of people working together towards a common goal.

Success – Ralph Waldo Emerson

          To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of the intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – that is to have succeeded.

I followed a great training plan to get ready for Grandma’s Marathon. It had tune-up races that would help determine how fast you should train over the next 4 weeks, and the workouts definitely made me a faster runner than I thought I would be. The idea that a marathon runner should train at low intensity, and just be able to cover the miles, is fine for those that just want to finish the 26.2 mile distance. I knew I had to train harder and better than that because I was representing the pork industry.

I was supposed to do a half marathon race 4 weeks out, then have a couple hard weeks of training before I started to taper and heal the legs. Running Med City 3 weeks out was what I did instead, and I just traded a couple weeks on the calendar. Coach Vies had said that it takes about a day to recover from each mile of racing, and looking at my training log, I would have to say that was about right on. The first week was all about getting the legs to fresh enough to run easy, so 50 miles became 35. The next Tuesday saw me in the dentist’s chair for a root canal. Even though you couldn’t get much farther from my legs, that seemed to be a slight setback, also.

However, even with a couple struggles, a nice hard bike ride on Sunday got me going again. Lori & I went out, averaging over 17 mph. I know I was pushing the pace, but everything felt easy. I added some miles on my own, and probably finished at 16+ mph over 15 miles, the last half into a breeze. 2 more days of running really helped tune things up, and now I just have a 4 miler in Duluth before the 26.2 on Saturday. I am going to go into this race with confidence that the training I have put in will allow me to race Grandma’s, not just make it to the finish line.

Last night we attended the track team awards ceremony, where the Vies commented on each runner’s contribution to the team’s success. Adam had competed mostly at the junior high level, but his distance events were very good, breaking 5:50 in the 1600. Brett was the solid #2 3200 guy, with a SB of 11:29, and encouraged by Vies to work harder to uncover the rest of his potential. Then, a senior stepped forward and presented a bag of goodies that gets passed to a freshman trackster. This is a tradition that helps carry forward the leadership and responsibilities form older kids to the next group coming up, and was given to Brett  Today will be spent mixing feed and doing a couple clean up jobs around the farm before we attend the picnic at Schafer’s. While I will have competent, experienced people doing chores while I am gone, I want to make things as easy as possible for them.

– 26.2 –

“I’m wasted on cross-country! We Dwarves are natural sprinters, very dangerous over short distances.” -Gimli, Lord of the Rings movie series