Sunday, July 29, 2012

Home from RAGBRAI

Returned home from riding the bike a few miles...237 miles for me as I missed the first few days and then drove between overnights on another.

Too much to write about and some of it best left untold!

A few pictures to just share a glimpse of the party and riding that makes RAGBRAI the event that it is.

My son, Cory, in photo taken by the Des Moines Register

Stood behind this guy while getting coffee from "The Farm Boys" stand.  He makes spoke bracelets and sells them at $6.

The team stickers were showing up all over the place.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Driving Me Batty

Recovering a bit from yesterday's race and beginning to prepare for several days of biking.  I'm scheduled to ride the last part of RAGBRAI with my son who's riding the entire route.  I'll pick up from Webster City on.  we have his dog for the week and I've been taking her out for walks.  My wife will inherit that duty while I ride. I didn't get out to ride as much as would have liked because I was prepping to race on Saturday and didn't want my rear to get any sorer than it already was!

I've been neglecting to carry my camera recently because it seemed I hadn't been noticing anything different or interesting.  I wish I would have had it today.  While Piper and I were at the bridge, I saw a Little Brown Bat flying above the water.  I thought perhaps it was catching insects that sometimes swarm above the pool but then noticed that it regularly swooped down and skimmed the surface to take a drink!

(borrowed image)

5 miles in the AM and another hike at dusk.

That makes for 61 miles for the week and 23.1 miles on the bike

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Old Roundhouse Trail Days 5K

First race as a 60-year-old and it was a fun one.  The small town (population around 600) of Elma, Iowa has an annual festival and, with a dedicated race director, and good sponsors and volunteers, puts on a well-run, well-attended race.  There were 300 entrants in this year's run/walk.

The course is a straight shot into town from a nearby park and is entirely on an old railroad bed, now reused as a blacktopped biking/hiking trail.  So the start is understandably narrow.  The race organizers are aware of this and are adamant about having runners line up according to expected pace.  I lined up beside one of the few acquaintances that I recognized while warming up, Torey Stallsmith from Charles City and former NIACC runner. I met Torey when we were both drivers and chaperoned for one of NIACC's summer camps in Colorado.  There were around 20 runners ahead of us at the line.  Torey  went on to win the event overall.

I started at a pace that I hoped could get me in around 22 minutes or better.  However, the first mile seemed a bit more difficult than I wanted and as the race continued I settled into a more comfortable pace.  There were only minor shifts in overall place as I moved into about 10th with an initial 6:36, passed a couple runners then was passed by others, and ended up 15th with a second and third mile in the 7:20's each for a final time of 22:02 (you can bet I began to kick to see if I could somehow get under 22).  That gave me 1st for the 60's and would have given me 2nd in each of the 30's, 40's, or 50's!

All results here.

A free pancake breakfast and more events in Elma for anyone wanting to stay the day.  A good race on a good day.  Temps moderated from the recent hot, humid 80's and 90's to upper 60's or low 70's during the race.

My knees were only an issue during the first mile and I didn't think about them after that.  Post race, the legs are fine but my right heel hurts a bunch...fought plantar fasciitis in the past and by using racing flats without orthotics (have quit using my orthotics for nearly a year now) the flare-up can perhaps be understood on blacktop.  Hoping that Lucho's Vitamin I (buprofen) and  IPA treatment will help me feel better tonight.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trying To Reload

I've been grousing about the weather and not feeling very sharp...maybe part of it is a normal let-down following all the training for a peak effort....maybe part of it is that I'm just getting older and it takes longer to recover and become revitalized.

But regardless, I am excited to have reached a new age category and get a chance to race again this weekend.  The woods in summer are a lot more boring than in winter or spring and the dryness and hot daytime temps only add to the monotony.  So I purposely took it easy today to reload for the race.  I also wanted to be out a bit longer because with the cutback in time on the trails, I have less time to finish listening to all the podcasts I've begun to follow. 

It has been interesting to watch my heart rate while using my cycle computer when today I rigged a makeshift wrist band to use the bike computer while running!  Pleasantly surprised by where I could hold my pulse at a comfortable pace.

6 miles this AM and a hike yet tonight.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Feeling Low

Sometimes the schedule just seems to beat you down.  A very busy day today with water sampling for my consulting job, returning the numerous deposit cans and bottles, waiting for my internet provider to replace a defective modem, and finally out to the trails for a run...or not to run.

The miles seemed sluggish and I felt quite lethargic.  So I made it a hike and turned back after the first podcast to finish!  With some extra sleep tonight and hoping for a break in the weather, I'm anxious for the little 5K this weekend.

4 miles this afternoon and tonight's hike is debatable.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Dose of Turnover

Still hotter than.... but got out for a good, brisk 20 mile bike ride in the morning while watching my heart rate and to have the feed-back.  Then some errands and light lunch.  

But my main emphasis today was on another session of repeats.  I used the same section of  Lime Creek as last week but cut back a bit on number due to the race this weekend and the blasted heat.

4 X 400 with a recovery 400 walked between.  1:17,3:50;1:14,3:52;1:12,3:52;1:12,4:01....combined with the 2 mile loosen-up prior and 2 mile cool-down after meant a 6 mile workout.

Will hike yet tonight for additional recovery/circulation for the legs.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to Playing Around

With the impetus of the ultra behind me, I find myself playing around on the workouts again.  If I see something that interests me, I stop and explore.  Today I spent quite a bit of time recovering deposit cans from the "swimming hole" upstream of Ernie's Bridge.  So much so that I was nearly completely immersed!  Good thing I thought ahead enough to take my socks, shoes, camera, and Ipod off before trying to retrieve the cans from the water.

The pool in January. It's much shallower today.

But I also settled down and ran some significant stretches.  The heat and dry conditions are becoming troublesome.  I hope we get some good rains soon.

5.5 miles this AM and a 4 mile hike tonight.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A "No Run" Birth Day Celebration!

Sometimes it works out that a run just doesn't fit into the schedule for the day.  I could have hit the trails but chose, instead, to take a bike ride due to the heat.  

I postponed any workout in order to fit in a brunch to celebrate my 60th birthday and edging into a new competition bracket!

Late afternoon heat seemed more tolerable on the bike and I again extended my total distance so I reached just over 40 miles for the day.  It was a good ride and helped me appreciate being able to ride as hard as I do at age 60!

53.5 running miles this week and an additional 80.2 miles on the bike

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Summer doldrums I guess.  Same type of day as yesterday.  10 miles in the AM (but not until after watching live finishes at the Hardrock 100), then volunteered at LC Nature Center, then a meal to celebrate turning 60 tomorrow, then a 3 mile hike at night.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

Picking Up Some Extra

With the bicycle time cutting into my running mileage, I decided to build in a little extra mileage today.  It's been a while since I hit the trail with any serious distance aspirations.  I ran my routine 10 miler and was distracted a few times by cleaning up the trail of trash and recyclables.

The running was OK but not very inspired.  My legs are definitely feeling effects of the biking so I didn't force anything and ran relaxed.  There's still a week before my next race.

Hope to get in a brisk hike yet tonight. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saddle Sore

So I finally got out on the bike yesterday and it went well.  Physically I feel great today, however, it did hurt quite a bit to sit back on the bike saddle today!  So the conditioning I need for multiple days of riding RAGBRAI lies mainly in my butt not my legs.

Today's schedule of events went anything planned. But I finally got out for a workout after lunch and rode the Madone again for a bit longer distance in a bit windier conditions.  Ended up with over 23 miles and it felt good to cover some different territory. 

I'll get some sort of a hike in yet this evening.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cross Training

I finally got the road bike out today and did a shake-out ride just over 20 miles.  It went well and made me wonder why I don't ride more often!  Interesting to me that the temperature on the bike computer showed about an 8 degree increase over the posted ambient temp.  Probably the result of open road and blacktop heat radiation.

Got off the bike and hit the trail immediately for a 4 mile run/hike.  The weather was warming up but still quite pleasant.

Another hike after dark.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Need For Speed

With the prospect of shorter races looming, I've begun to consider introducing some speed work back to my training.  The long, slow stuff has definitely help to strengthen my knees and I had played around with the track when NIACC went to Nationals in Texas.  So I started to head to the Mason City High School track but with sun and rising temps, I chose to run repeats on a roughly 1/4 mile stretch on Lime Creek.

So the workout ended up to be a mile and a half warm up, followed by 7 X 400 with 4 and 1/2 minutes walking rest between them, then a mile and a half cool down home.  The 400's were within a 5 second spread of 75 seconds each (70 - 79).  I haven't tried this type of workout in a looong time.  It felt good again.

A few more pics from the Black Hills.

5.5 miles for the AM. 3 mile hike after dusk.

Small World

There was a Krieger Family Reunion this past weekend.  As a result of many of the visits with relatives that I've not seen for many, many years, it became apparent how interesting our lives cross paths!

Discovered that my father's cousin is a neighbor to long-time Iowa Master's runner, Jim Schleisman...who has won his age group at Boston Marathon several times.

My cousin, from the Portland, Oregon area, works with the current world 100K champion and recent 8th place finisher from Western States 100, Amy Sproston.  My cousin was surprised to find I was so familiar with the name...I've heard many interviews with Amy on podcasts like 3 Non-Joggers.

Many of my cousins are runners, as well, with a wealth of experience at different distances including a cousin's husband that's quite good at ultras!

I was able to get out for 6 miles yesterday AM and the 3 mile hike in the evening.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Barely Running

I have found the week to be incredibly busy and stressful and that resulted in a significant drop in mileage.  I've lost focus after the Black Hills event and can't seem to generate the same drive to train as I did during the build-up.

There is the need for me to become "bike fit" now as I will be riding several days of RAGBRAI with my son's team.  But I have also entered a 5K race on the 21st in order to get my first chance to race as a 60-year-old!

6 mile run in late afternoon (after volunteering all morning and early afternoon at a bicycle race) and a 3 mile hike after dusk.

40 miles for the week

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Much time spent today fulfilling obligations.  Troubleshoot computer problems, have the son's dog spayed, city council meeting for new contract operations, grill sweet corn and chicken breasts!!


Iowa Elotes...grilled sweet corn with sour cream, cayenne pepper, and cheese 

But I still worked in a great 7 mile run before the sun heated things up too hardly a lost day after all.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Trash Talk

Coolest part of today is the morning, so I grabbed the dog and hit the trails as soon as possible.  The temps were manageable and even a bit of a breeze.  I moved along fairly well until I began to come across several areas where 4th of July partying must have started last night.  Ended up with 3 grocery bags full of trash, redeemables and recyclables!

4 miles so far and we''l see how comfortable it is after the fireworks tonight.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back In The Saddle

Warmed up today with a 3 mile hike then headed right back out for a run.  The run went well and I was able to feel relaxed and sustained a steady pace for an additional 6 mile loop.

The heat is coming into play regarding when to run (earlier the better) and my consulting work at the city of Plymouth has already affected my usual freedom of when to hit the trails!

There were photos posted of the finish and awards for the Black Hills races.  It makes me realize "what could have been" to see photos of many of the same runners that I ran with or passed during the part of the race before I couldn't continue.

I ran with this guy during several portions of the course.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Heating Up

It's definitely July, the heat has been turned up.  Whereas, I had to deal with the heat in South Dakota last weekend, I seem even more sensitive to it now in Iowa.  The past couple days have not felt very good as soon as I hit the road.  The shade and trees help once we reach Lime Creek but I still feel extra pressure and flushed  in the face.

The workouts are still just easy efforts and I don't intend to start more earnest training until next week.  The opportunity to race again as soon as I hit 60 is tempting and I need to check into some races after the 15th.  But another concern, I have committed to riding several days of RAGBRAI with my son's team so I should get a few more bike miles in before the last week of July.

4 miles in the AM and a hike at dusk planned unless it stays too hot.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Recovery Week Summary

Not much to blog about this week after trying to understand what happened in the Black hills.

There were several other posts, by runners that participated, that helped give me better perspective on what was a truly unfortunate weather situation. I ran for quite a few miles with Dan from the state of Washington and had some nice visits with him.  Here's a video that he posted.

The workouts this week were mostly geared towards recovery and dissipating the lactic acid build-up.  By mid-week I felt as though I could run and did take a couple opportunities to roll along again.

50 miles for the week.