Saturday, September 7, 2019


I have debated getting my blog going again but I think my issues with my running and my stress from work and life have just taken my desire to write anything away.

Well I have progress to report on my running and my work.

With my running I have had issues breathing and coughing since I was sick in January of 2018, I had a nasty flu with an even nastier chest cough. I had just switched jobs at work and it was a month after my brother had died. After I recovered or thought I had, every time I tried to run I had an uncontrolled coughing attack and experienced shortness of breath after only a minute of running. It was winter in MN which didn't help but it didn't bother me as I told myself it can take a few weeks and I am just reacting to the cold air. We went to Florida in Feb and it was worse then in MN, that caught me off guard, I continued to depend on the Galloway run-walk method to get my training in for my upcoming marathons. Although, I tried to run in April, May and June without being able to, it was weird and very bothersome. As although my brother had died of lung cancer he had other lung issues and oddly enough his issues had started 5 years before his death after being extremely sick. My brother was 5 years older than me so I can admit know this cough and shortness of breath had me a a little nervous.

The good news is in July of 2018 I started seeing Dr's, turns out my lungs and heart were given a clean bill of health (of course this took many months seeing multiple Dr's and having way too many tests) but I was not able to run beyond a minute, two max. Well after many more visits, it's caused by 3 things which came together as a by-product of that January sickness. I have been diagnosed with probable allergies (allergy medicines), mild asthma (singulair, maintenance inhaler and an emergency inhaler) and vocal cord dysfunction (retraining my body to breathe). This week I successfully ran/walked 4 miles in Lebanon Hills which is not earth shaking news, the news was I ran non-stop for a mile. I have work to do as I figure things out further but I am seeing a path forward. For my upcoming marathons I will still do the run-walk as that way I can avoid (minimize) the triggers that lead to the breathing and coughing.

With regard to my work, I informed my boss that I intend to retire in March of next year. Makes the hostile work environment (caused by a single VP) we are all experiencing tolerable as I am on a countdown and working to add a few distractions. Next up is I have the UltraLoony weekend, followed by Mankato and San Antonio with a thought of running Madison between Mankato and San Antonio so I can skip the need for a long run. Followed by a family vacation to Florida in January. Well you get the idea, lots of things to keep me distracted from work.

I looked in my blog post section and saw that I have over 10 posts started (most are race reports from the Grandma's, Maui, FANS, TCM, Med City, Mill Race, Hartford, etc...). So I intend to start working my way through those, probably have said that before but this time I think it will happen.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Grandma's 2019

I completed my 19th Grandma's yesterday (and 50th marathon or longer just in MN) and I think it was marathon number 62). It was a beautiful day with a strong, sometimes cold tailwind.
Grandma's Marathon
I love the event and had wanted to have a good running day but my poor training aggravated by my asthma (still trying to figure it out) resulted in a slow race. I was using the Galloway method (30-30) but maybe I still went out a little too fast even though it didn't feel that way as around mile 8, I lost my breath (with major coughing), I tried the rescue inhaler, it helped but I never fully recovered. It's kind of like it freaked me out so I just couldn't get back in rhythm, so I still have some work to do to figure it out.

Miles 13 to 18 were a struggle but I had a few highlights, as it was during this stretch I saw Jeff Galloway running and I thanked him for his run-walk program as without it I wouldn't be able to do any running events. Then around mile 17 (I think, I know it was at my low point) as I was frustrated by the coughing and breathing issues and feeling sorry for myself, I saw a sign that said something like "it's ok to struggle, it's not ok to give up, be brave like Gabe", instant motivation and it helped me figure out a way to get to thru the remaining miles.

After the race Karyn and I had our Sammy's pizza in Cloquet and then decided to drive down to Canal Park, we were able to walk the lakefront, it's beautiful. As we walked, Karyn got a phone call, as she was talking, I got an email giving us the news that one one of my former co-workers son had been killed the night before. Wow, what an instant life moment to put things in perspective. The young man was 19, We have known his Dad and Mom for 35+ years, I had played softball with his father and him. Devastating to see someone so young taken.

As to Grandma's, I love the event and can't wait to run my 20th Grandma's on June 20th, 2020.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

2019 Goals and 2018 Review

Last year when I was setting goals, I wrote this:

..... this is my primary running goal for 2018:  5o Marathons or beyond completed in Minnesota and then in 2019 I can run 4 more MN marathons meaning: 50 marathons completed in Minnesota

Image result for motivational running images
I went for it last year but a few things got in my way which meant I ended the year at "49 marathons or beyond" completed in Minnesota. I had signed up for the races to reach the goal but the MedCity marathon was shortened for heat and the one I intended to add as a replacement (Walker) was canceled.

So this year, my goal is to finish that out and get to 50 and if all goes as planned to get to 50 pure for Minnesota marathons and add in a few additional states as I meander towards my marathon in every state goal. One other goal I am debating and hope to go for is to run a 100k race in August (Badger Trail 100k) to celebrate my anticipated 62nd birthday the following month. I will discuss a few additional goals for 2019 in a future post.
How would I describe 2018, another mixed year for my running and life. I had many highs and a few lows and the lows are definitely helping keep my true priorities in life in sync.

    Image result for motivational running images
  1. Watching my granddaughter grow up
  2. Enjoying the success of my daughters (they are doing great in their jobs but they are both outstanding young ladies and continue to be a joy as they continue to grow and mature)
  3. Time spent with the family
  4. Participating at FANS 12 hour and stopping after 8 hours to celebrate my anniversary
  5. Completed Grandma's again
  6. Finished the Ultra Loony (charter member continues)
  7. Finished 6 marathons (Lake Wobegon, Grandma's, Mill Race, TCM, Hartford and Mankato which included adding 2 more states - Connecticut and Indiana) 
  8. Finished an ultra (FANS)
  9. Galloway method continues to work
  10. Was able to run or at least participate in many races thanks to the Galloway method (see 3 below)
  1. First marathon was the fastest just like last year, go figure (or is that a good thing)
  2. Disruptive work life
  3. Struggled with coughing and shortness of breath, will write more on this in the future but the Galloway method was the only reason I got through any runs as I was unable to run for more than 2 minutes and normally was coughing/gasping after the first minute.
  4. Had another brother die in December
As to 2019, I am looking forward to keeping all things in perspective and working to cherish the important things in life which are my family, my faith and my running which helps me keep it all together both mentally and physically.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Lake Wobegon 2018

My first marathon of the year and what a great day. I went into the race with some inconsistent training after being sick in January and dealing with a nasty cough through the spring but my faith in the Galloway method paid off but first some background.

St. Cloud River Runners
Lake Wobegon is a runners race (it's been put on by St. Cloud River Runners), not a large field and only the marathon, not a lot of fan support but an extremely well organized and supported race. This was to be my 3rd time at Lake Wobegon. The first attempt was a DNF when I was trying to run through a meniscus tear. The second attempt went far better all things considered as I had had the knee surgery the year before and had ruptured my plantar the year before so I had some residual issues going on.

The race starts at Holdingford High School and it takes us about a mile to pick up the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail where we head southwest for about 10 miles or so to Albany, from there we hang a left, head over to Avon and then on to St. Joseph. The trail is mostly flat with some gradual grades as you might expect on an old railway bed. The trail is asphalt and we had plenty of aid stations and volunteers.

As to my race, well it started out with a problem. We stayed at a hotel in St. Cloud and I forgot my race number, thankfully they provided me a new number as we didn't have time to go back and make the start time. After that things went fairly well, I had planned on using the Galloway method using 30-30 increments. It worked well up until the last 4 or 5 miles where I slowed down by a minute per mile. Part of the reason was the shoes I wore (Hoka Clayton 2) had started cutting into a toe around mile 5 and I tried to ignore it but as time went on, well it become harder so my mental energy took a hit dealing with that, along with that I messed a bit on fueling and well I hard run 20+ miles. Overall though I was pleased. My internal goal coming into the race was to be under 5 1/2 hrs, ideally beat my time from the Pig from the year before of 5:25, realistically though I had trained better for the Pig as the year before our winter was more runner friendly and I had not been sick like this year. My time was 5:33 and I was quite happy that they got it right considering my bib mistake.

A couple of other things, for this years race for signing up early we got a pullover and they also provided gloves and a mini back pack at packet pickup and the finisher shirt and medal at the finish. Along with plenty of pizza, water and pop.

Next up MedCity.


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