Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ending 2006 With a Bang

Ran 23.1 miles @ 8:05 pace average.
Paved and dirt roads (icy, thin snow)
Very hilly.
Weather: lower 20s to start, lower-mid 30s at end. Sunny.

After two days of rest, a long run was in order. This was probably one of the better long training runs I've done for a few reasons: 1) This route was very hilly. I don't think I've ran a road training route this hilly over this distance before. 2) Good pace despite slippery conditions, with a light progression throughout. I should note that this was four loops, and after the first and second loops I did stop by my house for pit stops, shedding clothing and drinking water, so there was a little bit of a rest in there. Still, even with that in consideration, I'm very pleased with today overall.

Loop 1 (5.67 miles) - 8:10/mile pace. Getting warmed up. Climbing the hill the first 2.8 miles seemed like cake on fresh legs. Towards the end, the gore-tex jacket and gloves seemed a bit much. Stopped in the house to ditch jacket, opting to run in a long sleeve wicking shirt over a short sleeve wicking shirt with gloves.

Loop 2 (5.67 miles) - 8:08/mile pace. Felt great. A husky came out barking, but didn't pose a threat. Towards the end, the gloves were a bit too much. Opted to swing inside house to drop them off.

Loop 3 (5.67 miles). 8:03/mile pace. Still feeling great, albeit a little more tired. Husky comes out barking again, it looks like he just wants to play but while that's tempting, I'd rather do my run. Thin layer of plowed snow over the dirt road section is beginning to loosen up with the warmer temps, making the pace slower and trickier.

Loop 4 (6.12 miles). 8:01/mile pace. Added a little extra here to ensure that I'd be over 23 miles. Snow on dirt road is very loose now, and I had to shorten my stride to prevent slipping. Feeling tired but fine. Glad to be done with time to update running log, blog, and take a shower before the football games start.

Weekly total - a mere 55.4 miles. Not much, but that's what I get for taking two days off. Glad to end the week on a good note though. Looking forward to a killer 2007! Wishing my fellow runners out there the same.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Heavy Legs

Ran 10.6 miles @ 8:38/mile pace.
Paved path.
Very flat.
Weather: 70 degrees and sunny.

Today's run was a bit of a bust. From the very start, my legs felt like two pillars of concrete, and efforts to convince myself that it was psychosomatic were futile. Today marks the 11th consecutive day in a row I've run, which for me is a new record.

My brother and I ran on the Suncoast Trail, a paved path that is perfect for running, biking, or whatever, and is void of anything with an internal combustion engine. I did the first two miles as a warm-up with my brother and then took off to attempt to get in at least seven marathon paced miles, which never happened. I hit the first split in 6:52, though it required great effort and sapped me of whatever little strength I still had. The second mile clocked in at 7:16, and I was really hurting here. Halfway through the next mile, I came to my senses and realized there was no way and I took my foot off the gas. I slogged through the next mile and turned around. I ran into my brother not too much later and we returned together.

So, a not so good day today. Tomorrow I'm taking a day off. This time I mean it. I know it'll really do me some good. Besides, I'm flying back home tomorrow so I guess that's a good day to take a day off. Looking forward to returning to the cooler weather. I grew up in Florida, but still, it's way too hot for me.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:20/mile pace.
Paved roads, paved golf cart paths.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Mid-upper 30s, sunny.

Today's purpose was recovery, and I really feel like I could use it! My legs are pretty tired, so taking it slow and easy was on the agenda. I ran down the road from my mother's house in Gainesville to a golf course. The sun was just beginning to rise and there were no golfers to be seen, so I decided to take a chance and run on the cart paths for fun. I was waiting for someone who worked there to chase me down and kick me off, but that never happened. Instead, I just had an enjoyable run.

I'm back down in Tampa now. Heading back up to Maine on Friday. Tomorrow's agenda calls for 12-15 miles with 10 at MP. Friday will be another short recovery run, likely of the 6-mile variety before I fly back up. Saturday a medium-paced volume run and Sunday a 20+ miler.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Aiming for Marathon Pacing

Ran 8.0 miles (2.0 miles warm-up, 6.0 miles at MP)
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: mid-50s, breezy.

Today's run was around the campus of my alma mater, the University of Florida. First two miles I did with my brother and dad as a warm-up and then I took off on my own.

Mile 1: 9:31
Mile 2: 8:53
Mile 3: 6:58
Mile 4: 6:53
Mile 5: 7:00
Mile 6: 6:45
Mile 7: 6:55
Mile 8: 6:51

My target MP is 7:10, so like a few days ago, I was stepping on the gas a bit too hard. Still, it was nice knowing I could do so after nine straight days of running with no problem. However, I did puke after the run, but it was only because my stomach didn't agree too much with the breakfast bake I ate a few hours before. I was fine though.

I do have a pacer on my Garmin that I'd like to start experimenting with to help me hit 7:10/mile better on my MP runs.

I may take a rest day tomorrow. I feel like I could use one. We'll see.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Ran 8.0 miles @ 8:57/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Pretty flat.
Weather: Upper 60s, rain.

My father, brother and I went out for an easy Christmas run in Gainesville. The route went from my father's current house to the old house where I grew up and back. I added a little more just to round up to nearest mile. Easy pace and a good fun run.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Another 80+ Week in the Books

Ran 10.5 miles @ 8:14/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very flat.
Weather: 70 degrees and humid.

I woke up early this morning and got in my run before my brother and I headed up to Gainesville to see our folks. Despite it being pre-dawn, it was really warm and sticky out, but I felt better adjusted to it this morning than yesterday, though not entirely so.

Run went well. Purpose was volume and recovery, so it was a take it easy and enjoy it kind of run, which I did. Good run to end a good week.

Week in review:

Total = 81.o miles

Monday 15.0 miles
Tuesday 11.o miles
Wednesday 15.0 miles
Thursday 11.o miles
Friday 6.0 miles
Saturday 12.5 miles
Sunday 10.5 miles

Next week will have more emphasis on MP.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

55 Degree Differential

Ran 12.5 miles @ 8:06 mile pace, including 5.0 miles @ 6:53/mile pace.
Paved road (bridge).
Very flat, sans one hump in the bridge.
Weather: Upper 70s, partly cloudy, very humid.

Yesterday morning's run in Maine, 23 degrees. Today's run in Tampa, 78 degrees and very humid. The difference was quite a shock! The run took place at the Gandy Bridge which traverses the bay and connects Tampa and St. Petersburg. There's a separate bridge for runners, roller bladers, walkers, whatever... so long as it doesn't have a motor, therefore it's a nice place to run.

I ran across and back the first time with my brother at a 9-something mile pace. The heat felt immense, and I developed side stitches after just two miles. During that time, I also became drenched in sweat.

Once we returned, I did another out and back on the bridge alone while my brother had enough and opted to wait. I shot for marathon pace (7:10), but went too fast. However, I was able to hold the pace and hit my splits at 6:49, 6:51, 6:57, 6:51, and 6:55. With not being properly acclimated to the heat, it was pretty tough. I did a couple more miles as a cool down and called it a day. Good run. Tomorrow should bring my weekly total up to 80+ miles. I'm going to start incorporating more MP runs next week. It might mean a little less mileage for the weekly totals, but hopefully not too much. Next week will give me a better idea.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Woods are Lovely, Dark and Deep

Ran 6.0 miles @ 8:31/mile pace.
Paved roads, dirt roads/wide trails.
Moderately hilly.
Weather: lower-mid 20s.

Today called for a lighter day, and with a work party this afternoon, an early morning run only seemed fitting. I decided to run a mile down the road to a fire/service road that goes into a large section of woods. Here I wouldn't have to worry about sleepy drivers or neighbors' dogs. Only wildlife.

The path climbs steadily up for a couple of miles until I hit the turnaround point, which is a good size lake in the middle of the woods. My headlamp brightly lit the way, and I was enjoying myself despite not being fully awake.

My pace slowed a bit on the return route when I encountered a large porcupine in the path. He ran straight ahead, trying to flee, as I slowed my pace and followed it a good ten feet back. I wondered why the poor guy didn't just duck into the woods. I felt bad knowing that I was probably scaring the heck out of the prickly little bugger. The path widened and I was able to get to one side, and sensing this, he finally turned and ducked into the woods.

Good run. My next workout will be down in Florida where I'm heading for Christmas. It'll be nice to be able to run shirtless again.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

This Run Goes to 11

Ran 11.o miles @ 7:39/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: Temps in upper 40s, sunny and windy.

Today was just one of those days where all cylinders are firing. I came out feeling very energetic and raring to go, and the Achilles behaved very nicely. I tried holding back, but it went something like this:

The first three miles climb a moderately steep hill. I zip up it at a 7:40/mile pace while feeling incredibly strong. My legs begin to seemingly talk to me.

"Can we go faster?" asks Engine #1, my left leg, in a sweet voice.

"Yes, can we please?" pleads Engine #2, my right leg with the sore Achilles.

"Now, now guys, we have to take it easy," I explain to them. "Engine #2, you should know better. You've been hurting a little and we're probably already going too fast up these hills."

"But we feel fine!" they cry in unison. Engine #2 adds "And the Achilles isn't an issue!"

"Not now it's not," I explain, my tone becoming stern. "But it could. Better to just maintain this pace for a while."

They reluctantly agree and we cruise along miles four through seven together, which follows the top of a ridge and take some steep dives and climbs.

"How about now?" Engine #2 asks. "See? This is going okay."

"Yeah, c'mon, I want to go faster," pouts Engine #1.

"No guys," I reply, somewhat angrily. "C'mon, give me a break. We really need to chill out. Sure, everything is fine now, but remember what happened yesterday? That Achilles got a little mad at us for picking up the pace. We're going to hold. End of story."

Mile eight rolls along and the road becomes flatter with a slight downhill. My Garmin beeps at me, telling me I hit the split in 7:36.

"We're going faster, aren't we?" asks Engine #2.

"See? We can do it," says Engine #1. "If there's any trouble we'll slow down immediately. What do you say? Pleeeeeeeease?!?!"

"Alright! Fine!" I exclaim, fed up with the whining and mad at myself for caving in. But together we push forward. Mile 9 clocks in at 7:17, the very upper edge of my marathon pace. Mile 10 clocks in at 7:06. It felt easy. It felt great. I wanted more. But...

"Guys, I gave you two at MP. This was good. The Achilles didn't make a peep, but let's not push it."

The engines agree and we do the last mile as a cooldown.

Good day. Very good day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Winter Solstice Eve Run

Ran 15.0 miles @ 7:49/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Upper 30s, sunny, no wind.

Beautiful weather today made for great running. Seasonably cool out out and no wind as I headed out on my 15 mile course. The goal was to do this at a moderate pace, and overall I felt pretty good, especially in the later miles. The first half of this run is almost entirely uphill, but at a slight grade. By the time I reached the turnaround point my leg muscles were warmed up and I enjoyed the slight downhills. It's funny how on slight grades you notice the uphills, but those same stretches when going the other way seem flat.

Achilles did feel a little sore during this run, but only when I picked up the pace a little at mile 10 and hit that split at 7:15. I decided then to slow down and once I did it pretty much went away. I'm not terribly concerned about it, but will give it some ice and take some aspirin. As I'm typing this, it's barely noticeable.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Ran 11.0 miles @ 8:12/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: Mid-30s, partly cloudy. Brisk north wind.

The temperatures have taken a dive back down to seasonal levels, but with the snow melted and sunny skies out, it made for good running weather. The wind out of the north made it seem a bit chillier at times, but I was well dressed and enjoyed the run.

The agenda for today was to just take it easy and get in the miles to follow yesterday's harder run. Pretty steady splits and feeling good. The Achilles continues to feel fine and isn't an issue. Woohoo!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Easy as 1, 2, 3... (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

Ran 15.0 miles @ 7:35/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Mid-40s and sunny.

I came out feeling great today, fueled with energy and anticipation after two days rest from a sore Achilles. As a result of the time off, my legs were fresh and raring to go. I trucked along and hit my splits at decent times that felt effortless. I decided to do miles 11-13 at marathon pace and that stretch felt easy even after 10 miles. However, it's only fair to note that those miles were on a slight downhill grade which no doubt helped shave a few seconds. Here are the splits:

Mile 1: 7:51
Mile 2: 7:55
Mile 3: 7:51
Mile 4: 7:48
Mile 5: 7:47
Mile 6: 7:42
Mile 7: 7:35
Mile 8: 7:20
Mile 9: 7:39
Mile 10: 7:31
Mile 11: 7:05*
Mile 12: 6:52*
Mile 13: 6:58*
Mile 14: 7:53
Mile 15: 7:51

Feels good to be back. Tomorrow I have 10.8 scheduled and am looking forward to it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fending Boredom

First, the good news: I awoke this morning and the achilles feels nearly 100% (still going to rest today as a precaution). That's obviously a huge relief, as I've always heard horror stories about achilles injuries. Mine never felt like anything major, but I'm glad I didn't give it the chance to become one. I think running on it might have made it worse, based on the tinges of pain I felt on Friday's run. I'm really looking forward to getting out there again tomorrow.

Now, the whining: Weekends sure are boring without running. The extra few hours I have each day seem enormous. Yesterday was well spent by going over to LL Bean with a friend to finish up my Christmas shopping. Today? Perhaps finish recording a song I'm working on and of course, watching the Patriots rebound from last weekend's loss and slaughtering the Texans.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Doing the Right Thing... Begrudgingly

Ran 1.1 miles @ 8:23/mile pace.

Yesterday, I hobbled through my run with a sore Achilles tendon in my right heel. I spent this morning icing it and taking aspirin and knowing that I was hurting, I prepared myself to abort today's run run at the first sign of trouble. After a couple of tenths of miles, I felt the soreness/tightness coming on with slowly increasing intensity and decided to throw in the towel a little over a half a mile into the run. Bummer, since the sun is shining brightly and it's once again very warm out.

I don't think this is anything too serious, but I may be forced to take another day off tomorrow. I'd rather do that and heal up quicker and properly rather than almost assuredly making things worse. The trade-off is I'm going to go a bit mentally nuts the rest of today and tomorrow. Aspirin and lots of ice in the meantime and I must keep telling myself: It's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do. It's the right thing to do...........

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Warm Run

Ran 15.0 miles @ 7:58/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Mid 40s, foggy.

Today's run was pretty good. However, I'm a bit concerned about my right Achilles tendon. I pulled it about an hour or two after my run yesterday, but didn't think much of it. It felt sore during my run today, and on three or four occasions it tinged really badly for a few seconds. I may opt to rest it tomorrow.

Other than that, good run. Steady splits and I just rolled along.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Global Warming Run

Ran 10.8 miles @ 7:47/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: temps in mid 50s, sunny.

I set off for my run this afternoon and shortly after the first mile, I was pulling up my long sleeves as I was clearly overdressed. It's mid-December.. what gives?!?!

Anyway, the run itself was fine. Fortunately, my very gracious boss gave me permission to head out a little earlier so I could get my full run in before grad school this evening. I felt a little creaky at first, most likely from the rest day yesterday, but after my legs warmed up I felt fluid as I rolled along the ups and downs of the hills. Good workout with a nice progression in split times, starting out at 8:09/mile pace and working down to 7:14/mile.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Change is Good

Ran 10.2 miles @ 7:48/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Weather: Upper 3os, sunny.

I set out this afternoon to do a couple of my 5-mile loops when I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized shortly after the first mile that I'm kind of bored of some of my routes. Could that be another reason why I was feeling a bit burned out yesterday (along with work and grad school being especially busy)? It made sense, since I've really grown to not like this 5 mile loop all that much. It goes by too much traffic downtown and is pretty boring. So, I did the logical thing. I turned down another street, with no concrete route in mind.

I was familiar with some of the roads for a few miles, and then I ran on some ones I had never been on. They took me up and over some very challenging hills and alongside some beautiful farmlands and forests. I wanted to keep going further and I did, eventually meandering back down to the county road that would take me to Main Street and back to the school. I finished my last mile in a flurry, clocking it at 6:38. I even think I had a dorky grin on my face while I was doing it. The important thing though was that I had fun and it didn't seem like a chore.

It's important to be mindful that mental slumps are normal, but analyze why you're feeling that way and then come up with a plan of action and do something about it. Switching things up a bit and heading out into the unknown added the excitement I needed to kick yesterday's somewhat blah mentality to the curb. Man, those hills were fun. I seriously really love hill running. I'm ready for more, just slightly concerned about tomorrow's weather.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Ran 2.7 miles @ 7:33/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Temps in upper 30s, overcast.

I cut today's run short because of... well... stomach issues. Not many woods to duck into on the route I was doing today from work.

To be perfectly honest, I'm also feeling a bit burned out at the moment. I suspect it's more from really having to rearrange my schedule over the past several days with splitting up my runs to do doubles because of work or grad school commitments. I need a few hours each day to simply relax and I haven't been getting that since mid-week last week. As a result, at times my training has seemed more like a part-time job, rather than fun.

I'll get over it though. I have grad school again Thursday afternoon, but other than that, there shouldn't be any other extraneous obstacles. As my required "me" time accumulates during the week, I suspect my mental batteries will be recharged.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Nice Day for a Long Run

Ran 20.6 miles @ 8:00/mile pace
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Weather: Upper 30s to lower 40s. Partly cloudy. Moderate headwind during return.

Today's workout was a good one. It's nice to know I can finish off a 70+ mile week with a long run on a pretty hilly route and do it at a decent pace (for me) while feeling strong. My splits were pretty steady aside from adjustments for hills. I was just plugging along, letting my mind wander, and having a good time.

I've recently read about the "Parrott Predictor" on a couple of other folks' running blogs. It basically states that you can predict your marathon pace based on the fastest 26.2 miles you've run over a week of training. If so, that's somewhat encouraging. This past week puts me roughly around 7:22/mile pace for my fastest 26.2 miles. I need a 7:17/mile pace or faster for my marathon in late February to qualify for Boston. I'm getting there, but still have a ways to go.

Recapping the week:
Monday: 5.0 miles
Tuesday: 15.1 miles
Wednesday: 10.3 miles
Thursday: 11.2 miles
Friday: 0 miles
Saturday: 10.2 miles
Sunday: 20.6 miles

Weekly total: 72.4 miles

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday Double

Total miles: 10.4

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:20/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: 2o degrees.

Ran 4.8/miles @ 7:29/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: 32 degrees.

Morning run:
Because of grad school obligations today, I opted to do a double and headed out into the darkness this morning at 4:50am. It was 20 degrees out, but I was adequately dressed with wind pants, long johns, Gore-tex jacket, mittens, balaclava, beanie, and my trusty headlamp. The roads were quite icy, but when possible I'd run in the middle of the road which was ice-free. Traffic is not an issue, especially this early on a Saturday morning. I headed up to the top of the hill and saw that the dirt road I normally turn off at was still covered with unpacked snow. Luckily, this is almost exactly the half-way point, so I simply turned around and got in the same mileage. I also avoided encountering that German Shepard by doing this (but I still had my pepper spray with me as a precaution).

Afternoon run:
The temperatures had warmed up but with an overcast sky it still seemed a bit dreary out. I ran right after my class was over to take advantage of the daylight. Conditions were still icy, but being that it was daylight the dangerous patches were easier to spot. Good run, and I'm looking forward to my long run tomorrow. As an added bonus, temps are expected to climb to the mid-40s tomorrow. Woohoo!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Looking Down the Road

This morning, I headed downstairs to the kitchen, savoring the smell of the coffee brewing in my pot that was started a few minutes ago by the timer. I looked out in my backyard and my eyes widened with excitement: Snow! Our first real snowfall of the year. My next thought came just a second later, which was that I was glad I decided to switch my rest day from yesterday to today. Not so much for the snow, but for the winds we're supposed to get later today along with highs only in the 20s.

I thought I'd take advantage of the tranquility of the morning and lay out my projected race schedule, so here it goes:

Plan A (assumes BQ in Feburary along with a knock on wood)
Feb. 25th - Hyannis Marathon
April 16th - Boston Marathon
May 13th - Portland Sea Dogs 5K
May 27th - Pineland Farms 50K ultra
July 20-21st - Vermont 100 ultra
Sept. 30th - Vermont 50 ultra
Oct. 14th - MDI Marathon

Plan B (if I don't BQ at Hyannis)
Feb. 25th - Hyannis Marathon
April 14th - Bull Run Run 50M ultra
May 20th - Sugarloaf Marathon (BQ attempt)
July 20-21st - Vermont 100 ultra
Sept. 30th - Vermont 50 ultra
Oct. 14th - MDI Marathon

There's a two month gap between May and July to allow the type of training I want to do to prepare for the 100-miler. I'm going to enter the lottery for the Mt. Washington Road Race in mid June, but since I got in last year, I'll just go ahead and assume I won't again this year but if I do it'll be a nice surprise. Lot's of fun stuff to look forward to!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Double Dog Dare Ya

Total: 11.2 miles

Ran 5.7 miles @ 7:54/mile pace
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: temps in lower 30s

Ran 5.5 miles @ 7:26/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: temps in lower 40s

Morning details:
Today was scheduled to be a rest day, but after seeing the weather looked good for today and not-so-good for tomorrow, I opted to postpone the rest day until then. I was out the door at 4:45am under a soft but bright blanket of moonlight diffused by a thick layer of clouds. The temperature was relatively warm and I got off to a good start.

A scary moment occurred when I encountered a large German Shepard that wasn't very happy to seem me. He barked and charged me a few times, and I quickly turned my headlamp to it's highest setting (which is extremely bright) and tried to keep the light directly in the dog's eyes. I hoped that if the dog couldn't see me well, it'd be hesitant to charge. That seemed to be case, as the dog only approached closer when he dodged my light a little and I guess could see me better. All the while, I shouted loudly but calmly "it's okay" to the dog, hoping both to calm it down and also hoping someone would hear me. Eventually I heard a voice out of view call and the dog ran towards it. Whew. Next time I run this route in the early morning, I'll carry along a can of mace that I have, just in case. I really don't want to use it, but I also really don't want to get bit! I imagine that the dog's owner was simply letting their dog out to use the bathroom, and wasn't expecting someone to be out running at that time. I've run the same route several dozen times in the past and never even seen this pooch before.

Anyway, the run went very well other than that. I also heard some coyotes yipping about a mile before the dog encounter, which is always neat to hear.

Afternoon details:
I had a meeting at one of the "sending schools" down in North Berwick and opted to run from there once the meeting was out to take advantage of the remaining daylight. I just opted to do an out and back route to get in 5.5 miles, and did so at a light pace. Legs felt a little tired but not bad. Good workout.

Though tomorrow could be a rest day, I may opt to do something very light and small, like 2-3 miles. I'll see how I feel in the afternoon and go from there.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Nice Surprise of Sorts

Ran 10.3 miles @ 7:16/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Mid 30s, overcast.

My recent increase in mileage has me venturing into somewhat uncharted territory. I'm still learning how my body reacts to the weekly increases and workouts. Sometimes it's a guessing game as to how I'll do, but mostly I've noticed my overall pace is obviously slower, which is of course to be expected and is necessary to get the miles in. I'm still in an adjustment period. However, it is also important for me at some point to start doing some runs or parts of my runs at marathon pace. Today was a nice step in that direction.

Today was a far cry from yesterday when I set out and my legs felt very heavy. Instead, today I felt very light and fresh from the get go. I wasn't expecting that at all. As a result, I took off fast, and decided then and there to shoot for doing my first three miles at my goal marathon pace (7:10). I clocked them at 7:11, 6:51, and 6:54. I then eased up a bit, but still ended up hitting my splits at faster than expected times.

This was a huge confidence booster, and I couldn't be happier. My ultimate goal of breaking 3:10 this February to qualify for Boston seems just a little closer now, but I know I still have a lot of work to do.

Mile 1: 7:11
Mile 2: 6:51
Mile 3: 6:54
Mile 4: 7:36
Mile 5: 7:23
Mile 6: 7:24
Mile 7: 7:23
Mile 8: 7:28
Mile 9: 7:19
Mile 10: 7:15
Last .03: 7:01/mile pace.

I was planning on a rest day tomorrow, but may try to get in a very short run after a meeting in the afternoon.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Running Until the Sun Goes Down

Ran 15.1 miles @ 7:59/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Upper 20s.

Got in a good workout today. It took a good while until I felt warmed up. The first five miles I felt stiff and my legs heavier than concrete. After that, I felt pretty good. Just pretty tired legs, which kept my pace down somewhat but still respectable for me. Splits were steady with little variation.

The cold and darkness were challenges, but that's to be expected in the winter. Thank goodness for headlamps. Good workout, and my third 15+ mile run in four days. Tomorrow I'm planning on 10 miles, and a rest day on Thursday.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Five in the Cold

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:45/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: 30 degrees, brisk north wind.

I had set out today in the hopes of doing at least 10, but quickly learned after starting my run that wasn't entirely realistic. My legs just feel very exhausted after the last two days. However, I was glad to get in the workout that I did. Normally, I might have just taken a rest day so it's good to get some mileage in instead.

My first split was 8:05, from there, I took off a few seconds from each mile until I finished the fourth mile in 7:50. Then I felt loosened up and good, and dropped the hammer a bit, running the last mile in 6:57. What's good is that it felt nearly effortless and pretty easy, despite tired legs.

Since that last mile felt so good, I mused on whether I should have kept going or not, but decided just leaving at five would allow better recovery and more gas in the tank for this week. I'd also like to start incorporating more tempo work or marathon pace (7:10/mile target) runs into my workouts this week in addition to the weekly mileage increases. Today was a good taste of that.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Slow and easy

Ran 16.2 miles @ 8:01/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Weather: mid-upper 30s. Sunny.

I set out this morning on a new route that I've been wanting to try for a while. It crosses the Saco River twice, goes through a couple really neat small towns, and there's plenty of the ever present woods and farms alongside the roads. This was a good time to do it, as I planned on running at a very easy recovery pace (yesterday's hills runs took a lot out of me) and I could enjoy the scenery. Also, the hills aren't that bad along this route, relatively speaking. They are there, and a few are long, but none are really all that steep. According to the USATF's running route planner, there is 540' of elevation gain on the course, which isn't too bad for that mileage.

However, the run got off to a somewhat ominous start as the pin on my Garmin broke off for the third time this week. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it, and I was forced to stash the Forerunner in the pocket of my water belt. I have one pin left from an old watch, I think I'll just superglue it on there.

Aside from that, it was a great run otherwise and I felt very good throughout. A bit stiff at first from yesterday and also the cold, but after five miles I felt very loose.

Despite two rest days this week (one not really planned), I still got in what is for me a decent weekly total. I'm still shooting for consistent 70-80 mile weeks though.

Mon = 0 miles
Tues = 12.5 miles, extremely hilly
Wed = 10.5 miles, slightly hilly
Thursday = 5.7 miles, very hilly
Friday = 0 miles
Saturday = 15.1 miles, extremely hilly
Sunday = 16.2 miles, moderately hilly

Total = 60.0 miles

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Trail Run and Road Run

Ran 15.1 miles total.
Run #1: 8.2 miles @ 8:58/mile pace. Muddy, rocky trails. Extremely hilly.
Run #2: 6.9 miles @ 7:57/mile pace. Paved roads. Extremely hilly.
Weather: Sunny, windy, temps in the lower 40s.

Run #1:

I set out this morning to meet up with my running group to do a trail run just outside of Portland. Afterwards, the plan was to get in enough miles on the roads to bring me up to 15 for the day.

Ian, Emma, Jeff, Eric and I set off on the trails to find puddles the size of small lakes and deep mud covering much of the trails. It made it challenging and fun, albeit a bit treacherous. There were a total of four full-on fall downs. I won't say who they involved, but will say that none of them were me (I probably just jinxed myself for next time).

At the high point of one hill, we were afforded great views of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Mountains. The peaks were actually in the clouds, but an impressive sight nonetheless.

At the conclusion of the run, we hung out for a bit while rehydrating. I'd do the next run alone, but Jeff informed me of a good loop that was about 7 miles long that I could run, and I changed my shoes and was off 15 minutes later.

Run #2:

Jeff told me there would be a long hill climb, and he wasn't lying. It was a good workout, and I just kept my pace slow and steady and I enjoyed the ascent. I felt excellent throughout, and considered stopping at the Back Cove on the way home to get in another four miles but decided that would be a bit much. I'd like to save myself for tomorrow. Good day of running though, I'm quite pleased.