Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nice and Easy

Ran 7.1 miles @ 10:21/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 139/167
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 80s. Sunny to start, mostly cloudy to end.

I ran with a friend I work with who set a new distance PR for himself today. He did especially great, as this route is very hilly and it was also a hot day. I just hope he doesn't hate me for it tomorrow. I might need to keep an eye on my lunch to make sure it's not tampered with. But in all seriousness, it's fun to watch him continue to progress.

The slower pace was good, given that yesterday I ran a little harder than I would have liked. My shin splint barked quite a bit in the middle of the run, but was much quieter towards the end. I just need to make myself ice it, along with taking ibuprofen.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hills and Dogs

Ran 5.5 miles @ 7:54/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 161/177
Extremely hilly.
Lower 70s, sunny.

I ran this evening with the Trail Monsters at Twin Brooks in Cumberland. We had a good crowd, about a dozen of us in all. The area consists of trails that dart in and out of the woods and fields on rolling hills that provide an excellent workout. I was pretty happy with my pace. Went a bit faster than I had wanted to prior to the run, but it felt great and I'm no worse for the wear. Very happy with how I've felt the past couple of days. I feel like I'm emerging from the cocoon of injury and am feeling strong and getting back the wings I once had.

On that note, I've made the decision to go ahead and run the Vermont 100 on July 20th. Whether this is wise is debatable, but I look at it like this: If you see a dog fall through the ice out on a lake, you must try and save him. Not doing so will result in a lifelong regret of knowing you should have tried to save that dog. The image of the dog struggling to get to safety will be a constant theme in your nightmares. Even if the dog doesn't make it, at least you tried, and all is well with your conscience. I've decided I'm going to try and rescue the dog.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Fun Run

Ran 9.4 miles @ 8:17/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 158/171
Paved roads and trails.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 70s, sunny.

Goal today was take it slow and easy. Was able to do just that. The result, a very easy and fun run. The sun was warm, but not oppressively hot. Shin splint went away and never flared up (the result of three days rest and some vitamin I taken before the run, no doubt). It was simply pleasant.

During the run, I had thought of one of Andrew's recent posts about running slower and longer and gaining aerobic capacity. With that in mind, I'm planning on doing more miles this week, but all at a slow pace. Now the main reason for this is for less pounding on the body while ramping up my miles. I'm not going to go crazy, that will probably just make my shin splint flare up again, but will experiment with going nice and slow for the week and adjust as needed.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Volunteering at the Pineland Farms 50K

I had the pleasure to film the Pineland Farms 50K race in New Gloucester today. A good friend and fellow Trail Monster runner (and founder of said running team/club), Ian, and another friend Erik are the race directors, and it is one heck of an awesome race. I'm proud to say that the Trail Monsters posted first in the team division! Wish I could have helped, but very glad to see my friends win it. Another friend Emma, who is Ian's wife, also took first woman for the 25K race. Congrats!!! Awesome job guys!!!

Looking forward to editing the footage. I had the help of John who manned another camera. We both got countless great shots and now we'll pick what works best for what is needed. Plan is to make a nice promotional video for the race next year and also a memoir of this year for any runner to look at. Should take a few weeks, and I'll post them when they're ready in case anyone is interested in seeing them.

As for my own running, I've taken the past few days off because of the shin splint, and also because I had a fly fishing lesson yesterday. Will resume tomorrow.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Great Balls O' Fire!

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:48/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 166/180
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 80s, sunny.

I wish the title of this entry was about my pace, but I was referring to the weather. Man, hot out there! Still, I was happy with my overall pace, especially given the conditions. The heat really sapped my strength on the uphill stretch for the first three miles. Splits were 7:28, 7:55, and 7:57. Next mile I was even slower at 8:06 during the downhill. But I recovered, and nailed down mile five at 7:46 and hit the last six-tenths of a mile at a 7:25/mile pace.

Shin splint was present, but nothing bad. The rest day yesterday must have helped. Everything else feels great. Once the splint goes away, I'm looking forward to tacking on more miles. I'm still planning on running the Mt. Washington Road Race in a few weeks. I'll probably be slower than last year, which is a blow to the ego, but one has to be realistic and overall I know I'll have a good time and that's what it's all about.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Crappy Three

Ran 3.0 miles @ 8:05/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 151/164
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 60s, sunny.

Today was just one of those bah days. Started out feeling not so strong, and it never got better so I cut my run short. Oh well, not a big deal. Days like this are inevitable, especially when trying to come back. I've also developed a pretty bad shin splint on the right leg that started flaring up in the last mile. I'll probably take a rest day tomorrow. It's important to listen to the body, so that's what I'm going to do.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Turkey Trot in May

Ran 4.6 miles @ 7:47/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 155/167
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
50 degrees, overcast.

As I was getting ready to head out for my run, I spotted this hen pecking at the fallen seeds from the birdfeeder in my backyard:

It was an omen of sorts, as I saw another turkey doing the same thing in someone else's yard a few miles down the road. Perhaps they feel safer in the yards since we're in the middle of the spring turkey hunting season.

The run itself was a good one. Goal was a recovery run from yesterday to bank in some miles while I'm ramping back up to where I want to be.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Missing the Firey Orb in the Sky

Ran 10.1 miles @ 7:52/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 162/173
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 40s, overcast.

The rain has let up for now, but the dark, overcast skies remain. We have not seen the sun since Tuesday, and without the warm sun to invite one outside, motivation can be difficult. I never thought of scrapping today's run, but another cup of coffee and another several minutes of Sportscenter were enticing enough to delay the workout until mid-morning.

Once out the door, I of course enjoyed it. And today, I had a longer run to look forward to. I hadn't done this particular route since B.I. (before injury), and the sweet and steady incline for the first 4.2 miles was a welcome challenge. I enjoyed the subsequent gradual downhill by keeping the same pace and just moving along, letting my wander to think about anything, everything and nothing. Most of the time, it was all three at once.

Good day. Now, time for another cup of coffee.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Still Goin'

Ran 6.0 miles @ 9:19/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 142/174
Paved roads and trails.
Very hilly.
50 degrees, overcast.

Today's run was also over some big hills with a few miles of trails thrown in. I ran with a co-worker who set a new distance PR today, which was great given the course we did.

Very cool out today, so great running weather. I am pretty encouraged that my HR stayed so low with the hills, even if I was going at a slower than usual pace. Knee also feels an honest 100%. Yessir, running is fun again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:15/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 157/176
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 70s, sunny.

Today's route was on a hill infested one that begins and ends at the school I teach at. I was joined by two co-workers who are newer to running for the first and hilliest leg of the route, which follows a grueling climb for the first 2.6 miles that gets progressively steeper as it goes along. One of them had never run it before, and he did a great job getting to the top at a very respectable pace. At the top of the hill, we parted ways, with them going back and me going on to do the loop I usually do.

Unfortunately, my GPS had trouble getting a lock, so I don't have my splits to look at. However, I think I went around 7:10/mile for the last two miles (which are also the flattest). I was happy with that, especially after the hills. Good day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Encore! Encore!

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:40/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 163/177
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 50s, sunny.

Today was nearly a carbon copy of yesterday. Same route, same weather, same pacing. Anticipated being slower today, and I was, but not by much. Everything felt great so I just went with a pace that felt natural. Today didn't seem to take as much effort as yesterday, which was good.

Also like yesterday, there was a steady progression:

1 - 8:01
2 - 8:00
3 - 7:40
4 - 7:34
5 - 7:24
Last .6 - 7:04/pace

So far, I seem to be rebounding nicely. I still have a ways to go though. But, I can tell this is going to be a great summer and beyond.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Progression and Progress

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:36/mile pace
AHR/MHR - 163/182
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower-mid 50s, sunny.

Nice morning for a run with perfect temps and the humidity not as bad as it was during a few days earlier this week. This is the first time doing one of my hilly routes since the surgery. Expected to hit around an 8:00/mile pace overall, and was happy to exceed that without any discomfort or pain in my knee. I could just enjoy my run comfortably, and that makes me very happy.

First three miles are uphill. Was still able to hit a good progression up that stretch and really pick up the pace on the subsequent downhills.

Mile 1 8:08
Mile 2 8:00
Mile 3 7:33
Mile 4 7:32
Mile 5 7:12
Last .6 6:48

While faster than I expected, it still took some work. The rust is coming off though. Woohoo!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Morning Five

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:45/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 152/179
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 50s, very humid.

A co-worker and I met up at the school we teach at before the day to get in a few miles. My friend ended his run at 2.2 miles, and I went off to finish the five. Knee continues to feel better with each run. Today was practically nothing, only an extremely small hint of discomfort (that even seems like too strong of a word).

Rest day tomorrow. Will try back to back days on Saturday and Sunday. I suspect that will go by just fine. Will shoot for run-run-rest schedule for next week, adjusting pace and distance as needed.

Feels good to be back.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Building Up in the Heat

Ran 2.7 miles @ 8:27/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 161/179
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower-mid 80s, sunny.

Scorching hot day today! At least the humidity is low. Still, the effects of the heat were apparent. I'm wondering just how much of my HR was elevated above pre-injury levels because of the heat vs. lack of training during when I was hurt. It felt tough out there, but also really good. The knee felt even better than last time. Great news, especially since this run was all on roads and I picked up the pace a little (but it's still slow for me).

A good friend of mine, Sue Johnston, has also put a blog recently and please check it out. She's an accomplished ultramarathoner and I've had the pleasure of doing a number of trail runs and long hikes with her when she lived over here in New England. A lot of fun to hang out with and she is definitely missed now that she's out in Cali.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Ran 2.5 miles @ 9:22/mile pace
AHR/MHR - 149/174
Mostly trails, some roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 40s, sunny.

I decided to give the knee another go this morning, as it's been feeling fine the past several days. Thankfully, it passed the test. The pain and discomfort that I experienced in my run last Tuesday was all but gone, just a slight discomfort that actually dissipated as the run went along. Good sign for sure.

The run was a fun one also. I did a 1.25 mile loop from my house that is mostly trails. I saw a decapitated mole on the trail, and mused it was either dropped by an owl or Ozzy Osbourne was nearby. I also saw some owl pellets, and figured it was likely from the former. Also stopped by a pond I fish at to check on the progress of the new den a beaver has been building. He's really made big progress since I saw it last week.

Plan is to run every other day nice and slow for the next week, and keep the mileage down. I'll pull the plug at the first sign of any problems. If all goes well, I plan on trying a couple back-to-back days next week and see how that feels.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Clean Slate

I could nearly lay out the five stages of grief leading up to a recent decision to wipe my race schedule free this summer, but I don't want to sound whiny so I won't expand on that. But looking forward, it's obvious my knee needs more time to recover and I've decided running the Sugarloaf Marathon in a few weeks is not a good idea, and neither is the Pineland 50K. Furthermore, I've already lost a lot of my fitness, and don't think I'll be in shape to run the Vermont 100 the way I'd want to this July, so I've decided that I'm going to withdraw and do it next year.

It came down to the following: I could either scramble to play catch-up and almost inevitably set myself up for major frustration, disappointment and/or injury... or, recover slowly and properly, spend the summer focusing on getting back into the running shape I want to be in, and hopefully run a really great marathon at MDI in mid-October (i.e. BQ). The latter makes more sense, so that's the route I'm going to go. I'll do a few smaller races this summer, with the grandest being the Mt. Washington Road Race next month and the rest being 5Ks or not much more.

Hard decision, but I feel it's the right one.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One Mile

Ran 1.0 miles @ 8:24/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 151/176
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.

First post-surgery run was... well, cut short as a precaution. My knee felt uncomfortable, but not in the spot where it had been bothering me. Today it was more on the knee cap around where the incisions were. Perhaps it's just some scar tissue from where they went in? I don't know. But denial will get me nowhere. I need to be careful and really take it easy.