Saturday, January 31, 2009


Today's second run in the inserts also proved well. Like yesterday, I could still feel the PF but the inserts seem to really help a lot at managing pain or inflammation from getting much worse during the run. I did feel things flame up a little about five or six miles in... nothing bad though... but curiously, it went back down for the remaining few miles. That's never happened before.

This is all good news, but I'm trying to keep from getting my hopes up too much. Still, it feels nice to run comfortably overall. Hopefully this can continue.

I didn't feel particularly speedy today so I kept the pace slow and comfortable. Good run, even if I did feel a bit rusty. No worries with that though. I'm just happy to have fun running again.

Ran 9.2 miles @ 8:32/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 150/162
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower-mid 20s, sunny, breezy.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves (off and on).

Friday, January 30, 2009

Good Five

Just did five miles today as planned. However, it went very well. Legs and energy both felt great, and the run ended up being a good little progression.

I had a conversation on the phone last night with Bob, and long story short, he helped convince me to give my Heal That Pain inserts another try. Through our talk, I decided that perhaps I didn't give them enough of a chance, and many ultrarunners, including the top folks, have had great success with these.

The first time I tried them a few months ago I ran only once in them and they didn't feel right, so I ditched them quickly. However, running in them today was much more successful. Though it was just five miles, the increased pace did give them a good test, and it was the least amount of discomfort I've felt in a long time while running. It's great that this went well, but obviously only time will tell. However, I'm encouraged.

Mile 1: 8:24
Mile 2: 8:13
Mile 3: 8:02
Mile 4: 7:40
Mile 5: 6:53

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:50/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 158/175
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 30s, partly sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hunters and Gatherers

Had a very enjoyable eight mile run on the beach this afternoon. What was good is that I was tempted to do more, but decided against it for the sake of trying not to do too much. But I always consider it a good sign when you're willing to push yourself. The mileage will come, but one must be patient.

I've noticed that since I've had my PF, the discomfort has manifested itself in different ways. Each phase is unique with different characteristics. I don't know why this is or what it means, but lately it's mostly been feeling very tight, especially after the run. Stretching it out and massaging helps though. This phase is manageable so far, but still painful. I can take some discomfort though so long as I can run.

I was musing during my run how some of those other, worse phases of the PF in the past might not have boded so well back in the hunter-gatherer days. Not being able to get away as fast and hobbling around would probably have left me as prey to a saber-tooth tiger and the multi-generation baton relay of my DNA-sequence would end right there. We're pretty lucky to be able to run with little fear of attacks from large animals and enemy tribes these days, at least in most areas. With that in mind, my PF ain't jack and I'm aiming to make my caveman ancestors proud!

Ran 8.0 miles @ 8:37/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 156/166
Beaches with mostly packed sand.
Very flat.
Lower 30s, sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves (removed halfway through).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Attempt at Take-Off

These past five months or so have without a doubt been the worst stretch of running I've ever encountered. However, what goes down must also go up, so I'm hoping that time is now. The nasty cold I had is now gone, and any PF issues will just be dealt with as I go along.

Today, just five miles at an easy pace. Went well. No real complaints, but nothing exciting to really elaborate on at the same time. Looks like another big snow storm tomorrow, but I'm planning on strapping the snow shoes on and going for a good hike in the woods out back.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:20/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 152/166
Paved roads, patches of ice and packed snow.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 20s, sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hashing Out a Run

I felt well enough to try a run today, and decided the Hash House Harriers run in Portland might be good since the pace would be slow. However, it went longer than expected (~six miles) and I was feeling a bit run down about three miles into it. While some of this was due to getting over a nasty cold, I think it was also in part because I hadn't eaten much today. Not a smart combination to try a run in, but at least I did only have one beverage.

Like the HHH run I did last month, this was full of fun people, but I was just to run down to enjoy it all. I felt like a killjoy since I was so quiet and detached.

But enough depressing crap... hey, I got in six miles! I am getting over this cold, and will probably take a rest day tomorrow, but am REALLY looking forward to ramping the mileage back up. I'm just hoping the PF will cooperate, but I have a hunch that it will. There's a little race out in California this June that I plan on doing, so it's time to start getting down to business!

Ran ~6.0 miles @ ???/pace (overall very slow).
Paved roads, snow coated train tracks and trails.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 20s to upper teens, sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beach Run Under Vanilla Skies

I'm still sick, and (re)learned the hard way that I probably should have taken today off as my energy was sapped, but I thought running on the beach and breathing in the fresh ocean air might do my sinuses some good. Definitely will take a rest day tomorrow though.

Got in a little over five miles. Very pretty out and hardly a soul to be seen. As I was wrapping up, the sun was beginning to set and I snapped the below picture with the cell phone. I love Maine... the variety of beautiful terrain around here never grows tiresome.

Ran 5.2 miles @ 8:53/mile pace.
AHR/MR - 149/161
Beaches with packed sand.
Very flat.
Upper 20s, partly cloudy.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie gloves.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Round and Round and Nice and Slow

I opted to go into the school today to get some preliminary work done, and followed it up with a run. Because we got 16"-18" of snow yesterday, the roads looked really bad for running on the drive in (looked much better on the drive home though), since the shoulders were either non-existent or in bad shape, so I just did a few laps around the high school and junior high parking lots.

Even those weren't the best. There was still a coating of packed snow covering 95% of the parking lots, but it was runnable. Just had the keep the pace slow. That was fine, since I'm still sore from the other day and I've also got a bad cold. Taking a day off today probably would have been better because I'm sick, but I wanted to get in at least a few miles.

Hoping to run again tomorrow, but will see how I'm feeling with this bug I got.

Ran 3.7 miles @ 8:55/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 144/154
Paved roads coated with packed snow.
Mostly flat.
Upper 20s, partly sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Skate Skiing at Pineland

I met up with my good buddy Stephen at Pineland Farms to try skate skiing for the first time. Saw some other folks I knew there as well, including Jeff and Heather. Big thanks to Stephen et al for the instructions and tips. I needed them. Dude, skate skiing is tough.

I knew it was going to be a long afternoon when I couldn't even make it up a four foot hill with a gradual incline. Skate skiing is way different than classic skiing. The skis are thinner and don't have fish scales and the technique is way different. WAY, way different.

I take pride in being able to pick up most sports very quickly. Skate skiing is not one of them. I am truly humbled. I did make some progress as the afternoon went along, but my poor technique left me too tired to concentrate and I was quite sloppy.

However, let me emphasis that I also had a lot of fun. I can't wait to do it again. It's a buttkicking work out and the challenge of mastering something I really suck at is quite appealing. I will get better. Oh yes.... I will get better.

~4.o miles at slow speed.
Fell about six times.
Felt like I ran a marathon and then fought Kimbo Slice immediately afterwards.
Mid teens, sunny.
Snow pants, Goretex jacket, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Arctic Hill Run

High temps in the low teens made running today kind of interesting. I remembered to bring the long pants today at least, and was dressed just right for the cold so that really wasn't much of an issue. I rather enjoyed it out there today.

Energy and legs felt great. Pace wasn't flying, but still decent for me on this route. Some good hills, with a mix of longer, gradual climbs and descents with a few sharp, steep ones thrown in for good measure. Heart rate was also somewhat respectable for this route and pace, indicating that I'm getting back on track.

PF is still present, but has been tolerable lately. The night splint and knobbed-massage ball I've been using have both been of good help, or so it seems. Real test will be when the weekly mileage gets back up to where I want it. For now though, I hope to finish the week with 25-30 miles and tack on 5-10 miles a week from there until I'm back up in the 60-85 miles a week range, which seems to work best for me for ultra training.

Ran 7.5 miles @ 8:13/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 156/170
Paved roads, patches of hard snow.
Very hilly.
13 degrees, sunny.
Long pants, Goretex jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Memo to Self

Forgetting to pack your long running pants when it's 12 degrees out isn't a good idea.

Dang! Oh well, just have to do a wee bit more tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kicking Off More Rust

Had a nice little five mile run this afternoon. I think giving myself two days off after the 13.4 miler on Saturday was a good idea, even though it wasn't planned. Once warmed up today, the run felt pretty easy and the pace picked up, and I hit the last mile in 6:59 and it all just felt right.

Today was the warmest day of what is supposed to be a very frigid week. High temps only in the single digits are predicted by Thursday and Friday. Extra layers will be needed, fo' sho'!

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:49/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 159/174
Paved roads, patches of snow and slush.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 20s, overcast.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Getting in a Few Loops at the GAC Fat Ass

Had a really great time and a great run today down in Ipswich, Massachusetts at the GAC Fat Ass 50K. Headed down with Stephen and Mindy, where we also met up with some other Trail Monsters including Ian, Emma, Ryan T. (who wins cool points for thinking my joke was at least somewhat funny), Danielle, Jim and Shauna. Also great to see a lot of other folks there including Ryan P. and John.
I more or less stuck with my plan of running two loops (each loop is 10k), but did tack on an extra mile at the end after letting Emma talk me into it. Physically, I felt stronger than anticipated and was very happy with how it went. The PF... well, it did flare up a bit there towards the end, but whatever. I iced it afterwards and that helped to calm it down some. Some days are simply going to be better than others.

Trail conditions were actually pretty fun. It was variable, that's for sure. Snow coated all the way, but sometimes packed down nicely, sometimes sheer ice, and sometimes deeper snow. Good workout for sure. The screw shoes I wore gave good traction on those icy sections. Great piece of equipment, and big thanks to Ian who got me started in making and wearing them last year.

Thanks again everyone for the great company! I had a blast. And if any GAC members happen to read this, thanks again for putting on yet another great event.

Worth noting that the pace below is based on the course, which was measured with a wheel. I adjusted the pace based on that distance, as the Garmin came up with 12.2, when it should have been 12.4. Sportstracks might correct that, but that program is on my PC laptop which is currently infected with a virus and I'm not using it until I reformat the hard drive. Long live Macintosh. I also did not calculate the breaks into the pace, which featured one of several minutes after the first loop.

Ran 13.4 miles @ 9:35/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 154/175
Trails, coated with snow and ice. Conditions varied.
Moderately hilly.
Lower teens to start, lower 20s to end. Sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nice Five in the Afternoon

Run this afternoon went well. Rust continues to come off, but I still have my work cut out for me. However, run felt easier as it progressed, which is always a good sign.

Short run tomorrow, and then a planned DNF at a 50K Fat Ass this weekend. I'll just do the 10k loop once or maybe twice. I'm hoping for two, but don't want to push it. However, like last weekend, I'm hoping the slower pace on packed, snowy trails will allow me to do the distance easier.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:02/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 155/168
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 30s, partly sunny, breezy.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cross Training

Hit the school's gym today to use the ellipticals. I did crappy, but realize the rust is still coming off.

Elliptical: 4.6 miles in 30 minutes.
Level 8 out of 16.
Random hill setting.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Wakefield Loop

After spending much of the morning battling some virus or something on my PC laptop that keeps throwing pop-up ads up, I was glad to take a break and go for a run (I'm really, really loving Macs more and more and glad I have one).

Did a short jaunt around the Wakefield loop. Felt a bit tired from yesterday, but nothing too bad.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 8:07/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 164/175
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower-mid 20s, sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Good Run on the Bradbury Trails

Met up with Stephen, Ian, Mindy, Ryan, Jim D. and Randy for a run at Bradbury Mountain State Park today. Great run overall that went better than expected on a few fronts.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd classify the pain/discomfort during yesterday's run as an 8 or a 9. Today, I'd say it was more of a 5 or 6. I'll gladly take that, and it was quite tolerable. Also was pleasantly surprised at my energy. Unlike the last two days, I didn't feel rusty at all and even got in more mileage than I originally planned.

I had planned on between 5-7 miles, and turned around to head back when I realized I was going to get in about 6.5. What was nice was that Mindy also turned around with me. We hadn't talked in a while so it was great to catch up. We got back to the parking lot and Mindy wanted to get in 8 miles, and she was able to nudge me into tacking on another one and half, so we headed back out.

I'm not sure why I felt better today. It could be several things and I don't feel like listing them all as I'm sick of even thinking or talking about the PF, so I'm going to shut up now and head downstairs and make some bacon and eggs.

Ran 8.0 miles @ 9:50/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 147/170
Trails coated with packed snow.
Very hilly.
11 degrees to start, mid-20s to end, partly cloudy.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Not So Good

My second test run went pretty crappy, truth be told. The pain I felt was undoubtedly plantar fasciitis related, as opposed to the area being bruised from the shot. And the pain was pretty bad, enough to where I think it was affecting my gate.

It's still early on, and I can only hope today was a bad day. If all of them are going to be like this, I might have to do some serious reevaluating of everything. But I'll give it some more time and try to have more patience.

Mark asked if I was still going to give cross training a go. Answer is yes. I'll probably join a gym soon.

Ran 3.0 miles @ 8:21/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 152/168
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid-teens, overcast.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Test Run

I waited until the sun was at least out before testing the foot after the cortisone shot two days ago, since it was 5F degrees (-11F windchill).

As for how it went... well, the results are somewhat inconclusive. I have a pretty good sized bruise still from where the shot went in, and it's still swollen. I felt some mild discomfort during the run, and I was flip-flopping the entire time deciding if it was the PF or from the bruise. Time will tell.

Worth noting that I've also been wearing a night splint lately and will continue to do so. I can sleep comfortably with it on, which is good. I'm also icing my foot (it's soaking in a bowl of ice water as I type this) and will continue to wear orthos (I have two kinds now). I'm also taking Aleve, and will also start picking up the massaging again.

As for the run itself, boy am I rusty. The heart rate was sky high, and I could tell it's been four weeks since I last ran. However, the rust will come off. I'm looking forward to doing another run tomorrow to see how that goes.

And thanks to everyone for the comments and encouragement. I really do appreciate it. And I apologize for not keeping up with everyone's blogs lately. Reading them while on the disabled list is a bit like the kid who's been grounded and is watching through the window as his friends play outside.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 8:12/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 159/176
Paved roads, coated with packed snow.
Slightly hilly.
5 degrees, sunny, windy.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.