Sunday, July 31, 2011

Brookvale 50K Update

Challenging and scenic course, well organized and met lots of really great folks. Wasn't my best race, but finished in 5:30:16(?) which was good enough for third place overall. Can't express enough of what a great experience it was to race up in PEI. The people were awesome. Full race report up hopefully by tomorrow.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Prince Edward Island

No condos, rich peoples' vacation homes or gaudy tourist attractions on the shorelines. It's mostly farms. Seriously. Potato, corn, wheat, rapeseed and hay fields meet the land's edge where red sandstone cliffs drop into the Atlantic while ospreys patrol the skies. My kind of place for sure.

Haven't run since we've gotten to the island, but I'll get my fill of that in the 50K race tomorrow. I have been active though. Yesterday, we hiked at least five miles around Green Gables (setting of the Anne of Green Gables books) and Prince Edward Island National Park. 

The other day, we also biked around the area of our campsite/cabin and found a fish ladder which connects a tidal river with a freshwater pond, where we picnic-ed as kingfishers and finches performed acrobatic maneuvers in the air above a stream. Dessert? Wild raspberries picked along the water's edge. 

Back on the running front, feeling good about the race tomorrow aside from being mentally distracted with all of the goings on. Vacations will do that to you. It's been great spending quality time and sharing the experiences with my fiance, Kate. 

Tomorrow will be a nice addition to it all, and I look forward to meeting new folks (Kate and I are the only Americans in the race, she's doing the 25k) and running what looks to be a great course here on the island. Should be a lot of fun and I'm very excited about tomorrow! 

And now, some PEI pics:

Flowers abound

Sandstone formations at low tide

Flowers outside the home at Green Gables

Planking the sandstone

Kate under a sandstone overhang

Big crab in a tidal pool



Beach art (I didn't make it)

North Rustico

Wheat field


Owling by the stream

Local delicacy?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Fundy Kind of Run

This post will be leaving out lots of details as there are too many and time is short, but Kate and I are on Prince Edward Island. Wow, it is gorgeous here! On the way up we stopped and stayed the night at Fundy National Park right on the bay. Stunning. Totally stunning. Woke up this morning and immediately hit the trails for a run.

The trails were rugged, steep and incredible. Much of them went through very dense red spruce forests that were darkened even more by the thick sea fog. Lush, green moss blanketed much of the grounds. It was unlike any other place that I've ever run, much less seen.

As the trail descended down the ridge, a meadow opened up and I spotted several snowshoe hares. I soon reached the park road and ran the last stretch on the grassy shoulders. It was here that I saw a coyote while coming around a bend. It was probably around a 100 feet away and I saw it first, but once I was spotted it took off running in the woods.

The people in New Brunswick and PEI both are very friendly and down to earth. Really loving it up this way. Below is a GPS track of my run and a few pics.

Ran 4.9 miles @ 10:55/mile pace.
Trails, some roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 60s, foggy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Bald Eagle
Saltwater marsh

Bay of Fundy


Kate of Fundy

Monday, July 25, 2011

Afternoon Niner

I took a somewhat unanticipated rest day yesterday, but since I'm tapering, I justified it since I had done several miles of walking around cheering on some friends at the Old Port Half Marathon, including Danielle. I was joined by Jeff and then later Ryan (and Sam). Was a fun time and it's obvious Maine has yet another top notch race to offer.

So, since I didn't run yesterday, I figured it was okay to do a little more mileage than originally called for. Did it at a moderate pace. Felt good out there. Weather is much nicer than it has been, so nice to run in the early afternoon and do so comfortably.

Ran 9.1 miles @ 7:21/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 70s, mostly cloudy.
Saucony Kinvara shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beat the Heat

A bit of a pleasant surprise this morning. I woke up to overcast skies and a light rain falling. That was not in the forecast late last night, and I welcomed the error. Temperatures were also in the upper 60s... quite sane, especially compared to the lower 100s and upper 90s of the past two days.

More heat on tap for today (thankfully, the last day of the heat wave), but with the cloud cover meaning a delay in when the sun shines, hopefully it'll mean a lower than predicted high temperature today.

I hurried out the door to get out while the getting was good. Great call. I could have run again at night tonight, but today will be busy so good to do it now. Went well. Just took it short and easy, per the taper plan. Looking forward to cooler temps tomorrow!

Ran 5.2 miles @ 8:02/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 60s, overcast, humid, intermittent light rain.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Forests Have Eyes

I had planned on a zero day today, due to the incredible heat wave (101.5F/38.6C for the high today) and also because I'm in a taper. However, despite having Chinese take-out for dinner and washing it down with a couple of barley sodas, a few hours later I decided to take advantage of the somewhat cooler nighttime temps and hit the trails out back for a run, leaving at 9pm.

It went well, and as the trail gradually moved farther away from the road I saw at least a couple of pairs of little eyes reflecting the light of my headlamp back at me. I mused they were probably raccoons. Fireflies also danced along the trails, gently illuminating their bodies for a few seconds before disappearing back into the darkness. I soon reached the fire roads, which provides less technical running but I still kept the pace easy. As I did so, a barred owl hooted in the distance.

I ran the out and back trail route I normally run in the pre-dawn night time hours, so kind of fun to do it on the opposite side of the night time spectrum. Very glad I went out.

Ran 5.1 miles @ 9:08/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Mostly flat.
Around 80 degrees, partly cloudy, humid.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, headlamp, hand held bottle (water).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kennebunk Conservation Trails

Mindy joined me somewhat early this morning to explore some new to us trails at a land trust in Kennebunk. All I can say is: score. Mostly single track through beautiful forests and the trails were pretty extensive as well. We ran an 7.5 mile loop (with bonus distance after missing a turn) and there are other trails that would allow us to extend on that in the future.

We jibber jabbed about just about everything and even stopped a few times to munch on wild blueberries. Just a very fun morning.

Even though we started at 7am, the heat was already bad, but we actually fared quite well. Deer flies were bad, especially when my shirt began to cling to my back like Saran Wrap, allowing them to bite through to my skin easily, but swatting my back with a pine branch (think Illumanati) in the worst spots helped. But all in all, heat and bugs were tolerable.

Worth noting, my Garmin 410 continues to come up very short on distances compared to others when running on trails. I measured 7.6, but will go with Mindy's 8.1-ish. The loop we did was listed at 7.5 miles but we took a wrong turn for over half a mile, which makes Mindy's data make more sense.

Great trails, and we'll be back!

Ran 8.1 @ 10:45/mile pace.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 70s to lower 80s, sunny, humid, hazy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, handheld bottle (coconut water).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stride Work

It would have been ideal to run this morning before the heat moved in, but alas, a work meeting was scheduled and I wasn't able to get up early enough to run beforehand and by the time I left the school it was already very warm.

Not a big deal though, as I came home and hunkered down inside with the A/C on full blast while watching the Tour de France. The plan was to hit the track in the evening when it cooled down some, but by the time I left at 7pm it was still 88 degrees. Ugh.

After the warm-up, I was already drenched in sweat. Ditched the shirt and then started my plan of doing 100M strides on the straights with 100M active recovery on the bends of the track. Purpose was to get some leg turnover and work on form. I like doing this workout during the taper, as it feels good to get the legs moving but it's short enough not to wear you out.

Had planned on 10 reps but upped it to 12, just because. Went well. Didn't bother taking individual split times since I didn't see the point, especially since stride work involves a gradual acceleration throughout and not an all out sprint from the get-go.

Afterwards, ditched the shoes and hit the adjacent athletic fields for a barefoot cool down. I noticed the swallows were out and about, performing some pretty acrobatic maneuvers but thankfully none dive bombed me like they did last year.

w/u - Ran 1.2 miles @ 8:40/mile pace.
12 X 100M Strides w/ 100M active recovery = Ran 1.5 miles @ 6:30/mile pace.
c/d - Ran 1.1 miles @ 8:56/mile pace.

Grassy fields for warm-up and cooldown, track for strides.
Upper to mid 80s, hazy sunshine.
Brooks Mach 11 for warm-up and strides, barefoot for cooldown. Shorts. Short sleeved shirt for warm-up, ditched for strides and cooldown.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Met up with the gang at Twin Brooks and ran primarily with Jim and Blaine. Had a lot of fun talking about races and the Tour de France. Warm out, but not humid at all which was a nice change. Nice to come home and Kate had a big bowl of pasta waiting for me. Good stuff!

Ran 5.3 miles @ 8:59/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 80s, sunny.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Capping Off A Quality Week

Another seven miler today, this time at an easy pace. Hot out, but I got out the door early enough to beat the worst of it. Wasn't too bad, actually.

Today put me over 60 miles for the week, and it was full of quality mileage, not just quantity. I now officially begin a two week taper leading up to the Brookvale 50K. Feeling great and confident about the race and I'm going to go all out, but I'm really just looking forward to running in a new area and meeting new folks more than anything.

So, for next week, I'm planning on just 30-40 miles, most of it at an easy pace sans a stride workout on the track sometime mid-week. The week after that, just 15-20 miles leading up to the race.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 8:13/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 70s to lower 80s, sunny, humid.
Saucony Kinvaras, shorts.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Two Laps Around The Back Cove

Didn't feel like running roads. Didn't feel like dealing with deer flies in the woods. Needed to pick up groceries at Trader Joe's in Portland. That all added up to make running the Back Cove a pretty sound option.

Ran two laps, expected to just do an easy pace. But after a few miles to warm up I was feeling good so I let the pace drop naturally and it felt really easy. Good run, despite it being pretty hot out. Kate ran also and got in three laps and did great.

Happy that Trader Joe's was restocked on the larger cartons of coconut water (they were out last week). You can get a liter of it there for $3.25, which is about how much a pint of it costs at Hannaford. I love that store. If I wasn't already engaged to Kate, I'd ask it to marry me.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 7:21/mile pace.
Packed trails.
Slightly hilly.
Lower to mid 80s, sunny, breezy.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Barefoot Recovery

Had considered a zero day today, but only briefly. Though it's important to rest up in the taper period here, I thought the benefits of shaking the legs loose with a barefoot recovery run would do a lot more good. I was right, as it felt good to shake off some light creakiness resulting from yesterday's long run.

Warm out (80 degrees) but very low humidity (~30%), which actually felt very nice. Time for a nap.

Ran 3.4 miles @ 9:03/mile pace.
Grassy fields.
Around 80 degrees, sunny.
Barefoot, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Long Run in Cooler Weather

The hay is in the barn!
Ah, cooler and dryer air has moved in. Our temperatures will be normal today for a change. Good timing, as I had a long run planned and was thankful I didn't have to do it in the heat. Plan was to keep this one really easy and slow. Stuck with that plan and just puttered along.

Took a detour on to some trails alongside the Saco River, though they were a bit more technical than I remembered and also close to the cliffs. Really took it easy on some of those sections, as I didn't want to bounce off any rocks while tumbling down to the water. Rather pleasant and pretty uneventful run otherwise. Saw a couple of deer who were thinking about crossing the road but though better of it.

Two and a half weeks until the 50K, so this was my final long run and I'll now taper down until race day. Unlike the Boston and MDI Marathons, no specific formula for this taper. Just keep the milage progressively lower until race day and play things by ear. Would like to do some stride work next week though for some leg turnover and form work. That and just run trails whenever I can and the deer flies aren't too bad.

Ran 20.2 miles @ 8:33/mile pace.
Paved roads, some trails.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 50s to upper 60s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, hand held bottle (diluted lemonade).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Better Weather and Bad Dogs

Much better weather this morning, and that'll be the trend for the next several days, fortunately. Still warm, but not as bad as the past few days and the humidity is noticeably less.

Had an easy nine on tap for this morning. It was pretty uneventful, except for a dog that harassed me on the back roads. Looked like a boxer, and it got really close and was barking non-stop. I stood still and was yelling at it, but despite that and the dog's constant barking it took the owner, an obese woman who didn't look terribly bright, a long while to open her door and call the dog back. She didn't even apologize. In fact, she said nothing. 

I somehow managed not to tell her what I was thinking at the time, which I kind of regret, but my lack of a filter sometimes gets me into trouble so maybe it was for the best. Next time I run this route, however, I'll have the pepper spray with me and won't hesitate to use it. 

Ran 9.2 miles @ 8:11/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Moderately hilly. 
Lower to upper 70s, sunny. 
Saucony Kinvaras, shorts, cap. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Evening Soup

Kate and I met up with Ian, Emma, Jim and Pokey for a trail at Twin Brooks. Still very hot and steamy out, but the good company made it very bearable. Deer flies were swarming and a few were biting, but they were never in our faces and oddly enough, they weren't that big of a nuisance. 

We heard a barred owl hooting very loudly and were pretty close but never saw it. That was near the railroad tracks, a mile or two into the run. By that time, my shirt was drenched in sweat. Man, so steamy out. Really glad we're back to near normal temps tomorrow. 

Ran 5.3 miles @ 9:35/mile pace. 
Moderately hilly. 
Upper to mid 80s, sunny, very humid. 
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Morning Soup

Upper 70s and very steamy when I headed out at 7:30am this morning. Yech, though I fully realize other parts of the country are experiencing much worse. At least Maine is supposed to be back to close to normal temps tomorrow.

I had tweaked my lower back a little while rearranging my classroom yesterday, so I had planned on an easy pace this morning. However, the back was feeling better and loosening up as the run went on so I let the pace drop. Ended up with a nice progression and felt great, despite the insane humidity. After the first mile, I was already drenched in sweat. 

I'm planning on a second run later this evening, but will definitely do that one at an easy pace. Until then, will spend the day working on some writing projects and watching Le Tour, and maybe head down to the river for a swim if it gets too hot. 

Ran 4.6 miles @ 7:07/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Mostly flat. 
Upper 70s, partly cloudy, very humid. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Beat the Heat Recovery Run

A scorcher on tap for today and tomorrow. Was glad to get out this morning before the heat started to build up. Ran barefoot on the local athletic fields at a recovery pace. I'm a bit sore from yesterday's race so it felt good to stretch everything out and loosen up a bit with a slow run.

With tomorrow being another hot one, I plan on a short easy run (5-7 miles) and then would like to run long sometime before the weekend. With that long run, I'll feel pretty confident that I've done enough in prep for the Brookvale 50k at the end of the month and will start tapering down.

Ran 3.2 miles @ 9:13/mile pace.
Grass fields.
Lower 70s, partly sunny.
Barefoot, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Day Full of Awesome at the Bradbury Scuffle Six Mile Trail Race

Occasionally a race will come along where all sorts of awesomeness happens and on several different fronts. Things go better than planned and good things happen that one never expected. Fortunately for me, this was one of those races. I did way better than I expected and really had a blast.

Pre Race
As I mentioned yesterday, based on last year I expected to finish in the top 30. Last year, the race series started to become very stacked, and with the race registration full this year, I expected the same and even more so. 

I ran a mile for a warm up and shortly after, I made my way to the start line and Ian gave the pre-race instructions. I lined up two or three rows back on a narrow double track trail and with a ready, set and the ringing of a cowbell we were off. 

Mile One
We went out of the gate fast and after a few tenths of a mile I was roughly about 20 people back. I flip flopped with a few people in the early section, but for the most part we were settling into our paces. This first mile is relatively fast and about a half a mile in I noted I was still keeping up with the top 20 or so in front of me. I was starting to wonder if I was going out too fast but I kept at it and passed a few folks.

Mile Two
Now we're doing a little bit of climbing here. Passed a few more folks. My friend, Peter Keeney, who I passed earlier in mile one had now caught up and he ran behind me for a bit. Was running hard and hoping I would hold. 

Mile Three
Technical downhill and then a technical, tough climb in this mile. By far the hardest mile of the course, in my opinion. Peter passed me on an uphill and we exchanged well wishes. I knew I wouldn't catch him, but I did my best to keep close and keep him in my sights as a carrot. 

Mile Four
I remember passing three more runners here. I had recovered from the gnarly uphill in mile three and was feeling pretty good. 

Mile Five
Now the major climbing is over and the paths are flat and about to go downhill. Passed another couple of runners. The downhill mile here is awesome. It's a perfect grade, not as technical, and you can REALLY fly on it. I let loose and put the hammer down. 

Mile Six
The downhill continues and one last uphill. By now my legs were rubber, and I eased up a bit, not thinking anyone was close behind me. Still, I was gaining some ground on another run in front of me. Catching him would be tough, but I was trying to reel him in. 

Then, just a bit before the final right hand turn that marked the final stretch to the finish line, I heard footsteps coming up from behind me. I glanced over my shoulder and saw it was one of my Trail Monster Running teammates because of the shirt, but didn't quite see who. I then kicked it up a notch, not wanting to be passed. 

The final stretch was coming up and I could still hear the footsteps behind me so I initiated a kick and fortunately it was enough. I nearly caught the runner in front of me, but was just glad I wasn't passed by this mystery runner behind me. 

I crossed the finish line and saw the mystery runner was none other than my homeboy Jeremy! He's a way faster runner than I am and I had assumed he was ahead of me, but it turns out he wasn't feeling so great and started towards the back of the race. Fortunately, he felt better as the race went on and finished strong (just glad he didn't catch me, it's probably one of the only times I'll ever finish ahead of him). 

Post Race
My time was 43:46, and I soon afterwards saw it was good enough for 10th place. Awesome, I was really surprised and stoked about that, especially with a pretty stacked filed of runners. Peter and I then went for a mile cool down run, and came back to watch the others finish and hang out for the award ceremony. 

Another pleasant surprise as my time contributed to a Trail Monster Running team win! That's the first time I've ever run fast enough where my time counted towards a team win, so I was REALLY stoked about that. That was seriously the highlight of the day for me. I've always wanted a fast enough time to count and now I've done it. And our reward? Beer! My share of the loot yielded a six pack of Long Trail Ale. Also, I won a gift certificate to Edna and Lucy's (a killer breakfast/lunch place just down the road from Bradbury) in the raffle. Kate and I cashed it in for lunch afterwards. Darn good day!

I think what helped contribute to doing so well was the good luck brought on by planking the start line before the start of the race. A new tradition is now born:

Start Line Plank
Ran 6.0 miles @ 7:18/mile pace. 
Official time: 43:46
Placing: 10th out of 148
Technical trails. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 70s, sunny. 
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, sleeveless shirt. 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Test Bike Ride

Fixed up Kate's bike, then we went for a short test ride. All systems go and it was fun little trek around the hood.

Biked 2.9 miles @ 8.3 mph/avg.
Paved roads and trails.
Mostly flat.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.
Upper 70s, sunny.

That's More Like It

Had a little over on five on tap today. Had hoped for a moderate pace that felt easy. Had to keep putting on the brakes and still ended up with a tempo pace that felt easy. Was feeling great, super energetic and the run effortless despite the thick humidity.

Normally not smart to run faster on the day before a race but today was short and nothing taken out of the bank. Great confidence booster mentally, as the past few days have been pretty poopy running wise. Feeling great about tomorrow.

I think the big rebound is a direct result of taking it easy the past few days and also fine tuning the diet a little, specifically getting in more iron yesterday, but that's hard to gauge.

Ran 5.4 miles @ 7:11/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Lower to mid 70s, partly cloudy, very humid.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, cap.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Easy Fiver

After yesterday's slog, best to keep the pace easy today and the distance short so that's what I did. Energy felt much better than yesterday though, which was good. Tomorrow will likely be something similar to help ensure I have pretty fresh legs for Sunday's Bradbury Scuffle.

Goals for that race? I dunno really. I wasn't in the best shape for last year's race, so beating that time should be easy enough, barring something bad happening. My carrot, Ryan, is on the DL so I don't have the goal of beating him. I'll just run it as hard and as smart as I can. I'm anticipating it being a really stacked field again this year, so if I'm top 30 I'll be happy, but we'll see.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:12/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 60s, overcast, humid.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Today's run was a far cry from yesterday. Felt like dog poop, and abandoned my plan for a 14+ mile run to the river and just did a little over nine. Definitely a slog, but the saving grace is that it did get better as the run went on.

Stress and not so great diet contributed to the lack luster feeling. On the former, there is at least some good news in that the suspect of our burglaries is now officially being charged as we linked solid evidence. Hopefully he'll get caught soon, and suffer repeatedly the many bad things that happen to some people in prison.

Ran 9.2 miles @ 8:03/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper to lower 70s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvaras, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Progression Run On The Hills

Set out this morning with a moderate or easy pace in mind and would let the pace be dictated by how I was feeling. After a few miles of warming up, the pace dropped and continued to do so throughout the run. Splits were 8:18, 8:07, 7:32, 7:23, 7:02, 6:57, 6:49, 6:42, 6:36 and 6:26.

Pretty pleased with that, especially since it felt really easy and I didn't feel like I was pushing it. Also good to beat the heat. Another 90 degree day on tap, but looks like we'll get a little bit of a break in the temperatures over the next few days.

Ran 10.0 miles @ 7:11/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower to upper 60s, sunny, humid.
Saucony Kinvaras, shorts.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011


I usually don't make the Trail Monster Running Tuesday Night Runs, but with Kate already in Portland it all worked out easily enough. Really like running there, so hope to make it there more often in the future.

During yesterday's rest day, I was feeling a little beat up from the high mileage last week. Kinda still felt like that this morning as well, but all systems go by this evening. Energy was great and the legs only a wee bit tired.

I ended up running the whole way with Jeff, which is always a treat. For some reason, the deer flies found him to be a treat as well. We all had them chasing us, but Jeff won the biggest deer fly cloud of the evening award and during key spots he had several dozen of them buzzing around his head. Kinda odd, as they normally attack the highest target more (which is usually me, unless Jim is around).

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:35/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 80s, sunny, very humid.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

80+ Mile Week in the Books

Another short, very slow run today to keep the legs loose and also get in over 80 miles for the week (80.9 total). This was good for me mentally and physically, but I don't expect to repeat this amount of weekly mileage for a while. I think I best maintain a proper balance of not risking injury as much while maximizing my training when I average between 50-70 a week.

But that being said, it feels good to have pushed the limits a bit and get in some quality training this week in prep for the 50K at the end of the month. Tomorrow will be a rest day, and would like to get in some interval work and another long run next week.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 8:45/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid 70s, overcast, very humid.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, cap.


Today was all about true recovery, so I kept the motto of "if I go any slower, I'll be walking" in mind throughout the run. Route was a mix of trails and roads, roughly five miles of trails and roughly two and a half of roads. The latter provided some relief from deer flies, and I mostly kept to the dirt shoulders.

Opted to run in the Merrell Trail Gloves for a few reasons. While my legs feel pretty darn good after yesterday's mountain run and a high mileage week in general, they're still a bit tired. When tired, form suffers. The Gloves keep the form honest (specifically, addressing heel striking).

Also, when running barefoot or in true minimalist shoes, I always keep it slow. This helped ensure I kept the pace in check.

Will likely head out later today for a second recovery run. Honestly, the main reason in doing so is just to edge my weekly mileage over 80 for the week but it'll also serve to keep the legs loose. That all being said, I plan on taking a rest day tomorrow.

Ran 7.6 miles @ 9:51/mile pace.
Trails, some paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid to upper 60s, overcast, very humid.
Merrell Trail Gloves, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Baldface Mountain Loop

The annual Baldface Mountain Loop run was today, a tradition that Ian and Jim started and they invited me along many moons ago and it's something I look forward to doing every year.

Weather was great today and I had a blast. Made it to the top of the first peak in 1h 08m, which is a new record for me. Legs felt somewhat rubbery and tired from the high mileage this week, but at the same time I didn't feel I was pushing things and I handled it relatively comfortably. Did my best to keep pace with Jeff on the way up, and I was only able to do so when he took some minor wrong turns.

We regrouped on the first peak and again at key spots. I ran with Jim along the ridge for the most part. He pulled ahead on the downhill off the ridge, and while I'm a horrible technical downhill runner, I also didn't feel like giving chase, instead opting to run down pretty moderately in favor of keeping it safe.

Kept an eye out for Chuck's camera when the trail came next to the river down below. He ran this loop yesterday and lost it in this area, but unfortunately none of us saw it.

Less than a mile from the end, we jumped in the Emerald Pool, a great swimming hole within the river that is always cool and refreshing. Jumping off the 15 foot cliff and plunging into that ice cold mountain river water is THE best way to cap off a great mountain run! So much fun, great run and great time spent with great friends.

Jeff and Andy

Looking down from where we came.

Looking northeast

Mt. Washington

Jim ascends.

Ian and Emma

Ran 9.6 miles @ 15:24/mile pace (distance might be a few tenths of a mile short, and pace doesn't include longer stops for regrouping)
Insanely hilly.
Technical mountain trails.
Mid 60s to mid 70s, sunny, humid.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, Nathan double water bottle belt (water and coconut water).

Friday, July 01, 2011

Bonus Run

Did a second run this evening so I could run with Kate. Of course, it's a fine way to spend quality time together. We saw a strange looking beetle off the side of the road and noted the increased traffic due to it being a holiday weekend, but otherwise a pretty uneventful run.

Shaping up to be a high mileage week for me, which is good. I'm handling it comfortably and it's a good confidence builder for the 50K at the end of the month. I've felt totally recovered from last month's 50-mile race for at least a couple of weeks now, so good to add some more hay in the barn or at least maintain it until it's time to taper down for the race.

Speaking of tapering, I'm thinking of imploying a two week taper instead of my usual three. Reason being simply because trails beat you up way less than roads and I've been doing more training on trails lately in prep for the 50k and the Bradbury Mountain Trail Series this summer. However, if the weather continues to be warm without any breaks and the deer flies are bad as a result, may opt to do more roads and adjust the taper accordingly. We'll see.

Ran 2.9 miles @ 10:30/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, partly cloudy.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Recovery on Trails

Slow and easy recovery run in the woods out back. Deer flies were maddening in spots, but practically non-existant in others. Saw a deer. That's about it.

Ran 6.5 miles @ 9:43/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Very hilly.
Lower to mid 60s, sunny.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.