Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mt. Agamenticus

Very fun morning at the annual Western States 100 Commemorative 6-hour Fat Ass, which features a loop just under three miles going up and down Mt. Agamenticus.  I got there late, with the plan to join Emma and maybe Jeremy.

As I was driving in, I saw Jeremy B. cruising alone...he was flying. I thought, "No way I'm running with him" as I just wanted to take it easy today. I pulled up and didn't have to wait long to see Emma and Joe W. come in together. Had an absolutely awesome time running with them both. We chatted the whole way and it was a blast.

The company was awesome, which made it tempting to do more, but I settled for just three loops for just under nine miles. I had planned on more miles and the legs felt fine, but with the humidity and knowing Kate and I were heading to Portland later I called it good. That worked out well, as I had even planned on fly fishing for a bit on the way home but time didn't permit even that.

Ran 8.9 miles @ 11:55/mile pace.
Trails and some dirt roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower to mid 70s, partly cloudy, very humid.
New Balance MT110, shorts, sleeveless shirt, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).

Friday, June 28, 2013

Downpour on the Trails

My legs felt great today. That's not good. I abide by the guideline that says the day after interval work or a tempo run the legs should feel tired and one should naturally only want to run at an easy pace. Obviously, that's a result of cutting yesterday's workout short, but good to know that even though I wasn't feeling it yesterday, it wasn't the result of overworking my legs specifically because of that workout, but likely more in a general sense.

So, today's pace was still easy, but I could have easily have gone faster and maybe I should have, but navigating numerous large puddles served as an effective speed governor.

Light rain throughout, sans the two huge downpours that drenched me during the run. That was a lot of fun. Another nice benefit to the cool rain was it kept the bugs down. There were a few deer flies, but I only noticed them when I stopped briefly to look at a pond and a stream and even then they were slow and few in number. When moving, it was as if they weren't even there.

Pretty pleased with the mileage I'm racking up this week. Nothing spectacular, presently I'm at 37.4, but that's good for where I'm at right now. If I get in a long run tomorrow, I could be looking at a 60+ week.

Ran 7.3 miles @ 10:11/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Upper 50s, overcast, rain.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII, shorts, long sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Track

Finally, a decent weather day for a track workout. Humid out, but cool and overcast, so while it was easy to work up a sweat it wasn't so bad. Can't ask for much better for the summer.

That being said, it didn't go so well. Workout called for 6-8 800M repeats w/ 400M active recovery, but in the last two reps I could feel the wheels starting to come off and I cut it short. Only managed five reps and the last one was pretty slow (3:00...ouch), which verified that indeed it would be wise to just cut it short.

Not super disappointed. I'm jumping into a bit of a higher mileage week here and the legs simply aren't used to the workload, pure and simple. This workout still served as a solid stepping stone, so no worries.

Had the fly rod with me, so I hit one of my spots on the way home and caught this small salmon (10"-11"). Also caught two bass, all within a half hour. But hunger called and I headed home for lunch.

w/u: Ran 1.3 miles @ 7:07/mile pace.
5 X 800M w/ 400M active recovery: 2:51, 2:49, 2:55, 2:55, 3:00.
c/d: Ran 1.0 mile @ 10:00/mile pace.
Around 60 degrees, overcast, humid.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Soup is Best Eaten, Not Run Through

Humidity was through the roof this morning, in the lower 90s for percentage at the start and in the upper 80s when I ended. Obviously not ideal but at least there was cloud cover, which helped a lot.

Had ten on tap for today at an easy pace. Went well. Was also good for the mind, I spent the morning before the run finishing up some reading and research for my Shakespeare class...thought about my final paper during much of the run and am confident I'll earn me another 'A'. I wish I had this much drive when I was younger, but I suppose wisdom comes with age.

Other than that, pretty uneventful. Looking forward to hitting the track tomorrow.

Ran 10.2 miles @ 7:57/mile.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 70s, overcast, very humid.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, cap, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Falmouth Flash Five Course Preview

Had a great run on the Falmouth Flash Five course with Ian, Ryan T., Jim D. and Chris. Pace was pretty moderate, though it felt tough with the heat, humidity...and that huge roast beef sandwich I had before Kate and I drove over (hey, it was organic meat and cheese...and I make a mean sandwich).

Riders of the storm.
We just beat the thunderstorms, but they were rolling in after we finished and dumped on us on the drive home. Run went well, all things considered. Hoping for some decent mileage this week and quality as well, especially if I get in that track workout on Thursday.

The course? It's great. Very cross country-esque, but at the same time deceivingly tough. It's a fun route that allows for some speed but also requires some technical ability. The hills are short but some are quite steep. All of it adds up to a good challenge.

Kinda bummed I won't be running it, just volunteering, but I still maintain I need a few more weeks before I think I can compete without disappointing myself; I guess my ego is fragile, but so be it. But please consider signing up for the race if you're around, you won't regret it.

Worth noting we started at the parking lot, NOT the
actual start line for the race, so distance is a little extra.
Ran 5.5 miles @ 9:06/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 80s, mostly cloudy, humid.
Nike Waffle VIII, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).

Particle Man

Air quality isn't the greatest right now with particle pollution mixing in with the soupy, stagnant air. Made even a short run tough, with the breathing a little more labored than it should be despite everything else feeling perfect.

But at least it was short, and I picked up the pace more to just get it over with. Only did 5K, so no risk of burning the candle at both ends. Decided on a whim to do this run. Already have plans to run tonight with my teammates, but figured I might as well do a double to bank a few more miles.

Really want to hit the track this week, but will likely wait until Thursday when this heat wave is supposed to be over with.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 7:17/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 80s, sunny, humid.
Merrell Bare Access, shorts, cap.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Deer Fly Season is Underway

Tis the season. Didn't mention it in the last post but I did experience a few deer flies but they weren't bad at all. Not the case today, they were wicked bad.

This makes running on the roads easier to swallow, as they are only really bad on trails and dirt roads that are less traveled. The latter was the case today; it was a road route but there's a dirt road section for a little over a mile that cuts through some woods. This is one of the worst areas for them along the routes in my area so it was a good test to see how active they were. I found the answer: very active.

Very hot and humid out which was why they were so many. But I tolerated the weather pretty well and felt great. Not too much rust either, which was good. Didn't run the past several days because I was up north fly fishing. While it was too bad I couldn't run, I did absolutely SLAM the trout and salmon. I landed so many that I lost count. Very epic to see a huge brookie or salmon rise from the depths and hit your dry fly.

Leaning towards not running the Falmouth Flash 5 Mile Trail race this weekend, just because I'm not in the shape I want to be in yet and need a few more weeks. However, it's of course going to be a stellar event and I plan on volunteering. Check it out if you can. I guarantee it'll be a very fun time.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:39/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Deer flies killed: 8.
Lower 80s, sunny, humid.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Salmon Run

I promised Kate I'd help her pack up her classroom in the afternoon, and I wanted to get in a run and some fishing in the morning. Then, I had an "oh yeah...crap" moment when I realized I have a lot of reading to do for my Shakespeare class. If thou art want an A in thy class, thee better read.

So, I compromised. I'd run in the woods out back and then fish at a brook within said woods. I've eyeballed it quite a few times, noting fish hitting the surface. Brookies? Chubs? One way to find out, and today was a good day to do so.

So, I took my fishing gear, hid it near the stream and then ran a little over five miles. Run went well. The quad is good to go. Still, took it easy to be sure, but I'm certain I'm in the clear. Good news.

After the run, I assembled my 9' 6-weight rod, which is a bit of a bull in a China shop for a stream this small, but manageable  I noticed the fish hitting the top of the water just as I have the past few times I've run past here. I begin a basic forward cast and on the backcast catch the leaves on the tree behind me. Unleash the fly, try again. Same deal. Crap. Okay, change positions. More clear, and cast...

The fly hits the water. It's a small red and yellow nymph that I tied a while back. I immediately get a strike, but miss setting the hook. This repeats again, but a few casts later and stripping the line to give the fly some additional movement in the slow moving water, the hook is set and I real in a little guy.

My first thought is "Oh cool, a brookie! Glad it's not a chub." In case you didn't know, chubs are a type of minnow. Most are pretty small, a few inches though some will get up to around a foot, but they'll strike at almost anything and are not very challenging to catch. Unlike trout, they're not very smart. Plus, they're apparently very bony and not very tasty. Garbage fish.

Then I looked at the fish closer and thought the patterns looked odd. I take a picture and let it go. I thought it kind of looked like a small salmon, but I didn't think it was really likely. This repeats three other times; each time an alleged brookie.

I get home and after some research and consulting, it's confirmed: they were all salmon. Whether landlocked or sea run, I don't know, but I have seen signs on a separate brook that also connects to the Saco River not far from here warning sea run salmon have been spotted there and to let them go immediately if you catch one. Just to be sure, I contacted Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and left a message. Whether sea run or landlocked, still very thrilled to have caught my first salmon.

On a related note, the Buddhist monks have it all wrong. The path to enlightenment is best achieved through trail running and fly fishing. It's totally Zen. Glad to experience that today.

Ran 5.4 miles @ 10:27/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Four salmon.
Upper 50s to lower 60s, partly cloudy.
New Balance MT110, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pulled Quad

Saturday's Presi-Traverse left me hobbling a bit...still. It's become apparent that I pulled my left quad a little. No big deal. Another day or two of rest and I should be able to resume running again but resting for now is the obviously smart choice.

Quad aside, I'm pretty amazed at how beat up the rest of my body still feels. Between that and the piss poor performance in the mud at Pineland last month, it's obvious that I am definitely out of trail shape. But the wheels are in motion and that's already changing. Looking forward to more.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Presidential Traverse

I'll let the pics do most of the talking, but what a great day yesterday! Presidential Traverse from Dolly Copp to Webster Cliff with Bob P. and Debbie M. The weather was just about perfect: Lower 40s up top and 50+ mph winds on the higher peaks, but when in stretches where the wind was blocked, it felt pretty balmy.

Mt. Washington and Mt. Jefferson as seen from Mt. Adams

Looking back at Jefferson.

The Great Gulf looks squatchy. I bet there's some
fine trout in that little pond down there. 

Looking ahead to where we must go. 

In the Lake of the Clouds hut. Hee hee. 

Bob and Deb heading up Monroe with the Lake of the Clouds hut and
Mt. Washington in the background. 

Hey look! My car! As seen from the Webster Cliff trail. 

With less than 200 miles on them, my Saucony Kinvara TRs
suffered an early demise. Their road shoes rock, maybe they should stick
with that? 
Great trip. While we ran and speed hiked we also didn't really push the pace terribly hard. We also had an extended stop on Mt. Washington for around 30 minutes. Very fun time! 

Ran 23.8 miles in 11:27:01. Includes stops. 
Elevation gain: 9050'
Saucony Kinvara TR (what's left of them), shorts, long sleeved shirt, windbreaker (off and on), buff (off and on), gloves (off and on). 
Lower 40s to Mid 60s depending on elevation, partly cloudy, 50+ mph winds up high. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hey, Who Turned Up The Gravity?

My legs felt heavier than a Black Sabbath guitar riff. Likely due in large part to waking up at 3:30am to go fishing before work (two micro smallmouths and a chub).

Good run all the same though. It was on the roads, which kinda sucked. I've really gotten used to doing more trails lately, which I really enjoy more. Going to take tomorrow off to ensure a smooth Presi-traverse on Saturday.

Ran 5.4 miles @ 8:31/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast, humid.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt. \

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rail Trails

I had planned on running something short yesterday, but that never happened. I had woken up at 2am and couldn't fall back asleep. That happens to me once every 2-3 weeks. Sometimes it doesn't phase me much but sometimes it does. Yesterday it was the latter. When I got off work, I opted to come home and do a face plant on my bed. I woke up in time to run, but opted to finish up a paper for my Shakespeare class instead (it rocks).

Looked to make things up a bit today and ran eight miles on the rail trails at a moderate pace. Pretty uneventful. We've had some bizarre off and on showers all day that feel really cold and windy when they hit but when they disappear the air is still, warm and humid. It's been alternating like that all day. Odd, but pretty cool. Unfortunately, I only had the humidity during my run and the long sleeved shirt was a tad overkill.

Hit the river afterwards for about 30 minutes. I knew the fishing would suck because the water is high and moving fast, however, I finally perfected the double haul cast. The line shoots out like it was fired out of a cannon. Very stoked, it will come in handy from here on out.

Ran 8.2 miles @ 8:35/mile pace.
Rail trails.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast, humid.
Saucony Kinvara TR, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hill Repeats

Did a series of three hill repeats up Ossipee Mountain this afternoon (Ossipeats?). Just over two miles up from where I parked and around 735' of gain each ascent. It's a buttkicker.

Very enjoyable though. The views from the top are pretty awesome and it's just nice being in the woods. Also, it's a really nice bonus that even though it's June 10th, I've yet to feel a deer fly.

Particularly proud of today's workout because I was really tired after work and my stomach was also a mess all day. I really didn't feel like running. Still, I toughed it out, and as usual, I was really glad I did. I earned some extra cheese for my burrito this evening.

Ran 12.3 miles @ 10:04/mile pace.
Dirt roads, trails.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast, humid.
Saucony Kinvara TR, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, handheld bottle (water).

Friday, June 07, 2013

Short and Wet Trail Run.

Time is tight this afternoon. Squeezed in a very short and easy trail run on the front end of what looks to be a lot of rain over the next day and a half.

Went well. Legs only slightly tired from yesterday. Short route but very hilly and technical. Running this weekend will be a slight challenge as I'll be busy, but will do what I can.

Ran 3.8 miles @ 9:54/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Mid 50s, overcast, raining.
Saucony Kinvara TR, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A Surprising Decent Track Workout

Ready Player One.
I think I've done just one other speed workout in the past two months. It was more than time. Was glad to hit the track this afternoon, but also expected a lot of rust and prepared myself beforehand for what I anticipated to be an ego-crushing workout.

I was wrong. Surprisingly, my times were pretty decent and I was just slightly slower than par based on previous workouts during a training cycle. Very, very pleased and a good confidence booster.

Workout was alternating 800M and 400M repeats with 400M of active recovery in between. Four reps each, but was prepared to do just three each in case the wheels came off. Towards the end, I actually considered tacking on another set of reps, but decided not to push it this soon. In the midst of a training cycle, absolutely, but for now, best to play it safe.

Splits are below. Hard to gauge the pace with 400M after an 800M, especially since I'm more used to the latter, but so be it. It all still went very well.

Cooled down by running barefoot on the grass. Great foot massage from that.

w/u: Ran 1.3 miles @ 7:19/mile pace.
8 X alternating 800M and 400M reps w/ 400M active recovery. 2:48, 1:23, 2:54, 1:24, 2:50, 1:23, 2:52, 1:25.
c/d: Ran 1.1 miles @ 11:07/mile pace. Barefoot on grass.
Mid 60s, mostly cloudy, humid.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Hilly Trails

Not really feeling rusty despite that week off. Good. Great easy paced run in the woods out back this afternoon. Much cooler weather and quite windy as well. No deer flies yet either. This is good.

Stopped at the stream and watched some fish hitting the surface. Probably just chubs, but could be brookies as well. On a lazy day, will bring my fly rod here and find out. However, I'd rather spend the dedicated fishing time on something larger with more opportunities.

Planning on taking tomorrow off so I don't do too much. Would like a proper ramp up here. However, given the past two days, I'm considering doing a speed workout on Thursday. I've neglected the fast stuff lately, so hitting the track would be smart.

I've decided to give myself some goals. Since I'm registered for all three Bradbury races, the goal will to be to PR for each race. Not concerned about placing or beating anyone in particular, at least not at this point. A lot more control can be on PR-ing though, so that's what I'm going after.

Ran 7.4 miles @ 9:40/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Mid 60s, partly cloudy, windy.
Saucony Kinvara TR, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Back At It

Week off is over. Felt great to hit the trails this afternoon. Explored some new trails and it was just great to be out running in the woods again. Very muddy, so that slowed things down quite a bit.

Feels weird not having a real goal race (other than Boston in over 10 months). It's like being a plastic bag blowing around aimlessly in the wind. Normally at this time of the year I'm thinking about building the base up and using a series of shorter races for training for a fall marathon. Might do a 50-miler this fall, but haven't decided anything yet. Would be a smart idea though.

Ran 4.7 miles @ 10:03/mile pace.
Muddy trails.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 70s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Kinvara TR, shorts, short sleeved shirt, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).