Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Saturday Morning at Bradbury

Met up with a large contingent at Bradbury Mountain State Park this morning. Splinter groups were formed and as planned I ran with Ryan and John and we were joined by David R. and Mike. Great time.

I was expectedly rusty but taking that into account I did quite well. A little over ten miles that was made easier with great company. Ryan, John and I constantly bust on each other which is always a hoot. Capped off with a brunch at Edna and Lucy's it made for a perfect Saturday morning.

Ran 10.6 miles @ 10:25/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Mid to upper 50s, partly cloudy, humid.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, Nathan double water belt.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Beating the Storm

I did have plans to chunk and swing large streamers in a nearby river to go after some larger trout and salmon I suspect exist in one particular run, but the radar showed some boom boom moving in and I changed plans.

So, for once, I cancelled fly fishing in favor of running, rather than the other way around. With lightning possible, I figured running under dense tree cover was much safer than being out on a large, open river while waving a nine foot graphite rod.

Besides, the run would be short since I have something longer planned with Ryan and John tomorrow. I could also beat the storm, and I did. However, as I type this, the skies are darkening and a distant thunder is rumbling on the horizon. Yep, good call to go running instead. 

Ran 3.5 miles @ 9:27/mile pace. 
Very hilly. 
Mid 60s, partly cloudy, humid. 
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

A Tough Assignment

The antibiotics have left my system and I'm feeling great. I'm going to start ramping back up my activity, and kicked that off with a work-related mountain bike ride yesterday.

As a media instructor, I get asked for video help quite a bit. I'm not going to lie, the vast majority of the time it is aggravating and while I love to help other people out, I also want video projects to fall within the curriculum and also challenge students. Otherwise, I'd rather not waste my time nor my students' time, especially since others are expecting this work for free. I say No, sorry often and unfortunately, I have to be somewhat stern about it at times, which is not fun. I'll stop now before I go on a rant.

But once in a blue moon, a sweet proposal comes along that we'll jump on, and recently a very fun one plopped itself on my lap. Since it's the end of the school year, my seniors are understandably distracted since they have graduation on their brains, and my juniors are busy with end of the year projects. No worries, I gladly accepted this project myself.

The town's grant writer wanted me to mountain bike a 3-4 mile section of trail with a GoPro and time lapse it down to three minutes for a presentation he has later next month. Fun to film and very easy to edit, making it an ideal task.

It was a nice ride, and despite taking a few wrong turns the filming was otherwise a success. The highlight was perhaps running into a family of geese, complete with at least four fluffy little babies and their angry, honking parents at the end of the trail.

It was also a good litmus test for me to gauge how I was feeling. I've been pretty tired for much of this week, but feeling better each day and I felt great during the ride. Still monitoring things, but I suspect I'm in the clear.

Some screen grabs from the video:


Open trail. 

Honking geese parents and their fluffy little children. 

Mountain biked 7.5 miles @ 9.3mph/avg.
Mostly flat.
Upper 60s, partly cloudy.
Specialized P.2, Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ticks Suck

That's no boob. That's my tick bite.
So, I've been taking it easy the past several days as a precaution. I was given a large dose of antibiotics the other day for Lyme Disease after a mysterious rash developed on my side around an embedded tick. It might be Lyme, but it could be something else.

Let me rewind a bit first. I distinctly remember feeling a minor irritation on my side last Sunday while I was fishing. I wrote it off as being a mosquito bite on or near a scar I have from a previous surgery, especially since I was devoured by said flying insects along with their black fly brethren the previous day while also out fishing and stupidly forgot to use bug spray. The fishing was great though, with three salmon on Saturday and two browns and a brookie on Sunday... all on dry flies and in a short amount of time... but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

So, on Monday morning, Kate noticed an embedded tick an inch or so below the scar with a quarter sized red rash to go along with it. In the immediate vicinity of where the tick was, the skin was very black (more on that later). Kate kept pretty calm, which for her is good given her propensity to freak out about insects. I said "I guess I should go to the doctor now, huh?". Kate replied, "Yes. Yes you should." Before I left though we pulled the tick out and killed it, but kept its exoskeletal carcass in a bag in case it was needed.

Off I went. The doctor looked at it briefly and prescribed a single, 200mg dose of doxycycline, which is standard procedure for effectively treating Lyme within 72 hours of a suspected infection, or so I've read.

However... that black dot. It's odd. It's not a bruise from where the tick was, as it doesn't look like it and also the black dot was present when the tick was still embedded. It's consistent with an eschar, which is a good indicator of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or one of it's related bacteria that are present in Maine.

Long term treatment for RMSF is the same as Lyme, but it's unclear from what I've found if that initial dose of 200mg is enough for that disease as well. I guess I should go see a specialist, but waiting to see if I get the initial headache and fever followed by an outbreak of body rashes is kind of adventurous in a sick kind of way (pun intended). Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mountain Bike and TRAFFIC Run

In the morning, I mountain biked a trail with the intent of filming the ride with a GoPro. I was going to edit the footage for the grant writer of the town I teach in, but I discovered just before the ride that the battery was dead. Argh. Still, we rode the trails so I at least now know the route. I'll have to go back next week.

The ride was fun though. Nice to take the bike out for the first time this season. Fun to do every now and then for something different.

Mountain biked 6.0 miles @ 8.3 mph.
Mostly flat.
Upper 50s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Later in the afternoon, I packed up the 3 weight fly rod and ran out to the salmon pool. And there was salmon! Only parr (babies) exist in this pool, but they're good catch and release fun.

Scoring details are still being worked out, but a rough draft is as follow: Points are scored based on mileage, fish species and size.

Mileage: Multiplied by 10. For example, a 15.4 mile run would yield 154 points for the run itself.

Fish species and size: Salmon and trout base points are 10 points. For every inch over 12 inches, an additional two points. In other words, any salmon or trout a foot or less is 10 points. If you landed a 15" brownie it would yield 16 points (10 point base, plus two points for each of the three inches over one foot = 16).

Smallmouth and largemouth bass have a 5 point base up to one foot, with the same point bonus for each inch over the base points that trout and salmon have.

Sunshfish are two points. No size bonuses.

Chubs are a half a point. Chubnobyles over a foot are one point. No incremental bonuses. Afterall, they're just chubs.

So today, yielded 67 points. The 3.7 mile run was worth 37 points. The three baby salmon were worth 30. But most importantly it was nice to know the salmon are back and active in the pool. Good fun for sure. Best sport ever.

I would have stayed longer but I moronically forgot the bug spray and the mosquitoes and black flies were horrendous. Stupid is as stupid does, I should have known better.

Ran 3.7 miles @ 9:50/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt, cap.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Tale of Two Dogs

Jet and Kip. 
My good friends Ian and Emma are a bit busy with their newborn daughter, so I offered to take their super energetic, nuclear powered, turbocharged border collies, Kip and Jet, for a run this afternoon.

It was awesome, of course. While I know Kip and Jet are always super responsive around their owners when they run with us, I wasn't sure if they would extend the same courtesy to me while I was alone with them in the woods. They did and then some. They were simply awesome. Best running dogs ever.

My legs felt really dead, which warranted many stops and looks back from Kip and Jet as if to say, "Dude, you don't run as fast my masters". They were super patient, automatically waiting at trail junctions and then bolting ahead but always stopping or running back after a few dozen yards.

I really, really enjoyed it and it reinforced how much I can't wait to get my own dogs once we move. One will likely be a bird dog, but for the other one... a border collie would be pretty sweet.

Ran 5.4 miles @ 11:00/mile pace.
Slightly hilly.
Around 70 degrees, partly cloudy, somewhat humid.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Call It A Tempo Run

Ran the big loop out back again, but took a detour on a horse trail that goes around a badly damaged ATV bridge. Felt great so I let the pace drop, especially in the second half. Very fun run.

Several ATV'ers out which provided some good entertainment. The first group I encountered was a guy and a young female, presumably his daughter. The guy had just skirted around a very large, deep mud puddle on his dirt bike, but the girl on the ATV was on the other side and looked hesitant to cross. I nodded a greeting to the guy as I passed, then I ran smack dab through the deepest part of the puddle, not slowing down much despite the mid-thigh muddy water. Once on the other side I told the girl "That's how you do it" as I ran by and proceeded up the next hill. 

Another group was very large. Perhaps about a dozen of them in all, spread out along a long downhill. All were very polite and moved way over as I came along, which was much appreciated.

Overall pace was pretty darn speedy. Breaking 9:00/mile on this route is rarely accomplished. Given that, I'll chalk it up as a tempo run. 

Ran 7.4 miles @ 8:55/mile pace. 
Very hilly. 
Mid 60s, partly cloudy. 
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rain and Trails

The rain was winding down by the time I had my morning coffee. I headed out as a light rain still fell and it kept me company throughout the run, lending to some nice ambience.

Past three days were off from running... that allowed ample time to absorb last weekend's long run and the legs and energy were both pretty peppy as a result. That being said, I'm not all that happy with this week's low mileage. Looking to remedy that next week. 

Ran 7.3 miles @ 9:46/mile pace. 
Very hilly. 
Around 60 degrees, overcast, light rain throughout. 
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt (shed after one mile). 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tardiness and Possible Truancy

This post is late. Truth be told, I'm burned out on blogging at the moment. Some reflection has revealed that, at least in part, it's due to a general weariness of social media in general. I read a study recently which said that social media use drastically declines for most folks after they get married. I guess that applies to me.

I'm seeing that same mentality cross over into blogging. What was once as natural as breathing is becoming a labored chore. Perhaps it'll pass. Perhaps it won't.

That all being said, I ran the other day. I brought my fly fishing gear, but never fished. The salmon pool was shallow and still held several suckers. The boggy stream was still occupied by a family of geese... though I didn't see their young ones this time, I mused they were close by. I yielded to their warning honks and left.

A few dozen feet later, a brown, prickly mass high up in a tree caught the corner of my eye. It was a porcupine. He/she was just sitting there, chillin' like Bob Dylan, reminding me of a mountain hermit poised on a cliff that has all of the answers to life's questions. I decided I liked that notion, left the porcupine to its own devices and ran home.


Ran 3.6 miles @ 10:27/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Upper 50s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt, backpack with FF gear.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Weekend at Acadia

A great weekend of camping with several of my Trail Monster Running teammates. Very fun time filled with hilarity. It was nearly perfect...except for the weather. We woke up to a light rain on Saturday morning, which soon turned into a downpour. It made it memorable though.

Ryan, John and I planned on a 20+ mile run that went up the North Trail of Cadillac Mountain. Once above treeline, the colder temps along with a horizontal rain that pelted us like a gang of boys with BB guns forced our hands and we decided to head back down on an improvised route.

We were glad we did. The trees provided protection from the wind and though we were soaking wet, we were relatively warm and comfortable. Jokes ensued while we tackled the Witch Hole loop, followed by heading over to Aunt Betty Pond and around Eagle Lake... and a little over 20 miles later we were done. Very fun time.

Ran 20.4 miles @ 9:59/mile pace. 
Single track and carriage roads. 
Extremely hilly. 
Lower to mid-50s, overcast, moderate rain. 
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, cap, gloves (shed 1/3 of the way through). 

By Sunday morning, the weather had pulled a Cinderella. After packing up camp under a bright, warm sun, a few of us headed over to Eagle Lake while the others opted to run up Cadillac.

I ran with Shauna at first, but felt really creaky the first few miles. I told her to go ahead and shortly thereafter I stopped for a bio break. After that, my legs began to loosen up and by the end of the loop I felt great. Last mile clocked in at around 6:50. Nice cap to a great weekend.

An "Awwww" moment on Sunday morning with Jim and Shauna's labs.

Ran 5.8 miles @ 8:28/mile pace. 
Carriage roads. 
Upper 60s, sunny. 
Moderately hilly. 
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Trail Trot

Did the big loop in the woods out back. Legs are definitely not in "let's go!" mode. More like "Dude, this is work" mode. That latter is fine for longer runs or speed workouts, but not for easy runs like today.

That's okay though. I'm in a post-marathon heal up and chill out phase, but it's time to start entering a rebuilding phase. What I'm working towards, I don't know, but I do know I don't like not being in decent running shape. Last summer took relaxing a little too far. This summer, I aim to still not compete (because I don't want to), but would like to still be in competitive shape (because I want to). Today was a good step in that direction.

Ran 7.3 miles @ 10:06/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Mid 60s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Monday, May 05, 2014


Trail Running And Fly Fishing In Combination = Trafficing. Clever, huh?

I packed my 3-weight rod and other fly fishing gear in my small lightweight, fastpacking backpack and ran to the salmon pool. This was a good test to see how it felt to run with the gear, and everything felt snug and comfortable.

Unfortunately, the salmon pool is still being invaded by spawning suckers. They should be clearing out within the next few weeks. I can only hope the salmon will move back in.

I continued on the loop with intent of fishing the boggy creek next. I noticed a few geese there the other day, right next to a spot where I got a strike the other week. They were still there, but upon closer observation I noticed it was actually a family, complete with a couple of older babies. I opted not to disturb them and continued on home.

I plan to develop a point system for TRAFFICing, where running mileage, fish size and species caught are factored in together for a score. I'll detail all of this within a week or two. It's fun, even if I'm the only one participating in this radical new sport.

Ran 3.6 miles @ 9:57/mile pace.
Fish caught: 0.
Very hilly.
Around 60, partly cloudy.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt, cap, TRAFFICing gear.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Birthday Run!

Celebrated part of my birthday with a run at the Bangor City Forest with Kate and her brother, Chris. Light train throughout but it was actually rather pleasant. The trails drain well here, at least on the East/West Trail, so not much mud which was fine with me since I only had my road shoes.

Kate and her brother ran counter-clockwise so they could visit the bathrooms while I ran clockwise. I heard them coming up the trail, hid and managed to scare Kate enough where she screamed. That was awesome.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 9:40/mile pace.
Mostly flat.
Lower 50s, overcast, light rain throughout.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Exploration and Scouting

Short trail run in the woods out back. I also scouted animal tracks, looked for antler sheds and bushwhacked to explore a small stream. As a result, the pace was slow, but given there were multiple tasks on this outing, that's to be expected.

Tomorrow will be a planned rest day (will be fishing). Would like to get my weekly mileage back up into the 30-50 mile a week range in the next handful of weeks and maintain that during the summer... which equates to running when I feel like it. Ah, freedom.

Ran 4.1 miles @ 11:51/mile pace.
Technical trails.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
New Balance MT1010, shorts, long sleeved shirt (why I didn't go with a short sleeve shirt is beyond me).