Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Ran 10.7 miles @ 8:13/mile pace.

Ah, my Hills of Annihilation route. With most of the 630' of elevation gain concentrated in the first half, this route is known for making grown men break down and cry like wee little girls, and sending the rest fleeing in sheer panic. That is perhaps a bit overly dramatic, but it really is a challenging route.

My legs felt overworked and tired today. It wasn't until about halfway into the run and close to the highest point that I felt warmed up. Even after that, it was hard to go much faster, and on a good day with fresh legs, I'm pretty sure I could do this route at a 7:30/mile pace without pushing myself too hard. Judging by how I felt today, I may revise my plan this week and do a three mile run tomorrow instead of five, and do another three miles on Thursday instead of a speed workout. I'll decide for sure tomorrow.

Something funny worth noting: a little past four miles, a large, dead deer (a doe) was hanging from a tree limb in front of someone's house. I can only assume they were about to gut it. It'd be easy to say it was fitting for Halloween, but in reality, it's more fitting because it's hunting season.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Running in the Wind

Ran 5.7 miles @ 7:32/mile pace.

The swift winds from yesterday's storm have decided to stick around and maybe even intensified a bit making for interesting running conditions. It's been blowing between 25-30 mph this morning with gusts in the 45-50 mph range. It was even tempting to stay inside and take another rest day, but after stepping outside and feeling how relatively warm it was (mid-upper 40s and sunny), I decided I should definitely go.

Fortunately, the stretch where I was running into the wind was in heavy tree cover, and I had it at my back for the final mile which is on a more exposed road. To be honest, the run felt pretty tough. I had to really work to keep at my pace, and I don't think it was from the wind itself. It felt mostly like my muscles had a hard time warming up (I was in shorts and a long sleeve wicking shirt), which is normal in these conditions. I'm sure some lingering fatigue from the marathon also contributed.

Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day. Tuesday, I'll likely do my Hills of Annihilation route (630' of elevation gain), but take it slow. Wednesday, my 5 mile flat loop. Thursday, a speed workout (likely 400 or 800 meter repeats), and Friday TBD.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sunny, Perfect Weather

Ran 7.1 miles @ 7:48/mile pace.

Not a could in the sky, temps just below 50 degrees, and hardly any wind. Perfect running weather. I felt the recovery has been going well, so I opted to run today and do my Hills of Death route instead of taking a rest day today like I originally planned. Part of the reason for this is the nasty weather we're supposed to get tomorrow, so that'll be a rest day instead.

I felt good, and just cruised the first four miles at just below an 8:00/mile pace. The last three I kicked in a little more at around a 7:34-ish/mile pace.

After resting tomorrow, I'll do a 4-6 mile run on Sunday, bringing me up to 50% of my normal weekly mileage as part of my recovery plan. All systems go and lookin' good.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Brakes Work

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:45/mile pace.

Nice. I actually ran at a recovery pace and didn't go too fast for the first three miles. After that I lost concentration on mile four, but managed to slow it back down a little on mile five.

Mile 1: 8:11
Mile 2: 7:44
Mile 3: 8:00
Mile 4: 7:21
Mile 5: 7:31

Yeah, a bit all over the place, but oh well. I had originally planned to do the 7.1 mile Hills of Death route today but decided it'd be best to keep the distance and difficulty level down a little given my pace the past couple of runs.

Overall felt very good today. Soleus muscles are no longer sore. There is still some lingering soreness in the hamstrings, but that's to be expected and it's nothing drastic. Weather today was in the upper 40s with a brisk wind out of the northwest. Perfect weather for shorts and a long sleeve wicking shirt.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Flat Five

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:35/mile pace.

The focus on recovery continues, as I ran five miles on a relatively flat loop after work. It's a perfect route for recovery runs, and a perfect fit after yesterday's run. My splits were pretty even (between 7:28-7:37 throughout), but I knew I was going a bit fast. As a result, it felt a bit laborious. I really need to focus more on slowing down for recovery runs.

I'm taking a scheduled rest day tomorrow. I'll likely do my Hills of Death route again on Thursday. Friday, I'm traveling to D.C. for a conference, and I should get in a few good runs down there. I've already google mapped the hotel we're staying out and designed a few routes.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hills of Death

Ran 7.1 miles @ 7:37/mile pace.

Ah, my Hills of Death route. It starts and ends at my school where I teach, and I haven't run it since June because of summer break and cross country season (which is now over). The first 1.2 miles of the route are pretty flat, but then it begins an arduous climb for the next mile that gets progressively steeper as you approach the top of the hill. It's a real butt kicker. Then you have rolling hills for the next three miles followed by two miles of relative flatness to finish the route off. Very fun route to run.

Overall, the run felt great today. I felt very strong and no real problems. Just some lingering soreness in my soleous muscles from the marathon, but nothing bad. It feels good to allow myself to start creeping up the length of my runs again.

I'm following my usual post-marathon/ultra recovery plan, which is no more than 25% of my normal mileage for the first week after, no more than 50% for the second week (where I'm at now), 75% for the third, then back to normal. That's worked out well for me in the past, so that's once again the plan.

It's also time to start thinking about my training schedule for the Hyannis Marathon in February. Very roughly, it'll involve getting my mileage back up to 50-70 miles a week, including one to two 20+ mile long runs a month and weekly speed workouts and tempo runs on the alternating hard/easy principle. One thing I really like about my training is that most of my runs are on very hilly routes. I don't have much choice based on the geography of where I live and work, but that's fine with me. Running up hills is my favorite part of any run. It's just fun, pure and simple.

Happy running.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Ran ~4 miles @ ~ 8:25/mile pace.

Yesterday's rain brought today's mud, making for a sloshy run. My friend Kendra and I banged out around 4 miles on the trails at Twin Brooks. It was a nice, easy pace and I think my body appreciated the soft ground. Good little run, and I'm really looking forward to bringing the mileage back up soon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Running in the Rain

Ran 4.0 miles @ 7:25/mile pace.

I took an extended loop this afternoon before meeting up with the XC team. While it was raining pretty hard, it was relatively warm out (around 55 degrees) and I was comfortable while running. Once again, I went way too fast. I think payed the price a little as the muscles or tendons located below the calves and above the Achilles heal are aching a little. Nothing serious, but likely my body telling me to chill out a bit.

I'm looking forward to our team's regional cross country meet tomorrow up at Twin Brooks in Cumberland. I hope our team does well. I'll be driving up there, so I can get in my own run once the meet is over.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Post Marathon Run and New Goal

Ran 3.3 miles @ 7:14/mile pace.

After a couple of days of rest, it felt good to get out there again today. I ran around the pond in Sanford with the high school XC team. I probably shouldn't have headed out with the varsity guys, as I should have been doing a recovery run for myself, but at least I have a partial excuse that it was a good idea to be with them for, ummm, their safety's sake... or something.

Recovery is going great. Just some lingering soreness just below my calves. I'm aware that I need to allow ample time for my legs to recover before I go full force though. Plan is to take it easy until November (meaning no more quicker runs like today), and then start training seriously. I plan on entering the Hyannis Marathon in Cape Cod in late February and the goal is to qualify for Boston. That means 3:10:59 or less. I've got some work to do!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bare Bones Mt. Desert Island Marathon Report

Time: 3:27:58
Avg. Pace: 7:56/mile
Overall Placing: 49th of 563 finishers
Age Group Placing (30-34): 5th of 38
Successful behind-the-back tossing of water/Gatorade cups into trash cans: 4 for 12.

I couldn't be happier with how it all went. I wasn't sure how I'd do today given the 50-miler was three weeks ago (I know, I know.. I sound like a broken record) and my training was directed towards that. So I was really stoked to set a new PR, and on a course that is pretty insanely hilly to boot! Very, very happy (and tired).

Here are my splits and some brief notes. I'll post more details and pictures soon. General plan was to try to hit 7:55-8:00/mile pace until the halfway point, then evaluate how I was feeling and go from there.

Mile 1: 7:46 Too fast. Perhaps because it was cold and I wanted to warm up.
Mile 2: 8:00 Nice. Threw water cup behind my back and into trash can (1 for 1)
Mile 3: 7:59 Beautiful.
Mile 4: 7:38 Whoops, too fast. Missed behind back shot of water cup into trash can (1 for 2)
Mile 5: 7:52 Good.
Mile 6: 7:55 Very good. Missed shot again (1 for 3)
Mile 7: 8:22 Uphill.
Mile 8: 8:09 Nice. Missed again (1 for 4)
Mile 9: 7:46 Downhill.
Mile 10 and 11: 15:55 (forgot to hit lap button). Missed again (1 for 5). Took a Gu.
Mile 12: 8:04 Great views of ocean. No trash can at water station, so no official shot attempt.
Mile 13: 7:37 Way too fast. But decided to maintain overall pace since I was feeling good.
Mile 14: 7:58 Eastern side of the Somes Sound fjord. Very pretty. Successful swish (2 for 6)
Mile 15: 8:08 Feeling good here. Enjoying myself. Nobody passes me from here on out.
Mile 16: 7:32 Took a Gu. Missed shot (2 for 7)
Mile 17: 7:53 Great crowd support. Still feeling good. Passing more folks.
Mile 18: 7:44 Working the downhill. Made the shot (3 for 8) and exclaimed "yes!", but did so while passing someone and I think they got the wrong idea.
Mile 19: 7:59 Feeling good.
Mile 20: 8:02 Still feeling good, but the hardest uphills are coming. Took final Gu. Missed shot (3 for 9).
Mile 21: 8:12 Tough stretch uphill.
Mile 22: 8:10 More tough uphills. Cup goes in! (4 for 10)
Mile 23: 8:00 Able to work the lesser sections of uphills.
Mile 24 and 25: 16:06(forgot to hit lap button) Hills are wearing me out. Digging deep. Missed shot (4 for 11).
Mile 26: 7:32 Worked the downhill hard. Passed some more folks. Missed shot, but don't care (4 for 12).
Last .2: 1:36 Woohooooo!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Three Days and Counting...

Ran 4.0 miles @ 7:00/mile pace.

I probably went too fast again today, but it was only four miles and I had taken the two previous days off. But it felt sooooooo gooooooooooood. Not only that, it almost seemed effortless.

Everything is looking great for the Mt. Desert Island Marathon on Sunday. I'll be heading up tomorrow after work with my friend Chris who is also running it. Chris competed in the Vermont 50 with me three weeks ago, and is a fun guy to run with. We'll have a blast for sure.

I'm very curious as to how my legs will be holding out for the marathon. I'm still planning on setting off at around an 8:00/mile pace for the first half. I'll see how I feel at that point but hope to open the jets up a little more then if I feel good. I've been feeling great on my shorter runs, but I'm wondering just how fatigued my legs are from the ultra three weeks ago. I'm simply viewing this race as an experiment, but I'm fairly confident I'll still run a good race. If not, so be it.

Weather for Sunday is also looking perfect. Lows around freezing the night before, warming up into the 50s that day.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back Cove Run

Ran 3.56 miles @ 7:40/mile pace.

I thought it'd be fun to go into Portland to run the Back Cove this morning, so that's what I did. I saw one of my running friends, Jim, there running the opposite direction that I was. It's always nice to see a familiar face during a run. It's also nice to just see other runners in general, and they are always out at the Back Cove. I live in a rural area so I never see others out when I'm running near my home. A change of scenery every now and then is always good.

Today was another day of nice weather, albeit a touch on the warm side (temps in the 50s during my run, getting up into the lower 70s today). I took it easy for the most part and just trotted along. I'm still feeling good for the MDI Marathon and can't wait.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cool Morning, Easy Run

Ran 4.62 miles @ 7:44/mile pace.

Ah, fall. When I went running this morning temperatures had warmed up to the lower 40s, which is my favorite temperature range to run in. Leaves are also at their peak colors which only added to the fun.

Given yesterday's tempo run of sorts, today called for taking it easy. I did my first two miles at 7:55 and 7:53 respectively, which is around the marathon pace I plan on doing for a week from today and about what I had hoped for. Miles three and four were way too fast (7:30 and 7:37), as well as the last six-tenths (7:48 mile/pace). Slowing down has always been hard for me. Still, the run felt good and I'm looking forward to next weekend.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Letting Loose

Ran 5.7 miles @ 7:15/mile pace.

I needed a confidence booster with today's run, and I got what I was looking for. I did the right thing the past week by playing it safe and easy with my running to allow myself to recover, but at the same time, I was beginning to fear that a sluggish mindset was creeping in. Not good, so I thought I'd open the throttle a bit today and see how it felt.

I did my first warm up mile and then picked up the pace once the uphills really started going (first half of this route is all uphill). All systems were go throughout the run and I felt great both mentally and physically. Some of my mile splits didn't record correctly because of a few GPS outages, but I know I did the first mile in 7:53 and the last mile in 6:44.

Andrew suggested that I should be okay to run everyday so long as I take it easy, and I was thinking that as well. So, that's the plan. The MDI marathon is next week, and though my legs likely won't be 100%, I still think I can set a new PR (currently it's 3:28:48).

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Keeping the Rust Off

Ran 4.0 miles @ 7:40/mile pace.

I did my own little workout before XC practice got started. I meant to run 5.0 miles, but I accidentally cut my route short. Probably just as well, as my pace was faster than I would have liked. Since I only have three weeks here between the ultra and the upcoming marathon, healing up is important and I need to keep that in the front of my mind more.

The good news though is my legs are feeling fine and today's run felt pretty good. I thought my pace was slower, but it wasn't. It did feel like it required a little more effort, but I'm wondering if a good part of that is simply mental.

Rest day planned for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Running in Orchards

Ran 6.0 miles. Pace varied.

It was fun exploring new running territory today with the XC team that took us through an apple orchard. We ran 2.0 miles to the farm, with the last one being a very grueling uphill. I definitely charged up it faster than I should have, but made it a point to take it easy the rest of the day, which I managed to do.

When we arrived, everyone was free to break up and do their own workouts. I took it light and just jogged around the main orchard and also down to a pond and back. That was an additional two miles for me, while most of the others ran longer.

We ran the same route back to the school, for another two. It was a bit laborious overall, but that's to be expected at this point. Tomorrow will definitely be a rest day.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Healing Legs, New Shoes

Ran 2.0 miles @ 7:45/mile pace
Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:30/mile pace

Today I just ran the warm up and cool down run with the high school XC team. I was tempted to do the mile repeats with them, but that wouldn't be wise.

The good news is that my legs felt great today. Dare I say they even felt fresh. Plan is to continue to take it easy the rest of this week and all of next. I have the Mt. Desert Island Marathon to run on October 15th and though I won't be in the best shape for it given the 50-miler last week, I'd still like to post a respectable time.

Today I also ran in a new pair of New Balance 767s that I bought yesterday. Great fit for me and all signs are pointing to a pair of great shoes here in the early onset.