Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sweet Sixteen

Ran 16.0 miles @ 7:38/mile pace. Includes 5 miles @ 6:57/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Temps in mid-20s, breezy.

Good run today. First two miles were with the co-workers getting into running at just under a 8:56/mile pace. After that, set off north on Rt. 109 and gradually worked my pace down to marathon pace for the tenth mile. Splits for the MP segment were as follows:

Mile 10: 6:58
Mile 11: 7:07
Mile 12: 7:02
Mile 13: 6:52
Mile 14: 6:44

Ran the last two miles as a cool down. All in all felt good. Muscles were fresh still from not running much over the weekend while I was sick. Feels good to have beaten them down into submission a little over the past two days.

Will likely do my runs at an easy pace tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, so I can be ready for the big run on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Climbing Back on the Horse

Ran 10.0 miles @ 7:50/mile pace. Progression.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Temps in upper teens. Partly cloudy.

Finally, I felt okay to run today. Energy felt normal, sinuses calmed down, and no more coughing up green stuff. Original plan was to do 10 miles at an easy pace. I ended up doing a pretty good progression run, and on one of my hillier routes to boot. This was a good welcome back. First two miles were with some fellow teachers who are getting into running, which made for a good warm-up.

Mile 1: 9:03 (w/u)
Mile 2: 9:28 (w/u)
Mile 3: 8:09
Mile 4: 8:04
Mile 5: 7:51
Mile 6: 7:50
Mile 7: 7:33
Mile 8: 6:59
Mile 9: 6:39
Mile 10: 6:53

Worth noting that through mile four I felt very rusty/not-warmed-up/whatever. Once again, felt progressively more at ease as the pace quickened. That was pretty obviously because of feeling warmed up.

I missed some key workouts with being sick, but after today I feel better about things now that I'm back in the saddle and put out a pretty good performance today. I've also officially registered for the Mid-Winter 10-mile Classic this Sunday. Will run 10-miles before the race (a few more details in my last blog).

Perhaps not worth noting, but I will anyway: I'm growing out my beard, and today produced a a nice array of snotcicles at the end of the run. This alone is a good enough reason to grow facial hair in the winter.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I made the difficult but right choice not to run today. Still have this cold, which seemed to have peaked last night. Still feeling crappy, but can tell I'm getting better.

I'm a bit concerned of missing my long run today as a result. Next week begins the taper period. I'll still do a long run a week from today, and may follow Mark's suggestion of running 10 miles next Sunday at a somewhat relaxed pace, and time the end of that segment to coincide with the start of the Mid-Winter 10-mile Classic race and run that at MP.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Test Run

Ran 4.1 miles @ 7:38/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
18 degrees , overcast.

I've been battling a cold, and today it feels the worst so far. I was contemplating skipping today's run, but decided to head out and see how I feel. Though I felt poorly, I'm glad I did it because now I at least know for sure.

I'm also quite bummed that I'm having to cancel my run with Marc, Andrew and Mike tomorrow as a result of not feeling well. Have fun guys.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Five in the Books

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:00/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: 18 degrees, sunny.

Nothing flashy about today's run. Just an easy five miles for recovery. It's about all I had time for today, since I have grad school this afternoon/evening. I wasn't very keen on the idea of an early morning run today given that is was sub-zero at my house when I woke up.

Legs felt pretty good today. Tired, but nothing like the pillars of concrete at the start of yesterday's run, but the low mileage and slow pace were welcome just the same.

Tomorrow we might not even make it out of the single digits for a high temp and it's supposed to be very windy to boot. I'm fighting a bit of a head cold, so if it's too insane with the weather tomorrow, I may opt to just rest.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Schizo Run

Ran 11.0 miles @ 7:35/mile pace. Progression run.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: mid-30s, sunny, windy.

Today's run was a progression run. That wasn't exactly planned though. Original plan was to do 15.0 miles at an easy pace. The first couple miles felt as if my legs were made of lead, so I changed my plan to just do 10 miles. I wasn't aware of it until later, but my speed was increasing. Then I decided to shoot for a mile or two at MP but it ended up being more. Splits looked like this:

Mile 1: 7:55
Mile 2: 8:24
Mile 3: 8:13
Mile 4: 8:01
Mile 5: 7:46
Mile 6: 7:48
Mile 7: 7:38
Mile 8: 7:02
Mile 9: 6:44
Mile 10: 6:42
Mile 11: 7:15

The last five miles average out to 7:04/mile, well within my 7:10/mile pace goal for the Hyannis Marathon. That was nice to see, especially after the struggling start. Those miles all felt good also. Runs like today leave me scratching my head. Weird how such a horrible feeling at the start can end feeling great. Having said that, I do feel quite tired after this run though.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Six point Six

Ran 6.6 miles - 1.8 mile warmup, 4.0 miles @ 7:05/mile pace, .8 mile cooldown.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Temps in the upper 20s. Sunny.

This morning's surprise little snow storm (5") gave way to sunny skies this afternoon. Given the weather lately, the upper 20s really felt downright balmy.

Originally planned to hit five miles hard at below MP, but legs felt tired. First split at 6:42 felt pretty good. Second split at 7:12 felt very labored. Legs still not recovered from the weekend's workouts, I guess, so decided to go easy and hit the the third at 7:30. Felt somewhat recovered after that mile and picked it up again hitting the fourth in 6:50. That fourth one felt easy. In retrospect, I should have kept going since I felt warmed up. But I didn't. Drat. I even flew through the .8 mile cooldown at a 7:18/mile pace and didn't feel like I was trying. Oh well, I guess that means I should have more gas in the tank for this week.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Ran 12.4 miles @ 8:36/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: upper teens to start, lower 20s to finish. Sunny.

Very pleasant run today. The wind was practically non-existent, which was a nice change from yesterday. While temps were cold out, I was properly dressed and felt very comfortable.

Goal today was recovery. I didn't have to remind myself to put on the brakes, as the slow pace came naturally, given the last two days. Having said that, it also felt very easy. I even debated going further at the end of the run, but decided to stick with the original plan of a little over 12 miles. Even on the hills, I felt great and I just enjoyed the run, never feeling tired or beat up. Good signs.

Recapping the week:
Mon - 0
Tue - 7.5
Wed - 6.3
Thu - 0
Fri - 14.3
Sat - 20.1
Sun - 12.4

Total = 60.6 miles

Notes on the week: Crappy start, strong finish.

On an unrelated note: GO PATRIOTS!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cold and Far

Ran 20.1 miles @ 8:00/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Weather: Temps in upper teens, 25 mph winds, wind chill of zero. Sunny.

I felt good this morning, so opted to do my long run today instead of tomorrow. One big obstacle was the wind, combined with already cold temps. I was properly dressed and felt fine though. The only times it was really difficult were the stretches where I ran right into the wind. A nice long stretch of that was right at the end of the run.

Pace was pretty steady throughout the run, sans when the wind was head on. Even towards the end of the run my legs felt in good shape. It's worth noting that I made a pitstop at the house about 9.5 miles into the run so there was a little break there.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Run I Needed

Ran 14.3 miles, including 7.0 miles @ 7:04/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Weather: lower 30s, partly cloudy.

After a week that started off with some crappy running, it was nice to get in a workout that I felt good about. Took the first mile in at 7:42, then pushed in the throttle a little more.

Times for MP segment (miles 2-9):

After that, I continued on for another 6.3 miles at a 7:43/mile pace. Great run. Worth noting that the first two miles felt very difficult, but the run was easier as it went along, especially during the MP segment. I was tempted to get in more miles at MP, but thought better of it since I have a long run this weekend and this run was already a pretty good distance.

Ended the run in the dark, but I had my reflective vest and headlamp with me so I felt safe. Those two items really give good piece of mind. Chaffing was also not an issue whatsoever (very thankfully).

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Memo to Self

Running in long johns made of polypro, though warm, will also lead to big time chaffing issues that will greatly hinder training schedules.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Big Chill

Ran 6.3 miles @ 8:36/mile pace.
Paved roads (icy).
Moderately hilly.
Weather: 11 degrees, sunny.

Boy, is it cold out! And I ran in the afternoon, during the warmest part of the day, and it was still just 11 degrees. Kind of fun though. The first 1.8 miles were with the two teachers I work with. Hats off to them for being more than willing to run in this weather when they're just starting off. Hardcore for sure.

As for my run, well... I can't tell if my legs are feeling the effects of overtraining or they simply didn't have time to warm up. Regardless, it was a slog for sure. As long as I can still put in moderate miles during the week and cap it off with a solid 20+miler this weekend, I think I'll be happy though.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Ran 7.5 miles @ 8:10/mile pace.
Trail coated with packed snow.
Mostly flat.
Weather: 17 degrees.

A grad school project ran late this afternoon and I began to fret over my run until I remembered some friends were running around the Back Cove in Portland at 6pm, so I decided to head over and run with them. Jim, Ian and Emma and I ended up doing two laps, with Jim and I tacking on a little extra at one point.

The run at first felt very tough. My energy felt low and the run seemed like a bit of a struggle. Nevermind the bitter temperatures and biting wind, or the snow coated trail which was anything but fast. Luckily, my friend Jim is a talker, and listening to him kept my mind off the rough time I was having.

However, something somewhat magical happened about a mile or so into the second loop. A second wind, coming from out of nowhere. I felt great, got into a comfortable rhythm, and picked up the pace. All cylinders were firing once again and it was nice to finish the run strong.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Legs Said No

Ran 5.7 miles @ 8:05/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: mid-20s, snow and sleet.

I had intended to do a long run today, but knew from the start that might mean trouble. My legs simply said "no way". It's a bit disappointing, but at the same time, I'm not terribly worried about it. The speed workouts this past week have been very beneficial, even if they did burn up most of the hay in the barn and I didn't have enough left for today's run. The long run will simply have to wait until next weekend.

The weather today was actually kind of fun to run in. The roads really weren't that bad at all, and the Goretex jacket kept me dry and warm. At the end of the run, my Garmin was coated in ice. If we get enough snow by tomorrow, some cross country skiing will definitely be on the agenda.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

More in the Bank

Ran 10.2 miles @ 7:45/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: lower 40s, overcast.

The proverbial calm before the storm... today will probably be the last day of warm weather for a good stretch. Finally, snow and sub-zero temps in the days to come. In the meantime, I got in a good run today. Felt great and it was quite enjoyable.

We're supposed to get a few inches of snow tomorrow. Hopefully it won't start until later in the day so I can get in my long run in the morning without much difficulty. The snow is expected to continue until Monday night, maybe even Tuesday. That's fine, as I have Monday off and for training that's a scheduled rest day.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Running Around Eagle Lake

Ran 11.6 miles @ 8:07/mile pace.
Carriage trails.
Very hilly.
Weather: 40 degrees. Mostly cloudy.

If you've ever been to Acadia National Park, you're probably aware of the carriage trails which run through the park. They're essentially very well groomed wide paths the width of fire roads that run through the park and are perfect for running. I was up in nearby Ellsworth for a teacher's conference today, and rejoiced when we finished our work early so I drove over to Mt. Desert Island to get in my run.

There's a great 5.8 mile trail that circumnavigates Eagle Lake in Acadia. It's a favorite for many of the runners of Eden Athletics and for good reason: it's not only scenic, but can be pretty challenging as well. So that's where I headed. I parked off Rt. 233 and ran clockwise around the lake twice. The trail starts off pretty flat with a light gradual uphill for the first few miles, then it really cranks up a big, gnarly hill for a very long stretch and conversely heads back downhill for a long bit.

The first loop had good daylight, and as I started the second loop, the sun began to set and the vibrant orange sky reflected brilliantly off the lake. It was quite beautiful, and I wished I had my camera. I soon reached a darker patch of thick woods, and not too far away heard a barred owl making a call repeatedly. Always neat to hear. Soon after that I switched on the headlamp and finished the rest of the run in the dark.

The run itself went great. Just a recovery/volume run, the kind to just go out and enjoy. No worries about pace, just plugging along at a comfortable slow gait. I definitely really enjoy these runs after the speedier workouts.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Liking This Speed

Ran 10.3 miles. 1.8 mile warmup + 7.0 miles @ 6:51/mile pace + 1.5 mile cooldown.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Weather: Temps in mid-20s, sunny.

Today was a test of sorts. I had a 10 mile MP run on Saturday that was at a 6:56/mile pace. Two days ago I had a run that included 7 miles @ 6:50/mile pace. Today, the goal was to do seven miles at MP along with a warmup and cooldown, but I wasn't sure how I'd do given the past five days. I feel I did well. Really well.

Like two days ago, I ran the first 1.8 miles with two guys from work who are starting to run. They did great again, and after running with them I set out for my seven at MP (target is 7:10/mile). The first two miles seemed the toughest, which was similar to Tuesday. After that, they just clicked off for the most part. However, today it did seem a bit tougher towards the end, but even then, not hardcore laborious, just a little tougher.

Mile 1: 6:53
Mile 2: 7:06
Mile 3: 7:11
Mile 4: 6:45
Mile 5: 6:38
Mile 6: 6:47
Mile 7: 6:38

The splits are a bit all over the pace in large part because of the hills. However, mile 5 was mostly uphill, so that's a nice sign being it was one of my fastest splits. Definitely a very good day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Seven Easy Miles

Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:13/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: Upper 20s, partly sunny. Windy with snow furries.

The purpose today was recovery. It was nice to just trot along with the only agenda to take it easy and get in the miles. Pretty cold out today and the run even began with a few snow flurries which was nice. Pretty windy out also, but since I was taking it easy, there were no worries about it slowing me down.

The Asics continue to live up to expectactions. They feel extremely comfortable and are pretty lightweight for trainers. I really love the fit. I've still yet to experience anything with them that would lead me to believe they are not the perfect shoe. Nice!

Tomorrow calls for another marathon pace workout. Normally I'd do it on Friday, but I have to drive up to Ellsworth for work on that day. I'm toying with the idea of camping out at Acadia National Park for a night since I'll be up there. Depends on what the weather does.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Gator-like Run

Ran 10.1 miles. 1.8 mile warmup + 7.0 miles @ 6:50/mile pace + 1.3 mile cooldown.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Weather: Upper 30s, sunny.

Today's run started out with accompanying two of the teachers I work with on a run around the pond. They are new to running, so it served as a good warm-up for me, and what sounded like a good first experience for them.

After they finished, I set out for 7 miles at my projected marathon pace, which is 7:10. Like on Saturday, I went way too fast, but it didn't start out that way. It reminded me of last night's game, and I saw a parallel there.

Rewind to last night...

Ohio State took the opening kickoff and ran it for a touchdown against my Florida Gators. It was an omnious start for my alma mater, but perhaps it upset the Gators and they used that energy to their own advantage. It would certainly appear so, seeing as they kicked the living crap of the Butteyes from then on and went on to win 41-14.

Fast forward back to this afternoon...

The run got off to a not so good start since I felt like I was struggling through the first mile and hit it at only 7:19. I wasn't too happy about that, so I set forward to make sure I picked up the pace and from then on, I was flying. Unfortunately, it was again too fast. That's not to say I won't benefit from it, but I'd just like to get a better sense of what 7:10/mile feels like as I think that'll help me for the marathon.

Mile 1: 7:19
Mile 2: 6:53
Mile 3: 6:59
Mile 4: 6:37
Mile 5: 6:47
Mile 6: 6:37
Mile 7: 6:38

On a positive note, the run actually felt easier as I went along. The miles just clicked by and while I can't say it was effortless, I can say that it was pretty easy to hold that pace. Still, 7:10 would better. After the MP workout was over, I cooled down with 1.3 miles. Definitely a good day.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

If the Shoe Fits...

Ran 10.2 miles @ 7:45/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: lower 40s. Sunny and breezy.

Today was the first run in my new running shoes, Asics GT-2120. They felt great from the time I tried them on at the store, and today's run confirmed that I have a pair of winners at least here in the very early onset. Normally I can tell after the first run if there are reasons the shoe isn't perfect. Can't say that about these pair.

I had intended for today to be a recovery run but it turned out to be more of a medium-pace. That's okay as tomorrow I'm doing part of my run with some friends who are just starting out, so that should help me put on the brakes.

Great day for a run. 25 degrees cooler than yesterday but still well above normal temperatures this time of year. Felt strong throughout.

Looking Ahead
I was considering doing a long run today, but opted not to do so. I cut today short to allow more gas in the tank for a 10-mile run at MP on Tuesday. I plan on doing a 7-mile MP on Friday, followed by a long run on Sunday. The other days will be general volume and recovery runs. That will also be the general plan for the rest of my time leading to the taper (4 weeks to taper, 7 weeks to marathon), a plan based on a suggestion by Andrew. I'm feeling pretty confident for a BQ (3:10:59 or less). I'm still going to have to really work my butt off in these next coming weeks though.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Need for Speed

Ran 11.7 miles. 10.0 miles @ 6:56/mile pace + 1.7 mile cooldown.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Weather: lower-mid 60s, light rain to start, partly cloudy to end.

Today was just what the doctor ordered. I set out with the goal of doing 10 miles at my goal marathon pace (7:10). Once again, I went a bit too fast. But the good news is I felt great. Granted, this has been a light week so my legs felt pretty fresh, but it was still very encouraging to know I could do today's run and it was almost easy.

Mile 1: 7:01
Mile 2: 6:41 (whoops)
Mile 3: 7:05
Mile 4: 6:58
Mile 5: 6:57
Mile 6: 6:50
Mile 7: 7:02
Mile 8: 7:01
Mile 9: 6:55
Mile 10: 6:52

It is also so absolutely unbelievably warm out that it's scary. I was wearing shorts and a singlet and was drenched in sweat after the run. At least winter is supposed to return in a few days.

But today's run was just what I needed mentally. I've felt like crap about my training this past week. Today helped give me the mental boost I was looking for.

Friday, January 05, 2007

My Name is Mud

Ran 6.2 miles @ ~8:30/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads. Muddy.
Very hilly.
Weather: 50 degrees. Overcast.

After taking The Cheat to the vet this afternoon, I headed out once again into the woods behind my house for a trail run. The extensive ice and snow coated sections from yesterday are now 100% gone, leaving thickets of mud in their place. This warm winter stuff is just downright bizarre, not to mention scary.

I was able to move at a good lick for a trail run. No wildlife sightings this time. That poor, all-white snowshoe hare I saw yesterday will probably have a tough time from hiding from the coyotes without any camouflage though.

This week has been pretty slack. Sure, I have what might be considered good excuses for not training as much, but they are just that: excuses. The fact that the week before that was pretty slack as well doesn't help much to calm my thinking.

I'm not going to beat myself up over it too much, as it won't do much good. But, the bottom line is there are only seven weeks left until my marathon. That's not a lot of time. During the past few months, I've built up some great mileage, doing more than I've ever done. That's good. But a lot still has to happen, mainly in getting in many more runs at marathon pace. I consider this to be absolutely crucial if I'm going to qualify for Boston.

Looking back, I knew the past two weeks were going to be crazy with the holidays and getting a new pet. Looking ahead, sure, life can throw curveballs, but there aren't any foreseeable obstacles that should greatly interfere with my training. It's time to focus during these final four weeks before the taper and get things done, pure and simple.

MP + LSD = BQ. That's the general plan.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Trail Mix

Ran 8.75 miles @ ~8:50/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads. Dry, icy and muddy.
Very hilly.
Weather: mid-40s dropping to low-40s.

Normally I run right from the school I teach at when I'm done, but today was different. The reason I didn't run yesterday was to make sure my new cat settled in okay after bringing him home. Today, I wanted to get home to make sure he was doing okay after his first day alone. He was, and after spending some time to check up on him, I was off in the woods behind my house to do a trail run. Here I wouldn't have to worry about rush hour "traffic" as the night approached.

The conditions ran the full gamut on the trails, complete with dry trails with rocks and roots as well as sections coated with ice, snow or mud. There were also a few stream crossings which were a bit challenging, but all part of the fun.

I took a few new trails this time, most notably once that went around the other side of the lake. Wow, what a treat! The trail was on a high section of land that intersected an icy bog on one side and the lake on the other. The sun was setting and the orange reflection on the lake was very impressive. I stopped to admire it for a few minutes, wishing I had my camera. But I continued on, and when nightfall had finally arrived, I decided to turn around and head home.

With my headlamp on the highest setting, I was able to make good time comfortably on the trails, and was able to pick up the pace on the fire road. I got a bit of a scare at one point as a white blur shot across the trail about 20 feet in front of me. It was a snowshoe hare, in a now full white coat.

Good run, and I had fun. I'll likely do something similar tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Because It's There

Ran 7.1 miles @ 7:42/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Weather: Mid-30s, sunny, windy.

Today's run was just kind of there. Nothing spectacular in terms of distance or speed. Wasn't feeling too good, so I just took it semi-easy and went at a moderate pace. Running tomorrow may be tough, unless I wake up early and do it then (which isn't terribly easy for me). However, with my legs feeling rested I plan on changing that the latter part of this week.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Body and Mind Were Willing...

... but the weather was not. Very icy and treacherous out there today so I nixed today's run. I nearly had Jackass-like fall down my front steps this morning when I went to check things out. Unfortunately, it never improved much.

So, with the boredom of today I calculated my running totals for the year. Looking back, it's nothing impressive. Despite that, I put out what I consider some respectable race times in 2006, but looking at just my mileage totals, I'm wondering how. Granted, I was doing faster runs with the smaller amounts of mileage, but I'm starting to see the benefits of putting in higher mileage totals, which I began mid-November. It only makes sense, given the marathon and ultramarathon schedule I want to do this year. And with that, I'm hoping 2007 blows last year out of the water.

Jan - 122.0
Feb - 119.2
Mar - 115.4
Apr - 70.6 (very sick)
May - 109.3
Jun - 98.8
Jul - 121.8
Aug - 163.6
Sep - 148.1
Oct - 112.4
Nov - 199.4
Dec - 279.9

2006 total - 1660.7 miles