Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Feet

I don't know what "trick or feet" really means. Anyway, another good run today. Went out with another fellow teacher today and ran at his pace. Bit warmer than yesterday and well above seasonal temps, but a cold front is supposed to push through tomorrow and bring us back down to normal.

Legs feel great. Knees are a bit achy, but I'm also well above 400 miles for my running shoes. I suspect it's from that. Time to get a new pair soon, and I will buy the same pair I have now, the Asics Kayano 13s. In short, they fit great and provide the perfect amount of overpronation support I need.

Probably will take the next two days off from running, as I have a big mountain run/hike planned for Saturday that will push me well over the weekly mileage limit I had set for myself.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 8:15/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 145/172
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Around 60 degrees, partly sunny.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Autumn Running

Another great day for a run, as the ideal weather continues to hold. Looks like it'll stay this way for the next week (at least as of now). No complaints here. At the same time, I'm looking forward to it getting even colder. Reading Andrew's post today only served to make me jealous.

I ran today with a co-worker at his pace for the first 4.7 miles, than I tacked on a couple of extra on my own at a little bit of a quicker jaunt. Felt good overall. Marathon recovery appears to be going well, and the heart rate data is supporting that. I felt like I was overly slacking last week, but in retrospect it was probably smart. As for this week, somewhere around 40 miles is what I'm shooting for (Mon-Sun schedule), and then I'll continue to build from there.

Ran 6.7 miles @ 8:15/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 143/165
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 50s, sunny, breezy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Back at 'Em

With cross country season over along with work and grad school commitments waning for the moment, I feel as if the proverbial huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders for now. Oh yeah, and now that the Red Sox have won the World Series (woohoo!!!!), it'll make going to bed earlier much easier. All of this is good timing, as the temperatures are very ideal and the extra time is needed to take advantage of the shrinking daylight as we approach the winter solstice. That will be even more of a factor after this weekend when the clocks fall back an hour.

So, it felt really good to hit the hilly roads near my school this afternoon. Sunny with temps in the mid-40s made wearing a long sleeve wicking shirt over a short sleeved one necessary. That felt great! However, it did take about three miles before my legs felt warmed up. Once they did, the run felt pretty easy and the pace began to pick up. A good step towards increasing the mileage again to get that base down, something I'm really looking forward to doing.

Below is a pic of Chuck and I working the finish line of the Bradbury Bruiser 12-mile Trail Race yesterday, taken by his wife Katy.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 7:38/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 151/172
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 40s, sunny, a bit breezy.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Helping Out at the Bradbury Bruiser Trail Race

I had the honor of helping out my running buds Ian and Stephen with the Bradbury Bruiser 12-mile Trail Race this morning. I'm happy to report that it was a big success. The comments from the runners were overwhelmingly positive after tackling this challenging course on a day with nearly perfect weather.

The goal of this race was to bring more trail races to Maine, as well as raise money for where the race was held, Bradbury Mountain State Park. Many trail races are in NH and VT, but in our great state the quantity is very small, despite having some of the best terrain and scenery there is to far. Rather than sit back and complain about it, Ian and Stephen have led the charge to change that. The good news is, the success of today's race was just the springboard. More are planned. It was nice to see the vast majority of the 100 or so runners in today race were Mainers, indicating that local runners are indeed interested in trail racing.

As for my duties, I worked the registration tables with my friends, Kate and Chuck, and once the race began, we worked the finish line. Chuck manned the stopwatch as I wrote down the place numbers and times, while Kate updated the results board. Our neighbor and friend, John, was also there to help call out the runners numbers as they approached, which was a huge help. It all went very smoothly and without a hitch, not to mention it being fun.

As for my own running, I look forward to beginning to ramp up my mileage this week. I'll take slow steps to getting there, but should be back up to those much loved 60-80 mile weeks again by Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Shorty Run

It's been a slack week for sure, and the excuses for that are many. Work meetings, grad school commitments, and the Red Sox in the World Series are all contributing factors. I really wish they'd schedule the games earlier! However, it is the second week of marathon recovery so I'm not going to beat myself up too much over it.

Got out today for a little jaunt around the neighborhood this afternoon. Very sunny with just a few high clouds in the sky, however that's supposed to change by tonight as a rain moves in and sticks around all day tomorrow. Hopefully there'll be some breaks.

Ran 2.9 miles @ 7:28/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 147/165
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid-upper 50s, sunny and breezy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tour of the Hills

I ran with a fellow teacher, Tom, today, who set a new PR distance for himself. We had originally planned on 7.1 miles, but when we were about three and a half miles into the run, I asked him if he thought he could run the 10.7 mile version of the route by Thanksgiving. He instantly said he wanted to do it now. Cool. He did great, and I ran at his pace with him throughout. Lots of killer hills on this course and he was definitely very stoked afterwards, which he should be.

Recovery continues to go well and everything is on track. Not going to rush anything, as there is no need to do so. However, I am looking forward to building up that base again. More miles = more fun.

Ran 10.7 miles @ 9:51/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 134/166
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 70s, very windy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bradbury Bruiser Preview

I had the pleasure of running the Bradbury Bruiser course this morning with Stephen, Ian, Blaine, and two other guys whose names I forget (sorry). The race is a week from today and those that are entered are in for a real treat. The course is challenging in that there aren't really any monster hills, but the constantly rolling terrain combined with the very technical trails really make it tough, but also a lot of fun. It's hard to go fast on this course and it's certainly a workout.

The run itself went well. I couldn't stop laughing at one point early in the run after Stephen's reaction to a particular item that made news headlines recently. Lighthearted banter continued throughout the run, as well as talk of preparations for the race next week.

Legs felt tired, but not bad until the last few miles. I wasn't hurting or anything, just couldn't go much faster on legs that were still recovering. I took a wrong turn at the end (this was before the course was marked!) and got in some bonus distance as a result.

Afterwards, we divided up parts of the course to help get it marked and ready. The work we did which included putting up colored flags, signs with arrows, and raking off the trails should really pay off. By the way, proceeds of the race are going to the park. It's a great place to run, hike, bike, car camp, bird watch, etc.. So if you're reading this and will be in town, or know someone who will be, please consider signing up. It'll no doubt be a great race and a fun time.

Ran 12.5 miles @ 9:46/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 148/171
Technical trails.
Very hilly.
Mid-upper 40s, sunny.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Looking Ahead

XC season will end either this weekend or the next, depending on regionals. I of course hope we advance. Until then, the timing is working out pretty nicely for recovery mode as I'm running the warm-ups and cool-downs with them. On a selfish note, I'm looking forward to having more time in the afternoons to concentrate on my own workouts once I'm recovered.

I'm leaning towards not running the Stonecat 50 next month. I'm just not motivated, pure and simple. I will be going down though to cheer on several friends who are running it though, and maybe volunteer as well.

But as for my own running, I would rather ease into building up a good base again over the fall and winter. I'm convinced that served me extremely well at the Vermont 100. It was just a matter of kicking off the rust after the knee surgery, but because that base was there, I was fine. That base also served me well at the Hyannis Marathon last February, despite my DNF. I just ran a stupid race, and it was own mind that beat me, not my legs.

On top of that, building up that base was a lot of fun. I really, really enjoyed clocking in 70-80 miles a week and am looking forward to getting to that point again. It felt more like running because it was fun, because the pace was always pretty easy. The miles would tick by while the mind wandered. It was quite pleasant.

So what's the base for? The Western States 100 in late June, if I'm picked in the lotto. If I'm not picked, I'll do the Massanutten 100 in late May instead. And then in July, I'd like to do the Vermont 100 again. There will also be some marathons and shorter ultras thrown in there as well, but I haven't decided which ones for sure yet.

Ran 1.3 miles @ 7:33/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 136/143
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, misting.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Short Day

Today's run was a loop around the pond with the XC team. Meant to go slower, but felt okay to go faster so I did so. Though it wasn't fast, the quicker pace did seem to help loosen up the muscles more so I was glad I did it. I think I needed it, as my right calf muscle cramped up out of nowhere during my morning class. That hurt. Drank more water after that and also followed up the run with some extra stretching. Good to go.

Ran 3.3 miles @ 7:30/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - N/A (remembered the strap, but forgot the Garmin)
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 60s, sunny.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Short Jaunt

First run after the marathon was a short one. Legs of course felt a bit sore, but nothing out of the norm which is good. I'm going to take my time with recovery and then I'll decide what's next in the relative short term. One thing is for certain, I'd like to build up a big base like I did last winter. XC season is winding down, so it'll be much easier to do that soon. I really enjoyed putting in those 70-80 mile weeks last year and would like to get to that point again. Difference is I'd like to do more on trails and depending on the snowfall, that could mean more XC skiing and also snowshoeing... both of which I enjoy immensely. I'd like to do two 100-milers this late spring and summer, and I want to run both strong. Lot's of prep work to do to get there.

Ran 1.5 miles @ 7:57/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - N/A (couldn't find the chest strap, but later found it in the back of my car)
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid-60s, sunny.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mt. Desert Island Marathon Race Report

To ask for a better weekend would probably be greedy, not to mention virtually impossible. I felt I ran smart and had a lot of fun in the process, and as a result I was very happy with my performance. And the good times didn't just start there. The drive up with Kate, spending the day before the race on the island followed by attending the pasta dinner with Andrew and Mike with their families and also Katy and some of her friends, and the drive back after the race all made for a very memorable weekend. Marc was also around, but unfortunately, our paths didn't manage to cross.

Kate and I left at 7am. The plan was to drive her to Bangor to drop her off at her folks house, and she would meet me at the marathon on Sunday and drive back down with me. She was great company on the drive up. We initiated a quest to find a new Tim Horton's other than the one in South Portland we already knew about. However, none were found immediately off any exits off the highways, so we finally settled for Dunkin' Donuts near Augusta.

We reached Bangor and when we were close to Kate's house, she asked if I had ever seen Stephen King's house. I hadn't, and was excited to check it out. We drove by it and I snapped a quick picture, not wanting to linger long out of respect, whether he's used to folks doing the same or not. I love King's books so it was a real treat to see where the living legend resided.

I dropped off Kate and met her father and then made the short drive over to the island, where my first stop was the race expo to get my bib number, timing chip, and all that jazz. My bib number was 50. Cool. I like round numbers. Last year I had 40. I took this as a good omen.

After that I secured my campsite at the Blackwoods Campground, about five or six miles outside of Bar Harbor. After getting my tent set up, I changed and went for a quick run from the campground and along the rugged coastline. I stopped a few time to take in the views and watch the waves crash ferociously into the rocks. Mt. Desert Island is truly one spectacular place. I love it there.

Stats for Saturday's run:

Ran 3.0 miles @ 7:28/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 145/169
Paved roads, some trails.
Very hilly.
Mid 50s, sunny.

After the run, I changed and went to Bar Harbor to get lunch and do some shopping. I ordered a sandwich at a deli and sat out in the courtyard to devour it. They actually messed up my order and I didn't mind as it was very good, but the counter guy came out and insisted on giving me my real sandwich and only charging me for one. I was hungry, and ate both.

Afterwards, I attempted to get some early Christmas shopping done, but I noticed the downtown was more crowded than usual for this time of year. What gives? Even with the nice weather and the leaves at their peak colors the crowds still seemed excessive. I made my way down to the waterfront where I saw two huge cruise ships docked about a quarter or half mile offshore, with several shuttle boats going to and fro to both. Ah, that's where all these people came from..

Went back to the campsite and took a nap and then headed out to the pasta dinner where I saw Andrew and his wife and daughters, Mike and his wife JoAnne, and Katy and two of her friends. The pasta dinner at this race is always good, but I found the meat sauce to be especially good this year, and had two huge helpings and was tempted to get a third. I also picked Andrew's brain on some ham radio stuff, a big hobby of his and something I've been wanting to get into recently.

The real treat of the evening was a speech by Joan Benoit Samuelson. I was impressed by her unassuming demeanor and sincere desire for everyone to do well at the race. She was a lot of fun to listen to and very generous to field several questions by the audience and she appeared happy to answer them while at the same time being very humble.

I returned to my campsite afterwards and slept very soundly that evening. Out like a light.

Sunday - Race Day
I arrived at the race at 6:45am, an hour and fifteen minutes before the start. I like getting to races early so I have plenty of time to make any last minute adjustments without stressing out about the time. I soon found Mike and Andrew, and we stayed warm in Andrew's hotel room until close to the start of the race (his hotel was right at the start line). Temps were a bit chilly in the lower-40s, but I decided on starting off in just a singlet and shorts.

I also found Kate and her father at the start line just before the race. She jokingly yelled to me "try to finish this time!" as I walked towards the starting field and I got a good laugh out of that. She was with me during my DNF at the Hyannis Marathon last February as a result of going out to fast. Hopefully it'll be a while before I make that mistake again and it was a good lesson learned.

Race Start
Like the Vermont 100, I didn't really feel nervous at all while waiting for the race to start. Again, and thankfully, the mindset of running smart, doing my best, and having fun was all I could do, so why worry? I had a soft goal of running 3:21, but if I needed to go slower to ensure a good finish, so be it. I took my position and BOOM!, the starting cannon went off and we began running.

The MDI course is extremely hilly. As a result, splits have the potential to vary considerably depending on whether you're going uphill or downhill. I knew I'd like to try to get in most of my splits in the 7:30s during the first half of the race, as slowing down in the even hillier second half (especially miles 21-25 which are insane) on tired legs is pretty much inevitable. Fortunately, hitting those splits in the beginning of the race felt comfortable and they seemed to tick along quickly and smoothly.

I reached the first major spectator point about nine miles into the race. I saw Kate and her Dad and they cheered me on, which was of course appreciated. The crowds in general are also amazing. They don't line every inch of the course like in major marathons, but when you see them at key spots, they are really cheering you on and makes it easy to hear people single you out. It's nice.

Onward and upward and downward and upward and downward... you get the point. Reached Northeast Harbor a few miles later where I saw Kate and her Dad again and yelled "I like turtles!". If you've seen that video on YouTube, you get it. I don't think anyone else in earshot did, but at least Kate laughed.

Reached the half-marathon mark at 1:39:40 and evaluated again how I was feeling. I really didn't have a heck of a lot in the bank for a 3:21 time, considering the even gnarlier second half. I started to feel some tiredness here, but not much. I still felt pretty strong and hoped it continue. Unless the wheels really fell off, I'd most likely still have a PR even if I didn't reach that 3:21 time. I was fine with that. I was having fun out there and that was all that mattered, and I was also running the way I wanted to run.

I reached mile 15, and from here for the next three miles is to me the most scenic. You run alongside the only fjord on the east coast of the U.S., and contrasted with the colorful changing leaves on the mountains on the other side, it is breathtaking. I enjoyed the views and reached the Gu station near mile 16. It reminded me that I hadn't taken any of the three Gu packets I had carried with me yet. I just didn't feel like I needed them, and perhaps alternating between water and Gatorade at the aid stations (spaced every two miles) had been enough for now.

Mental battle
Made the turn at the top of the fjord where I saw Kate and her Dad again. Could only muster a thumbs up to them at this point. Some big hills were ahead now, and they'd only get bigger. My pace was starting to slow into the 7:4os for the next handful of miles, and one split even reached 7:51. I also downed my first Gu here near mile 18, which seemed to help my energy. The race was also becoming a mind game now, the point where you dig deeper and direct all of your concentration and focus into keeping the speed up and blocking out the fatigue and pain in your muscles.

When I get to that state, I try to think of only positive thoughts. Upon reaching mile 20 and approaching the toughest uphill stretch, I told myself it was just about six miles and I envisioned a course I run from my house that's about the same length. Just have to run that much longer and do it strong and I'm done. That definitely helped. It was here that a gentleman informed me that I was in 5oth place. Crap! I wanted to place higher than that. Gotta move.

The Hills of Insanity
Mile 21, and the fun begins. Up, up and away for the next four miles, with only a few short downhill reprieves. My pace slowed considerably, but fortunately, so did everyone else's. Two people passed me over this stretch, but I passed a few more than that number. Man, my legs were burning. It took every ounce of mental energy I had to try and block it out. Saw a couple of runners here cramp up and were forced to slow down or stop. Felt bad for them, especially being pretty close to being done.

Final Stretch
Around mile 25 was a sight for sore eyes. The "Top of the Hill Restaurant". A big huge downhill here would lead to a slight uphill just before the finish line. I opened up my stride a bit and looked over my shoulder. Closest runner was about a hundred yards behind me, so no pressure there. About 50 yards ahead was a big pack of runners, but they were going the same pace I was on the downhill and I didn't think I'd be able to catch them.

As I approached the mile 26 marker, I noticed one guy from that pack beginning to fall behind. I slowly began to reel him in, and do so quietly. Shortly after mile 26, I made my move, and blew past the guy as fast I could to hopefully demoralize him a little in case he still had a kick. Fortunately, I only heard his footsteps growing fainter behind me, and I was glad I passed him as I later found out he was in my age group.

Finish line in sight and I crossed the line, tired and with a big smile on face. I finished in 3:21:37, and couldn't have been happier. I broke my old marathon PR by more than six minutes! Cool.

Waited for the others to finish and exchanged congrats. Katy got a BQ. Mike ran a great race considering he had run a marathon just three weeks ago. Andrew also did great, considering his recent bout with injuries. Those two weren't in their usual top forms as a result, but they still appeared to have fun nonetheless. Great job everyone! Thanks for being part of a fantastic and memorable weekend.

Time: 3:21:37
Overall placing: 43 out of 669
Age group placing (35-39): 6 out of 31
Ran 26.2 miles @ 7:41/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 159/175
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 40s to lower 50s, partly sunny.
Behind the back water cup tosses in the trash: 1 for 11 (way worse than last year's 4 for 12)

Link to race results

Mile splits:
1: 7:35
2: 7:43
3: 7:37
4: 7:29
5: 7:33
6: 7:29
7: 7:34
8: 7:36
9: 7:41
10: 7:41
11: 7:37
12: 7:42
13: 7:28
13.1 time = 1:39:40
14: 7:41
15 & 16: 15:26 (forgot to hit lap button, average pace of 7:43/mile)
17: 7:51
18: 7:44
19: 7:48
20: 7:44
21: 7:53
22: 7:57
23: 7:52
24: 8:11
25: 7:36
26: 7:32
last .2: 6:38/mile pace
+2:17 second half positive split

Pics taken by Kate and her father:

I like turtles.

Somewhere along the course

Around mile 18
Just past mile 20

Approaching the finish

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Pre-Marathon Thoughts

The legs continue to feel fresh and the speed on shorter distances over the past few months has been pretty effortless. I'm hoping that will combine nicely with the aerobic base I'm still riding from the Vermont 100. We'll see. My training hasn't been marathon specific over the past several months, so I'm not expecting a lot. My attitude is pretty nonchalant towards Sunday, and I just want to have fun out there.

That being said, I do have goals, but they are soft goals. 3:21:00 would be nice, which is a 7:40/pace. That would set a new marathon PR by almost seven minutes. That sounds like a lot, but when you consider that I set my current PR last year (3:27:58) during the same race and three weeks after running a 50-miler, it's reasonable. The reason I PR'd then on tired legs is because my older PR was set when I was still relatively new to marathons and ultras and didn't have the base that I do now.

If I don't get 3:21:00? I honestly don't care much. I really don't. This is not to say I'm not motivated to do well on Sunday. I'm going to give it my best. If I feel I can press down on the gas faster, I will. If I feel I'm having a not-so-good day, I'll slow it down to ensure a finish I can be pretty happy with.

As for today, just a quick jaunt with the XC team. Workout was broken up in quarter mile intervals, so that made the pace easier. I took it easy, while the team sped ahead. Won't be able to run tomorrow since I have grad school, or Friday since we have a XC meet. Good opportunity to put the final touches on resting up. Looking forward to the race.

Ran 2.2 miles @ 7:07/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - N/A (data skewed from running in intervals)
Paved roads and trails.
Moderately hilly.
Mid-upper 50s, overcast.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Countdown is On

Marathon is five days away and counting. Legs are feeling pretty good and raring to go. Looking forward to hopefully putting on a good performance on Sunday. Today's run was the warm-up and cool-down with the XC team. Probably went too fast today, but so be it. At least I didn't join the team for their mile repeats.

Ran 4.3 miles @ 6:57/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 50s, mostly cloudy.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Those Crazy Marathoners

I had misunderstood Stephen a few nights ago when he asked me if I wanted to run the Maine Marathon course on Sunday. I had thought the race was on Saturday, and thought he meant he was going to run the course on Sunday as a training run. But Stephen clarified it to me yesterday and the race was today, and he and our friend James had decided last minute to enter and run. Not that it really mattered as I wouldn't have anyway, since I have my own marathon next weekend up on Mt. Desert Island, but I was amazed at their decision and pumped for them to do well. In their typical fashion, they were non-chalant about it and just wanted to go out and have fun. Also in their typical fashion, they did fantastic, with both finishing in under 3:20 (I think, race results aren't posted at the time of this writing) and making it look easy. Congrats guys! I had fun rooting them on along with Stephen's wife Kellh and their two adorable kids. We drove to various points along the course to see them and it was a real treat to cheer them and the other runners on.

A few hours later, I did my own little run on one of the many hilly routes from my home. Felt good and the pace came along relatively easy. Was pleased with my heart rate at the pace I did. Kept telling myself to slow down but it didn't do much good. Went faster than I would have liked, but given the low mileage last week I'm far from concerned about it. Also, great weather today, as a cold front has pushed through and close to seasonal temperatures have returned and it appears they'll be around for a while.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:13/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 155/173
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Mid-60s, sunny.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Morning Trail Run at Bradbury

I have two alarm clocks, and both are quite reliable. One plays the local sport station. The other bats me in the face until I wake up. The latter started at the usual 4am, and I woke to see the usual dark silhouette of The Cheat (my cat) staring at me from less than a foot away. Bap, bap, bap, bap. He does it again, only instead of ducking under the protection of my covers for another hour, I crawl out of bed and immediately walk into my computer room to check on something in progress when I went to bed. Sweet, the Red Sox won.

After downing some coffee and a quick breakfast, I was on the road to meet with Stephen to get in some miles on the trails at Bradbury Mountain State Park, which will be the home of the Bradbury Bruiser 12-mile race in a few weeks.

As we were getting ready in the parking lot, I tucked my car key inside the gas lid cover, only to find that it fell down in an area just out of reach. Crap, I thought for sure I was going to have to ask Stephen to drive me all the way home and back to get my spare, but after several anxious minutes, I finally finagled it loose and retrieved it. Whew. Probably should just carry it with me anyway, so I think I'll do that for now on.

We headed out as the sun was in the very early stages of rising, and it was still quite dark. But with each passing minute, we had more light and picked up the pace, albeit very slightly. Going fast here is difficult. The trails are very technical, full of rocks and roots that make running feel more like a game of Dance Dance Revolution at times. And the constantly winding trails and rollercoaster-like hills definitely make it a fun place to run. I hadn't been here in a while, so I relished it.

Stephen and I enjoyed our usual gambit of entertaining conversations which ranged from running, hunting, races, and several dozen other topics. Perhaps that contributed to taking wrong turns here or there. Several times, the following conversation took place:

Stephen: "Hold on, we shouldn't be here. Let me check the map, sorry about that."

Me: "Don't apologize. We're in the woods. We're running. That's all that matters."

Conversation resumes for 10 minutes, and then...


It was pretty funny. Stephen's orienteering skills are actually top-notch, but given our yakking, it was early and dark, the fact that the trails are so technical that if you take your eyes off of them for one second there's a good chance you'll tumble (we both fell twice), and the leaves obscured the paths, it seemed pretty easy to become a little misplaced. For the record, the race will be a different story. No doubt the course will be very well marked.

We ended up getting in over nine miles which suited me fine. My legs felt fresh and I continue to feel good about the MDI Marathon a week from tomorrow. Speaking of marathons, Stephen, and our Vermont 100 partner in crime, James, will both be running the Maine Marathon in Portland tomorrow. I look forward to heading over to cheer them on.

Ran 9.7 miles @ 9:29/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 130/154
Technical trails.
Very hilly.
50 degrees, sunny.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hot and Short

The "normal" high temperature for today should be 62 degrees. Today, it got to 80. Opted to only run the warm up and cool down with the XC team today, and chose not to extend my run afterwards even though we finished early. I did this in protest of the hot weather. It's my own little way of sticking it to the man.

Ran 1.3 miles @ 7:01/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
80 degrees, sunny.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Four For Me & Race Reports

Not much to write about with my run today. Four miles total that includes 6 X 800M on trails at a tempo pace and also a short warm up and cool down. The XC team went out faster, but I resisted the urge to chase them and went at an easier pace. No need to peel rubber with the marathon just a week and a half away.

My friend Chuck, who paced for me at the Vermont 100, conquered his first 50-miler this past weekend at the Vermont 50 in grand fashion. And, the amazing part, he did it wearing only Vibram 5-fingers!!!! Check out his report here.

And another friend, Stephen, who also ran the Vermont 100 finally got his race report in order and posted it on his blog. It was his first 100 also, and with a 16th place finish, it's obvious the dude has talent. He also has great storytelling skills, as you'll see in his report. Well worth the wait!

Ran 4.0 miles @ 7:06/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - data skewed with the 2:00 of rest between intervals.
Paved roads and trails.
Moderately hilly.
70 degrees, humid, sunny.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Woohoo, Mile PR!

The XC team was set to do time trial runs between 2-5 miles today, but I thought I'd join them for the first mile to see if could set a new PR for myself. I'd need to break 5:41 to do so, and thought I could. So after a two mile warm-up, I set off with those speedy little whipper-snappers and broke my old record by :10 seconds, finishing in 5:31. Hilly mile also. That time is of course nothing for many of the kids on our team though. It is humbling doing speed workouts with those guys, but I'll take that PR with no problem!

Ran a cool down a little less than two miles and called it a day. Good run.

Warmup - 2.1 miles @ 7:09/mile pace.
Mile - 1.0 mile in 5:31
Cooldown - 1.8 miles @ 7:51/mile pace.
AHR/MHR for the mile - 164/171
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 50s, sunny.