Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bradbury Mountain

Great run today with most of the soreness from last weekend gone. Met up with the almighty Stephen a little after 6am to get in a few extra miles before meeting up with Ian, Emma, James and Jim at 7am for the rest of the run. Stephen and I went over some more plans for Western States as a light to moderate rain fell. By the time we met up with the others, the rain had stopped.

A lot of fun was had a little after midway into the run when we were flying on a downhill, and we were challenging each other on taking the lead. Ian pulled a nice shenanigan by telling us to turn left when it was really a right turn and he pulled ahead. Figures he'd do that when I was actually in the lead for once. :-)

Trails here are great, very technical and a lot of fun. This seems like a good time to plug a series of races Ian has organized at the park. A six, nine and 12 mile race are on the horizon. Check out this link for more information. No doubt it will be a fun and challenging time for all the runners!

Ran 12.1 miles @ 9:38/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 142/170
Trails (technical).
Extremely hilly.
Lower 50s, light to moderate rain ending, overcast.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Some Pineland Farms Pictures

Stephen's wife, Kelly, took some pictures of us at the race last Sunday. Stephen also wrote up an excellent report on his blog. Check it out, it's a great read. I'm still in awe of his placing, and he wasn't even getting in a ton of mileage prior to the race. This guy is a demon and I'm lucky to have him pacing me at Western States. I will be in great hands since he's a good friend who knows me well and his athleticism is amazing.

Emma and I:

Emma, Ian and I:
Me one second away from crossing the finish line in 8:33:41:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Second Day Socks

As planned, a short trail run today. Legs are continuing to recover very well from last weekend. I tested out the Inov-8 Debrisock 38s again today. They didn't feel as overly "warm" as yesterday, despite temperatures that were at least 10 degrees warmer than yesterday. They felt quite comfortable, in fact. Two thumbs up for sure.

And yes, this was the same pair of socks that I wore during my run yesterday. Not cleaned. I do this quite often. I can imagine this might seem gross to many people. Perhaps it is, but I also think there is a benefit to doing this. I believe that slightly dirty socks can help build up callouses and help prevent blisters. While the real key to blister prevention is a pair of shoes that fit well, I think the dirty socks do help. I'm not talking totally caked on mud and drenched in sweat dirty... just slightly used dirty. It's not so bad. Then again, maybe stuff like this is why I'm still single.

Ran 4.9 miles @ 8:50/mile pace
AHR/MHR - 144/161
Trails (technical) and some dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 70s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recovery Run/Inov-8 Debrisock 38

Went out with a co-worker today to hit some of the trails near the school. We sandwiched two technical sections before and after a much smoother old railroad bed. Legs still feel a bit sore from Sunday, but I felt much better today than I thought I would, even going longer than the five miles I had originally planned on doing. A good sign for sure. This was also the first time trail running for my friend Tom. He really enjoyed it.

Plan is still to take it easy this week. Will hit it harder next week, but probably not quite full force (long run at night still planned though). Then I'll begin my three week taper for the Western States. Man, it's so close now. Everything is looking pretty good though. Much of the hay is already in the barn. I'll outline a few more details on my gameplan for that race sometime this week.

Today's run also gave me a chance to test out the Inov-8 Debrisock 38 socks that were given to the 50-miler finishers last weekend. Basically they're socks with built in gaiters to keep out sand, rocks, and other debris. Pretty ingenious idea. They also felt very comfortable. They did feel pretty warm though, so I'm wondering if they'll still be okay on hotter days. A few more test runs will determine that. Regardless, definitely a great product.

Ran 7.4 miles @ 9:33/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 130/152
Moderately hilly.
Mid-upper 60s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pineland Farms 50-Mile Race Report

First off, I had a great race. Really great. I didn't expect to do this well and feel this strong. I was anticipating around a 9 1/2 to 10 hour finish because of last weekend's run pacing James, but I ended up finishing in 8:33:41 and coming in 15th place.

I'd be remiss to not mention that my friend Emma "Gnarls" Barclay was a huge help. I ran the first 45 miles with her, before urging her to press on since she looked so good and I was hitting a low point. Her company was most welcome and we really had a blast out there. I seriously wouldn't have ran that fast if it wasn't for her. She was awesome! Thanks Emma.

Okay, the details:

About the Race
The 50-mile course consisted of us running a loop around 3.5 miles long, then continuing on to run the standard 25K loop three times. The trails dart through the woods and along hay fields, the latter of which you are exposed to the sun and can get quite hot. The terrain is like a rollercoaster, constantly rolling with no flat spots, however there really aren't any dramatically long or steep climbs or drops. As far as ultras go, it's a relatively fast course. That's not to say it's not challenging though. Those rollercoaster hills can take a toll on you, and when you feel the heat in those hay fields, it can drain you. The difference in temperature between the woods and the fields felt pretty dramatic.

Fast Start
At 6am, we were off. Emma, Stephen, Chuck and I ran the first few miles together. We went out fast, which was easy to do with a lot of downhills in the first several miles. Chuck and Stephen eventually took off, and Emma and I were left leading a peloton of about a half a dozen other runners. We made it clear if anyone wanted to pass to go ahead, but I guess they liked our pace.

Eventually Emma and I pulled ahead, but one younger fellow, Dale came with us and we got to chatting with him. Very nice guy, and this was his first ultra. He had a lot of questions about the sport, and I answered what I could, but I'm definitely far from an expert. He eventually fell behind and it was just Emma and I from then to near the end.

Around 15 miles in, I noticed my legs becoming fatigued early, no doubt from last weekend. This worried me for a few miles. Fortunately, they never really became more fatigued. Just kind of stayed the same level of soreness and I was happy to find out I could still press on. Perhaps it was more mental than physical?

Oak Hill Aid Station and Mountain Dew
This aid station was a real treat for me, since three friends were manning it: James, Jeff and Heather. Good point to have it, because this one is after some tough sections. Emma and I downed the magical ultra elixer known as Mountain Dew, which really picked both of us up. By far my favorite ultra drink. Once the sugar rush ends, the caffeine kicks in. My stomach also handles it very well. In fact, my stomach was gurgling prior to the first cup of Mountain Dew but after drinking it, it was all systems normal.

Second Lap (18 or so miles in)
Emma and I both continued to feel great and were moving along constantly. If I remember correctly, it was from around here on out that nobody passed us. We picked off a few runners as we moseyed along, but they eventually became sparser as the race went on, as expected.

Oklahoma and Nebraska
The 50K race had now begun (two normal loops, started at 8am) and we were beginning to see some runners from that race. Emma and I then came up with a pretty clever way to communicate to each other. Rather than say to one another, "I think that runner ahead of us is a 50M runner" or "I think that guy across the field is a 50K runner", we would refer to the 50M runners as "Oklahoma" and the 50K runners as "Nebraska". This was great. We could just point and say "Oklahoma?" and answer yes or no. Plus, nobody knew what the heck we were talking about if they were in earshot of us, which was a nice bonus.

Low Point
I hit a low point around mile 27. Just had trouble moving as fast. I told Emma to move on if she wanted to, but she said the pace was still fine. To no surprise, after downing some Mountain Dew a few miles later, I sprang back to life and was feeling great once again, and we picked off another runner.

50K Mark
I remember us hitting the 50K mark in roughly 5:07. New PR for me for that distance (which shouldn't have been hard to break to begin with, of the three I've done, one was my first ultra and the other two I wasn't really racing), but I won't officially count it in my own stats since this wasn't a race of that distance. Still feeling great here. I began to realize that a sub-9 hour time was quite possible, and thought that'd be sweet.

Though feeling good and moving good, our conversation was minimal at this point. I need to get in a mental zone at these points and do all I can to focus on blocking out pain and moving forward the best I can, and I don't have the brain capacity to hold conversations that can't be answered in grunts.

Mile 40
Countdown to the finish was now in single digit miles, which always feels great. We picked off our final runner of the day here, and though we were both tired, we were still moving. We knew a sub-9 hour was in the bag at this point, barring something major.

Go Emma Go!
Shortly after mile 45, Dora joined us to run in the last five. Unfortunately, I was having some weird side stitch issues and was having trouble keeping up. Emma, however, looked great and was moving faster. I urged her and Dora to go on without me, not wanting to hold them up. There was some hesitancy on their part, but I insisted, and was glad they obliged since I would have felt really bad slowing them up.

I moved on, and about a mile later I was feeling well again. Funny how these little aches and pains can come and go, and I was grateful this one also went. Enjoyed the long downhill here, moving along pretty good. When I reached the Oak Hill aid station, a new shift had come on and James, Jeff and Heather were gone. Ah, bummer. Oh well, less than three miles to go.

Final Stretch and Finish
Reached the last hay field which I'd circumnavigate for around a mile and then reach the finish. Towards the end of the field, Dora came back after running Emma in and asked if I'd like some company for the final stretch and of course I said yes.

We soon rounded the corner and the finish line was in sight. I took off my water belt and tossed it high up in the air and sprinted the final 100 yards to the finish with a smile on my face. Man, if you told me I was going to run this in 8:33 the day before the race, I definitely would have laughed at you. Very stoked.

The race set a new 50-mile PR for me by about an 1 hour and 23 minutes. Granted, the previous PR was on a harder course and when I was still getting into ultras (not that I'm a veteran), but still, shattering that time like that felt great.

The Others
Emma went on to finish five minutes ahead of me and won first in her age group. Stephen finished around 7:50 and won his age group as well. Congrats guys! Well done. Chuck, unfortunately, DNF'd after mashing up his feet from wearing Vibram Five Fingers.

Thanks Ian, Erik and Phil
Big thanks to these guys for putting on yet another killer and hugely successful race. Proud to know them. Ian and Erik (along with Stephen, Chuck and I) are running the Vermont 100 this year, and it will be fun doing it with them.

Other Race Notes
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches continued to work well for me during the race. So did orange slices, gumdrops, red licorice, and gummy bears. I don't think I ate much else. Drank either diluted Gatorade or water throughout, supplemented with tried and true S! Caps every hour.

- Was glad I opted to use my Nathan double water bottle carrier for this race. I had considered wearing my single. I was drinking a lot in the final loop when it was quite hot. I drink a lot anyway, so the single bottle probably wouldn't have been enough.

- Was glad I shaved my head bald before the race. Helped keep me cool and it felt awesome dumping cold water over my head at the aid stations. Glad I also remembered to use sunblock.

- Speaking of aid stations, Emma and I did a great job of moving in and out of them very quickly and never lingering longer than needed.

- Great finisher swag, included a 50M finisher pint glass, Inov-8 gaiter socks, and of course, the almighty gold cowbell (50K runners get a silver one). The free Ipswich Ale and variety of food at the finish was also fantastic.


Overall time: 8:33:41
Place: 15th out of 59 finishers
Ran 50.0 miles @ 10:16/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Lower 40s climbing to lower-mid 70s, sunny.
Shorts, sleeveless shirt, Moeben sleeves (morning)

I'll post pictures once I have access. But here's the gold cowbell, which is now hanging proudly on the side of the stairs:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pre-Race Jot

Just a quick two this evening. Legs feel well rested after last weekend, which is good. However, what can one really gauge in two measly miles?

Still, I suspect I'll do relatively well on Sunday for the 50-miler at Pineland. I have mixed feelings going into the race... Overall, I see it as a big stepping stone in training for next month's Western States. But I also view it more than just a training run, as I do care about my time somewhat. But I'm also not putting any real pressure on myself and there are no real goals that are worth stating. It will be a fun time though.

Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:02/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 152/165
Slightly hilly.
Upper 50s, overcast.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Looking Ahead

Just a short three miles this afternoon, which is part of my plan of light running this week to maximize recovery from last weekend and be as rested as possible for the Pineland Farms 50-miler this Sunday. I'd like to do well, but also realize I won't be quite 100%. So, I'm keeping my expectations somewhat low. Only real goal is to do my best and let the chips lie where they may.

This weekend's race along with last weekend's pacing of James are serving as key building blocks in my training for the Western States 100 next month. I do have some specific goals for that, but I'll post those later (probably will encode them out of superstition). In the meantime, everything is looking very well. After this weekend's race, I will have a recovery week followed by a heavier week, then it'll be time to taper down for the big show.

Ran 3.0 miles @ 7:36/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 152/170
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, partly sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pacing James at the Massanutten 100

First off, a huge congratulations to my friend James Demer for his seventh place finish at the 2008 Massanutten 100. It was a real honor to be his pacer and part of his crew, not to mention a thrill especially given his top ten placing in one of the harder 100-milers out there. He really rocked it! Here's how it went:

At 5am, the runners were off with their headlamps glaring. No air horn, no starting pistol. Just the race director yelling "Get out of here!" when it was time. We watched the 156 or so runners turn the corner on the road towards the mountainous trails of the Shenandoah Valley.

The plan was for me to help crew James until it was time to pace him. I joined his father, John, stepmother, Marsha, his wife, Sarah, and his daughter, Ava for this task. All great folks and a lot of fun to hang out with while waiting for James to come in to an aid station, get him what he needs, and get him back on the trails quickly. Repeat.

James was looking very strong coming into each station, smiling at each one and in great spirits and looking very strong. He was, however, also very focused. He was passing more and more people. He didn't show signs of getting tired until the aid station at mile 48, but so did every runner we saw. Nothing out of the ordinary and he was going strong and still positive.

This aid station at mile 48 was also the same aid station at mile 58.2, somewhat unique in that they ran a rugged 10.2 mile out and back from here, meaning crews can just stay put for a while until they come back. I got in a nap here while waiting, as after he left this station for the second time, it'd be time to pace him at the next one.

James at 16 64.9 - Time to Pace
James would be coming through the aid station at 64.9 mile aid station at any moment now. I had all my stuff together to pace him from here to the finish and was ready to go. A runner who had come in about 15 minutes or so ahead of him and was actually looking pretty good decided to drop. He told his would-be pacer that his heart was no longer in it. I had hoped his pacer and crew would have done more to talk him out of it. No such luck. I don't know the full story obviously, but it sounded like the guy was just at a really low point. I hope he isn't later regretting his decision.

Soon after, James came into the aid station a few minutes after 7pm looking great. With that one runner dropping, he was now in eighth place when we headed out and the runners were spread out pretty well overall, increasing the chance that his position wouldn't move much. Given James' energy level, it seemed a top ten finish was very likely, but of course anything can happen with over 35 miles to go in the race (course is actually 101.8 miles) with some of the hardest sections yet to come and to be done at night.

We were off, and made the infamous climb up Short Hill. Fortunately for us, the climb was still done under plenty of light while the sun was starting to set. My friend Sue has run (and was first woman for) this race a few times, and she told us this particular climb and the subsequent traverse is tougher in the dark, so we were happy to at least get the climb in the daylight. I was amazed at how quickly James was able to push up the mountain and also hold a fluent conversation as if we were merely sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee back home.

As we traversed the ridge, nightfall had descended. We had views of the lights from the towns below along either direction. The ridge traverse was several miles long and we wouldn't reach the next aid station until miles 75.9.

We waited to hear the infamous whip-poor-wills that inhabit the area in great numbers. We saw them before we were heard them. We saw a few sitting right smack dab in the middle of the trail. One scared the crap out of me, taking off only when we were a dozen feet away. It's eyes glowed red from the light of my headlamp, making it look like a little winged demon as it took off.

Chasing Amy
Along the ridge, we caught up with the first woman, Amy Sproston. We exchanged friendly hellos and slowly passed her. Worth noting that I chit-chatted with her a few times after the race. Very nice and down to earth person, and very deserving of her first place finish.

Shortly after this, James began to have a bit of a low point. What I was impressed with was that it didn't really slow him down much. He still moved at a good lick over the rocky terrain. You could only really tell in his voice that he was at a low point. I did my best to feed him positive energy and told him he still looked great and was still moving pretty fast. In my limited experience, I get the impression that this is said often and not meant in ultras. It's the right thing to do. In this case, however, it really was true.

Edinburg Gap
We approached the Edinburg Gap aid station at mile 75.9. James had expressed before that he was hungry and wanted to sit down for a few minutes and eat. The fact that he was hungry this late in the race was a good sign. It meant his digestive system was still working well, and hopefully would quickly convert the fuel to energy. We trucked in and James sat down and had some soup. Three minutes later, Amy flew in and left the aid station while we were still there. I thought that I'd give James another few minutes before urging him to get going. I didn't need to. He was ready to go and we were off. Our time spent here was less than expected.

Whip-Poor-Wills of Death
We began a more gradual ascent up the next ridge. James was starting to feel better and it showed in his voice and in his pace. We made it up the ridge with no problem and began another traverse. It was a little after midnight and we began to hear our first of many whip-poor-wills. This would go non-stop until the next aid station. I've heard others who have done this race before describe it as maddening, like a form of Chinese water torture. We enjoyed it though.

We caught up with Amy and passed her again, once again exchanging greetings. We mused that she had first woman in the bag, which was awesome.

James continued to look strong and was moving great. In the distance, we saw the sky illuminated with flashes of lightning, but never heard the thunder. We did feel the rain though. And the wind. Man, did it blow hard. Fortunately it passed through quickly. Never getting soaked, we dried off quickly. Eventually we were descending and came to the Woodstock Tower aid station at mile 84.1.

More Rocks
The next aid station would be Powell's Fort at mile 89.3. The section leading up to that didn't feature any huge climbs, but lots of rocks. James wanted to hold seventh place, so we focused on keeping up as best of a pace as possible to avoid anyone passing us.

There was a sharp descent before reaching Powell's Fort though. I remember being in awe of James as he flew down this rocky, technical section. He is one of the fastest I've seen on sections like this. I seriously had trouble keeping up with him. Amazing, especially at this late stage in the race.

The Field Mouse is Fast, but the Owl Sees at Night
As friendly as everyone was at this aid station (and all of them for that matter), we just refilled our water bottles and wasted no time getting the heck out of there. The next few miles were actually on dirt roads, which were very rare on this course.

About ten minutes after leaving the aid station, we could hear the volunteers there cheering loudly. Obviously another runner was coming through and not far behind. We kept up the pace and the long dirt roads allowed us to see far behind and in front of us at times. We vowed to turn off our headlamps whenever turning around to see if we could see the runner behind us. We didn't want to let him/her know we were on the lookout. We never did see anyone though. At least not yet.

Five Miles to Go
Another quick in and out of the final aid station at Elizabeth Furnace, and we were off on the final climb, which would lead to a final downhill to the finish. We powered up switchbacks of the final mountain and were a good way up until I noticed something. I looked down and could see the headlamps of another runner and his pacer! Crap! They were still several minutes behind us, but we had to pick it up. James immediately suggested we shut our headlamps off, hoping they hadn't seen us yet and we didn't want them to know they were close to us. We did that, as the morning light was just enough to move along safely.

We crested the top and soon discovered the trail down was a huge treat... it had hardly any rocks or roots! As a result, we flew down. We really booked it hardcore. Once again, I had trouble keeping up with James. Jeez, the guy is 97 miles into a race and still flyin'!

We joined the road which was a good sign, as it meant we were close to the finish. A short path back into the woods brought us to the open field we would traverse to the finish line, visible in the distance. Nice! We ran into the finish, James earning his seventh place finish in 25:23:50.

James Rocks
I can't say enough nice things about James. A huge thanks to James for allowing me the honor to pace for him. A huge thanks to his family for allowing me to stay with them at the chalet they rented at the race start and finish and feeding me as well. It was a real thrill to help someone get a top 10 finish, especially on a course as hard as this one. It's a great thing to happen to a great guy like James. I am really, really stoked for him.

On a selfish note, the benefits were numerous for me as well. Not only did I have a blast, but I got in a great training run, close to 37 miles at night in some pretty rugged mountains. It was a great preview of a course that I hope to run myself next year. I was also able to pick the brains of many who had run the Western States 100 before and got some valuable insight as a result.

James' stats:
Placing: 7th out of 156 starters (55 runners DNF'd).
Overall time: 25:23:30
Distance: 101.8 miles
Elevation: 19,200' gain, 19,200' loss.
Overall pace: 14:58/mile

My stats:
Ran 36.9 miles @ 18:09/mile pace.
Rugged trails, some dirt roads.
Insanely hilly.
Mid 60s to lower 50s, some rain, some clear skies.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt, Moeben sleeves.

James (red shirt) early on in the race (photo courtesy of Anstr Davidson):


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Game Time

A quick three this morning just to keep the legs remembering. Next week will be similar with the low mileage during the work week to rest up from pacing James at Massanutten, and I'm running the 50-mile option at Pineland Farms over Memorial Day Weekend. Then it's a quick rest followed by a few more long runs, and then taper time for Western States!

Speaking of Western States, looks like they've assigned the bib numbers. 86 is feeling pretty lucky!

Ran 3.0 miles @ 7:54/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 4os, cloudy.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Coasting In

Just a short run today to keep the wheels from getting squeaky. I continue to grow even more excited to pace James at the Massanutten 100 this Saturday. Think how he must feel!

Ran 4.0 miles @ 8:27/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 136/157
Paved roads, some trails.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 60s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pineland Farms Video

I shot and edited some footage from last year's Pineland Farms ultra. I had a lot of fun putting it together, hope you enjoy it!

Recovery Run

Given that my right calf muscle cramped up hard into a ball yesterday afternoon and was still tight this morning, this was definitely a recovery run. Man, that hurt! Took it easy and as expected, by the end of the run the tightness was gone.

This week will be very light so I can be fresh for my pacing duties next weekend.

Ran 4.7 miles @ 9:24/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 134/158.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Plethora of Runners

Wow, we had a whopping 17 people at our trail run this morning at Pineland Farms! A lot of new faces along with the regulars, which was fantastic. I won't even try to list everyone's names, but it was a fun group.

Stephen and I, however, started off alone at 5am as the sun had already begun to rise and the light was plenty. We got in 10 miles before meeting up with the others at the parking lot at 7am. From their our mob headed out together on the trails but eventually spaced out.

James was also there, my friend that I'm pacing at the Massanutten 100 next weekend. Ran a lot of the second half of the run with him and Stephen, discussing race plans. I'm really looking forward to pacing James as much as if I was entering the race myself! He's going to do awesome, and it'll be fun doing my best to help him out. He wants me to be a drill sargent out there, so that's what he's going to get!

Ran 21.3 miles @ 9:02/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 142/169
Very hilly.
Mid 40s to lower 50s, mostly cloudy.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt, Moeben sleeves (morning).

A plethora? :-)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

One of Those Runs

Bathed in a chemical cocktail of sunscreen and bug repellent, I was out the door and on to the trails as the temperature climbed close to 80 degrees. I felt strong from the beginning and never let up. No doubt the result of a rest day yesterday and a very light day before that, combined with lowering the mileage lately as I'm in a light taper.

I cruised along the trails, dancing around and on top of the rocks with ease. The uphills seemed like mere speed bumps, and running the downhills felt like flying. It simply felt great. Was very happy with my pace given the technicality and hills of this route. And I wasn't even really pushing it.

Opted to leave the HR monitor off, since I was running shirtless and didn't want the strap soaked in a sweaty mix of bug dope and sunscreen.

Ran 7.5 miles @ 8:33/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Upper 70s, partly cloudy.
Shorts, hat.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mt. Abbott

Just a short and sweet run today up Abbott Mountain (1063'). Never been here before and it's only about 20-25 minutes away from my house, so the purpose was more to just check it out. Nice area with amazing views at the top. I'll definitely come back here to run again soon.

Ran 2.8 miles @ 12:17/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 133/158
Rugged trails.
Extremely hilly.
Mid 70s, partly cloudy.
Shorts, sleeveless shirt.

Monday, May 05, 2008


I'm in a weird sort of period with my training now. I'll be easing up on the mileage over the next two weeks so I'll have fresh legs to pace my friend James at the Massanutten 100. This race is somewhat unique in that it allows pacers not at a certain checkpoint, but at a certain time which is at 6pm... 13 hours into the race. You still have to meet up with your runner at an aid station after that time. Hard to guess how many miles I'll be doing but I'm thinking it'll be around 40 miles or so.

After that, I'll run the 50-mile race at Pineland Farms a week later on May 25. I anticipate having a pretty good race, even with pacing James and the somewhat unorthodox taper. This all fits in nicely with my training as five weeks later is the big show. Can't wait!

As for today's run, it went well. Ran on the railroad beds at a pretty good lick. Even though the trails aren't terribly hilly (note that there is only ~100' elevation difference in the below chart), they can be pretty technical. Felt okay at first, but really good as the run went on.

Ran 7.6 miles @ 8:17/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 139/157
Moderately hilly.
Mid 60s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Birthday Run

Ran exactly one third my age today. Felt okay, but not great, due to lots of early birthday cake last night.

Ran 12.0 miles @ 7:53/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 139/156
Paved paths.
Mostly flat.
Lower 50s, overcast, humid.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I'm down in New Jersey for the weekend, visiting a friend. It's the land of chemical red sunsets, people pronouncing coffee as "coo-off-ee", obnoxious Yankee fans, and terrible drivers. Can I go back to Maine now?

Redlined every path in the park, with one slight detour into a wooded area to locate a geocache.

Ran 12.3 miles @ 7:39/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 145/157
Paved paths.
Mostly flat.
50 degrees, overcast, intermittent light rain.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt, Moeben sleeves.

It has nothing to do with running, but this video cracks me up. Credit to several of my students for showing it to me:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Easy Day

Just an easy day running on the railroad bed. Found seven geocaches along the way.

Ran 6.2 miles @ 8:28/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 131*/151
Slightly hilly.
Upper 50s, partly sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

* - many stops along the way contributed to a lower than normal heart rate.