Sunday, November 30, 2008

On On!

Neighbor Kate and I headed over to Portland for our first Hash House Harriers run. A kind fellow named Ned has started putting them on recently, and I tell ya, it's a lot of fun! Ian, Emma, Jim D., and several others were also in attendance.

We started out at a pub and followed chalk arrows on the sidewalks and streets. However, sometimes you'd come to a check mark, which meant to spread out and follow one of the many arrows leading in different directions. If you reached a few rows of bars, that meant it was a dead end. If the arrows kept going, you're going the right way and call out "On on!" to let others know you're on the trail.

This system is great in that not only is it a lot of fun following the paths, but the check points allow the slower runners to catch up. I was impressed with how well our group of about twenty runners of varying abilities all kept close together as a result.

The trek featured a "pit stop" along the way, where we enjoyed a tasty cool beverage. About a mile later, we ended up at another pub where we all socialized and watched football. Our evening ended with singing a few songs that were quite raunchy, and Neighbor Kate and I tacked on a little over a mile running back to my car.

Definitely a great time. It was good to hear that Ned is going to try to do these on a weekly basis. Though I probably won't be able to make all of them, I'll definitely do it again and hopefully pretty regularly.

This also allowed me to raise up my weekly mileage a bit more.

Hash run - 2.3 miles
Run back to car - 1.1 miles

Weekly total - 74.1 miles.

Rest day tomorrow.

What Has Two Thumbs and is Over 70 Miles for the Week?


70.7 miles so far, and I still have the Hash House Harriers run this afternoon which will give me a few more.

Legs felt very fresh today but I still ran by heart rate rather than pace for recovery purposes. Enjoyable run overall, except for one driver who wasn't paying attention to where he was going. Good thing I was! Karma will get'em back though.

Ran 9.2 miles @ 9:09/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 133/151
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid to upper 20s, overcast.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, refl. vest, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Fine Morning on the Trails

Met up with a pretty formidable group for a run at Pineland Farms that consisted of Ian, Jim, Erik, Jeff, Dora, Chris, Lilly, Dom, and Valerie (I think I got everyone?). Plan was to do 15 miles, and I stuck to that plan, though I almost bailed out a few miles short (thanks to Ian for opening a door to get in the miles by suggesting a shorter loop to end the day).

Run went well. I was definitely feeling the effects of this week and was behind the group for most of the run as a result. However, energy was pretty good, unlike last weekend's trail run. In fact, pace was actually pretty on par with what I normally do on these trails, I guess the others are just getting faster. :-)

I'm on track to end the week tomorrow with a good mileage total, so I'm stoked about that. And end it in grand fashion I will, with a Hash House Harriers run... something I've been wanting to do for a while and should be a blast!

Ran 15.1 miles @ 9:11/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 146/162
Trails, muddy and icy.
Very hilly.
Upper 20s to start, around 40 degrees at end, partly cloudy.
Clothing varied, shedded down to shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Twelve in the Cold Rain

I thought I could beat the precipitation, but about a quarter of a mile into the run it began to sleet and then quickly changed over to a light to moderate rain. However, I was warm and comfortable throughout the run. Glad I was able to get in the run sooner rather than waiting for the rain to stop.

I'm pretty pleased with how my running has been going lately. Hopefully I can keep it going, but all systems are looking good. Even with the relatively intense running the last week I've been able to keep the PF under control. Some new things I'm trying are duct taping my left foot (the right foot doesn't have any pain anymore) via this method. Too early to really gauge its effectiveness but it appears to helping. I've also been aggressively icing my foot and doing calf stretches several times a day.

And I had a great song going through my head during the entire run. It builds up nicely and I can't help bopping my head along with the beat every time I hear it.

Ran 12.2 miles @ 8:24/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 141/162
Paved roads
Moderately hilly.
Mid 30s, overcast, light to moderate rain throughout.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, refl. vest, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Recovery Run

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone has a fun day with family and/or friends feasting away and watching football.

I started out my day with baking an apple pie so it'd be fresh for Thanksgiving over at Stephen's house. Once that was taken care of, I headed out for a recovery run. Emphasis was definitely more on recovery rather than running, as I went super slow. That's the way a true recovery run should be though. After yesterday's doozy of a run, I was welcoming the pace. I felt fine and enjoyed the cool, crisp morning. Lot's of hunters out today, so I was well dressed in orange, even if I was sticking to the roads.

Ran 5.4 miles @ 9:11/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 135/142
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Around 30 degrees, sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, refl. vest, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Long Run Down by the River

There were no sightings of motivational speakers living in vans down by the Saco River, but it was a great long run nonetheless. Very scenic as well. Surprisingly, I've only done this route one other time, so I was really looking forward to doing it again.

I felt on par overall, which was great. Actually, I didn't really feel in sync until after five miles, but after that, just clicked along comfortably and rather enjoyed myself. Last few miles were a bit tough, but that's to be expected given the pretty gnarly hills along this route.

Running along the river is always picturesque, and then the route turns away and heads up the ridge about 11 miles in, which is a pretty grueling climb up into some thickly wooded areas. Great workout for sure.

Interesting weather in that it started out under sunny skies without a cloud in sight, but it was totally overcast by the end. Luckily my sunglasses stayed in place perched on top of my head.

Alright, I'm hungry. No more typing. Time to eat and then take a nap. Looking forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow! I'll be spending it with Stephen and his family, which will be fun.

Ran 20.7 miles @ 8:35/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 145/161
Paved and dirt roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 40s, sunny to overcast.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt, two short sleeved shirts, cap.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Marauding

Decided to delay today's scheduled rest day until tomorrow since a storm is supposed to bring snow and cold rain tonight through early Wednesday morning. I also decided to check out a new paved trail that runs along the perimeter of the school. Combined with a section of the outer parking lot, it's a loop of exactly one mile. This will make a good "comfort loop" (term I borrowed from Andrew) for future bad weather.

Did my speed workout which called for four miles at my 15k to half marathon pace. I wasn't very disciplined in my warm-up, which called for the first two miles at a slow pace. Instead, the second warm-up mile ended up fitting into the upper end of my speed range, so I begrudgingly decided to count it as one of the speed miles. They ended up being a bit all over the place... 7:02, 6:47, 6:54 and 6:44, but so be it.

Followed it up with a 5k cool down. All in all a good workout. I'm pleasantly sore, so I'm welcoming tomorrow's rest day.

Ran 8.1 miles @ 7:38/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 157/175
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Upper 30s, mostly sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Morning Run

Old Man Winter continues his visit, but I really enjoy the tranquility of winter. Running on the backroads of the dump loop gave the opportunity to enjoy the sound of the wind whipping through naked tree limbs while the sun at least gave the illusion of warmth.

Felt pretty good today. A bit creaky the first two miles, but looser as the run progressed and as a result the pace picked up subconsciously, but still not too fast. Good recovery run.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:16/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 146/159
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 20s, sunny, windy.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I met up with Ian, Mindy, Chuck, Danielle, Ryan, Kevin, Blaine, Jeff and Scott today up in Brunswick for a trail run. Very technical trails that would normally have been a lot of fun, but unfortunately, I just didn't have the energy today. At first I thought I felt a bit lagging because I hadn't run on rugged trails like this in a while and I was also in some fast company, but it soon became apparent that the real problem was I was simply running out of gas. My plans to try at least 20 miles today were definitely quite overly ambitious.

Not a big deal, despite what the picture above might imply. I don't think it's anything other than I just need to still fill up the gas tank a bit more after being sick and my weight is still down. Rest, eat right, and continue running easy and with caution is on order for the next several days.

Despite not having the pep that I would have liked, it was still a fun run. Ian, Jeff and I warmed ourselves up a little with some Tim Horton's coffee and breakfast sandwiches afterwards. Long live Tim Horton's.

Ran 9.2 miles @ 9:33/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 149/167
Technical trails.
Very hilly.
Lower 20s, mostly cloudy, windy.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead

Great progression run today. I went out more aggressively than I had originally planned (steady 8:00/mile pace), but it simply felt right. Felt very comfortable and in sync all around, and I'm very happy with that. Worked up to hitting the last split in 6:34. Worth noting that the last three miles are downhill and at a grade that's perfect for speed, so it made it easy to do so.

Ran 7.1 miles @ 7:37/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 157/176
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 20s, sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, reflective vest, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bring Out Your Dead

Today was the first day where I felt totally over that stomach bug I had. Biggest problem the past few days was feeling nauseous and dizzy, but that dissipated last night and was absent today. Also felt my hunger returning with full force and I've been ravenously craving food all day. All good signs.

Played it safe tonight and just did one lap around the Back Cove with Mindy, Chuck and Blaine. Extreme hunger definitely helped in the decision not to go for another lap.

Ran 3.6 miles @ 9:00/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 140/160
Hard packed trails.
Mostly flat.
Mid 20s, clear skies.
Long pants, Goretex jacket, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Plane

I was over the stomach bug at least enough for a short and slow run today. That went okay for the most part, but I did still feel a little nauseous. I had lost seven pounds over the past few days, but I've gained much of it back. Stomach is behaving better, but now I'm still trying to get my energy back up. It's getting there.

This latest blow to my workout schedule has gotten me thinking how much training is like flying an airplane. When you're getting in the high mileage and everything is going well it's like a plane flying at cruising altitude. Everything is running smooth and you cut through the thin air with minimal drag. It's great, it's wonderful, it's the way it should be and you get to your destination efficiently and comfortably.

When your training starts and sputters, it's like a plane nosediving and trying to climb up again too fast. You burn a lot of fuel doing so, and if there are already some problems with the plane, you're just adding to the wear. It's a bumpy ride, and the "fasten your seat belt" light never comes off. A lot of time is wasted and it takes forever to get to where you want to go.

I guess since post-Vermont 100, my plane has fit the latter scenario. The lack of energy for the few months after the race was like a fuel mixture problem, and the plantar fasciitis has been like engine trouble. However, the energy had returned and I've made progress in the PF, and just as my plane was starting to get up to altitude again... WHAM! Stomach virus. Since the plane was more or less okay and the virus is not directly related to running, I guess I could liken that to a bird smashing into the cockpit window.

So with a fuel mixture that appears to be working well, engines repaired with duct tape, and now a new windshield in place, it's time to try to take off again. Please, let me get above the clouds this time?

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:49/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 133/147
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 40s, sunny.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stomach Bug

Shortly after my post yesterday, I discovered through a couple of long series of vomiting that my stomach simply wasn't accepting food of any kind. I called out sick today from teaching and grad school, but I'm getting better. Able to hold down food now and I feel my energy returning.

Plan is to go back to teaching tomorrow, but probably take another day off from running. Hope to be back at 'em on Saturday. Drat, and I was doing so good at following the Pfitz plan to a 'T' this week...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Long Shadows

As mid-November approaches, the sun rises to a lower point in the sky with each passing day, casting long shadows in the afternoon. Length of day for today is officially 9h 46m, and tomorrow will be 2m 18s shorter. From now until mid-February, it's a rush to get out the door ASAP to take advantage of the daylight for the longer runs. Thankfully, I can always bring my work home with me if I don't get it all done.

Good run today. I was a little under-dressed, which proved to be a distraction. Aside from that, felt good but I'm welcoming the short five mile recovery run tomorrow just the same. Too bad it'll be in a cold rain after grad school. At least it'll be multiple, short comfort loops on the USM campus.

Ran 14.0 miles @ 8:30/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 141/155
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 40s to upper 30s, sunny.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie.

Worth noting the below chart makes it look more hilly than it really is. The bulk of the climbs and descents are at a low grade, making them barely noticeable. Kind of looks like Devils Tower, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today was one of those days when all cylinders were firing and the run felt easy. Hit my splits pretty evenly throughout and was very pleased with the heart rate. Capped off the run with a set of strideouts.

I feel my post-marathon recovery has gone extremely well. All of my runs lately have been going great, and it feels good to transition back into real training again. My legs feel fresh and my energy is high. The PF has also been behaving very well the past several days. Life is good.

Ran 9.2 miles @ 7:30/mile pace, followed by 10 X 100M strides.
AHR/MHR - 154/164
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 40s, mostly cloudy.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday, my plantar fasciitis was at one of its worst points ever. But I stepped back into my regiment of aggressive massaging and taking Aleve yesterday evening, and this morning I woke up and it felt enormously better. Pretty crazy, but in a good way. No problems during today's run either.

I guess if there is a bright side to PF it's that, unlike some other ailments or injuries, you do have some power over it. I'm going to continue the massaging and NSAIDS treatment to keep it under control, since it works well when I make myself do it.

Run went very well. Met my goal of keeping the splits pretty even and around 8:30/mile. According to the Pfitz plan, that's the middle ground of where my pace should be for my general medium-long and long runs. Heart rate data also looked great.

Good end to the week. Rest day is on the agenda for tomorrow.

Ran 15.3 miles @ 8:23/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 141/158
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 40s to lower 50s, overcast with light rain to partly cloudy skies, breezy.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Volunteering at the Stonecat 50

Had a great time volunteering at the Stonecat 50, and also fulfilled my service requirement for the Western States 100. My primary duties included filling bottles for runners and helping hand out the finishing prizes (really nice windbreakers) to those that made it. It was seriously a lot of fun, and everyone at the race was great. Great to see various friends and acquaintances... and also met lot's of great folks for the first time.

Ian had a great performance, look for a report on his blog soon. Steve also did well.

Was able to get in three nice and slow miles on the trails with Jim Eckert before things got too busy. PF has really flared up. I plan to get aggressive again with the NSAIDS, massaging, stretching and icing, and may see the sports doc if it doesn't calm significantly. Not a big deal though, just annoying. I'll deal with it.

Ran 3.0 miles @ 9:52/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 50s, overcast.
Long pants, short sleeved shirt.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Misty and Warm Eleven

Warm and drizzling throughout today's run. Where in the heck is Old Man Winter? He definitely stopped by last week. Maybe he forgot his wallet at home and he left to go back and get it. I'll just enjoy it while it lasts.

Run went well. Pfitzinger plan called for eleven today and so that's what I did. Route was an out and back up Railroad Avenue from the school. Good rollercoaster hills throughout.

Ran the first three miles with Tom at just under a 9:00/mile pace and then picked it up from there. Hit the next six miles at around 7:43/mile and then the last two miles in 7:20 and 7:07 respectively.

My PF has flared up this week, primarily in my left foot. While that's a nuisance, I can deal with it. I've been slacking on the stretching and massaging, so it's my own fault. Otherwise, I felt great. Legs continue to feel awesome and energy is high.

I'm volunteering at the Stonecat 50 tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward to. Ian will be running the trail marathon, and Steve will also be there for the 50. Plan calls for me to get in five recovery miles tomorrow, but if I can't squeeze it in, I'm not too worried. I'm already doing more of the Pfitzinger plan than I expected to for this week. Just glad the recovery is going well.

Ran 11.1 miles @ 7:58/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 147/166
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
~60 degrees, overcast, drizzling.
Shorts, sleeveless shirt.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Campus Run

Got in five recovery miles this evening after grad school. Opted to run a hilly .8 mile loop on the University of Southern Maine campus several times until I got the miles in. This was a safe option given it was night... the area is well lit and there were no worries about traffic.

The multiple loops weren't as boring as I thought it'd be. Unusually warm out and light rain falling throughout the run made it kind of pleasant. Felt great and was holding back from going faster, always a good sign.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:53/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 136/152
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid-upper 50s, light rain.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post-Election Run

I was quite tired for today's run. Stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the election coverage, and I'm happy and proud of the results. I hadn't really given much thought to Obama being the first African-American president. I of course realized it, but I voted for him because I thought he was the best guy for the job, and didn't really think too much of the significance of his race and the election until today.

It does go to show America has come a long way, but after today, I also realized we have a long way to go as far as racism and prejudice are concerned. From a variety of outlets and sources, I've become really disappointed at some of things I've heard. Let me make it clear that I am not claiming to be Mr. Politically Correct. I'm far from it. But after hearing some of the crap I've heard today... well, I've learned a lot.

I can dismiss the typical sore loser mentality that is also being emanated. That's to be expected. But when a good number are also tying it to racism, well, the paint strokes start to get blurred, now don't they? Having said that, there have of course been those that have showed a lot of class, despite their guy not getting into office.

Anyway, enough of that. My original point is that I was tired so getting out today was a bit tougher than usual. I did the nine mile workout that Pfitzinger called for, with four miles at 15k to 1/2 marathon pace.

The first two miles I ran with Tom at an easy pace for a warm up and then I took off from there for the next four. Hit the speed portion splits in 6:50, 6:45, 6:43, and 6:42. After that, I welcomed the next three cool down miles. Tough workout, but it went well. Unusually warm out today also. Didn't it snow last week?

Ran 9.0 miles @ 7:44/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 154/172
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast, humid.
Shorts, short sleeves shirt.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pace Dictated by Heart Rate

Ran a recovery run today, with the goal of keeping my heart rate in the mid-130s, and not worrying about the pace. It went well. Followed it up with a set of strides.

I planned my rest day for tomorrow to make it easier to vote. This week will incorporate more of the Pfitzinger plan, and next week even more. After that, I hope to be at cruising altitude in terms of following the plan in full (for the most part).

I put a poll up in the upper right part of this blog, just for fun. I'm hoping to have a new one each month, so long as I can come up with something that I deem worthy enough. Check it out, why don't you?

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:45/mile/pace, followed with 10 X 100M strides.
AHR/MHR - 136/150 (excludes strides)
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s, overcast.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

No Country for Cold Men

Though I doubt I'll be like this in late winter, I was itching to get out early and take advantage of the colder weather. Had a great run and really enjoyed having the roads all to myself.

I noticed a pretty big bog was nearly totally covered with a thin sheet of ice. Also saw a gaggle of turkeys near a stream. Pretty cool.

Was very pleased with the heart rate for this route at this point in the recovery. Qualitatively, I also felt great and energetic so everything appears to be going well. A good end to the week.

Ran 8.6 miles @ 8:03/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 147/159
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 20s to lower 30s, sunny.
Long pants, fleece jacket, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves (off and on).

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Cool Morning at Pineland Farms

I decided to rearrange my running schedule a bit this weekend so I could join some of the gang for a trail run at Pineland Farms (a safe haven, given deer season opened today). Great day for a run. Cloud cover overnight prevented temperatures from dropping too much, but the air was still crisp, cool and very pleasant.

A good number of the other Trail Monster gang opted for a Halloween race last night, so the group was relatively small. Stephen, Mindy, Tim and Lilly were present though, and we had a great time.

I don't know what it was exactly, but fortunately I felt really "on" during the run. I'm not sure if it was because I'm still more trained for this type of terrain and pace than I am the roads, or if I was simply having a good day. Perhaps a little of both? Regardless, it was nice to have all cylinders firing. Granted, we didn't go very far or were running very fast (a pretty normal pace for me for these trails), but still, I felt I could have kept going strong with no problem.

The heart rate verifies the good feeling. It was on par with previous runs here (post-edit: was still a little on the high side, but not to the same degree as the previous two days). Nice to see that happening. Now the key is not to push it, like I did post-Vermont 100. Today perhaps was a sign that I'm recovering, but I'm likely still far from recovered.

And if the run going well wasn't enough, the company was even more awesome. At the risk of sounding conceded, I swear that if we recorded our conversations during our weekend runs, we'd have a hit podcast on our hands. I feel lucky to run with such an entertaining and intelligent group.

Great to see Mindy out there who is ramping her mileage back up after an injury, and she looked very strong out there today. And looking ahead a bit, Stephen has agreed to be my pacer again at the Western States 100. I have also agreed to be his pacer for the Massanutten 100, should he get picked in the lottery (knock on wood that he does). Lot's of great stuff to look forward to!

Run was followed up by all of us having a huge breakfast afterwards at Stone's Cafe, along with Stephen's wife Kelly and their two kids.

Ran 8.2 miles @ 9:26/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 145/166
Very hilly.
Upper 30s to lower 40s, mostly sunny.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.