Thursday, September 30, 2010

Z-Hill Repeats Revisited

After a nearly three mile "warm-up" with one of our faster runners on the XC team for part of his workout (sub-seven pace), I headed over to the cemetery for a session of Z-hill repeats.

"Z", as in there are two sharp hairpin turns that challenge the ability to corner and accelerate out of turns. Between each rep, I jogged a shortcut down the hill for active recovery, and took an extra one-minute break halfway through.

It went okay. I felt fine and great physically, but yet I found myself not really pushing the pace. This was totally mental. My splits averaged around 1:08, but last time I did them they averaged around 1:03. Confirmed my slight bit of sandbagging when I decided to push the last one and hit it at :58. I thought to myself "THAT'S what it should really feel like". Then I felt guilty for not giving that effort in the other reps. Sigh...

Ran the cooldown and was done.

w/u: Ran 2.9 miles @ 6:53/mile pace.
10 hill repeats w/ active recovery - 2.8 miles total @ 8:30/mile pace.
c/d: Ran 1.0 miles @ 8:46/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Around 70 degrees, overcast, muggy.
Brooks Mach 11 spikeless, shorts, short sleeved shirt (for warm-up).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Barred Owls

We have a cross country meet this afternoon, so opted to do my run early in the morning. Was out the door at 4:40am under a bright moon that shone intermittently through the clouds. Barred owls also made crazy monkey-like hooting noises as I ran, something that happens on at least half of my early morning trail runs. Lends to a tranquil yet spooky ambience.

Like last week's early morning run, I felt awake and not too creaky. Was simply ready to go. I guess the body is adjusting to doing runs at this hour, which is nice. I really enjoy doing them now. At least for me, the key is simply getting to bed early the night before.

Worth noting it was really warm and humid out. Glad I won't be running in the afternoon. At least it's supposed to cool back down to normal starting tomorrow.

Ran 5.1 miles @ 8:30/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Mostly flat.
Around 70 degrees, partly cloudy, humid.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, headlamp.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mark It Eight, Dude

Progression run on the rail trails. Started out every easy, and plan was to run by feel. First mile in 8:58, ended up working the pace down to 6:31 for the last mile. Steady rain for the last few miles which felt great.

Came across a couple with an aggressive off-leash dog that full-on charged me, but yelling loudly kept it at bay. Started to give the owners some lip, but the guy apologized profusely which was appreciated and no harm done, but c'mon man...

Ran 8.0 miles @ 7:39/mile pace.
Slightly hilly.
Around 70 degrees, overcast, light rain which turned steady.
Adidas Adizero XT, short, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pre-Run on the Combat Cancer 10K Course

Nice, slow trail run to end a great week of training. Finished the week with 60.7 miles and am happy to be tapering now. Not because of the cutback in mileage, but because it's the final phase before the marathon, and I can't wait to toe the line, so to speak.

Today's run went well. Was joined by Stephen, Mindy and Kate B. We ran the Combat Cancer 10K trail race course hours before it started. Then, afterwards we helped worked the finish line of the race. It went really well. Stephen did a great job at organizing the race and it went smoothly. Hopefully even more runners will come out next year and support a great cause while enjoying an awesome course, tons of post race BBQ, and great t-shirts from Atayne.

Rest day tomorrow, my first one in two weeks. It'll feel very strange not running.

Ran 6.2 miles @ 9:37/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Lower 50s, overcast.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Hay is in the Barn

Wasn't sure how today's long run would go. I was feeling pretty wiped during my recovery run yesterday as a result of Thursday's mile repeats. I had planned on the middle ten miles of today's run to be at marathon pace (7:20-7:25/mile), more for mental training to get used to the pace. I was prepared to just go easy the whole way if needed though, just wasn't sure if the legs were recovered enough.

First five miles went as planned, started off slowly on the downhills to the river and worked my way down to MP. From there, it was cruise control. I was feeling awesome. I didn't feel like I was doing too much or going too fast. It all just felt natural. I'm not saying it was full-on easy, but I was feeling great and didn't feel like I was pushing too hard.

Really, really good run for me. Nice to be able to do my final long run going into the taper at this pace and do it relatively comfortably, despite not-so-fresh legs. Now, just have to not do anything stupid leading up to the marathon.

1- 8:10
2- 7:50
3- 7:44
4- 7:39
5- 7:36
6- 7:16
7- 7:17
8- 7:14
9- 7:06
10- 7:10
11- 7:12
12- 7:17
13- 7:09
14- 7:07
15- 6:59
16- 7:12
17- 7:20
18- 7:07
19- 7:10
20- 7:17
last .9 - 7:04/mile pace.

Ran 20.9 miles @ 7:19/mile pace.
Mostly paved roads, one mile of dirt road.
Very hilly.
Upper 60s to lower 70s, mostly to partly cloudy, humid.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Recovery Run on the Trails

Hit the converted railroad bed after the high school cross country practice. Purpose was strictly recovery, and it felt good to shake the legs loose after yesterday's speed workout.

Definitely a bit tight and creaky at first, but much better as the run went on. Still, the legs were tired. I'm happy with that, means they definitely got a good workout yesterday.

Only concern I have is that I want to do my long run tomorrow, and would like to do a chunk of it at MP. Hopefully there'll be enough gas in the tank. Would probably be wiser to do it Sunday, and I might still do that, but it'd just be easier to get it in tomorrow if I'm feeling alright.

Ran 8.0 miles @ 8:26/mile pace.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 70s, partly sunny, humid.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mile Repeats

Workout was five 1-mile repeats with 400M of active recovery in between. When I last did this workout a few weeks ago, I did well overall but it wasn't flawless. Mainly, I went out too fast at first, which was especially unwise given it was a hot, humid day. Much cooler weather this time and I was a bit smarter on the pacing. That resulted in a better performance.

I was much more consistant this time around, which was the big goal. McMillian has me doing these splits in the 6:06-6:18/mile range for a 3:05 marathon (using that as a benchmark because of the hills on the MDI course, goal is to break 3:15). Today, I averaged 6:02/mile. Quite encouraging.

Really tough workout, but I felt strong throughout. I nearly puked on the recovery lap after miles three and four, but somehow managed to keep it down. I thought for sure I'd ralph after the final mile, but I was fine. Energy wise, felt great.

w/u: Ran 1.0 mile @ 6:38/mile pace.
Ran 5 X 1-mile repeats w/ 400M active recovery in between. 6:06, 6:10, 5:57, 6:04, 5:54.
c/d: Ran 1.0 mile @ 8:53/mile pace.

Mid 60s, partly cloudy.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, singlet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Running With the Orange Moon

Set the alarm early and woke up with no problems. After a cup of coffee, I was out the door around 4:45am for an easy run on the trails and fire roads out back. The cool air of the pre-dawn hours trumped what is supposed to be a very warm afternoon (mid-upper 80s), which was the main reason for doing my run early.

A bright orange, nearly full moon still hovered in the air providing some extra light, but it was low to the horizon and the headlamp was still needed. I felt surprisingly peppy this morning. Normally I'm creaky and a bit tired on early morning runs, but not the case today. I did manage to fall asleep a little after 8pm last night, which no doubt helped.

That being said, I still kept the pace easy. I don't anticipate taking a rest day this week, hence the past several days just being easy days to allow active recovery of Sunday's long run and allow me to hopefully get in a good performance with mile repeats tomorrow afternoon.

As always, really glad I did the early morning run. It's very rewarding whenever I can make myself do them.

Ran 5.1 miles @ 8:34/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Mostly flat.
Upper 50s, clear skies, breezy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, headlamp.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Easy Run with the XC Team

I joined the boy's XC team for their run today as they had seven miles over hills on tap for today. Went well and was a lot of fun for both me and them (most of them, anyway). More than a few of them noted the run was easier than they thought it would be, which was great.

As for me, it worked well as it was a good, easy run. Feeling great after the long run two days ago. Looking forward to mile repeats in two days and putting the final touches on my training over the weekend before the (gasp) taper. 

Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:17/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Upper 60s, sunny. 
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Recovery Run Out Back

Ran a very easy five miler on the trails and fire roads in the woods out back just to shake the legs loose. Felt fine. A little tight at first but much looser by the end of the run.

Planning on a session of mile repeats on Thursday, so will keep the runs generally short and slow until then to aid with recovery.

Ran 5.1 miles @ 8:27/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid 60s, sunny.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Running the MDI Course in Segments

Headed up to Mt. Desert Island over the weekend with Kate to run the course in two parts. Overall, it went pretty well. I was very glad to be reminded of how tough this course actually is. Fortunately, both runs went well overall, despite not feeling like I was at my best.

After running a few errands in Bar Harbor with Kate, my friend Peter who lives on the island met up with me and we ran the first five and a half or so miles of the course. This took us right to the Blackwoods Campground entrance where Kate and I were staying.

I wasn't feeling my best energy wise, which made the hills seem a bit tougher. Still a good run though. Got the pace I wanted, but still felt like it was a bit more work than it should have been. Afterwards, cleaned up a bit and waited for Kate to return from her run. We then got dinner at Geddy's in Bar Harbor with her folks and headed back to the campground for s'mores before turning in for the night. The sound of waves crashing against the rocks and the bell of a distant sea buoy lulled us to sleep.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:46/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, partly sunny.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Woke up at 6am and headed to the cliffs at the shore. Made coffee right there using the camp stove and French press:

Afterwards, Peter met up with us and we shuttled his car to the end of the course in Southwest Harbor, then Kate dropped us off back outside the campground where we left off yesterday (she had 18 miles on the carriage trails on tap, and rocked it!). 

We ran, and like yesterday, I felt a bit out of sync. Didn't feel like total crap or anything, just not as energetic as I would have liked. What didn't help at all was the Nathan double water bottle waist belt I was wearing (my handheld bottle is MIA). This thing is awesome for ultras, but at a faster road pace it totally didn't work for me. I learned this the hard way. It bounced around, felt heavy, and was just a pain in the ass. In retrospect, I should have just dumped the water in one of the bottles, but then again, I wasn't sure if I would need it or not. 

But as one of the bottles grew more empty, it got more manageable and I also got a bit more used to it. I began to feel more in sync, but unfortunately, Peter's chronic foot problems (the dreaded PF) began to flare up so we slowed the pace down a notch or two. 

We eventually reached the final six miles, which contain some of the toughest hills. We managed to pick up the pace a little more here, which was good mentally. We reached the phantom finish line and were done. Glad I was able to feel better energy wise as the run went on (which, by the way, I suspect is diet related.. an easy correction). 

Really glad I did this as it was a great reminder of how tough the course really is. As great as my training has been, BQ-ing here is going to be very tough. I like to consider myself an above average hill runner, but still, several challenging sections throughout the course. I'm going to have to run it really smart and stay focused. 

Ran 20.8 miles @ 7:54/mile pace. 
Paved roads.
Very hilly. 
Mid 50s to lower 60s, mostly cloudy. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, sleeveless shirt, Nathan double water bottle belt (overkill). 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Home XC Course X2

Our high school cross country team had a home meet today. I got to the course early and ran it twice... you know, just to make sure it was safe and, like, stuff. Ran it at a moderate pace and felt pretty good out there.

Our teams did well, with the boys' team missing first place by just five points and the girls' team showing continued improvement. Good day!

Ran 6.0 miles @ 8:12/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Mid 60s, partly sunny.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Progression Run in the New Shoes

Yes, another new set of shoes. had the Brooks Mach 11 spikeless cross country racing flats on sale for only $29.88, so I bought a pair. Must say, I was very impressed with them during their first run today. Very comfortable, lightweight, and the now mandatory-for-me low profile heel. Great fit and great performance. They're definitely a winner.

No doubt these will serve me well for shorter distances on both trails and roads, though if it is very muddy out, they'll likely stay inside as the tread is far from aggressive.

As for the run itself, I had planned on it just being an easy run on the converted railroad trails. However, the pace naturally just started dipping and I went with it, and got a great progression run out of it as a result. Pretty easy to go fast on these trails, as they are very well packed down overall, and the elevation change is very gradual.

Nice surprise as I ran into a runner on the return back who works in my school district. She's also running the Mt. Desert Island Marathon next month and it'll be her first. I have a feeling she'll rock it.

Splits for the eight miles ended up as follows:

Felt great overall, and even the faster paces felt relatively easy. Good sign, as I didn't expect to be this recovered from Sunday's race.

Also, it's the 4th anniversary of my blog! Can't believe I've logged every single run, bike, nordic ski, and every other cardiovascular workout here since then, but I have. I truly do it for myself, but appreciate it how some people actually follow what I post, so thanks.

Ran 8.0 miles @ 7:14/mile pace.
Well packed trails, some paved roads/paved trails (~1.5 miles worth)
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

click to enlarge

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Squeezing in Runs When You Can

Very busy schedule today, with it being open house night at the school. I woke up early (4:30am) and got in 5K as a safety net, not knowing if I would have time for an afternoon run. I had originally planned on five miles in the morning, but basically wanted to have a little extra time to get ready for the day so figured 5K was better than nothing. 

Saw a pretty incredible meteor while I ran. I was looking up admiring the stars, when a blue flash of light streaked across the sky. It actually sparkled a bit, and left a long trail in its wake. It then broke up into three or four pieces and disintegrated. Really neat to see. 

Ran 3.1 miles @ 8:28/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Around 50 degrees, clear skies. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, long sleeved shirt, headlamp. 

XC practice ended a bit earlier than usual, giving me time to get in another four miles. Took it really easy at first, but the pace naturally picked up a bit, which was nice to see. Recovery from Sunday's race is going very well, but I'm still going to take it easy until the weekend. 

Ran 4.1 miles @ 7:44/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Lower 60s, partly cloudy, windy. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Orchard Run

Took a rest day yesterday and ran with the XC team today. It was very obvious that I ran a 12-mile trail race the other day. Legs felt pretty sore and tired.  Not unusually so, but it was still quite apparent.

Probably went too fast on the long and steep uphill to the orchard, as I was running with the head coach and his legs were fresh. After the team all reached the top, they ran a modified fartlek along the course while I just trotted along at an easy pace in between groups.

Afterwards, another rest period to regroup and ran the two miles downhill back to the school. Will go ahead and just lump the three runs together and count them as one for convenience's sake.

Running tomorrow will prove to be a bit more challenging as it's open house night at our school. May have to wake up early to get in an easy five miles. Based on how I felt today, will probably do all of my runs at an easy pace until the weekend just to play it safe so I recovery quicker.

Ran 7.0 miles @ 8:36/mile pace (2+3+2 miles with around 15 minutes in between).
Paved roads and trails.
Extremely hilly.
Around 70 degrees, partly cloudy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bradbury Bruiser Race Report

I don't think I could have executed this race any better. Paced it well and just plain ole ran smart and hard. Ended up with a 1:37:33 finishing time on the 12-mile course, good enough for 23rd place out of 126 finishers. Field was very stacked, as last year that time would have been good enough for 5th place (drat)! Helping to stack the field was Kevin, a really good guy who blew away the course record and won it in 1:22:XX.

I had a few goals in this race. The big one was to beat my buddy Ryan. Now, Ryan is a good friend and this was of course nothing personal. In the other two races in the Bradbury series, I had gotten a little closer on the second one. He was merely a carrot, as I thought it'd at least be possible to get him on this one. Whether I beat him or not, I knew it'd be close. And whether I beat him or not, if of course didn't really matter... I just wanted to push myself.

Second goal was to break 1:45:00. This was based on looking at last year's times and just merely figuring that it would be a good number to roughly go for.

The Race
The race starts on a wide trail, but 1/10th of a mile down it turns sharp to the left and on to single-track. I wanted to avoid a bottle-neck so figured it'd be good to run out a little faster and get in front a bit. Fortunately, this was apparently also Ryan's plan. I wanted to stay him, as the general plan was to run with him for most of the race and try to turn it on in the end.

The Lanzo Island Trail is a baby brother of the O-Trail, full of twists and turns that really challenge your lateral agility and ability to accelerate out of turns. A large pack congo-lined here for a bit, and I was running behind my good friend Ian for a little while.

I pulled ahead a bit but so did Ryan, and he was never far behind.

Never.. far.. behind.

This loomed on me throughout the race, and for good reason. It was true. Sometimes I would see him or hear him. Sometimes I wouldn't. But I always knew he was never far behind and I was aware of it.

I pushed the pace, but fortunately I never overdid it. Starting around mile four, I was beginning to think I might have put just a little more distance on him but not much. I then puked after drinking Gatorade from the aid station.. not stomach related, just mucus caught in my throat, triggering the gag reflex. My eyes teared up after the one big ralph and I struggled to maintain my vision on a tricky, rocky downhill section but fared fine.

Then a bit later my shoe became untied. Crap!!! I forgot to double knot my laces! Quickly tied and double knotted, looking nervously over my shoulder as I did so.

Around mile six, the trail turns on to a snowmobile trail that goes uphill for quite a bit. I looked over my shoulder again and saw Ryan, who was quickly gaining ground. Crap!

He caught up to me and we ran together for a bit as we turned on to the Fox West trail and ran downhill, chatting with each other for a bit. I love this section. Just fun to run on. I thought he caught me for good here, but I managed to pull ahead a little but not by much. I offered more than a few spectactors $10 if they'd trip him, but no takers.

Never.. far.. behind.

We eventually reached the O-Trail, the final 2.4 miles of trail that is dreaded by most. It's very technical, and twists and turns sharply and constantly to a nauseating degree. Because of these turns, we could constantly see each other. I tried to remain focused and just keep the speed up, but the uphill sections were now tough to climb and I feared I would lose ground.

I just pushed and pushed and then reached a rocky island that I knew was very close to the end of the O-Trail. Time to kick, as it was now less than half a mile to the finish. I kept the turbo on and as I approached the finish line I looked at my watch. Holy crap! I was going to finish way faster than I thought I would.

I finished in 1:37:33, well under my goal time. As I mentioned before, very stacked field, so stoked to have gotten 23rd place. Shortly after I finished, so did Ryan. We congratulated each other, and agreed that we both ran much faster due to our little competition. It was a lot of fun, just glad I got the better end of the stick on this one, but Ryan still beat me in the series standings for all three races and deservingly so.

Huge thanks to Ryan for pushing me to a time I wouldn't have gotten otherwise and also for helping co-organize the race. And huge thanks also to Ian for putting on yet another stellar event and really putting trail running in Maine on the map. So many of us are benefiting from his hard work, and it does not go unnoticed.

Race Results

Ran 11.5 miles (Garmin) @ 8:30/mile pace.
Technical, twisty trails.
Moderately hilly.
Lower to upper 50s, mostly cloudy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, singlet.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Race Eve Run

The Bradbury Bruiser 12-mile trail race is tomorrow. I'm excited about it, especially with the weather looking perfect. It'll be nice to have done all three races in the series and earn my "Bad Ass" t-shirt (given I don't face plant, break something and not finish the race).

Want the legs to be as fresh as possible tomorrow, so just set out on a short out-and-back route from my house on the trails and fire roads at a very easy pace. The Adidas Adizero XTs felt more broken in, primarily in the flexibility department, so that's good. They should work well for tomorrow.

Ran 4.5 miles @ 8:27/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid 70s, sunny.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, singlet.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Breaking in the New Shoes

Took the Adidas Adizero XTs out for a test run on some trails from my house. Overall, I liked them. I'm not flipping out over them at the same level as I did my Saucony Kinvara road shoes, but they're still a good shoe.

Initial impressions:
- Felt a bit snug in the toe box, especially in the first few miles, but that appeared to lessen as the run went on and they were broken in a bit more. Time will tell more.
- Felt surprisingly stiff at first. This also seemingly lessened a bit as the run went on, but given the reviews I read about it being a flexible shoe, I was a bit surprised by the lack of it. Maybe they'll continue to loosen up as they get broken in more and that's often the case, but again, time will tell how much.
- Grip was outstanding. High marks in that category.
- Low-profile was also very welcome. Glad the heel to forefoot differential is small (6mm). Feels much more natural as a result.
- Light-weight is appreciated (10.4 ounces), and combined with the awesome grip and low profile, it contributed to a very nimble feel.

As for the run itself, it went well. Pace was kept easy, which was welcome as I wasn't feeling terribly peppy again today. I think that's more the result of getting reacclimated to a busier schedule now that school has started, as well as coaching for XC.  Similar style easy run planned for tomorrow ahead of Sunday's race.

Ran 5.1 miles @ 8:45/mile.
Moderately hilly.
Mid to lower 60s, mostly cloudy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

To the Orchard and Back

Ran with the XC team during their workout today. Route consisted of two miles of paved roads that climbs a really long, gnarly hill that leads to McDougal Orchards, where we have our home course. From there, we continued on to the course, and then headed back down.

Pace would normally indicate easy, but given the hills and trails, it was a pretty moderate effort. Good workout. Was feeling much more peppier than yesterday. Will likely just do really easy five milers tomorrow and Saturday to help ensure fresher legs for the Bradbury Bruiser 12-Mile race on Sunday.

Was happy to arrive home and see my new trail shoes arrived in the mail. I ordered a pair of Adidas Adizero XT's. Though I haven't run in them yet, they appear to fit just fine so looking forward to giving them a spin tomorrow!

Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:03/mile pace. 
Paved roads and trails. 
Extremely hilly. 
Lower 70s, partly cloudy. 
Brooks Cascadia 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Z-Hill Repeats

Hill repeats on the agenda today, and after XC practice I headed over to the cemetery to do a workout the team does sometimes: Z-Hill repeats.

It's named Z-hill repeats not because they are French (haw haw haw!) but because you actually run a Z-pattern to get up the hill. The two hairpin turns you have to take while going up give the added challenge of decelerating and then reaccelerating to get around them.

Did okay, but on the two-mile warm-up run my legs felt really heavy. The warm-up did help though, and I felt loosened up and a bit more peppy once done, but still far from raring to go.

The Z-hills themselves kicked my butt, needless to say. Each rep up was about .18 miles and around 35 feet of elevation gain according to the data, but I think that data might be off, as it's likely quite a bit more than that for gain. I did ten reps total, with one minute of active recovery in between (1/10 mile jog down the hill), with a longer three-minute break after the fifth rep. Averaged anywhere between 5:40-6:16/mile pace with each rep. That may sound a bit hap-hazard, but it really wasn't. Splits were actually pretty consistant (between 1:01-1:05).

Good workout.

w/u - Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:24/mile pace.
10 X Hill repeats w/ one minute active recovery (three minutes after fifth rep). 2.9 miles total.
c/d - Ran 2.0 miles @ 7:54/mile pace.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Easy Trail Run in the Woods Out Back

Cool, crisp air this morning with a bit of a breeze in the air. Felt very autumn-like. Was really anxious to take advantage of the weather, and also knowing that with just an easy pace on the agenda, I could really just enjoy being out in the woods with no real worries about pacing and what not.

I really like this loop because it's a fun mix of fire roads that you can pick up the speed on if you choose to, and really technical trails that really challenge you to take the proper lines. You go by a really large, marshy pond, and through some really thick woods. Though no wildlife sightings today, the usual Maine critters are back there... I've seen moose, bear, deer, owls, eagles, mink and more. Makes you feel sorry for people who don't trail run.

Ran 7.7 miles @ 8:56/mile.
Fireroads and technical trails.
Very hilly.
Upper 50s to upper 60s, sunny.
Brooks Cascadia 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Double: Tempo-ish and Easy

I set out with the goal of running at marathon pace, which is around 7:20-7:25/mile. I want to start doing that more often... not faster, not slower, but within that range. The rational is to get used to running that pace so I know that pace.

I didn't do so well. I even tried using the feature with the little running man on the Garmin that keeps a certain pace. An almost opposite effect happened. I wanted to crush that little man. It became a competition with the little stick figure on my watch. The pace was then set in the first few miles and it was hard to back off.

Yes, it's nice I can go faster pretty easily, but it's a shorter distance. 9.2 miles is nothing compared to 26.2 miles. I don't want this to happen again. Back then, I bit off more than I could chew as a result of not respecting the distance and going out way too fast. Mental discipline is everything. So yes, good workout this morning, but I need to work on focus with the pacing.

Ran 9.2 miles @ 7:05/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 60s, partly cloudy, breezy.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Purpose of this run was to just go at an easy pace and enjoy the run. Mission accomplished. Very nice out. Just trotted along and let the mind wander.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:12/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Around 70 degrees, mostly cloudy, breezy.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, sleeveless shirt.

Finished the week with 60.6 miles. Another solid week overall, especially considering the awful heat wave we had for much of the week. Feeling pretty great, but sense I would benefit from a cut-back week next week, so that's the plan. Will likely take two rest days next week (not back-to-back) and keep things pretty chilled out for the most part (sans the race on Sunday).

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Short Second Run

Decided to go ahead and do a short second run this evening to take advantage of the cooler, drier air now that a cold front has moved through. Was nice to run in seasonable weather for once.

Turned out to be a fateful decision of sorts as I saw an eastern painted turtle trying to cross Rt. 202 (busy road) and I picked him up and moved him to a safer area at the edge of the woods.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 7:50/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Mid-70s, sunny. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts. 

Bruiser Course

The Bradbury Bruiser 12-mile trail race is next weekend, so we spent the morning running the course. Very humid out, as the cold front hadn't made it's way through yet, but thankfully the group kept things at an easy pace.

Had a really long conversation with Mike about cross country skiing while we ran, and it just fueled the fire for winter to hurry up and get here.

Would write more, but the Gator game is on. Go Gators!!!!

Ran 12.0 miles @ 10:47/mile pace.
Technical trails.
Moderately hilly.
Lower to upper 70s, sunny, very humid.
Asics Trail Attacks, shorts, singlet.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Mile Repeats in the Heat

The last time I did mile repeats, I allowed too much recovery time in between intervals (4:00 minutes). After seeking advice from those more experienced with these kind of workouts (thanks Jeff and Ryan), it sounded as if two minutes recovery or lightly jogging one lap around the track in between intervals was best. So, that was the plan. Overall, it went quite well. However, still far from perfect.

The MDI Marathon is very hilly, so times are naturally a bit slower. My goal is to break 3:15:59 to qualify for Boston. However, I need to take into account the hills when using the McMillian calculator to figure out split times for speed workouts, so I'm using 3:05:00 as a benchmark. That has me doing mile repeats in the 6:06-6:18 range. I averaged 6:08/mile today.

I averaged those splits in some pretty warm temperatures and intense humidity to boot. It was in the mid-eighties and still very humid when I finished. However, I was very inconsistant in my splits. Lack of experience with these kind of workouts showed, as I started out way too fast and as a result the splits dropped pretty substantially. Typical rookie-like mistake.

Original intent was to jog lightly for a lap around the track in between each mile interval. I nixed this after the third mile and opted to drink up and walk around for two minutes instead (same time as a light jog for one lap). Just was too hot and humid out there.

Worth noting that I full-on puked a few times after the final mile repeat. Nothing related to heat stroke or the like. My stomach just wasn't holding down the diluted Gatorade I was drinking during the workouts. Felt fine afterwards, and after resting a few minutes, went ahead and did my barefoot cooldown run with no problem.

But overall, pretty pleased with the workout, all things considered. Good hay in the barn, and though the splits were pretty hap-hazard, was glad to keep the average low and do it in hot and humid conditions, nonetheless.

w/u - Ran 1.0 miles @ 7:17/mile pace.
5 X 1-mile repeats w/ 2:00 recovery in between: 5:56, 5:54, 6:05, 6:15, 6:28.
c/d - Ran 1.6 miles @ 9:27/mile pace. Barefoot.
Total miles including recoveries - 8.3 miles
Upper 70s to mid 80s, mostly cloudy, very humid.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Third Early Morning Run in a Row

I don't think I've ever done three consecutive days of early morning runs. And while I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow (no school), I must say I've rather enjoyed getting up early and getting in some mileage these past few days.

That being said, I don't think I'll be doing them regularly. I've only really done it this week to beat the heat. However, there will be days that are so busy that running in the early morning will be the only option, so it's been good to reinforce that they are actually pretty enjoyable when they have to be done.

This morning was warmer and more humid than the other days, which isn't very surprising given today is supposed to the hottest day of the heat wave (98 degrees predicted). It flat out sucks. But at least relief is on the way beginning tomorrow.

Run itself went well. Despite only getting five hours of sleep last night, I woke up at 4:25am pretty easily and my legs had more pep in them than the previous two mornings (but still slow). Good run. No plans on making today a double.

Ran 5.1 miles @ 8:50/mile pace.
Trails, fire roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 60s, clear, humid.
Asics Trail Attacks, shorts, short sleeved shirt, headlamp.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Garbage Double

Broke my running up into a double again today because of the heat wave. Hit the trails in the morning in the dark. I did the trail version of the Dump Loop, which is much more hilly and technical than the route I did yesterday morning. As a result, very slow going in the dark (on top of it being 5am and my legs not really wanting to move).

Ran 4.6 miles @ 9:52/mile pace.
Trails, some dirt road.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, clear.
Asics Trail Attacks, shorts, short sleeved shirt, headlamp.

As it got close to 6:30pm, it finally cooled down to the mid-80s (reached 95 at the hottest point) and I headed out the door. It was around the same temperature that I ran in yesterday, only today felt more humid and there was the added fun of a bad air quality alert (ozone and particles). Air felt really heavy and nasty, was happy to keep this run short and slow.

Ran 2.9 miles @ 8:01/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 80s, humid, bad air alert.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts.

Neither run today exactly of the highest quality. I don't mind excusing the early morning runs for simply putting miles in the bank, but to follow it up with another workout in the same day that is essentially garbage miles doesn't exactly leave me feeling content. At least yesterday evening's run was at a moderate pace. On the other hand, obviously getting in 7.5 miles is better than nothing at all especially with conditions like today. Would have been easy to just say screw it and take a day off.

Planning on another early run tomorrow, but nothing in the evening as we have a XC meet. Hopefully it won't be cancelled because of the heat, but that's a possibility I suppose. At least Friday things start to cool off, and later that day a little Hurricane Earl fun might be thrown into the works to boot.