Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ramping Things Back Up

I've already started to incorporate some more speed into my running the past few weeks. Over December, I'll start adding more distance as well. All part of the plan to ease up towards the workouts and mileage I'll be doing when I begin the 16-week training cycle for the Boston Marathon. That will officially begin around Christmas time.

So today called for a tempo run. Went well. I was especially stoked when an afternoon meeting was cancelled and I got out a bit earlier as a result. That put a little extra pep in my step.

Ran 6.0 miles @ 6:34/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 50s, sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Eight the Sandbox

A good eight miler today under overcast skies that were once again holding in unseasonably warm weather. My winter beard seems a bit unnecessary at this juncture. Normally I'm admiring frozen snotcicles hanging off my facial hair by now, but that'll have to wait a little while longer.

Run went well. Hilly route. Took it easy in the first half (splits ranged rom 8:14-8:03) but let it drop a little in the second half once I was warmed up (7:23-6:33). 

Ran 8.0 miles @ 7:38/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Mid 50s, overcast. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sans Shadows

The sun was taking forever to make an appearance this morning. I was hoping it would break through the clouds at some point and warms things up a little more, but I got tired of waiting. So, I headed out on my run without my shadow to keep me company. Who needs fair weather friends anyway?

The dirt road section of this route was in better shape than I had anticipated. I thought it might still be coated with snow and slush, but not really the case. That was good news, since I was wearing my flats. Rather enjoyable run that was pretty uneventful otherwise.

Energy wise I felt a little better than yesterday. I suspect ramping up the iron intake along with more fruits and veggies will help. Rest day is planned for tomorrow as well.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:11/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 40s, overcast.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, cap.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Run Cut Short

I had planned on 17 miles easy today, but it was obvious in the first few miles that I simply wasn't feeling it. There's no point in trying to start a fire with wet wood, so I devised a new route that would get me in a little over nine miles instead. No worries about the lack of energy (or desire), it was just one of those days where the body wasn't with it.

However, the run was still a pleasant one. It was far from a slog and the weather was quite nice outside. Just took the pace really easy and let the mind wander. Spent a lot of time thinking about the story I'm working on. It's coming along very nicely and I'm just about to cross over 40,000 words, which by some definitions officially puts it at novel length. I imagine I'm about halfway done with the first draft, but that's hard to judge. Regardless, I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Ran 9.5 miles @ 8:17/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower to mid 50s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, long sleeved shirt (sleeves pushed up two miles in), cap.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Trek at the Bangor City Forest

This'll be quick: I took part in the Turkey Trek, a low-key 4-Mile Trail Race at the Bangor City Forest this morning. No bib numbers. No official time clock. Race fee = bring in some canned goods to benefit a local food pantry. However, the first three to cross the finish line win homemade pies.

I wanted one.

One obstacle we'd all have to contend with: around 10 inches of snow fell yesterday. There were roughly about three or four dozen of us (?), and I'd say about a quarter of the field had the presence of mind to bring snowshoes. 

On your mark, get set, go. We were off. I moved ahead pretty quickly and held the lead. Pretty slow conditions, running in almost a foot of powdery snow but four miles later I finished in first place. Again, low key event, but I'll go ahead and call it my first overall win ever (there were pies at stake, afterall). The people running the event were great and I had my choice of which pie I wanted. I conferred with Kate and we chose the pecan pie. Can't wait to devour it later! 

Fun event and for a good cause. Happy Thanksgiving!

Winner winner, pecan pie dinner!
Ran 4.0 miles @ 10:51/mile pace. 
Trails, 10"-12" of powdery snow.
Mostly flat. 
Lower 20s, sunny. 
Adidas Adizero XT, long pants, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2000 and 11/22/63

Lots of number stuff to write about today...


I reached a big running milestone today by crossing over 2000 running miles for the year. Woohoo! I've never done that before, thanks to injuries. But since working at altering my gait a year and a half or so ago, I've had really great success both in staying injury free and getting faster because my stride is more efficient (knocking on wood here). Looking forward to increasing the yearly amount until the odometer resets on January 1st. 

Ran 6.0 miles @ 8:29/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Lower 40s, overcast. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 


Today also marks the 48 year anniversary of the assassination of JFK. I admit that I probably wouldn't have known that or at least paid much attention to it if it weren't for Stephen King's latest novel "11/22/63", but I now have a lot more respect for the man as well as the real life events that were going on in that era. 

Speaking of the date, coincidentally I finished the book today. The summary of my review can be stated in one word: Awesome. King is known for his horror novels, but this book clearly belongs in the "historical fiction" genre (or, "historical science fiction" if that label even exists). 

It's about a man who goes back in time to stop the assassination of our nation's 35th President. As I mentioned, it's not horror. It'll put you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears. Lots of twists. The characters are well developed and very real. It's a fast paced read despite being around 900 pages long. That's all one really needs to know and the rest of the details are best left for the readers to discover for themselves. Simply an incredible book that I highly recommend (otherwise, why would I even mention it on a running blog when it has nothing to do about running, really?).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tempo Run

I didn't plan on a tempo run today, it just kinda happened. Nice to put the pedal down. Warmed up for the first two miles (7:38, 7:23) and then picked up the intensity by hitting the next four splits in 6:40, 6:41, 6:11 and 6:15. Great weather today as well.

Good preview of sorts for the Boston training cycle, as I plan to incorporate more tempo runs paired with more runs at a ridiculously easy pace (easy-hard principle).

Ran 6.0 miles @ 6:48/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 40s, sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Downhill From the Farm

I went with Kate to our friends' farm to feed their chickens and ducks while they were away and had concocted a plan to ride with her there and then run back. Once the critters were taken care of, I headed home.

Aside from one climb on the powerline trails, it was pretty much all downhill. First mile or so was on a paved road and then trails for the rest of the way. Good little run. Legs felt a touch heavy and tight but I suspect if I had gone longer they would have warmed up and felt lighter.

Ran 3.5 miles @ 8:46/mile pace.
Trails, some roads.
Very hilly (downhill).
Mid 50s, partly cloudy, breezy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, long sleeved shirt (sleeves pushed up 1.5 miles into the run).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Land of Pine

Fun group run at Pineland this morning. Usually when there's a bigger turnout, it splinters off into sub-groups based on respective paces. Not the case today. Despite there being around 10 of us, we all ran together for the most part. The weather was great as well, with crisp, dry air allowing for great views of Mt. Washington.

Mt. Washington looms in the distance
I just did the campus loop side and called it good. Felt great during the run. Afterwards, I hung with Jeff, Jim D. and Nathan at the visitors' center for coffee and scones. They left, but I hung out for a bit and enjoyed another cup of joe and got a lot of writing done. I later met up with Jim again in Portland for lunch and a barley soda as we discussed plans for my bachelor party (big group run!). Fun day!

Ran 8.2 miles @ 8:49/mile pace. 
Moderately hilly. 
Upper 20s to upper 30s, partly cloudy. 
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves, Salomon Hydro 45 water belt.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Late Autumn Weather Returns

After another warm spell, seasonable weather has returned with cool temperatures paired with a dark, overcast sky. Gloomy, but pretty great for running though. It was cool enough where I dressed with just enough clothing so I wouldn't sweat much. This was important since I have to stay at the school for a function this evening, and I can get away without showering (or so I hope).

Run went well. Felt pretty energetic and just had some minor stomach cramps but nothing dire. It ended up being a progression run and I let the pace drop throughout as the legs felt increasingly warmed up.

Ran 7.9 miles @ 7:29/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 40s, overcast.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, cap.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Running and Writing

I couldn't think of much to say about the run today, so figured I'd give an update on the writing front. In short, the current story is going terrific. Lately, I've been cranking out 1000-1500 words a day during the week and am doubling that on the weekends. It's fun! And it's coming along easily. 'Nuff said for now.

Today's run went well. Took it really easy the first half and dropped it down to a moderate pace for the second half. Good little run in unusually warm weather. Other than that, I got nothin'.

Ran 6.7 miles @ 7:59/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Running, Pancakes and a Bald Eagle

Big thanks to Ryan and Danielle for hosting a very fun morning. A plethora of us in attendance for a group trail run, followed by a big brunch.

The Run
Ryan led us on some new-to-the-rest-of-us trails that were a departure from the normal fun at the Cathance River Nature Preserve. It was great to explore new areas, and the banter was jovial as always. The trails were pretty wet and coated with fallen leaves and the smell of smoke from nearby chimneys lent to the typically tranquil mid-autumn ambience.

I felt a bit sluggish at first, due to having two donuts (don't judge) before the run. I shook that off though and after a few miles I felt a bit more energetic. A lot of of fun happened during the run, but I'm feeling quite sleepy so I'm gonna make this pretty short. Good times.

The Pancakes
14.4 miles later, Danielle and my wonderful fiance Kate had a feast waiting for us. Pancakes, bacon, sausage, coffee... mmmmm. It was awesome. Thanks ladies, it was epic. The next few hours were spent chowing down and hanging out.

The Bald Eagle
Kate had to do some shopping in Topsham before we headed back, and I began to really feel tired. As a result, I feel asleep on the way home.

However, I was awake when we crossed the Saco River and we saw a huge bald eagle fly down to grab something on the side of a road. It then flew off and we followed it down a side street where it perched itself on a big tree and started to feast away. Fur rained down on us as it chomped away and we were easily able to determine its lunch was a squirrel (sorry Mindy). Cool to see!

I took a not-so-clear picture of it below. Look in the upper middle of the photograph, slightly to the left you can see the eagle's head:
Click to enlarge
Ran 14.4 miles @ 9:43/mile pace.
Moderately hilly. 
Lower 40s to mid 50s, partly sunny. 
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, long sleeved shirt, cap, gloves (shed), Salomon Hydro 45 water belt.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today Went to 11

Today's date is 11/11/11. So, Ryan and I decided to run 11.11 miles starting at 11:11:11am. Yeah, we're nerds. It was pointless, but fun.

The run was at Pineland, and a few minutes before we started we saw Jeff coming in from his run. He was doing some other variation of elevens that was too complex for me to remember. If you know Jeff, this probably doesn't seem surprising. That being said, I admire his intellect.

The countdown was on and we were off right on time. The weather was quite blustery, but fortunately we were dressed pretty warmly. Well, at least I was, but I think Ryan was too. I can't remember. I do, however, remember Ryan using a big word 11 times within the first 11 minutes. Yay, more elevens! And what was relevant was I think the word meant "irrelevant", kind of like this post.

Anywho... as always the conversation with Ryan was enlightening, hilarious and unfiltered. Race plans and goals were discussed in great depth. Very fun run. We capped it off with lunch at the Visitor's Center. I got an "Almost Thanksgiving" sandwich, which was turkey, cranberry mayo and stuffing. A great preview to my favorite holiday. Yes, today definitely went to 11.

Ran 11.11 miles @ 8:57/mile pace.
Trails, muddy and squishy in many parts.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 40s, overcast, light intermittent rain.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie (shed), gloves (shed).

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Back to the Track

I really wanted to give the legs some turnover, but at this stage it was best to keep it light. Given how I felt yesterday, I decided to err on the side of caution and just do five 400M repeats with 2:00 static rest. Didn't go all out, maybe around an 85% effort? I sandwiched that workout in between a warm-up and cool down of a little over a mile each.

Went pretty well, all things considered. Right calf muscle felt a little tight on the cool down but I don't think it's anything bad and I have a rest day planned for tomorrow anyway. I suspect it'll be 100% by Friday, when I plan to run 11.11 miles at 11:11:11am because the date is 11/11/11. Fun, huh?

w/u: Ran 1.3 miles @ 7:50/mile pace.
5 X 400M w/ 2:00 static rest: 1:24, 1:26, 1:24, 1:26, 1:24.
c/d: Ran 1.2 miles @ 8:04/mile pace.
Mid-60s, sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Today is an exciting day for Stephen King fans. His new book 11/22/63 was released and I felt like a kid on Christmas when I woke up and knew it would be waiting for me on my Kindle. I spent over an hour and a half reading it before I went to work and delved into it further during my lunch break and in between classes.

Impressions so far? It's awesome. A man going back in time to stop the assassination of JFK is a bit of departure from what King normally writes, but it's not the first time he's strayed from his usual genre of horror. It's written in the first person, something King has demonstrated he does extremely well before with Bag of Bones (which I think easily falls into the "mystery" category). Though it's 960 pages, so far it has been fast paced and really hard to put down. Can't wait to dive into it some more after dinner!

Oh yeah.. I also ran today. Just an easy five miler at a recovery pace. Yesterday's run showed just how stale my legs had gotten so I was happy to take it nice and slow today. Good run on another warm day.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:45/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, partly sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Kicking Off The Rust

Last week's mileage was less than intended, the lowlight being only running once in the previous five days. I was quite happy to kick off some rust, so I hit a route that was chocked full of hills after work was over.

I could definitely feel the rust, but it felt good to shake some of it off. Good run all things considered. Pretty warm out, which I must admit was a nice change of pace though I also hope it doesn't stick around for too long (it's not supposed to).

Ran 10.7 miles @ 7:43/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Stone Cat Fun!

This'll be quick, but what a blast! So many friends down in Mass to run the Stone Cat 50-mile or trail marathon. Very, very proud of Kate for completing her second trail marathon and finishing in around 6:20, a new PR! Lot's of other great performances by the Trail Monsters as well!

Kate and her finishers jacket shortly after her race.
Very good times.. really enjoyed cheering everyone on and then I ran out on the course to meet up with Kate and pace her in for the last few miles. Good times! Hoping everyone rests up and recovers well.

Ran 4.6 miles @ unknown pace (forgot to stop the watch when I was done running).
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s, sunny.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Writing Stuff

I have been toying with the idea of setting up a separate blog devoted just to writing pursuits, but I think that would be a bit premature at this point. Besides, at the moment I'd rather write stories (or running blog posts) than write about writing. So, I decided I'm content to just do the occasional post here on my running blog for now, especially since the story I'm working on is running related.

It's going well. Very well, in fact. The loose goal now is to write about 1000 words a day (which is 3-4 pages a day, depending on who's definition of a page you abide by). That's actually kind of easy to do at this point, now that I have the ball rolling. I might not hit it that number on the busier days, but I can always make up for it on the lighter days and weekends. It's just nice to have the idea well formulated in my head and I must admit, Scrivener is proving to a valuable tool, especially for making it easier to access research and notes.

However, what is challenging is of course work. Teaching tends to turn your brain into green jello by the end of the day. When Stephen King was a high school English teacher before he struck it big with "Carrie", he basically said the same thing. But going for a run afterwards tends to recharge the brain, and I'm also usually up between 3:30-4:30am and the early morning hours are a perfect time to write. And Kate is very understanding and supportive, which is also great. I'm marrying the right woman for sure!

I still expect the first draft to be done sometime this winter. There will be a lot of editing to be done in the following drafts, but perhaps by this summer I'll be ready to (gulp) publish. We'll see, but so far so good.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

This Weather Rules

Got in a good little five miler before I headed home from work. Weather was perfect out, with highs in the upper 40s but with another day of bright sunshine and little wind, it felt warmer.

Still feeling great. Another similar run on tap for tomorrow, but may take the pace slower. Rest day planned for Thursday.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:31/mile pace.
Paved roads, patches of slush.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, long sleeved shirt.