Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dog Days of Spring

Hit the track today. Hot out. Thermometer said 77 degrees but it felt at least five degrees hotter than that. Wasn't exactly setting myself up for success here. The weather along with the unfamiliarity of my pacing for 400M repeats just led to frustration.

Splits were 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, 1:17, 1:18. I shot myself out of the sky by hitting that first one too fast. Hard to recover from it with the heat so after the third rep I took a 2-3 minute rest and got some water. Fourth split was estimated, as I hit the wrong button. Had originally wanted to do at least six reps but called it quits after the fifth.

Easy trail run on tap for tomorrow. Hard to screw those up.

w/u: Ran 1.7 miles @ 8:06/mile pace.
5 X 400M w/ 200M active recovery: 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, 1:17, 1:18. Extened 2-3 minute rest after third rep. c/d: Ran 2.0 miles @ 9:17/mile pace.

Mid 70s, sunny, breezy.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ready Player One

Time to start working on the base again. Haven't had steady workouts since I started tapering for Boston. As a result, mileage has been low and the speed workouts very inconsistant. Great opportunity to change that with nothing but shorter races from meow until the MDI Marathon.

Looking forward to a regular routine again. Today's run was a short, semi-progression on hills. Got it in just before the storm. Second run in the Kinvara 3s and I continue to be very pleased with them.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:28/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Around 60 degrees, overcast humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pineland Farms 10K Race Report

What's up with this heat following me around to all of the races lately? Today was no different. However, I fared pretty well. Goals were to break 41 minutes and top 10. Given the heat, the time goal had much less significance to me since it'd slow almost everyone down to some degree (times were much faster last year). But very happy to meet the placing goal and come in 9th place overall out of 302 finishers.

Pre Race:
Kate and I got there about an hour and a half before the race start so we could shoot some video for the event and allow plenty of time for my warm-up. Warmed up with Scott H. and Ryan. Legs didn't feel too peppy because of the heat and I knew today was going to be tough.

The Race:
Miles 1-2:
Lined up at the front and once we were off I was in around 10th place, give or take. Pushed the pace and was with Scott H. and Jeff. Goal from the get-go was to try and ride Scott's shoulder but he began to pull ahead and staying with him would have taken too much effort. Drat.

Courtesy: Maine Running Photos.
Me, Scott and Jeff about a mile or so in.

Courtesy: Maine Running Photos

Miles 3-4:
Felt like dog poop now as the heat began to take it's toll. So hot. However, it appeared to be affecting everyone else as well. Was holding my place and leap frogging with Jeff a bit, but he was mostly ahead of me.

Miles 5-6.2:
Passed two guys and was passed by the first woman, who was running steadily and showing no signs of struggle. Managed to pass by Jeff here with maybe about a mile left, but I knew he would never be too far behind so that was a good push.

Approached the finish area and crossed the line in 43:46. Slower than I wanted so I was disappointed at first. Kate told me she thought I was tenth place. I told her I had counted more and thought I was 11th or 12th at best. I was wrong, very happy to see I was in 9th.

That made me feel a lot better. I needed some vindication after the heat at Boston and the stomach flu at Sugarloaf. I feel like I've gotten it. For me, top ten is always awesome.

Post Race
Hung out with Scott in the mist tent (great idea) and petted some very cool dogs that had just run the 5K canicross. I fell in love with a large, friendly malamut in particular. Hmmmmm.

Jeff came up and asked "Are we going to run a cool down or what?". Was very glad he did so, I had totally forgotten! So Jeff and I trotted along slowly over on the Oak Hill side and chit chatted. Got back and hung out some more before heading home.

Very much looking forward to tomorrow. It'll be Kate's day as she is running her first 50K! Weather looks about as perfect as it can get tomorrow (high of 70) so very glad she's getting the better day, weather wise.

Ran 6.2 miles @ 7:02/mile pace.
Time: 43:46
Overall: 9th out of 302.
AG (40-49) 3rd out of 47.
Very hilly.
Upper 70s, sunny, humid.
New Balance MT110, shorts.

w/u Ran 2.9 miles @ 8:42/mile pace.
c/d Ran 1.5 miles @ 10:28/mile pace.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dean Reinke: The Rosie Ruiz of Race Directors

Let me look all calm and stuff as I take your money and run.
The Freeport Half Marathon. In case you haven't heard, DO NOT REGISTER FOR IT. The event is being put on by a con man named Dean Reinke. Just Google his name or Reinke Sports and you will find lots of blog posts and news stories on how he scams runners. Here's one. Here's another. There are many more. Seriously, search around. You'll see. But if you'd rather do that later, read on for now and I'll give some background.

So, how does he do it? He'll put on a half marathon, cancel it and not refund your money. He's done this time and time again. And based on my recent email exchange with this pond scum, he's aiming to do it with the Freeport Half Marathon here in Maine.

Let's backtrack a little. A warning was prompted by the Maine Track Club on Facebook last week. It read:

ALERT! The Freeport town council denied a permit for the Freeport Half Marathon because of alleged problems with the promoter. He tried to move the event to Brunswick. Today we learned Brunswick Schools have also DENIED use of their facilities. Please "LIKE"  and "SHARE" this post. Pass the word - per the promoters vague website, he claims no refunds. The Maine Attorney Generals office suggests disputing the charge with your credit card company or complaining to the Maine Consumer Protection Agency.

With that in mind, I emailed Dean Reinke directly from his website. I didn't expect a response back, but I got one. We exchanged several more emails, which you'll see below. These are unedited and in their entirety, except for the censoring of some adult language.


Jamie Email #1:

Stay out of Maine, you crooked money robbing a**hole. Go **** yourself. You better refund everyone you scammed you sociopathic piece of s***. 


Notes: Juvenile? Harsh? Yeah, maybe a little. But it's also honest. And in retrospect, I'm really glad I started this way. If I had approached him with with the straight hard facts right off the bat I wonder if I would have gotten a response back at all. I have since gathered that Reinke seems to like confrontation, so my somewhat sophomoric approach was a smart one. That being said, it wasn't part of the plan. It just worked out that way rather nicely.


Reinke Response #1:

Hi Jamie!

Don't hold back - please let me know how you really feel!

Which one of our nationwide USRA Half Marathon events that have attracted over 25,000 runners in the last 4 years have you run?   If you've not run one, then let me personally invite you to our Worcester Marathon / Half Marathon / 5K June 3.  We'd be happy to comp your entry and you can see in person how popular the Series is.

You'll be happy to know in addition to Freeport, Cape Cod, Worcester and Lake George, we have been invited to two additional  New England markets for site visits who are interested in hosting a USRA event!

Please let me know if you'd like to join us in Worcester?  Spread the word - the 3rd Annual will once again be a great event!

Thanks for your feedback!


Notes: He emailed this back within 10 minutes and I was quite surprised. However, knowing his background, I smelled a rat. I immediately saw through his lame attempt to quiet me by offering to comp my entry and I thought it was very arrogant of him to ask me to promote one of his events. Notice that he also didn't address my initial concern and attempted to move the conversation on to another set of tracks. I wasn't having it. 

More importantly, notice he's offering to comp my entry to an event in Worcester. Why not Freeport? Hmmmm. I didn't catch that until later, unfortunately. 


Jamie Email #2:

It seems like you have a lot of practice in responding to these kinds of emails. Two questions for you:

1) Will you do the ethical thing and refund the money for those who paid for the race in Freeport?
2) One of the local TV stations is working on a story on your scam. Interested in doing a phone interview with them? I can arrange it. 

If the answer to one and two are both no, kindly take your comped entry and shove it up your a**. 

Notes: I suspected he would try and dodge these two questions which directly address the issue. It's what con artists do. Within minutes, he responded back.


Reinke Response #2:


Who are you and where are you getting your info?  Are you aware our Freeport event last year was a huge success?    Please look at our website at and you can see our course, etc.  We still have the support of the Tourism bureaus in Freeport, Portland and the State of Maine.  Our sponsors are on board again including a major TV and radio station.

You still have not answered my question as to whether you've run any of our races?  If not, how can you possibly critique us?  Have you ever put on a running event?

I am not sure exactly what your problem is?  

Would love to learn more about your background and whatever ax you have to grind?

I have been doing this for 37 years and will be doing it for 37 more.  I would encourage to get some help as you appear to have some serious issues.  Take a deep breath, go out for a run, get rid of the anger and get yourself back on track.  Hope you'll join us on the 12th!



PS:  Again, please let me know where you are getting your inaccurate info.  I'd be happy to set them straight as well!

Notes: Yep, he's dodging. Notice he is going on the offensive here and skirting my questions. Never does he address the refund issue or offer for an interview. Instead, he makes very misleading statements about the race. Keep in mind that Freeport and Brunswick have both already denied him permits. He asked me to look at the course map, alluding that the event is still on. The map shows it's in Brunswick.

The race is not happening, despite who he claims is allegedly "on board". Yet, registration is still open and he's still taking people's money. I thought I'd be very direct yet again.


Jamie Email #3:

Nice try. You were denied the permit to do the race this year yet were still accepting registration money after the fact. Lame attempt at skirting around my questions. Let me ask them again:

A) Will you do the ethical thing and refund the money?
B) Would you like to be interviewed by the local TV station doing the story on your scam? If you really feel your actions are justified, then you should have no problem talking to them, right?

Notes: I purposely avoided his questions about me. He would likely try to spin whatever I had to say and sidetrack the issue. But I sensed his arrogance was getting the better of him. His next email would contain the flat out lie I was now looking to get out of him.


Reinke Response #3:

Once again, we have moved the course and are all set to roll.  The tourism group in Freeport was very upset (they are already jockeying to get us back next year) with the Town Council (by the way, the Police approved the course and the town council, who were not even in loop last year, apparently denied it).  We have simply moved to a new venue and have the proper approvals.

You must be a relative of Howard Spear or James Hendricks.  Runners want to run and not get caught up in the politics.  I would suggest you do the same and move on.

Have a great day!


Notes: Score. After some careful tip toeing his arrogance apparently got the better of him. Flat out lies in his response. He tried move the race to Brunswick but he does not have the proper credentials, as you'll see in the Maine Track Club alert at the beginning of this post.

So... busted. Also notice he still hasn't answered my two questions, which I've asked twice now. Simple yes or no is all it takes. 

Jamie Email #4:

So, where'd it move to? You were denied a permit in Brunswick as well. Surely, you are aware of all of this. Really curious to where the "Freeport" Half is moving to? Still in Maine? Hmmm?

I love running. And I love runners. This is why I'm going after you. Your scams are posted all over the internet. Sure, put on a few races that actually go off here and there so you can point to them and say "See?". Not buying it, Skippy. 

By the way, you didn't answer my questions again:

1) Will the runners who registered for the Freeport Half (that is, by your own admission, not in Freeport) get their money back?
2) Would you like to be interviewed by the local TV station doing a story on your scam so you can present your side of the story?

Notes: I felt it was important to mention a key point here, for posterity's sake: Some of his races do go on, but I think it's apparent that he uses those as a cover-up for the other scams he pulls on the races that do not go on (which are numerous). 

I didn't get a response back to this now that I called him out on a flat out lie, so I emailed him again the next morning.

Jamie Email #5:

Anxiously awaiting your response on you NOT having the permit in Brunswick as well. Your race map says it is there. You said "Once again, we have moved the course and are all set to roll....We have simply moved to a new venue and have the proper approvals." 

You appear to be flat out lying. How do you respond to the above? And how do you respond to the below, which you keep dodging and still haven't answered? Close ended questions like the below are simple to answer... yes or no. Which is it, Skippy?

1) Will you do the ethical thing refund the money to those who registered for the Freeport Half which we both know is not happening.
2) Would you like to be interviewed by a local TV station doing a story on your scam so you can present your side of the story?

Notes: No response. If he does respond I'll be sure to update, but I'm not holding my breath. 

I'm writing this post because I thought my emails really shed light on the kind of person Dean Reinke is. It seems like it would be a sin to not share it. This guy is nothing but a scammer. 

It really ticks me off that somebody like this would try to take advantage of the running community. Here in Maine, we have incredible race directors like Erik, Ian, Ryan, Gary and many others who have worked hard to put on great, legit events. The pool of water is very pristine, thanks to them. It really irks me a lot that someone would try to take advantage of the trust in race directors that folks like them have created with runners in the community. 

So Reinke Sports.... if they're coming to a town near you, I urge you to contact town officials, sponsors and whoever else and make them aware of the problems Dean "Rosa Ruiz" Reinke has caused in the past. Run a race put on by the locals instead. It's always your best bet. 

If you have any questions for Dean Reinke, go ahead and drop him a line. His contact info was in the signature of his emails:

     Dean Reinke - Reinke Sports Group 
     1531 Dale Ave.
     Winter Park, FL 32789
     O: 407-599-0568 / C: 407-310-6373

The email worked as of last night, but I'm not sure about the address or phone numbers. Just like his races, beware. Things are subject to change without notice. 

Happy running. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Squeezing In A Run

Very busy day (and evening) today. Was able to squeeze in a quick trail run in the woods out back. The bridge on the fire road is still under construction so I took the swamp trail instead. Saw three deer and checked out the swamp some. Looked for salamanders under logs, but no luck.

Also broke in a new pair of Nike Waffle Racer XIII racing flats. They felt great. The grip actually has some teeth, so I envision using these for shorter trail runs and using the Brook Mach 13s for the shorter road runs and interval work.

Looking forward to the Pineland Farms 10K on Saturday. Hard to gauge times and goals, but I guess under 41 minutes on that course would be nice, as would a top 10 finish. Talk is cheap though.

Ran 4.5 miles @ 9:19/mile pace.
Mostly flat.
Mid 60s, partly cloudy, humid.
Nike Waffle 8, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shaking Things Loose

Felt good to run after two days off. Energy feels good and I think I've more or less recovered from that bug (and what I ran of the marathon with said bug). It was also a chance to test out a brand new pair of Saucony Kinvara 3s. My initial impression is very favorable: They feel a lot like the original Kinvaras. That's the highest compliment I can think to give.

I had two pairs of the originals and loved them. The Kinvara 2 came around and I thought they were okay at best. Too stiff and didn't seem as durable. But the Kinvara 3 feels more flexible and appears to be better built. Granted it's only one run, but when no question marks arise it's always a good sign. They felt great.

Run went well. I forgot to readjust the GPS settings to take a new lap time at every mile, so when I thought I was looking at my lap pace I was actually looking at my overall pace. Didn't figure that out until after the run. Since it was a progression, I kept looking at my watch and was like "Awww, man. It seems like I'm going faster than this," when in fact I was. Good.

Ran 4.0 miles @ 7:17/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, mostly cloudy, very humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Day After

Feeling better. Called out sick from work today which was a good decision. I needed to rest and it did me some good. I'm able to eat again without any protest from my stomach.

I'm already over yesterday. It's not like I did something stupid like going out too fast. Granted, attempting a marathon when you know you're sick could be considered stupid, but at least for me it's much easier to accept a DNF under those circumstances.

Things are already looking up. I found out today I won the raffle for a free entry in the Old Port Half Marathon. Didn't realize the race was already full and I had been thinking about running it, so that worked out very well.

I also decided to run the Pineland Farms 10K this Saturday. I had considered the 50K, but I think I need a mental break from the longer stuff after having bad luck with the hot weather at Boston and then the stomach bug at Sugarloaf. Onward and upward.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

DNF at Sugarloaf

I kept it quiet, but I started feeling sick a couple of days ago. I kept hoping I would feel better but unfortunately I was only getting worse. No miracles when I woke up this morning and I tried to get in a mindset to tough it out and hope things turned around. I balanced this with keeping in mind that it might not go so well. Unfortunately, the latter case scenario happened.

I toed the line and a shotgun blast sent us on our way. As far as pace was concerned, the first four miles were going as planned (6:39, 6:48, 6:48, 6:46). However, it was WAY more work than it should have been. I was struggling to hit those times when in training it was a breeze.

I backed off a little, watching with dismay as a group of a dozen or so runners I was with who were keeping the sub-3 pace got further and further ahead. I ran with two other guys who were cheery and encouraging, but I told them I wasn't feeling well. They were great, trying to pep me up and keep me going, and I really appreciated it but this was a physical issue and not a mental one. They also eventually passed and moved up ahead.

A series of steeper uphills now and they also seemed like more work than they should have. Normally I would be able to cruise up these, but nothing doing. I knew I was in real trouble. I held hope that I would maybe feel better on the downhills, but the power of positive thinking here had about as much affect as trying to take down an elephant with a BB gun.

Jim D. had been riding his road bike alongside me for a while now as well and I told him how I was feeling. I can't remember when exactly, but a few miles before I DNF'd I told him to let Kate, Ryan, Mindy and Chuck of my plans to drop if I wasn't feeling better on the downhills. Jim went on ahead to meet them down the course.

I reached mile 10 and soon after the steep downhills began. So did the vomiting. I vurped once at first. No big deal. Then the stomach really had enough and I full-on projectile vomited. I tried to keep running, but another contraction seized me in my tracks and I ralphed again. I thought my stomach was empty but up came another huge gastro-geiser. Frustrated, I cursed out loud quite a few times.

Stomach empty now so I kept running but the decision was made to drop out when I would see the gang next. They were waiting for me at Mile 12 and after looking at me, there was no protest about my decision. They all said I looked like crap; face pale and green and dark circles under my eyes or something like that. That actually made me feel good, as it validated how I was feeling. If I'm going to feel like shit, I want to look like shit to match.

Fortunately, the condo we were staying at was close by. We went there and I had some soup. We all chit-chatted for a bit before driving home. It really sucks when friends go out of their way to cheer you on and something like this happens. I know they understand, but I still feel bad.

So, now I'm home and resting. Thinking of calling out sick at work tomorrow. Just going to rest up before I decide what to do next.

Ran 12.0 miles @ 6:57/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 50s to lower 70s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara 2, shorts, singlet.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Coming Down the Mountain

Two days to go. Feeling ready. Quite ready. Legs feel springy and fresh. Very much looking forward to the Sugarloaf Marathon on Sunday. Just a short two at an easy pace this afternoon to keep the legs moving.

I'm very curious as to what Sunday will bring. The usual race doubts are going through my head. For one, it'll be warm. Not Boston scorching hot, but still warm (estimated 74 degrees by the time I finish). However, the 7am start helps and I'm also much more acclimated now.

The course is also fast, but with a caveat. According to, 33.6% of the completers qualified for Boston last year, the third highest percentage in the country. In 2010, it was the fourth highest. However, the reason it's fast is because of the downhills. Check it out:

Stolen without permission from Chuck. 
My quads have always been my weakest leg muscles. They have definitely gotten stronger and my downhill form has improved, but they will surely still be tested on Sunday. My best races are on courses with rolling hills (MDI, MidCoast Half, Bradbury Bruiser)... can I do as well on something like this?

But I'm ready. It's been somewhat of a challenge to sharpen the knife (Ryan's metaphor) since Boston, but I don't think it could have gone any better. The legs feel great and it's just a matter of being disciplined, yet tenacious, during the race. 

Sub-3, I'm coming for you.

Ran 2.1 miles @ 7:36/mile pace. 
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly. 
Lower 70s, sunny. 
Saucony Kinvara 2, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Short and Easy

Short. Easy. Uneventful. Is it Sunday yet?

Ran 3.0 miles @ 8:25/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, overcast, humid.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Warmed up for a mile (7:26) and then aimed for MP for the next three miles. Hit the first two "MP" miles way too fast, clocking them at 6:31 and 6:29. I was feeling pretty good doing it, but not wanting to stress the legs I decided to not do a third fast mile and take it easy.

Low and behold, I dropped the pace and felt relaxed, smooth and efficient. That mile came in at 6:39 yet didn't feel fast at all, which was great. I was pretty surprised. Amazing how 8-10 seconds slower can feel. I have to be more disciplined on Sunday though, but the 6:45/mile pace goal seems very much within my realm. The goal is to break three hours, which is 6:51/mile but I feel it's wise to bank some time and don't think 6:45 is overdoing it.

So yeah, feeling great for Sunday. All systems go. Weather looks pretty decent as well. As of now, it's supposed to be a cool morning (43F/6C) but warm in the afternoon (77F/25C). However, given the 7am start it should cooler throughout and plus I'm much more acclimated to the warmer stuff now than I was last month in Boston. I'd say it's just about perfect. Bring it.

Ran 4.3 miles @ 6:46/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, overcast, humid.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, sleeveless shirt.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Trail Monster Ultra Power!

Big ups to fellow Trail Monsters Ian, Jeremy, Mindy, Val, Zak, David and George for some very impressive performances at the McNaughton 50/100 and Massanutten 100 this weekend. Jeremy earned his 100-mile buckle at McNaughton and the final word isn't out on George yet, but it looks like he should be finishing the Massanutten 100 soon. The rest ran the 50-miler, and it sounded like it was an insanely tough course. Very happy for all of them. Well done all!

As for me, I just home brewed a batch of IPA while following reports of my friends on Facebook. I haven't home brewed in nearly a decade, so I had to relearn it all again and it's really not that hard. Everything went nicely without any real hitches, thanks in large part to Kate's help.

About to steep the grains. 
Stirring the wort after adding the hops.
Let the fermentation begin!
After all of that, I watched baseball for a bit and then took a nap. Woke up and then went for a trail run. Hit the dump loop and took the pace easy. It's a very hilly course and a pretty fun one. Heard the first rumbles of thunder of the season which was also a treat. Pretty warm out, but the body is acclimating to it.

One week until Sugarloaf. The mindset is pretty relaxed and confidence is high, which is nice. Going to take it really light this week. I figure with Boston five weeks ago along with a pretty full training week the other week, rest is of a top priority. Tomorrow off and all very short and easy runs this week, aside from one day (likely Wednesday) where I'll do a couple of miles at MP to keep the legs fresh.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 9:06/mile pace.
Trails and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 70s, mostly cloudy.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bangor City Forest and the Walden-Parke Preserve

Very fun day in Bangor. Kate and I met with our wedding photographer at the Bangor City Forest for an engagement photo session. Above is one of the many awesome pictures she took. We're quite pleased!

Afterwards, we went back to Kate's parents' place but then I decided to return to BCF to get in a trail run. I ran some of the trails there but then decided to explore a railroad trail. I discovered that it connected to the Walden-Parke Preserve about a half a mile away! Explored a lot of the trails there and then returned to BCF and ran there some more to get up over 10 miles, which was the plan for the day.

Fun run and nice weather out. Legs felt great. Quite spry. Good signs. Should be good to go for Sugarloaf.

Ran 10.6 miles @ 8:46/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Lower to upper 60s, sunny.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First Run in the Merrell Bare Access

Easy fiver on tap today. Felt a little out of sync, most likely due to a big lunch. Nothing bad though.

It was also my first run in a new pair of Merrell Bare Access shoe. I guess they'll serve okay for some occasional short/medium road runs. They're as light as my racing flats (5.6 ounces) but my Brooks Mach 13s have a more durable rock plate. I stepped on a marble-sized rock during the run today and felt it more than I would have liked. I'd rather not worry about such things if I don't have to.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:41/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 60s, humid, breezy.
Merrell Bare Access, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Meb, King and Me

Lot's of literary stuff going on right now. This morning I finished reading Meb Keflezighi's, Run to Overcome. What a great read! Despite some impressive accomplishments such as winning the U.S.A. Olympic Marathon Trials earlier this year, the 2009 ING NYC Marathon and the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, I didn't know that much about the guy. Now I do.

I've gained a ton of respect for Meb after reading his book. The autobiographical approach takes the reader through how his family emigrated from Eritrea to the U.S. under very dire circumstances. He discovered running while growing up in San Diego, went on to run for UCLA and then turned pro. There's a lot more to the book than that and it's great to follow his life and career and the tough decisions he's had to make along the way.

Highly recommended, especially since he placed first in the Olympic Trials this year. On top of his obvious running talent, I really respect his work ethic, intelligence and kindness towards others which will make it very easy to root for him whole heartily in London this summer. I'm sure anyone who reads this book will feel the same way. Definitely check it out.

Speaking of running books...My book "Boylston Street" will be coming out soon. Soon. Subjective word, isn't it? The copyediting is taking a lot longer than I thought it would, mostly because I hate doing it. I'm really grateful and appreciative for the hard work Blaine performed by identifying and supplying me with several dozen pages worth of spelling and grammatical errors, which are super-duper valuable. However, making the changes is boring and tedious, so that's the big hold up. Thankfully, I'm nearly done. I just have to smooth a few other things over and hopefully it'll be out in e-book format by the end of June and a print version will follow shortly thereafter. I'm looking forward to getting that out, primarily so that I can get back to concentrating on another book I've been working on which I feel is coming along extremely well.

Back to reading... I'm now fully into Stephen King's new Dark Tower book, The Wind Through the Keyhole. So far, it's awesome! His Dark Tower series is some of his best work in my opinion, so I'm really stoked he came out with another book for the series. Though it concluded with the seventh book, this one takes place between books four and five, and can serve as a stand alone story, according to King. Really interesting so far.

I've just begun, but so far Roland and his ka-tet are rushing to hunker down for a "starkblast", which sounds a bit like a turbo-charged cold front from hell. That kind of reminded of the weather during today's run. It was overcast (again), but the sky was darkening quite a bit with rather ominous looking clouds in the last few miles. The sun has definitely been quite scarce lately with all of the rain the past few weeks, but at least the vegetation is a very lush green right now.

I took the run a little faster than I should have. That was kind of dumb, as today and tomorrow are supposed to be really easy paced so I can give the legs some turnover on Friday without wearing them out. Will have to be sure to take it especially easy tomorrow. It was just really hard to take it slow today after intentionally taking the last two days off. All part of my duct-taped plan to recover from Boston while prepping for Sugarloaf.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:29/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast, very humid.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Acadia National Park Weekend Extravaganza

My good friend Jim was kind enough to put together a bachelor/bachelorette/birthday celebration this weekend for myself and Kate, along with a big group of friends this weekend up at Acadia National Park.

Two words: Big fun.

Below is a brief breakdown of the weekend. There's a lot more to tell, but I'm a bit tired and plus some things are probably best left unwritten.

Kate and I arrived at the Blackwoods Campground first. Ryan followed just ten minutes later. I helped set up our tent but was also anxious to get in a run. Given that it was my birthday, I think Kate was being extra generous and she urged me to go run while she finished setting things up.

I ran from the campground to Thunder Hole and back along the Park Loop Road. Not many cars/tourists about, so the traffic was light. Took the pace easy to moderate overall, aside from one of the downhills at a little under MP.

Afterwards, we met up with everyone else at Geddy's for grub and drinks.

Ran 6.0 miles @ 7:29/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 40s, overcast.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

From the dock, downtown Bar Harbor
A light rain was still falling in the morning, trading off with heavy mist. The fog was also really thick and the temperature a bit chilly. Great running weather, really. Taking part today was Ryan, Mindy, Zak and Randy.

The hope today was to invoke another spruce grouse attack like the one we had last time we ran this route a few years ago. No luck. But we did have a great run with much shenanigans along the way.

Run was actually a bit of an unstructured fartlek for me. I picked up the pace on several occasions for several different reasons including catching up with everyone after a long bio break, racing Ryan to the occasional sign post when they came in view, bombing a long section of downhill, and running the last two miles a little under MP with Zak at the end.

We got back and I took a shower, and then we cooked up a feast at the campground that included sausages, moose, venison, corn on the cob, s'mores and beverages. We also watched the full moon rise from the water at the cliffs, which was quite a spectacular sight!

Ryan, Zak, Mindy and Randy. 

Ryan smiles after being first to reach the sign post (we let him win). 

Ryan and Mindy on a downhill stretch. 


Campfire smoke and a setting sun. 

The cliffs near Blackwoods.

Kate and Jim playing on the rocks.

I see a bad moon rising. 

Ran 15.1 miles @ 7:58/mile pace.
Carriage trails.
Extremely hilly.
Mid to upper 40s, overcast, foggy, light rain/heavy mist.
New Balance MT110, shorts, long sleeved shirt, Salomon 45 waterbelt.

Morning sun.
Jim and I woke up before everyone else (shocker). We made coffee and headed down to the cliffs to watch the sunrise. By the time we got back, almost everyone was awake. We packed things up and headed over to Eagle Lake to get in a final run before we headed back.

The run went well. I had planned on two laps around the lake but the legs felt pretty heavy and I felt one lap was sufficient enough to loosen the legs up without overdoing it. We all ran together, aside from Kate who had a shorter route in mind.

Very fun weekend!

Ran 5.8 miles @ 8:40/mile pace.
Carriage trails.
Very hilly.
Upper 40s to lower 50s, sunny.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

So Long, Open Division

Tomorrow I turn the big four-oh. Hello, Masters Division. Masters... such a regal term. The word invokes a sense of wisdom and nobility. In reality, it's just a sugarcoated title that means you're getting older and slower. I look forward to racing in the same division as many 50-something and even some 60-something year olds who will still kick my arse in races.

Did a short trail run today, this time from home rather than work. I tried to hit the woods out back, but on the fire road several large tractors and trucks were blocking the way. I ran up next to a guy in a hard hat and asked if I could cross through.

"Bridge is out," he said.
"Yep, we had to replace it."
Funny, it looked very sturdy to me the past several times I ran over it.
"I guess the water level is still pretty high, huh?"
"Yep, we tried to find a place to cross but couldn't", he said with a hearty chuckle. I'm sure I could have still waded across, but opted against it.
"Oh well, I'll just run another way."
"Sorry about the bridge, we should have it ready in four to five weeks."
"Four to five weeks?! That long?!"
"Yep, have to rebuild it from scratch."

No big deal, I know of a few other ways to to reconnect to some of my established routes back there. But for today, I just explored some other trails that I knew where they probably went but hadn't traveled on them before. My instincts proved right.

Legs felt great. Very fresh and spry. Glad they absorbed the tempo run from the other day. Probably will run around 10K tomorrow but throw in a session of strides. Looking forward to some longer stuff over the weekend.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:28/mile pace.
Mostly flat.
Upper 40s, overcast.
New Balance MT110, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Recovery on the Rail Trails

Another good sign after yesterday's tempo run is that my legs feel a little better than on par. This is compared to the day after other tempo runs that occurred during the Boston cycle. This means not really feeling the effects of the tempo run until I run that day after.

Such was the case today. The legs felt a little tired but nothing really heavy, which is normal. It's generally easy to keep the pace slow, which is how it should be. Nice.

Rather enjoyable run on the rail trails today, which are great for recovery runs because they're not really hilly and the surface is soft. Still overcast and cool, but no wind or rain. Still, after being miserable during the cool down run yesterday because I was underdressed, I was perhaps a little overdressed today. Not having the rain or wind makes all the difference.

Ran 6.0 miles @ 8:38/mile pace.
Rail trails.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s, overcast.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tempo Run in the Cold Rain

This week is kind of an important one. I feel it's vital to get in some key workouts and mileage, more to remind the legs of what they're supposed to be doing before I begin a two week taper for Sugarloaf.

Today that meant a ten mile tempo run. Went pretty well. I was a bit underdressed with the persistant cold rain and also it was a bit breezy, but aside from that, it's hard to complain. It otherwise felt pretty smooth.


Cooled down with another two and a half or so miles. Began to really feel chilly then and was glad to get back to the car. In fact, at that point I was pretty miserable. Far cry from the weather in Boston two weeks ago.

Ran 10.0 miles @ 6:39/mile pace.
c/d Ran 2.6 miles @ 8:02/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 40s, overcast, light rain, breezy.
Saucony Kinvara 2, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Powered by