Monday, December 30, 2013

Catching Up

Holiday travel madness. Thankfully it's over. On the way back up from Florida, we stopped in West Virginia for a wedding. We had time the day after (Saturday) to head over to Carter Caves in Kentucky. Hiked around for about 2.5 hours.

Looking out from a cave's mouth. 

Looking into a small stream of water. 

Looking up at an icicle. 

Wumpus trout live in this cave. 

Deer carcass.

Kate in a cave.
Back in Maine now, and it feels great to be back. Ran a little over five miles at sunset on the snowy streets of Brewer. The YakTrax Pros did great in providing traction and peace of mind. The temps in the upper to mid teens felt fine and the whole run was pleasant, aside from having to desperately go number two at the end. Glad I made it back in time.

Ran 5.2 miles @ 8:47/mile pace. 
Paved roads, coated in snow. 
Slightly hilly. 
Upper to mid teens, clear skies. 
Saucony Virrata w/ Yak Trax Pros, long tights, fleece pullover, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas and Post-Christmas Running

Christmas Day... an easy three miles of running and hiking with my father (on bike), Kate and Chris. Fun time to stop and look at critters along the way. Christmas itself was a great day, had a lot of fun hanging with family.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 14:45/mile pace.
Paved roads and trails.
Upper 50s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Today I had some time in the morning, but it was cut a little short with travel plans down to Inverness to see family down there. Ergo, I had to cut the run shorter than the original 20 miles I had on tap. No biggie, family is more important. Pleasant run on the backroads outside of Gainesville.

As always, a great trip visiting family, but I'm looking forward to heading back home and strapping on the snowshoes.

Ran 11.4 miles @ 8:06/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 50s, mostly cloudy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hill Repeats

Session of hill repeats this morning. The hill wasn't terribly steep or long (.13 miles and 33 feet of gain). Given this is Florida, but the truth is there are some bigger hills in the area, but this one was most convenient and it was fine. Plus it was pretty windy and head-on for each run up, giving some added resistance. 

Legs felt pretty good. Thankfully a cold front move through and the weather is actually quite perfect. Brother arrives soon, maybe I can talk him into going for another run later in the day. 

w/u: Ran .7 miles @ 8:23/mile pace. 
12 X hill repeats: Ran 3.1 miles @ 7:42/mile pace. 
c/d: Ran 1.4 miles @ 8:41/mile pace. 

Paved roads. 
Mostly flat for w/u and c/d. 
Lower to mid 50s, sunny, breezy.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, long sleeved shirt. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Festivus!

Feats of strength performed this morning in the form of a trail run at the San Felasco Hammock. Heat and humidity were pretty brutal, especially considering the lack of acclimation.

It was a fine way to burn off the "Cracker Platter" consisting of frog legs, gator tail and catfish I enjoyed last night at a local restaurant outside the Ocala National Forest. Really awesome.

Run went great, other than battling the weather. Kate ran also, doing her own thing, and got a bit lost but conveniently wound up at the Ranger station. They kindly gave her some water and offered a ride back on the ATV, but she was fine and declined.

Cold front is approaching, and I'm hoping the UF track will be open tomorrow for some interval work. If not, I'll kick my butt in some other fashion.

Ran 11.6 miles @ 8:56/mile pace.
Packed trails with occasional sandy patches.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 70s, partly cloudy, breezy, very humid.
New Balance MT1010, shorts.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hot Weather and Thick Manly Beards Don't Mix

Down in Gainesville for Christmas. Was able to squeeze in a short run this morning, which was great, because I didn't think I'd be able to (family plans).

Went well, except for the weather: 72 degrees with 91% humidity. Yep, welcome to Florida. Quite the shock to the system, considering all of my runs this week up in Maine were on snowshoes. The beard is of benefit in the cold. In this warm Florida weather, not so much.

Ran 4.1 miles @ 7:43/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, partly cloudy, very humid.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

10K Snowshoe Run

Great conditions in the woods out back. The snowshoe trail that I blazed was pretty well packed and then 9/10 of a mile in, it meets up with a trail that a snowmobile has now gone by on. That obviously allowed me to cover more ground quicker, but even so the snow was pretty soft and had a lot of give since it's still so powdery.

Very fun to see that deer have been using my snowshoe trail. One deer had clearly walked on it for a good half a mile. That was pretty neat to see.

When I got to the fire road a little than a mile and a half in, I opted to turn left instead of right this time and head down the hill towards the stream. Did an out and back, getting in 6.2 miles just before it got dark.

Four snowshoe runs since Sunday. Each time the conditions got more packed down and faster. Look at a difference that makes in terms of mileage and pace:

Sun: 2.0 miles @ 20:48/mile pace (unpacked)
Mon: 4.2 miles @ 15:54/mile pace (partially packed and unpacked)
Wed: 5.3 miles @ 14:28/mile pace (partially packed and snowmobile trails)
Thu: 6.2 miles @ 11:56/mile pace (packed and snowmobile trails)

Good times. Equal to about 10 miles on roads, and a lot more fun.

Snowshoe Ran 6.2 miles @ 11:56/mile pace.
Packed snowshoe and snowmobile trails.
Very hilly.
Upper to lower 30s, partly sunny
Dion 121 snowshoes, New Balance MT1010, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Back and the Woods Out Back

Begrudgingly took a rest day yesterday after my lower back stiffened up big time. Came right home after work and laid on a heating pad on the floor with some occasional stretching, then at night I crawled out of bed (too soft for my current state) and slept the second half of the night downstairs back on the heating pad.

The good news is it worked pretty well and there was significant improvement today. It was feeling off a few weeks ago and I'm not sure if the snowshoeing, shoveling or something else triggered the attack, but whatever, I'm on the mend. Just a wake-up call to get back on my core strengthening program.

Regardless, felt okay to risk a snowshoe run today. No problems. Felt great in fact. It was some work re-packing down the trail I blazed that goes to the fire road, thanks to about 4"-5" of fresh powder last night. Still, not as hard as I thought it would be, but still a great workout. Great weather to boot. Just below the freezing mark, sunny and no wind. Beautiful out.

Reached the fire road about a mile and a half later and was pleasantly surprised to see fresh snowmobile tracks again. Ran an out and back for a couple of miles and then took my own trail back home. Great run. I'd estimate it to be a road run equivalent of about 10.4 miles. I really should get a new battery for my heart rate strap, will make it much easier to calculate such things.

Snowshoe Ran 5.3 miles @ 14:28/mile pace.
Trails, packed and partially packed with loose, powdery snow.
Very hilly.
Lower 30s to upper 20s, sunny.
Dion 121 snowshoes, New Balance MT1010, long tights, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Time vs. MIleage and Snowshoeing

A few weeks ago while running with Ian, he brought up the point that with snowshoe running, looking at time instead of mileage is much more important. I agree. You could even make that same argument with trails since there can be decent variation, but with snowshoe running, it's even more so.

I'm going to take that philosophy to heart a lot more this winter, as I plan on doing quite a bit of snowshoe running. I have five races on the calendar and as long as there's snow, I'll be incorporating a lot of the snowshoes into my training. 

How this affects the Boston training is debatable. No doubt it helps in a big way, but just makes things very tricky to gauge. To kind of help with that, I'll experiment with guesstimating what pace it would translate to if I were running on roads, based on my breathing and effort. 

For example, today's 4.2 mile jaunt out back was probably around a 7:30/mile road pace effort overall, and that's being conservative. It took a little over one hour and six minutes, which translates to an 8.8 mile road run. Keeping that in mind will help with what might look be a sacrifice in mileage, but is in reality high quality hay in the barn for the same amount of time.

The snowshoe run itself was great. I took the same path I did yesterday, so it was at least semi-broken in for the first mile (it snowed some more yesterday after I got back and plus the wind blew things around a bit). After that, it was breaking trail again for a little less than a half a mile. 

That brought me out to the fire road, where a snowmobile had gone by. Sweet! Though it was already starting to get dark, I couldn't resist and did an out and back in its tracks for a little over a mile total and then took the path home. Great run, and I just beat the dark. 

Snowshoe Ran 4.2 miles @ 15:54/mile pace. 
Trails with semi-broken, unbroken and packed powdery snow. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 20s, partly cloudy, windy. 
Dion 121 snowshoes, New Balance MT1010, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gone Chooin'

Ah, first real snowstorm of the season. First snowshoe run of the season. It was awesome.

Over a foot of unbroken powder meant it was a LOT of work. Ran an out and back in the woods behind my house. Naturally, the first mile was much slower as a result. 23:36 compared to 18:24 on the return.

I didn't wear a heart rate monitor, but based on the time and how it felt, those two miles were easily the equivalent of six miles on road at a tempo pace. Sweet.

Probably should have also wore sock liners and something to protect the back of my neck. Some minor frostnip but well worth it.

Snowshoe ran 2.0 miles @ 20:48/mile pace.
Trails with over a foot of unbroken powder, higher in drifts.
Moderately hilly.
Mid teens, overcast, moderate snow, windy.
Dion 121 snowshoes, New Balance MT1010, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Time Management, Life and Beards

Past two days off. One day was unavoidable, the other wasn't. The one that was avoidable was two days ago. I felt exhausted at the end of the school day, something that must stop. This can be remedied in a few ways: More sleep at night and/or divulging in an extra cup of coffee during my lunch break (I normally drink two cups in the early morning). I thought of that on the drive home after bailing. Another option is I could suck at my job and just give my students worksheets or something to conserve energy but that's not how I roll.

Yesterday, Kate was really sick. No way I would run. After a trip to the doctor we didn't get home until after 6pm (she's fine now). I totally don't mind skipping a run for matters like that obviously... some things in life are more important. Still, when in conjunction with an avoidable day off like two days ago, it does make one antsy.

This all being said, at this stage such things are acceptable, but time is quickly running out where they won't be. Those avoidable extra rest days are like that friend in college who would crash on your couch "for a few days".

So, for today... I had that cup of coffee during my lunch break. It worked. Ran a road route that goes up and over Mt. Hope. Felt strong and super. It was cold and the wind bit hard. I was thankful for my thick, manly beard. It is a well known fact that thick, manly beards are a 100% organic way of keeping one's face warm when running in winter conditions. If you haven't grown your thick, manly beard yet... well... what are you waiting for.

Ran 11.1 miles @ 7:59/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 20s, partly sunny, breezy.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, fleece pullover, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves, thick manly beard.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow...

Not sure if we were even supposed to get snow this afternoon, but alas, we did. Made for a fun run. It fell pretty moderately throughout and the roads were pretty slick as a result, but it could have been much worse.

Stayed on the backroads, allowing me to safely run in the middle of the road or whichever side had less snow for much of the time.

Legs felt great. I absorbed the 30 mile weekend quite nicely, thanks to a rest day yesterday. Had the roads have been in better shape I'm sure the pace would have naturally gone down :45-:60 faster without even trying. Things continue to click into place for the time being. Stoked.

A good song to have going through your head while running in Zen conditions like today:

Ran 7.5 miles @ 8:18/mile pace.
Paved roads, coated in snow.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 20s, overcast, moderate snowfall.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Cathance Trails

Stellar trail run this morning with Ryan T. and John R. at the Cathance River Preserve. Very grand time. Legs felt a little stiff from yesterday's long run at first but after a few miles, that went away. Energy felt pretty great. Excellent.

Pretty moderate pace given the technicality and hills. No big climbs, but there are several steep drops and climbs.

Bro time continued afterwards with Zach joining us for pizza, beverages and the Pats game. Hilarity ensued. Grand Sunday.

Ran 9.5 miles @ 9:31/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 20s, partly sunny.
New Balance MT1010, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Finally. A True Long Run.

I haven't had a run over 20 miles since mid-June. Glad to finally do so, and do so strongly. I was kicking myself for skipping yesterday's run, but I guess the bright side is it ensured today's success. The last five miles were the fastest. Easy pace overall of course, but I felt fantastic.

Scenic route as well. A good chunk of it went along the Saco River. I have been missing fly fishing big time lately, so I'm not sure if this was a good idea. Might have to hit the estuaries sometime this week for sea run browns.

Weather was fantastic out. With the sun out and little wind, it felt much warmer than the temperature indicated. The double-walled running jacket was clearly overkill and after four miles I shed down to just a short sleeved shirt and was very comfortable.

Ran 20.4 miles @ 8:01/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid to upper 30s, partly sunny.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker (shed after four miles), short sleeved shirt, buff, gloves.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Dank Day

Cold and misty out. Pretty raw, other than there being no wind to speak of. That made it kinda nice. Rather pleasant running conditions, actually.

Felt pretty fresh and peppy, despite the lactic acid screaming through my legs with each hill repeat yesterday. No doubt that's only because I had two rest days prior to that, and not a lot of mileage the week before.

Will run a little longer tomorrow and hopefully get in a true long run this weekend (20+ miles). Hope I'm not jinxing it, but looks like we could have a snowstorm on Monday, hopefully enough to go chooin'.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:41/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 30s, overcast, intermittent light rain/mist.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Beaver Hill Repeats

The last two days were off. One was intentional, one was not, due to a longer than expected work day. With some better planning, that additional day off could have easily been avoided. Lesson relearned.

So, I sought to do some make-up work today on Beaver Hill in the form of repeats. The section was not particularly long, around .15 miles, give or take a hundredth. But it's steep, climbing around 70 feet. If I had ran yesterday, I might have opted for 6-8 repeats today but given the two days off I decided to do ten. Active recovery in the form of jogging back down the hill and with a two minute break after five reps.

I didn't take split times, as I often don't during hill repeats. I don't know why that is. It doesn't make sense. Maybe I should next time? Only logical.

Regardless, it went quite well. The final quarter stretch for each rep produced a nice, anaerobic lactic acid burn. I mused that was ideal.. you want to feel the burn for a good stretch but not too long. Some good hay in the barn.

w/u: Ran 1.8 miles @ 8:06/mile pace.
10 X Hill Repeats: 3.1 miles @ 8:52/mile pace.
c/d: Ran 1.8 miles @ 8:52/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly for w/u, c/d.
Around 40 degrees, overcast.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker (w/u), long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, buff (w/u, c/d), gloves (w/u, c/d).

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Trails, Hills and Snow

Met up with Ian and John R. today to run the hills at Blackstrap. Man, what a treat. I wish I had brought a camera, the scenery with the falling snow was spectacular. Love winter.

There was also ice in a few spots, and I went down twice. Sprained my wrist on the second one, but not a big deal. Ian's studded shoes seemed to be perfect for the conditions.

The right heel which had been giving me big problems on trails held up great today. This was a test and it passed with an A-. I could feel the heel very lightly a few times, but it never got worse. Very happy with that.

Extremely hilly route also. Steep climbs abounded. Great workout with great company, which continued with breakfast afterwards. This also allowed some extra time for the snow to change over to rain, which made running errands on the way home much easier.

Ran 10.5 miles @ 10:33/mile pace.
Technical trails, coated with snow and some icy spots.
Extremely hilly.
Around 30 degrees, overcast, light to moderate snow.
New Balance MT1010, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The "It" Route

Nice run this morning to burn off all of the traditional Thanksgiving Day grub that I mowed down yesterday. Blaine is in town also so he joined me for a big chunk of the run.

The goal was to hit several landmarks from Stephen King's "It". I ran from my in-law's house in Brewer over to the Paul Bunyan statue, where I met Blaine. From there we ran past King's house, then the Standpipe, then the Barrens, then the library and then the canals downtown.

Chilly out. It was in the teens throughout our run, but thankfully not much wind for once. Took a few miles to feel warmed up but it's beneficial to get used to the colder stuff early on and embrace it. There'll be plenty of runs in the cold for snowshoe racing season and the Boston training cycle in general. No room for wimps if you live in Maine.

Leg's felt yesterday's race a little. Easy pace throughout which allowed for some good conversation. Nice to get caught up with Blaine, life is quite good for the both of us right now, we had nothing but fun things to talk about.

Ran 11.7 miles @ 8:31/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid to upper teens, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, fleece pullover, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

More Pie: Turkey Trek 4-Mile Trail Race

Yesterday, I baked a pie. Today, I earned one. 

Ran the Turkey Trek 4-Mile Trail Race at the Bangor City Forest this morning. It's a low key race. No bib numbers or official clock. Just bring in some canned goods to benefit a local food shelter for the entry fee. However, pies were at stake so in my book it was officially a race.

I was first overall when I ran it two years ago. With only a dusting of snow on the ground in only a few spots this time around, it was much faster this year. So was the competition. 

When it started, two young fellows, one a cross country runner from Bangor High School and his friend who ran cross country for USM, took off and I gave chase. I ran by Kate, who was a 100 feet up the trail and told her "I have no chance" with a laugh as I went by. I kept the two in sight for the first two miles but it was clear from their chatter that they were hardly pushing it. 

About three quarters of a mile in, I noticed one guy gaining some ground, perhaps fifty feet or so behind. I held him there for the next mile, and then the trail took a series of sharper turns. I decided to put on a surge here to try to lose him and I guess it worked. 

The two cross country kids were now out of sight and I was alone. Not knowing how far the other guy was behind me, I relaxed just a tad, taking it back only a half a step and running hard but ready to surge again if needed. 

Finish line in sight and I crossed. The winner (Bangor kid) came up and we exchanged congrats and chatted. I learned that I was actually in second place, only because his buddy took off ahead but made a wrong turn. Felt bad for the guy, but when I saw him a few minutes later he appeared to be laughing it off and taking it in stride. 

I chose a chocolate chip and walnut pie and can't wait to devour it later! Very happy to participate in an event that is for a good cause. Looks like they had a huge amount of canned goods thanks to the runners. Always nice when you can combine a true passion with a good cause, and I appreciate the pie. Thank you organizers, looks like it was a success. 

Ran 3.9 miles @ 6:37/mile pace. 
Mostly flat. 
Around 30 degrees, sunny, windy. 
New Balance MT1010, long tights, sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

w/u: Ran 1.9 miles @ 8:17/mile pace. 

Monday, November 25, 2013


Just some short mileage to keep the legs loose after yesterday. Almost didn't run, especially when I stepped out of my classroom to check the weather and was hit with an arctic wind blast that reminded me of yesterday. Not again, I thought. But I did. 

Legs felt fine. Pretty great in fact, but stuck with just doing three miles since Kate is home sick and I wanted to get back. Tomorrow and Wednesday will be challenging to run but the rest of the week should be pretty wide open. 

Ran 3.0 miles @ 8:30/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Upper 20s, sunny, breezy. 
Saucony Virrata, long tights, fleece pullover, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Maine Running Company Turkey Trot 5K Race Report

Went quite well today. I haven't been in relatively decent race shape since Boston, so I was really excited about this morning. Glad it all panned out. Here's the lowdown:

Mile One
The start. 
We're off. I was very surprised during my warm-up run to learn the wind would be at our backs during the final stretch. That meant it'd be gusting in our faces during the first mile. It was. Despite a huge downhill, that gnarly wind (40+ mph gusts) slowed us down. 

During that downhill, Ian was beside me and I muttered draft as a suggestion for him to tuck behind me while we passed a few folks. Still, I could tell we weren't moving as fast we could be. That wind... oh man, that wind...  A right on to a neighborhood back street and we hit the mile split in over six minutes (GPS read a very generous 5:47 well before the mile marker, mile clock showed 6:08). I quietly said to Ian slow.

Mile Two
We're still on the back neighborhood road and I start to pull ahead of Ian a little. As we were getting ready to turn right on to the main road, I was surprised to catch one of my cross country runners who was there. I urged him to pick it up. He should have been in the top 10, maybe even the top 5, but was having a really off day. 

We went on to another back neighborhood section and I passed back the first woman. I had been leap frogging with her and a couple of other folks, including Orange Hat Guy, who pulled ahead of me here. More on him later. GPS split said 6:08, which was probably about right (and on par with the clock at the mile one split).

Mile Three
Shortly after the completion of mile two, the course had a small uphill on a third and final back neighborhood section that was magnified by the fact that we were head-on into the wind in an open area. It was brutal. Thankfully, once the hill was crested, the right turn back towards the finish was in sight. It was here the wind would be back at our backs. 

Said right turn came and with a favorable tail wind there was still a brutal hill to contend with. The runners were strung out ahead and spaced apart pretty equally. I like to think I'm strong on uphills, so I hoped to at least pick off a few. 

Orange Hat Guy wasn't too far ahead but running strong, however we did pick off at least one fellow, maybe two? Felt pretty good on the uphill. Yeah, it was work, but it didn't tax me as much as I thought it might. Good. 

With the climb over, there was the final right hand turn and just a little over a tenth of a mile to the finish line. I caught up to Orange Hat Guy and muttered let's go. I wanted to make sure I had a dogfight at the end to push my time down, even if I was on the losing end of it. 

It was also here that I saw my time was in good shape. Could I break 19:00? I'd have to move. 

Final Tenth
Orange Hat Guy remained behind me and was giving me a good push. However, as we rounded the turn and the clock came into view, it read 18:5X from pretty far off. I think I might have said an adult word out loud. Dang, that would have been nice, but I can't really complain. 

I crossed the finish line in 19:10. At first, I was pretty disappointed that I didn't break nineteen or even my time of 19:05 from seven years ago, but that wind and the cold definitely dented my time. Plus, I'm not even up to full speed yet. So, given all of those factors I'm pretty dang stoked.

Orange Hat Guy came up immediately afterwards and we exchanged good jobs and thanks for pushing/pulling each other to a faster time. I love that with running competitively, good sportsmanship abounds. Our sport is awesome. 

Turns out the time was good enough for 15th place overall and second in my AG. Excellent. Once I learned that, I felt much better. Pretty stoked to have placed well in both of those categories. Also very happy for one of the girls on my cross country team who also got an AG award. She was really happy.

Fight to the finish. 

Post Race Analysis
Couldn't have really gone too much better. I paced myself where my splits were pretty even, especially when factoring in the big hill at the end and I felt I couldn't have redlined myself much further. 

Strategically, I can't think of anything I'd do differently. I tucked in behind folks when I could to block any headwinds and was patient when making moves. 

So, a good pat on the back for myself with this race. It showed I'm on a very good track. Not sure if I'll be doing any other races until snowshoe racing season, which will be a busy one. There's also the MWC and I'll be registering for sure tomorrow. All of that also adds to the bank for Boston, which is the 'A' race. Bring it on. 

Ran 3.1 miles @ 6:11/mile pace. 
Official time: 19:10
Overall placing: 15th out of 684
AG placing (40-44): 2nd out of 35 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 20s, partly cloudy, extremely windy. 
Brooks Mach 13, long tights, sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pre-Race Jog

Keeping the legs fresh for tomorrow's 5K. Went just fine. By the time I was warmed up the run was over. Easy pace.

Weather forecast just keeps getting colder and windier for the race. Sweet, that'll make it memorable. Just makes for a better story to tell, regardless of what happens.

Ran 2.9 miles @ 8:07/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s, sunny, breezy.
Saucony Virrata, warm-up pants, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hills and Strides

Perfect running weather. Mid 40s, partly sunny and not much wind. Headed out on a short but hilly route and the legs felt pretty peppy.

With it being not too cold out, it didn't take too much to feel warmed up and the pace came down very easily. Went a little faster than I had planned, but I also had some strides planned for afterwards so I just cut down on the number of reps.

Everything is looking good for Sunday. Weather will have some major bite with it being cold and windy, but whatever, everyone else has to run in it also. Mind over matter; if you don't mind, it don't matter.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 7:19/mile pace. Includes 5 X 100M strides at the end.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 40s, partly sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, gloves.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Easy Wednesday

Just an easy paced run from the school. Legs felt great, but no problems holding back. Pretty vanilla, not much else to report.

So, for the sake of writing something a little more substantial, I do have a few goals for Sunday's 5K that I might as well list:

  • Sub-19
  • Top 20
  • Top three in age group
The sub-19 might be the toughest, mainly because I'm not at full speed yet and I've only cracked nineteen minutes once. That being said, I only race 5Ks once a year, maybe twice if I'm feeling sassy

Top twenty should be reasonable just looking at the past few years, but it all depends on who shows up. Same deal with the age group placing. Some years it would be easy, others not so much. 

Ran 5.5 miles @ 8:17/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Moderately hilly. 
Around 40, sunny. 
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Run With Number Three

A few tenths of a mile into my run, I saw the number three runner on our cross country team running up ahead of me. He also saw me and stopped to let me catch up. We talked and our distance plans were similar, so we happily decided to run together. I informed him I was only doing an easy pace though, so if he wanted to speed up, feel free.

That never happened. We pulled each other along and each mile got progressively faster until we were down to around 7:00/mile. Not blazing fast, but far from my easy pace at the same time. I couldn't help it.

Oh well, it was fun. I had a light track workout planned for Thursday, will just substitute it with an easy/moderate paced run with a session of strides at the end because of today. 5-7 easy miles for tomorrow.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:20/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 30s, partly sunny, windy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bauneg Beg Mountain

Kate was wanting to hike and check out some new trails closer to her work that she can run on once hunting season is over. We checked out the Bauneg Beg Mountain Conservation Area and were pretty surpised.

It's a very small area and the trails aren't super long. However, as it is a mountain big hill, a lot of it was quite steep. We got in more than 600' of gain in 2.7 miles. This will be a great place for hill repeats.

Scenic woods and some really cool rock croppings. Also came across a pretty large spotted salamander, which we moved gently off the trail.

Ain't he cute?

Hiked 2.7 miles in 1:15:36 (includes all stops)
Technical trails. 
Insanely hilly. 
Mid 40s, overcast, light rain. 
New Balance MT1010, fleece pullover, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

The Importance of Sleep

Picking up from yesterday; I wrote my blog post and laid on the couch with The Hobbit playing on the TV. Around ten minutes later, I was sound asleep.

A little over two hours into the movie, I awoke to the sound of whispering, followed by Kate cracking up with laughter. Confused and groggy, I asked what she was doing. She explained she was trying to plant subliminal messages to go out to eat at a Japanese steakhouse. I explained that hardly required any covert coaxing, but kept to myself that I was glad she wasn't trying to trick me into additional household chores.

After an awesome feast of quality sushi, we came home. Shortly afterwards I was in bed and woke up over nine hours later. With Kate in bed and two cats curled up at her sides, I knew she'd be there for a while so I hit the trails for a run.

Big surprise at first: I felt great. My energy was peppy and my legs only felt slightly tired. I mused that if I hadn't gotten in a speed workout already this week, a Fartlek session would have been more than possible and would have gone well, to boot. But still, I took it easy.

But what caused this big turnaround from yesterday? As soon as I asked myself the answer was obvious. Sleep. Much needed sleep. Rested and repaired as a result. The sushi might have gotten an assist as well; good protein and carbs.

Very stoked to get in 51.2 miles for the week. Ramp up is going fantastic. Step down week next week, which will go well with the 5K race a week from today. Will be many turkeys a trottin'.

Ran 5.2 miles @ 9:05/mile pace.
Mostly flat.
Upper 30s, overcast.
New Balance MT1010, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, buff, gloves.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Tale of Two Runs

Past few days have been one big whirlwind. Back-to-back cross country banquets on Thursday and Friday evenings (division and then our own). Seriously great and awesome events, not to mention sentimental.

Ran from the school. Was very tired from the previous night, so during my planning period (which is at the end of the day), I had a cup of coffee. That made me a bit nauseous during the run, especially at the end. Peppier, but nauseous. Easy pace.

Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:09/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Mid 50s, sunny. 
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt. 

Cursed my alarm for going off, but obeyed and rose out of bed to run with the Trail Monsters. Let the front group go ahead, and ran with Ryan and Sean. Ryan took a shortcut back, so Sean and I ran the rest of the campus side back to the YMCA. He was done but I continued on, hitting the campus side again. 

I was alone on the second loop, which was fine. First time I've had some alone time in several days so it was welcome in that sense. That and I was really slow now. Really slow. Pretty clear that the sleep deprivation had caught up to me and plus my legs were far from fresh. Enjoyed it though. Didn't do the entire campus side for the second round, but most of it. 

Went fishing with Pete afterwards. We both got skunked but it was beautiful day on the river nonetheless. 

Ran 14.8 miles @ 10:04/mile pace. 
Moderately hilly. 
Upper 30s to upper 40s, partly sunny. 
New Balance MT1010, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, cap, gloves. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tempo Thursday

Some schedule rearranging... I took yesterday off instead of today but ran yesterday's planned workout today, which was eight miles total with five at tempo pace. I was kind of dreading it all day, mostly because I had no idea how it'd go, but not running yesterday helped freshen up the legs a bit. Was glad I did that. Not ready to do harder workouts on tired legs just yet, need a bit more base work first.

Mile and a half warm-up and then the tempo portion. Splits were 6:39, 6:50, 6:45, 6:40 and 6:46 over a moderately hilly route, followed up with a mile and a half for cool down. Not bad for this stage. It did feel a bit tough, especially that second mile which was mostly uphill. Fifth mile was also uphill, but I was more warmed up by then so not as bad. So yeah, all in all, can't complain.

Am adjusting tomorrow's workout. Had planned on 13 miles but it'd make more sense to save something longer for Saturday. I think tomorrow will be somewhere between 7-10 miles. Might even just do five if the legs are feeling pretty shot, but I think at least seven is reasonable.

w/u: Ran 1.5 miles @ 7:26/mile pace.
Ran 5.0 miles @ 6:42/mile pace.
 c/d: Ran 1.5 miles @ 8:20/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 40s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Low, Slow and Incognito

As planned, super slow five miler. The pace was on par but it came a little too naturally. I would have preferred to have been at a point where I was my holding myself back. I think the past four days have caught up to me a bit, that's all.

Still planning on a tempo run tomorrow though. I'm at least at a stage where things can turn around on a dime, so hopefully I'll have some pep tomorrow.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:38/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 30s, partly sunny, windy.
Merrell Bare Access, warm-up pants, fleece pullover, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Good Start to the Week

Ran a smidgen over eleven miles this morning. Recovery pace was intentional just to get in the mileage while not straining the legs too much.

This is part of a set-up to do another very easy five miles tomorrow and a tempo run on Wednesday. Thursday will likely be a rest day, and then on Friday I'm toying with the idea of having Kate drive me to work and then will run home from there (13.2 miles). That'll make getting in over 50 miles for the week very easy as the weekend rolls in.

Easier week next week to rest up for the MRC Turkey Trot. Can't believe I'm taking a 5K so seriously. That's good though, I haven't been serious and in decent race shape since Boston last year. Feels good to have a competitive drive again. I've run this race twice before but that was way back, but I remember that wall at the end of the course. Bring it on.

Ran 11.1 miles @ 8:37/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s to lower 40s, sunny, breezy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Easy Six

Nothing exciting. Just an easy six miles around the 'hood. Felt pretty good overall but held back. Another 40+ mile week, the third in a row. Things are right on track.

I have tomorrow off for Veteran's Day. Might do something a little on the longer side tomorrow. Would like to maybe hit 50+ miles for next week, especially since the week afterwards will be a step down week. That's due in part to freshen up the legs for the Turkey Trot, but it'd also be smart to step back a little as the ramp up continues. One step back for several steps forward.

Ran 6.1 miles @ 8:09/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 40s, overcast.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, buff, gloves (off and on).

Saturday, November 09, 2013

That Shouldn't Have Happened

Today's run at Pineland was awesome. My energy was high and my legs felt great; dare I say they even felt fresh. I had pep. This is all great, but it shouldn't have been that way.

Yesterday's speed workout was tough. Normally a workout like that has me feeling expectedly sore the next day. Throw in that I had a greasy (but delicious) bacon cheeseburger at the local pub last night, washed down with a couple of locally made barley sodas. I woke up in the middle of the night with some bad indigestion and couldn't fall back to sleep for a while. I woke up feeling tired and not very rested as a result.

Yet despite all of that, I felt great during the run. And... there were minimal problems with my heel on the trails. Imagine a boat out at sea getting hit broadside with swells...that same movement with my right foot causes a sharp, shooting pain on the inside of my heel. The trails at Pineland are pretty smooth so that obviously was a big factor in helping, but still, I expected worse. Only twice did I rock the foot the wrong way and the pain was brief and dissipated quickly. Excellent.

Toss into the mix the the great company of Ian, John R. and Julia for most of the run, followed by some coffee and treats time at the Visitor Center with everyone else afterward. That was awesome. Hard to ask for a better Saturday morning run. Stoked.

Ran 10.2 miles @ 8:59/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Lower to upper 30s, partly sunny.
New Balance MT1010, long tights, windbreaker (shed halfway), long sleeved shirt, buff, gloves.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Pyramid Scheme

Call it an Amway run without any con artists involved. Warmed up, then hit the track for 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 800M and 400M with 400M active recovery in between each rep.

It went very well. Quite pleased with the splits, which were: 1:25, 2:58, 4:37, 6:14, 4:35, 2:55, 1:19. The backside of the pyramid was all faster than the front half. That negative split of sorts is pretty dang awesome. However, in all fairness, I somewhat unintentionally took that first rep 400M too slow as I'm not used to 400M pacing. Still, I'll take it.

Great workout that I was glad to get in. Great fall weather to boot: cold, windy and blustery with a few short bursts of sprinkles that weren't too far off from turning to snow. Raw weather like that is great for track workouts, even if it is windy. Ambience is not to be underrated.

w/u: Ran 1.3 miles @ 8:02/mile pace.
Pyramid: 400M, 800M, 1200M, 1600M, 1200M, 800M and 400M w/ 400M active recovery: 1:25, 2:58, 4:37, 6:14, 4:35, 2:55, 1:19.
c/d: Ran 1.3 miles @ 9:25/mile pace.

Paved roads for warm-up and cool down.
Slightly hilly for warm-up and cool down.
Lower 40s, partly sunny, brief moment of light rain, windy.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, buff (w/u and c/d), gloves (w/u and c/d).

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Holding Back

Had planned on 15 miles today. I could have followed through with that, but after three or so miles into the route it became pretty clear that going that long would tax my legs and put a solid speed workout I have planned for Friday at risk. With the 5K coming up in 2 1/2 weeks, the fast stuff is at a premium.

So, I cut it a bit short. Eleven miles turned out to be ample. Easy five tomorrow then I should be good for the track on Friday.

Ran 11.1 miles @ 8:09/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 50s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, refl. vest.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Reluctant Sun

The sun just kind of hangs out in the east this time of year, reluctant to climb high and relieved to duck back under the horizon. It's tired and has given up trying, not caring if the shadows are long and the cold air begins to bite. It has better things to do. Leave me alone, it says. I need more sleep. Don't bug me until March.

Thankfully, there wasn't as much to do as I thought with preparing first quarter report cards. I put on some Aphex Twin, fastened my seatbelt, focused hard and breezed through what I had to do. Just as I was getting up to speed, it was time to apply the brakes. I was done.

Rejoicing, I changed and left the school, running my usual five mile route. There was still plenty of daylight to enjoy the run, even though Mr. Sun had punched out and was on his way home. It went well. Quite pleased given the mileage over the weekend.

A rest day is planned for tomorrow and with cross country season over, this means my afternoon is pretty wide open. The trout are no doubt missing Mr. Sun's presence, but hopefully they won't mind a size 14 black nosed dace waved in front of their noses. Yessir, I'm going fishing.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:49/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, buff, gloves.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Another Solid Ramp Up Week

A smidgen over seven miles this morning at an easy pace. Another solid week overall, getting in over 40 miles. It's fun to think that in a couple of months my step down weeks will be more than this. Things are on track for getting there.

Bittersweet day yesterday as our cross country season came to an official end. Very proud of our girls team for making it to states but am sad now that it's over. It's been a very fun season.

On a selfish note, I must admit I'm looking forward to having an extra 10-15 hours a week. Sometimes it worked out where I could run my workouts with the teams, but that was usually only a day or two a week at best. The extra time in the afternoons will be pretty welcome, especially given my plate has been especially full lately with the writing class I'm taking. Big exhale.

Looking ahead, I expect to creep my weekly mileage up into the 50s by December. There's also still the MRC Turkey Trot 5K that I want to crush, so getting in some more speedwork in the next few weeks will be crucial.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 7:50/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s, partly sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, fleece pullover, short sleeved shirt, buff, gloves.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Opening Day Fifteen Miler

Rifle and shotgun season opens for deer today. Even though I was on the roads, I still wore orange given that I'm in a rural area and every yokel and their grandmother has flooded the woods. Saw so many trucks alongside the road that I wondered if there were more hunters in the wood than deer. I respect hunting and all, but given the hunter to woods ratio for my area, I wonder about the worth.

Run itself went great. Ran a new route that circumnavigates Harris Farm. Easy pace. Pretty scenic and enjoyable. Glad to have another longish run in for a building block. Hoping to get in another seven miles tomorrow to get me over forty again for the week.

Ran 15.4 miles @ 8:07/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s to lower 60s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt (shed halfway), cap.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

6.1 for 6-1

Some fun with numbers today. Ran 6.1 miles to honor the Red Sox 6-1 win last night over the Cardinals to win the World Series. So... frickin... PUMPED they won! I stayed up late to watch the entire game and despite being pretty wiped at work today, I didn't regret it one bit. So stoked!

The exact mileage wasn't planned, but I realized I could hit it when I had a few miles left. Just made the run a little more fun.

And a huge improvement from yesterday. The shoulder blade mysteriously felt 100% by yesterday evening. Easy come, easy go. Legs were a little heavy today though, but I muse that's from the lack of sleep last night and also a sub-par (but not horrible) diet. No worries.

Weather tomorrow looks very interesting. Lot's of rain and crazy wind but would like to still get in something, even though I'm allowed to still take a second rest day this week. The Twin Brooks course will be pretty sloppy for the state championship cross country meet on Saturday, but our girls team is raring to go and I have a feeling they're going to do awesome.

Ran 6.1 miles @ 8:01/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 40s, overcast, light rain.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, windbreaker (shed after two miles), long sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Shoes, Rail Trails and Shoulder Blades

New Balance MT1010
A new pair of trail shoes arrived the other day! Yay, joy! This is despite the fact that I can't really run trails because of the heel issue. Talk about teasing a starving dog with a steak. However, I took advantage of a sale and got the older model of the MT 1010's ridiculously cheap. And... I figured the rail trails near the school were tame enough. 

The good news is the shoes are great. They feel a lot like my old New Balance 110s; low to the ground, minimal, flexible, light and a great fit but these guys have more aggressive traction, an upgrade to my only complaint with the 110s. 

The bad news: I somehow pulled a muscle along my shoulder blade at some point today. I wasn't doing anything extravagant. It just somehow started hurting really badly and I can't pinpoint why. This threw me off during the run big time today. Could never find my rhythm and as a result everything just felt totally uncalibrated, even my breathing. I cut it short. 

This isn't just frustrating, it's stupid. It's one thing to cut a run short or miss it because of life issues, a real running injury, illness or what not. But a pulled shoulder muscle is atypical and dumb. 

Whining aside, I suspect it'll be better in a day or two. I've done this kind of thing before. No plans on taking a rest day tomorrow at this point. 

Ran 4.7 miles @ 9:51/mile pace. 
Rail trails. 
Slightly hilly. 
Upper 40s, partly sunny. 
New Balance MT1010, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, cap. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Le Track

Will start by rewinding a bit to yesterday. Ran half a mile to keep warm before cross country practice got started. There. It's logged. 

Now, today. Hit the track for some 800M repeats with 400M active recovery. Felt great to get in some interval work. Times a bit slow, but actually very good for this stage. I'll only get faster. Pretty pleased. 

Will likely do a run tomorrow on the rail trails to break in a new pair of trail shoes. No way in heck I venture on any real trails for the time being, but I think I'll be fine on the rail trails, which are really the equivalent of a dirt road. 

w/u: Ran 1.5 miles @ 7:28/mile pace.
5 X 800M w 400M active recovery: 2:52, 2:59, 2:57, 2:57, 2:52* (last one estimated, forgot to hit lap button)
c/d: Ran 1.6 miles @ 9:42/mile pace.

Paved roads for warm-up and cool down.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s, sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, long sleeved shirt. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

To The River And Back

Great little longish run this morning before heading over to our regional cross country meet. Went quite well and felt pretty easy, especially compared to when I ran pretty much the same route a few weeks ago.

Chilly out as well. Ran in long tights and a windbreaker for the first time this season. This week also has me at 42.5 miles with an average pace of 7:50/mile. Very good for this stage, haven't cracked 40 miles a week in months. Ramp up is right on track.

Had planned on taking tomorrow off but I might do something short. Will see how the day goes.

Ran 15.0 miles @ 8:06/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 20s to mid 40s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie (off and on), gloves (off and on).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Alternate Plans

Had planned on hitting the track after cross country practice, only to see it was roped off and barricaded, no doubt related to the football game being postponed (reasons why will be on the news). A bit aggravated with that, but understandable why. Just as well, since I questioned if a track workout would be a good idea this week anyway.

Settled for running the loop that goes by Sanford's town dump at a moderate pace. I felt that was an ample compromise. Everything felt great, including the energy. Should be able to get in around 15 miles tomorrow morning before our cross country team's regional meet.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:21/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 40s, partly sunny, windy.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Windy Fiver

Just a little five miler after cross country practice. Crazy windy out, which made the chilly air even chillier. Fortunately it was at my back for the last mile, which gave me a nice push for an effortless 6:50 split.

Toying with doing a light track workout tomorrow afternoon. I feel like I can absorb it. I might be outright blatantly breaking bending my rule of no more than one speed workout a week that's in effect for the next few months, but I think a few reps of alternating 400M and 800M repeats with static rest might do me some good. If I change my mind, will just do another five miler.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:37/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 40s, partly sunny, very windy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ted's Fried Clams Route

Easy ten on tap after cross country practice. Went well. These double digit runs are feeling easier, which is great. Long climb to a ridge with some stunning autumn views of the hills below. Really, really enjoyable.

Worth noting my heel issue was aggravated a bit on Sunday while volunteering for the Big Brad Ultras. I hiked up and down the mountain a few times, and it's been barking a little since then. At least running on the roads is NOT aggravating it, but it's clear that I still have to stay off the trails for now, unfortunately.

Ran 10.1 miles @ 8:04/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 50s, overcast.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two Mile Time Trial

Our varsity cross country teams were running their final two mile time trial of the season today. Decided to hop in and join them. I know I'm not up to speed yet, literally and figuratively, but needed an assessment to see where I'm at, so this was perfect.

I did slightly better than expected. Averaging 6:08/mile for the two miles (which were hilly) isn't too bad for me, considering my only speed work lately has come from the tale end of progression runs. Very encouraged now, actually.

Continuing to ramp up the mileage is still the primary objective, but I also think it's important to start incorporating some speed work here and there to build up strength and also keep the fast twitch muscle fibers in check.

So, yes. Another solid stepping stone. Very pleased with how things are progressing and I feel I'm pushing myself just the right amount while still playing it safe. I'm pretty happy with that balance right now.

w/u: Ran 1.8 miles @ 7:25/mile pace.
Ran 2.0 miles @ 6:08/mile pace.
c/d: Ran 3.0 miles @ 8:28/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 50s, overcast.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Kate and I were in Saco for Noah's Walk, which raises awareness and funds for infant loss, a cause near and dear to a friend of ours. Glad to participate and I also combined it with my workout. That was brilliant. I simply ran home afterwards.

Given that I went from near the coast to inland, there was a gradual uphill for much of the way home. Nothing drastic, but still a good workout. Great scenery as well, full of pastoral farms with rolling hills. The grass is still green, so combined with the fall foliage it was especially scenic.

Kept the pace easy and it went pretty well. The rest day yesterday did me some good. Glad I did so to charge up the legs and energy a bit. It's one thing to push through tired legs and low energy in the heart of a training cycle, but during a ramp up phase I think it's important to not be a hero. The cape has to be earned first.

Ran 13.4 miles @ 8:21/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower to mid 60s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Heavy Legs

Running has been going awesome the past few weeks, but I think fitness wise it's caught up to me a bit. Heavy legs yesterday led me to take an unplanned rest day. Today, I had planned on doing ten but only got in three for the same reason.

No real worries. It makes sense at this stage, especially after looking at the data. There's still plenty of time, so I have the luxury of being patient. Just glad it's not injury related. Only thing that sucks is running will be difficult tomorrow since we have a CC meet in the afternoon/evening, but no big deal. If I can get in another 15 mile run Saturday I'll be happy.

Ran 3.0 miles @ 8:04/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Progression Run

Short run on tap today, but it went well. Warmed up as I went along and just let the pace continue to drop. Fun run.

Tomorrow should be something around ten miles and then Thursday I'd like to get in some sort of interval work. I'm registered for the MRC Turkey Trot 5K to give myself a little carrot. Should be a great reminder of how painful 5Ks are a fun time.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:37/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 60s, partly sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, long sleeved shirt, cap.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Ten

Nice run today that felt easier than it should have. While yesterday was a rest day, I ate like total crap while running around Boston all day with Kate. I guess the fuel was enough for the short term though. Had a nice, natural progression throughout as I warmed up; first mile in 8:33 and the last in 6:52. Felt just fine.

Nice way to spend the morning on a day off. Leaves are incredibly vibrant right now and the air is crisp and cool. I love autumn. 

Ran 10.1 miles @ 7:51/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Mid 40s to mid 50s, sunny. 
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt (shed 5.2 miles in), short sleeved shirt, cap.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

River Run

Fifteen at an easy pace on tap. Went well. Longest run in quite some time so I knew it would be a little tougher than usual. Very good progress continues to be made though. As a result, my mindset has morphed from a frustration-laced I used to able to ____ and this sucks because now I can't to a more positive and reasonable cool, another good stepping stone, I'll be there soon. 

Had the rough goal of getting over 40 miles this week but will likely fall a bit short with the trip to Boston tomorrow. However, if I can't run tomorrow, I have 37.1 miles for the week, with some faster workouts in there as well. Also, consider my mileage the past handful of weeks, listed by ending date:

10/13: 37.1
10/6: 22.5
9/29: 21.3
9/22: 3.5

Considering the goal is to ease into the 60-80/mile week range by Christmas, I'm on a good track and that makes me happy.

Ran 15.3 miles @ 8:27/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower to mid 50s, overcast.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sunset Recovery Run

Cross country meet in Windham this afternoon. Our girls team once again had a great showing, running tough against a higher ranked team and it was pretty close. Quite proud. 

Afterwards, I laced up for a recovery run. Man, my legs were heavy. Good! They should be, given yesterday. Stoked to actually earn my recovery run. 

Was treated to an awesome sunset right at the end. I ran up a bit faster to get to my car and get a pic, but I missed it at its peak. Drat.

Might not hit 40 miles for the week, given that we're now going to Boston on Sunday and I might not have a chance to run that day. Still, a longish run tomorrow should get me close. Given the pace of most of the workouts this week, I'm okay with that. 

Ran 3.6 miles @ 8:51/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Around 60 degrees, partly cloudy. 
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You Mad Bro?

Was up in Lewiston for an all day meeting. Swung by Ian and Emma's to drop off some race stuff and then headed to the Back Cove for three laps. Tacked on a touch more to give me eleven miles.

Went very well. Nice pace overall that didn't really take that much effort. Felt awesome. Granted, I did have an unexpected rest day yesterday but still. Highlight was getting into an impromptu race with some dude at one point but I held him off. Sorry bro, but thanks for the push.

So stoked my running is back on track. Also saw Sara S. and another teacher I work with whom I have a great amount of respect for. Nice to run into friends unexpectedly.

Ran 11.0 miles @ 7:18/mile pace.
Packed trails.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 50s to mid 50s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

North Woods Law Run

Another hugely successful run. Moderate pace over a very hilly route and it felt great. Yessah! Glad that I'm absorbing these kind of runs with little problem now.

With two miles to go, I saw two Maine Game Wardens at a park, both of them I immediately recognized from the Animal Planet TV show "North Woods Law". I've actually talked to one of them twice; once while fishing (someone was using live bait in an artificial lure only stream) and again at a Sea Dogs game. The other guy, just recognized him from the show. I contemplated swinging in and saying hi, but both looked pretty intensely busy, so I left them alone and simply ran by.

Stoked my running is going so well. Goal is to have a 40+ mile week.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 7:29/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Around 60 degrees, partly cloudy, breezy.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Smooth and Controlled

My hell week is over and I viewed this run as a celebration. Exceptionally busy/crazy week, but mostly for good stuff, like the Maine Festival of Champions cross country meet in Belfast yesterday. Lot's of PRs, and our girl's team did especially well, finishing in 17th out of 51 scoring teams. Stoked.

So, today so far is about being a little selfish. I went fishing, ran some errands and then headed out for a run. The fishing sucked, but the run went awesome. I did a hilly 5.6 mile route and I felt strong, in control and energetic. It felt easy. I was a little surprised by that, given the lack of eating and running around like a mad man yesterday at the meet, screaming directions to our runners and what not. I was wiped when I got home, but I guess a good night's sleep did me some good.

GPS went a bit bonkers at the beginning, but it's safe to say I had a solid progression. Very happy with how I'm coming along and that I apparently have the heel problems licked. Will continue to stick with roads for now until I get a new pair of trail shoes.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:16/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 50s, overcast, light intermittent rain.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Friday, October 04, 2013

I Needed That

Past two days off. I needed to absorb the runs prior to that and having accomplished that, I was raring to go today and gave myself a good test.

The route was 10+ miles over some pretty brutal hills. Given the lack of mileage lately, it was a bit of work, but it still felt relatively great. Yeeeeesssssss. I really needed this run mentally, and it's also a good step in the right direction physically.

Tomorrow, I'm heading to Belfast for a big cross country meet. 1700 runners from the U.S. and Canada. The other coach can't make it so I'll be taking our team of 50+ runners myself. It will be a bit hectic and I may have to wait until Sunday to run again, but that's okay. Just happy about today.

Ran 10.7 miles @ 7:56/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Upper 60s, partly sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Lowering the Bar

Late post, as this is a heckuva crazy week. But yesterday, I ran one mile. Yep, that's it. Just one mile. Did part of the warm-up with one of our cross country runners and my legs felt like they had cement running through their veins so I called it good.

The problem is likely my legs not being used to this much mileage yet, and that's not saying much given I've managed a little under 20 miles in four days... In a few months, that won't be the case, but for now I have to keep in my mind that I can't hold myself to normal training cycle standards yet. I might also be down a bit on iron, so I had a kick arse steak for dinner last night.

No run today. Big, all day field trip up to UMO and NESCOM... all part of the myriad of work/coaching tasks that will end on Saturday evening. Looking forward to exhaling then.

Ran 1.0 mile @ 8:47/mile pace.
Paved road.
Very hilly.
Lower 70s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Another Fiver and Itching

These five milers seem kind of mid-distance to me at this stage. Pathetic, but that will change. Soon these will be my easy step down days, and usually only one a week, maybe two if the workouts are especially tough.

I'm really, really looking forward to getting myself into race shape. I can't wait to start competing again.

Ran 5.2 miles @ 8:07/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Around 70 degrees, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall Colors

We are still a ways off from peak colors, but man, it sure is pretty out! Some trees are very vivid yellows and reds while some are still very green. The resulting mish-mash of colors is quite striking; too bad I don't run with a camera most of the time.

Had planned on 10 miles but cut it short. Lack of fitness combined with a heavy breakfast at the local diner are to blame. No worries at all there. Just glad it wasn't because of any heel issues. In fact, that hasn't been a problem at all the past several days, lending more credence to my ill-fitting trail shoe theory. I remain optimistic.

Fun run all the same. Chatted with a woman riding a horse and exchanged head nods with a large group of dirt bike riders. Great day to be outside, but I'm glad I was doing so on my own two legs.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:02/mile pace.
Paved and dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Of Cross Country Courses and Soccer Fields

The past two days have been a whirlwind. Yesterday, school ended. Headed over to our home cross country course. Ran the course to check the markings. Timed the race. Fished a nearby pond. Headed over to have a late dinner with Pete. Home. Bed. Wake-up. Helped time Stephen's race. Fished a nearby brook. Came home. Read for class. Ran barefoot. Ate dinner. Updating blog.

More on the runs: Yesterday, nice to combine a run with a legit duty. Our teams did well considering one of our top male runners was sick and another was out with an injury. The girl's team did great.

This afternoon I ran barefoot on the local soccer fields. I theorized it would help loosen that troublesome right foot up. I was right. It did. Excellent.

Ran 3.4 miles @ 9:46/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 60s, partly cloudy.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Ran 4.5 miles @ 8:21/mile pace.
Grassy field.
Upper 60s, partly cloudy.
Barefoot, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hill Repeats

Yeah, that's right. I said Hill Repeats. And on trails.

But it really wasn't anything spectacular. However, it was a great step forward. I ran them with the cross country team. Well, kind of. You see, their route was an L shape repeat, and when they turned the corner, that's when the real hill began. I had to be at the bend to yell at them to go and start the timer. Then sprint up the hill so I could give them their finishing times in between large gulps for air.

So, a very good light workout with some genuine intensity. Can't wait to do more of this at full blast once I'm ready. I have a good feeling about what's ahead.

w/u: Ran .8 miles @ 10:06/mile pace. Trails up a big hill.
8 X Hill Repeats: Ran .56 miles @ 8:20/mile pace. Trails.
c/d: Ran 1.3 miles @ 11:05/mile pace. Trails.

Upper 50s, overcast.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Trails and Trepedation

Tested my theory a little about the Saucony Peregrine 3s being the source of my right lateral heel pain. Ran the cross country team's home course; a pretty technical route with some short but steep hills but did so in my Nike racing flats.

Yep, no heel pain. Granted it was short, but it gave me a better idea that it was the Saucony's. Will continue to stick with mostly roads for now but when on trails, will wear the flats.

Hopefully will do another step-up tomorrow, something around five miles.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 9:12/mile pace.
Technical trails.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 50s, overcast, breezy.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII, shorts, long sleeved shirt,

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Farewell to Lumps

Some minor surgery to remove a couple of cysts proved to be great timing. I had them taken out on Friday; a small one on my right shin and a bigger one on my right side. The doctor said I could start running again on Monday (today), which was the plan anyway to give the right heel a break.

Glad to have those suckers out. I'm a bit lighter and more aerodynamic as a result, so hopefully I'll be a little faster once I get my fitness back (mostly joking there).

And that heel, here's my latest theory: My trail shoes suck. That's about all there is to it. No problems on roads... only on trails in shoes that never really felt right. So long Peregrine 3s... you can go the way of my tumors.

Today's test run: Went well. Obvious rust, but my stitches didn't burst, so that's always good. Onward.

Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:18/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 50s, partly cloudy.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Plane Grounded

Woke up early. Hey, why not go for a run? Cool! Let's do it. Side of heel still feels a bit funky though. Hmmm. Let's stretch the foot out a bit on the stairs. YOWCH! $&*#. ((sigh)) Okay, maybe not. 

This is getting old. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seeking Solace

Today was just a shitty day. I can't think of a more ample way to put it. So, after finally getting home, I forced myself to go for a run, knowing that usually makes me feel better. This time it didn't.

My lateral heel pain has flared up again, and I told myself a few days ago that roads might be a better idea for another few weeks. But while my brain was on the roads, my heart was more in the woods and it wasn't the best choice.

Sorry to whine, but I was pretty ticked. Already a crappy day and now my failed trail run just made it even crappier. Seeking solace, I stopped at my secret fishing hole and sat and watched the water. I felt comfort in knowing that within the dark and stained water, elegant, healthy salmon with shiny silver skin painted with brilliant black and red dots were swimming freely. I couldn't see them, but the intermittent tiny concentric ripples after they took an insect indicated they were there. That was good enough.

Ran 3.5 miles @ 10:16/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bradbury Bruiser Race Report

Another Bradbury series in the books, despite not doing much running (more on that shortly). Plan today was not to race it from the get-go, but rather do a progression run and try to gain as much ground as possible.

That went well. What didn't go so well was my time or placing. I had still hoped to come in before 1:50, but finished in just over 1:54 and I think in 44th place. Last year, I came in at 1:50, despite taking two bio breaks and then lightly running the last half. Ugh. I couldn't even break that time? Grrr.

But perspective is everything. First, let's look at my mileage by week for the past few months:
9-15: 34.4 miles
9-8: 32.6 miles
9-1: 25.5 miles
8-25: 12.5 miles
8-18: 11.3 miles
8-11: 27.7 miles
8-4: 39 miles
7-28: 9.6 miles
7-21: 0 miles

Average = 21.4 miles/week. Pfffft.

Need I say more? Okay, I will. Not much speed work in there either. Not much at all.

Keeping that in mind, it's pretty easy to accurately label today as another stepping stone. I'm officially in the Boston Marathon for 2014. Will continue on track and be ready to seamlessly enter the training cycle and kick arse there. Prior to that, there's snowshoe racing season as well. Bring it.

Ran 11.8 miles (per the GPS.. specifically, Ian's GPS) @ 9:42/mile pace.
Technical, windy and muddy trails.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, sleeveless shirt.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

That Darn Right Heel

Afternoon trail run that went okay. A touch of that weird lateral heel pain in the right foot returned, but it was tolerable. Hopefully it won't get any worse but it does have me a little concerned for the Bradbury Bruiser tomorrow. Plan is to go out conservative and do a rough progression throughout, so hopefully since I'm not going at crank-it-till-you-puke until the end I will have time to warm up and not aggravate anything.

As for everything else, felt a little sluggish today. Just lack of sleep and stress... one of the wells apparently has gone dry at our condo complex. Being on the condo board, Kate and I and two of our neighbors have to deal with it all... a royal pain.

But back to running... tomorrow will likely have me in the mid-30s for weekly mileage, another small step up. The heel thing doesn't bother me on roads, so after tomorrow, might stick with that for a while again. Hopefully next week will have me in the 40s... it was my goal to work up to that point by the end of the month. On a good track.

Ran 5.7 miles @ 9:45/mile pace.
Trails. Technical and lots of puddles.
Very hilly.
Upper 60s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeve shirt.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Predawn Rain

Was up early for no reason. Why not run? Made sense on several fronts. First, I hadn't run in two days, quite begrudgingly. Wednesday was open house night at the school, plus I had a doctor's appointment, plus it was a gazillion billion infinity degrees outside. Yesterday saw a non-stop deluge of thunderstorms and playing catch up with work, doing homework for my writing class and all of that jazz didn't help. I hate making excuses, and I guess that's what I did yesterday. Looking back, I wish I would have braved the the thunderstorms and got in something, even just a few miles.

Enter today... we have a cross country meet this evening in Portland and plus I would like to stop by Cabela's to pick up Kate's waders which are finally in from a backorder. I also need a few other fly fishing odds and ends. So, taking advantage of the bonus morning time and going for a run made perfect sense.

Glad I did. Went very well. I'm typically considerably slower in the predawn hours but I guess the two days rest left me with some extra pep. Managed the faster end of my easy pace with no problem. Constant light to moderate rain throughout, which added to the ambience. It was fun. Got a nice bonus when Ann beeped at me as I finishing the run and she was on her way to work. Thanks Ann!

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:45/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Mid 60s, overcast, light to moderate rain.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt, reflective vest, headlamp.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Our cross country team held their fundraiser today to raise money for desperately needed new uniforms and travel expenses. The runners got sponsors for a 75 minute run on the track, asking for donations either for money per lap or just a simple flat donation. Huge success. Naturally, the kids all ask their coaches to sponsor them and not being made out of money, I used the rational that if they were also my students they could put my name down.

As for my own run, it went great. At times I ran with the top guys. At times I ran with others. At times I would slow down to tell the kids corny jokes. Chalk it up as interval work. It all equated to a 6:56/mile pace for me overall and despite the humidity, it truly felt awesome and effortless, even when running faster. Stoked. The rust is flying off.

Meeting with a surgeon tomorrow. I have a cyst on my right shin and another bigger one on my right side that are going to get removed (they're the fatty tissue kind, harmless but ugly). Have no idea if they'll do it right then tomorrow, but if so, hopefully it won't force too many rest days. I don't want to kill the momentum I have going, dammit.

Ran 9.6 miles @ 6:56/mile pace.
Upper 60s, overcast, very humid.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Off Target Adventures

After watching the Patriots win a game they shouldn't have won, I laced up and hit the woods out back. The goal was to run a loop that I have only done once several years ago. It was a fun loop, but why I haven't gone back to it is kind of irrational. I guess I'm a creature of habit and have decided to stick with variations of my usual trails. But finally wanting something relatively new, I decided to see if I could find the route again.

I was off by quite a bit. I realized it when I came out of the woods on to a dirt road with camps on a pond at least a half a mile from where I intended (I knew I should have taken that left turn in Albuquerque!). 

However, I knew where the tail end of the trail that I originally sought was and I took that back. It came out at a junction where I realized I went wrong. Ah, now I know.

That was fun though. I liked that loop. I think I may have to do it again. 

Run itself was awesome. One of my strongest runs lately. No big hills, but pretty rugged terrain and I still managed sub-9 minute miles at what felt like a moderate effort. Yessir, the rust is coming off. 

Ran 10.4 miles @ 8:58/mile pace. 
Technical trails. 
Moderately hilly. 
Mid to lower 60s, sunny. 
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Brewer Loop

Short run from the in-laws' house in Brewer, but a progression nonetheless. Bit groggy and slow at first as I had just woken up from a nap. Quite tried from waking up early to go fly fishing with Gary before the cross country meet in Ellsworth (our teams did okay).

Run went well. Felt like work at first but as the pace dropped it started to feel easier once I was waking up a little. Most importantly, I'm starting to feel like a runner again.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 7:46/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, partly cloudy.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt.