Sunday, March 31, 2013

Brewer Run

Was up in Brewer for Easter. Just had a short road run on tap at an easy pace and ran from the in-law's house. Legs actually felt a bit creaky. That dissipated as the run went on, but by the time I was warmed up the run was over.

Picked up a few key fly tying supplies at LL Bean on the way home. After Boston is over, I hope to combine trail running and fly fishing quite a bit through spring and summer. Carry minimal fishing supplies and run to remote rivers and streams that nobody touches. Zen.

Rest day tomorrow. Only have mileage in the upper 20s planned for this week. If I'm going bonkers by this weekend and chomping at the bit, that'll be good.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 8:25/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 50s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

River and Back

Nice 15-miler down to the river and back. Looking at the white water just past the dam got me stoked for fly fishing season. Opens on Monday (along with the Red Sox season), but the water levels are still really high and the temps could warm up a bit still.

Good step in that direction today as it was in the lower 50s by the time I got back. Perfect running weather.  Went well. Pace was slow and easy, as planned. 16 days to Boston.

Ran 14.8 miles @ 8:10/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 40s to lower 50s, sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Progression Run and Good Signs

Seven mile run on hills today. Overall pace was easy, but in actuality it was a progression run. The highlight was that last mile which I ran in 6:34. That's my tempo pace, but it seriously felt like a light moderate/fast easy pace. It was really effortless...  relaxed form, the legs felt spry and I was practically breathing out of my nose. Boy, if can feel like that about two weeks from now...

Good sign, especially since the taper is just beginning. What's also encouraging is my weight. I haven't checked it in at least a month and I was at 172...just a few pounds away from my race weight (167-169). I thought I'd be at least 175. Maybe things aren't so dire for Boston after all?

Ran 7.1 miles @ 7:55/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 50s, partly sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Not Expecting the Unexpected

I thought there would be a lot less snow on the trails in the woods out back. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I wish I had wore the snowshoes. Seriously.

First 8/10's of a mile were on unbroken trail in over a foot of snow. That was hard work and slow going. Then I hit a snowmobile trail that was much more manageable but I was still surprised at the lack of bare spots.

I would think that with a week of warmer weather and some light rain yesterday that there'd be more bare ground but looks like we'll have to wait a while. So be it. Still nice to be out in the woods.

Ran 4.5 miles @ 11:01/mile pace.
Trails, foot of unbroken snow to packed trails.
Very hilly.
Upper 40s, partly sunny.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, cap.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Very Short and Easy

Just three and a half miles at an easy pace. As expected, legs felt a little sore after yesterday. Tapering now, so good reason to keep it short. That, and I had to go poopie.

Ran 3.5 miles @ 8:09/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Around 50 degrees, partly sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tempo Tuesday

Yesterday a planned rest day, but legs still feeling the 36 miles over the weekend a little. With that in mind, I felt it was important to do a tempo run on somewhat tired legs. Nothing crazy, but enough to give the legs a bit of a kick in the buttocks before the taper really begins.

Went well. Warmed up for a mile, nailed down five miles at 6:39/mile then cooled down for a little less than two miles.


First set of uphills felt a little tough but once warmed up the subsequent uphills felt progressively easier, which was a good sign. Great running weather as well. Bit breezy, but other than that, perfect.

Still working out my Boston goals and trying to be realistic.

Ran 6.0 miles @ 6:48/mile pace (includes w/u)
c/d: Ran 1.7 miles @ 8:03/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid to upper 40s, sunny, breezy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Long Run

Today is what I needed. Apologies to anyone who read my whiny post yesterday, but I guess that's just how I was feeling at the time. Very stoked to get in a good long run on hilly, snow coated trails with good friends today and it put me in a much better mindset.

Ian and Emma organized a Fat Ass style run to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary and several of us were in attendance. Too many to list actually, but I ran quite a bit with Ian, Emma, Jeremy, Andy K., Jeff H. and Ben M. Good times with good friends.

Run went well. Course was a loop a little over five miles with nearly constant short but steep rolling hills. Trails themselves were coated mostly in thin snow. Some thicker parts were quite mash potato-y, mixed in with a few sections of bare ground (yay!) that increased as the warm sun did its thing as the morning went on.

First two laps, pretty easy paces. Third lap, definitely picked it up considerably. Fourth lap, consciously took it slow and easy; I was starting to feel yesterday's 16-miler after that third lap.

Good run. 50+ mile week that is actually quite misleading. Worth much more than that. 15 miles were snowshoe running, including five miles on unbroken trails. Today's trail run was also good strength training. Nice.

Ran 20.6 miles @ 10:19/mile pace.
Trails coated with snow, conditions varied.
Very hilly.
Mid 30s to mid 40s, sunny, breezy.
New Balance MT110, Yaktrax Pros, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, buff, gloves.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Honey Badger Training Cycle

Didn't run yesterday simply because I didn't feel like it and I had to some homework for creative writing class to do anyway. However, I somewhat begrudgingly made up for it today. Ran a little over 16 miles to the river and back.

Despite enjoying seeing a small flock of robins, two circling red-tailed hawks, hearing red-winged blackbirds and seeing my wife drive by when I was seven miles from home, I didn't enjoy much else. One of those runs that you just want to get over with, which is pretty much how this training cycle has felt overall.

At one point I passed a large three-walled barn that only had a few bales of hay inside. Quite symbolic. The hay is in the barn is a somewhat common running expression to indicate that the training cycle is done and it's time to taper down for the big race. Mileage has been very low overall, mainly because I haven't felt very motivated. I won't whine about that again in depth here, I've done enough of that. But I guess the saving grace is that I've been doing really well in my races the past few months. Still...

So post-Boston, I'm really looking forward to running more trails and simply know that I am not training for an upcoming road marathon. Still have no desire to do one this fall. I would rather just concentrate on the Bradbury Trail series and even a few road 5ks and 10ks to satisfy the competitive juices and also do a lot more mountain running. Knowing none of it is for a fall road marathon already feels like a huge weight lifted all of my shoulders. 

That all being said, I'm still looking forward to running Boston and am honored to have earned my spot there again. Looking forward to 20+ miles on the trails tomorrow with my Trail Monster teammates and  this honey badger don't give a sh-- training cycle will almost be over. 

Ran 16.2 miles @ 8:08/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Moderately hilly. 
Lower to upper 30s, overcast to partly cloudy, windy. 
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, buff, gloves. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sunset on Snowshoeing

Symbolic run this evening, as I joined Ian, Ryan T., Andy K. and Ben M. for a snowshoe run at sunset in Falmouth. The snow is thinning out fast and I'm guessing this is it, at least for me. Granted, another snowstorm is still possible, but a hunch tells me we're not going to get dumped on again until next winter.

Stoked to snowshoe run three days in a row this late in the season. Legs felt pretty peppy and it was fun to chat with everyone while we ran. Will likely do a road run tomorrow. Would like to get in some double digit mileage, little less on Saturday and then a long run Sunday with the gang. After that, three weeks until Boston.

Snowshoed 5.3 miles @ 10:41/mile pace.
Trails, mostly pretty packed snow.
Moderately hilly.
Upper to mid 30s, partly sunny.
Dion 121 snowshoes, Nike Waffle Racer VIII, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Chooin'

Celebrated the first day of spring with a snowshoe run in over a foot of unbroken snow. Hilly route to boot. My heart rate was totally jacked so despite the slow pace, it was really the equivalent of an 8-mile tempo run in terms of HR and time. A lot more fun as well.

Beautiful afternoon out as well, despite the wind. Sun was shining brightly and it's really climbing high in the sky. Glad I opted to snowshoe run instead of hitting the roads.

Snowshoed 4.1 miles @ 13:33/mile pace.
Trails, over a foot of unbroken snow.
Very hilly.
Mid 30s, partly sunny, windy.
Dion 121 Snowshoes, Nike Waffle Racer VIII, long tights, windbreaker, buff, gloves.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last Day of Winter

Old Man Winter is throwing himself quite the party here on the last full day of winter. Over a foot of snow is expected and school was cancelled. The right call, but selfishly, I'd rather be at work.

Despite getting the call that we'd have a snow day last night, I didn't manage to sleep in. Woke up at 4:30am, sipped espresso and did some work for my creative writing class. Shortly after the sun came up, I was out the door.

Timing was perfect, as a fresh coat of around three inches of snow covered up the bare/thin spots and the trails were great. Did a hilly out and back, spotting a large barred owl on the return which was really neat to see.

Bring on spring.

Snowshoed 5.3 miles @ 11:09/mile pace.
Trails, coated with 3-4" of unbroken snow.
Very hilly.
Upper 20s, overcast, moderate snowfall throughout.
Dion 121 snowshoes, Nike Waffle Racer VIII, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quality 74.1 Mile Week

Short and easy run on tap today which brought me up to 74.1 miles for the week. Quality week as well, considering I'm coming off of last weekend's half marathon PR. Given how I felt during yesterday's long run at a moderate pace over hills was no doubt the highlight.

Felt great this morning as well. Sometimes at the end of a high mileage week I'm pretty exhausted. Not the case this week, though that's only because I haven't been getting in the mileage I should have this training cycle. Still, feels good to bank the miles and this was some good hay to add to the barn.

Refueling with a Black & Tan. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Ran 5.6 miles @ 7:58/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 30s, sunny, breezy.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Successful Long Run

Wasn't sure what to expect with today's long run since this is a pretty big mileage week for me, but was pleasantly surprised. Legs felt very fresh and peppy despite today's run putting me at 68.5 miles so far for the week.

Held back at first to play it safe with the soleus muscles which are still a bit sore, but getting better. Did the town hall loop twice. In the second loop, let the pace progress down throughout and it felt pretty effortless. Legs didn't feel the slightest hint of tiredness until mile 17. Pretty encouraging.

Another bonus: Finally heard the first red-winged blackbird of the season. Pretty late, but I'm sure they've been around and I just haven't been at the right place at the right time. Still, now it feel likes spring.

Speaking of spring, actually a bit chilly today. Fortunately, the bright sunshine coupled with very light winds made it feel much warmer. Great running weather.

Ran 20.3 miles @ 7:36/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 20s to mid 30s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. Switched to a buff and ditched the jacket after the first loop, putting on a short sleeved shirt over the long sleeved one.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bangor Run

State SkillsUSA competitions are over and I'm back home. Very proud that a team of two of my students won the silver medal in Digital Cinema Production. They were up against nine other teams and some tough competition so I'm really happy for them. And another one of my students won the bronze in Extemporaneous Speaking. I'm one very stoked instructor.

Had a small window to run this morning, but thankful to sneak it in. Ran just under six miles around Bangor. Lack of sleep and stressing over the day made it kind of tough, but great to get out all the same. 

Looking forward to getting a lot of sleep tonight and nailing down a long run tomorrow. Should have over 70 miles for the week. 

Ran 5.9 miles @ 8:41/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Upper teens, sunny. 
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Hate Treadmills

Treadmills are acceptable in certain situations. Like this evening, as I'm chaperoning high school students on an overnight trip so I used the hotel's treadmill while keeping an eye on things. And there are parents who need to be home with their kids and the treadmill is a great solution. And there's also... there's.... well, I'm sure there might be a few more very good reasons, but I can't think of them.

I pretty much hated every step on that dang thing, as I always do. I felt like a stupid hamster. Sure, I run for the exercise and I love to compete, but I also love being able to explore new areas, check out nature and just simply be outside. Treadmills are dumb.

That all being said, grateful all the same to get in a second run.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:45/mile pace.
Some sort of rubberized belt.
Climate controlled 70 degrees.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, sleeveless shirt.

Town Hall Ten

Annual school competitions up in Bangor today and tomorrow. Chaperoning teenagers on an overnight trip can be a bit crazy, so thankful to have a chilled out morning before the fun begins this afternoon.

Got in my 10-mile loop that goes by the town hall. Good news with the sore soleus muscles... big improvement over yesterday. Encouraging if it's healing up despite 21 miles and 1300' of elevation over two days.

Legs also felt very spry, but held back because of the soreness... just in case. Nice to know I have this kind of pep though even though I'm track for a bigger mileage week.

Ran 10.1 miles @ 7:39/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower to mid 30s, partly sunny.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mt. Hope Redux

Hit the Mt. Hope route today. Went well. Soleus muscles are really sore, both sides. I had some soreness there before I switched to the Virratas, so can't say it's totally from that. Not a huge deal though. I should be able to run through it so long as I keep foam rolling, but of course will monitor things closely.

Big school competition starts tomorrow so things will be hectic. My day starts a little later, so will run in the morning.

Ran 11.1 miles @ 8:02/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Mid 40s, partly sunny.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, cap.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pre-Dawn Five

Was out the door at 4:24am and am very glad I went. Cold rain is expected to move in later today and we also have an afternoon staff meeting planned. Those always manage to turn my brain into green jello. But today's run is already in the books, so no worries at all. 

Felt very creaky at first, due to the past handful of days and also running so early, but loosened up as the run went on. Very easy/recovery pace. Bring on the espresso. 

Ran 5.5 miles @ 8:48/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Mostly flat. 
Upper 30s, overcast. 
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves, reflective vest, headlamp. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


With two days off before Saturday's half marathon (sick) and a day off yesterday (recovery), it makes sense that my legs would feel pretty good today despite the race. Hit the Ted's Fried Clams loop, taking it easy the first half but dropping down to MP during the second half.

Quad feels okay. I was prepared to cut it short but thankfully there were no signs of trouble. It's either a light strain or a knot. Will foam roll and get Kate to massage it. After today's run, not worried about it.

Nice and relatively warm out this afternoon. No red-winged blackbirds sighted yet, but I did see three turkey vultures circling while driving home. If they're around, the RW blackbirds are likely not far off.

Ran 10.7 miles @ 7:49/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Around 50 degrees, partly sunny to overcast.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Chamberlain Half Marathon Race Report

Pretty great race. I had hoped to come in about a minute faster, but I think in most cases nobody should ever be disappointed with a PR and I got one by 12 seconds, coming in at 1:24:41. That was good enough for 11th place overall and 1st in the 40-49 AG. Pretty stoked.

This was probably the most convenient race of all time. My in-laws literally live 1.1 miles from the start/finish. So with that, I managed to coerce Jeremy to sign up for the race and join Kate and I. Kate was doing the 5K, which turned into a 4.2 miler, but that's another story.

The three of us drove to pick up the packets two hours before the start, then headed back home to chill for a bit. Then Jeremy and I ran to the start area. Great to meet up with some friends who live in the area including Eric M., Ty T., Matt H. and Tim T. Also great to see Ryan K. there and learn he was working the timing.

Was wearing long tights but it was warming up quicker than I thought it would. Borrowed Sarah E.'s phone and called Kate to ask her to bring the running shorts I had left back at her folks. Very glad I caught her in time.

Miles 1-3

Jeremy and I. Trail Monsters invading the roads. 
Just before the start.
With the firing of a musket rifle that startled us all, we were off. Pretty fast first mile, but by mile two, things were settling in a bit. Eleven guys in front of me and it would stay that way until there was about a mile to go. Linked up with a very strong runner, Robert, who was 58 years old (he'd go on to finish 12th overall). This guy was a beast. I hope I'm that fast when I'm his age. Half marathon pace doesn't allow for much conversation but it was nice to have someone to work with for a while.

Miles 4-6
The guys in front were now pulling considerably ahead, but there was nobody really in sight behind us, so nice to not be on defense. Robert and I continued to cruise along together through no man's land.

The rolling hills were beginning to become more work. If you've ever run the Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic, pretty similar.... no ginormous climbs, but some are steep enough to take some wind out of your sails. Speaking of wind, pretty strong and in our faces here. That wasn't exactly ideal.

Miles 7-9
Mile seven was a bitch. Looking at the elevation profile, it doesn't look like anything great.. maybe it was also that headwind, but I only managed a 7:00 split there. I had begun to wonder if the wheels were starting to come off.

To make matters slightly more complicated, my left quad was now bugging me. I apparently pulled it a little and was worried it would get worse. Definitely a bit of a mental distraction.

However, I got a whiff of blood as I saw a runner up ahead, White Shirt Guy, have to stop and stretch a few times. Looked like he was cramping up.  This allowed me to gain ground, but he got his issues sorted out and stayed about 100 feet ahead for several miles. Splits for miles eight and nine were better, 6:23 and 6:37. All splits were highly variable, depending on the hills (and wind).

Miles 10-13.1
Alright, it was time to focus on reeling in White Shirt Guy. Fortunately, the left quad wasn't getting any worse. Ever so slowly I was getting closer.

Route turned into my in-laws neighborhood and I saw Jeremy and Tim T. coming back the other way as I ran up the final climb. Made the turn and then it was a downhill and a flat stretch to the end. Finally caught White Shirt Guy at the end of mile 12. Got to give him mad props for still keeping up a great pace despite the cramping issues.

Lemme rewind a bit. All throughout these final miles, I was somehow calculating a 1:26-ish finish. Glad I was wrong. Straight and flat final mile and I cranked with all I had, and as the finishing line grew closer I realized I had miscalculated and nailed down the 12-second PR with a time of 1:24:41. Stoked.

Coming in to the finish. 

Post Race
Shortly after I finished, I ducked to the side of the road and full-on vomited (hey look! Sesame seeds from this morning's bagel!). Jeremy very kindly offered to hold back my beard while I puked, but I declined.

Exchanged congrats with everyone and then went on a cool down. Ouch...yeah, I pulled the left quad. It's really nothing bad though. I've done this before, should only take a few days to heal up fully. Not really worried.

Awards were announced, which was kind of funny. Ryan King was doing the honors, and right before he announced my age group, he looked at me and said "Really?" I knew what he meant right away and  he then confirmed it by explaining that it was because I was now in my 40s. He then said some very kind words and I got my certificate and whoopie pies for winning the 40-49 AG. Awesome.

Mad props to Jeremy for getting third in his AG (stacked) and nailing down ninth place with a speedy 1:21:34. Not bad for his first half marathon. Very fun day.

Shaking hands with Ryan. 
Photo bomb and an unimpressed woman. Great photo, thanks Kate! 

Homemade whoopie pies for winning my AG? Sweet.
Official Results

Ran 13.1 miles @ 6:28/mile pace.
Official time: 1:24:41
Overall placing: 11th of 157
AG placing (40-49): 1st of 15
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid-30s, sunny, windy.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, buff.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Appeasing the Vogons III: The Boston Marathon Blues

For my creative writing class, we had to write a blues poem. There were some specific format requirements for it, and here's what I came up with: 

The Boston Marathon Blues 
Jamie Anderson 

I’m going down to Boston.
For the third year in a row.
I’m going down to Boston.
It’s time for the big show.

Third time isn't a charm.
Even though I won’t fail.
Third time isn't a charm.
I’d rather be on the trail.

I want to run in the mountains.
Not on a paved road.
I want to run in the mountains.
But the seeds have been sowed.

I’m heading down to Boston.
This will be the last time.
I’m heading down to Boston.
Then the mountains will be mine.


Ran 5.8 miles @ 7:33/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 30s, overcast, intermittent light mixed precipitation, very windy.
Saucony Virrata, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Content copyright © 2013 by Jamie Anderson. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Final Saucony Kinvara 3 Odometer Reading = 830.4 Miles

I'm saying goodbye to a pair of old friends today. My Saucony Kinvara 3s saw their final run, a glorious trek over Mt. Hope, before heading towards the sunset.

830.4 miles, which is great bang for the buck, and they helped me to a marathon PR last October at MDI (3:07:58), a 10 mile PR at Midwinter last month (1:03:45) and probably some other cool milestones that I can't think of. I bought them on May 23rd... May 23rd it was... **looks up in contemplation while stroking beard**... May 23rd....

Great shoes. Not going to write a new review, since my thoughts are similar to the original Kinvaras which I did a write up on two years ago. But I'm excited about their replacement: a pair of Saucony Virratas, which are an ounce lighter (listed at 6.7 ounces) and have zero drop instead of 4mm with the Kinvara... basically a mutated racing flat with better cushioning for longer distance road stuff. Perfect.

Old Kinvaras on the left, new Virratas on the right.
As for the run, went well. Quads are still a bit sore and I felt some soleus tightness on the climb, but neither too bad. Shorter, easy runs the next three days to prep for the half on Saturday, but may throw in some strides tomorrow.

Ran 10.2 miles @ 8:08/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Around 40 degrees, partly sunny.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves (off and on).

Monday, March 04, 2013

March 4th!!!

Today is the only day of the year that is also a command. I marched forth with my own little recovery run. Nothing special. Just a little over four miles at an easy pace. Felt good to shake the legs loose.

Quads were definitely the muscle group that was worked the hardest during yesterday's race. As for being sick, I think I'm nearly over it. Yesterday, was probably 70%. Today, about 95%.

Despite it being somewhat blustery out today, it's that time of year to keep an eye and ear out for Maine's harbingers of spring: red-winged blackbirds. None yet, but any day now. Fun to keep watch for them while running.

Ran 4.4 miles @ 8:18/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 30s, overcast, breezy.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII, long tights, fleece jacket, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Bradbury Blizzard Snowshoe Race Report

First off, big thanks to Ryan and Ian for organizing a fantastic series and also a big thanks to Mindy and Val who timed every race in the cold, as well as the other volunteers. This race series is a fantastic event and a lot of challenging fun, giving us something to look forward to each winter. 

I knew today was going to be tough on several fronts: Brutal course that was almost five miles on top of me not feeling well. Let me rewind a bit on that latter point. I've felt strangely sapped of my energy the past few days. That was evident during Friday's run, and also the 13 hours of sleep I had gotten in the 24 hours prior to the race. Diet has been fine so I don't know what's up. It's odd.

That being said, the generous amounts of restful sleep helped. I still felt out of it this morning, but I felt a little better. 

So, I didn't know what to expect. My only real goal was to defend my second place in the series standings. I had my eye on Dave R. who was one place behind me, but as the race unfolded, I would have to battle somebody else as well.

Boundary Trail (0-1.5 miles)

The start. Photo by Jim Dunn. 
We were off. Thankfully, overall the conditions were fast. Ian (who crushed it this race big time, coming in a strong second place) had also assured me that there was plenty of elbow room and the trench warfare of the White Out race wouldn't be an issue. He was right. Even on the single track, it wasn't hard to pass folks if one wanted to. 

The pace was quick and I think I was in seventh place after the first quarter of a mile, with Jim, Ian, Scott, Jeremy, Jeremy and Doug in front of me. About what I expected and for now I was feeling fine. 

Switchback to the Summit and Beyond (1.5-3 miles)

Summit. Photo by Jim Dunn. 
There's a pretty grinding gradual climb on the Boundary Trail and that sapped my strength a bit. A decline and then another climb that goes past the registration area followed by the switchback to the summit. 


I let Chuck, Doug and another guy pass me here. Just didn't have much energy. To add insult to the matter, a large stick/small branch became entangled through the foothole in my snowshoe and I fell with a big whomp. It took a few extra seconds to unwrangle it free. Doug or the other guy asked if I was okay, and I replied yes before cursing up a storm and angrily tossing the branch aside. 

Thankfully, reached the summit. Then rejoined the Boundary Trail. Felt like absolute dogshit. A portion of the trail here is the same as before but going the other way a mile and a quarter or so later. Saw Kate and Chandra here, who would later tell me my face was literally green. Not surprised, given how I was feeling then. 

To the End (3-4.7 miles)

Flying on the final descent. Photo by Jim Dunn.

Finish. Photo by Katy Hazzard. 
After running on the Boundary Trail going the other way, the trail turned right. It was here I saw Andy walking back the other way with a bummed look on his face. I asked him if he was okay and he said he pulled a hamstring. That sucks to see that happen to a friend and teammate. 

However, for me, I was starting to recover a little. And I now became aware that while Dave R. was behind me, Chuck H. was ahead of me. He was also pretty close behind me in the series standings. I absolutely had to keep him at least in sight if I had a chance of keeping second place. This gave me a second wind. Mind over matter, screw being sick.  

The course would meander around and then climb back up the mountain. However, this ascent was very manageable and much easier than the first ascent. I would never catch Chuck, Doug or the other guy in front of me, but I was keeping them in sight.

Summit again, then a very, very fun steep and fast descent off the mountain. More lunar running here, with big, wide open strides and soft impacts with snowshoes dispersing the impact over packed but soft snow. 

Descent over, than small rolling hills on the Boundary Trail to the finish.  Crossed the line in 46:33, good enough for eight place. Despite that being my worst placing of the three races this year, considering I was sick and also this course doesn't fit my strengths, I'll gladly take it and am pretty happy with the result. 

And while it was very close, I did end up just barely holding off Chuck in the series standings (great racing, Chuck). Glad I was cognizant of him being close and dug down deep as a result. Honored to finish in second place behind Scott H., a really great guy. Good fun, looking forward to next year, and in the more immediate term, the Bradbury Trail series this summer. 

As for this illness, feeling okay. I think I'm on the mend, but the coming days will determine that for real. Confident I'll be fine for the Chamberlain Half next weekend though. 

Ran 4.7 miles @ 9:57/mile pace. 
Official Time: 46:33
Trails, with mostly packed snow.
Extremely hilly
Lower 40s, overcast. 
Dion 121 Snowshoes, Nike Waffle Racer VIII, long tights, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Friday, March 01, 2013


Feeling a bit sick. Didn't run yesterday as a result, but felt obligated to go out today. Energy was low and it wasn't very enjoyable, but glad I got out all the same.

Will see how I feel tomorrow, but may take it off. Hopefully will be feeling better for the Bradbury Blizzard on Sunday. I'd really like to do well there, but we'll see.

Ran 5.6 miles @ 8:13/mile day.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 30s, overcast.
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.