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.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Rail Trails

Work, cross country practice, then a quick run on the rail trails before heading up to Bangor. Went well, all things considered. Legs felt sluggish at first... no doubt still adjusting to the start of school and what not. Students started yesterday and the school year is off to an awesome start.

We have a cross country meet tomorrow morning in Ellsworth. Looking forward to it. Both boys and girls teams are looking strong, so stoked to see how we do tomorrow.

Hope to get in a run tomorrow... I have some time before the meet but I'm opting to fly fish instead since it'll be better then. Should be able to run in the afternoon or evening with no problem.

Ran 6.2 miles @ 8:56/mile pace.
Rail trails.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 60s, sunny.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Dry Air = Awesome

Ah, the humidity has broken. And cooler temps are afoot. A most welcome treat after a long day. After I got home from work and cross country practice, I laced up and hit the woods out back. Very pleasant out, and the legs felt pretty good.

I have a long ways to go but I can feel the rust starting to come off. It'll only get better from here and I feel like I'm on a good track.

Planned rest day tomorrow as we have our first cross country meet in the afternoon. If I happen to randomly wake up at 4am (a real possibility), I may do a short run in the morning, but if not the rest day will be okay. Friday and Saturday will be tricky with travel plans and another CC meet, but I'll work it in one way or another.

Ran 7.3 miles @ 9:45/mile pace.
Very hilly.
Mid 70s, sunny.
Saucony Peregrine 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Muggy Slog

Able to get in a short run while checking up on the cross country team. They were doing circuits on a one mile loop. I ran said loop in reverse to check up on everyone. Glad to see that I wasn't the only one that the heat and humidity wasn't getting to. Those conditions stunk.

Glad four miles was enough today. Hopefully more tomorrow. Weather forecast is looking pretty nice starting in a few days: Cooler dryer air moving in and it will be most welcome. Just in time for our first meet on Thursday also. Sweet.

Ran 4.1 miles @ 8:15/mile pace.
Paved trail.
Around 80 degrees, mostly cloudy, very humid.
Saucony Virrata, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Fish Feeding

A mile of my short run this morning was on trails. I stopped by the creek where I've already caught several small salmon this season. I stunned one of the very few remaining deer flies and dropped him in the water. It traveled no more than two feet in the current before a fish came up and grabbed him. (insert delighted giggle here)

Once again, no problems with the Achilles. I'm getting tired of saying that after each run. Maybe I should just stop saying it. Bring the Fat Lady on stage.

Ran 3.4 miles @ 8:41/mile pace.
Paved roads and trails.
Mostly flat.
Lower 70s, partly cloudy, very humid.
Brooks Mach 14, shorts, short sleeved shirt.