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.