Sunday, October 14, 2018

Running is Becoming Fun Again

I've taken most of the past week off (around 12 miles of running) to speed up recovery from the most annoying head cold I've ever had. It seems to have worked.

In that time, it's been a busy week, going into the weekend. Yesterday, our cross country team had a meet up in Presque Isle. We got back around 8pm last night, then it was get home, get to bed, then wake up early to meet up with the team again to volunteer at the Mt. Desert Island Marathon. Hagrid came along and provided lots of smiles for everyone.

This marathon holds a very special place in my heart. It was my first marathon. It was (and still is) my fastest marathon. I've run it seven times total and had a great time each time... even that one year I had stomach issues and had a disappointing performance.

The last time I was there in any capacity was when I ran it last in 2012 and PR'd with a time of 3:07:58. Being back there today at a water station and then a trip over to the finish and seeing the runners out there busting their tailss, smiling, having fun, and soaking in an electric, positive atmosphere fueled a desire... I can't wait to run it next year.

Sunday, October 07, 2018


Just three weeks and I have a string of races to knock out. The first being a six mile trail race followed by an eight mile trail race the following weekend. Then, the weekend after that, a half marathon (on logging roads).

I did the eight mile trail race last year, but ran it out of shape and used it as a training run. My time was crazy slow. Looking forward to seeing how much I can beat the time by.

But for all of them, it'll be let's truly race these and see what I can do. It'll be fun, and they'll serve as a great building blocks as I work back up to being relatively speedy.

I'm registered for the Millinocket Marathon but am now strongly leaning towards knocking down to the half marathon. Just not there yet. Better to race something well and comfortably then struggle and get discouraged.

Monday, October 01, 2018

The Dry Cough From Hell

Still battling this drive cough. Yesterday morning, I set out for 14 miles on the logging roads at a moderate pace. Legs were definitely up for the task, but the frequent interruption of coughing fits, a handful of which I had to stop for, set me back and my splits were all over the place. To top it off, my stomach was a bit upset, requiring a few other unwanted pit stops. I only resulted in 8:18/mile when I probably would have been :30/mile faster otherwise.

It's an unproductive dry cough, the lovely remnant of a sore throat. It's coming up on two weeks now since it first onset. I'm quite annoyed... quite annoyed indeed.

Doing research, I read a lot of great things about Throat Coat tea and honey for this kind of thing. Low and behold, it turns out we had a brand new box of it in our extensive tea stash. I drank several cups yesterday afternoon, and for the first time in a week a half, without any Nyquil I slept through the night without waking up in a coughing fit. Psychosomatic or not, I'll take it. We'll see how I feel during my run later today.

On a different note, I managed in the upper 30s for mileage last week, including quality speed work. I'm quite happy to get at least into the mid-30s, which is what I've been doing on average for the past month. It fits my plans for now and I'm looking forward to racing later this month while being in somewhat decent shape.... first time that's happened in a long while.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Need For Speed

I'm over the sore throat from hell, for the most part. Paced the interval workout for one of the groups on our cross country team which meant four miles at around 6:00/mile pace, not including breaks between reps. While running, I was fine. When we stopped, coughing fits... not coughing up anything though. Just a battle-scarred throat that is aggravated by dry air and it triggered the coughing.

I'm really enjoying the prospect of working on speed again. After focusing on longer and slower for the past several years, it's nice to focus on getting that pop back again... as much as my 46 year old body will allow. Regardless, fun is fun. I'm looking forward to a few trail races next month as well as some road stuff that is yet to be determined. Bring it on.

Monday, September 24, 2018


Total jinx. It was actually starting to develop during the time I wrote my last post, but a full blown head cold has knocked me on my butt and I was forced to take three days off. There's the saying that if it's neck up, lace up. Most of the time, that's probably true, but not in this case. It was too bad also, since last week was off to a great start before I had to pull the plug.

The main culprit was an extremely sore throat that is resulting in coughing fits. The good news is, I appear to be over the hump. I did a test run yesterday that went okay, and I followed that up with a hike up Lead Mountain with Hagrid.

Will play the days ahead by ear, and hopefully I can do some speed work on Tuesday. Perhaps I merely got the bug out of the way early in the year. Onward.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Deep Thoughts by J. Andy

What a great past month. My new job is a perfect fit. My coaching gig is amazing. And my running... good God man, it's going great. I often get to run with the cross country team, which is a symbiotic relationship for which I am grateful.

As a result, my legs are starting to show signs of "pop" that were long absent due to either making little time to run or, when I did make time, I focused primarily on distance. I'm actually feeling comfortable about doing some shorter road and trail races coming up here in the next few months. Yeah, that's right, road races. Sure, I prefer trails, always have, but it seems stupid as hell to not take advantage of what is more readily available. Fun is fun.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Full Circle

Running has been going great lately. The mileage was starting to ramp up, but lower back spasms a few weeks ago forced about a week off. However, I got over it and was easily able to pick up where I left off. I got in over 50 miles this week and I'm pretty stoked about it.

Time is about to get tighter with the school year about to start, however, this time around things will likely be very different. I'm starting a new job in Ellsworth teaching media, pretty much the same thing I did for 12 years down in southern Maine. It was unexpected and basically fell in my lap. I'm still amazed at my good fortune. The familiarity makes a huge difference, as the past two years teaching English and working as an academic interventionist required a lot more planning and were also pretty intense.

And, again just like in southern Maine, the icing on the cake is I'm the assistant coach for our high school's cross country team. There are many opportunities to work out with the kids which is fantastic and a win-win. I'm still pinching myself as my dream scenario career-wise has come to fruition after moving downeast. I'm beyond stoked.

As a result, I'm guessing I should be able to maintain respectable weekly mileage. Time will tell that for sure, but I think that'll be the case. My motivation is pretty high to run also. On top of running with the team, a neighbor has really taken his trail running to the next level so I've been hitting the local trails and logging roads with him a few times a week. I went from doing pretty much all of my runs alone to most of my runs being with others. Though I'm pretty introverted, I gotta say that makes a huge difference.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Cadillac, Hagrid and General Update

Summer is upon us. For me, this usually means a lot more free time; though a huge chunk of that is being taken up by our new puppy, Hagrid. He's quite the character. He's a rottweiler mutt with some coon hound mixed in there, so his yet to be seen build will be a big factor in his running endurance, though he does love to run and is doing great so far. At around 2 1/2 months old, this morning he handled a 1.2 mile mostly walk with some running mixed in like a champ.

Rewind to last night... a very fun run up the auto-road with some friends up to the top of Cadillac Mt. under a full moon. A think layer of clouds dimmed the intensity, but there was still an ample amount of diffused light to run without headlamps. 

The run went well. I'm rusty, but last night was a good step in the right direction, with a fast descent bumping the overall pace down to 8:03/mile. 

Even with the new dog, I'd like to make another attempt at putting together a solid string of training this summer. There could be some happy changes coming up that would allow me some more free time and opportunities to run. 

Ran 9.2 miles @ 8:03/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Extremely hilly. 
65 degrees, overcast. 
Shorts, short sleeved shirt, UD running vest.