Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Training Plan

The pineland 50k is only 20 weeks away. It is time to start thinking about a training schedule. I plan to take my experience in the 25k at Pineland and the 12 miler at Bradbury last year, critique my positives and negatives, pinpoint weaknesses and come up with a plan.

It may seem early to some of you, but thinking back to my marathon run in 2006, I realize how training is a huge key to sucess. In 2006 I trained for the half marathon and just 8 weeks before the race I switched to the marathon. I didn't give myself much time to train properly. I didn't have the type of long runs needed and had to squeeze them into an 8 week schedule.

My goal was to beat 4 hours and dispite my poor training, I did manage 4:01:32. OK, so pretty close but had I trained right, I would probably have realized my goal. As it was, I struggled immensely in the last 7 miles.

It was a very similar situation in the 25K. I made the mistake of viewing it as merely a little longer than half marathon and trained accordingly. I did run on the trails consistantly but most of my long runs were on the road.

This type of training showed it's weakness in mile 10 of the 25K. Up to mile 10 I was feeling very good and running a 9:30 pace (which is what I planned) The last 5 miles kicked my butt big time as I experienced numerous problems with my quads, my calfs,upper body muscles and overall psycological being. It is the first time I thought I would not be able to finish a race due to physical reasons. I did not train nor plan on walking so when I was reduced to walking hills, my body fatigued quickly.

I trained differently for the Bradbury 12 miler and accomplished my goal of finishing with a strong kick. My time suffered though as I "saved" for the kick and felt I didn't put enough effort in the first half of the race. I did however do most of my long runs on trails, my longest being over 12 miles and I trained with some walking in mind.

Thinking of these three races and relating them to the huge step of a 50K, I feel a lot of thought has to go into training. I feel I have no choice other than view this race as a "just want to finish" rather than any "time" goal.

I plan on training as time on my feet moving rather than miles running. I think this will better serve the needed fitness level. Along with that I will incorporate some extensive core and upperbody toning to help handle the balance needed for the technical rolling trail conditions at Pineland.

My first drawback in training is the treadmill. There are cases when I only have time for a short treadmill run and I feel it is not intense enough to help my training.


Treadmill run /core upper body workout
5% grade 3.5 speed
2 lb ankle weights, 5 lb hand weights
run/ walk combo 3 miles
.5 mile cooldown
This was a good workout.....I think I covered the intense part.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday running & lazing

I know I should have blogged this weekend but at least I kept track for a Holiday update.

December 24,

After the last minute shopping and in a mad dash to get out of helping wrap pressents, I hit the workout room and ran off a fairly easy 5 miler before Santa showed up and hogged the treadmill.

It was actually quite enjoyable (well for a treadmill run)

5 miles 10:13 pace
5% grade 4.5 speed.

December 25,

Once the long Christmas day was over with and all the guests had finally mosied on home, I decided to run a quicky with my son. I threw on my head lamp and we cranked out a fairly fast (considering the ice hazard) 2.5 mile run. It felt great to get out of the house and do something other than eat!

2.5 miles @ 7:50 pace
icy road conditions

December 27,

My son was still home so we planned a long run today instead of tomorrow. The thought was about 8 miles or so, maybe 10 if things felt good. Somehow, it seemed we just couldn't get out the door early in the morning as planned and it was close to noon by the time we hit the road.

I usually am pretty good about figuring the layers needed for outdoor runs, but this day I failed miserably. It seems I was cold to the core and felt I needed many layers. I found out in a very short time that I was overdressed.

The temp was around 25 and should have an easy one to gauge. At the start I still felt a bit cold so I didn't bother to shed any layers. What a mistake, by the end of mile one I was feeling pretty hot and ready to discard some clothes.

In mile two I hit a fairly big hill and my energy level just dropped. I felt like I was carrying 40 extra pounds and nothing in my body felt right. Ever have a run like that? The stride felt wrong, my form was off, I was hot, I felt weak and my whole body screamed for me to stop running. I couldn't seem to catch my breath, the air felt damp and heavy.

I labored until the end of mile three hoping I would overcome this difficulty but it just didn't come. I stopped to shed a couple layers and my son continued with out me. He ran a loop and We caught back up a mile later. I felt a tiny bit better, definately cooler but still not right.

I pushed another mile and a half then finally gave up on the run. It seemed there was no way I was going to settle in. It was just plain not my day for running I guess. I racked my brain for an excuse or reason for my failure. It is not often that I don't finish my planned run.

I walked the half mile back to my house feeling discouraged and beaten. I took my usual hot shower but still did not feel better about my run.

4.6 miles 9:05 pace
heart rate monitor went wacko and read 224 for the whole run. It did not fluxuate at all. It showed up as 133% of maximum HR.

December 28,

I woke up early and decided to try for my long run again. I was not sure how I would feel but felt I couldn't let the weekend go by with out at least trying.
I headed out for the 8 mile loop which has a good mix of hills and difficulty.

The first thing I notice during the first mile is that I felt pretty good. My heart rate was averaging 134 and peaked at 148. I decided I would try to keep it in those zones through out and see how things went.

Mile two had three hills which didn't seem to affect me at all and actually I managed a 25 second speedup by mile three. Things were feeling pretty darn good and by mile four I was settled in well and comfortable.

By mile five my heart rate had escalated to 155 average and 159 peak. I was running faster and stronger. Mile six would be the tell tale as it was a full mile of uphill.
Again I felt great and had no problem maintaning pace on the hill.

I don't know what was wrong yesterday but I sure was over it today. I finished mile eight with a decent kick and then walked a good cooldown. My day felt great! I almost forgot about yesterday completely.

8 miles @ 9:18 pace
av HR 145 max @ 164
Just a great run

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Trying to catch up.


After finishing my last minute shopping, which I seem to have plenty of each year, things finally slowed down and I snuck down stairs for some time alone and a short run. It was dark and the Christmas eve traffic was still quite steady. I figured running on the road was just plain flirting with injury.

I ran elivated on the treadmill (again) as this seems to be my norm lately. I guess psycologically it convinces my brain that I working as hard as running outside. Not quite, by it is more difficult with the track elevated.

5 miles (51:12)
5% grade, 3.5-4.5 speed
10:13 pace

Ran/walk a one mile cooldown and went upstairs feeling like I wasn't a dead beat after all. Nope not in the lazy catagory this day.

I got thinking after watching the weather forcast, the predicted change over to rain tonit could be devistating to my son's portable garage next door and the snow has not been cleaned off the roof.

This gave me the opourtunity to throw on the snow shoes and hit the deep snow. I treaked through the field carrying my roof rake....OK, not really a roof rake but more like a car scraper with along handle. This also gave me the chance to wear my headlamp as it was quite dark out. The short trip was lots of fun and reminded me of how much I like hitting the woods and snowshoeing.

I was suprised when I started pulling snow off. The was over three feet of snow and the roof was sagging. I am so glad I decided to clean it off. I fear it would not have been standing on Christmas day. Who wants a colapsed roof for Chrismas?
Well it is true that it was not really my responsibility and my son should have been cleaning it off. I can't say I wasn't looking for a reason to trek through the snow.


My youngest son has been running everyday for 99 days. He surely was not going to let his current flu/cold/feeling absolutely horrible,from running his 100th day. Now I was feeling about twenty pounds heavier than yesterday and could think of a dozon reasons not to run this night, but being a caring dad, I could not let my sick son trot off into the night by himself.

I suited up, put on my headlamp and off we went for an easy short run. I felt quite uncomfortable during the first mile but started setting in good and though quite winded and anxious to see my mailbox, I was so glad I went for a run. I felt much better and now had an excuse to eat anoth piece of pie and suck down a hot coffee.

2.5 miles @ 7:50 pace
no kick at the end just a sigh of relief.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Careful what you wish for


Saturday morning, 8 degrees outside and a fresh coating of snow....I figured about 8 or 9 inches. How could I not go for a run? I left the house around 7:00 Am and I found the world pretty much undesturbed. I ran about 3/4 mile down the road to one of my favorite trails.

I found the trail running fairly tough as the fresh snow covered up every imperfection of the ground. I felt as if I hit all the uneven spots and worried a little about twisting my ankle...but I didn't.

I wore my "spring cleats" which are similar I think to Yaks, even though I have not seen a pair of Yaks, by description I think they are. They worked quite well and I didn't slip around much at all. I had no problem with them coming off my Northface Gortex trail runners like they did last year on my Nike runners.

I wore water proof sox with the trail runners and my feet didn't get wet at all. I did however have a problem with snow getting into my shoes and creating a very uncomfortable situation.....I needs some gaters.

Also I found the sox were causing hot spots and worried about blisters. Luckily I didn't really run long enough to get any. I passed two spots were deer tracks crossed the trail so I guess I wasn't first out this morning. I didn't see any deer though.

The running in soft fresh snow was quite tiring and the footing dificult. This reflects the slower pace in my second mile. By mile three I settled in much better and my pace quickened. Though only a short run, it was a fairly good workout.

I increased the value of the workout by shoveling the steps, walkway and pertinant areas before plowing. Overall a good workout but a little warmer temp would have been nice.

3.8 miles @39:52
average pace 10:29
141 av heart rate 166 max

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Snow Shoes Keep Staring At ME

December 18
As I ran the four miler,I could feel the cold breeze lapping against my face and the smell of the cold fresh air freezing the tiny hairs as it passed through my nose. Fluttering snow flakes trying hard to change my outer apearance wanting more than ever for me to be white.

These are the thoughts that rambled through my mind as I stared at my lonely pair of snowshoes hanging on the cellar wall. Oh how I long for a nice long quiet treck through the woods. Again it's a boring treadmill run but I shouldn't least I am getting a run in.

I can hardly hold back my excitement as I make a guarded promise to my snow shoes.......a big storm this weekend ...yes huge. As a matter of fact, snow Friday night and Sunday too. A smile grows and my spirits are lifted. Yes Satuday morning is not far away. My wife is working and I am not.....there is nothing stopping me from putting on a bunch of layers and hitting the trails or roads or snow...whatever, I will be there.

I am thinking of putting screws in a pair of my older shoes...plenty have done it and it seems to be a good option. I do have a pair of Yaks...well they are not that name brand but very simiar. They are a bunch of stainless steel springs runing in a criscross pattern held on the shoe with a rubber a bungy I guess. These work quite well but are a little slipery on tar or hard surfaces and they tend to come off if pushing off while running and getting too much traction.

treadmill 5% grade, 5 speed
4 miles 9:49 pace

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I plowed last night.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with running. It was sent to me and I liked it I thought I would share it. The thing to remember is the speed they are traveling plus the fact that the picture was taken by a pilot in the third plane...while flying! A weak comparison would be to think of how difficult it would be to take a picture while driving a car in heavy traffic

I have been finding it more and more difficult to get my runs in. The holiday tasks of shopping, putting up a tree and decorating, a few other distractions and my week time nights are all shot.

Yesterday morning I threw my ass out of bed at 3:30 am (again) and pulled off a quick speed run of 2.5 miles and an easy cooldown of .5 It actually felt good to do some speed work. I mainly did that because my time was limited before work.

I wish I could do that every day but I need at least some beauty sleep. last night after I plowed, I convinced myself that I would get up early this morning and run.
I woke up at 3:10, 3:28, 3:41, 3:55 and finally rolled out of bed at 4:05 ....took a shower and headed for work. I guess I just couldn't get the rolling out of bed technique working....I did fine with the waking up part though.

After rethinking my position and forcing the sandmans gunk from my eyes, I decided I will shoot for tonight when I get home and if that fails I will surely get up Friday morning.....yeah that will work.

I am pretty excited about the fact that a second and possibly third snow storm is coming this weekend.....I have my snow shoes ready and I am geared up!

Treadmill -- morning speed run
5% grade and #5.5 - 6 speed
1st mile 7:35
2nd mile 7:22
last half and kick 6:33

Monday, December 15, 2008

Anouther Busy Weekend day

I crawled out of bed at 3:30 Am.....Why so early one might ask? Well I knew if I didn't get a run in at that time I would probably not get one in. 3:30 Am on the treadmill is not really my idea of a fun run but you do what you gotta.

I ran a good workout of 5 miles and watched something on Tv but honestly I can't seem to remember what it was. A cup of coffee and a quick shower later and my son and I are driving to the shop (my work) to get a large van truck. My daughter is moving today and I volunteered to do the hauling.

The drive to Farmington was about an hour and as I was turning onto her long..windy...hilly...icey...narrow driveway/road. I lost the power steering. Actually this is not good, The powersteering is pretty darn important when driving a fairly large truck and negotiating narrow windy roads in the winter.

The second problem I encountered is a small steel bridge only a slightly wider than
the truck tires and a posted sign that read 5 ton limit. My daughter said a pretty big truck plows her drive so she thought the bridge would hold me. Problem is the big truck she was talking about weighed about 6 ton....this 24 foot van with a deisel engine weighs 20 ton empty.

I figured if I drove fast enough, I should have the momentum to make it and not be on the bridge long enough to colapse it....I made it so I was half out of danger. The trip back I would be heavier with a full load of house stuff.

The road/driveway was about a mile long and had me worried a couple times on the icy hills. I was glad to crest the last one and see the old farmhouse. I stepped out of the truck and was immediately hit with a strong cold wind that seemed at least 20-30 mph. This made the morning temps feel like 20 below.

I backed up to the porch, put the hydraulic lift gate down then proceeded to remove the broken powersteering line. The right type of tools and some warmer clothing would have been a welcome asset. This place was full of tools but they were farm a lot more difficult to find something that would work.

I got the line changed and we worked our butts off loading all of her furnature. Anyone that says these moving guys have an easy job appearantly has never moved a house full of furnature. By noon we were all dragging our asses and darn glad that the last piece was packed in.

A two hour drive to Portland and we would have the pleasure of reversing the whole process. Finally the truck was empty and though normally this would be a great time to sit down and have a celibrationary beer, I still had to drive the truck back to Auburn and then work on the rental house.

So, no fun, no rest, no beer just an uncomfortable ride up the turnpike with the sun in my face. I dropped the truck off and in the process of getting out, I hit my glasses and broke the rim that holds the lense in. I glued them the best i could to allow me the privaledge of driving home instead of calling for a ride.....only problem is that the super glue somehow got all over the lense and ruined it....lucky I have another pair at home.

Once I got home, I checked out the rental house and found still no power and there was no residual warmth left inside. I had to do something or face broken water pipes.
I ran a cord 180' from my garage, squeezed the cord through an opening that used to be quite small and now was considerably larger (due to me shoving this cord through) and I wired up the furnace. I was quite relieved to hear that furnace start up. I had a beer as I dropped my dying body onto the couch for a much needed rest....right now, I couldn't vision accomplishing my normal long run in the morning....I guess I will see if I can get out of bed in the morning.

5 mile run 50 min @4% grade 5 speed (9:18 pace)
crosstraining ....4-5 hours of carrying heavy objects.


I woke up at 7 Am ....why is it I can't seem to sleep late? I surely could have used the rest. The temp outside was a balmy 12 degrees and I honestly didn't know if I could pull off a long run out in the cold as I still didn't feel warmed up from yesterday.

I decided to hit the treadmill again and just run as long as I felt like it. I hoped for at least a 3 or 4 mile run. As usual I set the treadmill on a 5% grade but after a second thought put it down to 4%.......this would be an easier run today.

Somehow after a couple miles, I began to feel pretty darn relaxed and my energy level was good. I ran 6.5 miles and then a half mile cooldown. I think I suprised myself. At this point I felt quite refreshed and a side of me wished I had run outside today.

I dressed, ate breakfast and then went tree hunting. This was quite enjoyable not only because of feeling the Christmas spirit a bit but because I had a good run behind me the day was still young.

Little did I know that I would be dragged to the dreaded stores and spend the rest of the day shopping......what a killer of a good mood. Oh not that I don't have some Christmas's just fighting with all those people.....most of them just seem to be in no hurry to do anything...merely walking around very slowly and gawking at the stores...not really buying anything. I like to buy what I came for and then leave.

There was one highlite of the day when we stopped at Ruby Tuesdays and grabbed a burger and a couple beers.....for some reason the rest of the afternoon was not so bad and I made it home in time to watch the Patriots game. Funny how the weekend just flys right by?

6.5 miles
treadmill 4% grade 5-6 speed.
1/2 mile cooldown.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


A picture speaks a thousand words......this is how I felt last night.


A month ago I ordered two loads of crushed gravel for the rental house next door. The drivway had finally sunk to a new low (literally) and the combination of standing water and clay based soil created a very new and mucky substance.

For some reason the guy I ordered it from came up with multible excuses as to his failure to drop off my gravel. As time went on the weather became colder I felt my window of opourtunity was closing fast.

Honestly, I kind of forgot about it until he called yesterday to inform me that both loads of gravel (28 yards) were sitting in the middle of the driveway. My visions of a wet soaked gravel not only being in the way of the vehicles parking but freezing if left overnight got the best of me and I left work early.

I guess best laid plans are meant to be disrupted as my plow truck, which was the mechanism I planned on using to level this gravel was gone when I got home. My son had planned on putting new snow tires on it for plowing this winter and as Murphy's law simply states, he picked this day to do it.

I slipped on a hat and raincoat, grabbed a shovel and rake then proceded to attempt leveling this huge mountain of wet material. I knew I would have help when the plow truck arrived but that would not be until 5:30 or so and it would be plenty dark by then.

I couldn't take the chance that Murphy would frig things up any further so I started the task without the truck with hopes that I could get it done. I managed to level approximately 8 yards of this heavy stuff when my son pulled in. I was so happy to see that truck!

We scurried down to my house and mounted the plow. I finally got the whole thing leveled and I must say, that even though I had a plow truck instead of a bulldozer, the driveway came out quite the ground could freeze all it wants to.

Needless to say, after working all day then shoveling 8 yards of heavy wet gravel, the picture above easily protrays my energy level as I finally ate supper. I guess this would qualify for cross training! YOU THINK!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kinda Speed Work

Grass roof is a good insulator....


Treadmill night ...if this keeps up my entries will be even more boring. Again I kept the incline at 5% grade and ran a tempo style speed run of 3.1 miles.

As a cooldown 1 mile at an easier pace and finished with a mile at an even slower pace but with 5 lb hand weights to work on upper body

5K @ 25:13 (8:09 pace)
1st 8:17
2nd 7:48
3rd 7:23

1 mile cool 9:54 pace.
1 mile w/ weights

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fatigue Recovery Run


My battle plan was to run 5 miles on the treadmill with fatigued legs from yesterdays trail run. I set the speed on a little too fast to walk which is a little too slow to run comfortably. Thus I would workout different muscles than the trail run and practice a walk/run combination to simulate a fatigue body during distance running.

In theory in sounds real good.....honestly I don't know if it is good training or not. I mixed up at a ratio of about 3 to 1, running three times as long as walking and had the incline on 5%.

I actually worked up quite a sweat and felt like I accomplished a good workout. I started out with soft feeling legs, sore ankles and tight calfs. At the end of five miles, I felt loose and the ankles were fine.

The rest of the day I was busy with various activities and my legs felt fine. It seems the workout did help with fatigue recovery.

I thought of this type of training because I trained with only running for the 25K and ended up with cramps and tight quads in the last 5 miles because of walking. I didn't train for any walking what so ever and I think that was a mistake.

My sites are set on my first 50k in May and I plan on mixing in plenty of walk combo training for it.

5 miles treadmill
5% grade at 4 speed
12:21 average pace.

Monday, December 8, 2008

10 miles of trails


I had an early start today as I planned a two hour trail run and still had a full plate besides. The decision was to go out and just enjoy the trails while getting some time on my feet. The tricky part was dressing right, the temp at 6:30 AM was a mere 15 degrees and there was no way of telling how much it might warm up in two hours.

I felt I might be overdoing it.....I wore under-armer, long sleeve running shirt, long sleeve heavy shirt, running vest, heavy winter running vest, long pants, gloves and hat. I felt surely I would be shedding some of this stuff and have to carry garments through the run. But if I didn't wear enough it I might be in a tough spot as I will be a long ways from the house.

Turns out that the sun didn't really break through the clouds much and the temps didn't gain but a couple degrees through the run. Speed was not a factor today so I brought some goodies to eat, my camera, I-pod and a power drink.

I had suspicions that an old dirt road across from the firebarn would allow me to connect with the powerlines and today was a perfect time to explore it. The only draw back was the elevation as it was a fairly steep climb. Turns out according to the garmen, a whopping 19% grade and an elevation of 519 feet. This was about a mile and a half total climb but funny thing,my pace was 12:57 but it was not my slowest mile.

My slowest mile was the decent as the ascent peaked at the trail end on the power lines and the decent was quite tricky. I hit ice on the rocks, running water, deep mud churned up by many 4 wheelers trying to climb this area which left huge endless puddles of standing water. I lost my footing many times as the stalagmite frost was 5 or 6 inches tall and would give way without notice. This was my ninth mile and once I reached the bottom I had gone from the highest point (519 feet) to my lowest point of 115 feet. This mile ended up 13:28 pace.

I took the picture above about 1/2 mile from my house. I thought it showed a majestic sillohette of a living thing withstanding all that nature can throw at it.
Unfortunately my camera went dead and I was reduced to carrying the darn thing for 10 more miles and no benefit. I would have loved to have a picture of the power line descent.

Overall, my 10:42 mile run had me experiencing a bit of everything (well except warm radiant sunshine) I ran on some dirt roads, on some sandy base material through a gravel pit, heavy wooded single and technical trails, along the rail road tracks, beside a beaver bog, through a grassy field, back to heavy woods, hills, valleys, a couple tar spots and of course the powerlines which always offer a large mix of technical running.

I was very happy wth this run and how I felt through out. I had exactally the right layers of clothing. My energy level and stamina was right on. I did't revert to walking at all and I actually managed to speed things up after the "hill" and pulled off a kick at the end. My last 1/2 mile was my fastest overall(8:38). In the end I walked a mile cooldown and can't think of a more enjoyable cup of coffee upon my return.

2:00:01 hour run 10.42 miles 11:30 average pace 145 av HR and 162 max.

mile ....pace ...av hr ...max HR
1 .....10:30 .....140 ....145
2 .....10:37 .....146 ....154
3 .....12:08 .....139 ....148
4 .....11:11 .....145 ....151 ..almost the lowest elevation 116 feet
5 .....10:43 .....148 ....159
6 .....13:05 .....140 ....156 ...elevation 289 feet.
7 .....11:40 .....150 ....160
8 .....12:57 .....150 ....162 ...elevation 519 feet 19% grade
9 .....13:28 .....142 ....154 ...elevation 115 feet
10 .....10:25 .....148 ....155
11 ......8:38 .....158 ....162

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rock and Roll

Last January, I ran the P F Chang's rock and roll half marathon with my daughter. She was living in Arizona at the time and we flew out there for the race. It was by far the biggest race I have ever run. About 20,000 runners for the half alone.

Now that winter is closing in, the thought of that race enters my mind. The bands playing each mile, the hundreds of spectators, the contentment of watching my daughter experience not only her very first race but one that is very eventful and exciting.

I had so much fun then and as I ran on the treadmill yesterday the thought keep rolling through my mind. I should make it a point to travel somewhere very warm every winter and run.....just for a little break in the hectic schedule.

Last night my plans of getting a run in was shattered by more car repairs for my kids and the furnace in the rental house quitting....instead of running a few miles, I'm cleanning furnace nozzles.

So to fight back I got up at 3:00 this morning and kicked off 2.5 miles before leaving for work. It actually was quite refreshing and I might consider doing it a couple times a week. Though maybe getting up a little earlier so I can get it at least 3 miles.

This week so far has ben such a since Monday;

Tuesday: 3.5 miles on the treadmill ....boring but warm
Wednesday: Funeral
Thursday: car repairs and furnace
Friday (morning): 2.5 miles @ 8:20 pace

I better get some running in this weekend.......Oh, did you notice that ponch hanging on to the front of me in the picture? No wonder why I run so slow....I have got to lose that blubber...and soon!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Old Fashion workout


Yesterday I drove down to my brother in-laws in Massachussetts for Thanksgiving dinner and to pick up a load of lumber. He is a farmer, a pilot (private), A plane inspector/mechanic, A boiler tech by trade and he has his own portable lumber mill.

The start of my day was at 4:30 Am and heading south for Mass. Then a workout of loading this huge pile of lumber, having a great dinner and heading back to maine.
I pulled into the yard at 7:30 Pm and honestly was a very tired soul after driving in holiday traffic for 6 hours.

Friday morning my son and I began the job of unloading this lumber by hand and stacking it in the garage to keep it dry for the winter. The steady rain did not help matters much and we only got about half of it unloaded before we gave up and went inside to dry off.

My muscles and bones could feel the workout as this wood is still green and quite heavy. By evening I finally convinced myself that reguardless of my body screaming in agony, I had to get in a run. So my son and I took off with my little head lamp shinning the way and kicked off a fairly fast 2.5 mile run.

I can't believe how much better my whole body felt! The run was just what I needed and the fresh air gave me a second wind. I marveled at how tough I was, loading, driving, unloading and still getting a run it......that is until Saturday morning when my body almost refused to roll over ...never mind get up.

I fought the stiff muscles and threw my body out of bed anyway. Funny, when I was younger I would have done twice as much and still jumped out of bed for more. I decided the only smart thing to do was suit up for an early morning would either rejuvinate me or finish me off.

It worked! I came back from my 5 mile run feeling ready to tackle the rest of the lumber. I rolled my son out of bed and we stacked the rest of the wood. I was feeling pretty manly as we unloaded and told my son I would probably do an afternoon run with him but when the wood was finally done I wimped out. I had very little energy left. I watched as he ran down the driveway...I felt odd not going.

Now I am ready to just veg out and the wife decides we need to take the son and my daughter out for supper and shopping.....what! I didn't remember saying Ok but the next thing I knew, I was ordering a beer and some Italian meal. By the time I rolled into bed, I felt like I had just finished a gym workout marathon. I remembered muscles I had long ago forgot about....Oh they are still there.

Sunday morning I felt a little lame but actually not that bad normal Sunday run was not cancelled (even though I was sure it would be when I climbed into bed last night) My son and I pulled off a hilly 8 miler to be pretty proud of ...well considering the circumstances and the fact that he was just jogging along.

2.5 miles (night) 7:56 pace with 6:10 kick
5 miles easy....9:47 pace
av hr 141...max 156
8 hilly miles 8:59 pace (starting @9:10 p and ending @ 8:22 pace)
av hr 147 .. max 161

I will rest Monday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Easy workout


Sunday is usually my long run day and as many know I don't like to be predictable. So after the tough full body workout yesterday on the trails, Though I had tired muscles, I felt I needed to work them some. I decided to run easy on the tread mill.

So I turned on a movie and proceeded to run a fairly easy pace while watching a show. It was actually quite nice, I only wore racing shorts and my new Trail Monsters singlet. I probably looked quite funny all dressed as a racer but leisurely
jogging with no cares what so ever.

I watched Spiderman 2 which is quite eventfull so I felt even lazier than normal jaunting along on the treadmill. Spiderman is being thrown against a buiding and I am ever so easy and comfortable....I almost laughed out loud.

I kicked off 5 miles and I felt great! No tightness, no fatigue...almost invigerated...actully I felt ready to suit up and get in my long run afterall... Of couse it only took seconds for me to talk myself out of that foolish idea and instead, I slowed the tread down even more and worked out with 5 lb hand weights at the same time.

It actually is a pretty good workout to walk fast or jog slow while using hand weights...kind of a whole body workout. So I finished the movie, took a shower and felt great all day! It feels so good to know your workout is behind you and the whole day is ahead of you.

I didn't rush around, I went to my daughters and put some plastic up on her windows then went to my son's and helped (showed) him put some plastic on his windows, ate some lunch and settled in for the Patriots game...which they overall a very good day.

Next week is going to be somewhat diferrent as I won't have much time to run...I figure it will be a step back week and probably kick off a couple long runs on the weekend. Problem with my job is I still have to get a weeks worth of work done in three least then I have four days off.

5 miles 5% incline @10:30 pace
25 minutes fast walking with hand weights
lazy the rest of the day

Monday, November 24, 2008

Only When The Mind And Body Agree


It started as day dreams and my mind embelished the thought of running a great new trail this weekend. In my foolish mind, I embraced the trail with relentless vigor and energy. There was no hill too tall or trail too technical. The feeling was unforgettable as my mind and body finally agreed. I am sure you all have had this kind of run. Unstopable energy, Floating over the trails on a cusion of soft fluffy air, embracing the base of the largest hill with the attidute of a mountain goat, free floating down the other side knowing that it would only take a pair wings to become airborn.

It was the identical daydream all week and each time the end result was the same. Oh how I longed for that moment. The anticipation, my perceived perfection,the feeling like that of Santa's arrival and the treasures he would bring.

Somehow I didn't remember the month layoff, the thought of 10 extra pounds was corralled to the very rear of my mind, the lingering soreness of the hip surgery a mere faded memory as it floated away dissapearing into the sky like a rolling smoke ring.

Then, Saturday morning rolls around. The feeling of my daydream still lingers but the realization of my current condition wraps it's ugly head around my neck squeezing gently at first but becoming tighter and stronger as I pack my running bag.

I always pack to much, I guess just not knowing how I will feel when I get there, how many layers I may need. That is the drawback of our weather patterns in Maine. You never really know. It is 18 degrees and extremely windy when I drive out onto the street but it could be totally different when I arrive in Topsham.

I am the first to arrive. This is a common as I can't stand the thought of being late. Finally after 30 plus years of marriage, my wife has resigned to being an early arriver because it seems I will never change. I step out of the truck and am imediately hit with a strong freezing wind. This run will surely require some extra layers.

The run today at the Cathance River Nature Reserve was to be a 10 miler (or so) I was not suprised to hear a few threaten of twice that amount. Though an avid daydreamer, I am very realistic when the moment arrives. When Ian asked about my plan of attack, I was quick to assure him that I would play it by ear. Not knowing the nature of the trails along with my layoff, it was anyones guess when the "wall" would slam it's ugly head into my chest.

I was glad to hear that Mindy also planned a shorter run today. I finally put some faces with names and blog writers. Funny how the brain perceives, they always look diffent than you vision. The runners today were Jamie,Jeff,Mindy, Ryan, Danielle,chuck,Blaine, Ian and Scott. A pretty good showing for such a blistery day.

Jamie reminded me so much of my youngest son as he huddled in the warm car seemingly until the last minute, peaking up over the back seat, watching the rest of us shiver in the wind. Suddenly as if a switch was turned, he climbed out of the car and was jumping around with reckless excitement, anxiously awaiting his fight with the trail.

Scott's description of the first mile being an easy jog to the trail head was shadowed by a gusting wind, patches of ice and the realization that my body had decided to disagree with my mind. It fought every little hill with heavy breathing and soft legs. The uneasy feeling of failure was steadily creeping into my mind.

It seems they all took turns to assure my success. Mindy hung back with me for the first mile and a half, Ian doubled back once to be sure we weren't lost (though we almost were). In mile two my breath finally seemed to stabilize a bit. Chuck was appearantly taking his turn to help me along as we had a chance to talk a bit.

Chuck has an awesome blog and it is one of the many I enjoy reading. In mile three I was feeling pretty darn good, Chuck had rejoined the leaders at this point and Jeff came running back the trail. He gave the appearance of just backtracking for pleasure but I suspect he was secretly making sure I hadn't collapsed and fallen into the river.

The run along the river was perfect. I actually had warmed up enough to shed my coat and gloves. Though the trail was technical and quite tough, I enjoyed the scenery around me. The rolling river, the cool air fighting the sweat beads on my face, the trees reaching out and trying to veer me off my course. I think at mile 3.5
I was actually living my daydream not caring wether I was lagging or not.....just enjoying what nature has brought me at that very moment.

Suddenly I noticed Ryan running back to check on me. I assured him I was OK and could find my way. He then did this amazing job of staying just in my view. Far enough ahead to see the others but lagging just enough to allow me a sight of his bright coat. I would see flickers of his structure out of the corner of my eye and that convinced me I was going the right way.

The hill in mile four was the toughest so far as I actually had to walk a portion of it. It was then that the memory of just a mere half mile ago was fading fast. Did I really feel that good 4 short minutes ago or was I so fatigued that i was deaming? Whatever it was, it was surely gone now.

Finally I broke through the wooded area and came upon the trail Monsters discussing the run so far. I had a chance to talk to Blaine a bit as he asked about my injury. It was actually the first time we spoke in person as it is usually through his blog. Scott asked my opinion of the river trail and I honestly must admit how nice it really was. I swear it was 20 degrees warmer back there.

This is where the Trail Monsters continued on as Mindy and I negotiated the trail back to the start. I felt so lucky to have mindy there to help drag my sissy ass body back to the parking lot. Of course I couldn't seem to shut up. Surely she felt she had heard enough and was just as excited to see the end of the trail as I was to stop running.

It retrospect, I supose I bit off a little bigger bite than my condition warranted but I wouldn't trade the morning for anything. It sometimes takes a challenge to remind a person of their capabilities and goals. I needed this run, I needed a kick in the butt, I needed the humbling experience as a relative means to gage my future

A person could not run with a better group of people. It was the highlite of my weekend......well that and the Patriots winning!

6.5 miles
tough and technical trails
10:14 pace
Av HR 153 max 164
xtremly cold but very scenic

Friday, November 21, 2008

I did it again


Well I did it again...I opted for the warm lit up cellar rather than a run outside. To my defense, I got home very late and barely had time to get the run in. Actually I have yet to use my of these nights I will make it happen reguardless.

I planned another hill run and set the tread on #8 grade for the first 1/2 mile then down to 5% for the remainder of the 3 mile run. I planned negative splits and actually felt quite strong.

After the 3 mile run I kicked off a few speed intervals and then a cooldown run with hand weights. For an indoor workout, I was fairly satisfied as the core muscles felt the consequences of the workout.

That is one thing I do like about the treadmill, working the upper body with weights while jogging at a slow speed. It forces the core muscle to work similar to trail running (well except for the ankles which get no work at all).

Looks like I am not working Saturday which gives me the opourtunity to jump at a chance to run with the Trail Monsters......looking forward to that.

3 (plus) miles @27:04
1m 9:04
2m 7:56
3m 7:42
kick@ 7:35
1 mile jogging working on upperbody.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Different scenery

Tuesday (night)

The feeling was a little depressing as I opened the cellar door instead of the front door. The trip down the stairs and to the tread mill not quite as exilarating as a run outdoors.

I set up to do 3x 1mile repeats and to recalibrate my nano (new pod) with some 400s.
Again the treadmill seemed to continue it's lazy lifestyle by refusing to run properly. it reminded me of the kids when I would ask them to do something on a day when they just didn't feel like it. The apearant non understanding of my desires were prominent.

This was no different, I plugged in the treadmill and the incline just keep climbing all by itself. I hit down and it stopped climbing but then started going down and not stopping until it hit bottom. Once at the bottom it keep (trying) to go lower and not allowing the system to start up.

I fought with this for at least 10 minutes and after kicking the damn thing it miraculously started working right. The track lights suddenly blinked on and it waited patiently for my to punch in my requirements. Good thing because I was about to give up and do a bike ride instead.

I had this same problem a couple times last winter and actually chalked it up as a fluke. Now I think the darn thing is just plain getting old. Another problem I have with it, is sometimes when I set my speed (above 7) it decides I am not running fast enough and it creeps up in speed until it tops out between 9 and 10 .... you know by then I am hanging on for dear life! Everyone say "Sprint training"

Perhaps the thing is possessed or something. Anyway to get back to my workout, I started with 3 x 1 mile repeats --negative splits and during the second one I realized there was not much to look at while running. I missed the trail and all it's variety.

I do have a small 13" TV and the news was blaring (treadmill is quite loud) but I'm looking around. There is a (snap on)clock on the wall that was given to me from one of the guys at work. I had planned on putting it out by the pool but it was last christmas and I needed a clock down in the workout room so there it sits waiting for better accomadations.

The cement wall raises up 4 feet and above that is exposed insulation because of a
failed plan of a sheetrock covering (one on those someday things) A fridge sits in the corner full of nothing..... funny I planned on keeping some beer and water in there but I never seem to bring more than one bottle downstairs for a workout. It is plugged in though and biting at the bit to serve me and my family.

I noticed there is not one chair for anyone to sit in. I guess if you are not rowing, biking, working out with weights or running then you are not allowed...apearantly no room for spectators.

In the next room I can see the little orange light on the de-humidifier. I wonder how long that has been on? It indicates that the tank is full and needs dumping. I quickly remember it was on a couple nights ago too....mental note;dump the water when I am done tonite.

That particular room is completely sheetrocked and painted. It is full of all kinds of storage; bikes, old workout stuff, 4 or 5 sets of golf clubs, kids old toys, suitcases,a folding table, boots and shoes, clothing, crates full of something that seemed worth saving at the time they were packed years ago (but who knows what is in them)

I find my mind wandering, and thinking why didn't I clean out that room and put the workout stuff in there? It is completely finished. If only it wasn't so full of stuff. I guess I was just to lazy at the time to clean all that "important" things
and besides where would I put it.

Above me is unfinished, the rafters are exposed and they make a great storage space. I have all kinds of things stuck up there. three pairs of cross country skis, hockey sticks (both real and plastic), misc golf clubs that no longer belong to a complete set, A broom, misc pieces of wood trim I was saving for some reason, a couple baseball bats, two volleyball nets, a hedge trimmer, some copper pipe left over when I was replacing the water heater...then I stopped looking, my neck was getting stiff....but there is much more stuff up there.

I guess it would be easy for newcomers to see that I had kids, all their junk is still here. I should give some of this stuff away. well some stuff is mine too. I hate to get rid of it, someone might need it some day.

Well I finish my 3x1 miles then run 4 400s to calibrate my new pod. I wasn't going to calibrate it but read so far off on Sunday that my mile splits were messed up. Funny, 50 minutes went by before I knew it and at the same time I refreshed my memory of why we have cellars....we need a place to put all that junk we are not using at the time!

Just as I crested the top step and opened the door I realized I didn't dump the de-humidifier.....Oh well I'll get it the next time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Running with the boys


My youngest son came home from Boston for the weekend. His birthday was the 14th and his mother planned a little get together for him. Little did she know, he actually came home for a couple of runs with dad on something other than cement.

We planned a 3.2 mile fast loop (well fast for me anyway) and a longer 8 mile loop on Sunday. I had to work Saturday morning and he called as he seemed quite anxious for me to get home.

We would rather had run on trails but being Saturday and hearing gun shots in the distance, we decided it would be better to stay on the road. This particular 3.2 loop is on secondary roads with a stretch of dirt, a good mix of two quick tall hills and two long gradual hills with a slight downhill that makes for a fast finish.

It was pouring on my way home in the early afternoon but by the time we dressed for the run it was just misty with a rolling fog cover. Somehow I made the mistake of over dressing and labored through the run being much too hot.

The last hill was taking it's toll on me as my breath never seemed to quite be enough to satisfy my cravings. It seemed even worse as my son breezed up the last hill while commenting, "hey this hill is much easier than I remember"

I answered back in very short broken sentences, "yeah.....just...wait... until tomorrow....after .....running 7 miles.....gasp..gasp) I guess I meant that this is actually only half a hill the way we run it as the dirt road breaks out about halfway up this quite steep and very long hill.

Tomorrow our 8 mile loop will bring us to the base of this hill at about mile 6.5 and after two other quite tall hills. I squeaked out a little laugh right before I realized I would be running the long hill with him.....damn we sure better slow the pace down for the run tomorrow.

I felt much better after we crested the hill but I must have still seemed marginal as he offered to slow down if I wanted to. I refused, I wanted to get a speed workout and that is what I would do.

Funny because a month ago this speed would have been more like a training run....anyway today it is surely a speed workout. I started feeling stronger and by the time I hit a half mile to go and the very welcome slightly downhill grade, I was on top of things. My stride felt better and my breath controlled.

I managed a small kick at the end and then tried to catch my breath on the cooldown.

3.2 miles @8:23 pace
av HR 145, max 169
50 degrees and misty fog.


I usually get out early on Sundays for my run but my son wanted to sleep in before running and I had some leaves left to rake at my mother's so I went there first which managed to deplete my energy stores considerably.

Upon return just a bit before lunch time, we suited up for our run, this time I was careful to dress a little chilly for the start and my oldest son decided to join us. I was anxious to do a long run as I havn't been able to get many runs in since the layoff. I wanted to see how much base I lost in the process.

It was like old times running with two of the boys though I knew I would be slowing them down. It started out really easy and comfortable. The pace was perfect for talking and they both seemed quite content to blab away rather than speed up.

The weather seemed perfect and I warmed up after the first mile to a very managable pace. We talked about some of their meets when they were in school and remenised about track days. It made me wish I had run track in High school. I had no stories to tell.

In the first three miles there are three good size hills and I felt fine on the first two but labored a bit on the third. I was glad to crest it and get a nice flat forth mile to re-coupe. That didn't go as well as planned, when we turned the corner it was into a good sized head wind. Where the hell did that come from?

I was feeling tired in 4 and 5 but seemed to catch a second wind in the 6th. I talked smack about the large long hill at 6.5 and how I was going to power up the thing and then sprint all the way to the finish.

The boys laughed as if they knew something I didn't ..... and they did. Once I started climbing the hill, maybe a quarter of the way up my second wind blew away...
That's right, what bad manners huh? I was left with a laboring breath and very little talking on my part.

The boys kind of forgot about me and around half way up, one of them looked back and noticed me lagging a bit. I could see him thinking that perhaps they should wait up. Having no part of them feeling sorry for me, I did the stupidest thing I could think of...... I took a deep breath and began picking up the pace...almost a hill sprint of sorts.

I caught up to them and they didn't seem to notice I had used every ounce of energy I could muster to accomplish the sprint. They just keep talking and powering the hill. To my surprise I kept up with their (easy) pace and finally crested the top with a sigh of relief.

I was feeling tired but refreshed and strong at the same time. I was working a controlled hard breathing and had no doubt I could continue this until the end, besides there was only 1.5 miles to go and only one more small hill.

1/2 mile to go and I started picking up the pace (which is normal for me) and at .1 I worked in my kick. Right to the end and still picking up speed. It felt great. Overall I was very happy with this run. Almost felt normal, I am so glad I picked up the pace on the hill, it reminded me that our mind is in control not our body.

I was convincing myself that there was nothing there and I was done but picking up the pace allowed me to get a little more oxygen flowing and actually became stronger for the finish.

I assume the boys held back on the kick so I would be in front at the finish...hey I guess I brought them up right! We walked a mile cooldown and then enjoyed a nice warm meal after showering.

I am actually quite content with the 8 mile run. The course is fairly difficult, I finished strong and the average pace was respectable.

8 miles @ 9:15 pace
45 degrees overcast and windy.
143 average Heart rate and 159 max.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Trudging forward


I sat down yesterday and started devising my training plans for the spring. I will spend this late fall and winter to establish a solid cardio base for the spring. In the past I really never did this, I would take November/ December off and then crank up with as much running and snowshoeing as I could fit through the winter but not really any plan per-say.

I think I have to follow something so I don't end up starting spring with an injury or not being prepared enough for the speed workouts. I would very muck like to PR the Irish Rover 5K in the spring. It would be a good start for the year.

I thought I was doing quite well last year as I ran a half marathon in Arizona (non competetive--pacing my daughter) I ran a 10 miler in Febraury and ended up doing OK as far as pace goes and splits. I was training for the 25K X-country race at pineland.

I realize now that I didn't plan very well for last spring even though "on paper" it seems I did. One thing I have lacked in the past is good solid base miles. I would always end up running too fast and fatiguing my body.

I plan on doing better this year and part of that is running longer and slower in preparation for the Pineland 50K. I have to keep my mind off speed for a couple months and just get time in on my feet running and walking.

I assume that my entries will be geared more toward the fun I get from running rather than the excitement of how far near the front I finish or speed. This will be different for me though I have not had the speed I am used to for the last year anyway. I expect it will not bother me as much because of the type of race I am training for. I guess we will see.

I ran on the treadmill again last night. Actually I started with a few miles on the bike for warmup and then ran. Again I felt running on a higher incline allowed me to work a little harder without pushing the speed.

I finished the workout with some upper body weight work. I really enjoyed the workout as I had no expectations other than getting in some running. I like my attitude right now and am anxious to get out for a long run this weekend.

Unlike most people I talk to, I am dying for snow, I have the snowshoes cleaned up and ready to go.......Come on Snow!!!

3 miles on the bike @ 120rpms
3 miles on the treadmill 8% incline
cooldown walk.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Treadmill workout

November 12, 2008

Well, I tried the treadmill tonite and the darn thing worked. I guess it just had a tempermental fit as I ran 3 x 1 mile repeats with fluxuating inclines to simulate hills. The first mile was totally run at 10% incline. The other two fluxuating.

The first mile I think I over did it a bit as I ran on 10% incline for the whole mile at a pretty good pace. After that the other 2 miles were much tougher and ended up progressively slower.

I finished with a half mile cooldown and some weight work for upper body and core. Overall I was fairly satisfied with the workout tonite and tomorrow I will shoot for maybe intervals or a longer run.

I think there is something wrong with our scale though....I usually weight myself before and after a workout to monitor fluid needs and tonite I gained 3 lbs...????

mile 1 7:51 pace
mile 2 10:42 pace
mile 3 11:02 pace

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slow Comeback

I feel fat and lazy! My comeback from surgery seems to be a tougher climb than I imagined. It was only three weeks but I feel I have slid so much. My speed is non existant and the cardio is working overtime.

Besides that my schedule has made it very difficult to get my runs in and even crosstraining. I am temped to pick up a stationary unit for my bike so I can work on leg speed during the week.

I have been working 12 hours a day which does not help and two of my kids had car problems that I worked on in the last week. treadmill is definately come down with a virus or something. It actually has not worked right since I wiped off the summer dust.

I don't mean to whine.......well I guess I is hell when something disrupts a great season of running....the fall is usually my best times.....I plan on a long run sometime this weekend and hopefully that will get me back on track.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Long Day

Sunday morning and I have already been on the road for an hour or so. When I left it was misty and overcast after having rained all night. Imagine my surprise when I noticed the magnificant sun rising.

Not only did it mean My day would be a sunny one but there is something exciting about seeing the sun rise to greet your on comming day. I am on my way to Boston Ma to meet up with my son.

Our plan is to get a run in on what he described as a hill course, then drive to Dedham to catch the Patriots train to Gillett stadium. My son is a Bills fan and of course I am Patriots. I got some great seats (second row up at the goal post) and we were both excited.

My son lives in Boston and runs these streets everyday. He keeps talking about the massive hill course he devised and though it is only 3 miles, he usually runs it twice then a cool down.

He describes this long hill making up the total of mile one and then a huge hill at the begginning of mile two. After acomplishing that the last mile is rolling and down hill. I felt pretty confident when we started out as I run a pretty good size hill at home and I didn't figure this would compare.

Well, the first thing that I noticed, is the cement was so hard. we had to run mostly on the sidewalk because of traffic and the cement seemed so ungiving especially since I run 60% on trails.

The first mile was dragging me down and my legs definately remembered the 5 miles I ran yesterday morning. I could feel the rustiness of my current condition. I sucked it up though and managed to weather the storm of a first mile all up hill. Total grade according to the garmen was 6% which is not too shabby when running on sidewalks.

I was just starting to feel I was warming up and catching some breath when we hit the botton of "the hill". This was a monster of a hill that rose 8% leveled at a road crossing then jumped up to 12% grade. Damn, this was a big hill! Watching for traffic half way up really sucks when all my body wanted to do was find some oxygen somewhere.

I was so glad to crest that hill. Though it was similar in grade as the Oakhill that I run, it was actually a little shorter overall. The thing that made this tough was the constant uphill grade for a mile preceeding and the break in stride at the road crossing half way up. That and my dead legs from yesterdays run.

The slight level and down hill grade of the next half mile was nice and once my breath caught up with me, I let me son know he was right, that hill does suck.
The finish was great as it was a quarter mile downhill. I felt so good, I almost opted for a second loop.

I knew I would be on my feet alot and it was going to be a long day at the game so I'm actually glad I didn't attempt a second loop. We went back to the apartment, grabbed a shower, hit Dunkin Donuts for a much needed coffe then headed for Dedham.

The idea of parking in Dedham and taking the train to the game ended up being a very smart one. The parking was only two dollas and the train twelve dolloars round trip. Much cheaper than parking at the stadium and no traffic to worry about.

The game was fantastic and our seats row 2 behind the goal posts were amazing. I am sure we were on tv a couple times and if only they didn't put up that net, we could have caught one of the fieldgoal balls.

We had a lot of fun and even though I was excited about the game, my son was a little bummed because he was rooting for the Bills. It felt good to get on the train and not have to fight hours of traffic after the game. I just sat down and feet enjoyed that!

I then watched the sun go down as I had visions of so long ago (this morning) watching the same sun rise. It seemed like a different day all together. Some days are just destined to be a good memory.

Saturday: 5 mile run:
8:57 pace
drizzle and overcast.

Sunday: Damn hill 3 mile run
9:03 pace
Sunny with a chilly breeze

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Somehow, I was reminded of the "trees" I encountered when hiking in Arizona. This Cactus is extremely old.


I didn't run Tuesday, for some reason I just didn't feel like it. So I ran Wednesday instead. It was totally dark when I got home and supper was ready so I thought I would run some speed workout on the treadmill.

I knew it might be tough as the treadmill has been acting up when my daughter tried using it the other day. I figured I would give it a try and see what was wrong. Well it starts up good but then shuts down for no apearant reason.

It didn't affect me too much as I was running some sprints anyway. It seemed strange as 2 months ago I would have considered this speed a cooldown and not speed work. I can't believe how much I lost in just three weeks!

I ran 2 miles speed work (in the 8 minute pace range ..uuugg) and then a cooldown, A 5 minute fast walk on 10 incline and then some upper body and core workout with hand weights. Actually felt preety good about the workout.

It felt good to be just working out with no interuptions and no one talking about the election....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

long run workout

November 2 2008

My first long run today and I decided to hit some difficult trails for some solid core and ankle workout. I knew it would be a slower pace than normal but felt it would be a good gauge to figured where my fitness is after surgery.

I ran one of my favorite loops around the pit but this time adding in the much more technical and difficult left side with the addition of the water pipeline. Immediately I could feel the difference as my core muscles began working on the tight single trails and the need to dodge obstructions.

This was a good test for the stability of my new Brooks Cacadias and they did very well. I think I only rolled my left foot twice with no pain or problems. I picked Sunday to make sure I would not be mistaken for a deer....not that I would run that fast but more because of itchy trigger fingers.

As I ran up the right side of the pit I was startled by loud gun shot. This pit is a restricted area that allows no guns but that doesn't seem to stop people. The scary part is that the person shooting the gun does know I am here and who knows what direction he is shooting.

Perhaps he is very safety concious and just aiming at a target in the pit or maybe he is stupid and shooting up into the woods.....who knows. I was actually quite scared as he shot several times in a row very fast....not what one would normally do when concentrating on a target and easily squeezing the trigge for acuracy.

I crested the pit hill,turned out onto the road and headed toward Oakhill for the hill workout and the technical forest trail part of my run. I wondered if I would see the left behind deer guts of last week but figured some animal had probably dragged that off by now.

The Oakhill was quite difficult and I was totally winded as I crested the top. I turned around and hit the Forest trail this time running in reverse. It looked so different this way and by the time I looped around and was climbing back up the hill, I suddenly became completely drained and was at the end of my wind. My legs felt totally dead and my core was sore.

Perhaps I pushed to much as the incision area above the hip began hurting a little also. I decided to cut the run shorter than the 10 miles I planned and hit the mushroom trail. Only instead of running this trail and looping back I would just hit the road and head home.

I did take a little detour at the top of the trail to the town pit just to see if there was a trail there and if I could add some milage to this loop. I did some trail blazing and found a dirt trail that looped around the top of the pit. I decided to turn back and explore further some other day.

The one mile or so run on the road back home was quite inviting and comfortable. I settled into a pretty good pace and actually ended on a high note as I sprinted to baston road and the finish of my run.

I was dismayed to find a small dead deer at the end of that road across form my house. Appearanty it had been hit during the night and no one called it in. I used to see this deer with it's sister and mother almost daily as they walked through my yard to eat fallen apples.

I guess I can't teach them to look both ways when crossing the road which they did twice a day so getting hit was probably inevidable. I was pooped from the run but still felt good about the workout.

As a cooldown, I went hiking at twinbrooks with my wife, daughter and her pup. It was a good way to cooldown.

7.2 miles
mixture or technical trails, dirt road, hills and new trails.
150 average Heart rate
169 peak Heart rate (oakhill)
average pace 10:07
last mile 7:58

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tough Run

October 30 2008

I thought all day about my run tonite. I knew it would be tough as I just started back up running. This would be my second run and I decided it would be a race pace 5k. Probably not a smart thing but it seems like the only way to gauge how much speed and fitness I have lost.

As it turned out, the temps were quite chilly @ 39 and windy. I was dangerously close running on the treadmill instead but there is really no way to gauge my fitness without mile pace and Heart rate.

I put on a couple layers and forced myself out the door. By the time I walked to the end of the driveway I had aclimated well and except for the chilly breeze in my face I was fine.

My other run five days ago was this same course and I ran a somewhat comfortable but working pace of 8:39. I would hope to be able to beat that by 10 seconds a mile at least.

The first mile felt pretty good but I could feel the cardio becoming quite challenged and hoped I could push it the next two. Mile two is an uphill soft dirt, rocks and debris with a new coating of fallen leaves. Definately a hamper to keeping pace.

The hill took it's toll on my wind and I just couldn't seem to get enough oxygen. I could feel my pace slowing and my mind kept trying to convince me to stop, that I couldn't continue. I tricked my mind by telling it I would stop at the top because I knew if I made it to the top I would be able to keep going.

I did make it and and felt a sigh of relief as I negotiated the rock bed on the other side. The second hill which is tar was much easier but i was still laboring when I crested that one.

I couldn't believe how out of breath I was. I knew I was somewhere around 8:30 pace and normally that would be a relativelt easy run for me. I also noticed how high my heart rate was. At that point I was hugging 170 which is about 95% for me.

Finally I made it past the 2.5 mark and knew for sure I could maintain the pace to end and still accomplish some kind of kick.The thought of how hard this was kept crossing my mind. I wanted to stop but would not allow that to happen.

I crested a small hill and the site of my finish excited my mind....finally I get to kick and then stop. I did alright on the kick, about 6:43 so I was pretty happy with that effort.

In the end I beat the last run by 55 seconds so I felt it was worth it. I was surprised when I checked the Garmen and found out my heart rate spiked to 208 in the first 2 tenths of the run. That seemed odd. I ran a 25:02, a far cry from my best on this trail of 20:59.

After I did a half mile cooldown to catch my breath.

3 mile run
tar, dirt, trail
25:02 splits: 8:11, 9:00, 8:12, (6:43 kick)
8:20 pace

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I am chomping at the bit!!

This is how I feel right now.......eager to race but waiting for the gun to go off. My recent recoupe from surgery being the starting tape and the anticipation of crossing the start line is driving me crazy.

So then I go to Blaine's wedsite and try to win a dvd on running...yeah, just what I need right.....something to FIRE ME UP!!!!!

I plan my second easy run tonite and hopefully a longer run this weekend.....I need someone to hold me back so I don't hurt myself.

Everyone go to and enter to win this DVD's free!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Feeling good

Left to right my kids; KevinJr. age 24(some kind of muscle man with tatoos) Nathan age 26 (a beer keg with real beer in the top), Amanda age 29 (a 20s flapper), Matthew
age 28 (the incredible hulk) The four of them dragged my wife and I to a halloween dance (and I thought running was tiring!)

Well, Saturday morning I sprung out of bed and suited up for my first run in three weeks (two weeks since surgery) I really didn't know what to expect. The healing has gone well and the incision at the hip has not bothered me much.

The morning air was brisk and clean. I started fairly slow and decided to keep the pace relatively easy and short. I ran one of my favorite 3 mile loops that borders a pit wall and has a good mix of trails, hills, road (tar and dirt) and a flat finish.
I wore the new trail runners (brooks cascadias) for the first time running and they felt I have been wearing them for years..

I felt a little winded on the hills and I could "feel" the hip but not really any pain. I was able to pick it up a bit in the end to finish with positive splits. Then an easy half mile cooldown. I was very happy, every thing went well. I knew of course I would be a little lame the next day but that was OK.

I was very happy to get out and run as the surgeon first said no running or biking for 4-6 weeks, but when he saw how well I was doing and felt confident I would not overdo it, he finally agreed to let me go.

I felt invigorated after the run and then proceded to pull the gas tank out of our van to replace the fuel pump. I have been putting this job off because ....well it sucks and is a lot of work. Today I felt like tackling it. I accomplished that then went hiking with my daughter and her cute dog..a puggles.

It was supposed to be just a hike on some trails but turned into a run as her dog found the remains of a deer that was shot that morning and we had to run with him to keep his attention off the deer smells. They apearantly gutted the deer then dragged it along the trail to reach the road. Her dog being part beagle just couldn't keep his nose off the ground when walking.

While running, my daughter lost her car keys and we had to go back searching for them, which was a little tougher because the darkness was creapping in very quickly.
After giving up and calling home for a ride, my daughter found her key laying on the ground next to the lucky is that?

So, after all the fun of running, struggling with the van and then running again, the kids dragged us to a halloween dance and I ended up dancing until 12:30 that night (well, morning I guess) I did tell the surgeon I would take it easy and not overdue it....right?

Sunday? Yeah I was a lttle lame when I rolled out of bed. In keeping with the stradegy of taking it easy, I ended up going up to my moms to install a new front door which took 2 hours longer than planned. Though I did finally get a chance to take it easy as I watched the Patriots game but then got antsy and ended up going for a hike at Twin was pretty wet there after the heavy rain Saturday night.

It is Monday morning and I am a little sore from all the activity but extremely sure feels good to be running again...

Combo trail/road
brisk morning 7:30 am... hat and gloves
3 mile @8:39 pace average
157 average HR and 169 peak at 7:39 kick.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I am Running this weekend

I have been granted approval to run this weekend...It has been two weeks already. I feel out of shape and am itching to get out there. It will be hard to take it easy and not overdue it...

I feel I am healing very well and can probably easily run 8 or 10 miles at a reasonable pace.....I might cut it a little shorter, I have plenty of time as I am starting a base for the 50K training.

I saw the Pineland trail Challenge on the Trail monsters sight the other day, it got me pretty I crazy? why do I want to push myself to run 50K? What is going on in this head of mine?

I sometimes wish I had a first timer like myself to train with through the winter and then experience the (thrill?) with in May, but at the same time I think it would be difficult to do with my crazy schedule. My runs end up being very unplanned and erratic.

I am very happy about the chance to run this soon as the surgeon had origonally said 4 to 6 weeks...I think either I am doing quite well or he figured he couldn't fight the tide and figured I would go running anyway...not sure which..HAHAHA.

I know he understands as he just finished a canoe marathon solo, he made all the cutoff times and finished was 100 miles....pretty impressive. I can tell he doesn't know too many people in his normal everyday life that he can talk to cause he just rambled on about it. It was a great talk!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A suprise!

Hey...I had a suprise in the mail yesterday. It is such a good feeling to know people care. Thank-you Trail Monsters. (knarls & gIANT)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Withdrawals are getting tough!

I am not allowed to run right now and I can't bike, hike or swim either.....this is tough. My brain feels I should be doing it, my body isn't really saying I can't (though I do have some pretty good pain right now) I think I could go for an easy jog and not suffer because of it.

I will be good though and adhere to the words of my surgeon....I will be seeing him Friday. Perhaps he will atleast let me go hiking this weekend. I really feel that getting up and moving is the key to recovery.

I think my body demands exercise.......and I have this brand new pair of Brooks cascadias that keep staring at me saying... "let's hit the trails man!" I haven't worn them yet...I want to.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

dog sprints


I origonally planned a decent XC hilly run today at Bradbury. I had an appointment at the surgeons first and was planning to scoot over there after. My daughter took her dog up there for a hike and called to tell me most of the trails were closed.

I ended up being at the surgeons much longer than I planned and with the trails at Bradbury closed, I decided to do a walk with the wife, my daughter and her dog.

We met at Twinbrooks (thought I might cross paths with the Trail Monsters but didn't) Anyway what started as a walk quickly turned into sprint workouts. My daughter's dog, a Puggles, which is a cross between a beagle and a pug, decided to chase sticks and tromp through puddles.

Before I knew it, he had me throwing sticks and chasing around with him. Somehow we ended up runing and that turned into periodic sprint racing. He is quite fast (though I did beat him to the stick a few times), we ended up very soaked and wearing each other out.

This was a great workout and lots of fun. It felt very good on the muscles as I havn't been sprinting much lately. Tomorrow I will get my normal run in at Pineland.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Running and rainning...


I missed the Pathfinders race yesterday but thought I would at least put in a decent run today. When I got up it was raining and though this would stop many, I looked forward to it.

I enjoy running in the rain, it changes everything and it is much cooler. To start with I could not find the Garmen (I assume I left it at work) So ran without it. Funny how one can get used to something then feel naked without it.

I planned on a fairly long run and to mix the terrain between tar, dirt and trails. Kind of a well rounded workout. I wore my Northface trail runners because they are waterproof and I knew I would hit some ground water today.

The start was wierd as the road was covered with acorns and there was a pretty steady crunch for the first mile. I started fairly slow and figured on speeding up as I progressed. I don't know what was up, but I saw at least a dozon squished frogs in the road. Perhaps there was so much water from the night before that they thought they were crossing a pond instead of the road.

I got wet fairly quickly, and I had the road all to myself as it was only 7:30 am. I like it when there are no cars. The unfortunate thing about a heavy rain is it knocks a lot of the leaves down prematurely. I noticed how many leaves were changing. It seems full foliage will be here soon it wouldn't be much of a sight if all the leaves were on the ground.

I was glad to round the corner after mile 1 and hit the trails. I came up to the brook and even with my earphones on, I could hear the brook roaring. It is funny, this particular brook is usually a very gentle flowing stream acting like it doesn't have a care in the world.

Today it was flowing with vengence, a steady roar as it grabbed at branches rocks and debri. It expanded beyond it's normal banks just to latch onto things and deposit them somewhere down stream. Kind of a relocation program.

The trees were hanging real low with all the water on them. It seemed they had a destinct pleasure of tranfering most of that moisture on me as I ran by. I am sure they were snickering amongst themselves. I laughed right back as I ran by because they were not affecting me at all.

I came out of the trail and ran down a dirt road to Oakhill. It didn't seem so steep today for some reason. I ran 3/4 of the way up and then hit the town forest trail. It started down hill and the water coming off the road followed the trail. It was more like running with a steam as the water and the trail became one.

This was a bit difficult and it was pointless to try and stay out of the water so I just ran with it. This did slow me down a lot and I recorded the slowest pace on this trail.

This trail looped back up the hill and guessed it, I was now running up stream. I was glad to finally get back to Oakhill and I finished the trip up the hill, followed the caldasac. 1/4 way back down I hit the mushroom trail and was quite surprised that this too was quite flooded. I followed it to the end, ran around and back up the crevace wall, back to oakhill and headed home.

I ran up the two of the three baston hills and then hit the pit loop trail in reverse. Once i came back out onto the road I picked up the pace quite a bit and finished the last half mile with a little kick. This run felt great. I didn't experience much fatigue and the pace was pretty good.

I like the diversity of this loop, I think I will run it quite a bit for training. As I get closer to the spring, I will probably double up on it.

9 miles @ 1:25:22
tar / dirt/ trails / hills

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

leading to nothing

Setting my sites on winter running.....


I am officially leading up to nothing. Sounds crazy huh? I have no real running plans (in the short term) right now. Feels kinda empty and hollow. I have downgraded the Pathfinder race from race to participating (assuming I don't have to work).

I had hoped to race it as my last official gig before surgery but I just don't seem to have the speed and the right ankle (well the tendon band that runs across the top of the ankle) is still acting up. I guess I worked it over pretty good at the Bruiser.

Ran 3.7 @ Pineland...started easy and picked it up each mile to a semi kick at the end. I felt pretty good overall but the ankle would interfere when I landed wrong or tried to push off the toe for more speed. I did finish with a 8:20 kick so not extremely slow. Normally when running this short of a distance I would cruise at 7:50-8:00 pace with a kick od 7:10 or so.

After surgery (6 weeks or so they say but probably sooner I think) I will start working on a long base to increase through the winter in prep for the Pineland 50K
I really do not know what to expect but feel I gained enough knowledge from the 25K, the Bradbury runs and the 12 miler to give me a direction.

I hope to find someone training for the 50k that could work with me or even perhaps run with. Right now though it is early, I think I will plan on a race pace average of 11-12 minute. Don't know if that is feasable yet but it gives me a place to start.
I would love to think I could run faster but at this point I think that pace is realistic.

I set my sights too high at the 25K as I planned on 9:30 pace which I maintained through 10 miles but the last 5 slapped me silly and I ended up at 10:50 pace and damn close to not finishing. I don't want that to happen again. So far I have never had a DNF.

I learned a lot before the 12 miler and started that race a lot slower. Though I didn't run the time I hoped for, I did finish strong and was able to pick it up the last two miles (even though I was on the O trail) to a decent speed and kick the last 2 tenths.

Pineland run
3.7 mi @ 34:55
splits 10:05, 9:40, 8:57, 8:44, (8:20Kick) Heart rate 149 average with 168 max

1 mile easy run @10:10 pace
1/2 mile cooldown. No swimmimg tonite (closing the pool this weekend boo--hoo)....did warm shower instead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Multi purpose muscles

September 21 2008

7 am and it was a little chilly very similar to yesterday but perhaps a tiny bit warmer. It seemed strange to be thinking layers and even gloves. I actually had runnung pants laid out and ready for this mornings run.

I ended up just wearing the shorts and a long sleeve shirt which was actually perfect. I was bummed as I forgot the Garmen at work which leaves me with out Heart rate information and also a milage reading that helps me decide which is more acurate, the Garmen (reads short in the trails but close on the road)or the Nike (reads long in the trails but close on the road).

So I ran with just the Nike and for some reason it read what I feel is short. I ran a combo of tar, dirt and trails mixed with some pretty good hills. When I started out, I realized the multipurpose muscles were fine. These are the ones that overlap from golfing to running.

Yes....I found out there are some overlap muscles and because I have only golfed once this year, I used some dormant muscles too. These muscles continuosly whinned about the run and tried to convince me to go back home and sit in front of the TV.
They lost and I rewarded them with a nice cool dip in the pool upon my return. That woke them up a bit as the pool was a mere 64 degrees.

I ran two trails, the pit loop and the mushroom loop. Both were very nice and it reminded me why I love trail running in the fall. The mushroom loop starts about 3/4 way up a great training hill called Oakhill. As I approached it, I saw a woman running up it so I tried catching her and even though I ran to the top, I just was out of room.

This hill is a real tough one and works well for solid hill training. I crested the top turned around and hit the mushroom trail. This trail is fairly easy and a lot of fun to run. When I came out of the trail, my course brought me back by the begining of Oakhill and at the very top I am pretty sure I saw the same woman cresting. Wow...she appearantly was doing hill repeats ....I was quite impressed. I have thought many times about doing repeats there but never seemed to do it.

So I ran 6.5 miles (or so) and felt good about the run. I did have some real noticable pain in the right ankle. I think due to the golfing yesterday. Oh, by the way, I know I complained about missing a run because of the tourneyment but actually I had a great time golfing, met up with a bunch of old friends and had a great meal....nuff said ..... The dip in the pool felt very good on the muscles though I think it dropped my core temperature at least 20 degrees!!

6.5 miles @9:25 pace
40 degrees and brisk.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pefect Running Weather

Matt ---My oldest son


What perfect running weather! I ran a real nice four mile loop (3.7) with my son. He was kind enough to slow down to my recovery pace. I wasn't sure about the ankle at first but it only bothered a little during the first mile and then a bit as I picked up to a semi kick in the end.

We started on tar for the first mile, dirt for part of the second and hit a nice trail then the last mile back on tar. It is a nice loop with a few hills to help get the heart rate up.

In the beginning I experienced the same problem as the Bruiser. I had a high heart rate spike in the first two minutes. I am not sure what causes that. It happened three of four times during the 12 miler.

I know that an elivated HR means your body is tired or not fully recovered, but this was a spike. After the spike 240...about 30 seconds later it went to normal and hugged the 159 range. Usually my max is around 170 maybe 174 if I really psuh it.

So, perhaps it means nothing. Through most of the run I hugged 155-159 and 163 at my kick. So A very comfortable run. I felt GREAT after. The feelings from Tuesday were completely gone and I felt uplifted.

I threw on the bathing suit after and hit the pool. Water temp was down to 66 so it was very refreshing. Couldn't get the boy (well actually a man now as he is 28 years old) to jump in.....he thought it would be too cold....I think I called him wuss or something.

I think my body temp was about 66 when I got out.....boy the air was cold. I was so refreshed though.....we will see how the ankle feels tomorrow.

3.7 miles
32:12 ... 8:50 pace
splits: 9:07, 9:20 hills, 8:57, 7:46, (7:20 kick)