Friday, August 29, 2008

More x-c trail running


Ran at Twinbrooks tonight. Started easy and picked it up to race pace in the last mile. My splits for the 3.1 were; 9:55, 8:35, 7:20, 7:00kick. I felt winded but satisfied with my last mile. it felt good to pick up the speed a bit. I need to work some more and longer speed workouts in.

I like Twinbrooks but wish they hadn't put so much grooming into it lately. The difficulty is much less, the trails are smoother and wider ....almost like running on dirt roads now. I wish I hadn't worn my trail shoes...didn't really need them and the stifness of them causes my calfs and archilles to be tight when running on packed dirt instead of soft trails.

I will not wear them next time. I also miss the old trails as they have shut some of the toughest hills off from the course. I find myself liking the East side of Bradbury the best. I guess it keeps my attention and the terrain changes so drastically that I don't have as much time to wallow in my tiredness as there are too many things to disrupt the run.

I am not looking forward to my 6 weeks off....especially in the fall...the best time for trail running.

Overall even after starting slow I averaged 8:42 pace so I am fairly happy with that. Next week I will come here and run a race pace 5k and see what I can get for speed. I plan a long run Sunday of at least 12 miles or over 2 hours which ever comes first. Then that will be my last long workout before the 12 mile Bradbury race.

Another easy day


Easy day today....hit the pool. Did 40 laps and some swimming around. The pool temp has been dropping steady with these cool nights. I fear before long I will be the only one using this pool. I actaully like the cooler temps especially after running or workouts. It is a good way to get the ticks off, though this year it has not been too bad.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where am I really going?


I think I have lost my training path recently. I usually run track on Tuesday nights though lately my work schedule has interfered with arriving there on time so I havn't made it.

But is that the only reason? I don't really enjoy track and I seem to become plagued with injuries. It seems so easy to rationalize with myself and end up hitting a trail instead. I tend to wait until the time comes to run and then decide what I want to that considered following a training regiment?

I was invited to join the Trail Monsters today for a run at Twinbrooks. I really like running there and decided to show up if I got out of work early enough. Though my running is subpar for their level, I could use the push sometimes and they are great people. I learned so much from them in Saturdays run. (one, it hurts when you fall)

As luck is usually my guide these days, I did not make it to Twinbrooks, so I stopped at Pineland to run the Pathfinders 5k. I set up virtual runner on my garmen and decided to race the dude! At least I have a chance to win as I can set the pace to beat. I was a little excited,this was the first time I have raced the virtual runner (even though I have had this Garmen for a year now)

This is where I feel I have lost site of my training.....I set the garmen then started my Nike plus (the Garmen sometimes losses the signal and records my milage wrong) I set the virtual runner at 9:30 pace and felt it quite doable to run the pathfinders course at 9:20 or so.

I ran across the field down the trail and suddenly took a left! What is up with that? I ran up over the field and headed for the River loop. What happened to my plan? What about the race with virtual guy? This part of the trail has more tree cover so the Garmen would be way off and is much more difficult as far as hills go.

I found myself thinking, do I actaully have a training plan? Or am I just out there running arbitrarily? Is this any way to master my form and run quality races? Then my Nike sensor battery run was falling apart.

At this very moment a runner apeared. It was a woman running toward me. She looked happy and tranquil as she jogged toward me. The smile on her face and the ease of her movement insured me that she was enjoying her venture. It dawned on me at that very moment, isn't that what I really want? To just go out into nature and just run for the total enjoyment of it?

It made so much sense to me. Yeah run where I enjoy it the most, push myself at times to enhance the bodies need to do better, throw in some races for fun and not worry so much about how many miles this week, speed runs, tempo runs, long runs, who needs all that junk? I will just run for fun......yeah run for fun.

Suddenly my body felt just a little lighter. I rounded a curve hit a slight downhill. I was breezing and my form felt perfect. My legs whirling like tuned machines and my breath steady. Boy, this running for fun was .....well... going to be fun.

For at least 50 seconds I had all the answers, it seemed so clear. Then I hit the uphill. I shortened my stride, my legs felt heavy, I couldn't quite suck in enough air to satisfy my brains screams, I checked my watch..Damn my pace is over 10 minute.
That stupid virtual guy was surely grinning from ear to ear as he powers past me.

OK, I have to push a little harder on this hill then kick the legs up to force more turn over on the down. This should quicken the pace a bit. I wish I was in better shape, I wanted to run this hill faster....beat this damn virtual guy....tromp his butt right into the ground.

Wow! what a turn around. From a carefree fun run to an all out race all in 50 seconds. It is funny the things that roll around ones brain when running. I find myself wondering, do other runners experience these random thoughts? Was Ryan Hall second guessing himself when trying to work to the front at the olympics? Did he think about his training, wonder if he did the right things? Wish he was just running for fun? Wished he had trained differently or just longing for the finish line?

I can't believe how tired I felt during the last two miles. Could it be that I ran so hard Saturday? Or perhaps am not getting enough rest? but anyway it was tiring and the pace was not that fast. The virtual guy ended up killing me as I ran 5.5 miles @ 9:52 pace. Normally I respect a guy that beats me because he surely worked hard to be in that shape but this guy well this is different. He didn't work at all. No training, no running when your legs refused to move, no gasping for air.

Next time I am going to set his time much slower then I can wear a huge smile as I pass him. I will be the winner and be sitting there resting as he crosses the finish line.

I noticed in Jamie's blog that he remembered my slip of the toungue when I blerted out my thought of running the 50K next that it is in print, I better start thinking about my training. I will have to create a graph and figure my miles. How many base miles, what kind of speed work, where my weight should be. I want to be as prepared as possible........did I say training? I guess I did .... and I said I wasn't going to do that anymore.

Why do I do this to myself? I have asked that question so many times, especially during a race. But you know what? I have never asked that question as I cross the finish line. Why is that? I tell you why, because, if you don't ask yourself that question at some point in the race, you are not pushing hard enough and when you cross that finish line, that is the payback, that is the fun part of the race, that is when all your training pays off......just the fact that you are finishing proves that you worked hard enough to deserve to be there.

Well after catching my breath I ran a 1 mile cooldown @9:33 pace ...and actually felt pretty good.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Trail Monsters


My intent today was to get a view of the Bradbury Bruiser 12 mile course. The Trail Monsters had a run scheduled there and they were planning a couple loops of the 12 mile course at what sounded like a fast but managable pace for me. I was not going to run two loops or anything crazy like that, just hoping to pull off one 12 mile loop to help me with the technical aspect of this course and to be more familiar with it on race day.

As we met in the parking lot, I felt a little out of my element, this group had a mean age of probably 30-35 and consisted of very experienced and qualified ultra runners. While walking up to the group I took stock in what I was attemping. Me being a tiny bit older at 52, A tiny bit less experienced, my longest trail race before 2008 was 5k, My largest accomplishment was one Marathon 2006 and one 25K trail race 2008. My running history a short 6 years.

Ian imediately put me at ease and introduced me to the group. I recognized most of them as I have been reading the trail Monster's blogs and following their races. I was excided and aprehensive to be here. I usually run alone and really did not know what to expect. I felt extemely accepted and only had one worry left, would I be able to keep up? One thing I do know is that I love trail running and was in the comany of others who did too.

One we started running, my jitters disapeared, the smell of the woods, the sounds of our feet pounding and snapping as we carefully placed them around roots and rocks. Everyone was talking as if we were just sitting around a campfire with our favorite beer and a blanket on a cool summers night.

I felt very comfortable running and the first few miles just seemed to fly by. Our pace was hugging somewhere around 10:30-10:40 and though only slightly slower than my race pace for this distance on trails, I felt I could continue. We stopped at around mile three as Ian took survey to be sure we were all happy with the pace and discuss the run so far. He tends to speed up and relies on Emma to monitor his pace.

Emma followed me in the beginning and lived up to her reputation as she continually made sure I was OK. I felt at ease with her from the moment she stepped up, shook my hand and introduced herself. I hit a huge root as negotiating a sharp corner and almost went down. Somehow I regained my balance and didn't go down. Emma seemed more worried about me than I was. I was actually quite impressed with my capability of staying vertical and until today have never taken a digger.

Somewhere around mile 5 Lilly went down thanks to a large rock that appearantly jumped up and grabbed her feet. It didn't seem to faze her much as she stood right back up and continued. I almost went down behind her as I had to veer off the trail to keep from running over her. This worried me a bit and visions of my own potential fall would surely leave me helpless as this old body would probably give up while laying across the rocks and roots unable to find the equlibrium to get verticle again. That would be embarassing!

Well not more than 5 minutes had elapsed when I found myself falling toward the ground and my feet were no longer doing their job. The trip to the ground was quite easy and seemed slow motion. Every limb of my body was trying with no success to stop the inevitable. The sound of my breath being forced out of my body, the breaking sound of my water bottle strap and the pain of my knee trying to push a rock deeper into the ground was not so easy.

To my surprise, I jumped right up and started running again. There was some talk of me putting my own body in jepardy just to make Lilly feel better. Yeah...that's what it was, I couldn't stand the thought of her being the only casualty of the day and I threw my body against the ground to prove it.

This was my first trip to the ground on trails I must admit, it was not much fun. My mistake was following too close to the person in front of me and losing vision of the ground and my footing. When road running I tend to focus on the person in front of me and I think this is what I did without thinking. I realize now that I should have stayed back a bit....Oh Well a good lesson learned.

I did well up until about 8 miles. I realized as we started climbing a bit more, that the pace was speeding up. I clocked mile 7 at 8:59 and along with the energy I expended from the fall, this pace took it's toll. Though mile 8 slowed down to 9:36, it was too late and my heart rate was close to race pace. I could feel the effect and knew I would have to slow down.

I let Ian know, and he stayed back with me long enough to explain the rest of the route. His explicate directions were mutilated by my lack of memory. I found the first right hand turn but after that was just guessing. It helped a little that I could still hear their talking and followed that sound.

Mile 9 was horrible. My body was fatigued and the hills slowed me to a crawl. I felt like stopping but somehow continued. I started feeling a little better and by mile 10 was back on a 10:30 pace. I finished the run at 10.72 miles. Somehow I must have turned wrong and shortened the course.

There was no one at the finish so I assumed they had already passed and was on their second lap. Overall I felt good about this run. I gained a good prospective of what I should plan for race pace at the 12 miler in a couple weeks.

This was the first time I looked at my knee and was quite suprised to see long streaks of blood extending right down to my ankle. Damn, if this was the race I would surely win the special award that Ian gives for the most blood.

I have no long term injuries from the fall, I still managed an average 10:38 pace for 10:72 miles. Not quite the 12 I was planning but with 1:53:01 on the clock it was good training for the race coming up. I enjoyed the run today and appreciate the chance to run with the Trail Monsters.

Am I ready to race the 12 mile bruiser? Well, what I do know, is that I am ready to cross that start line, I will start slow and after that we will see what happens. I will enjoy the trails reguardless of how my finish ends up.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

X-C run


Went to pineland to run the 5K course. I signed up for the Pathfiders race which I missed last year because of the accident. I decided to run close to race pace to get the feel for the hills and the toughness of the course.

The pathfinders race is reverse of how I usually run this course and I actually think I like it in reverse better. All the hills end up in the middle instead of the end. Though the biggest 9% grade is worse this way.

I felt pretty winded and my legs were dead. I knew I was close to race pace as I wanted to quit in the worst way...especially in mile two.... and my heart rate was up there.

Splits seemed to match my feeling, 8:50, 9:55 (long 9% hill), 8:34 and a kick of 7:36. My heart rate averaged 153 and peaked at 168 (on the hill) 165 at the end kick.

Though I was a little dissapointed when I saw my time compared to my effort, I feel the workout went well.. My overall time was 27:52 which is about 8:59 pace. I had hoped for more like 8:30 pace ...but it is what it is.

Most of my races on this course range from 24 minutes to 26 minutes so I guess I am not far off considering I wasn't actually racing. I ran a mile cooldown which felt like I just finished a 20 mile race...very tired.... Only swam a few laps when I got home...the water felt good but the air was quite chilly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Easy yet hard


Couldn't make it to track today as I had an appointment in Portland. I went home after and ran a loop with my son. We have not run together for a long time and it was nice to get a chance to talk a bit.

We decided an easy run was in order and ran a loop with some pretty good hills at a little faster than talking pace. We ended up at approximately 8:55 pace which should have been fairly easy for me as I have been running close to that on the trails.

I felt so tired and winded....I wonder if it is just fatigue from the trail run Sunday? I labored on the hills and could just barely hold a conversation.

Besides the poor performance, it was a great visit with my son. I hit the pool for a cooldown swim, which felt great!

I am disappointed and excited at the same time. My surgery has been pushed forward a month so some of the races I wanted to run are now be doable for me. On the other hand, some of the fall races I planned after recouping from the surgery will now have to be postponed.

Monday, August 18, 2008



Made it to Bradbury at 7am only to find the park doesn't open until 9 oclock. I noticed a couple cars parked to the side of the entrance and figured they might be early birds too. I wasn't sure so I searched around for a place to park that I felt would guaranty me a ride home later.

I parked in a church parking lot about a half mile form the trail entrance. I figured I would be back by 9:00 so I would not interfer with church service and if anyone drove by, they would just assume there were early arrivals for the sermon.

I ate a gel, sucked down some e-caps and finished off my coffee. I had perpetuem and gel with me along with my compass and cellphone......people can get lost in them there woods! I planned a pretty long run of 8 miles os so and with the amount of trails here.....who knows.

I felt a little tired for the first mile or so but started settling in after that. I love running these trails. Bobbing and weaving around trees....side stepping roots and fallen trees......jumping over little brooks and rocks....

I did find a fair amount of mud and was glad I wore my gortex Northface trail runners. They are starting to get broke in finally and are getting a little more comfortable. I like them in the trails as they have a little more support for the ankle. The rocks and slimey roots can cause quite a twist if you are not careful.

I almost went down a couple of times as I hit some mud that was a little deeper than it looked and one root that seemed to jump right out of the ground and grab my foot. I had flash visions of a tree or rock planted right in the middle of my face and some doctor with a look of disgust as he carefully peels it away from my head...some people do not understand.......runing in the woods? Are you crazy?
I think my comeback would be, "sure would be a lot harder to remove a car from my face!"

I again had problems with the Garmen as it tended to make strait lines between satillites. My chart after showed huge gaps between points. Usually I depend on the Nike plus to show a more acurate reading but noticed I didn't accomplish getting it started. So I started it at about two miles into the run.

Another problem I had today was the heartrate monitor didn't register. No big deal I guess, I can tell how much effort I am putting in on the trails. The trails were beautiful today as the sun was peeking through the tress and casting shadows. Each time I would pass a slight clearing in the tree branches, I could feel the suns warmth on my face.

I was very surprised to find minimal insects today. I saw one mosquito and a couple deer flies but that is it. Usually with a moist morning like this there are more than one cares for. It seemed like I was runing forever and I felt I was actually getting faster.....then as the miles clicked away, I began to fatigue and knew it was about time to head back to the truck...I ended at about 9 miles and had burnt up 1 hour and 27 minutes, so long enough for today I guess.....not like I am training for a race.

The pool felt so good when I got refreshing. I continued the workout by mowing the back lawn after my cooldown swim.....Now after that I deserved a break!

pool running


Planning a long crosscountry run tomorrow so today I decided to stick to the pool with some laps and pool running. I did a warmup swim/laps. Then 40 solid laps, then some pool running. Felt good and I was tired so I know there was benefit....besides, it was sunny all day ...75 degrees!

work outs


I didn't run today but did get quite a workout as I helped my son move....moving is surely a workout and his workout equipment is ....well...quite heavy....I felt it in my arms and legs the next morning... so this qulifies as crosstraining.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Funny the things one thinks of when swimming laps; If I had money I would buy this car!


Cross training today....that means no running. I went home and swam laps today. The sky was overcast and the air quite chilly...but the water felt great and I managed about 40 laps before supper was ready ...I dried off and watched the Redsox game.

It felt good to just swim back and forth, think random thoughts and not be responsible for anything....busy day at work today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Running in the rain

I couldn't very well get a picture of me running in the mud and rain, but here is a unique picture of an above ground root on the mountain.


Hill run at Bradbury. The trail was very wet, muddy and slippery but I managed to stay on my feet for the complete run. I decided to run all the uphills to the summit (twice) because the downhills were so slippery that I ended up going very slow and even walking some of the steep areas.

The uphill wasn't too difficult though I am sure it wasn't too fast. The pouring rain did not bother me very much nor did the puddles as I was wearing my NorthFace gortex trail runners. The roots and mud were a different story, very slippery and I had to pay close attention to where I was planting my feet and my balance.

This worked out well as it definately gives the core a work out. There were times that I wasn't sure what kept me on my feet as the terrain tried it's best to dump me. I found the wooden bridges to be the worst and keep my center of gravity pretty much over my feet with no toe push off at all.

There was a lot of running water and puddles and I struggled with my vision as my glasses continued to fog up on me. That was the times I struggled most with footing as I could not see the ground clearly.

I did one complete loop which included crossing the summit twice. I was surprised to see I was not the only fool out there. There was one guy that took off in front of me that had just finished a bike ride and when I was cooling down I passed two guys starting a run.

I averaged a 10:22 pace with an average heart rate of 147. My peak heart rate was 164 and my last mile was the fastest which showed me that I have pretty good stamina considering I was hill running and the weather conditions were tough.

I only have one more week of running before surgery and a 6 week layoff. I hope to run Bradbury at least one more time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

When Should We Listen To Our Bodies?

This image represents how I felt Sunday morning!!!!


I was excited last night about the Bradbury run. I took it easy and got to bed early. Ironic as last week I did all the wrong things before the B to B race.

I woke up dead! Well not really dead of course but my body was dead, I had a huge headace, my muscles were tired and I just plain felt horrible. I knew for sure I was not in the frame of mind to run up and down a mountain for nine miles.

I decided to mix up the perpetuim anyway, do a few stretches and see how I felt in an hour or so. I still had plenty of time to get there. I labored with the thought of going anyway. Did it makes sense to try the run? Would I feel better once I started running? Should I listen to my body?

I opted not to go because I felt for sure I would get DNF and what gain would I get from that? I decided to try a run close to home as I could easily quit if I felt I couldn't continue. I ran 5 miles, didn't enjoy it that much and felt horrible running.....Now I'm glad I didn't go to Bradbury....I guess it just wasn't my day.

Swam some laps after the run and felt a little better. I wonder if I pushed it too much to run the B last weekend, run Bradbury Tuesday, run Thursday and not really have enough time to recover. Went to bed at 9 pm and still had the headache.

I havn't missed too many scheduled races and I hate when I do. I am very disapointed
I feel I let myself down....but I suppose we should listen to our bodies when they scream...No Way!

This was going to be my last race before surgery in a week and a half.....I might try to grab a 5k to fill the void of missing this race.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Action Sports International -

Action Sports International -

Hill workout

Bradbury mountain.....though only a hill by mountain standards, it is still quite a climb to the summit


Well, I had to work late again so I didn't go to track. On my way home, fighting disapointment, I decided to get some hill (mountain) training and stopped at Bradbury for a run.

I ran the Northern loop to the Tote road and up to the summit, Then looped around the bluff, a little on the Terace and then back to the summit. I then went down the front Summit trail.

The down hill of the summit was tough. winding around with rocks, roots and water ..... much tougher than runing uphill. Somehow, as I neared the parking lot, I got this bright idea to run back up the summit trail. On paper it doesn't look too bad ...only .3 miles ...and it looks flat on the map!

Of course it is not flat, but at the same time, it was not that difficult (compared to what I envisioned in my mind) I made it to the top with a little energy left...darn little!

I remember when I was young, though I was not a runner, I used to run up the summit trail and then run back down completely out of control. A large goup of people (I think, the Masons or something like that) had huge picknics there and there were oodles of kids. We played softball and many other games.

While waiting for the Steamed clams, Lobsters, hot dogs and burgers, us kids would race up to the summit. Back then it was tougher because the trail went almost strait up rather than meandering like it does now. I am surprised none of the kids got hurt as we let gravity decide how fast we could decend.

It felt good to run up this trail. My memories of younger years surely helped. The air smelled fresh and the temp was bearable. There were a lot of bikers on the trails but they didn't create a problem for me at all. As usual, I hit the pool when I got home and swam some cooldown that felt good!

I ran a total of 4.8 miles and crested the mountain twice. I guess I accomplished a hill workout huh? I am signed up for a race at Bradbury next weekend. I am currently working on a scheduling conflick. After tonight, I was so fired up an enjoyed the run so much, I am going to work harder on my schedule.....perhaps I can change things a bit.

Monday, August 4, 2008

2008 Beach to Beacon

HERE I AM AT MILE FIVE. (the guy in the middle on the other side of the road)

Well.......How do I start? Despite my indulgence Friday night, I didn't feel any noticeable affect during this race. I arrived early and felt pretty good warming up.
My plan of not drinking 1 hour before the race start worked well as I wasn't running for the woods every 5 minutes and I didn't have to wait in any lines for the porta-potty.

I found Dana at the 7 minute pace marker in the corral. We talked about strategy and the course. Both of us had the same plan, to start easy and pick it up as we went. Simple enough, hopefully the humidity would not slow us much. I planned about 7:20 for the first mile as it is a down hill start. By the time I reached the first mile, Dana was long gone and my split of 7:15 had me feeling pretty good about my plan. At this point I felt fairly comfortable with a heart rate of 159 and no physical problems to speak of.

I let mile two and three be governed by the heart rate. I kept it between 157 and 162. This felt Ok though my pace dropped back to 7:47 and 7:52. I thought about trying to pick it up but then remembered Blaine's advice and figured I could make up a little time in the 3.5-4.5 mile down hill.

My mile three split of 22:56 seemed good and at this point I grabbed my first water and dumped it on my head. This felt great and cooled me down quite a bit. I felt energized in mile four and could tell I was settling in. My heart rate was still between 158 and 161 but my pace had increased to 7:37. As I think back now, this would have been a good time to allow the heart rate to increase a little and gain some more time but I kept thinking about the hills to come and wanted to reserve a bit.

At the four mile mark, a person was holding a sign that read: Only 2.2 miles left. This really lifted my spirits…only 2.2, time to speed up. I practiced 2.5 mile speed runs and figured that is what this would be, just a 2.2 mile speed run. Well easy to say I guess. Mile 5 and 6 don’t make sense. In mile 5, I could tell I was running faster as I passed quite a few runners and very few were passing me. I felt good and the hill didn’t bother me at all……the funny part is, my garmen read
7:05 mile pace but still 157-161 on the heart rate. This made no sense at all as 7:05 pace and hills should increase the heart rate for sure.

In the beginning of Mile 6, I tried to pick it up a bit but felt like I just couldn’t shift gears. I didn’t feel any slower and actually felt I was running strong. I just couldn’t seem to crank it up a notch. When I crested the last hill, I used the downhill running to pass a bunch of runners and hit the “little hill” with power. I crested that and started turning on the arms and legs. Now here is the other strange thing, my 6 mile pace read 8:11 with a heart rate of 160-164. I felt surely something was wrong with the garmen.

At the 6 mile mark, I started a semi kick and I felt great. The problem was the traffic, it was so congested that I had to weave around a lot and that slowed me down. I negotiated around dozens of people and even though I kicked pretty good, with about 200 left to go some guy I was getting ready to pass, just stepped right in front of me. I had to almost stop and then turn around him to start kicking again. My finish felt great but I knew I didn’t leave it all out and felt a little disappointment as I jogged up the hill and all the way to the food table.

I don’t know what happened in mile 5 and 6 but was surprised to find my 4,5,&6 split was identical to my 3 mile split 22:56. This showed that I did run negative splits as the second half is tougher than the first and my speed was consistent. The last .2 was 6 minute pace so I am pretty happy with that, though I know I had a much better kick in me if not for the traffic. This I realized as I had the energy to jog up the grass hill.

At first, I was a little disappointed with my finish time of 48:02 as I had hoped for better but after comparing to previous years, I felt better. 2003—44:03, 2004-47:20, 2005- 47:58, 2006-47:53, 2007-50:06. Out of all those years, I felt the strongest on the hills and at finish in the 08 race, my time was about average and I easily beat last years time.

So to wrap things up……….I am happy with this years race and can not wait till next year to train a little harder, take the things I learned this year (thanks Blaine) and apply them to a better time.

I am My Own Enemy


I received free tickets to a sky box at the Sea Dogs for Friday night. I almost refused them as I planned on relaxing and taking it easy the night before B to B.
But 4 tickest...skybox....great seats.....I couldn't resist besides, I would just take it easy, lay off the junk food and hope I have built up enough sleep this week.

Well the beer and food was free and there was so much of it. Before I knew it, I had a hotdog, chicken fingers, cheese and crackers, pretzels, a ham and cheese finger roll, pizza and two seadog biskets(icream)......That along with the beer, well not a great prerace meal.

On top of that, I got home at 11:00 pm and planned on getting up at 5 am .....crazy huh? It was at 5 in the morning that I began to worry about the junk and lack of sleep. What was I thinking? Or perhaps not thinking? No wonder I didn't get down to racing weight...............

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pre Race Thoughts


Well the 10K is tomorrow. I am going over things in my mind. I think back of my plans to prep for this race at what I figured to be my training peak. Somethings just did not materialize like I planned.

I planned on getting a good solid base this year and to work on core strength. Both I thought I could accomplish by plenty of winter snowshoeing, trail running and trail racing. I entered the Pineland 25K, The Bradbury Scuffle 6 miler and scheduled a lot of runs on trails.

I also decided to increase the length of my long runs to include some 10 and 12 milers. I figured the weekly track workouts and scheduled 5K races would take care of my speed requirements and at least three 10Ks during the season. I thought I would run a bunch of the Wednesday back bay races to help gauge my progress without actually racing. I wanted at least one race a month.

An increase of monthly milage would help sustain my base and increase endurance. I planned a steady incline right up to this race. A change in eating habits and some weight workouts was the plan to get down to the racing weight I wanted. Ideal weight is 165 lbs. All of this had to be accomplished and not get injured at the same time.

If I mastered this plan, I could possibly obtain a PR in the Beach To Beacon.
My PR set in 2003 was also a PR for a 10K race. My best, 44:06 (7:04p) seems unreachable now as I look back at the imperfections of my plan.

I started well with the winter training. The out door and treadmill combined gave me a pretty good base. I ran a half marathon in January, a 10 miler in February and once the snow melted, I was running weekly on trails and pulling off some fairly long trail runs. The longest being 15 miles. I was watching my weight which started out at 178 lbs.

I had two spring 5k races that I felt showed good progress in the speed department. One being the Safe Passage where I ran a 7:19 pace. I used the next three weeks after that race to gear up for the 25K trail race.

I felt very comfortable going into the 25k that I trained well enough for any 1/2 marathon (though this was on trails and 15.5 miles long) I registered many of my miles on trails and felt confident enough to plan on around 9:30-10 minute pace.

I found out some things at the 25K. One being the fact that a 15 mile trail race is much more difficult than a half marathon. Two, that my training did not insure me a good race as in trail races there are no flats to rest the muscles. My quads became fatigued in the last 5 miles and I was actually in jepardy of not finishing at all.

I did finish and was happy with my race considering the difficulty. I decided to spend a little more time on technical trails and had three weeks to gear up for the 6 mile scuffle race. The Scuffle was on a rainy day which actually helped me. I felt strong running it and was quite pleased with that race.

One thing I noticed, is that it was already June and I was not on track for my plan. I did not end up increasing my milage and actually slid backwards a bit. I started the winter with an average of 88 miles a month and in May had fallen back to 83 miles. My weight started at 178 and I had only dropped to 176. I was not feeling the strength during track to concentrate on speed and missed a bunch of Tuesday workouts.

I have been having quite a few scheduling problems this year and couldn't quite get the runs in that I wanted. I didn't make it to any Back bay races yet and very little crosstraining like biking and swimming. I didn't plan well at the Pat's 5 miler and only managed to beat my slowest time there (over two minutes slower than 2003). I should have run at least 10-12 seconds faster a mile than the L L Bean 10k but merely pulled off 4 seconds faster.

So that brings me to today....the day before the race.....My weight is 174 lbs. A full nine pounds heavier than my goal. That is a huge difference. My monthly milage is still hugging mid 80s instead of 90s-100s. I missed three of the last four speed workouts.

I do have two positive points, I have no major injuries besides the normal aches and pains of running and I have a good base to help with endurance. If I run smart tomorrow, I have a chance of running a decent time or at least beating last year.

I am not complainning here, I am just being realistic. It was up to me to follow my plan and I failed. I have to take responsibilty for that. My performance in the race will show my true condition.

So I will regroup and work on having a positive attitude. I can't change the training of the past only plan on what I feel I can accomplish from this platform.
I will start semi fast because it is a downhill and try to settle into a comfortably hard pace.

This probably should be around 7:20 for the first mile,7:30-7:40 pace for the next two miles then try to weather the hills to maintain at least 7:40-7:50 for mile 4 and 5 hills. If I have done things right and have something in the tank at this point, I would like to turn mile 6 to match my first mile of 7:20 or so. Then what ever kick I have for the last 2 tenths.

If I acconplish this, I will run in the low 47s. So my goals are: 1. everything falls into place and I beat 47 to run 46 something, 2. My reachable goal if I pay attention, 47:20 or so. 3. Things do not go as well as planned but I still run a good race 48 something. 4. Everything falls apart but I still manage to beat my hugely disapointing 50 minute run from last year, 49 something. 5. I am not planning to fall into number 5 I will beat last years time at least.

2003's 5 miler compared to this year.

In 2003 I ran what I thought was a disapointing time in the Pat's 5 miler. It was my pre-race race to see where I was at for the B to B. I trained very hard and ended up with a very sore right hamstring for the 5 miler. I took it easy the first two miles then as it warmed up, I picked things up well but still not the time I wanted. I ended up with a 36:12 which put my mile pace at 7:15. A mere two weeks later, I pulled off 7:04 pace for the 10K.

Compared to this year where I felt comfortable, strong and prepared as I ran many double Pats loops in preparation. I felt I would do well in the trail section as I spent so much time trail running. I was not nervous and I started fairly fast but not too fast. I had a plan using heart rate which I followed well for the first 3 miles.

I passed many runners in the woods and still was passing throughout the last mile. In my kick I trumped four runners and crossed the finish line feeling pretty good. That is until I saw my time. For some reason I thought I ran late 37s but ended up mid 38s. If this is any indication of my results for the B to B, I think I will struggle to get the time I want.

So here it is, my thoughts,goals, worries and plan for the race tomorrow...I will read this after the race and see how well I the mean time, Good Luck to ME!