Friday, May 29, 2009

I had what felt like a strong finish in my first 50K Sunday. In the picture I look pretty good and I felt like I was running 100 miles an hour. In realism it was only about 8 minute pace .....compared to the 12:30 average it sure felt fast!

It sure was a highlight for me though as I was estatic by the mere fact that I not only finished but I felt good and strong. I got my cowbell and a milestone in my short running career ....(OK, not really a career, but what else would I call it?)

I ran 4 1/2 miles longer and 2 1/2 hours longer than ever in my whole life. I guess that is an accomplishment to be proud of because I implimented a training plan and it worked.

Then I felt suprisingly well the next day, hardly lame at all. Again the next day (Tuesday)I still felt good and decided to run my regular scheduled track practice. That also went well as I was quite proud of being able to run some 200 intervals at 100% (mostly) and to pull off a decent mile time trial. Again I felt a little tight and sore but overall pretty darn good.

I almost felt like something was wrong.....I ran a 50K...everyone said I would be struggling to even walk normal (which was the case when I ran my first and only marathon) yet I felt good...I figured I would not need to take anytime off and just jump right back into my normal schedule.

That was Tuesday night, now it is Friday and I haven't run since track. I am OK physically (a little tired) but I just plain haven't felt like running. Is it because of the chilly temps and constant rain for the last three days or something in my brain?

Some friends have congratulated me and asked questions like "what are you doing next? or when is your next 50k?" I try to answer but I don;t have one to give. I am signed up for some 10ks and a couple good trail races but I don't have a desire or a plan for the immediate future.

At this very moment, I have no goals .......I suppose it is good in a way as my wife was complaining pretty bad about the time I was spending training and I took time from work too.

Not the best time to drop focus at work with the economy the way it is and even the company I work for which has always been very strong, is feeling huge affects financially. Our hours have been cut and this hurts the pocketbook too.

So.... I don't know where I am at....problems at work and home combined with a bit of post race depression, The world is unsettled and now that I am not focusing on the race, I am hit hard with reality, I guess.

I plan on getting up Saturday morning and running....I hope I feel like it...I hope I want to when the time comes.....I want to PR my next race...perhaps that should be my new goal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recap of race stats and track workout

I have finish figuring my race stats and was quite suprised to the outcome. Though I didn't follow my predictions that well, I somehow ran very even splits.

First 10 miles....predicted:..2:16:00.....Actual:..2:03:51(12:23pace)
Second 10 miles...predicted:..2:08:00.....Actual:..2:03:20(12:20pace)
Third 10 miles....predicted:..1:58:00.....Actual:..2:04:04(12:24pace)
Last mile..(hoped)predicted:.....9:00.....Actual:....12:32..with a kick@ 8:10pace

Lost 3 minutes at ten mile transition to restock and eat, 1 minute at mile 15 and 1 minute at mile 25 (to drop off Nathan vest and prep for last 5 miles)

Still trying to figure out how Ian and Eric managed to get rain for the middle part of the race (when I needed to cooldown) then bright clear sunshine for the finish....amazing huh?


Track workout tonite and I felt pretty good so I thought I would go but keep the pace slow. Come to find out, the coach had a tough workout planned along with a new mile time trial.

I wasn't sure how the leg muscles would feel so I started with an easy mile warmup @8:50 pace and that felt tight at the beginning but much better at the end.

I then ran a .36 warm up and we did anouther .36 form running. Again no real problems yet. Next was 6x200 sprints with 100 recovery@90% of last months mile time.

I planned about 8 min pace and figured that wouldn't hurt me too much. Intead I ran an average of 7 min pace and felt real good.

Then came the mile time trial which I was pretty worried about as I tend to get caught up in the moment.....a perfect time to pull a very tired muscle. I decided to run without checking splits and just go by feel. I started pretty slow but each lap I felt better and picked up the pace and ended with a very strong kick @6:22

In the end I ran a 7:07 with no real muscle problems....just a little tight when I stopped. The next planned workout was 8x400@ 100% of new mile time......I decided not to push things and skip this one. Instead I ran a mile coodown @8:51 then called it a day.

I am pretty happy with the way I felt and performed only two days after a feels good to feel good....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Am An Ultra Runner


Well, I ran the Pineland Farms " very Challenging" trail challenge and actually finished! The last two days leading up to the race I was plagued with numerous random thoughts....visions of struggling, wondering if I was really ready, did I train right? I had energy because I was not running for the two days before the race, yet I was very stingy with it. I guess I was trying to hold onto that energy assuming I could store it up for the race.

All I can say is I was very nervous for those two days. My crazy mind even searched for a reason not to show up. I know, that is foolish thinking and I am sure many people in the past have thought that way...maybe just wouldn't admit it to everyone.

I knew better of could I justify all those hours of training if I didn't actually try to run the race? Besides, too many people knew I was running and also knew I was fit and ready for the race. excuses.

I decided to get there early and cheer on the 50 mile starters. I was too excited to sit around home and wait. My battle plan was to cheer on the 6 am starters then offer to help for an hour or so to keep my mind off the race.

As it turns out, when I returned to my truck to double check my preparations, I realized that I left my fuel bottles home in the fridge. This really pissed me off as I was so careful to make sure I had everything could I forget the fuel?

I labored with the thought of running without my fuel. I knew the aid stations were well stocked and even though I didn't train running with most of the food there, I don't usually struggle digesting any food.

As much as I hated driving back home, I couldn't stand with the thought of doing poorly because I didn't eat right. I suppose if I had a few of these under my belt I
could chance it. So off I went .....I hoped this wasn't the start of a very poor race and had visions of something outrageous like getting a flat tire or some fool sideswiping me....even getting picked up for speeding (though I was following the posted limits).....electrodes in my brain were firing at will and I didn't seem to have any control over my thoughts.

Upon returning, I proceeded to gear up as I packed all my goodies into the Nathan vest, suck down a gel pack along with 8 oz of water. I walked up the hill to the start area and suddenly was overcome with an eerie calm. I don't know if it was farm atmostphere with hay bales, picknic tables, Eric with his coveralls and large straw hat or Ian shaking my hand with the upmost confidence in my performance today, but there were no prerace jitters, no concerned thoughts, no doubts.

We lined up for the pre-race talk and after a couple funny remrks from Ian and Eric, the cow bell rang and I was running my first 50K ultra race. I knew right then that I was going to finish......there was no doubt....This feeling was so foreign to me. I usually hate the start of races as my Heart rate spikes and doubt flows in with every breath, but this one was different.

I felt great! The air smelled farm fresh and the temps were perfectly cool. I knew and was prepared for the faster than practiced start. I was being dragged along for the fisrt mile or so but was not too concerned. I planned for this and knew I could settle down to my first 1/3 race pace as soon as things settled and the group spread out.

By mile four I was settled into a very comfortable 12 minute pace and fluxuated plus or minus 30 seconds for the first 10 miles. As the main group continued to lose me, I felt that I should probably be running faster. I knew there were only about three 50k runners behind me and worried about them passing me. I was reassured by Stephen (from Gorham) that I was doing the right thing and not to worry about the people in front of or behind me. He said I would probably cross paths with many others runners more than once during this race. He is an experienced 52 year old ultra runner and was easy to pick out in a crowd with his swinging pony tail.

As I started lagging behind, he yelled to me, "don't worry, you will surely see me again" He was right as I ran with him at least two or three more times during the race. That felt so unusual as in most of my races in the past, one usually only passes or gets passed once by the same runner.

Somewhere around mile 6 or so I passed Ann, somehow she recognized me and introduced herself. Appearantly she has read my blog.... It is so cool to be famous.....OK, not really famous but at least some one knows me.

Ian cheered my on at one Aid station and had anouther guy ring the cow bell....somehow this helped me. I guess just having support is so important even in the early miles and the cow bell? well it is saying with each ring, this wonderful sound can be yours to take home and enjoy in the privacy of your own back yard....all you have to do is finish the race!

I hit mile ten and enjoyed all the support from the Trail monster crew as they assured me that I was winning (at least that is what it felt like with all that yelling and cheering) I stopped at my station and regrouped. I was ahead of my predicted time for the first third and I was feeling pretty darn good.

I flip flopped positons with John from Cape Elizabeth for the next 4 miles and we had plenty of time to talk about running and racing....damn he was doing real well and he had over 10 years on me.

Coming out of the woods I saw this very tall runner that looked exactally like Dan's description of the crazy Kevin Z and I was right. We ran the next mile together and had a chance to talk a bit about his crazyness.... like not sleeping all night and his recent races (which sounded a little to recent for racing a 50k today) He had all the excuses needed to not run today yet he showed up anyway....that is comitment brother!

I guess this would be too long of a post for a "blow by blow" description, but I would like to thank all the people who supported me.......and helped me accoumplish finishing a 50K.....all those Trail Monsters who run seriously faster and longer than me but still made me feel like part of the group. All my blogging buddies like Dan, Rob and Laurel who kept telling me I was ready for this even when I felt for sure I wasn't.

Through this whole race they would pop up out of nowhere and yell me on. I think I saw Ryan at least three times as he was negotiating the trails way...way in front of me, Emma lifted my spirits (even though she was running the 50 miler and passing me),
Jeff seemed to be everywhere...I was confused at first(cause I thought he was running the race....he was) when I saw him helping at an aid station and he convinced me that I was looking strong. Of course at the finish, Blaine rushed up to congradulate me and Ian had a bigger smile than me as he put the cowbell around my neck and shook my hand.

There was not one moment during this race that I felt I wouldn't finish. I knew at the start and I knew when I crossed the street for the second time.....but I really knew when I hit the "last mile" aid station.....I was a 50k finisher right at that moment and spent the next mile visioning my extremely fast and gracefull kick at the finish line...Of course it wasn't that gracefull and surely not real fast...but it was a kick and I finally became an ultra runner.

All those longs runs made sense now as I felt very tired yet still quite strong. Unlike last years 25K where I am sure I literally died somewhere in mile 12....this year I ran strong the whole 31 miles. I guess it proves that I not only trained well but I learned how to run within my means and fuel my body properly.

I loved this race...oh it was tough but I planned for it and I conquoured it. I drank three victory beers and then headed home to jump in the cold inviting water of my felt great! We had family up for the weekend and I was suprised to be able to play woofle ball and run around only a few short hours after the race.

I assumed I would be suffering Monday but only had minor muscle discomfort and had little problems doing normal activities like mowing and painting the deck. I was a bit lame but no where near how I thought I would feel after running 31 miles.

That's right, I ran a 50K, I am an ultra runner, I did it! I really don't know what is next, right now I just want to savour this feeling for a while.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tapering away....really?

Monday night I went for a nice walking stroll with the wife and it did help relieve some "want to run" tension.

Tuesday nite (5 x-C miles) worked out very well and I feel I practiced good tapering etiquette. I keep the heart rate down in the 125-135 range and worked on slow running.

Wednesday nite I got the bike out (for the first time this spring) and rode (5 miles) to get my hair cut. I tried hard to keep it easy but somehow worked up quite a sweat which I don't think the hair cutting lady appreciated much. I dropped the lower half of my body in the pool after but couldn't quite convince myself to dunk completely.....didn't want my heart to stop!

Thursday nite It was extremely hot and I just had to go for a run and enjoy the weather. I assured myself that I would keep it short and slow and to help with that promise I brought my camera. I figured that would allow me to stop and take a couple pictures thus slowing down the run.

As it turned out, I ran a little faster than planned right from the start and then I decided to video the new trail I found the other day. Well, when running and videoing, one tends to not pay attention to the pace and I ended up running quite a bit faster than planned.

It was only 4 miles total though and I don't think it taxed my muscles too much though I did get the heart rate up to 159 rather than the 135 max I planned. The run was great and I was hot enough to enjoy my first (complete head to toe) dunking in the pool. The temp was only 64 degrees but it sure felt good after that hot sweaty run.

Now I only need to lay low for the next two days and not do anything too strenuos. Yeah right! How does one do that?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Wish I Had Another Month.


I realized last night that I am finally beginning to feel as though I have turned the corner with trail running. Now that my body understands the pace and distance, I wish I had another month before the 50k to work on speed, core strength and trimming off a few more pounds.

It has taken me a long time time to change my attitude and feel comfortable running a slower pace. In the past, I would labor through a race side stepping the experience with only the goal of trying to finish as fast as I could. I guess it makes sense as it is called a race.

Problem is, I didn't take enough time to experience and enjoy the journey. In trail running, I am finally learning to enjoy the process and take the finish line as an added bonus.

It's not that I don't care to be fast, as it is my nature to beat somebody to that imaginary line, but that I understand my body and my capabilities better. I still want to be as fast as I can. I still want to fly accross that finish line. The diffence now is that I understand how to run within my training and capabilities, at the same time I am enjoying the trip.

In leu of track last night, I decided to do a practice run at Pineland. My goal was to run at about my planned pace for the first third of the 50K. I wanted to feel the pace and assure myself of the plan.

I figured the first third I would run in the 120-130 heart rate range, with an average of 125. So, I practiced that last night to see what my pace would be. Instead of walking at certain times (like hills) I only walked if the heart rate was in danger of rising above 130 (well except for the last mile which I ran a bit faster)

I am actually glad I made this decision because I tend to push too hard at track and I read about a couple trail runners recently who have sustained injuries that will surely slow down their training and races. Most of my past injuries came from stupidly pushing too hard at track when I should have been tapering for a race.

I figured even though I was running a difficult trail, because of the planned effort, it would still be an easy run for me. By monitoring the heart rate I assure myself a better chance of no injuries.

I now have a battle plan for the 50k, assuming I start rested, fuel properly and everything falls into place for me.

First 10 no hurry ..125-130 heart rate, 2:16:00 (13:36pace)
Second 10 miles.....a bit faster...130-140 heart rate, 2:08:00 (12:48 pace)
Third 10 miles......even faster I hope....140-150 heart rate, 1:58:00 (11:48pace)
Last mile.......some form of speed up kick to the finish...9 minute pace.

This gives me a 6:31:00 finishing time which I feel is realistic given my training and limited knowledge of such things. It is hard to predict though, as I have not run longer than 4 1/2 hours in training. This leaves a gapping hole for me to try and estimate. I should be able to accomplish this as long as everything goes as planned. If not? Well, my goal is to finish reguardless of the time.

Originally I had hoped for a 6 hour or better finish. I suppose it is possible but If being realistic, and using my training times as a guide, I don't see that happening. One can still hope for that unrealistic finish and who knows, it could happen??

Last nights splits:
13:24....129-221 (221 was a early spike which is usual for me)
10:13.....140..(last .1 miles)

5.1 mile trail run @1:08:07 (13:36 av pace)

.75 cooldown walk. (16:27 pace)
I felt very good at the end and had no signs of working too hard or fatigue.

Monday, May 18, 2009

No More Training.


In keeping with the idea of tapering, I decided to run an easy 5 or 6 miles on trails and stop long before I tax the system at all. It seemed that I would have no problem toning it down a bit.

As it turns out, I couldn't really do it. Oh, I did take it easy and in the end I realized that I did not push too hard (in my unqualified opinion). I told myself slow and planned 12 or 13 minute pace in zone 2 which would be about 130 heart rate.

My first mile was 10:30 which is much faster than I planned yet I felt great, was not winded and averaged 135 heart rate. I was not too worried because I only planned a 5 or 6 mile run so a faster pace for that short time would probably not hurt me....or so I hoped!

The trails were great.....I was loving the motor was purring and I could feel the extra reserve that I was not using. One thing I did different was to run all the hills rather than walk. I assumed that for a short run I would be fine and actually it felt much better to not have to stop and start.

By mile three, I felt a bit tired and a little winded. It was then that I re-affirmed the decision of 5 or 6 miles and realized it made good sense. Mile four I started feeling much better and my heart rate was dropping a bit even though I was speeding up.

Mile five was a breeze, I felt great, my breathing was controlled, I ran my fastest mile so far (10:22)and just couldn't convince myself to stop at this point even though the biggest hill of the run was coming up in mile 6.

I very smartly slowed way down on the big hill, faster than walking but just barely
(12:44).It worked beautifully and I just keep going.....faster and stronger in mile 7 (12:11) ....much faster and stronger in mile 8 (9:54)and a nice gradual speed up and kick in mile 8.5 (8:02)as I visioned this was my finish for the 50K.

When I stopped, I felt as though I could keep going this way for miles. I think this feeling allowed me the privilege to finally think I could finish the 50K. The plaguing feeling of DNF was starting to fade away.

After a half mile cooldown walk, I got in the pool (which has made it all the way up to 62 degrees so far) and cooled off the legs. Though cold, it felt real good. I honestly did not feel tired or worn out at all and experienced fresh feeling legs for the rest of the day. This convinced me that I did not overdue it with the 8.5 mile run.

Waking up Sunday morning with no ill affects in the legs or upper body was the final uplifting sign that I was feeling positive affects of good training. I think I have a solid base, a good plan and a great chance of experiencing a good outcome next Sunday.

As long as I follow my plan and take it easy in the first 20 miles, I should go home with that precious silver cow bell. I think I am ready, but what ever happens, I will cherish the experience and if for some reason I do not make it to that finish line, I am prepared to handle the disapointment and use this experience for what it is. The only guaranty I have, is that if I don't take the first step, I will not step across the finish line.....that I know for sure.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just Running


Decided to push the cardio a bit without taxing it too much so I ran a 4 mile trail loop at a moderate pace and decent kick then transcended to a 2.5 mile easy road loop with a speed up each mile to a fair kick. This would give me a tempo/ fartlic type of semi long run. Sort of a long speed run I guess.

This type of run gives me the comfort feeling of a hard workout without actually pushing things too much and overtraining before the race. I didn't go all out on the two kicks but did push it enough to feel the speed.

While in the first mile of my trail/speed run, I was passed "like I was standing still" by a much younger and faster runner than me(he runs 5:30 splits for 10k)Boy it sure made me feel slow!

First 4 mile trail splits:
9:30 (hill)
7:41 (decent kick) then continue on 2.5 road run

2.5 mile easy road run splits
7:41 (fair kick at end)

.5 mile cooldown jog/walk

Total run 6.5 miles @56:26 (8:42 pace)
Sporadic light rain
didn't wear garmen or heart rate monitor.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One of Those great Runs.....


All day today I was thinking about track practice and figuring how I would tone it down enough to keep me from any stupid injuries. You see I tend to push it a bit and always seem to be racing at the end of the intervals. Normally that is great and a lot of fun but right now it could be a problem as I haven't been training for speed.
The other thing that was nagging at me was a slight twinge in my right ham.....that could be a problem if I over do it.

I planned on doing the same as last week to get my milage up and run a 3 mile warmup before track. The workout this week is 400-800-400 x 3 with active recovery, I was figuring my tone down splits when I got called out into the yard for a problem.

The sun's warmth hit me head on and wrapped it's essence around me. As the rays tingled against the skin, my mind went into vision mode and I imagined a nice comfotable jog in the woods. Nothing too strenous, just a nice easy jog (ultra pace) for 5 or 6 miles while soaking in the sounds and smells of the maine woods.

This vision and it's underlaying feelings worked on me all day long. By the time 5:00 rolled around I was in total trail withdrawal and decided that I should be training on the surface I am racing. it seemed a flat round surface would do little to help me prepare for the uneven terrain and rolling hills of Pineland. As I remembered back to the 25K, it dawned on me that the constant down hills were my biggest enemy last year as my quads cramped up severely causing me to slow to a crawl in the last 5 miles.

At that moment my mind was made up, I needed to stay tuned up on down hills to assure no repeat of last year. I changed and headed to Pineland. Upon arrival I reminded myself that this was not a hard workout but just an easy tune up run. It seemed that a run of 6 or 7 miles similar to last Saturday (but not quite so hard)would work well and figured to keep my heart rate below the 140 range if possible.

I sucked down a gaterade (not sure way I chose to get that and drink it because I haven't been training with gaterade only water and perp.) I was a bit winded in the beginning mile and actually thought about cutting the run short to 5 or 6 miles. Because of shortening the run, I decided to run all the hills but at a shorter stride and very slow pace.

I fell into a nice rhythm and didn't miss the nano at all. I don't usually bring it for track practice but often like to enjoy some easy listening on the trails. Unlike Saturday, my heart rate was very stable and I had no trouble keeping it between 130 and 140 for the first 4 miles. I actually didn't adjust my pace at all.

In mile 5 I ramped up a bit on the down hills to stretch out the legs. I crossed paths with two large whitetail deer and followed a fox for about 200 yards. He must have thought I was chasing him but he kept looking back at me then running down the trail instead of heading into the woods. Finally he kicked up the speed and was gone.

When I got to mile 6 I was feeling very comfortable and decided to continue. I crossed the street and ran on the east side trail. I started feeling real good and my heart rate was stable so I ramped up the legs a bit and enjoyed a little more speed.

It felt great as I caught and passed a couple of runners. Once past them I guess I just kept speeding up and suddenly found myself going much faster than my planned ultra pace .....and I was feeling soooo good. The breathing was heavy but not forced or labored and the muscles felt tired but at the same time strong (if that makes sense at all).

My peak Heart rate was in mile eight after I passed the runners and then in mile 9,10 and .2 of 11 the rate dropped even though the speed increased. This was odd as usually with increase effort and longer distance, the rate works against me.

It was hard to believe I ran over ten miles and still felt pretty good. I guess you just never know how the run will go. Overall a great run, I felt strong, comfortable and definately did not feel I pushed too hard being this close to race day.

10.2 miles....1:50:12....(10:48 pace) average Heartrate 137

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There Is Nothing More I Can Do.

Being a rankless ultra runner....(definition; A wanna be ultra runner that has not actually run an ultra yet....but is in the final training stages for a scheduled event.) I have many more questions than answers but have more than one answer to each question.

To clarify that remark, In my research, I have talked to many runners and read many blogs. From ultra veterans to newbees like myself, I have tabulated a large volume of information. This information contains many different answers to every question I have .... too many.

You see everyone is different, what works for one may not work for another. So, I have a bucket full of answers waiting for the privilage of being useful to me. The moment I find out which ones fits is the moment I fall across that finish line or the moment I am unlucky enough to have a dreaded DNF next to my name.

Being in taper right now causes me much grief. I have too much time to review and wish and wonder yet no time left to train further. Why can't I shut the brain off.....just flick that switch and breeze through the next week and a half?

In my brain, I have run this race many times and being familiar with the course at Pineland, I can close my eyes and see virtually every inch of the terrain. I can see myself enjoying the sunny day, in my vision I have no problems breathing and actually have a floating sensation as I cruise the course enjoying all that nature provides.

I can't eat too much nor drink too little, run too fast or too slow's a great way to race other than the fact that there is no recognition or satisfaction invloved. I guess that is the big drawback to virtual racing.

I am looking forward to the 24th with great expectations. I absolutely plan on finishing, yet I am scared as hell, afraid to fail, to be humbled by my own inabilities. My brain is certain I will finish, I just hope my body ends up agreeing with it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pineland trail run


Met with Ian and the trail monsters today for a dry run at pineland trails.
I planned a 1-1.5 trail run at an easy pace, but instead decided to hang with the front group for a couple miles then back off to my 140-150 zone 3 pace.

Had a couple great talks about my 50k prep while trying to keep the fast pace going. It felt good to realize that it wasn't that difficult to maintain a 8-9 pace for three miles.

We stopped.....or should I say THEY (the front group) stopped at about three miles to allow the rest of us to catch up and decide wether or not to run the tall grass.
As it turned out, most of the group went ahead to the fields and three of us skipped and hit the trails.

This worked well for me as I needed to keep the heart rate down and these two (katy and Martha) were running at a better pace for me. Actually I think they slowed down a bit to accomodate my heart rate (thanks).

I figured it made sense to keep my HR in zone 3 to keep me from over doing it and the truth is, I embraced the slower pace as I was feeling a bit tired today. I only planned 8-10 miles and didn't fuel for anything longer.

At about 6 miles I left Katy and Martha to head back to the start. Some how I managed to finish this run without giving an unwanted ride to a tick or two. I think what ever that repellant was that Ian gave me worked very well.

7.3 trail miles
1:12:17(9:55 pace)
very buggy today.
.5 mile cooldown
12:28 (hills)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Conflicting Thoughts.


I didn't run yesterday and didn't plan to but felt like I should have. I ran today, I planned to but I wasn't sure where I should put the intensity or milage.
I want to run friday because the weather is supposed to be sunny, yet if I do, should I run again Saturday (which I originally planned a long run of 1.5 - 2 hours.)

That is why I hate tapering.....too many decisions and too much to think about. Should I, shouldn't I? What is the best to guaranty the freshest mind and body for the 50k?

Problem, is there is no right or wrong answer, only variations of each.....

On the way home, I thought about what my run should be. I wished I had brought my stuff and stopped at Pineland for a trail run.....but I didn't. I wanted to do about 6 or 7 miles and planned a pretty easy pace (even though I knew I would not be happy with the pace when I logged it on my running log)

It had stopped raining but looked like it could still drop some moisture from the sky at any moment. When I got home I dressed for the run and remembering Tuesday night I decided to layer up to be sure I was warm enough.

Well, of course I over dressed as the temps were a lot warmer than Tuesday. Not so bad that I had to strip some layers but enough that I felt the heat building. I left the house with no real battle plan other than to start slow and just run whatever I felt until I decided to stop.

That is surely a dangerous way to go for a run when in taper because one can easily fall into a run that becomes more of a workout. I started up the road at just under 10 minute pace and actually enjoyed the easyness of it.

I cut off the road to the "pit loop" which is one of my favorite trail close to my house. As I ran up the pit road, I glanced to the left at a fairly large gravel bank. It seems everytime I run by there, I look at that bank and the same thought crosses my mind ...."I would like to climb that some day"...yet I never do as I don't want to interfere with the pace I have settled into.

Today, I suddenly veered left and started climbing the steep soft gravel wall. It was harder than I imagined and my feet were slipping in the soft material. I finally made it to the top and sitting right there in front of me was a trail.

This was amazing, what a find! It is hard to believe I have been running here for years, I have spent many runs exploring and looking for new trails yet I did not come across this one. I followed it to the right first to see if it connected with the trails I normally run.

I was suprised to find it dumping right onto my normal trail. That is unbelievable, why have I never noticed this trail. I turned around and ran back up it to explore the other direction. This trail was not very wide and aparantly was a deer trail, but was quite prominent and easy to follow.

As I followed I came across a fork and decided on going right as that was the direction of my original trail with the hope that it intersected somewhere which would allow me to incorporate this trail into my normal loop. I like this loop as it is a bit more technical, has more obstructions and changes up the mix a bit. Well it did! I was so suprised as this was a second spot where this trail connected and I never noticed.

What a great run today! Though I was noticable tired the whole time, I got in a pretty good trail workout and found a new trail at the same time.

5.5 miles (mostly trail)
53:23 (9:42 pace)
Splits: Reverse tempo???
7:20 (probably pushed a bit too hard at the end with a kick of 7:01 and 11mph)
.5 mile cooldown walk
Total for the day 6 miles

Wednesday, May 6, 2009



Well my first track session and even though I call it a speed workout, I actually did not go all out as I do not want any nagging injuries for the 50K. I guess I am officially in taper mode....aren't I?

The rain decided not to hold off and just like the Red Soxs, we continued until the end reguardless. Usually I welcome a bit of rain for the cooling affect but tonite it was a very cold rain. It didn't bother me too much until I stopped running and suddenly the shivers took over.

I started with a three mile warmup run to be sure my muscles were as limber as I could get them. You see I tend to have my biggest problems by injuring myself during the active warmup drills. I don't feel like I am overdoing it until the stabbing pain hits.

The agenda was 4x200 intervals with 100 jog recoveries (@ 100% of mile time) then 8x400 intervals with 100 walk recoveries (@80-90% of mile time) I did not run the mile time trial last week and I figure I could pull off a 7 minute with no problem so in the essense of tapering, I used 7:20 pace as my guideline.

Of course one never seems to be able to follow the plan and this was no different. I planned the 200s at 55 secs(7 min pace...OK so 110% of mile time) and the 400s at 2 minutes (which really is 80% of mile time).

Instead I did the 200s at 50-55 secs averaging 6:48 pace (120% of mile time) and the 400s at 1:52-1:55, averaging 7:16 pace (110% of mile time).....see what I mean?
It's OK though as I felt great and the workout went very smooth. I suppose it prooves that my 7:20 estimate was a bit conservative.

After the workout I ran a pretty fast cooldown mile and shivered to my truck to warm up. I think I did all the right things as I was not spent and all my muscles felt very good. In the end I ran 8 miles for the night and managed some speed work at the same time.

3.2 mile warm up 27:02...(8:26 pace)
.5 mile form running and drills
4x200 intervals @6:48 pace
8x400 intervals @ 7:16 pace
1 mile cooldown @7:54 pace
Went home very wet and cold.......totals mile for the workout. 8.1

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Catching up from vacation

Perhaps it's lazyness or just being so busy, but I didn't write anything in my blog last week while on vacation. Oh, I did get some runs in but missed the first week of track and the beginning season mile time trial.

I kept thinking about the 50K trail run and if I actually thought or felt I was ready. As I think back to any race that was a new distance for me, I don't think I ever felt ready. How does one really know?

During my 10 mile run Saturday, I felt good, I felt ready. As I was jumping over logs and dodging branches, I felt strong and prepared....of course I only ran 10 miles...add 20 more and things change quickly.

It doesn't matter much now as there is only a few weeks left. My job now is
to keep tuned up, try not to overtrain or injure myself (no speed work) and concentrate on a positive attitude. Is that really possible?


10 mile goulash run. I call it that because it had a bit of everything, a mixture of tar, dirt, and trail. It had rolling hills, steep hills, long gradual hills, technical terrain with trees, soft dirt, hard single trail (actually a hill or more in each mile). The only thing missing was mud. In this case, that is fine as the 50K will probably not have much mud to deal with.

I enjoyed this run and viewed it more like a tempo run than a long run. It seems funny to say a 10 mile run did not seem like a long run, but compared to the last two weekends, an hour and a half went by very quickly and I felt quite strong at the end.

10.05 miles combo trail/road
1:32:02 (9:10 pace)


Ran on the road to a gravel pit and enjoyed a 5.5 mile trail run. Had plenty of hills and the weather was perfect. Every run should feel as good as this one....what a great day.

5.5 miles
52:04 (9:28 pace)
.5 mile cooldown walk


On vacation and missing track tonite. Not to upset as I ran a great little trail run through a pit and went in the water after my cooldown. Though a bit cold, the fact that I just finished running and the temps were in the 90s, the water felt great on the legs. I first thought of doing my own mile time trial but the woods were whispering to me to come and I hit the trail instead, it was a no-brainer!

4 miles combo trail/road
37:10 (9:18 pace)
.5 cooldown walk