Monday, June 29, 2009

Mixing It Up

Tuesday is "strenuous" track workouts, Thursday (tempo)trail hill workouts and Saturday or Sunday my long with a mixture of terrain (not LSD but more like long tempo hill) between are rest/cross train days. It seems like a good plan to prepare me for some 5k and 10K racing but still keep tuned up for trails this fall.

I opted for the three "defined" workout plan because of my limited schedule this time of year. I struggle to find training time in the summer and this year with all the rain it has become increaingly more difficult. I actually planned on a second run this weekend and it just didn't happen.

This week my track workout @8 miles of speed work definately fit into the catagory of strenuous, so Wednesday was total rest. Thursday was a hilly tempo trail run that was supposed to be 6 miles but I scaled back to 4 because ....well it just stunk. So Friday was pure rest while I figured out why Thursday was so tough and to give me fresh legs for Saturday morning.

Saturday I planned on a tempo style long run of approximately 8-10 miles. The route I use for this run has a good mix of trail/tar/dirt/hills (long and steep)and it starts as I step out my door. The first mile is fairly flat and a tar surface so it allows me to warm up a bit in preparation.

I then hit the trails for a mile and a half of single track long style hills with a fair amount of difficulty and hills. That dumps out onto a dirt road that is a long gradual hill of about 3/4 mile. At the end of this road I hit Oakhill. This 1 mile tar road consist of a very steep hill and is almost 1/2 mile long. I climb it go down the other side and then climb back up the back side, so a double hill of sorts.

Before descending the front side I hit a very technical 1 mile trail (similar to Bradbury east) that descends the hill and loops back up to the top of Oakhill. I then cross the road and run an out and back trail that is less of a hill but still quite twisty and rooty and has one very steep wall type hill to climb at the turn around.

Upon return to the top of Oakhill, I descend the tar portion and hit a long gradual
hill on tar that loops around and puts me back on the dirt road, this time a gradual slight downhill with two rolling hills near the end.

At this point I hit the "pit" trail again, climb a slight grade, loop around and climb back up a longer grade thus dumping back onto the tar at the bottom of a short hill. After cresting the hill, there is a 3/4 mile fairly flat road to the finish. This allows for either an easier type cooldown or a fast kick depending on my condition and/or mood. This is a bit over 10 miles and lands me back on my door step.

With this run I waste no time driving to a site and recieve a good mix of terrain that allows me to get a pretty decent workout if I run it as a speedup or tempo style run.

Saturday I didn't have much left for a kick because I pushed the pace a bit on this run and I planned another run for Sunday that would be more speed related (that run didn't happen) The weather was misty/ rain and quite humid.

10.5 miles @1:41:42 (9:38 pace)

aver-max HR
9:43...144-154(hill trail)
8:46...144-157(trail down hill)
9:28...146-162(long dirt hill)
11:01...146-157(steep tar hill)
9:40...145-160(techn trail hill)
8:59...142-149(trail/down hill tar road)
9:09...142-155(tar slight grade loop)
7:43...144-149(flat tar/dirt...chasing,catching and passing another runner)
8:07...149-157(tar finish)

Felt real good at the finish...definately a satisfied full body workout feeling. Then a half mile cooldown jog and about 30 cooldown laps in the pool before my normal chorese like mowing the lawns. This time I made sure to suck down a recovery drink at Laurels sugestion (something I didn't do Tuesday).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trying To make Sense Of things


I didn't have a great run today at Pineland. In my mind all day I visioned the fun I would have running with the sun out and fairly dry conditions. It was so exciting to think about and of course in my mind it was so easy and comfortable.

In realism, when I hit the trail, I did not feel that great, I started becoming winded very quick and my legs felt like cement posts. Actually my whole body felt tired and was crying for me to stop running.

I forgot the Garmen at work. I have no info about my heartrate, so I am not sure how that was but my cardio felt two steps behind. I knew for sure I was not running that fast and the nano supported that feeling with an average first mile pace of 9:23. I kept telling myself that I would settle in and speed up a bit.

By mile 3 I did feel like I was picking up the speed a little but still felt that my effort level was much higher than my results. I actually stopped and walked twice to drink some gaterade and could feel my body overheating when I wasn't running.

Granted it was quite hot and humid and I did run a pretty beasty track workout Tuesday, but even with that in mind, I should not feel this bad. Originally I planned on 6 miles or so but decided to stop at 4 miles.

I did manage a bit of a kick at four miles and then walked for a bit to cooldown. I went home and swam some very refreshing laps to finish my cooldown. As I was swimming I started thinking about my running and how I have been scheduling it.

I didn't feel completely spent after the track workout and it seems that two days later I should be able to accomplish a fairly speedy tempo run of at least 6 miles with out dying. So what is wrong here? It seems I should be getting better and stronger.

Two weeks ago I had the same experience when running in Yarmouth two days after track. It was a horrible feeling trail run. I felt like it was my first day running after a 6 month layoff.

I have been taking a rest day after each hard or long workout. I wonder if I might be better off to do an easy run the next day to clear out and freshen up the leg muscles. I know Blaine touched on this subject the other day and it got me thinking about my own training.

I guess I will have to experiment a bit and try a few different things. I suspect I just have not found the right combination yet. A few years back (when I was running some very fast times), I ran every day and each run was a race pace effort. It sure made me fast yet I was also plagued with injuries constantly.

I was hoping the 50k training and race would give me a running base to allow me to increase my speed and perhaps establish some PRs for a change without the injuries.
I have no injuries right now so I guess I accomplished that much.

I guess what I need is a race so I can evaluate where I am really at...the LL bean is next weekend, I suppose that will be a good trial.

4 mile at pineland working on hills and core.

7:56 with a kick of 7:47
Total time 36:30 (9:07 pace)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Havn't Raced A Race Yet

It is strange, the year is half over and I havn't raced a speed race yet. By that I mean really racing to the point you are wondering why you signed up and wishing you could catch your breath even for a second, when the mind tries to convince the body that you can't continue, the heavy lactate buildup in the muscles cause the legs to feel like there are weights attached to the end realizing that fast pace you hoped for.

I hate that racing feeling during the race yet love the result as I finish. It is an aquired taste and to do well, you have to keep experiencing the uncomfortable feeling that acompanies racing.....the more you do it....the more your body accepts it. You get used to that feeling and can run longer and faster as time goes on.

I havn't done that. I surely have run fatigued as the 50K is all about that and I did do the 10 miler in February but incorporated a 5k right before and a 2.5 miler right after to simulate a 16 mile speedup run, but outright raced? No.

I guess that is what track workouts are all about and I sure have been getting mine. It seems the coach this year is pushing much harder than I remember in years past. Though I must admit that in the last two years, by the time June ended, I was injured in some way and skipping track altogether.

I had a chance to race last weekend and opted to run a trail workout instead. I am wondering if I made the right decision for race base but I sure did work on trail running and core. Besides that I got in a long run that I really enjoyed. So what is more important?

Last night's track workout was beasty and I am actually suprised I made it through. I started with two warmups, 1.5 mile @ 8:32 pace and .75 mile @ 9:13 pace. Then after all the stretching, hopping, skipping and form runs, we hit the hard stuff.

It was odd to hear the coach say we would be transitioning to speed work......what? I thought for sure the sub 7 minute intervals for the last few weeks were speed work.
It sure as hell felt like it.

So tonite we started with 6x200@ 100% of our individual mile time trials with full recovery 200s between sprints. I was shooting for .52 splits which actually was A bit faster than 100% of my trial.... which was 7:08 pace but only three days after the 50k, so I am probably faster than that. Well I averaged 6:40 pace with my fastest @6:29.

From there we had to run a ladder, 400,800,1200,800,400 @95% of Time trail with 100 jogs between sprints but not into recovery (meaning not letting the heart rate drop more than 10%) I was shooting for 7 minute pace but ended up running an average of 6:45 with the last and fastest at 6:16 pace.

We were then allowed to catch one or two breaths before starting the 6x200s all over again. As before, I was shooting for .52 second sprints (7 min pace) but pulled off an average of 6:24 pace with the last and fastest one being 5:21 average with a kick @ 5:04. Boy was I spent after that.

I only managed a .75 mile cooldown before I started getting chillled from the combination of rain and the heat of sprinting, so I decided to head home. Actually it ended up being over 8 miles of track workout anyway.

I thought about running a speedy 3 miler Wendesday but I may opt to rest...we will see.

Total workout 8.1 miles.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Week Overview.

Monday: track workout( 200,400,600,800 X2...then 200x4) 7.6 miles
Tuesday: Surgery...2 mile bike ride
Wednesday: 20 mile bike ride (trails) 1.9 mile easy jog.
Thursday: Tempo road run but took it a little esay as I was still re-couping from surgery. I decided to stay off the trails and try to work a bit on 10k speed training.
In the beginning I thought about running a double 3.2 loop but after the first mile decided to shorten it up.This is what I thought for sure was a 5 mile loop with a good amount of hills but it ended up at 4.7 on the garmen ( the Nano only read 4.5 miles??).
4.7 miles...av HR 147..max167
7:57...155-167(baston road hills)

After kicking I went right into the cooldown run and went an additional 1.25 miles
@9:28 pace...138-145 heart rate.

I was feeling pretty tired with this run and a little discouraged as I felt I should be able to kick off a 5 miler at much faster pace.

I took Friday off because it was raining pretty heavy, I was still feeling tired and I was toying with the idea of running a 5k or 10k race on Saturday. There was one in Freeport that had both distances and incorporated A bit of some trail runing. It seemed like a good chance to see how my speed was doing.


I woke up at about 6am which gave me plenty of time to get ready for the race in Freeport. I have run the 5k there before but hadn't yet had the chance to run the 10k. In my mind I could vision a pretty fast 10k and the means to guage where my road race training base is.

Problem is, I just didn't feel like racing and I didn't feel like running on the road. My mind flippped back and forth a million times and finally I setted on running the Bradbury East side trails for an hour or two.

I knew it would probably be a bit wet but I just felt drawn to the fact of trail running, working on core and getting a long run in at the same time. So off to Bradbury I drove.

I arrived at about 7:15 and parked At the church because the park was not open yet. Last year when we started early we parked off to the side of the gate, but I remembered the trail monsters talking about new management and didn't want to chance pissing them off.

Because I parked at the church which is down the road a bit, I hit an outcrop of the trail near there. It was uphill and I found a river running towrd me with huge patches of standing water totally encompassing the trail. It was certain that this would be a wet run.

The first mile was pretty slow but then things got much better and most of the trails were not too bad. There were many patches of greasy mud which I was very careful with and an occasional large puddle. Nothing really muddy though except for a rare sinkhole trying to steal my shoe right off my foot.

At first the thought still crossed my mind to pack it up after a few miles and head to freeport for the race which was not until 9:00, but I quickly pushed that thought out of my mind as I started really enjoying the run.

There is something about the twisty trails at Bradbury East that draws me in....I think even in the mucky rain conditions, it is my favorite trail. The garmen was reading way off as the tree cover and cloud cover hampers it....I know for sure I didn't run a 22 minute mile....which the Garmen showed in mile two.

So as usual I had to estimate my miles, the garmen only read 7 miles after an hour and a half and knew that had to be way off. By the time I stopped and checked the Nano, 1:46:13 had passed and it read 10.6 miles.

The nano is calibrated for roads and though it is quite acurate on the road, it is not on the trails because of the shorter stride length. I setted on 9.6 miles as the nano is usually about a mile off for a ten mile run.

Who knows...perhaps I did only run 7 miles, but it sure felt like 10. What I can say for sure is that the run was a great workout on the whole body and a nice break for the mind. I kicked off an easy cooldown half miler then headed back to the truck.

The timing was perfect to stop at the park gate and purchase my season's pass for the year. I left bradbury feeling satisfied with my workout and not at all disappointed with my decision not to race today.

When I got home a few laps in the pool worked as a great way to refresh myself for the day.

Total miles (I think) 9.6 miles 1:46:13(11:04 pace) 143-160 heartrate.


I thought this was going to be a rest day but all the kids showed up and we ended up playing whoofle ball for hours and hours. What fun and we even incorporate some swimming into the game. usually in the pool is an automatic double but we decided if one could jump and grab the ball before it hit the water it would be an out.....well we got a lot of outs that way and the water was quite refreshing!

I think we played a bit too long as the score ended up 43 to 38 .....I am not sure how many innings...but it was a lot.


Feeling quite lame today.....almost like I ran a 50k or something! I wonder how to translate whoofle ball innings to miles?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Taking it easy with Post surgery

The surgery on Tuesday did not go as planned. I can put up with discomfort, pain and disruption as long as things are progressing forward.....but after this surgery, I am disapointed. They cut into the bone with a brand new laser cutter. First one in Maine....first time it was used. I think the first time is not such a good thing. Now we will wait 2 months for the bone to heal and try again. Oh that was not the excuse the surgeon used but I have been through enough of these to know what is going on.

So, they said no running for a few they not know me? Good thing I got my track workout in on Monday. This is the third surgery in a row that the alarm went off for low resting heart rate of under 50...third time I had to explain that I am an active athelete, my heart rate is that low.

I remember the first time, the nurse went nuts and left the room yelling for the doctor......not that I am laughing because I want a nurse that cares and this one did.
By now it is documented in the chart and they should not be so alarmed.

So... I get home and rest for a few hours. I know I can't run but I offer to ride along side my wife as she finally does her fifth run. I didn't want anything to stop her from continuing the quest to become a runner. I thought at first she would say no as she worries so much about me and the doctors orders....does she not know me? I have to do something.

The short ride was quite nice and at least I didn't feel like I was vegging on the couch. She did well and I mentioned another outing Wednesday afternoon but this time I would run with her.....she said "we will see" I hate that!

Wednesday, my wife goes to work and somehow trusts me home alone.....when she left she said "you are not going to run today right?" Does she not know me? Of course I plan on following orders.

After lazing around for half the day, I am going crazy....the sun is out, it is 73 degrees....OK, they didn't say anything about bike riding, so I geared up and hit the road. I rode easy and comfortable and didn't work too hard until I got to the trails....couldn't help it then. All said and done about 20 miles mostly trails and boy am I feeling good.

I got home just minutes before my wife and tried not to look too my suprise she was all about getting her run in. Well, we suited up and hit the road for an easy 2 miler. It felt great and really was not a problem for me as it was so short and a very slow pace. We actually had a chance to talk a bit and I must admit it was nice.

We got home and I jumped in the pool for a cooldown swim and a few laps....what a great ending for the day. I am surely all rested up and can return to work tomorrow.
Thursday is the third day and I can go back to running again.....boy, I sure missed it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Early Track Workout


In lue of knowing I would miss track on Tuesday because of surgery, plus the fact that I wimped out on running this weekend, I decided to hit Greeley track tonite and personally beat my own butt until I yelled out loud..."I'm sorry!"

The planned workout was ladders (200,400,600,800 X2 @ 90% of mile time) For me that equated to 57 second plan? 100% of mile time or 54 second splits.....uggg.

Though it threatened heavy rain, it never materialized so I was able to enjoy the view of the baseball field while running my 2 mile warmup. Being a coach for eight years with my boys, I found myself drawn to the drama of a senor league game unfolding on the next field. I had to hold back yelling out commands as I ran by.

At first I thought it would be difficult to push the pace while running alone but it was just one of those workouts that felt comfortably hard rather than "pushing"
I must admit that doing the form workout felt a bit funny and while skipping around the track I hoped no one would look up from the ball field and laugh.

I not only pulled off 100% of mile time during the ladders, I actually hugged 110% and still felt strong even during the 800s. Being alone, I struggled to allow my heart rate to come down to recovery before starting the next set....I don't think it affected me much though.

After the ladders, I threw in 4 fast 200s rather than the stairs and hill workout planned as there are really no stairs near this track. I decided to push the 200s and see what I could maintain for speed.

I finished with an easy cooldown and went home satisfyed with my performance.

Track workout total, 7.6 miles

2 mile warmup: 16:42 (8:21pace)

200....43(6:24p).....2nd 200....48(6:40p)
600...2:39(6:51p)......600(500)2:18(7:06p) a bit short

4x200(100jog between)
4th(.11)....38(5:42p)12.7 mph peak

cooldown: 1.3 miles(8:49p)

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Lost Weekend

Do you ever wake up on Monday morning and wonder what happened?.....Why did the weekend go completely different than planned? Friday night I was basking in the anticipation of a long fast road run or perhaps a long Bradbury East run. Either would be a great cap to the extensive track workout on Tuesday and the heavy hill workout on Thursday.

Saturday morning I woke up wishing I could join the trail Monsters for a romp in the Bradbury woods. The sun was out, the air was summer cool and much as I wanted to go running, it would have to wait until Sunday. I was Ok with that because Sunday was slotted to be just as good a day after a slight predicted shower Saturday night.

No....Instead I had to head to my moms to mow her lawn and do some yard work. It went well and we both enjoyed a Dunkin Donuts sandwitch. After the "Mom" visit I geared up and mowed all my lawns....I thought the best thing to do to create an open weekend was to get all the mowing overwith as the week was splattered with rain....I had some damn tall grass.

I had a little bit of time after mowing to cool off at the pool....the sun was extremely hot and floating around the pool was a good choice at that particular moment. Then it was off to my daughters to bring a new mower.....her's died on Monday.

Upon arrival, I found a hay field rather than a lawn. It is amazing how a bit of rain all week mixed with a day of sun can turn mowing into haying! Anyway, I had to show her how to run the new mower and actually found a simple problem with her old one so we tag teamed the lawn with both mowers and did all the haying...what a pile of clippings we had.

I was rewarded with some very delicious peanut butter cookies then headed home from now it was 6:30 pm and the thought of getting a run in this day was dwindling very fast.

Not to worry though as tomorrow (sunday)is another day and even though I have a dance thing to go to in the afternoon, I have all morning to get my run in. I was not dancing of neice was and we we bringing our grandaughter to watch.

As luck tends to kick me square in the face sometimes (the bad kind), My wife was sick all night, I wanted to let her sleep in the morning a bit and my grandaughter was showing up....not to worry I thought, I will wait for her to arrive and then I will get my run in.....besides, it was pouring out and this would give it a chance to clear the weather report said it would.

OK.... I can't blame it all on disrupting events as I really didn't feel like running in the rain today....All right I said it....I didn't feel like running. Why is that so hard to admit? It is not a job, I don't get paid to do it.....why do I feel guilty when I don't get out there?

Yeah, I know the reason...I just feel if I ask the question I might get a little sympathy. So, I somehow found excuses all day and it mostly evolved around the rain.
Funny though, I usually love running in the rain.

Well lunch time came around and I had to eat...then we left for the recital. That lasted for three hours and by the time I got home my energy was wife suggested the treadmill...I said ahhhggg. time kept ticking and I just didn't get off my butt and go.

I was so dissapointed in myself. I knew that this week would be somewhat of a bust as I have surgery on is doubtfull that I will get the quality running I wanted this week.....I should have kicked off an extremel long run this weekend.

I have a new plan though. I will run Tuesdays track workout tonight (Monday), rest on tuesday after the surgery, hope to get in an easy run on Wednesday and then pound out a solid run on Thursday. I will then be back in the swing of things and no harm/ no foul....right back on track...right?

I hope I don't find some lame excuse not to run tonite..Of course I don't plan on it but sometimes (as we get older) we tend to lose energy for no apearant reason....all of a sudden there is no push...just excuses.

I keep trying to convince myself that I should be taking it easy...I deserve some casual time as I trained so hard for the 50k, plus I have had all these surgeries....yet I am reminded how I want to get some speed work in....I want to PR a 10k this summer....time is ticking away and I need to get out there and train.

Friday, June 12, 2009

REAL....hill training.


I decided to do hill training tonite and instead of dreary boring road hills, I decided to run Bradbury Mountain. I ran various trails around the mountain and managed to find the peak four times.

This is a total body hill workout as the trail causes one to work the core in conjunction with the hill climbing/ running. This is my first time at Bradbury since the snow dissappeared and was quite happy to find very solid trails and few bikers to worry about.

Everything went quite well as I negotiated the uphills, a bit out of breath and tired legs......but what does one expect when running trail hills? My biggest problem was the steep down hills. I found myself mostly (walk-run-sliding) them as I felt unsure footed and had visions of attempting to move a rock with my falling head.....not a good vision, the rock always wins.

I suspect once I have run here a few times, I will loosen up and run the downhills much faster. I knocked off 5.5 miles and then went to the east side trails for a cooldown run.

I am sure I looked like a 10 year old running up dirt mounds, kick jumping into the air,scooting around trees on the technical part of the trails, stomping through the mucky spots..... just plain enjoying my cooldown run. No doubt, Bradbury East is one of my favorite trails.

Hill workout
5.5 miles ...1:01:46 (11:14 av pace)

Cooldown (really?)
1.45 miles...12:46 (8:49av pace)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Track...A place to go to prove someone will always beat you!


Track is a funny place.....everyone apears to be laid back and friendly but when the intervals come around.....we are all ruthless predators looking to gobble up all the competition and be the winner in our respective groups.

We set our time by percentage of last mile time trail and get lumped into range groups. Some runners make sure they are the fastest in their group and adjust to accomplish just that....why? well they don't have to work as hard and assure themselves a front row seat when the hard stuff comes and the final kick is in.

My group was supposed to be 7 min to 7:15 and once we left the start line I knew something was wrong. I had all I could do to keep up.....what gives? Am I that bad, I think as I struggle to catch up. My time trial was 7:07 and that was only two days after the being midrange, I should at least be able to stay with the pack.

After the first 200, I settled back into the 7:15 group. I felt slow in my mind knowing that I should be running up front. Instead of my planned .53 x 200 splits (which is 100% of 7 minute pace), we ran .49 which "suprise" is 100% of 6:40 pace.

In the process of running our 6 x 200s, our slowest pace was 6:44 and the fastest was 6:19......Hmmn a far cry from 100% of 7:15 pace as the group claims their time trial represents.

Everyone in our group managed to get past the very fast 200s but when the 12 x 400s came around, Three people gradually dropped out. We were supposed to run the 400s in sets of three, the 1st set @85% (we ran 90%), 2nd set 90% (we ran 95-100%) and the 3rd set @95-100% (we ran 100-115%).
100% of my time trial should have put me at appr. 7 minute pace yet I averaged 6:48 and ran the last 400 in 5:44.

I thought, wow some pretty fast 7:15 runners here and was quite happy with my own speed. In the end there were three people in my group that beat me even though I ran 5:44 pace. I decided to get some answers....this did not make sense.

I started asking around trying to see where my groups time trials were. Now, things began to make sense. The three people that dropped out had time trials of 7:00, 7:02 and 7:12 ..... they actually should have been in the group ahead of us (as should have I) but they ended up in the group behind us (8:00 group).

The one runner I beat was 7:04 and the three that beat me had time trial times of 6:44, 6:49 and 6:51. Hey, the three that beat me should have been two groups in front of this one. I wondered what times the first group I started with had.....6:30 minute?

SO, in the end, I worked my butt off and though I was the slowest (on paper) in my group, I held my own quite well, was fourth in my group and was very happy with my split times. I suspect that I think I worked much harder then the others in my group with perceived effort to acheive it though.

By the time it was over, the workout was quite tough and probably just what I need to get my speed going for the next couple races. One thing I am noticing this year is that after training for and running the ultra, I have a much better base for the speed work and the body recovers much quicker.

Overview of the workout without going into explicate detail,

2.18 mile warmup @9:11 pace
Form workout .35 miles
6x200 intervals(6x100 jog recovery).....average pace 6:38
12x400 intervals(12x100 recovery)....average pace 6:57
1.15 cooldown @10:03 pace

All said and done 9.1 miles of track workout. It seems that is enough for one night!
Oh, Anouther plus, my heart rate was normal.... I suspect it was the equipment that was malfunctioning. My splits and HR are availble by clicking on the Run Ahead Icon to the right.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back From The Dead?


I went for an easy trail run with my daughter today. She has been feeling out of sorts and sore when running lately. I suggested to get off the tar and hit the trails. I offered to show her the trails and felt it would be a good time to overcome my poor running experience on Thursday.

We ran the pit loop near my house which is moderately technical and hilly but nothing too tough. It was great! I felt good, we went her pace and had a chance to talk comfortably about everything.

The thing that stands out the most is how good the run felt. We went 4.5 miles,
similar to Thursday, The pace was close but I was walking dead on Thursday....yet today was a very enjoyable run
My daughter was very happy too as she had no pain and she felt great!

Upon our return, per my suggestion, we hit the cool pool water to help the legs and it felt fantastic. Isn't it funny how much a different two days can make. The two runs were very similar as far as terrain difficulty, the temp and pace were concerned.
Yet I sucked on Thursday and totally enjoyed Saturday.

I did experience something odd though, usually when I run, my heart rate will spike up into the 200s during the first 400 meters or so, then settle down. This time my heart rate spiked at one point of each mile(except the last one). Not to the point that I felt it but when I downloaded my stats I noticed it.

I chalked it up as a fluke and was not too worried about it.

4.5 miles 44:47 (9:58 pace) 142 av----240 max heart rate
9:29...144-154 with decent kick at the end.
ended with a half mile cooldown walk, cooldown swim.


I was up late Saturday night and felt spent from the sun and work around the house so I decided not to worry about a run Sunday and treat it as a "however I felt kind of of day" Run, not run.....what ever.

Well, when I woke up at 7:30 (a bit late for me) I decided I would do a moderate road run. Not push too hard but still feel like I worked. I took off down an 8 mile loop from my house and hoped I didn't fall apart halfway (where all the hills were).

It actually went very well and I felt pretty darn good. The weather was perfectly clean and sharp. I didn't really start sweating much until I hit the hills. Though everytime I checked my heart rate it seemed low for the speed and amount of effort I was experiencing (beteeen 132-143 as an average).

At the end of the run, I was glad I went out today, I had a very good kick and immediately went right into a cooldown 1 mile jog in which I ran a similar pace as the run so really a 9 mile run I guess.

I hit the pool and enjoyed a cooldown swim. Again like Saturday, I felt very good and strong during the run but was suprised when I down loaded my stats. The heart rate was askew just like Saturday? Three of the miles were normal but all the others had a huge spike in max heart rate.I am not sure what is going on and the only thing I can think of that is different from any other year is running the 50k. I am wondering if that could cause the irratic heart rate.

9 road miles, 1:21:38 (9:03 pace) 143 av.....214 max


8:17...150-210.....good kick then 1 more easy mile

Each spike is only for a few seconds and just happened once during that mile. Now that this splike thing happened twice, I don't think it is a fluke.

As a cooldown I hit the pool for a nice easy swim. Then later in the day went for a nice 3 mile trail walk with my daughter's dog.....very relaxing walk for me but an exciting romp through everybit of mud he could find....I think he is a trail monster at heart.... so what..a trail mutt or trail puggles? He is a beagle/pug mix.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pratt's Brook Trail


I crossed this brook twice.....funny it didn't seem as dark as the picture shows. It was actually a nice slow gurgling brook....kind of peaceful.

I have not been to Pratt's Brook since my son's ran cross country 6 years ago. Funny it looked nothing like I remembered it. I planned on meeting Scott there but I thought I would be late and because he was planning a much faster pace, I told him not to wait for me. As it turned out I was 1/2 early so I hit the trails figuring he would pass me eventually. He did of was a flash when he went by but I remembered him from the run in Topsham last winter.

I spent most of the day in anticipation of this run. I was excited to explore a different trail, I think subconciously, I worked harder through the day to get there....I suppose that is how I ended up being early.

I had no idea how the trails were and Scott said to just keep left so I headed out and kept left. As it turns out, the trails were not marked as well as I thought they would be by looking at the map and it was much more confusing to me.

I didn't really care for the trail. It was a hard packed uneven clay surface with spots of mud. I was expecting more like a bradbury east side trail surface. I came across my first trail on the left and took it. Immediately I liked this better. it was single track forest surface with some technical roots and rocks.

Unfortunately it ended at the brook and even though I found a spot to cross, I could not find a trail on the other side. I crossed again and doubled back to the main clay trail. I followed that trail for a ways and within 25 minutes, Scott went wizzing by me. I was right, I would not be able to maintain his planned pace.

Not long after Scott passed me, I came across anouther trail to the left and remembering his comments to stay left, I followed it. At first I liked it but after a short while I found it to be very technical and cluttered. I don't know if I was still leg dead from the 50K and track but I couldn't seem to lift my legs high enough.

I ended up tripping a few times and once a root grabbed my shoe and as I started falling I remembered reading about a procedure to tuck and roll as a way to guard against injuries. In the magazine it looked and seemed so easy......that was in my mind....for real, I just didn't have time to do anything but fall flat and then roll.....not the right procedure for sure.

I was starting to feel very tired, my legs were dead, my breath was labored....I just wasn't having a good time. To top it off I found I was on a dead end trail and had to turn around.

I doubled back and found the fork I took so I continued on with the intent to finish the 4 mile loop Scott spoke of. I don't know what was wrong with me, I am usually very direction oriented and rarely get lost. This time I was totally confussed and had to stop and regain my composure many times.

At one point, I rounded a corner and met Scott face to face as he breezed by me heading the opposite direction. I figured he was on his second lap and I was on track to finding the parking lot.

I did finally find the parking lot and was glad to be out of those woods. I can't really blame the course for my discontent because I think I was just not ready for this type of trail today. I was so used to a slower shuffle step from training for the 50k and my muscles were apearantly a lot more tired that I realized so lifting my legs over obstructions did not come easy.

In the end I was tired, I tripped many times and fell hard once, I twisted my ankle, stubbed my big toe and fought off moskitoes. Nothing serious of course but just a bad run all together. I was anxious to get home and clean the dirt off me.

Ths whole run got me thinking about my plans this weekend and wether I might be better off to do an easy road run instead of a trail run. I guess I will decide when the time comes.

5.9 labored miles
58:08 @ 9:52 av pace
8:53....142-154 most enjoyable mile of the run
10:32...151-157....(8:09 kick)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Track Night


Well track night was quite a workout. I looked forward to a tough one though as I am working toward some faster races. Also after slightly more than a week from the 50k I feel pretty rested up and expect to have no problem with the speed. I am hoping the long trail running base working up to the 50k will allow me to excel with some better quality 10Ks without my usual injuries. So far I am on track and feel extremely healthy.

I must admit that the pleasantly warm temps and cooling breeze today had me thinking of playing track hookey and hitting the mind shifted to Bradbury....I had to over ride those tempting thoughts and once I got to track, I was fine.Bradbury will have to wait til this weekend.

After a 2 mile warmup and plenty of form runs with customary drills, we ran 3x200 sprints with 100 jog recovery. The plan was to run 100% of mile time which was .53 splits for me. As usual I got caught up in the workout and ran .46,.49.47 a bit faster than planned.

Next we worked on down hill running, uphill running and running up stairs. This was very taxing and I dreaded the thought of the 12x 400s coming next. I think I would rather had run the 400s first but it wasn't my choice.

The plan for the 400s was 3 sets of 4 progressively faster to mirror negative splits.
This is not a problem for me as I usually run negatives anyway. Actually I struggled to follow the planned splits and ran faster. This was ok though as I sped up each set and still ran negative.

work outs:
3x200 @ 100% (.53) ran .46,.49, .47 so 120% of mile time
3 sets of 4x4
1st set @80% (2:00) ran 1:51,1:59, 1:56, 2:04 100 jog recovery between
2nd set @90% (1:55) ran 1:53, 1:51, 1:47, 1:54 100 jog recovery between
3rd set @ 95% (1:50) ran 1:48, 1:47, 1:41, 1:37 good kick at end of 4th lap.
1/2 mile cooldown run

Toatal milage for the night 7.8 miles.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Last Run For May


I seriously did not know how I would feel Saturday morning but I figured I would plan to get up and run. I hate leaving the agenda open as it allows too much room for me to opt out of the run. There is a past history of not getting a run in on weekends if I don't get up early and hit the trail before the household wakes up and finds reasons to stop me.

This weekend would be no different because we had the grandchildren over and I like giving them the attention they deserve. If they were awake I am sure I would breakdown and watch Sponge bob Square pants or Dora the explorer instead of doing my run. My Granddaughter gets mad when I say Square Bob Sponge Pants. HEHE it makes me smile just to write it.

Anyway I got up and hit the road. I figured about 5 miles or so and planned a pretty hilly course (which includes the killer Oakhill) At first I felt slow and tired, I wasn't sure I would accomplish five miles and contemplated just running the 3 mile pit loop. I couldn't believe how dead my legs felt since I haven't run for three days.....hey, I should have fresh legs ...shouldn't I?

I decided to keep it somewhat slow and try to allow my body to warm up, then perhaps I will feel better. That worked and even though I slowed down in the second mile (Oakhill), I started picking up the pace in the third and began to feel better.

I have a love/hate relationship with Oakhill. I say I will run it and up until the point comes that I turn and head up that hill, I dread the thought of it. When I do start, the top looks so high and so far away. All the way up, I think how horrible it is .....Then I crest the top and feel soooo good. If I could pat myself on the back, I would.

This hill is really not that big, I would say a little longer than a quarter mile and it is tar so no traction problems. Height wise I think around 200 feet or so... I never really checked. There is something about it though that grabs your legs and pulls them toward the center of the earth, at the same time it manages to squeeze your lungs to the point of collapse. Perhaps it is possesed?

All I know is when I crest it, I have the money out looking to purchase some oxygen.
After the hill, there is a small down grade then a caldasac, return up the backside and a tough downhill that honestly I like less than the uphill as you have to hold back some and that takes a toll on the joints.

I think one reason this hill feels so bad is that I usually turn up this road after a very long series of uphills, so I am already tired. Today though I only ran 1.5 miles of rolling terrain before the hill so I should have felt better....and I did!

Once I crested Oakhill, I started feeling pretty good and decided to extend my run to 6 miles and hit my normal hilly course. I pretty much set into a groove and ran much faster than the first two miles. I managed a little kick at the end and walked down my driveway feeling pretty darn good about my run.

My brain felt back on track and I found myself thinking about up coming races and how I would ramp up the speed training. I think I am over the post "big race/event" blues and can finally look ahead.

I ended May with over 110 miles run and a good base for 10K racing.

6 mile run @51:59 (9:04Pace)
Hilly course dirt/tar
Aver. HR 150....max 164(oakhill) spike in first 800 yards 176