Monday, February 22, 2010

Val's Fat Ass.....and 50th Birthday

Unlike the last Fatass(at Blaine's), I actually found this one! I took one wrong turn and that was when I hit the huge frost heave.....yes there was a sign to warn me, but guys never listen (do they). So hitting the darn thing, I was suddenly going down instead of forward....lucky I had a four wheel drive as I almost needed to engage it to climb out of this hole!!

OK...maybe I am embellishing a bit, but I did get air when I crested the other side and that's no exaggeration. I learn pretty quick though and was sure to go very slow on the return.

My plan was to run at least two loops of the 50K which would have been about 12 miles. My garmen measured it a bit short as I ended up with 10.7 for the two loops.I started out a little faster than I planned and the cardio started affecting me at about 2 miles. I was able to keep that pace up for at least three miles because I was running with George A and the great conversation kept my mind off the pain.

My left ankle experienced a shooting pain up the inside, which lasted pretty much the whole first lap, I suspected from the uneven terrain. I opted not to wear my screw shoes and even though there was a few icy spots, I was glad to have less traction on the rough areas.

Somewhere around three miles I slowed a bit and George powered ahead, then suddenly he was gone. I thought for sure he hit some turbo gear but later found out he had so much fun on the powerlines that he added in an extra mile or two. Aha!! I found the key to finish in front of George, just let him run a few extra miles.

The course was actually much better than Val described, though it was quite tough on the ankles. After the first loop, I realized how good I felt. There was no soreness or fatigue at all! Surely the core and ab workouts have done their job. I was pleasantly surprised. My only drawback today was my cardio and the short three hour window I had for running.

I was disappointed after the second lap because it went so much better than the first and I felt I easily had at least one more lap in me. My splits in the last three miles showed I was getting stronger and finally starting to settle in. Problem is, as much as I hate to admit it, there are other things I have to schedule. And I missed all the fun of riding in the helicopter!!

The other problem with leaving early is not catching up with all the trail Monsters after the run and listening to the various descriptions of the course. It seems at times no one perceives it the same.

The course was marked fairly well though I did have some confusing moments....thankfully some smart person put a few cones out there and that was a savior. The orange arrows worked good, though the solid orange line (that Linda wanted) would have been pretty darn cool.....hey they used solid blue lines at the olympics and those guys are proffesionals.

I must say Rick, Val, Linda and Gerry showed us a great time.....The weather was great, the company was great and the run was fantastic......oh and so much food!
Overall....a grand success.

I had planned a 3-5 mile tune down easy run on Sunday to loosen up the muscles but somehow I never got around to it. The day just flew by.... my fault for not getting out first thing instead of procrastinating.

Fatass splits:

11:55.....143-152.......5.3 first loop 58:38(11:03p)
10:54.....149-156.....5.4 second loop 62:59(11:39p)

Total run 2:01:37(11:21p)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Speed Workout??

I did my first documented speed workout for this year.. It is kind of a joke and I almost laughed out loud when I looked at the splits. I started the run with the
intent of warming up a bit then jumping right into some good speed.

I guess I was thinking that even though I was doing mostly base running this winter, I should have no problem churning out a short 3 mile speed run. I stand corrected....well I was not standing after so much as bending over trying to catch my breath.

The run actually was more like a tempo with a kick, but at this point, I am calling it a speed workout.'s my log so I can embelish if I want to. I did feel pretty good after I finished (and caught up with my breath and the heart rate slowed a bit) At this point, I guess I will take what I can get.

I find myself reminising of the semi speed I had a few years back and sometimes wonder if I will ever get back in that kind of shape.....or do I really want to as I remember being injured a lot back then. There was always some muscle I had overworked and there lies the excuses of why I couldn't reach the levels I wanted.

I wasn't satisfied then but now would be estatic to run those same times. Everything is so relative.....why do we humans always compare rather then enjoy? I think I have come to terms as of late and when I run the Irish Rover 5K in March, we will see how well I can live with running rather than racing that event.

Oh.....I actually will be racing, but my time will be embarassingly in the run catagory as far as time goes. The one thing it will tell me though is where I am actually at for 5ks. Somehow, I didn't race one 5k last year.....not sure how that happened. Perhaps I was a bit scared or possibly a little intimidated as my condition had been geared toward distance all last winter.

What does all this babbling mean? Nothing other than a bunch of thinking out loud and trying to convince myself that it doesn't doesn't..does it? As long as I can shed some of the unwanted fatty deposits before I open the pool this year, I suppose I will be happy about my training.

This week so far:

Monday morning, 2 miles abs and weight workout
Tuesday morning, 2 miles abs and weight workou
Tuesday nite, 3 mile speed (splits:9:11, 8:52, 7:13)half mile hill jog cooldown
Wednesday morning, 2 miles abs and weight workout

I've got the Fatass this weekend(saturday), hoping to at least do 12 miles, then double up with a fairly long run on Sunday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For.

I had a brilliant plan last week. To start with, I have been doing an (almost)daily workout routine the is geared towards the core, targeting the abs and toning with weights. My hope was to strengthen up the core to run better and faster trails.

My weekend plan was to do my core workout Friday morning, a 6 mile hill workout Friday night, a more intense core workout Saturday morning, volunteer at the Close to Coast for Jeff (who by the way, did another amazing job as RD), then cap off the day with a long trail run on tired legs and core.

I figured it would be tough but quite honestly I felt for sure I would be able to run at least a couple hours in the tired state. It didn't workout quite as planned and I only pulled off a run of about one hour.

My legs were so tired from the hill workout that I couldn't even get my heart rate up to the 75-85% (145-158) instead I only averaged 137-138 for the first 4 miles. My legs were just shot. I pickup the speed a bit in the last two miles, but overall it was a bit disappointing.

I am so far behind last year as by this time I was easily pulling off 2 and 3 hour runs. I am a bit worried about my spring races and feel that a 50 miler (or even a 50k)at Pineland is probably out of the picture unless I can gear up in the next two months and get some good long runs in.

Though I can feel the difference in my core, it seems it has done nothing up till now to strengthen my running. I have actually gained weight as of late but some of that may be muscle. Working on core and base instead of speed and distance may have been a mistake this year. I guess time will tell.

02/09/10 core, ab, weight --2 miles
02/10/10 core, ab, weight --2 miles
02/11/10 core, ab, weights --2 miles
02/12/10 core, ab, weights --2 miles
02/12/10 hill workout 6 miles 10% grade 3-4 speed, 1:09:53 (11:39 pace)
02/12/10 1/2 mile cooldown
02/13/10 core, ab, weight (more intense)---2 miles
02/13/10 Trail (bradbury) 5.4 miles, 1:06:15 (12:17 pace)
02/13/10 Trail cooldown .75 miles
02/14/10 Valentine breakfast...ate enough to counteract the whole weeks workout.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Too many...Not Enough Layers

What happens when all the moisture from your sweat, to your nose snot is splattered back into your face by a 400 mile an hour wind on a 15 degree morning? Well, I didn't have a camera but I suspect my face looked similar to the ice picture here.

Do you think I was a bit cold? The funny thing about this run was a few times when shaded from the wind, I was actually too warm.....for a few wonderful seconds! I was fully prepared, I had on seven layers, and there were still quite a few times that the wind actually penitrated to freeze my belly. My running weight once I layered up was 191 lbs.

Let me backtrack a bit, I woke up at 5:30 am as I had plans to run a 7-9 miler in Freeport with Tim (Derv) from mass. Upon raking the sand dunes from my eyes, I realized I had a message on my phone....Tim's schedule exploded and the run was off.

I then did what any normal human would and slid back under the covers seeking that warm feeling I had just left behind. There is something totally unexplainable about the luxury of going back to bed. I had the greatest extra hours sleep from as far back as I can remember.

AT 6:30 I woke up and realized the last hour had been bliss....not only that, I didn't have anything forcing me to get up. Oh, I was still going to do the run, but because I didn't have to drive somehwere, I could wait until daylight hit and I felt like getting up.

This put me in that limbo mode, you know the point where you are drifting in and out of sleep. Fully awake / dream land/ then waking up again only to drift back with out consciously realizing it.

This went on for about a half hour and then I was just fully awake and craving my planned run. Funny I origonally dissed the 10 mile race in Cape Elizabeth because I planned a trail run instead of a race and here I was gearing up to run 9 miles or so on the road.

As ironic as it seems, I was actually looking forward to a road run today and even the cold temps combined with piercing wind didn't once cause me to second guess. I think, this would have been a much better time to have the trees from the trails acting as a wind breaker.

I ran a pretty difficult 10 mile loop which has some fairly tough hills. My thought was to take it easy at the start 10 ish pace and then turn it on for the last three and kick out a fast finish.

I did turn it on and my heart rate shows that, but my time doesn't. The last three miles was mostly uphill and doesn't usually slow me down much. The wind though was so fierce as there were no trees, just open field. I swear there were times I was jsut running in place.

I ended up working pretty hard during the run. My body felt as though I ran a 20 mile race at some amazing fast pace. In the end I barely broke 10 minute pace....even while I was sprinting! I was so beat and cold, that I only squeaked out a quarter mile cooldown.

9.75 miles @1:39:17 (10:17 pace)

pace.....av hr-max

10:38....151-162 (big...hill)
10:39....139-153 (waiting for my second wind)
9:43....155-159 (the start of my 3 mile sprint)
10:09....157-162 (wicked piercing wind)
9:54....157-162 (kicking like crazy but going no where)

For the amount of effort I put in during this run, the time and pace is quite disapointing. At least I can say I got a good workout.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

January 2010 At A Glance.

It seems that everyone is talking about their first month of 2010 and what it represents in their plans for the rest of the year. I usually don't put as much thought into that as I do the proceeding year.

I look back and complain about all the things that I remember going wrong with my training. I tend to lay blame on many things without actually substantiating my views. I keep very good track of my training but never seem to have the time or desire to use the data to actually form an accurate picture from which to learn by. Perhaps now with the first month behind me, I can create a solid visual for me as a guide line.

One excuse I use a lot is my weight. I complain about how heavy I get in the winter and that my summer/fall results directly relate to how well I drop that weight off. I keep telling people (and myself) that if I could drop off 10 or so pounds I would be able to run some much faster times and possibly get back to establishing some new PRs.

The other day I stepped on the scale and found my weight was creeping up again and this really bothered me. I felt it was getting out of control so to counteract that I decided to go back to my first real year running and create a slug of statistics to compare. It was quite surprising to see the results.

I started running in 2001 with the intent to trim up and get healthy. I didn't really keep any sort of records until 2002. Since 2002 I have been remarkably stable in my weight. At first that didn't make sense but as I thought about it, it does. I have lost fat but gained muscle and also, I don't "eat to run" so much as I "run to eat". By this I mean, I eat more because I can as the running helps control the weight which would be an issue if I didn't exercise.

Looking back over the years I found that January was consistently my heaviest months and my faster races were when I was the lightest. My January weight seemed to have little relation to how well or fast I ran in that year and my two lightest years were not my fastest.

I also realized that my distance totals for January did not correspond in any way to how well I would run in that year. My two lightest January's did not end up being my lightest summers, as a matter of fact my weight fluctuated very little those two years. The year of my Marathon and the 50K should have been the lightest, but they were actually my heaviest of the eight years.

I thought it might be quite interesting so I set up the graph below. Perhaps someone might be able to tell me more than I have been able to decipher from it.

-------Miles for----January---Month and-------Fastest distance
------the month----weight----lowest weight---race of the yr

Jan 2002--36.0 mi----178 lbs---Sept 169 lbs---Oct 1/2 mara(7:26p)

Jan 2003--22.7 mi----180 lbs---Aug 171 lbs----Aug B to B(7:06p)

Jan 2004--67.2 mi----178 lbs---Aug 168 lbs----Aug B to B(7:38p)

Jan 2005--126.4 mi---175 lbs---Oct 172 lbs----Feb 10 miler(8:18p)

Jan 2006--103.5 mi---175 lbs---Aug 173 lbs---Oct Marathon(9:14p)

Jan 2007--104 mi-----181 lbs---Nov 168 lbs----Oct 1/2mara(8:08p)

Jan 2008--100.7 mi---183 lbs---Aug 174 lbs---May 25K trail(10:50P)

Jan 2009--74.4 mi----183 lbs---May 174 lbs---May 50K trail(12:30P)

Jan 2010--100.7 mi---182 lbs----------------------------------------------

Points to ponder:

The year of the first 1/2 marathon, my longest race was 5 miles and my longest training run (which I ran once) was eight miles.

The year of my marathon, I actually trained for the half and switched to the marathon six weeks before I ran it, so I wasn't totally prepared for it.

The two years that I was my lightest (168 lbs) I did not run my fastest. 2004 (ran 1 PR) and 2007, (ran zero PR's).

Graph #2---- PRs in each distance Pace, weight and date.

1 Mile----------6:17pace-------172 lbs(2008)

5 K------------20:18(6:32p)----170 lbs(2003)

5K trail-------23:29(7:34p)----172 lbs(2006)

4 mile---------28:03(7:01p)----174 lbs(2004)

5 mile---------36:12(7:15p)----175 lbs(2003)

6 mi trail-----57:17(9:33)-----171 lbs(2008)

10K------------44:03(7:06p)----171 lbs(2003)

9 mi trail----1:50:29(11:18)----174 lbs(2009)

10 mile-------1:22:50(8:17p)----172 lbs(2005)

12 mi trail---2:26:12(11:48)----172 lbs(2009)

1/2 mara-----1:37:26(7:26p)----169 lbs(2002)

25K trail-----2:48:25(10:50p)---174 lbs(2008)

Marathon-----4:01:30(9:14p)----173 lbs(2006)

50K trail-----6:28:48(12:30p)---174 lbs(2009)

My health insurance company considers me overweight when looking at my height verses weight on paper. I think if this graph shows anything it is the fact that I have a pretty stable weight overall.

I am carrying at least 10 extra/unneeded pounds and personally feel my ideal racing weight is somewhere around 165 lbs. I have yet to drop to this weight to prove that and perhaps it should be a goal for this year.

As I sit here eating my second Dunkin Donut, I am shaking my head yes in agreement to my last statement....perhaps I should start by cutting out the donuts.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Where Did They Go?

I went to Boston today for a family visit and ended up hitting the Sam Adams brewery for a tour. What a great time and the beer was tasty. Somehow a few distinct beers at noon turns into sampling beer all day......It was a good day overall but I got home late and didn't get in a run. When I hit the sack, I was so tired I decided that running at the Fatass tomorrow would totally depend on what time I woke up. If I woke up early enough I would go, if not I would do some type of run. Sometimes you just have to let your body make some decisions.


I was wide awake at 5:30 am.....good news, I was going to run the Fatass at Blaine's after all. I noticed the temp was 6 degrees so I figured I better take some extra cold weather layering. It was good that this run was loops and I figured I might run the 5 miler first to be sure I was layed right and then do ether a second five or possible an eight. It seemed 10-12 miles would be enough today.

I grabbed Blaine's directions and headed toward windham. As I read, I realized it did not actually give his address but I knew it was on Varneymill and within a mile from the 302 end. Besides that, there would be a bunch of cars parked on the side of the street so I should have no trouble finding it.

To my suprise, the house was not that easy to find. I drove by a total of 4 times, each time I marveled at the steam/spray that I figured we would would have to run by when crossing the river. When I got to 302 the first time, I turned around and measured approximately 3/4 of a mile back up Varneymill and there was a big white farmhouse with a car in the yard that was running. I thought perhaps I was earlier than everyone, until the car pulled out right before I got there and drove away, so this wasn't his place.

After the fourth trip (it was about 7:55), and seeing no comotion of cars, I assumed that the Monsters had resceduled for some reason and were probably running at Bradbury. I wished I had checked the computor before I left. I decided to beat feet to Bradbury and do my run.

As I was returning I came upon the firebarn on Babbidge road in windham. I remembered running there last fall and thought what the heck, I was ready to run, Bradbury was so far away, I would run right here.

It was actually a great run though a bit slower than I planned. The trails were covered with ice and snow and had many hidden pockets of ice and water. I saw what seemed like hundreds of deer tracks and twice I crossed moose tracks. It was the first time this winter I saw moose tracks.

I stopped at about 4 miles and enjoyed the tranquility of the babbling water mixed with ice dams. I just stood on the little manmade bridge and let the sounds of nature fill me with joy. I started getting cold so I had to get moving.

The end of the trail was downhill and I decided to push the pace a bit. In the process a root was apparantly jealous and it grabbed my foot and tried to stop me from running. Of course the momentum of running downhill with reckless abandonment caused me to catapult forward and proceed my journey downhill on my elbows and knees. I got up a bit slow and dazed. My right knee was throbbing. I started limp / running to finish this loop and check out my injuries back at the truck.

I came out of the trail a bit short on milage and thought about a second loop. I checked and found no running blood but still I was a little sore. Instead of another loop,I decided a cooldown run on the road would be a good finish and allow me to get a short speed workout in without furthering my injuries.

Though I wanted to call it a speed/cooldown run, the fact that the direction I picked was uphill for over a mile, didn't really give me the opportunity to take it easy or run fast.

The plus was the down hill mile upon my return and honestly that felt pretty good. I finished with a decent kick and ended my day at a bit over seven miles. A couple miles short of my goal but I was happy with the workout.

total 7.2 miles 1:28:35 (12:30 pace)

9:04...151-157 (this is when I tripped...I think from trying to run too fast)
8:46...148-152 (road)
7:21...147-151 (road)
7:02 kick (road)