Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Am A Lazy Blogger!

It seems that I have been neglecting my blog as of late....or perhaps I just haven't been putting the effort into my running that I should, so there is less exciting stuff to write about.

I honestly don't know where I left off and must go back and check before I continue here.......Hmmmn, it has been 11 did that happen? Well part of the problem is I have been on vacation this week and my running schedule has imploded.

I honestly thought I would have plenty of time to run more but instead, I am finding it quite difficult. You see I took this week off to work around the house and I am not lazing around much at all. The days are screaming by much quicker than I planned and before I know it I am exhausted and really looking forward to falling into a deep sleep.

I suppose this should be an easier week as I did step up my mileage last week much beyond the 10% recommended. I finished with a 25k (well it ended up being 14.5) practice run at Pineland with my friend,who I will be pacing for his first 25K in a few weeks.

My mileage though is a bit deceiving because part of it is walking in preparation of knowing I will be using some walking muscles at Mt Washington. I suppose that should count in my weekly totals, but honestly, it feels like I am cheating.

I don't feel I will be ready.....but I always feel that way so I am not sure how important that feeling really is. I know I will make it to the top and I will be happy to finish but will probably not be satisfied with my what's new?

I went to the New Balance factory store the other day because I heard they had great prices and I wanted to pickup a pair of MT100s(advertised to be as close to barefoot running as one can get and still wear an actual shoe).....I tried on on a pair and they sure were very light and pretty darn comfortable but my foot felt a little too unprotected and I could vision twisting my ankle and/ or hurting my feet to the point of affecting my next race.

I felt I was not ready to try this route and ended up buying a pair of 572 trail runners which felt very comfortable and pretty light for a trail shoe. They feel very similar to my Brooks Cascadias and I think I will like half the price I paid for the Brooks!

Now I have to get out there and try them out.....perhaps this weekend at Bradbury or Pineland. Today I am thinking of some hill repeats cause after reading Ryan's report, I feel untrained and lazy. Though I have been running a hill workout on the highest setting of my treadmill and it does seem quite difficult, I think I need to run some real hills.

Quick recap of last week......35 miles of running, walking, workouts and treadmill
This week, so far only five miles at Pineland...more to come I hope.

Monday, April 19, 2010

YA-HOO...OH-NO...The sox..midnight trek..and the Fells.

OK....aren't we all allowed to have a fantastic, fun filled weekend once in a while?

It all started Friday afternoon when I received an email from the Maine track club. My disappointment from not being picked in the Mount Washington Lottery suddenly turned into a Ya-Hoo moment as I read the email and realized I was in through the Maine Track Club lottery. All I needed to do was provide a volunteer.....OK, I will have to work at that.

Within milli seconds my Ya-hoo transcended into an OH-Nooo.......The realization of running uphill for 7.6 miles with a peak grade of 22% .......Well it suddenly became real. On top of that I found out I have to secure a ride back down....damn, didn't know that part.

Anyway, I am nervously happy about the whole thing, I better get training..HUH? My thoughts then shifted to my current problem, my left knee pain. I experienced the pain after running Pineland last weekend and in hopes of being a short term problem, I haven't run all week (other than my morning workouts).

I was cranked about the Mt Washington thing so Saturday morning I decided to run the treadmill on the max grade which would give me the hill work but also a controlled situation in case the knee acted up.

I ran 5.1 miles at the max of 10% at a comfortable pace of around 12 minutes per mile. Then I ran a mile at 5% grade at a slightly faster pace.......all with no noticeable knee pain. I was sure the injury was not a major one after all.

I then cranked up the pool filter after cleaning it.....funny how much it feels like summer when the pool is uncovered. I finished just in time for my wife to get home from work at noon and we jumped in the car to head for Mass......going to the Sox game! Our bestest Chrismas present from the kids this year. temps, periods of rain and wet seats are a minor setback, but hey it was a Sox game how could I possibly complain? Well...except for them losing I guess. We ended up with a treat (didn't I say it was a great weekend?) the Friday game was called in the bottom of the 9th so they were going to finish that game before the Saturday game.....kinda like a double header for the price of one.

The return ride to my son's apartment on the T was a bit of an adventure because the train apparently hit somebody as we were heading into Sullivan Station and they shutdown the train then kicked us all out of the station and onto the wet, dark, rainy streets. There were sirens, cops and rescue coming in from all directions and the whole scene was hectic.

Lucky for us that my son and his girlfriend were there because I had no idea where we were, what direction to head and surely no cabs were going to show up. We decided it was only a mile or so to the apartment so we put our rain hoods up and started treking the streets of Boston at midnight.

Though our mileage predictions were a bit off and some of the neighborhoods were kinda rough, it was actually an enjoyable 45 minute walk and we got back in one piece. We even came across a couple of wild rabbits....which surprised me, I guess I just didn't envision wild animals in Boston.

Sunday morning, though not quite rested up from Saturday night, we suited up for our planned run at The Fells in Winchester. What a fantastic run we had (while the girls hiked to the observation tower) The run was great, we started out somewhat slow and picked up the pace as we went along.

At about 4 or 5 miles we caught up to a few people running ahead of us and we raced them for about a half mile and beat them easily I must say....well they weren't really racing but it sure felt good to pickup the pace and leave them was a psychological lift for me.

I absolutely enjoyed this run as my son and I caught up on many things while running. I had no knee pain whatsoever and it capped off a great weekend. I feel a little stupid though, I ran the whole 6.5 miles on a fairly technical trail with no difficulty but as we were walking our cool down I tripped, slipped and almost fell .....I guess walking must be more difficult than running, well at least for me.

OK.. now the boring stats....


5.1 mile treadmill@ 10% 1:03:30 12:26 pace
1 mile easier run @ 5% grade 10:06 pace then half mile cool down walk

Saturday night (late) 2 mile (appr)walk through Boston neighborhoods


6.5 mile trail run 1:09:10 @10:39 pace then 3/4 mile cool down hike.

8:42.....156-160 (kick 6:35 on road)

Monday, April 12, 2010

What happened?

Surely I have been doing all the right things this spring....not pushing too hard, not piling on so many miles that it causes chronic fatigue or injuries. SO I am a bit confused as to what I did.

Saturday my plan was to run 10 miles on the 25k Pineland Challenge with a friend who is running it this year. It was actually a great run as we ran a pretty good time and both felt really great at the end.

Upon finishing, we crossed the road and ran an easy cooldown across the street so he could see the terrain on that part of the course. It was a comfortable hard workout and I kept my Heart rate mostly in the 140s as an average. For me that relates to about 80-85% effort which I though to be good at this point of the year.

Even though the course was still quite soft and soggy, my legs felt pretty good and definitely better than the 6 miler I ran there last week. Overall, it seemed like perfection and exactly the right thing to do.

Problem is, about an hour after the run I felt some very disturbing pain on the inside of my left knee. I wasn't sure what it was because I have never had pain or an injury in that area before.

I couldn't think of one point during the run that I landed bad or felt anything pull. The only thing I remember during the run is a slight discomfort and pain in the ball of my left foot which I noticed a couple times during the week. I figured I probably landed hard on a rock or root during a past run but it didn't bother me that much so I didn't think anything of it.

The pain was more of a discomfort when sleeping Saturday night but definitely noticeable when I got up Sunday. I decided to skip my run and assumed it would surely feel better on Monday. I figured it had to be just a running pain like most that come and go for no pin point able reason or cause.

This morning the reality of it all hit when I got out of bed and started walking. No doubt something is not happy in my knee area. In trying to decipher it, I think the closest prognosis I can find is MCL, which is usually caused by some type of hard contact or at least a severe twisting, though I have no memory of either.

At this point my plan is to take it easy, don't run for a couple days and see how things settle out......almost makes me wish I had thrown caution to the wind and at least have a reason to complain about some stupid decision that put me in this position.

Saturdays stats at Pineland trails:


Monday, April 5, 2010

Summer Running?

Friday night I had this vision of how it would be running Saturday with a friend (probably at Pineland) and having an "aha" moment as the heat from the sun beamed down with the vengeance of summer. Even though I hate sweating, I love summer running. Then I get a call from my friend, he is not going to make it.

Saturday, change of plans and I am stepping out the door earlier than planned and running my local goulash trail run. It was too early to catch up with the Trail Monsters at Pineland plus the early start will allow me 8 miles or so and still give me a jump start on the busy schedule today.

OK....I step out the door and it is 40 degrees, foggy and overcast....What the H???
My visions faded as I realized the sun was just not ready to join me on the run. I was a bit under dressed but figured I would warm up as I hit the hills and besides, I was just too lazy to go back inside and add a couple layers.

The run went well and I felt like the training was falling into place, I ran a couple minutes faster than last weekend and I was feeling much stronger. It wasn't until I finished, that the sun finally decided to break through the clouds ....kinda late but I'm not complaining.

What I am complaining about is my year so seems my word lately is "Didn't"
I didn't get in my long runs for base.
I didn't get in my normal snowshoeing.
I didn't run more than 12 miles in in a winter Fatass.
I didn't end up running the Irish Rover (again) I actually didn't run any races.
I didn't get into the Mt Washington race (though I do have a second chance)
I didn't lose the weight I a matter of fact, I ended up looking fatter as the ab workouts caused protruding muscles that forced the layer of fat over them to stick out even further.....what's up with that? I looked better before I tightened up these muscles.
I didn't train well enough to run the Pineland 50 mile, 50K or actually 50 anything.
I didn't get a raise
I didn't get a bonus
And...I didn't win the lottery.............

Now before everyone begins to think I am a whine ass.....

I also Didn't....lose my job.
I didn't finish the winter with any injuries.
I didn't miss out on the Beach To Beacon this year...(yes I got in even though I said I wasn't even going to try)
I didn't go more than two days all winter without getting a run in.
I didn't have my normal mudhole in the driveway this year.
I didn't have any where near as much spring cleanup as normal.
I didn't get a leaky roof from ice buildup this winter.
I didn't go one day without eating.
I didn't give up on anything I tried.

After all that, what does my ranting actually mean for the summer? Well nothing really, there is plenty of time to tone up, train and run some great races. Not running a 50 miler this spring means I might be in shape to run one this fall.
Stepping down to the 25k at Pineland allows me the opportunity to enter the new 5k trail race the day before.

I guess everything evens out and lost opportunities may close one door but they also open new doors. I have the luxury to be healthy enough to enjoy whatever endeavor each new day brings me....what more could I ask for? .......well except for winning the lottery ....just think of the people one could help.

Saturdays stats:

8.5 miles (mostly trails and plenty of hills) 1:22:38 (9:44 pace)

10:10.....150-163 (oakhill..huge)
10:40.....147-157 (town forest trail..hill)
10:51.....145-156 ( mostly flat, don't know why I ran so slow)
9:50.....142-154 (hills)
8:54.....147-152 (no kick today)

Sunday(no run)....driving all day (it seems) down to Mass for easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lots Of Ass Dragging & A Little Running


The fantastic weather slapped me in the face all day and I couldn't help but think about my planned run at Pineland after work. In my mind I visioned me flying through the trail spinning up mud and leaving a rooster tail stream of water behind me. I figured a little speed work would fit well with my training this week. I hoped for 8:30-9 min pace for 5 miles which is pretty good on soggy Pineland trails.

Well, my speed racing plan didn't develop too well as I felt very sluggish when I started and the soggy ground sucked the life right out of my legs. Oh......not that it wasn't fun, because it was a great run, just that it didn't materialize into the blazing speed workout I had planned.

My heart rate reflected a workout that on paper should have been in the 8-9 minute pace but instead I hugged more into the 12 minute range. By the end of the 5 miles, I was dragging ass and wondering where my gumption went.

When I hit the road to run back to where I parked, I immediately felt the solid surface and then realized why I was so beat......the road felt great as I pushed off with the toe and I suddenly felt pretty good....that soft ground was the real culprit so I only lay half the blame on my running condition.

On the way home, I kept reminding myself that it is only early spring and there is plenty of running season in front of me, the speed will come.

5 miles @55:56...11:12 pace
.5 mile cool down @5:29....10:46 pace