Saturday, September 30, 2006

Up and Running

Ran 5.67 miles @ 8:05/mile pace.

It felt great to run again. My quads weren't too happy about it, but they only mildly complained. I took it slow and easy.

It was in the lower 50s when I ran this afternoon, but windy and pretty cloudy out so I wore a long sleeve wicking shirt for the first time this season. Fall is definitely under way.

I'll be resting tomorrow and will do another light run on Monday.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Still Resting

I haven't run since the ultra, which is a bit maddening but I also feel it's necessary to take an entire week off to heal up and be in somewhat decent shape for the Mt. Desert Island Marathon on October 15th.

The good news is my legs are doing great, and I just have some lingering soreness in my quads. I'm looking forward to going for a run on Sunday.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Success at the Vermont 50

Distance: 50 miles
Time: 9:56:56

I had two main goals prior to this race. First was to finish. Second was to finish in under 10 hours. I am beyond happy that I accomplished both on a course that was very challenging and well beyond any distance I had ever run before.

So much had happened during this race and it seems impossible to describe it all on a step-by-step basis. But I seriously had a great time throughout the race. I felt strong physically and mentally throughout and more or less maintained a consistent pace. I couldn't be happier with how it all went.

The race got underway at 6:35am. Prior to the start, my friend Chris and I both admitted to each other at how nervous we were. But once the race started and I was running, I was having a really great time running with Chris, my other friend John, and various other runners.

The course itself was very scenic. We ran through really neat forests and along beautiful country farms and on the higher elevations, we had great views of the mountains and hills that rose up from the countryside. Very roughly half of the course was on trails and the other half on dirt roads, all of which was very hilly.

Fortunately, the weather forecasts were a bit off and it didn't rain all day like it had seemed it might. Instead, it was really hot and humid in the morning. Then the skies opened up later with torrential rains, thunderstorms and lightning. That made the trails muddy and a bit slickery, but hey, all part of the fun.

Notes of interest:

After mile 23, nobody passed me and I was able to pick off runners as the race progressed. That was a neat feeling.

During the last 5 miles, I flip flopped on whether I was going to be able to break 10 hours or not. During the uphill stretches, I pretty much resigned that it'd be nearly impossible. But during the last few miles, the trails smoothed out and were flat to downhill and very easy to run on. I dug down deep and really booked it. Soon, I was running across the ski trails on top of the mountain near the finish line and could hear the festivities below. Then, I reached a clearing that veered left and down to the finish line. I booked it the last few hundred yards in a full out sprint! It was nice to have enough energy at the end to do so.

A great time for sure!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Calm Before the Storm

Ran 1.3 miles @ 7:55/mile pace.

Today I just ran the warm up and cool down with the high school XC team. It was just a maintenance run to keep my legs from getting rusty.

I head to Vermont tomorrow to compete in the Vermont 50. It'll be the farthest I've ever run. I'm a bit nervous, but I feel I've trained well for it and am ready to go.

Weather forecast hasn't improved much. In fact, not only is there a 70% chance of rain, but the National Weather Service is calling for 20mph winds with gusts as high as 40 mph. That's pretty much the same conditions I encountered at the MDI Marathon last year. I did fine with that and I'm sure this will be okay as well.

I've been carbing up the past few days by eating a lot of pasta, bagels and pretzels. That'll continue tomorrow, and I'm also baking a loaf of milk bread for the trip.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Growing Anxious

Another rest day today. It hit me even more today that the race is so close. Unfortunately, as of now the weather folk are calling for an 80% chance of rain for Sunday. No worries though. At least that'll make it interesting.

Went food shopping today to pick up some stuff for the trip. Tomorrow, I'll pack.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Ran 3.11 miles (5K) @ 7:34/mile pace

I had originally planned on taking a rest day today, but opted to get in a little run before the high school's cross country meet. I felt a bit sluggish, even though the pace was faster than I wanted to run. I kept telling myself to slow down, but it didn't do much good. Still, my legs feel fine and it was a good tapering run overall.

It's starting to hit me now that the Vermont 50 is just days away and I'm getting excited. I'm sure it's going to be a great experience and I'm really looking forward to it.

So, after my run, I went to the meet. Our team did great and ran very strong.

After the high school meet, I went to the Craig Cup cross country race to cheer on several members of my running group who were competing. Emma got first woman, and the rest of the guys all seemed pretty happy overall with their performances. It was very difficult to watch this race and not participate in it. Very, very difficult. But I made a wise choice by not entering and I'm sure my legs will thank me for it this Sunday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

First Day of Rest

I've been a bit worried about overtraining when I should have been tapering over the past few weeks, so today's rest day is welcome. I also woke up this morning with my legs feeling significantly less beat up, which was nice. Another rest day tomorrow will also do a lot of good as well, I can imagine. I have grad school Thursday afternoon/evening, so I'll probably wake up early on that day and do my run in the morning.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Continuing the Taper

1) Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:05/mile pace
2) Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:48/mile pace

Today I ran with the high school cross country team, which I'm the assistant coach for. I only did the 2 mile warm up and 2 mile cool down with the team, while they did 3 X 1 mile repeats.

Both runs felt good. My quads are still pretty sore from the speed workout on Friday, but I have a feeling that as long as I take it easy this week, I'll be more than okay for the Vermont 50. I've run the Pemi Loop in the White Mountains (33.3 miles, 10 peaks over 4k') pretty strong while in worse shape.

I've pretty much officially decided that I'm going to forgo the Craig Cup race Wednesday evening. It just wouldn't be wise, pure and simple.

Weather was unseasonably warm today, with highs in the lower 80s. Cool down expected in a few days, which will be welcome.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Trying to Take it Easy

Ran 5.67 miles @ 7:56/mile pace.

The Vermont 50 is a week away, so the plan is to take it easy all of this week. Holding back on my pace on my shorter runs is almost always really difficult for me. I managed to hit my first mile split at 8:28, which was good. The rest were a touch under 8-minutes a mile, with the exception being mile 4 which I accidentally ran in 7:16. Overall, I was pretty happy with how I slowed it down. My normal pace for this route is usually between 7:20-7:30 per mile and I've done it as fast as 6:51/mile.

Despite getting down into the 40s again last night, it warmed up quickly. It was already in the mid 60s and humid out by the time I finished the run. It's supposed to cool down significantly again next week.

I'm now leaning towards not running in the second Craig Cup 5K cross country race this Wednesday evening. You have to compete in all three of the races in order to place in the overall rankings. However, I'm now thinking it's a wise sacrifice to make. My legs feel a bit more overworked at this point than I'd like and the Vermont 50 is a bigger priority.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

First Entry

I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog for awhile, so here it is. Currently I'm in a taper for the Vermont 50-mile ultramarathon, which takes place a week from tomorrow. I took today off, as the hay is already in the barn and I don't want to burn it.

Tomorrow will be a light run, and the same will go for all of my runs this week. One exception would be Wednesday, the day of the second Craig Cup cross-country race. I'm leaning towards entering, against my better judgment. Plenty of time to worry about it though.