Sunday, October 31, 2010

2011 Boston Marathon Confirmation Received

Forgot to mention it yesterday, but I received the final confirmation email from the Boston Marathon that my BQ time was verified and I'm in. While this was never in doubt, it was a bit nail-biting to gradually see practically all of my running friends and acquaintances names appear on the list bit-by-bit each day, wondering when my name would appear. But no longer, as I'm now on the list:

2011 Boston Marathon Entrants

And... exhale. It only took a little longer because my BQ marathon was the day before registration opened, and according to the Boston Marathon website, they need to receive the official results from the marathon, so naturally it took a bit longer. I figured this was the case, but now I can officially relax. I'm in.

Seeing my name on that list is both humbling and an honor. It's really hitting me now. Qualifying for Boston was a monkey I've had on my back for several years. Now that it's off, now that I'm locked and loaded, it really feels special. I remember my dad running it back in 1979. His bib number along with cut up strips of his mylar blanket were framed and displayed on our living room wall afterwards. I plan to do the same.

These thoughts and more danced through my head during a casual run in the woods out back this morning. Just ran by feel and let my legs do whatever felt comfortable, and ended up with a pretty good pace for this route. Last two miles I could tell I hadn't eaten breakfast though, and didn't feel terribly energetic as a result. Still a good run though. Now, bring on football!

Ran 7.7 miles @ 8:38/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s to upper 40s, partly cloudy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, windbreaker, shirt, beanie, gloves (shed halfway through)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I was up in Belfast today for the Maine High School Cross Country Championship meet. Our team did really well, placing 8th out of 16 teams, which we were really happy with. Many of our kids also set PRs, which was great. Good time!

And, I got there early and ran the course before the races started and tacked on a little extra as I ran to the start line. The coach from Gray-New Gloucester joined me and we ran together, chatting away and I really enjoyed the conversation.

Really liked the course. It's fast, but still challenging and a lot of fun to run on. Kept the pace pretty easy, but was pretty surprised it was as fast as it actually was. Looking forward to a longer run tomorrow.

Ran 3.2 miles @ 7:51/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 40s, overcast, windy.
X-shoes, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Easy Five

Short little jaunt around the town I teach in after the day was done. Kept the pace easy but wasn't feeling particularly energetic anyway. I'll blame it on the bee that stung me about an hour before the run.

Not sure if I'll take a scheduled rest day tomorrow, only because I doubt I'll be able to run on Saturday. Will play it by ear. But that's the beauty of being in a three week recovery/taper period between a marathon and a 50-miler, you can always adjust and when in doubt... rest.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:59/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 60s, sunny.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seven in the Seventies

Ugh, 70 degrees out during my run this afternoon. And muggy too. Yuck. At least it'll cool back down by the weekend.

Did a very hilly route from the school after cross country practice was over. Took the pace easy and just let the mind wander and enjoyed the scenery. Don't know my splits, but it was definitely a progression run albeit nothing crazy at all. 

Felt great and the marathon recovery is going quite well. Happy with how things are progressing and I suspect the legs should be pretty fresh for the 50-miler a week from Saturday. 

Ran 7.1 miles @ 7:58/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 70s, overcast, humid.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cemetery and Back

Pretty uneventful couple of runs today that were around 30 minutes apart. Ran the warm-up and cool-down with our cross country team to the cemetery and back where they did their workout.

Feeling great, but probably went a little too fast per my plan of taking all runs pretty easy here between the marathon and 50-miler. Not a big deal I did it today, but don't want to make a habit of it. Planned rest day tomorrow. Will likely stick to run two days, take a day off and repeat from for the next couple of weeks leading up to the race.

Ran 2.1 miles @ 7:36/mile pace.
Ran 2.3 miles @ 7:24/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 50s, overcast.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Woods Out Back

Nice run in the woods out back. There was actually no wind for once, which felt a bit foreign given it's been very breezy nearly every day the past few weeks. Along with the overcast skies and cool temps, the morning definitely had a bit of a wintery feel to it.

Took the pace pretty easy at first, given last night involved a little bit of celebrating of last weekend's BQ at the MDI Marathon. Last few miles I picked up the pace though and did so pretty easily, so it's good the legs are recovering nicely. Nice overall pace for this route, given 2/3's are on technical, hilly trails and the other 1/3 are fire roads (which are easy to run fast on).

Ran 6.6 miles @ 8:24/mile pace.
Trails and fire roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s to lower 40s, overcast.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Short and Sweet

Short and slow run today. Equal mix of roads and trails. I'm testing out a new pair of minimal shoes to give a company feedback, and really liked them. Kept the pace slow to get used to them.

Nice to keep the pace slow and easy. Everything is feeling great post-marathon still, but am still going to keep all of my runs short and slow for the two weeks leading up to the Stone Cat 50 to continue the recovery.

Really cold and windy out. Was only starting to feel warmed up and then the run was over.

Ran 2.7 miles @ 9:07/mile pace.
Paved paths, paved roads and trails.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 40s, mostly cloudy, windy.
'X' shoes, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Early Morning Run

I woke way earlier than usual, at 2:30 am, and couldn't fall back asleep. Milled around a bit and then decided it'd be smart to do my run now. This worked out well, as we could have another rainy afternoon. I'm also way behind on grading, so it's nice to free up my afternoon a bit to get caught up.

Run went really well. Legs felt fresh and no soreness was noticeable, not even in my quads. Taking the last three days off was really smart.

All runs between now and the Stone Cat 50 on November 6th will be short and slow to allow for somewhat proper recovery. Goals for Stone Cat? Just have fun. I feel I have nothing to prove with this race and no monkeys to get off my back. After taking the MDI Marathon super seriously, it'll be fun to just do a race and enjoy it with no pressure. I've volunteered at this race the past several years and it's a really fun atmosphere, so it's the perfect race to do so.

Ran 2.9 miles @ 8:11/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Around 30 degrees, clear skies.
Brooks Mach 11, long pants, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, refl. vest, beanie.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mt. Desert Island Marathon Video

I'm still basking in the glow of a very successful marathon at MDI and am daydreaming of running Boston in April. Legs are recovering nicely. Quads were very sore post-race but that's dissipating. Would like to do a short run today but have to head to South Portland to help coach a junior varsity cross country meet. Most likely will do my first post-marathon run tomorrow.

Focus on running the next two and a half weeks will be recovery and keeping the legs loose. I have the Stone Cat 50-Miler on November 6th, so just want to have fresh legs for that event. No pressures with this race though. Just going to have fun and don't really care about my time that much.

In the meantime, here's some footage my brother shot of me on Sunday. I edited this Monday when I got back and was pretty wiped, so I messed up the finishing time on the fullscreen at the end, but I corrected it through YouTube's annotation system:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Boston Marathon Registration Fiasco: Blame it on Social Media

First off, I got in the Boston Marathon and am darn happy about it. Their website crashed and sputtered. I cursed a lot. But, I got through Monday morning and though I didn't know it at the time, my problems with registering were pretty minuscule compared to what others went through.

Seven or so hours later, the race was filled. Compare this to last year when it took two months and people flipped out about that. And I compare that to four or five years ago when I can remember a friend registering for Boston after qualifying for it two months prior and with no worries. Ah, the salad days.

So... what gives?

I asked around about that and the common answer in one form or another was this: The hype. Mass hysteria and panic that it was going to fill up served as a positive feedback mechanism for the inevitable mad rush to get in before the cap was reached. I bought in, and so did others. The result: Bam! Record setting fill-up time.

The field limit is still the same. The qualifying standards are still the same. I'd venture to guess the number of those that did BQ this past year really wasn't significantly more compared to recent years either. But the drum beating that the race was going to fill up quick was not the same. How much did the race director play in that? Hard to say for sure, but there is now a huge mess for him to clean up and a lot of unhappy people to deal with.

What helped accelerate it? Simple. Social media. Enter Facebook and Twitter, where information is dispersed quickly and efficiently, primarily from peers that we trust and pay more attention to than other information outlets. In my opinion, there is no way this level hype would have been possible without it. Send out tweets or status updates that it'll fill up fast, and people will flock in droves. Your friends and family will pass along the word, adding in their own concerns along the way.

Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed to see the Mt. Desert Island Marathon going this route. The race filled up this year over the summer, which was faster than ever. And I love this race to death, but this morning they were sending out tweets and status updates threatening that the race would be filling up very soon like Boston did:

"The 2011 Boston Marathon sold out in a few hours on Monday and we're right behind them. Don't wait or you'll miss our 1)th [sic] edition, it's gonna be epic! WE PROMISE!"

Okay, now that is just flat out beating the drum. No doubt this race will now fill up very soon as a result, but is it ethical to start a fire in your own crowded theater? This rushes people into the decision making process for the sake of filling up your own race quicker and the hype was happening even before the registration for MDI opened, so it makes me wonder.

Going back to Boston, as a result of the quick fill-up and people not getting in as a result, an ugliness has ensued. Check the Boston Marathon's Facebook page and you'll see. People are looking for scapegoats, and one target has been charity runners. Some are very harshly saying Boston should do away with that group to allow more slots for BQ'ers, but when you consider the charity runners numbers, it's stupid to blame them. I've heard 1350 spots are given to charity runners... not a big impact. And c'mon, it's charity for crying out loud. Where's your heart?!

People who got in the Boston Marathon because they are affiliated with a business that sponsors the event in some way? Well, a bit more of a fair target there, but hey, if a business or organization sponsors in some way, they deserve a few slots.

If you must blame someone, blame the hype machine. Blame social media. Blame Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and everything else. That's what really caused it.


Someone has to drive it. I hope more race directors will use more caution in the future for everyone's sake. There are better ways to bring people to your races. Intentional or not, I think Boston might have learned this lesson the hard way.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mt. Desert Island Marathon Race Report - BQ!!!

First, the good stuff. I qualified for Boston! Time was 3:14:33, good enough for 39th place out of 780, and 5th out of 60 in my age group. I broke my previous PR by more than seven minutes (old one was 3:21:37, also at MDI). I'm pumped, stoked and incredibly thrilled. My plan worked great.

Key points:
- Father, brother, Ryan, Danielle, Kate and her parents were all out there following me around and cheering me on. That was huge.
- Weather was perfect. Lower 40s to start, maybe mid-50s to end and sunny. Bit windy, but not terrible and wasn't really an issue.
- My plan to bank time and then take out deposits in the final six miles paid off. This course is hilly as hell, and miles 21-25 has a series of grueling uphills with only a few leveled out parts in between each climb. As a result, most people really slow down here.
- I skipped all but two water aid stations, thanks to my brother handing me a 22 ounce handheld water bottle at key spots. I'd run with it for 4-5 miles, then give it back. That worked excellent.
- Only took one Gu packet and two cups of Gatorade and was fine.

Mile by mile breakdown:
1- 7:16 Good.
2- 7:15 Great.
3- 7:13 Sweet.
4- 7:14 Awesome.
5- 7:10 Cool.
6- 7:17 Killer.
7- 7:17 Turn off on some backroads in this mile.
8- 7:19 Brother hands me water bottle. My dad, Kate, her parents, Ryan, Danielle are all here cheering.
9- 7:22 Bit slower, big hill.
10- 7:27 Bigger hill. Actually said "Eeeeew." out loud when I saw my split.
11- 7:17 That's better.
12- 7:11 Gave brother empty water bottle. Gradual downhill here, easy to go fast.
13- 7:12 Fantastic.
13.1 - Time was 1:34:22. Saw Blaine here who was checking off relay runners and gave him a high five.
14&15- 7:19 average (forgot to hit lap button) - On Sargent Drive. Wind is hitting us head on.
16- 7:18 - Good.
17- 7:28 - Getting slower. Downed a Gu. Brother hands me water bottle again.
18- 7:26 - Yep, can't pick up the speed. Slowing down sooner than I had hoped, but plenty of time in the bank.
19- 7:35 - Hills.
20- 7:40 - More hills. From here on out, easy to calculate times. Knew I could still go around 8:00/mile the rest of the way and still BQ. Handed empty water bottle back to brother.
21- 7:39 - Now the ass kicking hills begin.
22- 7:47 - Keep pushing dammit. Drank a cup of Gatorade for insurance against cramps.
23- 7:37 - C'mon dude. These hills are tough, but go man go.
24- 8:09 - One of the steeper climbs here, trying to keep it going.
25- 7:28 - Ryan was at the top of the final big hill, yelling at the top of his lungs that I have my BQ but to keep pushing. HUGE mental push, thanks to him. Downhill begins!
26- 7:33 - Downhill then flattens out a bit, but quads are wicked sore and hard to push.
Final .2 - 7:09/mile pace. There's the finish line! BAM!

I crossed the finish line exhausted and with nothing left. My dad immediately came up and gave me a big hug, followed by Ryan and then Kate. This was great, and served the secondary purpose of keeping me on my feet because my legs were dead and I was exhausted.

I was thrilled and still am thrilled. This race could not have gone any better. So stoked to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and do it on this course to boot. I've always wanted my first BQ to be here, and after years of daydreaming of that, the day has finally arrived. So.. f-ing.. pumped!!!


Ran 26.2 miles in 3:14:33.
39th out of 780 overall.
5th out of 60 in the 35-39 age group.
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Around 40 degrees at start, mid 50s at finish. Sunny. Breezy.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, singlet.

Will post actual race pictures and video within the next few days, but here are some shots taken right afterwards.

Flushing my legs afterwards. 

No pulled pork sandwich for you!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marathon Eve

Ah, I'm here. Tomorrow, game time. Drove up this morning and checked in at the expo. Really nice orange pullovers for the runners, which will be great not just for hunting season but also remaining visible when running on the roads.

Afterwards, lunch, then took my father and brother on a drive on the park loop and we stopped at Thunder Hole and drove up to Cadillac (summit was in a cloud, not much to see). Then we checked in the hotel.

Brother and I went for a short run around Bar Harbor. We saw Ryan while we were out running, and he yelled something funny at us from his car.

Feeling really good right now. Legs are fresh and feeling strong. The sore ab muscle is no longer sore. Simply ready to go. Will run smart and stick to my plan.

Ran 2.6 miles @ 8:27/mile pace
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 50s, light rain, overcast, breezy.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Starry Night

It was hard to keep my eyes off the sky when running early this morning. The stars were shining brightly and the arm of the Milky Way was clearly visible. Appropriately, it reminded me of Vincent Van Gogh's epic painting "Starry Night".  Combined with the calm and tranquility of the pre-dawn hours, it was a great way to start the day.

Bit chilly out also. 31 degrees, and it was the first time this season I wore long pants during a run. Couldn't find my gloves, but I managed fine without them and don't typically need them until it's in the 20's or colder anyway.

Since I actually had pockets, I brought my phone along and used the CardioTrainer app to measure my distance and pace since the Garmin is busted. Measured the distance (which I knew) right on par with the Garmin. I had used this app for mountain biking a few times, and like then, it gets high marks on performance, ease of use and features.

Side stitch issues from yesterday were thankfully not present today. However, that ab muscle is just a little bit sore, presumably the lingering effect of a really bad cramp. But not an issue at all during the run today, so that's good. I had begun to fear I might have pulled an ab muscle, but I don't think that's the case.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 8:15/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 30s, clear skies.
Brooks Mach 11, long pants, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, refl. vest, headlamp.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gray Fox and Side Stitch

Plan today was 4-5 miles with two miles at marathon pace. Was thrown off a bit by a weird side stitch of sorts. It was on the left side, upper abdominal muscle, just below the rib cage. Felt it for a bit yesterday also, and again a couple of weeks ago. Stopped and took some deep breaths and it helped significantly, which was a relief. Just hope it doesn't happen on race day. Decided to run just four as a precaution.

On a brighter note, saw a really big, healthy gray fox during the run along the paved paths behind the school I teach at. He/she checked me out for a bit before running full speed into the woods. 

Ran 4.0 miles @ 7:41/mile pace. 
Paved paths and roads. 
Mostly flat. 
Upper 50s, sunny. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Easy 5K

Short and slow 5k jaunt after work and XC practice. Was very mentally disciplined with the pace as there is no room for stupidity at this point. Rather enjoyed the run.

I'm very grateful to be in top shape, have no injuries, and have confidence in my training for the marathon this weekend. That occupied my thoughts a lot during the run today. Pretty Zen.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 7:58/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Around 60 degrees, partly sunny.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Are You Trying to BQ at MDI?

Today is a rest day and also a day off from work, so I figured getting some thoughts down on paper on the blog would help alleviate some of the taper madness. Apologies in advance if this post seems especially self-indulgent or maybe even as if I'm chest thumping a bit. Not my intent at all, I'm just attempting to organize my thoughts.

So... why the BQ attempt at MDI?

I've been asked that question a lot the past several months. For most of us, qualifying for the Boston Marathon is difficult enough. Throw in an extremely hilly course like the one at the Mt. Desert Island Marathon and the degree of difficulty can increase pretty significantly. A flatter course could make it much easier and more within the realm of possibility for a runner of my ability, so why try it here?

I've probably given a few different answers to that question, and all were true but my answers were based on what was on my mind at that particular time. They've ranged from any of the below or combinations thereof:

1) It's a challenge. This course can be considered one of, if not the most, difficult courses on the east coast. The hills are unrelenting, and some of the most challenging hills are in the final five miles. BQ'ing here is something special. Anyone who does so here is a huge bad ass, in my opinion. As a result, I've dreamed of my first BQ being here.

2) This marathon rules. It's extremely well organized, with all of the i's dotted and t's crossed. You are made to feel extremely welcome on all fronts. The volunteers are absolutely fantastic. It just has a really awesome vibe to it. The scenery along the course is also absolutely beautiful. The leaves are at or near peak colors, and you get several good looks at the ocean as you run. It's stunning. So, BQ'ing at an awesome race such as this one would make it even more special.

3) Sentimental reasons. This marathon was my first in 2005, and I vowed to do it every year since, though I didn't run it last year since I was just coming off a stress fracture. I was happy with every performance, except for two years ago due to stomach issues and a questionable race strategy, but even then I still had a really good time. A really well put together race will do that. Even if things don't go so well you still have fun. The great vibe of the race and the scenery of the course tend to supersede such matters.

4) I always run hills. Most of my running routes are hilly. I'm used to hills and love hills. So for me, a marathon course should have hills, and the ones on this course are pretty similar to the ones I run on around home. You train for what you run.

So there ya have it. And this year is different than the other four times I've run MDI. Instead of riding off ultramarathon training (ie little or no speed work) like in the past, this year I trained specifically for this race with a BQ in mind. The long runs were there, as were the tempo runs and speed workouts at the track. It's all gone really well so far. Hopefully the stars will align this Sunday.

And somewhat random, but here's a great song to have in your head while running:

Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicago Marathon & The Elk Farm Loop

Spent the morning watching the Chicago Marathon online, which was a real treat. Wanjiru and Kebede provided an edge of the seat battle there at the end, with Wanjiru surging and Kebede fighting him off in the last few miles. Then, reminiscent of Nordic skiing god Petter Northug, Wanjiru put on this insane kick and left Kebede in the dust in the final stretch. It was unreal to watch. Amazing how those guys crank out average paces of sub 5:00/mile.

Photo ripped off without permission from
the Chicago Tribune, so please buy their newspaper.

Shortly afterwards, I geared up for my final double digit run before my own marathon next week. I set out on the elk farm loop in the opposite direction I normally go. This would get a relatively boring three miles of flat and uneventful roads out of the way and then allow a long, pretty steep climb up to the ridge. 

Ran with a handheld water bottle to get used to it again. I had lost my other one a few weeks ago and bought a new one yesterday. I plan to use it at times during the marathon next week, and fortunately it felt comfortable today. I also downed a Gu right before the run just to get reacquaint my body to them. Gu has never given me problems, but I also don't use them often so I decided downing one would be a good idea. 

Felt a bit out of sync at first on that first flat section but much better once the uphills began. Reached the really cool elk farm at the top of the hill, along with some high bush blueberry fields. Still kept the pace pretty easy and just enjoyed the fall foliage on the downhills, which is now pretty darn colorful. Wish I had a camera with me. 

Ran 11.3 miles @ 7:38/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Lower to mid 50s, mostly cloudy. 
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt, Moeben sleeves, cap, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Craig Cup 5K and the Post-Run

Was more than happy to help Jeff out and volunteer at the Craig Cup 5K cross country race this morning at Twin Brooks. The USATF folks handled the finish line, so it was pretty easy going from my perspective. Just helped with registration and corralling the runners in order when they finished, but the field was pretty spread out so it was really easy. Jeff did a great job organizing the race and everything went super smoothly.

Speaking of Jeff.. that crackhead actually raced it, and this is just one week after his 3-hour marathon. Can't remember his time today, but it was really fast.

Afterwards, Jeff, Ryan, Val, Rick, Kate B., and I all went out for an easy trail run. Kept the pace slow and I had a blast talking about marathon training and races.

Legs felt fantastic and fresh as daisies, just as they should at this point in the taper. I get to run 11 miles tomorrow, which will be welcome, but I have to keep the pace easy.

Ran 5.3 miles @ 9:11/mile pace.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 50s, sunny, breezy.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt, Moeben sleeves.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Thorncrag Revisited

Deja vu as I met up with Val at the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary after an annual teacher's conference again, just like last year!  It was great fun, and we kept the pace and effort pretty easy. I really like this place. The trails are extremely hilly and technical. Really fun terrain to run on.

Felt great today, and the piddly mileage this week has my legs raring to go, so I guess the taper is working. Nine more days, nine more days...

Ran 4.1 miles @ 10:21/mile pace. 
Technical trails. 
Extremely hilly. 
Lower 60s, overcast. 
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I Like Turtles

Taper schedule called for a short track workout, consisting of 6 X 800M repeats at 5K pace just to help maintain VO2 Max levels. I'm not sure what my 5K pace would be now, and while talk is cheap, I bet I could break 19:00 at this point, so I shot for around 3:00 for each rep.

It went really well. I suspect opting out of active recovery between reps in favor of 2:00 rest helped. Still, it felt really easy.

During the cool down, I found a baby snapper turtle crawling on the track. The little guy was no more than 2" long. Picked him up and moved him to the creek near the track where he'd be safer and more at home. Then I stayed and watched one of my student's soccer game on the field within the track. Good day.

w/u - 1.0 miles @ 7:38/mile pace.
6 X 800M repeats 2/ 2:00 rest in between: 2:54, 2:56, 2:59, 2:54, 2:56, 2:56
c/d - 1.0 miles @ 7:20/mile pace.
Upper 50s, partly cloudy, very windy.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Rain, Wind and Trails

Steady rain and very windy out, and the temperature was only 50 degrees. Feels a bit cool and raw now, but two months from now this type of weather will feel tropical.

Did a much better job keeping the pace easy today. Did find myself at one point thinking about the marathon and subconsciously the pace started picking up, so I started thinking of pink bunnies going fly fishing for trout and brought my speed back down.

Garmin 305 is still not working in the form that it's not even looking for satellites (yes, the GPS feature is indeed turned on). Just used the chronograph on it today as I knew the mileage of my route, but I somehow managed to delete my time. I know I was 47:XX, so will call it 47:30, which I think is pretty close.

Ran 5.8 miles @ 8:12/mile pace.
Trails (converted railroad bed).
Slightly hilly.
Around 50 degrees, overcast, steady rain, very windy.
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, windbreaker (shed after two miles), short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Garmin is Acting Up Again

Feeling significantly better compared to yesterday, not that the cold I have was anything big to begin with. However, unfortunately my Garmin 305 is once again not feeling so well. Not locking on the satellites. I tried a soft reboot, hard reboot, and updated the firmware with no luck. Will do some more research though before I go on another rant, just in case.

However, I knew the route was exactly five miles from the school, and the chronograph still worked on the Garmin. It was kind of hard running by feel. I thought I was keeping the pace easy and guessed around 7:45/mile, but it turns out I actually averaged 7:32/mile. Oops.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:32/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 60s, overcast, breezy.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Woohoo!!! I'm Sick!!!

I have caught the cold... complete with a mild sore throat, achy head, and runny sinuses. And I like it! Why? Well, one of my fears was being sick on race day in two weeks. So, with being sick now, it gives me a chance to get it over with and enter race day with a healthy immune system. Perfect timing. Kind of like that scene in "The World According to Garp" when a plane hits a house they were looking to buy, and the decision is made to purchase it since the odds of another plane hitting it are astronomical.

Also, with me being in the taper, it's not really derailing my training. Had I gotten sick during a key phase in training, it'd potentially mess things up. Today is a rest day, but I suspect I'll be fine to do the five miles at an easy pace I have on tap for tomorrow. Which leads me to....

... Taper madness is definitely starting to set in. Last week wasn't so bad. It was the first week of a three week taper, which meant an 80% reduction in mileage, essentially a step-down week in the normal training cycle, so not a big deal.

But this week? A 60% reduction in mileage. That means light, easy runs around five miles most days, sans the abbreviated track workout on Thursday and an 11-miler over the weekend. When I realized that last night I was like "#$%&!!! This is going to be tough."

Next week will be even worse. Only a third of what I'd normally do during the week. But as my buddy Ryan pointed out, I could always sacrifice my marathon time in favor of not following the taper.. something I will of course pass on.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

MDI Redux

First off, a huge congrats to my friend Jeff for running his first marathon today (Maine Marathon). His time? 3:00:38, good enough for 16th place. Needless to say, very impressive indeed.

In two weeks, it'll be my turn, and though I won't be nearly as fast as Jeff, I do expect to do quite well based on how my training has been going. Week one of tapering went quite well... hit the mileage I wanted to and got in the key workouts I wanted to do.

Kicked off the last two days with a weekend up at Mt. Desert Island again. I arrived Friday evening and set up camp in monsoon-like rains, and shortly after Jim and Shauna showed up. The rain lulled us to sleep and we woke up to clearing skies and headed down to the cliffs at the ocean to make coffee and watch the sunrise.

Afterwards, I headed over to Belfast to meet up with the other coach and the high school XC team. Meet went well and our kids put out some very impressive performances.

After the meet, back to MDI, and I immediately changed and went for a run along Park Loop road from our campground over to Thunder Hole and back. Ended up being a tempo-ish run over some pretty big hills and was a lot of fun. Felt really good out there and though the run was short, it was solid. Afterwards, dinner and drinks at Geddy's along with some other folks, and then s'mores by the campfire before calling it a night. Missed Nicole coming in after I had gone to bed.

Ran 6.0 miles @ 7:11/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 60s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Woke up and took my time packing things up. Bid farewell to Jim, Shauna and Nicole. Jim and Nicole were off for a century bike ride and Shauna on her own run.

Drove to Eagle Lake and got in two loops and change for 15 miles. Bumped into Peter in the first loop, and we ran together for about half an hour before he veered off another carriage trail for some hill repeats.

Was nice to take the pace pretty easy. However, had some stomach issues and had to take a few bio-breaks. Was otherwise feeling fine though. Once the stomach settled, I found my rhythm easier and the run was more enjoyable.

With the run done, I went to the pay showers and cleaned up before the drive home. Must say, showers feel especially nice after not taking any for three days. Great weekend!

Ran 15.0 miles @ 7:59/mile pace.
Carriage trails.
Very hilly.
Upper 40s to mid-50s.
Saucony Kinvara, shorts, windbreaker (shed after three or so miles), sleeveless shirt, cap.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Saaaaaaay, What Gives?

I expected to be drenched by the end of the run, which I was. However, it was with sweat, not the rain that the weather people had predicted. The storm system is still off to the west and warm, muggy air is still in place. Cooler air is on the way though once the storm front passes through.  

Ran the trails and fire roads out back at an easy pace. No owls this morning, perhaps they're battening down the hatches. 

Taper madness hasn't really struck yet. This week has me doing around 80% of my volume, which isn't so bad. Next week is 66% though, and the final week around 30% of what I normally would do. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock...

Ran 5.1 miles @ 8:26/mile pace. 
Trails and fire roads. 
Mostly flat. 
Around 70 degrees, mostly cloudy, very humid. 
Adidas Adizero XT, shorts, headlamp.