Friday, August 31, 2012

Cadillac Ride

I'm up in the Bangor area for part of the weekend, staying at my in-law's house to make it easier to meet up with the cross country team for a meet we have in Ellsworth tomorrow. Concocted a plan to join Eric M. and Peter K. for a run up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park this evening, which was a great time.

View from where we parked our cars. 
We met at at the Park Loop Rd. just off Eagle Lake Rd. at 6pm and headed on up. Took the first few miles slow to warm up but then Eric helped lead us to a quicker pace. Nothing crazy, but it was still work and the legs were ready and willing. Great workout and a lot of fun.

I've never done this run before and was slightly worried about traffic on the road up, especially since it was a holiday weekend. However, it wasn't bad at all. I think most out of town tourists aren't used to driving up twisty mountain roads so they were white knuckling it with caution to begin with and gave us extra leeway. We also clearly won the respect of a small group riding Harleys, which was pretty amusing.

Eric and I ran around the parking loop on the top and then after a hundred yards or so coming back down we ran into Peter (who's battling injury) and we ran with him to the top and around the parking loop again.

The run down was Zen, as the grade is perfect for just hauling ass. Hitting a tempo pace while breathing through your nose while looking at Eagle Lake nearly a thousand feet below was epic. A storm was moving through at that time but we were just getting the fringe of it. Beyond Sargent Mountain you could see the cell dropping heavy rain, while just a bit to the west an orange sunset painted the horizon. How people can not get out and appreciate this kind of thing is beyond me. No better way to do it then while out running and having all of your senses are engaged. We runners are truly a lucky bunch.

Finished the run and Eric and I talked about running over to Eagle Lake and tacking on a loop but pizza sounded like a better idea as we were all pretty famished. We parked at Peter's and then walked over and filled our bellies. Great cap to a very fun evening.

Ran 9.4 miles @ 7:44/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Insanely hilly.
Lower 70s, mostly cloudy, some light rain at the end.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, reflective vest.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recovery Run and Training Contemplations

I had hoped to do something longer today. Despite a long day of teacher workshop stuff followed by cross country practice, I was actually feeling relatively energetic. However, once I started my run after all of that was over it became obvious that it wasn't in the cards.

My legs felt really heavy. I figured things would get at least a little better during the run which turned out to be the case, so I was able to avoid the temptation of cutting the run even shorter and still get in seven easy miles. Just chalking it up as a recovery run, is all.

Reason why the legs felt like concrete was pretty obvious... hard workouts in heat/humidity really put a lot more strain on the body. I've noticed it a lot this summer, which seems to have been especially humid.

I've been kind of bummed about how my training has been going this summer, but after a bit of a more open-minded review, it really hasn't been as bad as I've been making it out to be. I've definitely got in more mileage than last summer, and I ended up PR-ing at the MDI Marathon last year. Speedwork has been comparable, if not a little better. I think with some finishing touches on speed these next handful of weeks and overall it will definitely be a decent cut above. The Bradbury Bruiser will also serve as a great workout, obviously. Onward and upward.

Ran 7.2 miles @ 8:33/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Mid 70s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, handheld bottle (Gatorade).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Humidity and Tempo Runs Do Not Mix

Busy day today, so my only window to really run was probably at the worst part of the day. The cross country team had nice cloud cover, some light rain and cooler temps earlier in the morning. By the time they were done and I began my own workout at around 10am, the sun was breaking out of the clouds, the temps were warming up and it was a full-on sauna.

Ran a couple of miles to warm up and then I let the hammer fall over a very hilly route. I had originally wanted to get in at least seven miles on hills at tempo pace, but given the heat and humidity I was content to just do five. It was the right call. Hate to sound like I'm whining, but I'm really sick of this summer and just want fall to get here.

But those five miles went pretty well, all things considered. Splits were 6:37, 6:48, 6:46, 6:41 and 6:31. Challenging rollercoaster hills, many of which were pretty steep. The legs felt fine and I'm confident they had a lot more in them, but I could feel the humidity (and sun) sapping my strength. It just simply sucks to run in those conditions. Really would love some cooler, dryer days so I can better gauge things, but hopefully they're not far off.

Stopped the tempo portion after five miles and ran a little over a mile for a cool down, my shirt and shorts drenched in sweat and I continued to battle my sunglasses from steaming over as I did throughout the run. Good workout but I was glad it was done.

Because this tempo run was short, I hope to get in something else speedier this week but haven't decided just what or when yet.

w/u: Ran 2.0 miles @ 7:35/mile pace.
Ran 5.0 miles @ 6:42/mile pace.
c/d: Ran 1.3 miles @ 8:23/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid to upper 70, sunny, extremely humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Monday, August 27, 2012

And So It Begins

Hit a trail loop from my house that makes use of some ATV trails on the other side of the road. Moderately hilly route and overall I felt great despite the heat. At least it didn't feel terribly humid out, which was good. Nice run.

Things will start to get a bit hectic this week as I have my first two teacher workdays of the school year on Wednesday and Thursday on top of two cross country meets on Thursday and Saturday. Next week, students will begin. So for all intents and purposes, summer is over. I'm actually glad. While I appreciate the free time in the summer by late July/early August I start to get antsy and look forward to the new school year.

But I digress... point is, adjusting to the new schedules is always a little bit of a challenge but with some creativity I've always been able to get my workouts in. Bring it on!

Ran 7.8 miles @ 8:23/mile pace.
Trails, one mile of paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 80s to upper 70s, partly cloudy.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt, handheld bottle (water).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Rare Occurrence at the Steve Day 5K

A fundraiser 5K was being put on for a friend of ours, Steve Day, who is battling cancer. Kate and I, along with a host of other Trail Monsters including Ian, Mindy, Val and Rick were happy to make the trek up to Rumford to support the cause. It was a great day and I was honored to take part in an event to help a friend out, and I was happy it also came along with a good result for me.

After we arrived and checked in, Ian and I went for a warm-up that previewed roughly half of the course. Nice to scope it out and get a taste for the hills. It was definitely a hilly course, and to add to that the heat was already starting to build as well as the humidity. But fortunately, this has been a step-down week for me, so my legs were feeling pretty spry for once. A 5K was a perfect way to give them so work to do without taking much out of the bank.

We also met up with Kate's friends, Ben and Jana. Kate went to high school with Ben, and he's a very fast runner. They're visiting from Seattle and after the race, we were going over with them to their camp in Belgrade Lakes to hang out and stay the night. This plan was concocted a few days prior, and I ribbed Kate for inviting a runner faster than I was to an event where I had a chance to potentially place very well in. However, Ben was quite gracious during the race. ;-)

Mile One
We're off! The race followed the track for roughly 200M before veering off on to the roads. About a 100M in, I had the lead and was a bit surprised that I still had it when we had joined on to the roads. Ben was right behind me and I said "I don't like being out in front." It was true. I didn't. It felt weird being in the lead, knowing everyone was behind me. Ben assured me I was good and to keep up the pace and we trucked on.

We came upon a sharp left turn on to a paved path that would connect to some neighborhood roads and I was able to glance to see what the scenario behind me looked like. Ben was still right with me, just a few feet behind, which I knew, but we had actually increased our lead a little on the pack. Cool. We hit the first mile in 6:03.

Mile Two
This mile was pretty much all one uphill climb of about 90 feet, sans a short reprieve in the middle. Tough work, especially in the heat and humidity, but I tend to run hills like this very well and a few glances over the shoulder verified we were comfortably ahead for now. Meanwhile, Ben continued to give encouragement.

Ben and I had never discussed running together and knowing he was a stronger runner, I expected him to pass me. In fact, I had urged him to do so before. But it became obvious now that he was content on just running with me and I of course was fine with that. He was a great push and super company. It was pretty awesome to have a pacer for a 5K. Split for this mile was 6:19.

Photo courtesy of Greg Viger

Mile Three
This mile was all downhill to flat. In other words: fast. And while it may have been fast, I didn't run it as fast as I should have. Split was 6:07. I'm kind of scratching my head at that. It's not like I was feeling dead tired either. In fact, I remember feeling pretty good. I feel weird saying this, but I think because I knew I had the lead pretty comfortably (aside from Ben), I wasn't pushing as hard. I'm not used to running up front, so this was a new experience.

I urged Ben ahead again, saying something to the effect of that he was the stronger one and he should take it, but he said something to the effect that he was good.

For the last half mile, the course was on some twisty paved trails going through a shady park. Ben and I cruised along and we soon came out to the track, which we would run on for about 300M to the finish line.

Last .11 and Post Race
We kicked it in around the track and I think I may have urged Ben ahead again here...I can't remember, but I know I at least thought it. But in the end, I crossed the finish line in first place with Ben right behind me. A win! Sweet!

Final official time was 19:03, a slower than expected result but as several friends reminded me, a win is a win. It was a great time and I appreciated Ben's impromptu pacing. More importantly though, it was awesome to be able to participate in an event that will help a friend through what must be a trying time. Steve, by the way, looked great. I talked to him before and after the race and he looks healthy and was in his usual great spirits. It's obvious he has a wealth of support from family, friends and community and I know he's going to lick this thing.

We hung out and watched the others come in. Kate, Ian, Val, Rick and Mindy all did great and seemed happy with their results. Mindy was actually third woman, which she didn't realize until the award ceremony. It was really funny hearing her snarf in surprise when they called her name. Gourmet cupcakes were the awards for the top three, and I thoroughly enjoyed mine!

Approaching the finish.

Receiving the winner's award: Gourmet cupcake!

Ben, myself and Mindy with our bounties. 
Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day, and this was one of those occasions. This was only the second time I've ever won a race, so it was a great feeling. Obviously, there are way more talented runners in Maine and abroad, but it's still really nice to have the opportunity to come across the finish line first.

I don't really like running in the lead though. I think I run much better when I'm in the front pack and things are spread out, and I can lock in runners ahead of me and try to reel them in. With that in mind, it may be why my time was slower than expected. I figure even on a hilly course like this and with the humidity, I should have been capable of running it in 18:4X. Maybe that :14 faster to get me there would have happened with someone in front of me to hunt down, but I can only speculate. Still, I won, which was fun. Regardless, it's left me feeling like I need to really concentrate on speed work now in these final four or five weeks before I taper for the marathon.

And afterwards, Ben and Jana's camp was a great way to cap off the weekend. We swam, we ate, we drank, rode in a boat across the lake to get ice cream and had a great time hanging out. Great little last hurrah before the school year starts!


w/u Ran 1.9 miles @ 7:43/mile pace.
c/d Ran 1.1 miles @ 9:52/mile pace (half was barefoot).
Race: Ran 3.1 miles @ 6:08/mile pace.
Official time: 19:03.
Official place: 1st out of 201.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 60s, sunny, humid.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, singlet.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Noontime Run

Came home from cross country practice and hung out with Kate for a bit until she left for her classroom to get ready for the upcoming year. By then it was noon and a bit warm out, but decided to go ahead and run now since the pace was easy, it wasn't very humid and plus I'd be in the woods, which means plenty of shade.

Didn't notice any deer flies today. Two days ago I only heard one or two buzz past my ear when I had stopped, but not even that today. Legs are thanking me for taking it easy this week and hopefully I'll be thanking them tomorrow at a 5K I'm doing. The race proceeds will benefit a running friend who was recently stricken with cancer.

I'll be going all out tomorrow and hope to break the PR I set earlier this year at the Back Cove (18:55). That was on packed trails, so hopefully the paved roads will give me the speed necessary to get under that pretty nicely.

Ran 5.4 miles @ 10:13/mile pace.
Technical trails, some dirt roads.
Very hilly.
Around 80 degrees, partly cloudy.
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, handheld bottle (water).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Dark Woods

Did two runs today. Both short and pretty craptastic. Legs are feeling pretty dead, so that just tells me the step down week this week is all the more needed (shorter runs for the next few days, easy paced). Part of the reason can definitely be attributed to lots and lots of moving stuff out of Kate's place and cleaning it up for some potential tenants. Thank goodness that task is now over.

I snuck in two miles before cross country practice. I had toyed with maybe doing three tempo miles with them but it was obvious during my warm-up that said plan was pretty stupid. Called it good for then and thought I'd try again this evening. 

Ran 1.9 miles @ 8:51/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 70s, sunny. 
Brooks Mach 14, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

I decided to give the woods out back a go a few hours before sunset. Legs felt just as dead, but this run was awesome because there were hardly any deer flies out. Their season is literally in its final days. Good riddance. 

So that made the trail run very enjoyable even if my legs felt like concrete. I saw several turkeys, which is always pretty cool. Days are getting shorter at an exponential rate and the thick tree canopies made it even darker. I love that. It feels ominous yet peaceful at the same time. Very thankful to have awesome woods to run in right next to my house. 

Ran 5.4 miles @ 10:42/mile pace. 
Technical trails, some fire roads. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 70s, sunny. 
New Balance MT110, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Varsity Ten

Ran with the varsity runners on our cross country team on a very hilly ten mile loop. LSD run for them and they did great at remaining disciplined with the pace (at least until the last mile). Great kids and their enthusiasm made it a fun run.

Humidity is returning, as well as some heat. With the sun beating down on us along the farms (no shade) on top of the ridge it wasn't exactly pleasant but it could have been worse.

I somewhat reluctantly decided this will be a step down week, so nothing crazy for the next several days.

Ran 10.0 miles @ 8:18/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Extremely hilly.
Lower 70s, sunny, humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Easy/recovery run on tap. Plan was to join Kate for the first mile on the trails before cutting across and going on to the roads for the rest of my run. However, her knees were bugging her so she turned around after about half a mile.

I continued on and it went well. Legs felt a tad creaky at first but loosened up as the run went on. With about a mile left, an old timey car drove past and I waved to the driver. He waved back and honked the horn which went "Ah-Woo-Ga!". That made me smile.

Pretty good week. Happy to get in 61.2 miles. Would liked to have gotten some more speed work in, but I guess two progression runs that were over 15 miles each that ended at or below MP for the last chunks has its benefits.

Worth noting drier air has finally moved in. Ahhhh. Deer fly season should start to wind down in another few weeks, making the trails a more viable option again.

Ran 9.2 miles @ 8:17/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid to upper 60s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Maine Marathon Course

Jeremy is running the Maine Marathon so myself, Zak and Susanna joined him for a tour on part of the course this morning. Good times and a good run.

We met at a trailhead off Route 88 and a light rain was still falling and continued for the first few miles of our run. It wasn't really a cool refreshing rain... more of a steamy, sauna-like rain but in actuality the temperatures were relatively low (mid 60s) and overall the conditions were somewhat comfortable, even after the rain stopped. 

First ten miles were at an easy pace allowing for good conversation and shenanigans. Very good to see Zak recovering from a knee issue and complete the run pretty comfortably. Nearly 16 miles of pounding on a road is probably a good test and it sounds like he passed. 

On the return, the pace began to pick up and Susanna and I charged one of the bigger uphills together. The pace felt great so not too long afterwards I decided to let it fly. That was good for me, as I didn't do much speed work this week apart from the tail ends of progression runs. Last six miles averaged out to my MP, though in progression form with the earlier two at 7:17 and 7:12 and the last two full miles were 6:23 and 6:21. I was happy with how comfortable those faster miles felt.

Good run. Will do between 8-10 miles at an easy to recovery pace tomorrow. That'll get me over 60 miles for the week. Might take a step down week next week as I feel I'm due for one... though while I thought that was a certainty early in today's run... given how much I had at the end of it I'm second guessing myself and I may wait another week. I'll play it by ear. Doing a semi-step down week is another option. Shades of gray...

Ran 15.8 miles @ 7:36/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Moderately hilly. 
Mid to upper 60s, overcast, light rain in the beginning. 
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Recovery Day

Legs felt pretty tired this morning, but it was more of the sore-from-being-worked variety as opposed to the heavy-as-lead variety which seems to stem more from overall fatigue. Would much rather have the former than the latter.

Really did two separate runs. The first was joining the cross country team for part of their warm-up. The second one was my own run after practice, a little over an hour later. Both intentionally very slow for recovery purposes. Hot and humid again, with the sun beating down but relief is finally on the way. Cooler, dryer air moving in for next week, which will be most welcome.

Ran 1.5 miles @ 9:08/mile pace.
Ran 5.1 miles @ 9:04/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 60s to mid-70s, sunny, humid.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Saco River Loop

Late start to the run and once again it was super humid out, thanks to a storm that had just winded down. However, it was a bit cooler out and I'd even have some rain later in the run, which was most welcome. Still, I've had it with this humidity. We haven't really had a break in weeks and it's getting a bit ridiculous.

The run went well though. Easy pace at first that gradually picked up and I hit the last four splits in 7:12, 7:11, 6:56 and 6:41. Worked up quite a hunger during the run and am looking forward to devouring some burritos Kate and I made last night made from local beef and produce and my brother's homemade hot sauces. Good stuff.

Ran 15.3 miles @ 7:41/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 60s, overcast, very humid, intermittent light to moderate rain in the last third.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).
  Powered by

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rollercoaster Run

Lots of ups and downs, in terms of terrain and how I was feeling.

First two miles, rain! Awesome!

Then, sun! Oh no, a sauna, and on a big uphill!

Then cloud cover on the ridge, yay, but still humid!

Downhill off the ridge, pace picks up but stomach starts to churn and I full-on puke ... boo at first, then yay, I feel better!

Yay, just a few miles left, lets crank it below MP a little!

Then I worked in my classroom a little, enjoying the newly installed air conditioning. Went to the farm to pick up some meat and veggies for dinner tonight and in the meantime I can relax a little.

Ran 7.7 miles @ 7:36/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 70s, overcast and light rain to mostly cloudy and humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, cap.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cross Country Season

Very excited it's cross country season. First practice was yesterday and we have a talented and fun group this year. Took yesterday off from running, but got out today after morning practice.

Legs felt very heavy. I think it was a combo of the heat and perhaps the end of last week catching up to me a bit. It got a little easier as the run went on but kept it nice and slow. Glad to get in the run instead of cutting it short. Upping the iron intake just in case.

Ran 6.5 miles @ 8:38/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 80s, sunny, humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, handheld bottle (diluted Gatorade).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Men's Olympic Marathon: Top 3 Inspirations and Disappointments

Like many runners, I awoke feeling like a kid at Christmas. The men's Olympic marathon was to start at 6am! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I woke up a little after 5:30, fired up the espresso machine, and go to watching. My viewing was enhanced by my running friends on Facebook, Twitter and good ole text messaging.

Afterwards, I went for a 10K recovery run and digested the morning's race. Here are my thoughts on the top three inspirations and disappointments of the morning:


1. Stephen Kiprotich

With the Kenyans being so dominant in the sport, it was quite a surprise to see Uganda take the gold, their only medal in the Olympics. Like his eastern African counterparts, Stephen Kiprotich was humble and appreciative of his victory. Watching the interview with him afterwards, I became even happier for him.

In the final stages of the race, he was with Kenyans Kirui (2nd) and another Kiprotich (3rd). The Ugandan Kiprotich grinded them down and then made his move on a turn and cruised in to victory. The two Kenyans just couldn't keep up.

2. Meb Keflezighi

Hardly anybody expected the Americans to medal and they didn't, but Meb's performance was still top notch. Wisdom and discipline showed as he patiently went from 14th, to 12th, to 10th and then continued to climb his way to finish in 4th place. Though he was relatively far behind the 3rd place finisher, it was impressive to watch him continue to pick runners off. He looked quite pleased with his performance after the race, as he should have been. His experience paid off.

3. Marilson Dos Santos

Dos Santos took the lead early in the race, and I along with many others thought he was burning the candle at both ends. But he held up well, holding on for fifth place and only getting passed by Meb late in the race. The candle had more wax than I thought. Gutsy running and a good result.


1. Ryan Hall

Hall dropped near the mile 10 mark, citing hamstring tightness. Several ripped on the guy for not toughing it out, but I don't necessarily agree with that. Hard to tell the severity unless you were in his shoes, so I don't think it's fair to judge.

I do take issue with his approach, though. I'm a borderline atheist but I still respect Hall's religious beliefs. However, I question his decision to make God his coach. I think having an actual mortal as a coach would help him improve, and being in the spotlight of success more often would enable him to speak to more folks about his beliefs, if he so chooses. He's a good guy at heart and very likable, so I would love to see him do better with his running and kick butt in his next event.

2. Abdi Abdirahman

I know very little about Abdi, but have little doubt that he's an outstanding individual and obviously a world class athlete. It was the second part of the one-two punch to learn shortly after Hall dropped that he DNF'd as well. As of now, not a lot of info out on what happened.

3. The Kenyans

Many scratched their heads at the decision by the Kenyan Olympic Committee not to include Geoffrey Mutai and Patrick Makau. When Moses Mosup dropped from the team due to a tendon injury, the hole appeared to be that much wider. While Kirui and the other Kiprotich took the silver and bronze, it wasn't the gold. For a country so dominant in the sport, that's got to sting at least a little bit, but to say the Kenyans are starting to fade would be laughable.

* Dishonorable Mention - NBC

The marathon started at 6am EST and obviously much earlier for those living out west. Only the most hardcore fans would be watching, yet NBC chose to fill the first hour or so with fluff human-interest pieces and pre-recorded interviews, only to go back to live coverage leaving viewers to quickly try and figure out all of the changes that happened in the meantime. 

In all fairness, NBC settled down the last hour and gave the race ample coverage, though it still included the usual questionable statements made by the announcers (contrary to what they said, anyone who knows anything about running hopes that Brazil does not follow suit with a route that twists and turns only for the benefit of going past scenic landmarks like London did). The relatively generous air time in the second half of the race saved them some clout. 

Their coverage as a whole has also been a disappointment. Yes, all of the events were streamed live but they were chocked full of commercials and a lot of action was missed. I understand the need to pay the bills, but it was a bit ridiculous. When questioned about the very popular #NBCfail hashtag on Twitter, NBC responded by saying they were a vocal minority and NBC was making more money than they thought. In other words, money speaks louder. Lovely. I hope NBC gives more consideration to some of the constructive criticism otherwise the pirate feeds will only become more popular.  


As for me, ran a 10K recovery run. Pleasantly surprised at how good my legs are feeling, despite the past two days. Another soupy day but plenty of cloud cover, and it even rained for the last two miles which was a real treat. 

Ran 6.3 miles @ 7:59/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Mostly flat. 
Lower 70s, overcast, humid, rain the last two miles. 
Brooks Mach 13, shorts. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Loony Long Run

Wanted to run long today to make it easier to watch the men's Olympic marathon tomorrow morning. I was also feeling energetic and plus it looked like I would have cloud cover to help counter the high humidity (95%). Turned out to be the case, thankfully the sun never came close to breaking out and it made the soup surprisingly very tolerable.

Your typical stock photo of a loon
Wanted to run on new roads so I ran over to Little Ossipee Lake. I'll have to run there more often... scenic roads with little traffic. On two separate occasions I was serenaded by loons, which was a real treat. Henry David Thoreau would have approved.

Plan was to run whatever pace felt right. Given yesterday, I anticipated a pace of 8:15-8:30/mile, especially with the soup. Never pushed it and the 7:53/mile pace came really easily. Energetic throughout with a pace that picked up as the run went on. Good hills on this route to boot. Quite pleased.

If I could have done one thing different, I probably should have refilled my water bottle. It was drained halfway through the run. It would have been easy enough to get some from the outside faucet of somebody's seasonal home/camp that wasn't there or simply ask someone.. plenty of people outside working on their gardens. But I was no worse for the wear and I didn't really feel all that thirsty until I got home.

Ran 20.1 miles @ 7:53/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately to very hilly.
Lower 70s, overcast, extremely humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, handheld bottle (water)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Was out relatively late with friends, and woke up late this morning and, well... I could tell I went out last night. It was already warm and humid by the time I got up, but the scenario I had hoped for looked like it was shaping up: afternoon thunderstorms.

I was watching the radar and was actually getting antsy to get out the door. I left at a time that would allow me to take advantage of thick cloud cover, though I'd still have to deal with some very soupy humidity. If I was lucky, it'd start to rain on me the last few miles. But I was guaranteed not to have the sun beating down on me... a big plus.

Plan was to run the 11-mile route that goes by Harris Farm and get in 3 X 2-miles at around 1/2 marathon pace with .5 miles of active recovery. Normally cruise intervals would have a shorter amount of recovery, but given the race last Sunday and also the soupy weather, I felt it was better to err on the side of caution and allow a little more rest.

Went really well. Felt pretty strong throughout and even the active recovery was relatively fast. 2-mile splits ended up being 13:10, 13:07 and 12:59. I ended up beating the rain, but looking at the radar, that's a good thing. Looks like we could really get walloped with strong thunderstorms. Good weather for staying in and reading.

w/u: Ran 2.5 miles @ 7:21/mile pace.
3 X 2-mile w/ 1/2 mile active recovery: 13:10, 13:07, 12:59.
c/d: Ran 1.5 miles @ 7:40/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Lower to mid 70s, overcast, very humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Early Morning

Pre-run fuel
I was up early, so it only made sense to take advantage of that with a run to beat the heat. Out the door a little after 6am and the temperature hovered around 60 degrees throughout the run. Nice.

Took the pace easy. Hoping to get in something tempo-ish tomorrow. I'm thinking around 11-12 miles and throwing in 2 mile intervals at or a little below marathon pace with maybe a half a mile of easy running in between.

Ran 5.5 miles @ 7:41/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Around 60 degrees, clear, humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Dog Evenings of Summer

Kate did all of the cooking tonight. Grilled salmon crusted with orange zest and topped with pineapple salsa. Rice on the side as well as a very healthy salad. Washed it down with sparkling grape juice. Flippin' delicious.

After that settled, I set out for a run. Short and a moderate pace on tap. Went pretty well, though I probably should have waited a little while longer after dinner to run. A couple of miles in I started to feel it, but I slowed it down a little, felt better and then picked it back up. Good little second run of the day. Felt better mentally (see previous post), though I'm still sick of summer weather.

Earlier in the day, I brewed another batch of beer. It's a wheat ale with wild blueberries that Kate and I picked in the woods out back. I added them in for the final 25 minutes of the boil. Will be ready to keg in about two weeks, thanks to Blaine loaning me his keg set-up. I decided to name this brew "Smurf Blood Ale".

It puts the blueberries in the wort or it gets the hose again.
Ran 4.6 miles @ 7:22/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Mostly flat. 
Mid 70s, partly cloudy, humid. 
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Dog Days of Summer

Motivation pretty low this morning, I think primarily because of the heat. I am very ready for summer to be over with. That all being said whined, I should probably just get my butt out of bed earlier to beat the heat. However, cross country season starts Monday and practices will be at 8am for the first few weeks until us teachers have to officially report to duty. Doing some workouts with the team is always pretty motivating, not to mention fun.

Because I didn't really feel like running, I just opted for three miles. About a half a mile in I thought "Ah, %$&# it" and decided if the run was going to be short, it might as well be faster. Dropped it down to a little below MP for the rest (6:44, 6:36).

Though it was short, the MP miles felt good. I had a lot more to give, especially if the weather had been cooler. With rain expected on Friday, I'm hoping to get in a longer tempo run.

Might also get out this evening when it cools down a little for another short run. Hopefully I can talk Kate into following me on her bike.

Ran 3.1 miles @ 7:00/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 70s to lower 80s, sunny.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, short sleeved shirt, bandana.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Easy Fiver

Easy five miler after attending a teacher workshop. Ran from the school. Felt a little creaky and the shin splint in the light leg continues to nag a little, but other than that, felt pretty good. Pretty uneventful. 

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:07/mile. 
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Upper 70s, sunny. 
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Bradbury Breaker Race Report

The good news: I got in 71.6 miles for the week.

The bad news: I ended the week with the toughest nine-mile trail race around and on a very humid morning to boot. Ouch.

Big thanks to Ian for heading another great event and to all of the volunteers that helped make it happen. Despite knowing I wasn't going to have my 'A' game today, it was still an awesome time and a great workout. I stacked some good hay in the barn with this race and the week as a whole.

First loop, part one
The race consists of two similar loops with the only difference being a different path down off the summit when you end each trip. You end up hitting the summit four times total. I could tell in the warm-up that this week's mileage wouldn't have me flying, and that was true when the race got started. I watched as a large front pack took off and I estimate that after a few hundred yards I was roughly around 15th place. I remember thinking "this figures". It would have been great to be up there with the others but not today.

I started to settle into my pace and was passed by a few more folks, including Stephen W., who I tried to catch at the Scuffle last month but couldn't. We exchanged a few greetings and after the race I got the chance to talk with him again for a while. Nice guy and a strong trail runner.

Eventually I reached the top of the summit for the first time and was caught and passed by Demer and Scott H. Despite running a great race at Beach to Beacon yesterday, Scott was looking very strong.

First loop, part two
Caught up with Demer and we were running together for a bit. Yelled to Scott and George on the downhill after the second time summiting that I was coming after them. Though I wasn't entirely serious, I was gaining some ground, but knew if I did catch them it would probably be short lived. Just having some fun with some friends who are also teammates. However, shortly after yelling that, I fell. Fitting, huh? It wasn't a bad fall. Both hands are all that touched the ground. I said to Demer, who was still nearby, that I should probably just keep my mouth shut and run.

Shortly after my jovial taunting, everyone moved ahead, including Demer. Ha ha, I deserved that. I was alone now for a good while and nobody was creeping up behind me, at least not yet.

Second loop, part one
What happened here? I can't remember.

Second loop, part two
First woman caught up to me and we leap frogged several times. I'd primarily pass her going uphill and then she'd get me on the downhills. On the summit for the final time, and I waved the first woman ahead of me. She obliged. Caught back up with her on the right hand turn at the bottom that leads to the finish, but didn't pass her until the final 100 yards. I encouraged her to come with me, as I didn't really kick hard, but I just got ahead and then crossed.

My time was 1:18:31. 19th place. Ouch. That's my slowest time of the three times I've run this race.

As previously mentioned: high mileage week, lowered expectations. Weather was also ridiculously humid. I also don't tend to run this course as well as the other two races. It was a perfect storm for a not-so-good race. That being said, I did as well as I could have.

That sting of pride was felt despite knowing all along I probably wouldn't do too well. I keep reminding myself eyes on the forest, not the trees... but I plan on getting some revenge at the Bruiser next month. I'll make sure my legs are fresher for that one. And a great performance at MDI will validate it all.

This week has been a great week of training. 71.6 miles is a lot for me, and it included a tough race and also another short tempo run. Pretty solid. It's the heart of the training cycle now so good timing. This upcoming week won't have as high as mileage, but I'm still looking to get in a solid speed workout of some sort later in the week.

And despite the relative misery, it was seriously still fun. Trail runners are the best and this race series is hands down top notch. It's always a blast spending time doing something you love with others who are cut from the same cloth, whether you know them like brothers or don't know them at all... you just know they're great folks. And when it's put under the umbrella of great race management, it's a big ole party. Can't wait for the next one.

w/u Ran 1.1 miles @ 9:07/mile pace.

Ran 8.7 miles @ 9:02/mile pace.
Time: 1:18:31
Place: 19th out of 144.
Rugged trails.
Insanely hilly.
Lower 70s to around 80, mostly cloudy, very humid.
New Balance MT110, shorts.

c/d Ran .5 miles @ 11:15/mile.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Super Easy

Very easy run this morning to save the legs for tomorrow. Still felt great. Only obstacle was this heat and humidity. I'm definitely ready for fall weather.

Not sure what the goal is for tomorrow, truth be told. Even with fresh legs, breaking last year's time would be tough because of the weather. At least I've been getting plenty of practice running in this soup and am relatively used to it, which is not to say it's easy to run in.

Ran 6.3 miles @ 8:49/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Upper 70s to lower 80s, sunny, humid.
Merrell Bare Access, shorts, short sleeved shirt, handheld bottle (water).

Friday, August 03, 2012


I got a late start this morning. The sun was raining down heat and I wouldn't benefit from cloud cover. Despite that and the pretty high mileage this week, I felt really great today. Granted, I also took the pace easy, but I definitely had at least a few more gears to give had I of wanted to.

Still, the mileage this week will no doubt affect my performance at the Bradbury Breaker this Sunday, even if I am feeling great. But eyes on the forest, not the trees... I'm sure I'll kick myself a little on Sunday and play the "if only" game in my head, but the fact is the race this Sunday combined with the rest of the week is great hay in the barn for the 'A' race in mid-October.

Worth noting: an odd moment when I was climbing the uphill about five miles in... despite there only really being some thin cirrus clouds high in the sky and the sun relentless beating down, I felt some light rain drops. At first I thought it was a bird peeing on me or something, but there was no mistaking that it was a very light rain. The drops weren't very big, but I felt at least a couple of dozen of them over a quarter mile stretch. Devil beating his wife?

Ran 9.2 miles @ 8:00/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Mid-70s to low-80s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, handheld bottle (water).

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Hills and Humidity

Good, easy paced run on a very hilly route. 90% humidity, but I thankfully got out early enough to enjoy cloud cover for nearly the entire run. The sun just started to peek out during the last couple tenths of a mile. Not having the sun beating down along with the humidity makes a huge difference.

Felt better than I anticipated. Pace was actually a light progression. Shin splint in the right leg continues to nag. It's been going on for about a month but every time I have splints they typically last 4-6 weeks, so its days are likely numbered. I know trail running would help it, but I'll take the splint's aggravation over the deer flies any day.

Next two days will also be very easy paced. This is turning out to be a solid week. On pace for close to 70 miles for the week and with the race on Sunday I'll have had two speed workouts to light, one heavier. Good timing, it's getting to be that time where I'm at the heart of the training period for MDI.

Ran 10.1 miles @ 8:06/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid 70s, mostly cloudy, very humid.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, short sleeved shirt, bandana, handheld bottle (water).

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Back Cove X 2

A fun evening. Kate and I met up with Val, Mindy, Ian and Nathan for a some running at the Back Cove. Kate wanted to get in some mileage before the Bradbury Breaker but she hates running roads and the deer flies have been awful lately on the trails. So, hence the plan to run the Back Cove...trails along a body of salt water without bugs to contend with. Erin met up with her so they could run together, which was great.

The rest of us did the first lap and Ian and Nathan called it good after one, but Mindy, Val and I tacked on another lap. They're all great company and the conversation flowed like wine as it always does.

I felt a little beat up that first lap and contemplated calling it good but was glad I did the second lap. I came around a little more and all systems go. Afterwards, we watch Blaine and some of the other runners come in who were running the 5K. Blaine crushed it.

When that was said and done, a bunch of us went to the Great Lost Bear for grub and drinks. Good times!

Ran 7.2 miles @ 8:27/mile pace.
Packed trails.
Slightly hilly.
Lower 70s, overcast, humid.
Nike Waffle Racers, shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Rabbit, Rabbit

First of the month and I only wound up with 192.1 miles in July, but given the wedding and honeymoon, I guess that isn't too bad. Performances at the Bradbury Scuffle and the Old Port Half Marathon also mentally helped make up for that relatively low mileage.

After two bonks last week, I've since been altering my diet and I also got 10h 45m of deep sleep last night. I was out. And with that, I felt pretty refreshed this morning. I sought out a short tempo run since I wanted a tune-up but also wanted to save my legs for the Bradbury Breaker this Sunday.

Went well. Hit the first four miles in 6:41, 6:29, 6:36 and 6:14. Pretty easy, in fact, as it should have been. The only obstacle was the mid-morning heat and humidity, but not that big of a deal since the tempo portion was short. Followed it up with running 2.3 miles at 8:11/mile pace for a cool down.

Ran 4.0 miles @ 6:31/mile pace.
c/d Ran 2.3 miles @ 8:11/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Mostly flat.
Lower-mid 70s, partly cloudy, very humid.