Monday, December 31, 2012

Going Nordic

First skate ski session of the season. Ryan drove down my way and we met up at Harris Farm for a good butt whuppun', at least for me. For just a couple of snowfalls, the conditions overall were great. A bit soft in spots, but still faster than expected.

And as expected, the rust was apparent. I don't think I skied at all last year, only because it was one of those weird years with hardly any snow. It didn't take long for me to start sucking wind and for my heart rate's metronome to start kicking in the turbo, largely because of my inefficiency.

We hit Harris Farm's most popular trail first, the Joe Buzzell loop. After a while, I was beginning to more or less find my form, which isn't saying much. Ryan, however, was a big help and gave out some pointers that really made things easier. The biggest one was he showed me how to properly ski in low gear for going uphill. That really helped big time.

Definitely a lot of fun, and we got in over nine kilometers, which was great for me at this point. We had a blast, to boot. Afterwards, we headed back to my place and Kate prepared us an awesome post-ski lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches with avocado, tomato, onion and bacon. Great cap to the morning!

Skate skied 9.2 kilometers @ 10.2 kph/average.
Groomed trails, some soft portions.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 20s, sunny.
Long tights, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Motivation and Winter Fun

Opted to run in the snowshoes again today. I had a longer road run in mind but the road shoulders were sloppy from last night's snow and truth be told, my running motivation is still pretty low. Hopefully it's just a phase, but the training intensity required to run a fast road marathon just isn't floating my boat right now. Sigh...

However, snowmobilers were out so I took advantaged of trails that were in better shape for snowshoe running today. Now that I was looking forward to! The trails were packed down but not enough to avoid postholing without snowshoes, so I was grateful for another opportunity to use the Dions today. They performed awesome.

The run was great. Much easier than yesterday, but that's a relative term. I've decided there is no such thing as an "easy pace" when snowshoe running. My heart rate was probably the equivalent of a solid moderate road pace and I was hardly pushing it.

Low weekly mileage this week, but with cross training that includes some skating/hockey and the snowshoe running thrown in, pace and mileage aren't the best barometers for measuring what and how much was done.

Going to continue to think about things as far as training for Boston. Like I said, maybe the motivation will rebound. But right now, I'd really love to put more eggs in other baskets, like continuing to learn to play hockey, skate skiing (I'm going tomorrow!) and snowshoe running. Yes, some of those translate well into running, especially snowshoe running, but you also should train on what you'll race on. Bottom line, the point is to have fun, right? Those other things just seem like more fun to me right now. And changing gears to focusing more on ultras again is starting to sound better and better to me as well. Less speed, more long slow distance in the woods...ahhh. Time will tell if this is a sea change (or a puddle change).

Snowshoed 3.9 miles @ 10:45/mile pace.
Trails, well to moderately packed snow.
Very hilly.
Upper 20s, mostly cloudy.
Dion 121 Snowshoes, New Balance MT110, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Art of Snowshoe Running

Ah, back home. Was very surprised the snowmobilers haven't been out yet on the trails near my house. Seems like there's definitely enough snow. No worries, I was happy to break trail, even if it meant my breaking my ego.

With at least a foot of powdery snow, the going was tough. Extremely tough. I could hear my heart beating in my ears and it sounded like the double bass drums off a Slayer album. My lungs couldn't suck in the sweet oxygen fast enough. Ah, snowshoe running. I nearly forgot how tough this is.

Would love to get the heart rate monitor working again. Easily at least a 5K effort, despite going about the same pace as an old lady with a walker. I had hoped to go around 3-4 miles today. Ummm, I settled for a mile and a half. If the trails were broken in, obviously it would have been much easier, but I ended up with a buttkicking workout instead. Nice.

Snowshoed 1.5 miles @ 15:46/mile pace.
Trails, at least a foot of unbroken powder.
Slighly hilly
Upper teens to lower 20s, overcast.
Dion 121 snowshoes, New Balance MT110, long tights, fleece pullover, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Let it Snow X Three

Was really hoping to snowshoe this morning, but alas, despite the snow really coming down hard and heavy, not enough had accumulated by late morning. Movies and/or candlepin bowling are possibly on the agenda for this afternoon, so I figured I better get out while I can and didn't want to wait.

That was fine, I just slapped on the Yaktrax Pros and headed out. Kept it short but it was a great little run all the same. Traffic was relatively light. Didn't mind the heavy snowfall, except for the stretches when the wind blew it right in my face and my eyes were forced to blink rapidly like windshield wipers on the high setting.

Warmer out than it has been. If it weren't for the wind, it would have felt tropical. Legs felt really spry but kept the pace down for safety. Travel day tomorrow but I'm sure the snowshoes will see some action this weekend.

Ran 4.6 miles @ 8:50/mile pace.
Paved roads, coated with snow.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 20s, heavy snow, windy.
Nike Waffle Racer VIII w/ Yaktrax Pro, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pond Hockey/Cross Training

Some of my Christmas presents yesterday included hockey skates, a stick and a puck. Was eager to break them all in so Kate and I headed over to Fairmount Park in Bangor where a large frozen puddle had solid ice and was great for tooling around.

This was only my second time ice skating and I was very pleased at how well I picked things up today. The skate skiing definitely helped me pick things up faster, and chasing around a puck with a stick provided a great way to focus and keep my mind off falling (only fell once) and I feel like it accelerated my progress.

Some younger kids who were very adept at hockey showed up and graciously granted me permission to take a few shots on their net, which was fun. It's a great sport. Too bad it's not bigger throughout the state.

Kate also had fun. Borrowing my stick from time to time and also happy to just be skating around practicing turns and hockey stops. We ended up skating around for about an hour.

So, excellent cross training. It worked out my legs pretty hard in ways they aren't used to. It'll be fun to play hockey here and there throughout the winter and help strengthen the legs, especially the quads!

Put the biscuit in the basket!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! A short progression run on tap for this morning before other family arrives and we finish opening presents.

Ran a loop here in Brewer, allowing the legs to warm-up in the 18F/-8C air and dropping the pace accordingly. Splits of 8:28, 7:50, 6:51, 6:31 and 6:21 over some gentle hills. Big snow coming in a couple of days. Can't wait!

Hope you're having a Merry Christmas!

The Cheat checking out the tree. 
Ran 5.0 miles @ 7:12/mile pace.
Paved roads. 
Slightly hilly. 
Upper teens, partly sunny. 
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Monday, December 24, 2012

We All Float Down Here

At the in-laws' house for Christmas, and Kate, The Cheat and I are all relaxing with her folks and just enjoying the holidays. Was very excited to run a route that goes past several landmarks from Stephen King's It. I was going to do this one yesterday but we had a busy day planned and I ran out of time. Today though? No problem.

I set out from Brewer and crossed the bridge over the Penobscot River and into Bangor. A bathroom break was desperately needed, so after I crossed the bridge I immediately went to a riverfront park and the only porta-pottie there was out of toilet paper. Drat. 

Ran on a scenic walkway along the river, but my eyes were diverted to the ugly casino ahead of me. I'm not a big fan of casinos, especially this one, so I had no problems with stinking up their bathrooms. Reached the building, went around back to the hotel and found a bathroom near the lobby. I feel bad for whoever needs to use it next. 

Started the run again and went past the Paul Bunyan statue, which came to life in It and attacked Rich. This statue in real life used to look out over the river, but now the aforementioned casino is blocking his view. Perhaps he'll come to life for real someday and use his axe to clear the view again. That would be nice.

From there, I ran up a side street until I hit West Broadway, and ran up that and past Stephen King's house. The gate was open, but no cars were in the driveway. I hope my favorite author has a great Christmas, whether he's here or elsewhere.

Next up was the Standpipe a few blocks over, another famous It landmark. Like the last time I was here, I ran up to it and tagged it before I moved on. I guess it's now a tradition. 

Took a bit of a detour from It and over to 11/22/63, where I ran down Kossuth Street, where the Denning family lived (and many were murdered). It's a quiet, somewhat run down street that doesn't appear to be anything special, so I didn't hesitate to move on.

From here, I cut across a wooded section to another road next to the Barrens, where a large part of It took place. The Kenduskeag was still flowing pretty fast so any ice was limited to stagnant sections near the sides. 

Crossed over the Kenduskeag and meandered through some neighborhoods until I reached Center Street and took that downtown. Here I ran past the Bangor Public Library, where Mike worked in It. After that, I made my way home, stopping at the bridge to watch large, clover-shaped chunks of ice float down the Penobscot. Good run, and a fine way to spend Christmas Eve. 

Ran 11.0 miles @ 7:49/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Upper teens to lower 20s, sunny. 
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good Samaritan Run?

This whole week, running has seemingly been a struggle. Both in my head and in my legs. I haven't felt very motivated and whenever I ran, my legs felt like they were in a gravity containment field with the juice turned up.

Today was much better, and gave me hope. I've had a lot of rest this week. As a result, the legs felt very peppy and up to whatever I threw at them today. However, time is not on my side and the run was very short. Encouraging though, and hopefully I can give the legs a beat down tomorrow up in Bangor.

But the bigger news was the wallet I found on the trails. There was a good amount of cash and credit cards inside, leading me to believe it wasn't stolen, simply lost. I carried it with me for the rest of my run and called the guy when I got home. He was from Massachusetts, and no longer in the area. Truth to be told, he didn't sound very thrilled, overjoyed or relieved when I called, which was weird. I know I would have been ecstatic. Whatever, maybe he was just having a bad morning. Regardless, he'll have his wallet (and everything in it) in the mail today.

Ran 3.0 miles @ 8:53/mile pace.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s, partly sunny.
New Balance MT110, shorts, fleece pullover, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of the World Eve

The basement is stocked with canned goods. Survival skills practiced and honed. Munitions checked and good to go. Ha ha ha, I kid, I kid. The interpretation of the Mayan calendar allegedly predicting the end of the world tomorrow is a source of many jokes, and for good reason. The world had a much better chance of ending with the Bay of Pigs Invasion, but still, things might get interesting tomorrow:

My legs and general motivation felt like they were anticipating the end, though. This seems to happen around this time of the year almost every year. Tis the Season. Holidays are always a good kind of hectic, aside that they do tend to distract my running. If history repeats itself, I'll be launching like a rocket in a few weeks. Unless, of course, the Mayans are right.

Ran 4.3 miles @ 7:52/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s, overcast.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easy Ten

Past two days off. Monday was planned, Tuesday was not. I'd like to blame some holiday related errands, slushy roads and a cold rain on skipping, but the truth is I could have sucked it up and gone out.

As a result, I think the legs felt a little rusty. A little difficult to find my groove. Stuck it out nonetheless, and was glad I did.

Ran 10.0 miles @ 8:09/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s, mostly cloudy.
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

An Expected Journey

Had considered running long today on the roads, but decided a shorter trail run would be more prudent, since I didn't want to push the weekly mileage too much at this stage and I was already far enough along for the week. I also had no plans on running fast, so why not hit the trails?

So, off I went. I explored some powerline trails that I hadn't been on before. Shortly after entering the new section, I came across a side trail that ducked into the woods. Naturally, I had to take it. In doing so, I came across a magestic, mile long section that went along a stream and some beautiful woods. The rocks and diversity of forest was amazing, including a pine hammock that featured some huge trees that could have been old growth. I also saw a snowshoe hare, its coat a brilliant white, bounce away at full speed and I immediately thought of Radagast's Rhosgobel rabbits (saw The Hobbit last night).

I wondered if it was the same section that Kate had stumbled upon several years ago, and after I got home and talked to her about it, we decided that was it. I remember her raving about that section of trail, so I'm really glad that it's been rediscovered. I'll definitely run there again.

I continued on the trail wondering where it would go and eventually I got spit out on to a road. By now, it had started to snow. Cool, another treat! Now I just had to decide where to go. I figured the road was Rt. 117 and I could take it back and reconnect with another road and eventually the trails again and started in that direction. Then I thought, wait a minute...why not take the road the other way, find the powerlines and run those back towards home? So, I turned around and did just that with no complications. The exploration was a huge success and I had a blast.

Happy to finish the week with 53.4 miles, a sound step up in mileage as well as intensity. The race last Sunday (though that was last week), a progression run on Tuesday and the hill repeats on Friday were very good additions and the easy runs were kept easy. Right on track and all systems go.

Ran 13.1 miles @ 9:40/mile pace.
Trails, one small section of road.
Very hilly.
Upper teens, overcast, light to moderate snow in the second half.
New Balance MT110, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Serene Seven

We're close to the solstice, which means the sun doesn't get very high in the sky. It appears to be tired. The shadows are especially long near dawn and dusk which gives the woods a peaceful glow as the horizontal rays break through the trees. There's a silence that is so prominent that it's loud, broken occasionally by the caw of a raven perched up in the trees. It's really nice.

Took the pace really easy. As the weekly mileage increases, so does the gap in pace for daily runs with the hard-easy principle. The legs were happy to take it easy today after yesterday's hill repeats but still more than up for the task of a slow, hilly run in the woods. Good. 

Ran 7.2 miles @ 9:49/mile pace. 
Trails and fire roads. 
Very hilly. 
Lower 20s to lower 30s, sunny. 
New Balance MT110, long tights, fleece pullover, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Z-Hill Repeats

A run was a good way to shake off the sadness of that horrific school shooting down in Connecticut. My students and I followed the story as it was breaking and we were all pretty shocked and disturbed. Didn't really feel like running when the day was done as a result, but figured it would help clear my head a little.

Glad I went and the workout went well. This was the Z-Hill route at the cemetery  As the name implies, there are two hairpin turns on the way up, so that adds to the challenge. It's .17 miles long,  climbs about 23 feet for elevation (post edit: appears to be more than that but hard to say by how much) and some parts are steeper than others.

Did 10 reps total with about a tenth of a mile of active recovery for the jog back downhill. Took an extended break of about 3:40 after five reps. Times were :60, :58, :59*, :61, :61, :58, :63, :60, :63 and :59. Asterisk on that third rep as it's estimated since I forgot to hit the lap button.

Could definitely feel how tired my legs were on the cool down, which assured me that the workout went well. Pretty stoked. This week is shaping up well in terms of mileage and quality...and it looks like the snowshoes will see some action next week. Bring on the snow!

w/u: Ran 2.1 miles @ 8:26/mile pace.
10 X Hill Repeats w/ active recovery. 2.7 miles @ 8:04/mile pace total, sans the extended break midway.
c/d: Ran 2.1 miles @ 9:20/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Mid to lower 40s, sunny, windy.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, windbreaker (w/u, c/d), long sleeved shirt, beanie (w/u, c/d), gloves (w/u, c/d).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Easy Seven

Slow and easy seven miler on tap. Went well. Frankensteined together sections from regular routes to create something quasi new. Pretty uneventful run, all in all.

Weather was pretty ideal. No wind at all to speak of, not even a wisp, which made it feel warmer. Me thinks some hill repeats are in order for tomorrow.

Ran 7.0 miles @ 8:15/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 40s to upper 30s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12 Miles on 12/12/12

Yeah, I'm a nerd. But this was fun. It was also good incentive to ensure that I did the mileage, where as I might have cut it short otherwise since my legs felt pretty tired. It reminded me a bit of the green and polka-dot jerseys in cycling...reason to give it a little extra for a side reward.

So, I had a route in mind and it went as planned. Fun mix of roads and a few trails and I kept the pace easy. The tired legs came around about halfway into the run and it was actually quite pleasant. Kept a sharp eye on the GPS and stopped at 12.12 miles.

Ran 12.12 miles @ 8:24/mile pace. 
Paved roads and trails. 
Very hilly. 
Upper to mid 30s, partly cloudy. 
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

The bell had run several minutes ago and it was just myself in the classroom, along with a few students who were hanging out afterwards when a sheriff's deputy walked in. Probably like most other high school teachers, I assumed that one of my students was in trouble. I began to rack my brain and guess who might be the culprit but thankfully, that wasn't why he was here.

The deputy needed help enhancing some video for a case he's working on. It's gotten the attention of the local press recently and I first heard about it on the local news this morning. It probably wouldn't matter if I mentioned it, but I'll refrain for now just in case.

Anyway, this is pretty exciting and fun in that challenging kind of way. I really, really want to be of help and hope I can pull off what is asked. It's a tall order, and the deputy realizes that, but it would be so nice if I could get it to work. But I'm kind of stumped. I asked some others who might have some tricks but none of our ideas fully worked. After an hour of trying every trick I knew, I decided to take a break and went for a run to clear my head.

I did the seven mile hilly route from the school. Went well. Legs felt great and I ran a progression, starting out at an 8:12 pace and working down to 6:09 for the last mile. During the run, I thought of something else to try with the video, came back and tried it, but it didn't work. It's just too low quality, but I'll give it a shot again tomorrow.

Ran 7.1 miles @ 7:27/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 30s, partly cloudy.
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves (shed in second half).

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Hell is a Fun Place

A fun weekend, starting with Kate and I heading up to Bangor to visit her folks. The plan was to run up there on Saturday, but that never transpired. A cold rain was falling all day, and given the crappy run on Friday I figured it would be worth it to skip it, given what was planned for Sunday. If this were a month from now, I would have hiked up my big boy pants and gotten on with it, but for where I'm at now, I begrudgingly allowed myself to take the day off.

We got up early and drove down to the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston. Don't let the name fool you...this is essentially a section of woods chocked full of hills. It was here where we met up with dozens of other Trail Monsters for the annual "Till We Meet in Hell" trail race (thanks Val!!), followed by the awards ceremony (thanks Ian!!) for several fun categories for performances, shenanigans, and whatever else that happened in the past year. It's like "The Dundies" for trail running. If you're not sure what that is, google it and also subtract 500 cool points from your account.

The course is a 1.2 mile loop...which drops a little over 200' in .7 miles and then regains that elevation in half a mile, which is brutal. You run as much of it as you can in 90 minutes. There were markers every tenth of a mile, so even when time was up, you'd get credit for a partial loop. There's also a handicap scoring system built in, so everyone can compete on equal footing. The different format is refreshing and a lot of fun.

So, Kate and I arrived about 30 minutes before the start, and several of our friends were already there. I began to surmise how I was going to run it...earlier in the week I had planned to go all out, but I revised my plan to just push it but only race it if I felt spectacular. I at least wanted a tempo pace out of the day.

We were off and I ran with Ryan, Ian, Emma and Jeremy quite a bit throughout. That was good fun. The pace for the first handful of loops was pretty casual...perhaps an easy moderate pace. It allowed for conversation and just having fun. I really enjoyed the downhill in it wasn't very technical and you could just fly. After that, a rocky, muddy section that requires some sweet dance moves to move across and then that beast of an uphill before you have a short, flat section back to the start area.

During the second half, the pace was picking up a little. I began to pull ahead of the group some and began to push myself, especially the last two laps, which I can honestly say I raced.

Finished a loop with around 10 minutes left on the clock and Ryan, who had called it a day, was there yelling "Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!", not really giving me an option to call it then and risk walking back once the 90 minutes was up. So, on I went.

I was thinking the loop was 1.6 miles for some reason, so was kind of surprised that I was so close to the starting area when time was up. In fact, it was actually in sight! Dang, I should have pushed it harder earlier, but happy to finish with 7 11/12 laps, good for 9.5 miles. That's about what I had hoped for.

Afterwards, the awards ceremony at Gritty's was great fun, giving all the chance to enjoy food and barley sodas while chatting away. For the second year in a row, I won the "Most Likely to Shit During a Run" award. I definitely have the Bruiser to thank for securing this most dubious honor.

Huge thanks to Val and Ian for a great day. I never take for granted how lucky I am to be part of such an awesome running group.

Chasing Ian through the starting area.

Ran 9.5 miles @ 9:29/mile pace.
Extremely hilly. 
Upper 30s, sunny.
New Balance MT110, shorts, long sleeved shirt. 

Friday, December 07, 2012

Slog and Sleet

Just an easy five on tap for today and that's a good thing, as my legs felt heavy and mentally I wasn't really into it. Not the most pleasant of runs, truth to be told. I guess if there's a positive it's that I stuck with it and didn't make an already short run any shorter.

Started to sleet in the last mile, which was kinda fun. The sound of it hitting the dead leaves resembled a distant snare drum. Wish we'd get snow soon...dying to do some snowshoe running and skate skiing.

Ran 5.0 miles @ 8:58/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Slightly hilly.
Upper 30s, overcast, sleet in the last mile.
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, windbreaker, long sleeved shirt, cap, gloves.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

2000+ For the Year

Nice milestone today. Today's run put me over 2000 miles for the year. Last year, I reached it on November 22nd, so a bit behind, but the year isn't over yet. Just thankful to remain healthy and have another year of successful racing and training.

Just seven today at an easy pace. Legs felt great following the interval work yesterday. I anticipate something similar tomorrow. Informal Trail Monster race on Sunday and I plan on actually racing it this year. I'm not in race shape yet but I'm hardly in slug mode either, so it'll be another fun test.

Ran 7.1 miles @ 8:00/mile pace.
Paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 30s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hitting the Track

Interval work on tap for today. After a warm-up, I did 6 X 800M repeats with 400M active recovery. Went okay. Truth be told, I'm a little disappointed with the times but I also realize that's stupid and illogical thinking at this early stage. Also, very windy out...and the stench from what looked and smelled like a faulty oil heater at the adjacent school made it tough.

But all in all, not bad. I know I can improve and there's time. Purpose today was to test the legs a little to get an idea of where I'm at, but at the same time not overdue it with the reps since I haven't had much build up yet. For a starting point, I guess I'm in a pretty good spot.

What will happen with the training cycle is these interval workouts will work up to two-mile cruise intervals, accompanied by another MP run during the week as well as a long run. That's pretty much straight out of the Hansons' plan, but there are also other weeks that will include some modifications like longer tempo runs, hill workouts and step back weeks. It's all in my head, just need to get it down on the spreadsheet and I'll share it this week (comments and suggestions welcome when I do).

Song going through my head during the workout:

w/u: Ran 1.8 miles @ 8:09/mile pace.
6 X 800M w/ 400M active recovery. 2:54, 2:57, 2:54, 2:57, 2:58, 2:51.
c/d: Ran 1.3 miles @ 8:46/mile pace.
Paved roads and track.
Slightly hilly for w/u and c/d.
Mid 40s, mostly cloudy, very windy.
Brooks Mach 13, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie (w/u, c/d), gloves (w/u, c/d).

Monday, December 03, 2012

Start of the Week

Easy fiver that felt a little tougher than it should have. I think it's just the weekend catching up to me a little, but really not that big of a deal to begin with. Just not super peppy is all. Also my lower back is bugging me again. Fortunately, running isn't appearing to aggravate it. Going to give it another day or two, but might have to make a call to Dr. J and have him straighten me out (literally!).

Might take tomorrow off since I have a staff meeting after school then anyway. I just love meetings (sarcasm). Scheduled to take one this week so it might as well be then. 

Ran 5.5 miles @ 7:51/mile pace. 
Paved roads. 
Moderately hilly. 
Lower 50s, partly cloudy. 
Saucony Kinvara 3, shorts, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, cap. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Trails, Snow and Ice

Great trail run in the woods out back this morning. The YakTrax Pros provided great grip on the thin coating of snow and ice and the woods had that quiet, peaceful winter feel to them. Very enjoyable run.

Pace was easy. Nailed down over 40 miles for the week, which was the goal. The ramp-up is very much on track. Goal is to work up to 60-70 mile weeks for the new year as well as incorporating more speed. I'll post the details of the Boston training plan sometime this week.

Ran 6.8 miles @ 9:37/mile pace.
Trails, coated in a thin layer of snow/ice.
Very hilly.
Upper 20s to mid-30s, overcast, foggy.
New Balance MT100, Yaktrax Pro, long tights, windbreaker (shed halfway), long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Wintery Run

Past two days off. On Thursday, a very inefficient meeting ran late and afterwards there wasn't much daylight left. Had the discussions been run properly, the meeting probably could have...and should have...taken 20 minutes. Instead, two hours later I was mentally exhausted and just wanted to go home.

Yesterday, I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before and decided to come home and take a nap instead. I was more or less okay with that since I knew my revised weekend running plans would still have me on target for my mileage for the week.

So... today... I was very anxious to get out the door this morning and then I grew even more excited when I saw it was snowing. Looking at the radar, it looked like I would have it throughout the run so I was pretty stoked to get out the door and enjoy it.

My hands and toes felt especially cold for the first few miles, despite warm gloves and wool socks. I was a bit puzzled at first but chalked it up to not really being acclimated to colder temperatures yet (22F/-6C outside). The body was probably jumping the gun a little and pulling  blood to the core to keep the organs warm, even though I was sufficiently layered. Fortunately, a few miles later things returned to normal, but not before my toes went through that unpleasant burning feeling of blood returning. After that, very comfortable all around though.

About five miles into the run, heard a series of honks that conveyed hey, I know you! What's up! I'm pretty sure it was Ann? If so, thanks.

Run went smoothly. Very easy pace throughout, but with the powdery snow on the road shoulders it didn't allow much room for speed, but that wasn't on the agenda today anyway. Distance was. Another good step-up to getting used to longer runs. The snow also provided the added benefit (of sorts) of taxing the muscles a little more from micro-slippage with each step. Good start to the month.

These guys rule:

Ran 15.3 miles @ 8:31/mile pace.
Paved roads, covered with a thin layer of powdery snow.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 20s, overcast, moderate to light snow throughout.
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, windbreaker, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.