Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekly Log 8-29-11 to 9-4-11

Monday: 12 miles - Quonset Bike Path and surrounding roads (9M) plus Calf Pasture Point beach and trails (3M) alone.  Great weather.  I decided to not carry water as it was cooler and drier than usual.  I ran the bike path for a while before crossing over to the streets around Quidnesset and Mount View.  Lot's of trees down in this section, including trees still hanging/leaning on telephone wires.  Kind of sketchy.  The beach was in great shape, and there were plenty of shore birds I couldn't identify.  In the woods, I decided to run up the large rock formation (50' above the rest of the flat ground).  At the top I startled a large buck - I couldn't count the points - crazy place to see a deer, except this is the third time it has happened to me (a different deer, and a wild turkey were the other two).  The return on the bike path was a little dull, but a fun run overall.  Total time: 1:35:46. 

Tuesday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  Another nice day.  I was considering running the hills of Saunderstown, but didn't want the sun exposure.  Lot's of debris on the trails and a couple of blowdowns, but nothing course altering after Irene.  I did a new 10 mile zigzagging loop, but like the others, it comes up a tad short.  Yesterday's run was over 12 so I'm calling it even.  Total time: 69:35.

Wednesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails 7M and roads 2M alone.  I had bigger plans for my run today, but my legs were tired, and I'm counting on a long run on Friday I would like to be fresh for.  It felt hot in the sun, and I later learned when I got back to my car that it was 88 degrees.  A lot of big oaks down in the woods here, including some challenging ones to climb around on the trails.  Total time: 70:10. 

Thursday: 8 miles - Rome Point trails alone.  I tried to keep it on the easy side.  I saw a little blue heron in a marshy area - pretty cool sighting.  Total time: 58:38.  The plan is to run 4+ hours tomorrow afternoon in Burlingame.  Anyone interested in joining me for part of this please let me know.  Two weeks to the 50K! 

Friday: 31 miles - Burlingame trails with Muddy (13M) and Jon Short (last 3M).  Total time: 4:21. 

Saturday: 0 - my body is in pretty good shape - thank you trails.  Got in some light cross training of raking, mowing, and frontyard football. 

Sunday: 0 - decided against a short run 

Overall: Another new weekly mileage PR.  I feel pretty good about Pisgah in 2 weeks. 

Weekly Total: 70 miles
Last Week: 43 miles
Year to Date: 1579 miles

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weekly Log 8-22-11 to 8-28-11

Monday: 6 miles - Gravelly Hill out and back trail alone.  This run felt good(ish). At first I felt weird, and I was worried running was going to aggravate the skin rash that seemed to be almost gone. Then I felt great as I knew I would be okay and my pace was fast (but easy). Then my chest felt tight (anxiety) at the halfway point and I dealt with that issue the rest of the way. My times were excellent however - 20:59 out and 20:31 back (3 miles each). Mixed bag for sure, but the result was pleasing.

Tuesday: 0 - day spent dealing with high anxiety and no running. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  I'm just trying to get back to normal with running and life.  Today's run was a good step.  My body was tight, but I was able to maintain a consistent pace throughout this run, and felt relaxed by the time I finished.  My lower legs are pretty sore from the Trail Gloves.  I still love them.  Total time: 65:18. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Rome Point trails solo.  Pretty muggy day, but at least it was cloudy and breezy.  Good run today on tired legs.  Total time: 68:33. 

Friday: 14 miles - Ryan Park trails mostly alone.  I'm feeling fit again.  My plan was to get in 10 miles in the heat.  It was 86 degrees, sunny, and the dew point was 70.  Pulling into the parking lot, I saw Dan's car, so I thought maybe if I could find him, I would run with him for as long as he was still out there.  I headed off into the woods, and after a little over two miles, I ran into him (literally).  So, I turned around and ran with him back to his car.  Then I continued into the fields and improvised some trails to get to 7 miles (52:30).  I stopped for water at my car, and then headed out for the 5 mile woods loop.  A few minutes in, I noticed how fantastic I felt.  Gone was the body tightness from anxiety, and instead of a hot recovery trudge, I was feeling peppy.  I decided to go for 14 miles.  That's what I did.  By the time I was finishing up in the fields, I was getting a little fatigued, but I was elated with how good this run was for my mind and body.  Total time: 1:45:10. 

Saturday: AM 4 miles - Shumunkanuc Hill roads alone.  Just a quick run before my wife went to work.  I cranked this one.  Legs feel great.  Wish I wore a watch.  Fun day with the kids after - scooters on the bike path, Beaver River playground in the rain, Senor Flacos at night. 

Sunday:  0 - woke up at 4:15AM surprised by how strong the winds already were.  I did a couple of chores I planned to do in the morning as I was nervous we were going to lose power early.  Went back to sleep.  Winds were crazy between 6-8AM and then calmed down for a while.  Cranking again now at 11AM, but no rain for quite some time.  I saw a local runner pass by my house as I was watching a particularly strong breeze.  I appreciate the dedication, but my road is heavily wooded, and probably not a great idea - hopefully not a Darwin Award situation.  I still hoping to get a run in this evening after things calm down.  Wind never calmed down - no running today. 

Weekly Total: 43 miles
Last Week: 31 miles
Year to Date: 1509 miles

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Weekly Log 8-15-11 to 8-21-11

Monday: 7 miles - Burdickville Road and Rte 91 to Bradford boat launch and back.  I was looking forward to running after dinner, as the 5+ inches of rain looked like they had ended.  They didn't.  It was wet.  This course is pretty hilly and I felt like I was giving it a good effort.  I was a little nervous with how dark it was.  Total time:  48:56 (short 7). 

Tuesday: 6 miles - Stoddard, NH dirt roads and trails with Greg.  We slipped out in the afternoon as we waited for the weather to improve for a hike up Pitcher Mountain.  We headed uphill from my parents new house.  By uphill, I mean it was all uphill for 3 miles and then we turned around.  It looks like there are a ton of snowmobile trails to explore.  When we got back (44 minutes) we sprinted up and down the driveway with the kids over and over again.  After dinner we summited Pitcher Mountain where there were plenty of blueberries left to pick. 

Wednesday: 4 miles - Stoddard, NH dirt roads with Sarah.  My wife and I ran the lower roads closest to the lake.  After visiting our favorite lunch spot in Keene, we met up with the Pisgah Twins for a hike in Pisgah State Park.  Very fun and busy day. 

Thursday: 14 miles - Burlingame trails (9M) and surrounding roads (5M) solo.  I got out early enough to beat the heat.  More deer flies around than I cared for.  When I reached the intersection of the VG trail and Klondike Road, I opted for the road to avoid the swampy sections.  I ran south to the campground  entrance and then picked up the North South Trail there.  I really like this section of trails - rolling dry oak/pine forest.  I again reached the wet areas of the VG trail, but the deer flies gave me a break.  I felt strong throughout the entire run - some foot fatigue the last couple of miles but I was wearing my new Merrill Trail Gloves and I hadn't gone more than 6 miles in them yet.  Running for 1:47 seems pretty easy these days. 

Friday: 0 - Jackson's 6th birthday - morning trip to the zoo and then a kids' party at the beach in the late afternoon/evening. 

Saturday: 0 - Ellie's 4th birthday - family party at the house

Sunday: 0 - lot's of family still around

Sidebar: Thursday night I developed a rash over my body and went to the walk in because it was creeping me out.  Bad case of contact dermatitis.  The culprit is most likely a soap I showered with.  I thought it was cleared up on Friday morning, but it came back in the afternoon after sweating.  Apparently it is going to come and go for a while until the harsh chemical works itself out of my body.  It definitely gets aggravated by sweating so I don't know if I want to attempt running.  I hope it clears up soon! 

Overall:  Tough week.  I thought I could get to 50, but then got hit with the skin rash.  Disgusting.  Hopefully, back to normal Monday.  Not many miles the last two weeks, but that was planned as I had two awesome weeks off with my family.  I want to get back to 50-65 miles a week for the rest of the year. 

Weekly Total: 31 miles
Last Week: 25 miles
Year to Date: 1466 miles

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekly Log 8-8-11 to 8-14-11

Monday: 0 - 4 mile hike around Little Long Pond on Mt. Desert Island, Maine. 

Tuesday: 0 - 3 mile hike up and down Day Mountain.  I mixed in a few short hill sprints to check up on the slower hikers (the young kids). 

Wednesday: 8 miles - Lamoine paved and unpaved roads alone.  A rainy day, I had the opportunity to run in the morning as we waited to hike in the afternoon.  I was thinking of doing something longer, but the rain and time constraints lead me to repeat a run I did last year.  I started off at a good pace and then tried to maintain it until picking up the last couple of miles.  I felt like I was doing race pace for a decent portion of it.  I finished up in 55:02.  In the afternoon we did a 1.5 mile hike on the carriage roads around Jordan Pond House (after having afternoon tea and popovers).  The hike was really nice despite the rain. 

Thursday: 0 - I took my son out in the morning to do a short hike, but we never found the trailhead.  Instead we stopped at the Tidal Falls in Hancock and watched the tide push its way upriver.  In the afternoon, we enjoyed a nature cruise out of Northeast Harbor where we saw harbor seals, guillemonts, bald eagles, among other things.  The boat docked on Little Cranberry Island and we walked around for a mile or so exploring. 

Friday: 5 miles - Eagle Point dirt roads with Sarah.  My wife has announced her plans to run the Lil' Rhody Runaround this year and this was her second run of the week.  We wandered around the roads for about 3 miles and then I ran 2 more on my own.  I threw in a couple of hill sprints.  The rest of the day was spent at Schoodic Point where we spent a long time rock climbing and tide pooling.  Then we embarked on a really fun yet challenging hike up the Anvil Trail to the summit of Schoodic Head.  This two mile hike felt like five. 

Saturday: 0 - travel day back home.  We spent a few hours at the Christensen's house where I got in some backyard football. 

Sunday: 12 miles - Burlingame trails and Shumunkanuc Hill roads alone.  This run felt really good.  It was damp and the trails were wet.  Muddy warned me about the deer flies, but I only killed a half dozen.  I was pleased with my consistent effort through the woods.  At one point I met up with some teenagers mtn biking (no helmets!?), and one kid said to the others as I passed, "This guy is a beast dude."  Made my day.  Total time: 1:30:15. 

Overall: Awesome vacation week in Maine with family and friends.  Not many miles running, but I was completely content hiking where the mountains meet the sea.  Throw in a 33 pounder on my shoulders for most of it, and it made for quite a workout too.  I even ran with my wife for the first time in 8 years.  Next week will be a mileage challenge as well - 2nd week of vacation will be spent preparing for and executing two parties as well as a two day trip up to New Hampshire - maybe I'll get to run with the Pisgah Twins.   

Weekly Total: 25 miles
Last Week: 53 miles
Year to Date: 1435 miles

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weekly Log 8-1-11 to 8-7-11

Monday: 0 - I hate taking zeroes these days, but this was probably a good idea

Tuesday: 10 miles - Ryan Park trails alone.  My legs were tired and it was hot (but dry).  Total time: 77:09. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - Rome Point trails and beach solo.  I tried to keep it peppy today.  My legs are almost normal again.  I reached the point in 9:23, and then tried to push it on the yellow dot single track.  This first half hour I felt sort of tired and out of it.  I was thinking that I should have had coffee beforehand.  The second half, I perked up after sprinting up the hill.  Total time: 63:05.  Good run.  I'm thinking my 9 miler is a little long and my 10 miler is a little short.  I felt my effort was sub 7 minute mile pace. 

Thursday: 10 miles - Big River trails alone.  Great run on awesome trails in cloudy cool weather.  Rather than focusing on the heat and deer flies, I found myself concentrating on  the unrelenting challenging terrain.  I did my normal out and back course except for taking a wrong turn near the turnaround point.  The highlight was catching and passing a mountain biker from behind.  They didn't see that coming!  Total time: 72:53. 

Friday: 0 - busy day of wrapping up things at work before vacation, errands, and dinner at Senor Flacos.  I wanted to get a short trail run in after purchasing new trail shoes, but forgot to pack running shorts. 

Saturday: 24 miles - 3 x 8 mile Vin Gormley trail.  Today was my 36th birthday, and I wanted to do a long run to celebrate.  My dad ran the first loop with me (reverse Lil' Rhody Runaround).  The pace was easy and a nice way to begin the long afternoon of running.  Pard took a nasty looking fall (bloody face), but quickly recovered without complaining.  We finished up the first loop in 75 minutes.  I stopped briefly at my car to fuel up on Gatorade & Coke (Ben Nephew style), ate half a granola bar, and refilled my handheld water bottle.  Beginning lap 2, I chose to run in the same direction.  My legs were feeling tight, which was annoying me.  I'm not sure if it was mental or what, but I was not expecting soreness or tightness until the third loop.  The running was going well otherwise, and I completed the second loop in 68 minutes.  I repeated my aid station routine and set off for lap three.  Running seemed fine, and mentally I was more relaxed knowing I would be satisfied with three laps (although I was prepared to go another few miles if I felt up to it).  My hamstrings were particularly tight, and by the time I had three miles to go (on technical trails), I was ready to finish my day.  The last quarter mile on the roads was the clincher.  I finished lap three in 70 minutes and was happy with my three and a half plus hours of running.  My energy and lungs were good.  My legs were tight, but not too sore (yet).  Afterwards, I returned to my parents' house for a fantastic meal of veggie lasagna and chromium replacement.  Tomorrow, my family heads up to Maine! 

Sunday: 0 - travel day
Weekly Total: 53 miles
Last Week: 65 miles
Year to Date: 1410 miles (eclipsed my 2010 total miles already!!) 

Monday, August 1, 2011

2011 Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Road Race

For the second consecutive year I ran the Blessing of the Fleet race in Narragansett, RI.  After learning a few things from last year, I was pretty excited to run it Friday.  Based on a hard training run in early May, I had a lofty goal of finishing under 64 minutes.  I ran 10 flat miles in 65:40.  I was confident I could run faster than that in a race situation.  I wasn't confident that I could do it in the summer heat however.  Regardless, I was feeling good by the time it was race time.  I found a parking spot right between Greg's truck and Bojo's friend Dave's car.  Greg, Jen, and I made our way to the starting area, but never met up with Justin or the other Rhody crew.  At the gun, I controlled my urge to go too fast, and was pleased with my 6:15 first mile.  I was afraid I would come in under 6 minutes, and suffer for it later.  I noticed that most runners were shying away from the crowds on the shoulder, but I stuck to the shortest distance and tried to look like I knew what I was doing.  I took water wherever it was available, usually just tossing it over my head and down my back.   Sometimes I would try to swallow a drop or two.  Mile two was a little slow, but it was uphill and into the wind.  Mile three was really windy, and I welcomed the change of direction heading towards mile 4.  I pointed at the kid with the hose to spray me, which felt wonderful.  Soon after turning the corner onto 108, I saw a local runner who had dropped out.  This inspired me to dig in, and I picked up my pace, and was passing more and more runners.  I couldn't hug the shoulder anymore as the course was littered with walkers, sometimes three or four side by side.  The wooded, dark side road during miles 6 and 7 was so much nicer than the exposed highway.  My mile splits were getting faster, even after I had to stop to tie my left shoe at mile 7, and then my right shoe at mile 8.  And yes, I double-knotted them (actually triple-knotted).  I think the high humidity and/or the water I was pouring over me somehow loosened them.  Each time I sprinted to catch the runners I had just recently passed.  After 8 miles, I noticed a local runner who traditionally finishes ahead of me.  Then I saw the biggest hill (not that big) in front of us.  I knew I would catch him.  We exchanged pleasantries as I chugged by.  I passed a lot of runners on this hill and felt confident about finishing strong.  The last mile is filled with spectators, cars, walkers, and I just tried to run as fast as my legs wanted to go.  My shoes felt really wet and annoying.  As I neared the finish line, I squinted to see that I was close to finishing under 66 minutes.  I stopped my watch at 65:58.  A five minute PR.  Not as fast as I had hoped, but I was happy that I ran as hard as my legs allowed.  Aerobically, I was fine.  I need more speedwork or 5K's to bring my legs up to speed with my lungs.  After finishing, I met up with Greg (8th place, 6 second PR), and Justin (huge 5 minute PR).  We watched our friends finish and then met up at Casey's after for a well deserved greasy meal and chromium replacement.  I was a little annoyed that my official time is listed at 66:00, but I'm not going to argue with the chip time and good science.