Thursday, July 10, 2014

This Is The End, my only friend The End...


Well I think I am closing out this blog for good.  I just don't feel like doing it any longer.  I keep track of all my runs (hahaha "runs") on a spread sheet and I'm just not seeing the value in this narrative.  I have done roughly 3 runs since I've last updated.  I just didn't feel like logging the narrative. So, today was a kick ass 5 miler that I am very happy with.  So, with that peace out those who aren't reading it anyhow.....who know's I may be back...I am the most fickle person I know.

8:02 P

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

End of Watch


Well, the Nike + GPS watch has shit the bed.  Initially I viewed this as an enormous setback but like all things loss can provide you with a newly found perspective.  After wrestling with this thing for roughly 2 to 3 hours and contacting the Nike help line I decided to head out for a 3.2mi head clearer. I had to and will continue to have to resort back to my iPhone and the Map My Run app until this watch issue gets resolved.  It took some time to get used to the shaking weight (haha shake weight) of the phone in my pocket before I was able to accept that this was my new set of circumstances.  I do understand that this all sounds entirely too dramatic but for some reason I'm very accustomed to my routine and habits when I run and any change to this seems tragic, at first.  As my run progressed I realized that  I was being excessively silly and worried about this phone issue and as I continued through the run I realized that I need to just run and enjoy that in it's simplest form and worry not about times and distances etc.  I ended up having a very good run once I realized all I need are my legs and a pair of shorts, ok and my sneakers.  This is the spirit I am seeking anyway right?   Just the joy of the run and not the numbers, correct?  As for the run itself not much to report except that it was definitely the hottest and most humid run I have ever had.  Especially down Beth Lane, this area is like running in an oven.  You can literally feel the air change once you turn left down this road.  In the end the phone in the pocket was good and even maybe a bit beneficial because I cannot stare at the pace and distance as I run.  I think I will take a rest day on Wed to allow some blisters and hot spots on my feet to heal.  Gross!

shorts, New Balance M1010, UA Visor
88 degrees hot and humid 2:45pm
Wire Rd, Meeting House N. Rd,  Beth Lance, Emerald St

Monday, June 30, 2014

The 8 Mile


After the joy of the trail run it was time to get in this weeks' long run and I chose an 8mi loop run around my neighborhood.  I also wasn't too concerned with my time or pace but that I really wanted to try and dial in 100% negative splits.  This can be a difficult task especially for a new runner because you are attempting to find that perfect balance between effort, pace, and time management. I was really hoping to mimic my half marathon splits or improve on them.  Either way all negative splits was my goal.  I started as usual with Tully for the first mile and returned him home before setting off on the remaining 7mi.  There isn't a whole lot to report on this run expect that I felt extremely strong.  Probably the strongest I had felt since the Rangar closing 9mi to finish in PTown.  But realizing I was feeling super strong I once again had to remind myself to stay in check and stay balanced so that I can run the perfect negative split run.  The "spirit breaker" farm land and hills didn't seem to be so bad expect for the pounding sun, at which point I shed the t-shirt and let mother nature do her best natural A/C on me.  I must say that running w/o a t-shirt is super comfortable and I usually feel instantly cooler.  Miles 4-6 continued to feel very strong and balanced but the need for increased effort from miles 6-8 were noticeable.  Although I was kicking very strong and had, what felt like good strides, I was laboring a bit and mentally pushing myself on.  Finally, the 8mi mark had come and it was time to see the results.  In the end I "almost" had all negative splits but technically I didn't because both miles 3 and 4 held the same at 9:09.  But, not once did I lose a second in the wrong direction it's only that duplicate pace that kept me from 100% negative splits. 10:17, 9:17, 9:09, 9:09, 8:39, 8:29, 8:11, 7:55....In the end I know I did something right here and learned a lot about managing my run.  Also, it was a productive week tallying up 22.5mi total.  Tuesday starts a new week, see then.  Slainte!

8:53 Ave P
Fila Shorts, Visor, New Balance M1010
75 degrees, sunny, hot & humid
Wire Rd., Meeting House Rd N., Rt 9A, Chick Crossing Rd.
Wells, ME

Friday, June 27, 2014


It's late June and only now have started a more aggressive move to the trail running, and boy was it fun.  I think I started right where I should have.  After awaking fairly early this morning, checking Facebook and getting all the updates on some of the weekend Ultra Trail races such as Mont Blanc Marathon that Anna Frost just ran and the Western States 100 I was able to draw a ton of inspiration from these athletes. Some of the pics that were on my FB fed me the spark to down my coffee, change, and run out the door.  Originally I had planned on hitting Bradbury Mountain but seeing that it was already after 9am I headed to Mount Agamenticus in York.  It had been many years since I had been down there and had some minor difficulty finding it but was graciously steered in the right direction by a gentleman walking his dog.  Finally, I had arrived and noticed two very large groups of what looked like a day camp just about to get started.  Just then, the camp counselor yelled out but "let's allow this runner to go ahead of us."  Oh boy, no time to check a map and plan my route just hit the watch and boom off I went.  "I can figure this out, right?" Right away the terrain took a lot of getting used to.  I was hopping to and fro, over large rocks, on top of boulders, back down and zipping around roots.  All the while thinking of Anton Krupicka's blog I just read where he tells of catching his toe on a root and almost shattering his knee off a rock.  That guy is an elite ultra runner...I was bound for a crash.  But after some time to adjust it all started to become much more fluid for me and that worry had transformed itself to focus and aggressive running.  I tried to be mindful of trail blazes and route signs but I also figured the place couldn't be that big and I was looking for as much mileage as I could find, so getting lost wouldn't be that bad.  After about 17 minutes and few switch backs I was up on the top already at just 1.5mi.  I then tried to find various different areas to try to squeeze in another .5 or so to get me to 2mi for the way up.  I found this very groovy blueberry growth area and it was without question the coolest portion of the run.  I was on the top of the mountain and zig zagging my way through gnarly little trails and "re-growth" areas.  This area had me up and down the side of the mountain but also gave me the views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding areas.  The trails had a large selection of wild flowers, rock out crops, and various other esthetic pleasures.  I wish this trail never ended.  But, like all good things it did and I wound up stopping the watch at 2miles and walked over to the other look outs and picnic tables to take in more views and a few pics before setting out on my descent.
I chose to follow a lovely group of females down the Vultures View trail.  Wow, this was completely different.  It was very steep and pretty much super smoothed out granite faces that had me pumping the breaks and wondering if my Merrell Trail Gloves had enough grip to keep my off my ass.  Luckily they did and I was spared of any embarrassment.  Of which I would save for later on.  After coming out of Vulture View trail I picked up a more traditional but narrow single track area of which I was able to pick of my speed and just bomb down this trail. Super duper fun was had, I literally felt like I was 12 years old running and jumping up and over rocks, wayyyyy fun!  I passed the aforementioned lovely girls but it wouldn't be the last time,  it wouldn't be me if I didn't embarrass myself in front of super pretty girls.  Clueless as to where I was and enjoying the run I was just running and turning where the trail led me, all the while hoping the trail would lead me back to the car.  I finally emerged from the woods to find a gravel road that looked uphill to the summit on the left and the same on the right.  I chose left and kicked into a traditional road pace and headed on.  The road continued to go up and up and up and up again.  How can I be going down to the parking lot if I am still slogging my way up?  Convinced I was headed back up I turned around and headed in the opposite direction.  After about 300 yards in this direction I notice the girls "well hello again ladies" (didn't say that, just thought it.) They too looked a little confused and started off in the direction I was now going. I slowed to ask if there was a parking lot down there and they seemed to agree but apprehension was noticeable. Off I go and again, up and up and up.  Cars are cruising past me and I see another runner up ahead talking to some of the cars that slowed to ask for directions.  I ran up to her to ask if this was the way to the base parking lot, "nope back the other way." Ok, here we go again back in the other direction.  After about another quarter miles I see the girls walking ahead.  This was about to be the 3rd time I would be passing them....likely coming off as a creeper.  As I trotted by I just said "this is embarrassing" they all had a good laugh and off I went.  About another half mile of hot up and down gravel run I was back at the lot and happy to open my hatch back and get a pull of some water and grab a shady rock for some rest.  Five minutes later and the girls arrive "yay you made it" they said.  Cheers!

4.5 mi
11:30 TP
Fila shorts, tech dry t-shirt, UA visor, Oakley shades, Merrell Trail Glove 2
78degrees sunny
Mount Agamenticus, York Maine

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Five For Fun"


I woke up this morning supposed to have a rest day but felt the body yearning for some mileage.  So, I decided to head out on a "Fun Run."  A "fun run" according to my own, personal definition, is a run with no goals, no distance, and at times no watch.  Of course I couldn't go without my watch but I did plan to set out for "whatever."  Tully did join me for the first mile and a half but returned his tired body back to the house, grabbed a sip of water and set out for the unknown.  Ok, that was a little more dramatic than necessary.  One of the interesting components of a "fun run" is the thinking, processing, and considerations you go through to try and determine what you can do today for "fun." Early in the run I was met very close by a deer as it headed on it's way down a trail.  This is the benefit to heading out in the mornings.  Set out up Meeting House Rd N., and as usual there is a section of road that makes you feel like Superman.  Which then allows for silly thoughts of great distances and PR paces.  This stretch is thickly covered in shade and has a slight and very perfect gentle down hill grade.  The decline is so subtle you really have to consider if it is really there or are just kicking like a BOSS!!! But, trust me that decline is there, I'm not that fast or strong.  Reality soon hit as I came out upon the farm land, the big hot sun and some spirit killing hills.  Finished up Meeting House Rd., and banged a left onto 9A where the sun and hills continued.  At this moment I determine, this isn't as fun as I hoped.  But, changing that mind set I continue on to discover that the road back that I need is closed due to construction.  I asked the flagger how I could pass and he told me the back route through the church parking lot and off I go on a small trail detour.  Soon popping me back to where I need to be and met nicely by a steep down hill while some blisters and hot spots start to form on my feetsies.  I come to determine that 5 miles is all the fun I will have today and again that pace isn't a big deal to me today since it was supposed to be a rest day.  All and all I'm glad I set out on this one today.  Changing the mindset to just head out and run without concern for mileage, pace, or other goals allows you to quiet your mind and focus on other thoughts.  Rest tomorrow? We shall see...

9:30 ave pace
Fila shorts, New Balance M1010, UA Visor
Sunny, Hot, 70 degrees, humid
9:20 am
Wire Rd., Meeting House N., Rt 9A, Clark Rd.
Wells, ME

"Fast & Furious...BONK!"


A new week of training has come upon me and I think if I were following the Hal Higdon Marathon Training program this would be week three, but as you will see I seem to be wandering off the reservation a bit.  According to the program this week is supposed to be a "scale back week" to prepare for "ramping" again.  But, I don't like to scale back and if you are any of my friends reading this and know my personality.  Then you understand that "scaling back" isn't quite my strong suit.  Anywho, today was your very typical beginning of a week 4miler / recovery run from Sat.  Per usual I set out on a warm up mile with T-Man in tow and was able to return him home before I could really hit my stride.  For the second or third day in row now I felt extremely strong and felt like pushing myself to run faster and longer than originally scheduled.  These feelings of strength continued into and through mile 2 and into most of 3.  Somewhere in that stretch I was kicking like a bastard.  I was feeling strong and running fast and furious.  But, soon this came to an end when I started to BONK right around 3.2 distance.  When I look back at my Nike+ data I see this trend clearly reflecting the fatigue, heat, and a change in road grade.   During the stretch that I felt strong I was running between 7:40 & 8:10 pacing but when the bonk occurred I slipped into a 10:00 pace for maybe 200 yards. I quickly was able to crank it back up once I got over the hill and finished the 4th mile at a 7:10pace.

8:37 Ave Pace
Fila shorts, Red tech dry t-shirt, UA visor, New Balance M1010
75 degrees, mix of sun and clouds, humid
Wire Rd., Meeting House N., Beth's Lane
Wells, ME

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekend Shenanigans

Well after a weekend of good times and splendor it finally has come down to Sunday and the last day to squeeze in the weeks' long run.  Surprisingly after all the beers and poor night's sleep I surprising felt very strong today.  Imagine what I could have done had I participated a little less in the weekend shenanigans with BAndy. I guess this was the weekend I would try to live like the Tarahumara and sustain myself on beer and coffee and still kick ass on endurance tests.  Set out with Tully for a mile warm-up and then returned him back home, paused the watch, got him inside and set out again.  Once again freeing myself of his leash lets me get back to true form.  I did intentionally run at the high point of the heat this afternoon as I continue to try and successfully climatize myself to the summer weather.  With no shirt on the natural air condition could run at peak efficiency.  The sun, sweat, and lack of recent proper hydration had limited to no effect on me.  And as usual around mile 4 I really got myself dialed in and in a sort of hypnotic state where I wander out of my brain and out of the task at hand, get into the perfect pace, and seemly lose myself.  I some how click myself out of that place when I ask myself what just happened? What mile is it?  What's my pace? When I look down and see mile 4 and pace at 9:00 I know immediately what just happened.  It's my sweet spot!  I need to think of  a better name than that.  Miles 4-7 where generally event free except for the fact that I really cranked it up and had awesome kick and stride for the last mile finishing at a 7:51P.  Ultimately, it was a good week and very consistent with what I am trying to accomplish.  Total week mileage came in at 17.7 good stuff.  A new week is upon us...

8:53 ave P
Fila shorts, New Balance M1010, UA Visor, Oakley shades
71 degrees sunny
Wire Rd, Meeting House Rd. N., Rt. 9A, Clark Rd., Chicks Crossing Rd.
Wells, ME 04090