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

Friday, June 20, 2014

"My feet are my only carriage!"

Fri 6-20-2014

After my first night at work I woke up eager to pound the pavement.  I was able to sleep until around 9:00ish and soon after some coffee and a snack I headed out.  Although my schedule called for just 3mi I was feeling for more.  After doing 1 quick warm-up mile with Tully and returning him back at #698 I was off for my true run.  Once free from T-Man I felt much more in sync with my run. My strides felt strong, cadence was ideal and breathing seemed right in my sweet spot.  Legs felt pretty peppy and I wondered and flip flopped back and forth in my mind about what distance I should do today.  I settled on just 4mi and convinced myself that patience is integral to keeping on the right track for training.  My body, legs, and brain seem to want more but I will be able to satisfy that this weekend on my long run.  This weekends long run will be a 7miler around here in Wells but not sure if it will fall on Saturday or Sunday.  The program calls for Saturday while Sunday is a strength day.  I think I will stick with that plan. Back to todays' 4miler, like I said the strength and desire was there and I was happy to see my pace each time I looked at watch.  The oddity for today was the two young kids roughly 13 or 14 years old who were stuck in quite the predicament.  It seems they got a little too bold with their four wheeler and were stuck deep in the mud down a small embankment.  My teachers' revenge had me ignoring their problem and slightly chuckling as I ran past.  Summah in Maine!

Fila shorts, New Balance M1010, Puma socks, UA Visor, Oakley shades
65 degrees, Sunny
Wire Rd., Meetinghouse Rd. N.,  Chicks Crossing Rd.
Wells, ME 04090

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Oh That Big Hot Sun


Since school has let out I have found myself proficient at sleeping in.  Lately I have been able to make all the way to 10ish, Tully not the happiest about this new initiative.  Thus, my morning run today tended to occur during the golden hours of sun and heat.  I welcomed this because I know that I cannot build a strong tolerance to heat and depletion by avoiding aforementioned mid-day heat.  It wasn't the worst experience but it did take it's toll.  My legs felt fairly strong and I had a small goal to get some hill work in today.  Therefore, I guess my overall theme for today's run was heat and hills.  Not sure why I do this to myself but I enjoyed the suffering on both accounts.  All in all, it felt fairly slow but I think in the end it was right were I usually am.  I do look forward to dropping the pace a few ticks and becoming faster but that would take dedication to speed work (i.e. intervals and or tempo runs) both of which I loath.  For the rest of the day I see the beach, reading and maybe a good beer at Feile.  Slainte!

Shorts, New Balance m1010, UA visor, Oakley shades
83 degrees, sunny, hot
Wire Rd., Meeting House Rd.
Wells, ME 04090

Midnight Run SHS X/C Team


Well tonight was a pleasant change to the routine.  I was invited to run with SHS 2014/15 Cross Country team as they ran their annual midnight run to kick off their new season.  So, for the first time since Ragnar Cape Cod I pulled out the NB reflective vest, head lamp, and LED back flasher.  I struggled to stay awake during the evening leading up to the run so I as able to tuck in a mid-afternoon nap and then tucked one more in when it got really difficult.  This last nap started at around 10pm and an alarm was set for 11pm.  The team, coaches, teachers, and I all met at the high school by the flag pole. It was fun to already see some students even though school just let out for the summer earlier that day.  I had no idea how long we were running on this trip but I assumed it wasn't going to be much more than 3mi as this was what I had scheduled for my marathon training for the day.  As we got started I launched with Nick E., Steve W., and Bayleigh M.  As usual my first mile had me breathing heavy and seemingly struggle to hold an 8:00ish pace but soon that one mile was put behind be and all was once again strong and fluid running.  I was able to settle into a comfortable pace and breathing cadence.   All in all it was a super fun night to be out again in a social running community.  I think I need to keep that up even though I tend to also enjoy my solo runs. Maybe the best part of the night was spotting Nick E. and Steve W. at McDonalds immediately after the run getting food!  #breakingeven?  Oh yea, it was my first run in my newest pair of shoes.  My New Balance minimus 1010 had arrived just in time.  Wow, what a beautiful pair of 4mm drop road runners, very happy here.

Shorts, t-shirt, UA visor, NB Vest, head lamp, New Balance M1010
60 degrees
Sanford, ME 04073

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Back Cove 7 miler

Strong run today around the Back Cove of Portland this morning.  I was lucky to be able to meet up with BT and enjoy his conversation as we put back the miles.  He hadn't been out running in a while but put out a very strong and impressive performance.  The Back Cove is a great place to get the miles in during the weekends.  It is perfectly populated with the amount of driven and passionate runners that helps push and motivate my own performance.  We were able to meet up for 8:30am and got at it pretty quickly.  We discussed everything from women to future adventures.  This conversation makes the miles go by much faster and fairly unnoticeable. Since this running adventure has begun for me I have generally been doing solo missions and now I am enjoying running with company.  Therefore, I think I will continue to try to seek out more social running moments as training continues.  As for my performance, I have no complaints.  The weather was perfect and the legs felt peppy.  All in all a perfect Saturday morning long run.  On tap I have the midnight run with the 2014/15 SHS Cross Country team this Monday night / Tuesday morning starting at 12:01 am.  Marathon training continues as summer 2014 kicks off.

8:46 P
Fila shorts, Ragnar WALSTIB t-shirt, UA visor, Oakley shades, Nike Dual Fusions
63 degrees, mostly cloudy
Back Cove, Portland ME,  04103

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Collegial School Run


With my last final facilitated and only grading to compete I set out on a 3mi partial trail run with Kathryn P. at SHS.  It was super fun to have someone to talk with as I ran and we both seemed to enjoy talking about past races and future goals.  Having a partner to run with certainly kept my eyes off of my watch, which in turn made the run feel shorter and with less effort.  We set out on the Mousam Way Trails and then through the Marginal Way neighborhood and then finally up and back the Railroad Trail.  I was planning on doing just 3 miles but the enjoyment of running with someone and the conversation had me going just a bit longer.  Did all three miles at a comfortable pace and with the Trail Glove 2 in action as the transition continues.  But today for the first time I really think I need to purchase a 4mm drop shoe for the pavement.  Tomorrow is a rest day, then Saturday I hit Pineland Farms for a 6mi trail run with BT.  I look forward to writing and posting that report.

28:29:02 mins
8.54 Pace
Fila shorts, dry-fit t-shirt, Merrell Trail Glove 2
70 degrees, mostly cloudy, humid
Sanford, ME 04073

4 mile Walk with 2 short jogs


As I transition over to the zero drop Merrell Trail Gloves so goes an increase in pain in my calves.  This new shoe causes a new gate which in turn causes me to run using new muscle groups.  Thus a massive increase in lactic acid build up in my calves.  I am scheduled to do an uneventful 3 mi today but after consideration and consultation I will just do a 4 mi walk with Tully to loosen aforementioned calves and hopefully flush some of that lactic acid.  But once I started the walk I wanted to jog a bit.  Both to get Tully some more exercise as well as test the calves.  All in all it went well and the short sections of jogging helped loosen up those calves.  I will have a full 3 miler tomorrow at school.

4mi walk w/ 1 mile jog split into two halves
Shorts, dry fit t-shirt, Merrell Trail Glove 2, UA Visor, Oakley Shades
73 degrees Sunny and humid
Wire Rd., Chicks Crossing Rd.
Wells, ME 04090

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Attempt to PR 5K Came Up Short

A little undecided on how I would like to approach this Maine Marathon Training Cycle.  After watching a video from coach Pat McCrann I was initially sold on the idea of 12 week cycle and agreed with his ideas on focus within this ideal timeframe.  It seemed I may have experienced this focus and lack there off after the 12 weeks prior to the Williwhammer Half Marathon.  Then, after exploring Hal Higdons Marathon Novice 1 training program I began to appreciate the longer cycle which we would have me starting this week.  In the end I decided to air on the side of more time and choose the Higdon 18 week cycle.  Therefore, I started today with a short blast fast pace 5K trying to PR and come under 23 mins.  Due to the effort and massive amount of barking I heard from Tully as I ran past the apartment I decided to cut it short at 2.8mi.  Overall, I was happy to hit it hard and fast with the Merrell Trail Gloves as this supports my attempted transition to the minimalist shoe without having to spend more money on road pair.  Earned myself a solid blister with the effort.  Hoping to be able to ignore that blister and get in another 3miles today.

2.8mi out and back Wire Rd. to Deer Ridge Rd.
Fila shorts, cotton 5K t-shirt, Merrell Trail Glove 2, no socks
70 degrees and cloudy
Wells, ME 04090

Friday, June 6, 2014

Trail Glove 1.5mi Tune Up for North Moat Mtn.

Ok, so I'll be the first to admit that I have done a terribly weak job keeping up with this blog that  no one is reading, but I'm back.  I was likely not documenting my running stints partially because I was upset with my latest performances as I start my second cycle of training.  Not sure if my performances were as bad as I thought or if I had unrealistic expectations for myself now that I have met some of my goals (half mary & Ragnar cc).  Either way I seem to back to the proper focus, dedication, and most importantly mind set.  With all that said,  I had a solid week as I begin to develop into this second cycle of training.  Today was supposed to be a rest day but due to a good conversation with Brian T. (BT) and plans to conquer a 14mi loop up to North Moat Mtn (3,196'),  I decided to due some light work in my minimalist Merrell Trail Glove 2 sneakers.  I have some nervousness regarding the full transition into these shoes as my primaries and using them for this 14 miler.  I will only find out by trying them out so here goes nothing on Sunday.  I look forward to that report.  Anyway, I felt strong doing my work today.  Started with a half mile warm up and held a solid 7:20 pace for that.  Then, after another mile walking we (Tully & I) cranked up again for another mile where I held and finished with a 7:25mi.  It should be noted that this was all down hill on paved road.  The goal here was to push my mile pace, work on the minimalist form and gate, and get further accustomed to running in the Trail Gloves.  I am pleased with all the results...but still nervous about Sunday.  See ya then.

.5 warm-up 7:20p
1mi 7:25p
Fila shorts, red dry-fit t-shirt, UA visor, Merrell Trail Glove 2
70 degrees, sunny, paved roads (Wire & Chicks Crossing)
Wells, ME 04090