Sunday, December 31, 2006


You Will Keep Your New Year's Resolution?

You're planning on making a resolution that's smart, attainable, and perfect for where your life is.
Will You Keep Your New Year's Resolution?

Anyway, that's the prediction that I got from the Blogthings website. So what is/are my/your resolutions? I don't usually make them but thought it might be fun to come up with a few and see how they come out next year at this time. Nothing like an online diary of sorts to keep you honest. So here's my running related list:
  1. one bowl of ice cream per week (doctor's orders and see #10)
  2. two beer per week for the added carbs that we runners need
  3. three glasses of red wine per week for the good heart healthy chemicals
  4. four days of easy running per week so I don't get overtrained
  5. five different events in the RunNB race series to attain the cycle (5k, 8k, 10k, 1/2 & full)
  6. six days per week running (except for post marathon rest weeks)
  7. seven or 7th day to run long every week (where long>17mi or 2.5hr) (see #6 exception)
  8. eight races over the year (this should be easy)
  9. nine minutes off my marathon PR (3:14 to 3:05) Ouch that's gonna hurt!
  10. ten pounds, lose them for a 10 minute predicted marathon gain making #9 that much 'easier', ha! (current weight 165lb)
I think that's enough for the silly goals or resolutions. Right now the last thing I feel like doing is running after surviving another 21 mile run with Andrew this morning. Survival was the watchword for today's run as we were both feeling the effects of a long hard week of more training. Andrew is still popping off one hundred mile weeks one after the other and put in a hard workout on Saturday with a variety of repeats. I was also tired after a 74 mile week and a one hour run on Sat with 10 strides (20-25sec sprints) thrown in to shake out the legs.

The border guards were again funny asking about that Andrew guy and wondering how anyone would actually want to run in the cold. It was cool this morning -8C (18F) with a noticeable northerly wind as per usual and a few centimeters (inch) of snow on the roads and trails to make it a little greasy. The extra cushioning is nice but the bad part is every step has a little slip or kickback and this wears on the legs (esp. the hams) after a few miles.

It's a good thing that we're not trying to kill each other out there because these long runs are tough enough without pushing the pace. As it was the main topic of conversation today after training plans was how awful our legs felt and how much our hamstrings complained about the hills and slippery footing. We started out the run nice and slow and just worked our way through it, enjoying the nice sunrise and ocean views. Eventually the miles ticked by and we resisted any urge to increase the pace in order to get the run over with sooner. In fact I don't think I could have run any faster if chased by a pack of wild dogs. My running style was mostly just falling forward, one foot in front of the other and praying for the next mile buzz from the watch. Finally the oasis that was our waiting vehicles appeared and we enjoyed a little holiday snack before departing with a final "See you again next week!" (we are certified nuts)

Thanks A, couldn't have done it without you today.

Good running and a Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 29, 2006

3000 milestone

It was a cold and windy day...
And hardly a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Thankfully I have a good wind and rainproof jacket, unlike Lydiard Mike who suffered through a cold wet run yesterday in Arizona without the proper gear. With the right gear and preparations you can be more or less comfortable despite the cold. Today's starting temperature at 9am was -11C (9F) with a windchill of -19C (-2F) so it was a day for the best gear including windpants, 2 layers under the jacket, and a smattering of vaseline on the exposed skin. The decision of when to run can be difficult in anticipating whether the temp will increase or the wind decrease and picking the best time to go. The final decision was made when Coach suggested the the wind was forecast to pick up later in the day and I'd better go now.

The plan today was for about 2 hrs or 15 miles but with no special speed or add-ons. Began the run with a trip down Rabbit Lane to the ocean but the tide was high and there was no running on the ocean floor today. Instead it was back up the the hill and down Rose Lane to the graveyard where I discovered that my watch had not yet started, darn! Most of the 1st part of the run was out of the wind but each time I'd head north there was a noticeable change requiring clothing adjustments. The pace was quite slow today but the legs were feeling decent for the most part, all I can figure is the extra layers and weight. After winding my way hither and thither with a stop at the post office where my new balaclava (pic after run) was waiting for me. Cool, I can use this today and be just like Blogfather Marc.

Home to drop off the mail and pull on the balaclava and then retraced my steps to determine how much distance I'd missed earlier. It turned out to be 2.3 miles and the new face protection also worked well except for some fogging up of my glasses but now I can just laugh at the cold. Ha ha ha, take that! Finished up with a couple more miles for 15.5 in 2hr 12 min and now 66 mi. for the week. The milestone hit today was 3000 for the year with 2 more days to go. I know it's just a number and nobody ever wins races by having a good training log but it feels good to hit it and achieve a new training year PR. The key now is to continue the consistent training for another 15 weeks as the road to Boston continues.

It's supposed to warm up this weekend. Let's hope!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Holiday running

Santa was good once again this year, as always. Besides bringing my older children home for the holidays, he also brought lots of joy, happiness and family time together.
Sadly we can't keep them forever and they have to move on with their own pursuits. I hope they don't mind my bragging about them once in awhile. Christmas was a day off from running as we spent the entire day exchanging gifts, preparing meals and just laying about.

Since I'm on holidays for the week and most of the family likes to sleep in late it's been easy to get the runs in lately. Tuesday called for a simple 1 hour run which was accomplished by an easy around town loop. The weather has been unusually mild here lately with this run at +3C and a light rain. We were supposed to get a winter storm but it somehow missed our area while all around, north - south - east got snow. I was comfortable with some of the new gear that Santa brought me and also nicely entertained by a podcast by Steve Runner. Total of 9 miles in 78 min.

Similiar story today with another early morning run but a bit later start around 9:30am and cooler temps of -2C with some windchill. The simple plan today was to just do about 1.5hrs with a possible speed or tempo portion during the run. Did the 1st 6 miles as an out leg into the wind and near froze some extremities with the biting wind. The turnaround was a relief and I was then able to remove some clothes with the wind at my back but couldn't do much as far as picking up the pace. The run was uneventful except for a large German shepherd dog that came out on the highway to bark and investigate me. He was quite persistent but eventually backed off when his owner noticed him but no harm done. Finished the 12 miles in about 1:38 (8:11 pace).

It's only 16 weeks to go before Boston and time to work at my training plan to develop more specific goals for speed and tempo runs. For the last 7 weeks I've been averaging 50-68 miles per week with long runs of 20-21 miles every week but nothing as far as any faster running goes. It's just been putting in the hours and miles of basebuilding. There is a very interesting discussion going on at Lydiard Mike's blog that might help me out and I'm sure Andrew will have his 2 cents on whatever I come up with. I'm just looking for someone to tell me what to do but we'll see soon enough. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Caught in the act!

Guilty as charged! Maybe it was the heat but Cody just couldn't keep away from attempting to delete some pictures that he didn't like. Silly cat!

I must also admit to being guilty of running and now writing about the event. Both of these habits are a little obsessive but it's a quiet time around the house right now and there are a few minutes to spare.

On Saturday we were up early and I was able to have a nice relaxing blueberry pancake breakfast with Jo before heading out into the rain for a 1 hour run. It was very treachorous with a thin layer water over black ice on the streets and trails. Even running in the ditches and side of the road was bad and I had visions of ending up flat on my back several times. Another incentive to take it easy and slow down though as I finished up the week with a total of 68 miles. And the kids were still fast asleep when I got home at 10am, in fact some didn't appear until after noon!

Today's run with Andrew was a bit more interesting. Up at 6am and on the icy roads to downeast Maine once again but at least the salt trucks were out in force. The US border guards were a hoot asking the usual questions, where I'm from, where I'm going, for how long and why but then wanted to know the details about my run. "You run how far?" they asked. "20 miles" was my reply. He gives me a strange look and says "You say that so casually". And then the other guy start talking about an Andrew Seeley from Eastport. It seems he's famous in these parts! There were more questions about training for Boston and then "Have a good run". It's a small world.

Arrived at Boyden Lake by 7:30 and Andrew were soon on our way for the usual 21 mile loop. We started out a bit slower this week since the roads and side trail had a few icy patches but were soon cruising along at full gab. It was a beautiful morning with a perfect sunrise and a number of Kodak moments (without the camera) and the talk was mostly about how the training is going for both of us. The last few miles saw the pace creep up but it was again hard to determine which one of us was more responsible. I just don't know who to blame and we never look at the watch except to see what mile it is on the GPS. Total time of 2:49 with last 7 at 7:33 pace. Another great run and that's now 7 in a row 20+ Sunday long runs. It's still not easy but certainly alot more bearable with friends like Andrew. And by the time I got home 2 out of 3 of the kids were still in bed.

Merry Christmas folks and happy running!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Just running along

Yes, Thomas our tree does have some bits of green showing through the tinsel and home made ornaments. It's also well guarded by our very own Christmas goat which is a new tradition from Sweden since we have a visitor from there.
Cody is very photogenic, even when just awoken from sunning on the couch. He is a Birman, a breed noted for their beauty and being a people cat. This guy has quite a personality and gets lonely and talkative if ignored or left out of things. He is also very attached to his owner, my daughter and sleeps outside her door at night makes pitiful cries in the morning when we start to get up.

On the running front, things are rolling along quite nicely but I've been too busy to blog all week with the family home and no spare time in the evenings when I usually do my posting. It's really amazing how much difference a week makes. This time last week it was all moaning and complaining about being tired all the time, cutting runs short and basically just not keeping up with what the mind wanted to do. Now a totally different story, getting the runs in by time intended, managed a tempo-ish run and not especially tired except for a little background noise.

Monday - rest day; walk to/from work but now looking like we'll have a green Christmas

Tues - 8+ miles in a little over an hour at lunch. I was a little underdressed in -5C (keep forgetting to account for the wind) but the run went well and I enjoyed a nice caramel chocolate candy midrun that lasted almost 2 miles.

Weds - 11+ miles in 94:00 A slow steady run in the same conditions as Tues but better dressed for it with windpants and windproof gloves. Stopped at home for a refill of gatorade that helped get me through the last 1/2 hour where things started to flag a little bit.

Thurs - 8 miles in 63:30 with 3 miles at marathonish pace (splits 7:14, 6:59 and 7:20 varied with the hills and strong wind). Started out slow and then did the pace run back to homebase. It felt good to run a little faster than normal but got a bit difficult at the end with steep hills and strong winds in unison against me.

Friday - after a quick exit from our office Christmas eve party it was time to get quickly geared up and on the road for a longer run in the cold wind again. Temperature was -5F (23F) with windchill of -10C (14F) and I was happy to have some extra layers today. Out and back 12 miles in about 1:40 and felt decent most of the way but tiring a little over the last few miles. Decent run.

Total for the week so far is 60 miles with one run left tommorow. I'll be sure to get out early for this so I'm well rested for another meeting with Andrew on Sunday for the long run.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Of Christmas cats and Christmas trees

We're getting all tuned up for the season and even Cody is in the mood.
A lot overexposed but a neat effect I think.

Just time to make a few comments about my Sunday long run with Andrew before I fall asleep on the couch again. These runs are always so differerent in some ways but like a comfortable blanket in other ways. Sometimes it's the weather which can be exposed and nasty in places, though it was quite benign this week with temperature around 33F (1C) and just a touch of wind. Other weeks it will be a different mix of runners whether it's Marc, or Steph, or Jon but always old reliable Andrew (did you know he's about to become an age grouper?)

And then there's always the various aches and pains and accumulated weariness that we bring to each run. It often takes about 1/2 the run to explain where and what the latest 'injury' is doing. I had made the time honored mistake of running late the day before and was running of fumes almost from the start of this long run and had alot of complaining to do today. (Note to self: always run as early as possible on the day before a long run, especially if it's with Andrew). Despite the tired sore legs that never seemed to loosen up we still managed to move along at a good pace. I simply can't explain the 21 miles at 7:5x pace when if felt like 8:30's from the beginning and then the last 7 miles felt even slower but were 7:40's. Go figure.

So run completed, time to go home, not so tough now was it? Boy, did that brownie taste good!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Slacker Report

Yup, I've been slacking off. After being tired all week and then having a great run on Thursday I then took the liberty of almost taking the day off on Friday. I had planned on at least 1hr but everthing seemed to conspire with me and ended up only getting one measly mile in before cutting the run short. Ended up quitting early so Jo and I could get on the road to pick up Steph from the Agricultural College in Truro. Besides, I deserved a day off for a change, right?

Successful and uneventful trip and on the way home we dropped off at Double Diamond Stables where we visited some horsey friends of Steph's and some real people too. The baby horses were full of life, one of which is a full sister to the horse, Thea, that Steph is riding in Truro. We took a bunch of pics which are now on this site. Here's a pic of Thea who is 2 1/2 years old.

And her baby sister, Lexie who was born in May (7 months old). Very cute and full of beans. We we arrived at the barn Lexie and another colt started racing around the small corral at top speed. It was quite a show!

Safely back home and had time for a quick end of week run. Did a 1 hour out and back along the main highway for a total of 7.5 miles. Because of the missed days and shortened runs my weekly total is only 55. I'm going to need a couple of big weeks to finish off the year and catch up to Olga but know that 3000 is in my sights. Now it's time to get prepared to return to the 'Scene of the Crime' for another long run with 100 mile Andrew.

Take care and Happy Holidays!

ps. good wishes and luck to Robb Runner who is now on his amazing family road trip!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

That's more like it!

Just a quick post to let you know that there is still hope and that I didn't have the overwhelming need to lie down in the middle of the road during today's run. In fact my little 1 hour jaunt was just that, a very easy relaxing run that seemed to require minimal effort.

Looking at the numbers from the run, it was basically the same as the previous day with 7.7 miles in 63 min (8:11 pace) but it felt way more fun, almost easy again. This is all a little strange from the way I felt all day, which was a bit lethargic and in need of extra coffee. Then after a busy day at work with meeting after meeting and little chance to do any real work I rushed home and did a few quick chores before being able to get on the road. I made a couple of changes designed to make todays run easier including the downhill start, carried water and wore my newest (most cushioned) shoes to ease the strain on the body.

However, right from the 1st step there was a different feeling that's been missing lately and that was the tiny bit of pep or spring in my step that's been missing. You just never can predict a good day but that's what I was blessed with today and so the run just floated along for a change instead of the usual crawl and slogfest. Thank you, thank you! Nothing unusual in the run today. We had kind of a dreary grey day after a rain event last night and the temps of 6C (42F) were nothing special. I did run into a couple of runners who I caught up to and just kept on cruising by all the while trying to press the easy button. Eventually it got dark just as my time limit was up but the legs were still fresh and raring for more, a very good sign.
Happy running from a happy runner!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rethinking the plan

They never said it would be easy but... this constant draggy tired feeling is starting to make me wonder if I'll ever run normally again. I'm starting to get tired of being tired all the time. I look in my log and for the last 5 days in a row it says 'Tired'. Something has got to give soon and it better not be some hidden weak link in the system or some virus or cold that seems to be going around. Oh well, hopefully I can hang on for a few more weeks and re-evalutate.

On a happier note here is the rather interesting profile of my Sunday 20 mile run with Andrew. Doesn't it remind you of a series of Christmas trees with red garland floating overhead? Actually it was 4 loops of St. Andrews with a nice downhill start and ending with a long climb home for drinks and a short break. That makes 5 weeks in a row with 20+ mile long runs which breaks all previous records x2. This Andrew guy has been a good influence I think (except for the tired thing).

We had a very easy relaxing run as we were both feeling the effects of our tough schedules and even almost broke out into singing carols on the long uphills. Thankfully the fit passed and we made it to the top. Like Andrew I then spent the rest of the day looking for the nearest couch, but unfortunately had shopping, travelling, visiting and more travelling that keep me on my feet. By the time I found the couch in the evening it was pure exhaustion and not even ice cream could help by then!
A silly picture of my bro' playing with Ginger. 'And all the stockings were hung with care'

Quick recap of the last few days: Monday - rest day and still tired

Tues - delayed my run as long as possible in order to maximize recovery. It worked out to 54hr rest but still was not enough as my log calls it 'a no pep, draggy run'. Still managed to go for 11 miles in 93 minutes and there was a nice 1/4 mile in there as the sun was going down over the calm ocean bay.

Weds - sorry to bore you with all this moaning and complained but this was just more of the above. Log says 'same slow slogging pace, very heavy legs' for 7.5 miles in 61 min. Enough of that, here's another picture for your viewing pleasure and the hope for better days ahead.
Our snow is now gone, replaced with rain and warm temperatures for a few days but it'll be back soon, I hope!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Press the Easy Button

Just press here and all your troubles will be solved ;-)

And if you believe that, then do I have a deal for you! It seems like half of blogger-land is need of an easy button lately with various injuries, ailments, over/undertraining or perhaps the seasonal holiday blues. Let me see, there's Popsicle Marc still recovering from last weekend, Downeast Andrew who did too much on Friday, Blogfather Marc who just got kicked out west, Lydiard Mike who's working out the hobbles from his super amazing marathon, DGC doesn't need a shrink but has a throbbing knee, and even Marc-Run Faster Master is taking it easy!

And I'm just touching the surface of some of the blogs I read, sorry if I missed ones where things are not as good as they could be. But the short story for me is that the 'Easy Button' has been in constant use all this past week and I'm STILL TIRED! It helps a little bit but getting those runs in is still work, even if you keep telling yourself 'Easy now, slow down, just running by time today; running faster and harder won't make it go by any faster'. But for some reason I've needed that picture of the stupid Easy Button in my head to help me think about doing just that. Maybe it will help you, or maybe not but it can't hurt, now can it?

Updates since my last 'Tired' post...

Thurs - an 'easy' hour run that turned into 8 miles in 65 min because it was such a nice springlike day, mild temperature of +6C, blue skies, no wind. I was thinking about and resetting the 'button' but to no effect. Avg pace 8:07

Friday - winter came back with a snarl. Nasty wind, snow, sleet etc with a 2hr run scheduled. Ended up starting late, after work when the storm had easy and ran circles around town along the sidestreets which were mostly snow covered and unplowed. I wore my Yaktrax cleats which fit over my shoes and provide amazing traction on snow and ice. You can run with no fear of slipping what-so-ever. Now if only the body was feeling better. It was a nice evening but a little cool and windy as well but managed to get 90minutes in before I decided to call it quits. Total of only 10 or so miles and could have done more but certainly didn't 'feel' like it. Besides supper was on the table and it was time to stop!

Sat - took my time getting going this morning so that there was more recovery time since last nights run. Ended up doing a really easy 7.5 miles around 8:30 pace and had no inclination to even round it up to 8 miles (as I normally would).

Total for the week of 66 miles in 9hr 10 min. The body report is OK but not great with no major aches except the %$# achilles for the 1st mile of each run and the general tired thing which Coach Andrew tells me is 'normal'. Onward and upward!

This is the route I take when I walk home from work (it's about a mile through the woods and fields).
I also found these high bush cranberries along the trail which made me go a little artistic. The birds love these and the provide some color in the trees.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


What happened to my so called fitness? It's only the 2nd week of the new training regime and already my old body is throwing up little warning signals or is it more like the white flag of surrender? Perhaps a little exaggeration there but I'm not looking forward to the rest of the week's plan of attack. There are no real injuries or specific sore muscles but just a general tired feeling where it's even a bit of an effort to just sit and you just want to lie down and go to sleep. Now there's a good idea!

Schedule for the week: 2:45+, rest, 90, 60 completed and 60,120, 60 to go with no specific paces yet, just time on my feet and miles on the body.

You've already heard about the long cold run and our failed attempt to turn Marc into a popsicle. My rest day was a nice break and I had no desire to run all day until... later in the day we had our 1st snowfall. I love to get out in the fresh snow but was able to resist today and instead just took a few pictures of the winter wonderland.
It was getting dark but you get the idea.
Here's a shot of our fish pond with a night light for the fish. It provides just enough heat to keep an air hole melted so they can get the oxygen they need.

Of course the Christmas lights are now on welcoming visitors and friends.

On Tuesday I was able to give my shoes their 1st taste of the snow and salt for the season with a 90 minute jaunt around the golf course followed by a trip around town. It's perfect cushioning when there is a 2-4 inch layer of snow on the grass and with little black ice on the cartpaths there was minimal slipping and sliding around. My only problem was forgetting to bring some water as I got thirsty as the run went on. I need to remember that my runs are getting longer now and water will make the runs a little easier. Total of 11+ miles at 8:20 pace and ended feeling pretty good but just a little tired and thirsty.

I ran today at lunch for an hour and it felt like a 2 hour run. I'm not sure if it was a lack of sleep, not quite 24hr recovery, or lingering dehydration but this was a real slog of a run. Even going slow, slow didn't help the heavy legs to feel any better as I trudged though 7.5 miles at 8:25 pace. It was also a relief that I wasn't facing further humiliation at the hands of the twins today and was able to run quietly on my own. The temperatures were cool but I've now got the layer thing sorted out again and was comfortable in the -8C conditions with a light wind.

Tonite I'm just feeling t-i-r-e-d but nothing a little ice cream and bagels can't fix.

Take care out there!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

That was (not) good !!

And I'm glad it's over! Our 1st run in real winter weather just about did us all in today. A combination of improper clothing choices, nagging injuries that surfaced with a vengeance and a biting northly wind all combined to make this a run we'd all rather forget.

It started off OK with the nice downhills, easy pace, good friends chatting away, miles clicking off but with the wind ominously at our backs. The temperature was only about -3C (27F) but -10C (13F) windchill and I had even packed an extra headband to use if necessary. We were woefully unprepared for what happened next...

See Andrew's post for the full story. We'll have to wait for Marc to unthaw so we can hear his side of it but it won't be very happy I'm afraid. I'm not sure if he'll ever come back to Boyden Lake again.

A popsicle between two (so-called) friends. Even the camera was having issues with the cold today as evidenced by the blurry image.
Well, at least the little 'treat' tasted good.

Total of 21 miles with last 7 in 52:44 (about 7:30 pace) and last mile in 7:20 as we tried to keep warm by running faster. Next time there will be an extra layer and my never-fail neck warmer upper thingie.

And for your viewing pleasure, here is the perfect tile...

And go give Lydiard Mike a big congratulations on his superb 2:37 at the California International Marathon. Great job!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lydiard experiment: week 1 report

Where to start? At the beginning or the end? OK the end. Total of 65 miles in 6 runs and 9hr of time on my feet (8:11 avg pace). The plan calls for 6-8 weeks of conditioning work where the runs will be based on time and not miles and the effort will be of secondary concern until I can get up to speed as far as the total time goes. In this 1st week all the runs have been either 1hr or 1.5 hours besides the longer 2.5+ hr Sunday run.

After surviving an easy hour on day 1 and the trouncing that I took on day 2 at the hands of two teenagers it was another easy hour on Thursday with my new running friend Eddy. You may or may not remember my story of Eddy at the Saint John marathon in August. It was his 1st marathon and he struggled in with me after a fast 1st 20 miles. He swore never again but after a few months to cool off he's back again and thinking about the 3:10 he needs to BQ. Anyway, he's back in town and was looking for a run so we did the golf course path route while we jabbered away about training programs and stuff. Total of 8 miles in just over 64 minutes and it felt like we were just jogging along.

Friday called for a 1 to 1.5 hour run and the conditions were just dreadful with temperatures just above freezing at 1C (34F), a steady cold rain and a brisk northeast wind to put the icing on the cake. My plan to leave work early at the end of the day was thwarted by the threatening weather and my vain hope that it might let up a bit. A quick check of the latest weather radar loop showed that it was not to be and so it was do or do not.

And as usual, I did, with a rather miserable slog of a run again on the golf trails so as to stay away from traffic and to give me the option to bail if it got really bad. There were a few nice minutes in the woods with the wind at my back but mostly it seemed that I was running into the wind and cold driving rain for the most part. At the 1hr mark the temptation to cut the run short was very strong but I quelled the urge long enough to begin an out and back loop around town that sealed the deal. The run finished just as it was getting dark for a total of 1hr 34 min and 11 miles. My fingers were so cold that it was hard to undo my double knotted shoes and I then had to disrobe my wet clothes into a bucket so as to not track a path through the house to the hot shower that was from heaven. Check!

This morning I finished up the week with an almost 1hr run or 57 min. Close enough Andrew? I was running a bit late as we were about to hit the road for a shopping trip to Saint John to try to pick out the perfect tile. It was a success but more on that another time. Right now it's time to get ready for tomorrow's long run with Andrew and possibly Marc if his knee holds up. I've got a very special 'treat' in store for them which should put a smile on their tired faces. We'll see what happens....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

2 runs, 2 twins, too tired

And this my 200th post. It's hard to believe there's been that much to blab about, I mean blog about over the past year. But with the buzz about Lydiard lately it's not time to go quiet just because I'm worn out after just 2 days under the program! The problem about putting yourself out here is that you get called to account for what you say and do. Let the accounting begin!

Day 0 - Monday - rest day, not part of the official program According To Lydiard (ATL) but it's time off my feet that this old body needs

Day 1 - Tuesday - plan called for 1 hour easy but was just feeling so good that I had to let the horses go a bit. It was a roundabout route around town as Andrew is well familiar now but could not hold back the pace at all. Ended up at 7:45 pace and just a little over 8 miles completed. Well I hope that doesn't come back to bite me I was thinking after the run. But it just felt so easy!

Day 2 - Weds - the crows have come to roost now; the plan ATL was for 90 minutes at aerobic effort but that easy effort was not for me. Instead I left work early to meet Verne and his young high school runners for some long intervals. The 'twins' are national class runners in their age group 16-18 and have set provincial records and dominate the races they run usually placed 1-2. What is he thinking you ask? I'm not sure but Verne wanted my long endurance to help the girls with their long intervals. On schedule today was 3x1500 in 6:10-6:20 and my 'job' was to try to pace them at 4:10/kilometer pace. It was not a pretty sight, suffice to say that the splits were under 6:00 and this old man was just hanging on for most of the run. Ouch, but at least there were only 3 of them. There were no takers for a 4th so I continued on for the finish of my 90 minutes or about 11 miles.

I was lucky to make it home... The next mile of so went Ok but then the effects of the very fast pace took their toll and it was an effort just to keep one foot in front of the other. I even took a couple of walk breaks which is almost unheard during normal running for me. Eventually I struggled up the last hill and crashed onto the couch with great relief. Yes, speed kills! And some people just never learn too.

On tap for the rest of the week, 1 hour tomorrow, 1.2-2hrs Friday and another hour on Saturday to top off the week. Let's hope the rest of the week goes better than the 1st half did.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Who's this Lydiard guy anyway?

Oh, oh... That was a question my coach/wife asked me the other day after reading one of my laments about training plans and the lack thereof. Arthur Lydiard was arguably on of the greatest athletic coaches of all time and more specifically he is the running coach to whom Andrew now subscribes.

I've been sitting on the fence with no good arguments except basic laziness and an unwillingness for change. My old program is just so comfortable and easy that I'm tempted to stay with it for another marathon training cycle. But on the other hand, I'm getting older and improvements are getting harder to come by and so maybe I do need some kind of drastic change. The Lydiard program would only slightly increase my total mileage since I'd stick with the 6 days of running per week but would have benefits in the range of efforts that it calls for. With a total of 20 weeks to go before Boston it should also be a good opportunity to see if there is still hope for me or not. Counting backwards; 6 weeks co-ordination and taper, 4 weeks anerobic, 4 weeks hill resistance, leaving 6 weeks for aerobic conditioning. And to start I'll be going by time and not distance, ok coach Andrew?

Speaking of the devil you just have to read his hilarious description of our Sunday 20 mile run around the hill and dale of St. Andrews. It had me laughing so hard I couldn't see the computer screen from the tears in my eyes.

I do beg to differ on a few minor points though. We did not run over every hill and dale in my little town. In fact I made a special point of taking it easy on Andrew avoiding most of the hills at least as far as possible. The 'jaunt' though the woods was not an attempt to lose my partner but a strategy to 'sneak up' on yet another hill. And 'hilly highway'? Sorry, not real hills but next visit we'll make sure to visit where I work at the bottom of a cliff.

It was another great run, even if it did start in total darkness and was run on slippery frost glazed roads for the 1st hour. Our 1st five miles were on my normal town loop with a return by the golf course to avoid the hills. After a quick pit and water stop it was 'down' the hills again for a scenic jaunt across the ocean floor and then twisting and winding back and forth through town as the sun rose on a beautiful calm morning. We eventually made it home for another quick water stop before finishing off the run with an easy out and back on the highway. The pace picked up only slightly for this last bit but 20 miles is still 20 miles and I was having a hard time keeping up at this point. We were both happy when the finish was at last in sight. Thanks Andrew, I needed that!

Good running.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Weekly musing

Still running and hardly training but certainly thinking about it. Andrew has lit a fire under me and may still convince me to make the plunge with Lydiard. I've been sitting on the fence for awhile taking it easy with the Pfitzinger plan which works but has not shown any huge improvements to my marathon times.

So, finished off the week with a lazy 8 miles on Friday and another easy 7 today for a weekly total of 55. The plan is to do 20 in the morning with Andrew and finally decide what kind of commitment I'm willing make for the spring marathon. I'm sure we'll have a long conversation on the details and know which direction he'll be leaning.

I noted in a previous post that it wasn't always the best of plans to be doing long runs of 20+ miles week after week. Most training plans give you a break so you're only doing them every other week. I thought that I'd check the old training logs and lo and behold it has happened in my distant past but even more so recently.

Thus far this year there have been 15 runs of 20+ miles and 4 times there have been back to back weeks. Tomorrow will be new territory with my 1st triple or 3x20 in a row. That Mainiac from Eastport is certainly having an influence on my running and I must admit it has been for the better despite my occasional whining.

"Why dost thou run so many mile about?"
- Shakespeare, Richard III

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Going in circles

Do you see that? Do you see what 'he' did to me? I can't even run in a straight line, my achilles is now permanently seized up and can only go in one direction, constantly turning, wincing, gesturing at the ghost across the Bay. In fact the pain has spread to my neck and I can barely turn my head to look up, let alone lift my arm high enough to shake my fist.

Ha! Just kidding; or at least sort of, as I do have a very stiff neck that came out of the blue this morning while simply stretching and brushing my teeth. And this is the day after my annual checkup with the doctor where I got a clean bill of health. Go figure! Today's amazingly winding twisting run was done on the cart paths of our local golf course; now closed for the season. A total of 6.5 miles of ups and downs and twists and turns make for an interesting run on a cool cloudy day with patches of ice still not melted off the paths at noon.

It's been a rather easy week so far with only 3 runs of 6 miles or so each. I was quite tired on Monday and very glad to have a rest day after that rough ride that was Sunday. I think there is something to be said for not doing back to back weekend 20+ long runs. This weekend I'll be taking a break and not going much more than 2 hours to give the legs a rest. Besides it's still over 20 weeks to Boston and no hurry to kill myself just yet.

Tues - 6 miles slow and draggy; still feeling the effects of Sunday. Medical exam with low blood pressure and resting HR of 45 which prompted my doctor to ask "You're still running?"

Weds - crazy winding path route of 6.5 miles but my extremely stiff sore neck made it a real 'pain in the neck' if you know what I mean.

Thurs - neck better today and just did a simple 6 mile loop going at an easy pace. No watch either which is unusual for moi.

Plans are for a longer run on Friday and easy run on Sat to bring the weekly total to about mid-50ies. We might even see the sun again this weekend, although it did peak out for a few minutes today. Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends (think I still have one or 2) and readers.

Oh, BTW go check out the Chasing Kimbia site where they are having a writing contest of sorts. The 7 finalists have submitted essays and we, the readers, get to vote and help choose the lucky winner who will get to spend several weeks in Kenya living with and writing about these amazing athletes during their training for a spring marathon. Read the great essays and cast your vote!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Where's the couch?

Oh man! Andrew is definitely trying to kill me, or at least run me into the ground! Today's long run at Boyden Lake was tough on both of us, with A coming off his 1st of many planned 100 mile weeks and myself just plain tired. The border guard must have had a chuckle when he asked me where I was going today...long pause..."Mmmm, aaaa, going to Calais, I mean Eastport to run with a friend". The coffee still hadn't kicked in and for a second I had no clue where I was going or what to say. Luckily he didn't pull me over for a search but just smiled and said to have a good run.

I arrived a few minutes early (coulda got a few more minutes sleep there A) and fumbled with my gear to get ready for our cool morning run. The day was a bright sunny with temps of about 34F or 2C and a light northerly wind and only warmed up a few degrees during the run. Andrew braved it in just shorts and 2 long sleeved tops but I went with the windbreaker and pants and was OK.

We started out slow with a couple of 8:30's to get the bugs out and slowly got up to speed by 5-6 miles in. The Sipayik trail was nice today in that we had a nice view of the ocean with the clear sunny skies and zipped along at 7:30 ish with the wind at our back. Of course, when we turned and backtracked into the wind it was a different story and the goosebumps on Andrew's legs created enough drag to even slow him down! The middle miles seemed longer today, and the rolling hills also seemed more rolling than usual but this is to be expected as the mileage creeps up. We don't really watch our pace much on these runs but let it just come to us and once again it creeped down under 7:50 for the last 6 and 7:30 for the final mile (horses could smell the barn). Same 21 mile loop as last week in the same time of about 2:50. Another great training run in the bank but still no plan for Boston which is only 22 weeks away.

Total for last week was 53 miles in 6 runs. I also managed to fit in a bit of quality with 3 miles of tempo pace (under 7:00 pace) during a 10 miler. I'll work at increasing that over the next few weeks with one quality day per week, at least until I come up with a 'real' training plan.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


This is my Uncle Eloi, with his wife Emily and son Donald. Every November 11 on Remembrance Day I often have thoughts about this uncle I never met. Eloi was killed on July 25, 1944 during the invasion of Normandy France. He was only 34 years old.

Here is a happier picture taken about the same time as the above. My Mom is seen here between her sisters Edna and Hazel. She is about 10-12 years old here and looks just too cute and mischevious. I just got back from a visit and she is doing very well with the treatments and the latest report shows a marked improvment so we are all very happy, to say the least.

Just a couple of runs to report on this week. None of the mega mileage and double digit days that Marc and Andrew are piling up though. Rather, a measly 4 easy miles on the treadmill Tues because it was just pouring cats and dogs and then another easy 6 today after work. I might try a little tempo run tomorrow and then a bit longer effort on Friday but no promises.

Good running!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Boyden Lake Fog Bowl Run

Another sunrise shot but this is not how it looked out there today. We made a little detour around midrun on the new extension of the Sipayik trail which now intersects with Route 1. This flat/soft paved asphalt walking trail goes for about 1.8 miles along the shoreline of Gleason Cove and is part of the Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy reservation. It made a nice detour to get a few extra miles in but the fog was so thick we couldn't see more than a few hundred yards. We did see lots of waterfowl including ducks, Canada geese, and some neat little plovers or sandpipers.
So, another early Sunday morning run, this time meeting Andrew alone, for who knows what kind of workout (he likes to keep me guessing). The conditions were great today with no wind, temperatue about 55F (13C) and a light mist from the fog. My hopes of just doing just 17 were soon dashed as we sped along at a good pace from the get go and threw in the above mentioned out & back just for fun. I had a bit of a hard time keeping up with Andrew's fresh legs today while maintaining the required continual conversation but made him promise not to take any more days off before long runs. We'll see how that works out, as the game can work both ways and I reserve the right to thow in an unannounced marathon pace workout at any time!

We had a great run even if my gasping for air was more pronounced than usual and on reflection it was me setting the pace as much as A. In fact, we somehow pushed the last several 6-7 miles with splits working down from 7:52 to a 7:31 final mile despite the little hills along the way. Thank God for the visions of filet mignon and chocolate cake that kept me going and of course my little emergency pack of Powergel. Final numbers were 21.1 miles in 2:48 for 7:59 average pace and avg. heartrate of 136 (80% of my max).
Here's the loop with heartrate and the elevation profile. And just in time, for as soon as we drew to a stop it started to pour rain. Whew, glad that's over! Yet another super training run to put into the running bank. Thanks Andrew ;-)

Oh yeah, my training plan is still no plan and the total for last week was 50 miles with an average pace of 8:03. This seems a bit fast but I'm just going by feel right now. When I start real 'training' I'll need to pay attention to the hard/easy days but that's still a few weeks away. Until then the plan is to just run. Have a good week!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Random running

The nice thing about the lack of a true 'plan' is that when I walk out the door I have no idea what direction I will run or how long or fast or hard it will be... It is the greatest feeling to just be able to run and not be concerned with the numbers (that much). I'm still a bit of a techno-running nerd when it comes to the gadgets and some of the stuff they spew out so please bear with me.

Result from today's 'random' run around town.

Out the door today around 4pm after work with the sun finally peaking out after 3 days of constant rain and wind. Ideal running temperature of about 13C (55F) with little wind so only shorts and a long sleeve shirt were needed and I could've used a t-shirt instead.

OK, I've got about 75 minutes before supper so which way? Left or right? Right it is and I'm off at a slow trot. Hmmm, too much post-work traffic here, so another right onto a deserted side road. Nice soft gravel surface but the achilles is pinging again (when will that go away?) but as usual the ache dissipates after a mile or so. Another intersection; let's go left this time. A dirt road in the woods, puddles and leaves to jump over or around. Everything smells so fresh and clean after the rain. Through the graveyard, down the hill, around the subdivision. Hey let's make this loop a maximum distance run around town without retracing any steps! But I don't have enough time to zig-zag all the downtown today. It would make a crazy untraceable running route, wouldn't it? Maybe another day. Meanwhile the pace is picking up without paying attention to it as I notice the average pace is now under 8:00/mi for the run. Darkness is now starting to fall... Should've started earlier, maybe next time.

Last mile, pace now up a bit more and I hear footsteps! What the? It's the 'other' Andrew out for an evening run and pounding hard to catch up with me. Cool, but I'm almost done my run. We continue along at the same harder pace, up a decent hill, gabbing all the way. He must be related to the 'real' Andrew! Anyway, about a mile later we peel off in different directions and I'm home just before dark after a very enjoyable random run.

Other random runs this week:

Tues - 5 easy miles after work

Weds - 7 draggy miles at lunch in the rain (volleyball in the evening Thomas!)

Today - 9 fun easy miles around town

Good running out there!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday, Sunday!

What an absolutely glorious day for a run! Gorgeous sunrise in one direction and a beautiful full moon setting in the dawn sky in the other direction. Temperature was cool at -2 to +2C (28-34F) and just a light north wind.
And of course the best part was joining up again with my long lost buddies from Maine at good old Boyden Lake! No time for a butt shot today cause it was frosty and time to get moving. More details later after I finish watching the New York City marathon off the live feeds. See ya in a bit...

OK, much longer. Now that was an interesting race with a wide open field on both sides. One of the Kimbia runners, Stephen Kiogora (aka Baba), did very well finishing in 2nd and almost caught the get away Brazilian winner. The NBC hour of coverage was complete junk with none of the key leader moves shown or explained. Oops, and here comes the womens winner out of nowhere... The live video feed on the other hand was great and worth the $5 to see the blow by blow and you can go back and download it to view again. On the Lance front I'm going to have to eat my words and 'lick his boots' because he somehow scraped out a sub-3 but just barely. You have to give him credit for doing it and raising a ton of $ for cancer research but the media circus is another thing.

Back to our morning run, did I say what a great day for running it was? Cool but perfect and we were all happy to be wearing an extra layer today. With all the early morning shade and light winds it would have been on the chilly side in shorts. We started out nice and easy and soon the miles were clicking away at about 8:30 pace as the conversation rambled all over the place from running, racing, jobs, weather, birthdays, you name it. This was Marc's 1st initiation on the course and I think he was quite impressed with the quiet backroads with very few cars and great views at every turn. He may even come back for another taste test in the coming months. In the 2nd part of the run we unconsiously picked up the pace and the last miles hovered around 8:00. Final total of 17 miles in 2:21 and my 1st venture over 2 hours since the marathon was a success with my running friends to keep me moving today.

Great run guys! Have a good week!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Still sitting on the fence

Not alot to report lately as I continue to take things easy since the marathon, just slowly upping the miles and number of runs each week. Managed to get a total of 45 miles in 6 runs this week which was exactly as planned and this comes from someone without a plan. Actually my non-plan is to build up to 50-60 and then take it from there.
Here's the 2006 training profile thus far with 2 marathon buildups and various races scattered over the year. The green line is the longest run distance each week. I'm now looking at a PR year for the training log and likely will hit the 3000 mile mark by year end.

The past week was a blur with a ton of work stress keeping me occupied but not interfering with the running at least. Lets see what my log says...

Sunday - 12.5 miles, slow tired draggy, strong sw winds
Mon - rest day
Tues- 6.2 to burn off steam from meetings
Weds - 6.2 same loop, with Garmin back from shop, 7:47 pace felt easy
Thur - 8.25 in cold rain and wind, miserable conditions, pushed pace to try to keep warm but it didn't work
Friday- 8 miles on a nice sunny afternoon holiday (took some time off) but had to bail out of the run when my hip started to complain. Made it home but hobbled around rest of the day wondering if it was a real injury or not and trying not to let coach see I was hurting.
Sat- 4 miles easy before our little shopping trip to SJ. The phantom hip injury is now gone, go figure!

Looking forward to reuniting with the Boyden Lake gang tommorow morning. It will be interesting to see what Mark and Andrew do to convince me to convert to their new all out training strategies. In case you've missed it, Andrew continues to ramp up his mileage to the stratosphere and we're all watching for the upcoming train wreck. Mark is also pushing up the mileage and we hope he can hold up under the strain too (or did I say train?). Good luck guys!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bedding down for the winter

No, not this runner going into hibernation but rather preparing the yard and pond for the long winter months.
Waders were required for the cold water today as I moved plants around and adjusted some of the plumbing before the big freeze to come. The goldfish are still active and were swimming around my feet and legs.
Jo's pond is now put to bed for the winter. We only need to put in a 'night light' which will provide an air hole for oxygen exchange for the fish. I'll post some pics when things freeze up later on next month although we might get lucky and have another mild winter.

Things have been kinda boring on the local running scene with just easy runs all week. 6 miles here, 7 or 8 miles there, 5 miles today with a total of 40 miles in 5 days of running for the week.

Don't forget to keep an eye on Thomas who is running the Dublin marathon on Monday. He is runner #10176 but they don't seem to have online tracking. I won't jinx him by predicting a time and will just say that he is set for a breakthrough race. Go Thomas!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Recovery almost complete

First a quick update on my oldest son, Chris who was home for the weekend to pick up his new (to him) car. Can you tell it's his 1st from the big grin? He's worked hard, saved his money and deserves it, I believe.The Chicago marathon is over but you can still view the video of the entire race at their website which is now saved in a bunch of video clips (love it!). The Chasing Kimbia runners had a bad day but still ran very well and were in contention up to 20 miles; their pacemakers did a super job too. Dallen had an awesome race finishing in 2:42, but slowed in the 2nd 1/2. Zeke had a very smart race and looks like he held back with even pacing to finish nicely under 3 hrs in 2:58. Way to go guys!!

Another runner I've been watching closely is my cousin who was making another attempt at a BQ today in the Kennebecais Challenge Marathon. The results haven't yet been posted but I've got my fingers crossed on what would have been a tough run on a cool blustery day with a headwind for most of the way. Go Jerry, you deserve it, and you will do it!

On the local running scene I did a short 4 mile jog on Saturday as part of my compulsive habit. Needed a few miles to up the weekly total to 35 from the previous week of 30. The plan for the coming week is 40.00 miles (no more, no less) and it needs to be a small progression each week, not an exponential increase that some other (unnamed) runners attempt.

Today's run, was a medium-long 13 mile slogfest in the cold and wind with temperature between 2-4C (35-40F) and light winds 5-10mph but felt worse than that. I started just after 7:30am just as the sun was coming up and never really found my stride the entire run. Seemed to be dragging the entire way and the wind seemed to always be in my face. Things did get a little better after about 1 hour but then the tired factor began to play a part as well. I guess the recovery thing is still incomplete and running 4 days in a row may also be playing a part. At least Monday will be a rest day and hopefully things will improve next week. I'm still mulling over the training plan and goals for the coming training cycle and will post in the next few weeks. It's either an all out attempt looking for substantial improvements, tough with our unpredictable winters, or a sort of maintenance level running at 40-60 miles per week to get me through the next Boston.

Good running and have a great week!

Training is ...

. “There are no secrets in running. You train hard. What you learn you pass on to the next person.”

Chasing Kimbia

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Short and sweet

Like Andrew, I'm slowly, slowly getting back into running, sort of... It's nice to take a bit of a break and not be fussing and worrying about the next run or being fearful of the next hard workout.

Sat - easy 5 miles at home before blasting off to Bathurst to visit my Mom. The run was alot faster than planned because the legs felt strong and loose and because Jo's famous pancakes were waiting for me after the run. I would pay for this enthusiasm in 24 hours... Total for the week was all of 30 miles.

The drive up was uneventful (about 4.5 hours on non-divided highway) and it was great to see my mother again, who is looking very well. We talk every week but visits are fewer than I'd like. Her health has had a downturn recently but she's getting really good medical attention and treatment with a good prognosis thus far. I also got to visit my sister who immediately put me to work doing some wiring in her fix-er-upper house. But she did feed me pizza, beer and ice-cream (knows what I like, eh?)

The next morning I was up early for my medium-short long run. After being silly last weekend and running in the Phedippidations 1/2 marathon (though not as extreme as DawnB with her back to back marathons!), this weekend the plan was for about 1.5 to 2 hrs depending on how it went. It didn't go that well with my legs feeling sore and tired from the start. Usually this feeling goes away after 10-15 minutes but today it was still there after 30-45 minutes out. But it was a beautiful morning with cool temps and sunshine so I just kept on moving my feet. Ended up with about 12.5 miles in 1:43 but this is only a guess because it was pretty ugly at the end with sore cramping hams and a general tired feeling. Blaming it on the semi-tempo and working in Sis's basement the day before, oh well.

Then it was off to Saint John with my Mom so she can make her appointment the next day at the Regional hospital there. We got to visit my brother and were able to celebrate his birthday with cake and a few candles.
Did I tell you he was my little younger brother? Ha! Happy 48 there Bro ;-)

Oops this was also supposed to be a short post. Gotta go play volleyball now. Hope the rust is out after the disaster that was last week's games. Cya later!

Good luck to all those running marathons this weekend. Can't wait for the reports from Zeke and to see how the Kenyans do too!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

run, rest, repeat

simple isn't it?
but that's all there is to it.
the trick is in the infinite variations of these 3 ingredients

run long, run short, run hard, run easy for months or weeks on end
rest short, rest for days or weeks


don't get injured
feeling twinges or soreness? deal with it, don't ignore it or you'll get bitten

monday - holiday here and a rest day

tuesday - easy run of 5 miles in 40some minutes, no aches or pains or twinges or anything, feeling smooth but slow

weds - another rest day; biking back and forth to work; volleyball for 2 hours in the evening felt awkward and rusty

thurs - heavy rain and wind all day; cleared late in the day and walked home in time for a 60 minute run before supper. trusty garmin is in for repairs and felt strange with a simple digital watch. hmmm, how does this work again? on/off! nice quiet run in the aftermath of the storm with fog and moist air, along with the back woods paths and fallen leaves.

friday - another rest day is planned

Sat - short easy run before heading up to Bathurst to visit my Mom for a few days

next week i'll run 4 days, the week after 5 days, and the week after that it may be back to the 6 days a week schedule though on reduced mileage for another month or so. at least that's the general 'unstructured' plan for my off-season before the buildup to boston begins in mid-late december.

happy running !

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A post with many names

There has been alot happening lately and I can't decide what to call this post and so here are some possible post titles:
  • One year Bloggiversary - post#184
  • Phedippidations 1/2 marathon race report
  • Better home and garden ponding update
  • Tabletop Hill adventures
  • Guinness! It's spelled Guinness!
So...I'll tackle them one at a time. Yes, today is exactly one year from my 1st tenative post into the unknown. Little did I know what I was getting myself into and it was all good. The virtual community of runners of all abilities who support each other and offer advice and kind words during the good and bad times. Though I've only met a couple of these bloggers in real life whom I can now call my friends, I'd like to think that many of my other virtual friends whom I've never met would also become good buddies if we ever got together for a race of a run. It's because of this community and people like Andrew and Marc that my running has gone to another level and is ready to progress even more in the coming year. Thank you all!

Today's run was my version of the Phedippidations 1/2 marathon on my own private course. There were no mile markers, no water stops, no cheering crowds except in my head while listening to the latest edition of Steve Runner's podcast. My results are now posted. It was just a normal Sunday morning run with loops and turns around town, a quick stop at home for extra drinks. I was feeling fine for most of the run but did tire a bit over the last few miles. Total of 13.1 miles in 1:48:48

We've also been busy, or at least Jo has been busy reworking her pond lately. My involvement is mainly in the heavy lifting, wading into cold waters, and removal of small dead animals from time to time. As you can see there are some huge plants surrounding the pond and gazebo area. The tallest plants with the red flowers are a Canna lilies and are over 6 feet high!
Right now the focus is on the waterfall area of the pond and getting some large flat rocks in place. The trick is to get them level and not have huge leaks that take away from the flow rates. There is also the aesthetics of it too and so the 'right' rocks must be found for each spot in the overall arrangement. It might take some time and alot of foamy glue stuff to get right.
Did I say what a gorgeous day we had here today, in fact all weekend has been near perfect, though a little cool in the early morning. After lunch today we took a few hours to do a little hike in the local area of Bayside called Simpson Hill. It was a winding but rugged trail up and down and the view of the river and estuary were quite amazing on this perfect clear day. It's hard to believe they're considering turning this into a quarry.
There wasn't alot of wildlife but we did run across a few small snakes basking in the sun which I captured on camera for Dawn. Sorry, Dawn ;-) but it is a cool shot with his forked tonque in the sun and all.
Now last but not least is the Guinness story. Thomas gave me a hard time for misspelling the name. It was an honest mistake and now here is the offending beer in full blog glory including a closeup of the rocket widget.
It's not quite like the Widget on the how it works website, maybe it's an American variety? I guess you learn something new every day, right Thomas?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Rest and recovery?

It's been almost a week now since Wineglass and already the wheels are turning, thinking about the next run, the next training cycle and the next race. But 1st a little R&R in the form of no running, lots of good food (including the occasional beer and ice cream), and some gentle exercise like walking and biking. We took our time coming back from Corning by way of the back roads, avoiding the interstate, and were treated to some great scenery through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
But it was still a long 2 days drive and Jo and I were happy to be home at last. A was glad to have us home too after minding the ranch on his lonesome for 5 days!

There were no bad after effects from the race other than sore feet from my blisters and slightly stiff quads which is normal. Going up and down stairs was not the problem it usually is and there was little stiffness in my legs. I almost went to volleyball on Weds but held off at the last minute after getting 'the look'. "Yes, I know I should take it easy for a few days, coach."

However, my nervous energy made me lace on the shoes and head out the door for a short easy 4 miles on Thursday. It was great to just go along for an easy jog with no pace or distance in mind except to be able to run again. We're into those cooler crispy days now where it's cool in shorts but only until you get started. The air seems so fresh and with all the fall colors it's a perfect time of year in my books and so I hate to miss a day.

On Friday I took another day off though my body and mind was begging to go again. Instead I biked to and from work and tried to ignore the temptation by having another Guiness. Do you know about the 'rocket widget' they put in each bottle? It kind of caught me off guard when I heard this rattling noise in the bottle that Marc had given me. Is it some kind of joke or trick? (I've never had it in a bottle before, only on draft at the bar). But yes, they put this little 'rock' inside to do whatever it does, perhaps to help stirr up the thick malt, mmmm! So I went and bought some more!

Today, Saturday was another lovely fall day here and didn't dare let it go to waste unrun. After our traditional blueberry pancake breakfast with plenty of strong coffee it was on with the previously bloodied shoes and then off for another short run (sorry Andrew but I can't help myself). This time it was a 5 mile 'jog' around our town Point on the water on another perfect calm, cool (4C. 38F) fall morning. I was thinking Kenyan shuffle, nice and easy jog but average pace was 8:02! Spent the rest of the day lazing around the yard, helping Jo with her pond and waterfall. I'll post some pics later on when we're done the revision.

On tap tommorow is the Phedippidations 1/2 marathon would you believe? No, I'm not crazy but I'm planning to run this virtual race with over 500 runners world wide. Anyone can enter, design your race course, pickup your virtual goodie bag, get your t-shirt design and then run the distance on Oct 7 or 8 and submit your times to the race website. The reason I'm running is.... well, I signed up months ago before Wineglass and so now... I have to do it cause I said I would. That's all there is to it, just a nice easy, easy relaxing run with a Phedippidations podcast on the mp3 player and that's it! Besides it's going to be another perfect day here in the maritimes and what's a perfect day without a nice run?

Happy running (or not)!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wineglass Race Report

Where to start? Had a great sleep and then up at 6am for a light breakfast with the usual cereal, coffe and juice. I was not feeling overly tense or nervous, just a sort of ready feeling and after mapping out my splits and gear the night before the only decision to make was when to leave for the bus and how much extra clothes to wear. After being dropped off, the bus ride from Corning to Bath went very quietly as I kept to myself in the back of the bus. Arrived at the start area in plenty of time and relaxed while imbibing a quart of gatorade. There was little happening except runners milling around and the usual lineups. One bit of entertainment was a runner duct taping gel packs to his shorts. I wonder how far he got with that and if it worked in training too!?

About 30 minutes before the start I found Andrew & Marc in the very short bathroom lines and so entertainment and laughter was assured. We discussed our race strategies and decided that the best warmup was going to be no warmup at all. The temperatures felt only a little cool and the overcast skies just added to the perfect conditions as we lined up near the front of the crowd. Finally, we were off and Marc and I ambled down the road for the 1st easy mile in 7:37 (too fast, not the 750 planned). It was difficult to run this slow early on but the fear of going out too fast and ruining all my training kept me in check (sort of). Next miles were still too fast in 7:35 to 7:31 as I pushed it on a small hill to get past one group! Slow down will ya! The next few were more of the same as I completed my 6 mile warmup in 45:06 just about 1 minute faster than the planned 46:00.

It was a bit of a relief to get to 6 miles and then be able to open up the pace a bit as the next few miles went by in 7:19, 7:18, 7:14 all feeling ridiculously easy and holding back and watching my pace (according to Garmin) closely. This pattern continued for the next several miles as I cruised along nicely, slowing catching runner after runner and still the feeling of holding back more than ever before in a marathon. The 1/2 floated by in 1:37:30 and still feeling great but wondering when the wheels would start to come off. Not for awhile yet, next mile in 7:07 was my fastest as I allowed the horses loose for a few minutes in getting by a group of runners. The course between mile 15-20 is a blur in my mind but splits were all around 7:20 as my only task was to focus on the pace and attempt to run as relaxed as possible, waiting for the real race to come. And come it did, starting with some hamstring issues about 16 miles, likely due to the constant flat downhill nature of the course. Some strategic hand massages helped and the pace held up for awhile longer.

Mile 19 was nice in that I got to see my photographer for the 1st time in the race and surprised her by swooping in for a good luck kiss. I heard a funny comment from the crowd saying "you're going to loose time for that!", to which I replied "not a chance!". But then I immediately proceeded to get distracted and started up a conversation with Mr Alaska (nice shirt and had lived there for several years) and my next split dropped to 7:40 as we talked away. I had thought we were cruising a bit faster but not so and when he slowed at the next water stop I applied the gas again, though looking back for him to keep up. Miles 21 and 22 went back to 7:21 and 7:16 but the pace and effort were starting to make itself felt, with the feeling of 'holding back' now long gone. About this point the hamstrings started acting up once more and then the dreaded side stitch hit as I struggled through the next miles in 7:29 and 7:31.

Why do things always get so tough in these last miles? I was a good boy and started nice and slow, why can't these last miles feel as easy as the 1st ones? Miles 25 and 26 in 7:42 and 7:40 were just a blur of counting (but not able to get much past 20) and one foot in front of the other, telling myself just one more mile, just from the flashing light to home, just one more mile, just through this tunnel, just to the end of that block. Finally the Glass Museum and the bridge and finish was almost in sight! The guy at the turn called out 3:11:xx and 1/2 mile to go and I was able to calculate that a 3:15 was in reach but unable to go any faster than one foot in front of the other. Finally, finally the finish! Can I stop now? In the hok position, "are you all right?", looking at my watch unable to get grin off my face, wait till I see Andrew, finally able to move, wow, glad that's over but that was worth it!

Post race, much food, drink, the world's best post race massage, debriefing with Andrew and Marc, nice awards including champagne for placing in my age group and then back to the hotel for a nice shower and rest.
It was a perfect day, what more can I say?

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Marathon Gods Have Smiled v2

Update is at the bottom...Just time for a quick post

Perfect day and weather... cloudy, cool temperatures and light winds

Perfect course...flat and downhill with a few tiny little hills along the way

Perfect friends to run and share the weekend with...

Check out the results at Wineglass

Andrew 2:56:59 (major PR)

Mike 3:14:56 (PR)

Marc 3:38:11 (good run on no training!)

More later when I get a better connection. What a day, what a race!

Here are a few more pics for now...
Pre-race at the start line before we drove the course for the 1st time.
Andrew reminded us not to forget the standard 'butt' shot for the Pink Lady.
At the expo I was lucky enough to meet Dick Beardsley and had him sign my copy of his book Staying the Course which tells his amazing story.
At the 8 mile mark, right on pace but didn't see my photo lady because of a vehicle that was in the way.Here's Andrew flying by the 19 mile mark looking very in the zone.

Still smiling at the 19 mile mark and about to kiss my photographer for good luck. It worked too!
Here's Andrew at the finish wavng to the crowd. I don't see who he's outkicking, perhaps they were roadkill back in the distance?
Looking for the finish that couldn't come soon enough and no idea what my watch was down to at all.
Here I'm getting the best post marathon massage of my life by two (count em, 2) lovely ladies. Thanks to Rebecca and Jessica, you're the best ;-)
The three amigos with their hardware. Thanks guys, great times and a great weekend!