Thursday, May 04, 2006

Too busy to blog

But not too busy to run... That's been the story for the past few days down south here in beautiful Falmouth, Mass which is homebase for the famous Falmouth Road race and the Falmouth Cape Cod marathon.

Most of my runs have been along the well maintained bikeway the runs along the edge of down and runs all the way into Woods Hole which is only a few miles from the hotel. It's called the Shining Sea bikeway and is just as beautiful as these pictures portray. So far this week I've managed to run each day on various out and back routes along this trail....

More later after I get a bite for supper!

Anyway, on Monday it was a 9 hr drive down to this lovely area near Cape Cod and since it was a rest day, then no running. Since meetings were scheduled each day starting early it meant getting up at 6am (but only 7am in Canadian time) to make sure the run was checked off.

Tuesday morning, no problem up at 6am, looked out the window and pouring rain and wind with temps of only 6C (43F). Awww, fall back into bed, pull the covers over my head for a few minutes, but I'm awake now right? So I get up, drink some coffee, OJ, nice homemade muffin and gear up and out the door 20 minutes later. It wasn't so nasty once I got out, and the rain slowed to just a steady light drizzle and once on the bike trail out of the traffic and streets it was much more pleasant and peaceful. In fact the trail was completely deserted and didn't meet a single runner, walker or biker on the 5 mile out and back from the hotel. Where is everyone? Are there only fairweather runners or is there another preferred location (doubt it). But that was fine, except for a nagging soreness that has developed in my hip/hamstring area it was a nice easy run feeling a bit tired and sore. The Garmin might beg to differ recording a 7:40 overall pace; it may take awhile to sort out how this thing really works and how believable the numbers that come out of it are.

Weds morning was another 6am wakeup but this time it was just overcast and windy with temps around 8C. I was feeling a bit tired again and so made a deliberate effort to keep the heart rate down in the 70-80% range (less than 135). This time there was no wrong turns to get to the trail and went a bit further right down to the beach and dipped my foot in the surf before turning back for home. Another quiet run with one biker guy sitting beside the trail and only 1 walker along the route. No runners but did spot one off in the distance. The only other wildlife was a number of red winged blackbirds calling back and forth and flying near but ignoring me. Total of 5.2 miles at 8:35 pace which felt very easy and comfortable.

Today Thursday was yet another 6am wakeup (getting better at this) and on the road by 630 for what was supposed to be an easy 4 miler since I was thinking of another longer run later in the day. So I thought, why don't we try this Virtual Partner function that the Garmin has? You can program a desired distance &/or pace and this virtual runner takes off at the same time as you. The watch has a nice display that shows how far ahead or behind you are in relation to Mr. V. It was quite an interesting experiment as I had programmed what I thought was a moderate pace of 8:00/mile over 4 miles.

So I start my watch and immediately Mr V 'takes off' at 8:00 pace leaving creaking, sleepy me in the dust. What the ..?!@ he's got 150-200 ft on me already and we've just started and I'm not even warmed up yet! So before I know it I'm in a 'race' just trying to maintain a separation. This isn't easy... but gradually I begin to get warmed up and before long Mr V was the one being tracked down. The route was more or less the same but today the weather was much improved with clear skies and light winds and temps up to about 12C (50-ish). A few more walkers and the biker guy along the trail again smoking something or other but I was too busy trying to catch my new invisible opponent. Finally by the 3 mile mark he was caught but then it came to me that I was still 2+ miles away from the hotel and this was supposed to be an easier/short run (duh)! So turn around and hammer for home with the invisible man close on my heels, at least until I got to the downhill at the end and he got smoked (ha!) by almost 400 ft at the end. Total of 5.25 miles in 38:20 or 7:19 pace which was way faster than planned but somehow that was what I was sucked into. These new toys are almost as bad as some of my fast running partners but we won't go there today ;-)

But that left my energy for a longer easy run in the sunshine a bit more reduced than planned but certainly not forgotten. Thankfully our meetings ended early today and we were able to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies we've finally been rewarded with after several days of cloud and rain. It was like a perfect June day, not too hot but still warm at 20C (68F), a little wind. After tracking down some sunscreen to protect my sensitive white Canadian skin, I got dropped at the beach near the trailhead and it was off to the races on the same trail but this time well populated with walkers, bikers, roller bladers, kids being pushed in strollers, etc. There really are other people around that use this wonderful trail (I was starting to wonder you know). I ran right to the end in Woods Hole and then returned the whole length of the trail back to the hotel for a total of 6 miles but this time at a much slower pace (avg 9:24 including walk breaks and lights). The HR was elevated for much of the run, even at this slow pace and this was attributed to both the warm temperature and being the 2nd run of the day. My hip felt better but developed some blisters on my feet probably due to the warm asphalt.

Oops, sorry this post got so long but there was 3 days of runs to get caught up on. Hope I didn't bore you too much with my blathering. Speaking of which, there is a really good running podcast by Steve Runner that all runners will enjoy and maybe even some non-runners who want to figure out what the heck it's all about. It's quite entertaining and his Boston experience has to be heard in detail to be believed ;-)


Olga said...

Yeah, life is getting busier for me too...and training. As initial excitement wears off for typing every workout, it's left to the race reports now:) It's ok, normal development.

UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

Mr. V doesn't have a red beard by any chance, does he?

Unknown said...

I guess Mr. V knows who's the boss after Thursdays run. Virtual racing, I'll have to try it some day.

Dawn - Pink Chick Tris said...

Good thing you've been to busy to blog, cause I've been too busy to read

Your Mr V must be faster than my Mr How come I got stuck with the slow guy. Wait that's a good thing after all if I can't beat him, I really am

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