Thursday, September 28, 2006

More taper talk

Only 2 days and 12 hours and I'm still in one piece physically and mentally. All the do's and don'ts have been done and not done for the most part and all that awaits is the very long 14 hour drive and the last minute preparations.

So what have I done in the do column? Just easy runs for the most part this week as per the schedule. On Monday I did an easy 5 mile with the 'other Andrew from work' but he was feeling punchy and the pace (7:57/mi) was a little faster than planned but we were both feeling good. The plan called for a second run of 4 miles easy but I dropped that, just because there was no real need for it. Other good do's were in the diet and rest categories with extra sleep and only one piece of chocolate cake (but no ice cream, which was hard).

On Wednesday Pfitz has you doing a marathon test run where he suggest gearing up in all your clothes & shoes that you plan to wear and then do a few miles at marathon pace. I decided to ignore the clothes thing for a couple of reasons, 1) new Mizuno shoes have already been race and long run tested with 60 miles on them 2) my skimpy Canada shorts are only for special occasions and I wouldn't want to scare the locals too much. However, the marathon pace is a good plan to remind the legs what's in store for them so I did an 8 mile run with 6 miles of progression pace as I'm planning for the 1st 6 miles of the race. The Garmin is perfect for this task when set to autolap for each mile and in lap mode so you can track your average pace within each mile. After the 2 mile warmup the splits (and how they felt) went 7:58 (jog), 7:50 (fast jog), 7:47(still felt easy), 7:40 (easy controlled), 7:26(now working with a hill), 7:08 (final race for the barn and let the horses go). Great workout, didn't strain at all with overall pace of 7:50 for the distance. That night I splurged and had a beer and ice cream too!

Today was just an easy 6 mile loop around town. Nothing special, nice sunny fall day with light winds, pace about 8:05. The achilles was a bit twingy for the 1st mile once again for the 1st time in about a week but after the warmup and post run it was fine. I'm now cut off from the beer and ice cream until after the race but will still enjoy my bagels and peanut butter.

The plan still calls for a couple more 4-5 mile runs on Friday and Sat. but will play this by ear if I feel the legs need a little stretch. I wouldn't mind jogging the last few miles of the marathon route the day before, but again will have to wait and see what the days bring. The latest forecast for race day in Corning still looks like the initial prediction from 5 days ago and that is 'Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the lower 60s.' This is near ideal, no direct sun, coolish temperatures with the 9am start and as long as the showers hold off or are just short in duration we should be fine. Bring it on!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Training wrapup

With only a week to go to Wineglass you can hardly call the running I'm doing lately as training but it's still miles on the road and some gentle reminders to the body not to get too lazy.

The work has been done weeks or even months ago and so any running done this week will be mainly to keep my alter ego, Evil Runner, happy. When in heavy training it was always ER who was the 1st to complain and whine about the workouts, early mornings, mid-week runs, the weather, you name it. And now that we're slacking back for the taper, you know who's the 1st to start 2nd guessing and want get one more hard session in, etc well it's ER again! I know he's determined to sabotage me one way or the other and I'll have to tread very carefully and remember that less is better in all things for the next 7 days (except for rest, stress and sleep).

Quick recap of the last few days. Easy 5 mile runs on Friday and Saturday around 8:10 pace with a few strides to stretch the legs out. Feeling good but not great, no spring in my step yet. Total for the past week was 50 miles with an average pace of 8:03.

Today's last short-long run was 13 miles here at home (alone) in 1:45 with a few stops to check on a friends' cats and to refuel my drinks. Finished off the last 4 miles of the run with a mini-progression to mimic my plan for the marathon start with splits of 7:58, 7:49, 7:39 and 7:23. These paces all felt very comfortable and in my easy aerobic range except for the 1st 1/2 mile of the last one due to a continuous uphill climb. The elevation profile of Wineglass with it's gradual downhills should be very conducive to even pacing and so I'm not worried, yet.

Looking forward to seeing Marc again and travelling down with Andrew next weekend. We'll just try not to bore poor Jo to death with all our running talk on the long drive to Corning.

Taper on!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday

Just a quickie post to wish A a happy 17th birthday!

A huge surprise package arrived today which had very little weight...
What is it? It must be for the birthday boy!
It's a cool remote control plane from big brother ;-)

Smoke but no mirrors. A delicious cake, especially with ice-cream!!

ORN - 8.5 miles at lunch with 3 miles at so called 5k pace (as fast as my legs can go). Managed a 6:50 (into the wind), 6:23 (with the wind, downhill & flat), and 6:35 (down and up). Running fast and as hard as I could but not getting tired and HR stayed low (<150) go figure!

Taper on...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More boring runs

To follow on a theme recently proposed by Andrew, here are a few short words on the boring running as of late now that taper is seriously on.

Monday - rest day, a few niggle aches and pains and some extra tiredness from the marathon pace workout on Sunday

Tuesday - still a little tired but it was a nice mild day for a run and ended up with 8.5 miles at 8:17 pace including a few strides with walking between. Resting heartrate was 38-40 so I'm well recovered in that department. It will take more time for the legs to completely recover from the many weeks of increasing intensity.

Weds - an easy, easy 6 miles at 8:18 pace with a temp of 16C (60F) in the pouring down rain and it felt great! Love to run in the rain (if it's not too cold). Still feeling a little lethargic (no spring in the legs) and the achilles is still a pain for the 1st mile.

Planning for Wineglass is now fully completed, hotels and places to stay are booked, departure time and itinerary is also being firmed up. I hope Marc has lots of beer and ice cream cause there won't be any holding back after the run.

That's it! Just a short boring post about short easy runs. Happy running!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Story of a short long run

As Andrew and I cruised along in the final miles of Sunday's 17 miler we tried to decide if this counted as a 'long' run or not. According to A it needs to be at least 20, while I 've been going with Pfitz with 18 as my cutoff. So the vote was that it did not count as a long run in our books and we tried to come up with a name for this in-between type run, how about 'sh-long'? or maybe 'sorta-long'? Whatever, it was still a great run with benefits to the overall training load.

With all the 'stuff' that's been happening to A lately it was a wonder he was able to even make it out this Sunday. Thankfully though his family is now on the mend and are finding their way out of the hospital and back to the safe confines of home.

At 6:32 I arrived at the good old Boyden Lake meeting spot to find my unsuspecting buddy ready to roll. Little did he know the evil plan I was about to spring on him as he has been a bit out of touch with the cyber world lately and had no inkling that someone (me) was out to get him.

"I've got a plan. Do you want to see it?" I asked.

"Huh, sure what is it?" Andrew replied looking a little puzzled by the scribbles on my pad of paper.

"It's a practice run for pacing at Wineglass with 6 miles of cutdown before getting to marathon pace from something I read. "

"OK, sure, sounds good" (good old Andrew is always up for just about anything)

And we were off at a slow jog for the 1st few miles, easing into the run as planned. The conversation began and never stopped and sometimes I even got a few words in edgewise! First, I went into detail about what pace I'd like to do based on recent races and training and how the cutdown pacing works. It calls for mile 1-2 (30 sec slower than MP), miles 3-4 (20 sec slower), miles 5-6 (10 sec slower) and then goal pace. The idea is to give away 2 minutes in the opening miles by starting slower than goal pace and saving the glycogen and energy for the final miles. It will be difficult to do on race day because running this slow will feel like a jog after the taper and so it needs to be practiced during training, like the long runs. However, the payback comes in 2 ways, 1st after easing into the marathon for 6 miles you then only have a 20 miler to go. Secondly, if you can stand being passed in the early going, the fun will come in the last miles as there will be plenty of 'roadkill' to swoop by.

So we just eased into this sh-long run with the 1st 5 miles in about 42:00 and then slowly began to cruise along a bit faster. For some reason the hilly nature of this route was not much of a problem today with only 3 of the many inclines hard enough to still the conversation if only for a moment. After mile 11 the pace dropped to 730 or below but the effort was not noticeably harder as I began to monitor my Garmin a bit closer, reading off the splits to Andrew as we went. Last 7 miles at 7:27 pace with heartrate at 140 or about 80% of max. A perfect run on a perfect day!

This is a summary of my training mileage and long runs by week since Boston in April. It's gone fairly well for the most part with consistent mileage around 70 and a decent number of long runs. There have been a few races but not nearly enough as I could have used a good 1/2 or another 10k in recent weeks to gauge fitness.

Taper, taper, taper... Good running all!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Hard, easy, repeat...

That is the mantra of any athlete in training and attempting to improve their performance. The hard part seems obvious but the easy can be just as important so that your body can enjoy the benefits of the effort without being broken down by next hard effort. Many of us (myself included) just like to coast along putting in the miles but avoid the really hard efforts because, well ... they're hard. Actually it's usually never close to as hard as your evil runner try's to tell you it is. Whether it's a bunch of repeats on the track or road; or a hard effort in a race, it's never that difficult when actually doing it. The hard part is turning the doorknob, getting out the door and just getting started. Once committed the workout or race just unfolds as it should and you can debate with yourself afterwords whether you put in the effort it deserved or not.

Take my Friday workout for instance. I ended up doing a 10 mile run including 5 miles at tempo (1/2 marathon) pace during the run. The key for getting this run done as planned, after waffling and switching runs around all week because I was 'tired' from my race, was simply to decide to do it on Thursday and then begin preparing for the effort. Preparations began with good snacks that evening (and some bad snacks too ie. ice cream) and then getting a good sleep than night. The next day at work I was careful to hydrate all day and avoided the big lunch and sweets at a retirement party late in the day. Instead, I headed out early from the party so I could get my my 'workout' in before supper. The run went well, starting with an easy 2 mile warmup on a 5 mile out and back route from home along a highway with good wide gravel shoulders. The numbers (mile splits) according to the Garmin were 657, 658, 707(hill), 654 and 655 for a total of 34:53 for the 5 miles. It was work and I needed to keep my focus on my breathing and running rythm but was not overly 'hard' while my heartrate hovered around 155-160 or 90% of max. Finished off the run with 3 easy jogging miles and was happy to arrive home where the cold beer awaited!

Today, Saturday was time to apply the easy part of the equation, where I like to think I'm good at for the most part. It's a trait of many runners to run their 'easy' days too hard and then compromise the effort for the next 'hard' day and I sometimes get caught in that trap myself. However, today was a day to sleep in, have a nice relaxed morning breakfast with several cups of coffee before venturing out into the beautiful day. We had some fog at first to keep things a bit cool but the temperature hit 25C (77F) later in the day. My run was just an easy jog around town along the back streets and trails with a stop at a friends to check on his backyard project. Total of 7.5 miles at 8:20 pace which was just perfect. The legs felt good today, no problems with the achilles but my hip was a little sore after the run for a bit (now ok).

End of week 16 of 18 for the Wineglass training program with a total of 48 miles; down a bit due to a missed long run last weekend with the race but this is taper time and we won't sweat it too much.

Now it's time to prepare for the next 'hard' run which is tomorrow's long run with Andrew over in Maine. I actually don't consider these long run's hard unless there is some extra pace work mixed in but am thinking of springing a little trick on A in that regard if he's up for it. It's something I've seen before and just re-read and it might be nice to 'practice it' before the big day. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts to my latest mad plan...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Mid-week blahs

Putting in some runs but seem to be skirting along the edges of the training program and have been cherry picking my workouts from the schedule. There were no major issues to the body after Sunday's race except being a little tired and lethargic. There are now some race pictures posted on the RunNB website and also here in my Webshots.

So after a day off on Monday I went for an easy 6 miles on Tues (instead of 10 with strides) and used up my Saturday easy run. The run went OK on a perfect sunny day with only light winds but was slow (8:18 pace) and I felt tired with no energy.

On Weds things were feeling better but work got in the way and only had time to squeeze 8 miles in over lunch before rushing back for a meeting that started late and went downhill from there. It was another lovely day and this run went smoothly. Started out slow and easy but the pace just started to ratchet up as I went with overall 7:58 pace on a hilly course. But so much for doing 14 miles...

Today Thursday I was able to finally get my Tues 10 miler in but just barely. For some reason (perhaps a lack of sleep) my energy level was again low and the run was a bit of a struggle as I ignored the watch and just put one foot in front of the other for a median pace of 8:12. At least I have a good handle on my survival shuffle pace this week but hope it won't come into play just 16 days from now.

This the 1st real week of the taper and it seems that a few easy runs would be in order but I'm feeling guilty for missing the long run on Sunday and not having any quality miles so far this week. The key thing to remember in the taper is to have a few good quality sessions so the legs remember what they are supposed to do while drastically reducing mileage. Reducing mileage is the easy part, the hard part is not doing everything easy and losing the speed and turnover that you've worked hard to build up. Writing this it suddenly came to me that the choice for my remaining workouts is obvious; forget about the 14 miler this week and tommorow do 10 miles with 5 at tempo pace. Then on Saturday run easy and I'll be ready for a nice 17 miles with Andrew and the gang hopefully on Sunday.

It's decided! Happy running!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hampton 5 mile race report

Instead of getting up early for the usual long run across the bay with Andrew and company I got to sleep in a bit since today's race was not until 10:30. After the usual breakfast of cereal, coffee and juice we were on the road, arriving in Hampton before 10. Five minutes later I had my number and t-shirt with plenty of time for an easy warm-up.

I've been bothered by a tight achilles lately and needed to be sure to get a couple of miles in before the race. Strangely there was not even a twinge out of it today as I did about 1.5 miles before the race and held up a few trees as I fit in some extra stretches. It would have been good to do a few strides as well, but just couldn't fit it in. However, everything was feeling good and loose despite the cool temps and light winds and I was ready to go. Race time temperature was 10C (50F) with a light N wind of about 15 mph. After a few short speeches the crowd of about 330 runners and walkers was away!
It was a bit crowded at 1st with the usual slow people at the front but was able to get on my pace within the 1st 100 yards. I then had to make a quick drop off of my extra shirt in the 1st mile, throwing my not-too-sweaty garment at Jo who made a nice catch.

It was then down to business and trying to figure out how fast I could manage today without blowing up. The 1st mile which had a few downs and ups went by in a quick 6:20, faster than my 800m workout pace from last week, oh oh! I then hooked up behind Richard, who is often close to me in races at this distance and tried to just hang on to him. The main key for me in these 'short' races is to focus on my breathing and to try to keep it under control and not to gasp and make alot of noise. Anyway, the next mile which was mostly uphill came in at 7:00 but at least we were at the highest point in the course and had some nice dowhill rolling sections ahead. My focus was still on Richard, who is a big tall guy and was looking very smooth with his long strides. I was just trying to stay close, not make too much racket, and to keep the legs turning over on the downhills. The next mile went by in about 6:40 (I say about cause the watch was on autolap and seems to always measure a few yards short during measured races).

Still on poor Richard's heels we made the turn onto the main drag for the 4th mile which was mostly downhill. At this point I could feel him starting to slow as I had to be careful to stay to one side and not accidentally get to close. You don't want to send a fellow competitor flying by clipping his heels going at full speed downhill! This mile went by in about 6:30 as we bottomed out with a small climb and turn to the final mile marker and finally, I pulled even and passed him. After the pass, I now began to focus entirely on my breathing and counting with each exhale and trying to run strong and smooth. Though I was certainly tiring I was able to pass a few more people and actually picked up the pace for the final mile. In the last 200yds I jockeyed back and forth with one runner and couldn't hold him off as I was only able to manage to hold my pace. Last mile about the same as the 1st mile in about 6:20 and was able to squeak in under 33 minutes with a 32:52.
Heartrate, speed and elevation data for the geek in me with all the gory details. Main point for me was the heartrace (red line) was in the red zone (about 150) for most of the race which confirms the effort was there at least.

Results are now posted on the RunNB website and there should be a few more pictures there later on. I'm quite pleased with my race which the 1st all out test I've had in awhile and the 1st thing I did was to plug the results into a few race predictors to find projected marathon times from 3:10 to 3:15 which is what I've been shooting for in any case.

Of course all these predictors come with various qualifiers when extended to other distances with a longer race being better for the marathon. For example, Thomas ran a huge PB in 1/2 marathon today coming in with a 1:35. Plugging this number into a calculator will give a better estimate than a short race like a 5 miler which has less of an endurance component and tells us that he will easily shatter his current marathon PB of 3:55. Way to go Thomas!

Only 20 days and counting, let the taper begin! Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Harriers - A True Story

On a side note I just finished reading an interesting book about cross country running written by 2 high school runners. It's called Harriers and was written by Joseph and Paul Shrivers, two cousins on the Salem, Ohio cross country team. This true story is quite inspiring and I found it very well written with each chapter leaving me satisfied and looking for more, though it was a little slow at first. I was sorry to see the end of the book and would recommend this book to runners of all ages and interests.

The reason I'm telling you about this is that the publisher, Lora, found me in blog land and asked me to do a review of the book in return for a free copy of the book. At first I was ready to order the book on my own at only $5.95 but then how often do you get something for free now-a-days? In the end I'm glad to have read the book and am always looking for more good stories about running. I also plan to talk to the coach of the local high school x-country team and see if he is interested in getting copies of the book for the entire team.

The book is available at Amazon or directly from the publisher.


Another week in the bank

Check! At last a decent week of training, more or less according to Pfitz that is but with a few minor modifications and ommissions.

Today's run was just an easy, easy 8 miles with thoughts of Sunday's 5 mile race in the forefront as well as Andrew's very insistent reminder to take it easy on my recovery runs. So instead of going by how I feel and running 8:00 pace or faster, I went out purposely as slow as I could without tripping over my feet and feeling like I was walking. I also kept a close eye on my heart rate, keeping it below 135 (which is the upper limit of my easy aerobic zone). The result was a relaxing 8.1 miles in 69 minutes for an average 8:32 pace. How's that A?

The run was followed by a dip in the pond to re-arrange and prune some water plants. The water temperature is getting more refeshing now-a-days and it feels great on the legs after a run. Total weekly mileage 74, avg pace 8:01, YTD 2205.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Evil Watch and the slow runner

Where to start? I'm hot and cold, fast and slow, energized and then exhausted and now just a blank mind and a tired body. Mmmm, maybe some ice cream and bagels would help...

That's better!

After Sunday's great run with Andrew it was nice to take the day off on Monday and relax a bit unlike A who just turns around and cranks out another 15. What a machine he is turning into! But I need my rest, so despite having a day off I slept in on Tues instead of doing an early morning run. Not a great start to the week but made it up at lunch time with a quick and easy 6 mile loop around town (7:58 pace). That evening I had nearly given up on the 2nd run of the day until the guilt trip hit me just as the sun was about to set. What the heck, it's only a few miles, and I was out the door for a really nice 4 miles in the cool evening air along the roads & trails (this time at 7:40 pace, what gives?).

Wednesday's plan called for 12mi with 6x1200 which didn't seem so intimidating after last week's 10x800 but you never know how things will pan out. Started off with a nice easy 3 miles before stashing the water bottle in the bushes by the high school. The plan of attack today was to do the run back and forth around the Point which is one of the few flattish areas of more than a few hundred meters around here. With the trusty Garmin setup for the session including 2:00 rest breaks I was off. The 1st couple came in at 4:53 followed by a slightly quicker one at 4:49. Next was a 5:03 on a slight return uphill as I was beginning to tire and the watch started to run faster (though it seemed that the interval was never going to end). Finished with an average of 4:56 (6:35/mi pace) and assumed the 'hok' position known by all runners. But the run was not yet over; still had 3+ miles left to finish off the 12 miles. Did a slow jog with a water stop at the town square and was barely able to make it back home. Whew!

Thursday was just an easy 8 miles with 'the other Andrew' from work. He did the 1st 5 miles with me or should I say, dragged me around the loop. My legs were tight and my achilles acted up again for the 1st mile or so before going away just as quickly. Finished off with another short slow loop for an avg pace of 8:17. No more quick feet today. That night it was mostly me horizontal on the couch and too tired to even blog...

Friday! Yay, the weekend is almost here! But there is still that nasty midweek run that I've been delaying all week. Unlike Andrew there is no way in h#%& that I'm getting up at 3:30am in the morning to do an 18 mile run. My more civilized plan is to sleep in and to then slip out of work early at 3:30pm, after making up the time at lunch! And the 2nd secret to my evil plan was to cut the run short at only 14 miles after zigging and zagging the trails and backstreets of our little town. That beer was really good tonite! (avg pace 8:04)

On tap for the weekend is an easy 8-10 on Saturday and then a 5 mile race on Sunday in Hampton. I may or may not add some more miles to make up for the missed long run miles but will see how I feel. Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking...

Good running all!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back in action

Sunday morning dawned cool and clear here in the northeast with temps about 11C (53F) and no wind. Alarm went off at 6:15 Canadian (5:15 US) and the coffee was poured by 6:30. Quick drive though the US border with the send off "Enjoy your run!" from the border guard and arrived on scene just moments before Andrew.

The miles just melted away as Andrew and I talked up a storm as we navigated the old Boyden Lake loop for the 1st time in months. It seemed the run was over before it even started and I'm talking 22 miles here! There was just so much to catch up on that the miles just clicked off, or should I say beeped and whistled at us, with the Garmin toy going off each mile and every 20 minutes. I asked Andrew if it bothered him but he thought it was great and it seemed to closely match his previously driven estimates of the course. In fact the main loop we always called 17 miles was exactly that, almost to the stride where we started at the cars.

Besides all the gabbing the only other notable events was a stray horse that appeared to be loose from his corral and happily eating grass on the side of the road. And then as the conversation inevitably turned to food we came across a gummi worm massacre in the middle of the road. I thought it was a bunch of dead caterpillars but on closer inspection the biologist of the group (me) determined the squashed objects were multicolored candy worms left in the middle of the road. A few miles later I was able to offer Andrew an actual gummi worm from my bag of treats but he opted for the fig newton instead. I went for the chocolate chip cookie and power gel.

The pace seemed easy and we didn't pay much attention to it until the end and even then the agreement between us was that if we could still talk while going up the steepest hills, then the pace was not too fast (am I right?)! Towards the end of the 17 mile loop I mentioned that my legs were starting to feel a bit tired and then mentioned that a good strategy in races is to pick up the pace when you start to feel tired. We both agreed that this had merit in races as going slightly faster is often no less painful than slowing down (except for stopping of course) and that it might encourage the firing of unused fast twitch muscle fibres. It was never meant to be cue to pick up the pace but before we knew it...

... the last 5 miles were progressively faster on the out (downhill) and back (uphill) section from 7:39 to 7:03 final mile (what the heck was that?) and still gabbing but more quiet pauses and gasping now. The overall run came in at 2:55 for a 7:54/mi pace. What a great run!! Did I say what a great run we had? Can't wait for the next one in a week or two.

Thomas left a comment with Andrew re hills and it tweeked me to put out this graph of our run complete with heartrate (mine in red of course) and the elevation in green. As I had remarked to Andrew during the run it seemed we were always going up or down and never on the flat and here's the evidence!

Back to reality... Hurried back home for phase 2 of Steph's move and we were soon off on our 5hr trek to Truro. It seemed like a short ride after all the miles we've been putting on the poor old van lately. It's a good thing we have it and it's been very dependable so far.
The question was "Will it all fit in or does Mom have to stay home?"

Hey, no problem! There's still room for the groceries!

And for Steph and Jo, and of course Cody!

Back home now after a good safe trip and getting things all caught up before going back to WORK in the morning. I think I need a vacation from my vacation but I'm afraid work will have to do as a substitute. At least there's a hope of getting back into a regular routine as the running winds down over the next few weeks.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Home at last!

The vacation was great but it's good to be home at last! Here are a few highlight pics...
The whole clan together, not forgetting the center of attention.

Family gatherings and great meals...

And drinks! This was a nice little ice wine treat (mmmm)!

A hike at the Mono Cliffs was very interesting and enjoyable.

And the Toronto Zoo is always fun!

I've done alot of driving over the past few weeks, topped off with a 14 hour drive home on Friday. At least with 3 drivers in the van the trip seemed a bit shorter than when I used to do it all myself.

And of course there was still a little running too. After surviving my Tues interval session with no immediate effects, Weds was just an easy 7 miles after all day on the road and taking in the African Lion Safari. The legs were only a little stiff and not especially sore or tired, however not the 14 or so that I would have liked.

On Thurs there was only time for a quick 6 miles before heading off to the zoo and then begining the trek home by driving east and staying with Jo's sister for the night. We had a fabulous meal and get together and were in bed by 11pm. That night I had a terrible sleep with sore aching legs and my hamstrings feeling like they had been wrung through the wringer or as if I'd done squats all day long. I'd guess it was either delayed muscle onset sydrome from the 800m repeats on Tues or less likely, the walking we did at the zoo. Anyhow, it was painful and keep me writhing for 1/2 the night; just what I needed before the long drive home...

The drive home was actually rather uneventful, we kept switching drivers and made a stop every few hours and it didn't seem as long as usual (except the last hour over the 'Airline' from Bangor).

Today, Saturday I slept in till 8am, lazed around and went out for an expected 8-10 depending on how I felt. This was after reading my emails and blogs and reconnecting with Andrew. Turns out that I'll be able to meet him for the old Boyden Lake loop on Sunday morning for 20-22 miles and so in the forefront of my mind was the message 'take it easy today or A will be eating you for breakfast tomorrow!'. But you know what happens after a few easy days this week and a 2nd missed day due to travel; the legs and body just felt great! Cruised through the 10 miles at 7:56 pace and will be paying the piper on Sunday.

Total for this week was a miserly 43 miles. Houston we are now in taper mode, only 28 days to go.