A Couple of Easy Days – RunLog 5-21-15

It might seem like all I do is the faster running (for me), but I do run slower quite often and listen to my body better than my blog seems to indicate sometimes. I just don’t write about the routine recovery run days quite so much, simply because not that much usually happens on those runs that is much more than Bennie and I heading out the door, running the course and finishing.

Not really a lot to write about.

Like yesterday.

We ran down-back to the Town Office and then stopped at the Steven’s Lower Gate to complete an easy 3.0 miles. We didn’t see anything, do anything exceptional (other than stopping for him to re-mark his territory) and then we stopped early, because Bennie was not enjoying the heat. In other words a routine 3.0 mile recovery run at a comfortable pace. Which just happens to be about the same pace as most of the runs this week have been.

  • Run Information
    • Course: Town Office O/B to SLG
    • Distance: 3.03
    • Time: 25:47
    • Pace: 8:31
    • Shoes: Hoka Clifton – Lime
    • Temperature: 71*F
    • Weather: Muggy and windy

Today

Was a different story. Bennie and I did some faster-paced fartleks (which we haven’t done for a while), but I purposely stayed very controlled, even though we could have gone a lot faster, we didn’t. Continue reading

Planning for the Maine Marathon

MCM 1983 Photo

MCM 1983 Photo

Once I made the decision to chase my Boston Marathon dream again, there are a series of steps that I need to do to make it happen.

The next steps are to train for and finish the Maine Marathon on October 4th.

Which means that I have looked at different marathon training plans, re-reading books in my library, blogs, and articles on the “proper” methods to train for finishing a marathon.

As I said on Twitter to Chris W. about setting up my marathon training plan:

over plan and then just do it

Goals for the Maine Marathon

The first thing I know that I have to do before I start training are to set my goals for this marathon.

  1. Get to the starting line healthy. Since I haven’t been able to get to the starting line of a marathon since 1983, it is time to actually get to the starting line.
  2. Finish. When I finished the Marine Corps Marathon in 1983 – I went through a lot just to finish and know that how I felt that day still affects how I feel about running a marathon. I need to run one that I do not kill myself (figuratively) to finish.
  3. Sub 4:00:00 – It would be nice to get under this time.
  4. Beat my PR 3:48:06. Yeah who doesn’t want to set a PR.
  5. Qualify for Boston sub 3:40:00.
  6. Go sub 3:35:00 which would be a more realistic time to be assured an entry to Boston.

 

Those are the goals. 1 and 2 are the two major ones that I really want/need to accomplish at the Maine Marathon . Continue reading

Running in New Hampshire and Maine – RunLog 5-19-15

Every so often I get a wild-hair across, my you know what and decide to do a road trip. One of the perks of being retired is that my schedule is pretty much my own as long as I sort of keep up with my chores. I get bored with running the same old places all the time and it was time to see something new.

Last week I decided that I needed to go down to Kittery to look around the outlet stores and see if Sam W. was available for a run and lunch on me.

Well Sam was available, so we settled on today.

As usual when I head out-of-state – the weather is just wonderful.

on the drive to New Hampshire

on the drive to New Hampshire

Yep raining like a cow doing something on a flat rock off and on most of the way to the border. As usual I got there a little early (an hour or so), but it gave me time to wander around Portsmouth, NH and see some of the sights. Continue reading

Now I Know Why – RunLog 5-18-15

Sometimes I am such an old fool…yeah me, myself and I.

I think I finally learned the biggest reason that my hamstrings tend to bother me and I don’t like it one damn bit.

It is all about that running fast thing.

How did I finally figure this out?

Yesterday, I had a really good run in the morning with Bennie, a nice 7:30 to 8:00 minute mile pace run with a couple of faster pops in there, but nothing all that hard.

Then

Yeah then…the beat of that terrible drum of doom…boom, boooooom, booooooooommmm, like when the Orichi were attacking Minis Tiris in the Lord of the Rings Movie.

Well….maybe I am being a bit melodramatic, but yesterday I did run right along at a pretty fast clip for this old fart (you know that going downhill with a tailwind thing) and while nothing hurt during the run or even after…this morning when I moved to get out of bed, my left hamstring talked lots of nasty stuff and not so quietly in my ear.

No, nothing really serious, but still not at all where it has been for the past month or so.

The only big difference was that I was doing a LOT too much at a sub 6:30 and even getting under 6:00 minute pace for a few steps yesterday and the ol’ body told me all about “knocking that crap off!!!!” You ain’t in that kind of shape and you sure as hell ain’t 27!!!

Only the language it was using was a LOT more blunt and saltier.

Use your imagination or DM me and I will fill in the blanks. ;-)

Which kind of sort of maybe tells me that I am making the right choice of moving away from the fast 5K goal and moving to a more reasonable pace that I will be working at for a marathon – even if it is for a longer distance.

It seems that the wicked fast paces I was pretending that I could still run at, were a little too much for this wonderful and now very delicate body of mine.

It sucks getting old and having to admit it, but damn that running fast did feel pretty damn good, but the after-effects on the bod just ain’t worth it.

Sort of like the old days when I could party to the break of dawn, then get up an hour later for work (probably still above .10) – it would kill me today – hell let’s be real, I barely make it to after midnight on a good night and let’s be honest – 2 beers and I am asleep hehehehe.

Oh well enough whining about getting old, how did things go today :-) Continue reading

Week in Review – I Passed — 5-17-15

My favorite photo from the week.

TheWife out for her run

TheWife out for her run

Mid-Term Exam Week

For me, this week was the mid-term exam for this part of my training cycle…I wanted see if my legs would hold up to a harder/higher mileage week, before I move on to the next phase – which really meant a lot to me and was a huge hurdle for me.

They did – I was able to do what I wanted all week and I was able to have a pretty nice run today.

Back in April when I made the decision to run a marathon this year I was more than a little worried about my hamstrings and if they would be able to hold up to the miles/pace that I will need to maintain. The great news is, they didn’t bother nearly as much as they did earlier in the year (not 100%, but continuing to slowly improve) and at the end of this week, my legs felt tired, but strong.

This was my week to make sure that my base was where I wanted/need it to be. Continue reading

Still A Little Pop Left – RunLog 5-17-15

After yesterday’s day off, I know, I know this stuff about regularly taking a day off and stopping all that streaking stuff – I gotta cut it out.

However, taking Saturday’s as a DNR day is working out pretty good for me. After a long run on Friday and everything else that I do during the week, it feels good to take a break, plus it gives me something to look forward too and allows me to play mental games on my long run (I can do this and tomorrow is a day off, so push a little harder, etc.)

Run #1

This morning’s run with Bennie started out overcast, a light breeze, bit muggy and around 68*F, which are great conditions for me to run. A bit warm for the Bean though. Once we got down-back, the sun broke through and the temps climbed rapidly. When we got to Campbell Farm, he had fun barking at the cattle and bouncing around attempting to make them move away from the fence.

Campbell Farm 5-17-15

We were doing pretty steady paces and when I attempted to pick up the speed a little coming off Blake Road, he start lagging behind and breathing pretty heavy. I looked back and saw his tongue hanging out pretty good, so we stopped at the lower gate. Continue reading

Better 10.0 Than I Thought It Would Be – RunLog 5-15-15

After yesterday’s unexpected 9.0 miler, I wasn’t so sure about today’s planned long run. My left calf was a little tight during Bennie’s walk this morning – yes we walked this morning, I wanted to give the body a break if I did decided to run into Augusta in the afternoon.

So I wasn’t real confident about whether it would be smart to run to Augusta or not. However, I figured that I could go ahead and start out slow and if my legs didn’t feel all that great, I could just turn around or turn left on the Middle Road and only do 5.0.

Looking Up the Kennebec River from the Route 3 bridge on a beautiful spring day

Looking Up the Kennebec River from the Route 3 bridge on a beautiful spring day

That is exactly what I did – started slow and really checked out how the legs felt. No problems and the calf tightness never was an issue on the run – that was a good thing.

Which meant that I turned right, instead of left on the Middle Road. Continue reading

Making Mountains Out of Molehills

Sometimes we take our spectator sports wwwaaaayyyy to seriously.

You know something, I am tired of all the hoopla, fanfare, media circus, bad jokes and hyperbole over whether the New England Patriots deflated footballs or not.

Has the NFL made a mountain out of a molehill over this or not?

Personally, I believe that they have. Continue reading

The Hat Does Not Lie – RunLog 5-14-15

The Hat Does Not Lie – RunLog 5-14-15

This was one of those top 10 day, that we all dream about mid to high 60’s, a gentle cooling breeze and bright sunshine – although it did start out at 38*F – still a bit chilly for shorts and tee-shirt at 6:00 AM.

Run #1

Bennie and I did a nice 2.5 half miles down-back.

The boys sunbathing this morning. Bennie had been laying down besides Joey and got up when I came in to get changed for our run. He was all ready to get out the door.

The boys sunbathing this morning. Bennie had laid down besides Joey and got up when I came in to get changed for our run. He was all ready to get out the door.

It was supposed to be 3.0 miles, but when we got on the flat he didn’t seem really into running, so we stopped at the Lower Gate. He had fun playing in the ditch-water, looking in all the crooks and crannies for anything that might be moving around. Bennie thinks he is quite the fisherman.

  • Course: 161 Tiffany to SLG
  • Distance: 2.5
  • Time: 20:44
  • Pace: 8:14
  • Shoes: Hoka Clifton – Blue
  • Temperature: 57*F
  • Weather: Sunny, breeze and gorgeous

Run #2

This was not supposed to be a long run. I had planned on doing 5.0 miles or less since I usually do my long runs on Friday – well so much for that plan.

I had seen on Strava that Ron had set a new segment record the North Street Trail this morning and wanted to see if how close I could get to it (not very close), but it is something to shoot for.

Strava Stats 5-14-15

Strava Stats 5-14-15

I ran an 96 second quarter so that wasn’t too bad, but I lost some time when I had to stop and tie my right shoe, but it happens sometimes. Even so there was no way I would have taken the segment from Ron ;-).

Then I did something dumb, not stupid, just dumb – I decided to go over to Quarry Road Rec Area. I love running the trails over there, but they always seem to kick my butt – badly, despite it being all groomed trails.

Doing a hard half and then running the bumps and hills over there probably wasn’t a good choice.

There is something about the number of little bumps and then the hills that chews my legs up like no other course in the area does. I think it has to do with the trails being groomed, it makes me think I should be able to go faster and in actuality they are still trails. The constant focus that I still need to have (no zoning out) and the damn hills/bumps, make my legs toast by the time I get back to the gate.

Quarry Road about Half-way up the big hill

Quarry Road about Half-way up the big hill

No different today.

I did some fast walking up the steeper sections and even on the stream side my legs felt a little too rubbery to just keep popping along. I walked a couple of time on that part of the trail, which I never do. Once I got back on the road, I just plugged along until McDonald’s when I forced my tired legs to move again – they didn’t like it, but nothing really hurt, they were just complaining to complain.

Overall and even though I did some walking in Quarry Road, I was really happy with the run – it was tough, but I didn’t stop putting one foot in front of the other and I did some strength training going up those damn hills. Yes Ron there are hills at Quarry Road, even though they don’t seem to affect a certain speed demon or is that Superman all that much heheehe.

Well the Hanson Training Method wants you to do your long runs on tired legs, so you are used to the feeling, well I have a feeling that today’s surprise 9.0 miler will mean that I will have tired legs for tomorrow’s long run.

If they are too tired, I might just make it a 10.0 miler and not go for that extra 5K+ that I originally planned on this week. :-). I don’t need to worry about my mileage totals at all this week and could easily take Sat/Sun as rest days and still finish with over 45 miles.

I have a feeling that the course that I did today is going to be my test course that I do at least once a month when it is open – it is tough, there is a little speed involved and it is hilly. It also is challenging and pushes me harder than most of the courses around here do, which means it is perfect to gauge my current level of fitness. Even if it I don’t like it, especially those hills.

One thing I did learn today is that the Clifton’s worked quite nicely at Quarry Road when it is dry, however, if it is wet, the grass going up and down the big hills the the back trail are going to be too slippery for them.

So that tells me the next pair of running shoes I get should probably be the Challenger for the grippiness on the local trails that I tend to run on. Although the Clifton 2’s come out next month and I run the roads more than I run trails, decisions, decisions.

It was a good workout – the hat doesn’t lie.

 I can usually tell the quality of a workout by the salt/sweat stains on my hat

I can usually tell the quality of a workout by the salt/sweat stains on my hat