Now That Was Tough – RunLog 7-12-18

I really am a glutton for punishment some days. After this week’s 3K at Quarry Road, I decided that I needed to change some things up and had to figure why I slowed down so much once I came out to what I call the “bumps” part of the course.

The elevation chart is a little deceptive, since the biggest elevation change is just under 30 feet. So the hills or should I say bumps are not that big, it is just that there are so many of them so close together on this section of the course.

I know why I slow down, but that doesn’t mean that I am happy with how I have been running this part of the 3K, 5K or 8K Quarry Road courses.

This morning, I decided to do repeats around this part of the courses. I wasn’t sure about how many I would end up doing, but it was going to be more than one. It would also be the test I need to get my confidence back that the olde body can do better or find out that I need to be happy with the times I was getting for the effort I was giving.

I knew going in that it was going to be a hard workout for me. The “bumps” are just enough that they make me work a lot harder than is normal for a tough speed workout. It was going to be more of a lot of short hills and the distance was over a mile and a quarter. Definitely, not my preferred 200 or 400 kind of workout on a track or a flatter section of a rail trail somewhere.

So I did the workout:

Warm-up: 1.20/10:39 – I ran down to the hut and back down the course a quarter mile, so I would know where the last quarter mile would start (right about where I thought it was)

First Lap: 1.38/11:33 — The first lap hurt – I started at the bridge on the snowshoe trail and ended on the last arrow before heading to the dip before the finish. On this lap I wanted to go as fast as I could to get a nice base time to give me something to work towards in the other laps and about where I should be for race pace. I set my segment CR, so I accomplished what I wanted. Yeah, it didn’t feel all that great.

Second Lap: 1.36/12:27 — On the second lap, I focused more on running up the bumps harder and didn’t worry so much about the pace on the other side of them. The time was only 5 seconds off my time from the 3K race, so that was good.

Third Lap: 1.37/12:25 — The third lap was an attempt to go harder on the loop when I was pretty tired and the legs not having a lot of pop left in them. I wanted to beat my second lap’s time and did by two seconds. Not a lot, but better than I thought it would be by how I was feeling.

Cool-down: 2.01/21:37 — After resting for 3-4 minutes, I was toast, I slowly ran up the new trail along Messalonskee Stream to the end and ran back to first parking area. I didn’t attempt to pickup the pace and just ran comfortably.

I won’t say that this was a 100% effort speed session, but it was a damned tough longer repeat workout with “bumps” that wore me out and I know that the olde les are going to be tired tomorrow. In other words I am damned happy with how well I did this morning.

It doesn’t mean that I will run this section all that fast next week, but this workout gives me the confidence that my body can handle working harder in this section of the course than I have in other races this year.

I did run in the Nike Wildhorse OG’s and they did everything that I wanted from a pair of trail shoes. In other words, when I was running I didn’t think about them at all during the workout.

No the paces won’t get me ready for racing a fast 5K, but they will help me run faster during the Quarry Road races that are left. Well at least that is my hope and maybe I can almost keep up with Julie M someday. Though I have a feeling she is going out to kick my butt next race.

Hopefully, I get to do this a few more times and provide myself a nice base period, that I can get ready for some faster for me road 5K’s this fall. That would be nice. 🙂 I still am not crazy about all the hill work, but it is adding strength to the olde body.

This is just part of doing the work.

I just have to keep doing it. 🙂

Quarry Road 3K Trail Race Recap – 7-10-18

Tuesday night pretty much means heading over to Quarry Road, getting my head handed to me by the course and then smiling, laughing and commiserating with the other runners.

In other words a good time was had by all.

Although I was wondering about the weather for tonight’s run, going by Fred’s Coffee, it read 93*F = it sucks. It cooled off a bit between then and when the race started but it was still in the mid 80’s and did get me about halfway through the race.

Up north, I understand they got a bit of a storm from these clouds, but we lucked out and the race went off as planned.

I am a participant in a study going on over at Colby by Professor Millard, in other words I am a guinea pig :-). For the second time I gave blood, spit (before and after the race) and chewed 2 pieces of gum. Lots of fun. The gum tasted nasty, so I have a feeling it was the real thing, not the placebo.

Then I warmed-up by running over a mile. I don’t think that I really needed warm-up all that much with the weather, but it stretched the legs out a bit. I even did a few strides before the race. I really wanted to do well tonight and thought they might have me more ready to go when the horn sounded.

That part went according to plan. I started out great, went through the snowshoe trail by the river without any issues and even did well getting to the first hill on the trail. However, just after the first mile, the bumps caught up with me and the “little” bumps started to kick my butt.

I held off my nemesis Julie M until we got past the power line on the way back and then she flew by me and I just didn’t have the mental capacity to go with her. I did try to pick up the cadence to get my pace up a little, but the bumps had taken their toll on me and I just kept slogging along.

Even so I kept Julie in sight and for the first time this year watched her finish. So I am gaining slowly but surely. She fights to stay ahead of me and I am working my arse off to finish ahead of her. It is good and friendly competition, but she is up 4-0 this year, so it ain’t really much of a competition, more like an ass whooping from point of view. However, I will keep working – I am getting closer.

I also did improve my time from the first 3K by 30 seconds, so that is progress. It does help that the hamstring is fine now and I am getting confidence back in my ability to run hard now that some of the medical issues have calmed back down. Now to actually run harder – at least that is the plan.

Quarry Road Trails are not that bad as trails go, but all those damn little bumps on the 3K course, just take it right out of my legs and get the old heart into red line way too soon. I think I am going to start going over there and doing 3K speedwork repeats on this course, just to strengthen the old brain and legs.

Sometimes I think the problems I have with the bumps trail is more in my head than my legs. Only way I know to cure it, is to go out and over dose running on the damn thing over the next month or so. It will either kill me or cure me of being afraid to run hard on the damn thing.

I used the Nike Wildhorse OG’s for the first time in a race – no issues – they will be on my feet going forward for any trail work that I do this year. That was the good news.

Quarry Road 8K Trail Race – MT WK4 D2

Today was Quarry Road’s 8K trail race and it is the hardest for me. The big hills on the South and North loops kick my butt and then the two trails along the river finish the butt kicking.

So tonight, I looked at this race as simply a training run and didn’t have any big expectations, other than to finish and have as much fun as I could have running up and down hills on trails in 82*F and bright sunshine. Continue reading

Too Many Steps & Quarry Road 5K – MT WK3 D2

Did I ever tell you how stoopid I am sometimes. Well this is one of THOSE stoopid tales and while nothing bad happened as a result of it, when I woke up this morning there were some not so gentle reminders that I am 60, not 30.

No, no alcohol was involved, those days are long past. It was simply a Harold being Harold kind of day.

The usual first thing Bennie walk, then Bennie’s long walk – nothing particularly out of routine about those. However, the right hamstring is feeling pretty much normal again, so I have wanted to introduce light speed work back into my training. So I did some fartlek training.

My first mile was the fastest I have run in a while and then when I got down on Tiffany, I ran hard (fast for me) for two telephone poles and then “rested” for the next two. I did this down to Wildwood and back to the dirt road. I could really tell that I have not run fast in a while – maintaining the speed on some of those faster repeats was not all that much fun.

However, running faster did force me to stretch out the stride a bit and move away from the old man shuffle. Once I got back to the dirt road, I shut down the faster stuff and went into cool-down mode. I didn’t attempt to run any faster than my slow jog the rest of the way home, well until just before the end, gotta speed up at the end – right.

So I got in 3.0 miles of Fartlek and a mile of cool-down. A nice run, but one that did tax the old system pretty hard. That become important later

I did run in the Brooks Green Silence and had a strange soreness under the middle metatarsals on the left foot, almost like they were being squeezed together too much. Other than that, they felt great, nice snap and go to them and I felt like I could run even faster in them if I was in shape for it.

After resting for lunch and a nap, it was time to do some chores. So I chose the one I have been procrastinating the most. Mowing the side lawn, well the small field between the lawn and the rock wall that I do 2-3 times a summer. It took about two hours and is tough because it all roots, rocks, hillocks and whatever else didn’t get smoothed out when I cut all the trees and crap out of there back in 2002.

Yes, after that I was pretty much toast.

Now if that had been where I stopped, I would have considered it a good day.

Instead I had to get ready to run in a 5K trail race over at Quarry Road and around heah, trail racing pretty much means hills and if the place you are going has the words Quarry in the name of the Road, there are probably hills to contend with.

Yep.

They may not be huge or big hills, but the flat areas not quite as often or as long as I would like. The going up and down just takes it out of my legs and gets the heart rate into uncomfortable areas going up some of the bumps during the last part.

Here is where I get a little stoopid, going out for my warm-up jog, I don’t know why I needed to warm-up, it was in the 80’s in the sunshine, but I ran slowly down the road. I figured I would turn around at the 1/2 mile to get a mile in. Instead I ran to gate and got in 1.5, not big deal, but coming back I must have sped up a little too much because the graph showed me in the 8:20’s for a good part of it. Stoopid

Then the 5K race started, lots of ups and downs, Julie M and I were switching back and forth, she is better on the uphills and I am a little better on the downhills. Going up the big hill on the North loop, I had to walk a ways, the heart rate was thumping a bit too hard and I knew that I needed to back off, so I did.

The heat, hill, faster paces and the rest of the day’s activities to that point had done a number on my stamina or should I say lack of it.

Once I got the heart rate back under control, I started running again and caught up with Julie M. There was a pack of about 6 of us that were changing places for the first part until we got down into what I call the dog leg along the stream, where I began to slow down and the legs were telling me just how stoopid I was being.

They didn’t have a lot to give and on the hill coming out of the dog leg I had to walk again to get the heart rate back under control. After that I walked a lot of the bumps to keep the heart rate decent.

After the hairpin turn, there was a guy with dreadlocks, who was struggling as much as I was and I sort of challenged him to keep going and he did. Every time I would catch up to him, I told him that he couldn’t let me pass him and he would take off again. We did that most of the last part of the race. He beat me quite easily, but thanked me after we finished.

Julie M beat me by almost a minute – about the same as last race and I finished 39/85 same as last time so I am fairly consistent and didn’t see anyone with a 60 something for an age in front of me again. The course was a bit long – the new dog leg adds a bit onto the totals, but that it is trail racing if you ask me – close enough is close enough.

I can feel that I am getting back in shape and more and more confident in my right hamstring, since I was able to keep up with Julie for longer than I usually do. I think that if I don’t do speed work in the morning, then mow lawns for a couple of hours and do a long warm-up that I would probably do a little better on the hills during the last part of the race.

Now I wore my Topo Ultra Fly’s during the race and while they didn’t give me any issues during the race, by the time I got to the dog leg the legs were feeling how heavy the shoes were. I think that they are great for slower paced stuff, but to run faster, I have better choices for the road, but now need to find a better choice for the trails.

Over the course of the day, I got in just under 35,000 steps, way too many for a day that includes a trail race. I have a feeling that I will take it easier next week before the 8K and not attempt to set a new daily step record on that day!

Yeah, the lower back and legs are sore from pounding down the hills at Quarry Road this morning, but I have feeling that even with 20/20 hindsight, I would probably do things the same as I did yesterday – yeah, I am that stoopid. 🙂