Good Run Finally – MT WK2 D5

What a beautiful day!

As you can see bright blue sky, but what you can’t see is the low humidity, glorious temps and a nice breeze.

The run was…well the first one since I screwed up my right hamstring, that I didn’t think about it during the run. That was nice.

Starting out I went easy after yesterday’s longish trail run. I wanted to see how everything felt after running lots of hills. My right hip has been complaining a little more than usual since I hurt my right hamstring, maybe something to do with how I have been favoring the leg a little. However, it was not as bad as it has been and I felt strong and got through the first mile pretty well. The next two were very consistent, so I was feeling pretty good about the run.

Coming back up the hills, I had a real stride not just the survival shuffle that I have been plodding up hills with lately. It wasn’t fast paced, but there was the slightest bounce to my step that was different and nice. When I can do Stevens Hill in a mile and keep it right around 9:00 minute pace, without pushing the effort level super high, things are going pretty well.

Then I did pick it up the last mile, but didn’t push the effort too bad and had 8:14 for the last mile.

It was the first run since my hamstring complaining that I felt like I had a real good run. I just hope that there are a lot more of them on the horizon.

Other than the run, it was just another “normal” for me day around the house. Chores and yard work. However, it is Friday night so homemade pizza and a hard cider went down pretty well.

Exploring Quarry Road Trails – MT WK 2 D4

This morning Mary was kind enough to do Bennie’s long walk, while I did a run over at Quarry and then head North to spend time with Dad.

The run over at Quarry Road this morning is hopefully going to be part of my weekly training routine going forward. I really think that running trails a couple of times a week will help strengthen the old body, make me think less about my time and besides I like trail running.

This morning’s run had nothing to do with speed, it was all about running hills and Quarry Road has plenty of itty bitty ones and a few that are more than long enough to get my attention. Also I wanted to explore some of the new trails at an easy pace to see what they have done in the past couple of years.

Continue reading

Slowing Down – A Good Thing – MT Wk2 Day 3

Thank goodness today was a bit more relaxing than the past few have been!!!

Just the normal Bennie walks, a nice recovery run – well let’s just call it a recovery run, a long nap, mowing up the road and a great supper. Yeah, a nice day.

After a 2.0 mile Bennie walk, I procrastinated just a little. Needless to say I was a bit sore from yesterday’s faster run and trail race. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get out to do my recovery run, because the longer I waited the warmer it got, I just well was not ready to run yet.

Once I got it through my thick skull that I either had to get my arse in gear or I was going to be miserable in the heat, it was too late. The temps had climbed into the 80’s on our thermometer, with bright sunshine. Not what I consider ideal running weather, but you gotta run in the weather you are given (unless it is really stoopid wether).

I headed out the door.

Yeah, it was in the 80’s.

However, I started out slowly and didn’t push the pace. I focused primarily on keeping the Topo’s quiet by not over-striding and attempting to push backwards with my elbows. I think that I did pretty well on both counts.

Going out wasn’t really bad (once I got going), but coming back the heat started to get to me a lot more. I did slow down especially that last mile.

I did what I wanted – finish a 5.0 mile run, without wrapping my right hamstring and not have anything hurt. So at least it has healed enough that I do not have to put stretch bandage for a recovery run.

I am glad things are slowing down a little.

Experimenting & Quarry Road 3K – MT WK2 D2 – PART 2

Yes, I had to split this post into two different parts, Tuesday was just a busy day and a lot went on or so I explained in Part 1, so without further ado here is part deaux.

Trail Racing is humbling and I heartily recommend that all road runners do at least 2-3 a year to find out how good of a runner you really are, versus just being road ready.

If you haven’t done a trail race lately, go for it.

After deciding that the Sketchers GoTrails were not going to work due to being too “hot” and getting the Lone Peak 2.5’s out of closet to use. I got to wondering how the zero drop would work for me, so I took out the inserts and found them a lot more comfortable. It is amazing how different a pair of running shoe feel with and without the extra inserts. I kind of figured that on the Quarry Road trails that zero drop wouldn’t be as big an issue, like it is on the roads.

With that figured out, I also realized that I haven’t really run in the Altra’s since I brought them back from Saw W’s in New Hampshire, so my first run in them was going to be fittingly – a trail race.

I got to Quarry Road a bit early because I had volunteered to be a part of a science project for one of the other Central Maine Striders, who is a professor at Colby. Like the first time at anything things got a little “interesting”, but it was great to see so many familiar faces and gab a little to catch up on how people were doing.

I got to sign a release, fill out a questionnaire, spit into a tube (getting 1-2 ml of spit is tougher than it sounds), get my finger pricked for a blood sample, heart rate taken – all that guinea pig stuff and then chew some gum. All this was going on while the kiddos race was going on so, I missed that. I do enjoy watching the kids run, they run with such abandon and to think once upon a time we were able to run that way.

There were no pre-race jitters or nerves, trail races do not bother me since my expectations of my performance are much lower. I run trail races – and even though it might be a race and while I work hard, it is more about staying upright, not injuring anything and finishing with a smile than to get a great time.

Even so the start was pretty fast and there were a lot of faster-than-me runners out there. I got behind Julie M, who is another much faster runner and attempted to stay there for the first mile or so, then when we got off the snowshoe trail and back on the main path, she picked it up and I didn’t.

Actually, I have a feeling she kept pretty much the same pace and I slowed down. 🙂

My hamstring was holding on pretty good, but all though little bumps on the main trail were not making it happy – which is part of the reason for slowing down. Like I said at the beginning I was very focused on getting through without injuring anything. The other reason I was slowing down was – I have lost a lot of conditioning over the last month that I haven’t been able to run regularly or add harder workouts to the mix.

I need to train faster to run faster. Which means that to run trail races better, I have to train for trail racing…running roads doesn’t translate as well. While trail running will help me on the roads, so win-win. I gotta get back to my cross country roots.

So I slowed down quite a bit for the rest of the 3K.

Even so I have a feeling that if I had been wearing a heart rate monitor, there were some redlines in there going up some of those bumps. All those “little” bumps sure as hell take it out of your legs and your head. I think I hate that part of the course the most. A big hill you deal with and then bounce down, the constant up/down just the beat the hell out of me.

A few people passed me over the last section, but I kept moving forward and finished without screwing up the hamstring or giving blood to the trail gods. Both good things and I even elevated the breathing/heart rate a bit in a few places too. A good stress test and humbled me by showing how out of shape I really am.

Then once I got my breath, I went back into guinea pig mode, spit into a tube, gave some more blood, got my heart rate measured and all that good stuff. The only bad thing about being a guinea pig is that I could not drink or really cool down until that part was completed. Once it was done the Gatorade sure did taste good and I usually don’t drink that stuff.

However, on a hot night, I knew that I needed more than plain water to help me recover faster.

Oh yeah, the Lone Peak 2.5’s did great, once I started the race, I never thought about my shoes at all, which is all I want. There were a couple of sections on the snowshoe trail they did exactly what I needed to get around some other slower runners, when I got off the main part and got into the squishy stuff. On the rockier main trail they protected the bottoms of my feet nicely, which road shoes usually do not – no foot bruising tonight. My calves and Achilles didn’t bother at all, so for trail running in the summer I have a feeling that they will workout just fine.

That and my feet were not a complete sweaty mess, even with the temps in the 80’s – a very good thing. 🙂

I finished 39/84 and I didn’t see where anyone else who was 60 finished ahead of me in the results, so it was a good effort. One that I was pretty happy with. After all I did put it as an 7.5/10 on the difficulty scale. I know that I am really out of shape for even easy trail running, because it felt as though I did worked pretty damn hard to get even that kind of a time.

As usual Patrick and everyone else who volunteered over at Quarry Road did a fantastic job. Also a big thank you to the Striders who organized the food table, it was great. Alicia the brownie was heavenly and I was good and didn’t take that second one.

Experimenting and Quarry Road 3K – MT Wk2 D2 – Part 1

Tuesdays are for running faster – for me, not you. My fast is different than yours and at this point in my life probably just a bit sower, but that is okay, because I am still out there moving along.

Tuesdays are also the Quarry Road Trail Race day and tonight was the 3K edition.

With that all being said at about 10:15 PMon Monday night I got a text from SD2 that they had somehow made their connecting flight in Atlanta and would be in Portland at 12:228 AM. We had resigned ourselves to the idea that they were not getting home until noon Tuesday and had gotten ready bed.

So I had to switch gears, drive an hour or so to Portland, pick the up at the airport and then drive an hour or so back home. We got home just after 2:00 AM and yes, I was pretty damn exhausted by the time we drove into the yard.

However, life goes on and when you have critters, it means that sleeping in is not much of an option so I was out of bed by 7:00 AM for Bennie’s first walk, ate a light breakfast and then take him out for his long walk down to the old cranberry bog and back (about 2.5 miles).

Yes, I was still pretty darn tired, but I didn’t sit down to rest. I knew that if I did that I would be there for a pretty long while – sleeping.

Since it was “faster” Harold day, I snugged up the elastic wrap around the hamstring a little more than I have been and got ready to go. At the last minute I decided to try an experiment and run in the Skechers GOMeb Razor 2’s to see how they did on dirt and rocks. Continue reading

Gorgeous Weather Up Heah – MT Wk2 D1

Today was planned to be 45:00 minute run at a slower pace and then tonight heading down to Portland to pick-up SD1 & SD2 from the Jetport. I figured that while down there I would do a lap around Back Cove, just because I love running that course whenever I get a chance to.

This morning the weather was fantastic, another one of those top 10 days.

The run this morning went off as planned, a nice and steady 9:00 to 9:20 pace down to Notta Road and back. I did run back up Stevens Hill for the first time in a while. It did not bother the hamstring at all. Which was a great feeling.

Although I am still putting my stretch wrap on for running or other strenuous activities, like weed whacking – yep another hour of beating up on ferns, grass and small trees. Then washing and waxing Clifford – boy he sure is bright red when cleaned up.

This evening’s plans changed due to bad weather down in Atlanta

Instead of heading down to Portland tonight, it looks like a morning run around Back Cove and then picking them up. Although up here it would have been a perfect night for an evening run, but instead I will sit on the couch and relax a little.

Gotta rest up for Quarry Road tomorrow night – after all I am racing a 3K. Well actually I am running a 3K, but not going to overdo things. The hamstring just is not ready for racing or faster stuff quite yet. Soon though. 🙂

How Did Marathon Training Week #1 Go?

So my first week of marathon training has come and gone – how DID it go?

I was pleasantly surprised.

????

Due to our cat house guests and their taking over our guest bedroom, I didn’t use our elliptical at all for cross training. I ran the miles and as the week went on my hamstring began to feel better.

So what did I do this week?

I pretty much did the mileage and what the training plan called for with the exception of speed work. The right hamstring is still a little too tender for that yet. Probably 2-3 weeks away from unrestricted running. However that is great, because I was able to run all the miles – no running equivalents. Which I was very worried about at the start of the week.

The other thing is I have purposely attempted to slow my pace down (that hamstring of mine is helping to slow me down – even if I didn’t want to) on the advice of some people who are a whole lot smarter than I am about running. Continue reading

Scheduled Rest Day – MT WK1 D7

Today was a scheduled rest day and guess what I didn’t run at all!

Hey, do you believe it – I did what the training plan called for…even as much as I dislike scheduled days off, I gotta get used to it. Well sort of kind of maybe…

Although I didn’t run, there is always something to do around the house:

We don’t have trash service or a dumpster, so that meant a trip to the transfer station after Bennie’s 2.0 mile walk this morning. On the way there Mary was running the Middle Road Loop (it is a tough loop) and I could see she was struggling with the heat. After getting rid of the trash at the transfer station, I went down-back to catch up with her. She readily accepted my offer of a ride.

After that I attempted to fix the weed wacker and got pretty frustrated with it. I am not great at being mechanical. Although I eventually did get the weed wacker fixed so that it actually ran (carbeurator adjustment worked like a charm), which meant that I had to use it to clear some of the tree line in front of the house. Not easy, but definitely needed to get done and will help with some of the creepy crawlies or skeeters that we have wandering around out heah in the country.

Then I had to mow the leech bed, something I do once or twice a summer. It has to be done to keep the trees from growing up on the septic system – it is too expensive have someone else repair – mowing it is a lot cheaper.

Although we have a metal roof it is over 10 years old so some of the seals around the chimneys need a little TLC, which meant roof time to re-seal the seam around the one of chimneys today. I don’t mind working on shingle roofs, but metal roofs scare me, so I am super meechy about getting on ours, even though it is not all that high. I do not bounce all that great.

I will do it, but I am super careful and it takes me about three times as long to do something up there. I got it done and back down on the ground in one piece, so I consider that a successful repair.

This is in addition to watering the garden, dog walking and any of the other things that we have going on around the house.

I have a feeling that some people might think that since it is a scheduled rest day, that I actually got to have a rest day. Unfortunately, when you own a home in the country, there is always something to water, cut, saw, mow, or fix.

Which means while I did not run, I didn’t get to play coach potato.

Probably a good thing, but my honey-do list is “slightly” smaller.

Maybe I should have run, I might have gotten more rest.

A Good Long Run – MT WK1 D6

Today was scheduled to be my first long run of my marathon training cycle. It is also the first longer run that I have done since I strained my right hamstring, so I was a little concerned about how it would go. While my planned 8.0 miles doesn’t sound like all that far, it is far enough, when the temps are around 70*F and windy as hell out of the NW.

Let’s back up a little first. Mary and I did a 2.5 mile walk with Bennie down back, when on the way back Greg G was riding his bike and stopped to talk for a minute. We commiserated injuries we are both rehabbing and talked about going to Quarry Road on Tuesday night for the 3K over there. It was good to see Greg and it will be even more fun to start the Quarry Road trail series and see a lot of the local runners again.

Right after we got back, I changed up to get going on my long run. I wanted to make sure that I wore my compression calf sleeves, toe socks and wrapped my right hamstring with my 4″ elastic bandage. The leg is not ready to go running without some external support.

When I left the house I was planning on something in the 9:20-9:30 pace range, since that is pretty much what I have been running lately, since it didn’t bother the hamstring at that pace. However, I got through the first mile a bit faster than that and while I purposely slowed down a bit, it wasn’t THAT much. Continue reading