Friday, November 26, 2010

Cranberry Run

It turned out to be a really nice morning for the Cranberry run. It was a little chilly, but fine in shorts after warming up. I showed up early with a few pots of coffee, and saw Justin and George getting ready to warm up, so I tagged along. It was a short and fast warmup for me, with a hill added to get the blood pumping, but I felt good afterwards. I met Michael and Jeff Petrovitch for their first races ever. It was a great turn out, and quite crowded at the start. I felt good as the gun went off, no pains to speak of. Within about 200 yards or so, I was running next to Ockle Johnson. He and I are pretty evenly matched, and we ran together for the first mile or two, until about North Lincoln street. I felt good, and was cruising, pushing it a little for me. I passed a few runners in the next mile, and turned on to the bike path only to see what looked like the same kid from last year, who I had passed at just about the same spot. He's 12, from St. Joe's, and he runs with what looks like an effortless style. I had been running stride for stride since Rule street with what turned out to be the 2nd place woman, and we were making a little ground on the kid. But I gotta tell you, it's a little disheartening to be chasing a 12 year old for a mile and a half and hardly make up any ground. Up Washington Street, and I started to feel like I was running out of gas a bit, but not the kid. He ended up beating me by about 10 seconds. My time was 29:14, about 15 seconds faster than last year, so I guess I gotta be thankful for that. But it sure would have been nice to pass that kid. I turned around at the finish, and Ockle came in right behind me.
Jeff and Michael were gunning for Newt, with Jeff talking it up for a few days. But this time it was the seasoned veteran taking it to the young upstarts, beating the two of them soundly by between 2-4 minutes. It was great to see both of them out there, and they are both enthusiastic to run more consistently.
I didn't do much of a cool down, and then I headed back to Brewbakers for some coffee with a few runners and anyone else who happened in. It was a very nice way to relax after the race, and a way to say thanks to a few of the people who inspire me in so many different ways. I hope everyone out there, runners and others, had a great Thanksgiving.
And Happy Birthday, Michael.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday & Sunday Runs

A good run on the Rail Trail on Saturday, up to the dump. The first 2 miles or so are always just a warm up, then it's a good 2 1/2 miles past Hurricane. The light was just starting to fade, but I was feeling good. I cruised up in 37:30, about a 8:05 pace. Certainly not blistering, but it felt steady with the slight incline. I took just a short break to watch the sky over the dump, always something of a spiritual moment, and headed back to see if I could make it back in 1:10 total. I felt as good as I have in a long time, and really tried to push it the last mile or so. I ended up at 1:10:15, so it was 32:45 for the return trip, about 7:05. Again, not blistering, but good for me right now. I would like to see if I can get the route down to 1 hour, 33 up, 27 back. I only need to drop a minute per mile. Doable by spring if all goes well.

On Sunday I was tired, both from the previous afternoon, and last night I helped install benches in the cafe till about midnight. Spent the night on the couch, then woke up at 6:30 when the morning person came into work. Newt showed up at 8:00, and he and I went out to do the Cranberry Run course before the usual Sunday group showed up. The group headed up to the waterfall off Old Concord Road, and it was a nice, easy pace for about 6 miles or so.

I am looking forward to the Cranberry Run on Thursday. And to anyone who is reading this, if you want coffee after the race, stop on by. We will be closed, but I know there will be a few coming by after the race, and the more the merrier. It's on me. There may even be a few day old muffins. Just in case you need a few extra calories on Thanksgiving.

Week Totals for Nov.15 thru Nov.21
TUESDAY : 5.5 mi.
WEDNESDAY : 8 mi. w/workout
THURSDAY : 3 mi. Plus short gym workout.
FRIDAY : Dylan in Amherst (gotta count as a cross training day)
SATURDAY : 9.5 mi.
SUNDAY : 12 mi.

TOTAL : 38.0 mi.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wednesday Workout, Twins Take 17M Titles

Well, it seemed like no one else was too satisfied with their workout, but I finally felt like I was turning the corner on the nagging injuries of the last 2 months or so. This was the first actual pain free workout for me since Pisgah. It wasn't too hard, but it felt good to run fast and not worry about pulling anything. I didn't have any plans when we met, but Glenn was doing 200s, so that sounded good to me. I ended up doing 6, then some 400s and then a few more 200s. Andy was doing mile repeats, and I was almost able to keep up with him for is 1st and 3rd lap. The wind was really picking up, and the back stretch was hard enough doing it just once for a 400, so it must have been draining to do it 4 times. He is such a strong runner that it made trying to keep pace with him like running with a metronome.

Here are the results:

6 X 200
4 X 400
2 X 200

As expected, Greg was a winner in the 17M contest, but who could have foreseen the first underhanded tactic being taken by his twin (evil twin?). Boj I could understand, but his own brother? Glenn started off early, saying he didn't want to get 'cold'. I think this must be a strategy Greg has seen before, because he didn't want to wait around for any stragglers. At 3:29, "Where's Fyffe and Andy? I dunno, let's just go." He seemed a little too impatient. But by then Glenn had already built too much of a lead. Round two was Greg's chance for redemption, even with a change in course because of darkness. "Do you want me in front? I have a reflective vest on." Seemed like a good natured offer for group safety. Nothing is as it seems. The twins are crafty.
We met afterwards for refreshments, and certainly Armadillo's is, as a matter fact, generally quite fun indeed. It is unquestionably the de facto spot for post run meal and conversation. Really.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wednesday Workout, and A New Running Group

The Wednesday Workout went a little better this week than last week. It was the first time in a while that I haven't had much pain either in my calf or ribs. Still a bit of tightness, and I didn't feel like I could run all out, but I was able to put in an ok workout, even if it was still a short one. At the start I had planned to do 8 X 400, but on the 7th I could feel some tightness, so I did 4 X 200 to finish up. I kept the rest intervals to about 1/2 time of the previous effort. The shorter reps were a good way to keep it a little loose, while not putting too much of a strain on my calf.
The warm up and cool down went well, even with Greg taking the 17M title for both. He's a tough competitor, and you can tell he's focused when all banter stops with 20-30 yards to go. Even the subtlest maneuver is countered quickly, leaving little chance for a surprise kick. More sophisticated or underhanded tactics may be necessary.

The results were:
1:26 / 1:28 / 1:27 / 1:29 / 1:27 / 1:28
43 / 42 / 41 / 42

A new running group is forming at Brewbakers. Friday Afternoon Running Team, or FART. So far it is just me and a few of the Brewbakers employees, but all are welcome. Distances will be padded and times will be abridged (the Randy System) in order to make it to Happy Hour at one of the local watering holes. Starting time is 3:00. Hope to see lots of running/beer enthusiasts in the coming weeks.