Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Last 3 Weeks

 It has been a good last few weeks of running for me.  I had some good track workouts the first two weeks, I won the 2nd Annual Go Far Mud Run in Harrisville, and last week I put in all long runs and got to 60 miles on only 4 days of running.  My average has been about 52 miles, which is far more than I have ever been able to do.  Plus, I have no real major issues or injuries, so I feel like I am in a really good place to start marathon training for the fall.  The race I had planned to run was sold out, and the Hartford Marathon conflicts with a friend's wedding, so I signed up for the Wineglass Marathon in Upstate New York for October 2nd.  Is is supposed to be relatively fast, with only about 2000 runners.  Roma will be doing the 1/2, and it should be a good way for her so set a solid running goal for the summer.  Yesterday we ran 6 miles on the Northampton trail, and she took a hard fall after only about 1 1/2 miles, cutting both hands, her knee and a bad scrape on one elbow.  But she regrouped, rinsed off in the river and finished the run.  A Keenyan in the making.  So now my summer should be good training, with a few races thrown in to give me something to shoot for.  I want to be under 26 min for 4 on  the Fourth, run Bridge of Flowers faster than last year, low 1:30s or break 1:30 for Swanzey, under 2 hours for Pisgah, pace Jeff for the last 1/2 of the deMar, and 3:10 for Wineglass.  That would be a good summer. Here are the last few weeks:
MON. : A Day of Rest
TUES. : 5 mi w/Roma
WED. : 10 mi, w/8x400(1:15 rest)
THU. -
FRI. : 10 mi
SAT. : Friggin Rain, 0 mi
SUN. : 18 mi, last 2 @ 7:07/6:20

MON. : -
TUES. : 7 mi, w/19:45 5k
WED. : 10 mi, w/ 4/8/12/12/8/4
THU. 10 mi, 7 tempo
w/Petro@7:45 pace
FRI. : 10 mi
SAT. : 10 mi w/hills
SUN. : 5 mi am w/ 20:35 5k (1st)

6/20 - 6/26
MON. : Nada
TUES. : Zilch

WED. : 18 mi Double Dump Run

THU. Zip

FRI. : 14
SAT. : 9
SUN. : 16 mi am, 3 mi pm

Monday, June 6, 2011


The week started out with a fantastic trail run with a big group, from Josh's house to Justin's.  I was a little nervous about heading out with such a strong group of runners, and while I had heard about how difficult the trail was, I had no idea what I was in for.  The day was perfect, hot, but not too bad in the woods.  The start of the run was certainly the hardest, so it was good to get it out of the way while still fresh.  I was able to hold up fairly well most of the way, and even though I knew it was taking an early toll on me, I still felt ok. After the long initial climb, there were several sections of rolling woods and single track trails.  I got to amuse Justin with my log rolling skills. The views from the few spots we stopped were fantastic.  From about the half way point I was starting to have a hard time keeping up, and I was glad Justin Greg & Goupil kinda took turns hanging back with me.  I feel so lucky and honored to have met up with such a group.  The real joy was just being out there running in such a wonderful place, with such gifted athletes.  In real training or racing, I know I can't hold a candle to those guys.  But I felt like I was able to hold my own out on the trail, and it really inspired me for the rest of the week.  After the run we went to soak in the creek.  I was feeling a little too exhausted to do anything but wade into the water, but I know the cold helped out my legs. Then burgers, dogs & beer back at Justin's. Doesn't get much better.
The next day I felt surprisingly decent. On the run I had only fallen once, and taken only a couple of stumbles.  So while I was a little stiff and sore from the exertion, there was no major issue, and I made it down to Northampton for the 5k.  I went out for a little warmup, and knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  But I loosened up a little, and by the end felt alright.
Wednesday was a day of huge thunderstorms and hail, but between the deluge I made it out for my George Street loop.  Thursday was an easy day at the gym.  Friday I wanted to see if I could make it to the dump in my huarache sandals.  It felt good heading up the trail, and on the way up I started adding up the miles of the week.  I realized that by the end of the day I would be at 45 miles, and I could easily reach a new high mile week.  I knew the weather was supposed to be good for the weekend, so if I did another dump run on Saturday, then 15 on Sunday, I'd hit 70.  By the time I got to dump, my huaraches needed retightening.  Normally not too big of a deal, but at that time of evening my sweating, panting body was a magnet for mosquitos from everywhere.  The cloud that surrounded me was thick to say the least.  I finally headed back down the trail, and felt smooth the whole way.  I tried to keep a sustained effort, and made it back in 30:50, only a minute or so slower than a few weeks ago with boj, so I felt good about that.  On Saturday afternoon, I made another dump run, and when I left, the Sox were in the bottom of the 8th, with a 4 run lead.  I got back, and it was the 13th inning.  WTF?  Oh well, at least they won.
Sunday it was just Newt and me heading out from Brewbakers for the regular run.  We went down the rail trail towards Swanzey, and it was an absolutely beautiful morning.  It was a great way to cap the week, nice & relaxed with perfect conditions.  Newt is such an inspiration for what I would like to be able to do in the next 20 years or so.  Next week he will be running his 3rd marathon this year.   We ran about 8 miles together, and I kinda felt like it was bringing the week full circle for me.  Hanging with someone because you enjoy the running, not because every run has to be about time and training.  After Newt and I made it back to Brewbakers, I went back up the trail for another 8 or so.  I felt fine for having done 71 for the week.  At about 3:00, Roma called to say she was getting out of work early, and wanted to know if I would run a few miles with her.  Great.  Her friend Sara met us at Highland Park, and we did 4 miles at an easy pace.  Sara and Roma are just getting back into running, and it was the farthest they had gone.  That brought me to 75, and when I look back, it all just kind of rolled from the beginning.  I feel so fortunate to enjoy and to be able to run with such a variety of people. 
So that's how I made it to 75.  Impressive for some, maybe not for others.  But I'll take it.  To paraphrase Bob "Onward in my journey, I come to understand, that every mile is numbered, like every grain of sand."

MON. : 20 mi on trails
TUES. : 5 mi, w/5k
(21:33 of agony)
WED. : 5 mi between thunderstorms
THU. 5 mi
FRI. : 10 mi, past the dump
in the huaraches
SAT. : 10 mi
SUN. : 16 mi am, 4 mi pm