Friday, November 30, 2007

No, Read Mine!

As it turns out, there are approximately 8,398 blogs out there about one dude's or chick's quest to run this distance this fast at this time of year.

"Today, I took a right out of my driveway instead of left. It was amazing!"

Thrilling. Really.

That's exactly what my blog is going to be like. Just add me to the list.

At this point, I could go into a probing analytical monologue about the psychology of the blogger. Or, I could continue listening to Johnny Cash and go back to work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wandering in the dark.

Here's my day:
Look up...realize it's dark. UGH.
I had planned to go for a run today. How did it get so dark? So I whined to myself for a bit. Called D, so she could convince me to go for it. And that's exactly what I did. Reflective vest and headlamp on I headed out the door.

As I mentioned, I'm taking it easy this week and next. The plan was to run twenty minutes. I headed down the powerlines. I don't think the batteries in my headlamp are so good. Probably should have checked those first. There is a fair amount of sand along the powerlines, and I think today I saw it in all its forms: loose, solid, frozen, semi-frozen, breakable crust and a couple others. It was really weird and really not that fun to run on. So instead of the out and back like I planned, I took a left up the road into Highland Green at which point I had a brilliant idea: run to the golf course clubhouse, run up the first hole and connect back to the trails I usually run on. Seemed simple enough. I'd seen the first green from the trails hundreds of times. Then again, I'd never actually run that connection. Oh yeah, it was dark. So, I'm an idiot. Couldn't find the connection, turned around, tried to bushwhack back to the road, nearly fell into a stream, tried to bushwhack again, slipped into a tree, then finally made it back to the road. Back on the road, back down the powerlines and safely home. Instead of 20 minutes, it was more like 30. No big deal, but more running and more adventure then I had planned on.

The run did give me a cool idea for a workout. The golf course is closed, so it could make for a cool fartlek. Run the holes hard and recover on the cart paths between the holes. The course is pretty spread out, so there'd be a fair amount of recovery. Plus, none of the cart paths are paved, so it would essentially be all on trails. Maybe I'll give that a try in the next couple weeks getting ready for the race I have on my calendar. (More on that later.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I need a thighmaster

You don't see many infomercials for the thighmaster anymore. That's a shame because I think I could use one. My piriformis muscle in my right leg/butt isn't really what it should be. It's one of the factors in my impinged infrapatella fat pad. I need to do some exercises to stengthen it. The thighmaster would be perfect for these. Maybe for Christmas I'll get a thighmaster. I hope it comes with leg warmers.

Of course, I need to stretch, too. I always need to stretch. I could also use a personal masseuse to provide daily massages. I recently heard that the Minnesota Viking's Adrian Peterson is getting treatment on his busted kne 6-8 hours a day. This is good for my fantasy football team, but it's a load of crap. I spend 6-8 hours a day sitting at a computer pretending to work. Perhaps I should spend that time making my knee feel better.

Speaking of feeling better, I started my mellow two weeks today. I ran for 20 minutes, stretched and did some non-thighmaster-having exercises. That's the plan for the next two weeks. Twenty-minute runs rock. It's like they barely happen. It's going to be a nice couple of weeks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back from oblivian

Actually, we're really just back from North Carolina, which incidentally, is a really long way from Maine. Holy crap. 17+ hours in the car yesterday was not good times. We survived, though, with only one blow up from me based on the confusing, wrong, utterly-baffling signs posted by the MA-DOT. The Mass Pike is off this exit? Oh really? Screw you, MA-DOT. Screw you.

We had a great trip to North Carolina to visit D's parents. I got to play golf on Thanksgiving in 75 degree weather. Not your usual holiday. I also got to shut my brain off for a couple days, except for the NY Times crosswords. Yes, my life is akin to that of Motley Crue circa 1985.

The athletic highlight of the trip was the Wilmington Road Runners Turkey Trot at Carolina Beach State park. I was not in good spirits going into the race. As I mentioned before, I took 6 days off last week due to a cold, then I rolled my ankle. I followed this up with the drive to NC and two walks on the golf course. Don't get me wrong, golf isn't really taxing, but it did make me tired and my calves really tight. All that walking and driving, contributed to more tightness, which really started to bother my knee. I have an impinged infrapatella fat pad in my right knee that acts up from time to time. Well, it was acting up. Between all those things, I felt terrible warming up for this race. Really terrible. The upside was that it was under 40 degrees at the start of the race, which made it quite pleasant for running. It was a good turnout of about 230 people, as I thought all the southerners would stay inside on such a cool day.

The race started, and I felt really weird. After about 100 yards, I looked up and there were only about 20 people in front of me. Huh? I wasn't really busting it, so I just rolled with it. The really good news was that after after 1/4 mile we left pavement for good. The remaining 3.75 miles were all on trails, which was awesome. What was less awesome was the fact that a fair of amount of these trails were loose sand. Not the fastest, but way better than pavement. As soon as we hit the trails people started slowing down. I passed a few people and found myself in a comfortable place...then a lonely place. I was behind one guy and the first woman for a while, then they pulled away a bit. Then another guy passed me. I thought about going with him, but I had no idea in where I was. Oh yeah, I forgot to start my watch at the start and there were no mile markers...just endless twists and turns, through the sand and scrub pines. So, he got away, and I continued on. I ran by myself for most of the race. It was a little weird because I was totally lost. I just kept following the orange flagging, which was very well done. Suddenly, I heard a few cheers and rounded the turn to the finish. I picked it up a touch, so the chicks would be impressed. Overall, it was a good race. I felt pretty strong. Nothing hurt, which was a huge surprise/blessing. I just wished that it was either A.) two miles longer because I probably could have held that pace or B.) there were mile markers so I could have gaged my effort a little better. But, really no complaints. I was pretty happy, especially for taking so much time off and doing absolutely no speed work.

I ended up 14th overall in 27:07 (6:47 pace) and 4th in my division. Top three got prizes: cool hats. Bummer. The top 3 in my division were 2, 3 and 4 overall. UGH. But the good news is: D won her division! Cool hat for me! What? She'll never wear it.

Thanks to the Wilmington Road Runners for putting on a solid event complete with ayce breakfast and free massage following the race. Oh yeah, the breakfast was complete with grits. Ah, the South. (And, no, I didn't eat any. Grits are just not good.)

Complete Results
(Due to a data entry error, the results have us listed as being from Eggleston, VA. Hopefully, we don't have to move there.)

Here we are post-race, but pre-ayce breakfast:

Special thanks to D's parents for taking photos, driving us around and getting up early!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We're in North Carolina. It's a long drive from Maine.
Traffic is not caused by the number of cars on the road. It's caused by the fact that people don't know how to drive. So angry.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I ran in the snow.

It was jacked. I got strange looks. Just what I was going for.
That being said, it was a really short run. Only 20 minutes. I am soooo freakin' tight. My calves feel about 1.5 inches long. Not good times. Gotta stretch more. My knee hates me. Ankle felt fine, though.

It's snowing.

Mark that down. November 20th in beautiful Topshizzum, actual snow is falling. Of course, it's not accumulating, and it will probably change to rain. The Midcoast rocks.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ok, maybe this will happen...

I contribute to a blog for work: (Yes, that was a shameless plug.) It's a good way to cut through the crap and talk about what's going on in our corner of the world. But I feel a bit hamstrung about being as crude and cynical as I normally might be. So with that in mind maybe this blog thing will happen. I dunno.

Anyway, I broke my ankle yesterday. Not broken in the sense of broken bone, but broken in the sense that I rolled it and crunched it. D and I were out on a trail run Bradbury Mountain State Park. I rolled it pretty good in the first 15 minutes but decided I could still complete the hour run we had planned. I'm kind of an idiot that way. On top of that, I'd taken the last 6 days off due to illness and an all around crazy work schedule. Thus, I was tight and creeky and my right knee hurt like hell. Yup, still an idiot. So, I'm enjoying hobbling around today. Oh yeah, we're running a race on Saturday. It's 4 miles. I'm done exactly zero speed work, so I'm certain my hamstrings are going to explode. I'm a friggin' idiot.

However, I should mention that Bradbury is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to run. The East Side trails are sweet. Except for the little friggin' pieces of death that try to break your ankles.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This is not a blog

This is not a blog. (Maybe someday it will become one.) I only have this to post snarky comments on other people's blogs.