Sunday, August 31, 2008

When Did 14-miles Become Easy?

Back on the AT today for a little bit of running and a lot of hiking. The loop we did was 14 miles, and we thought it was easy. That's pretty cool. We were both tired from our run yesterday. (D especially, but she had one of her biggest running mileage weeks ever, so it was with good reason.) The terrain was nice, though. And not saturated and muddy. That's a big help.

The gory details:
D's report.
My report. (Pretty lame actually.)

We now have one more section to do (24 miles) before our vacation and the 100-Mile Wilderness. But, in truth, we've already hiked these 24 miles. It's a section from Rt. 4 in Rangeley to Caribou Valley Road and includes Saddleback, Sugarloaf and a number of other peaks. We did this hike probably about 9 years ago, and it nearly killed us. We had planned to go over the Crockers, but we bailed. It took us 3 days to do the 24 miles. I was probably carrying 394 pounds. D had a garbage for a raincover for her pack. It blew away...far, far away. We were dumb. Hopefully, our return will go better.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Running is Really, Really Dumb

So, remember all my whining? Well, the most recent whining, anyway. Yesterday's run was great, and today's run was even better. D and I ran with the official Trail Monster group today at Bradbury. We ran the 12-mile Bradbury Bruiser course. I felt awesome. Way better than I have all week. No pain, no tightness, no nothing. Yeah, I have no idea. Plus, it was really fun to get out on group run. There were at least 15 of us out there, and more names than I can remember. It was a really good group of people, and a good time was had by all. Did I mention that I felt awesome? Well, I did.

Of course, I couldn't help thinking about the Breakfast Club.

Bender: What do you do in the physics club?
Brian: Um...we talk about of physics...
Bender: So, it's sort of social. Demented and sad, but social.

Of course, I mean that in a really good way.

However, this is way cooler than the physics club because in the afternoon, Ian and Emma invited a bunch of us back to their place to drink beer. Lots of good people and good food. Erik also brought venison. And, I have to say, that Bambi was delicious.

And, speaking of demented and sad, but social, it was also cool to meet a couple blogging-type folks face to face. For example, I met Mindy, here's the conversion:

Me: Hi, I'm Ryan.
Mindy: Hi, I'm Mindy.
Me: Oh, you're the squirrel lady.
Mindy: Yeah, that's me. Which one are you?
Me: Snowman.
Mindy: Oh yeah! Great to meet you.

In case you're wondering, we were able to have an actual conversation and not just wait until we got home to share blog comments with each other. We're no that dorky. Well, maybe...

Anywho, D and I are off tomorrow for a groovy dayhike over the Crockers and bang out another 8 miles of the AT. Should be sweet.

You know when you get a song in your head that just won't leave? This is what I have now:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Running is Dumb

Ran 3 miles in the Commons this afternoon. Felt great. Awesome even. Cruised right along. Finished 3 miles in what was a very comfortable 24:28. My feet and calves are certainly tight, but no pain in my foot/ankle thing. So, who knows.

I did wear my new shoes. And, I did pretty much eat constantly all day. No doubt those things helped.

Speaking of new shoes, this is ridiculous:

The lesson here: When you wear new shoes, you look like a total dork. Could they be any whiter?

That's a Little Better

As D explained...or at least attempted to...we won't be backpacking this weekend. I'd barely walked in the door last night, when she said, "OK, here are the options..." It was a rare moment in which she used her master planning skills for good and not evil. Needless to say, I immediately gravitated to the plan that included the least amount of backpacking and the most amount of potential for eating and sleeping. I guess subconsciously my body was trying to tell me something.

I've also realized that the culprit of my feeling like boo boo for the past few days is actually my feet. They're wicked tight. I'm rockin' the foot massage ball right now and plan to do so for most of the day. Feels nice. I guess all that pavement really tightened things up. So, I'm going to focus on the feet and go for a short run this afternoon. I'm also going to try out my new pair of shoes and see how they feel.

Additionally, my goal today is to try the Michael Phelps diet. When I get tired and the body feels bad, I find that eating a lot usually makes me feel better. You probably won't find that in any training programs, but it seems to work for me. Only a a three eggs and soy nugget breakfast burrito so far this morning, but I feel second breakfast coming on any second.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'm so stressed

Preface: I don't have any "real" stress like health, family or other real world stresses. I have running and fitness related stress, which isn't as bad but still sucks.

Essentially, I'm a mess. I have two huge goals for the fall:
1. Run my first marathon
2. Finish the Appalachian Trail

The success of both of these goals are directly related to my health and fitness. And health and fitness have never really been my strong suits. You know the kid the neighborhood who always gets hurt? That's me. And right now, I'm really worried. Things have gone downhill in a hurry. I'm seriously considering pulling the plug on this whole marathon thing.

This is the point where D says: "Don't be stressed. You're doing great. Don't worry." She's right, but I'm not listening. I'm a wreck.

I've basically felt like boo boo since the 19-mile fiasco on Monday. Both physically and mentally. My left knee hurt on Tuesday, but felt fine today. Just tightness, and a feeling I remember from a long time ago when D and I would go backpack in the White Mountains off of no training. I'd carry 50 pounds and barely survive. I can stretch that out and it subsides. I also developed a strange almost pain in my left foot. It's just below my ankle, and slightly forward of it. It's not sharp and comes and goes. WTF?!?!?

Today, the plan called for 5 miles. I headed out the door unsure of what I was going to do. I could feel the pain in my foot off and on, but it was barely there. The rest of my body felt like crap. OK, not crap, but not good. I was really hoping that a short, easy run would make all the badness float away. Not so much. I decided to run a shorter loop. I ended up with 3.3 miles in 28:59.

Now I know that running a little shorter was probably a good call. In the long run 3.3 vs. 5 today isn't really going to make much of a difference. But it killed me that I was deviating from the plan. I was supposed to run 5, and I couldn't really. Kevin had a great post about this. (I met Kevin at the Bradbury Scuffle. We parked next to each other, and we debated together whether it was time to go out in the rain. Real nice guy.) I know just how he feels. What the hell am I doing? My last two runs have not been fun. Isn't this supposed to be fun? As I was running my less than 5 all I could think about was that I was running less. That just made me feel worse.

Perhaps, I need rest. Well, let's talk about goal #2. This weekend, D and I are attempting the hardest backpack of the summer. It's the last weekend we have available before our vacation in September, in which we'll be hiking the final 100 miles of the AT. So, obviously, we want to have all the sections done before our vacation. We can then stand on Katahdin knowing we've passed every white blaze from there to Springer Mountain in Georgia. (Damn, that sounds cool.) But, what if I'm not feeling good and we can't finish it? What if my foot is really effed up? A 33+ mile backpack over 2 days will certainly let me know what the status of my foot is. And, I do not want to be injured on the AT again. That really sucks. And, obviously, I don't want to screw it up (again) for D. Feeling some pressure. Of course, none of it from her because she's always super-supportive of me in my attempts at athletic endeavors, but I still feel pressure.

So, yeah, I'm really stressed. Being stressed is also a sure fire way to feel worse. It's a vicious cycle. What's worse is that this post (if you've actually stayed with it) is really long and I haven't said anything funny. Sorry on both accounts. See...more pressure. Maybe I need a shrink.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Argh and Random Stuff

Still not feeling good about yesterday's events. Am I obsessing about this? Absolutely. Am I insane? Clearly. Plus, D ran 5 miles today. I did squat. Probably couldn't have run 5 miles. Body might have permanently rebelled. Did she run those 5 miles to make me feel bad? Probably. She has a cold, black heart.

OK, back at it tomorrow.

From the random files...

As in 54.5 miles per gallon and 557.1 miles on the last tank. Those were the numbers in my car the other night when I filled it up. That's pretty awesome.

So, Firefox just had a snazzy new update. I'm not happy. I fear change. Am I a geek for even noticing/caring? Absolutely. Just a couple hours ago I had this clean, streamlined theme that is no longer available in the new version. Everything just looks a little different, and I'm not particularly happy about it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Suffering Practice

I think I'm in trouble.

D and I hit the roads today for a 19-mile run. We'd come up with a loop that began and ended at the Bowdoin field house. I was planning on adding a loop around the fields to make it 20. Well, that didn't happen.

From the start I didn't feel quite right. I figured I would warm up as we went along, and I did. In fact, I felt fine for the first 1:20 or so. Then it starting getting warm, and the hills really started. The first 7 miles were fairly flat, just a few minor bumps, but once we hit Maquoit Bay it got hilly. I felt good at first, but then about 11 miles, I knew something was off. I kept pushing hoping I'd feel better. Never really did. I started laboring around 14 miles, but was able to push up another hill. At around 15 miles, we hit a flat section, and I couldn't stay with D. Nothing specific hurt, I just didn't have the juice. We turned onto Woodside Road, and I pushed up what I knew was the last significant hill. I started to feel a little better, but I knew I was working hard. Then with about 2 miles to go, it happened. If I was on a bike, I could practically hear Ligget and Sherwin.

Ligget: And the American has cracked.
Sherwin: He's absolutely popped! He's going to drop right off the back.
Ligget: There's nothing he can do now. It's all over.

That's really not what you want running through your head, but there it was. I was mad. I was slowing, almost stumbling, and I was mad. I tried to stay with D, and she urged me on. But there was no staying with her, so I told her to keep going. I watched her pull further away. There was absolutely nothing I could do. I was toast. Everything in my body was telling me to walk. I really wanted to. I didn't. I kept, shuffling. Again, the overwhelming emotion was anger. What was going on? I just couldn't get the legs to move. I managed to keep the final mile under 10 minutes, but barely. I didn't really try to push it over these last two miles, as I just wanted to survive, but I really don't think I could have anyway. Oh, and did I mention I was mad. Really mad. I finally finished in 2:54:42. Works out to 9:11 per mile.

Here's the loop. (For some reason, the embedding for mapmyrun isn't working. I'd complain, but it's a free service after all.) As you can see, it was pretty hilly. So that's some consolation until I remember that so is the MDI Marathon course.

So despite D being all worried that she wasn't going to be ready for the marathon and me feeling like I was on the right track. I think we came out of this run feeling just the opposite. Today was not a good day for me. Granted, bad days happen, but I really didn't need a bad day for my ego. 19 miles is the furthest I've ever run, so that's kind of cool. Then again, I had planned to do 20, and I barely ran the last mile. Oh, and walking around the house this afternoon is less than routine. Not good times. It was certainly hotter out there than I would have like (Thermometer read 78 when we got home), but it might be the same temp during the marathon. Hopefully, it will be 58 and cloudy, but who knows? So, all in all, not what I was hoping for. Not at all. I still have a 22 and a 20 on the schedule, so hopefully they'll go better. But, if I'm struggling through 19, how about I supposed to run 7 more miles? Um, yeah, 7 more. crap

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Marathon training is all about discipline and focus. Develop a plan and execute it with precision. It's critical to maintain this plan as each workout is another building block to a successful performance. You need to be regimented.

This morning, 5 miles were on the schedule. So, I stayed in bed.


Last night, D and I went to see John Hiatt at the LL Bean Summer Concert series. It was 9 kinds of awesome. It was a free show, and certainly one that Hiatt and his band could have phoned it. Quite the contrary. They played for 2 hours, and it was clear that Hiatt was having as much fun as the crowd. It was a great show. Here's a vid from what looks like the same tour from just a couple nights ago:

Hiatt's awesome. But, we're old, so we were pretty tired when we got home at about 11:00. So when the alarm went off at 6:00, I didn't move. D made an attempt, but ended up climbing back in bed. So, no run for us. I'm acting as an extra body at the gallery today, so we were out the door at 8:45 for work. Maybe we'll get in a run this evening, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Again, it's all about discipline.

Oh, I also had a sausage from a street vendor at the show. Great training regimen, huh?

The only downside to last night's festivities was that we missed the Men's Olympic marathon. It sounds like it was awesome. Hopefully, NBC will post a replay.

Friday, August 22, 2008

5 Miles...Yawn. No Wait...Hooray!

D and I ran 5 miles together this morning. We just went out and back on the powerlines. (Well, not ON the powerlines, but we were on the trails beneath them.) It was a nice morning. We chatted a bit. My calf started out tight, but loosened up after a mile or so. That's it. It was a nice run, but completely uneventful and forgettable.

I'm not sure I'm so happy that it was uneventful and forgettable. It means I might be taking these things for granted. Last year at this time, 5 miles was a longish run. Two years ago, I could barely run 2 miles. Somebody please keep reminding me of that. Besides, I got to spend 45 quiet minutes with my wife. That's not a bad thing either. So, maybe it was a really great run. Yeah, I'll go with that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Best 12.5 Mile Trail Run Ever by Anyone at Anytime in the History of Everything Ever

Welcome to Snowman Says, where we never exaggerate.

In case you hadn't guessed, I had a great run this morning. Yeah, I said morning. I hit the trails at about 6:30a.m. For quite some time, I've wanted to run the course of the There's a Black Fly in My Eye 15k. Today was that day. Well, actually, I ran that loop (with a few very minor variations) and the first loop again at the end. I figured this would make it 12, and my approximation of the route on mapmyrun came out to 12.7. It's impossible for me to get it exact because I can't really "see" a lot of the trails, so I'm officially calling it 12.5. (I was going to post it, but there's something wrong with the mapmyrun blog posting function. So sad. Here's the link to it.)

It was cold when I started. Really cold. It took me a solid 15 minutes before I didn't feel cold anymore. My thumbs were the worst. But, because I'm super tough I pushed through with minimal tears. Aside from the cold, I felt great to awesome the whole way. It was really encouraging to feel so good on near 2-hour trail run. Really encouraging. That's pretty much it.

Well, not quite. My right calf tightened a bit in the final couple minutes. I stretched it throughout the day, and D gave me a little massage help with it tonight. Shouldn't be a problem.

P.S. I saw 5 cedar waxwings.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Run and Random Stuff

Ran 5 miles this afternoon on the carriage roads at Great Glen. Felt surprisingly good. There was even a little bit of spring in the step, which I did not expect after our hike on Monday. That's good news. Perhaps the reason that it took me so long to recover from my 18-mile run was the fact that I had 2.5 hours of sleep two nights before. That might have been a factor...maybe.

Need to go back to Olympic marathon for a moment: You can watch the whole thing at NBC's website. It's 3 may not want to watch it all. Well, I was going to embed it, but there's no code. I was going to link to it, but they don't allow you to copy the link. Apparently, Microsoft's new Silverlight viewer isn't sophisticated enough to offer cut and paste. Oh, a far be it from NBC to actually want more web traffic. (OK, 2 people a day read my drivel, but you get the point: they suck.) So, go to the NBC Encore page and choose a track and field video. A pop up will open and an ad will play...of course. On the right, you'll see you're in the track & field channel. Scroll through to the Women's Marathon. Oh, and you can watch other stuff, too. Here's the weird thing, though, the marathon has no commentary. Just ambient sound. On second thought, that's better than Tom Hammond, He doesn't know the difference between the marathon and the hammer throw.

And here's something you didn't see on NBC—Blake (#3228), aka the top/only U.S. finisher.

And, what you really didn't see—Blake finishing:

(Blake really needs to work on her finishes because she was directly behind the woman in front of her until just past the line. It's all about face time!) Now, you did not see this shot on NBC. She finished 45 seconds behind Paula Radcliffe. NBC cut away right after Radcliffe finished. I don't care that she's the world record holder, she's British. America doesn't really give a rat's ass about female British marathoners. However, they might be proud to see the top American come across the line. I talked about this with my mom last night, and she got me all fired up about this again. NBC sucks.

OK, onto funnier things. If you have a few minutes to waste and want to laugh out loud or LOL, as the kids say. Go to engrish funny. It's full of gaffs in translation. It's awesome
Engrish picture of a pack of toilet paper labeled glory hole wipers

Feel us while soft!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Off Day, a Bee Sting and a Long Day on the AT

Since we last checked in with our hero, I've been kind off busy.

I ended up taking Saturday off. We had a big event at work that I was organizing the media for. Basically, it's like herding cats. Really, really needy cats. Plus, it was raining by the tie I got home. I was pretty tired, so I decided that 32 miles in 4 days of running was good enough for the week. The second highest total this year for the last 10 years for that matter...with an 18-miler in the middle, so I should be happy. I'm not completely happy, but that's the mind of a runner.

On Sunday, D and I went out for a 5-mile run. I got stung by a bee. With about a mile to go, I felt a sting right at the front of my ankle/foot, just behind the tongue of my shoe. I knew immediately what it was. Even though I'm allergic to pretty much everything else, I'm not allergic to bee stings. D made me a paste of baking soda which seemed to help. I didn't know she was an 83 year-old woman, but she also said "slacks" and told the cat "Mama is watching her stories now."

On Monday, we were back on the AT for the hardest dayhike we've ever done. It was great.

Per usual
Here's D's report.
Here's my report.
La photographia.

I've been so busy this week, I don't even have a new funny video to post. Cats, anyone?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blake Rocks, NBC Sucks

Congratulations, Blake! 27th in the Olympic Marathon. Too bad NBC cut away 45 seconds before you finished. We're really proud of you!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Women's Olympic Marathon

Official programming note from Snowman Says:
The women's Olympic Marathon will be televised live on NBC Saturday night starting at 9:30pm. If you can, please watch and cheer for Blake Russell because she rocks. And I'm not just saying that because she married my best friend from high school...actually, that might take her down a notch.

Here's the moderately inadequate bio from NBC. (I wonder how Reebok feels about that profile picture.)

Here's my super-awesome recap of the marathon trials in April.

Here's a great interview right after the trials race. I love when she says Jon "was" an athlete. That cracks me up. (Actually, he really was. 8:36 steeplechase.)

Captain Crankypants

I thought I'd go with that title just to warn you. Here goes...

Today just kind of pissed me off. First, our commander-in-chief spoke about the situation in Georgia this morning. Of course, I had to wonder how many people out there are upset that they won't be able to get to Atlanta because of Russian troops. Anyway, Dubya said that the United States is standing by Georgia because the "Georgian people have made the necessary sacrifices to become a thriving democracy." (May not be an exact quote, but it's close.) Really? It has nothing to do with Georgia's strategically important position in the world? It's all about democracy? Wow, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. What? Oh, no troops? Gee, where could they all be? Oh, found them, they're dying needlessly in other countries "to protect liberty." Awesome. If he wins a third term, I pulling a Susan Sarandon and moving to Canada.

Shortly following that report on NPR, I heard this little nugget: In Louisiana today, a ban cockfighting was established. Not on "this date in history" kind of today. No, today. Hey, Louisiana, it's 2008. Welcome, sorry you missed the 1900's. A state legislator was quoted as saying, "It's sad because it's been part of our history." That is sad. You know what else is part of history? Slavery. I was sad to see that go in the United States, too. Ah, the South.

So, these two things just kind of set me off for the rest of day. Plus, I was hungry all day. Cranky, then hungry = more cranky. Luckily, no one came into my office today.

I did get out for a run, and my body was also cranky. My legs felt fine. A little sluggish, but this is marathon training. I'm supposed to be tired as I build up the miles. (Right?) Good news was that my knee felt fine—not even a twinge. Stretching worked, and I need to do that right after I finishing typing this. But, like I said, I was hungry all day. I forgot to bring my Fuel Belt with me, so I had no nutrition with me. I was fighting the bonk from about 20 minutes in. That made me cranky. I saw a small bird on the side of the trail. I think it was some type of warbler. It had a broken wing, I think. It hopped away, and I didn't want to stress it out. It just didn't look quite right, I hope the wing wasn't really broken. I'm only telling you this detail because after I saw the bird, this jumped into my head:

That made me kind of cranky. Run was solid, though, I ran what's left of the 24 Hour course. Slower than the first/last time I ran it, but the mud factor was way up. I was pretty splattered by the end, and my shoes are caked with black goo. That, however, did not make me cranky.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


My body is smarter than I am. That being said, I'm still trying to trick it into doing what I want. I woke feeling a bit tight. Clearly, still feeling the effects of Tuesday's run. The "plan" was to run 5. I just wasn't feeling it. I was contemplating taking another day off. In the end, I decided that I really had no excuse, so I headed for the Commons for 3.

Within seconds, it became obvious that the reason that I was feeling like taking a day off was because I was still pretty tired from the other day. I really felt it in the first mile. In fact, I felt tired and sluggish the whole way. My knee felt better. Not 100%, but better. More stretching is all I need. Off to do that right now.

The good news is I can watch the Olympics while I stretch. I have full on Olympic fever. I've been watching every second I can. Archery, fencing, judo...oh, and team handball. Team handball is awesome.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Weekend of (not) Racing & the Longest Run Ever

Been a wild and wacky few days since I last checked in, so here's an update.

I took Friday off from running, and on Saturday ran an easy 3 or so to finish the week with 24.5 miles of running. Add the 19.9 miles on the AT, and I call that a solid week. The chaos then began. I finished running just after 7:00am on Saturday morning (that's not a typo) and went into full-on, big time event mode. The biggest event of the summer for Great Glen Trails was Saturday and Sunday: the 24 Hours of Great Glen—a 24-hour mountain bike race. In short, this is the coolest event we do. For the most part, it draws a great group of riders, which makes it 100x more fun for us organizer types. What made it even more fun was that it didn't rain a drop during the event. It rained just before and just after, but not during. My duties consisted of getting photos and videos and the like on Saturday during the day. Here's the first of the videos I put together...more on the way.

As you can see, it was crazy muddy. Anyway, as the day went on, I took a dinner break and then headed down to help with timing and the like. I also got some (hopefully) cool night shots. I headed for bed at 12:30am and was back at the timing table by 3:30am. And, in fact, I stayed there until the event ended at 1:15. The point of all this? I got about 2.5 hours sleep, then drove home arriving at about 10:00. Yup, that's a long weekend. Event went great, though. If there was a running version of this event, I'd sign up in a second.

The real bummer of the weekend was that I missed the Bradbury Breaker. I really wish I had been able to do this race. D carried the Team Snowplug flag and rocked the house. So, I didn't do any racing, but I got to watch a lot and hear about a lot. Oh well.

Mellow day yesterday, and I also took today off. So, why not do a long run? In fact, I did the longest run ever, well, for me anyway. In college, one of the big deals was to run from campus to L.L. Bean and back. I never did it. I was never quite healthy enough to pull it off. (There's a surprise.) Today, I finally did it. I started at the Bowdoin field house and ran to L.L. Bean in Freeport, then turned around and ran back. It's 18 miles.

This was hard. It's pretty hilly. In fact, it's quite hilly. But at the same time, it was uneventful. I almost ran into a number of tourons as I ran through downtown Freeport, but that was about as exciting as it got. Speaking of running through Freeport, I did see Stephen out running with someone, but I didn't fully realize it was him until a few seconds later.

I had three goals for this run 1.) Finish (after all, I'd never run this far before.), 2.) Run the last three miles respectably/at a slightly faster pace, and 3.) Hold a 9:20 pace. I nailed all three. I finished. In fact, if need be, I know I could have run a few more miles. I felt comfortable and pretty strong at 15 miles, and did manage to pick it up a pace. Although, this was harder than I had planned, because I was well ahead of goal #3. Admittedly, I was nervous before this run, and it showed in the first mile: 8:25. Oops. But when all was said and done: 2:39:18 for a pace of 8:51. I really happy with this. For that marathon that works out to 3:51. I'd be pretty happy with that. Perhaps, I could go faster. We'll see.

After the run, I spent some quality couch time eating and watching the Olympics. (Judo on the Canadian channel in French is fascinating.) I had a slight owie in my left knee, but I know exactly what's going on. It's caused my some tightness in my quad. Ibuprofen and stretching will take care of that. So, overall, the longest run ever was a success. I'm going to definitely get in a 20-miler before the marathon, and I'm hopeful I'll be able to get in a 22. They say the marathon starts at 20, so if I can do a run that goes an extra 2 miles, I think I'll have a good mental edge.

Friday, August 8, 2008

3 Hours, 2 Days

Been a busy couple of days, but in a good way.

My buddy Matt is in Maine visiting his family and his fiancee's family. They live in Fairbanks, Alaska, so visits are few and far between. The good news is that I got to go for two runs with him.

On Wednesday evening, I met him and Nate for a run from Matt's folks' house in Freeport. Honestly, I have no idea where we went, but it was groovy. From their yard, we connected onto a bunch of trails that offered some nice single track. It had white and blue blazes just like the AT, kinda neat. Eventually, we hit field, a dirt road, then another road. We turned off this road into a maze of trails that apparently connects to LL Bean intergalactic headquarters. I never really assumed that Matt knew where he was because he probably didn't, but we ended up back at his folks' house in about 54 minutes just as we planned "no more than an hour." Great run and great to catch up with Matt. And, even though he lives 5 minutes away, this was one of the few runs I've done with Nate all summer. I'd forgotten how cool it is to run with people. (Not that D isn't a people, but we're married, so that's different.)

Based on the success of this run and the desire to hang with Matt some more despite his crazy schedule, we made plans to run at Bradbury on Thursday morning. I wanted to get a longer run in, and no one complained, so I suggested we run the Bradbury Bruiser course.

We met early, but not too early, at Bradbury on Thursday morning. It was raining when I woke up but thankfully stopped by the time I headed out the door. It only sprinkled briefly during our run. Matt and Nate were in the crew again, and Kevin also joined us for a short while before he had to get back to work. I was the only one who had done any/much running at Bradbury, so these guys finally got to see firsthand what I have been raving about.

Trails were not as messy as I would have expected. Muddy, yes, but not too bad. I only made one major wrong turn (we ran the Fox East loop backwards), which resulted in us running a good-sized hill twice. No one really complained. I hadn't run the "O" Trail since the race last October, and it's significantly more fun when you're not trying to race it. That being said, it really works you at the end of a run, and we were happy that it eventually spat us out on the other side. Another great run, and great to catch up more with Matt, who claims he's fat and out of shape, but could have easily dusted either Nate or I had he chosen to do so. We arrived back at the parking lot in about 2:06 giving 3 hours of running over the last 2 days. Good stuff.

It's turning into a solid week for me, and my legs are feeling it a bit. No pain, just fatigue. Short run planned tomorrow morning, which will bring my official running miles to 24 for the week. Add in the 20 miles we ran/hiked on Monday, and I'd said that's pretty good marathon base building. Or at least I hope so.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where's Karl?

An attempt at the speed record on the Appalachian Trail is underway.

Where's Karl?

Something tells me he's going to have a tough time in Maine if things don't dry out. Just a guess.

The goal is 47 days. Best of luck.

Of course, there will be the debate. "That's not a real thruhike." "If I could meet a van with food at every road crossing." "If I had all that sponsor money." Blah blah blah. Go ahead and try it, I say.

I Think There's a Fish in My Shoe

Our plans to run the 19.9 miles of the AT from East Flagstaff Road to Caraunk were good. The trail conditions, however, were not. Mud, yuk, squish, filth, water, slop, foul, yuk and more yuk. That being said it was a good 20 miles. I guess...

You know the drill:
Here's D's report.
Here's my report.
And, the photos.

And, now in the spirit of the Olympics:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Change of Plans!

Backpack? Nah. The weather looks boo boo. Oh and, recent flood warnings + more rain coming + river fords = bad idea.

Instead, we're going to "run" a 19.9 mile section of the AT from E. Flagstaff Road to Caratunk. Oh yeah, that makes way more sense.

The best thing about this decision is that I get to go out and eat a big breakfast tomorrow!!!

Snappy 3

Ran 3 miles on my favorite loop in the Commons yesterday. It's nice to be able to run this loop without getting lost. Even better: this route is flat. After the last couple days, it was nice to run something flat. In fact, I had to hold myself back a bit. The quads were a bit cranky at the start, but once I got moving things felt great. I have to admit the feeling is one that has been long forgotten. The way my runs feel are reminiscent of how I used to feel...well, when I was actually a runner. Hmmm...

When I arrived at the parking lot, there was another runner there who had just finished. I asked him, "How are the deer flies?" To which he replied, "I didn't notice any." Well, I think he might have lied to me because they were aggressive. Perhaps he was rocking the blue cup.

Off to the AT tonight, from Rangeley to Stratton. Something tells me we're going to get wet.