Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Is Why I Run

D and I met Ian and Chuck at Bradbury this morning and ran about 11. Frozen mud and moosh were the primary trail conditions. I was dragging at the start, but felt better after about 30 minutes. Nice morning on the trails and great company.

Then we came home and made this:

So delicious!
But I think I'm still hungry.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm That Guy

I don't know how this happened. I cross country skied this morning, and then ran in the dark this evening—to make sure "I got my miles in." I've turned into that guy. Crap.

I received an unexpected call from my boss yesterday afternoon informing me that we had enough snow to open the trails. I didn't think there would be enough snow, but a couple more inches fell. He spent most of yesterday out grooming, and it was all systems go. So, I headed up this morning to take care of the official opening day marketing duties. Among them, was photo taking:

Even though, it's still November, the skiing was quite good. I was out on the trails for about an hour and half, shooting around getting pics and talking to people. Maybe half that time I was actually skiing, and when I was, I was taking it very easy.

I have to admit that racing on Thursday, then skiing on Saturday probably wasn't the best idea. My calves and shins were pretty tight after the race, and the first day of skiing always causes more tightness in the shins...the whole balancing thing. I could really feel them by the end, and was happy to head back in.

By the time I left work, I knew that if I were to get a run in, it would be in the dark. So, I headed for the Brunswick/Topsham bike path. And, by headed for, I mean drove 2 hours. I've been avoiding the bike path for as long as possible, but it is winter, so I guess it's bike path time. It's a great option in the winter because it's plowed and there's no cars (obviously), but it's pretty blah. Anyway, it was indeed dark when I started my run, and I was glad for the lights along the path. Well, for the lights that I thought were along the path. As it turns out, it's not as well lit as I thought/remembered. In a few spots, it was completely black, and all I could do was follow the white line. Kinda funky. In other places, I was completely blinded by the lights from the cars along Route 1. In other words, I'm dumb. I felt decent during the run. Tight, but decent.

Side note: On the way to my run, I stopped to pick up a snack. I was intrigued by the Met Rx Big 100 Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Meal Replacement bar. I implore you: do not be intrigued by these. They're gross. The first bite was OK, but by the time I tried to swallow, I knew I was in trouble. Stay away. Stay far away.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Feaster Five Race Report

I attempted to write this race report earlier today, but couldn't get past the title. Just wasn't feeling too enthused. Which is strange because the entire crew had a really good day. Plus, we got free pie!

The day started like any other race day, except for the fact that we had someone with us who had never run a race before. Ever. This was my sister's first foray into racing after she started running about 4 months ago. Her original plan was to run a bit to get in shape for ski season, but when I mentioned that D and I were planning on running this race, she signed right up. Not only did she sign right up, but she bypassed the 5k option and went right for the 5-miler. So, we helped her through the finding your name and number at registration, explained the self-seeded signs, and generally just made sure she made it to the start line. It was actually really cool, and definitely helped me keep my mind off my own nerves. Meg had enough for all of us.

D and I did leave her alone for a bit as we went for a 2-mile warm up. I felt really good warming up, but it was pretty comical every time someone blew by us. As I said to D, "Just the reminder we needed of how much were going to get smoked."

I have to say that the race is extremely well organized. It's impressive how smoothly things roll with a race with 2 separate distances and 7200 finishers. But, as my grandmother says, "You're always griping about something on your blog," so here I go...
Actually, my gripes are not with the race organizers. My main gripe is with the port-a-potty company. Without going into too much detail, I just have to say that the toilet paper was so thin, you could barely get it out of the dispenser. And, as is pre-race custom...I needed quite a bit. My second gripe is with the lack of attention people pay to the pace seeding. Put it this way, I saw a woman cross the finish line a good 20 minutes after I did, and she was standing right in front of me at the start. WTF? I did so much dodging and weaving in the first mile I must have run an extra quarter mile.

OK, on to the race...

At the start I couldn't get any closer to the front than a little ways behind the 7:00 minute per mile sign. From here, it took me about 30 seconds to get to the start line after the gun went off. Not a huge deal, but like I said, there were a number of shufflers in front of me. I tried to find my pace, but it was tough with all the people. I guess this is what you get when you enter such a huge race.

The first mile is a gradual uphill. I hit the first mile in 6:58...oh crap. About 20 seconds slower than I wanted, and I already felt like I was working hard. Not good times. Shortly after the mile mark, the 5k runners take a left, and the 5 milers stay straight. Things thinned out a bit after the break, and I tried to keep picking it up. It was mentally easy to do this because I'd been passing people the entire way. I hit two miles in 13:38, a 6:40 mile. Faster, which is good, but I was still behind my goal, and I wasn't sure I could keep it up. Mile 3 was another 6:40, and I was getting worried. I wasn't hurting, but I was uncomfortable. Then again, I was still passing people. Fewer of them, but still passing.

At around 3.5, the course heads down a hill and rejoins the 5k course. I could see a wall of people moving past. The race directors put cones up along the center line: 5k to the left, 5 mile to the right. But as soon as I turned the corner and was alongside the 5k runners, I knew that the division wouldn't stay so clean. Every so often, a 5k-er would move to the right into the path of us 5-milers, who were moving much faster. A couple times I almost took someone out/got taken out, but nothing catastrophic happened. At about 3.75, two guys passed me. They were moving well, and moving faster than I was. This was a huge stroke of luck for me. For the rest of race, I did everything I could to stay with these two. Mile 4 was a 6:37, and I had to chuckle because my 4-mile time today was only about 30 seconds slower than my finishing time 12 years ago. Oh well.

The last mile was tricky. My entire focus was on those two guys. Every so often, we'd need to get a round a 5k-er. Sometimes it was smooth. Other times, I'd have to take a different path than my buddies, and I'd lose them. A couple times, I had to snap myself back and refocus on them. I managed to stay with them for the most part. I at least kept them in my sights. In the last 200 meters, the course turns tight up a hill that is just mean. Two guys blew by me going up the hill, but I was already all out. Think exploding hamstrings and calves. I crossed the line in 32:52 for a final mile of 5:56.

I'm really pleased with my race. I never backed off, and was very close to my "pie-in-the-sky goal of 32:30, and I would have been thrilled with anything under 33:00. My safe goal was 34:00, so I'm psyched. Plus, I was wearing my snazzy new Trail Monster shirt, so I had to look good. I ended up 96th out of 2575 finishers, 26th out of 344 in my age group.

D had an awesome race. Her goal was 37:30, and she crushed it. She ran 36:18! 259th overall, and 8th in her age group. Damn. (If you read here blog, you'll see she has slightly different numbers, as they've made a number of edits to the results. I assume this is due to 5k runners going over the 5 mile finish. For instance, in the original results, I was just 2 seconds ahead of a 12 year-old girl...I'm not that slow.)

And, in her debut, Meg ran 49:25, and was all smiles at the finish. D and I waited for her, and I'm glad she ran so well because we were getting cold! I have to say I'm very proud of my little sister. Now onto the half marathon, right, Meg!

The three of us made our way through the parking garage, dropped our timing chips, picked up our potato chips and met our family. Oh, and we picked up our pies! The best part of the race.

Huge thanks my parents and grandparents for cheering us on and delaying their turkey. The biggest thanks goes to Meg's husband, Chris, for getting up extra early and chauffeuring us to and from the race.

It was a great race and a great day! Maybe a new Thanksgiving tradition?

Official Results

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm so Hardcore

I ran 5 miles this afternoon in the worst weather ever: pouring rain, temp of 43, winds gusting to 20mph. It was ridiculous, and really, although I'm hardcore, it basically sucked. I was saturated in about 2 minutes. Add the wind on top of that, and I was cold. Perhaps I should have worn something waterproof. Anywho, even when the wind was at my back, it was still chilling. Anywho, I survived. And, oh yes, I'm so hardcore.

This morning, I wasn't even sure I was going to get out for a run. When I first woke up, I had some pain in my left knee: in the front, below the kneecap, just left of center. Strange. It hurt quite a bit, and just magically appeared. By the afternoon, I stretched a fair amount, and it was feeling better. I'm 90% sure it's based on tightness. Yesterday, I wasn't so good to myself. I got up, drove 125 miles, sat at desk, drove 125 miles, went to bed. Not really the healthiest day. It felt fine while I was running, but it's a touch squacky this evening. Should be OK, though.

Today also marked the maiden voyage for my new watch. I have a pretty kick ass watch already, and it hasn't failed me yet. It has way more features than I use, but the altimeter is great for hiking, and the barometer is pretty useful. But, the stopwatch function is very limited. It only has one lap split, and you can't go back and review it. So, not great for running. I went all out on my new watch: $25 Timex Ironman. Yup, the classic. The good news is that it only has a 30-lap memory, so I can't run anything longer than 30 miles.

On tap this week, besides gorging myself on turkey, is the Feaster Five. I guess I'm ready. I haven't really done any speedwork, so I'm not sure how I can think that I'm ready. Either way, it will give me a good baseline for where I am speed-wise. Although, I'm not really sure I want to know. Should be a fun race, nonetheless. Everyone gets a free can that not be fun? Anyway, my goal is to come within 5 minutes of the time I ran here the last time I ran this race. Not sure I can pull it off. I last ran this race in 1996. I was a senior in college, and I was coming off a cross country season in which I was, surprise, injured for most of it. I'd healed up in the last couple weeks of the season, so by Thanksgiving, I was in pretty good shape. I ran 27:26 to finish 17th overall. Like I said, it will be tough to get within 5 minutes of that. Something tells me my race report will include the phrase: "my hamstrings felt like they were going to explode."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Quantum of Bradbury

OK, it's official: these post titles are getting ridiculous.

D and I headed to Bradbury late this morning. Damn, it was cold. The thermometer reading was warmer than yesterday's, but it felt colder. Perhaps, I'm just getting soft in my old age. In any event, we wandered around the east side trails for just over an hour. Plenty of frozen mud and ice to go around. Plenty of mountain bike tire ruts were frozen into the singletrack. I eventually warmed up, but trailed D for most of the run. I didn't feel all that great today...just a bit sluggish. I was also pretty tight, so I'm going to blame that. Nice run, though.

We came home, and I made delicious turkey of my many specialties. Trust me, they're awesome. Then we went to see Quantum of Solace. Although this isn't a movie review website, here's my 2 cents. If you like the Roger Moore brand of James Bond, you won't recognize this Bond. The camp and the kitsch are gone. It much more serious, much darker and more violent. It's also much more sophisticated and much slicker. I actually think Daniel Craig's version of Bond is much closer to Sean Connery's version...just updated by 40 years. I like the update, and I liked the movie. It's different, but it's still Bond. And, there are a number of reminders of that, including a very cool homage to Goldfinger. But, if you're planning on a relaxing evening at the movies, don't choose this one. The action and the way the action is presented are nonstop, furious and jarring. You barely have time to rest in your seat, and there are only brief moments of levity. In other words, this is not Octopussy. The real unfortunate part of this film is the new Bond's brutal. I couldn't wait for the opening credits to end. They should have gone with this:

I love that. D doesn't like it as much...because I sing it a lot.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cathance River Attacked by Trail Monsters

Perhaps it wasn't that dramatic, but it was a nice group run at the Cathance River Nature Preserve with a band of Trail Monsters. A good sized group came up to our neck of the woods at the suggestion of Scott, whom we'd never met, and he led us on a winding route through the Mt. Ararat trails to the Cathance River trails. I've run out there a number of times, but he added a couple pieces I wasn't as familiar with. It was good to see things from a different perspective. All in all, it was a great run on a cold morning. D and I ran home after the run, and with our sweaty hats we both had ice cream headaches due to the wind. Luckily that was brief, and I made a tasty breakfast, which made everything better.

Solid week for me, about 32 miles. I have to admit, I only had 3 weeks with more mileage than that during my marathon training, so I'm feeling pretty good about where I am right now. I'm good at running slow, a point which will no doubt be proven next week at the Feaster Five. Looking forward to it anyway.

I keep forgetting to mention that after the Blackstrap Adventure, I lost the toenail on the toe. So, now, instead of a black toenail, I have black quasi-skin where the toenail used to be. So, I still have 5 black toes, but only 4 black toenails. I know how interested you all are in my toes, so I wanted to keep you abreast of the situation.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not Sweating

I ran 3 miles easy this afternoon. It was cold. I had to navigate ice floes and hoar frost along the powerlines. I barely broke a sweat. Granted, I was touch under-dressed, but...brrr!

This is my new favorite thing ever:

Someone give her a TV show. Please.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Actual Training Plan?

I have to admit. I was both tired and sore after the Blackstrap Experience. My back was pretty sore. This is no doubt due to the "slightly challenging" terrain, but more likely due to the fact that I am too lazy to do any core exercises.

Yesterday, D and I did an easy 5 miles in the Commons. I was tired. The pace was slow, and so was I. Definitely not a bad recovery run, though. Today, I headed out for a not quite 8-mile loop from my house. It was windy, and I was still a little tired. Nothing exciting to report.

Not that you come here for excitement...but that's about to change!!!!

No words con do justice to the amazingness of that.

Anywho, I spent a chunk of time last night looking over training plans for 10-mile races. I'm trying to figure out a way to run...well, fastish. The Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic is on February 1, so that's the current goal. I quasi-settled on a Hal Higdon plan. It involves tempo runs, track intervals, race pace miles...yeah, serious stuff. I'll no doubt make a few tweaks as I go along, but I'm hopeful that I can stick to it. I'm even more hopeful that it will work. I have a goal time, but that's to be revealed at a later date.

It donned on me a little while ago that I'm not likely to just magically regain speed by thinking about running faster. I'll actually have to work at it. I used to work at it, and that's how I got it. Again, it didn't magically appear. I'll officially start the plan the week after Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blackstrap Hell Trail Challenge Race Report

First of all, mad props to Jeff for putting together one hell of a race. He came up with a killer (almost literally) course, a cool race format and even went the extra mile by inviting everyone over his house for beer and potluck vittles afterward. The assist goes to Ian for helping with course marking, planning and prizes. A free race with prizes!

Well, the Blackstrap Hell Trail Challenge almost lived up to its name. With all the rain over the last couple days, I figured it would be a bit muddy, but I had no idea that it would be all mud. Some of the mud was even under two feet of water. Jeff devised a seeding system in which the faster people would start last. He came up with some secret formula using entrants time from the Bradbury Trail Running Series and May's Pineland Farms Trail Challenge. The theory was that everyone would finish at approximately the same time. As it turned out, his seedings worked amazingly well, and was within one or two minutes for most of us.

I started in the middle of the pack with another runner, Don. We ran together for the first quarter mile until the first (of many) major stream crossing. D and I had done a very brief warm up on the course but didn't cross this stream, so I knew it was coming. I watched Don make his way through and realized it was mid-thigh deep. And about a second later, I was waist deep and on my face in the mud on the other side. Two minutes into the race, and I was completely soaked and covered in mud.

The first fall out of the way, the rest of the race was pretty uneventful. Well, as uneventful as this race could be. Everything was wet, slippery, squishy, and it was tough to keep from sliding away. The trail was either mud, water, wet leaves over mud, slippery rocks, uneven slippery rocks, or wet leaves over uneven slippery rocks. Even without the wet trail conditions, this course would be really, really hard. It was very hilly, including one all fours scramble. In short, it was awesome. Jeff and Ian did a great job marking the course, and unlike some others, I had no trouble following the course.

Eventually, some of the fast guys started to catch me. On an extremely steep downhill, Juan took one of the best falls I've ever seen. He looked like he was going to down about six times, until he finally ended up head over heels and down. Did I mention the slippery mud? He got up and kept going. Shortly after that, Stephen passed me only to turn his ankle with an audible pop about a second later. It sounded bad, and his limping let me know it was bad. Hopefully, he has some ice on it tonight.

After these calamities, the course went up a long hill, and I passed a couple people. Then a reasonable downhill, followed by the longest uphill ever. It just kept going. Eventually, I reached the powerlines, which signaled the almost end of the race. I passed a couple more people, including George who told me their were Pringles at the finish. This put a little hop in my step, which is what I needed, because Floyd was gaining on me. I thought that I must be coming near the end, but as I crested one hill I realized I still had a long way to go. I have to admit that a part of me kind of gave up here. I had the "are you kidding me moment," and I realized how tired I was. Need to work on that. Shortly after Floyd caught up to me, and I knew that he was going to pass me. So, instead of trying to hold him off, I threw myself on the ground. Well, that wasn't really how it happened, but I did almost take him out. I picked myself back up, and tried to chase him down. A couple minutes later I went into a puddle and couldn't get out. If I was in a cartoon, you could have heard a woop woop woop woop woop. The legs were spinning, but I wasn't going anywhere. I half decided to give up since I knew that I wasn't going to be able to get upright, and I dove forward. Once again, I picked myself up, and I made my way towards the finish.

It was a messy effort, but a good one. My time was 51:40ish, which for that terrain is nothing to be upset about. I'm a little disappointed in that give up moment, but I'm sure with more work, I'll remember how to push through those. And, really, it wasn't like I just sat down in the trail...I dove into the trail. GRRRR. All in all, a good race, and a lot of fun.

Most of us made our way to Jeff's house, and thanks need to go out to his wife, Cacky, for letting a bunch of muddy, stinky people invade her home. Food, beer and a good time was had by all. Can't wait for next year...maybe next time it will be muddy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Who's Crazier? You or Me?"

Yesterday, that's what a lady walking her tiny-poodle-esque dog asked me. It was dark. It was raining. I said, "Both, I think."

Anyway, I didn't run Wednesday or Thursday because I was attending a conference. I had to travel from Maine to New Hampshire then to Vermont on Wednesday. Then back home on Thursday. It was a lot of driving. I could have conceivably gotten in a run on Thursday morning, but I didn't have my stuff with me. The result of this was extreme tightness yesterday on my run. Holy crap was it ugly. Pick a muscle, and it was angry. Not paying attention to stretching or really even thinking about it certainly makes a difference.

But, like I said, I did get in 5 miles the dark and rain. I was planning to just do an out and back, but the out was so boring I decided to explore a bit. Instead of turning around at the end of the road, I continued on the dirt road that goes beyond the end of the Highland Green development. It ended up making a nice loop. Even though running through the somewhat generic 55+ community of Highland Green isn't that exciting, I'm sure I'll do this run again. It was actually a good run to do in the dark because there's a wide sidewalk, good for walking poodles, with streetlights. I also saw two deer. No hunters. (Yes, I was wearing my bright orange, don't shoot me vest.)

Today, was more of the same. Wet and dark. Gawd, I hate November. Although, it was close to 60 when I headed out for a quick 3 miles in the Commons. Nothing exciting to report.

Tomorrow is the Blackstrap Hell Trail Challenge. Should be groovy.

Emma sent me a cat vid, and I would be remiss to not post it. It's pretty good.

Cats = funny. But, sloths = completely, freakin' awesome!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bikes, Wind and a Fartlek

Since we last heard from our hero (that would be me), I've been really busy. We had a bike race at work this weekend. And despite soggy weather, it went really well, but it tired me out. I wasn't racing, but I was running around assisting with the organization and taking photos and video. I did sneak in an easy 3-mile run on Sunday morning, which was really good for my psyche.

I only ended up with one day off this week, but it was nice and relaxing. Starting the day off by getting up eventually and eating a huge breakfast is always a good thing. The only negative is that it's really hard to motivate once you slip into the food coma. For some reason, this food coma extended into my run, too. I didn't feel quite right until about 6 miles in. Weird. However, it was a nice run out through the Commons and down to Simpson's Point. I often forget how close to the ocean we really are. It's always nice to see the view.

Today, I did my first almost speedwork in a really long time. I decided that a fartlek would be a nice way to ease myself back into the world of speed—much easier mentally than 6x800 on the track or some other form of torture. For those who haven't heard the term before, fartlek is Swedish for "speed play." It's also makes me feel like I'm making a poop joke, so that's always a plus. Basically, it involves adding a series of harder/up tempo periods within the run. Anywho, I ran the usual 5-mile, not quite out and back in the Commons. Therefore, it was mostly trail. I ran 4 minutes easy, 4 minutes hard. The easy minutes were at my normal pace, 8:30ish, and the hard minutes were at a pace that I felt like I could hold for 4 minutes without blowing up. The end result was 5 miles in 36:00 flat for a 7:12 per mile pace.

What does this mean? I have no idea. Felt pretty good, though.

Friday, November 7, 2008

3 and Puking

The 3 was mine. But the puking wasn't.

Wrapped up a solid recovery week this afternoon with 3 miles. Felt pretty good. Still tightish, but not nearly as bad as yesterday. Once again, I had some mysterious friskiness and ran moderately not slow. Gonna try to work some speedwork (gasp) into the schedule next week. The Feaster Five is looming, and although I know that I'm going to run slow, I'm also delusional. I've convinced myself that some type of speedwork will help me run slightly less slow, even though I've done ZERO speedwork since the Clinton administration, and the race is just 20 days away. The other funny thing is that in the grand scheme of things, this race means absolutely nothing, so I figure I'll try to step it up. Yup, I'm an idiot.

Speaking of being an idiot, I was wandering my way through blogs this evening and somehow, somewhere I stumbled across a video of a cross country race. The video was unexciting, and I've already forgotten where or when the race was. However, the cameraperson was standing at the finish filming people come across the line. At one point, the unmistakable sound of someone yakking could be heard. I immediately thought: "That's awesome!" I can clearly remember doing that. Man, those were good times. Perhaps, I'll run so hard, so fast at some point in the future, I'll be allowed to throw up at the finish. That would be fun.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We (Don't) Want the Funk

(That's D's all time favorite ad.)

I think I'm suffering from some form of post-marathon malaise. A funk of sorts. My motivation to get out and run has been kind of low. I'm just not really feeling it. I'm just feeling a little off. I don't have any particular excuse or reason, so I assume it's a funk. My plan is to run through it. Good idea? I don't know. That being said, I have gotten out the last two days.

On Wednesday, I did a quick 3-miler. And, it was actually kind of quick. That's the weird thing: while I'm running, I'm feeling really good. Well, except for the tightness. My calves and hamstrings are both really tight.

Because of the funk, when I was looking at my training log last night, I decided that I would take today off. But, in the back of my mind, I knew that I should get out for a run. So at some point, I hatched a plan to get up early with D and run with her. Since I barely heard the alarm, that didn't happen. (I barely heard her when she got back.) That's the other thing that's been off: my sleep patterns—stupid funk. Anyway, thanks to job flexibility, I was able to get out at lunch time. It was raining, and I ran 5 miles in the Commons. (Same route D ran this morning.) I felt really good. Relaxed and smooth, and I wasn't plodding along either. Again, except for the tightness. My right shin was actually hurting. Ridiculously tight. It eventually felt better, but it was borderline "should I stop?" painful in the first mile.

Because of all of this, I decided I need a team.

Roster spots include:
1. Coach
2. Physical Therapist
3. Massage Therapist
4. Sports Psychologist
5. Nutritionist
6. Exotic Dancer

The coach will help me put together an actual training plan. The physical therapist will keep all my parts in order. The massage therapist will make all the parts feel good. The sports psychologist will keep me from going crazy. The nutritionist will make sure that everything I eat doesn't involve either melted cheese or Pringles. And, the exotic dancer...well, all work and no play...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can!

Great summation of an extraordinary evening by Rachel Maddow.

I have to admit I'm looking at the American flag with a lot more pride today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Seeing the Sights

Sunday started off with us helping out with the Bowdoin Duelathon. Dumb name, cool event. It's a run, then a rollerski race put on by Bowdoin Nordic as a fundraiser for the team, which is woefully underfunded by the College. D and I were part of the timing crew, and things went pretty smoothly. Plus, by volunteering it got me out of racing...and probably finishing last.

We headed home for lunch, and then got sucked into the couch. It was really difficult to get motivated, but we made it to Pineland in the afternoon. The plan was for a not long run, but a slightly longer run than we've been doing. We headed out on the Campus Loop for starters, and then made our way over to the Oak Hill Loop. I wasn't feeling 100%. My hamstrings were tight and my stomach wasn't feeling kind of squenchy. Nothing terrible, just not awesome. I made some snide remark, as I am wont to do, about D pushing the pace. She got cranky. We bickered. It was fun. Apologies done, we finished the run in just over an hour. And, it was a nice day on the trails. We had a great view of Mt. Washington from the YMCA parking lot when we got back to the car, and we were reminded that we live in a cool place.

Monday began with an important mission: take Ronnie to the vet. Not good times. Much screaming and wailing, and that was just D. Luckily, we were the first appointment, and we were in and out.

Then we headed for Reid State Park for a short run. I had run the ski trail there last summer, so we'd been meaning to get back to check it out. It's a really nice trail actually leads away from the beaches and passes by a very nice beaver pond. About 2 miles into the run we passed a single track trail and decided to check it out. It was a really cool trail that after plenty of ups and downs, mud and roots made its way to the parking lot at the far end of the Park, which is for Half Mile Beach. We headed for Mile Beach and ran along it back towards the car. Luckily, it was lowish tide, so we had a fair amount of firm sand to run in. We also had a nice tailwind. One of the best runs ever: dirt road, single track, mud and a run along the beach. Even though it was a bit longer than I had hoped for, about 4.5. It was really cool to get out an explore a great place that's so close to us. A lot of people head to Reid State Park in the summer for the beach, but it was great to have the place all to ourselves on a great November day. I was fairly tired by the end and have decided that another easy week is order for more recovery. Or, I was just hungry, since I didn't have a very big breakfast. Probably a bit of both.

A great two days seeing the sights here in Maine. Here's why we like living here:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Two Runs

Not much to report over the last couple days. Still in recovering mode.

Did a 3-miler on Thursday. Didn't feel that great. I basically had no energy. I've chalked it up to lack of fuel. I was hungry when I started the run, and I just got hungrier. Luckily, it was a short run, and there were Pringles waiting at the end.

Took Friday off, but ran today. Another 3. Felt relatively really good...if that makes sense. My hamstrings are tight. Have been this week. I'm not sure if it's marathon of recovery or the fact that my runs have been sporadic....or at least less frequent. I'll keep stretching and keep an eye on them. But overall, I'd say I'm feeling good.

Speaking of marathons, check out this article from the NY Times.
Two points:
1. D and I decided that it's really great that we both run, so we both get it.
2. Everyone in this story, on both sides, struck me as self-absorbed jerks. It would have been nice if the NY Times had found some normal people. Then again, it probably wouldn't have been as good of a story.

Greatest Invention Ever? Greatest. Invention. Ever.