Monday, December 29, 2008

Moderately Successful Test

D and I ran an easy 3 miles on the bike path this afternoon. The good news is that my calf felt fine. Seems like a week of relative rest was a good thing. I'm going to go easy on it the next few days. If all goes well, I'll ramp back up this weekend. On the downside, I was really sluggish throughout the run. I had zero energy. The most likely causes are the travel and time off...oh, and a distinct lack of Pringles over the last week. Hopefully, I'll get the zip back. Not sure what the rest of the week has in store, but I'm hoping to mix in some skiing. I do know that it is most likely not related to the 10-mile training plan...guh, that thing is out the window.

Coming soon...the exciting year-end recap.

BTW, scroll down...I'm absolutely crushing it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Time to Detox

Since we last left our hero (um...that's me), I was curious about my calf. Well, it's about the same. Or, it's more accurate to say that it is indeed a calf strain, and I haven't run in almost a week. I tried one day, but made it about 50 yards before experience told me not to push it. So, more rest and massage and it should be good to go. But, really, I need to figure out why I've had 3 calf strains in 6 months.

I already knew that this week would be a down one from a running standpoint, but I didn't plan on it being this down. But, aside from the calf, it was a great few days with two Christmases: one with my family in Massachusetts and one with D's parents in North Carolina. Here's a photo recap of the festivities:

This is before I battled with Obi Wan:

Javatinis! (Made by me...even melted the chocolate.)

My sister enjoying the deliciousness:

Family shot in North Carolina:

Golf is serious business:

Absolutely crushing it:

Looked so pretty it should have gone in:


A pause on the course to take a shot with one of our groupies:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

I couldn't think of anything more original. But, it's the thought that counts, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and whatnot.

On the running front, I ran a not quite 8-mile loop on the roads yesterday, and my right calf did not react well. Not a full on calf strain, but it's close. I'm pretty certain it's a combination of a number of factors including the addition of skiing and a lack of focused stretching. Luckily, this was expected to be a down week running-wise. I took today off as a precaution, and tomorrow I'll do the same. Further assessment as the week goes on.

And now, Christmas & mullets:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Day!

Got the chance to ski today. Well, it was for work. This is what it looked like:

I had to show the goods for the official work blog. What can I say? It's my job.

Skating was not the best choice with all the new snow. It made it significantly more difficult. But, I didn't bring my classic gear with me, so skating it was. I was out for about an hour, so I probably skied for about 45 minutes because of the camera set up time.

I'd planned on getting a run in tomorrow, but with the crazy snowfall, I think I'll be skiing again. Woe is me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


End of a good week. 35 miles. Well, 35.75 to be exact. I'd consider that a "real mileage" week. Coupled with weeks of 31 and 30 in the previous two, I'm feeling pretty solid. Not doing the speed work that I laid out in my "plan," but I have the feeling that too much increase in intensity would be a bad thing. So, perhaps I'll stick with the one workout a week plan. Although, next week is a bit of a crap shoot with the holidays and the traveling and the merriment and whatnot. I should have a chance to ski in the next couple days, which will be nice, and definitely a good addition to the fitness. And, yes, this is a boring post.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Morning Run

Not much to say about today's run, but it was quite nice. Easy 4 miles along North Rd. in Shelburne, NH. It was "north country plowed," meaning most of the snow was pushed aside, but there was still plenty of packed snow in the road. I had my screw shoes, which were a big help. Felt good, which was a good sign after my repeats the other day.

Now, apropos of nothing:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

800 Meter Repeats

Yup, you read that right.

Actually, I was supposed to already have a couple workouts under my belt, but due to a number of circumstances, read avoiding it, they hadn't happened yet. Today, was the day.

I avoided the track, so they didn't feel too real. Instead, I went to the bike path, which has markers every quarter mile. Well, almost. The 1.25 and 1.75 markers are worn away. And, I only spotted the 1.5 marker because I remembered that it was near a particularly white birch tree. Anywho, plan was 2-mile warm up, 4x800 with a quarter mile in between, 2-mile warm down. I based my pace off the of the McMillian Running Calculator. (Incidentally, I think McMillian might be full of crap based on some of my recent results...really, I can run a 3:13 marathon, right now? But, anyway, it's a guideline.)

Felt good, so I added another repeat. (Scary, huh?)
3:05, 3:11 (This one was long...missing 1.75 marker), 3:05, 3:00, 2:51 (ouch)

So, like I said, I planned on running a two-mile warm down, but I'm an idiot. My last repeat finished at the .5 marker, and I couldn't figure out the math to run two miles from there and finish back at zero. (The answer is run to the 1.25 marker and turn around.) So, I ended up running 3 miles. I'm an idiot. Math while oxygen deprived is not my strong suit.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Three miles this afternoon with D. Probably could have gone with shorts, but stuck with the tights out of principle. It's December! Mid-December! It's supposed to be winter. At this point, I'm more comfortable with 29 than I am with 49.

I'm hungry. I had two huge bowls of D's delicious pasta creation for dinner. Then nachos. Little bit o' wine. Now what should I eat? Off to scavenge in the cupboards.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Glug Glug

Normally, I'm a big fan of the glug glug sound. It means that I'm drinking delicious beer. But, today my gut was making that noise on our 15-mile run. It was much less enjoyable than drinking tasty malt beverages. I think it might have been the oatmeal I had for breakfast. D described it a "fibrous"—from the Latin for making your gut go glug glug. Luckily, I avoided any kind of mid-run calamities, but I was uncomfortable the whole way. I also let out some nasty burps. It's so much fun hanging out with me.

I also wore a new pair of shoes on this run. As in, fresh out of the box new. This lead to a couple blisters. My other road shoes are now screwed, so I didn't want to click clack the whole way. For the most part, that was a good choice. D only has screw shoes remaining, so she was much better on icy shoulders than I. And the road down to Simpson's Point was treacherous.

My legs felt pretty good the whole way. Tired by the end, but not too bad. The views of the ocean and the ice on the trees were well worth it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

1000 Miles!

Wow. 1000 miles this year. I'm sure I'll have a more thought provoking and insightful post in my year-end recap, but for now, I'll just say that it's really cool. I haven't run that many miles in a single year since...I'm guessing...1996. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I'd barely run 1000 miles total since then.

I headed for the Commons this afternoon, and a real good test of my screw shoes. They worked great, and I never worried about slipping despite the fact that the trails are completely frozen over. There's about 4 inches of frozen slush covering everything. Felt good...but...I'm way off on my training plan for the 10-mile race. Maybe I'll just jog the 10 miles.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pringle Power Poll

With 4 inches of slush/ice/yuk hitting the ground today, it was a great excuse to take the day off. And, it also gives me the opportunity to update the Pringle Power Poll.

"What is the Pringle Power Poll?" you ask.
Well, it's only the most important, non-scientific, gastrointestinal experiment in deliciousness ever conducted by me. In short, I'm on a quest to try every variety of Pringle I can get my hands on.

I've recently fallen in love with Pringles all over again. They're uniform crisps of all un-natural awesomeness. They're pure magic. I eat them as often as I can...better keep running.

Onto the poll...

1. Bacon Ranch: It's ranch plus bacon. Oh my. They should just call them "Lil' Crisps o' Heaven." It's tough for me to stop eating these.
2. Sour Cream n' Onion: The only reason these aren't first is because they lack bacon.
3. Plain: (I refuse to call them "Original" as they are officially labeled.) If they'd never made all the flavors, the plain Pringles would still rank extremely high in the junk food pantheon.
4. Ranch: Why bother? Good, but nowhere near the Bacon Ranch...because...well...bacon.
5. Blazin' Buffalo Wing (Extreme): These were a total surprise. I was little concerned about the "Extreme" factor thinking that they would be overly covered in mysterious chemical buffalo powder, but they're not. They are spicy, but that's good because it keeps you from eating the whole can at once. I only just started a can of these, so these could rise.
6. Barbecue: These have sweet barbecue flavor, which is a good balance with the salty Pringle, but a little strange. Still tasty, though.
7. Cheddar Cheese: These puppies are coated in a mysterious orange powder. It's cheesy, but it's not that good. I don't really like overly coated chips, i.e. Nacho Cheese Doritos, which are my least favorite kind of Doritos.
8. Pizza: Um...yeah... Good in theory, but terrible in practice. Where I would buy the Cheddar Cheese again, I plan on skipping the Pizza.

Flavors I still need to try:
Loaded Baked Potato (I can't wait to get my mitts on these.)
Chili Cheese (Hmmm....)
Salt & Vinegar
Spicy Guacamole
Extreme - Kickin' Cheddar
Extreme - Sreamin' Dill Pickle (I have a can of these in the cupboard. Report coming soon.)

They also make something called Select. It looks like it supposed to be the gourmet Pringle. Huh? Gourmet and Pringles should never date. Plus, they don't come in a can, so I'm not interested. And, Stix...pfffft...baked wheat? No, thank you.

Time for a snack.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Driving By Pineland? Go for a Run!

I can now convincingly say that listening to Rob Zombie while driving in freezing rain isn't the best idea. It doesn't exactly encourage taking it easy.

It does kind of keep you moving during a run in freezing rain, though.

Fair amount of driving for me today, and as part of that driving, I found myself going by Pineland. I wasn't sure how or when I was going to squeeze a run in today, so I just pulled into the Y parking lot and headed out. Oh, and yes, I'm that guy: I now make sure I have running clothes with me at all times...just in case. Anywho, I ran the Oak Hill Loop backwards. Well, not backwards, but in the opposite direction of the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50k and 50M. (See how I didn't even mention the 25k? There is no 25k. It's dead to me.) Felt good despite getting pelted with frozen nuggets from the sky.

Side note: Wore my new screw shoes. Seemed fine. Probably could have done without them, but they definitely helped on uphills. Things were crispy...frozen crispy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow Means Slow...That is the Tempo

...with apologies to the Beastie Boys.

With the weather forecast, I figured that my best bet for weather conditions was to get out no later than lunchtime today. It was supposed to get rainy and gross as the day went on. It started snowing about 7:30 and picked up throughout the day. The temperature was also rising. I knew the rain was coming. So, at about 11:30, I headed out. It was snowing heavily, and it was about 20 degrees.

I headed down the powerlines for the 5-mile Highland Green loop with the plan to run the first mile easy, and then run the next 3 as a quasi-tempo run. With the conditions, I had no idea what pace I would hit, so I just picked it up as I went. There were about 2 inches of snow on the ground...just enough to hide the ice underneath. I never fell, but I slipped a number of times. I ended up running the middle approximately 3 miles in 22:06. So, kinda slowish, but it was snowy. And, I was trying not to kill myself. I wasn't taking any chances. Not sure it really tells me anything, but it seemed like a good, moderate workout. I felt pretty comfortable throughout. After I got home, the snow stoppped...grumble. Screw shoes would have really helped. And speaking of screw shoes...

During this time of year, you'll find households taking time to hang wreaths, trim trees, and generally make their homes festive. We spent the night with smelly shoes, power tools and sheet metal screws. Then again, Body Glide is also a permanent fixture on our coffee table. The process would have been much quicker if both my drill batteries had not been dead. (When you loan someone your drill and they return with two dead batteries, you can legally smack them the next time you see them. So, Nate will be getting a smack next time I see him.) It was kind of a hassle, but I had the system nailed by the end. D...well...she was angry. There was much swearing.

Here are my results:

And here's Ronnie wondering why I gave D the drill:

That's true fear in his eyes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Long Lost Update

I can't believe I haven't had a chance to update since Wednesday. D might claim that it's because of my new mistress. In reality, I've been crazy busy. I'm currently sitting on my butt on the couch watching football in my new crystalicious HD, so it's time for an update.

Crappy run on Thursday. Rain, cold, cramp, busy road. All bad. But, I got the miles in, and it didn't kill me.

I bounced back with a great run on Friday morning. I was up at work and took the opportunity to explore the North Rd. in Shelburne. Actually, the run started on the AT...well, the road is the AT. Great views of Mt. Washington and Mt. Adams, plus a nice sunrise. Good stuff.

Yesterday, we had an event at work...actually, we have enough to host the first ski race of the season in New England. The race went well, but it meant a long day for me. I didn't get home until 8:30, and then I still had videos to edit. If you're interested in groovy ski photos and videos created by me, click here.

With the long day and late night, I wasn't sure how frisky I would feel today when we headed out for our run. We met Mindy and Tim at Pineland at 9:00 for a tour of the very crusty trails. Snow was falling, so we were feeling hardcore. The trails were a mix of frozen mud, frozen grass, frozen hard stuff, cold squishy mud and really cold water. In other words, perfect for this time of year. Company was great, and I think I'm going to begin my training to be an Olympic archer. After a tour of the lower fields and the campus loop, Mindy and Tim called it a day at about 8 miles. I was surprised at how good I felt, so D and I stuck to the plan and headed out on the Oak Hill Loop. We cruised along, skipped Gloucester Hill and arrived back at the car at just under 2 hours. Great run, but it was time for food! The four of us headed to Stones Cafe for an awesome breakfast. Pretty much the perfect morning.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Brilliant Recovery Strategy

To Recap: Last Thursday, I raced in the Feaster Five, pictured at left in my brand new, ultra-badass, TMR gear. Friday: Off. Saturday: I skied in the morning and ran in the evening. Sunday: D and I ran 11-ish at Bradbury, and despite the claims of both Chuck and Ian, I swear I wasn't intentionally pushing the pace. Monday: Easy 3. Tuesday: Off, so it was looking more like recovery...but...

Today, I ran 5 miles a touch faster than I should have. I was cold at the start, and I did the stupid "run faster because it will make me warmer faster" thing. Then I got caught in the "I know I'm running a little too fast, but I just can't seem to slow down" thing. I don't know any of the mile markers, so looking at my watch wouldn't have done me any good anyway. Plus, I was running the loop in the opposite direction for the first time. The end result was 5 miles in 38:58. Not blazing fast, but more effort than I needed while trying to recover. And, I know I need to recover. The official training plan called for 3x800 today. I'm really glad I didn't go that route. I did a good job recovering from the marathon, so I need to pay a little more attention so I'll be ready for the race in February. That being said, I keep thinking about the second Oak Hill Loop in the Pineland Farms 50k, and I keep thinking about crushing it. So, I'll be taking it easy the next couple days, and doing my best to get out despite diminishing daylight and other early winter challenges.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What Training Plan?

So, I'm two days into my official training plan for the Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic, and I've already broken it. Different runs both days. Yup, I'm batting 1.000. I was supposed to run 5 on Sunday and a 4-mile tempo run today. Um...not so much. I ran 11 on Sunday, and just 3 easy today.

I knew this was going to happen, for a couple reasons. First of all, I was supposed to start my plan a couple days after racing a 5-miler, so I knew that I would need to recover a bit. Secondly, I like long runs, so I'll be doing more of those. Third, I'm lazy. Most importantly, I'm going by feel, and this is what I felt like doing. I really felt like I needed to take it easy today, and I'll probably stick with that plan this week. I'd rather start my speedwork feeling good than feeling beat down.

Speaking of training, D and I went to Frontier tonight to have dinner with Nate, Shannon and Finley. The good thing about eating dinner with a 1 year-old is that you get to walk around and burn off calories while you eat. Maybe that's why I had two panninis...or maybe it's because I'm a pig. I also had 2 great beers. First, Williams Bros. Brewing - Edulum Elderberry Black Ale, which despite the presence of elderberry, was really good. Normally, I disapprove of fruit in beer, but in this case, it actually added to the taste. Second, I had an Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. In short, this thing is aggressive. Good, but at 9% alcohol, it packs a punch. A delicious, tasty, alcohol-filled punch.