Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kind of Human

White Zombie, anyone?

Since the debacle of the Muddy Moose, I've pretty much felt like crap. OK, that's not entirely true. D and I went for a slow 5 mile run on Monday, and I actually felt not that bad. Tired in the legs, but not that bad. Honestly, I think my sunburn was the worst part of the whole experience.

I ended up taking Tuesday off—half by plan, half by circumstances beyond my control, a.k.a. work. I'm glad I took the day off because I was feeling tight and creaky throughout everything. Wednesday was an equally crazy work day, and I didn't saddle up for my run until about 6 o'clock. And, even though I thought my run in the heat on Saturday was the worst run ever, I'm certain that Wednesday's run was, in fact, the worst run ever. I had zero energy and just felt terrible all over. I was literally shuffling at one point. I was planning on 5 to 6 but settled for 3.5. As soon as I finished, I downed pretty much all the food I could find as I was starving. So, ostensibly, it was lack of fuel that made this run so crappy, but I'm certain part of it was fatigue from Sunday.

Today, I ran my now usual loop through the Cathance River Preserve. At the start, I was worried. Low energy and lots of creakiness. Am I ever going to feel human again? About halfway through, I started to get my mojo back. I wouldn't say I felt great, but I at least felt good. I know that I'm in the midst of the toughest stretch of my training, but I have to admit that I'm a little concerned about all this fatigue. Am I overtraining? Will I feel better once I start to taper? Will I crash and burn at Pineland? I'm really starting to get...well...nervous. I know I can complete the 31 miles, but I'd like to do it with a little panache. I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll feel better in the coming weeks, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. At least today, I felt a little more human.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Muddy Moose Race Report

This race report really starts the day before the race with two significant moments. First, I went out for a short run on Saturday afternoon, and it was hot. Really, really HAWT. And, in turn, I felt like absolute dung. I pretty much struggled through 3.5 miles. I think it was the worst run ever. Not good times. The second moment was on Saturday night when D asked me if I was going to bring my Fuel Belt to the race. I said, "No, there are plenty of aid stations. I'll just drink at those."

Why are these moments significant? One, I don't do well in the heat. Especially, if I haven't done any training in it. Secondly, I carry water, Gatorade or HEED on pretty much all my training runs over an hour. So, by not choosing to in the race, only further confirms the fact that I'm an idiot.

Sunday dawned warm, which could mean that it was only going to get HAWT, HAWT, HAWT. D and I picked up Ian in Portland and Carter in Biddeford to complete one half of the Trail Monster crew headed for Wolfeboro, NH. The other carload consisted of Shauna, Jim, Jeff and Erik. After a short "warm up" (as if it was necessary when temps were already in the 70's at 9:00am), we headed to the line for the fun. Supposedly this was a dry year, but the Muddy Moose definitely lived up to it's name.

The race starts benignly enough with a mellow downhill first on pavement then on dirt road, but I think it's only to suck you in. The next 1.5 miles are on snowmobile trails that...well...let's just say they don't drain very well. There are numerous shoe sucking at least ankle deep, often deeper, mud pits. In truth, I felt very comfortable and relaxed through this section. I passed a number of people who just couldn't seem to figure out that the mud was unavoidable.

At two miles, the race splits. Those running the four-mile option go right, and the 14-milers go left. I turned left with the other longer option fools onto a dirt road. The road starts off with a slight downhill, and here's where my race started to take a slight downhill. I got a side stitch, but worked through it. But, I just started to feel not quite right. Hoping it would pass, I maintained my pace, and just tried to stay relaxed. Eventually, the road goes up a small bump, then drops steeply until...BAM! There's a wall. Not literally, but there's a ridiculous hill that is really unrunnable. I a short way up until I realized that I still had a long way to go. Plus, I heard Jim from not far behind me yell, "Ryan, it's not worth it." Good foreshadowing for how I would feel later in the race. Once into my walk, I found myself pulling two other guys to the top, which we reached about a week later. The hill tops out to a cliff with nice views, but I was really not interested in sightseeing. That hill did not make me feel any better. The course drops you down a rocky outcropping, then onto trails that are actually quite runnable. Of course, I was really feeling like crap, so I slowed down a bit and tried to regroup. Jim caught me here, and I don't think I was friendly.

Then comes the ridiculous sand hill. It's straight down, the footing in bad, and it's just a bad idea. Jim got ahead of me here, but I soon wandered into the 5-mile aid station. WATER! So...thirsty... Four ounces of water later, I was off to climb the longest climb of the day. It was basically steady climbing for at least a mile, and I was really practicing my run to walk and walk to run transitions. At least that's what I told myself. In truth, I was baking in the sun.

The course is basically out and back, but at the end of the out is a loop that you can run in either direction you choose. Somehow, I missed the junction at the start of the loop, and, suddenly, Jeff was running towards me. He was running fast, too. A high five, and I figured that I was on the loop. Damn, I was supposed to go left. Oh well, high fives for Ian, Jim and Carter, then I ran through a swamp. Actually, a couple, the loop was pretty nasty. But, you know what? I was starting to feel better. In fact, I knew I was pretty far behind everyone but seeing them gave me a boost, and I ran solidly all the way until the mile 9 aid station.

I had a Hammer Gel as I came into the aid station and stopped to down a couple cups of desperately needed fluids. The good feeling I had coming into the aid station completely melted away after I left. I suddenly felt worse than I had all day. I was really dragging. It was more of a shuffle than a run. Then I got to climb back up the sand hill. Um, ugh. I had no energy at all, and I was trying to run in the shade as much as possible. Which was akin to dodging raindrops.

I pretty much shuffled all the way back to the 12-mile aid station, when I returned to the shoe sucking mud. I remembered my split on the way out: just under 17 minutes. It took me about 24 minutes on the way back in. It was grim. I was trying to run, but I had no energy at all. Sometimes I try to pick up my leg, but I could barely get it out of the mud. Even when they were out of the mud, they were really heavy because they were caked in mud. Eventually, I reached the dirt road, then the pavement, then everyone cheering me home. The cheers were nice, but they would have been nicer if they had been closer to the finish line. I still had a few extra yards to cover, which were painful because it felt like I had already been running for 4 months.

As soon as I finished, I wanted yell, "WATER!" But, I couldn't. Nothing came out. After what was probably 3 seconds, but what felt like 3 hours, I found the post-race water supply and grabbed a large bottle. Ian came up to me and said, "Don't feel bad. We all sucked today." Somehow, I found this really comforting.

Needless to say, it wasn't a great race, and it wasn't particularly fun. wasn't unexpected. The heat always kills me. Not bringing my Fuel Belt was foolish. A huge mistake I won't make again. And, finally, I'm in the middle of my hardest training weeks. I knew this race would be tough for that reason alone. So not a total loss. Not exactly a huge confidence booster, but I think if I had brought some fluids, it would have made a big difference. So, lesson learned. Training continues.

As far as the other Trail Monsters go, not everyone sucked. Quite the opposite, Shauna was second in the 4-mile race. And, Jeff won his age group. I think Jim actually had fun out there, too, but he's a little off. Here are the official results.

Perhaps the worst part of the whole race is my sunburn. I was more tired out from that last night than the race. My upper arms are pretty toasted. That's what I get for running with guns a blazing.

Here are the rest of our pictures.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tempo...I Guess

Today was one of those days when the motivation just never appeared. I just never had the "Oh yeah! Let's go for a run!" moment. I have to admit my legs are tired. I'm definitely doing more training for the 50k than I did for the marathon. But, I really can't complain because I'm not running 391 miles this week like some people.

Even though I wasn't motivated, I did get out the door and stick to my plan of running something not easy today. That not easy ended up being a 5k at about 80-90%. The loop I've devised around Highland Green is a little shy of 5 miles, and I figured that the road and dirt road loop portion would make up 5k. I was close, and I only needed to add a small bit more to make the full 5k. Unlike last week, this route was quite hilly, and on top of that it was windy. For the first mile the wind was straight in my face, and it was also in my face on the final mile. Think about that. So unfair. Mix in the hills and the wind, and I'm happy with the result:

5k: 21:44, 7:00 per mile on the nose.
Mile 1: 7:11
Mile 2: 6:58
Mile 3: 7:35 (includes the .1)

Along with the lack of motivation, I didn't feel that great. Just a bit off. Probably just general fatigue. So, I'll definitely take it. Hopefully, I'll be able to withdraw some of this banked speed on May 24.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wet Day along the Cathance

Last night, my buddy Nate called me to ask if I wanted to join him and a friend for a workout on the track this morning. I told him that they should start without me, if I didn't show. I really wasn't interested in running repeats on the track, but it would be somewhat social—demented and sad, but social. I gave myself a 15% chance of showing up. A short while later he called me back to say that our friend had bailed, so he wasn't planning on going to the track in the morning. So, we made plans to meet in the afternoon for a run on the trails of the Cathance River Nature Preserve. In short, running muddy singletrack is eleventy billion times cooler than running repeat miles on a track.

It started raining shortly after we left from my house, and it rained off and on throughout the run. That rain got us wet from above, and yesterday's rain got us wet from below as the puddles were up and plentiful. We ran the 6.5 mile loop that I've devised, and I'm pretty certain that he'll get lost the next time he heads in there. Great run, and good to have company. I was very tight before I started today, but loosened up nicely throughout the run. Might do something tempo-ish tomorrow. Then again, I might not.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Everything is Soggy

It's been ark building weather since I got up this morning, and I've done nothing but deal with water all day. I just spilled (a small amount of) water on my computer. Our washing machine is randomly spewing water from it's outlet hose. Good times all around. So, I guess it's fitting that I headed out the door for my run today in a steady rain. It didn't remain a steady rain as it changed to heavy mist, light mist, hard rain, blowing rain...and everything in between. I was a tad soggy. I ran the 5-mile out and back on the powerlines from our house, and only saw one other person outside on this fairly terrible day. He was about 12 years old and riding a miniature dirt bike. So, at least there were two people out doing what they love on a nasty day.

Overall, I felt pretty good. I started out very tight and sluggish, but gradually felt better as I went. About what I expected after Saturday and Sunday. One body part would start out tight, then loosen, and I'd notice another tight part. Then, the process would repeat. After a half hour, everything felt OK. Really, I'm just trying to survive these couple weeks. I'm in the middle of my hardest training weeks for the Pineland 50k. Just trying to hang on. Another two hard weeks to go.

Then I'm thinking about going to camp:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

20 at Pineland

Twenty miles at Pineland. I'm tired. Thanks to D, Mindy, Jeff and Nate for joining me for various pieces of the run. Yup, I'm tired.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blackstrap Heaven - Mud, Hills and Bacon

"I don't like bacon. I love it. Dah!" (May or may not be the actual lyrics, but everything's better with bacon.)

Today was the first annual Blackstrap Heaven - The Other Side of Hell, the sister race to Blackstrap Hell. First off, huge thanks to Jeff for conceiving this race, marking the course and putting it all together. The course, although only 5.33 miles, was a mix of mud, hills, knee-deep puddles, more mud, a couple more hills and a nasty piece of metal (more on that in a second). Eleven of us showed up to run this race, plus one aid-station volunteer, and partake of a great post-race spread that consisted of a lot of bacon. Me? I brought maple frosted donuts with bacon on them. Because, everything's better with bacon.

As for the race, Jeff gave us instructions as how to not get lost—or at least try—and we were off. I ran for a short while behind Jeff, Ian, James and Carter with Jamie just behind me, but trying to run at a less than slow pace without a warmup was not the best decision. I was really creaky and stiff, and quickly fell behind. I could see that group ahead of me for a while, then I just had to follow their footprints, which were obvious in the mud. Jamie was close behind, so I was getting pushed and pulled the whole way.

Just before turning up one of the largest hills there was apparently some type of metal wire sticking up from the ground. I say, "apparently," because I didn't see it. I just ran into it. I think I must have kicked it with my right foot because the nasty, pointy end of it rammed into my left leg. I paused, looked down and saw that not only was my leg scraped but my sock was also torn, or rather, ripped in half. Kinda messy. It did earn me "The Best Strawberry Award."

At the top of this hill Randy was manning the aid station. Why is there an aid station in a 5 mile race? Because the aid is Allen's Coffee Brandy! I downed my shot for my 30 second time bonus, heckled Jamie for not doing the same and took off. I'm not sure if it was the tasty treat or if I had just finally warmed up, but I started to feel a lot better. From that point, there was one more good size down and an up, then more mud and primarily downhill to the finish in 43:37.

Overall, the race went better than I had expected. Based on my relative tightness following my speed work this week and the quasi-mysterious tightness from yesterday, I didn't expect much. A warmup certainly would have helped, but managing 8:10 pace over that terrain is failry encouraging. Plus, it was a lot of fun. Including the post-race celebration, which consisted of us hanging out in a small field and eating a whole lot of pork products. Because everything's better with bacon! Good times. Thanks again to Jeff for putting this all together.

Here are the official results.

Can't wait to see the pics and video!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Still Feeling It

Quick 3 miles today, 3.25 to be exact. Well, the pace wasn't quick, but 3 miles just feels quick. It's too short to really discern anything. For example, after my run today D asked me how I felt. I told her that I didn't really know since I was only running for about 28 minutes. It's just not enough time for me to get warmed up, even on a warm day such as this. Unfortunately, my hamstrings really tightened up after the run. I have to admit, I'm still feeling my effort from the other day. I have a theory about this: I'm soft.

Blackstrap Heaven
on tap for tomorrow. I must admit, I'm more excited for the after-not-quite-a-party because there will be bacon. And, I'm bringing a super special wicked awesome post-run delicacy. Oh, yes, it will be awesome.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back to Cathance

I returned to the Cathance River Nature Preserve today to once again try to develop some consistent loops from home. First of all, it's pretty sweet that I have such great singletrack so near my house. I wonder why that wasn't noted in the MLS listing? Admittedly, I was a bit tired and tight today after yesterday's almost speed work, but it was a great run. I had hoped to run about 5 miles, but in order to get any real singletrack time, it's clear that these loops are all going to be longer than 5. I ended up with 6.5 miles, a very groovy loop, and a better feel for the trails. Much less snow than last week, in fact hardly any, but still plenty o' mud.

Here's what it looked like:

I think that in the end, I'll probably be able to come up with a solid 10 mile loop.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Have No Sense

...of pace.

Progression runs seem to be the flavor of the month, so I thought I'd give one a go. I really need to work on my speed, since I have none. I haven't done any speed work of any kind since...I don't really know it's not a surprise. It's just depressing. I feel like my knees barely rise an inch with each stride. I can feel it on each run. Admittedly, I've been a little gun shy to get into speed work for fear that one of my fragile body parts would explode. But, really it's been just an excuse to not run hard-ish on non-race days. Time to suck it up if I want to get any better.

With all that in mind, I thought a 5 mile progression run would make sense, and I wanted to run loops on a measured mile. I figured this way I could focus on my pacing over consistent terrain. The best loop I could come up with was the field loops at Bowdoin. There's a trail in the woods that encircles the many athletic fields at Bowdoin, and I've run on them approximately 8,000 times. I was pretty certain the loop was close to a mile, but I took the Garmin just to be sure. With various changes to the fields and practices going on, the loop is closer to .9. So, I decided to add an additional piece around the new soccer field. So, after my .9 mile warmup, I was off.

In short, I'm an idiot. Well, not so much of an idiot, but I have no idea what a pace under 9 minutes feels like. They're all just an amalgamation of too fast to be comfortable. So, instead of the 8 minute mile I was hoping to start with, my first mile was 7:20. And, as I expected, it made the last two miles hurt a lot more than I would have liked. But, I survived, and I don't feel quite as slow as when I started. But, I still have a lot of work to do.

Mile 1: 7:20
Mile 2: 7:17
Mile 3: 7:02
Mile 4: 6:52
Mile 5: 6:30
Total time: 35:04

Monday, April 13, 2009

Slug, Fun, Food, Rest and Detox

Been busy the last few days, so here's the latest training update.

Friday: Short run on the trails around Mt. Ararat. Last year, I devised a loop I assumed to be about 3 miles, and with the snows mostly gone, I figured it would be a good day to get back to it. Indeed the majority of the snow was gone, and the mud level was high. Good stuff. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling too frisky. Rather sluggish, in fact. Hence, it wasn't a great run, but they can't all be perfect. On the good news side, I wore the Garmin and found out the loop is 3.29 miles.

Saturday: On Friday night, we headed down to my parents' house, and despite the absolutely craptastic weather, we were able to drag my sister out for a run on Saturday morning. D and I planned to go to Bradley Palmer State Park, but Meg had never been on a trail run before. She didn't really know what she was getting into, but she had a great attitude about it and had a blast. (I think.) Although, she's pretty certain we're trying to kill her. We ran 5 miles with her in fairly muddy conditions in about 57 minutes. I'm pretty impressed with my little sister. D and I then headed out on the Fat Ass course, and she headed back to the parking lot after about 1.5 miles to take Meg home before returning to pick me up. Then, I was on my own. I seriously lost my mojo once I was alone. Don't get me wrong, the trails are really nice, but I just wasn't feeling it. I completed the 10k lap in about 57 minutes and was both pleased and disappointed that D had not yet returned. If she was there, I'm pretty certain I would have bailed after 11 miles. But, I headed back out for another lap. About a mile into this lap it started to rain. The timing was good because while it didn't really lift my spirits, it motivated me. I pulled it back together and finished the lap in just under 54 minutes. A real solid 17 miles...especially since about 10 of it was solo. Did I mention that Meg took a nap that afternoon?

For me it wrapped up a solid week: 37 miles. All on trail. Well, a couple road crossing and a few short stretches of pavement here and there, but I logged them all as trail runs. Excellent! But, no wonder I'm so slow. Trudge, trudge, trudge.

Sunday: Recover, not the run...from the Queso Fundido and giant Mexican feast the night before. If you're ever in Newburyport, MA, go here and get the fundido. Trust me.

Monday: Back at home, and back to reality. But, D and I did get out for an afternoon run in the Commons. I felt great. Run felt easy and smooth. Good stuff. Plus, the company was...well, OK. Then dinner was a detox of salad and roasted veggies. Of course, D decided she needed ice cream for dessert. I better make sure I run tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Return to Cathance River

What? I ran by a quarry today. Quarries are rocky. See, it's related.

The day sort of got away from me today, so I didn't get out for my run until late. I was pushing it in terms of daylight, but it worked out just fine. With the continued rapid snow disappearance, I figured it was a good opportunity to check out the trails of the Cathance River Nature Preserve for the first time this spring. Leaving from home it takes a little bit to get there and with only 5 miles planned, I knew that I wouldn't get to see much of the trails, but it would give me a taste. I took a reasonably short route through the Mt. Ararat trails, crossed through Highland Green and ran past the quarry to the Heath Trail. I'd forgotten how much fun the singletrack trails were in the Preserve. Good times. I wove my way to the Barnes Leap Trail which leads down to the Cathance River. The trail conditions to this point has been mostly snow free, but very muddy, fairly soft and quite wet. It's April, and I was on a riverbank, so things got wetter. On three separate occasions, the river was so high that the trail was completely under water. I managed to bushwhack around the first flooded section. The second, which looked to be almost waist deep, I was able to (gingerly) cross on a fallen tree. The third involved a leap from one side to the other...I didn't quite make it. I had flashbacks to the Hell Run, but I stayed upright and mostly dry. Shortly after my moderately successful leap, I heard a loud slap in the river. I'd startled a beaver.

I watched him dive and slap the water a couples times, then swim away. The rest of the run was pretty uneventful, just muddy and sloppy. I could have stayed on the singletrack a little longer, but I opted to make my way home via the dirt roads. Once I get a better feel for these trails, I'll come up with more solid loop ideas. I see this becoming one of my favorite running locations.

As far as how I felt on the run, I'd classify it as great. More zip than I expected. I'm glad I've decided not to race this weekend, but I almost feel like letting one rip. I definitely had to ease myself back a bit today. The loop ended up being 5.71, and I averaged 9:09 per mile (Yes, I wore the Garmin). So not exactly smoking, but pretty solid over that terrain. Nevertheless, I'm going to stick with the plan, and ease through the rest of the week with a long run planned for Saturday. Then next week, I think I'll add in some type of speed work...hopefully on a muddy trail.

Here's the profile, which is groovy, but just can't capture all the nooks and crannies of the singletrack.

Oh, I also feel compelled to mention that I wore the La Sportivas again today. The more I wear them, the more I like them. And, yes, I'll probably have a new epiphany about these shoes every day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Still Squishing

Back to the Commons today for the same loop D and I ran the other day. A little different circumstance today since not only was I alone but I also drove about 2 hours to get there. I had a meeting in the greater North Conway metropolitan area, and contemplated a number of running options between there and home. In the end, the most snow-free option won out, which was the Commons. In fact, a good deal of snow had melted since my last run there on Sunday. Due to the rain and melting snow, the outlet at the second pond crossing was impossible to get across without getting soggy, so I didn't even try. But, I did learn that my La Sportivas don't really drain all that well. Lots of noisy squishing and squeaking the rest of the way. Overall, the run was great. Felt moderately frisky the whole way, and finished "just a touch" quicker than the other day. Feels like I'm headed in the right direction.

Speaking of the La Sportivas, I've gone to a simpler lacing system, which although not designed to keep the heel snug, seems to be doing a better job of doing just that. No idea. I think these shoes will end up working just fine for shorter runs. They're a touch short, so I won't be using them for anything long, but they'll be solid for anything in the 8 to 10 range or shorter.

While driving today, I heard this:

Such a terrible song. And, yes, I was singing along. Loudly.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Squishy Weekend

Two great runs this weekend, that were dominated by mud. Oh, sweet, sweet mud. How I've missed you.

The weekend started on Saturday at Pineland Farms with the Trail Monsters. My plan was for somewhere between 8 and 10 depending on how I felt. Based on the conditions, it was clear after a few minutes that 8 would be enough. The trails were muddy, snowy, icy, messy and downright ugly. In other words, good times. But not easy times. I ended up squishing through ankle deep mud and water on more than one occasion. When it wasn't muddy, the snow that had been groomed for the ski trails all winter had turned to packed ice—just ask Mindy. I'm still not 100% fresh after last weekend, so I forced myself to keep the pace nice and easy. The good part about that plan was that I got to run with just about everyone. I started near the front and just kept dropping back chatting with people along the way. Eventually, I ended up at the end of the train with Mindy and Emma. So, yeah, my plan was to just hang out with the ladies. Unfortunately, Ian, Jamie and James stopped to wait for us at one point. So much for my flawless plan. Ian stayed with the three of us for the rest of the run, until I decided to call it quits back at the parking lot. About half the group headed out for a few more miles, while Ian, Jeff and I hung out at the Pineland Farms Market plotting a strategy for Trail Monsters to take over the world.

Today was an uneventful day, but D and I did get out for a run in Commons this afternoon. The last time I ran in the Commons the snowbanks were huge and the trails were buried in snow. Not so today. Lots of mud, and the trails were mostly snow free. The weather today was warm, making it the perfect spring run. We moved along at a comfortable pace and had a really great time. I felt more lively today, which is a good sign. I'm still going to keep it mellow this week until a long run, which I have planned for Saturday. So all in all, it was a great, squishy weekend on the trails.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Still Recovering

Another short run today. I had planned to take the day off and wait until tomorrow, but the weather was waaaayyy too nice: sunny and close to, if not 60 degrees. Plus, I'm up at work for a couple days, so I had the novelty of running on closed ski trails in shorts and a t-shirt. Kinda funky.

Overall, I felt OK. A little sluggish, but the trails were really soft. 95% of the run was on snow. Well, it was more like slush, and not as firm as I had hoped. I was certainly slipping and sinking, so a lot of energy was going into the snow. I could really feel my hip flexors by the end of the run. But, good to get moving.

Speaking of recovering, I've also decided to skip out on the Merrimack River 10-Miler, which is coming up next weekend. The main reason is that I think it's best for me to recover a bit more after Saturday's effort. I'm being a tad cautious, but with my injury history, I think it's wise. The second reason is ego, and I don't really feel like getting slaughtered in another 10-miler. I'm old and slow, and 10 miles is too short for me. Finally, it will take out too much time from a family weekend. So, I'll just be doing a long run instead, which will be my first long run since Saturday. Seems like a good plan.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Easy 5

Back on the horse today, or any other cliche that might be appropriate. Ran my usual 5-mile loop through Highland Green, except there was a lot less snow. I was able to run on the grass along the sidewalks. Ah, less pavement. Overall, I felt pretty good. No pain or tightness on my knee or calf. I was a little sluggish, which I'm sure is a combination of the three days off and the effort on Saturday. All in all, a good run. Onward.