Friday, February 29, 2008

Styrofoam Wheezing

Today I was reminded of the importance of two things while skiing:
1. Wax
2. Technique

After a 3-hour meeting, I needed to get out for a ski. It wasn't a bad meeting, but it was 3 hours. Count 'em: 3. So therapy was in order.

The snow at Great Glen is on the verge of super, perfect, awesome. Not quite there, but close. It snowed about 9 inches on Wednesday. When I headed out this afternoon it was starting to get cold. It was in the low teens, and the snow had that familiar crunch: the sound of styrofoam. For skiers, that styrofoam sound means slow, cold snow. I was skating, and my skis were in need of waxing. And, the last couple coats where fairly warm. This made my skis really, really, really, really slow. When skating, you want a lot of glide. Today, I had none. I actually stopped halfway down a short hill. Climbing every hill was like climbing double. I should have waxed my skis.

The other deal with skating is that it is really based on technique. My technique is OK. I know all the basics: I can V1 all day, my V2 alternate is solid, and I can V2 pretty well. Well, I can do all those things fine for a random dude off the street. For someone who claims to be a skier, I suck. The key is efficiency, and I'm not very efficient. Like I said, I can handle all the basics, but while being basic I flail. It's good times. So, with my slow skis and flailing technique, I wheezed and panting my way through a half hour today.

I mean, it was fun.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What Was I Going To Write About?

Throughout the day I always have these great ideas for blog posts. No really, they're great. Awesome even. Now that I sit down to write something...I've got nothing.

Anyway, today I ran 5 miles on the bike path. I was sort of tight at the start, but everything felt better as I moved along. The wind on the way back was a little more than noticeable, and my face was cold. Weird. I spend a fair amount of time outside in the cold, and I don't usually get that feeling, so it was surprising. All in all, it was a good run.

My "plan" over the next couple weeks is to build up my mileage. Slowly. Every time I mention it D says, "You need to be careful, or you'll get injured." I have no idea why she would think that. But if I'm going to have any success in longer races, I need to be running more than 12 miles per week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nordic Meisters, Week #7

So, when the weather is odd and you go for a run, it just means that the weather is odd. Well, when the snow is odd and you're trying to ski race, everyone freaks out. The snow was bizarre at Great Glen today for the penultimate week of Nordic Meisters. Not that conditions aren't good—the skiing is really good—but the surface has frozen, thawed and refrozen a number of times making it coarse. The tracks themselves were a strange granular, hard pack, icy mix. Then throw a little fresh snow on the top. Keep in mind that waxes are made to work on a specific type of snow at a specific temperature. Well, today there were 6 different types of snow with rising temperatures. It was funky.

I ended up using binder wax and a warmish hard wax. It was slipping a bit during my warmup, so I added a warmer wax on top. It made the kick marginally better, but unfortunately, made my skis really drag. I have no idea how the kick can't improve much, but the skis can drag a lot. Anyway, I didn't have great skis.

The good news was that a couple of the fast people didn't show up this week, so I moved up to 5th. I was tired from yesterday's run, but I skied pretty strong. Not a great result, not a bad result, but a solid one. One more week to go.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bradbury Run

Today, D and I hit the trails at Bradbury Mountain State Park in sunny and beautiful Pownal. We are both itching to get off the roads/bike path as many chance as we get, since trail running is so much better in every way. After a lazy start to the day, we donned our YakTraks for a long run on the snow covered trails.

We started out on the Northern Loop Trail, then to the Boundary Trail. Both of these trails were well used and well packed down making for a nice running surface. A few minutes before we hit the summit, we saw a pileated woodpecker. (Looked tasty.) We eventually reached the summit and had great views on this stunning day in southern Maine. The skies were crystal clear and the temps were nearing 40. In fact, neither of us were wearing our winter hats, and each had just a light long sleeve t under our shells. Great weather. We left the summit and headed down the Tote Road, which was not quite as well traveled. The surface was still good for running, but we had a few more slips and would sink in more than we wanted every now and then. Eventually, we reached the Northern Loop Trail which led us back to the parking lot. This portion of the run took us about 42:00.

We had planned to run longer, so we crossed the street and ran an out and back on the snowmobile trail. While the trail was well packed from all the sled traffic, it was still somewhat loose. Really hard to describe, but it was a decent surface for running even if it didn't always feel like you were getting the best footing or return. When our watches hit an hour, we decided to turn around and head back to the car. We ended up with 1:16:00ish, which we think is somewhere in the neighborhood of 7.5 miles. It was a really, really great run. Bradbury is one of my favorite places to run, and I hoping to log a lot more miles there this year.

On this run I was testing a new toy: Fuel Belt Helium.

I was in need of something to carry fluids on my long runs, and D has one, which she purchased when she was training for the Maine Marathon in '06. She loves hers, so I thought I would give it a try. I have to say, I really liked it. I only used the two rear bottles as I didn't think I needed more than 16 ounces for this run. You barely notice that it's there, and you have easy access to the bottles. I had a little trouble getting the bottles back into the holsters, but I'm sure I'll get better with practice. Also, it was nice to have a little extra boost along the way: I filled one of the bottles with half water and half Raspberry Hammer Gel. So, thumbs up for the Fuel Belt.

We also made a stop at Maine Running Company this afternoon to pick up new shoes: Inov-8 Roclite 315's. I'm stoked. Lots more on these later.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Paying Attention

In the last couple months, I found my (limited) free time web browsing habits have changed. Lately, I've been paying a lot more attention to running websites and running race results. The reason is simple: It's the first time in the last 10 years that I've been either not injured or interested in running. For the first couple years after college, I was happy to do anything but run. I was totally burned out. Then I tried started running again and parts kept falling off. Then it took me a while to recover from my injuries after the AT. The last few months have been different, and I feel like I'm becoming an actual runner again. In high school and college, I paid a lot of attention to what was going on the world of running. The difference now is that I can find tons of information on these here Internets. I'm even reading about track athletes that I've never heard of but are apparently really fast, the politics of running and other...well, stuff. Been fun.

OK, maybe I'm not a real runner, since D and I only ran 3 miles on the bike path this morning. But I'm getting there.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

If You're Gonna Ski, Go For A Ski

One of my goals for the winter was to ski every trail at Great Glen Trails. Not just ski them all during the season, but ski them all in one shot. Today seemed like a good day to give it try. I've been crazy busy, and some real therapy was in order.

Before you get too impressed, you should know that we don't have a huge system. (Quality, not quantity.) My goal was to ski everything we groom, which is about 15k. Of course, you can't ski it all in any kind of linear fashion because...well, it's not a simple circle. Since I had been thinking about this for a while, I mapped out what I thought would be the best route.
It was impossible to not back track in some fashion or ski over the same trail in the opposite direction. Because of this I think I probably skied closer to 18k or so. Really, that's a guess. The actual distance doesn't matter. When I said I listed this as a goal, I had no question I could ski the distance, it was more of a case of finding the time and the opportunity. In any case, it was a really nice afternoon, so I made a break for it.

I ended up skiing for 1:21:00, and I managed to miss only two sections of trail each no more than 10 yards long. Since it this wasn't an officially sanctioned event, I'm going to say it counts. My goal was to ski steady and easy, which I did. I kept moving, but I wasn't going all out. I hit the easy loops around the field first. Well, they should be easy, but that meant a lot of double poling, not my strong suit. Plus, I think I was thinking about the hills I had yet to climb and that made me feel sluggish out of the gate. Once I headed up into the woods, I thought, "Well, that wasn't that bad." Really, the rest of the ski went very smoothly. I felt it on my final climb up the Sluice at the end, but I was still skiing pretty well. It was great, and I'm psyched I was able to knock it off. I think these longer, more steady workouts are going to be key to solid fitness going into the summer.

For anyone that's crazy, here's an intersection by intersection breakdown:
Start at the Lodge, through the tunnel, right on the Geepers Loop to #1
to #2
to #4 around the Bellows Loop
to #6
to #4
to #5
to #23
to #25
to #2
to #5
to #8
to #12
to #7
to #11
to #12
to #14
to #19
to #26
to #34
to #45
to #47
to #46
to #53
to #52
to #47
to #46
to #45
to #47
to #52
to #55
to #56
to #49
to #44
to #40
to #50
to #54
to #50
to #54
to #38
to #40
to #33
to #51
to #52
to #47
to #45
to #34
to #33
to #29
to #38
to #25
to #23
to #29
to #27
to #26
to #19
to #27
to #26
to #19
to #14
to #8
to #11
to #7
to #6
to #4
to #2
to #1
Right around the Geepers Loop and back to the Lodge.

I think that took me longer to type than to actually ski it. Did you actually read all that? I'm not sure it was the absolutely most efficient way to get it done...I'm sure it's not...but it worked out pretty well.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


OK, I'm not a complete and total running geek, but I thought I would pass this along:
It looks like it's going to be a great place to talk all things running. It has a great staff behind it, and the first couple podcasts haven't been half bad. The coolest part is that it is completely focusing on running, and it's hard to find all things running in one spot. I plan on checking it out regularly.

In a related story, I did 0 running today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

5 + Beer = Awesome

OK, maybe that's not quite the right equation, but aside from work that pretty much describes my day.

D and I managed to get in a 5 mile run on the bike path this morning. It was a nice, easy run. It was windy, which made it easy on the way out and sucktastic on the way back. But, it was still fairly easy, and all the parts felt good even if they were slightly fatigued from our trudging through the Commons yesterday.

This evening, I went to a beer tasting a Frontier. It was like a wine tasting, but better because it was beer.

Here is the list of beers on the menu:
Coniston Bluebird Bitter
Blaugies Darbstye
St. Sylvestre Gavroche
Southampton Publick House Saison Deluxe
Hop Back Entire Stout
Nogne-O Porter
Thomas Hooker Brewing Old Marley

I had never had any of these before, so that was cool. Overall, good stuff. The Nogne-O Porter, from Norway, was my favorite. Good stuff. If I had the means, I would regularly stock my fridge with it. The Blaugies Darbyste was strange. It smelled terrible, but tasted good. I couldn't reconcile the two. The Saison was surprisingly good, since it doesn't seem like something I would normally go for, but I genuinely enjoyed it. The Entire Stout was solid, as was the Gavrouche. All in all, a good time. They are planning to do some more of these nights in the future, and I told them to put me on the list for all of them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Crappy Run

Note to dog owners: when you take your precious little pooch out for a walk, and said pooch takes a dump...PICK IT UP! I have no interest in seeing or nearly stepping in Fido's landmines as I'm out for my run. I don't take my cat's leftovers and leave them around the neighborhood for all to admire. You may be walking along a wooded trail, but there is no mythical woodland nymph that prances along collecting canine feces. Your dog craps. It sits there. It's disgusting. It's doubly disgusting when it's dropped in the snow. PICK IT UP!!! Jerks.

D and I went for a run in the Brunswick Commons this afternoon. I guess we were both looking to get off the bike path. As it turns out, we really should have waited a day since today's temps were above freezing following yesterday's considerable rainfall. The combination made for a relatively soft snowpack that had me sinking in more often than I would have liked—up to my knees and onto my face at one point. That being said, it was a good run albeit a tough one. We were only out for 30 minutes or so, but it was a good break this afternoon...despite the landmines.

I know that my loyal readers were struggling over the lack of posts over the last couple days. My apologies. To sum up: my parents came to visit. We skied a little and ate a lot. Good times. Very good times.

Here's the best thing I've seen in the last few days:

Um...yeah...that's why you never, never, ever propose in public. Also, really, dude, a mid-season NBA game. Yeah, that's romantic. Thankfully, the mascot was there to console him.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Random Stuff

I ran 3 miles on the bike path this afternoon. It was clear, and an nice, easy run. As opposed to D's experience this morning. Will I get sick of the bike path? Absolutely. Am I happy it's there? Extremely.

Vegan Hippie

I came across this site last night while perusing the Intertubes. Pretty interesting, and very impressive. A raw vegan diet would be really difficult. Obviously, he has some running talent to be able to pull this off, but impressive none the less.


In a related story, I've perfect the breakfast sandwich. I ate one this morning.
1 egg, 1 Thomas' English Muffin, 2 slices of ghetto cheese from the deli and:

Of course, there are secrets that I can't reveal here, but trust me, it's genius.

Old Guys
This is the trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie.

Normally, just hearing the music gets my geek senses all tingly. This time I'm not so sure. Is this movie going to tarnish the legacy? I hope not, but it sure looks like it. Apparently, it involves aliens of some sort. It looks dangerously close to the National Treasure franchise...which is vomitous.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why Waste It?

The "current phase" of my "training plan" calls for easy, short runs and longer skis. It's an extremely technical plan that I just can't explain here. Anyway, I headed for the bike path today for an easy 3-mile run. Well, I felt really good, so I extended it into 4 miles. I figured, if I was feeling that good, there was no reason to cut it short. It's not often in the last...well, 10 years...that I've felt good enough on a run to do a little extra. Of course, what I failed to realize on the way out is that the wind was at my back. It made for a little slower going on the way back, but it was still a great run.

Mad props to the Brunswick DOT. They did a great job of clearing the bike path. Yesterday, we had about 6-8" of new snow, then about 2" of rain on top of that, then it froze overnight. Really, really nasty. The walkway at our house is 2" of solid ice. Our driveway/road/parking area is even worse. Let's just say our plowing company is less than stellar. Anyway, the bike path was mostly clear. I started out with my YakTraks, but only wore them for the first 30 seconds of the run. Once I got out of the parking lot and around the first corner, the path was clear. I stashed the YakTraks, and carried on.

The "plan" calls for another run tomorrow. At that time, I'm sure I'll have another riveting post.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Better Result

Week 6 of Nordic Meisters dawned chilly. Downright cold actually. At 7:30 the temperature at the base of Mt. Washington was 0.5. But it was crystal clear and no wind. In other words, it was beautiful. It did warm up to about 14 by the time I took my run, and the snow was pretty much perfect. Well, it was slow, but it's beautiful.

Today I skied much better. My placing was the same. I am in no man's land after all. But it was a much better technical race. It was the first day that I didn't feel like my technique was holding me back. I felt like I was really able to go after it. So, I didn't gain the 2 minutes on the old guys...but I did gain 1.

Here a couple shots from today:

D cruising along:

It was windy last night:

Monday, February 11, 2008

7 and Windy

Last night after the race, I drove home. I was a sucky drive. Really sucky. It was snowing, and the roads were in less than good shape. I could have stayed at work, but I was out of food and underwear and wanted to get home.

The best part about driving home was the fact that D and I were headed back up to Great Glen today. We had an appointment with our tax guru in Conway, so the plan was to go to the tax appointment and then ski at Great Glen. So, back in the car at 8:30 for me, a mere ten hours after I got home. (For those doing the math, I got home at about 10:30 last night after a drive of more than 2.5 hours from work...guh.) Yes, my life is ridiculous.

It was really cold and windy today. When we headed out the door at about 2:30 for our ski it was 7 degrees. And the wind was whipping. Not the most pleasant afternoon. At least the sun was out. That being said, we had a great ski. Once we got into the woods, we were somewhat protected from the wind, and the snow right now is awesome. Even if windpacked snow does tend to be abrasive and slow. We ended up skiing for about an hour, covering a good bit of terrain. Sometimes it just pays to force yourself to get outside no matter what the conditions.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Double Up

We were hosting a race at work today, the Great Glen Nordic 300. (If you're wondering who designed such a clever and snazzy website, that would be me.) It's a cool race, ski as many laps as possible in 300 minutes. And, honestly, I'm a bit jealous that I didn't get to compete, but I had official duties to attend to. As the marketing guy, it was my job to get out and take pics of the race for later publication. (Of course, this assumes that I've done my job and we actually have people here to race. Luckily, we did.) Not only did I get photos, but I also got some video.

And yes, that is the fun part of my job.

Anyway, all of this made for an interesting dilemma for my training log. I kind of did a double. It was a weak double, but I'm still going to count it as such. The race started at 10:00. I skied to the start, snagged some footage, and then headed out on the course. I've found that for loop courses, it is best to ski the course backwards. This way I can get the maximum amount of people. With this race, people were skiing multiple laps of the same course, so I got to see them repeatedly. In fact, one racer called me the course gremlin, since I was popping up so much. The course itself was 6.5km, so I skied that and another small loop, while shooting pics of the racers. It was a slow, sporadic ski. I'd go for a bit until I hit a good spot for photos and wait for racers to come by. And, since it's kind of a pain to keep taking my pole straps on and off, I skied a lot of the time without poles. Anywho, this first loop took me 1:30. I stopped in the timing building to help with the math on the lap times, and then shot inside to grab some lunch. After I scarfed my lunch, I headed back out to get more pics and video. This meant another ski. This time I skied for about another hour: stopping, no pole, taking pics and sometimes actually skiing. So, it was slow, but it was a sort of double.

I was definitely tired after the race, and one guy who thanked me for cheering along the course said, "Man, you put in a lot of K's today." I kind of did, I guess. But I'm still avoiding my training log because I have no idea how to label this "workout."

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Say it with me: "Stretching is an important part of recovery."

I will now go hobble somewhere.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Holy crap there's a lot of snow at Great Glen. I knew it had been snowing, and I knew it had been snowing a lot, but I didn't realize how much there actually was. Good times. The skiing is pretty much perfect. I got this afternoon for a very leisurely ski, and I'm definitely still tired. Fatigued is the best word I could come up with. Not a lot of snap there. It's funny because I don't really notice it walking around, but as soon as I tried to stride it was noticeable. But, it's probably a good thing. I did run pretty hard on Sunday, and I'd be surprised if I wasn't fatigued. It should mean that I'll only get stronger as I train more throughout the winter. Right now, I think the plan is to go for short runs and longer skis while we have the snow. I might as well take advantage of the low impact of skiing while I can. That being said, I'm ready to get back onto running some trails. The pavement is killing me. Not that I want the snow to go away, I just want to have my cake and eat it too. But, really, why else would you have cake if you're not going to eat it? That expression never made any sense to me. And, yes, these posts are pretty much stream of consciousness.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

That's Better

Things are significantly less sore today. I embarked on a 3-mile run in the Brunswick/Topsham bike path this afternoon, and I have no real pain or discomfort to speak of. (Can you "embark" on a run that's only 3 miles?) Well, there was a little bit of pain and discomfort, so I guess I am going to speak about it. The middle toe on my right foot is black. It's very tasty. It also kind of hurts. My right knee has also felt a little squacky, but only when I walk around, not while running. So, I guess it's not an issue.

In other news, winter has returned to the Midcoast. During my run today it was 22 degrees, light winds and light snow. I felt very hearty. It's good to see snow again, but it meant I had to don the YakTraks for my run. In fact, I was going to title this post "The Yak is Back," but that made me sick to my stomach. But, I was happy to have them as the weather around here the past few days has been kind of nasty. Ice and sleet and yuk. Today and last night we got about 5-6" of actual snow on top of that yuk, so it's a bit slippery. So, yeah, the Yak is indeed back, and I was happy to have them.

With no races on the schedule until May, I fear that this blog will become even more boring than it already is. Sorry. I'll have to start making things up. I don't want people to think that my action adventure lifestyle isn't actually full of action and adventure.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Recovery Run

As you know, my loyal readers (Mom), this is usually the spot reserved a report on Nordic Meisters. Well, we skipped Nordic Meisters this week for two reasons:
1. The weather: Wet snow and mixed slop. Not the best for driving.
2. Lingering pain and suffering from the Maine Track Club Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic.

So, in lieu of driving and skiing hard, we went for a run instead. However, running in the crappy weather was still a part of the story, as a nasty, cold mist was falling. The good news is that the couple inches of wet slop had been cleared from the bike path making the run relatively smooth. That being said, I'm still sore: back, quads and calves. It was a rough 27-minute, 3-mile run.

Upon further reflection on the race, I've realized a couple things. First of all, I'm definitely on the right track with my running. I think it's slowly coming together, and I should be able to improve my results with more base and training. But, there's no way that's going to happen unless I add in some type of strength training. UGH. This has always been the least favorite part of my "fitness regimen." Even in college, I never spent as much time in the weight room (surprise, I know) as I should have. I definitely need to improve my core strength, if I expect to have any success, especially in trail races. I'll just have to figure out a way to work it in...and like it.

Additionally, the whole plan for this race was to really use it as a test for other potential races for the year. I wanted to see how I felt during and after. Well, I felt bad during and I feel bad after, so...yeah, I'm planning for the rest of the year. Walking is not 100% perfect yet, and I have one blackened toe. I'm tired. I spent a chunk of time last looking at race calendars and reports. I'm not well. I'm planning. And, by planning, I mean putting one race the calendar: Pineland Farms Trail Challenge, on May 25.

There are three races that day. There's a 50-mile, but that starts at 6:00am, so that's out. There's also a 50k, but that's two laps of the course. Why run two, when you only have to run one? I think I'll take the 25k option. One lap, 15.5 miles. Should be painful. So, until then, that's what I'll be training for. It's still a long way off, and in the immediate future, I'll be working on recovering before I set any type of formal training plan in motion. I'll also be looking at the calendar for other race options.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Maine Track Club Mid-Winter 10-Mile Classic

Short Version:
Ouch. Can't wait until next year.

Long Version:
We woke to overcast skies but warmish temperatures, and that's exactly how it stayed all morning. It was in the mid 30's and no wind, which are perfect conditions for a 10-miler in February in Maine, really. I really wasn't sure how I was going to run or what to expect since I've only been running an average of 12 miles per week and hadn't done a road race in years. I thought I had an outside shot of running 1:10:00 (7:00 per mile), knew that I would be happy with 1:12:30 (7:15 per mile), and was pretty confident I could run 1:15:00 (7:30 per mile). With those numbers in mind, I positioned myself somewhere near the back of the front on the start line, and we were off.

Mile 1: Oh @#!#@%!!!!!
As I approached the first mile marker, I felt very relaxed. My plan was to go out easy since there are some big hills in the first couple miles. So, I stay relaxed and just went with the flow. Um...bad idea: 6:41. Not good times, waaayyy to fast. My first thought: "Oh this is going to really suck later." Second thought: "No worries, just go with it. Stay relaxed. You feel great.

Mile 2: Hill-tastic
The big hills are in the second miles. I reigned it in a bit, and just stayed relaxed. I was feeling really good and becoming less concerned about my first mile. I hit the 2 mile marker in 13:45 for a 7:06. Real solid with the hills, but not too difficult.

Mile 3: More hills

This mile stayed hilly, but I still felt good. I was hopeful at this point. As I was feeling good on my best case scenario pace. As far as the actual splits go my memory is a little hazy for most of the rest of the way because...well, I was running and math isn't my strong suit. 3 miles: 20:50ish. (That's me, #333. No idea what I'm looking at.)

Mile 4: I can handle this
Just past the 3-mile mark, Ian Parlin of Trail Monster Running whom I recognized from his blog and more importantly as race director of the Bradbury Bruiser caught up to me. I introduced myself and complimented him on his great work putting together that race. We chatted a bit and ran together for about a 1/2 mile, until I realized that he was running faster than me, and I could do nothing but keep an eye on him from a far for the next couple miles as he pulled away. (He ended up finishing quite a bit a head of me, running a strong, much smarter race.) But, I was still feeling good, and hit the 4-mile mark in 27:45ish.

Mile 5: Halfway
Um...more running. Feeling solid. High-fived a group of kids not long before the 5-mile mark. I went through 5 miles in 34:50ish. Another 7:05ish mile, and I was feeling good...not great. I knew I was working, but I still felt strong. The hills had been often and rolling, but no big uns. Maybe I can actually run 1:10!

Mile 6: Where did that piano come from?
I'm really sure what happened, but shortly after the 5-mile mark I felt bad. Then there was a good sized hill. It felt huge. I really struggled through this mile. I thought I had slowed down a lot, but I hit the 6-mile mark in 42:10ish. I'd only slowed to a 7:20. "Wow, that's good." I was pretty encouraged at this point because I thought I was going much slower. Plus, everyone around me at this point were negative split specialists, and I getting passed a lot. Or at least it felt like it.

Mile 7: I have no recollection of those events
Seriously, where am I? Just another mile in the second half of a 10-miler. It was a little slower, and I was playing the role of the guy that everyone was reeling in. I went through 7 miles in 49:30ish. At this point, I knew I was running hard and 1:10 was probably out of reach unless I got some sort of divine intervention or hitchhiked, but I immediately dismissed any negative thoughts because I quickly remembered that 1:10 was only a long shot.

Mile 8: Those are my feet
At some point in mile 8, my feet started to really hurt. They were just sore. I guess they're not used to running on the roads. It was during this mile I also had my first "Where the hell is the mile mark?!?!" moment. It was starting to hurt, and I was slowing. 8 miles in right around 57:00ish. "No, no I don't mind you passing me. Have a nice day." Remember that 6:41? Um, yeah, not good times.

Mile 9: Oh @#!#@%!!!!! No, really, oh @#!#@%!!!!!
At some point near 8.5 miles, it happened. I got a cramp/pain/horrible angry demon in my back/chest. Something appeared in the middle of the lefthand side of my back and reached forward into my chest. It was half pain/half cramp/all bad. I think it was something in my diaphragm. It's really hard to describe, but it hurt like hell. It made breathing very difficult and I could barely move my left arm. Neither of these are conducive to running. It was around 1:04:40ish when I staggered past the 9-mile mark. I seriously thought I was going to have to stop and walk. I was not happy.

Mile 10: Satan face (Pictured at right)

At the 9-mile mark, the race goes uphill...a lot. It's an unpleasant, long, straight uphill kind of hill that goes uphill. Having to drag the angry demon up it was not enjoyable. In fact, it flat out sucked. Who's idea was this anyway? Even without dramatic music, a heart warming cutaway to a story about how I was raised by blind wolves that live in trees and an interview with Dick Enberg, I managed through the final mile. Once I finally reached the top of the hill no one passed me in the final half mile (in fact, I actually closed in on a couple guys who had previously passed me), and I crossed the line in 1:12:15.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the race. The first mile was a huge mistake that I certainly felt later on. I vaguely remember that it doesn't quite hurt as much with negative splits; the hanging on trying not to blow up strategy never goes well. Really, though, I'm not surprised at this tactical mistake since I haven't done any racing in a really long time and have never really raced anything on the road over 10k. So, not the smartest race, but had I thought more about it beforehand, this would have been very predictable. I do know that I need to do a lot of core work: stomach, back and everything that's not an appendage. Sit-ups, crunches and other tortuous movements are in my future. Hopefully, this will keep the angry demon from mile 8.5 at bay. The demon probably cost me at least a minute, but I'm glad I was able to fight through it to finish strong. The course was hilly, but we definitely lucked out with the weather. I'm really, really sore today...especially my quads...and my calves...and my feet...and my back...and my stomach...

I ended up in 136th place out of 691 runners, 116th male. My time of 1:12:15 averaged out to 7:14 per mile. I was 15th out of 31 people in my age group. Click here for complete results.

On the women's side, D ran a great race (on her birthday!). She also went out a little too fast, but she finished really strong. She finished in 293rd overall in 1:20:39.

It was a good day. Except for the whole SuperBowl fiasco.

All photos courtesy of here.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Month in Review - January

So a month for me isn't really a month it's more based on a page in my training log. (Yes, that updated daily, very official training log. I know, I'm surprised, too.) This "month" my training log was 5 weeks, and January included December 30 & 31 and February 1 & 2.

Here are the numbers:
Miles: 58.5
Hours: 22

Holy crap! That's waaaayyy more than I've done in a long time. I'm moderately impressed with myself. It's not a lot by any stretch, but it's been a good month. Hopefully, it will translate into a good result tomorrow.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Need a Boost?

I'm hoping Adidas sets one of these up every couple yards along the course on Sunday.

In other news, I ran 3 miles yesterday. It was a non-event. More stretching today, and then 3 on Saturday. It's supposed to be warm on Sunday, high of 40. No complaints there, but I'd been mentally preparing for it to be 14 and windy. Now, I have to find another excuse.

EDIT: D just told me that according to the always dead-on, it's going to be 21 at 9:00am. Well, that sure sounds chilly. Let the whining commence! (Since I won't be finishing until sometime in the closing seconds of the first quarter of the SuperBowl, I suspect it will get warmer.)