Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1 mile an hour

D- Tuesday Ran 6 miles: 51:42
      Wednesday Ran 6 miles: 56:41

Last night I put in a late 6 mile run. Then pace (just under goal half marathon) was set, mostly because I was curious how fast I was going. Without a fancy GPS watch, I just take note of my mile splits, and check my watch when I hit them. That means, if I hit a pace that you want to time I hold it for a mile. Or, in this case when I forget where a few of my mile markers are, I hold it for 6. 

So, after a brisk (for me) six mile run, I went to bed, got up and ran again. The pace for that one was all over the place - but I was pretty tired. It felt like I was going a mile an hour. Actually, since I ran 12 miles within 12 hours (I started the first one at 7:30pm, ended the second one at 7am) I was averaging a mile an hour....

Its's probably better not to think that way though. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


D- Ran 6 miles... really needs to find his stop watch

C sent me an email today with the subject line "inspirational?" telling me she was thinking of me and proud of me. I'm guessing it was a pick-me up message, since my running has been suffering a bit, as has my general energy level. Its always nice to be thought of, so much appreciated message.

As a bit of mixed message, the one line email ended with a link to a story about the Boston Champ, Wesley Korir. Apparently, only a matter of months before he ran the Boston Marathon, Wesley came down with Typhoid fever. He trained through it. Which, I can only imagine, after training with Typhoid fever, a warm day in Boston must have seemed like a walk in the park.

I'll have to figure out what she's proud of me for. Maybe its getting this awesome picture of W. Korir trucking it up Heart Break Hill. Or, maybe she actually meant to email that to Wesley Korir instead of me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I saw skinnyrunner... sort of

D- Saturday 15 miles 
     Sunday 3 miles
     Tuesday 6 miles

So, in place of talking about my runs (I had a miserable 15 miles on Saturday) I decided to just post a bunch of photos from the Boston Marathon. 

My roommate and I (thank you C for letting me borrow yoru bike while mine is in the shop) biked out to heart break hill to watch the elites come by. Then we booked it across town to the 25ish mile mark to watch the racers coming in towards the end. 

Skinny Runner!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

D - Ran 5 miles 44:30 (yesterday)

So, today's morning run didn't happen. Between getting dinner with co-workers (quessadillas, clams and sam summer are not a great pre-race snack), and my roommate wanting to show off his new(to him) motorcycle, it was 9:30 before I even starting running.

So, I woke up a too late for a run, and started stressing how I would fit a run in between work and a dance practice (it's a choreographed dance for a wedding I'm going to in May that strangely makes my hip feel better). Right about then, I got a message saying that practice had been moved back a half hour - so it all works out.

Sadly, I can't do SRR, but I will hopefully run into John to buy him a beer some time soon.

The other exciting (ok not really) news was that I got a package from Gilt. One of my favorite trends of the last few years have been the proliferation of discount sites. Groupon, Living Social, Gilt, woot, Steep and Cheep - all give out the occasional great deal.

Gilt was a bad combination of way too trendy and pricey for me, but I still checked in from time to time. Last week I was pleasantly surprised by New Balance having a sale. 12 dollar dry-fit shirts are hard to beat. Ideeli has a similar sale up for women, so C, if you read this, you should check it out.
(disclaimer: Groupon and Gilt give me a kick back if you sign up through my links)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Penwood run/hike

C and D - Ran 8(ish) trail miles Saturday
D - Ran 5.8 miles Sunday
D - Ran 5 miles in 44 minutes Tuesday

On Sunday, as I previously suggested we hit up the trails, in hopes of it being easier on C's knee. I probably should have paid more attention to the fact there was a look-out point on the map and checked out the topography ahead of time. Instead, we proceded to run/hike a rocky, stick and root strewn, hilly trail up and down an intimidating hill. It literally turned to steep stairs at one point. 12 miles turned to 6 on the trial + 2 miles on a much kinder trail that side-stepped the mountain.
I have to say, as much as we worry about missing the over-all distances, I've woken up pretty sore after last two trail run outings. Going into the summer, I might try to hit more of these on shorter days to build up my leg muscles. The constant up and down of trails, that most cars couldn't deal with, should prep me for any road-race hill I have to hit.
Now, I just have to be able to actually RUN the trails.

familiar trails
To make up for our shorter distance, I decided to add a couple miles to my Sunday recovery run. It consisted of one big hill on the way to a relatively flat park. I would have had a time for this, but I got distracted on my way back. A car, going way to fast, decided to be nice and move a bit over for me. He didn't notice the car coming over the hill. He clipped side view mirrors with the other car - shattering the other car's mirror - as he sped off.
I stuck around for the cops to come as the owner of the hit car cried quite a bit between (and during) calling the police and her parents. A good suggestion for calling loved ones, after an accident, is to start of telling them you're ok. Of course, crying, and not saying that does get them there a lot faster.

After beautiful new scenery, familiar wooded trails and (not-so) high speed car crashes - todays 5 miler was down-right uneventful. However, my body felt 'slow' the whole time. Looking back at the time, I was holding a good pace (for me). I wish I could pin-point where the feeling is coming from - since this weekend we have a 15 miler slated. I'll have to make decision about backing off from it, running it slow, or going for a descent pace. We're doing it on our own (if I do 15, it will be my longest run) - so I think a good strategy is in order.
That or just bring a ton of caffienated gel.

And now for some Pics of C running in Penwood
C being told to 'look like you're running fast'

C actually running fast
The trail turned un-runable on a few occasions
but it was worthwhile for segments like this

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Every step counts

D - Tuesday: Ran 5 miles in 47:27
      Wednesday: Ran 5 miles in 46 minutes
This week's runs were a bit tough. I'm pulling in 9+ minute miles but feeling like i'm working harder than I should. It might be the 5:15 alarm that's screwing with my pace, or it might be that i've gotten out of the habit of a pre-run snack. Either way, I could use some motivation. Yesterday, before I returned the book to the library, I went back through Racing the Antelope for some interesting quotes to share.
C at the Boston Public Library
Ben writing about what his college coach, Coach Styrna, told him. "What he learned in track and field he needed for everything in life. For example, you don't get anywhere by magic, but only by putting in the required number of steps, one at a time, and in correct sequence. ... There is a truth, a beauty, and a symmetry in this that is inviolate. Every step counts."
"Runners are rational. They have to be. Although driven by dreams, they learn uncompromisingly to confront facts, and they do not get misled too far by wishful thinking." 
"In a one day race between a horse and a camel over a 176 kilometer course, the horse won, but just barely, since the horse died the next day and the camel kept going." 
"We are a different sort of predator. We can't outsprint most prey. We are psychologically evolved to pursue long-range goals, because through millions of years that is what we on average had to do in order to eat." 
"If running had been a constant in our lives throughout evolutionary history, it may now be required as a supplement for optimum health." 
"This experiment of one will be, in the parlance of science, an anecdote. Nevertheless, it isstill an experiment because I've been guided by logic derived from a vast body of experimental work on animals, and backed up by my own experiences toward acieving a specific outcome, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I've done all I thought I could do."
Hopefully I'll dig deep and find some inspiration, because I am very excited about this weekends long run. We are supposed to do 13, but I might scale it back to 12 for convenience. Last night I did some research on places to run in CT. I found a park called Penwood that has a 3 mile trail accross it. So, our run will be a 4x3 miles. Considering there are two lookout points, I don't think this will be an easy run.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Like an Animal

D - Ran 6 miles in 56:34

Today I finished a fairly interesting and surprisingly inspiration book by Bernd Heinrich. Racing the Antelope, What Animals Can Teach Us About Running and Life. There wasn't a heck of a lot of useful information for runners, but there were great stories and tons of useless facts about animals and people (why do Camels have Humps? Its not for water retention like you thought!). Interspersed (at times haphazardly transitioning) is the story of how Bernd, or Ben as he's also known, got into running as a teenager and went through injuries adventures and ultimately set the Masters record for the 100k - fueled by Ocean Spray Cranberry juice.

So why does a Camel have humps? In addition to a fatty reserve for fuel, it provides shade to keep the animal cool in the heat. The thick hair on top of the hump absorbs the sun's heat before it can overheat the animal. This is largely the same reason we have thick hair on our head.

Much of the book focuses on the way animals deal with energy conservation and heat dispersion. This is very fitting considering how much I failed at that over the weekend. He bounces from transcontinental migrating birds to the pronghorn antelope which can reach speeds up to 61mph - and travel 7 miles in 10 minutes. If you've ever wondered why deer have thin legs or moths have furry thoraxes - this is the book for you.

If you're looking for a manual on training - you'll find plenty of bad ideas (running a fifty mile race on flat beer = failure) or if you're squeamish about stories about hunting and a few sort of cruel experiments (Bernd hunted birds for museum exhibits as a kid) - you might want to skip this book. There was also the reference or two to why men are better at racing than women, that almost sounded apologetic - but I would argue is slowly being proven wrong as women close the performance gap in the last decade.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Another Fells Run

Sunday's Run:
C and her roomate with
Born to Run Author
C and D ran for 2 hours in the woods

This weekend brought us sad news from the wold of running. First brought to my attention by some scientist with a funny name, Micah True was found dead, with no known cause of death. Micah was brought to C and my attention in the book Born to Run. Aside from a great story, the book featured so many inspirational and incredible runners, all of who were in awe of Micah "Caballo Blanco" True.

For our Sunday run we fittingly ended up running the Fells again. This time the roles were reversed. Worrying about being cold if I had to slow up for C and her troubled knee. Instead, I found myself overheating and dehydrating only a few miles into the run. Suddenly, C was waiting for me at the top of hills (fortunately the downhills gave me a chance to keep up). Despite feeling like a fast paced hike at times, I really enjoyed being in the woods, not worrying about time or distance - and in Caballo Blanco style, it was just running for fun.